Author Topic: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.  (Read 1599 times)

Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« on: March 31, 2021, 12:09:43 PM »
Let's do it.

What are your favourite hip hop albums and tracks? Either all time or current faves.

Not given it too much thought but my favourites from each decade looks like this:

1980s: De La Soul - 3 Feet High and Rising
1990s: GZA - Liquid Swords
2000s: Jay Z - The Blueprint
2010s: Kids See Ghosts - Kids See Ghosts
2020s (so far): Blu & Exile - Miles


I try my best to listen to as many of the "essential" albums from all genres that I possibly can, so I've heard most of the highest rated hip hop records (To Pimp A  Butterfly, Madvillainy, Illmatic, Enter The Wu-Tang, Low End Theory, all of Kanye's, Black on Both Sides, It Takes  A Nation Of Millions, Fear Of A Black Planet etc) but there are still big gaps in my hip hop knowledge.

Like I only heard Paul's Boutique for the first time last year, even though I've been listening to Beastie Boys since the 80s. Also never heard The Inafamous from Mobb Deep (which I might rectify on my afternoon walk later today).

Also, anyone else have music friends who still don't get hip hop? All my music friends how are younger than me who grew up with hip hop as a dominant genre (ie: those born after, say, 1990) all appreciate it, but I also have friends, mostly old punks, who still seem to look down on rap as not proper music and it's "just talking over other people's music" - Which not only blow my mind but often comes with racist dog-whistles.


Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2021, 04:58:01 PM »
You have solid choices for the 80s & 90s, but never rated Jay-Z. Felt fully vindicated when I heard his relatively recent song where he just repeats the word “cake” a lot.

Recently been listening to old Buck65 stuff, it’s still fucking amazing.

Better Midlands

  • I'm not internationally known
Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2021, 05:21:58 PM »
I was big into late 80's hip hop albums, but dropped off after that really - some amazing singles in the 90's though. I always thought that Jungle Brothers - Straight Out The Jungle never quite got the attention it deserved, especially production wise it's a gritty, rough interesting sound that was eclipsed by 3ft at the time but just as groundbreaking to my ears. Listening to the instrumentals you can really appreciate the sample collage.

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mH7COUUaHkYNPHiRYpOwq7d75hHR3GOp4

chveik

  • OPEN THE PUBS BOYS
Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2021, 05:44:59 PM »
started to get into memphis rap only recently, there's nothing quite like it, my favs would be Three-6-Mafia's Underground Volume 1 1991-1994, Kingpin Skinny Pimp's King of Da Playa Ballz and Koopsta Knicca's Da Devil's Playground (both members of T6M). the lyrics are often grotesque and horrible but the production and general aesthetics are very appealing to me.

other favourites would include Edan's Beauty & the Beat (incredibly inventive use of 60s psychedelia samples), Organized Konfusion's Stress: The Extinction Agenda and Ultramagnetic MC's Critical Beatdown.

Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2021, 10:06:29 PM »
You have solid choices for the 80s & 90s, but never rated Jay-Z. Felt fully vindicated when I heard his relatively recent song where he just repeats the word “cake” a lot.

Recently been listening to old Buck65 stuff, it’s still fucking amazing.

There probably are better albums from the 2000s but I've got a nostalgic fondness for The Blueprint - it was one of those records I'd always play when getting ready to go out. Also, released in 2001 it's not really that representative of the 2000s and has more of a 90s vibe.

Also, I was going to give the incredible Grey Area by Lil Simz as an HM for 2010s for being the best British hip hop and best female rapper album of all time.

started to get into memphis rap only recently, there's nothing quite like it, my favs would be Three-6-Mafia's Underground Volume 1 1991-1994, Kingpin Skinny Pimp's King of Da Playa Ballz and Koopsta Knicca's Da Devil's Playground (both members of T6M). the lyrics are often grotesque and horrible but the production and general aesthetics are very appealing to me.

other favourites would include Edan's Beauty & the Beat (incredibly inventive use of 60s psychedelia samples), Organized Konfusion's Stress: The Extinction Agenda and Ultramagnetic MC's Critical Beatdown.

Ooh, nice. Lots there I need to check out. I fucking ADORE Edan's album. Even some of my "guitar music is the only real music" friends love that record.


Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2021, 10:38:28 AM »
Never seem to hear much about Funkdoobiest, at least not compared to their contemporaries Cypress Hill and House of Pain but their debut 'Which Doobie U B?' is an LA Hip Hop classic if you ask me and I have great memories of skateboarding to it in the early 90s. Love the beats on that album, straight up funk sampling boom bap bangers. Here's a few:

Wopbabalubop:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTEU1lL7raI

The Funkiest:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imjgpi_sap0

I'm Shittin' On 'Em:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3mgobqPjC4

Also agree on the praise for Little Simz, one of the most talented and creative artists to emerge in the last decade, her whole catalogue is a must for any hip hop fan. The fact she has seemingly done it all largely off her own back and on her own terms only makes me respect her all the more. Hope she can maintain that independence and continue getting better and better.


Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2021, 10:55:19 AM »
I love the beats on that Funkdoobiest record but fuck me, Son and Tom are bloody awful MCs. Son's interesting voice was at least a plus but they both make Danny Boy and Sen Dog almost seem good. Brothas Doobie saw a bit of an improvement.

Some really good recommendations so far, here's a couple of my favourites -

The Cenobites (Kool Keith & Godfather Don)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFWXnxQ-e68

Camu Tao & Cage - 'Nighthawks'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFTxJ0VB3cU

Hyenas in the Desert - 'Die Laughing'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n5JEjsELj4

Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2021, 11:23:54 AM »
Haha perhaps that's why they never got much recognition! Have to say I've never minded Son as an MC but I'm probably biased. It was the first hip hop album I properly got into, along with Tribe's Instinctive Travels so I listen with nostalgic more than critical ears.

Love Kool Keith and what I've heard of Cage but don't know either of those albums so thanks, Hyenas looks good too.

How about Roc Marciano, hard NYC hip hop (though I first heard him on a P Brothers beat, straight outta Nottingham). This is perfection:

Do The Honors:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu6ZnDaqmyk

Love his bars on this as well, along with all the others and top Large Pro production:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwT4Xf972TE

Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2021, 11:32:39 AM »
I was big into late 80's hip hop albums, but dropped off after that really - some amazing singles in the 90's though. I always thought that Jungle Brothers - Straight Out The Jungle never quite got the attention it deserved, especially production wise it's a gritty, rough interesting sound that was eclipsed by 3ft at the time but just as groundbreaking to my ears. Listening to the instrumentals you can really appreciate the sample collage.

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mH7COUUaHkYNPHiRYpOwq7d75hHR3GOp4

Agree completely. The bit in Jimbrowski when the guitar solo starts and then instantly the track stops is fantastic, for example.

I think at least half of Done By The Forces of Nature is ace too, and their next - J. Beez with the Remedy has a few astonishing tracks, sounds flying about all over the place, speeding up and slowing down fading in and out. Hadn't really heard much like that at the time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fB8NgUaAig




Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2021, 12:39:57 PM »
Loved Hip Hop from Raising Hell to Regulate (86-94?), but seem to have fallen out of love with it since then. I'll still come across the occasional track I like, but there's something about the modern production that doesn't appeal. #KeepItOldSkool

Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2021, 01:17:51 PM »
Agree completely. The bit in Jimbrowski when the guitar solo starts and then instantly the track stops is fantastic, for example.

I think at least half of Done By The Forces of Nature is ace too, and their next - J. Beez with the Remedy has a few astonishing tracks, sounds flying about all over the place, speeding up and slowing down fading in and out. Hadn't really heard much like that at the time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fB8NgUaAig





Yeah JBeez Wit The Remedy is a really underrated album. Some of it is a bit much but in general it is ace. I think it's failure might have contributed to them turning to complete sell-out shit afterwards.

Bulhoone Mindstate is another underrated album from De La Soul.

Bizarre Ride 2 The Pharcyde is a monster of an album as well, even the skits are good

Better Midlands

  • I'm not internationally known
Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2021, 01:38:32 PM »
Yeah JBeez Wit The Remedy is a really underrated album. Some of it is a bit much but in general it is ace. I think it's failure might have contributed to them turning to complete sell-out shit afterwards.

That was a disappointing turn of events.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2021, 02:57:36 PM »
I sort of stopped paying attention to hip hop in the 2010's, although still highly rate Atmosphere's Southsiders.

M-CORP

  • Start a revolution and call it Freddo.
Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2021, 04:57:54 PM »
That time Rakim collaborated with the Art Of Noise:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAxXDJdXuxA

Funkstörung were more IDM and glitch, but did some good hip hop cuts from time to time:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmoy-L5mHCQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3NED1OAfhM

Then there was D*Note, who also weren't a rap band but did some collaborations which were spread out through their first two albums, 'Babel' and 'Criminal Justice':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNIMQAtQDOI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rj99wMvkGY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhurZwTiNHc

Most of all, I recommend Marxman, who were probably one of 90s Britain's strongest answers to Public Enemy, both musically and conceptually. Both albums, '33 Revolutions' and 'Time Capsule', are worth tracking down, even if you don't think you'll agree politically.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sy517jxcIC8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s6Po4_FJVU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-Tj4Lc7_UU&list=PL3JTZpSi4ORE8KwPjcokbpif9tsaKxxRD&index=2

Might also be worth checking out the related Scary Eire's 'The Scary Era' on BandCamp. Just heard some tracks for the first time, sounds good.  https://scaryeire21st.bandcamp.com/releases

Bit of a bombardment, sorry

Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2021, 07:24:03 AM »
Loved Hip Hop from Raising Hell to Regulate (86-94?), but seem to have fallen out of love with it since then. I'll still come across the occasional track I like, but there's something about the modern production that doesn't appeal. #KeepItOldSkool

Give the Griselda boys a go.

Vitalstatistix

  • Photocopies are not admissable as memories
Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2021, 10:52:10 AM »
Bulhoone Mindstate is another underrated album from De La Soul.

Yes! I think this will eventually be recognised as their masterpiece. "I Am I Be" prime example (https://youtu.be/guBCLlPfufg).

I'll avoid talking about my (obvious) obsessions (Tribe, Nas, Outkast, DOOM, Can Ox, Kendrick) so here's a few personal loves that I think don't get enough love and recognition:

The Coup. Anarchic, political, funny, funky, surreal. Boots Riley is also a great filmmaker.
https://youtu.be/CPr1JLoYLW4

"It's Very Stimulating" by MC Paul Barman. This EP produced by Prince Paul is the best introduction to this divisive rapper. This sex jam is fucking hilarious.
("Can I chime in?
I'll still be rhymin' when I'm in your hymen
")
https://youtu.be/-VMC_kCbqsw

Serengeti. Prolific, legendary, indie humourist. Good gateway would be Ajai, where he raps as a pathetic sneaker obsessive whose marriage is falling apart.
https://youtu.be/M3zJPN_cyyk



Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2021, 02:01:01 PM »
Give the Griselda boys a go.

I'll do some digging.
Already have a couple of Westside Gunn albums, and they're good.

Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2021, 09:22:52 PM »
Bizarre Ride 2 The Pharcyde is a monster of an album as well, even the skits are good

Thank God someone mentioned The Pharcyde, it allows me to tenuously and shamelessly plug a song that came out today that my brother did, which features Fatlip (and a few other old school vets like Masta Ace, Wordsworth & Rah Digga). If anyone is interested:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lak8X-YOFPc

Got a few other old school features on the upcoming album such as Craig G, Edo G, El da Sensei, A.G., Guilty Simpson and Keith Murray. I’m also embarrassingly on a couple, and another forum member produced one of the beats (he can decide if he wants to own up or not).

Not sure if this is crossing the line in terms of self-promotion or not, happy to delete if so.

Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2021, 09:23:53 PM »
I better quickly throw out a barrage of pre-written recommendations to divert from the dirty plug above, the post police will never notice now. Suckers.

Good to see The Coup get a mention, their first album was particularly great.

One crew that never seemed to get enough credit was the Galapagos 4 collective. Typical Cats, Qwel, Offwhyte, Meaty Ogre etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iBIxDh1wSA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1exhaWqu2bI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSAoio-2sKo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxaXS6i0Ne4&list=PLZ-5ZGqK4ggx7nOx1clKCwsvMtEdriv1O&index=3


Lodeck is also criminally underrated:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOK7NXYVT3M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUtWYm9e0Fc

Special mention to Despot, the most reluctant rapper of all time. He had El-p begging him to produce an album for him, but he just couldn’t be arsed. I find this video hugely amusing mainly due to how uncomfortable and unenthusiastic he looks having to do it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT5B9NnSN6A

pigamus

  • Member
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  • Sex, death, mayonnaise.
Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2021, 09:36:22 PM »
I know fuck all about hip hop but I do like the stuff I remember from school like De La Soul, Arrested Development, PM Dawn - don't know how much of that is just nostalgia.

rue the polywhirl

  • eight lives left
Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2021, 10:03:04 PM »
Probably Smart Girls by Brian Wilson. Could do with loads of hip-hop recommendations myself. Like instrumental stuff along the lines of Endtroducing as well
as Donuts by J Dilla.

kalowski

  • Maclunkey
Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2021, 10:30:32 PM »

1980s: De La Soul - 3 Feet High and Rising
1990s: GZA - Liquid Swords
2000s: Jay Z - The Blueprint
2010s: Kids See Ghosts - Kids See Ghosts
2020s (so far): Blu & Exile - Miles
I was listening to 3 Feet High... today and reflected that the reason I don't go for more recent hip hop is the lack of sampling and especially turntable work. The Magic Number was full of moments of Mace punctuating the groove with his scratching. Genuine old man question: does anyone "scratch" on records any more?
I don't hear anyone with the inventiveness of Shocklee and Chuck D with the Bomb Squad nowadays. Lots of rap over a single repeating piano line, for example.
Maybe I'm just unlucky.

Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2021, 10:38:13 PM »
MF DOOM’s ouvre is incredible, loads of fantastic collaborations and some of the greatest production in hip hop.

Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2021, 10:42:23 PM »
Genuine old man question: does anyone "scratch" on records any more?

It’s still a fairly standard thing in traditional hip-hop, but is rarely used in the more currently popular grime/trap style beats. I think it’s for the same reason they now seem to prefer using keyboards over samplers, so they don’t have to worry about getting sued for the samples.

Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2021, 10:44:18 PM »
A more contemporary recommendation - Prof.

He was dropped by his label, Rhymesayers, last year for some vague reasons involving accusations against his old tour DJ and even older tweets. He should be shit; he looks like iDubbbz, mainly makes ‘party’ music and half his beats are weak trappy stuff. But he has lots of personality and incredible vocal control.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDaUy4T7rVI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIJUfkmJw-Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=221AHxzcXCs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUipzGAewLA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8ZRJF5Xfo8

And he did the best Christmas song since Christmas in Hollis:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYvCChx5k2k

kalowski

  • Maclunkey
Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2021, 10:46:56 PM »
It’s still a fairly standard thing in traditional hip-hop, but is rarely used in the more currently popular grime/trap style beats. I think it’s for the same reason they now seem to prefer using keyboards over samplers, so they don’t have to worry about getting sued for the samples.
Bloody Biz Markie! What a dilbert!!

Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2021, 10:56:04 PM »
Classic albums that you should listen to if you haven’t - some of the best albums ever recorded in my humblest of opinions:

Illmatic
Black on Both Sides
Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star
Liquid Swords
Bizarre Ride to the Pharcyde
Labcabincalifornia
OutKast’s first 3 albums
Let’s Get Free
Tical
Soul Food
It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Mecca and the Soul Brothers
Every Tribe Called Quest Album
Reflection Eternal
6 Feet Deep
36 Chambers
Nehruviandoom
I Wish My Brother George Was Here
Things Fall Apart
Illadeph Halflife
Do You Want More?!?

Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #27 on: April 02, 2021, 11:02:30 PM »

First Come First Served by Dr Dooom.

Best hip hip record ever.

Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2021, 11:14:54 PM »
Bloody Biz Markie! What a dilbert!!

I’m a bigger dilbert, as I got that Biz Markie LP (I need a haircut) before it got recalled. But I stupidly dubbed it and swapped it for Tim Dog or something equally shit. If only I’d known, I could be sitting on a record worth literally 10s of £s.

BeardFaceMan

  • Safely ensconced on top of the bathroom cabinet
    • mixes'n'mashes
Re: Hip hop appreciation and recommendations.
« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2021, 10:33:01 AM »
Genuine old man question: does anyone "scratch" on records any more?

I had the same thought here - https://www.cookdandbombd.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=71713.0 some good recommendations in that thread.

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