Broaden my hip hop horizons

Hi all.

I really like Hip Hop, but I’ve barely touched the surface in what’s out there, including classics. Just listened to this, and it made me realise just how much I’ve missed.

Can you help me put together a list of ‘must listens’ please? Probably doesn’t really matter given what I’m trying to do, but I really like Run the Jewels, Danny Brown, ATCQ, OutKast, etc. I think a lot of what I like is the music element, rather than lyrics, but I’d like that to change too.

Thanks in advance.

As a casual hip hop fan, I really enjoy the work of Q-Tip. Has more of a groove and soul to it than some of the harsh, aggressive side of the genre. ‘Amplified’ is a fabulous album.

Set in the year 3030, when hip-hop has been made illegal by the dystopian world-government. I’d you like this, then the whole album is worth a listen.

They released a sequel a few years ago - felt very flat by comparison.


lots of good stuff in them there threads, think there was a playlist of all the picks too


some female MCs you might like
Little Simz




Some of my faves are
Dm and jemini- ghetto pop life
Dangerdoom- the mouse and the mask
J dilla- donuts
Beastie boys- Paul’s boutique
Beastie boys- hello nasty

If you are talking about classics
Wu tang clan- 36 chambers
NWA- straight outta Compton
Public enemy- it takes a nation…


If you’ve not seen it, I strongly recommend watching Hip Hop Evolution on Netflix and checking out what you like the sound of through that. Does a really good job of going through the ‘main narrative’ in more detail than normal, but then goes through regional scenes/major trends as well. Features most of the big names as well as some slightly overlooked/forgotten stuff too. I love it.


I’ve been listening to a lot of southern and bay area stuff I was largely unaware of as a result

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Thanks all. Obviously I love the Beastie Boys, Pauls Boutique in particular, and I like Deltron and Little Simz. I put her 5th in my albums of last year.

I have seen Hip Hop Evolution. I found myself loving the bits I already liked, and switching off in the other bits, which defeats the point :slight_smile: Might give it another watch.

I don’t think I like gangster rap.

Do you know Gang Starr? Give them a try if not.


Apart from the obligatory A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul recommendation, Jurassic 5 are good:

Excuse the lyrics video.

Guru’s Jazzmatazz also worth checking out:


Cypress Hill - Temple of Boom

I second this, that canons thread is a great place to start. There’s a fairly universal consensus on what makes up the classics in hip-hop

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here’s a random eclectic hit of 12 rap songs I love:

classic hip-hop is a bit of a boys club - on the surface. but there are plenty of badass ladies there if you look, few honourables not from my 12:


The best Hip-Hop album ever is ‘Madvillainy’ a collaboration between MF Doom and madlib. Not sure I’d recommend starting there though as it might make all subsequent hip hop feel a bit flat by comparison.


not sure why I always play myself and forget The Greatest Rapper of All Time

and I think DaBaby is one of the most fun new rappers, this is his most heartfelt song, about his father passing away

this is his usual bop

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Agreed. That was a great thread.

Missing out! Acts like Mobb Deep fall into both of these buckets and made some of the greatest and most thoughtful examples of hip hop ever, IMO. Easy to be put off by the label.

The Stones Throw and Definitive Jux labels are full of classics