How they Was Rappin’ in 1999

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

Well, we finally made it – we’ve completed our 1999 playlist and have wrapped up the last year of the decade. It’s been a lot of fun putting these together and I hope you’ve equally enjoyed them. It’s fantastic to see that a lot of these playlists are gaining a lot of followers. Our first playlist in the series, for example, has amassed nearly 30 followers. A modest number but I was pleased to find that some people out there still got love for the golden age of hip-hop!

Given that our original playlist contained 30 tracks, and any increases on subsequent lists moving up in increments of five, it only made sense to cap the 90s off with a monstrous 55 (!) songs, our largest in the series. Even with the five extra tracks, we only ended up with a 3-minute increase on our 1998 list, so it shouldn’t be too taxing!

Truth be told, when I began creating this iteration, I was thinking it might be difficult to reach the 50-artist threshold. It wasn’t until I began curating the tracks that I remembered how great of a year ’99 actually was for hip-hop. This could be the most diverse entry into the series in terms of the variety it provides. Some landmark releases also dropped this year which completely rocked the foundations of underground rap, setting the stage for the likes of Definitive Jux and Rhymesayers (@rhymesayers) to dominate the indie circuit throughout the majority of the aughts.

Thanks for taking a ride with us through the best decade in RAP. Hopefully, we were able to introduce you to some new artists, or at the very least, remind you of some forgotten classics. Please follow this playlist (as well as the others) and enjoy! 🤘

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The best rapper of 1999 (according to Complex) : JAY-Z

Surprisingly, Spotify (@Spotify) didn’t really hamper me too often while I was curating. Of course, there were definitely a few items I was unable to include but the list was a lot shorter than usual. I look forward to a(n imagined) future without geo-restrictions. 🌐

We definitely would have incorporated these jewels if it were possible:

Arsonists – As the World Burns

Half-a-Mill – Milíon

Sway & King Tech – This or That

Various Artists – Soundbombing II

  • Arsonists: I think we’ve touched upon the greatness that was Bobbito Garcia‘s (@koolboblove) underground rap label, Fondle ‘Em Records, and the Arsonists hold the distinction as being one of their initial signings. A real shame that they were never able to attain the heights they seemed destined for. Unfortunately, Q-Unique (@Q_UNIQUE17) – arguably the lead MC of the Arsonists – is now spending a lot of his time in a nü-metal band with Wuv (@WUVYWUV) of P.O.D. (@POD) and Fieldy of KoЯn (@Korn). oOoF! Try to remember the good old days…
  • Half-a-Mill: It’s sad to think back upon Half-a-Mill and his unfulfilled potential. After his memorable verse on the closing track of The Firm‘s The Album, he launched his solo debut by dropping “Thug Ones”, a joint that still rings heads to this day. Sadly, he was found shot to death in his apartment at just 30 years old, and in the process, we lost a highly overlooked lyrical genius. R.I.P.
  • Sway & King Tech: Most people probably know about Sway (@RealSway) these days by way of his MTV and Sway in the Morning gigs but back in the day, he and King Tech were known for The Wake Up Show with DJ Revolution (@DJRevolution) – which still runs to this day on Sirius/XM – and its associated freestyles. This was one of my favourite albums when it originally dropped and if you don’t believe “The Anthem” is the best posse cut ever, it has to sit in your top 3 – NO QUESTIONS ASKED.
  • Soundbombing II: You may have noticed that we managed to sneak a few of the cuts off this album into our ’99 playlist but the compilation itself isn’t available on Spotify – therefore, we had to highlight it as the importance of Rawkus and the impact this album had at that time is undeniable. Lots of dudes here pre-fame who would go on to become pretty massive stars. Timeless record.

We made it to the end of the 90s together! Hopefully, these lists provided you with a comprehensive review of all the best shit to come out throughout the decade. I’m thinking that because this wasn’t planned as a series when we curated the 1991 playlist, we’ll have to drop a bonus mix soon in order to cover 1990. I’ll try to get that done before we run into the 2018 calendar!

Please FOLLOW ALL OF THE INDIVIDUAL PLAYLISTS ON SPOTIFY so you can avoid visiting my bum-azz Spotify profile whenever you wanna reminisce. Remember how much you used to love H.E.R.?

Stay tuned for our bonus 1990 mix – coming soon! ✈️ 1⃣️ 9⃣️ 9⃣️ 0⃣️

NEXT UP: How they Was Rappin’ in 1990! (bonus list) 🎤

Click here to follow me on Spotify!

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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 one, and personally, this playlist may be my favourite thus far. A ton of head nodders and a whole bunch of incredible music came out this year. 1996 also holds the distinction as being the last year prior to the grip 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 1993

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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!

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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!

#GuelphMusicClub, Pt. V: Sports Song

I have to apologize for how late this post is.

Between visiting with relatives who arrived from overseas and the traffic jams / power outages experienced yesterday as a result of the Toronto floods, this blog entry toiled in the draft section longer than it should have.

Nevertheless, we’re here now.

hi.

For this assignment of the #GuelphMusicClub, we were tasked with choosing our top sports song (theme suggested by your favourite neighbourhood record store, the Beat Goes On / @beatgoeson).

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While many of the crew discussed their favourite anthems you would hear at a live sporting event, my train of thought veered a little left and I began to think of songs that are literally about sports.

I know where your mind is headed right now and I am sorry to inform you that you are, in fact, WRONG: this post will NOT be about “Marlins Will Soar“.

To be honest, the choice was obvious to me from the jump.

Main Source – “Just a Friendly Game of Baseball”
from the album, BREAKING ATOMS  (1991)

The lyrics can be viewed here c/o RapGenius  (@RapGenius)
[complete with authentic #beigelife annotations!]

For the uninitiated, Breaking Atoms  is universally heralded as one of the greatest hip-hop records of all-time.

Large Professor (@PLargePro), a.k.a. Extra P, a.k.a. “the greatest producer on the mic” (Lord Finesse [@LordFinesseDITC] notwithstanding) was the driving force behind Main Source (ed’s note: i’m a rapper).

Acting as MC and handling the bulk of the production duties, he fell out with the group soon after the release of their debut album and went on to forge a very successful solo career, especially on the production tip.

Main Source also featured a bit of CanCon as two-thirds of the group were comprised of Toronto DJ/production team, K-Cut (@kcutsevenone) and Sir Scratch.

Anyway, back to the song.

“Just a Friendly Game of Baseball” is peppered with all kinds of baseball references and allegories that any aficionado of the game would have no trouble deciphering.

Yet, the entire song is a metaphor for the extreme brutality and institutional racism that blacks and other minorities were (and continue to be) subjected to on a routine basis.

Groundbreaking track in terms of lyrical dexterity and content. And one that still holds up to this day, in my opinion.

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BONUS EDIT: As an aside for those who aren’t rap heavy, Breaking Atoms  launched the careers of both Nas (@Nas) and Akinyele respectively – the former of whom was only 17 years old at the time and showing he was wise beyond his years / the latter of which being a criminally underrated MC who holds the distinction of being the only rapper to have an album produced entirely by Large Professor!

Both were featured on the classic posse cut, “Live at the Barbeque”, which can be heard below: