Lately, I have been getting seriously into hip hop. I want to branch out and acquire the really seminal albums and what’s currently considered excellent. I’m not interested in the MC Hammers and Sir Mix-a-lots: I want the intense stuff, and I’m not easily offended.
What I already have is: all the stuff by The Beastie Boys, Eminem, and Public Enemy, plus 50 Cent’s album. Please recommend 5 albums that you think I should have in order to be a true and up-to-date hip hop fan.
2Pac and Run DMC: everything you can get your hands on.
The early Snoop/Dre stuff, Doggystyle in particular
Outkast: ATLiens and Aquemini to start with.
I’m personally not a big fan but Notorious B.I.G. was pretty influential, Jay Z too.
Going back even further, Eric B. and Rakim - Follow the Leader
De La Soul 3 Feet High and Rising
Man there’s alot more, hip-hop has become pretty diverse. I’d recommend getting a couple compilations… The Source produced a bunch called Hip-Hop Hits, there’s like ten of them by now, and they all featured the top 12 or so songs from a two year period. I’d also look for other compilations with names like “Old School” and stuff… That way you can hear stuff from all the artists and you’ll know which ones you like enough to buy the whole album. You cover more ground that way.
I kind of envy you honestly… I wish I could go back and re-listen to all my favorite stuff for the first time. There’s a ridiculous amount of rap out there, and most of it is crap. There’s a whole bunch of good stuff too, though, and you won’t have to wait for years for good new albums to come out- catching up on the last twenty years of hip-hop should keep you busy for a long long time. And for good measure, here’s a more extensive list of really good stuff.
I definitely don’t go in for Justin Timberlake. I’m interested in the edgier stuff.
From all accounts, De La Soul is great. I’m on it.
Jimmy: Thanks for the link. I notice Missy Elliot isn’t on it. What do you think of her? Any good? From what I’ve seen of her on MTV, she has a good sound. Any other female rappers who are worthwhile?
I kinda have a problem with Dr. Dre because I lived across the street from a crack house and they blasted The Chronic morning, noon, and night. Even when I hear that Casiotone sound on Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady,” I get shivers of nausea. Is it worth getting past this negative association?
36 Chambers - Wu-Tang Clan
Straight Outta Compton - NWA
The Chronic - Dr. Dre
Endtroducing… - DJ Shadow
Paid in Full - Eric B. and Rakim
Funcrusher Plus - Company Flow
It Takes a Nation of Millions… - Public Enemy
Illmatic - Nas
3 Feet High and Rising - De La Soul
De La Soul is Dead - De La Soul
Doggystlyle - Snoop Doggy Dogg
The Cold Vein - Cannibal Ox
Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Blackstar
Things Fall Apart - The Roots
Resurrection - Common Sense
Liquid Swords - GZA
Only Built for Cuban Linx - Raekwon
The Low-End Theory - A Tribe Called Quest
Midnight Marauders - A Tribe Called Quest
By any Means Necesarry - Boogie Down Productions
Operation: Doomsday - MF Doom
Black Bastards - KMD
ATLiens - Outkast
Aquemini - Outkast
There’s lots more, but this is a start, obviously.
Reachin’ (A Refutation of Time and Space) - The Digable Planets
**Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde[b/] - The Pharcyde
Criminal Minded - Boogie Down Productions
Original Pirate Material - The Streets
OK, the last one may not quite be accurately classified as hip-hop, but it straddles genres, and is pretty damn cool, so I’ll include it. If you like the more aggressive forms of rap, then I strongly suggest checking out the Boogie Down Productions records - I would definitely call it a seminal record in hip-hop.
I would second Blackhawkeye’s list of undisputed classics as the place to start – though I’d add Tribe Called Quest’s “Low End Theory” and BDP’s “Criminal Minded” to the list.
And if the G-funk gangsta sound doesn’t turn your crank, I wouldn’t hesitate to skip Dre and NWA – there’s too much good stuff out there to waste time on stuff you already know you don’t like. Gangsta rap is pretty played out, IMHO, despite its continued prevalence.
Once you’re down with the past, you can meet the future.
Coup, The- Party Music
Cut Chemist- Brain Freeze
D12- Devil’s Night
Dan the Automator- Handsome Boy Modeling School
Deltron 3030- Deltron 3030
Jedi Mind Tricks- Violent by Design
Ozomotli- Embrace the Chaos
Peanut Butter Wolf- My Vinyl Weighs a Ton
Q-Bert- Wave Twisters
Solesides- Solesides Greatest Bumps
If you are looking through albums at a record store or online and you see anything by the labels, 75 Ark, Quannum Projects, Def Jux, Rawkus, Stones Throw, Ground Control, Anticon, Rhymesayers, or Living Legends it’s probally worth a listen.
I also have good tips for your home and garden as well as extreme body modification if anyone is interested. Here’s a freebie, mirrors make rooms look bigger, and never get a Prince Albert done in Mexico… they just don’t have the regulations.
I DO very often use mirrors to make my penis look bigger. I have a funhouse of mirrors set up in my bedroom so that when any ladies finally get a look at me, there appears to be about 40 or 50 of them (I’m shooting for the whole strength in numbers idea). Also I like to laugh maniacally when I first pull it out.
What can I say–I’m a romantic.
Um…Yeah. back to hiphop.
First, I don’t think there are just 5 albums you need in order to be a “true and up-to-date” hip-hop fan. Plus, there’s all sorts of different groups and styles and 25 years of history and influential albums.
The only one that I would consider a “must have” that hasn’t been mentioned yet would be Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt album. It’s really good and Jay-Z’s best work by far.
Anyway, are you looking to get a good grasp of the history and developments in hip-hop, or are you looking for the really cool and exciting things going on right now?
These are the albums you should probably have that it looks like you don’t have yet: The Chronic - Dre. The Great Adventures of Slick Rick - Slick Rick Straight Outta Compton - NWA Critical Beatdown - Ultramagnetic MCs 3 Feet High and Rising - De La Soul
And these are the non-classic (yet) albums I really enjoy that you may want to look at: Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik - Outkast (OK, really anything by Outkast) Reasonable Doubt - Jay-Z (his best album by far) The Score - Fugees Like Water for Chocolate - Common Do You Want More - The Roots Quality Control - Jurassic 5 Reachin’ - Digable Planets Back for the First Time - Ludacris (It’s got some pretty funny songs and it makes me laugh)