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Eric's "Top 100 Tuesday" (91-92)

by Eric on October 2, 2007

91. “Poverty’s Paradise”-Naughty By Nature (CD Rip)

Whew!!! I just want to let ya’ll know that after purchasing the long-awaited releases of NBA 2K8 as well as NBA Live 08 this morning…well, let’s just say it’s killin me right now to sit down and type this, but it’s been a minute since my last “Top 100 Tuesdays” post so I thought I’d give you a little treat. First up to the plate this lovely Tuesday is Naughty By Nature’s “Poverty’s Paradise”. Released in 1995 on the now defunct Tommy Boy Records (insert Jadakiss‘ voice on the “Rapin‘ You Records” records skit), “Poverty’s Paradise” has quickly become my absolute favorite Naughty album. While the trio’s debut may garner the majority of the attention (thanks much in part to the HUGE smash “O.P.P.” as well as “Everthing’s Gonna’ Be Alright”/”Ghetto Bastard”), it’s this third disc from Illtown’s finest that I consider to be their finest piece of work. Produced almost exclusively by Kay Gee (Minnesota pitched in on a few tracks too), at 20 tracks deep minus about 4 skits and an intro, it’s a nice, solid listen for a somewhat “lengthy” album. It always seemed to boggle me how when usually asked (or asking) “what are some of your favorite groups of all time?”….more often than not, Naughty is normally excluded from that list. Over time, Naughty has dropped more than their share of classic singles (be sure to add “Feel Me Flow” from “Poverty’s..” into that mix as well), but would you say that the Double I residents dropped a classic album? Now, that’s a damn good question! Myself, I would guess that many of you would label their self-titled debut as their piece of work that most closely approached classic status. However, that may be the case….but, I consider “Poverty’s..” to more a more enjoyable, mature listen. Kay Gee’s production transformed 360 degrees between their first album and this offering, listening to tracks like “Clap Yo’ Hands”, “Craziest” (the album’s fist single) and “Respect Due” are pure evidence of his musical growth. As far as Treach is concerned, if you read my “Most Played” for the week you should already know how adamant I am about him receiving his props as one of the dopest emcees of all time. Even though Treach may have dabbled into other side projects like porn & Pink (yeah, that Pink!!), he’ll always be remembered for his lyrical performances on Naughty’s first three albums. Not to be overlooked, Vin Roc falls into the same category as Phife, an emcee whose skills improved with each passing release. Oh, and please don’t sleep on Minnesota’s contributions to “Poverty’s”..”World Go Round” & “City Of Ci-Lo” are both incredibly dope productions from another often forgotten producer….-Eric

92. “The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill”-Lauryn Hill

Hip Hop? R & B? Pop?….Who Cares! All I know is that Lauryn Hill may quite possibly the dopest female to ever grip a mic (no pun intended). Without Lauryn, the Fugees record breaking sophomore effort “The Score” wouldn’t have gone wood, let alone however many million copies of the album that were copped. “The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill”, Mrs. Marley’s media darling of a solo venture was an eclectic collection of Lauryn’s poetry, lyricism & sultry vocals all piled into one album. On one hand you had the fierce emcee, the hungry female in the crowd just waiting her turn to rip apart whatever “male” emcee was runnin‘ shit at the time. On the other hand, you had the emotional, vulnerable young woman who pleaded with the listener “hey, you may have some issues, but shit….I have just as many” (for a better example of this be sure to peep Lauryn’s “Unplugged” double disc…or better yet, nevermind!). Released on Columbia/Ruffhouse Records in the late Summer of 1998 and said to be written, produced and arranged solely by Lauryn, “The Miseducation…” quickly gained platinum status but not without it’s fair share of controversy. It is now said that Wyclef, not Lauryn handled the majority of the production on the album as well as some of the writing, whatever the case there is no way that you cannot love this album. I’ve never been big on female emcees but Lauryn along with Jean Grae are two of the finest (pun intended) to ever perfect the craft of spittin‘ verbal jabs. Tell me Lauryn didn’t go at both Clef’ & Pras on “Lost Ones”, with subtle disses and a piercing, stutter step bass kick Ms. Hill launched a viscous “Fu*k You” to all her naysayers. What remains my favorite track on the album, may not even be considered “Hip Hop” to some. “Ex-Factor” with it’s “Can’t It Be All So Simple” sample and beautiful vocals is about as syrupy and remorseful as it gets when talking about “breaking up”. Whenever I play this album nowadays I can’t help but reminisce back to when it was just me and my two roommates sharing a condo, playing Madden, drinking Captain Morgan & Coke, smoking Newports like a chimney…without a care in the world, listening to “The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill”. I mean, you had all this testosterone built up in a 1600 sq. foot condo listening to gotdamn Lauryn Hill, of course we always followed it up with M.O.P.’s “First Family 4 Life” or Fat Joe’s “Don Cartegena” (hey, 98′ was a bad year for Hip Hop..what can I say?!). I mean damn! Lauryn Hill? I’m sure they wouldn’t mind reading this in print, but I’d be damned if I’d sit in a room with 3 of my co-workers nowadays and say “hey, you guys wanna’ listen to some Lauryn Hill?”. Ah, the good ol‘ days only in 98′ could you listen to Lauryn and not be called a blatant homo…simply based on the Fugees “coolness factor”. Whatever the case, this album is just good music…nothing less, nothing more….-Eric

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Tim October 3, 2007 at 8:42 am

I picked up that Naughty album used a few weeks back to replace my cassette copy. I actually think it’s the weakest of their first three albums. ’19NaughtyIII’ is the pinnacle of their career for me – it just had that rugged, early 90s sound, and ‘Hip-Hop Hooray’ is arguably the best track they ever recorded.

Anonymous October 20, 2007 at 11:29 am

eh, I still bump Ms Hill’s classic album without worried about being called a “homo”. that is one of the finest hiphop [if you want to call it] record ever made, and by ever I mean EVER.

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