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"Eric's Top 100 Tuesday" (98-100…Finally!!) & a Request

by Eric on November 13, 2007

98. “Coast II Coast”-Tha Alkaholiks

This morning, while thinking of a few words that would best describe Tha Liks’ performance on the trio’s phenomenal sophomore effort “Coast II Coast” a few uncharacteristic terms came to mind that one wouldn’t usually tag the drunken trio of Tash, J-Ro & E-Swift with. “Growth”, “Maturity”, “Polished”, are words that best describe these West Coast mainstays on this 1995 release on Loud Records.  Not bad for a trio that I can recall being labeled “the closest thing that Hip Hop has to the Marx Brothers”.  While Tha Liks’ debut “21 & Over” is a sure fire album packed with plenty of 40 tossin’ and punnani chasin’ lyricsand  10 solid cuts to get nearly any party rockin’, “Coast II Coast” still found Tash, Swift & J-Ro as the comedians and quality emcees they gained notoriety for, but the album also most importantly contained just enough “variation” musically to keep things more than interesting.  Admittedly, I did feel a bit cheated with the first single release from the album “DAAAM” as it was probably the weakest production on the album, but tracks such as the Diamond D produced closer “The Next Level” (the “Enter The Dragon” sample is sick!) and E-Swift’s pulsating bounce on “2014″ more than made up for any of my dissatisfaction.  The album opens with “WLIX” a flavorful production from a then little known producer who went by the name of Madlib that also features fellow members of the Lootpack….damn, judging by the uniqueness of the beat we should have known what direction Madlib was heading in!  Severely underrated, Tha Liks didn’t stray too far away from their original formula displayed on “21 & Over” but delivered an ill long-play that was advanced not only stylistically but sonically as well….-Eric

99. “Back From Hell”-Run DMC

Hard to believe that Run is now the fella’ who, nowadays we simply identify as “Joey” from his sitcom on MTV appropriately titled “Run’s House”.  When you think “Hip Hop” you think “Run D.M.C…hell, their collabo with Aerosmith “Walk This Way” is probably my first ever encounter with the art-form.  I really do ask myself the question “what is the first taste of the music that you ever had?”  Only this Hollis trio comes to mind.  Although, at times I think it may have been Kurtis Blow’s “Basketball”….whatever the case, Run D.M.C. & Jam Master Jay are cornerstones in Hip Hop, but up until the 1990 release of “Back From Hell” I’d never even owned a Run D.M.C. album…can you believe that shit?  In retrospect, it blows my mind that “Back From Hell” was the first time that I ever shelled over some hard earned dough for a small piece of their amazing catalog….CRAZY!   So, I know that many of you are reading this now saying  to yourselves “are you serious, “Back From Hell”…..in your “Top 100″!?  No doubt, this album was the shit to me….still is matter of fact.  To this day when the sirens bleed into the intro for “The Ave.” I get goosebumps, that track has not aged one single bit in my mind.  Yeah, their are a few minor missteps on the album, or should I say a few “New Jackisms” as the group relied on the “it” sound heavily on this release (“Pause”, “Party Time”, “Not Just Another Groove” and “Faces” are a few examples) but hey…who didn’t have some semblance of New Jack Swing on their album back in the early 90′s?  It was pretty much protocol back then, you put one New Jack Swingish’ cut on your album and then you throw a Reggae tinged track in there for good measure, right?  However, the tracks that go hard on the album GO HARD!  Not only did you have “The Ave.”, “Groove To The Sound” and “Naughty” but even the free-flowing, lighthearted “Kick The Frama Lama Lama” found Run & D at their nonsensical best and introduced the world to The Afros (can someone please hook me up with that album?).  Even at a time when “longevity” wasn’t a word that was closely associated with a rapper’s lifespan in the musical industry, I do feel that Run D.M.C. kept their core fan base with this effort……even though it may not have been as appealing as their debut, “King Of Rock” or “Raising Hell”.  The album’s not outstanding, but it does have plenty of highlights and most of all it’s enjoyable and still worth your while….-Eric

100. “In God We Trust”-Brand Nubian

What!?  “Puba left Brand Nubian?”.  That was was the resounding question that echoed throughout the hip hop community following lead emcee & show stealer Grand Puba’s departure from one of the most respected East Coast groups of all time, Brand Nubian.  After releasing a classic debut (“One For All”) that in areas such as Philly & New York actually outsold many platinum gangsta rap albums such as N.W.A.’s “Efil4zaggin” & Ice Cube’s “Amerikka’s Most Wanted”, die hard Brand Nubian fans had scratch their domes and wonder ”can Brand Nubian thrive and continue to make dope music without Puba?”.  As witnessed on Brand Nubian’s follow up “In God We Trust” (released on Elektra in the winter 0f 1993) the answer is….your gotdamn right?  Regrouping, remaining emcees Sadat X & Lord Jamar added DJ Sincere to the mix to craft an album filled to the rim with 5% knowledge, well-produced beats (which, with the exception of Diamond D’s remix to “Punks”, Lord Jamar & Dotty X handled on their own) and even a bit of gay-bashing (the group received a bit of flack for their homophobic “taunts” on the album’s highlight “Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down”).  In Puba’s absence, the pro-Islam propaganda progressed by leaps and bounds and at times occupied much of the lyrical content on “In God We Trust”.  Not that it was a bad thing, but it was very hard for a 14 year old white kid to relate to at times.  Me, I preferred the hard drum kicks and soothing harp strings on the Brand Nubian’s blunt stance on relationships “Love Me Or Leave Me Alone” or the addictive rhythms of Diamond D on the “Punks Jump Up….” remix.  Let’s be honest here, this was the last Brand Nubian release that really made any noise, by the time their third album “Everything Is Everything” was released to the Hip Hop world in the winter of 1994, many fans had been bum-rushed by the entire Wu-Tang fam, Death Row and Bad Boy.  Besides, “Everything Is Everything” contained far too much dogma for my taste and aside from “Return Of The Dread” (Jamar’s solo effort) I very rarely give that album any spins at all.  However, “In God We Trust” does bring back mad memories for me (along with their debut) and once you get past the Farrakhan references and such the album was nearly a classic despite their loss of “one of the fiercest emcees” (per Treach), Grand Puba.  Major props are due to Lord J and Sadat for carrying on when many other groups would have collapsed when losing such an integral part of the group’s equation….-Eric

 Your Request

“Brain On Drugz EP”-Boodah & Da’ Bandit

Boy, I can’t count all the times I passed this one up in record stores. The title really gives away the theme of this album and after countless listens to Cypress Hill and Total Devastation…well, let’s just say that “Smoke” anthems weren’t really doing it for me. I’ve had this one just sitting on my hard drive for about 2 years and about a month ago I finally decided to give it a listen. To my surprise, I found the album to be a worthy listen. Now again, you can pretty much sum up the theme of the album…still, there is some pretty dope material on here that actually stood the test of time quite well. The first cut on the album “Brain On Drugz” wound up being my favorite and someone recently used that same sample….it’s on the tip of my tongue but you give it a listen and help me out if you can. Both of the MC’s have odd but attractive flows, and do a more than sufficient job of keeping the listener awake. If I can throw on a joint from 94-95 that I’m just now hearing and it keeps my attention than that in itself says something about “Brain On Drugz”….-Eric

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{ 9 comments }

What It Is November 14, 2007 at 10:45 am

Yaaaaayyyy!!! Congrats man. Now I have to finish my other half of the alphabet. How are you liking wordpress btw?

turtle November 14, 2007 at 11:57 am

That is my favorite Brand Nubian album, and one of my favorites period.

Krisch November 16, 2007 at 9:34 am

Hi Eric,

just in case, nobody else already hooked you up with it, I uploaded The Afros album.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/b6dl57

Dart_Adams November 17, 2007 at 2:47 pm

“Back From Hell” was one of my favorite all time tracks ever and I actually liked that album. “Pause” was their comeback single from 1991 I think…they renegotiated with Profile because they tried to bounce to Def Jam but those lawyer put them in limbo for almost 2 years. Damn shame, too.

One.

floodwatch November 18, 2007 at 10:05 pm

I only got around to In God We Trust until recently, because sadly, I bought into the bullshit back in the day that Brand Nu wouldn’t thrive without Puba. A shame, too, because the record would have been nothing short of revelatory to my 14-year-old ears at the time of its release.

Great post.

What It Is November 20, 2007 at 2:41 pm

I had a huge scathing letter to prepared for you because I was going through your list to make sure I had everything on it and noticed you doubled up on 68-70 and then put the list together and realized you left out 94-96 and my pomposity fizzled. I still thought the list was dope. I took the liberty of fixing the order since I’m like that. Once again, congrats on completion.
So, here’s the list:
01. Nas-Illmatic
02. Snoop Dogg-Doggystyle
03. ATCQ-Midnight Marauders
04. Das Efx-Dead Serious
05. Smif N Wessun-Dah’ Shinin’
06. Redman-Whut? Thee Album
07. Raekwon-Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
08. Black Moon-Enta Da Stage
09. Common Sense-Resurrection
10. Pete Rock & CL Smooth-The Main Ingredient
11. Main Source-Breaking Atoms
12. EPMD-Business As Usual
13. Wu Tang Clan-Enter The Wu Tang:36 Chambers
14. Notorious B.I.G.-Ready To Die
15. Ice Cube-Death Certificate
16. Gangstarr-Hard To Earn
17. Dr. Dre-The Chronic
18. Diamond D-Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop
19. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo-Wanted:Dead Or Alive
20. Black Sheep-A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing
21. Gangstarr-Daily Operation
22. Ghostface Killah-Ironman
23. N.W.A.-Niggaz4Life
24. Camp Lo-Uptown Saturday Night
25. Heavy D & The Boyz-Blue Funk
26. Pete Rock & CL Smooth-Mecca & The Soul Brother
27. Redman-Muddy Waters
28. A.T.C.Q.-The Low End Theory
29. Mobb Deep-The Infamous
30. AZ-Doe Or Die
31. Scarface-Mr. Scarface Is Back
32. The Beatnuts-Street Level
33. Cypress Hill-Self Titled
34. Da King & I-Contemporary Jeep Music
35. Group Home-Livin’ Proof
36. Nice & Smooth-Ain’t A Damn Thing Changed
37. 3rd Bass-The Cactus Album
38. Tha Alkaholiks-21 & Over
39. Brand Nubian-One For All
40. The Roots-Illadelph Halflife
41. De La Soul-3 Feet High & Rising
42. Jay-Z-Reasonable Doubt
43. Krs One-Return Of The Boom Bap
44. K-Solo-Time’s Up
45. Special Ed-Legal
46. Prince Paul-A Prince Among Thieves
47. Outkast-Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik
48. Gangstarr-Moment Of Truth
49. Jeru The Damaja-The Sun Rises In The East
50. Poor Righteous Teachers-Holy Intellect
51. Showbiz & A.G.-Runaway Slave
52. Method Man-Tical
53. Masta Ace Inc.-Sittin’ On Chrome
54. Big Pun-Capital Punishment
55. Ice Cube-The Predator
56. Mic Geronimo-The Natural
57. Genius/GZA-Liquid Swords
58. O.C.-Jewelz
59. The Pharcyde-Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde
60. De La Soul-Buhloone Mind State
61. Common Sense-Can I Borrow A Dollar?
62. Eric B & Rakim-Let The Rhythm Hit Em’
63. Capone-N-Noreaga-The War Report
64. Heltah Skeltah-Nocturnal
65. Nas-It Was Written
66. Lost Boyz-Legal Drug Money
67. Real Live-The Turnaround:A Long Awaited Drama
68. The UMC’S-Fruits Of Nature
69. Special Ed-Youngest In Charge
70. LL Cool J-Mama Said Knock You Out
71. Ghostface Killah-Supreme Clientele
72. Lords Of The Underground-Here Come The Lords
73. House Of Pain-Fine Malt Lyrics
74. Slum Village-Fantastic Vol.2
75. Ras Kass-Soul On Ice
76. Ol’ Dirty Bastard-Return To The 36 Chambers
77. Masta Ace-Take A Look Around
78. Keith Murray-The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World
79. Mobb Deep-Hell On Earth
80. A Tribe Called Quest-Beats, Rhymes & Life
81. Digable Planets-Reachin‘ (A New Refutation Of Time & Space)
82. X-Clan-To The East Blackwards
83. Artifacts-Between A Rock & A Hard Place
84. Eric B & Rakim-Don’t Sweat The Technique
85. Das Efx-Straight Up Sewaside
86. M.O.P.-Firing Squad
87. Big L-Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous
88. Akinyele-Vagina Diner
89. Grand Puba-2000
90. Fu-Schnickens-F.U. Don’t Take It Personal
91. Double X-Ruff, Rugged & Raw
92. The Notorious B.I.G.-Life After Death
93. Craig Mack-Project:Funk Da World
94. Naughty By Nature-Poverty’s Paradise
95. Lauryn Hill-The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill
96. Pete Rock-Soul Survivor
97. O.C.-Word Life
98. Tha Alkaholiks-CoastIICoast
99. Run DMC-Back From Hell
100. Brand Nubian-In God We Trust

linkel November 20, 2007 at 6:21 pm

@what it is….haha!….that’s crazy kid!!! Thanks, now it’s time for the time 100 songs of all time…whaddya’ think?

What It Is November 21, 2007 at 9:46 am

Word.
Make it so!

Bart November 22, 2007 at 3:48 am

Just linked to your site from Schnooklyn Zoo Blog. Glad I did. Site is Thorough – and yes I capitalize for emphasis. Thanks for keeping me up on what time it is – I will be back.

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