Saturday, July 28, 2012

The 25 Best Underground Rap Albums Of All Time (Part 5)

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14. Blackalicious-Nia
Released in 1999
Label: Mo’ Wax/Quannum Projects
Gift of Gab kills it on every track, and Chief Xcel provides the beats for him to kill it on with this debut masterpiece from the late 90s. This duo from Sacramento is like the hipper version of Gangstarr, and they never let you forget it from front of the album to the back. The group starts it off right with “The Fabulous Ones” (Fabulous, indeed), and just keep on going with tracks like “Deception” (We’ve had “Laa, de da de da da” stuck in our heads for days), “Shallow Days,” and “Dream Sessions.” Even DJ Shadow’s, “Cliff  Hanger,” with its boom bap aesthetics, fits on this fresh ass release. All of their albums are great, but this one is our favorite. 

Best track: Cliff Hanger

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13. Deltron 3030-Deltron 3030
Released in: 2000
Label: 75 Ark
Concept albums are a rarity in the rap game. Sure, there have been a few (With two others coming up later on this list), but when it comes down to it, the pickings are slim. Which is why Del the Funky Homosapien and Dan the Automator’s debut together is such a special album. Bringing the space age lyrics that Del had been spouting for years before this album, Automator’s production just sent this record into the stratosphere. “Positive Contact,” and “Virus” shine, but the entire album is a masterpiece of vision and precision. That said, it could never be a commercial release. It’s just too out there to be anything more than underground. Fuck Earth!


Scott said...

Love both these albums. I wish Del was still any good. I love this album and Both Sides of the Brain, but it seems like is last five or six releases have sloppy freestyles instead of the precision writing in Deltron. Also, Deltron introduced me to Kid Koala, who scratches on this, and his body of work is amazing. Also also, Deltron is actually The Gorillaz (first album) and Damon Albarn does the opening narration on Deltron.

Rich Knight said...

Thanks, and yeah, I knew that about The Gorillaz. I kind of love and hate them at the same time. They're a very lopsided group when it comes to their releases. Some are great...some are beyond awful. You never know which you're going to get.