How they Was Rappinā€™ in 1997

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

After a brief absence, we’re back again with the latest entry into our 90s Rap Playlist series,Ā 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 ofĀ 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!

biggie97

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 ā€“ Funcrusher Plus

Gravediggaz ā€“ The Pick, the Sickle and the Shovel

Jay-Z ā€“ In My Lifetime, Vol. 1

No I.D. ā€“ Accept Your Own & Be Yourself (The Black Album)

Soul Assassins ā€“ DJ Muggs Presents…the Soul Assassins, Chapter I

Various Artists ā€“ 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 ofĀ 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 onĀ 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 canĀ 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”!Ā āœˆļøĀ 1āƒ£ļøĀ 9āƒ£ļøĀ 9āƒ£ļøĀ 8āƒ£ļø

NEXT UP: How they Was Rappinā€™ in 1998! šŸŽ¤

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How they Was Rappinā€™ in 1995

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ICYMI: Check out ourĀ 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 yearĀ 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.Ā šŸ‘‘

Hope you enjoy reminiscing with theseĀ #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 ā€“Ā Pre-Life Crisis

Crooklyn Dodgers ’95 ā€“Ā Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers

Questionmark Asylum ā€“ The Album

Various Artists ā€“ Panther, Original Soundtrack

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 LeeĀ (@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!

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.

…and the Panther soundtrack provided us with one of the best posse cuts ever!

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 Rappinā€™ in 1996! šŸŽ¤

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How they Was Rappinā€™ in 1993

93rapcollage

ICYMI: Check out ourĀ previous entries/playlists centred uponĀ 1991 and 1992, respectively!

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

Subsequent to my 1992 post going up, I made the decisionĀ toĀ moveĀ all futureĀ installments away from #WaybackWednesdayĀ in order toĀ position them asĀ #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) unbelievableĀ 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.Ā šŸ’”

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 trekĀ back throughĀ one of the most solidĀ years ever in hip-hop!

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

Again, due toĀ SpotifyĀ and the unfortunate limitations presented byĀ its catalogue, we’re missing a fewĀ key inclusions taken from the following critical albums:

Akinyele ā€“Ā Vagina Diner

De La SoulĀ ā€“Ā Buhloone Mindstate

Funkdoobiest – Which Doobie U B?

IllegalĀ ā€“Ā the Untold Truth

Mobb DeepĀ ā€“Ā Juvenile Hell

the Roots – Organix

Tragedy Khadafi – Tragedy: Saga of a Hoodlum

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

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 completeĀ 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 doĀ its video counterpart. Go figure.

One way or another, at 40 tracks deep, I feelĀ this is a thoroughĀ playlistĀ that does a fairly comprehensiveĀ job overall of covering the keyĀ highlights throughout the entirety of year.

Really hope you dig this tripĀ back toĀ 1993 –Ā a milestone year forĀ the genre! If you enjoy it, please beĀ sure to click to ‘follow’ the playlist!

NEXT UP: How they Was Rappinā€™ in 1994! šŸŽ¤

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