|Current Hip Hop Digs, A Playlist|
My favorites from the genre thus far (still got a long way to go). I limited this list to one song per artist.
Return of the "G"
The "return of the gangsta" persona paired with the "hater's back off" mentality of this track shows one of the prominent features of classic rap music. Hip hop, as I've noticed thus far is highly revolved on street cred as well as ability to spit bars. This song checks off both those marks as well as featuring a thumping downtrodden bass beat with crisp and punchy production.
AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted
The Nigga Ya Love To Hate
Another call out track to the haters, Ice cube spits with some of his best bars. Ice Cube was loaded with creativity when he put this one out and the addition of the crowd yelling "fuck you Ice Cube" adds some humor and charm to the track. This song is packed with catchy beats and a variety of sounds including dj scratches, jazz horns, guitar licks and poppy bass lines which keep the listen enticing throughout.
Because the Internet
Shifting gears to modern rap music Childish Gambino grooves with silky smooth vocals and a casually slick flow that's paired with a repetitive fast paced yet laden backing beat. The layering of his cooing background vocals add to the r&b vibe of the track in a pleasant and satisfying manner while finishing with a grunge tinged reverb to bring the track to a fascinating close.
Big Fish Theory
Taking the left field approach to the typical rap track, Vince pairs with Flume for a discordant and edgy club banger beat. Vince shows off his charisma with the repetition of his angsty chorus "boy yeah right, yeah right, yeah right". The well-placed feature from Kucka, which nicely breaks up the track's grit right before we are blown away by Kendrick's hard-hitting verse and metallic edgy beats. Regardless of Kendrick's feature he does not fully steal the light away from Vince as he reaffirms his ownership with the chorus as a perfect close to the track.
Blank Face LP
Groovy Tony / Eddie Kane
Bumping with a dark brooding beat and a rather pessimistic attitude, Schoolboy's lyrics on this track speak about his struggle with his drug dealing lifestyle. Schoolboy is in a state of acceptance that his choices will probably lead to his downfall and is numb to his wrongdoings which is the general theme on Blank Face as a whole.
Gin and Juice
Classic west coast rap album, that's for certain. This is just a genuinely fun and bouncy g-funk track that you can either roll up to or roll in your ride jammin' to. This album cemented Snoop's career and is still my clear favorite record he put out.
A rap track with some beautiful piano in the background? HELL YES. Not only is the jazz influence on this track unique it's also paired with some spastic and odd beats and lyrics. Who knew you could sample "OH SHIT" from such a terrible Fergie song and use it in a tasteful and non obnoxious way.
The Impossible Kid
When I first saw this album cover I thought it was something out of video game that I'd totally be all over as I love creepy shit. The album's cover appropriately captures what you can expect from this track especially. A dark atmospheric soundscape that hits with electronic bits both eerie and mystical. The echoing of the word "ghost" throughout the track is as creative as it is haunting and juxtaposes wonderfully with the lyricism discussing his lack of presence during holidays with his family.
A posse track with two of my favorite rappers thus far (Danny and Kendrick). Albeit beat wise this isn't anything outstanding, the raps on this are straight fire.
Brockhampton have ripped their way into the hip hop world and carved a niche sound that stand out. Whether it be with their pro homosexual anthems or highly pitched vocals there's a lot of personality that stands out in this hip hop collective. This track is currently my favorite from them, as it features Dom and Ameer with some of their best verses as well as showcasing the under utilized member, Joba, who's lovely falsetto vocals open the track. Plus you can't deny the satisfaction that comes from hearing that smooth saxophone in the background beat.
Widely regarded as Madlib's best collab album, Madvillainy is dense and magnificent. MF DOOM has one of the most particularly strange flows in hip hop that I've heard. This track is just loaded with interesting bits and samples and as you could expect from a Madlib production, flawless in its overall sound.
Clearly the most jazz influenced hip hop dj on my list, Nujabes was an artist I had actually discovered from the anime show Samurai Champloo, as his work graces the opening theme. The flow of Substantial is just jives perfect to the jazzy instrumentals of this song. I really couldn't complain about this one if I tried, I love every bit of it.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
The sweetest blend of sampling I have heard in hip hop. Kanye, although someone who I would normally be the last to advocate, really is deserving of every bit of praise for this album and especially this track in particular. It's just so huge and succeeds as being the best middle finger to haters.
The Never Story
On the up and up J.I.D. really has done well to stand out as one of the best MC's on the rise in the hip hop world. The bars on this are insane and I am such a sucker for downtrodden beats and this beat on this one is just downright nasty, especially at around the 2 minute mark when the bass comes in at full throttle.
|15||Freddie Gibbs and Madlib|
The perfect weed smoking song hands down imo. I could seriously play this on repeat for like an hour and be content with it. This is one of the most enjoyable basslines in hip hop and Freddie's flow was at it's best here. Contrary to what most probably say I love Danny's verse on this it hits so damn hard.
|16||Run the Jewels|
Run the Jewels 3
A Report to the Shareholders / Kill Your Masters
RTJ gets a lot of hate for generic beats but I really enjoy them honestly, especially considering how nice the production is on their albums. The anti-political lyricism of El-P and Big Mike and their obvious chemistries always come through strong on every release and definitely on this track. Zach De La Rocha also features on this one and sounds badass, which came as no real surprise admittedly.
The Slim Shady LP
Eminem was my first introduction to hip hop when I was growing up this was always my favorite tracks of his. He's always been a master of storytelling in his tracks and this one showcases Eminem's emotion, humor and personality all during the peak of his ability.
To Pimp a Butterfly
SWOONS... this track. To Pimp a Butterfly will always be my favorite Kendrick album and I love his flow on this song in particular. I don't even have to say anything about lyricism, beat, or literally anything if you haven't heard this you are doing yourself a severe disservice.
THE LEGEND. My current favorite in hip hop Danny's deep voice rapping is at its best here. Paul White's beats on this are bat shit crazy, just wild all around really.
The Original 11:11 Sessions
Underrated rap artist is underrated. Mac lethal spits some of the best bars and his whole southern charism is pretty damn funny and entertaining. PLUS the bass on this album and especially this song is stellar. This track bumps with a seriously addictive bass line and lyricism in which Mac Lethal bashes himself comically while also making stabs about the radio rap hits lacking originality.
|21||Tyler, the Creator|
From the moment the strum of the guitar glides into frame this track is just pure bliss. Twinkling and gliding with its pristine bassline, crip guitar licks, up until Tyler comes in with his expansive metaphor of comparing coming out of the clost to a Garden Shed which brings a beauty to the act of releasing his true sexual orientation to the world. This track is breathtaking to say the least.
This track is a pretty simplistic one but has a lovely chorus, entertaining rap verses, and I love the melodica in this track. This Is probably my favorite Gorillaz track.
|23||The Notorious B.I.G.|
Ready to Die
"Notorious"ly referred to as the king of hip hop and probably rightly so. I just love this one will always be a favorite not much to assess on this class hip hop track.
Hip hop at its most positive and beautiful imo. The piano and beat on this are so lovely and this track just glides by with its emotional and heartfelt lyricism that still holds water today.
Straight Outta Compton
The classic hip hop track giving probably the best advice of all in life, express yourself and show your true colors.