Jay-Z is the most successful emcee in history. With 14 number one albums on the Billboard chart (11 in a row as a solo artist), 21 Grammys, over 100 million records sold, and countless other side deals, he has repeatedly gone beyond the normal bounds of what a rapper could do.Continue reading “Ranking Jay-Z’s Albums”
“I never thought of losing, but now that it’s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.”
— Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali was “The Greatest.”
Everyone knows that, but there’s something that seems to be lost in the deification of the man born Cassius Clay: he wasn’t unbeatable.
For more than a quarter-century, ever since he first stole the show on Main Source’s “Live at the BBQ” all the way back in 1991, Nas has been crafting incredible rhymes and blessing microphones. He has a stack of classic verses, to the point that some of them don’t even appear on his own LPs.
Though undoubtedly one of the all-time greats, his career has had its highs and lows, his artistic ambition sometimes taking him to new heights, while other times leading him to stray from
When he’s at his best, no one is better.
He’s released eleven albums, so which are the best?
Below is a list I created in November, 2013, in honor of the 20th anniversary of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). It was published on Medium and then republished by Hip Hop Golden Age. In honor of today – November 9, 2018 – being the 25th anniversary of the release of that album, I chose to post it here. Please keep in mind that this list hasn’t been changed, amended or updated in five years. Any projects that came out since then were obviously not considered. Reading back through the list, there are minor changes I might like to make – I think Cuban Linx…Pt. II is a bit too low – but it’s been out there for a half-decade so I’ll leave the list as it is. Please tell me how wrong I got it in the comments below.
I can remember the exact moment when I realized that mainstream hip-hop had passed me by.
It was when I heard Drake’s So Far Gone.
“[Eminem] seems to revel in the ways that he can break and reshape the laws of the language.”
– Adam Bradley, Book of Rhymes
Eminem is one of the all-time greats, a surefire future hall of famer. He’s one of the most commercially successful musicians ever, the second highest-selling singles artist of all time with over 220 million records sold worldwide and nine consecutive number one albums (including his greatest hits collection). Six of his major label releases have won the Grammy for Best Rap Album (he has fifteen in total).Continue reading “Ranking Eminem’s Albums”
If it’s going to take years for something to happen, it better be worth the wait. With that in mind, for my first podcast appearance, I was lucky to have the opportunity to talk about my absolutely favorite album, Wu-Tang Forever.
Of all the conversations and debates surrounding the best of the best in hip-hop — MC’s, groups, producers, labels — perhaps the most difficult to ascertain is what is the greatest year in hip-hop history. Let’s answer it with a 16-slot bracket tournament.
For years, it felt as if there were no interest in what went into the making of a hip-hop classic.
While other genres, most notably rock, had the backstories of their best results covered extensively (largely because it was often the favorite music of the people in charge of such things), there was not much insight into how a hip-hop classic is made.
Fortunately, that has changed and hip-hop documentaries abound.
Occasionally, it takes time to recognize greatness.