The last decade is barely laid to rest, but Eric and I were talking and we realized there were a lot of songs from the previous decade that are either slept on like Rip Van Winkle or people just kind of forgot about. Before they are buried under the mass quantity of music that is being dropped on a daily basis these days, your friendly hip hop heads here at Bloggerhouse thought we should remind you have some of the dope ish that you might have forgotten already.
For not dropping a proper album, Ras Kass was still all over the scene last decade. This song came about when Alchemist ended giving Jadakiss the same beat (We Gon Make It) he had given Ras Kass, which was used for “Home Sweet Home”. I think it was due to payment to the producer, and was due to Priority dropping the ball (imagine that). None the less it caused Ras to make “Kiss U”, which drops some jabs at Al, especially when “Home Sweet Home” kicks of the intro. The original version was the first one I heard, I think I got it off of Napster, Soulseek, or Audio Galaxy back in the day. The version that would appear later, titled “Kiss of Death”, was On The Run mixtape. It lacks the intro and the chopped hook is a little different. The whole song isn’t directed toward Alchemist, but he catches it in few places, especially when asked, Ras says, “Man, he know he a bitch….” Of course there are a couple of other lines that are probably directed toward him all over bouncy synth and keys. It’s not the best beat, but some of the lines Ras drops is worth the price of admission.
Common – Tekzilla
Found On: Bootlegged (2000?)
While I can’t find an exact date that Common’s “Tekzilla” appeared, I’m pretty sure I discovered it in 2000 and it hadn’t been out for very long. Originally, “Tekzilla” was supposed to be part of DJ Hi-Tek’s debut album, but due to the ever popular sample clearance, it wasn’t meant to be. What is one to do when a song has an incredible horn and piano key fueled beat all laced by a story of Common beating someones ass, without the aid of the gun. The story is just made even more dope with the beat, which might just be in Hi-Tek’s top five personal best.
Porn Theatre Ushers – Blah Blah Blah
Found On: Sloppy Seconds (2000)
Consisting of Nabo Rawk and Mister Jason, Porn Theatre Users is possibly the best name for any musical group, EVER. But besides the name, I’ve always been a fan of PTU, with Mister Jason banging out the beats and Nabo Rawk rhyming over the breaks. “Blah Blah Blah” was one of those tracks I heard as a streamable song on UGHH back in the day. It’s kind of in that popular indie vein of the early 2000′s, nothing mind changing, but just straight up hip hop lyrics and beats. There is no denying that Nabo Rawk isn’t the greatest emcee, but what he doesn’t have in skills, he made up in presence, something emcees should take note of these days, have some presence, mofos…..
Vakill – The Creed
Found On: The Darkest Cloud (2003)
No denying that the Chicago emcee Vakill is one of the more slept on word spitters found in hip hop. I’ve heard some comparisons to Ras Kass, but I think after listening to The Darkest Cloud a lot in my younger years, that it’s obvious Vakill is his own man with his own skills. “The Creed” was my introduction to Vakill. Again, I think I found it on some file sharing site, just the single song. I don’t know what captured my ear the most, the rhymes of Vakill, or the amazing production from the Molemen’s Memo. The strings and some scattered scratches over some nice chopped up chorus pieces, and it’s only right that Vakill equally matched the beat in intensity.
Da Ranjahz feat Cee-Lo - Insp Her Ation
From: Who Feels Knows It (2003)
Before Cee-Lo Green was a big time pop star, he made hooks for groups that we never really cared about, but will always been known for one song. Oh, and it helps when you are blessed with a beat from arguably the greatest hip hop producer to ever walk the planet. Da Ranjahz will never really be known for much other than this one song (does anyone remember the album this came from? I didn’t think so), but this one track was embedded in my membrane for a good part of 2003. Between Cee-Lo doing his hook magic and one of the more bangiest (is that a word) beats laced by Primo, “Insp Her Ation” did get some shine during the time, but it seems that cats have forgotten about this ghetto love song.
The ABB label had some bangers during the height of the indie era around the turn of the century. This was one such of those dope 12″‘s that they dropped. “Slow Burnin” was by 13, who some off y’all might remember was part of Mannish, who dropped a slept on album in the mid 90′s. Personally, this is one of my favorite west coast joints from the early decade era. Produced by Evidence, the beat is one of those things that you will say “oh yeah, that is Evidence”, when you hear it, as it has that Dilated Peoples flavor to it. Even the cuts are done by the Dilated DJ, Babu.
Almyghty Myghty Pythons – Curb Your Nerve
Found On: Amp b/w Curb Your Nerve 12″ (2002)
Almyghty Myghty Pythons was one of those super groups that sounded like a great idea on paper, but yet never happened. Consisting of Bootie Brown, Imani of Pharcyde (which is what was left of Pharcyde at that time) and Souls of Mischief, although not all of them appear on “Curb Your Nerve”. There was a talk of a full album coming from the two crews, but all the public ever heard was this single. Produced by A-Plus, “Curb Your Nerve” was on a simple guitar laced sample as the brothers of Souls and the ‘Cyde run rampid over it. It’s nothing that is ground breaking in the sense of music, yet, it’s still something I thought never really caught on, for whatever reason.
Amad Jamal - The Renaissance
Found On: “The Renaissance” 12″ (2001, ABB Records)
Another ABB dope jam, Amad Jamal was one of those cats that I heard one song from and loved, have him drop another good 12″ and then disappear, until this year. This single, The Renaissance, was produced by slept on west coast producer, Joey Chavez, and has a great production, a plus. Amad Jamal is some what slept on as an lyricist, with a flow to match. This jam was another one that I found on the good ole UGHH streamable joints. I remember thinking “wow, this is some good shit”. I looked for more from him for the longest time, but this is one of my favorite singles for 2001
Frank-N-Dank were never viewed as the greatest emcees, but like many of an late 80′s emcee, what they lacked in verbal skills, they made up for style and presence. It didn’t hurt that they Jay Dee was basically their personal producer. That’s what “Pause” was all about, just dope Jay Dee beat, with those bangin’ drums and Frank-N-Dank providing a song that made you want to get up on the dance floor. Yet, it kept it’s real hip hop flavor. This was the blueprint for the banging Detroit flava we hear today.
Ghostface has a slew of unreleased or original mixes of songs that were incredible, but for whatever reason, whether it was sample clearance issues or other problems, they never saw the light of day. “The Sun” is one such song, and is probably my favorite Ghost song. It helps that it’s a beautiful sample, hooked up by RZA, doing what he does best, finding dope samples. It’s just a great song with it’s melody and of course, you throw in Slick Rick and the song is a near classic in my book. I have no clue when I first heard this, I think on some bootleg Ghostface project from back in the day.