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Old 02-25-2011, 01:13 PM
Location: In my view finder.....
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1 album per post and no more than 2 posts in a row.

One of my favs is: "Life After Death" double disc- The Notorious Big

Awesome CD. One of the greatest 50 Rap albums of all time.
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:05 PM
Location: South Jordan, Utah
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Death Certificate by Ice Cube
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Old 02-26-2011, 04:11 PM
Location: Southeastern Tennessee
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Goodie Mob - Soul Food.
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Old 02-26-2011, 05:05 PM
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:29 PM
Location: The Bay and Maryland
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There are so many classic Hip Hop albums from that era that this thread is bound to stir up controversy. Let me give you the run down of two of my favorite Hip Hop albums from a strictly personal standpoint:

Too $hort- Life Is...Too Short (1988)

I'm from the Bay originally and it is no secret that the Bay Area is one of the most under-recognized regions of the country when it comes to Hip Hop. However, the Bay Area was really the second place to really have a thriving Hip Hop scene after the East Coast. Too $hort was undoubtedly the West Coast's first Hip Hop superstar. Too $hort began his career in the early 80's rapping at house parties in Oakland and selling tapes out of the back of his trunk. Too $hort patented a laid back rap style that emphasized topics like pimping. This was unheard of in Rap at the time. $hort also predicted the curb in Hip Hop towards gangsterism in the early 80's and his lyrics were often violent and misogynistic. His "b*tches ain't sh*t" player raps, trademark screech of "BIATCH!" and pimped out laid back rapping style would influence a generation of MC's from NWA, Snoop Dogg, UGK, Jay-Z to T.I. Also, unlike East Coast producers, on this album $hort chose to sample and loop P-Funk records rather than James Brown records that were being milked to death in NYC in the late 80's. This funky 808 drum pounding Oakland sound pioneered on this album inevitably gave birth to Bay Area Mobb Music and planted the seed for L.A. based G-Funk in undoubtedly influencing later producers like Dr. Dre.

The subject matter of this album is also very balanced. $hort doesn't waste all of his breath rapping about sexing females and slapping hoes. On seminal songs like "City of Dope", Too $hort takes time out to examine the social ills brought on by the omnipresence of Heroin in his notorious hometown of Oakland. $hort also never fails to entertain on legendary songs like "Cuss Words" filled line after line with hilarious and clever word play. Also, many of the songs of this album are much longer than songs by today's standards. Some songs are seven minutes long. But the crazy part about it is that these songs are filled with great lyricism and don't feel long and dragged out at all.

Young Cellski- Mr. Predictor (1995)

I am definitely biased on this one because I hail from the same neighborhood as this legendary Bay Area rapper. This album is largely unheard of outside of the Bay Area because most Bay Area rappers, Cellski included, did not sign to major record labels and distributed their music independently. Because of this, much of Bay Area Hip Hop, particularly Gangsta Rap, is much more like an audio documentary because unlike rappers signed to major record labels, Bay Area rappers still live in the hood and make music for the hood instead of popular rappers signed to major labels who listen to corporate coaching, spend all their time touring all over the the country and try to make music that appeals to mostly White upper and middle class teenagers in generic Suburbia, USA. Many cities like Kansas City, Houston and many places scattered throughout the South and Mid-West may be familiar with this album because Bay Area music has always been popular in those cities and regions. However, many have applauded this album as the greatest Rap record to ever come out San Francisco and the entire Bay Area, period.

Unlike most Bay Area Rap that is known nationwide, this album does not have the quirky boisterous flows an E-40 record or the marketable non-threatening Jazz-Rap East Coast-like sound of Souls of Mischief '93 Til Infinty. This album is a raw uncensored look into what life was like in what was San Francisco's highest crime district known as Lakeview in the 90's. Unlike many studio gangsters, these rappers were really living the lives they rapped about because they were regular dudes from the block making music for the block and weren't pseudo thugs who's image was created by a major record label. The atmospheric songs on this record shine with an undeniable honesty that is always missing from corporate mainstream Hip Hop and Gangsta Rap. Dark songs like "Stressed Out", which was featured on Master P's classic No Limit's West Coast Bad Boyz compilation in 1994, roll in like dark gray fog that covers the whole sky on a chilly day in San Francisco. The chaotic sounds on this record express the dysfunctional behavior and schizophrenic mentality of disenfranchised young Black men in a forgotten, neglected ghetto community doing anything to survive. At the same time, this record is not all ominous and dark, some songs like "Brain Dead" are fun and humorous in delivery yet still hard and ghetto. Also, tracks the like "The Last Song" sound like a spontaneous flow-of-consciousness epic ghetto poetic ode to a beautiful trademark 70 degree sunny day in the Bay more than anything. Songs like this balance out the darker songs on the album.

Perhaps, the best cut on this album is "Livin 'N The Bay". On this track, Young Cellski takes you to the grimey streets of Frisco in the mid 90's through dark lyricism that paint a much different picture of San Francisco than what has been pounded into the collective American psyche about the City by The Bay by the biased national media. The song also utilizes a very creative and unique sample derived from the audio of an episode of the Brady Bunch where the father attempted to scare the kids with a simulated sound of a UFO through his whistling. This track is the Bay Area's equivalent of Nas's "NY State of Mind". This song is undoubtedly considered by many to be one of the greatest Bay Area Hip Hop songs of all time. In a recent article by Complex magazine, "Livin 'N The Bay" was rated as the 25th best Bay Area Hip Hop song of all time. Check the epic first verse:

The 50 Greatest Bay Area Rap Songs | Complex.com

"As a youngsta I've always been around some funk
I'm watchin n*ggas duck from buck shots of the pump
Bein around this sh*t made a n*gga violent at times
Servin D the dope was beatin em down if they don't sell mine
Cuz you know that's how the f*ckin game goes
n*ggas gettin beat with bats gettin stalked with steel
Toes a n*gga was no older than thirteen or fourteen
When the bang was on I copped a gun from a dope fiend
Little six shot, 38 special
When the bang is on you got to beef strong livin up the ghetto
Me and my n*ggas walkin around straight gasin
Mug on mean funkin wit n*ggas all in my classic
Four deep is how n*ggas roll up in Frisco
And everywhere you go a n*gga got to pack a pistol
The beef is back on but I don't really know the reason
Supposed to be a truce but n*ggas start bangin' season
So I'm lettin it be known I'm fadin n*ggas with the chrome-9
Me and my n*ggas walkin around with Macs and the 45
So how you wanna handle your biz ya b*tch made mark
Leave ya dead to the head in Ocean View Park
Cuz when the bank is on n*ggas comin out the cuts
Wit artillery in their hand ready start to buck
Have them b*tch made n*ggas tryin to make my day
Cuz that's how it is when you're livin in the bay..."

~Cellski "Livin N The Bay" (circa 1992)

This lyrical subject matter on this album was also a bit ahead of its time. Cellski spends much of his time rapping about hustling, making money, stacking mail, selling drugs and doing what it takes to survive. Although in today's Hip Hop, this is standard subject matter, few rappers were rapping about this subject matter in depth in 1992-95. This album is not exactly revolutionary in terms of sound. Some of the instrumentals on this album defintely draw on a Dr. Dre influence. However, some of the greatest Hip Hop records of all time drew on previous influence. Nas's Illmatic was undoubtedly lyrically inspired by Kool G Rap and Rakim spitting over beats by legendary Jazz Hip Hop producers (i.e. Pete Rock, Q Tip, DJ Premier, Large Professor). Also this album is no different from many other classic underground Bay Area albums in its use of the unique regional Bay Area slang, especially now nationwide slang that was originated in SF's Lakeview District (in using words in 92-95' that are now just spreading in usage all over the country like pimpen, scrilla, fetti, mail etc.).


Last edited by goldenchild08; 02-27-2011 at 11:47 PM..
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:47 AM
Location: NYC
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:52 AM
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The Geto Boys- (1990)
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:09 PM
Location: Ft.Lauderdale/Miramar FL
177 posts, read 403,979 times
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Enter the Wu 36 Chambers
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:43 PM
Location: South Bronx
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Midnight Marauders-Tribe called Quest
The Score-Fugees
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:07 AM
Location: Fort Mill, SC
2,532 posts, read 3,432,939 times
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A Tribe Called Quest - Low End Theory
Outkast - ATLiens
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