10 UNPOPULAR HIP-HOP OPINIONS

Uncategorized June 29th, 2009

10 UNPOPULAR HIP-HOP OPINIONS
Because somebody disagreeing with popular opinion ain’t being a “hater” …its called "having an opinion".

Hip-Hop opinions, I hate em. Why? Because hip-hop is the only form of music where your opinion will get your head blown off. Have you ever seen a Biggie vs. 2Pac argument in a barber shop? I rest my case. Well, hopefully the demographic that checks for this corny little blog I have is grown enough to accept clashing opinions on the world’s most violent genre of music, and they‘re too worried about their mortgages to care about something this trivial and silly. We need to argue this stuff out like the old men in the barber shop in Coming To America, not the dudes that will wait for you outside the Brooklyn barber shop for not being a Jay-Z fan. When I say things like “TROY” isn’t in my Top 5 favorite Pete Rock beats, I’m usually met with a screw face, but opinions are opinions, no more no less.

So here’s a fun little debate for all my fellow rap FANS (that means everybody‘s opinions are equal)…you all know that there’s an album that’s regarded as the Thriller (RIP MJ) of hip-hop, but you never really got into it. Stop frontin. Or maybe the album where MC Such and Such fell the fuck off to the general public is the only one you like by him. Whatever your oddball opinion is, put it out there, because I’m sick of the same lists of best albums in hip-hop history. Have some balls and stop being so damn textbook. Let’s have some friendly debate as rap FANS.

Here are my unpopular opinions. Please respond with yours. Argue as a FAN, not as a know it all. It’s all opinion anyway…or will someone get death threats?

I’VE ALWAYS FELT THAT…

10. M.O.P’s BEST ALBUM IS TO THE DEATH

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It’s often written off as a demo by the group themselves (a la No More Mr. Nice Guy by Gang-Starr). And I KNOW, Primo and M.O.P go together like hot sauce and catfish.  But those low budget, non-musical, semi-amateur rock demo beats on To The Death go so well with the uncouth, crass and barbaric image that embodies the M.O.P. we all love so much.  Fame and Billy Danze sound like they just rapped over whatever the fuck was in the studio that day, but that’s what makes M.O.P so great. Just look at the Rugged Neva Smoove video with the OG version vs. the Primo remix. Primo’s remix is crazy, but the OG makes you want to go into one of those hipster loft parties in Williamsburg and just fuck it up for everybody.

9. EFIL 4 ZAGGIN > STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON

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OK, Cube was obviously the best MC in the group. Best MC leaves, rhyme content suffers. Given. But when the production quality goes up tenfold, the new album plays like a god damn Tarrentino film and the entertainment value goes through the roof, I think we have a new winner. And is it me, or is MC Ren one of the most slept on MC’s in history?

8. LEGAL > YOUNGEST IN CHARGE

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Sometimes I wish that Legal came out in a donut hole album cover, then I may have a better chance when trying to win this debate. Like many albums in 1990, Legal suffers from it’s artwork (which features pics of Ed in some horrendous homemade gear and laid out in vogue shots). I remember going with my cousin to Music Factory on Jamaica Avenue when this dropped, and we’re standing in the store looking at the cover. Without hearing it, I assumed Ed went pop and I bought the K-Solo and Lord Finesse albums instead. My cousin had a crush on Ed, so she bought Legal anyway. When I heard her playing it, I stole the tape. I Like “I Got It Made” as much as the next man, but Ed’s performance on here crushes Youngest In Charge. And Howie Tee is slept on for no reason. The “Im The Magnificent” remix bodies the OG, and EVERY track on here was hittin. “Ready 2 Attack” and “Cmon Lets Move It” still knock hard, and I think “Ya Wish Ya Could” was the first to put “Superman Lover” to use. “5 Men & A Mic” is a Top 10 posse cut to me. Even the reggae cut was better than the one on Youngest In Charge. I like his debut, but it ain’t touchin Legal. Lets just hope they reissue it with different art.

7. BUSINESS AS USUAL IS EPMD’s BEST ALBUM, BY A LANDSLIDE

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Here’s an example of a groundbreaking group’s debut overshadowing better albums in their catalog, simply because the first time you ever heard them you were blown away. This happened with Eric B. & Rakim and a few others, but we’ll examine the least controversial case first, EPMD. Nobody from NY rapped this slow and funky, nobody used Eric Clapton loops and nobody DARED use their government names to rap under. EPMD broke ground with their debut, Strictly Business. But their “reloaded”  approach when they signed to Def Jam for their third album, Business As Usual, took the cake. EPMD were harder, smarter and more polished. It also helps when arguably the best all around DJ in hip-hop (DJ Scratch) is now in the group and you’ve added some subject matter besides “Jane” to your songs (“The Steve Martin” didn’t count and this album had the best “Jane“ story by far too).  Pound for pound, Strictly Business ain’t comin close to Business As Usual.  I’ll end this argument with taste of classic from a new, improved and more arrogant Parrish Smith on “I’m Mad”:

“In my 560, lampin on my Metro phone/ chrome kit beamin all off your dome/ like a sucker, yeah, you look the other way/ that’s how I know you’re on my dick, kid, but it’s OK/ it’s normal…” Mean. I won’t even mention his verse on “Rampage” or the fact that this album introduced the world to Redman, because then you wouldn’t have room to argue.

6. I LIKED A TRIBE CALLED QUEST’S ALBUMS IN DESCENDING ORDER

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I may be the only dude on earth that liked People’s Instinctive Travels… the best. Tribe is a group that deviates from the norm, in that people seemed to like them the most mid way through their career as opposed to at the start. I remember goin crazy over the “I Left My Wallet In El Segundo” video in 1990, but everybody I knew thought it was corny. Their debut album (Peoples Instinctive Travels…) was only trumped (at that time) by 3 Feet High & Rising and Paul’s Boutique as the most ambitious lesson in sampling ever assembled. I won’t snitch because I doubt all that shit was cleared, but not many people touched all the genres they did in 1990. It went on deaf ears until “Bonita Applebum” blew up, then every ensuing album was a bigger and bigger hit, leaving Peoples… in the forgotten files. I loved Low End Theory nearly as much, but I can accept a lashing from the entire rap world for admitting I only got into 3-4 songs on Midnight Marauders.  I’m not a big Fender Rhodes fan, if that means anything.  The same went for the two albums after. They had their moments, but “I don’t eat no ham n eggs, cause they’re high in cholesterol” may be the best/worst hook ever written. You gotta have a set of balls to do that.

5. LL COOL J’s SECOND BEST ALBUM IS WALKING WITH A PANTHER

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There’s little doubt that Mama Said Knock You Out is LL’s best work. In 1990, a recharged LL and Marley Marl made 14 tracks of magic that were timeless (and he didn’t even curse on that album). But the great debate is always “what’s his second best album?”  It usually boils down to Radio or Bigger and Deffer. I also know one psycho that insists its 14 Shots To The Dome, but he also still wears a Carhartt jacket in 90 degree weather and still says phrases like “catchin wreck”, “flip the script” and “keep it real” in regular conversation. Safe to say, he’s stuck in 1993, he don’t count. I always had love for Walking With A Panther, even when it was hated by the rap community at large. I read an interview with Bobbito and he said he was interning at Def Jam when it dropped and he thought it was “bone” (read: Trash). OK, so he had a few corny ballads, but what groups aside from PE, NWA and the Beastie Boys didn’t in 1989? LL murdered that god damn album, from start to finish. Bottom line, it has “Big Ole Butt” and “1900 LL Cool J”, case closed. Y’all were just jealous because it was 1989 and he was bangin high priced hoes over sinks in minks instead of buying Africa Medallions in Chinatown. Fuckouttahere,  he was ahead of his time on this album and his staggering level of arrogance was beyond royal.

4. PAID IN FULL IS NOT ERIC B. & RAKIM’S BEST ALBUM, NOR IS IT THE SECOND, OR THE THIRD

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Let The Rhythm Hit Em is the best album the group ever made. Not only is Ra in a zone, but the fingerprints of a late great Paul C and a still in John Bowne HS Large Professor are all over this one.  The beats on this album are damn near flawless. “Mahogany” is Ra at his storytelling best, and “Run For Cover”, “Keep Em Eager To Listen”, “No Omega”  and the title cut are all vicious.  “In The Ghetto” could possibly be Rakim’s best song ever, so it leaves me to wonder why Paid In Full is always unanimously seen as the groups best offering. Nobody will deny how the algebra of taking 7 MC’s and putting em in a line re-invented the MC game, or how “I Know You Got Soul” and “Eric B Is President” still rock a party, but lets not clutch at straws for the sake of being Rooftop-era nostalgic. The album also had “Chinese Arithmetic” (say what?) and a handful of filler. Paid In Full was our first glimpse of somebody that would become a candidate for the best who ever did it, but a first impression, while the most lasting, isn’t necessarily the best impression. As far as the group goes (excluding Rakim solo efforts), I always felt Paid In Full was their weakest effort, essentially a collection of dope singles and a few filler tracks (which was the norm at that time). Go back and listen, and if you still feel that Paid In Full is actually better than Let The Rhythm Hit Em (or even Follow The Leader and Don’t Sweat The Technique for that matter), then we’ll agree to disagree.

3. FEAR OF A BLACK PLANET > NATION OF MILLIONS…

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Hip-hop blasphemy, I know, but I always thought Black Planet was a much better album than Nation Of Millions. Nobody had done what PE did with Nation Of Millions, so the music world was in awe and the bar was set high. Black Planet took what they did 5 notches higher, but that’s such a tall order that when you actually do it, nobody notices . With the turmoil of 1989 (the Professor Griff drama, etc.), Chuck only had more ammo on Black Planet, and he matured as an MC. The conversational tone he used on “Pollywannacracka” was previously uncharted territory for him. “Weclome To The Terrordome” and “Brothers Gonna Work It Out” are the best examples I can come up with for a perfect hip-hop record and for Flav’s solo shot, “Can’t Do Nuthin For Ya Man” , has “Cold Lampin With Flavor” beat by a mile. If you’re talking production, nobody thought the Bomb Squad could take the wall-of-sound approach further than what they did on Nation Of Millions, and they did it with Black Planet. “Revolutionary Generation” and the use of the Prince guitar riff for “Brothers Gonna Work It Out” will either make you want to re-invent the wheel or give up producing altogether. They took this style to the max on the Son Of Bazerk album, but Black Planet was so focused and cohesive, yet so cacophonic, that all you can do is sit there and wish you made it. As amazing and epic as Nation of Millions was, it didn’t give me the frustrated motivation that Black Planet did, if that makes any sense. Add to all this that it was made in the same sessions as Ice Cube’s AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted and Bell Biv Devoe’s Poison albums (two more of my favorites), its no wonder why I prefer it. Speaking of Cube, his verse on “Burn Hollywood Burn” had nothing to do with the song, but it was the hardest 8 bar verse ever.  That’s all the more reason Fear Of A Black Planet was a better album than Nation Of Millions.

2. TOUGHER THAN LEATHER > REST OF RUN-DMC’s CATALOG

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Let’s face it, Run-DMC’s fame was declining in 1988, so they took the approach of the most popular group of the time (Public Enemy) and tried a sample stacked production style…and the result was this amazing and unfairly panned album. As a kid, I sang “Sucker MC’s” every day walking to school, “My Adidas” was my shit  and “You Talk Too Much” was a favorite quote of mine, but I was never floored by a full Run-DMC album until Tougher Than Leather came out.  The debut was OK and Raising Hell was the best rap album up to that time, but King Of Rock was weak to me. I support musical growth and all, but I never bought into therap/rock thing I thought it was corny (I still cant listen to “Walk This Way” or “Rock Box”). Adidas endorsements and Aerosmith collabs helped give em the worldwide love they deserved, but I always felt that Tougher Than Leather was the best they had to offer. “Beats To The Rhyme” is just insane, as is “Run’s House”. “How You Do It Dee?” is the best use of a Meters sample I’ve ever heard, and the use of pan mixing and sample chopping on “I’m Not Goin Out Like That” was ridiculous. JMJ (RIP) and David Reeves went all out on this one production wise. This is all producer nerd shit, but so be it. All of their auto-biographies (and JMJ’s biography) allude to a mound of personal problems and lack of focus during the making of this album, but I always felt Tougher Than Leather was Run and them at their best. Their debut was the ground breaker, King Of Rock pushed them up a notch and Raising Hell had the hits, but I cant be textbook in saying that any of those were realistically their best albums, especially the first two.

1. IT WAS WRITTEN WAS LYRICALLY BETTER THAN ILLMATIC

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I’m expecting to be ambushed by keep it realers for this but, fuck it. The producer line up of Illmatic was the god damn dream team and the flossy and jiggy Trackmasterz handled It Was Written, so I’m not talking production here. But that, fact plus the fact that Nas traded in his Columbia rain suit (them shits made you sweat your balls off) for an Armani sweater pissed everybody off. What the fuck do you expect? The dude left Queensbridge, he can’t front like he’s still there. Anyway, It Was Written was crushin Illmatic on the rhyme tip, but I felt the image, style and beat changes threw everyone for a loop. “I Gave You Power”, “The Message”, “Black Girl Lost”, “Shootouts”, “Suspects” and the tape only “Silent Murder”? Those repped Nas at his best. Illmatic represented a return to rapping for real after a year of gimmick rap where nobody could complete a sentence. 1993 was more about onomatopoeia, screaming and "flipping ill styles". Let’s be for real, if your name wasn’t Sticky Fingaz, it wasn’t working for you. Even pretty boy rappers bought field jackets and went that route. It was corny. Illmatic was a breath of fresh air (in the same boat as Resurrection and Word Life…albums with major distro that actually featured people rappin for real), but was Nas’ performance better on there than It Was Written?…hell naw!

P.S…I liked Wu-Tang Forever better than 36 Chambers and Words From the Genius better than Liquid Swords, but arguing those is pointless, LOL. Especially the latter.

Grow a set of balls and list your unpopular rap opinions!

102 Responses to “10 UNPOPULAR HIP-HOP OPINIONS”

  1. Detroit Murder Dog Says:

    I have “Walking With A Panther” tied with “Radio,” although two things might give “Panther” the edge: First, you have a pre-fame Veronica Webb on the back cover looking trampy and holding a bottle of Moet. Second, it has the greatest LL lyrics ever: “I’m the type of guy who’ll take you to breakfast, lunch, dinner and breakfast” not to mention “you’re the type of guy who likes to drink Olde English / I’m the type of guy to cold put on a Pamper.” LL rapped like he had nothing to prove to anyone, which made it so dope.

  2. Eli Escobar Says:

    Yo Jay I thought everyone liked “People’s Instinctive…” the best also! It certainly has the highest ratio of club classics on it. Plus not so much Phife and lyrically Tip was at his best here. But yo I’m really not mature enough to accept your LL Cool J, Run DMC and Public Enemy opinions, you’re out your damn mind!!!! C’mon b every song on Radio, Bigger and Deffer and Mama Said… are incredible. EVERY SONG! You mean to tell me you sit through “Two Different Worlds”? PUH LEASE. Also, “Fear Of A Black Planet” (and it pains me to say this) is kind of a mess. The focus they had on the previous album has clearly been lost a bit. Chuck slipped a lot as an mc and the beats just sound like madness not controlled funky madness. I’m talking about half the album. The other half (which is made up of a lot of previously released material) is perfect. I’m not even addressing your Run DMC comment! I’m outta here.

  3. jzone Says:

    I had Mama Said..as LL’s best El! But cmon, the fact that the hard joints on Walkin With A Panther were so hard…dog…I can overlook the ballads. When he said

    “Youre the typa guy, eatin a…TV dinner/ Talkin bout…god damn it imma KILL her!”

    he just deaded your argument!!! Hard!!!

  4. rek Says:

    wuttup j-zone

    love this post. people love to talk shit and get mad when you disagree. the worst is when they go on a sporadic name-droppin’ spree in the middle of an argument to prove NO point.

    anyway. my unpopular opinion is that eminem’s encore album was one of his best. The beats were on point and the rhymes were some of his most imaginative and coherent. Also, that album was where he took his flow to another level. Some of the songs on there were horrible (Puke, Crazy in Love) but I still have that shit in rotation.

    “hate hate hate hate!”

    rek

  5. Ig’nant Witted » Blog Archive » J-Zone’s Got Unpopular Opinions! Says:

    [...] http://danteross.com/blogs/jzone/2009/06/29/j-zone-10-unpopular-hip-hop-opinions/ [...]

  6. monster from yonkers Says:

    yo man nuff said throw the 2nd dnice and 3rd bass and its on. im a 2nd album lover my self(fuck that yo bum rush the show wasnt a p.e album) but foabp is.

  7. jzone Says:

    Word to Derelicts Of Dialect. WAY better than Cactus album IMO.

  8. ralphykid Says:

    Peace to J-zone aka Captain Backslap….what up

    I agree about it was written being slightly doper than illmatic. no one wants to hear that argument, whatever, fuck em’

    Not sure if this unpopular or not but i feel that Pauls Boutique > Licensed to Ill

    fuck it I might even say Check your head > Licensed to Ill

    The production alone is not enough to justify this for me, but the rhymes got iller as well. I think they stopped trying to be a white Run-Dmc and came into their own style with Paul’s and Check your head

    Professor Booty > all Beastie songs, fuck it

    i’ll add more later. PEACE!

  9. ralphykid Says:

    whoops i meant to say “production IS enough”, meaning the production was way doper!!!

  10. Eli Escobar Says:

    “It Gets No rougher” might body any other hard LL joint I’ll give you that J. But Mama Said had “To the Break of Dawn”
    GAME OVER!!!

  11. Eli Escobar Says:

    and let’s not forget about “the Breakthrough” on BAD. (you knew you couldn’t write about LL and not expect me to flood the comments section!!)

  12. jzone Says:

    yo El i SAID that MAMA SAID…was his best. HANDS DOWN!!! Never said it wasn’t. And I agree on To Da Break Of Dawn. Top 3 dis record ever. But I still say Panther is #2. I like Bigger and Deffer too, but “Droppin Em’” is also raw as shit. Ralphy I agree 100%. Paul’s Boutique was buy far the best Beastie album. Check your head was better than License to ill too. I didn’t like the Beastie Boys at all until Pauls Boutique. License to Ill is just the best for vocal samples IMO.

  13. chriswalters Says:

    Life After Death is weak. I know Biggie was a legend and all, but you’re gonna go drop slow jams and dance in plastic suits and shit with Diddy after you rap about “I don’t give a fuck if she’s pregnant, gimme the baby rings and the number one mom pendant”!?! RIP BIG, but they should have released that album as a “Softer Side to BIG” that you buy on late-night TV.

  14. WhippaWhipDaTHIRD Says:

    + 1 with Chris Walters.

    Also, why is Grand wizard Theodore not more revered than Grandmaster Flash??? He is obviously a better DJ, more influential and the guy has updated his style unlike Flash who still spins like its 1985, B!

  15. jzone Says:

    The hard joints (and even some of the party joints) on Life After Death were crazy. Had it been stripped down to a single CD, it may have been a closer match between that and Ready to Die. Diddy had his fingerprints on that one, but in 1997 it was all about flossin. Ready to Die wins all day IMO, but hey…keep in mind the title of this post!

  16. BPM Says:

    My unpopular opinion is that the Bitchwhippaz are the kings of parody rap and the Lonely Island dudes ain’t got shit on them.

  17. Eli Escobar Says:

    Oh yeah… I shoulda actually read your post hahahah! Ok here’s my contribution:
    I never understood the hoopla surrounding “Enta Da Stage”
    All the Black Moon singles were incredible and the B Sides set a new standard. But the album… I felt like when it was released sounded dated by at least a year and the production really amateurish. Especially when compared to the amazing work on the Smif n Wessun album. Plus all the song titles were so cliche by that point (”Shit Iz Real”, “Son Get Wrec” etc.). They sound like ONYX throwaways!

    Oh yeah and “Check Your Head” better than “License…” ?? Yo did a influx of crack just hit Jamaica Queens??

  18. Sunez Says:

    These are good arguments. I don’t see the ATCQ Peoples’ as all that. Like 3 Feet, that shit was a little corny to me. Low End and Midnight are perfect albums to me. Their MCing was perfect.

    I like the Rakim argument but I don’t agree with it. I think all the Eric B&Rakim albums are incredible. Don’t Sweat is a classic that no one admits. Still, Paid In Full’s filler is only the Eric B DJ cuts. This album has too many signature quotables to not be the best. It’s not really whether the other LPs aint as good; it’s that they could never have such power like that one. The argument is peace because Rakim never really diminished in skill. He actually got better to me.

    It Was Written is lyrically tight and at least equals Illmatic but Nas came off a little phony talking bout shit like he a killer (like Biggie running with Raekwon’s shit)and Pac bombing him takes down the album some notches LOL, and all the “knowledge” dropping shit with no substance (i.e. confusing the understanding of the Gods and Earths with alotta other shit. Saying he’s God then talking bout a God in the sky, sayin he don’t fuck with the Gods then “Peace God” …but that’s his whole career right? LOL)

    I agree with Fear over It takes a nation.

    Wu Forever is the most lyrical album of all time. RZA was at his peak lyrically for one. Ghost and Rae dominated. GZA repped while Masta Killa surprised wonderfully. Also, for me “Triumph” is the greatest beat of all time.
    Liquid Swords production by RZA takes it over Words From Genius. What about Cold World, Duel of Iron Mic and Swordsmen verses?!!

    My unpopular opinions are that Liquid Swords is greatest solo album of all time. Liquid Swords is a better album than Illmatic. Cuban Linx (a duet album to me) is the greatest album of all time. Digable Planet’s Blowout Comb is the most slept on album of all time. Biggies Life After Death is 15 songs too long and is a weak 2.5 out of 5. Tupac is an actual MC and a great one. The Roots are nothing without, and only worth listening to for the legendary Black Thought. And that’s a powerful reason.

    Peace,
    Sunez Allah
    Peace, Sunez Allah

  19. chriswalters Says:

    I think that all the harder songs get negated by the songs about flossin. I mean, I get that all the attention given to BIG changed his style and everything to a certain degree, but I can’t even listen to that album without being a snob towards it because of Ready to Die and how that album gets me amped up and ready to punch the shit out of people (and I can’t fight to save my life). Nothing against Biggie, because who the fuck wouldn’t rather rap about positive things instead of living in a shitty part of Brooklyn doing whatever it takes to make money/survive/etc., but I still think that all of the harder songs really lose something because they’re lumped in next to R.Kelly verses.

    Oh, and remember Ma$e? I guess that flat, monotone style with lyrical gems like “stay humble, stay low, blow like Hootie” really didn’t work out so hot.

  20. jzone Says:

    Damn EL! I can’t win with you, but we used to argue about this shit in college so its all good, lol. I gotta revisit check your head again, but besides brass monkey and a few others, i wasnt into licensed to ill like that. the mix on enta da stage was awful, but thats what added to it. buck was soundin crazy on “niguz talk shit”, i love that damn song.. “when i shoot the crossbow inside the ho”…who in brooklyn in 1993 had a god damn crossbow?!!? thats what makes it so ill! i liked the hard buckshot stuff on the album way more than the laid back stuff on the singles (wasnt that into “i got ya opin” version on the “12″ cause i was done with the barry white sample by then), but all the b-sides were straight murder, dope. “killin every nigga…”, “murder mcs”, “act like u want it” and “fuck it up”…all dope. yea nas’ image was kinda see thru, but in terms of straight rhymin…it was written had that. im just goin on rhymes alone. as for wu solo shots (outside of words from the genius, lol) i have to go with cuban linx or liquid swords. disc 1 of wu forever alone was better than 36 chambers. add triumph, impossible and dog shit to that…theres no contest. i went to college with ma$e. back then it was all about the #1 & #2 jerseys…lol.

  21. ralphykid Says:

    This one has gotten me into sum heat over the years:

    Ironman has always been my favorite Wu album. I’m not gonna say its greater than Only Built for Cuban Lynx, but I will say its just as good.

    The production was way fuckin ill, that teddy p sample, al green sample, the classic bob james sample on daytona500..i could go on

    And the lyrics..shit, just as good as Only Built if not better, coke talk for days, sex talk, ill story telling, AND THE BEST CAPPADONNA VERSE ever recorded (winter warz)

    I could go on and on about why Ironman is the shit, and possibly my favorite hip hop album ever, but i’ll end this long winded opinion with this summary:

    Ironman = Only built for Cuban Lynx ( which are both greater than Enter the 36 Chambers)

  22. Stretch Corleone Says:

    Great blog, J. My unpopular opinions:

    -I could never really get into the first Leaders Of The New School album for some reason. But I loved their second one.

    -Tha Doggfather is just as good as Doggystyle, and sometimes I even like it better. “Gold Rush” is one of the most slept-on posse cuts of all time!

    -The Diary is my favorite Scarface album.

    -The Coup’s third joint Steal This Album (an album that NEVER gets mentioned on any “best of” lists) was my favorite hip hop album from 1998, rivaled only by Gang Starr’s Moment Of Truth.

    I’ll think of some others later. Peace.

  23. jzone Says:

    Ironman was dope too, I ain’t mad at that. I put all the pre-1997 Wu solo shots except Tical over 36 Chambers. Wow, the LONS first one. When it came out I wasn’t that into it…but now its one of my favorites. Love that album. But I will say TIME is unfairly hated on. Don’t think its better than the first, but “Syntax Era” was my shit and people werent ready for it. Good album. Diary is dope too.

  24. DJ HasH Says:

    Great post! I feel you on a lot of your “unpopular opinions” J-Zone. “Walking With a Panther” is actually my FAVORITE LL Cool J album with “Mama..” coming in 2nd. I still bump “Walking..” Songs like “Droppin’Em”, “Nitro”, “Why Do You Think They Call It Dope” ,& “It Gets No Rougher” are all timeless classics to me. Not to mention the songs you already mentioned. Special Ed’s “Legal” was incredible too. I use to practice all of DJ Ackshun’s scratches until I got em right. Even if I lost a few needles and records in the process. Lol

    I have quite a few “unpopular” Hip Hop opinions but I’m going to show you how big my balls are and give you what I think is my biggest one. Only wifey and a few close friends know this one. BUT I’m probably the only man on the planet that copped Brian Austin Green’s album “One Stop Carnival” and the only one that liked it! You know the cat from the TV show 90210. Before you crucify me, hear me out. I had just read a Vibe article where they CRUCIFIED Brian Green for rappin and putting out an album which they said was wack. And they crucified Slim Kid Tre from the Pharcyde for workin with Brian. So I was at a bargain bin and they had the album. Curiousity was killin me so I listened to it at the listening station. To my surprise the album was pretty tight. The album featured Slim Kid Tre of The Pharcyde and the Black Eyed Peas when they were dope “pre-Fergie”. Brian did all the production which was actually tight. It had the same West Coast production style that was popular in the 90’s (i.e Pharcyde , Heiro, etc.). Brian rapped with the high pitched squeaky rhyme style that was also popular on the West Coast in the 90’s (i.e Pharcyde, Ahmad, Another Level, Wascals, etc.) so if you could tolerate that then you were good. So I copped the album for 99 cents and I still play it til this day. There I said it! Let the screams of blasphemy and off wit his head BEGIN!!! lol

  25. Leo Says:

    It was written was better that illmatic over all to me!! Resonable Doubt is better than both……

  26. Kool ade Kam Says:

    TIM DOG!!!PENICILLIN ON WAX!!!

    I’m sorry N.W.A. But, Tim Dog won the battle! i’ll always hold ya’ll in the highest respect. But, i really gotta say this is by far the most gangsta album ever! lol. I mean come on! he made the song “Fuck Compton!” who makes diss songs like this? NOBODY!!”

    Plus you got Ultramagnetic helping with project. I love this album. On average i listen to it 3 straight times, when its in my rotation lol.

  27. Bottoms Up Productions Says:

    Nice post, J - I live for discussions like this.

    I’m always going back and forth between “People’s Travels” and “Low End Theory” as my favorite Tribe album. Agreed that, despite a few choice jams, “Midnight Marauders” is last out of that holy trinity.

    As for my personal unpopular opinions - I might have to say that “The Ruler’s Back” is Slick Rick’s best album, not “Great Adventures of”. Don’t get me wrong - that’s certainly no slouch. “Mona Lisa” (my current ringtone), “Hey Young World”, “The Ruler’s Back”, and “Treat Her Like A Prostitute” speak for themselves. It’s just that, if we’re going by sheer numbers here, I dig more tracks off his second album. I think a lot of people slept on that gem, seeing as it dropped right before Rick got put away for 5 years. Both of my brothers even maintain that “Moses” is a strong candidate for his best SONG, period.

    Plus, despite being good, I’ve always felt that “Children’s Story” is a little overpraised. There, I said it…!!!

  28. jzone Says:

    yo kam…the best 3 rap albums ever…amerikkkas most wanted, fear of a black planet and penicillin on wax…in that order! that tim dog album is the most entertaining rap album ever made.

  29. jzone Says:

    And YES! I swear by the Ruler’s Back for beats. I go with Great Adventures for rhymes, but I didn’t like the beats on it besides “Moment I Feared”, “Hey Young World” and “Lick The Balls”. What Vance gave him for Rulers Back was way better. Word to “Tonto”!

  30. chriswalters Says:

    Oh, and Prince Among Thieves is the best rap album EVER.

  31. Ap Says:

    I completely agree on the Eric B & Rakim album brotha… I’m friends with legendary bass player Anton Pukshansky… and he mixed that entire album in 24 hours. They had a deadline. And he didn’t get credited for it. Anyone know why that blank spot is in Back To The Lab?

  32. KERS HLH Says:

    I agree on Business As Usual. Fear of a Black Planet, & Tougher Than Leather. Eric B & Rakims best lp to me is Let The Rythm Hit Em & Tribes is Low End Theory. I also would like to say that I think both biggie & Pac are overated & they not even the best dead emcees, Big L & Big Pun wipe the floor with them. shit, I’ll take subroc over Pac any day, n he’s the dj/producer. U know what, MF DOOMs best album is Madvilliany, not Operation Doomsday. Now What!!!

  33. Jesafa Says:

    Far be it for a white boy from OC to join the blasphemy, but Follow the Leader is not only the best Eric B and Rakim album, It’s the greatest rap album ever.

    “Music mixed mellow maintains to make
    Melodies for mc’s motivates the breaks”

    WHAT!

    Sorry man, I had no idea where the albee square mall was, and I was 12 years old, if mom heard me talk like sex, I was no longer a smooth operator but Following the Leader.

    This is a lesson if ya guessin and if ya borrowin
    Hurry hurry step right up and keep followin
    The leader

    And everyone has been trying since.

    Over rated? Every song Tupac has ever recorded.

  34. jzone Says:

    Let The Rhythm Hit Em was a masterpiece (and I met Anton P. once as a shorty when I was interning at Power Play Studio in Long Island City). Follow the Leader was hard, Don’t Sweat The Technique was slept on crazy. All 3 are way better than Paid In Full, but people don’t see it because Paid In Full was the first impression and it had all the classic singles. I’m surprised that a lotta people agreed with me on Tribe. My boys was hatin on me crazy hard because I didn’t like Midnight Marauders when it dropped. I wasn’t a Phife fan (esp. post Low End Theory). Peoples… was mostly Tip and was very musically ambitious at the time. 16 years have passed, and my opinion hasn’t changed. But “Steve Biko” is my joint, that beat is fuggin craaaaazy!

  35. Amadeo Says:

    I’ve been saying the same thing about It Was Written for years. When people find a good album people always want the artist to keep making that same album again and again for the rest of their career. Nas, acted like some time had passed and reflected that things had changed and that was a great album.

  36. KERS HLH Says:

    Nas might’ve grown as an emcee on It Was Written, but all around, Illmatic is still a doper lp. It’s the production for me. Yo, why do people look at me like I’m crazy cuz I think both Doggystyle & The Chronic are wack?!?! Oh, & Method Man never had a good lp, even though he’s a pretty dope emcee!!!

  37. Jesafa Says:

    Doggystyle and The Chronic are both way over rated and both just sound like chopped up P-funk Greatest hits albums with rappin’.

    Tribe was great on Instinctive travels but some fucking kid got me for my Bonita Applebum cassingle and my American Flag Swatch at the same time I ain’t never looked at the music the same since then.

    Yeah, Oc kids wore USA Medallions bought at the OC swap meet in the early 90’s.

    We just didn’t buy the house version of Tribe music, that must have been the midwest.

  38. Ben6 Says:

    Great blog Mr Zone!

    I agree about People’instinctive, it’s clearly the best ATCQ album.

    My unpopular opinions :

    Idlewild > all others Outkast albums, even if all these were one

    Fishscale > Ironman

  39. LBoogie 718 Says:

    speaking of tribe.. I remember listening to Phife’s Ventilation LP and thinkin it was pretty dope..

    Jay’z Blueprint 2 was amazing.. Both CD’s.. Is that an unpopular opinion? I always felt CD2 the curse a lil more but fuck it I’ll listen to it completely (it’s possible I might skip guns n roses).. Bitches & Sisters is truth!

    Love this post

  40. Instant Classic Says:

    My unpopular opinions:

    –I don’t think Rapper Big Pooh is as bad as cats make him out to be. The line wasn’t aimed at him, but it’s applicable here when Phonte said “I tell niggas y’all ain’t wack, you just sound wack rhyming after me”

    –The Roots’ best album is Things Fall Apart….next is Illadelph Halflife, followed by Do You Want More

    –Bahamadia didn’t get her props because she looked like she bit a brick

    –Jigga won the Jay-Z-Nas beef

    –Slum Village was better without J Dilla (RIP)

    –While I like the concept of Death of Autotune and agree with everything said, it’s decidedly gimmicky and is going to come off corny in 10 years. Leave it on the mixtape….lead singles shouldn’t be so…right now.

  41. Instant Classic Says:

    Oh, and…

    Quality > Black on Both Sides

  42. AC Says:

    Great Blog. Had to give my 2 cents.

    I 100% agree on Wu-Tang forever being their best album and I actually don’t even feel like its close. Side note: Shaolin Style was a dope game for the 1st playstation.

    I also agree with the Slick Rick chatter.

    Few thinks I get hated on for thinking.

    Mobb Deeps 1st album is completely overrated. Some grimy beats, but as a whole it never did to much for me.

    Labcab is front to back a better overall album than Bizzare Ride.

    Will Smith, although corny was/is crazy talented. He and Jazzy Jeff don’t get the love they should.

    Erick Sermon has made better headnodders then dre and timberland throughout their careers.

    Last but not least…I always thought Kris Kross was the shit. I’ll still throw on Da Bomb from time to time.

    LOL Ralphy is crazy for coming clean on diggin Brian Austin Green.

  43. Mr.Tibbs Says:

    I think alotta shit depends on your age, too.
    There’s no way “To The Death” was better than “Firing Squad”, IMO. They blasted out the box with “How About Some Hardcore” and I couldn’t wait to check the album. I go and spend my hard earned allowance on an album that’s best track, besides”How About..”, wasn’t on it. “Rugged Neva Smoov” Remix>>>>>>>>>>To The Death.
    Opinions, though.

    Tribes best album to me, “Low End Theory”. But I can see an argument made for any of the first 3. They were all groundbreaking and pushed the envelope. These cats didn’t give a fuck what anyone thought. Just stayed in the studio, working on their own shit for the love of music and creating.

    I can see somewhat of an argument for “It Was Written”, but I can’t say that whole fake Italian mobster faggot shit suited Nas well, IMO. I can’t say how disappointed I was with Nas and G.Raps first collabo being on some bullshit like that. That “Fast Life” video is embarrassing.

    But I do agree on #’s 3, 7, 8, and 9.

    Glad to see the Old Maid Billionaire bloggin’.
    Peace

  44. duster Says:

    my unpopular opinions:

    1) ive always felt IWW was on par with illmatic, and maybe even better. he seems so much more mature and more focused on the consequences of the ghetto life-style.

    2) “ether” is not a good dis track. at all. “takeover” is much better because its LYRICAL and filled with facts. “ether” is the total opposite, full of nursery grade insults like “gay-z” and “cock-a-fella”, and when he’s done dishing those, he results to “9 shots from my glock, fellas.” we get it, man. you’ll kill him. whatever. SUPA UGLY >>>>>>>>>> ETHER

    3) “the cool” is one of the most important rap albums in history. i dont think people fully understand how well lupe has described most thoughts about the industry at large. “the coolest”, “streets on fire”, and “put you on game” should be enough to turn people away from trying to fit in.

    4) biggie was dope. he was probably better than everyone when he was alive, but i dont feel like hes top 5. maybe somewhere between 9 and 11. unfortunately his catalog isn’t big enough to convince me that he should be mentioned with the likes of rakim, krs, or…………………… jigga.

  45. jzone Says:

    Mr. Tibbs had a great point I forgot all about. I remember bein HYPED to hear “Fast Life”. GRAP and NAS!!! The world was BUZZIN! Then I head it and was like…oh. It was a lotta fake mobster shit. G Rap and LL are my favorite MC’s(and Suga Free too, haha), so when I heard Fast Life (and Nas was the most watched man in rap at that time, right before It Was Written Dropped) it was a huge let down. I remember hearin it on Fordham Rd in the Bronx out a car speaker, I asked the dude to stay parked so I could hear the whole song, lol. Waste of time. The remix was better, but my opinion of it was already screwed. 4.5.6 disappointed me too for G Rap, because Live & Let Die is one of my favorite albums ever. The mid 90’s got plagued by too many rappers watchin Scarface and The Godfather. The only ones that did it and it didn’t suck at it was Wu-Tang and Half A Mil (RIP). And of course Mob Style from Harlem, who pioneered all that shit 5 years before it got popular (shout to AZ and PRetty Tone Capone). That said, I’m a Cormega and a Nas fan, but the Firm was pure ass and Affirmative Action was the worst song on It Was Written. The Dre track on there was weak too. Doggy Style was 10 x better than the Chronic.

  46. jzone Says:

    and re-listened to Wutang Forever. Its better than 36 Chambers by a mile. Not even close. “For HEavens Sake”…that shit is crazy. RZA set the blueprint for production for the next 10 years to come. Makes 36 Chambers sound like a demo. And the “shaker” beats on Great Adventures drag it down. Ruler’s Back and even Behind Bars had better production.

  47. Jesafa Says:

    Jay Z Just murdered Nas man.

    I remember Felli Fel breaking out Supa Ugly and I just fucking lost it, that feud ended right there, I wont even go into his flat out murder on wax during The Blueprint 2…OR On MTV Unplugged with THE ROOTS PLAYING THE TAKEOVER? Whew.

    Any cocaine raps that are not by a Geto Boys affiliated rapper is a fraud.
    ‘Face just locked that shit down since day one. Locked. Down.

    Suga Free is by far the most slept on underrated rap artist of all time.

    Comptons’ Most Wanted’s “it’s a compton thang” And ATL’s “livin like Hustlers” are in the top 10 rap albums of all time.

  48. jzone Says:

    Suga Free is my 3rd favorite MC of all time, and I’m not even bullshittin. He’s so underrated it makes me angry. Pimp shit aside, the man is NICE. Above The Law…Livin Like Hustlers is slept on and so is Black Mafia Life and the Vocally Pimpin EP.

  49. jasper Says:

    The beats on vocally pimpin suck. They tried to combine samples that are dope in their own right but don´t fit together. Dre´s absence is painfully noticeable.

    my unpopular opinions:

    Tung Twista and E-40 are the only rappers from the early 90s that are still improving.

    Willie D´s “play witcha mama” is better than Scarface´s “the diary”.

    Wise Intelligent´s “killin u …for fun” is better than all the prt records combined.

    The main ingredient is better than mecca.

    power is Ice-T´s best LP.

    …and Vanilla Ice is a dope rapper.

    to Jesafa: music to driveby is by far CMW´s best album.

  50. jzone Says:

    Vocally Pimpin is the Black Planet of ATL Records. Its a complete mess beatwise (in a good way), either you like it or you don’t. “Wicked” and the “Playlude” are so dope that it negates the ones that didn’t work. Scarface is a better MC by far (in my top 5-10), but Willie D was the most entertaining Geto Boy hands down. Goin Out Lika Soldier is his best IMO. I’d buy a Willie D album before a Scarface one because he’s funny as shit. Mecca had better beats than Main Ingredient, but CL improved drastically on Main Ingredient, I started liking CL when Main Ingredient dropped. His rhymes got more substance and he matured tenfold. But Pete fell in love with the Cold Chillin samples too much for my tastes. OG is Ice-T’s best IMO and Vanilla Ice was better than 97% of the rappers out now and I’m not even bullshittin. People just hated him cause he got caught frontin like he was from the streets, he wasnt that horrible. I’d take him over that “Chicken Noodle SOup” shit or anything with autotune in it.

  51. jzone Says:

    And word to E-40 and Twista. 2 incredible MC’s that people on the East Coast hate for no reason. Glad I finally got to work with E-40, its an honor. Dude is the poster child for longevity and staying relevant (along with LL, Scarface and Too $hort).

  52. Jesafa Says:

    The entire Definitive Jux Company with the exception of Aesop Rock is wack.

    No disrespect to the business side, but the music is very chinchilla.

    Del broke my heart man.

  53. psk215 Says:

    I am reposting my 2 points from FB:

    Let the Rhythm Hit Em’ is for dinner parties with shitty leather love seats and after-work crowds drinking champagne from flutes. Don’t Sweat the Technique is for hoodlums in pull-over Minnesota North Star Starters scarring kids on the boardwalk in Wildwood New Jersey.

    and…

    Saying Illmatic is Nas’ best album is gross, safe and politically correct but the album does not have one sub par song.

    It Was Written on the other hand has 3 mistakes and 1 dudu charged half-assed lead single:

    1. I Gave you Power ushered in the era of Premiere spreading himself thin and making beats he considered for 10 minutes tops; although the intro beat is sick.

    2. Nas is Coming, a skit should never outshine a song and that’s the only joy I get nowadays from that song otherwise it’s skipped.

    3. Affirmative Action is dog shit and that’s what happens when you consider Mega over Nature.

    4. If I Ruled the World. C’mon man! Tell me you think this is a cool song and I will reconsider our friendship.

    Much to Nas’ credit I think it was a wise and enigmatic choice to put Silent Murder on the tape and not the CD or LP.

    I will say that It Was Written was the best album of the Summer of 96′- that’s right I said it, better than Reasonable Doubt.

  54. stef tataz Says:

    j, so glad someone convinced you to publish your writing!

  55. R.E.V Says:

    J- Zone Da Old Maid, you get me through the day but,
    I totally agree with your opinon that MC Wren? is slept on, he had that feel that I felt balanced out the rest of the crew, but just never really got of the bench.

    Unpopular opion

    K-Os “Joyfull Rebellion” it is just a beautiful stew of so many groups of music

  56. MadMan K Says:

    Great post…

    I still don’t understand how King Sun’s “Say No More” never got any support, that album is one of my alltime favs, together with Motion Man’s “Clearing the Field” and your “A Job Ain’t Nuthin But Work”.

    Also, production-wise, i think Ice-T’s “7th Deadly Sin” is heavily slept on.

  57. jzone Says:

    KIng Sun was mad underrated. Righteous But Ruthless is a dope ass album. New unpopular opinion post up now…the Eazy-E vs. Dr. Dre saga. Fill in your 2 cents…

  58. Jesafa Says:

    One more Unpopular view, fitting considering the poster.

    I want my 10 fucking bucks back for the Boss hog barbarians mess.

    I tried my damnedest to love it, Jzone and the Rubix Cuban? No fucking brainer, I bought it immediately! Whew, I forced myself through it like 5 times then gave up.

    I mean, I get it but, damn.

    At least you didn’t have your single point of weakness in your discogrophy turn into an emo “I have completely lost my grip on reality” shit like cage…damn.

    Everything else you have done? Fucking Buttery. Even most the interviews.

  59. jzone Says:

    haha. yea the boss hogs was an acquired taste but thats not an unpopular opinion. a lotta people hated that album, but its one of my best sellers for itunes. go figure. the moral of the post…all classic albums have people that dont like em and all wack albums have fans. meaning theres no such thing as a wack or good album…unless it has a lotta autotune on it. then its objectively wack…

  60. public school whitey Says:

    I LIKED A WES ANDERSON’S MOVIES IN DESCENDING ORDER:
    1. Bottle Rocket (1996)
    2. Rushmore (1998)
    3. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
    4. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
    5. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

    …SORRY WRONG BLOG!

  61. jzone Says:

    Madman K, I never heard Say No More by King Sun, did you mean the Strictly Ghetto EP? I thought that was his last album. I know he did a white label joint dissin Pac on some east vs west shit that came out right before Pac was murdered. It was crazy, but as soon as Pac was killed the DJ’s stopped playing it immediately. Funny you say A Job Aint Nuthin But Work too. That was always my favorite of my first 5 albums, but it wasn’t received well. I never heard 7th Deadly Sin and I’m an Ice-T fan so Imma check for that one. It got no press when it dropped and by then I wasnt buyin much music cause I had bills!

  62. Boothe (All Things) Says:

    Great post. Here are some that quickly came to mind.

    1. Del’s No Need For Alarm is overrated. I think people got a little excited because the head to Hiero’s Voltron had returned. A number of the beats were underwhelming, and the new angry flow he brought was a step down. I Wish My Brother George Was here, is a superior album.

    2. Sticking with Hiero, NNFA and 93′ Til are held in high regard as the best Hiero releases from that era, but Fear Itself and Like It Should Be, have held up a lot better, and get a lot more spins for me today.

    3. This one is about CRU. Yogi brought some great beats to the table, and had a great chemistry with Chad, but I think the star of the show (a LOT of people disagree with me on this) was The Mighty Ha.

    4. Not sure if this opinion is unpopular but In God We Trust > Reel To Reel

    5. What What > Jean Grae

    6. I don’t think The Pharcyde get enough credit for their production contributions to Bizarre Ride. Didn’t realize this until hearing The Wascals album and the Quinton 12″. Swift’s beats were good, but not outstanding like the first Pharcyde album.

    7. I like Pimp C’s verse on Big Pimpin’ better than Bun’s.

  63. Papa D! Says:

    man i only got ten secs here to respond, but had to chime in on the ATCQ thought…i agree whole heartedly so u not alone in feeling that “Peoples Instinctive…” is their best album….i have been defendning this position since “Low End Theory” dropped and never gave in…word!

  64. Paulie Sure Says:

    Heres my 2 cents from the other side of the world.

    *Cypress Hill surprisingly underrated as a group no one mentions them as pioneers but sonically they had a distinct, popular sound and had a great influence on many peoples music (not the least that every rapper since has a song about smoking weed).

    * Treach from Naughty should be considered atleast in the top 5 emcees ever.

    * There are two many white kids going to hiphop concerts - look at live show footage from everyone from Talib to Ghostface. I’m white, so I understand it but do we really have to fill up the first 10 rows at shows with abercrombie & fitch gear.

  65. jzone Says:

    Ah, Naughty By Nature. Here’s another unpopular opinion. Treach IS one of the dopest MC’s of the 90’s, he was ill. But I never liked Naughty By Nature’s beats. The live pianos used to bother me, lol. I didn’t like their hooks either, but I never did like overly catchy hooks. The only ones I really liked were “Uptown Anthem”, “Craziest” and “Poor Man’s Poetry”. I liked “Crewz Pop” too, but that was Da Youngstas featuring Treach, so that don’t count! But yea, Treach is mad underrated.

  66. exlib Says:

    Dope blog, J. My 2 cents:

    Soul on Ice is overrated in general, with Nature of the Threat being overrated specifically. I always thought the concept was real dope but that Ras flipped it lazily, with mad simple rhyme schemes and a beat that wasn’t even there behind his lyrics half the time.

    He may not ever have the hot single or bangin album to point to, but Young Zee has style and cadence behind a mic like a MF.

    Buckwild is top five producer status.

    Sadat X Wild Cowboys > any Grand Puba solo joint, even though Puba was always the nastier mc back when they was in Brand Nubian.

    Didnt love naughty but wickedest man alive was my joint.

  67. jzone Says:

    Word to Wild Cowboys. It was one of the dopest records of ‘96 IMO. Reel to Reel and 2000 weren’t nearly as good, but u right in Puba being a legend. Soul On Ice was good rhymewise but the beats left a lot to be desired. Only good beat was “Etc.”

  68. Boothe (All Things) Says:

    Here’s another one.

    Despite Ced Gee being replaced by a robot flowing clone (”YO MONEY GRIP, MONEY GRIP…”)

    The Four Horseman > Critical Beatdown.

  69. jzone Says:

    The four Horsemen had some SERIOUS beats. Ditto on Ced tho, he was at his rappin best on Funk Your Head Up.

  70. Metropolis Says:

    Zone, what do you think was De la Soul’s second best album?

  71. BLADERUNNER7L Says:

    Possibly one of the greatest blog post in the history of blogging….haha…

    I agree w/many of ur points, that being said I think Mamma Said Knock U Out is one of the greatest rap albums ever made..its LL on a comeback, and cameback so strong, Marley Marl was fresh outta contract w/Cold Chillin’ so they both had shit to prove, and just everything was perfectly in line…there is not one wack track on there…even the Radio/R&B shit works…

    2 unpopular opinion I get rashed on for:
    I never really cared for O.C’s “Times Up”…I thought the beat(Les Dermele sample), while interesting, was a snoozer… I remember reading The Source Singles Files column and I believe they referred to it as ‘bare bones’ and Bucwild produced it, they mentioned Slick Rick in the cut up chorus, so I had such high hopes..lyrically OC fucking murders it…and when the album came out I always thought he shoulda rhymed “Times Up” over the interlude AFTER “times Up” on the lp, the one before “Point of Viewz”, which was much harder and went on to be the beat for Jay Z’s “P.S.A”, as well as Black Moon’s “Stay Real”(Little Boy Blues Band sample)….

    Sex & Violence is my favorite BDP album…Criminal Minded and By Any Means.. I LOVE LOVE LOVE, I am in no way forcing my opinion on anyone, this is personal choice…Blueprint i enjoyed and I thought Edutainment was cool…but when Sex & Violence dropped…the intro, “I am a DJ I need, I need…Vinyl”….and “The Original Way” is possibly one of the rawest rap records ever..KRS and Foxx just rip it!!!

    also, King Sun is so fucking slept on…J here is that record u were talking about that came out before Pac’s death…it was labeled ‘Sun Doolah’ …copped it @ Fat Beats at their original location, pre Foot Work..its actually Doo Wop Feat Sun Doolah, the flip to the record is a SWV Doo Wop blend, flipping thru various old school joints, Eric B is President etc…

    http://www.mediafire.com/?gthygmnzjmn

    Let the Rhythm Hit’em and Wanted:Dead or Alive are 2 masterpeices I feel are companion pieces..for obvious reasons..

  72. jzone Says:

    YOOOOOO haha, yo 7L, I owe you big time for that King Sun joint. I got it on an old future flavas mix, but I only got one verse. And I agree on Sex & Violence. That is the BEST BDP album. Boom Bap was the best KRS solo. Also, Freddie Foxxx’s verse on “Ruff Ruff” was the best verse on that whole album. I dont care what ANYBODY says. When he says “I see a rapper in the crowd that I dont like…” you know there’s gonna be some violence lol. Then he proceeds to go at lengthy detail of how he destroys a rapper and his wife and kids. Foxxx is so underrated its a crime, that dude is a BEAST! And I AGREE, on “Times Up” hahahaha. I read that SAME source review that summer and I was amped cause of “Fudge Pudge” and when I bought the “12 I was like ‘the shit aint got no drums on it’ lol. Its still a good song, but the hype + the organized konfusuion conection + wildpitch had me with high hopes. word life was lyrically very dope, but the beats were kinda Bill Cosby sweater-ish for my taste. And u right, best beat was the Jay-Z loop in one of those Pete Rock style interludes, and the one before “Let It Slide”. Glad I aint the only one that feels this way haha.

    And yo Tone (Metro), you a fool haha. I liked De La’s albums like I liked tribes…in descending order. But I was always a bigger De La fan than a Tribe fan.

  73. Contakt Says:

    Gotta give it up for Ren as one of the most slept on emcees from the West.

    Where my Hounddogz at?

  74. Ko.B Says:

    It Was Written was definitely lyrically better than Illmatic. It was just deeper and thicker. He challenged himself with the gun personification on I Gave You Power. The story tellin was very visual, it brought you there. The fact that the lyrics were provided with the album helped too. And the bonus song (which is soooo sick) being available only on the tape was one of the dopest moves in the game at the time when tapes were on their last limb.

  75. BLADERUNNER7L Says:

    “the beats were kinda Bill Cosby sweater-ish for my taste” I am biting this phrase rom now on…I just spit out my drink reading your reply..that shit is great!

  76. Song Of The Day: Goodie Mob ‘Beautiful Skin’ « HaterPlayer Says:

    [...] to school myself on the Dungeon Family and Organized Noise Productions. I know this will be an unpopular rap opinion and will likely strip me of all credibility ever, but I’ve never gone too crazy over any of [...]

  77. catGhost Says:

    ATCQ albums are all good for different reasons. I could never pick my favourite or say which is the best.

    Totally agree with the EPMD one. I also think Erick Sermon’s first verse on Gold Digger is the most entertaining verse I’ve ever heard of his.

    Not sure about the Nas one. Maybe I need to go back and check It Was Written but right now I can’t see it.

    Anyway, here’s my contribution:

    1. Inspektah Deck was the best MC on ‘Enter the 36…’

    2. Missin’ Linx - M.I.A by far outshines Dre - Next Episode, which I happen to think is a dreadful beat and easily the worst on The Chronic 2001. If Dre had actually used the sample instead of mimicking it with that horrible staccato shit, I’d probably have a different opinion.

    3. De La Soul are the most consistent hip hop outfit of all time.

    4. Soul Brother #1 is the best beat on Mecca & The Soul Brother. He must have used at least 10 different records to make that - you could write an essay on it! Who else was making beats like that in 1990 (except Prince Paul of course)?

    5. Grand Puba > Nas (at singing).

  78. jzone Says:

    THANK YOU! Soul Brother #1 was the best beat on Mecca, and when you say that you get a blank stare. I thought the 9th Creation shit really had that bassline in it til I heard the Ohio Players record. They all sound so in tune, I’ve never heard a layering job like that in my life. My top 10 beats of all time, period.

  79. AngerBros... Says:

    here’s my two…i think the first Stet records blew (except maybe pauls groove), then In Full Gear was pretty godamm good, then to one of my favorites, Blood, Sweat, and No Tears. I loved this record, and Stet in general showed me that a nerdy kid like me could grab the mic!…

    Which reminds me, J…you could maybe do a thread on the most insane mc names of all time (fruitkwan has to somewhere in there), and one on folks admitting to the most embarrassing non-hip hop shit they love (and not fucking sade to prove how sensitive and cool they are, the really bad shit you know you pulled out of your sisters record collection and secretly liked…).

    Keep it up, J

  80. jzone Says:

    Haha, its funny. The first full length rap album I ever bought was Stetsasonic In Full Gear. But Blood Sweat and No Tears I felt was their best album. Like stated earlier, in 1990 artists had to step up and make albums, not just a collection of singles. Albums are about peaks and valleys, and every cut cant be a banger. In Full Gear was actually one of the better produced early rap albums though, and Prince Paul being involved cant be a coincidence.

  81. jzone Says:

    oh and dont forget how blood sweat and no tears had separate bonus tracks for cd and cassette. they just dont give the customer those type of rewards no more. i bout it on both formats for that reason, lol.

  82. AngerBros... Says:

    it’s true! i forget which, but one of the bonus tracks was the best one on there! Also the reason when it came out to get all versions of de la soul is dead (in the top 5 best albums ever). millie pulled a pistol rules and my brother is a basehead does too. by the way, i agree for sure on epmd’s best and also tougher than leather. nas and pe, though, i have to say i go with the crowd on for illmatic and nation. any thoughts on kanes best work? anything goes when it comes to hoes…

  83. jzone Says:

    “Corporate America” was a tape only bonus cut from Blood Sweat & No Tears. That was the best song from that album in either format. I’m not a Kanye fan and I’m not too familiar with his catalog, so I can’t judge.

  84. AngerBros... Says:

    kane as in big daddy kane…not a kanye west fan either

  85. jzone Says:

    Ooops, haha I read that shit too late, my eyes were gone. As for Kane, I gotta go with It’s a Big Daddy Thing for the same reasons I chose for Rakim and EPMD. It was an all around better album than Long Live The Kane, but Long Live The Kane had all the classic individual joints. That said, I listen to Its A Big Daddy Thing more, even if only for Young Gifted & Black, Pimpin Ain’t Easy and Callin Mr. Welfare. Also, It Looks Like A Job For… was slept on. People had written Kane off after Prince Of Darkness and didn’t realize that Looks Like A Job for had some very dope joints on it.

  86. magi115 Says:

    E-Rule’s “Cold Currentz” had me hyped once it finally dropped. I think it was officially his only only album to ever really drop for the retail market. What set it apart from other releases in 2001 was that he and King Born were still using that 90’s formula, although many of the tracks not even sample based. It’s by no means a classic definitley worth mentioning.

    An unpopular opinion here may be my top picks for best album.

    1. 456-KGR
    2. The Main Ingredient-PR & CL Smooth
    3. Daily Oparation-Gangstarr
    4. It Takes A Nation Of Millions-PE
    5. Clear Blue Skys-the Juggaknotts
    6. Critical Beatdown-Ultramagnetic MCs
    7. Goodfellas- Show & AG
    8. Unfinished Business-EPMD
    9. Smiff N Wessun-Dah Shinin (don’t sleep on that Cocoa Brovaz album either)
    10. Das Efx-Dead Serious

    Scars and Memories and The War Report should be probably be in that list somewhere too, but If I left out EPMD and PE people might think I have something against Long island. It’s also too b ad that B-One never dropped an album, and only had three 12″s. For his short run, he was right there neck in neck with KGR.

  87. magi115 Says:

    And what about De La Soul Is Dead?
    I don’t think I ever heard a hip hop album that embraced gothic culture so coherently. Or was it just them growing out the daisy age? On the whole as far as conceptual albums go, i doubt that any group could ever surpass De La Soul and Prince Paul. I mean shit, it alsomost seems like Ghostface and Reakwon grafted elememnts of their archaic style and shaped into Ironman and Cuban Links.

    Damn, what about Slaughtahouse and Sittin On Chrome? I think I must have bought at least 3 copies of the Slaughtahouse cassette. Take A Look Around has some classic material too like Music Man. I still have yet to even listen to A Long Hot Summer. Yo, Ase has to go down in history as one of the greats. That Nostalgia joint is one of the illest tracks in the last 5 years.

  88. sport shoes Says:

    Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  89. don p Says:

    1. EPMD - Strictly Business
    2. Wu Tang - Enter the 36 Chambers
    3. The Roots - Illadelph Halflife
    4. J Zone - Music for tu madre (of course!!!)
    5. Jay-Z - Reasonable Doubt
    6. Nas - Illmatic
    7. Ghostface Killa - Supreme Clientele
    8. J Dilla - Welcome to Detroit
    9. Lootpack - Soundpieces da antidote
    10. Huss & Hodn - Jetzt schamst du dich (thats a german classic)

    Peace from germany
    Keep it on Zone

  90. puma shoes Says:

    Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  91. Stretch Corleone Says:

    Got a couple more opinions that might be unpopular:

    -The first Pharcyde album is easily one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. Definitely in my personal top ten.

    -Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s album E. 1999 Eternal is a timeless classic. They may not have invented the tongue-twisting style of rapping, but surely they perfected it. Plus, the production on that album was ridiculous. DJ U-Neek was mad slept-on on the production tip back then. The Art Of War is a personal favorite too, though that one had a few filler tracks, being a double disc and all.

  92. Thomas Says:

    Buhloone Mind State is De La Soul’s best album.

  93. tonedef Says:

    Dope list!

    My unpopular opinion- i’d pick onyx’s bacdafucup over either ready to die or reasonable doubt.

    and- tical is the best of the first round of wu-tang solo albums.

  94. derek Says:

    I realize what he meant to rap music, but i never really got into Biggie.
    Ja Rule is unfairly regarded as garbage.
    DMX > Ja Rule > Jay-Z. all Close though. If they ever released their cd like they were suppposed to, it would’ve probably been my favorite rap cd ever.
    2pac and DMX are the most passionate and energetic rappers I’ve ever heard. They always seem like they’re drenched in sweat and about to collapse while rapping.
    No Limit Records was debatably the greatest gangsta rap record label ever.
    Juvenile and Trick Daddy don’t get the props they deserve. Some of the best music from the south belongs to them.
    Cam’Ron may have ridiculous lyrics, but his flow and style put him miles above other rappers in terms of talent.
    I agree with Jay, Eazy-E’s post NWA albums are great.
    2001 beats out The Chronic for me. Dre’s beats just hit me harder on that one.
    Vanilla Ice, Will Smith, and Ma$e are gifted rappers who make/made entertaining and catchy songs.
    Mannie Fresh is one of the most creative producers ever.
    ODB was my favorite Wu member.
    Rap/Rock and Rap/Metal were great to me. maybe being a white kid in the burbs growing up in the late 90’s contributed to this, but i still blast every last cd of this style to this day. I get hated on by my friends, but whatever. Into a side tangent about rock music here. At least rap/metal had balls. you felt like if you crossed them you’ll get punched in the mouth artest style. all this new rock music is gay. side tangent finished.
    Mystikal has the best style ever.
    Beastie Boys are the three best white rappers of all time, and are my favorite rap group to this day.
    Lil Wayne was good before he copped a new style. everything pre The Carter was tight. Everything afterwards has been hot garbage.
    Kanye West is an egotistical douchebag who should stay off the mic and who’s production never moved me at all.
    Black Sunday is Cypress Hill’s best cd.
    and last but not least, Insane Clown Posse are underrated and completely overlooked in terms of “actual” rap music. Their breath control is very good, you never hear a breath ever. and they entertain to no end.

    i know it was a long post, but i figured why not? when else can i put up all my opinions and not get blasted?

  95. jzone Says:

    @ Derek…Haha you got a lotta crazy opinions but I agree with some of em. Esp the comments on Mannie Fresh, Lil Wayne and Kanye…cosign all 3 of those. DMX is unfairly hated on as an MC. Beats werent very good but the dude didnt make no love songs or dress like a woman…thats askin a lot in 2009.

  96. JOSE Says:

    Hey Zone,great post.
    Not agree with you in:
    -forever>enter the wu
    -word from the genius>liquid swords
    -i think all the tribe albums are classics(for diferent reasons)
    -tim dogs first being a classic album(it´s fun but no masterpiece to me,anyway his perfomance in yo mtv raps was classic)

    also i agree a lot with you in:
    -PE true masterpiece was FEAR(have you heard the wax poetic feature bomb squad history?This album was produced by Keith schockle instead of hank¡¡)
    -nigazz for life was dre masterpiece.
    -L.O.N.S first is classic(by the way i also lone syntax era)
    -erib and rakim classics are the 2nd,the 3rd and the fourth one(were this album ghost produced by large pro?)
    -lirycs wide it was written is better than illmatic but ,illmatic is one of the beatheads holy grail(i was real disapointed with the trackmasters beats,although by today standards they are dope).
    -can agree more with the epmd thing.
    -the four horse men got beats(godfather don)
    alson my own unpopular opinions :
    -goodfellas better than runawave slave.
    -main ingredient is wack(too much soft tracks)
    -redman best album is dare iz a darkside.
    -except for the primo track i never liked ready to die.
    -jay z has no classic album behind him(he has some classic tracks)
    -my three all time favourite albums are:beastie boys”pauls boutique”,cypress hill”cypress hill” and pe”fear”
    -black sheep “a wolf in sheep clothing “was as good as tribe second.
    -beatnuts “stone crazy” is not their best but still better than most rap album that are out nowadays(loved how warm and they same time this album sounded.also liked the minimal production)
    -CNN was a straight copy of mobb deep and mobb deep were ripping off raekwon,the rza and nas at the same time.
    -i think mannie fresh is very overrated.
    -the geto boys got talent but they only classic song were tricks.

    Keep doing the good work.
    by the way i love you last album(to be honest is the only rap album that i´m listening at the moment)

  97. jzone Says:

    jose…agreed on four horsemen. production was next level. and good fellas was better than runaway slave, ag had grown tenfold. the beats were crazy on goodfellas too.

  98. Robotnik Says:

    It’s nuts that this topic is still going…haha. It’s great that these opinions can be heard without all the flaming internet beef that’s usually involved in something like this. So I gotta chime in,

    1.Takeover > Ether

    No question. So much more wit involved in that track, it’s hilarious. Jay sounded like he was having fun yet being serious at the same time. Though hungry, Nas just sounded like somebody directly throwing as many disses as he could back, run of the mill, not like Nas. With that said…

    2. Stillmatic freestyle(h to the omo) > Ether

    I’d take this joint over Ether anyday, THAT was the Nas I was looking for on Ether, he said more to me in the brief thrashing of Jay and crew near the end of it than all of Ether and kept it moving, and it wasn’t even a full song, lol.

    3. One Day It’ll All Make Sense > Resurrection 0__0
    …and Electric Circus was dope, bite me.

    4. Will Smith is dope, and Jazzy Jeff is DRASTICALLY underrated. they have fun… and that Fresh Prince intro is timeless son…haha.

    5. Starang Wondah > all of Duck Down with the exception of Buckshot.

    6. Outsidaz = Pre-Marshall Mathers LP Eminem when at their best lyrically, they just had weak production and aren’t white. They SLAYED that Cowboys joint on the Fugees album.

    7. http://www.diamonddistrictdmv.com/
    They made the tightest rap album in the last like 10 years.

    8. Khrysis > 9th Wonder…yup

    9. KRS > Rakim…gotta look at more than lyrics, let alone KRS has said some ill ass shit as well.

    10. De La Soul > Tribe

    So many more I’m sure we all could come up with but these are some of my random favs.

    I agree on the Wu Tang debate, but…

    regular single album > double albums…shit is just overkill.

  99. no limit soldier Says:

    sorry people, but I got to get this shit outta my chest:

    THE GOAT DEBATE: 2pac is no top ten rapper of all time; Masta Ace is never mentioned as one of the best ever but he’s still recording and improving. RA the Rugged Man comes next.

    OTHER OVERRATED ARTISTS: talib kweli, common (but resurrection and be are great), mos def, j5, madlib, def jux roster, anticon roster, dead prez, little brother, doom.

    THE “2ND ALBUM IS BETTER THAN THE 1ST ONE” DEBATE:
    you can apply this law to:
    jungle brothers, audio two, mop,
    goodie mob, redman, black sheep,
    artifacts, oc and pharcyde
    (with their first albums being really good anyway).

    bonus: yes, “derelicts” is deeper and grittier but i like “cactus” as well.

    ALBUMS/ARTISTS I REALLY LOVED THAT PEOPLE HATED ON: likwidation, beats rhymes and life,

    outsider by dj shadow, odb records after the first one,

    no limit albums, cash money albums,

    ugk, 8ball & mjg, project pat,

    2 live crew, paul wall (THE PEOPLE’S CHAMP IS A BANGER!!!),

    screwed up clik, crooked lettaz (REALLY AN EXCELLENT ALBUM!),

    tone loc.

    THE “BEST ALBUM BY A GROUP” DEBATE:
    brand nubian’s “foundation” is their 2nd best album;

    basically cypress haven’t had shit (except for “stoned raiders”) since their first 1 which is INCREDIBLE;

    yeah, eric b & rakim’s and epmd ’s 4th albums are their best(their music simply grew and matured);

    de la’s best lp is “stakes is high”;

    HOP’s third is my favourite one;

    kool g’s best album is “Wanted: Dead Or Alive”

    wu’s best=1st one.

    tribe 1st 3 albums=tie.

    ARTISTS/LP’s I HATE:
    FUGEES, KOOL MOE DEE, AFU-RA, GROUP HOME;

    even though DE LA and OUTKAST could possibly be 2 of my 5 favourite groups of all time I really have to admit that I consider STANKONIA AND AOI2 STRAIGHT GARBAGE.

    THE RUN-DMC DEBATE:
    i agree with jay about run-dmc. tougher is their 2nd best record after “run-dmc”. later they jumped on every trend and always lost. the one who really had a career at
    the end was jmj (and i’m not saying cause he’s dead): he hustled plus had onyx and 50, while run and d became pathetic.

    FINAL QUOTES I TOTALLY AGREE WITH:
    “No Limit Records was debatably the greatest gangsta rap record label ever”. I’d add Rap-A-Lot, Ca$h Money and a couple of others.

    “Juvenile and Trick Daddy don’t get the props they deserve. Some of the best music from the south belongs to them.” JUVENILE AND TRICK DADDY ARE SO UNDERRATED.

    “Vanilla Ice, Will Smith, and Ma$e are gifted rappers who make/made entertaining and catchy songs”.
    People used to hate on Hammer, V-Ice, Tone Loc and Young MC but I think they’re way better than our LLoyd Banks, Yayos and many others which people nowadays call artists.

    “Mannie Fresh is one of the most creative producers ever.” MAN, I WISH I COULD PROGRAM A KEYBOARD LIKE THAT!!!

  100. jzone Says:

    post #100! haha. @ no limit soldier…i agree on that audio two thing. i dont care-the album runs circles around what more can i say. in fact, what more can i say was weak outside of top billin, i dont care and the title track. i got “live and let die” for g rap but wanted: dead or alive is next in line. never was a fugees fan at all and ill ride for mannie fresh til the end! Hammer, Vanilla Ice & Tone Loc > 90% of rap now.

  101. Conrad Ailsworth Says:

    Lol, this is one of my favorite blogs. Keep up the good work!

  102. Hammurubai Says:

    A’ight, I’m infamous within certain circles for my level of haterade… Let’s get this shit started.

    -Reasonable Doubt is an extremely overrated, overly soft LP with a ridicolous intro that was more instrumental in the starting the Shiny-Suit Era than any other album.

    - Jay-Z, although talented with some classic TRACKS, is one of the most overpraised MC’s ever, the fact that he’s a mainstream MC today that isn’t garbage makes him look like the God compared to his current competion helps.

    - 50 Cent, although not very skilled, is unfairly hated on to a ridicolous degree, he’s kept more of the realness than most, he never messed with this autotone bullshit, doesn’t mess with R&B bitches wailing all over the place, is man enough to actually name names something that everybody’s too pussy to do nowdays, it goes on.

    - Freddie Foxxx is a top 10 all-time rapper and Tupac, Biggie, Common wouldn’t make my top 20.

    - Kanye West sucked, sucks and always will suck. He bit the whole Chipmunk Soul thing from RZA’s forever and he’s just a straight-up awful awful awful rapper.

    - The Game is an terrible rapper, bases his entire schtick of name dropping, and doesn’t have an ounce of talent in his whole body. Dude is living walking example of Nostalgia. The West he’s repping died in 1996 and never game back. His voice is awful his lyrics are awful his delivery sucks and he’s a fucking baby and rides Dre’s dick so hard I’m suprised shit didn’t fall off.

    - Vinnie Paz is great rapper, one of the very few talented hardcore rappers in the 2000’s.

    - Vanilla Ice was a decent rapper, I’d easily take him over P.Diddy, Mase, Soulja and all these skilless southern punks today.

    - Outkasts Stankonia sucked except the singles. ATLiens is their best.

    - Kool Moe Dee was the greatest rapper of the pre-Rakim era by FAR.

    - “Walk This way” is an abomination.

    - Cypress Hill is te biggest waste of dope beats ever. Group Homes rappers aren’t that bad, Daps voice is dope and Melachi is pleasantly ridicolous. I read your bad/good rappers and I can totally agree with Penicillin On Wax at 3, funniest album by anybody ever.

    - Timbalands beats are joyless plodding boring rhythmic mush that initiated a terrible era of production until Blueprint changed the game for NY. Even though that record is meh other than Takeover & that amazing Eminem verse.

    - Don’t Sweat the Technique>Mecca and the Soul Brother

    - Hip-Hop isn’t in the best shape today, but it’s still far better than 1997-1999, most overall miserly period for Hip-Hop ever. Timbaland imitations and Jiggy galore, plus no flourishing underground to cushion the wackness back then.

    - Ice Cubes War & Peace discs are dope, the 2nd is one of the greatest trainwreck LP’s ever, so much that I wonder if Cube was taking the piss on the whole thing.

    - Kool Keiths best record is “First Come First Served.”

    - 1991 was the Hip-Hop’s best year ever.

    - Ready To Die mostly sucks.

    - Many of the main innovaters and most creative artists of this decade,loathe to admit, have been white: Eminem, Jedi Mind Tricks, Aesop Rock, El-P, Atmosphere, Bubba Sparxx ect.

    - I have never thought much of Big Pun, Diddly line aside, his breath control, enunciation and just overall voice were awful.

    - Fat Joe used to be talented, his first 2 records were really fucking dope.

    - Too Short is shitty boring rapper who’s made the same record 20 times over.

    - The Midwest is where the dope Hip-Hop is at now, NY’s never recovered from Jiggy, South is almost entirely complete garbage, and the West is totally dormant as of now.

    - Chubb Rock is one the greatest MC’s ever, his stern Schoolteacher voice is too dope.

    Agreed totally on ATCQ and Rakim.

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