jamos does, dunno about DiS in general
seems like ive heard a lot of anti reggae sentiment over the years on this site.
She is so talented. Turned a rapping career into a singing career into a massive acting career.
Not I (and I)
Not I and I either! This site is pretty anti reggae on the whole though
I like it too and it can be surprising when people write it off, as it’s a pretty expansive genre. Can understand not liking all of it TBF.
Always banging on about Romesh Ranganathan’s podcast, but Jehst made an interesting comment once about a mate of his who wrote a dissertation about how, if it hadn’t happened in New York, hip hop could have been born in London instead. Some similar socio-economic stuff going on, soundsystem culture was massive etc. Huge stretch obviously but I thought it was an interesting ‘what if’.
Never gave Queen Latifah much of a go as a kid. She was already more of an actress than a rapper by the time I was paying attention and I just kinda saw her as the female Will Smith. I definitely prefer this to her debut which is the album I’ve listened to a bit. Pretty solid jazz rap the whole way through, carried by Latifah who’s entertaining and endearingly goofy at times. Black Hand Side, Rough, No Work, and Another Day are all standouts. Another keeper!
The Last Emperor - The Legend of Bigfoot
There’s a whole bunch of hip hop nearly men, but the one I was rooting for back as a teenager was the Last Emperor. After making waves at the Lyricist Lounge his demo fell into the hands of Dr. Dre, who recognised his talents and snapped him up swiftly for Aftermath. Dre’s attentions quickly turned elsewhere after the first releases on the label didn’t take off, and never released any music or gave any exposure to the Last Emperor. He signed to Rawkus, appearing on a few singles, including this one with Zack de La Rocha and KRS-One, but the label folded before he could get an album out.
Eventually, his debut Music Magic Myth was released in 2003 via Raptivism, gaining a small cult following among backpackers. It’s a mixed bag, some of it’s great (Too Poetic of Gravediggaz verse about his ultimately terminal battle with cancer is a must hear) but it’s this rougher and rawer collection of early demos that I turn to to reminiscence. It’s very Rawkus/Lyricist Lounge but it holds up pretty well. Shout out to opener Secret Wars, the hilariously goofy 1997 rappers vs superheroes battle, which is strangely the most enduring thing he did.
No Spotify for this one (it’s not an official album) but it’s up on YouTube and available to download here.
Oh man, had forgotten about this guy. Seem to remember a rumour that he was going to do an album with El-P at one point…? Or maybe that was Zack De La Rocha.
Wouldn’t have surprised me around the early 2000s, though it probably was that rumoured Zack De La Rocha/El-P album you’re thinking of. The Last Emperor disappeared really and has zero commercial prospects these days. Was meant to have a record released in 2010, which - true to form for the rest of his career - was shelved . Last heard him on a track on Marco Polo’s Port Authority 2, which gives you exactly what you’d expect, but is pretty decent. Sounds a bit tired 15 years on though
nice, only heard secret wars by him before now. shazam’d it from somewhere in the last year or so but his absence from spotify stopped me digging deeper
Interesting pick. Only familiar through the track ‘the Monolith’ from a random Prince Paul compilation i copped. Always liked the track so going to enjoy giving him a full hearing.
Yeah. Not sure what the Prince Paul connection is, but he produced a few tracks on Music Magic Myth too. Prefer these early demos though as they give a nice picture of a young MC trying to make his name
I’ve been listening to this today as I didn’t have time to revisit it before posting/didn’t realise it was my turn so just picked something from my record collection and this stood out (plus I like the story).
Do think there’s a fair number of duffers here on reflection (particularly stuff like “Heaven”), it’s a bit long, and your appreciation of this is probably going to come down to how much you like the “lyrical” east coast hip hop of this era.
That said, he’s still an MC with a lot of potential who never really realised it and I think it has its place in this thread
maybe I’m projecting, after what you said about lyricist lounge, lb, but his delivery sounds like it has a drama to it (with punchline-y pauses) that was honed in front of a live audience to grab their attention. on a slam poetry type tip.
liking the beats on this set, good energy.
nice mention for queen latifah too, as the baton passed in listening club. think that happened once before, too.
Never heard of this guy I dont think, but I guess I’ve heard him if he was on some of the rawkus comps/lyricist lounge stuff? liking Party Crashers. The chimes on Caravan are a nice touch, fun hook too. Monumental is basic but works really well, he’s just cramming lyrics in there. LIke when he takes on a different persona/voice like on Jungle Cats. Guess this is a collection of songs/demos? the mix is horrendous from track to track haha. I dig the Black Magic hook quite a bit, whole song is good. Sweet pick i wouldve def never heard otherwise.
Ah yeah, some of this will be mixed and some of it not at all. Certainly no one’s had a go at equalising the levels or anything. Was put together back at the beginning of the 2000s when there was some people hyped for an album. There’s a fair amount of Wu fetishism in his style so the rawness doesn’t fit it badly. Admit it’s a bit of a slog to get through it all though, listening back.
With this one I wanted to capture a time when I was particularly geeking out on this kind of rap, that feeling when you find a rapper with skills that others aren’t up on. And when I’d buy bootleg CD-Rs of my favourite rappers off the internet (no collection is complete without a stack of 2Pac bootlegs)
I think I’ve posted this one here before, because Poetic’s verse is one of the most brutal in hip hop. The whole thing would feel overly sentimental if it wasn’t about a young man with only a short time left to live. There’s a few other keepers on Last Emperor’s proper debut but this is what I remember it for
Yeah, loved that. Felt so raw. I still have a CDr that I bought off Edan outside a show.
I’m feeling this so far. Definitely captures a moment. Was only really familiar with Secret Wars, which in retrospect he may have shot himself in the foot with…? I kind of looked at him as a guy like Supernatural. “Ohhh, the guy who does the impressions of other rappers” type thing.
mixed bag this, understandably. the jungle cats is probs the corniest shit I’ve ever heard (and I like secret wars!). caravan is really good, cool beat and hook. quite like the more straightforward ones like heavy height invincible and keep on too.
Sometimes I think of his style as like this super goofy cross between Method Man and GZA. His stuff does get ludicrously corny at times