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Added by mojack on 7 May 2014 10:56
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2000: Best Rap Albums

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People who added this item 155 Average listal rating (96 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Stankonia - OutKast
Remember I said the south was still sort of in a golden age all it's own past 96'? Well 2000 was where that started to die off and things began moving toward the lamentable commercial dominance of the mid-00's trhrough pretty awful music. But Outkast made things end with yet another amazing fucking bang, as well as their last classic album. In many ways Outkast perfected the southern soul sound on Aquemini, so they wisely chose to go in a different direction. Instead of focusing in on one sound pallet they do the opposite and try out as many different styles as they possibly can. If Aquemini was Sargent Pepper, then this is the White Album. Having pushed things through some creative ceiling they decide to try their talents at a wide range of styles. Ranging from slow balladry (Stanklove, Toilet Tisha), gloomy warning tales (?, Red Velvet), wacked out soul (Ms. Jackson), world-beat (Humble Mumble), hardcore rap (Xplosion), and amazing blues rock hip hop experiments (Gasoline Dreams, B.O.B), the boys from ATL outdo themselves making an album on equal standing with the masterpiece that was Aquemini. For some reason a lot of people disagree thinking this is even something of a sell out. It's true Outkast really hit the popularity goldmine from here on out (their mainstream popularity is one of the most deserved in the genre). But gawsh people, who cares. I don't see a single drop in quality here from their last three, except maybe the slightly annoying and pointless skits. Especially at this point the south seemed to be slipping into a uneasy new era of cheaply won power, so the lords of the region making this helluva statement was a great way to remind all sorts of heads that the dirty region was not just dumb pop music. Also, four masterpieces in a row? Welcome to the rap platinum quality level Outkast, hopefully you and De La Soul won't be lonely for long.

Rating: 5
Highlights: Gasoline Dreams, Ms. Jackson, B.O.B., Humble Mumble
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People who added this item 34 Average listal rating (19 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
Remember I said the south was still sort of in a golden age all it's own past 96'? Well 2000 was where that started to die off and things began moving toward the lamentable commercial dominance of the mid-00's trhrough pretty awful music. But Outkast made things end with yet another amazing fucking bang, as well as their last classic album. In many ways Outkast perfected the southern soul sound on Aquemini, so they wisely chose to go in a different direction. Instead of focusing in on one sound pallet they do the opposite and try out as many different styles as they possibly can. If Aquemini was Sargent Pepper, then this is the White Album. Having pushed things through some creative ceiling they decide to try their talents at a wide range of styles. Ranging from slow balladry (Stanklove, Toilet Tisha), gloomy warning tales (?, Red Velvet), wacked out soul (Ms. Jackson), world-beat (Humble Mumble), hardcore rap (Xplosion), and amazing blues rock hip hop experiments (Gasoline Dreams, B.O.B), the boys from ATL outdo themselves making an album on equal standing with the masterpiece that was Aquemini. For some reason a lot of people disagree thinking this is even something of a sell out. It's true Outkast really hit the popularity goldmine from here on out (their mainstream popularity is one of the most deserved in the genre). But gawsh people, who cares. I don't see a single drop in quality here from their last three, except maybe the slightly annoying and pointless skits. Especially at this point the south seemed to be slipping into a uneasy new era of cheaply won power, so the lords of the region making this helluva statement was a great way to remind all sorts of heads that the dirty region was not just dumb pop music. Also, four masterpieces in a row? Welcome to the rap platinum quality level Outkast, hopefully you and De La Soul won't be lonely for long.

Rating: 5
Highlights: Gasoline Dreams, Ms. Jackson, B.O.B., Humble Mumble
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 0
Mind Over Matter - Zion I
And the last member of the four new west coast alt titans? Zion I, the greatest of the four and the least known. Like Blackalicious they blazed an underground trail with numerous 90's EP's, going from higher and higher quality, until finally readying themselves for a debut LP in 2000 itself. Who are Zion I? I already know the layman has heard less of them then the others. Well read on. An Oakland duo carrying on the best traditions of the cities half-reputation for superb west coast alt rap (see also Digital Underground and Hiero). But they're unlike those. The emcee, Zion (now known as Zumbi) is a firm and impassioned guy who delivers some great conscious rhymes, very serious stuff. Amp Live is the producer half and one of the new millenniums greatest by far, making some excellent spacey soundscapes here that cover a wide variety of moods all while working within one style. That's the sign of a classic album right there. It boggles my mind why he's been so under heraled as a producer when he makes beats this good. And by extension this album. Around 21 tracks of being treated to magical beats that evoke exactly the sort of image you see on the cover.When people just shoo-hand any rap that came out past the 90's this is why I get pissed off, that these lazy sacks of shit are contributing to the genres death by not caring to discover great acts like this and masterpieces like this album. But if your reading this list that ain't you right? Naw. You want to hear about the gold still being made, and this is one of those. Because not only is it great hip-hop, it's great hip-hop that doesn't sound like or make concessions to any nostolgia or throwback feel. It is a full product of the non-golden age, and it's STILL a "5".

Rating: 5
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People who added this item 38 Average listal rating (27 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Supreme Clientele - Ghostface Killah
The late 90's hurt a lot of rap careers, but the Wu Tang clan in particular was in fucking shambles. GZA, RZA, Rae, Deck, Meth, ODB, U-God, Deck all dropped either subpar or completely horrible albums in mostly 1999 alone. That's the entire clan minus Ghost and Masta Killa. The Wu dynasty was over. And their fans grudgingly had no other truth to accept but this one. Heads hung low, they had one more sophomore album to see turn out to be crap. Ghostface's second one as it's release date was revealed for the next year following the smoldering remains of his clansmen's careeers. But when heads finally got around to listening to it...lo and behold it was dope. as. hell. This is the point where Ghostface emerged from amid the Wu ranks and proved he was one of the greatest of all time. The production (overseen by RZA though done by a variety of small names) is a wonderful array of hard soul that makes a neat transition from Ghost's debut in terms of sound. The beats are simple and satisfying, though most don't sound like classic Wu they instead seek to fit Ghost and succeed. But the real star of the show, as it should be, is Tony Starks himself. Ghost is on absolute fire throughout, spitting expertly delivered stream of conscious lyrics that can suddenly transform into his wonderfully detailed descriptions of scenes at any second, then back to "Jurassic Plastic Scooby Snacks" the next. It's a triumph that arrived like the cavalry right in time to save the fans from despair. And while this is wasn't an echoed sentiment it should have been, that it secured Ghostface as the true king of New York. Jay Z and Nas would waffle around for the title the next year, but in this dude's opinion the match was already won with Supreme Clientele. You don't get more New York then Ghost's Brooklyn/Ebonic accent, and you don't get more triumph then what this album did for it's following.

Rating: 4.5
Highlights: Nutmeg, One, Apollo Kids, Mighty Healthy
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People who added this item 381 Average listal rating (248 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Probably Em's most controversial album, providing ample gasoline on the fire he was already creating from his debut. His debut may have been mad and bitter, but it was first and foremost funny and almost flippant. Even if offensive or sociopathic it was still a bit tongue in cheek. But Eminem's critics didn't seem to care, they saw it as blasphemy anyway. So Em figured why not give em what they think they see. This LP is far far darker and more confessional without the wink wink nudge nudge aspect. Cutting right to the bone, vinegar turns to acid. Not that he isn't still being funny and flippant, but he's not really putting on the same airs of mischief. He's straight talking. And that only made him more of a freakout for middle America, and more popular. It still makes me laugh that Eminem created such a stir when he's mostly typical for hardcore rap, well.....except for "Kim" maybe which is still his most insane song. This album has earned it's 4 almost entirely for lyrics and performance, because it sure ain't the beats. I've never liked most of Dre's 00's beats, and I like Em's own beats even less. It's a distinct sound but damn if it doesn't feel pretty lifeless. The best beat is the on for Stan done shockingly by DJ Mark the 45 King??? The fuck? But the beats are pretty beside the point, it's just...if better...imagine how great this would be.

Rating: 4
Highlights: Stan, The Real Slim Shady, Remember Me, Marshall Mathers
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People who added this item 20 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Nia - Blackalicious
The Quanuum Projects crew produced massive waves with DJ Shadow's "Endtroducing" but not much from them afterwards was left for people to whet their appetites. The only other major splash was "The Album" by Latyrx, which while very intriguing was undeniably a mess of ideas that never fully took form. A few years later yet another Quanuum act made their debut LP, this time things would strike gold. Blackalicious spent most of their time in the 90's releasing all sorts of material from singles to EP's, but it took at least six years to come to full fruition and I'm glad they waited. The style they have here is incredibly unique and outside of their crewmates in Latyrx or Count Bass D I can't think of anything like it. It's obscenely melodic, the music can barely be called beats given how much emphasis is on the melody. And the emceeing follows on the same tip, they rap, they sing, they rap-sing, they sing-rap. Song for song it may not have so mnay individual highlights, but it all flows together extremely well creating a single image. With the exception of the dope wierdo technoish "Cliff Hanger". It's all good in the hood. It's an intensely interesting listen whether you follow one element or the other, and unlike Latyrx it comes out as beauty instead of a perplexing mess. That's what I like about this, it's arty and bizarre without sacrificing anything, it has spoken word in the middle, it has very organic mushy jazz production, all these things should be pretentious but they just come off as chilled and relaxed. Of all the bigwigs of the West Coast renaissance Blackalicious is easily the most creative and interesting. I never would have imagined this is what the west would sound like a mere four years after 96' but there you go.

Rating: 4
Highlights: Deception, Cliff Hanger, Shallow Days, You Didn't Know That Though
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People who added this item 33 Average listal rating (20 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
Quality Control - Jurassic 5

If the west coast renaissance had a face it was Jurassic 5, no one else among them was as prevalent in the eyes of the mainstream, I'm not saying they were the greatest or anything, in fact I'll say they flat out weren't, but they provided the most recognizable force. And aside from Del they're probably the name the noobies among you most readily recognize in a list of the faces of the renaissance. "Jurassic 5", I totally heard that name before! Right? So what is it that makes them stand out from within the ranks of the new wavers in such a way? It's pretty clear that it's due to them having a unique and highly addictive style. They have attempted at making a revival of really old school rap methodology. By which I mean the styles seen with all those singles making posses around 79-83. Groups like the Funky Four Plus One and Cold Crush Brothers. They attempt this through having rapid tag team pass the mic style emceeing and catchy barbershop style sung choruses. It's a damned amazing sound when it really works like on tracks like Great Expectations or the title track, it has a sort of almost radio appeal to it if it weren't for the non-dumbed down rhymes in between. It's easy to warm up to and fun to listen to. More then on their debut the J5 emcees emphasize a sort of breakneck energy for the songs that can be a little exhausting if you don't ready yourself for it, gone are the chilled out songs like "Concrete Schoolyard" in are the hyperactive numbers like "Monkey Bars". The group DJ Cut Chemist is also pretty fucking amazing, especially on the album's turntablist masterpiece finale "Swing Set". There's a reason this is a touchstone of the West Coast Renaissance, and it's a must listen for new millennium hip-hop.

Rating: 4
Highlights: The Influence, Great Expectations, Quality Control, Swing Set
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People who added this item 18 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
Float - Aesop Rock
This is the first real solid full on Aesop Rock album, as the incredibly obscure debut was more of a practice round of anything in comparison. Here everything comes together and you really get a picture of just what Aesop Rock is about. Which is one major thing. Dense fucking lyrics. Seriously. This guy spins words like incredibly complex webs, and you have to be a full on lyric type to really appreciate what he's taking the time to do, and suffice to say I'm not that kind. So no, I don't really know what he was saying half the time even if I got the gist the other half. It's hard man! He isn't exactly doing stream of conscious like a certain swordsman later on the list, there's something being said most of the time, just in a really really convoluted way (his voice is also a little garbled). Which...is pretty bad when it comes to communication, but even if you can't follow what the hell he's talking about you can still have a lot of fun listening to his words as if they were stream of conscious. Which means there's different layers to enjoying his mic technique. Which is pretty cool. The whole package gets delivered though through the beats, which are more then a little dope. They mostly resemble a more down tempo Stoup set, they're all done by Aesop's close man in arms Blockhead and are a major step up from the ones on Earthworms. As far as abstract hip-hop goes this is a real banger. Both for the people looking for aural pleasures, and those looking for lyrical ones.

Rating: 4
Highlights: Commencement At the Obedience Academy, Garbage, Oxygen, Drawbridge
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2000 ranks up there with the good years. Though not flawlessly overflowing with good material it had more than enough to keep hip hop heads satisfied. In terms of the underground the promising west coast scene shown back in 98 exploded here. Zion I, People Under the Stairs, Jurassic 5, Blackalicious, and Del tha Funkee Homosapien all brought the pain simultaneously. In terms of the mainstream this was the year Eminem ruled the earth, anyone old enough should remember his reign, hip hop fan or not. Overall definitely a good time to be a rap fan.

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Hip Hop Best Album Directory (21 lists)
list by mojack
Published 5 years, 9 months ago 1 comment



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