observations, reviews and ramblings about Hip-Hop culture, sports, politics and the industry and life in general.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Another List?

Everyone is talking about The Source and Zino so I am gonna ramble about something of real importance.

Hip-Hop Contributors who don’t get enough credit.

Here is one of my ‘in no particular order’ lists:

Slick Rick

He has influenced everyone from Snoop to Ghost to Black Thought. I remember back at UVa there was much debate about how Snoop was just a West Coast Slick Rick although Rick is definitely a better writer. The suits and mega chains that we ubiquitously see – Rick (and Kane). And all you ‘indie as fuck’ cats needs o pay respect to the Rickster. Slick Rick and Doug E Fresh were on the 12 inch hustle before most of us had hair on our johnsons with ‘La Di Da Di’ and ‘The Show.’

Big Daddy Kane
Was listening to “Warm It Up Kane” on XM the other day. Whooooooo. I don’t know if there have been a half a dozen rappers since who could go head up with he late 80’s early 90’s Kane.

Just Blaze
I know he gets his props, but I have finally come to the conclusion that he is the nicest producer out. He is the only one carrying the torch of Pete Rock, Primo and The Bomb Squad. I mean he is making me consider, consider buying the new Fat Joe joint. He made this East Coast hard head warm to The Game. Plus the songs he has done with Jay will go down in the Hip-Hop annals as Jay’s best work outside of Primo. I know a lot of you will scream Kanye or Jazze Pha or Madlib or even El-P but noooooot me.

Barry Weiss
My Hip-Hop literary idol, Nelson George put it in Hip Hop America I believe that Jive Records does not get its props for contributions to Hip-Hop culture. When you look at the roster and catalogue Jive must be mentioned a few sentences after Def Jam as far as consistent brands. Now you can’t really look at them now because similar to Def Jam they have become much more bottom line oriented. But you must remember KRS and BDP, ATCQ, Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff were signed when Hip-Hop was not as strong as it is today. And Jive turned these guys into legends.

Nelson George
My favorite Hip Hop scholar. If it wasn’t for him adding true, mature insight into the culture I wonder if I and other big mouths would even exist. Nelson George, Greg Tate and that crew were birthing this new Hip-Hop intelligentsia at the Village Voice before Hip-Hop intelligentsia existed.

I’m out of here like a soccer hooligan.
Tiger Woods y’all


Blogger Joey said...

Wes, great list. I'm feelin' those choices, especially the perceptive, smart, and funny George.

Addressing producers, I also have become a Just Blaaaaaaaaze convert. I love Kanye, but his style has been bitten by so many, his arrogance is a problem, and he makes too many wack songs (Maroon 5 remix, what?!). Just, meanwhile, has been bringing HEAT; and like you said, he actually makes Fat Joe semi-relevant, and that's a tough task.

If we're talking producer lineage, though, isn't 9th Wonder really the true successor to the Pete Rock sound? Dude loves him some lush soul chops.

Keep doing your thing, son.

April 15, 2005 11:23 AM

Blogger Bemused said...

gotta co-sign the Just Bleezy nod. dude has been one of the most consistent producers - INDUSTRY WIDE - for the last couple of years now. i normally don't have much love anymore for East Coast/Noo Yawk producers - they've mostly forgotten that older heads still like to dance while we listen to the lyrics. but JB has managed to bring it on that level too - i mean, how many hip hop producers give nods to classic garage house in their music?

i don't know if he's a pete rock successor, though. i think his style owes a lot more to Mark the 45 King and Marley Marl.

April 15, 2005 6:02 PM


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