How they Was Rappin’ in 1999

99rapcollage

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! 🤘

jayz99

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) 🎤

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How they Was Rappin’ in 1998

98rapcollage

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!? 🤯

dmx98

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 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 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!

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! 🎤

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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

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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