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01.18.24 Rating Art Is Dumb01.14.24 Good Music Books?
01.02.24 sleeplog24(1)12.30.23 a sleepy 2023
11.26.23 rec me: YOU!!! (December 2023: Final Ch 10.31.23 REC ME: pOst-hardcOre (November 2023: C
10.01.23 REC ME: WEED 🥦 (October 2023: Chapte 09.09.23 CUM on REC me NOISE (September 2023: Ch
07.30.23 REC ME: experiMENTAL (August 2023: Chap 07.02.23 FUNK ME: rec (July 2023: Chapter 7)
06.01.23 REC ME: FOLK (June 2023: Chapter 6) 05.01.23 JohnnyoftheWell recs me (May 2023: Chap
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REC ME: [H I P H O P] (March 2023 -:- Chapter 3)

Hi. My name is Ben. I know nothing about {RAP} music. To educate me, pls rec albums. I will listen to 1 album a day in March 2023. I will then describe the album that I have heard in this list. Kind regards, Ben (((SIDE NOTE i do actually know a bit about this genre aight however i want to DIG DEEPER give me those classics give me those esoteric weird cuts give me those instrumental hip hop noms give me you personal faves thanks)))
1Wu-Tang Clan
Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

[me] -:1st March 2023:- I mean, it's classic. Drastically underrated this in the past (i gave this a 3.5 ... pft!). Don't really feel like analysing this - this one was just for me. Big hugs (and swords). [4.3]
2Lil Ugly Mane
Oblivion Access

[Hyperion] -:2nd March 2023:- fUCKING lOVE lil ugly mane (three sided tape vol 1 is my boogie music). this I found a lil harder to get my teeth into. adore the lyrics tho, so many quotable lines goddamn. the weird automated voice thing doing a spoken word fire as fuck rap verse was also hilarious and good. will get a couple more listens under me belt and rate. [TBC]

Update (04.03.23): Slugs is fire, Opposite Lanes fire, Collapse and Appear FIRE. It’s all burning tbh. Feels like a hip hop record for those already well versed in the genre and therefore looking for something that turns the fundamentals upside down. I’m not there yet, probs, and feel like I lack the required context to fully appreciate this, but still very like it (except Compliance which can fuck off). [3.5]
3Chief Keef
Almighty So

[Ryus] -:3rd March 2023:- is this trap is this drill what is this hep. i do enjoy that funeral/church bell thing, seems to be a staple of these beats, or just how generally the melody is all high keys/strings/chimes and pristine and shit and the bass is DIRTY. the lo-fi-ness is also endearing (absolutely heart "Baby Whats Wrong With You"). this feels vaguely not intended for me (a very white very middle class very british person). i always found sach's analysis interesting that, culturally ig, Chief Keef et al currently play the role that classic hip hop used to i.e. cultural graffiti / meta societal commentary re disenfranchised America gritty subculture of a particular place/time i mean i don't fucking know i can't articulate it and I've never had a clue as to whether or not that's actually true, but i think i feel it here. enjoyed it, more so than Finally Rich. [3.5]

[Milo] -:4th March 2023:- Fuck. [4.5]

Update (06.03.23): Ahem. Composure. I love this. Insane flows, the lushest richest beats, perfect left and right hemisphere combo, so much soul AND visceral neuron firing techy banging. Contender for my fave rap LP after only 3 listens. Feels like there’s so much meaty goodness to keep unpacking through repeated jamming. Will reign in my rating a tad now that the big hype initial impression shakes have died down, but I suspect it’s only a matter of time before I bump this up again. [4.3]
Between A Rock and A Hard Place

[sniff] -:5th March 2023:- The bass on “Nutty Headed” etc is life. Hook on “Come on…” and “Attack on…” are fabulous. All the vibesz, throughout this. Immaculate time capsule. Music that reverberates in my chest. Intense flows, intense-r beats. I’m quite drunk. This is very good. [3.7]

Update (17.03.23): Bump [4]
6Haru Nemuri
Haru to Shura

[jonathan] -:6th March 2023:- My guy this is a J-pop album you have deceived me.

Story time: it’s been over 60 days without fresh riffs. In January I was electrified, but (alas) guitar-less. In February the 6-string thing returned, but the chords were all obtuse and jazzy and fucked. March came around, and I had nothing but BEATS … until now.

The drought has lifted and I am okay with it. “narashite” is fab when the screms kick in. Enjoy the dreamy shoegaze-ish tones(?) and refreshingly upbeat, immediately graspable feel, despite this running in 10 different directions at once. I feel like I should deduct 0.5 so as not to award bad behaviour, but enjoy this too much so erm [3.5] I feel like this the type of shit to work it’s way into my bones over weeks of listens.
7De La Soul
Buhloone Mindstate

[DavidYowi] -:7th March 2023:- h a z y. All fogged up. Psychedelic (ish). Idk I found this very effervescent and disjointed and difficult to wrap my fists around, and enjoyable for that reason, but also hard to connect to. Absolutely love the rich horn sections here and recurring jazzy motif, and the charisma and sense of humour and general goodtimes quirkiness. Immensely funky when it wants to be. Excessive skit syndrome? Maybe. Will defo check their first 2 LPs tho. [3.3]
8Slum Village
Fan-Tas-Tic Vol.1

[norma] -:8th March 2023:- The thing Dilla did before Dilla did the big Dilla thing that Dilla did. Feel like I'm staring at the beating fucked heart of hiphop listening to this. The freeform freestyle flows, coupled with the lil' recording studio snippets (e.g on "Pregnant" (the first one) very cute), coupled with how you get different takes on the same tracks, coupled with an almost caricatural approach to lyrics - forms a very pure, kinda amateurish, big ol love of labour vibe that's compounded/contrasted by just how good the beats are (the sauce). That you can see the moving parts and the creation process in real time in addition is very very very coolio. Sona's excellent write up helped me decipher this (first impressions were much worse). Rating TBC but probs [4].

Update (10.03.23): The more I listen, this feels more like learning the various nuances of the genre vs. pure unadulterated enjoyment (see 9), so will slip my rating down. [3.7]

Update (28.03.23): I was wrong. [4]
Ridin' Dirty

[z00sh] -:9th March 2023:- That southern-fried funky shit micheal and el-penis were repping, I suppose. Tied with Aquemini as my fave discovery here so far. The run from One Day to Touched is basically flawless I’m shook. The remainder also very slaps, just not as much (Hi Life is a lovely trip, Ridin’ Dirty is an epic swan song, and then it’s not, and outro turns up and is somehow even better that soulful guitar man eeeek). Deep thick beats, chunky charismatic bars, the funkiiiiiiest thing I’ve heard in a hot minute (Pinky Ring and Good Stuff my GOD). [4.3] feels like a future [4.5]

Actually, fuck it. [4.5] goodness gracious fuck me pure gold.
10Three 6 Mafia
Mystic Stylez

[z00sh] -:10th March 2023:- IM BaAck bAby (3 days late oops) coming at you live from the space between my boxes. Big ol’ lavender town vibes here what, love! The 90s hip hop thing has way more breadth than I’d assumed. This gets weird, but always Uber accessible. I just keep coming back to the BEATS eerie spooky cute goofy lovely YES but as much credit due to how well the boys and girls navigate them with some proper soothing verses throughout. Even at their most aggressive, there’s just something very cerebral and natural about them. POS. [4] onto 11 I guess phew catch up time
The Diary

[combustion] -:11th March 2023:- Fuck me what a spicy run of LPs. Buttery smooth funky flows, oodles of character, grooves in that POCKET. Feels like Pac meets UGK ie NYC vibes plus that southern funk (idk if I’m qualified to make a generalisation like that yet but fuck I’m going for it). Production quality is thick and soupy and nice vs the low fi ish 10. Lyrics are straight down the line but also not (No Tears and I Seen A Man Die bringing that idiosyncratic personable heavy goodness). Also proof that an excellent intro/outro pair, despite having almost nothing to do with the rest of the album, can add hella value to the experience. Tl;dr: I like 90s hip hop (apparently) yay. [4]
6 Feet Deep

[combustion] -:12th March 2023:- Side note: if you’re based in the UK, like this sad boi, where does one listen to this, other than YouTube? Main note: thoroughly enjoyed its Wu Tang in the cemetery who knew? Feels a bit weird and janky in (I think) a charming and endearing way, but more listens will tell. Rating [TBC]

Update (24.03.23): Just oozes character. That the production here is so much richer than most of the horror-adjacent stuff here is an interesting contrast - I'm not sure which I prefer; this feels more like shiny big screen cinematic cheese in a good way, whereas the others have more MURK to them. [4]
13Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
E 1999 Eternal

[Drifter] -:13th March 2023:- Drifter my guy this slaps. Love the beats, mega melodic and rich and clean and lavishly produced; love the rap verses, mega tight and also melodic; love the singing (what) the R&B tones to some of this are divine. Almost the best thing here but I’m feeling HARSH today son. [4]

Update (24.03.23): Just gonna le bump this as its amazing. [4.3]
Da Dirty 30

[Pots] -:14th March 2023:- Fuck me this is literally 30 songs. Okay. Initial impression: good! Not popping with a glaringly obvious character or niche or vibe, just general all round good hood 90s flow and aggression. Is this east coast? God I’m still completely lost when it comes to geography (in general, and with reference to hip hop). Confused by the lack of ratings tbh, this seems slept on. Rating [TBC] but all round good.

Update (17.03.23): Despite not really putting a foot wrong for its entire 75 min run time (save for some of the eek skits and lyrics - and, actually, the chap doing the Louis Armstrong meets Old Dirty Bastard impression throughout is fingers on a chalkboard to my ears stfu) I don’t think it justifies its run time. Consistently great boop bap big bois covering alot of ground, but never exceptional or exciting. Production and beats, however, are worth far more people checking this (yes, YOU!) [3.3]
15Beastie Boys
Paul's Boutique

[JKing] -:15th March 2023:- Fuck, I thought I hated this album. Nah. Slaps. Funkier than I remember, and funnier, and so many smile-inducing beat switch ups (Hey Ladies in particular is absurd). Also easier listening - the bois rap style / pitch is an acquired taste ig, but I got over it after the first listen. And obvs the sampling here is bananas. Will no doubt bump this in the coming weeks. Currently [4].
Death My Irony Surpasses All Others

[Jash] -:16th March 2023:- YO BILLY WOODS FANS CHECK THIS. Got that weird abstract rap ting down to a tee with some amazing beat choices and hella concise at 18 mins. Has an amateurish air, and a lil clunky, but deserves more love. [3.5]
17Sage Francis
Personal Journals

[the sloth] -:17th March 2023:- Damn this really lives and dies by whether you’re in the right headspace for the morbid, bleak, fucked up shit Sage drops throughout this, but seeing as I’m experiencing more suicidal ideation than normal I was so ready for this holy shit. Somewhere on the spectrum of Em and Atmosphere and Aesop Rock in the best of ways. Technical rhyme schemes, heart ripped out of wrist lyricism, cool beats, yes. [4]
18The Roots
Game Theory

[Komp] -:18th March 2023:- Other end of the spectrum from 17 - so many no holds barred JAMS on this record. Love the odes to Dilla throughout as well - still not heard much he’s been involved with, but got me hyped given the mark he clearly made. Back to this: love the jazz and soul influences, love the chilled out but sharp flows, love it all tbh. [4] yes that’s right this list is almost exclusively 4s well done you rec’d good things fuck off
19Kingpin Skinny Pimp
King Of Da Playaz Ball

[rabidfish]-: 19th March 2023:- I gather this is somehow related to 10? I don’t enjoy this as much, but still overall positive enjoyable good music - lots of the same sinister/cute beats and dope rap things. I think it suffers coming off the back of 17 and 18. Will listen to it separately before rating. [tbc]

Update (24.03.23): Returning to this, better than I remember. Seamless flows over these beats, big character, big grit and gristle and MEAT, big good yes. [4]

[Relinquished] -:20th March 2023:- Biiiiiigggg contrast here lads oooh boy. Industrial slow chuggas with occasional dark showgaze-y things. It’s different and difficult coming off the back of more rhyme and rhythm and visceral showmanship forward LPs to one focused so much more on a very particular atmosphere. Like 19, I’ll recheck this with a different context and see what’s popping. [3.5]
21Lil Darkie

[con] -:21st March 2023:- CON you’ve done me dirty what the fuck is this hardcore trap metal nonsense I love it fuck. Didn’t actually listen to all of this today as we’re getting ahead of ourselves but this is the closest thing I’ve heard to my usual ballpark in literally 3 months and I’m so ready for this yesyesyes...

UPDATE: hilarious that hardcore trap has somehow come full circle and joined up with the nu-metal revival movement this is literally Tallah with BEATS. big heart the cute punk throwback vibes and occasional full-blown crossover thrash freakouts and then wtf low key prog/psych aesthetics. not pc is the best of ways i don't even care this is a terrible hip hop record but an amazing meme. [4]

Update (24.03.23): Repeated listens have killed the novelty value of this rip still good though [3.5]
Niggaz of Destruction

[someone] -:22nd March 2023:- More lo-fi spooky shit, except this time the band name is fucking fire lol what. I’m kinda getting lost between these releases tbh: 10, 12, 13, 19 and this all have so much overlap = struggling to differentiate / rate. Its all dope, though - horrorcore is spicy and out of all of them this sounds the most legit underground cultish tome dug out of the chest of a writhing undead (which is a good thing). [TBC]

Update (25.03.23): The last track is legendary - mesmerising beat, insane run of diverse flows from the entire group over the 10+ mins. Worth listening to the tape just for that, tbh, but there’s loads of great moments otherwise - opener slaps, and title track has this gorgeous full blown horror cheese lead melody that is utterly brilliant. [4]
23Cannibal Ox
The Cold Vein

[dedex] -:23rd March 2023:- So on my REC ME CLASSICS list circa 2017 I gave this a 3. Big dumb dumb moment from past me, as this is spectacular. C i N e M a T i C. Love the hope and life in these beats, hilarious cryptic mind spinning lyricism, iconic (it seems) flows - I heard a lot of this in Billy Woods, and sense this is a reference point for abstract hip hops. Does the experimental weird rap thing but also immensely listenable. Wish it was on Spotify tho lol am basic bitch soz. [4]
24Billy Woods
History Will Absolve Me

[porc] -:24th March 2023:- I adore billy and this is amazeballs. So many goat tier tracks (Pompeii is the one that stands out on first listen). On par with Aethiopes, though I think that is still my fave of his as a more concise precise expression. [4] I promise I will rate something less than a 4 at some point eek
25Digable Planets
Blowout Comb

[izakaya] -:25th March 2023:- Full swing funky jazz rap damn. The run from Black Ego to Dog It to Jettin’ is literally perfect (particularly Dog It holy hell). Whole LP goes tbh. Just ever so slightly too laid back for my (current) taste, which seems to lean towards more aggression in the beats/rhymes, but if any record is gonna convert me to the mellow boogie sauce it’s this. The instrumentals and the way live instrumentation and sampling just slide into one another is bliss and how the trio flow between it all damn. Feels like a grower. Hope it’s a grower. [4]
26J Dilla

[ars] -:26th March 2023:- I did the inaugural first spin whilst reading about the context of this release (which I was only tangentially aware of) and almost cried lol oh boy lemme get some tissues and whisky and retry this (I can’t believe I gave this a 3 in the REC ME CLASSICS series smh). [tbc]

Update (01.04.23): This feels like two albums/personalities tearing each other apart - the rich, gorgeously pulled together samples and the glitchy, dark splicing and ripping and tugging. The highlights are gut-wrenching and perfect, and the rest of it is a lovely accompaniment. [4.3]
27Travis Scott

[Coolishtiger] -:27th March 2023:- This is the closest anything on this list has come to sounding distinctly like a "product". Everything else here has felt distinctly uncommercial and authentic, which is perhaps why I've fallen half in love with damn near all of it; I wouldn't go so far as to accuse this of inauthenticity BUT the autotune and relentless features and BIG choruses put up a few barriers to feel/intimacy/connection imho. I do, however, adore the psychedelic tendencies and beats (the Sleep-ish riff on Piss On Your Grave was a fun curveball), and when the beat and autotune and psychedelics all come together with sum actually epic flows (i.e. I Can Tell!!!) it really works for me. Too much I don't like, though. [3]
Modal Soul

[Relinquished] -:28th March 2023:- I adore this from head to toe. Jazz rap from an entirely different planet to 25 - where that was dark and pulsating, this is smooth and gleaming. Love all the samples, love the simple supple flows, love the pacing, love it. Need to retry Metaphorical Music as this was a cosy as feck vibe and I want more. [4.3]
29DJ Shadow

[sniff ... definitely not me] -:29th March 2023:- Interesting compare-contrast with 26. This is so much less hectic and self-contradictory, which is neither a good or bad thing, just different. More self assured, more patience. less a final frantic breath of creativity. I want more time with this as well. [TBC]

Update (03.04.23): This has grown and grown and grown fuck love the jazzy elements circa the closer, the opener is goat tier, the almost dungeon synth of Stem is hilarious and amazing, there’s some murky trip-hop-ish stuff that I dig, and there’s more stuff and more stuff and more stuff and more. Fabulous. [4] probably a 4.3
30A Tribe Called Quest
The Low End Theory

[sniff ... also not me] -:30th March 2023:- Another flavour of funky jazz rap and I love them all. Seamless. [4]

Update (30.11.23): Timeless innit. [4.3]
31Ultramagnetic MCs
Critical Beatdown

[ffs] -:31st March 2023:- On first listen, this feels very much in the late-80s lane of 35 but with more cheese and funk and about half the aggression, which I'm not sure is working for me as well. Only a first listen though - will loop back. [TBC]

Update (01.04.23): When this goes, it GOES. It also has a lot of cheese baked right there into the crust - sounds far more aged than anything else here, particularly the lyrics. Funky beats and crunchy flows, though. Played loud: a jam. [3.5]
Me Against the World

[kev] -:32nd March 2023:- Weird point to start with, but i LOVE the snares on this album (produced to heaven and back lovely). The beats in general are just mwah. Pac's flow is just mwah. Weird how much this album mixes left hemisphere and right hemisphere shit, sometimes split between different songs, sometimes in the same song. Like, some stuff (e.g. the chorus on the t/t) is just pure vibes and you can't really think too hard on it or you'll lose what makes it perfect, whereas other bits (the absurd tight aggressive flow on If I Die 2Nite) is more " " " intellectually stimulating " " " (ugh) idk like ///itreallymakesyouthink/// or triggers neutrons in the satisfying way i tend to get from an Eminem verse. Lyrics / thematics are lush too - the consistent reference to suicide / fucktheworld gets me idk why, just a heart on sleeve thing I'm not used to from this lane of hippyhop (tho I know biggie does it too sooo). pretty skitzo too (the internal contradictions are many). [4]
33The Notorious B.I.G.
Ready to Die

[kev] -:33rd March 2023:- The opening tracks on this have always been god tier for me, but I’ve always struggled with (a) the second half of this and (b) those sexy sexy skit interludes (boo). That's not changed, but the highlights here are just too good. Loads of character personality and fucking FIRE verses, but still prefer the cuts where biggie goes IN vs. the slower cuts. Like 32, the open-book suicide ideation lyrics are brutal and (morbidly) engaging. Probs a [3.8] but gets the [4] bump because—
34Dr. Dre
The Chronic

[me] :-34th March 2023:- SLAPS. Are you happy now, Drifter?! Funk funk funk fuck funk funk funk fuck funk funk. [4] I will 4 ever album in this damn genre so help me god
Straight Outta Compton

[me] -:35th March 2023:- Hilarious and tacky and cheesy and you know what it’s earnest and genuine and full of style and character and fucking blood sweat tears heck. [4]
36Public Enemy
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

[me] -:36th March 2023:- YEEAAAAH BOIIIIIIIII!!!!!! I need to listen to this more. First impressions: mixed. Love the energy and the nods to rock/metal are very cool/cute/linking the multiverse etc. but also a lil tacky/aged idk did the 00s do this dirty? Will keep jamming... [TBC]

Update (03.04.23): Opinion not really shifted. Massive jam when played loud through large speakers, but there are elements of silliness to this that I’d rather swap out for the grit of the 90s. I acknowledge this has broader genre importance/influence, but in terms of my personal enjoyment … [3.5]
Liquid Swords

[me] -:37th March 2023:- I think unrealistic expectations killed this for me. Absolutely love the concept on paper - the Wu Tang aesthetic + RZA production, leaning in a darker direction with labyrinthian flows and themes - but somehow it didn’t quite come together as sublimely as I’d hoped. It’s more low key and intricate and delicate than the straight edge aggression of 1 prepared me for. That 4.6 made me want more, ig, and approach this with the entirely wrong mindset. I will come back to this when I’ve not drowned myself in the genre for a month and without the baggage of expectations. [TBC]

Update (30.11.23): so glad I refrained from rash judgement and came back to this fresh so fucking good jfc. love understated yet charismatic rhymes, insane imagery, timeless beats, how they just let them play out on so many tracks, just outrageous. [4.3]
38Mobb Deep
The Infamous

[me] -:38th March 2023:- That snare is smacking your neighbour’s fuck face into a road sign sweeeeet. Smooth, aggressive, back-to-basics, love it. I’m always unclear re precisely how much of the lyrical content in records like this is true or exaggerated hot air, idk; it certainly makes the vibe, regardless. [4]+
Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...

[me] -:39th March 2023:- Idk, not doing much for me. I’m potentially burnt out on RZA production and gangster thematics. Will come back to later. [tbc]

[me] -:40th March 2023:- Ye I love this. Have heard before, but listening the last 39(!) records has only made me appreciate it more - the beats and bonkers smooth, the rhyme schemes are so subtle and varied, the love that pours out of the lyrics is also lovely (and a refreshing break from the last few LPs). Feels like a big boi grower but ima be conservative for now. [4]

Reflection time: Great List! In some sense the hardest to get through so far, as they’ve been more lyrically dense than my usual wheelhouse, and I was dumb and included 40 recs rather than 30 lol, but overall a massive WIN. Highest average rating from one of these lists so far. Will do Pots deep dive at some point when I’m not quite so borderline burnt out - will just chill with these 40 records for a while.
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