Monday, March 14, 2011

The Top Ten Greatest Rap Albums Of All Time Snubs

A good friend of mine by the name of Niiiiick Cicak alerted me to the fact that there were some snubs on my list of the top ten greatest rap albums of all time and I agree. I should have just made it a top 20. That said, here are 10 more of my favorite rap albums. I'm not going to call it numbers 20-11 because that's just stupid and would be going backwards, so just take this as 10 more of my favorite rap albums in no particular order. So...

Big Pun: Capital Punishment

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Big Pun was better than Biggy. There, I said it. And this album, while not as iconic as Life After Death has better lyrics on it, too. Much better, even. In fact, not only was he bigger, size wise, but his topics and style were bigger than Biggie's as well, overshadowing him in many ways. Too bad, like Biggie, he also died after his second album, which was the far inferior, Yeeeah Baby. We'll never know where Pun could have taken rap, so we'll just have to be left with this classic. Oh, well.

Gang Starr: Moment of Truth

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True story. After interviewing Guru for an article in XXL and questioning him about what happened to his relationship with Premo, the next day, he called me back and threatened to cut me in the streets if he ever saw me. That said, that still doesn't detract from how excellent this album is. Every track on it has great depth, and the replay value is high. If you've never listened to this album before, then you haven't heard dick.

2Pac's Greatest Hits

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I would never put any of 2Pac's albums on a greatest rap albums list because all of his albums are uneven and never reach greatness. That said, 2Pac had some GREAT singles, and never is that more evident than on this greatest hits album. There are just SO many impeccable tracks on here from his short, albeit, jam packed, career, that it's sickening. My favorite though was actually a new, at the time, at least, posthumous release called, "I Wonder If Heaven's Got a Ghetto". And what added even more greater gravitas to the song was the fact that he would actually be able to find out by the time this song was released. Depressing.

Mobb Deep: Murda Muzik

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The Infamous Mobb. Now HERE's a group that was once great that fell off the earth completely (Mostly because of Prodigy's imprisonment). While their Infamous album may be more iconic, mostly for its "Shook Ones: Part 2", Murda Muzik was a far better release. The production on this one is their best ever, laced by Havoc and The Alchemist, mostly, and it just has some really, really dark, moments to it, my favorite being "The Realest" featuring veteran, Kool G. Rap. Still a classic, even to this day.

MF Doom: Operation: Doomsday

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I mentioned in the last piece that Operation: Doomsday would have been on my list if not for Mm..Food, and that still stands. OD is a jazzier album, with even more soothing beats and stranger melodies. It has the same off-beat, bizarre rhymes, of course, but that's just Doom. Another masterpiece, and his first as a solo artist away from KMD. A really solid release from the metal faced villain.

The Genius/GZA: Liquid Swords

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I mentioned this album last time, too. Next to Only Built for Cuban Linx, this is definitely the second best early solo Wu release. Rza's production on this one is beautiful in its discordant texture, and the GZA has always been the best rhymer in the group. He may not have the best flow, but his lyrics have always been superior to all the rest of the Clan, even if his songs weren't necessarily better. Brilliant, just as a genius' work SHOULD be.

Hieroglyphics: Third Eye Vision

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Yeah, so Del the Funky Homosapien may be the star of the group, and Casual might be a close second, but both give equal mic time to the other members. This is such a classic album because it takes all of their unorthodox styles and blends them together seamlessly. The beats are fresh, the rhymes, of course, are great, and it just has an ebullient feeling to it that you don't find in most rap releases. Oh, you never knew?

De La Soul: 3 Feet High and Rising

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Though I'm not as in love with this album as everybody else is, you have to admit, it's a pretty catchy release. Led by Prince Paul's playful production, it's sometimes criticized for being TOO simplistic in its scope, but I think that's the whole point of why it's so special. For the time, it was unique, and even today it sounds strange when put next to other albums. Listen to it if you haven't already. It's...different. And great at the same time.

Killarmy: Dirty Weaponry

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Fine, call me a Wu-tang snob if you must (They were a Wu side project), I don't mind. But this album is crazy. There are VERY few rap albums that I can listen to ALL the way through (Aside from my top ten, of course), but this is one of them. The theme of war lies heavily on this one, and each "soldier," as they call themselves, bounces off each other's line like a full on brigade. They're really sick. As with all great releases, the production is great, but UNLIKE most other stellar productions, it's hard to tell just WHY it's so great. It's simple, sure, but startlingly complex, too, making it a strange listen to. Please, download this album, now.

Jedi Mind Tricks: Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell

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Besides having my favorite title for an album ever, this release from Jedi Mind Tricks is most certainly their best. It's a very political album and Vinnie Paz is up for the challenge of not focusing on himself for a change and actually rapping about worldly events at the time. If I had a top 30 list (I"m not even going to get into that) I'd definitely put one of The Coup's or Dead Prez's albums (But no Public Enemy. I'm sorry, but they were overrated) up here, too. But as far as politics and great flows go, this is the one album I can listen to over and over and over again. And I have.

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