See it was all West Coast for me as a kid. The cool kids liked Pac, NWA, Ice Cube, Snoop, Eminem by association. Even like Kurupt and tha Dogg Pound and stuff seemed to carry more clout until maybe the Blueprint dropped?
Early on we definitely all loved NWA and Ice Cube. But late 90s onwards we were pretty much fixated by indie stuff, and the UK scene was really popping off then too. So if you went to a gig or club night you wouldn’t be hearing anything really of that ilk - it was totally insular. Even Blueprint was barely on our radar.
Yeaaah. Can imagine it was all very different if your tastes had matured a bit/you were living in a city. Out in the the playground in the sticks, things weren’t so sophisticated . Got heavily into indie hip hop and east coast rap about 15, became a real hip hop type and ditched all the other stuff entirely, which I’d then have to come back to and rediscover
I went southend 10? days ago. just outside the stadium there were a couple of posters for reggae nights (dub, roots), pretty cool to have a stadium named after a reggae subgenre! but none playing in the stadium, I like ‘zombie nation’, but.
remember you saying about dub nights in southend.
oh yeah, I saw a Shabazz palaces t-shirt in oxford around the same time and thought of your charity shop one
I have actually never looked into the history of the stadiums name but did think it was weird that it became the go-to venue for reggae artists. Apparently it’s named after an 18th century house in Prittlewell. I am ashamed to say I’m not actually a Southend fan - went the glory-seeker route and opted for, er, West Ham.
Starting to wish I’d kept that Shabazz tee now…
I forgot to say this was my pick. Didn’t have enough time to go back through and do a recap and figure out who needs to make a pick. I’ll de a re-cap before tomorrow.
This was one of my first handful of rap purchases. Thought my parents wouldn’t care if they saw it since pac looked so dignified on the cover haaa. Maybe they would think it’s a jazz cat or something. Apparently they read the track-list… so this is the cd that led me to store my CDs in a case at my friends house.
Feel like this is just pure tupac at his most poignant and lyrical best. Didn’t have the drama of death row records or any of his various rap beefs hanging over his head. He seemed to be in a comfort zone with his rapping and songwriting, he knew how to make a hook out of nothing and create unique & memorable melodies with just his phrasing/cadence/inflections. But that comfort was mixed with a heavy dose of paranoia and uncertainty (his looming prison sentence) in his lyrics. You can hear that torture with stuff like Dear Mama and Death Around the Corner. It’s like he’s dealing with needing to thank his mom (maybe for the last time) and being mad at the world (Fuck the World) and realizing he may die at any moment. This is really quite a depressing album, even the breeziest sounding stuff on here is sad (It Aint Easy).
Take me away from all the pressure and all the pain… Show me some happiness again
This is the album summed up in 4 bars:
I see death around the corner, the pressure’s gettin’ to me
I no longer trust my homies - them phonies tried to do me
Smokin’ too much weed, got me paranoid, stressed
Pack a gat and my vest, under my clothes when I dress
You better believe Big Pun had Pac’s 3rd verse on Death Around the Corner in mind when he wrote his “little italy” couplet on Deep Cover verse:
I was raised in the city, shitty ever since I was an itty bitty kitty drinkin’ liquor out my momma’s titty
(obv both must’ve listened heavily to Kool g Rap and Treach as well)
All Eyez on Me may be ‘better’ but over the least 5-10 years this is the one I reach for more consistently when I need to satisfy my 2pac itch.
interesting, 100% agree on this but hadnt really thought about this release in the same way.
i was fully prepped and ready to hate the Infamous cos of the beef, I had fan duties to hate and be skeptical of all east coast releases for a minute… but of course it couldn’t be denied how great The Infamous was (or Big’s stuff obv).
Re-cap of the picks so far:
The Pharcyde – Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde
KRS-One — Return of the Boom Bap
Cam’ron — Purple Haze
Digable Planets – Blowout Comb
The Roots — The Tipping Point
T.I. — King
Mobb Deep - Hell on Earth
UGK - Ridin’ Dirty
Little Brother - The Listening
Ice Cube – Death Certificate
Big L - Harlem’s Finest: A Freestyle History Vol. 1 & 2
Missy Elliott- Supa Dupa Fly
Black Moon - Enta Da Stage
Raekwon — Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…
Killer Mike - I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind II
2pac – Me Against the World
I’ve got messages out to a few different posters for this weeks pick. Whoever messages back to me first gets it.
NINETEEN NINETY MOTHERFUCKIN’ TWO
straight from Jersey
the Philly blunt lives on…
that’s how you start a fuckin album, still gives me goosebumps. other than a few EPMD guest spots he was pretty much unknown. came out swinging with absolutely orca whale sized bollocks
this and Dare are two of my rap desert island discs for sure
A corker. I used to have a tape with this on one side and Paris Sleeping With The Enemy on the other. Wish I still had the tape - think it was only a 60 minute one and my friend had written “Whut? Thee Funky Bits” on the inlay in the same scrawl as the cover art. Absolutely played to death and it’s still weird to hear the full album now.
Love the production. Not sure how much he did and how much was Erick Sermon, but I loved the slightly old school sound - Zapp samples and all of that - with his very grimy delivery. His whole aesthetic was great.
Another one of those instances where I’ve listened to his others, mainly Dare iz a Darkside and Muddy Waters, more as those were the ones I had on CD. Familiar with Whut but much less so, so looking forward to spending some time with it
“Hit Squad’s the crew, I’m twenty-two, and Beck’s the beer”
Not even brewed in Germany anymore, Reg.
Gah - fuck. I just pasted that into my work Slack instead of a Dropbox link.
Was thinking about picking Dare because it’s a big personal classic, but thought Whut? was probably a bit more ‘cannon’ and possibly a better introduction for anyone who maybe wasn’t that familiar with him.
Pretty much the soundtrack to my final year at school. Totally agree with Nav in that he seemed to come out of nowhere. I’d clearly heard him before because I had the two EPMD albums he was on, but he can’t really have registered that much. The reason I bought it was pretty much entirely down to Tip’s co-sign on ATCQ’s Midnight (“Coming down the block man, loud as fuck / You would swear Redman was inside the truck”) and I didn’t have huge expectations. Putting this on for the first time in my school common room is still one of the most experiences I’ve had with an album, though. Time 4 sum aksion is one of the best openers in history, and by the time it got to ‘Rated R’ I was utterly gone. Remember actually falling to my knees at the ‘Got Naughty in my Nature plus I’m down with OPP / the best part about it I got AIIIIIIIIIDS, bitch!’ line, and the ‘snapped the neck on Michael Myers and I freaked it / ‘cos it was August and he was talking his trick or treat shit’, finished me off. I don’t think I ever had more people ask me WTF was playing either.
Listening through again now and it still sounds so fresh. Most three dimensional party record ever? Could be. Haven’t even talked about the production which absolutely smokes throughout, but would like to hear what others have to say rather than banging on. Doubt there’s anyone on here who hasn’t heard this a stack of times, but on the off-chance there is, would love to hear some first reactions.
Remember when all DJs would play How I Could Just Kill A Man then blend it into Time 4 Sum Aksion right at that line? Never got bored of that.
Enjoyed the oral history of that episode that’s linked in that article too.
So I didnt get into redman until the mid 90s when he showed up on that Kris Kross Tonite’s Tha Night remix
I think it was the El Nino Def Sqaud album that finally sold me on him tho. California didnt really seem to rock with Redman much. so i had to go backwards in his catalog from there. really would have a hard time deciding which of the first three are his best. Docs Da Name 2000 holds a special place in my heart but I’d be crazy to pick outside of the first 3.
I’m sure ive said this plenty on this site but he’s just so much fun. always go to redman when im in a mood and need a pick me up. he managed to be funny/goofy while still sounding hard and street worthy. there’s only a few artists that have been able to pull that off, and he’s at the top of the list. lyrical enough to hang with the greats and please the #heads but ignant and quick-witted enough to drop 8 bars on a pop song and still nail it. Just an all around great presence.
I’m loving listening to this again. I think Tonights Da Night is one of the best songs ever and the rest of the album just goes down so smooth. great pick.
still great but muddy waters is my favourite of his classics I think. gonna listen to that and darkside next to make sure. most of my favourite tracks have been spoken about already so shoutout to jam 4 u, just so goddamn funky
This is great. Strikes me how Red finds that balance between the hardcore but funky and fun that Biggie would ride into the mainstream a couple of years later with Ready to Die. Also next to no features on this, hey? Just kills those Eric Sermon beats on his own.
Pretty consistent the whole way through and was surprised by the back end (I’m a Bad, How to Roll a Blunt, Sooperman Lover) being much stronger than I’d expected as had remembered this album sort of trailing off. Think the skits – which I’ll skip on future listens – gave that impression but actually great stuff front to back. Nice pick.