Music playlist week #30 (The 90s Hip-Hop edition)
Nas - NY State of Mind
Taken from Nas' phenomenal debut album "Illmatic" (probably the greatest hip-hop album ever) NY state of mind is the track that made this hip-hop hopeful one of the most respected rappers on the world, even to this day. Choosing just one song from Illmatic was a challenge. It's simply flawless.
Warren G ft. Nate Dogg - Regulate
The story behind this track is one of the greatest in hip-history. Is it true? Who cares. Apparently, Nate Dogg came to Warren G's rescue as he was getting robbed, and once the trouble passed, the two went and wrote this track. As you do, eh. Let's stop calling it G-Funk though, yeah?
Jay Z - Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)
Way back before Jay Z was one of the richest men on the planet, he was sampling the musical "Annie" and creating this hip-hop classic. This 1998 track somehow makes stage brats sound cool, which is no mean feat. One of the strangest, but most successful, use of samples you're ever likely to hear.
Beastie Boys - Sabotage
Who doesn't love Beastie Boys...The guys went back to their punk rock roots with this riff-heavy 1994 hit. Aggressive, funny, and showcasing some serious scratching, there's an argument to be made for this being The Beastie's greatest single ever. Also, the music video is some serious piss-taking genius.
Jurassic 5 - Concrete Schoolyard
Jurassic 5 are something else. This was the group's breakthrough hit, and to this day is probably still theor most popular. Socially conscious and very, very fun. The guys sample Ike Turner and mix it with their giddy, hyperactive flow. One of the greatest summer tracks of all time.
Snoop Dog - Gin & Juice
Snoops second single really showcased his lazy and laconic style of delivery, and announced him to the world, earning him a Grammy nomination in the process. Produced by Dr. Dre, this set Snoop up to be one of the biggest characters in music. It's a title he has lived up to ever since.
Ice Cube - It Was A Good Day
Ice Cube was the first member to break away from NWA and released hit after hit, but it's this chilled out number that gets our vote. Cube describes his perfect 24 hours, smoking week, shagging and getting takeaway food. It could be worse I guess!
2Pac ft. Dr Dre
Yet another with Dr. Dre's involvement. He knows what he's doing, doesn't he. This was made and released just after 2Pac was released from jail, and features an absolutely mental Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome inspired music video. It still sounds as good today as it did in 1995.
Ol' Dirty Bastard - Shimmy Shimmy Ya
You'll have the words "Oooh baby I like it raw" rattling around in your ears for days after hearing this. The unsettling piano keys and crazy lyrics (it was ODB after all) make this an unforgettable listen. Also, any song that name-checks Norman Bates from Psycho is a winner in our book.
The Pharcyde - Runnin'
This was the lead single from the incredible album "Labcabincalifornia" and once you hear it, it's impossible to get out of your head for a good few days after. More samples, but this time from an American Saxophonist and a Brazilian Guitarist. No one can ever accuse 90's hip-hop of being boring and unoriginal.
March 12, 2020