Check out my latest hip-hop commentary: THE CHEF
This one used to bang back in the day. Clubs, whips, headphones, whatever. It was a short track but I don’t think I would of like it if it were longer. This week’s Re-Release is Method Man and Redman’s “Da Rockwilder“.
“Hip-hop fans have known for years that Method Man and Redman are two of the top MCs in the field, and their tour together not only proved the fact, but also showed they rap incredibly well together. Their deliveries are similar and the flow never falters, but the hint of gravel in Meth‘s voice makes them easily distinguishable. Now, with Blackout!, the duo’s first album together (though both guested on each other’s 1998 LPs), listeners have the proof on wax. Skating on top of spare, hard-hitting productions by Erick Sermon, Wu-Tang‘s RZA, Mathematics, and Redman himself — under hisReggie Noble alias – Meth and Redman trade off on hardcore rhymes and freestyle over each other. There’s barely room for breath, but the rhymes are tight and inventive throughout. There are only two guest appearances (for Ja Rule & LL Cool J on “4 Seasons” and Ghostface and Street on the hilarious Blair Witch Project send-off “Run 4 Cover”), and the focus on just Meth and Redman makes for an even tighter, more combustible LP. Even with the high expectations that come along with a project of this magnitude, Blackout! rarely disappoints.” - Allmusic.com
This one goes out to YOU…AND YOU….AND YOU.
“Is this what it’s all about Manny?” Dude punch you in the mouth and its business as usual? I see. This backpack? This ain’t about money? This some beneath you and your peoples thing?
This is so insignificant to you and yours. Is he not a formidable foe? Is it easier when it’s a battle you could win? I see. Ninjas are mad? Maybe if you remain silent we’ll forget. NO CHANCE IN HELL.
I don’t want to be one to drag this out but, the responses thus far mean jack sh*t if your name wasn’t mentioned. This isn’t hard fellas. You don’t have to win. We need you to stand your ground though. I can’t stomach your speeches if “this look like Kane whooping your a$$.”
You can still get your money. Your fans will still check for you. I know you are planning a response that will marketing written all over it. Do it now. YOU SCARED?! What do you have to lose? I see. “Things just ain’t the same for Gangstas…”
Given the current events in hip-hop (exciting times), this song seems all too appropriate. This week’s Re-Release is 2Pac’s “Hit Em Up“.
“Greatest Hits is a strange release. Sure, Tupac Shakur had more than enough hits to make a terrific compilation, but its appearance in the fall of 1998 felt a bit like another opportunity to milk his catalog, simply because of the plethora of releases, from previously unheard recordings to interview discs and bootlegs. Even with these misgivings taken into account, it has to be said that Greatest Hits does its job well. Given that it runs 25 tracks and two CDs, some may argue that it does its job a little too well, but the fact of the matter is, this contains all of his big hits, from “Keep Ya Head Up” and “Dear Mama” to “California Love” and “I Ain’t Mad at Cha.” Some may argue that it would have been more effective if it was sequenced in chronological order, but this remains the best place for casual listeners to get all the 2Pac they need.” - Allmusic.com
I’m going to tell you like this….THIS RECORD IN THE CLUB?! BACK THEN?! WAS NUTS! The first verse is even more important today. KRS-ONE is timeless. This week’s Re-Release is KRS-ONE’s “Step Into The World (Rapper’s Delight)“.
“Again working with a variety of collaborators, including DJ Muggs, Redman, and Rich Nice, KRS-One turns in a hard-hitting, vital set of street-level hip-hop with I Got Next. By working consistently and keeping his ambitions modest, KRS-One has turned into the most consistent rapper of his generation, turning out a series of remarkably strong records. I Got Next doesn’t offer anything new for the rapper, but it’s a well-constructed set that is thoroughly compelling, both musically and lyrically. It proves that it’s possible to age gracefully within hip-hop.” – Allmusic.com
I liked every single I heard from this unsung hip-hop duo, but I never cared about their album until this one. I thought they only made party records. I didn’t think they were capable of make anything else. I was wrong. The first time I heard this record I was like, “Yeah…I get them now.” Only true artist can diverge from the safe path and find success (i.e. Eminem with the song Stan). This week’s Re-Release is Nice & Smooth’s “Sometimes I Rhyme Slow“.
“New York City rap duo Gregg Nice (born Gregg Mays) and Smooth Bee (born Daryl Barnes) had an underrated 1991 debut release Ain’t a Damn Thing Changed. It included the biting, nicely written, and bitterly performed “Sometimes I Rhyme Slow,” which was a sizable hit in the R&B and hip-hop circuit.” - Allmusic.com
This song right here. Dope beat, catchy hook, and nice “hip-hop” looking video. There are records that embody the spirit of hip-hop. You feel the urge to head nod. It feels good. It reminds you why you love the culture. This week’s Re-Release is Reflection Eternal’s “The Blast“.
“After releasing a handful of essential 12″s on various Rawkus Records projects in the late ’90s, Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek were on the verge of becoming one of hip-hop’s best-kept secrets. Yet their original incarnation as a duo expanded into a triumvirate with the inclusion of Mos Def and transformed their eventual manifestation into Black Star, thwarting their initial bid for acclaim. WhileKweli‘s stardom may have been initially eclipsed by his more charismatic cohort, Mos Def, Reflection Eternal houses enough merit to establish Talib as one of this generation’s most poetic MCs. Kweli is a rare MC, as his lyricism resounds with a knowledge that transcends his still tender age. He does not aspire to reprogram the masses with this album, just rehabilitate them, as he laments on “The Blast”…” - Allmusic.com
I don’t know how I did this segment every week without once showing love to one of my favorite artist of all time. This song speaks for itself. This week’s Re-Release is The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Warning“.
“The album that reinvented East Coast rap for the gangsta age, Ready to Die made the Notorious B.I.G. a star, and vaulted Sean “Puffy” Combs‘ Bad Boy label into the spotlight as well. Today it’s recognized as one of the greatest hardcore rap albums ever recorded, and that’s mostly due to Biggie‘s skill as a storyteller. His raps are easy to understand, but his skills are hardly lacking — he has a loose, easy flow and a talent for piling multiple rhymes on top of one another in quick succession. He’s blessed with a flair for the dramatic, and slips in and out of different contradictory characters with ease. Yet, no matter how much he heightens things for effect, it’s always easy to see elements of Biggie in his narrators and of his…” - Allmusic.com
I was never a fan of the two as rappers, but they are vets when it comes to production. This record is another example of their unquestionable contributions to hip-hop music. Salute… This week’s Re-Release is The Beatnuts “Watch Out Now“.
“An underground Latino crew who moved from being strictly producers to make some action on the other side of the mixing board as well, the Beatnuts first hooked up in the late ’80s, with Junkyard Ju-Ju (akaJuJu, born Jerry Tineo) and Psycho Les (born Lester Fernandez) being joined by Fashion (aka Kool Fashion, born Berntony Smalls). After working with the Jungle Brothers, the trio connected with Monie Loveon a production job for “Pups Lickin Bone” from her 1990 debut album…” - Allmusic.com