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!

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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: