Check out my latest hip-hop commentary: BATTLE RAP
If you’ve just discovered the joys of Hip-Hop music….you’ve got some homework to do. WatchMojo.com put together this list of the Top 10 Defining Songs of each decade. Do you agree? Watch them all below:
I wasn’t the biggest Game fan when he came out. The name dropping was a problem for me. This is your debut album and all you have to talk about are other rappers? I couldn’t deny the fact that some of the beats and songs were hot. I agree with the notion that he helped to bring that West Coast style of Hip-Hop back. This week’s Re-Release is The Game ft. 50 Cent “Hate It or Love It“.
“Once the Game surfaced as a force in hip-hop, a big deal was made of his dance with death. Apparently he was shot five times. If you’re scoring at home, that’s four times less than label mate and executive producer 50 Cent. After the altercation that nearly took his life, the Game took a crash course in hip-hop and studied up on the master MCs from both coasts. Within a year of rapping for the first time, Dr. Dre took notice and was compelled to offer an Aftermath contract. the Game is also from Compton, just like his mentor, so guess where the allegiances fall? An N.W.Amedallion hangs from his neck, an N.W.A logo is inked across his chest, and an image of the late Eazy-E is on his right forearm. If none of this makes it clear enough, the Game name drops beloved heroes — including just about everyone ever connected to N.W.A, save for CPO — with great frequency…” – Allmusic.com
This one is dedicated to Solange. There is something to say about a person who has reached their breaking point. Lol! Seriously, this Lox record was the result of the group finally being released from the clutches of Bad Boy Records. Though the album, as a whole, was hit and miss for me…it’s still a testament to the group’s hard edge rhymes. This week’s Re-Release is the Lox’s “Wild Out“.
The LOX‘s highly publicized and drawn-out defection from Puffy‘s Bad Boy Records to DMX‘s Ruff Ryder camp was imperative. Not only because Puffy‘s glossy sound openly clashed with the group’s thug mentality, but the change of scenery also furnished Jadakiss, Sheek, and Styles with an opportunity to assert their own identity. While The LOX as a unit do not offer much in terms of topical dexterity, Jadakiss is one the industry’s most underappreciated lyricists, which he clearly reiterates on his solo cut “Blood Pressure.” Ruff Ryders in-house producer Swizz Beatz handles most of the production duties, and although his syncopated production can become repetitious, DJ Premier (“Recognize”) and Timbaland (“Ryde or Die Bitch,” featuring Eve and Drag-On) provide some much-needed diversity with their signature sounds. The rowdy lead single, “Wild Out,” is an obvious reworking of Jay-Z‘s “Jigga My Nigga,” but it was a hit on rap radio.” – Allmusic.com
He is primarily a dj today, but back in the 80s? He was one of the top rapper’s in the game. Sure, Big Daddy Kane and Kool G. Rap wrote a lot of those hits. I don’t think the charm of those records would have been possible without Biz’s zany personality and antics. None more greater than this commercial hit….This week’s Re-Release is Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend“.
“On the cover to The Biz Never Sleeps, Biz Markie‘s in the lab with his chemistry set, cooking up a concoction of colorful liquids that’s bound to explode sooner or later. Inside, however, the music wasn’t quite as dynamic; Markie decided to produce and write this record entirely by himself, instead of relying on help from Cold Chillin’ beatmaster Marley Marl(who’d produced his excellent debut). The results veered dangerously close to the standard indulgent sophomore album, though Markie‘s natural charm and a blockbuster hit ended up carrying the proceedings. It certainly didn’t start out very well, the opener being a long-winded “Dedications” that was little more than the title indicated, and “The Dragon,” a one-joke track about odd smells. Rap fans with a sense of humor, however, were willing to forgive nearly anything after hearing “Just a Friend,” the result of an intriguing story-rap interspersed with a bizarre bout of crooning that, once again, ably demonstrated how far Biz‘s charm could take him (in this case, all the way to the Top Ten). “Spring Again” and “I Hear Music” were yet more loopy productions with a universal theme, while Markie even sounded intoxicating while freestyling about a nonexistent dance over a simple loop (“Mudd Foot”). It was obvious the (teenage) lunatics had been released from the asylum; the wonders of visual technology allowed the Biz and T.J. Swan to have their thank-you lists superimposed, inside the credits, on their bared boxer shorts.” – Allmusic.com
All of this 20 year, 25 year anniversary talk got me to dig in my garage. Well, what do I find in that hall of my shame (time to clean it out basically)? A box of cassettes that I just couldn’t part with. Yeah, the original Illmatic tape is there. Mecca and The Soul Brother. Enta Da Stage… and Low End Theory. This isn’t even a picture of all of the tapes.
Classics! Nostalgia! Where the hell am I going to find a tape player? I remember the story behind every single one too; where I bought them and why. I’m a music fan…and more importantly…a huge hip-hop fan! Some say this was the greatest era in hip-hop history. Complex did a article recently on the top 90 albums of the 1990s. I found damn near all of them in my collection. Crazy!
I remember I bought Dr. Dre’s The Chronic because I was a fan of N.W.A. The cover looked so bootleg, I didn’t think this album was real. Plus, I hadn’t heard Nuthin’ But A G-Thang yet. Well, you know what happened once I popped the tape in…BRAINZ BLEW!
I remember picking up Common’s One Day It Will All Make Sense at the Port Authority in Manhattan. Traveling back to school at Morgan State University always gave me the opportunity to discover new music. I wasn’t even a Common fan at this point in time. Popped it in the “Walkman”…the rest is history.
So many memories. Shout out to Beat Street which used to be the hub for hip-hop in Downtown Brooklyn New York. I bought a lot of these albums from there. Oh yeah…there is a tape deck in the car. Lol! I’m going in!
As a long time EPMD fan, I was ready for this solo album. Sure, the break up of my favorite rap group hurt like hell…still…I was like a basehead switching dealers… “What your sh*t feel like?” Needless to say I was a little disappointed. It wasn’t the same “high”. Production wise? This album was hot, and the lead single was what had me foaming at the mouth with anticipation. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit. Never the less, this was a classic record for me. Even if it was based on unbelievable hype. This week’s Re-Release was Erick Sermon’s “Stay Real“. Watch him go hard on the “Evander Holyfield” boxing game from Sega Genesis. Lol!
“When EPMD finally unravelled after months of rumors and internal turmoil, Erick Sermon wasted no time grabbing the mike. He’s quite obsessed with proving he can cut it alone, although his self-titled debut didn’t move far from EPMD‘s trademarks: fat, crunching basslines, neatly inserted samples lifted mainly from Zapp, tight vocal edits, and Sermon‘s mush-mouthed, deadpan raps. His targets included condoms, sexual warfare, hip-hop groupies, and would-be rap challengers. While this contains the obligatory “bitches” and “niggas” references, there’s not as much gun worship as you might expect. No Pressure is as much, if not more, EPMD‘s final release as Erick Sermon‘s debut.” – Allmusic.com