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

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Lists, lists, lists

So I have another one of my lists.

Best Hip-Hop albums of all time (that are not on most lists):

InI ‘Center of Attention’

This record was supposed to come out in ’95 on Pete Rock’s Soul Brother Records imprint through Elektra. This was when a post Dante Ross Elektra attempted to re-commit itself to Hip-Hop. On this full length Pete really hit his stride as a producer. Not necessarily as a beatmaker but as a producer. He made hotter beats for him and CL, ADOR, Public Enemy, Nas but this is Pete’s most thorough album. There are great songs on this record. ‘To Each his Own’ with the Extra P and Q-Tip, ‘Grown More Sport’ with the Fela sample before Rich Medina and Mos Def made it cool. ‘Fakin Jax’ and the remix that were the perfect Golden Era records. Was listening to the Game’s ‘Hate It or Love It’ remix with Mary J this weekend and it made me appreciate this album even more. Game is so aware of every move that he makes that he robs himself of any spontaneity. The remix is about the remix. When you listen to Grap and Rob-O or to a lesser extent I-Love (Ras G) you hear effortless-ness that is so hard to find. BBE did what I always wanted to do and released this record officially.

Diamond D & the Psychotic Neurotics ‘Stunts, Blunts, & Hip-Hop’

Next to EPMD’s 1st 2 albums, Gangstarr’s ‘Step In the Arena’ and ‘Daily Operation’, Diamond’s 1st album is the definition of Hip-Hop. Beats and Rhymes. Straight up with no gimmicks. Diamond is probably the best Hip-Hop solder to come out of the Bronx since the Blastmaster himself. No disrespect to Finesse, Show and AG, Pun and Cooked Crack. Diamond has made his paper but I don’t think his name comes up enough when we talk about the all time greats like Pete, Primo, and the Large Pro. This record will be case study when I finally build The Hip-Hop Institute. ‘Best Kept Secret’, ‘A Day In the Life’ with a newly post Puba Brand Nubian, ‘Yo That’s That Shit’ and the title track are all masterpieces.

Jungle Brother ‘Straight Out The Jungle’

If you have read my stuff in print and on the sevenheads site you know that I think the JB’s have never gotten their props in the Native Tongue love sessions. ‘Straight Out the Jungle’ is without a doubt the record that set the whole movement off. Tribe was initially a JB spin off. My brother once said that Afrika had the smoothest flow in Hip-Hop. He is like the Lou Rawls of Hip-Hop. ‘Black is Black’ was arguably the start of philosophical afro-centricity in Hip-Hop (PE must be credited with ushering a militant and activist twinge.) ‘I’ll House You’ begat a whole genre and single handedly introduced house music to a whole generation. ‘Behind The Bush’, ‘On The Run’, ‘I Got It Like That’ , ‘The Promo’ – all great songs.

In my next installment:
Showbiz & AG ‘Runaway Slave’, Main Source ‘Breaking Atoms’ and…
Come see Prince Paul on Thursday you chowder heads.

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