They’re two of the greatest lyricists in hip-hop history.
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.
Unlike many of my fellow suburban high school students, I didn’t attend concerts.
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: Public Enemy’s Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age (1994)
It is difficult to overstate the importance of Public Enemy. The architects of four powerful, groundbreaking albums from 1987 to 1991, including what many (myself included) believe is the greatest hip-hop album of all time, Chuck D, Flavor Flav, and company created politically-charged, aggressive, sonically-stunning, suped-up hip-hop music that spoke truth to power and shined a light on the plights of the black community. Chuck D, along with Rakim, KRS-One, and the other greats of the late 1980s, was instrumental in rap rhymes becoming more nuanced and complex.
As a favor – one that you did not ask for – I’ve compiled a list of twenty songs that I think casual hip-hop fans should know.