I thought I'd start with Hip Hop for two reasons. A) Its a very separete genre from the rest of my playlist, so i dont have to spend a lot of time mind fucking around my brain to figure out if it IS hip hop, B) As I am not that much of a fan of mainstream hip hop, hopefully this will bring some people to see how many good artists are really out there and C) I'm just way to bouncing right now to not be groovin'.
Only one album per artist, and the list is in no other order then alphabetical.
Aesop Rock- Labour Days.
What an album, this man is one of my favourite lyricists of all time AND has blockhead backing him up on the beats throughout the whole album. Fucking ill. I could not say enough about the metaphors he weaves. Now when talking about Labour Days, one must put an honorable mention out to the Daylight EP, which would have most likely taken the top space in my mind of Aesops albums, except for its length is capped out at 8 tracks, some of which appear on Labour Days.
While the album does take a bit of dip in quality towards the middle, it is still a masterpieces none the less. Most notable tracks are Daylight (Daylight has a companion track on the Daylight EP called Night Light, fully brings out the brilliance of the lyrics when played back to back), Bent Life, and the 9-5ers anthem.
Army Of Pharoes- Ritual of Battle
This album sadly enough is hit and miss, but it is a Babygrande (very notable Hip Hop label from Philadelphia) supergroup, so listening through this album may lead you to some new artists you were unaware of.
Notable Tracks- Bloody Tears, Murda Murda, Seven and Gun Ballad
Atmosphere- God Loves Ugly
Underground Hip Hop duo ACTUALLY making a notable amount of record sales? Yeah, they did it. With ANTS ever evolving beats and MC slugs constantly changing style they met up for their third album in which appeared to be a perfect time for their styles to cross. This album is a PERFECT example of why I like Underground hip hop more then most mainstream stuff. When is comes to mainstream rap, the record lable or whoever shoots off tonnes and tonnes of beats and then the MC shoots off a few verses that are completed unrelated. With God Loves Ugly, each beat FEELS like what Slug is talking about, and I find that that is what makes music a lot more relevant too the listeners, I want to hear what he's saying, and if i can vibe along, well thats just all the much better.
Notable tracks- God Loves Ugly, Saves the day and Fuck You Lucy.
Check this out.
Beastie Boys- Hello Nasty
Intergalactic planatary planatary intergalactic.
Binary Star- Masters of the Universe
Hip hop duo (so apparently i really like duo's?) One Be Lo and Senim Silla met in jail and formed Binary Star. Is that what makes them cool? No. Masters of the universe is, while they only ever had this album as a major release and it leaves you craving more, it still should become a staple of your Hip Hop playlist. One qoute on this album describes these two better then I ever could.
"its like a binary star is two stars that appear to be one star, but if you look at them close in reality its two stars revolving around eachother. Thats like what we are. Some cats would look at as like we are a group, when really we are just two MCs revolving around eachother"
Thats what this album sounds like, two excellent MC's sharing one vision and writing together in perfect sychronized rhymes.
Notable tracks- Honest expression, Solar Powered and KGB.
Blockhead- Downtown Science
This is just so epicly argueable, whether or not Music by Cavelight or Downtown Science is better. Most people would say Music by Cavelight, and I would say I had both these albums for years and would totally agree. Music by Cavelight is a fucking phenominal CD and can be played from start to finish and you will instantly fall in love with it. Now Downtown Science is a bit different, it takes a while and is an aquired taste to get into. Takes a few spins before you realize the innate beauty and brilliance that is this record. If you are new too Blockhead ( he does the beats for most Aesop Rock albums) I guess i would suggest checking out Music by Cavelight first, tracks such as You've got Mealstrom, Insomaniac Olympics, Carnivores Unite and Sunday Senance are all you would expect from Aesop's beat makers debut solo effort. But when you get past just vibing to the music and start analyizing the simple brilliance and experiments going on within the album of downtown science, I think most would argue that this album is one of the most brilliant instrumental hip hop albums out there.
Notable tracks- The First Snowfall, Quiet Storm and Roll Out The Red Carpet.
Gnarles Barkley- St Elsewhere
Not underground at all, by this point we have all heard it got sick of it and put it back on the shelf. Take it out again, skip past "Crazy" and give this full album a listen. Got damn good.
Immortal Technique- The revolutionary Volume 2
Immortal Technique took all of his rage in his rhymes that was displayed on The Revolutionary Volume One and channeled them into an album that has tighter flows, better beats and a way better production value. There is no filler with this album, excellent from start to finish.
Notable tracks- The Point of no Return, Harlem Streets and Industrial Revolution.
Ive been bumping to this one for years.
Jedi Mind Tricks- Violent by Design
I have no idea WHY i always come back to this album, its not as well produced, and some of it is filler and everyone is trying to find their own sound, I guess thats the charm of it. You can listen to this album and see where Jedi Mind branched off for all their other efforts, and the lack of having the best production in the world makes it sound ever so much more real. That and Jus Allah has a lot of verses in this one (he sounded a lot better back in Jedi Mind, his solo effort was a waste of a download for me. Not a huge fan). This album sounds like what it is, a bunch of guys finally getting serious about the Hip Hop scene that surrounds them and trying to make an album that relates to that. My ONE gripe with this album is that it doesn't have much continuity, each song sounds like it was written seperately from every other tracks, as oppose to most other Jedi Mind albums have a general theme.
Notable Tracks- Genghis Kahn, I against I and Deer Hunter. Retaliaton rocks life too.
King Syze- The Labour Union
I am not quite sure whether or not I should have included this album, due to a lot of it is filler. But there are deffinitly some key parts to this album that just sound epic, and if I was to hear a new King Syze record that develops on these sounds, I'm sure my life would be fucking rocked.
Notable tracks- The Labour Union, And Now, and The Best
Lupe Fiasco- The Cool
Once again, not underground at all, but it IS an awesome record from start to finish. While most mainstream hip hop (and one could argue most mainstream music in general) rely on a couple of singles to carry the album to the bank, you can tell Lupe tried to make you get the most for your money. While strangely enough it does not HAVE what one would think is the title track (The cool came out on his last record, dope track, check it) it does have an incrediable amount of tracks that are totally worth checking out. One can tell from the first major single off this album, Superstar, that I almost have to take back my comment saying that most mainstream hip hop does not write lyrics that coincide with the beats. I guess this is an exception. Check it out.
Notable tracks- Little Weapon, Put you On Game, Superstar
Outspace- Blood and Ashes
One of my favourite Hip hop records to date, fucking phenominal flows from start to finish, guest MC's used at the perfect points and an overall feeling of angst overpowers through this entire album. This album pretty much speaks for itself, check it out.
Notable Tracks- The Revolution, Cutthroats, and Fire And Ice.
Pelican City- Rhode Island.
Back before Danger Mouse got all way to famous for his solo efforts, Pelican City's Rhode Island does something that more intstrumental albums should, write about their surroundings without the use of lyrics. Each track is named after a different location, and each track has a different vibe that is suppose to mirror the location it is describing. When i throw this album on I have images in my head of what these places may look like, and hopefully one day I'll get to cruise through Rhode Island and listen to this album on repeat. Yeah, thats right, this album is worth travelling to Rhode Island for.
Notable Tracks- Chestnut park....... and then the rest of it. Just listen from start to finish.
RJD2- Loose Ends
I just got into this album today and I will talk about it after the effect has fully sunk in. Its good though, listen to it.
Seasons and Moonlit skies are just such good tracks.
Shad K- The Old Prince
I would like to claim that this album reminds me of The Fresh Prince and A Tribe called Quest only way more modern, but that would probably turn a lot of people off this man. He takes everything that was good about that old style of hip hop and reincarnates it into something truely unique. Once again, from start to finish just unbelievable, but i guess I'll go through and find what tracks standout most.
Notable Tracks- I dont Like To, Brother, and The Old Prince Still Lives at Home
Notorious B.I.G. and Frank Sinatra mash up
It is what it is, two men way to god damn pimp for their own time mashed up. Once again, extremely Hit and miss, still cool to listen too though.
Notable Tracks- Juicy- New York New York, Come On-My Way of Life, and Everyday Struggle- A Day In The Life Of A Fool.
There is just so much more out there, but this is what I've been listening too lately as far as hip hop is concerned.
If anyone starts to read this blog, I'm totally open to checking out any new artists or suggestions anyone has for me.