Yeah, Yeah, Yeah….I know the following albums have been posted here already, but it’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon and it’s waaaay to nice to be inside grindin’ out a post on the computer for about an hour and a half or so. Plus, I thought it would be pretty neat to include some of Rasul’s favorite albums since we’re only counting down my “Top 100″. In the meantime, stay tuned for the Ill Poetic interview tomorrow. Enjoy Rasul’s take on his CLASSICS and what’s left of your weekend!
For some reason I cannot explain, this is the first album that popped into my head. I guess this is the easiest one to pick without any in depth thought-process or musing if you will. I picked up on Tribe pretty late- well, late means in this case “Low End Theory”! Although that album was ground-breaking as far as originality and creativity is concerned, I fell in love with the ATCQ hearing “Midnight Marauders”. “Low End Theory” made perfect sense. It had a certain profound perfection to it, giving me a range of what a group-effort can actually sound like and hey, it took me a couple of years to fully grasp that. I loved “Jazz”, “Check the Rhime”, “Butter” and the ever so infamous “Scenario”. Still, I had some difficulties understanding the album as a whole. And here came “MM”. I remeber walking down Broadway in Manhattan NY, listening to every song like there’s no tomorrow. Q-Tip killed me repeating the first verse for the second part on “Sucka Nigga”. “God Lives Through” meant epic production to me (specially after I found the original sample), “Award Tour” mind-blowing, “We Can Get Down” simply fresh and “Oh My God” over-powering… Who would have thought that the digitalized voice of a female guiding you through an experience can be sexy?! To me, this is probably the most complete album of ATCQ and to this day a cornerstone of our culture. You don’t agree, convince me…-Rasul
I loved Pac from day one- in this case day one means Digital Underground’s “Same Song”. I had met Pac at a concert a few years prior to that release at a Digital Underground concert where he was “just” the back-up dancer, only grabbing the mic at the end of the show during the ever so popular freestyle-ciphers (yeah, I rhymed with him). I don’t think there’s anything I can literally add here for you to comprehend Pac’s impact on our generation and I won’t. Anybody who still needs schooling on that subject matter has lived on a deserted island and doesn’t need to check my top ten list, Myspace or listen to popular music in general. I think “Me Against The World” is the most honest album that’s ever been released by an Hip Hop artist- period! He displayed vulnerability and I could understand and relate to his pain. It made him human and I loved it. He had me with the first line he delivered on that album saying, “They say pussy and paper is poetry power and pistols” and songs like “So Many Tears” and “Temptaion” touched my spirit. The Album worked really well for me. See by the time “Me Against The World” came out, my man was locked up. Therefore, there was no huge promotinal mashinery that backed that release and no, the video to “Tempations” didn’t work for me at all!? Come on now, they had Coolio (yeah, I didn’t like him back then either) in that joint and the shapely feautres of Jada, now Mrs. Smith, could not help to overlook that. I can’t believe this! I’m talking about my greatest albums of all time and I’m mentioning Coolio’s…-Rasul
Ok, anybody who knows the kid, knows that the God Rakim is my favorite MC of all time. Being so, what album do you put in your top ten? “Paid in Full” is an untouched classic and “Follow The Leader” is to this day one of the heaviest and most glooming albums of all time. “Don’t Sweat The Technique” could easily replace this with his soul and perfected production but hey!? See the “R” was a master at word-play and imperceptible lyrics. At the beginning of my career, I had met another MC from NY (he went by the name of D-5) who recorded with the same production-crew I worked with (shout outs to my man JP and Techrock). My man went to school with Ra and he taught me the essence behind understanding Rakim as a lyricist. How he always sent out subliminal lines to other MC’s (Big Daddy Kane being his favorite target- oh, you didn’t know that?!) without the world to notice! How his words left massive room for interpretation, still being sharp and very direct. Besides, Rakim dominated every beat he spit on (Flow that is). So why “Let The Rhythm Hit’em”? Because I listened to this album for many many years and I always discovered something new to it. “The Ghetto” would make my top three songs of all time. He said: “The rough gets going, the going gets rough / When I start flowin’, the mic might bust / The next state I shake from the power I generate / People in Cali used to think it was earthquakes”- insane. The title track had the most powerful bassline along with words that never seemed to find an end. I could probably quote half of that album but I think by now, you’ve caught a glimpse of my passion for Rakim and his lyrics. Lyrics that made you forget about Eric B. scratching on the same records. Do the math…-Rasul