Posted: Feb 20, 2011 10:32 pm
-recommend some stuff for a me to check out!
I wish I had time to compile a decent hip hop primer or something, but it's more convenient for me to suggest some classic, without question, essentials; some recordings that reflect the changes that have been going on in hip hop since the mid 90s - since that seems to be where you and others here stopped listening/caring; and then let you know about some of the things that have blown my mind most recently. Please forgive me if it seems like I'm trying to come off as some sort of an authority on hip hop, it's just something that I'm very passionate about. It is important for me to write about hip hop in order to organize my own thoughts. However, the best way to understand music is by listening to it. Theory usually complicates even the simplest ideas.
A Tribe Called Quest The Low End Theory, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, Midnight Marauders
Az - Doe or Die, A.W.O.L.
Big L - Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, The Unseen Picture
Black Moon - Enta Da Stage
Black Sheep A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, Non-Fiction
Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf Big Shots
Common Sense Can I Borrow a Dollar?, Resurrection
Eric B. & Rakim - Paid in Full, Follow the Leader
Da Youngstas Somethin 4 Da Youngsta's
Das EFX Dead Serious
GangStarr Step in the Arena, Hard to Earn, Moment of Truth
Gravediggaz 6 Feet Deep
Group Home Livin' Proof
KMD - Black Bastards
Main Source Breaking Atoms
Mobb Deep The Pre-Infamous demo tape, The Infamous
Nas - Illmatic
O.C. - Word...Life
Onyx Bacdafucup, All We Got Iz Us, Bacdafucup Part II
Pete Rock & CL Smooth Mecca and the Soul Brother
Scha Dara Parr WILD FANCY ALLIANCE, 5th Wheel to the Coach
Showbiz & AG - Runaway Slave
Souls of Mischief 93 'til Infinity
Smif-n-Wessun Dah Shinin'
J Dilla and 9th Wonder have been the most important figures in hip hop since the mid 90s. Their influence is comparable to the influence of DJ Premier and Pete Rock in the early 90s. Due to the internet there has been a lot of attention towards indie hip hop. MF Doom and Madlib deserve to be noted as two of the main figures in this trend. Many of the most exciting recent developments in hip hop have been regionally specific and have usually developed alongside trends in dance and fashion. Some of these would include; Baltimore club, New Orleans bounce, jerkin' on the West Coast, and lite feet on the East Coast.
I really loved how accessible and raw jerkin' was when it blew up. A sense of competition was at the heart of the movement but in the beginning there were only a handful of recognized dance moves and they were so sloppy and simple that anyone could perform them, which is part of what made it so exciting. Musically, jerkin' drew from trends in other areas of hip hop, like pitched up and down vocals. Production was minimal, repetitive, sexual, lo-fi. Lyrics, fashion, hairstyles (I was pleased to see the return of the high top fade), drew influence from 80s and 90s popular culture. I have no idea if jerkin' survived 2010, I get the feeling it probably died out. There were kids saying it was dead in 2009 so... If you're interested in the music, the Jerkin' With Jhawk mixtape was the foundation. Also check out Go[i/] by Only Members, [i]Go Hard by Them PRangers, and Liquified Dopeness by iLLie. Jerkin' might not be for everyone; but I admired it because it was creative, colourful, by-and-for kids, confident, and sexy.
Other things to look into, new and old:
Damu the Fudgemunk, Marquis Porter (straight outta Detroit! Flex Mathews, Sharkula, Kidz in the Hall, Dead Prez, Count Bass D, The LOX, Akinyele, Reks, Paperboy, Log Cabin Crew (and anything else MURS is a part of), Nas et al. Rock-a-bye Homeboy freestyle on Stretch n' Bobbito (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lHwQa68HIo&feature=related), Buddha Brand, MC Solaar, Cormega, Urban Thermo Dynamics, Nas Déjà vu( Mobb Deep The Bridge 94 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_177bNdNVA&feature=related), EAST END x Yuri, Maspyke (The Blackout), Edan (Beauty and the Beat), Frek Sho, Ghetto Concept, The Crooklyn Dodgers (all three iterations), UGK, The Wascals, Shabazz the Disciple, M.O.P., A+, 9th Wonder's remix of 2nd Childhood by Nas, Invincible by Capone and Noreaga, Black Moon on Stretch n' Bobbito (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeL_rjowY8U), Notorious B.I.G.'s The Last King of New York demo tape, all star hip hop performance from the final episode of the Arsenio Hall Show (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3ekFI-Tdd8), Camp Lo, Drug Wars by Murda Mase (before he was a minister, before he was a Bad Boy, Mase spit daggars), Cool Kids, Redlife, Homeliss Derelix, The Healer by Erykah Badu, Kool G. Rap, Totally Insane (Direct From the Backstreet), Mathematik, Ten Thieves, Lo Down, Coma-Chi, Real Live, Nice & Smooth, Positive K, Slum Brothers, Strictly Roots, Rye Rye, Ghetto Dwellaz, Wale (he does stuff just for the pay cheque, see: Chillin feat. Lady Gaga, but he's also capable of things like this: also check out The Mixtape About Nothing, and the 100 Miles & Running mixtape), Biz Markie and Redman freestyle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E724Uz6x-oc ), 9th Wonder Take You There, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_rkwne4D_A) 22 years (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXon-iWR5Po), Smooth Da Hustler, Nine, Gang Green, Jazz Liberatorz, Mistaken Identity (Beautifully Absurd), Hezekiah (Hurry Up & Wait), Leaders of the New School, Problem Child Getting' Into Mischief, Craig G., 2 Ruff, Da Omen, Young Hak (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy6ZGqS6IQI), Funxsouljaz (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEj1eeS_FgQ).