How they Was Rappin’ in 1999

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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! 🤘

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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) 🎤

Click here to follow me on Spotify!

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How they Was Rappin’ in 1997

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

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

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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 – Funcrusher Plus

Gravediggaz – The Pick, the Sickle and the Shovel

Jay-Z – In My Lifetime, Vol. 1

No I.D. – Accept Your Own & Be Yourself (The Black Album)

Soul Assassins – DJ Muggs Presents…the Soul Assassins, Chapter I

Various Artists – 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 of 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 on 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 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!

Two decades since these gems dropped! Enjoy ’em!

Back again “next year”! ✈️ 1⃣️ 9⃣️ 9⃣️ 8⃣️

NEXT UP: How they Was Rappin’ in 1998! 🎤

Click here to follow me on Spotify!

How they Was Rappin’ in 1994

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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! 🐫

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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! 🎤

Click here to follow me on Spotify!

How they Was Rappin’ in 1993

93rapcollage

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!