Elite Music

Some music is just elite. To create elite music you cant just be a skilled musician you have to have a reason behind your music - a philosophy. All the bling-bling thug tunes on the radio are perfect examples of non-elite rap/hip hop. Or britney and her ilk of non-elite pop. The radio rarely has elite music on and when it does its usually from a not-for-profit college station. Sell out music is just weak. So, I want to start a discussion with anyone else out there who listens to elite music. I’m going to start with my choices for rap / hip hop and if people are interested in later threads I’ll go into reggae, jazz, trip hop, drum and bass, classic rock, alternative rock, and music of the 70’s.

Hip Hop / Rap (in no particular order)

Tier 1

Jurassic 5
Prince Paul
Del tha Funkee Homosapien
Kool Keith
Dan the Automator
The Coup
Peanut Butter Wolf
Freestyle Fellowship
Unsung Heroes

Tier 2

Black Eyed Peas
Brand Nubian
Company Flow
Dilated Peoples
Ugly Duckling
Mos Def
Non Phixion
A Tribe Called Quest

Ok, let’s see your lists for classic rock, alternative rock, and music of the 70’s. Those are the only types I know much about. Right on, man.

Should I be saddened that I’ve never even heard of any of these groups, and the only one that even sounded familiar “Peanut Butter Wolf” on reflection only sounded familiar because I was thinking of the group “The Peanut Butter Conspiracy”?

Or should I just feel old?


I’m affraid that if the given rap or hip hop artists hasn’t been recently in the news for getting shot or arrested for some kind of criminal activity, I won’t know anything about him/her…let alone their music.

I don’t know that “elite” is a word I’d use, but you’ve got some good stuff there. I think it is quite possible to be into good music without coming off snobbish or dickish about it (and I’m not saying that you did that, but many people in the genuine hiphop/ college indie rock crowd have that attitude, with plenty to spare.)

Jurassic 5’s album is the best new hip-hop I’ve heard in a long time, probably since I first heard the Roots.

I recently have gotten into the whole Soulside/Quannum/Blacklicious/Latyrx/Lateef crew. Good stuff there as well.

Have you heard Jedi Mind Tricks’ album Violent By Design? I think that some of the thuggy shit goes a bit over the top…but they mix religion/mythology/historical images into their rhymes about as good as anyone I’ve heard in a while. Very raw stuff, I haven’t had that “Damn, these is some roughneck boys” since I heard the first Wu-Tang.

Also, rereading your lists, I have to wonder why you put Prince Paul and Del tha Funkee Homosapien over groups like The Pharcyde and The Roots and BEP? I mean, I like Del alright, but he can’t hold a candle to the Roots. Why is that? Because the latter crew has had a little more success recently? If so, that’s kinda screwed, IMO. Not trying to attack, I just don’t get it.

Why did i put del in tier 1? simple, Deltron 3030 is my personal favorite hip hop disc of all time. Pharcyde is dope as well, but I dropped then to 2 because I was a little disappointed with Labcabincalifornia. Prince Paul got his nod for his work in the old school Stetsasonic crew and for A Prince Among Thieves. If you haven’t heard Stetsasonic pick up “In Full Gear” circa 1988 - no other word describes it better than historic. As for A Prince Among Thieves, its a hip hop opera beyond compare; no one has done anything close to it. The Roots are elite but they make mad loot by getting played on thug radio stations so they got knocked down to 2 also. I guess its unfair seeing as they still put out consistently sweet wax, and the same goes for ‘kast - i guess it was just an involuntary reflex to penalize groups with commercial success. Jedi Mind Tricks should have made the list, i don’t know how i missed them, but your right Jedi, Necro, Slug, Dr. Octagon and all the other “hardcore” groups can get a little too violent for my taste in their lyrics- rape, murder, and what have you.

And yo Quicksilver- that comment was just narrow minded. not all rap artists are criminals

When I didn’t get any posts at first I was afraid no one on the sdmb listened to shit not on the airwaves. After my spring break ill post my choices for the next genre.

Can’t argue with you there, but I don’t even really think of Labcabin when I think of the Pharcyde. That was garbage. But Bizarre Ride, man – I must have listened to that thing 500 times when it came out. “You mother’s got an afro…with a chinstrap!” :smiley:

I always am catching reference to it but I have never heard it. Maybe I’ll pick that up.

Dr. Octogon is pretty f-n silly, if you can get past the sexist stuff he has going on. “Oh shit, there’s a horse in the hospital!”

You might want to re-read what QS said. I don’t think s/he said or implied that. QS just said that if they weren’t in the news for criminal activity, that s/he wouldn’t have heard of them.