The title was me trying to sound out that classic Prodigy line from Mobb Deep. I’m too lazy to look up the song title, you know what I’m talking about, right? So, over the past two or three weeks, I’ve been listening to a steady dose of hip hop which is a nice change of pace from my increasingly indie rock playlist. Big ups to Cheech for sprinkling me with a BUNCH of new music to keep me entertained at the Kid Dangerous Head Quarters. Most of these guys are pretty under the radar and have little to no chance of ever blowing up, but so much great hip hop never does. You gotta dig in the crates a little bit to find some gems. Of all the songs I’ve heard, these ones have stood out the most:
Skyzoo- Rap Like Me (album: the Great Debater)
Never heard of this dude before I got his CD and a couple things jumped out at me about the album. Sick, sick beats. Solid voice and solid flow. That’s all you need for a good hip hop CD. Here’s a thumper to get us started:
Curren$y & Alchemist- BBS (album: Covert Coup)
I’ve heard a lot of Curren$y and while I respect his game, it never got me hooked. This collabo with Alchemist is different though. Alchemist has been around forever and is responsible for countless Mobb Deep / East Coast underground rap anthems. I feel like he’s kinda fell off lately and I always wish he got a chance to work with some bigger rappers because he deserved the shine. Well, it’s good to see he’s back on this song and on the whole album. This song is so fucking gangster it’s a joke. Makes me want to roll around LA in a drop top bumping this shit while smoking a blunt and I don’t even smoke weed.
Evidence- The Red Carpet feat. Raekwon and Ras Kass (album: Cats & Dogs)
Cheech loves this album, I like it. Evidence is from Dilated Peoples and while he doesn’t have the best raps or flow ever, he’s pretty good at both. This beat, which happened to be made by Alchemist, is so hot it’s a joke.
J. Cole- Nobody’s Perfect (album: Cole World)
I fucking Love J. Cole. Love him. Have every mix tape he’s ever made and I listen to all of it religiously. I feel like he’s the next great rapper in the vein of naS, Tupac and Jay-Z. He can go from top 40 to gangster to introspective in a way that truly separates him from the pack. This approach might limit his immediate mass appeal (even though he’s doing pretty damn well already) like a Drake or a Lil Wayne, but he’s built for a long long career. He’s gonna go down in the history books. I love this jam. I actually like Missy Elliott when she sings and even though her lyrics aren’t great, the hook is catchy as shit.
Game- Born in the Trap (album: The R.E.D. Album)
So the Game isn’t exactly underground but he has fallen off quite a bit. I had basically written him off until being very pleasantly surprised by this album. Lot of great west coast bangers but it was this track with the legendary DJ Premier that caught my ear. Dope Primo beat and Game rips it like he was from the Bronx or something. Great combination here:
Blu- What if I Was (album: Jesus)
I fucking love Blu. If you’ve never heard the Below the Heavens album with Blu & Exile, download that shit and enjoy. He’s got a great voice, great flows and a great style. He’s candid about how broke he is, mixes in the topic of love really well and can even sing a bit. He’s been dropping these weird, kinda half ass EPs ever since Below the Heavens though, so I’m not sure exactly what’s happening with his career. If I ever get the chance to work on producing some shit, which is a dream of mine, I’m going to drive to his house in LA and get him to work on it with me. This song has a sick beat and shows you what I’m talking about rap wise. It’s definitely rough around the edges but still a banger:
Skyzoo- Test Drive (album: The Great Debater)
Another jam from this album. Enjoy.
Evidence- Late for the Sky (album: Cats & Dogs)
Featuring my boy Slug and Aesop Rock, this is such a jam. Be patient, the beat doesn’t drop until the 50th second but when it does, it’s totally worth it.
J. Cole- I Get Up (album: The Warm Up)
This song is a bit older than the rest but really shows J. Cole’s lyrical range. He hits racial, socioeconomic and gender topics in a way that I could only compare to Tupac. The dude is the truth and this song shows he’s more than just a top 40 rapper.