Hip Hop

Not sure I can do this, but I am going to give this a stab…so much good music it’s hard to really rank it when I could argue any song in the top 10 as my all time favorite.

Top songs from Hip Hops glory days – the early to mid 90’s (as far as I am concerned…my high school years)

  1. Scenario – A Trible Called Quest
  2. Mind Playin Tricks on Me – Geto Boys
  3. Triumph – Wu-Tang Clan
  4. Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
  5. They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) – Pete Rock and CL Smooth
  6. The Most Beautifullest Thing in the World – Keith Murray
  7. Juicy – Biggy Smalls (aka Notorious B.I.G.)
  8. Elevators – Outkast
  9. The Choice is Yours – Black Sheep
  10. Me Against the World – Tupac
  11. Bring the Pain – Method Man
  12. Ice Cream – Raekwon
  13. DWYCK – Gang Starr
  14. Passing me By – Pharcyde
  15. Sugar Hill – AZ
  16. All I Need – Method Man and Mary J Blige (the original, not the remix)
  17. Definition – Black Star
  18. What They Do – The Roots
  19. They Want EFX – Das EFX
  20. If I Ruled the World – Nas
  21. A Roller Skating Jam Named “Saturday” – De La Soul
  22. I used to Love H.E.R. – Common
  23. I seen a Man Die – Scarface
  24. Electric Relaxation – A Tribe Called Quest
  25. 1nce Again – A Tribe Called Quest
  26. A Murder was the Case – Snoop Dogg
  27. Luchini – Camp Lo
  28. Hip Hop Hooray – Naughty by Nature
  29. Reminding me (of Sef) – Common
  30. Shook Ones – Mobb Deep
  31. Straight Up Menace – MC Eiht
  32. Tic Toc – Lords of the Undergroud
  33. Wrekonize – Smif’N’Wessun
  34. 4th Chamber – GZA
  35. Sometimes I Rhyme Slow – Nice and Smooth
  36. Renee – Lost Boyz
  37. Who Got the Props – Black Moon
  38. Whirlwind Pyramid – The D.O.C. (I know this was 1989, but it’s so good!)
  39. Thisisme – Common

Best Groups (90s)

  1. Wu-Tang Clan
  2. A Tribe Called Quest
  3. Outkast
  4. The Roots
  5. Jurassic 5

Master P then killed rap for me. That garbage that started coming from his label just absolutely destroyed hip hop for me. I lost touch for quite a few years. Listened to a lot of sports talk radio. The “rap station” here locally (KS 107.5) plays a lot of really garbage mainstream stuff. There isn’t a station in Denver that plays local or underground or independent music – it’s all top 20 trash for the most part. Sure, they pick up on stuff like Thrift Shop by Macklemore, but that’s about it.I was completely unaware that good artists were still making music.

The artists that kept me listening and believing hip hop was alive and well were Deltron 3030, Jurassic 5, Tech N9ne, Atmosphere and Blackalicious to name a few.

Thankfully a few years ago I bought a new car and it came with Sirius. Enter Shade 45. Shade 45 brought me back to hip hop. Reintroduced me to Royce da 5’9″. Introduced me to Action Bronson and Logic. And thanks to Back 2 Back I found out about Drake. Ya, I was that in the dark about new music that I didn’t really know who Drake was until Back 2 Back. Sure I heard a couple of his R&B songs on KS 107.5, but that’s about it. This is what I am rocking today (October 26th, 2015).

Best Songs today

  1. Courtesy – PRhyme
  2. m.A.A.d City – Kendrick Lamar and MC Eiht
  3. I Don’t Fuck with You – Big Sean and E-40
  4. Rap God – Eminem
  5. Back 2 Back – Drake
  6. Backseat Freestyle – Kendrick Lamar
  7. Under Pressure – Logic
  8. Back Up – Dej Loaf and Big Sean
  9. Collard Greens – Schoolboy Q and Kendrick Lamar
  10. Cocoa Butter – Action Bronson
  11. Blessings – Big Sean and Drake (I like the version without Kanye – Kanye’s verse is TERRIBLE on this record)
  12. B-Boy – Meek Mill, Big Sean and A$AP
  13. 3005 – Childish Gambino
  14. No Role Modelz – J. Cole
  15. Ryda – Game and Dej Loaf
  16. $ave dat Money – Lil Dicky
  17. All Your Fault – Big Sean and Kanye West
  18. Strictly for my Jeeps – Action Bronson
  19. Baby Blue – Action Bronson
  20. more coming

I feel like Kanye West deserves a special mention here. These songs came out in that time in which I wasn’t really listening to music, but they get a lot of play on my devices: Good Life, Through the Wire, Heard’em Say, All Falls Down and more recently Black Skinhead. On top of these songs, I have to mention Classic (Better Than I’ve Ever Been) with Rakim, Nas and KRS-One and Selfish with Slum Village. While I don’t have him listed above in either list, I obviously enjoy his music.

Best Groups today

  1. Slaughterhouse
  2. Prhyme
  3. Need more groups in Rap. Need Kendrick and J Cole to form a group for one album.

Pre 1990’s

  1. NWA
  2. Beastie Boys
  3. Run DMC
  4. Kool Moe Dee
  5. Ice Cube
  6. Del tha Funky Homosapien

My top MCs – lyracists

  1. Rakim
  2. Nas
  3. Andre 3000
  4. Eminem
  5. Most of Wu-Tang, especially RZA, Inspectah Deck and Rae

Right now J Cole, Kendrick and Royce all make claims as being some of the best lyracists. That trap music is terrible. If you can’t even finish your words then everything will rhyme. Terrible.

Two verses stand out in my mind as some of the best ever.

From Andre 3000 on Elevators:

Got stopped at the mall the other day
Heard a call from the other way that I just came from
Some nigga was saying something, talking ’bout smoke something “Hey man, you remember me from school?” “No not really”
But he kept smiling like a clown, facial expression looking silly
And he kept asking me, “What kinda car you drive?
I know you paid, I know y’all got beaucoup billfolds
From all them songs that y’all done made”
And I replied that I had been going through the same things that he had
True, I’ve got more fans than the average man
But not enough loot to last me
To the end of the week, I live by the beat
Like you live check-to-check
If you don’t move your feet then I don’t eat
So we like neck-to-neck
Yes, we done come a long way like them slim-ass cigarettes
From Virginia, this ain’t gon’ stop, so we just gon’ continue

And Inspectah Deck on Triumph:

I bomb atomically, Socrates’ philosophies
and hypothesis can’t define how I be droppin these
mockeries, lyrically perform armed robbery
Flee with the lottery, possibly they spotted me
Battle-scarred shogun, explosion when my pen hits
tremendous, ultra-violet shine blind forensics
I inspect you, through the future see millenium
Killa B’s sold fifty gold sixty platinum
Shacklin the masses with drastic rap tactics
Graphic displays melt the steel like blacksmiths
Black Wu jackets queen B’s ease the guns in
Rumble with patrolmen, tear gas laced the function
Heads by the score take flight incite a war
Chicks hit the floor, diehard fans demand more
Behold the bold soldier, control the globe slowly
Proceeds to blow swingin swords like Shinobi
Stomp grounds and pound footprints in solid rock
Wu got it locked, performin live on your hottest block

Pretty much all of Rap God by Eminem, almost everything by Ra and Nas.

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