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90's HIP HOP

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

90’s Hip Hop with Billy Disaster #1

Last night’s record was Nas’ Illmatic (1994)

It was almost impossible to choose my favorite lyrics from this album but I settled with this verse from the song “N.Y. State of Mind”...

Investments in stocks, sewin’ up the blocks

to sell rocks, winning gunfights with mega cops

But just a n***a, walking with his finger on the trigger Make enough figures until my pockets get bigger

I ain't the type of brother made for you to start testin’ Give me a Smith and Wesson I'll have n****z undressin’

It’s stunning that this dude was 19 years old when he did this debut record. It’s basically a description of life as a young hustler in New York full of drug dealing, getting high, guns, fear, anxiety and making money with the bravado that only someone with these life experiences could flex.

My next favorite track is the ass-shaker “Halftime” which is one of the more light hearted tracks...

Before a blunt, I take out my fronts

Then I start to front, matter of fact, I be on a manhunt

You couldn't catch me in the streets without a ton of reefer That's like Malcolm X, catchin’ the Jungle Fever

King poetic, too much flavor, I'm major

Atlanta ain't Brave-r, I'll pull a number like a pager

Cause I'm an ace when I face the bass

40-side is the place that is giving me grace

Now wait, another dose and you might be dead

And I'm a Nike head, I wear chains that excite the feds

The beats by DJ Premier mix jazz, and a little R&B that create a drive that isn’t exactly laid back, but isn’t really agro either. It’s good at serving its purpose but not very memorable. Other

than that, this album kicked ass! 4 Cans for Nas’ Illmatic 🎧🎧🎧🎧. Tonight’s record will be

DAS EFX’s Hold it Down.

♥️ You

90’s Hip Hop With Billy Disaster #2

Last night’s record was Das EFX’s Hold it Down (1995)

So, I diggity dug this record from start to finish. It was like the polar opposite of the last record I reviewed (Nas’ Illmatic). Illmatic was a such a serious study of the young hustler where this record was playful and almost every track was an ass-shaker.

I had heard the 2nd track before (No Diggedy) back in the 90’s. Listening to it in 2023 kind of just proves the fact that hip hop in the 90’s kicks the shit out of the 2020’s

I riggity rap like Saran from here to Pakistan

Me and my man came to kick styles out the can Fridge you with the flow, yo it's the big chill

Girbaud pants, plus stack my grants in the hills

You better settle back, bruh, or ya head'll splat

I smiggity smoked the pot that called the kettle black Provoke and get your jiggity jaw broke

B-K-L-Y-N we no joke!

I also love that there are so many references to shit from the 1900’s like Beastie Boys..

* “Hittin’ you with the perfect combination like Stacy Lattisaw”-Here it Is

* “I got more spunk than that punk from Punky Brewster”-Microphone Master

* “Ya best ta come clean like Jeru and Felix Unger”-Microphone Master * “Ain’t nothin’ slim, I got game like Tim Hardaway:-Alright

* “Girbaud pants, plus stack my Grants in the Hill”-No Diggetty

Those last 2 make me really miss the 90’s NBA...

This is an album that I listened to like 5 times this last week and I’ll continue to spin it. I loveddy loved it. 5 Cans for Das EFX’s Hold it Down 🎧🎧🎧🎧🎧. Tonight’s

record will be GZA’s Liquid Swords. ♥️You

90’s Hip Hop With Billy Disaster #3

Last night’s record was GZA’s Liquid Swords (1995)

Have you ever read War and Peace? Me neither, but I did listen to this album which might be the hip hop equivalent. I actually had to listen to this like 8 times to absorb what was going on here. It is DENSE! It is also super smart, to the point of being nerdy.

Check this out from the song “Gold”!...

I'm deep down in the back streets, in the heart of Medina About to set off something more deep than a misdemeanor Under the subway, waiting for the train to make noise

So I can blast a n***a and his boys, for what?

He pushed up on the block and made the dope sales drop Like the crash in the Dow Jones stock

I had a connect to cross-sales, to catch more mill’s

Than ho-bitches got birth control pills

I'm in the park setting up a deal over blunt fire

Bum n***a sleeping on the bench, they had him wired Peeped my convo, the address of my condo

And how I changed a n***a name to John Doe

This record is almost like a hip hip poetry slam. It’s not party time music, it’s more like we should “put on our bow ties and sweater vests and analyze” music. You don’t shake your ass to this record, you close your eyes and ponder.

Like the Wu-Tang Clan’s 36 Chambers, it uses movie clips from martial arts movies. In this one it takes some killer moments from the film Shogun Assassin giving the whole album a cinematic feel. I fucking love that.

I do have a small complaint...While the beats and overall production are really cool, the whole record is about the same tempo throughout, almost like it’s just one long track. The variety of drum beats is somewhat uninspiring but is sweetened with some well selected samples. The production by RZA on this is widely celebrated, however, I found it a bit lazy with too many

loops. But that’s just me. 5 Cans for GZA’s Liquid Swords 🎧🎧🎧🎧🎧. Tonight’s record will

be EPMD’s Business Never Personal. ♥️You

90’s Hip Hop With Billy Disaster #4 Last night’s record was EPMD’s Business Never Personal (1992) What makes this album so entertaining is the swing and flow of it. Many of the tracks have the same kind of groove as “The Humpty Dance” with some cool samples...anything from Marvin Gaye and James Brown to Billy Squire and Foreigner. What I wasn’t into in this was the rapping itself. It wasn’t amateurish or anything, it just wasn’t all that impressive compared to the other records that I’ve done in this series. It doesn’t hold a candle to Illmatic or Liquid Swords. The rhythmic flow of the rhyming was mostly good but the lyrics were just around average. “Headbanger” was my favorite track featuring Redman and K-Solo... Yo, I'm from the Boondocks so I knows the flavor Sometimes I curse but now, I show behavior EPMD, is in this to win thisA brand new LP SO MIND YOUR BUSINESS

Not Vanilla Ice bad, but they weren’t exactly Biggie Smalls. 3 Cans for EPMD’s Business Never Personal 🎧🎧🎧. Tonight’s record will be MF DOOM’s Operation Doomsday. ♥️You

90’s Hip Hop With Billy Disaster #5

Last night’s record was MF DOOM’s Operation: Doomsday (1999)

There were a few things that got me hyped for this album...1st was the cover art that features MF DOOM in his signature super villain mask in a comic book cover style. 2nd was the title..Operation: Doomsday...I love that title. 3rd was the fact that one of my long time students recommended this to me and he knows his shit.

The record opens with a pretty cool sound collage skit with speed racer style cartoon music and acted voice overs. The second track, “Doomsday” kicks in with a killer off beat intro followed by a killer jazz infused groove that would class up any room. In fact this whole album is laced with a ton of chilled out jazz loops that would fit well at any coffee shop on any afternoon. The production of this record is next level.

Speaking of coffee shops, MF DOOM’s vocals kind of remind me of those coffee shop poetry slams and I’m not gonna lie to you...I fucking hate those things. He sounds like he’s delivering an hour’s worth of directionless, abstract, boring poetry that he’s reading from scraps of napkins. His rhythmic phrasing is mostly fine but he shoehorns in his erratic thoughts too often.

This album would have been bad ass if there had been no vocals on it. 3 Cans for MF DOOMS’s Operation: Doomsday 🎧🎧🎧. Tonight’s record will be DJ Quik’s Quik is the

Name. ♥️You


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