Lists, Pop Culture

What Does Hip-Hop Look Like To You?

A couple of days ago I got a text message from one of my homies from way back. Somebody she knew read the recent profile of Jay-Z by Zadie Smith in the New York Times that read an awful lot like any other profile of Jay-Z talking about being Jay-Z. You know the one, where the interviewer goes into total fanboy mode – no judgement, I’ve never met anybody of Jay’s stature so perhaps I’ll be starstruck too – and their excitement jumps off the page a little too much? Anyway, somebody that the homey knows who wasn’t that up on Jay or much of hip-hop asked her for some hip-hop songs that he should check out.

You know, this is the moment that most fans of hip-hop wait for in life. See, most folks you come across already have an opinion on hip-hop, either good or bad. If they’re upwardly mobile and white, chances are that they view rap as the devil spawn of what happens when Nikki Sixx meets cocaine meets Harlem meets blaxploitation. But every now and then, you come across that person who is open-minded enough to still be willing to form a new opinion. And thus you get the opportunity to introduce this person to the art form you love and help to shape their impression. Basically you get to point them to your own personal version of what hip-hop looks like. You know, not Chief Keef and whatever is going on with the Chicago Public Schools. And no Soulja Boy. And you can take them to a place where people named Lil Reese and Lil Scrappy are more irrelevant than they currently are.

Yes. You get to create a Hip-Hop Utopia and introduce this individual to the good sh*t. So the homey and I went back and forth on songs that she should present to her friend. Believe it or not, there’s a lot of pressure involved here. So I figured, I’d bring the pressure to you all. But first, if I was given the opportunity to represent hip-hop to somebody who was open enough to believe that my version of the genre was the one to believe in, and I could only share ten songs, here are the songs I’d offer up:

1. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – T.R.O.Y.

Pretty self-explanatory here, plus it’s my favorite song in hip-hop and one of my favorite songs period. I get to pretend like all hiphop is beautifully produced full of verses about something and nothing AT THE SAME DAMN TIME (and get to use played out statments like that one…which makes no sense because I wouldn’t actually say that…the Ravens put up 41).

2. Geto Boys – Mind Playing Tricks On Me

For one, it samples Isaac Hayes and I just got finished watching the Stax documentary for the umpteenth time. For two, it’s a song about paranoia and it proves that hip-hop can actually discuss mental health issues. Mmhmm. I said it. Obama is fighting for the right for songs like this. Dr. King marched for this song. Plus, it’s just a great hiphop song.

3. Eminem – Lose Yourself

Probably the best song in his catalog and the perfect description of what it feels like to step on stage. Plus, it describes the essence of hip-hop. It’s not a slow burn type of sport, it’s about taking in the moment, rising to the occasion, and leaving no doubt. It’s like Remember The Titans, except not at all.

4. Queen Latifah – Ladies First

Mostly because I actually think King La went off on this joint and Monie Love repped for the ladies quite properly.

5. Nas – One Mic

This song is pure hip-hop from one of the purest representations of hip-hop, you know, when he’s not channeling his Rick Ross aspirations.

6. Notorious B.I.G. – either Juicy or Kick In The Door

“Juicy” is probably the most logical choice because it’s the story every rapper wishes they had. Minus the phone bill being about $2000 flat. Luckily, most people have unlimited plans now. ‘Pac and Big died before that happened though.”Kick In The Door” on the other hand is so perfect to me. I’d marry it if it wasn’t probably already married to “Unbelievable”.

 

7. Outkast  – Bombs Over Baghdad

This isn’t even remotely my favorite song by the group, however, it’s such a dope record that shows how different hip-hop could take it, I’m all in. Oh, and by the way, ATLiens is my favorite ‘Kast album though Aquemini is totally worthy of its praise.

8. Jay – Z – Can’t narrow this down…Reasonable Doubt

I know this is cheating, but I can’t do it. I can’t pick just one.

9. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – Thuggish Ruggish Bone

It’s just a dope ass song. Sue me. Worthy of being included for diversity of sound’s sake.

10. Tupac – Keep Ya Head Up

Self explanatory again.

Okay, there are so many songs and artists I didn’t include for various reasons but could easily deserve a spot on this list. However, I will bring it to you, the people…and for those that hate hip-hop, I’m gonna throw you a bone here…list some of the songs you think are the worst representation as evidence of the terribleness. Equal opportunity, plus I’m curious as to what songs folks who hate hip-hop really know and view as proof positive of the negativity within.

So creep with me folks…what does hip-hop really look like to you?

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. HIP HOP SAVED MY LIFE aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow night to www.blis.fm/theblaqoutshow from 8-10pm to check out The Blaqout Show as we discuss what’s going on in the world of politics, love, and fashion! Holla if ya hear me!

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Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. He believes the children are our future and is waiting to find out if he is the 2nd most interesting man in the world.

  • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

    Hip-Hop Sounds like The Roots and Cody Chestnutt “The Seed 2.0,” because I love the musical arrangement and Goodie Mob “Beautiful Skin” for the lyrics

    Aside: Y’all heard Chi Ali’s out of jail?

    • Manny

      The Seed 2.0 made me love the Roots forever

      • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

        The Seed 2.0 is an instant game-changer.

        • http://valsotherblog.wordpress.com Val

          I over-listened to that song so much so that I can barely listen to it now. Lol. Maybe in about 5 years I can start listening to it again.

    • http://www.twitter.com/mcnairian5 Fiveisthenumber

      Fat Joe had a pic of him on twitter.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

      I didn’t know he got out. I knew he caught a case for shooting someone. Then again, listen to this song. Is it just me, or with the distance of time, that song sounds like Mary Kay LeTourneau’s or Debra LaFave’s favorite song. LOL I would explain a lot of his later issues. :)

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      I did hear that Chi Ali is out of jail. I guess he got out 2-3 years early. #welcomebackChiAli

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      “Beautiful Skin” is also one of the best songs that very few people remember. Unfortunately, Still Standing never got the burn I felt it deserved. It also furthered my belief that T-Mo Goodie is one of the worst to ever do it.

      I will still never forgive him for his terrible non-sequitur ass verse on “Soul Food” though his scenes in the video were priceless.

      • Sweet James Jones

        T-Mo is the second worst. Crunchy Black is THE worst!

    • http://www.blackyodaprime.blogspot.com black yoda

      Can’t go wrong with Goodie M.O.B’s 1st or 2nd album. I can keep “Distant Wilderness” on repeat and “Still Standing”….”MC’s are running out of things to say, and radio stations running out of songs to play.” I also love the Ceelo interlude before “The Day After” on their first album. People just pretend he didn’t say what he said. “I’m not giving up my Gnarls Barkley just because he dropped some real sh!t when he used to rap.” Brilliant…lol!

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

      The Seed 2.0 is still everything. it made a roots fan forever and made me hate the black eyed peas forever.

  • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

    Happy Birthday Tes! *throws super-emo glitter*

    • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

      How’d you know!?!

      *twirls and giggles in glitter*

      • http://valsotherblog.wordpress.com Val

        :-) Happy birthday :-)

        • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

          Thanks Ms. Val :)

      • b sweet

        Happy Birthday Tes!

        • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

          Thank you! ^_^

      • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

        Happy birthday! I’d do more, but I have to reserve all the rest of my birthday stuff for my daughter…whose birthday is also today. She’s 3 now. Woohoo! Now to finish up her potty training. :)

        • Keisha

          Happy Birthday Tes! My sister’s birthday is today too!! :-)

          • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

            Thank You Ms. Keisha :)

        • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

          Tell your little Virgo Happy Birthday from me Todd! :) And thank you

      • Kema

        Yay! Another virgo!

        *sings*

        “Baby girl, won’t you come an’ hold my hand
        Won’t you come an’ just chill with the Virgo
        Hey, girl, just come an’ hold my hand
        Won’t you come an’ chill out with the Virgo”

        Happy Birthday!

        • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

          Thanks Kema :D
          #VirgoNation

      • Demondog06

        Um yeah…what everyone else said
        I’m too damn cool to be throwing glitter!

        * throws sawdust and uncooked grits*

        • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

          *covers eyes and hair*

          Thank you! :)

      • http://missrosen.wordpress.com/ esa

        happy birthday virgo beauty ~*~

        • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

          Big heart to Ms. Esa :)
          Thank you

      • http://uphereoncloud9.wordpress.com/ Wu Young, Agent of M.E.

        Happy Birthday Tes!

        • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

          Wu! *hugs* Thank you :D

      • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

        IAYP is DEFINITELY the know-all, be-all of b-days. She be dropping knowledge on that young Twitter. And she reminds everyone, every year that I share a b-day with Soulja Boy. :|

        OH WELL, I also share one with Jackie O which trumps all that mess. Hmph.

      • mellow.

        have a Blessed Born Day!!

        • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

          :) Thanks Mellow.

    • http://taterwithak.blogspot.com K. Marie

      Happy Birthday!!!!!

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        :) Thank you!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      Happy b-day. *throws streamers*

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        Are streamers like the male version of confetti? o.O

        In any case, thanks Uncle PJ :D

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          eh, i think its pretty much all French.

          whatever that means.

          • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

            Omelet du Frommage and all that jazz…

    • Rewind

      Happy Birthday Tes. I don’t have much, so I’ll just give you money for strippers.

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        Oh, Rewind, I don’t need that!

        *surreptitiously takes money under the table*

        Thank you :)

        • Rewind

          Hahahaa that’s my Tes

    • Yoles

      ♫ ♪♪ ♫ Happy Birthday to You ♪♫•*.*•♫♪♪Happy Birthday to You ••♫♪ Happy Birthday, Dear TesMyBeautifulInside&OutBloomingFlowerWhoMayNotBeAVSVAnyLongerButThat’sOkWithMeBecauseSheIsIn&♡I♡L-O-V-EEspeciallyMakingIt;) Happy Birthday tooooooo You! ♫ ♪♪ ♫ Enjoy your very special day Tes… Be blessed :D

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        Yoles! …where’s my glitter?!

        I kid, I kid :D Thank you!

    • YeahSo

      Awww Baby Tes…Happy B-day Pookie-Poo!!!

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        When I’m thirty I’m still gon’ be little baby Tes, ain’t I?

        That’s cool doe.

        *Hugs* Thank you, YeahSo :D

        • YeahSo

          “When I’m thirty…”
          -yuh d@mn skippy! :-)

    • http://www.twitter.com/Bmorebmw Tentpole

      Happy Birthday

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        Thank you ^_^

    • legitimate_soul

      Happy Birthday, Tes!

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        Legit! :D Thank you *hugs*

    • http://fourpageletter.wordpress.com keisha brown

      aww…it’s our tessie’s birthday!!! :)
      have a great one!

  • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

    I only get 10?!! Man…alright :-|

    1) TokiMonsta’s “Sweet Day” or “Gamble”
    2) The Fugees “Fugee La”
    3) Nas “It Ain’t Hard to Tell”
    4) Wale feat. J. Cole and Curren$y “Rather Be With You (Vagina is For Lovers)
    5) Purple Ribbon All-Stars “Kryptonite”
    6) Kanye West feat. Paul Wall, GLC “Drive Slow”
    7) Kanye West “All Falls Down”
    8) J. Dilla “Lightworks”
    9) Craig Mack, B.I.G., Rampage, LL Cool J and Busta “Flava In Ya Ear” remix
    10) LL Cool J, Method Man, Red Man, Canibus and DMX “4, 3, 2, 1″
    11) Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, and Inspectah Deck “Guillotine Swordz”
    12) Eminem “My Name Is”
    13) Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre “Ain’t Nothin’ But a G Thang”

    13. Thug Life. By the way. It’s my birthday. Bathe me in Lake Minnetonka in glitter and birthday love. Please? :)

    • kid video

      Happy Born day, Tes…
      Like the Purple Rain dig..

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        Thank You :)
        Between you and me, I just watched the movie last week lol

        • kid video

          I still got it on VHS…its the 8 Track of my generation.

    • Royale W. Cheese

      Man, Ain’t Nothin but a G-thang resonates so strongly with me, and I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it’s because it was released right around the time I started having a social life, had a bestie with a car, finally got to go out to the teen dance spots, etc. It’s one of those songs that stimulates memories of images, sounds, and smells.

    • Royale W. Cheese

      Happy birthday, Tes! And watch out…that ain’t really lake Minnetonka!

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        Thank yoooou :)

    • LeonieUK

      Happy Bday Tess * Brings out the football cannon full of rainbow glitter*

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        \O/ Whoo!
        Thank you :)

    • Thai

      Happy Birthday!!

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        Thank you Thai :)

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Happy Birthday Tes

      *pours glitter on you like Dame Dash used to pour Crystal on video vixens*

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        *twerks in the glittah*

        Thank you! ^__^

    • AfroPetite

      Happy Birthday! :-)

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        Thanks so much :)

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

      Happy 30th birthday, Tes!
      *throws confetti, glitter and anything else that’s hard to clean up, LMAO!!!!*

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        22nd!
        And thank you! *rolls around in the mess of glitter and happiness* :D

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      some interesting choices. I’m also surprised that of all the songs on Donuts, “Lightworks” is the one that moves you most.

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        Personally, “Bye” is the one that moves me most, but “Lightworks” is a personification of hip-hop that fit my motif.

        What can I say, I’m an interesting person and sh*t. :)

    • Rewind

      HOLY SHYTE!

      Rather Be With You (Vagina Is For Lovers) is the illest! YES! Somebody loves this song besides me!

      Ahhh man I was about to do cartwheels in this bytch

      The rest of that list is official as hell but damn that caught me off guard

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        Absolutely love that song. The lyrics, the double entendre, the beat, the message; it’s hip-hop to the utmost, down to the raunchy title :D lol

        • Rewind

          HYFR.

          Man I bump the living bejesus out of that song, and I think it’s primarily why my tape player in my car won’t work anymore, cause I kept that thing on repeat super heavy.

          • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

            I have it on every mobile device I own. It’s that real. That’s the song that put me on to Wale, not that Lotus Flower Bomb shyte

    • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

      Happy Birfday, Tes! *flings many confettis*

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        \O/ *does the Roger Rabbit in the confetti love*
        Thanks Aunt Cheekie ^_^

    • African Mami

      Happy Birthday lady! Have a blessed one.

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        Thank You Mami :D

    • http://www.todisspits.blogspot.com MicTheMessenger

      Joe, 4,3,2,1 will FOREVER be on my top 10 list. EVERYBODY went in on that boy.

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        Canibus’ verse >
        Everybody got off on that track, but Canibus? Shiiiiiiiit….

  • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

    1. Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.
    2. Mos Def – Beef
    3. Missy Elliot feat. Ludacris – One Minute Man
    4. Jean Grae – Love Song
    5. Mobb Deep – Drink the Pain Away
    6. Clipse – Mr. Me Too
    7. A Tribe Called Quest – 8 Million Stories
    8. Quasimoto – Low Class Conspiracy
    9. Eminem – Murder Murder
    10. Xzibit – What U See is What U Get

    NY BIAS/Lazy list.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

      Well…you did say it was lazy. But no. Just no.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      I actually went back and forth between CREAM and Triumph as a Wu-Tang representa. But realized that I wanted to give more regional burn than just sticking to NYC. Hence the inclusion of Bone.

  • kid video

    Ice Cream- Raekwon
    Mary Mary- RUN DMC
    Paul Revere- Beastie Boys
    The Show- Slick Rick/Doug E. Fresh
    Five Minutes of Funk- Whodini
    Mahogany- Eric B. & Rakim
    93′ Til Infinity- Soul of Mischeif
    The Foundation- Xzibit
    Brand New Funk- Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
    The song that was playing in “Breakin” when Turbo(or Ozone) was dancing with the broom.
    Clones- The Roots
    My Philosophy- Boogie Down Productions
    Jack of Spades- Boogie Down Productions
    TR- 808 is Coming- Boogie Down Productions
    Let tha Bass Go- The D.O.C

    I’ll be back, but for now just sample…

    • kid video

      I think my list is going to up the ante and tell who the real hip hop heads are.

      #smuglife

      • http://www.twitter.com/mcnairian5 Fiveisthenumber

        Smug indeed.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        I actually don’t think your list will do that. I think what your list does is include a lot of songs that you really need to be into the craft to appreciate. Oh, and that you think anything post 2001 is trash. Definite snoblife.

    • Royale W. Cheese

      “The song that was playing in “Breakin” when Turbo(or Ozone) was dancing with the broom.”

      The broom. #dead.

      My mom hired a break dancer for my older sister’s sweet 16 party. You all are going to kill me with the nostalgia. lol.

      • kid video

        Dont make me break out my raccoon hat.

    • http://valsotherblog.wordpress.com Val

      My Philosophy – Boogie Down Productions

      +1

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

        You know damn well you don’t listen to BDP, LMAO!!!

        • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

          Let Val live. I could very well see someone on her background into BDP. :)

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

            She’s from Cali, man- they’re all about the Hieroglyphics…

        • http://valsotherblog.wordpress.com Val

          I’m not going to say that I would sit down and listen to random BDP albums since Chris Parker many times gets hypocritical in his rhymes. But there are a few BDP songs on my ipod.

    • LeonieUK

      Can’t have a list without Whodini…

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

      “The song that was playing in “Breakin” when Turbo(or Ozone) was dancing with the broom.”

      Here you go…enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPowpIRVOuY

      • demondog06

        HA! this joint is on my i pod i couldn’t remember where it was from or who composed it…..

        man i love ya”ll………….

    • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

      I see your ante and raise you one. What legendary video show was Five Minutes of Funk the theme song to?

      • http://missrosen.wordpress.com/ esa

        YEAAA ~*~ Ralph McDaniels is tha maaaan

    • Corey

      I see you on that ’93 Til. That’s one of my all time favs. No Pharcyde??

      • demondog06

        93 was the year i graduated highschool…me and my teammates played the shits outta 93 til infinity on graduation day. hell, it was kind of our mantra that year…………..

        Le sigh……. we were so young and full of hope and ambition……..

        • http://fourpageletter.wordpress.com keisha brown

          93 til is one of my fave hiphop tracks of ALLLLLL time!!!!

    • vanita applebum

      *looks at list….swoons then faints*

    • Brother Mouzone

      That song was by the German group “Kraftwerk”, it’s called “Tour de France”

    • Meek

      I’ve died and fallen into hip hop heaven!

  • Tiffany

    1. Spaceship-kanye/ lost ones- lauryn hill
    2.one mic-nas
    3.cant knock the hustle-jigga
    4. Sky’s the limit-biggie
    5. keep ya head up-tupac
    6. bust a rhyme-missy ft eminem
    7. aint nothing but a g thang-dre and snoop
    8. crossroads-bone thugz
    9. no matter what they say-lil kim
    10.busta rhymes-hands where my eyes can see

    11.fugees-ready or not

    • Omar

      I would make them watch the video to “crossroads” too to get the full effect.

      • Rewind

        I saw Bone perform that song live with a live band at Rock The Bells. It was kind of crazy actually…really enjoyed it

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      I see Nuthin’ But A G-Thang is going to make most folks list. Given that The Chronic is one of my most beloved hip-hop albums, the reason that I left it off is because I tried to stay away from blatant gangsta rap-ism. Sure Thuggish Ruggish Bone is there but nobody could understand them anyway.

  • Secret Sauce

    Snapbacks and tattoos

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

      Lolwut???

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      You right. That would definitely be the present day representative.

    • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

      Visiting Miami, I heard this song at least 5 times a day. WTFFFFFFFFFFFF

  • msdebbs

    I’m more of a RNB lover so I can’t really list one or ten hip hop songs I like that much but I will say Soulja Boy- Crank That was the worst representation of hip hop ever in my book. Oh and everything Future sings/raps/ is god-awful. His lyrics are ok but the delivery makes me wish I was deaf.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

      Souljah Boy is bad, but he isn’t the worst. The worse was all that Snap Music crap. I’m waiting for the International Tribunal at The Hague to bring those fools to justice. That was a crime against culture.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        #NYbias

        • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

          How is that New York bias? I know I rep my city, but yeesh. Even dudes in the ATL ain’t checking for snap music these days!

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            it was dope for what it was and it went in the clubs. “Snap Yo Fingers” was dope.

        • Stephy

          There is no such thing as a NY Bias when discussing best ever hip hop with anyone over 25.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            that’s completely not true. might i remind you of Andre 3000′s infamous words “the south got something to say” at the source awards?

            NY bias. all day long.

            • Stephy

              The majority of the music came from NY so it is going to be on the top of most folks list based off nostalgia alone. That is not a bias.

              • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

                in terms of what he specifically said, where he said that Snap music was effectively the worst thing to happen to hiphop, there’s an entire region that may disagree. hence…bias.

                • Justmetheguy

                  +1 Obvious regional bias. They act like ninjas down South was in their rooms listening intently and takin notes on that sh!t lol. It’s called niche/situational music people. Folks thinkin that all hip hop has to be poetic, lyrical, and introspective is actually the worst thing that happened to hip hop. Encouraging everything to sound the same or be made with the same intent. Snap music was just another phase of dance music/club culture. Them ninjas never said they were making “hip hop” music anyway

                • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

                  he said that Snap music was effectively the worst thing to happen to hiphop, there’s an entire region that may disagree. hence…bias.

                  FTFY. :)

          • Justmetheguy

            I’m 26 and there’s DEFINITELY NY bias that’s always most obvious when I’m around mostly New Yorkers/East Coast heads (never so with Mid-west folks though) for example it becomes apparent anytime music is discussed on this very blog

            • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

              You’re 26? …Splains a lot……

            • Rewind

              New Yorkers only have a bias in the respect that we barely got hip hop from other regions besides Cali until 2001. We only had 2 hip-hop stations since 1990, and one turned into a old-school R & B station by 1995. So Hot 97 was the only radio station for hip hop until 2004 when we got Power 105.1. Hot 97 only played NY rap and popular Cali rap, other than that we barely got songs from anybody else until Aquemini came out. So now you should have a better understanding of why NY might have a bias.

              • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

                Accurate, but incomplete. The thing was that the underground rap and mixtape scenes were dominated by NY Traditionalists. A lot of people outside of NY don’t know this, but Pete Rock had a very influential show in terms of breaking new artists. If you know Pete Rock, he is very much a traditional old-school hip-hop head. Shows like Stretch Armstrong and Babito or Hank Love and Half-Pint or the show the Bomb Squad did on Adelphi University’s radio station were cut from the same cloth.

                On the mix tape scene, back in the day, DJs relied more on their club performances to pay the bills. (In fact, the mixtape genre came from taped performances of different DJs shows at different venues. Over time, it became a studio artform.) Many of the clubs and DJs had ties to various traditionalists as well, and it was hard for Southern groups to break through. To be fair though, Luke, 2 Live Crew and a lot of booty bass did become huge in the clubs through various connects.

                Simply put, unless you had ties to people down South or traveled a lot, you just didn’t hear a lot of Southern music. Throw in the long historical bias that Northerners have against the South, since Northern Blacks are largely (though not only) made up of people who packed up and left the South for various and sundry reasons, and it was hard for Southerners to get a fair hearing. It wasn’t until Master P broke down the door that most people up North gave the South a full and fair hearing.

                • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

                  now, most of this explains the bias. lol

                • Rewind

                  Well you’d know more about the underground scene and mixtape scene since I was a kid during that era, but as far as the radio goes, just like you mentioned, only time records got broken were by Stretch & Bobbito, and maybe Red Alert. Funkmaster Flex didn’t even break in artists unless they were on his albums, etc…you know the story.

              • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

                that’s not bias. that’s just life. however, the assumption that all things “other than NY” weren’t nearly as good is a bias. and let’s be real, that’s largely how most NYers view hiphop.

                • Justmetheguy

                  +1,000,000,000- All I ask is that people recognize their preferences and opinions as just that. I have mine too. Neither is more valuable. Neither really matters either truth be told

                  • Stephy

                    I definitely have a NY bias. When it comes to hip hop though, I just don’t think it applies. The excuse that we weren’t willing (which is BS- the listeners weren’t the ones blocking) to hear the south for so long doesn’t matter. They weren’t heard, therefore they won’t make most people (older hip hop heads) list of the greatest.

                • Rewind

                  I can only say I think the bias merely came from things not sounding to what was familiar to people. NY had lyrics and beats and thats’w hat hip hop heads here knew. So when music from the South came and the lyrics weren’t as hard hitting but still came off raw in another way, with slower beats, I guess it didn’t resonate with NYers for a while.

                • Rewind

                  I can only say I think the bias merely came from things not sounding to what was familiar to people. NY had lyrics and beats and thats’w hat hip hop heads here knew. So when music from the South came and the lyrics weren’t as hard hitting but still came off raw in another way, with slower beats, I guess it didn’t resonate with NYers for a while.

          • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

            LOL the reason why NY largely gets away with their bias is because folks from other regions universally agree on a lot of ya’ll ish (i.e. Jay or Biggie). Still doesn’t mean it ain’t a bias. There’s always a bias. Any hometown gotta admit that. It’s nostalgia at its purest.

            • Justmetheguy

              +1 Well said Cheekie. That’s all we mean when we tell New Yorkers how biased they are. They’re the most reluctant to admit their bias. At least in my experience

              • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

                There are two reasons behind that. One is the worse thing for a New Yorker to be is a homer. No one will admit to being a homer in New York, because being biases for your hometown is something “country” people do. Two, in some part of the country, especially in the South, people seemed to be biases against people from New York from the word “Hello”. In the wrong town, being a New Yorker can just make you a victim in and of itself, so someone from out of town pointing out the New Yorker is somewhat of a threat.

                • Rewind

                  True, being in Baltimore or DC as an NYer used to get your ass shot at

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      I think Soulja Boy gets a bad wrap. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s trash as an artist. But I also don’t think that even he expected to blow up the way he did and become the new face of everything wrong with hiphop. Granted, his continued attempts at musical creation don’t help his case, but “Turn My Swag On” went hard.

    • Rewind

      There are much worse rappers than Soulja Boi, he just happened to be the most famous at a rare time, adding to the fact that he was 16 when he blew. I can’t even hate on his crap rapping ass, because he sold enough records that he’d be a hip hop staple.

    • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik
    • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

      I think “Crank Dat”, for what it was supposed to be- a dance song- was great. It was all about the dance. If “Crank Dat” sucks, “Wobble” sucks, “Electric Slide” sucks (actually it does), “Cupid Shuffle” sucks, etc.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        all of those songs suck.

        • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

          LOL, what? We dance in Florida. Folks that don’t dance can’t understand.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            not true. i also dance. and folks dance everywhere. those songs are made for that. doesnt mean that they are good songs. for instance, “cupid shuffle” is terrible. but it gets people up and doing it. its functional. not good.

            • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

              So songs that make people want to dance aren’t good dance songs? This was my point- Crank Dat and the like are good dance songs because they serve their purpose.

              • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

                LOL I’m with you in that they’re good dance songs because of a dance song’s purpose in general. But, like… I don’t (nor wouldn’t) have any of those songs in rotation on the iPod. All of those songs are social songs to me. There have GOT to be others around for me to actively participate in them (well, unless I’m just learning them… then yes, I’d be by myself tryna learn it… ESP the dayum wobble lmao). That’s part of the appeal, IMO.

              • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

                inciting action doesnt make something good, it makes it purpose driven.

                though, im sure there’s an entire segment of individuals who think that rap makes good killin’ music.

                • Irish

                  You’ve just disproved you whole argument about Beyonce’s song, Love on Top, being a classic because it makes women everywhere dance each time they hear it — (which actually makes me hit the bar btw). I being a woman disagree not just because the song annoys me, but also because the song was rammed into my head by radio spins to the point that it stuck in kept kicking my pons. LOL Aside from that though, #NYbias — really? Nothing from KRS One on your list? Hmph… Bone Thugs beat out KRS? smh… I expected more from you, Sir. *giggles

      • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

        I think people hate on Wobble and Cupid Shuffle because they’ve heard them too many times. They’ve seen too many people who should’ve kept their tired assets in their seats get up and move to them. It’s an eye roller, to be sure. But Cupid Shuffle, though repetitive, is a decent song. And Wobble is kinda sneaky good. I initially wanted to hate it, but I listened to it in my car and its pretty good.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          no.

  • b sweet

    MC Lyte-cha cha cha
    A tribe called quest-Bonita applebum
    LL Cool J- I’m bad
    Doug E Fresh-the show
    Slick Rick-children’s story
    50 Cent-Baltimore love thing
    Juvenile-400 degrees
    Eric B & Rakim-Paid In Full
    Little Brother-Lovin It
    Scarface-Mary Jane

    That was hard. 10 is not enough. I need more ( je sais je sais, c’est ce qu’elle a dit)

    • Royale W. Cheese

      “LL Cool J- I’m bad”

      What exactly are Cool J cookies, anyway? #unsolvedmysteries

      • kid video

        What are pink cookies, and why are they in a plastic bag?

        I might have to ask Stevie Harvey.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

        Pink cookies in a plastic bag refers to pretty women in tight PVC clothing. “Getting crushed by buildings” uses crush the same way Big Pun said when “I’m not a playa/I just crush a lot”. Buildings mean built up dudes.

        Oh, and I love the video for “Pink Cookies in a Plastic Bag”. LL Cool J and myself grew up 6 blocks apart, and that video (along with a few others of his) is like a love letter to where I grew up.

        • Rewind

          That song was retarded on so many levels.

          I’ll stick to the direct approach…Back Seat of My Jeep.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            I be like Brue Lee all up in dem skins….. :D

            • Rewind

              WAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

    • http://www.twitter.com/think2inspire Think2Inspire

      *fist bump for French*

      • http://fourpageletter.wordpress.com keisha brown

        +1

    • http://valsotherblog.wordpress.com Val

      Bonita Applebum

      +1

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      wait…you’re including the Juvey song “400 Degrees”?? Not the album, but the actual song?

      • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

        “400 Degrees” is that deal.

    • http://www.theblackbondblog.wordpress.com BlkBond

      **Comes out of office**

      Aight! I see you up in here…that was an official list. Props given…

      Bond.

  • Royale W. Cheese

    “interviewer goes into total fanboy mode – no judgement, I’ve never met anybody of Jay’s stature so perhaps I’ll be starstruck too – and their excitement jumps off the page a little too much?”

    So Jay-Z, may I call you Mr. Z? Jay? Anyway, so why don’t you remind our readers just how amazingly awesome you are now, vs. how amazingly awesome you were…5 minutes ago?

    “Thuggish Ruggish Bone”

    Ah memories. That was on a mix tape my long distance college boyfriend sent to me during my first semester away from home. It was part of his campaign to de-bougie-fy me, I guess. Same reason why he always took me shopping for matching sportswear outfits and got us matching air-brushed graffiti sweatsuits. Now I shop at J. Crew, Banana Republic and Gap. Some good that did.

    One more for the list…
    11. Fugees – The Score

    • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

      Yo, f*ck J. Crew, Banana Republic and The Gap. They stay hating on anyone taller than 6 feet, and please don’t weigh more than 200 lbs. They are coming to see you Otis! If some crazy people decided to burn those places down, I’d swing by with a stick and a bag of marshmallows to enjoy the show. I remember the mistakes I made trying to shop in those places. You can’t unforget being hated on by a store.

      Moving along…

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        As a brother who rocks a European cut, I appreciate those stores. Though now I just tend to shop at Target for all of my clothing needs.

        • Rewind

          Not Target.

          Tar-ge(silent T)

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            my bad. you right.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          P,

          I rocks a european cut but do right by me playa. Don’t have the 44L suit and not give me the option to swap out the pants that are too big. Don’t have all the shirts listed and stop at 36 in the sleeve when you know I need a 37! That’s all I’m sayin’

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            but at all those stores mentioned, they effecitvely sell suit jackest and pants separately. you dont have to swap out anything b/c you buy them individually anyway.

            • Sigma_Since 93

              That’s true sometimes but don’t have these odd sizes where it costs me as much to have them altered. Nautica, for example, makes pants in a 32in waisted pant, a 33in wasit pant, but not a 34. Then it goes to a 36. WHO’S ROCKING 33′S!!!!

      • Sigma_Since 93

        Slow clap turns into loud applause. Don’t forget to add athletic.