How they Was Rappin’ in 1998

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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!? 🤯

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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 1991

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Rap music is the best.

Moving forward, I’ve decided to curate some Spotify (@Spotify) playlists specific to the most integral years of hip-hop, starting with the year of 1991.

Unfortunately, there are some significant gaps in the Spotify catalogue. Due to this, I was unable to include cuts off landmark albums such as De La Soul‘s (@WeAreDeLaSoul) De La Soul is Dead, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth‘s All Souled Out EP, Tim Dog‘s iconic Penicillin on Wax, Godfather Don‘s HazardousWords from the Genius by the Genius / GZA (@theRealGZA), and From Pyramids to Projects by Two Kings in a Cipher. And in spite of its divisive reputation, it would have been nice to have had the option to include a track off of Big Daddy Kane‘s Prince of Darkness.

Nevertheless, at 2½ hours long and 35 tracks, hopefully the playlist below provides you with a comprehensive look into how the hip-hop landscape was operating back in ’91.

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The best rapper of 1991 (according to Complex) : Q-TIP

NEXT UP: How they Was Rappin’ in 1992! 🎤