Categories
Hip-Hop Lists Rap

R.A.G.U. – Raekwon & Ghostface Killah Collaborations

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They’re the dynamic duo of hip-hop.

Categories
Hip-Hop Rap

Classic Non-Album Cuts: Nate Dogg (Guest Appearances)

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He was the soul of G-Funk.

Categories
Hip-Hop Movies TV

Five Things We Pretend Never Happened

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Sometimes, we just pretend that certain things didn’t happen.

Categories
Hip-Hop Rap

Requiem for the Hip-Hop Soundtrack

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Let us all bow our heads and take a moment to remember the hip-hop soundtrack.

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Flashback Friday Flop

Flashback Friday Flop: “Nastradamus”

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Welcome back to the latest edition of Flashback Friday Flop, a weekly feature in which I examine a hip-hop album from years ago that was considered a flop, either critically or commercially or both, when it was released and see if it has gotten better – or worse – over time. 

This week: Nas’s Nastradamus (1999)

1999 was a strange time for music, especially hip-hop. The genre was only a few years removed from the deaths of its two biggest stars; Jay-Z had become a superstar; and a slew of young cats had entered the game. At the same time, Napster exploded onto the scene and online piracy immediately turned the music industry upside down, forcing several major rap acts to change their albums on the fly.

The biggest victim of this was Nas, who, after the classic Illmatic and the highly successful It Was Written, had been preparing an epic concept double album titled I Am…The Autobiography for his third release. When much of that album leaked, Nas scrapped both the concept and the double album, recorded a few new songs, and released a one disc mishmash titled simply I Am… in May, 1999.

Categories
Music

1999: The Year Hip-Hop Sprang a Leak

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In 1999, as the world was prepping for Y2K, another, less heralded innovation in the world of computers was about to change the music business: “Napster launched in 1999, and over the next three years tens of millions of music fans eagerly (and by today’s standards, incredibly slowly) downloaded oft-mistagged, low-bitrate mp3 versions of new music to their hard drives, and shared what they’d ripped themselves with software like the WinAmp player.”

The industry would never be the same.

Categories
Week in Review

Week in Review (February 19, 2016)

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I’m almost always thinking about money in one form or another.

Categories
Flashback Friday Flop

Flashback Friday Flop: “Blood Money”

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Welcome back to the latest edition of Flashback Friday Flop, a weekly feature in which I examine a hip-hop album from years ago that was considered a flop, either critically or commercially or both, when it was released and see if it has gotten better – or worse – over time. 

This week: Mobb Deep’s Blood Money (2006)

Hip-Hop was experiencing another golden age in the mid-1990s. Classic albums were coming from all over the map. The south had Scarface, UGK, Goodie Mob, and Outkast. The west had Death Row, Ras Kass, and DJ Quik. And in New York, there was The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, and Mobb Deep.

Categories
Hip-Hop Nostalgia

Queensbridge to Shaolin: The Mobb Deep-Nas-Raekwon Connection

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“In the jungle, banging Nas, Mobb Deep, and Wu”

Since 1995, there has been a connection between Nas, Mobb Deep, and Raekwon.

Categories
In Appreciation of

In Appreciation of: Kool G Rap

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“Hearing me is like hearing G Rap in his prime”

– Jay-Z, “Encore”

If there were a Mount Rushmore of pre-’90s, Golden Era hip-hop, the four heads would belong to Rakim, KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, and Kool G Rap. While the first three are often referenced, it unfortunately seems like many casual fans are unaware of how truly great and important G Rap was, even though he has been mentioned as an influence to an entire generation of emcees, including the greats like Nas, Eminem, Big Pun, Jay-Z, and others.