Best. Cover Art. Ever.
So the topic since Friday has been best hip-hop albums and songs of all time, with a little less fanfare than we'd like quite frankly. You bastards can leave comments! WJA3's lists were fairly solid, wiping away the shame of Showrocka's abomination of a list, so disgusting with Paul Wall at #10 that I didn't even notice Juvenile sitting at #7. S.M.H. Me, I lean towards backpacker stuff.
Anyway, your Friendly Neighborhood Blog Killah won't be as arrogant as to say he can tell you, the reader, what THE greatest hip-hop albums and songs are definitively, for I like any human have personal bias and gaps in knowledge. For example, Showrocka has a raging boner for Tupac (homo) and hates on B.I.G., while WJA3 clearly has a pro-Queens bias and lacks respect for southern and west coast music. Some of our funky brethren will note the omissions of the likes of OutKast and UGK.
So with that being said, I'll just tell you C4's Favorite 10 Albums of Hip-Hop That Is Good Based On The Order That I Thought Of Them:
1. Mos Def - Black on Both Sides
You caught me. This is my bias (sorry, I'm biased towards AWESOME FUCKIN' hip-hop!). This album changed the way I listened to music forever. It's virtually flawless the whole way through, with solid track after classic track after solid track, etc. You already love Ms. Fat Booty and Umi Says, but if you didn't cop the whole joint then you definitely missed some real gems in this genre.
Standout Tracks: New World Water, Mathematics, Know That, Speed Law.
2. Big Punisher - Capital Punishment
Despite being known mostly for the party track "Still Not A Player," Big Pun is widely regarded as one of hip-hop's most talented lyricists ever, mostly just for dropping this album. By the second one he was like 700lbs and couldn't even lay a whole verse at one time without running out of breath, so that project (while still pretty good) was stifled a bit. This album is at once hardcore, "Super Lyrical," slightly conscious, and fun as hell. Gotta love it.
Standout Tracks: Dream Shatterer, Super Lyrical, Beware, Capital Punishment
3. Atmosphere - You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having
WHAAAT?!?! So half of you are like "who the fuck is that?" Others are like, "Are you shitting me?" Some are like, "huh." Well let me explain. This MC/DJ combo is known for being a giant of indy rap with lots of female fans because the music is often heartfelt to the point that they are often pegged as emo. This album dropped at a period though when Ant's production was at an all-time high and Slug was plain rapping his ass off, all while at once coming with the unique wordplay and introspection the fans love, without going overboard on the relationship angle. Of 13 tracks, 12 are solid, 9 are dope, 5 are SICK.
Standouts: Hockey Hair, Say Hey There, Pour Me Another, The Arrival
4. The Roots - The Tipping Point
I think this is their best album. It's jam-packed with rock solid songs as if they trimmed all the fat so the ten tracks they did put out could not possibly be disputed. You just throw this bitch in and press play. They keep it funky as usual, but they excel most when they strip it down and just let Black Thought off the leash.
Standouts: Web, I Don't Care, Guns Are Drawn, Stay Cool.
5. Notorious B.I.G. - Ready To Die
6. Jay-Z - The Blueprint
It's his best album top to bottom, sorry Reasonable Doubt. I know your top songs are slightly better. I know. Can't forget about production, though, and Kanye West and Just Blaze don't make tracks on Reasonable Doubt.
7. Wu-Tang - Forever
Yeah 36 Chambers is more groundbreaking and significant, but this one has better production, and a lot more tracks to choose from so it allows the whole clan to go HAM on posse cuts and individual tracks alike.
8. 2Pac - Makaveli
While Pac may be the greatest ever as far as important rappers go, this is the only album he made that was compact enough (meaning no forgettable filler) to make this list. Definition of HAM on this one.
9. Snoop Doggy Dogg - Doggystyle
Back when Snoop truly didn't give a fuck, he was a lyrical menace. Here is the evidence. The man floated on tracks like a human bowie.
10. DMX - It's Dark and Hell is Hot
Wow. Man. I bought this and the Pun on the same day, and it will always be my greatest music-purchasing day, cuz I don't really "buy" music like that anymore. Definitely a classic. So raw, yet so polished. This man single-handedly brought gritty back to rap in the middle of the jiggy era. Gotta love him for that.
If nothing else, you should be able to tell by now that Nappy Headed Bros love hip-hop. Which brings me to the new Vh1 Show, "Love and Hip-Hop."
Readers may remember when I blogged that Vh1 is the black woman's enemy (LINK!) So naturally I was skeptical about a show featuring women in relationships with Jim Jones and Fabolous, respectively, as well is blip on the hip-hop radar, Olivia. But unlike Basketball Wives, which features vapid dolled up parasites squawking at each other about tact, taste, and class without the slightest hint of irony or self-reflection, this show has characters that are actually likable. Things I learned watching the series premiere last night:
1) Jim Jones can never talk tough again. This nigga has been in a five-year relationship and is on Vh1 in the confessional. Off wit ya kufi!!! He's still hilarious though, the nigga was high the whole episode, especially while hosting the female boxing match at the strip club, LOL!
2) Fabolous is a dickhead. This nigga has been boinking his stylist for eight years and has a kid with her but won't ever acknowledge her in public? Yikes. Shorty a bad light-skinned ambiguous looking girl, too. Why you frontin, Fab? On one hand, this woman needs to have more respect for herself. But on the other, what a douche!!! She's all crying to the ex-Mrs. Swizz Beatz about how no one knows about her. Shit they all know about you now!
3) These chicks are likable because every one of them either holds down their man and has been with him a long time, or is an artist in the industry like Olivia, and the up and coming (if not necessarily talented) Somaya Reece. The chicks are entertaining and have personality. I won't be mad at having to watch this with my girl (whippish!)
What I will not watch under any circumstances because I find it to be an offensively unredeeming shit-show of minstrel and coonery is Beverly Hills Fabulous.
Between the permed out flamer in make-up who can't keep his neck from rolling constantly who's "married" to Jackee, to his predictably sassy obese lady stylist, to the zesty blonde-haired man with the tongue ring, this show reeks of stereotypes and cliches. It doesn't look interesting, funny, or mildly redeeming. I hereby denounce this buffoonery!
-C4 2 Ya Door