How they Was Rappin’ in 1998

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ICYMI: Check out our previous entries/playlists from the 1990s:

Back again with our first Autumn 🍂  entry into our 90s playlist series. Hopefully, you’ve been enjoying these tracks as much as we’ve had compiling them – they’ve certainly provided a much needed trip down memory lane (sittin’ in da park)!

Now that we’re spotlighting the 1998 calendar, it’s a little sad knowing we’re approaching the conclusion of this particular series. However, as I run through these tracks, I’m again reminded that there’s no question which decade has provided us with the most quality and diversity in hip-hop.

By this time, rap music had strengthened its grip upon mainstream culture and was establishing itself as a dominating force. The genre had become more lucrative than ever, and due to this, the number of rap acts had exploded. With regional acts across the United States putting their cities on the map with the movements they were creating, this playlist is our longest and most comprehensive yet at 50 tracks and 3 hours and 40 minutes in length (!) – and STILL, we’re missing a few!

Nevertheless, please get ready to kick back, relax, turn the bass up, and enjoy… can you believe that in a couple months time, we’ll be celebrating the 20th anniversary of these bangers!? 🤯

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The best rapper of 1998 (according to Complex) : DMX

As always, Spotify (@Spotify) comes through with the dreaded license restrictions, though in actuality, we had to purposefully omit a few joints that came to mind just to ensure we didn’t get too far away from our hard cap of 50 tracks!

Ideally, we would have included these cuts among the others:

Brand Nubian – Foundation

Company Flow – End to End Burners

DJ Honda – hII

Funkdoobiest – the Troubleshooters

Lyricist Lounge, Volume One

Ras Kass – Rasassination

RZA – RZA as Bobby Digital in Stereo

  • Brand Nubian: The last great Nubian album (in my opinion), and quite possibly, my personal favourite. Some of the best beats they’ve ever spit over, too, with the likes of Buckwild (@BUCKWILD_DITC), Lord Finesse (@LordFinesseDITC), DJ Premier (@REALDJPREMIER), and Diamond D (@diamondditc) lacing the Five Percenters appropriately.
  • Company Flow: End to End Burners goes down as one of the last tracks Co-Flow would release as a full group which would eventually pave the way for the birth of Definitive Jux.
  • DJ Honda: Honda‘s (@djhonda) debut was phenomenal and his sophomore record has everything the first one did…except it does all those same things even better! The track with Mos is an all-time hip-hop classic.
  • Funkdoobiest: The first Doobie record without DJ Muggs (@dj_muggs) and Tomahawk Funk is a lot better than most remember it to be – I fux heavy with the Squirrel Nut Zippers (@snzippers) sample in Papa Chulo, ha!
  • Lyricist Lounge: Most heads understand that Lyricist Lounge was an institution in rap, one that served as a launchpad for several legendary careers in hip-hop. In particular, the Indelibles were something of a rap supergroup, the styles of whom would heavily inform the independent “backpack” scene that would go on to dominate the underground for the majority of the 2000s.
  • Ras Kass: I’ll be damned if Ras (@RasKass) isn’t one of the most overlooked rappers of all-time. At the very least, he’s definitely a cat on the West Coast who doesn’t come anywhere near to getting his just due. Though he’s still making music, it’s a real shame that his first two classic albums aren’t available on Spotify.
  • RZA: The first non-Rakeem RZA (@RZA) solo record may have divided opinion upon its release but it has actually aged quite gracefully. Listening to it in 2017, it’s humorous thinking back to a time when this album wasn’t considered “Wu-Tang” enough – if only they knew where the group was heading…

1998 was a TOUGH year and at 50 tracks, we can only hope we included tracks from the most integral artists. How did we do? Did we miss anything?

Don’t forget, you can FOLLOW ALL OF THE INDIVIDUAL PLAYLISTS ON SPOTIFY – grab ’em in the links at the top of this post if you’re just catching up!

When we return, we’ll be highlighting the best tracks from the last year in our previous millennium – oooo-weeee! ✈️ 1⃣️ 9⃣️ 9⃣️ 9⃣️

NEXT UP: How they Was Rappin’ in 1999! 🎤

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How they Was Rappin’ in 1997

97rapcollage

ICYMI: Check out our previous entries/playlists from the 1990s:

After a brief absence, we’re back again with the latest entry into our 90s Rap Playlist series, and this time, it’s crazy to think we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of these landmark tracks and albums – a perfect fit for a #ThrowbackThursday like today!

When I think of 1997, a ton of rap classics come to mind but when I really look back, it reminds me that it was something of a transitional year for the genre.

Complex “rappity raps” began making way for shiny suits as looped beats were getting jacked from a score of the big radio hits of yesteryear in order to create chart-topping productions. On the flip side, the underground backpacker movement was gaining steam thanks to the rise of the likes of Scribble Jam, Lyricist Lounge, and Rawkus Records.

It was also the year in which the greatest rapper of all-time died on March 9th.

As always, Spotify‘s (@Spotify) unfortunate licensing restrictions again threw a wrench into our efforts to make this as comprehensive a playlist as possible.. but such is life. At 45 cuts deep, however, we don’t think you’ll be too disappointed. Let us know your thoughts on this one in the comments below!

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The best rapper of 1997 (according to Complex) : THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G.

A few tracks we would have added if not for catalogue restrictions:

Company Flow – Funcrusher Plus

Gravediggaz – The Pick, the Sickle and the Shovel

Jay-Z – In My Lifetime, Vol. 1

No I.D. – Accept Your Own & Be Yourself (The Black Album)

Soul Assassins – DJ Muggs Presents…the Soul Assassins, Chapter I

Various Artists – In tha Beginning …there Was Rap

  • Company Flow: It’s wild that El-P (@therealelp) is now a mainstream rap icon after spending the better part of the previous two decades as a star of the underground. He’s managed to maintain his dirty and dusty production style but back in the Co-Flow days, he was FAR more lyrical. Shouts to Bigg Jus and Mr. Len (@therealmrlen)! The impact of this crew cannot be overstated.
  • Gravediggaz: This album comes nowhere near the quality of its predecessor, 6 Feet Deep, and that’s almost certainly due to the lack of Prince Paul‘s (@DJPrincePaul) involvement. The beats are just not on par with the menacing feel of the debut. Still some jams here, though.
  • In tha Beginning …there Was Rap: Contemporary rappers covering old school hip hop joints. Just a great concept and one possibly worth revisiting? I’ve always loved the Bone Thugs rendition of “Fuck tha Police”.
  • Jay-Z: Timeless album. I really wish Jay still made tracks with Ski (@Skibeatz).
  • No I.D.: Now known as the former head of G.O.O.D. Music, mentor to Vince Staples (@vincestaples), and most recently, the sole producer enlisted on Jay-Z‘s 4:44, No I.D. once put out a solo album of his own – and it’s really great! The original Black Album still holds up in spite of its relative obscurity. Check this one if you’re unfamiliar.
  • Soul Assassins: An amazing guest list rapping over a bunch of tough beats. Muggs (@DJ_Muggs) was still on his Temples of Boom tip so this one is dark, mean, and grimy. In making this post, I just discovered that Muggs has me blocked on Twitter for some reason. I wonder what I did, hahha.

Notably, 1997 also marked the releases of the Rhyme & Reason soundtrack and the first volume of Soundbombing.

Don’t forget, you can FOLLOW ALL OF THE INDIVIDUAL PLAYLISTS ON SPOTIFY – grab ’em in the links at the top of this post if you’re just catching up!

Two decades since these gems dropped! Enjoy ’em!

Back again “next year”! ✈️ 1⃣️ 9⃣️ 9⃣️ 8⃣️

NEXT UP: How they Was Rappin’ in 1998! 🎤

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How they Was Rappin’ in 1996

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ICYMI: Check out our previous entries/playlists from the 1990s:

Oof.

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 past the usual 2½ hours / 35 songs – this time, we crossed the three-hour mark with our first 45-song playlist.

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!

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The best rapper of 1996 (according to Complex) : 2PAC

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 – Gravity

De La Soul – Stakes is High

DJ Honda – DJ Honda

East Flatbush Project – Tried by 12 (single)

Frankie Cutlass – Politics & Bullshit

Jaÿ-Z – Reasonable Doubt

Jeru the Damaja – Wrath of the Math

Juggaknots – Clear Blue Skies

Siah & Yeshua DapoED – the Visualz

Trigger tha Gambler – Life’s a 50/50 Gamble (unreleased)

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

NEXT UP: How they Was Rappin’ in 1997! 🎤

Click here to follow me on Spotify!

How they Was Rappin’ in 1994

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ICYMI: Check out our previous entries/playlists centred upon 1991, 1992, and 1993 respectively!

I hope two weeks was enough time for all of our Spotify (@Spotify) streamers to fully digest our journey into ’93. Now that we’re just about set to take a look back to 1994, our trek comes with both good and bad news:

A bit of a disappointment as I had planned on integrating some lesser known faves of mine among the hits from the year. Nevertheless, I’m quite pleased with this playlist and still managed to incorporate a few overlooked and forgotten cuts. What a great year this was!

We’re also back onto our #WaybackWednesday shit for this week – happy hump day! 🐫

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The best rapper of 1994 (according to Complex) : NAS

If not for Spotify‘s unfortunate limitations and related licensing standoffs, these classic cuts would have also been included:

da Bush Babees – Ambushed

Erule – Listen Up

Extra Prolific – Like it Should Be

Hard 2 Obtain – Ism & Blues

Kurious – A Constipated Monkey

Native Nuttz – the Nativez Are Restless

Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth – the Main Ingredient

Scientifik – Criminal

In your opinion, did I miss any other significant tracks from ’94?

What do you think of these rap chronicles thus far – are you digging the playlists? Have a favourite playlist so far between 1991 and 1994? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for listening!

NEXT UP: How they Was Rappin’ in 1995! 🎤

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How they Was Rappin’ in 1992

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In continuation of my blog about How they Was Rappin’ in 1991, I’m back again with a new playlist to cover some of the best hip-hop tracks out of ’92!

Similar to its predecessor, this playlist sits at 35 tracks and clocks in at exactly 2½ hours in duration. Click below to enjoy this aural time capsule on another fabulous #WaybackWednesday!

redman1992

The best rapper of 1992 (according to Complex) : REDMAN

Sadly, due to Spotify (@Spotify) and the limitations presented by its catalogue, there are some especially significant absences here, most notably:

Dr. Dre – the Chronic

Diamond D & the Psychotic Neurotics – Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop

Da Lench Mob – Guerillas in tha Mist

Hard Knocks – School of Hard Knocks

In spite of these omissions, I still feel this playlist provides a comprehensive look (and listen) into the landscape of hip-hop, back as it existed in 1992. Please let me know your thoughts on these in the comments below – hope everyone is digging the series so far!

NEXT UP: How they Was Rappin’ in 1993! 🎤

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