Jump to content
rllmuk
Sign in to follow this  
auntyclimax

Recommend Me Some Modern...

Recommended Posts

After the joys that the last thread brought me, and payday is approaching, I think it's time to get this little era off the ground.

So, I've been lving the beats of EPMD, relaxing to the lyrics of ATCQ and De La, blating Stets and Ultramagnetic MC's out of my car, and strolling the streets of Colchester to 3rd Bass.

Now it's time for me to catch up...

What should I be looking out for from early 90's to now? I'd imagine I will start to know more of the artists, and have pre-conceptions, so lets blow all that out of the water and start a fresh.

Over to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Will aquire these in the order posted. What can I expect? Has Hip Hop moved on much since the days of EPMD? I notice loads of chart hip-hop using the same samples that they did back in '88...

Well, the albums suggested so far are really good, but they're all so varied to give a generic idea of what modern hip-hop is all about. You can break it down, though, into some nice managable chunks. You got the classic mid-90s sound that varied from Pete Rock and DJ Premier-fuelled boom bap funkyness, but you can also go for the darker, edgier fare from Wu-Tang's RZA productions and the gothic "I'll stab you like eight times and not even give a fuck" coolness of Mobb Deep and shit. Those were my two favourite styles of sound from the mid-90s era (the other style would be the G-Funk of Dr Dre, which is also really classic, but not so much on a personal level for me). So from then I'd recommend:

Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers

Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx

Liquid Swords - GZA

Nas - Illmatic

Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Main Ingredient (follow up to Mecca & The Soul Brother, which is a more famous album, with the classic Pete Rock cut T.R.O.Y., but I prefer Main Ingredient overall. It seems more focused and albumy)

Mobb Deep - The Infamous

Gang Starr - Full Clip (it's a greatest hits compilation, but it makes an ideal starter on the work of DJ Premier. After you hear the best of, you'll eventually want to pick up everything).

So, yeah. All that stuff is really essential for that straight-forward, generic, hardcore "hip-hop" sound. A continuation of the stuff you checked from the last thread. Half of it got jazzier rather than funk-based, while the other half got darker and colder. But this was a true golden era.

As for late 90s to current day, hip-hop has splintered off into so many different sounds. Late 90s was best represented, I think, by the output of Rawkus Records. Underground hip-hop became like a real movement, and there was a lot of creativity right then, from the industrial noisiness of Company Flow, to the party-tinged consciousness of Mos Def and Talib Kweli, etc. Away from Rawkus Records, there were other stars of the underground, boom-bap revival group. Dilated Peoples and Jurassic 5 are worth a check. First albums, that is.

DJ Shadow and other envelope-pushers such as RJD2 and Dan the Automator are all good products from hip-hop becoming more mature and less content with the status quo. Personally, I see the Automator-produced Dr Octagon album, 'Dr Octagonecologyst' as an excellent example of the varied late 90s experimentalness, all brought together to form an exceptional hardcore hip-hop album, that is structured like all the classic MC albums, but built on foundations of the experimentalism that was going on at the time. So pick that up. Lyrics by Kool Keith, who you heard stealing the show on the Ultramagnetic MCs stuff, beats from prime Automator and turntable gymnastics from DJ Q-Bert (one of the greats).

After that era, more into the current day, I'm personnally all about hip-hop that harks back to soul music. Uncle Mike is suggesting Ghostface's 'Pretty Toney Album.' Listen to him. That's a great slab of soulful hip-hop. Also essential is Ghost's 'Supreme Clientelle' album. Some of the strings on that thing will move your bowels quickly.

On a more experimental level, the folks round here will tell you that I'm a big fan of Madlib. He's an ultra-productive producer/MC (emphasis on producer, btw) who throws together this ultra-rough and grimy loop-based hip-hop. The loops he finds are ridiculous, though. Jazz and soul get presented in some of the craziest production going. From Madlib, I'd recommend the Quasimoto albums 'The Unseen' and 'The Further Adventures of Lord Quas.' The Quasimoto stuff is eclectic and weird. Some people don't like this, so try before you buy. It's like schizo funk jazz rap from space or whatever.

On a more straight forward, hardcore tip, Madlib and another interstellar producer, Jay Dee (has done classic beats for EVERYONE), worked on this album called 'Champion Sound,' under the name Jaylib. Just straight forward street toughness mixed with a little party vibe. It's good drinking music. Pretty much what got me into Madlib so big in the first place.

My favourite madlib album, and favourite of this decade, is Madvillain. Production by Madlib, and lyrics by MF Doom. I've waxed lyrical on that album too much, that I'd hate to try and regurgitate some of the classic praise I've been writing on here and elsewhere for the last two years. It's perfect. I personnally regard it as one of the best albums in the genre's history. Philistines are less keen on it, granted. Another advantage of it is that it will open you up to MF Doom and from there, only happiness and smiles will follow (with a little bit of head-shakingly illustrated disbelief at his simple metaphors and similes. How hasn't half of his lyrics been written years ago? Dude's a timeless genius). So from getting into Doom, you're gonna be privy to some absolute awesomeness in the shape of his own solo stuff, and his concept albums as King Geedorah and Viktor Vaughn.

Bare in mind that this is exclusive Calashnikov opinion right here. Other people are gonna come along and recommend some other good stuff, but all that stuff up there is pretty much why I love hip-hop so much.

:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, a lot to digest here, kinda like last time!

Thanks for the wise words, I will interegate them over the coming days.

Of course, I will be listening to all who post, and listening to recommendations like a mad thing over this week.

Expect results soon...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn you Cal, for managing to mention ALL the hip hop albums I love. Anyway, I would like to add my 2 (50?) cents here as a non hip hop aficionado.

Madvillainy is indeed ace. It took a few listens but now I see it. Sticking with MF Doom, I also very much enjoy Viktor Vaughn - Vaudeville Villain. New sounds throughout. I think I prefer that to Madvillainy, just.

Dr.Octogynacologyst is also worth a listen. Very weird in places, both musically and lyrically. Abstract is a word that comes to mind when trying to define the style.

I'm sure you are aware of the other stuff I like, Shadow, RJD2, Jay-Z, The Beasties, Roots Manuva etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I come in here and just mention that I've only discovered that I really, really like Jay-Z. Snobbery must have got in the way of hearing some classic, no messing about hardcore hip-hop. I guess for every extreme banger that the guy has made, he's made another 2 that were designed to get students pulling fat skanks down the clubs, but that's all good. He mixes a good taste in beats, with superb buisiness acumen, apparently. His stuff is 50% for tru hedz, and 50% for bitch faggotz. I like him. Taking the odd track from all of his albums, I could get an album worth of amazingness that, if released, would probably be considered a classic by everyone who heard it.

But Stebbo probably didn't come here to get some Jay-Z recommended to him. Just remember not to be snobby. You'll shut yourself off from the odd diamond in the rough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can I come in here and just mention that I've only discovered that I really, really like Jay-Z. Snobbery must have got in the way of hearing some classic, no messing about hardcore hip-hop. I guess for every extreme banger that the guy has made, he's made another 2 that were designed to get students pulling fat skanks down the clubs, but that's all good. He mixes a good taste in beats, with superb buisiness acumen, apparently. His stuff is 50% for tru hedz, and 50% for bitch faggotz. I like him. Taking the odd track from all of his albums, I could get an album worth of amazingness that, if released, would probably be considered a classic by everyone who heard it.

But Stebbo probably didn't come here to get some Jay-Z recommended to him. Just remember not to be snobby. You'll shut yourself off from the odd diamond in the rough.

Reasonable Doubt is a classic, as is Volume 2: Hard Rock Life. Can I get a... is definately a classic despite the fact it introduced the world to Ja LAME

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can I come in here and just mention that I've only discovered that I really, really like Jay-Z.

I was in JFK airport the other day, in their tiny record shop, and there was a wicked tune playing over the shop's system. All awesome beats and a cool funky sample and stuff. Then I listened to it, and realised it was Jay-Z rapping over it, and I nearly hung myself.

So yeah, I guess you could be right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favourite Jay-Z songs acknowledge some of my personal favourite styles of hip-hop. He's got countless DJ Premier bangers (A Million and One Questions, Friend or Foe, So Ghetto etc), a nice selection of Kanye West produced soulfullness (Heart of the City (oh shit, that's just one of my favourite songs ever), Encore) and that immense late 80s, classic Def Jam throwback, 99 Problems, courtesy of Rick Rubin (legend).

Anyone that puts out stuff with DJ Premier, Kanye West, Just Blaze, The Neptunes, Mark the 45 King AND Rick Rubin, yet makes it all 100%, undoubtedly his own, has definite talent.

He got classic beats from all of those classic producers. Nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was in JFK airport the other day, in their tiny record shop, and there was a wicked tune playing over the shop's system. All awesome beats and a cool funky sample and stuff. Then I listened to it, and realised it was Jay-Z rapping over it, and I nearly hung myself.

So yeah, I guess you could be right.

There was this ridiculous posse cut on one of Big Daddy Kane's later (redundant) albums called 'Show and Prove.' Produced by DJ Premier, it's just this epic track that takes in a selection of some of the most random MCs you can think of. From 14 year-old Shyheim, through ancient as fuck Kane, onto Jay-Z rapping about EPMD, and then finishing up with Ol' Dirty Bastard of all people. As you can guess, it's pretty special. The dude Scoob on the first verse delivers it in a mock B-Real voice for some obscure reason, even claiming that he's "from the Hill." Most bizarre.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More:

- Beastie Boys: everyone ever has to have something by the Beatsies, but if you don't, there's always the recently released Solid Gold Hits you could try.

- The Roots: other than "they sound proper good", I can't think of any way to simply categorise them. I'm simple like that. Phrenology is a masterpiece though, so do with that.

- Kanye West: as good as they say, or at least, as good as he says. I'd start with his first (The College Dropout), due to it's accessability, and that it's probably cheap.

Also, don't miss out deleted or unreleased (unreleasable?) stuff, it's infamous for a reason. Cases in point: The Grey Album is great for it's recognisability, and/or MF Doom's first album, the long deleted Operation: Doomsday is out of this world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For starters,

Organised Konfusion - Organised Konfusion (or Stress: The Extinction Agenda)

Gza - Liquid Swords

Raekwon - Only Built...

Mr Lif - I Phantom

Nas - Illmatic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me the best era in hip hop was the mid-late 90s and for that stuff look no further than anything released by Fondle Em records. Basically everything they put out was pure gold. Example - MF Doom's first work since the demise of KMD, also Mhz, Y@K Ballz, Cage (whose new LP is well worth a look). You won't find much now I don't think but a lot of that stuff was repressed onto LPs on other labels etc...

Also all the Rawkus stuff as alrewady mentioned. Kurious Jorge - A Constipated Monkey. Scaramanga - 7 Eyes, 7 Horns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
- The Roots: other than "they sound proper good", I can't think of any way to simply categorise them. I'm simple like that. Phrenology is a masterpiece though, so do with that.

I dunno; 'Things Fall Apart' is 'the' Roots album. That and 'Do You Want More?'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

'Do You Want More' and 'Organix' in particular are really starting to show their age for me. It's just "too" jazz-rap. Like they've forced two genres together, selling both of them short. They're like "fusion" albums :D

'Illadelph Halflife' and 'Things Fall Apart' are The Roots at their rawest, and probably best. 'Phrenology' is them playing the music less straight-forward, but with more sweetness than failure. 'The Tipping Point' is like a watered down 'Illadelph Halflife,' but still pretty good.

Top 3 Roots shnits for me would be 'Illadelph,' 'Things Fall Apart' and 'Phrenology.'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

c37668p4306.jpg

I'm suprised this hasn't been mentioned yet, it's maybe not perfect as an album as there are one or two skippables, but it's still essential due to Biggie. Best lyrical flow ever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
'Do You Want More' and 'Organix' in particular are really starting to show their age for me. It's just "too" jazz-rap. Like they've forced two genres together, selling both of them short. They're like "fusion" albums ;)

I disagree. But we've talked about this before, so...

And you don't like fusion?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fusion as a genre? That's not really what I meant. I guess that word "fusion" just sounds really wanky to me. It has negative connotations I reckon. It's like a buzzword, coined by Ministry mag or something. That's what I meant by fusion there.

Anyway, if our boy is wanting to get into The Roots, then he's probably picked the best time ever to be a Roots n00b. They just brought out two volumes of introductory albums. So check these out, and figure out what Roots style you like best:

B000BLI4SI.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

1. No Hometro/Proceed 2

2. Distortion To Static

3. What They Do

4. Next Movement

5. Good Music

6. Lesson

7. Star

8. Hypnotic

9. Silent Treatment

10. You Got Me

11. Clones

12. What You Want

13. Act Too (Love Of My Life)

14. Do You Want More

15. It's Comin'

16. Double Trouble

B000BLI4T2.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

1. Sacrifice

2. No Alibi

3. Essaywhuman

4. Break You Off

5. Quicksand Millennium

6. Pass The Popcorn

7. Don't Say Nuthin'

8. Adrenaline

9. Lesson

10. Ya'll Know Who

11. Thought @ Work

12. BOOM

13. Seed/Melting Pot/Web

14. Din Da Da

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the word fusion has been used for years (at least the 70's when Jazz was mixed with Rock and Funk) - but i prefer to seperate the genres moreso as fusion is just too broad

The last track on the Latest PE LP (New Whirl Oder) features a fantastic example of what can happen when you have a live band doing blusy/jazz/country funk and rapping.

The first 3 tracks are also very good and have a feel similar to the older PE stuff.

Shame it wanes off in the middle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fusion as a genre? That's not really what I meant. I guess that word "fusion" just sounds really wanky to me. It has negative connotations I reckon. It's like a buzzword, coined by Ministry mag or something. That's what I meant by fusion there.

Sorry Cal, I thought you'd gone all Wynton Marsalis on us. I thought the 'Fusion' thing was a dig at the whole 'jazz fusion' thing in the 70s (Head Hunters, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra etc). My mistake!

marsalis.jpeg

"I Hate All Jazz Made After 1962!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Noone has mentioned that fanny Aesop Rock yet. Awesome !

Binary Star - Masters of teh universe - dont think you can buy this now ?

Canibus - Rip The Jacker

Two albums I listen to quite a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.