Filed under: Biters In The City,No Country For Old (Rap) Men,The Unkut Opinion,Web Work
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
Weighing in on the usual complaints about Action and Droog…
Weighing in on the usual complaints about Action and Droog…
I repped the Conservative Rap Coalition position on the importance of the Illmatic album in front of an audience at The Forum yesterday. Stream below.
There’s a lot of talk about what rap should and shouldn’t have done, but why does it having to do anything beyond being great?
There may only be two rapper’s with high pitched voices who I can tolerate – Milk D from Audio 2 and Ad Rock from the Beastie Boys, who also happened to have joined forces to record “Spam,” perhaps the most ear-splitting, obnoxious and completely brilliant rap song of all time. Otherwise, I have little to know time for whiny-voiced rapper dudes, regardless of how clever their rhymes may happen to be. While many aging hip-hop fans have a special place in their hearts for groups such as Souls of Mischief and Pharcyde, to my ears their debut albums represented the musically equivalent of golf being “a good walk spoiled.” Both 93 ‘Til Infinity and Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde featured outstanding production weighed down by some of the most annoying voices ever to rap.
I’ve had a few requests of late to break-down my list of personal favorite rap albums, so to set off this tenth anniversary week of Unkut Dot Com, here are the twenty tapes I’d like to be buried with, or take to a desert island with a crate of AA batteries for the Walkman.
Every now and then, one of these rap websites puts together a list along the lines of “The 30 Greatest Hip-Hop Albums of 1993″ and such, which in theory isn’t something I should have an issue with. The reason I mention it is that a decent proportion of these albums – most of which are widely regarded as “classic” and important records – don’t exactly inspire me to dig them out of the shelves and throw them onto the turntable (or, if I’m feeling lazy, navigate to the folder on my hard drive). Is this simply due to the fact that I played that shit to death back when it was released? Or is it more of a case that some music outlives its usefulness?
Take De La Soul’s much discussed 3 Feet High And Rising, for example. While there’s no doubting the impact and originality that Prince Paul and Plugs 1, 2 and 3 brought to the table, I can confidently state that I have no intention to ever listen to that record in it’s entirety in the foreseeable future. That’s likely more of a reflection of my preference for anti-social rap with loud drums than anything else, but it’s an issue worth considering. Let’s take a look at the 1989’s greatest hip-hop albums according to ego trip‘s Book of Rap Lists for example:
That shit I don’t like.
When Nas dedicated “Loco-Motive” to “all my 90’s dreaded N-word”, he had no idea of the floodgates that were about to open. Not that throwback rap is anything new, but things have apparently gotten to the stage where the Pro Era crew are now claiming that no one outside of the Beast Coast collective is allowed to shamelessly pander to nineties hip-hop nostalgia. After A$AP Mob dropped a track called “Trillmatic” the other day, over an a-typical vibed-out beat and featuring a blistering contribution from Method Man, Joey Bada$$’ manager felt a type of way and aired out the following on Twitter: “Love to see more rappers bite the pro era swank. Good shit Nast. Smh lol whats new with these “New York” negus?” To which Nast replied: “style jacking who my nigguh. 1990 born up you got us fucked up my g need to talk whatchu know” , followed by this more incenidary remark: “I GOTTA SHOW DEZ LIL NIGGUHS HOW TO REP THE 90’s FOR REAL” Roffle Harris.
These things change from day to day, but here are my current picks. Discuss among yourselves…
Back in August I called out a guy named Aaron over his series over at The Rap Up which saw him revisit a number of rap classics from the perspective of a young fan. He’s now penned a response of sorts.
I was axed a few questions about rap and Unkut…
Has anti-social rap moved to the mid west?
Let Puffy Down.
This is the result of Mom “accidentally” locking me in the basement for four days with nothing but a pack of Funyuns and a can of Arizona Ice Tea.
If there is one thing that really pisses me off, it’s pretentious Coffee Shop Art Rap. This album was released during the height of the “experimental” LA hip-hop movement, which gave us high-pitched whiny efforts such as The Pharcyde and The Wascals (who were just a shittier version of the former). I guess we should blame the Good Life Cafe, which was fawned over by RapPages and other music mags on account of being a refreshing alternative to rapping about girls and guns over P-Funk. The thing is, King T and the Alkaholiks proved that it was possible to make great rap out West without sounding like a bunch of jazz loving beatniks, but since they were basically brag rappers the hip-hop media craved something more “left-field”. Thus the world had to endure the “conceptual improve” styling that is the Freestyle Fellowship.
Murs thinks rap music is still too juvenile. He’s wrong.
In news that shouldn’t be particularly surprising to anybody who watched the extensive Dateline report on Tim Dog‘s numerous “bad business deals” with a series of lonely ladies he met through internets dating, one of his “rubes” is so thirsty to get her $100 a month repayment plan continued by Timothy that she’s hired a private investigator to prove if the Dog actually died earlier this year. The story has even been picked-up by a local news show, despite the fact there is no actual proof that he’s still alive.
After being informed by a longtime Bronx resident that, “most Webster Ave niggas are con artist”, I think I may have a lead. Over at Discogs, a lone seller is offering a copy of Tim Dog’s final album, BX Warrior, on CD for $91. Since I’m pretty sure nobody actually bought that album, or even knew it existed, there’s a good chance that this is Tim’s latest hustle. I put to you that he left Atlanta with a briefcase full of BX Warrior CD’s, hopped the red-eye to Germany and is currently living with his latest online dating conquest in Berlin, who is helping him prepare the next Tim Dog Greatest Hits box set/all-black strip revue/movie project with Denzel Washington.
However, if it turns out that Esther Pilgrim is completely wrong about this crackpot theory, I hope she gets hit by a bus for continuing to drag the great man’s name through the mud. I mean she did get to experience a romantic night in Atlanta with the guy who made “Fuck Compton”, after all. You can’t put a price-tag on that kind of experience!
Time to play the “blame game” for all those token love/dance/radio songs that spoil otherwise great albums…
What with the current influx of Molly Rap, Acid Rap, Loud Rap, Lean Rap, Yayo Rap, Bath Salts Rap and whatever the fuck else these characters are getting bent off, it seems like we’ve returned to the Slow Rap era that Cypress Hill heralded in the early nineties. Does that mean that we need to get twisted on the appropriate substance to fully enjoy much of this new rap? I’m pretty sure you need ingest heroic quantities of codeine to fully enjoy this new DOOM song with Clams Casino, “Bookends”:
Like many of you, the first time I heard Nasty Nas was through his stirring performance on Main Source’s seminal “Live At The BBQ”, but it was initial exposure to “Halftime” on a local radio show that really got me amped. I was so impressed with the track that I eventually went on to describe it as “The Best Brag Rap Song of The 90’s”: “The lyrics are a ‘Good Combination’ of declarations of poetic superiority, explanations of his daily operations, product name checks, witty punchlines, casual blasphemy and a healthy dose of Eff The Police sentiment. What more could a rap fan ask for?”