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by Eric on July 9, 2007

Rasul’s “Top 10″ (4-6)

4. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo-Live & Let Die

There goes another one of my favorite MCs of all time! From the very beginning of their careers, from the very first offering they put out (It’s A Demo), I embraced Kool G. Rap and Polo. They were part of the Juice-Crew and back then it meant quality music, courtesy of the genius himself Marly Marl. Their first album “Rags To Ritches” was exceptionally well-balanced. The second joint “Wanted Dead Or Alive” contained lively beats (Large Professor worked some magic alongside Eric B.- “Steets Of New York” was the perfect usage of samples with live instrumentaion) with lyrics of fury. So why “Live And Let Die”? This Album is the epitome of east-coast meets west-coast. This Album is the epitome of Gangster-Rap / Reality-Rap. See I wasn’t a huge west-coast fan and beside a selected few (What ya know about MC Eight and CMW?), I couldn’t really cope with the topics, deliverys and the choice of words west-coast artists put out. So here was one of my idols, reaching out to the west for some helping production-hands (Ice Cube’s man Sir Jinx did most of the work here), taking story-telling to a completely new plateau by touching every imagineable tale a criminal could have possibly went through, exposing the situation, the emotion and the tragic outcome. You were with him on every single track, nerver losing the picture. When MC’s talk about ” I’m really trying to paint a perfect picture with my lyrics”, this is what they wish to do! “Edge Of Sanity”, “Train Robbery” and “#1 With A Bullet” are ingenious examples of his masterful art. Besides, I know not a lot of people will not put this album on their top ten list and I love to hit ya in the head with the unexpected. If you slept on this album, get a hold of it and hit me back…-Rasul

5. Nas-Illmatic

Well this is an obvious one. As much as I enjoy to surprise you with some unforseen offerings, I cannot see how “Illmatic” is not in anybody’s top ten list. Here is the story: Main Source’s Album “Breaking Atoms” features the song “Live At The Barbeque” with Nas, Fatal and Akinyele. At that time I didn’t see Nas being way better than the rest of the cats on the track- I just thought the kid is mad nice! The next time I heard Nas, he was on a track by MC Serch (Serch had signed him to his publishing company) with Chubb Rock and Red Hot Lover Lover Tone (later Trackmasterz) called “Back To The Grill”. Quote: “This is Nas, kid, you know how it runs / I’m waving automatic guns at nuns / Sticking up the preachers in the church, I’m a stone crook / Serial killer, who works by the phone book”. To this day, I will never forget how I felt chills running down my neck when I heard him say those two lines and I was officially hooked. Later came “Half Time” (Original Soundtrack of the movie Zebrahead) and the growing buzz of the next messiah (comparisons to Rakim were inevitable) releasing a classic produced by the Hop Hop- Elite at that time (Premier, Pete Rock, Q-Tip and Large Professor). I remember talking to Premo a couple of years later backstage at a show we did together, and how he told me about a pre-listening-session they had for the album, where he heard Pete Rock’s “The World Is Yours” and Q-Tip’s “One Love”, making him go back to the lab and redoing all the songs he had produced. Nas was indeed the next Ra, sharing his brainstorms with his listeners with sheer brilliance and excellence. Songs like “Memory Lane” and “Represent” had everything I cried for as an artist and to this day, listening to “Illmatic” gives me the exact same rush like it is the first time. I grew to not mention this album as one my favorites through the years, since I never understood Nas going (transforming) from “Illmatic” to “It Was Written” to his current sibling “Hip Hop Is Dead”. I’m not questioning him, I’m just explaining how I never understood the change. Still, “Illmatic” is one of the best albums of all time and I am admitting it…-Rasul

6. Brand Nubian-One For All

This is a romantic pick. I’m naming Brand Nubian, equivalent to all the groups who couldn’t make it to this list, for all the “Poor Righteous Teachers”, “Lakim Shabazz’”, “X-Clans”, “KMDs”, “King Suns”, “Paris’”, “PEs” (I know a lot of you out there will give me hard time by not putting PE in my top ten), “Digable Planets’” and all of those I can’t recall right now. I’ve always been about content- social awareness if you will. And all the afoementioned were groups I looked up to. Shit, I’ve learned more from these guys than my own pops and I’ve always lived with it. They taught me to learn about myself, my heritage, my roots and the struggle people of color have to endure everyday. Knowledge, wisdom and understanding were more than words, they are my codes of conduct to this day. But “Brand Nubian” were more fun to listen to. Their whole style, even their music, was more colorful and in a spiritual way more distinct. Puba was dropping science on you, but still letting you know to keep a close eye on your girl! Sadat X played you his “Concerto in X Minor” assuring that it was “co-signed by the others with a knife”. Lord Jamar could hold his own with the best of them and he did on every single track! From “Dance To My Minstry”, “To The Right” and “Drop The Bomb” to the more light-hearted songs like “Grand Puba, Positive and L.G.” and “Try To Do Me”, this album gave me an example of how “Edutainment” can actually work. I although loved their second album “In God We Trust” but I picked this one ’cause Puba was still a part of the movement. By any means, I think this album reflects a huge influence of Rasul as an artist but more importantly as a man. Think about…-Rasul

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Olskool4real July 9, 2007 at 8:48 pm

I don’t know Eric Illmatic is classic nothing to say, Brand nubians all for One classic 4real, Live and Let die I’m not sold I am a huge g Rap follower and to me this experimentation was a bust I was pissed off when this album dropped and tried to get my boys drunk to rock off of this album and still they couldn’t stand it. I liked On the run and that’s it. I recently purchased this album for a good penny on ebay just for collectors puposes. To me he took an L at the drop of this album and has since never really bounced back although 4,5,6, , Roots of Evil, Giacana Story were fairly decent albums.I like you Eric was never a real West Coast rider so the music on Live and Let Die didn’t move me much. But I can tell you i love the capone remix of On the Run!!

Yohan July 10, 2007 at 7:47 am

This is Rasul’s top 10, and his own descriptions.

Anyway, some suprising picks for a top 10 so far. Undoubtly all classic albums though, can’t front on that.

Olskool4real July 10, 2007 at 9:26 pm

Sorry Eric it’s all good though baby!! No need to bleed!! It makes for good conversation that’s why they post a comment right!! Doesn’t mean it has to favor everything written. We all have differences of opinions!! i love this thing to death every blogger or lover of hip hop it’s all good!! I cant’ discuss this stuff anywhere else and get some of the mature feed back that I ge here on the blogs.Read my post I said I am a G Rap follower but that doesn’t mean everything he made was hot like that!! I;m not naive one bit!!

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