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
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
Damn shame a lot of “hip-hop fans” haven’t heard this album. It’s a damn shame that a lot of hip-hop naysayers haven’t heard this album. It’s the penalty for being the thing that people say doesn’t exist in rap music anymore. Watch the video and know that the album has an even greater message. This week’s Re-Release is Pharoahe Monch’s “Black Hand Side“.
“With the 2011 release of his third album, W.A.R. (We Are Renegades), rapper Pharoahe Monch halved the eight-year wait fans endured between his first and second efforts. This strong, satisfying, often stunning third release proves he can deliver the goods under this tighter release schedule, and when listening to lyrics that are topical for 2011 (“Calculated Amalgamation” is inspired by the recent Egyptian revolution), one begins to wonder if it’s been three years off for Monch, and then one very strong year back on. Whatever the process, W.A.R. is worth it, chock-full of those wickedly smart Monch lines (“Even my reflection disrespects you like a freshman during hazing”) and Armageddon productions from the likes of M-Phazes, Diamond D, and Samiyam. These beats seem generally as mad and driven as the man himself, although “The Grand Illusion” with Citizen Cope adds some alternative rock to the mix while the closer, ”Still Standing,” is as elegant and soulful as its guest, Jill Scott. The socially concerned singles “Shine” and “Clap (One Day)” make for a decent intro, even if they are best heard in context, as this conceptually sound album uses linking dialog and a sensible running order to guide listeners through Monch’s war story.” – Allmusic.com
Before there was Doom or M.F. Doom, there was K.M.D. A time in hip-hop when East Coast rap was all about flows and fun. Sometimes you miss this type of rap. Everyone wants to be taken so serious now. So take a trip down memory lane where rap videos were trendy and fun. This week’s Re-Release is K.M.D.’s “Who Me?”.
“The crew known as K.M.D. first came to be known in 1989 as affiliates of Def Jam Recordings’ highly talented trio Third Bass, an affiliation that would one day prove its irony. K.M.D. member Zevlove X contributed the concept and a compelling verse on the classic Third Bass jam, “The Gas Face.” The crew composed primarily of Zevlove and DJ Sub-Roc kept close ties with emerging talents Third Bass for a couple of years, then went on to record their debut Mr. Hood on Elektra Records in 1991. On Mr. Hood, K.M.D combined lighthearted humor with divisive political rhetoric, but the overall sentiment was one of youthful positivity. The album featured production from the Stimulated Dummies and a guest spot from Brand Nubian. “Peach Fuzz,” a tale of young romance, rippled momentarily, but the crew could not capitalize on their connections to 3rd Bass (even with a “Gas Face” reprise entitled “The Gasface Refill”).” – Allmusic.com
Some of you rap fans can be uptight standard junkies. So much so that you forget the days when dudes like Slick Rick told humorous stories. Devin is the same on every album. Weed smoking, goofy looking, story telling fool….and I love every bit of it. Look at this video. He’s say people be tripping on me…and then he has a person literally “trip over” him in the grocery store. I love it! Sure it’s silly but it beats the hell out of watching a million rap videos with the same broads, same chains, same cars. Variety people, variety. This is hip-hop whether you like it our not. WORD. This week’s Re-Release is Devin The Dude’s “What I Be On“.
“The AC/DC of trashy stoner rap, Devin the Dude had released a fat set of like-minded and like-sounding albums by the time he got to this 2010 release, but just like those metal gods, Devin’s redundancy is the reason fans keep coming back. They won’t be disappointed by Suite #420, which features the usual set of chilled-out weed anthems, sex jokes, and old-school R&B beats, along with those great oddball numbers the Dude uses to break each album up. Here it’s the new wave-flavored, heartbreak song “Where Ya At?” along with the crooked and appropriately titled “Funky Little Freestyle,” where Devin offers “I baffle the minds of workers at the Laundromat/They think my clothes have been worn by a walking ganja plant”. Best of the standard joints is “Still Comin’,” where producer Mirawge gives Devin a crip-walking beat over which he proves he’s still “got it” when it comes to out-sleazing the competition (including a “peach fuzz” reference that makes the phrase incorrigible). That’s what you pay for and that’s what you get in abundance, and without any guest shots from other artists. As the Dude would say, Suite #420 got it all rolled up, and you just gotta put a light on it. ” – Allmusic.com
Grand Puba Maxwell! Debut solo album. I wasn’t too happy about the initial Brand Nubian break up, but it did produce some classic Grand Puba solos. This one being the starter. This week’s Re-Release is Grand Puba’s “360 (What Goes Around)“.
“In a sense, Grand Puba really never was a genuine member of Brand Nubian. He was several years older than Lord Jamar and Sadat X, and had already recorded with the old-school crew Masters of Ceremony several years before finally hooking up with his younger mates. And even the mostly collective-minded One for All featured a couple Pubasolo joints. Based on the sophomore Brand Nubian outing, it is pretty clear that Grand Puba‘s carefree verbal play, completely unencumbered by ideology, tempered the more in-your-face manifestation of Jamar and Sadat X‘s radical politics since In God We Trust which, as thrillingly polemical as it could be, was also rather severe and uncompromising, even apocalyptic, in its outlook, and therefore off-putting at times. Likewise, based on this debut solo album, it’s clear that Brand Nubian created precisely the right context in which Puba‘s self-reflexive braggadocio could flourish without wearing thin because Reel to Reel, as much fun as it is, has little in the way of substance… ” – Allmusic.com
This is a Mos Def album (now known as Yasiin Bey) that everyone should check out. He returns to the emcee on this one. This wasn’t one of my favorite records but the video enhanced it for me. This week’s Re-Release is Mos Def’s “Sex, Love, & Money“.
“During the first several years of the 2000s, it wasn’t unreasonable to want Mos Def, one of the most dazzling living MCs, to make a rap album. After he released 2006’s True Magic, his first all-rap release in seven years — following the back-to-back instant classics Black Star and Black on Both Sides — it was easier to understand why he had been devoting much more time to acting and diversions like The New Danger. It was evident that he was not inspired, no doubt prompting a fair portion of his followers to think, “OK, maybe we should have been more specific: please make agood rap album.” On The Ecstatic, it’s not as if Mos Def makes a full return to the lucid/bug-eyed rhymes heard on decade-old cuts like “Hater Players” and “Hip Hop.” Instead, he comes up with a mind-bending, low-key triumph, the kind of magnetic album that takes around a dozen spins to completely unpack. Oscillating between cerebral gibberish and seemingly nonchalant, off-the-cuff boasts, it’s obvious that Mos Def is back to enjoying his trade. ” – Allmusic.com