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) 🎤

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How they Was Rappin’ in 1996

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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!

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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 1995

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ICYMI: Check out our 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.

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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 year 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. 👑

Hope you enjoy reminiscing with these #TuesdayTunes!

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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 – Pre-Life Crisis

Crooklyn Dodgers ’95 – Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers

Questionmark Asylum – The Album

Various Artists – 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 Lee (@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 Rappin’ in 1996! 🎤

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How they Was Rappin’ in 1993

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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!