How they Was Rappin’ in 1996

96rapcollage

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!

2pac96

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 1995

95rapcollage

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

After the horrible news last week of the passing of Prodigy (@PRODIGYMOBBDEEP), we took a brief hiatus from our 90’s rap playlist series in order to mourn and pay tribute to the Infamous P! In spite of the fact that he had been battling sickle cell anemia since he was a child, it was still a shock to learn that one of hip hop’s greatest MC’s had passed away at the age of 42.

Regardless of the circumstances, leaving this Earth in your 40s is tragic and far too young. R.I.P.

prodigy

Keep it thoro, Kiko.

Saying that, it’s a strange coincidence that we were on track to focus upon the year of 1995, aka the year Mobb Deep dropped their magnum opus, The Infamous.

Being another seminal year for rap, ’95 also launched debut albums from the likes of Smif-N-Wessun (@Smifnwessun), AZ (@quietAZmoney), Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Goodie Mob (@GoodieMobMusic), Mic Geronimo, Three 6 Mafia, and Raekwon‘s classic (@Raekwon) Purple Tape!

There can be no disputing the notion that the 90s remains as the golden era of RAP. 👑

Hope you enjoy reminiscing with these #TuesdayTunes!

biggie95

The best rapper of 1995 (according to Complex) : THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G.

Thankfully, Spotify‘s (@Spotify) licensing issues didn’t provide much of a barrier for 1995 – I managed to fit in just about all of the tracks I had hoped to…with four notable exceptions:

Count Bass D – Pre-Life Crisis

Crooklyn Dodgers ’95 – Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers

Miilkbone – Da’ Miilkrate

Questionmark Asylum – The Album

Count Bass D (@CountBassD) has become an extremely prolific artist since his debut from over 20 years ago but Pre-Life Crisis remains my personal favourite. He came to prominence with 2002’s Dwight Spitz but I still feel his first album is a light, fun, and incredibly musical album that can be thrown on at any point throughout the year. Having played almost all of the live instruments on this album, it has a decidedly different feel from later Bass D albums where he began leaning heavily upon the MPC. This record is a low-key classic.

The Crooklyn Dodgers was a rap supergroup idea that took form on the soundtrack to the Spike Lee (@SpikeLee) film, Crooklyn. “The Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers” appeared on the soundtrack for Lee‘s next movie, Clockers. Instead of Buckshot (@Buckshot), Masta Ace (@mastaace), and Special Ed (@SpecialEd) over Q-Tip (@QtipTheAbstract) production, the return features Chubb Rock, O.C. (@therealocizzle), and Jeru the Damaja (@Jeruthedamaja) over a DJ Premier (@REALDJPREMIER) instrumental. Shame that Spotify doesn’t have the rights to this track but the original joint does appear on our ’94 playlist!

Miilkbone may be best known these days as part of the answer to a rap trivia question: “Which white rappers did Eminem (@Eminem) diss in the second verse of ‘Just Don’t Give a Fuck'”? However, Da’ Miilkrate stood on its own merits. Hailing out of New Jersey as a loose Naughty by Nature affiliate, this album has aged better than it may have been receiving upon its release. Solid rhymes with above average production.

Questionmark Asylum may have been the diet version of The Pharcyde (@thepharcyde) but their lone release, appropriately titled as The Album, is a fun listen that the average hop-hop fan may be unfamiliar with. Definitely worthy of a listen for those who dig some good raps mixed with old-school sing-songy melodies.

Hope you dug this entry! Get ready for the next entry because 1996 was a monster! Please feel free to share this blog/playlist, BE SURE TO FOLLOW ALL THE PLAYLISTS ON SPOTIFY, and thanks for reading! Comments are also most welcome!

NEXT UP: How they Was Rappin’ in 1996! 🎤

Click here to follow me on Spotify!

How they Was Rappin’ in 1994

94rapcollage

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! 🐫

nas1994

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

Extra Prolific – Like it Should Be

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! 🎤

Click here to follow me on Spotify!

How they Was Rappin’ in 1993

93rapcollage

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

Back again with a new retrospective rap playlist for all of you Spotify (@Spotify) streamers out there, this time with a focus upon the landmark year of 1993. So much good music came out at this time that I had to bump the playlist up from 35 tracks to 40. This makes this iteration approximately 20 minutes longer than its predecessors – I doubt the heads will complain!

Subsequent to my 1992 post going up, I made the decision to move all future installments away from #WaybackWednesday in order to position them as #ThrowbackThursday posts going forward. However, upon awaking to the horrific news of Chris Cornell‘s (@chriscornell) unfortunate passing last week, I instead spent the previous Thursday reminiscing to Soundgarden‘s (@soundgarden) unbelievable back-catalogue for the majority of the day (as well as several more thereafter). Another once-in-a-generation talent gone far too soon. R.I.P. 💔

Now, the last thing I want to do is turn this into a somber post when I’ve got such a badass playlist on tap for you. So grab some headphones and take a trek back through one of the most solid years ever in hip-hop!

snoopdogg1993

The best rapper of 1993 (according to Complex) : SNOOP DOGGY DOGG

Again, due to Spotify and the unfortunate limitations presented by its catalogue, we’re missing a few key inclusions taken from the following critical albums:

Akinyele – Vagina Diner

De La Soul – Buhloone Mindstate

Funkdoobiest – Which Doobie U B?

Illegal – the Untold Truth

Mobb Deep – Juvenile Hell

the Roots – Organix

Tragedy Khadafi – Tragedy: Saga of a Hoodlum

It’s also a real shame Spotify doesn’t have the remix to LL Cool J‘s (@llcoolj) “Pink Cookies” (as seen below). The original is tight but this beat here cooks… 🔥

In particular, of the albums above, it really sucks to see that Akinyele album missing from the Spotify catalogue – in my opinion, it’s arguably the best complete production that Large Professor (@PLargePro) has ever put out. More people need to hear it – it’s now out of print but still holds up!

On the other hand, I prefer the album version to the above Illegal track more than I do its video counterpart. Go figure.

One way or another, at 40 tracks deep, I feel this is a thorough playlist that does a fairly comprehensive job overall of covering the key highlights throughout the entirety of year.

Really hope you dig this trip back to 1993 – a milestone year for the genre! If you enjoy it, please be sure to click to ‘follow’ the playlist!

NEXT UP: How they Was Rappin’ in 1994! 🎤

Click here to follow me on Spotify!

How they Was Rappin’ in 1992

92rapcollage

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! 🎤

Click here to follow me on Spotify!

How they Was Rappin’ in 1991

91rapcollage

Rap music is the best.

Moving forward, I’ve decided to curate some Spotify (@Spotify) playlists specific to the most integral years of hip-hop, starting with the year of 1991.

Unfortunately, there are some significant gaps in the Spotify catalogue. Due to this, I was unable to include cuts off landmark albums such as De La Soul‘s (@WeAreDeLaSoul) De La Soul is Dead, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth‘s All Souled Out EP, Tim Dog‘s iconic Penicillin on Wax, Godfather Don‘s Hazardous, Words from the Genius by the Genius / GZA (@theRealGZA), and From Pyramids to Projects by Two Kings in a Cipher. And in spite of its divisive reputation, it would have been nice to have had the option to include a track off of Big Daddy Kane‘s Prince of Darkness.

Nevertheless, at 2½ hours long and 35 tracks, hopefully the playlist below provides you with a comprehensive look into how the hip-hop landscape was operating back in ’91.

qtip1991

The best rapper of 1991 (according to Complex) : Q-TIP

NEXT UP: How they Was Rappin’ in 1992! 🎤

#GuelphMusicClub: Top 5 Songs of 2014, Pts. II & III

Back again with a double edition in order to catch up to the rest of the #GuelphMusicClub.

Please click the hashtag above to see all of the entries to date.

It feels like there are more participants this time around since the previous iteration of THE CLUB and that is so great to see.

Selections have been quite diverse thus far and I’ve already been exposed to a number of great tracks that I wasn’t previously familiar with.

If you happen to be a fan of THE CLUB and would like to contribute, write a post, get a Twitter account, and tweet it out using the #GuelphMusicClub hashtag and you’re all set!

Even if you don’t have a blog of your own, one of us will gladly host your content.

For example, @soundinmymemory (soundinmymemory.com) has been very gracious in that respect.

So get on it!

All of us are hoping to see a lot of fresh faces (usernames?) in the near future!

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YODnasWere you up on the Your Old Droog (@YourOldDroog) conspiracy over the summer?

It was quite a fun ride while it lasted.

For the uninitiated: back in June, an unknown Droog dropped a free EP out of nowhere that sent the internet into a frenzy.

Upon first listen, it immediately becomes apparent why – the dude sounds a helluva lot like Nas (@Nas).

Due to his lack of visual presence, the hype culminated in a fever pitch where people were convinced it actually was Nas rapping under a pseudonym.

Fans felt they were finally getting the Nas they had been fiending for ever since his classic debut, Illmatic, dropped some 20 years prior.

And at the time, the speculation was not only plausible, but pretty damn convincing.

Except that it wasn’t him.

Confirmation of that fact came with his live performance debut at Webster Hall.

YODwebster

Some were disappointed to learn that Droog is, in fact, a white Russian kid from Brooklyn.

Some went on to call him a biter.

But many of us continued bumping his shit as if the entire side show had never happened.

Although the two MCs are very alike in terms of their cadence, I am not of the opinion that this fact should discredit his work.

Action Bronson (@ActionBronson) faced very similar criticisms early on in his career with the Ghostface (@GhostfaceKillah) comparisons and it did nothing to prevent me from naming Dr. Lecter as my favourite record of 2011 because above all, he made great music.

And look at Bronson now.

The dude is thoroughly and indisputably his own entity as we head into 2015 and arguably one of the most original characters in rap.

So let’s see what Droog can do.

Subsequent to releasing the EP, he went on to drop a handful of spare tracks, including collaborations with the likes of Prodigy (@PRODIGYMOBBDEEP), Mac Miller (@MacMiller), Marco Polo (@marcopolobeats), and the Alchemist (@Alchemist).

The EP would have a few of these “loosies” tacked onto it, as well as a couple of remixes, and eventually be repackaged as Your Old Droog‘s official debut LP.

Of those loosies, the one that ends up as my no. 4 song of 2014 is entitled, “On the News (Tamron Hall)“, an ode to the NBC News correspondent who is two decades his senior.

Has a bit of a creepy “Every Breath You Take” vibe over one of the smoothest soul samples you’re likely to hear this year.

#4: Your Old Droog – “On the News (Tamron Hall)”
from the album, YOUR OLD DROOG LP  (2014)

Four months clean and the urge to stay sober got me goin’ so berzerk.
– Your Old Droog, “On the News (Tamron Hall)”

And remember the aforementioned Webster Hall show?

Yeah, about that..

😀 😀 😀

Droog recently dropped his first video for “Nutty Bars” which can be seen below.

Your Old Droog – “Nutty Bars”
from the album, YOUR OLD DROOG LP  (2014)

A good guest and an ill host, these other cats milquetoast, fake Steve Wilkos. Shoulda stuck to doing security, your honor. That’s a cush gig like selling medical marijuana.
Your Old Droog, “Nutty Bars”

 

*     *     *     *     *

For my no. 3 song of 2014, I look towards the guys who released my favourite rock album of the year.

Although they had been building a steady buzz, Nothing (@BandofNOTHING) underwent a few lineup changes and seemingly came out of nowhere when they released their full-length debut, Guilty of Everything, in the first quarter.

March 4, 2014

March 4, 2014

It certainly blew its predecessor, Downward Years to Come, out of the water.

Equal parts space rock, shoegaze, and grunge, it also becomes apparent that the members have a background in heavy music, with a pummeling rhythm section that is quite often thunderous in its ferocity.

Although GOE is without a doubt their most complete work to date, I think their best songs may have been written for their recently released split with best buds, Whirr (@WhirrBand).

Whirr guitarist, Nick Bassett, actually joined up to play bass with Nothing early this year and now pulls double duty in both bands.

While both acts are great, Nothing seems to have the greater potential of the two, as they have managed to add a degree of accessibility to a genre like shoegaze, one that is often too noisy and niche for the average music consumer.

Prior to forming the band, leader Dominic Palermo had served two years in prison for aggravated assault and attempted murder.

And you can hear the despair, isolation, and pleas for redemption throughout their catalogue.

It’s apparent that Nothing is a very cathartic project for Palermo and that likely adds another layer of intrigue onto their compositions.

They’re my favourite new band that I’ve come across in a good few years and I hope you dig them too.

My no. 3 song of 2014 is Nothing‘s “Chloroform“.

#3: Nothing – “Chloroform”
from the split release, WHIRR/NOTHING  (2014)

Locked in chains under the floor. Cover my lips. Chloroform. Duct taped eyes, fear no more. It’s over now.
Nothing, “Chloroform”

 

As a bonus, I have to add the video for “Bent Nail” off of Guilty of Everything, simply because its one of the best videos I’ve ever seen and it features a shit-hot Kurt Vile (@therealkurtvile) cameo.

Nothing – “Bent Nail”
from the album, GUILTY OF EVERYTHING  (2014)

If you feel like letting go.
Nothing, “Bent Nail”

Obviously, the song just kicks ass as well.
As does all of their shit.

Peep.