Since I can never seem to do things the easy way I’ve decided to just go in with my next 20 picks because…well, why the fuck not? I know that my Bloggerhouse brethren and I seem to share a brain at times but I’m pretty sure they won’t be snatching any of these particular selected jawns up. I’m pretty sure that heads will be pleased with these selections (since I am one) and that’s really all that matters (no Skeme in 1982). Enough crap, let’s go:
21. Camp Lo “Cookers” (12″/ “Cookers”/”Trouble Man” Maxi Single) (Stimulated, 2001)
I’m a head. I have this vinyl AND the CD maxi single. Same copies I copped for both back in 2001, too. Cats asked my opinion on 100 slept on Hip Hop joints of the past decade and this song immediately jumped into my head. The B side wins again even though side A was a monster. Ski & Jocko. Salute Apple Juice Kid as well.
22. Da Beatminerz f/ The Last Emperor “Hustler’s Theme” off “Brace 4 Impak” (Rawkus, 2001)
Da Beatminerz were on Rawkus for a hot second. The shit didn’t work out and they were already disappointed with the label before the damn album even dropped. “Brace 4 Impak” wasn’t very well promoted and few heads even remember it dropped now. I can’t because my brother & I copped it on release day. I JUST came back from the Duck Down 25th anniversary show @ the Middle East so I’ve been a Beatminerz fan since ’93. They make it. I cop it. Period.
23. Heather B “Live MC” off “Eternal Affairs” (Sai, 2002)
I love Heather B. She’s the nicest New Jersey female emcee next to Rah Digga. Fuck that. She and Rah Digga are two of my favorite emcees from NJ period, no qualifiers necessary. Heather B will be back with a new LP in 2011 (Thank you, DJ Premier). Rah Digga is back with “Classic” (Thank you, Nottz). Keep your eyes peeled and your heads on a swivel, people.
24. Masta Killa “Love Spell” off “No Said Date” (Nature Sounds, 2004)
Masta Killa x Supa Dave West = A banger. I rocked Masta killa’s long awaited solo LP “No Said Date” all throughout 2004 & 2005. This was was jawn. A few other Masta Killa tracks might end up making this list of 300 before it’s all said and done. Revisit his two Nature Sounds releases sometime to see why.
25. Jean Grae & 9th Wonder “#8″ off “Jeanius” (Bootleg, 2004/Blacksmith, 2008)
This album had the perfect title in my biased opinion. Jean Grae. She raps better than you. Folks nowadays want Nicki Minaj to pretend she has Tourette’s on people’s records. Fuck that CAPTCHA Rap bullshit and buy this album instead. What else we got?
26. Encore f/LadyBug Mecca “Real Talk” off “Layover” (Hiero Imperium, 2004)
Raise your hand if you had a crush on Ladybug Mecca. The homie Encore also dropped the excellent debut “Self Perservation” on Dan “The Automator” Nakamura’s short lived 75 Ark label before returning in 2004 with the equally dope “Layover”. I don’t know how many of y’all are even familiar with this song, this album or even Ladybug Mecca’s 2005 solo LP “Trip The Light Fantastic” but this jawn was live (I said “live”? Is it 1988 again?).
27. Leak Bros (Tame One & Cage) “Got Wet” off “Waterworld” (Eastern Conference, 2004)
Cage was on drugs back then. Tame One? He was, too. Difference is that Tame One has always been nice regardless of what substance he’s on. Cage was nice on this LP as well. Maybe someone should try to make him relapse? I personally don’t fuck with drugs at all. I try to not take aspirin when I get headaches. I don’t even drink. I don’t even fuck with coffee, son. All that being said this album is bananas. An entire LP about smoking sherm sticks/PCP cigarettes/leak? Who woulda thunk it’d be this damn good?
28. O.C. “The Professional” off “Starchild” (Grit, 2005)
My boy and former rhyme partner/crew member Vanguard (The Worldly Philosophers, what up Karif & Earl?) made this track for the legend himself O.C. for his Grit Records release “Starchild”. It was sold in Japan but due to sample clearance issues it was pulled off of shelves stateside (but it still sold in Japan). Eventually, it ended up as a free giveaway with O.C.’s Hiero Imperium LP “Smoke & Mirrors”. The LP features production from Vanguard, “Soul Supreme”, a young(er) Locsmif and a young(er) Statik Selektah (spell his name right!).
29. GZA f/Ras Kass “Lyrical Swords” off “Think Differently Music: Wu Tang Meets The Indie Culture” (Think Differently, 2005)
GZA & Ras Kass murder an ill beat off one of the best offerings (and biggest surprises) of 2005. Of course, GZA and DJ Muggs made a modern Hip Hop classic album as well with quite a few bangers on it but that is another story. If you’ve never heard this album then I pity you, fool.
30. AZ “The Truth” off “The Final Call/”A.W.O.L” (Koch, 2005)
I could’ve picked a number of jawns off “The Final Call” or “A.W.O.L” but this will be my jawn forever and ever amen. Rollo Wonder is 1000x more inspirational than Deepak Chopra to me. He needs to do a collaborative project where a nice emcee spits fire and he drops jewels Big Rube style. AZ is also one of my all time favorite emcees so you might see him again on my list. Matter of fact, bet on it.
31. Rapper Big Pooh “Between The Lines” off “Sleepers” (6 Hole, 2005)
Rapper Big Pooh’s debut LP had the perfect title in my opinion cuz heads slept on it hard. I still have my “Sleepers” T shirt, son. It dropped on Jacksonville’s 6 Hole records which had an impressive discography if you look it up sometime. Fuck it, I’ll hold your hands on this one. In any event, the LP dropped and raised some eyebrows with Little Brother & Hall Of Justus fans but was overlooked by everyone else. The rest of the world slept.
32. Kev Brown “Albany” off “I Do What I Do” (Up Above, 2005)
Kev Brown’s “I Do What I Do” is a classic. I don’t care what they do to that album when they repackage it & release but I need to cop it. Instrumental version. Remastered. If Kanye West decided to make an art film where he “reinterpreted” “I Do What I Do”? I’d cop it. Kev Brown is the dude & I love this jawn. Three minutes of Hip Hop perfection. And he didn’t even have to try all extra hard to impress us. *Shots fired*
33. Vakill f/Ras Kass “Introducin’” off “Worst Fears Confirmed” (Molemen, 2006)
Two of the nicest and underrated emcees in the game traded bars and a lot of y’all never even heard it. Vakill is working on new material right now and Ras Kass just dropped “A.D.I.D.A.S” this Summer. Damn family, y’all slept.
34. Pharaohe Monch “Never Walk Together” Bootleg/leak before “The Awakening” mixtape (SRC, 2006)
In early March 2006, a new Pharoahe Monch track hit the internet via radio rips & mixtapes titled “Never Walk Together” (though it was often erroneously titled “Never Walk Alone”). It featured an Aretha Franklin vocal that couldn’t be cleared and it was one of the most sought after full CDQ versions of 2006 (imagine the same frenzy “Exhibit C” caused). When the pre-album mixtape “The Awakening” dropped guess what song WASN’T on it? You guessed it, kids…
35. Kidz In the Hall “Don’t Stop” off “School Was My Hustle” (Rawkus, 2006)
For those of you (us) that are heads you’re already smiling at this selection. The homie Double 0 AKA The Man With The Most Luxurious Hair In Hip Hop AKA The Belizean Ric Flair flipped a beat into a bangin’ track. The homie Just Blaze AKA The Megatron Don AKA The Dude That Won’t Send Me One Of His Many Unused iPhones flipped into a bangin’ track as well. His version became Jay-Z’s lead single off of his comeback album “Kingdom Come”. Remember this?
36. Hi-Tek f/Dion & Talib Kweli “Let It Go” off “Hi-Teknology 2: The Chip” (Babygrande, 2006)
This album was FIRE. Dion’s LP never came out but Hi-Tek completed it on Interscope, I believe. Last year, Hi-Tek claimed he was gonna liberate both Jonell’s old Def Jam projects AND Dion’s unreleased LP’s on Twitter. Myself, Houseshoes, DJ Babu, Rhettmatic & a host of others were like “Do it!”. Never happened. I still have my fingers crossed, though. Dion’s a BEAST.
37. Blue Scholars “Opening Salvo” off “Bayani” (Rawkus, 2007)
There were quite a few must have Bush Administration era inspired albums that people have people glossed over. We have no more Dead Prez’ in the mainstream. No new Public Enemy in the mainstream. No more Movement Ex, Paris or The Coup on a major label. That doesn’t mean the politically tinged rebel music doesn’t exist anymore. You just need to dig deeper or ask someone who knows where it is. I’m that someone, muhfuckas. HERE.
38. Waajeed f/Ta’Raach & Invincible “Bombs Away” off “The War LP” (Ubiquity, 2007)
I go back with Detroit Hip Hop. Way back. Back into time. I had Waajeed’s Bling47 instrumental CD’s. I was fuxing with Ta’Raach back when he was called Lacks. I was an Invincible fan back when she was on the battle circuit in the early days of the Anomolies Crew and appearing on MTV’s “The Lyricist Lounge Show”. “The War LP” is required listening for any serious Hip Hop head or connoisseur of fine music. Real talk.
39. Evidence “Mr. Slow Flow “ off “The Weatherman LP” (ABB, 2007)
Do I REALLY need to explain this one? Seriously? Listen to it and you tell me what’s up. No explanation necessary? Didn’t think so. Next!
40. Little Vic “This Is What It Sounds Like” off “Each Dawn I Die EP” (Orena, 2008)
Back in 2008, I was in Newbury Comics reading some new releases & magazines when this girl just kept staring at me. I look over at her and she’s hella cute. She smiles & taps me on the shoulder. I removed my Sony MDR-V150 headphones (GIVE ME AN ENDORSEMENT DEAL, SONY!) and direct my attention to shorty. She says “What’s playing in your headphones? It sounds MAD good!”. I was playing this particular song in my headphones and the EP had just recently dropped so I directed her to it in the store and she thanked me. She had a boyfriend. Of course she did. Girls like that are born with boyfriends.