Classic RAP ALBUMS? (98-06)

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  • pppppppp 261 Posts






  • salviasalvia 279 Posts
    I'm not really into Hip Hop from this era, but these few are classics to me from the top of my head:

    Beastie Boys - Hello Nasty
    Edan - Beauty & The Beat
    LightHeaded - Pure Thoughts
    Ghostface Killah - Fishscale

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,029 Posts

    I don't see it so much as a splintering than as an indication that many weren't down with the real schitt to begin with.

    That's not to say that NYC-centric boom bap wasn't for a long time the real schitt as well, but I'm suddenly wondering if the Geto Boys' We Can't Be Stopped and UGK's Ridin Dirty made the cut by being included in your book.

    I'm not understanding your latter question (is it a question?) but your point sparks the following thought:

    I think the NY-centrism in hip-hop from birth until, say, the mid/late 1990s, was a product of a variety of forces, not the least of which was how both media and record companies focused their resources on highlighting the same 25-30 artists we can all name as GOAT.

    As a result, there was a regionalism at play, but mostly focused on either NY or, to a lesser degree, LA but it was never thought of as "regionalism" /c the biggest acts in those two cities also became, vis a vis marketing, media, etc. the biggest acts nationally. Were other regional acts (outside of those two poles) ignored? Absolutely.

    At the same time, someone might offer the argument that the reasons why the best in NY were considered the best everywhere was that, well, they were the best...that regional scenes hadn't matured to the same degree yet. I think that's probably overstating things but then again, being that I'm notoriously disconnected from a lot of smaller, regional albums that never hit the nat'l radar, especially in the era we're talking about, I'm not in a position to forcefully argue that, in 1994, there were regional acts that would have smashed "Illmatic" or "Enter the 36 Chambers" or not.

    What's changed in the last 10 years is that the once-ignored regions are now the ones that have dominated the record industry and press and this has forced a re-discovery of all the albums/acts that preceded them. I don't necessarily blame fans or critics (and this might sound self-serving) for having missed the boat earlier. The momentum of NY/LA-centric hip-hop, in the moment at which this was all happening, swept up a lot of people and hip-hop wouldnn't have grown to the point it has without that wave. But, it's also gotten us to a point where we can better appreciate all the smaller scenes that were always there, just without the kind of marketing punch that NY-based labels afforded to their home team.

    What I'd like to see, personally, would be a whole new "Classic Material" book that eschews the conventional canon (or at least, parts of it) and instead, focuses on the key, influential albums/artists in these key scenes. Not only would that put the past into better (and more balanced) perspective but it would also help draw linkages between the contemporary and historical.

  • deejdeej 5,124 Posts

    His first album is classic for sure, too.

  • I really don't think Beanie has made a classic yet... All of his albums are thorough... but have serious consistency issues...

  • deejdeej 5,124 Posts
    I really don't think Beanie has made a classic yet... All of his albums are thorough... but have serious consistency issues...
    Other than the bonus tracks, what weak tracks are on B. Coming??? The Snoop track is 'just ok' but that hardly ads up to 'not classic'

  • I'm of the opinion that most classic Rap albums peaked around 94.

    But here's my 2 ??:


    Quasimoto
    Supreme Clientele
    2001
    Operation: Doomsday
    Madvilliany
    Purple Haze
    Aquemini
    Stankonia
    Speakerboxxx/Love Below
    Donuts
    The Black Album
    Beauty and the Beat
    Late Registration
    College Dropout

    I'm seeing alot of "The Fix" on these lists- I might have to re-evaluate.

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,029 Posts
    God bless the dead but can someone explain to me how "Donuts" = "classic" aside from the fact that it came out the week Dilla died?

    I really like the album, I find it refreshingly creative or, at the very least, different but none of this says "classic" to me, at least not in the same way you could claim "The Unseen" is.

  • your youthful exuberance is noted, deej.

    Weak tracks on the B.Coming:

    Don't Stop
    Oh Daddy
    Change
    Wanted

    And there's one more but I couldn't remember the name

  • magneticmagnetic 2,678 Posts
    Dead Prez - Lets Get Free.

  • deejdeej 5,124 Posts
    your youthful exuberance is noted, deej.

    Weak tracks on the B.Coming:

    Don't Stop this track is just ave.
    Oh Daddy this song is great - that sample??? "Dont cry, dry, your eyes."
    Change This is great too, epic like Sam Cooke style
    Wanted This is a super-shitty bonus track that Dame tacked on the end of the album so he could put a 'feat. Cam'ron' sticker on the front of the album. The CD really should have just ended with 'Take a Look At Me Now' but I'm not counting Dame's marketing against it, esp. since he had the foresight to sequence both that and "It's On" at the end of the album.[/b]

    And there's one more but I couldn't remember the name

  • You don't dislike much, do you Deej.

  • deejdeej 5,124 Posts
    i dont know how you would get that impression, if you want i'll go thru the 'nominations' in this thread right now and tell you which ones i think are trash

  • faux_rillzfaux_rillz 14,343 Posts
    You don't dislike much, do you Deej.

    This has always been my complaint about our young friend; he is like a giant undiscriminating ear that hears everything and rejects very little of it.

  • God bless the dead but can someone explain to me how "Donuts" = "classic" aside from the fact that it came out the week Dilla died?

    I really like the album, I find it refreshingly creative or, at the very least, different but none of this says "classic" to me, at least not in the same way you could claim "The Unseen" is.

    I hear ya about him passing that week but I think it's more than refreshingly creative - I think it changed the sound of hip-hop. It could go on to be very influential. Personally, I can't stop listening to it and hearing new things.

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,234 Posts


    I'm not understanding your latter question (is it a question?)

    Are either We Can't Be Stopped or Ridin Dirty in your book?


    but your point sparks the following thought:

    I think the NY-centrism in hip-hop from birth until, say, the mid/late 1990s, was a product of a variety of forces, not the least of which was how both media and record companies focused their resources on highlighting the same 25-30 artists we can all name as GOAT.

    As a result, there was a regionalism at play, but mostly focused on either NY or, to a lesser degree, LA but it was never thought of as "regionalism" /c the biggest acts in those two cities also became, vis a vis marketing, media, etc. the biggest acts nationally. Were other regional acts (outside of those two poles) ignored? Absolutely.

    At the same time, someone might offer the argument that the reasons why the best in NY were considered the best everywhere was that, well, they were the best...that regional scenes hadn't matured to the same degree yet. I think that's probably overstating things but then again, being that I'm notoriously disconnected from a lot of smaller, regional albums that never hit the nat'l radar, especially in the era we're talking about, I'm not in a position to forcefully argue that, in 1994, there were regional acts that would have smashed "Illmatic" or "Enter the 36 Chambers" or not.

    What's changed in the last 10 years is that the once-ignored regions are now the ones that have dominated the record industry and press and this has forced a re-discovery of all the albums/acts that preceded them. I don't necessarily blame fans or critics (and this might sound self-serving) for having missed the boat earlier. The momentum of NY/LA-centric hip-hop, in the moment at which this was all happening, swept up a lot of people and hip-hop wouldnn't have grown to the point it has without that wave. But, it's also gotten us to a point where we can better appreciate all the smaller scenes that were always there, just without the kind of marketing punch that NY-based labels afforded to their home team.

    What I'd like to see, personally, would be a whole new "Classic Material" book that eschews the conventional canon (or at least, parts of it) and instead, focuses on the key, influential albums/artists in these key scenes. Not only would that put the past into better (and more balanced) perspective but it would also help draw linkages between the contemporary and historical.

    From my perspective, I thought that artists including 2 Live Crew, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Too $hort, NWA and the Geto Boys shattered the idea that NYC was the end-all, be-all of rap as far back as say '88.

    And it always bothered me not so much that NYC people continued to maintain the previous perception, but that certain people from other places that indeed had their own local rap acts doing local styles that differed from the NYC template, continued to maintain that previous perception.

    I recognize that I pester you quite a bit on this note, but in many ways from what I've seen at least, it seems that you are still as guilty of doing such a thing today as you were a decade ago. Nowadays though, instead of depending on NYC approval, it seems that you have shifted things slightly to depend on corporate industry approval. You'll write about Kanye West from Chicago or the Neptunes from Virginia or Outkast from Atlanta...but I still haven't seen you give much attention to a San Quinn or a CVE or a Z-Ro who in my opinion often (if not always) make music every bit as rewarding as that being made by major label icons. Even if you wound up publicly dissing projects from such artists, at least you would be recognizing their existence.

    For me as a journalist, I no longer see the point of making sure that I can give an opinion on albums by the likes of Busta Rhymes, Ice Cube and even Jay-Z...for at this stage of the game, those aren't albums that I would seek to hear completely of my own volition. Plus there are already 100 other writers chiming in on such albums, often times months before I could even secure a copy of them. To me, and to a certain extent it's always been like this for me, I put a whole lot more stock in helping cultivate a locale of as much of its underepresented talent as possible. That means, if I'm covering LA in '94...I'm at the Good Life every Thursday. If I'm covering the Bay in '99...it's Hobo Junction and the Slumplordz. That's why in '06 since I'm currently in Austin, it's Basswood Lane, Public Offenders, Ryno, Gerald G, Nac, Young Nick, Element7d, etc. This is the music that I listen to day to day, and not just because I feel that I have to, but because I naturally want to.

    The whole concept of journalists reaching across state lines in order to even attempt to sum up what is happening in rap today should be long-since dead. Yes, all of us are going to enjoy songs and albums from places we don't reside in. But the concept of subordinating what is happening locally in your own area to some fantasy idea that what's first and foremost most valuable in rap is what is being broadcast on Hot 97 is some serious bullschitt right about now.

    When you're just another member of the peanut gallery spinning your wheels upon what basically major label public relation firms are positioning you to say, what is that really worth?

    Trade that in for introducing the world to a true diamond in the rough, and then you'd be onto something.

    And to really do that, many now-proven-to-be-false notions from our past have to be at least partially let go. Yet I'm still seeing too many people, half-assed artists and journalists alike, clinging to that shit like a damned security blanket. And as long as you are depending on what essentially amounts to mindless legions of yes-men to confirm your steez, then your comfort zone may indeed seem stable...but unbeknowest to anyone in your extended circle of support, the world done passed you all by.

    You make a recent classics list and leave Get Ya Mind Correct off of it...and your list is, just based on that alone, basically irrelavent.

    I don't need a few years to decide whether Trae's Restless is a classic. I can see what it does to large masses of what I consider the realest of contemporary rap fans in my midst. And here you are the national journalist, who makes me wonder if you've even heard the disc, saying in what amounts to a pompous manner that I need to hold off on telling it exactly how it is right now. That just doesn't sit right with me...obviously.

    It's the same way that NYC-centricism didn't sit well with the LA scene back during the early-to-mid-90's.

    In other words, disconnected is one thing. But disconnected AND patronizing is a whole 'nother.

  • deejdeej 5,124 Posts
    You don't dislike much, do you Deej.

    This has always been my complaint about our young friend; he is like a giant undiscriminating ear that hears everything and rejects very little of it.

    TRIPPING

    Since you asked for it, not-classic releases mentioned in this thread:

    dilated peoples - the plattform
    Non Phixion
    Styles P
    Canibus - Mic Club
    De La Soul - The Grind Date
    Jedi Mind Tricks - Violent by Design
    Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek - Reflection Eternal
    Fishscale
    Purple Haze
    Marshall Mathers (I can't listen to any of his shit any more)
    Donuts
    Stillmatic
    To Tha Xtreme (good but not on Just Trying Ta Live's level)
    Edan - Beauty & The Beat (record nerd love letters! This album is good but no classic)
    Z-Ro - Let The Truth Be Told (joseph w mcvey is though)
    Federation - The Album (love about half of this)
    Black Star - S/T
    Quasimoto - The Further Adventures Of Lord Quas
    J-Live - The Best Part
    Ill Bill - What's Wrong With Bill?
    Mannie Fresh - The Mind Of Mannie Fresh (overrated comedy rap - just get "I Got That Work")
    Slim Thug - Already Platinum (OK I liked this at the time but...)
    David Banner - Certified (trash! Mississippi and MTA2 were better and maybe classics)
    masta ace: a long hot summer
    pete rock: soul survivor
    gang starr: moment of truth (both of these are good but not classics to me)
    Jurassic 5 - Quality Control
    I like People Under the Stairs a lot actually and gave them a positive review in the Chicago Tribune but im not going to pretend i see any of their albums as 'rap classics' although they are really enjoyable
    i've never listened to ugly duckling, but i see them in the same situation as PUTS
    How can a millenial-era Show/AG album be classic????
    RJD2 album is not classic
    Speakerboxx/Love Below is DEFINITELY no classic
    Dilla - Welcome 2 Detroit (I like this a lot but have trouble saying its classic, too much wack rapping although the beats are :nextlevel)
    Jaylib - Champion Sound
    danger doom
    mf doom - mf food
    Beastie Boys - Hello Nasty
    The Black Album
    Late Registration

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,234 Posts
    To Tha Xtreme (good but not on Just Trying Ta Live's level)

    Just gotta chime in to say that IMO Just Tryin to Live, apart from being the least Texas-sounding Devin album, is also his worst album.

    And even though I do consider it a recent classic, The Fix is not Scarface's best album either.

    I don't know why so many require Texas rap to be watered down in order to fully appreciate it, but to me the tendency is

  • deejdeej 5,124 Posts

    And even though I do consider it a recent classic, The Fix is not Scarface's best album either.
    Nobody said it was. They just said it was his best since '98
    Lol @ "watered down" though, since when has Houston's production style not been "watered down g-funk" (not that I consider it a pejorative but you always throw 'watered down' around that way so whatever)

    Seriously, how does "Just Tryin To Live" sound any less-Texas than To Tha XTreme? You could switch every other track between the two albums and to me there wouldn't be a sonic difference, the only reason i like JTTL more is because its more consistent (his first album is pretty great too, I'd put that on JTTL's level or a step below)

  • ... except you'd replace those with an equal number of equally un-classic records.

  • To Tha Xtreme (good but not on Just Trying Ta Live's level)

    Just gotta chime in to say that IMO Just Tryin to Live, apart from being the least Texas-sounding Devin album, is also his worst album.

    And even though I do consider it a recent classic, The Fix is not Scarface's best album either.

    I don't know why so many require Texas rap to be watered down in order to fully appreciate it, but to me the tendency is

    No it's about extending beyond "thorough Texas rap album" and making something that transcends the regional scene/sound. I know that runs counter to all you hold dear but that's what makes something a CLASSIC as opposed to a "regional classic".

  • deejdeej 5,124 Posts
    ... except you'd replace those with an equal number of equally un-classic records.
    PLAESE TO BE SPECIFIC

  • if it weren't for "the Mall" i'd be tempted to say "moment of Truth" is Gang Starr's best LP

    i think the moral of the story is the past 8 years have (overall) not been good when it comes to Rap Music Albums

  • faux_rillzfaux_rillz 14,343 Posts
    if it weren't for "the Mall" i'd be tempted to say "moment of Truth" is Gang Starr's best LP

    Five Words: "She Knows What She Wants"

    Some great production but, as has already been pointed out, Guru was running on E. Or perhaps it's that rap had evolved so much during the preceding four years when he'd been away from the mic that his delivery just sounded dated.

  • magneticmagnetic 2,678 Posts


    YOU ARE TRIPPING!!!

    Marshall Mathers
    Stillmatic
    To Tha Xtreme


    Are CLASSICS!!!
    Deal with it.
    You're right about the rest though.

  • ... except you'd replace those with an equal number of equally un-classic records.
    PLAESE TO BE SPECIFIC

    Jeezy, T.I., plenty of classic cash money (B.G., Turk, Juvie, Wayne, even the Hot Boys together ...Wayne's got 3 classic albums at least), some No Limit, certainlty some hypnotized minds records, Jay-Z's Vol.s 2, 3, and Dynasty are arguably classic (I dont know what to think about Blueprint any more) ESG, Z-Ro and definitely that Paul Wall/Chamillionaire joint archaic is on about, some trick daddy records, definitely that scarface one everyone likes, missy's 2nd and 3rd albums, pastor troy, ruff ryders vol.s 1 and 2, Quik's Rhythmalism, Ghostface's Supreme Clientele and Pretty Toney (Fishscale is trash quoth fauxrillz "please be serious") 




    Please be serious indeed.

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,234 Posts

    Nobody said it was. They just said it was his best since '98
    Lol @ "watered down" though, since when has Houston's production style not been "watered down g-funk" (not that I consider it a pejorative but you always throw 'watered down' around that way so whatever)

    Yep, Scarface's Now I Feel Ya and Big Mike's Playa Playa are just watered down g-funk. No need to even bother taking that Dove Shack album off of the turntable.

    Seriously, how does "Just Tryin To Live" sound any less-Texas than To Tha XTreme? You could switch every other track between the two albums and to me there wouldn't be a sonic difference, the only reason i like JTTL more is because its more consistent (his first album is pretty great too, I'd put that on JTTL's level or a step below)

    One, certain beats just scream a certain locality. For instance the beat to Tela and Devin's Drugs immediately makes me feel as though I'm driving from Kirby to downtown Houston on Allen Parkway. Paul Wall and Cham's The Other Day immediately makes me feel that I'm driving on country backroads from the Alvin area out to Sugarland. I don't get much of that sort of phenomenon from the beats on Just Tryin to Live.

    Two, the only folks that I really want to hear Devin rhyming with are Blind Rob and Jugg Mugg...and sometimes Scarface. The further the deviation from that, the less I'm apt to like it.

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,234 Posts
    To Tha Xtreme (good but not on Just Trying Ta Live's level)

    Just gotta chime in to say that IMO Just Tryin to Live, apart from being the least Texas-sounding Devin album, is also his worst album.

    And even though I do consider it a recent classic, The Fix is not Scarface's best album either.

    I don't know why so many require Texas rap to be watered down in order to fully appreciate it, but to me the tendency is

    No it's about extending beyond "thorough Texas rap album" and making something that transcends the regional scene/sound. I know that runs counter to all you hold dear but that's what makes something a CLASSIC as opposed to a "regional classic".

    Yeah, if only Khayree would have let Easy Mo Be do a couple of beats and Mac Mall would have passed the mic for at least a few moments to Fat Joe, Illegal Business would have been that much better...

  • deejdeej 5,124 Posts
    Yep, Scarface's Now I Feel Ya and Big Mike's Playa Playa are just watered down g-funk. No need to even bother taking that Dove Shack album off of the turntable.

    Just curious, yr a real big Fat Pat fan yeah? What do you think of Puffy's No Way Out?

  • Phill,

    Moment of Truth, to me, is similar to Black Star (though even less so): it seemed a lot bigger than it ended up being. To me, Moment hasn't survived the test of time

    Again, this just tells you how much things (and the people in charge of "what's dope" in hip hop) have changed. I am proudly from what's up with current rap, but Moment Of Truth came out in like the spring of '98 I believe. This was before my 1st child was born, so I was still hanging out with producers, industry folks and "real headz" from all walks of life on a regular basis. I was, basically, in the know and on the scene. GENERAL REAL HEAD CONSENSUS when Moment Of Truth dropped was that this was a great album. The hip hop world has just turned into something else even since 1998, and I think you have a different breed of people who are now the arbiters of what constitutes good, classic or "tepid" hip hop music. Moment Of Truth is not perfect- almost no record is. But it's sure as hell survived the test of time for me. I don't care what anybody says- that record is some of Primo's best and most creative work. I think anybody who truly understands the art of flipping and chopping a record to create an original composition is gonna agree with that sentiment. But, of course, certain individuals are not gonna get it- as always, only

    That may be true, but even back then when I was at the height of my "real head-ed-ness", I would have told you and your old head industry friends that you were tripping.



    I mean I played that album a lot. But it never held a candle to the previous three.

    I was running records back and forth between Fat Beats, Sandbox, Footwork, Beat Street, various recording studios, onestops, and so on and I don't recall anyone talking as glowingly as you are now. I mean, nobody was saying it was wack... but classic?? Plaese to be serious. At The Mall? She Knowz What She Wantz? Duds man. And classic records don't have big ass duds.


    This is all subjective, Jonny... I don't know but I think your 1998 real head experience is quite probably very ... by 1998 I believe we were in the Rawkus era, and the hip hop landscape was already littered with faux real headz at this time. When I talk about real headz it probably isn't even the same thing as what you're talking about. I'm talking about REAL MUTHAFUCKIN' HEADZ, not the people that your generation likes to label as "backpackers". I'm talking about real dudes who made many of the classics that have been discussed in this thread as well as some of the great albums from before 1998. REAL HEADZ, people who REALLY know what it is (or at least what it was ). I mean, don't go by what I say, let some of the other certified soulstrut real headz from the 1998 era speak on it. yoigotbeats, you out there? RAW HAMBURGER? davidwingate? Paul Nice?

    And as far as there being duds on the album, sure there were. "Classic" doesn't mean every single song on the album is . Plenty of classic albums (I'd say most) have had one or two tepid or even pretty damn bad moments. many people consider She Watch Channel Zero and Party For Your Right To Fight to be the duds of PE's It Takes A Nation (and I would pretty much concur). Does it mean that that album is not one of the greatest albums ever recorded? Of course not. No, I'm not saying that Moment Of Truth is anywhere near It Takes A Nation on any level, just pointing out that a couple o' duds doesn't necessarily destroy an album's classic status.

    Anyway, feel free to disagree... the whole point of my post was just to make note of how things have changed even since 1998 and how hip hop is viewed so much differently by the people who are fans of it today. It is what it is, and whether I agree or not I accept whatever it is. I sure as hell ain't got the power to change it! My days of being bitter about how you punk ass suburban ass nerds have ruined hip hop are long behind me.
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