A Tribe Called Hip Hop

Just another WordPress.com weblog

“Huh, a driver sprayed my face with mace” – 5 of Hip Hop’s Best Albums

Reasonable Doubt enacts the glamorous dream  of every young rapper. Age 27 when his debut was released, Jay-Z was much older than most rappers releasing a debut album and the depth of his life experience brings a gravitas to Reasonable Doubt that few rappers could achieve in 1996. “Regrets” is a song of a man re-examining his past, not grabbing at the flash of the future. But unlike the wizened admonishments of a rapper like Scarface (whose influence looms large on Reasonable Doubt), Jay-Z would never sound younger than he does here. He had spent years honing his rhyme craft, and he moves through every song with swiftness and self-assurance. Reasonable Doubt is the one album Jay-Z created before having to contend with multi-platinum pressures and superstar responsibilities. It remains his most consistent album because it was the only time Jigga made no compromises. The young rapper had been waiting 27 years to tell this story, and there isn’t a measure misplaced. The great Pharoahe Monch and Prince Poetry’s (Organised Konfusion) second collaborative effort, will forever be defined by hip-hop lovers accross the globe, as one of the most spectacular hip hop albums to date. The album, released in 1994 under the duo’s Hollywood Label, unequivacally matches the production of thier first album ‘Organized Konfusion’ (1991), another classic of its kind, whilst he pairs third album The Equinox was released in 1997. Track seven’s ‘Bring It On’,  displays the true inventiveness of Pharoahe Monch and The Prince Poetry. Pharoahe reaches a pinical of insane lyrical creation, with unstructured original styles, which takes rapping to heights never reached since. The Coming is the first solo album released by former Leaders of the New School member, Busta Rhymes, in 1996 by Elektra Records. With his funky dreads, raspy growl of a voice, and outrageous videos, Busta Rhymes has always stood out as a very unique rapper at the mainstream level. While he had not yet established a great name for himself prior to this release, “The Coming” produced a wave of excitement from fans who took to his spacey beats, wild lyrical flow and image. “Woo Ha!! Got You All In Check” was his big single off the debut, helping him to build a name for himself as one of the top MC’s in the Rap Business. The humming began for Nas’ 1994 release Illmatic, once the hottest producers in New York – DJ Premier, Pete Rock, the Large Professor, Q-Tip, L.E.S. – completed their parts on Illmatic, and Nas stepped to their tracks (many smooth and mellow, a few hard and biting, all mid- to low-tempo) and vaulted himself into the elite group of MCs. Not because of an ultrabutter flow and boldly distinctive voice like Q-Tip or Slick Rick but because of sharp articulation, finely detailed lyrics and a controlled tone reminiscent of Rakim. Those sounds and Nas’ no-nonsense urban tales pair Ill‘s every beautiful moment with its harsh antithesis. From “One Love,” Nas’ letter to homies in jail – “So, stay civilized/Time flies/Though, incarcerated, your mind dies/I hate it when your moms cries/It kinda makes me wanna murder” – to the end of “Life’s a Bitch,” when his father, Olu Dara, steps in over the beat with a muted trumpet, searching for the tone with which Nas expressed the futility of his life, it’s all like a rose stretching up between cracks in the sidewalk, calling attention to its beauty, calling attention to the lack of it everywhere else. Infinite is Eminem’s first full-length and professionally packaged album. After years of cutting demo tracks with his mentors, the Bass Brothers, at their Ferndale, Michigan studio (dubbed “The Bassmint”), Eminem was ready to release his debut album. The album was written and recorded in 1995. At the time the album was first conceived, Eminem had been using the stage name M&M. However, he changed his stage name after the release of his first official single, in early 1995. Infinite marks the debut of the name “Eminem”. The album was only released on cassette and vinyl, and was originally sold through Mathers himself. Only 1,000 cassettes and 100 vinyl records were made. Eminem himself, and old friends from around the time Infinite was recorded, have claimed the laid-back and humble nature of the album is due to Eminem purposely making “radio-friendly” songs in hopes of getting on the air of Detroit’s leading Hip Hop radio station, WJLB. The Album remains a classic amongst true hip hop-heads, with Eminem’s fearless flow, and rhyming styles displaying why he is consistently recognised as one of the best emcees ever to reach for the mic.


December 20, 2009 Posted by | Hip Hop | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments