Tupac - Thugz Mansion
This song is a classic of classics. Tupac represented more than just hip-hop…he was a goddamn one man movement. This is in my top 3 favorite songs by Tupac, and is one of the reasons Tupac is OBVIOUSLY better than Biggie. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a “big” fan, but he just doesn’t stack up lyrically, or on really any other aspect accept for that Biggie had a more powerful flow. I believe he actually possessed the most hard hitting flow ever.
“A place to spend my quiet nights, time to unwind. So much pressure in this life of mine, I cry at times.”
My Song Rating: 10 out of 10Played 410 times.
Big L - Put It On
Big L died long before his time. He was easily one of the rawest hip-hop artists of the 90’s; however, unlike Tupac and Biggie, he was sadly shot and killed just as he was starting to become famous. Big L had a plethora of unique properties that make him stand out on his own even after all these years, such as his vicious flow, potent on point punchlines, lyrical complexity, and his well structured story telling. The energy and intensity he brought to the mic was absolutely ridiculous. He was also was one of the original founders of the hip-hop sub-genre horrorcore hip-hop….he had a very violent past.
Put It On exemplifies Big L’s unique style and how much of his music was ahead of it’s time. It’s one of my all time favorite hip-hop songs from the 90’s, and it’s also my favorite song off of Big L’s classic 1995 debut album Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, which is the only album he ever released while alive.
My Song Rating: 10 out of 10Played 915 times.
A-Trak - Piss Test (Remix) (ft. Juicy J, Jim Jones, Flatbush Zombies, El-P & Flosstradamus)
I’m just going to start by saying this is El-P’s most potent verse ever. In combination to A-Trak’s zany beat, he absolutely kills it! His order was put last, since you should always end a song that has numerous features on it with the best feature. This is also why Big K.R.I.T.’s inhumanly dope verse on A$AP Rocky’s song 1 Train was put last. It was easily one of the best of 2012. It’s like how in standup comedy you’re supposed to start your act with your second best joke and end with your best joke. Leave the audience with something to think about. The same rules apply with successful hip-hop collabs of higher magnitudes.
Additionally, in my opinion, Jim Jones lays down his best verse ever as well, which really goes to show how well this song was put together. A lot of polish goes a long way. I also really like how the chorus is purposely more straightforward so when each lethal verse comes on you can’t help but get blown back. I didn’t like the chorus at first, because it seemed too mundane, but then I realized this is the type of song that’s definitely best enjoyed when you listen to it fucked up (hence the song title). In that state of mind you really get into the chorus and general feel of the song. You honestly can’t help but talk along with Juicy J in your mind. Piss Test (Remix) is off of the label compilation album Loosies for A-Trak’s label Fools Gold. There is also a badass Music Video that was made recently for this song.
My Song Rating: 10 out of 10Played 1102 times.
J. Cole - Can I Holla At Ya
This is my favorite song off of J. Cole’s new mixtape Truly Yours. The day after it released I deemed it a modern day hip-hop classic. The mixtape is only 5 (technically 6) songs in length, but each song is so lyrically dense it left me in awe the first time I gave this mixtape a playthrough on datpiff. Each song, especially Can I Holla At Ya, represents some of the best story telling in hip-hop, ever. This song is on par with what Nas accomplished on Illmatic in terms of how hard his flow goes yet how much emotional depth and lyrical profundity gets woven into each verse. This song and Illmatic are just very different styles of hip-hop.
I also really like how J. Cole decided to make the chorus very simplistic in nature. It gives you the sense that he has a lot of emotion and history invested into asking these three important individuals in his life that he hasn’t seen in a very long time “hey, can I holla at ya?”. You can’t sugar coat such a personal question…it needs to sound stripped down, raw, and straight from the heart. Hip-hop in it’s realest form. I really hope J. Cole continues making astonishing works that match the quality seen on Truly Yours. His earlier mixtapes are better than his newer works (his album), and this mixtape is by far the best thing he has ever released. I also highly recommend you listen to this song at least once while reading along with the Lyrics.
My Song Rating: 10 out of 10Played 3703 times.
Common - So Far To Go (ft. D’Angelo) (prod. by J Dilla)
To put things into perspective about this song, if I was to make a list of my favorite hip-hop songs to make love to (passionate sex not wild sex) So Far To Go would be ranked #3, So Far To Go’s instrumental would be #2, and, as I’ve already said, Black Violin’s Don’t Wanna Lose You would be ranked #1. This is my all time favorite J Dilla beat, which is obviously saying a lot. Common’s smooth and sensual flow melds beautifully with the striking instruments and samples utilized by Dilla. This song is a true classic of hip-hop classics. It was released in 2006 on J Dilla’s posthumous album The Shining, and it was also released on Common’s outstanding 2007 album Finding Forever.
My Song Rating: 10 out of 10Played 1052 times.
Kanye West - Gold Digger (ft. Jamie Foxx)
Barack Obama summed up Kanye pretty damn well when he said “Kanye is a jackass, but he’s talented”. Regardless of Kanye’s occasionally subpar work and assholeness, he’s a fuckin genius with numerous hip-hop classics under his belt. I’m not saying I’m a die hard Kanye fan, but I have a very strong appreciation for a lot of his music. Back in high school I used to bang Gold Digger on a regular basis. I was drawn to its exceptionally unique jazzy feel and its pronounced energy. Gold Digger is off of Kanye’s outstanding 2005 album Late Registration. It’s definitely the best hip-hop song in depicting luscious money mining females. Truly timeless shit, and if you agree, you’ll love Kanye’s song Home, which he also made way back in the day.
My Song Rating: 10 out of 10Played 3131 times.
Coconut Records - West Coast
This is a classic song and an amazingly unique music video. Jason Schwartzman is a musical genius. He really needs to make another album some time soon.
My Song Rating: 10 out of 10
Atmosphere - Always Coming Back Home To You
When it comes to songs about home towns, Always Coming Back Home To You is hands down my favorite one. Slug has a way with words. He’s definitely one of the best hip-hop lyricists of all tme.
“Mosey down the road thinkin’ bout the old
I use to roam this zone with two feet of snow
Right here, this use to be a record shop
I’ve gotten love, I’ve gotten drunk, I’ve gotten beat up in that parking lot
I’ve had my lake street pride for three decades
These alleyways, and these streetlights have seen my best days”
My Song Rating: 10 out of 10Played 1694 times.
Eminem - Till I Collapse (Remix) (ft. Nate Dogg, 50 Cent & Tupac)
Back in junior high when this epic song first graced my ears I was instantly hooked. Till I Collapse (Remix) is my all time favorite Eminem song, and in my eyes it represents the epitome of true uncut intensity. It’s the kind of music that immediately gets my blood pumping and adrenaline going whenever I play it with the volume and bass cranked up. This song will forever be a true hip-hop classic in my book.
My Song Rating: 10 out of 10Played 1459 times.
Sea Wolf - You’re a Wolf
I’m posting this from my phone because I’m currently seeing Sea Wolf live at the moment. I have been a fan of Alex Church and his band for years. When Church’s profound lyrics and vocals infuse with their emotionally riveting instrumentals, it produces some truly outstanding music with a unique aura that is hard not to love.
“I’m runnin’ on the northeast street, cut to the ocean before I run too low.”
My Song Rating: 10 out of 10Played 1853 times.
Neil Young - Heart Of Gold
My parents pretty much only listen to old school indie rock and jazz, so consequently I grew up primarily listening to artists such as Cat Stevens, Simon & Garfunkel, Thelonious Monk, the Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, B.B. King, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Police, Neil Young, and many more. I absolutely love the classics and the legends who produced them. Not to mention I’ve seen half of the artists I previously listed in concert. All of the old school legends and their music will always have a special place in my heart. I distinctly remember the first time I heard Neil Young. I was about 5 and in the car with my mom. She started playing Neil Young’s 1972 album Harvest, and I immediately fell in love. When Heart Of Gold came on I made my her keep the song on repeat for the rest of the trip. About 85% of all the music I listen to is hip-hop, but I love ALL music that represents the artistic epitome of its genre. Heart Of Gold is my all time favorite song that came out before the 90’s.
My Song Rating: 10 out 10Played 1286 times.
Modest Mouse - Float On
I don’t think I emphasize enough exactly just how much I love Modest Mouse. Isaac Brock is my favorite music artist of all time; therefore, my love for Modest Mouse exceeds my love for any hip-hop artist that’s ever existed…which obviously means a lot given that 85% of the music I listen to is hip-hop. This song is off of their album Good News for People Who Love Bad News, which is my all time favorite album. I also have a vinyl record of this hanging above my bed, which I would religiously pray to every night, of course though, Isaac Brock and I don’t believe in such things.
My Song Rating: 10 out 10Played 3958 times.
The Bug - Stampin (ft. Flow Dan)
This is a very powerful song (even more so if you have your bass maxed out). Flow Dan is the standout artist on the UK album London Zoo, which consists of a mixed genre which I deem as dubstep/dancehall/reggae. It’s produced by The Bug, which was one of the originators of dubstep long before it was called “dubstep”. This is actually a remix of the original song The Bug – Poison Dart (ft. Warrior Queen), which is in my top 15 favorite songs of all time. It’s really amazing for wild parties or kush smoking sessions, if people don’t mind not understanding all of the lyrics and are open minded to new stuff. Honestly though, it’s hard not to go H.A.M. when this comes on. As a side note, similar to the last song I posted, I have the vinyl of London Zoo proudly hanging on the wall above my bed.
“So we just, stampin on, we stamp on anyone!”
My Song Rating: 10 out of 10Played 1559 times.
Bloodhound Gang - The Bad Touch
This song isn’t conventional hip-hop, but overall it’s definitely more alternative hip-hop than any other genre. The Bad Touch will always be a classic of classics in my book. I remember this being one of my favorite songs over a decade ago. I still play it off and on, and I inevitably get a wave of nostalgia. There were a ton of great situations that took place during my youth where this song was actively playing in the background…damn, how time flies.
My Song Rating: 10 out of 10Played 2177 times.
Grizzly Bear - While You Wait for the Others
I’ve been listening to mostly indie rock for the past couple days, so I thought it’d be appropriate to share some. This is my favorite song by Grizzly Bear, which is off of their solid album Veckatimest. I saw them live a while back, and when they played this song…holy shit. It’s breathtakingly beautiful crescendo that ends in pure vocal epicnesst…definitely one of my all time favorite concert experiences.
My Song Rating: 10 out 10Played 2167 times.