Yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and just put up my next 20 selections even though I have no idea how close Travis & Eric are to posting up their next lists. I’m sure by now you all know that when it comes to this Hip Hop song list shit I’m the wrong blogger to fuck with (no Ice Cube back when he was actually nice). Here come the pain! © Carlito Brigante:
41. Blackstar (Mos Def & Talib Kweli) “Little Brother” off “The Hurricane OST” (MCA, 2000)
This song is legend like Robert Neville. First off, it’s a Blackstar song. Secondly, it’s a Dilla production. This song was so popular amongst underground heads that some Rap group from North Carolina even named themselves after it. Perhaps you’ve heard of ‘em? To further legitimize this jawn’s greatness Questlove told the full story of it’s creation on Okayplayer a while back. Domino, muthafucka! © Doughboy
42. Wu Tang Clan “Babies” off “Iron Flag” (Loud, 2001)
You know why I threw on my backpack and went underground like the Morlocks and led the resistance on some “Kuato Lives” shit back in ’97? Here’s a reason. In 2000, the Wu tang Clan reappeared with an album called “The W”. They didn’t make as big as noise as they’d hoped so they came back with another group album in 2001 called “Iron Flag”. One of the truly brilliant moments of that album was a gorgeous composition called “Babies”. No even one batted an eyelash. Maaan, FUCK the mainstream!
43. The Beatnuts f/Large Professor “Originate” off “The Originators” (Koch, 2002)
The Beatnuts dropped a compilation called “Classic Nuts” and were no longer on Loud Records after it dropped. They then went and signed a deal with Koch and dropped an album the next year called “The Originators”. I bought it (of course!) and this ode to record digging and originality featuring Paul Juice AKA The Live Guy With Glasses stood out like Willie O’Ree on the old Bruins teams. Folks slept.
44. MF Grimm “Yes You Are (It’s Only A Movie)” off “Downfall Of Ibliys: A Ghetto Opera” (Day By Day, 2002)
Percy Carey AKA Grim Reaper AKA GM Grimm made a concept album about a fallen angel who lands in the hood in modern day NYC. Its been referenced here & there by a few underground heads (that’s what Jay Electronica was talking about that one time in that one rhyme) but the overwhelming majority of Rap fans are oblivious to this album’s existence. This particular song is notable because it comes from the perspective of Yeshua Bar Maryam (Jesus for the slow) and it’s a love song to Mary Magdalene. They don’t make songs like this on Young Money!
45. Monsta Island Czars f/King Ghidra (MF DOOM) “MIC Line” off “Escape From Monsta Island” (Rhymesayers , 2002)
The Long Island crew Monsta Island Czars made a group album back in 2002 and few folks know that this album was the first appearance of this particular track. Back then DOOM was credited as King Ghidra, this was years before he made the King Geedorah LP. I liked this album, especially jawns like “Poisonous Winds”. My crates run deep. So deep. So deep it’ll put ya girl’s ass to sleep. (“Deeper than Atlantis” is too cliche plus I’m stickin’ to the Ice Cube theme)
46. Jazzy Jeff f/Shawn Stockman & Cy Young “How I Do” off “The Magnificent” (BBE/Rapster, 2002)
I was just copping albums that dropped on BBE off the strength of the label alone. I remember playing this album surprised at how dope some of the beats were, this jawn got put on repeat for about 45 minutes during my first listen. After I was finished I checked the liner notes & it turned out all of my favorite slaps (including this one) were produced by some dude named Kevin Brown. Who the hell is Kevin Brown? Anyone ever heard of this guy? *Sarcasm*
47. Large Professor f/Nas “Stay Chisel” off “1st Class” (Matador, 2002)
Large Pro was supposed to drop this album called “The LP” back in 1996. That didn’t happen. He signed to Matador Records and dropped his long awaited debut LP “1st Class”. This track with Nas was on this album but you’d be surprised how many people (Nas fans) first heard this on multiple Nas mixtapes that dropped between 2003 and 2007 without even knowing where it originally came from. Douche canoes and asshats…
48. The Alchemist f/Prodigy “P Broke The Switch” off “The Alchemist presents: The Cutting Room Floor 1st Infantry Mixtape Vol. 1″ (ALC, 2003)
The Alchemist is one of the illest producers in the game and he knows how to bring the best outta Prodigy. This disgustingly raw track is a perfect example. I copped this “mixtape” from Sandbox Automatic back in 2003 and it was well worth the purchase price. I still pull it out from time to time alongside the old Mobb Deep “Free Agents” Landspeed double CD. That was a great era for them creatively.
49. The Marxmen (M.O.P) “All Of The Above” off “Marxmen Cinema” (Family First, 2004)
M.O.P. was between deals (Roc A Fella & G-Unit Records) and they stayed in the lab. Fizzy Womack was selling hot beats to heads (Lil’ Fame for those not in the know) and he was cooking up serious heat for the crew that wasn’t getting out to the fans. M.O.P. decided to put out a “mixtape album” under the name The Marxmen. One CD was all new material & the other was rare and classic M.O.P. tracks. “Marxmen Cinema” was so hard that I could’ve picked a number of songs off of it, including “Murdah Murdah” and “Story Of My Life”.
50. Yak Ballz “No Escape” off “My Claim” (Eastern Conference, 2004)
This was back when Weathermen representative Yak Ballz was still spittin’ that rawness over Mondee and Camu Tao beats. Now dude raps about imaginary shit, robots and Mac products. You want to go back to a simpler time before the Weathermen imploded and before Cage turned into an alternative universe version of Liam Gallagher? Back then Diplo didn’t even own a suit. Memorieeeeeees don’t live like people doooooo!
51. The UN “Golden Grail” off “U N Or U Out” (456, 2004)
There’s a group called The UN from Uniondale. They are one of the illest groups of the past decade. One of their members is a rapper/producer named Roc Marciano who dropped a classic called “Marcberg”. This album “U N Or U Out” was one of the best Hip Hop albums made of the past 10 years easily. If you find it, cop it. It’s on iTunes. Buy it. Oh, and fuck Cam’ron for naming a group The U.N. when THIS group has been making classic material for a decade already. Eat a dick sandwich sideways, Cameron Giles.
52. Consequence f/Kanye West, John Legend & Khayree “So Soulful” off “Take ‘Em To The Cleaners” (Sure Shot, 2004)
Back in the days when Kanye West used to live in New Jersey and he chilled heavy with 88 Keys he also chilled with ex MCA Records recording artist and ex A Tribe Called Quest member from Queens, Consequence. They made music together along with this cat named John Stephens (you know him as John Legend). They made a gang of mixtapes together and when Kanye West finally blew up he started up a label and put his peoples on. This is one of those songs from the early days. I still have those mixtapes. You can have them when you pry them from my cold, dead hands…
53. Tame One “Blackout Status” off “O.G. Bobby Johnson” (Eastern Conference, 2005)
Let me first explain the significance of this song. It was the opening track off the new Tame One album and there were rumors floating around that Tame was strung out on drugs and he wasn’t as nice as he used to be back in the day anymore because of it. Tame let his fans and the entire Hip Hop world at large know that these rumors were completely unfounded. I love this album. Tame One is STILL nice with the verbs, I wonder if he still smokes leak cigarettes, though?
54. Oh No f/Buckshot “Get Yours” off “Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms” (Stones Throw, 2006)
So many people slept on “The Disrupt” it was upsetting. So many heads slept on “Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms” that I held out little hope for the survival of the human race back in 2006. One of my favorite tracks off this album was “Get Yours” but I feel that this was Oh No’s star turn because he handled the production this time around and those that were paying attention took notice that Oh no was one of the nicest young producers in Hip Hop. Then came “Dr. No’s Oxperiment”…
55. DJ Muggs vs. GZA “Illusionary Protection” off “Grandmasters” (Angeles, 2006)
This sounds like something RZA would’ve made for “Liquid Swords”. I remember someone talking about how music like this isn’t made anymore so they stopped fuckin’ with the Wu altogether. So I threw this on and dude says “See! THIS is what I’m talking about! Classic 1990′s RZA and Wu Elements production! Hip Hop doesn’t sound like this anymore.” I then told the asshole that the GZA album I was playing just came out 2 weeks ago and it was produced by DJ Muggs. This was the song that was playing. Man, I sure poured that guy a tall glass of “Shutthefuckup”….
56. Phat Kat f/Elzhi “Cold Steel” off “Carte Blanche” (Look, 2007)
Phat Kat used to be in a group with Jay Dee AKA J Dilla called 1st Down. He made a few insane albums but this one was extra stupid bananas. Phat Kat and Elzhi teamed up on a Dilla track had heads worldwide skeeting grey matter ejaculate all over the place in anticipation of a Cold Steel collabo album. It can happen!
57. NY Oil “Y’all Should All Get Lynched” off “Hood Treason” (Babygrande, 2007)
I really think that in this short attention span having Internet Era people have already forgotten about the impact of NY Oil’s damning (and incredibly on point) critique of the state of modern day Hip Hop. This song and video hit the internet like a megaton bomb and it sparked widespread debate IN REAL LIFE about the current state of the Rap industry and the images and portrayal of rappers back in the Spring of 2007. It was banned from YouTube then added again at a later date.
The song received Grammy consideration for God’s sake! If this song isn’t widely regarded as one the the most important of the past decade in coming years I will personally raise Hell. I could go into so much more detail but That’s not the point of this particular post.
58. Finale & Spier 1200 f/Bilal Salaam “The Backstory” off “Finale & Spier 1200 present Develop” (Rawkus, 2007)
The Rawkus 50 saw a great amount of incredible projects that were released and this was one of them. Finale & Spier 1200′s album dropped in December 2007 and I didn’t hear it until January 2008. I ended up playing it all throughout 2008 and I even put it on my Best of 2008 List on Poisonous Paragraph with an asterix next to it denoting it was technically a 2007 release. This album was so goddamn good…
59. Y Society (Insight & Damu The Fudgemunk) “Scientist” off “Travel At Your Own Pace” (Tres, 2007)
I didn’t pick this song because it was necessarily a banger. I picked it because of it’s overall structure, flow, format and aesthetic. This is the type of song that would’ve been a dope album track back in the days but due to the overcommercialization of the modern Rap album no longer exists at the major record label level. There weren’t three sixteen bars verses. No sung hook. No “hot” guest rapper. With those beat changes there’s no way to work this song at radio or play it in he club. Thank Jehovah God.
60. Mighty Joseph (Vast Aire & Karnegie) “Kidz (N.Y.C.)” off “Empire State” (Urchin Studios, 2008)
Vast Aire. Karneige. Indie Hip Hop. Raw beats. Ill bars. Classic material. Heads slept. I’m playing it in my headphones while I’m reading magazines at a newsstand and some dude taps me on the shoulder and asks me what “old school” album I’m playing so he can go into his collection and play it when he gets home. I told him it actually dropped a few months back and I showed him the album cover in my iPod Nano (R.I.P). He seemed like he was in shock and he said “They still make Hip Hop that sounds like that? I had no idea. Thanks”. I was glad he had been enlightened but I still felt like hitting him for some odd reason. It didn’t help that he was wearing a cotdayum Diplomats T shirt at the time. Asshat J. Clownshoes…
I’m already getting another 20 together for next week, kids.