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Added by mojack on 7 May 2014 09:57
1097 Views 1 Comments

1992: Best Rap Albums

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People who added this item 142 Average listal rating (100 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
The Chronic - Dr. Dre
There's two years in rap that "best album list" top spots are eye rollingly predictable with. 1994 and 1992. And I stand guilty as charged. But what other album shook the foundations of rap so much in 92'? What other album perfected a sound into one cohesive sound so well? What other album became a showcase for massive future talent? The Chronic stands taller then the rest for 92, and it's just a fact. Dre did not create G Funk, both DJ Quik and 187um have arguable claims to the creation (the latter even accusing Dre of taking the idea from him). But like NWA and De La Soul before him he perfected the formula and made it explode, something the other two failed at. G Funk is the west coast sound period. Nothing else captures it better. If jazz horns and boom bap beats encapsulate New York City, then the gluttonous whining synths ooze straight out of the LA sky and down the South Central streetside. If G Funk didn't exist it would be necessary to create it. This album also marked the birth of Death Row Records, which would rule the west until the end of the golden age. We meet nearly the whole roster here, Lady of Rage, Dazz Dillinger, Kurupt, Nate Dogg, Warren G, and of course Snoop Doggy Dog, who nearly dominates the first onslaught of tracks here. It's Snoop's first appearance on record, and the start of his celebrity. This album overnight created a coup de tat of the west coast, Dre took out the competitors and former bandmates in both Eazy E and the former king of Ice Cube. The West was now Death Row's, everyone else either followed, wasn't a gangsta, or was a toothless enemy. The east coast, already losing out to the west's influence was practically buried. And for a little while Dre looked out on his kingdom and saw that it was good....

Rating: 5
Highlights: Fuck Wit Dre Day, Let Me Ride, The Day the Niggaz Took Over, Nuthin But a G Thang
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 11 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Mecca and the Soul Brother - Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Pete Rock
People who added this item 23 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Daily Operation - Gang Starr
Gang Starr was one of the few rap acts to improve (for a time) with each album. They started out a decent alt rap group, then made the jump to being a sophisticated hard jazz group, and then with this album they become at last, Gang Starr as we know it. The album structure is similar to Step In The Arena's, long but varied in it's pacing so as to make it actually feel pretty breezy. For Guru, he has simply never sounded better (before or after) then he does here, his voice a smooth maroon velvet (like the walls on the cover) that wraps itself around your mind like a python somehow being suave and rugged as hell. He's never really been much of a lyricist, but like Q-Tip it's amazing how dope his simple rhymes become when he raps them. But it's really Premier who triumphs as he finally perfects his trademark production sound, and fittingly became massively in demand as a producer after this. His range and style here perfectly sets him up to be the producer of producers for NY. We also get to see the first sights of their posse members here, the lamentable Lil Dap of Group Home, and the amazing Jeru the Damaja both show up on "I'm the Man". The moment of zen where all the elements really come together though is the amazingness that is "Take It Personal". Both Premo and Guru mesh to 100% quality on this one. For that track alone it should be clear what makes this the best GangStarr album. In this increasingly hyper-active music world it's rare to see rap artists reach perfection on a second album let alone a third, but Gangstarr aren't mere mortals like so many others. And this is the album that secured their access to Rap Mount Olympus.

Rating: 4.5
Highlights: Flip the Script, Soliloquy of Chaos, I'm the Man, Take it Personal
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Runaway Slave - Showbiz & A.G.
In 1992 the Diggin' In The Crates Crew blew up within the NY circuit and filled a wedge community (as Diamond D put it) of not gangstas or hippies. Hard but not nihilistic, conscious but not pinko. They didn't subscribe to either high flying optimism or cynicism. Instead they offer a sort of "dudes from the corner" everyday rap feel, I mean even check the cover. No pretense there. No bright tie dyes or gats, just two guys stoop sitting. How does it come across? Fucking refreshing is what. In rap you spend so much time either in dark ideals or rose tinted ones that it's extremely nice to just....live sometimes. The production reflects all of this as well, it takes the jazzy angle of the alt rap of the time, but also takes some of the pounding boom bap of hardcore rap. The fusion of the two makes for some delicious raw jazz rap that almost distantly starts to signal the roots of the yet to be born Noir Rap genre. Though eastern heads were turned to Pete Rock and Das EFX for the next big thing in the rap genre, peeps like the DITC and Kool G Rap were busy building something else entirely...

Rating: 4
Highlights: Bounce Ta This, Silence of the Lambs, Runaway Slave, Soul Clap
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Stunts Blunts & Hip Hop - Diamond & Psychotic Neurotics
People who added this item 10 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Whut Thee Album - Redman
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Live and Let Die - Kool G Rap & DJ Polo
Anyone listening to their discography up to this point would be wondering one thing "I heard this dude is violent as hell? What the heck". Then they get to this album, and it's "Oh....OHHHHHhh....did he just...? Oh my god." This is one of those album that while not excellent, is incredibly important. While most east coasters desperately turned to Das EFX for a way back into the spotlight G Rap was the one who was laying the seeds for the real comeback, the advent of Noir-Rap in the mid-90's. Y'know all those dark sober hardcore classics and acts of 94-96 NY? Ready to Die? Illmatic? Liquid Swords? OBC4L? The Infamous? None of that would exist without G Rap. He had lead a lonely march as one of the few east-coasters to make hard shit in the early 90's so he was faced with a tough choice. That he should go with the flow and make something jazzy and bohemianly afrocentric. He decided instead to go MORE extreme with the hard. He's flat out evil here, there's some crazy shit on some of these tracks (Train Robbery, lordy). It's clear that he got some inspiration from Scarface and the Geto Boys, but this is the first shot fired in an original new momentum for the rotten apple, the seed that spawned a masterpiece producing tree. So show some damn respect, because you WILL be shot.

Rating: 4
Highlights: On the Run, Train Robbery, Ill Street Blues, Edge of Sanity
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Don't Sweat the Technique - Eric B & Rakim
It was inevitable that Rakim would call it quits, at least for a time. I don't really mention Eric B because the more I read the more it seems any production credited to him isn't his. I mean I already know Large Professor's fingers were somewhere behind this album, and I'm gonna guess the production board. In light of that Rakim breaking up with Eric is nothing of note, but it was still the end of a period for The R, and when he came back in 97' he would have lost his magic. But right here at the end of phase 1 he brings a hell of a show! Superior to the 90's album you bet. A ton of great beats and rhymes await you here, including multiple standouts. Know the Ledge in particular is the shit. The basic sound here is little changed from last album (though there's a jazzier edge) but it just works better second time around. Aside from that Rakim himself easily retains his right to mic nobility even this far into the 90' (though 92' wasn't exactly a lyrical time). In the middle of Riggidy land this album is like a gift from god or something, and it really makes me wish he held on and released a mid-90's album. I didn't see it at first, but it's true. The whole four album canon of Eric B. and Rakim is gold, all worth your time.

Rating: 4
Highlights: Casualties of War, Rest Assured, Know the Ledge, Don't Sweat the Technique
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 42 Average listal rating (29 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
The Predator - Ice Cube
Cube isn't doing much different here than he has on the last two. So ultimately it suffers from that fact. But it's still amazing that he can be doing the same thing for three albums and still be this clearly full of energy. Ironically this includes his best known music in the Das EFX guest mix of "Check Yo'self" and of course the all time classic "It Was a Good Day", which is simply a genre definer. But honestly? Aside from the new-found subject of the Rodney King riots what does Cube do differently here? I can't help but be tired at this point no matter how much effort is on display. Which isn't even on the level of his first two either. It's a clear product of passion, but it just nonetheless ends up feeling like a retread. This was the start of the end for Cube's career and relevance. And it would be his old band-mate Dr. Dre who would replace him as the second king of the west coast.

Rating: 3.5
Highlights: When Will They Shoot?, Wicked, It Was a Good Day, Check Yo Self
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 142 Average listal rating (74 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
Check Your Head - Beastie Boys
People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 0
Sex and Violence - Boogie Down Productions

92' was an interesting year, it saw the first real boom of wild experimentation and interest from artists outside it's own world. The west finally managed a complete eclipse of the east with Dre's G Funk revolution, on the east a quick counter was found in the shallow fun of Das Efx, but also the sublime booming jazz of Pete Rock. I have to say it was a good year.

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11 votes
Hip Hop Best Album Directory (21 lists)
list by mojack
Published 7 years, 8 months ago 1 comment

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