View Full Version : hip-hop suggestions?
04-12-2007, 07:51 PM
So I've really been getting into the hip-hop that I hear on KEXP or the CBC. I want more. I don't really know the lingo, but the stuff I like is socially conscious and wicked smart. Stuff like the Blue Scholars, and Blackalicious, and that one Candian guy that raps about cereal.
Suggest me some things that I might also like.
I'm looking at you Andy Carey.
04-13-2007, 05:32 AM
Give "Black Star" a go. Its Mos Def and Talib Kweli. Really good and I think really up your alley.
04-13-2007, 12:16 PM
I'm not sure if it is considered "hip hop" as AOL music key worded it as "ganngsta" but young black teenagers is an amusing group. I took the liberty of finding one of their song lyrics....
It's time to make the dough nutz (*repeat 8X*)[Verse One]You see it's off to the store I got to go it's how I make the doughnutzThis way at the end of the week yo I collect the bonusSunday Monday Wednesday Friday the wrath is risin in the kitchenThe rest of the week I'm zonin - THE SKINS ARE FINGER LICKINBig brothers owe me the loot and some are frontin from the stoopIt's bounty huntin time and someone's gonna catch the bootin the as* - no questions, don't tell me no more liesDon't be steppin onto the block, the price you pay is high (how high?)I'm crackin 'em up and beatin 'em down as verily we roll alongBrothers know my style, my grip is just TOO strongSo figure it out yourself and you'll soon see that I don't sweat 'emHis back's against the wall I say spread 'em then I wet 'imSo hi-ho hi-ho hi-ho, it's off to work I goI figured I'd let you know, here's the flowIt's time to make the dough, nutz, the dough, nutzI hear the funky beats and I go, nutz[Chorus: repeat 4X]It's time (what time is it?) It's time (what time is it?)It's time (what time is it?) It's time to make the dough nutz[Verse Two]Yes rappin again the flow I've got no time to sit and pauseCause when I cook the steel I hear the suckers hit their jawsI flow from the tongue to let you know just who is up next Firstborn just slayed the rhythm the opposite of breakin necksCause I can rip the best like use the glock to mix the batterFlex the same ingredients I went to (?) it doesn't matterSplatter, scatter, if you move there's nothin leftPetrified by the dough nutz cause the beats are made to deathSo after that you're left a hole in the middleSo hey diddle diddle, the Kamron's on the fiddleSo who's got the blunts with the booooom?Make room for the zoom of a Y.B.T. tuneIf your brain is still drownin then you're dooooomedDough, nutz, the dough, nutzI hear the funky beats and I go, nutz[Chorus][Verse Three]Now I'm bringin it back in so let me spark it for the crewThe oven is burnin hot, so look out we're comin throughCause the funk is on, MC givin livin up the cookiesTossin up the styles as we bake it for the rookiesPlayin hookies from the back, what does it take to slam a hit?I'm missin dunkin the donuts is it really worth the trip?To the top, they go pop, halfway up, we get stoppedBut we keep it hip-hop add a little twist of rockSo it's up and away, it's up and away, it's up and away we goWe're opening up the bakery, it's time to make the dough-di-oh</PRE>
I don't know if it counts (I am not great with telling the difference between rap and hip hop and the sort)</PRE>
but I really like N.E.R.D. It's pretty mainstream (I think phararel is in the group) I suppose but has good beats and decent "spitting" I guess.</PRE>
04-13-2007, 01:54 PM
You can't go wrong with the Roots' Things Fall Apart (OK Player, 1999). It's not the most socially conscious album out there, but it's far from the least.
Then there's always Ghostface's first album, Iron Maiden, but that's probably not what you're looking for. Still.
A Tribe Called Quest
De La Soul
Check them out
04-13-2007, 02:41 PM
Madvillain (not necessarily socially conscious, but definitely WICKED SMART...as is most MF DOOM stuff) Highly Recommended
Boogie Down Productions/KRS-One
04-13-2007, 02:44 PM
This is definitely turning into hip hop day on my iPod!
Public Enemy also used their music to make a few comments on our society, as did N.W.A.
04-13-2007, 04:28 PM
NWA will most likely not be in your ballpark, Kate, due to their many sweeping references to the fairer sex (hats off to you, Don Imus, you're Straight Outta Compton).
Public Enemy is also troublesome. On "Fear of a Black Planet" Chuck D has wonderfully insightful lyrics about changing hip-hop attitudes toward women. But on their next album, Flava Flav excuses slapping a women because, "She's the mother of my children, I took her 'round the world." P.E. in general might be a little too politically aggressive for your taste, Kate.
Following are artists I think you would like, and representative albums. This is in no way exhaustive, but just the stuff I feel strongly about.
De La Soul is accessible due to their avoidance of posturing and misogyny in favor of introspection, humor and plain old fun.
"3 Feet High and Rising" Produced by Prince Paul, this album introduced skits into rap vernacular (either to be praised or reviled, you decide) and is super playful with great samples and Long Island teenage innocence.
"Buhloone Mind State" Arguably the greatest hip-hop album ever made. Insightful lyrics not only about hip-hop, but the human condition. Plus it closes with an old-school Biz Markie jam.
A Tribe Called Quest were close artistic collaborators with De la Soul, but with a more radio-friendly, jazzy aesthetic.
Do yourself a favor and pick up "The Low End Theory," "Midnight Marauders," and "The Love Movement" for laid-back, classic hip-hop.
Those are my top suggestions from the 80's/90's. Now the 21st century.
Someone mentioned Slum Village earlier, and I highly recommend it. And from Slum Village came a great-but-now-deceased DJ/Producer/Rapper named J Dilla, or Jay-Dee as he was sometimes known.
"Donuts" is a great instrumental album with tons of old soul. He also worked with a Chicago MC you might have heard of named:
Common. He has an amazing gift with polysyllabic rhyme schemes (especially on "Be") and telling crafted stories. He's definitely more respectful towards women than 95% of rappers, but there are some hypocrisies to be found.
"Like Water for Chocolate" is a beautiful album with collaborations with the Roots, Mos Def, Jay Dee, and others.
"Be" is very recent with some great, GREAT beats. There are a few clunkers in this album, and it doesn't flow as well as "Like Water..." but the diamonds more than make up for the dirt clods.
Mos Def and Talib Kweli are frequent collaborators and two of the greatest minds in hip-hop.
"Black Star" also gets my nod for consideration of greatest hip-hop album of all time. Socially conscious is an understatement here, as it follows the deaths of B.I.G. and Tupac with demands for reality checks in music. Hi-Tek provides solid beats for most of the album. "Respiration" features Common and is a sublime reflection of urban life.
"Reflection Eternal" is Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek. I don't think Kweli has matched this early zenith in his creative career, even though he's put out some seriously solid stuff since. This album flows gorgeously from start to finish, and it finishes strongly with an eight minute meditation on different generations of black women and the struggles they've faced.
I hope that gives you a good jumping off point, Kate. Other suggestions in here are great (Roots, Mr Lif, MF Doom), but you mentioned Blackalicious and the above artists immediately sprung (sprang?) to mind. Good luck, there's wonderful stuff out there.
04-13-2007, 05:13 PM
Kate, POPS is most likely sighing because I failed to include an immensely influential group from my list: The Wu-Tang Clan. To say the Wu-Tang Clan is prolific would be to say The Flash can jog sorta quickly. The GZA and The RZA have gone on to be huge producers in addition to rappers; Method Man has several albums, a TV show and movie with Def Jam star Redman; Ghostface Killa is so incredible, MC's sell their souls just to be able to crap like him.
POPS, my apologies, and no disrespect to the Wu, but I figured they might be a little too violent for someone who's looking for socially conscious hip-hop.
04-13-2007, 05:29 PM
I think POPS sighed because he 'just loves you.'
Great list, I'm going to try a few of these too.
When Andy and hip hop mix, we all win.
04-13-2007, 06:52 PM
When Andy and hip hop mix, we all win.
Indeed. This is exactly what I was looking for. It's time for fun with iTunes!
04-13-2007, 06:58 PM
Jurassic 5. Jon Dick turned me on to them. Good times.
One of my favorite up-and-coming emcees is Spec Boogie - he's somewhat socially conscious without being boring.
His remix over Peter, Bjorn, and John's "Amsterdam" has made a few waves here and there:
If you dig that, you can check out more stuff at his myspace site (where he also has links to some of his latest mixtapes):
Del the Funky Homosapien
Common was already mentioned. I support that mention.
04-13-2007, 10:31 PM
Definitely Edan ("Beauty and the Beat" is essentially a love letter to music) and Del tha funky Homosapien, hell yes. I can't believe I forgot Jurassic 5, Kate. I guess I was just in an East Coast mood. J5 are old-school, feel-good hip hop with amazing DJ work and fun rhymes. Totally West Coast party music.
04-13-2007, 10:51 PM
Kanye West has been in the bathroom for like an hour. I think I heard crying.
04-16-2007, 02:43 AM
It's so funny. I was driving to Ohio this past weekend, and Jurassic 5 played on my iPod. I smacked myself for not mentioning them. Get "Quality Control". It won't disappoint.
Also, Edan. Might need to grow on you, but he is definitely awesome.
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