The Official DiS Hip-Hop Listening Club


One of the great things about this thread is going back through an album and properly checking out exactly who did what, and having the ability to dig through their discography.

I’ve listened to that first Onyx album a lot of times, but have never checked who produced it. Turns out it was Chyskillz, who then didn’t really do a lot else.


had to listen to this a couple of times back to back because the first half sort of passed me by a bit but I got into it down the closing stretch. production is good, he’s a decent rapper, keeps it lowkey but it works. time to build / shit’s real / three stories high is a really good three track run there in the middle, particularly like the griminess of the latter. jay z’s verse probs the best on ‘time to build’, although I did pop for x rhyming “oranges” with “2 by 4 inches”. ‘men vs many’ is good, like the beat and even though in truth they don’t do a whole lot I still enjoyed the back and forth between them. always nice to hear o.c., he’s always been a bit underrated I think.

thought the marks sparks tracks were the weakest, although ‘things change’ was the only one I actually disliked. doesn’t seem like it belongs on the same album as something like ‘three stories high’ really. that track, ‘life check’ and ‘train of thought’ are probs my favourites


Yeah, agreed. Revisited his albums when I was trawling for stuff for this thread which reminded me that I bought a Japanese version of Word…Life ages ago and it came with a sheet of lyrics…


those lyrics are amazing :smiley:




one of the best bare bones straight lyrics bangers ever.


Not really dug into the lyrical content, but I really enjoy the ‘feel’ of this Geronimo album. Along with Brooklyn rappers born in the 70s, this sort of mid-90s East Coast production and style of rapping is my jam. That seedy bass and keyboard chimes on Sharane give me real Mobb Deep vibes.

You can really see how records like this must’ve influence Jay on Reasonable Doubt. Kinda feel like a template for what he perfected there.


I’ve never really dug into the lyrical content if I’m being honest - I also just really like the ‘feel’ of the whole thing.


Some of those translations :grin:


Even Die Antwoord murder Mims on his own track…


The Mic Geronimo album is great. Got a lot of play around my way in '95-'96. Haven’t listened to it a lot since though, so great to revisit.

Production is what makes it for me - I go absolutely crazy for the dusty, bass heavy stuff that East coast producers seemed to churn out in their sleep around this time. Buckwild tracks are the best as far as I’m concerned, but he’s one of my absolute all time favorite producers. Everyone else brings the goods too, though. As others have said, it has a great dark atmosphere throughout.

Mic G is a pretty good, but hasn’t quite got the presence to lift him into the top tier. There were so many albums of this type that came out around the time as well, and just about all of them had better MCs. Think it kind of explains why this one got lost in the shuffle, despite its stellar guest of future legends (and Ja Rule).

Overall, solid 7.5/10 (.5 deducted for the skit where they beat up and rob the taxi driver, which I’ve always hated).


Yeah, totally. So spoilt for choice at that time. But I think that’s why I like it - kind of fell by the wayside because he was pretty average, but when you revisit you realise how good the production is, and actually appreciate his rawness.

It’s like all those Wu Tang B teamers. There was no way they could match the core members, but when you go back to them now you appreciate them a lot more.


there’s so much fun in discovering the unheralded or under-appreciated gems that are to be found in all the different regional scenes in rap. once you find a sound that appeals you just gotta take the time to dive in a bit, will no doubt unearth some personal classics.


Yeah. And I love that there are seemingly endless reserves. People like Chopped Herring making a living on ‘lost’ releases.


Yup, and if you get tired of one scene/region/sound or need a break then just jump over to another one for a little bit. Might not even need to dive into the whole region, just pick an artist and dip into all the affiliated crew members, producers, label mates, weed carriers , etc.


This post was definitely relevant to my interests around the year 2000!

I used to really like Scratch, but kind of saw it for what it was straight away - basically a reggae revival night, but for hip-hop, with some current indie 12s (particularly DJ Spinna productions) and ‘soulquarians’ type stuff thrown in too. Having said that, it attracted a really great, mixed crowd who were there to have fun, and it was a massive success on these terms. It also made a really nice change from going to a hip-hop night and it being 90% guys, all hoods up and screw-faced.

Started to notice ‘indie’ hip-hop in earnest around '97-'97, I thinkd. For me at the time though it wasn’t like with punk/hardcore or indie rock, where if you were into that, you implicitly rejected the mainstream or major label stuff, it was just another seam to be explored. It was really exciting at first too - the early Rawkus and Fondle 'Em 12s (among loads of others) were all awesome. Found that it got stale within a couple of years though, to the point where hearing yet another tune about the four fucking elements would make you want to throw your decks out of the window. Also noticed the rise of a kind of a new indie hip-hop fan around this time that would bang on and on about how the obsession with materialism was “destroying the culture”, despite only being into hip-hop for about two years previous, tops (and also being from the home counties).

This is kind of where Reflection Eternal comes in for me. At first, I thought they, and Kweli, in particular, was phenomenal. Hate to be THAT guy, but I honestly reckon the b-side to his first Reflection Eternal 12" is the best thing he’s done

I totally rate him as an MC, and I like his style a lot, but like others have said, some of his lyrics can be quite clunky, particularly in his more recent stuff (not that I’ve checked masses of it). The ‘conscious’ tag also weighed him down, as did the fact that he was the de facto champion of the ‘real hip-hop’ crew. Appreciate that none of this is his fault, but it did mean that by the time Train of Thought came out, I wasn’t giving him that much play.

Revisiting it now, can see that this was a shame, because when Hi Tek brings his A game, they make genuinely beautiful music. As others have said, ‘Blast’ is an absolute blinding tune. An album full of these and he would have an all time classic. Some of the others on here aren’t far off either, though.

So basically, great album. Really liked revisiting away from all of the baggage I associated with it at the time, and will no doubt play some of it regularly for a decent time to come. Would never have gone back to it if it wasn’t for this thread either, so thanks Aphex. Listening Club strikes again!


Great post. A lot of it rings true for me.

Yes, the diversity was great. A lot of mates came to Scratch who weren’t necessarily that into hip hop and really liked it. The first one we went to was when Tony Blair won the general election. I think I remember Jeru announcing it! They had visuals from Style Wars, people breakdancing, doing graf… it blew my mind. Funny how quickly it became slightly cringeworthy.

And for what it’s worth, I agree with you about Kweli, and I also don’t think Mos Def ever lived up to the promise shown on the Universal Magnetic 12”.

And I also agree about the baggage that came with him and other ‘conscious’ artists. I was almost predisposed to dislike them because I hated that people would harp on about Black On Both Sides, but turn their noses up at The War Report, so never gave them enough of a chance.


^whispers^ someone should do this one


Wale - The Mixtape About Nothing

So I chalked up an insane amount of plays of this back in 2008 when it dropped and was convinced that Wale was going to be the next big thing. This didn’t prove to be the case…

Haven’t listened to it for years and I’m wondering if it holds up, the Seinfeld tie-in gimmick is and was extremely up-my-street but I imagine that revisiting it now it might seem a lot more crowbarred in and, well gimmicky than it did back then.

That said, some great features, some great beats iirc, maybe it’ll still be dead fun. We’ll find out I guess…


same… liked this and ‘back to the feature’ a lot back in the day but not revisited either for years. I remember liking ‘the kramer’ in particular, wonder if it holds up