💿 How Good Is It Really 💿 Illmatic

yeah that’s pretty fair. think it went largely unnoticed but the legacy mixtape from last year (or at least, the trimmed down spotify version of it) was good

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It is very good indeed. 10/10

Solid 10.

I don’t think there’s a bone in my body that resonates with the vibe of this album. Too loose, cool and relaxed.

I bike past the Queensbridge Houses quite often and every time I’m reminded that I don’t like any of the music that came out of them. Scarface is the same thing for me, just too cool.

Loved this album when I was a teenager - was a real gateway between the jazzy Tribe/De La stuff that I first got into and the more hard-hitting, gritty stuff that I had no reference point for, growing up in the north of England.
Still listen to it about once a year and still like it a lot. I voted for Halftime in the best song poll up there, even though the “f-word” dropped in the middle is more jarring for me now than when I was a teenager.

The Infamous is too relaxed and laid back for you?


trying to figure out what / who you’re talking about. spotify suggests maybe mobb deep? if so…i know nothing…

Really important and transformative album for me. I’d liked some hip-hop before hearing this but I’d enjoyed singles and individual songs more than albums, in part because the stuff that was big and being shared amongst my friends were the sprawling West Coast albums with 20+ tracks and huge running times. Genuinely kind of blew my mind when I heard this really tight, gritty, no-nonsense 10 track album with no filler, and was the gateway to loads more acts and albums that I went on to love.

Definite 10, and probable top 10 of all time.

ok, definitely mobb deep. never listened to them. 90s hiphop outside of the g-funk stuff doesn’t do much for me in general, but maybe worth checking out. i guess it always is worth it.

Yeah, Mobb Deep, also from Queensbridge. I guess if G-Funk is your starting point, it wouldn’t necessarily be the first rap album I’d recommend for you, but it’s definitely not laid back and cool. Dark, tightly wound, nihilistic.

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yeah, thanks. i feel like i mention this in every hiphop thread, but it’s not exactly that g-funk is my starting point, it’s just that that is just about the only hiphop i like from 1990 to about 2010. would love to like the stuff that everyone else does as well, but…hasn’t happened yet

I get ya. I meant, if someone said they were into g-funk but wasn’t into other 90s rap and wanted to branch out, Mobb Deep wouldn’t be the first group I’d recommend (why not check out Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik ?)

I can’t say the same for 90s/00s stuff as that’s what I came up on, but I always struggled to get into 80s rap growing up as most of it seemed a bit too old school/basic for me (and I still love relatively few records from that era today tbh). So I sympathise a bit.

What are the albums from the 2010s you love that you think the older stuff doesn’t live up to?


that’s a question i don’t have a direct answer to i think, because so much of it isn’t album-based. there are the obvious ones, i mean there’s no need for any more words to be written about how great those kendrick or kanye albums are, but that’s not the main point, most of the stuff i like doesn’t really have strong albums. i mean everyone basically churns them out these days and you have to dig through. as an aside that is going to delegitimize everything else i say in this thread, i have Take Care by Drake down as one of my favourite albums, but that’s almost not even in the realm of hiphop anymore.

guess i see it more as a scenius kind of thing, the constant chopping and changing of styles, the way that things from a few years ago sound old hat already, the kind of ‘say anything’ lyrical diversity and emotional range that there is in the current era. i’m no anorak with this stuff and i don’t know enough, but in my own head i tend to date it from some of the early A$AP Rocky stuff, ‘Bass’ and ‘Wassup’ and that kind of thing with Clams Casino. have vivid memories of hearing things like Losing Service by Kodie Shane or 30 by Danny Brown and being like ‘oh this doesn’t seem to sound like anything i’ve heard before’. there’s just this throwing together of different elements all the time and a really close responsiveness between artists presumably listening to each other and copying.

just find it a totally different beast to the 90s and 00s stuff that people really love, and which is critically acclaimed too. think the emotional content and the mood is way more all over the place, for good and for worse

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Fair point, should have said artists rather than albums, really. That time around 2011-2012 was an interesting minute in rap music. When the real globalisation happened I guess. Influences became more disparate, from previously local scenes new to many listeners (like Memphis, Atlanta or Bay Area raps), foreign influences (grime, UK bass, dancehall, reggaeton etc), experimental raps (Def Jux a clear influence on that Danny Brown record), or from other genres entirely. And yeah, it thankfully feels like a different beast as a result, would be a shame if it hadn’t evolved from bapping beats and braggadocio in 40 years.

Fwiw, I think things have slowed down a bit in the last few years again where mainstream rap at least has sort of found its lane and a lot of it sounds kinda indistinguishable from 2015.

It’s all good though, you might as well be listening to a different genre from an Kodie Shane record to that Nas one, but for me Illmatic always be an incredible window into a specific place and time. How eloquent Nas is and how evocative that record is of that moment will always be what makes it timeless, and kinda like a time capsule, to me.

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i agree with you about it slowing down a bit. the one exception to that that jumps out at me is how many women there are now all over the place. that’s added so much, whole new directions. many of them cunnilingual but a lot more besides.

Represent is nuts. Love that he has his mates in the studio just shouting shit. Don’t really get that so much these days. Big up Slate, Wallet Head, Black Jay and Big Oogie.


Gone for Love just so I can dunk on it.

Easy 10

First heard it at Glastonbury 94, a gang of lads seemed to only play this album on cassette, I never saw them away from their tent. It sounded initially a little flat but it really got me that they just stood by a fire playing it constantly all murmuring “The world is yours” and it hooked me when I was chilling by my tent. I didn’t even know who it was and eventually asked them and they looked at me like I was insane.