A to the L’s 100 Favorite Hiphop Albums Of All Time (Part 7)

100 List Part 7

Thirteen more for that ass. Don’t worry ladies, the next little section will include your Wu-Tang faves… but apart from that we’re rapidly running out of room… who hasn’t appeared yet that you feel should make it on?

Don't Sweat The Technique
61) Eric B & Rakim €“ Don’t Sweat The Technique
LOL @ the gasps of astonishment. Yes, fuckers, this is the only EBAR album in the 100. Why? Because it’s the only EBAR ‘album’ they’ve ever made €“ “Paid In Full” is a collection of (truly great) singles padded out with some horrible Eric-B-on-the-cut (come on kick it!) type shite; “Follow The Leader” despite starting off with one of the best 1-2-3 combinations in the history of Hiphop quickly descends into complete filler; and “Let The Rhythm Hit Em” with a few exceptions is total bargain bin fodder. “DSTT” meanwhile has ‘Whats On Your Mind’ on it for starters, which shits all over ‘I Need Love’, ‘I Used To Love Her’, ‘A Bitch Iz A Bitch’ and any other Hiphop ‘love’ joint you can care to think of. On a later joint, Ra cuts off a kid’s eyelid because he’s so fucking diesel. And the title track is the first Hiphop vid from an authentic star to have an awkward looking white woman in the video hoeing it up with the rest of the chocolate eye-candy.

Daily Operation
62) Gang Starr €“ Daily Operation
As we all know €“ when it comes to lists, compilations don’t count. And so, with “Full Clip” disqualified as a contender, “Daily Operation” becomes the single Gang Starr album to make the list. There’s a strong argument to be made for “Step In The Arena”, but personally it felt a little too light to me at times (plus it has the inferior version of ‘Just To Get A Rep’), whereas “DO” is pretty much the first true example of Primo bringing the grit and grime of NY to Hiphop heads in the style for which he’s become famous. Guru as usual, is merely adequate, sounding neither tough on the ‘thug’ tracks, or sincere on the ‘love’ tracks, but when Premier is abusing speakers and eardrums as much as he does on this album, its easy to tune Keith out. By the way – “Hard To Earn” has as many misfires as it does heaters, “The Ownerz” lacks that certain spark that lit the earlier albums, and “Moment Of Truth” actually COULD make the list depending on my mood and a certain time. Today however, all I hear is K-Ci & JoJo murdering the hook on ‘Royalty’ and thus I swiftly move to the next artist.

Livin' Proof
63) Group Home €“ Livin’ Proof
Hiphop production legend produces an album of amazing beats at the very height of his supernatural boom-bap powers. Gets in his shite mates to rap over it. The end. (‘Supastar’ and the title track are the fucking knock though.)

The Sun Rises In The East
64) Jeru Tha Damaja €“ The Sun Rises In The East
Part two of our incredible story about a Hiphop production legend who produces an album of amazing beats at the very height of his supernatural boom-bap powers. Gets in his shite mate to rap over it. The end. (‘Come Clean’ and ‘D.Original’ are the fucking knock though.)

Jewel Of The Nile
65) Nice & Smooth €“ Jewel Of The Nile
The two best wearers of silk shirts in Hiphop (sorry Kane) got a little more rugged, strapped on the Tims and the goosedown and churned out a solid album that bumps practically from start to finish, and tops “Ain’t A Damn Thing Changed” which had its fair share of homosexual tracks amongst the gems. Greg Nice still talks complete nonsense, and Smooth B sounds more the ghey here than at any point in his career, but yet, despite this, this horribly-named album somehow works. Jeep anthems, superbly simple jackings of Prince, Slick Rick guest appearances : every base is covered. They even hold it down for the white people, by bringing in Everlast to drop a verse on the rocky ‘Save The Children’ : Remember when he used to serve asses like John McEnroe?

Take A Look Around
66) Master Ace €“ Take A Look Around
One of the most underrated, overlooked albums in Hiphop history, this deservedly makes my list. Ace on the mic is at times intelligent, at times humorous, at times conscious, at times club-happy, and each and every time he, Steady Pace, or Molly Moll hook up a perfect beat to suit the mood. As this album contains the song ‘Me And The Biz’, which introduced the world to that scary ass papier mache Biz Mark doll, it gets a special Halloween snap in Trick Or Treat formation.

Slaughtahouse
67) Masta Ace €“ Slaughtahouse
Along with Prince Paul and De La, I think Ace perfected the art of themed albums. On “Slaughtahouse” he goes for the throat of emcees who churn out bullshit lyrics that glorify violence but who don’t take into account the effect it has on impressionable kids. This album is even more relevant today than it was back then. And ‘Mad Wunz’ is still a mixtape staple (as well as the basis for Big Dawg Pitbull Westwood’s traditional theme tune for his Saturday show)

Sittin' On Chrome
68) Masta Ace €“ Sittin’ On Chrome
Ace’s subsequent two albums could easily feature on a top 100 list on a different day €“ he’s easily one of the most consisted and gifted emcees to have ever picked up a mic. However his entries on MY list end with this one €“ another themed album, this time of NY raps with a distinct West Coast flavor. Its executed superbly throughout, although many people may really only be familiar with ‘Born to Roll’, the big breakout single. Other cuts like ‘The B-Side’, ‘Terror’, ‘The INC Ride’, and ‘Turn It Up’ definitely impress much more than this though, and it’s a crime that this album is another one that’s overlooked by so many people.

Whut? Thee Album
69) Redman €“ Whut? Thee Album
One of the strongest debuts in Hiphop history. Red came out the blocks hard, representing the Bricks to the fullest while at the same time showing the world that not only had Erick Sermon still got some funk production tricks in the bag, but that Redman himself could hold it down competently on the boards. Reggie’s sense of humor shines out from every track, harkening us back to a period when Hiphop was a lot more fun that it is now. If you ever come across anyone who dislikes this album, please kill them immediately.

Muddy Waters
70) Redman €“ Muddy Waters
Similarly, if you ever come across anyone talking up Redman’s sophomore album, “Dare Iz A Dark Side” please feel free to give them a 2-piece with a biscuit as well. This album, “Muddy Waters” is the TRUE follow up to Red’s debut. It brings the fun and the funk back into the mix – a formula that was sadly lacking from the inferior second album €“ and sees Red link up with Method Man for the first time, as well as Busta Rhymes, Keith Murray, K-Solo, and Erick Sermon at different points throughout. Beat wise, its another supreme performance on the boards again shared largely by Red himself and E-Double. There are many people who don’t have this in their collection because of the mediocrity of “DIADS” : don’t make the same mistake as those herbs. This is the last true example of Redman as a top notch emcee €“ after that he starting hanging round with the wrong crowd (I see you Meth), and got into all types of trouble (I see you ‘The Red & Meth show’) that he would never have done in his earlier days. Thankfully, Jigga’s continual stiffing him over release dates seems to have brought the hunger back to the Funkdoctor judging from recent mixtape appearances : lets hope his next (as yet untitled, and not scheduled for release) album contains more than fleeting glimpses of the Red we’ve all come to know and love. (No Brokeback.)

Straight Up Sewacide
71) Das EFX €“ Straight Up Sewacide
While we’re on the subject on overlooked albums €“ don’t sleep on this one. In the rush to proclaim Wu-Tang kings of Staten Island in 1993, many people trampled Drayz and Scoob’s follow up to “Dead Serious” into the dirt. Their loss. Dropping much of the ‘iggity-wiggity’ flow that brought them their initial fame, Das EFX and main producer Solid Scheme, tightened both delivery and production up a few notches and brought some serious heat to the ears. The fact that too many people were burying their tongues in the collective Wu asshole at the time, meant that this amazing album still exists as a virtual sleeper for a lot of heads. ‘Underground Rappa’, ‘Baknafekk’, ‘Freak It’, and ‘Gimme Dat Microphone’ all stand head and shoulders above much of today’s Hiphop material. Ipso facto cunto.

Loc'ed After Dark
72) Tone Loc €“ Loc’ed After Dark
Stop laughing. I love this album. So what if Loc was only huskily growling what Young MC wrote for him? Y’all don’t have problems with giving Dre, or Biz, or MC Lyte a pass when they do it : why pick on the voice of a cartoon bear? Anyways, y’all know the deal with the pop side of this shit €“ ‘Wild Thing’ and ‘Funky Cold Medina’ are the big hits that everyone knows from here. Unfortunately if that’s all you know about this album, you’re missing out on the title track where Loc swallows a bucket of gravel over the same break Ice-T utilized for ‘High Rollers’; the bar room ambience of ‘The Homies’ where Loc big ups the ones who got his back; and the smokers anthem ‘Locin’ In On The Shaw’, which takes relaxation to another level. ‘Don’t Get Close’ and ‘Cuttin’ Rhythms’ also provide two more reasons why this regularly makes it into the changer.

Runaway Slave
73) Showbiz & AG €“ Runaway Slave
I first copped this on tape, and played it so much that I snapped the damn thing. I got another tape and snapped it too. Now I’m on my third tape, alongside the cd version, and the vinyl is in that pile over in the corner. I support when artists deserve it y’see. This one goes hand in hand with the heavily-favored (and overlong) “Stunts, Blunts & Hiphop” by Diamond D. They both come out of the DITC camp, both around the same time, and both carry the same NY-basketball-court-summer-anthem/Tims-N-Hoods-in-winter double feel in much of their material. Showbiz of course is the producer/emcee extraordinaire €“ a veritable beast both on the mic and the boards who gets ‘head on the escalator’ from numerous hoes. Andre The Giant, or plain old A.G. to his parents, plays the steadfast lyrical warrior; viciously slaying foes with a pen and a pad. Trademark boom-bap era Hiphop on the highest possible level is the aim here, and both Show and A.G. do not disappoint. The fact that Lord Finesse and Big L (amongst others) feature here with terrific verses on the anthem ‘Represent’ gives you one more reason to go out and cop if you haven’t already done so.

Stay tuned for more fun and frolics…

8 Replies to “A to the L’s 100 Favorite Hiphop Albums Of All Time (Part 7)”

  1. hmm… cmon, UGK – Ridin’ Dirty, Three Six Mafia, Outkast?

    DMX, Busta?

    surely some of their albums must make this list

    and this may be a personal favorite, but u should consider Paul Wall & Chamillionaire’s “Get Ya Mind Correct” – many down south consider it a classic

  2. You forget to stress how amazing “Up Against The Wall (Getaway Mix)” is in your Group Home writeup.

    I think you’re kind of on point with Rakim. The first two albums are not albums. I don’t know why you disgregard Let The Rhythm Hit Em so easily though. No Omega, The Ghetto, Untouchable, Mahogany and the title track? Thats not a great album? [biz voice]COME ON![/biz voice]

    Oh and for the one millionth time, Daily Operation is flat.

    We’ve had a really nice condition copy of the Tone Loc album in the shop for like 8 months now not selling at a pretty reasonable price. I can’t believe it. I put a sticker on saying “Dust Brothers Production” in case some Fight Club fan might get interested but nothing. Having the huge pop single really does damage your long term credibility. Damn.

  3. LOL @ DM fucking X…

    Busta hasn’t made a great album yet… if someone sat down and did a ‘proper’ greatest hits collection for him though it’d be superdope…

    Outkast and UGK? Stay tuned… you might be surprised…

    as for you young beezer… The Ghetto was the wrong mix on the album IIRC. I never liked Mahogany… call me an oddball, but I just found it kind of um… boring… the title track tricked me into buying the album close to release day only to be disappointed at how bland the rest was…

    Daily Operation = Best Gang Starr album of the lot. Ipso Facto Etcetero… flat? FLAT? Take It Personal is FLAT?

    Oh and fuck all the Tone Loc haters… that shit is a stonking album.

  4. looking forward to the rest of the list…
    you’ve brought up some that i’ve been sleeping on a bit.
    most of this installment i’ve checked minus the Nice & Smooth and Tone-Loc (i did know about the title track at least since it was the flip of Wild Thing; and I have the Old to the New/Blunts 12″)

    -i would say Jeru is at least a couple steps above Group Home lyrically though.

    -i understand your reasoning behind not selecting Paid in Full, and definitely agree on “Whats On Your Mind” (kinda slept on)… but as you said before…skip buttons are a wonderful thing (for the weak Eric B tracks)…Paid in Full has “Eric B Is President”, which may be my favorite hip-hop track of all time. [however, you’ve also mentioned this is your list… not mine. :D]

    anyways, keep up the good work. dig the humor too.

  5. if you are trying to link to where “Paid in Full” is on your list… I still don’t see it. maybe your full post didn’t make it up on the website?

  6. whoops… wordpress ate the comment below your original one for some reason – now it looks like that was aimed at you…

    you’re not a dickend at all 😉

    the dickend I was referring was quaintly name ‘ja-rule’ and he wanted to know why I was such a cocksucking faggot (or something like that) for not putting “All Eyez On Me” on this list… which of course we all know is already covered at the link mentioned above… I have no clue why one of his comments decided to vanished… he’s still in fine form on this post though…
    http://www.altrap.com/write/?p=826

    (PIF’s exclusion is covered right up above on the DSTT choice btw)

    apologies to you – you’re a very nice person and not a dickend

    (nh)

  7. now that i think of it…

    E-40 and Too Short?

    Kool G Rap, Bone Thugs? Any Common? Mobb Deep’s The Infamous?

    also, anyone else out of Houston? Z-Ro, Trae?

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