How they Was Rappin’ in 1998


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!? 🤯


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! 🎤

Click here to follow me on Spotify!


#GuelphMusicClub, Pt. VII: Video Games


(no Lana Del Rey)

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I was pretty excited to partake in this week’s #GuelphMusicClub assignment.

I’m going to go in a whole bunch of directions with this one so bear with me.

When it comes to my favourite video game music, it would be impossible to narrow it down to only one song.

Saying that, there are two choices that immediately came to mind and I have to acknowledge them both here.

To start, let it be said that the Legend of Zelda series has already been listed and rightfully so.

A lot of people will immediately think of Super Mario Bros. when it comes to legendary video game music, the impact of which cannot be questioned.

However, the score to the Zelda games are just as iconic, perhaps even more so in the eyes (ears?) of the really nerdy 80s babies.

I have never owned a Nintendo 64 so while I hear many people say that Ocarina of Time represents the pinnacle of the series, I am partial to A Link to the Past from the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) console.

Many hours were spent playing this game to completion. To this day, I consider it to be one of the most perfect games ever made.

Whenever I used to bring Link to the Great Fairy Fountain, I would take some time to reflect and listen to this loop over and over..

“Fairy Fountain”
from the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES – 1991)

Dreamy, huh?

Am I just on some nostalgia shit or is that not a great fucking melody!?

Actually, if you wanna get familiar with some awesome Zelda music in an unconventional way, check out Team Teamwork‘s awesome free tape, the Ocarina of Rhyme.

Here’s the remix they put together using my pick as the main sample:

Slim Thug & Mike Jones – “Still Tippin’ (Team Teamwork remix)”
from the Ocarina of Rhyme (2009)

And just in case you want to compare it against the original.. 😀

Mike Jones – “Still Tippin'” (feat. Slim Thug & Paul Wall)
from Who is Mike Jones? (2004)

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As I implied earlier, this is going to be a very self-indulgent post..

Keep in mind, Zelda was my 1A, so to speak, with this next one serving as my 1B.

MATTAFAK, I guess that means these picks are kinda like the Leafs (@MapleLeafs) goaltending situation, except not shitty. U MAD???

My next pick is taken from one of the most badass games of the 90s, Donkey Kong Country.

Nintendo really turned a corner with this game. You could say their partnership with Rare was the video game equivalent of Disney linking up with Pixar.

You remember how crazy those graphics were?

I mean, they managed to make a gorilla riding a big-ass ostrich look realistic as fuck.

my man ride a rhino no sweat too tho

rhinos ain’t no thing neither

I always fucksed with the underwater levels pretty heavy in this game.

And that leads me to..

“Aquatic Ambience”
from Donkey Kong Country (SNES – 1994)

Honestly, I still listen to this track to this day.

I like to claim responsibility for introducing this one to the Ambient Chillout & Trip Hop room on (@turntablefm) back when that was still the spot.

(that goes double for Blue Sky Black Death [@BSBDmusic] but I digress)

Can you believe this game was so popular that they actually pressed the soundtrack to disc under the name DK Jamz?

And it sold fairly well, I remember when it was on the walls of my local HMV (@hmvcanada).

Talk about different times!

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I also just wanted to touch upon how rich the audio side of video game development has become.

In his latest #GuelphMusicClub contribution, Mat Calverley (@matcalverley) was the first to mention composer Jeremy Soule, a man who I became familiar with upon the completion of Skyrim – the fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls series.

The music was so integral to the experience of that game that I didn’t think it could be topped.

And surely not so soon.

But Gustavo Santaollala may have done just that with his score for the Last of Us.

Please watch the following video:

The soundtrack in its entirety is something else. I highly recommend checking it out.

These video games are really upping the ante now that the original scores are coming courtesy of Academy Award winning composers!

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Just for kicks – some select video game samples in RAP!!

Camu Tao – “Death”
from King of Hearts (2010)

sample taken from Ranger X
(Sega – 1993)

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Statik Selektah – “Punch Out” (feat. Big Shug)
from Spell My Name Right (2007)

sample taken from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!
(Nintendo – 1987)

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People Under the Stairs – “Gamin’ on Ya”
from FUN DMC (2008)

sample taken from …
TOO MANY TO COUNT!! YOU TELL ME!! (in the comments, perhaps?)

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Kudos if you got to the end of this post!
I had fun with it!