(If he's on your list, you're at the wrong blog.)
Doing this Top 25 shit reminded me of how much I loved rap once upon a time.
And not one type of monolithic backpacker-approved "rap", but all types of shit.
Old school boom-bap, gully bang-bang nigga die slow shit, happy bohemian rainbow rap, sample drenched jazz-rap, slap your mom rap. It was the balance that really did it.
Rap was once a medium that captured a plethora of black experience.
Now it's just the prison industrial complex's number one recruitment tool.
Things I learned doing this list,
- I have problems with many of Pacs records.
- The Roots don't have an album I like from front to back.
- The East Coast really ran the critical table.
- Topical references kill the longevity of rap albums.
- A weekend is not enough time to do this shit.
This list is perfect until I change it again.
Here it is party people, the Start Snitching Top 25:
25. Ice Cube - Death Certificate
So many rappers on this list have tried their damnedest to get kicked the fuck off. Despite a slate of embarrassing films, albums and tv shows (Black, White on FX) the dude was spitting that gospel at one time.
24. Dr. Dre - The Chronic
23. Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth - Mecca and the Soul Brother
22. Camp Lo - Uptown Saturday Night
How fucking fun is this record? I still don't understand it and that makes it even better.
21. NWA - Straight Outta Compton
The effects of this record still leave me confused as to what the net effect of N.W.A. was on rap.
20. Digable Planets - Blowout Comb
Maybe the jazzy of all the jazz-rap albums out there.
19. Pharcyde - Bizarre Ride To The Pharcyde
Some groups were put on this Earth just to leave one record. This was that group.
18. The Fugees - The Score
I spent an entire school year explaining this record to white people only for Lauryn Hill to break all their hearts when she said she hated them.
17. Eric B. and Rakim - Paid in Full
16. Common - Like Water For Chocolate
I think everyone has a different favorite Common album. This is mine.
15. Dr. Octagon - Dr. Octagonecologyst
Who knew rap could do this or that this record would one day create MF Doom? Thank you Dr. Octagon, you ran my voicemail messages in college.
14. Mos Def - Black on Both Sides
This is the sound of a man who had shit to say and about a dozen ways to say it. Sadly it was all he had to say.
13. Slick Rick - Adventures of Slick Rick
12. Outkast - Aquemini
You gotta have one Outkast joint on here.
11. Jay-Z - Reasonable Doubt
Jay copied from the best to come up with this one.
10. Gza - Liquid Swords
The best solo continuation of the classic Wu sound.
9. Ghostface Killa - Ironman
Who would have thought Ghostface would been the last Wu member standing?
8. Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
The best thing drugs have ever done to the black community.
7. Boogie Down Productions - Criminal Minded
How can you front on this?
6. Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions
I dropped this album several spots because of Flavor of Love.
5. De La Soul - 3 Feet High and Rising
Ignoring that this album basically created the sample and skit, you have to give De La credit for capturing some of the joy when black people actually knew their parents.
4. Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die
Christopher Wallace single handedly gave a generation of unattractive overweight men the courage to stand up.
3. A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders
This record showed me it's not all about the God-Body lyricism. Some emotion, good chemistry, lyrical cohesion and wit is enough for a classic.
2. Wu-Tang Clan - 36 Chambers of Death
A group of nerds from Staten Island mixed kung-fu, obscure mythology, gully talk and a cult religion to change rap forever.
1. Nas - Illmatic
"Nas what the fans want is Illmatic still."
- Nas "We Major" (2005)
He said it himself because he knows the damn deal. This dude launched a career on the strength of the sheer hope that he'd make another record this strong.
Shit that would have made it full it was a full moon or the wind was different..
- LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out
- Lost Boyz - Legal Drug Money
- Dead Prez - Let's Get Free
- OC - Word, Life
- Diamond D - Stunts, Blunts and Hip-Hop
- Black Moon - Enta Da Stage
- Main Source - Breaking Atoms
- Mobb Depp - Infamous
- MF Doom - Operation Doomsday
- Big Daddy Kane - It's a Big Daddy Thing
Put your lists up. I'm down to hear any classic shit I missed or what issues you have with my list.
And check Straight Bangin all week to see how this shit adds up.