ICYMI: Check out our previous entries/playlists from the 1990s:
I had almost forgotten how crazy a year 1996 actually was for hip-hop. So many tracks kept coming to mind when creating this that, for the second time (the first being ’93), the playlist swelled from the usual 2½ hours / 35 songs just so we could pad it with five additional must-have tracks.
Personally, this playlist might be my favourite thus far. A ton of head nodders and a whole bunch of incredible came out this year. 1996 also holds the distinction as being the last year prior to the rise of the “shiny-suit” era of rap.
Surprisingly, Spotify (@Spotify) managed to come through with a bunch of stuff I wouldn’t have expected them to have the rights to so I’m pretty happy with how this one turned out – should be a good summer listen to reminisce over for the hip-hop heads anyway!
Happy #FlashbackFriday and to all my Guelphites, have an amazing Hillside (@HillsideFest) weekend – hopefully some of you will be able to take this playlist with you to the campground.. or maybe even inside of the fabled Volly Village!
For those who aren’t aware and/or have been living under rocks, Jay-Z (@S_C_) pulled his entire catalogue from Spotify due to his interests in the competing streaming service, TIDAL (@TIDALHiFi) – the absence of Reasonable Doubt should come as no surprise to most. However, as is usually the case, there are always a few others that manage to elude the reach of Spotify and 1996 has been no different in that regard.
The ideal ’96 rap playlist would have also included cuts from each one of these gems:
- da Bush Babees: These guys are definitely one of the most overlooked rap crews from the 90’s. Gravity is also recognized as being partially responsible for helping to introducing the world to Mos Def.
- De La Soul: Just another album of theirs we can’t have due to their resistance to streaming services. Sigh. They have their new record on there but I’m not really personally feeling that one. Stakes is High is the first De La album without Prince Paul (@DJPrincePaul) and the first with Dilla (@OfficialJDilla1).
- DJ Honda: Very underrated debut from the Japanese DJ with a ton of top features including Common (@common), Redman (@therealredman), Biz Markie (@BizMarkie), and more.
- East Flatbush Project: Classic track. Newer fans will probably recognize this beat from when DJ Premier (@REALDJPREMIER) laced the Shady 2.0 cypher back in 2011.
- Frankie Cutlass: A quick listen of an album with Frankie cooking up some bangers and inviting a ton of dope MCs to rock over ’em. Includes the likes of Redman, Kool G Rap (@TheRealKoolGRap), Biz Markie (@BizMarkie), Roxanne Shanté (@ImroxanneShante), and many more! Forgotten fire. 🔥
- Jaÿ-Z: Our first complete introduction to the god back when he was still rockin’ the umlaut. Recently blessed us with one of the best albums of his career at damn near 50 years old.
- Jeru the Damaja: Jeru‘s profile picture on Spotify is of this album’s cover – so why can’t I listen to it on there? 🤔
- Juggaknots: Fondle ‘Em underground legends. Group of Breezly Brewin’ who some may recognize as the protagonist from Prince Paul‘s hip-hop masterpiece, A Prince Among Thieves. Clear Blue Skies is honestly one of the best rap debuts and albums, ever, in my opinion. Criminally slept-on by the average fan!
- Siah & Yeshua DapoED: Another act who made a home at Bobbito Garcia‘s (@koolboblove) Fondle ‘Em Records. The Visualz is a lesser-known jewel so be sure to check this one out if you’re not already familiar.
- Trigger tha Gambler: As far as I know, Life’s a 50/50 Gamble was never officially released – which is a shame because the only album from Smoothe da Hustler‘s (@SMOOTHEHUSTLER) partner is a really good one.
Don’t forget FOLLOW ALL THE PLAYLISTS ON SPOTIFY – grab ’em in the links at the top of this post if you’re just catching up!
See you “next year”! ✈️ 1⃣️ 9⃣️ 9⃣️ 7⃣️