Tag Archives: hiphop

RS #387: Wu-Tang Clan, Enter the Wu-Tang Clan: 36 Chambers


Wu-Tang Clan, Enter the Wu-Tang Clan:36 Chambers

Release Date: 1993 Previously Owned: Yes First Time Listen: No
"These guys ain't nothin' to fuck wit. By Source, Fair use, Link
Impressions: I've always liked Wu-Tang but I never became a fanatic. Let us enter the 36 Chambers here... "Bring Da Ruckus" is a ('90s term coming up) slammin' opener that establishes their mix of kung fu samples, brash choruses "BRING THA MUTHAFUCKIN RUCKUS," hard beats, and nine, that's … Continue Reading ››

RS #437: Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III

LIl Wayne, Tha Carter III
Lil Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III

Release Date: 2008
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions: Lil Wayne is kind of an interesting trainwreck on (and off) the mic. Let's put this on... Wayne's got the usual braggadaggio, sometimes delivered in a sort of toasting rhyme style, but still surprising vunerability. Not the hugest fan of his voice, but he's compelling as a erratic, almost tragic character. He's good at offering up bon mots like "And I am no Elliott Ness/I don't handcuff, I don't arrest/I do confess to … Continue Reading ››

RS #453: EPMD – Strictly Business

EPMD, Strictly Business
No kidding.

EPMD, Strictly Business

Release Date: 1988 Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions: EPMD. Erick and Parrish Making Dollars. These guys were popular when I was in high school. Well-liked, but always seems to be overshadowed by some other act (LL, The Beasties, NWA, Run DMC.) Let's put it on... The opening track "Strictly Business" samples "I Shot The Sheriff" and, not surprisingly, these guys get down to business. These guys come across as no frills, workmanlike, solid, but that's probably because they rap in such a low-key style, like they were just talking to … Continue Reading ››

RS #469: Fugees – The Score

Fugees, The Score
Lauryn Hill must be like volleyball-player tall.

Fugees, The Score

Release Date: 1996
Previously Owned: Yes
Impressions:  Haven't give this one a spin in a while. Let's go... After the obligatory opening skit, "How Many Mics" kicks off with a nice off-kilter beat and, weird that I didn't remember this, but tons of crazy references (Seal, Crazy Baldheads, Stevie Wonder, Last Tango In Paris, Jefferson Airplane, movies, tv, sports, heck, even the cover is a Godfather theme.)  like almost at a Beastie Boy level. Many of the tracks ("Zealots," "No Woman, No Cry") have a great … Continue Reading ››

RS #470: L.L. Cool J, Radio

L.L. Cool J, Radio
Takes 16 "D" Batteries.

L.L. Cool J, Radio

Release Date: 1983
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: No
Impressions:  Before he was doing the NCIS thing or battling sharks, L.L. (along with Run DMC) was one of the first big crossover rap stars that moved hip-hop from the secret mix tapes and 12" records we passed around at school to the mainstream. I haven't listened to this album since way back when. Let's take it for a spin... From the get-go, the sound is classic boom-bap minimal Rick Rubin production. "I Can't Live Without … Continue Reading ››

RS #476: The Notorious B.I.G.- Life After Death

The Notorious B.I.G. - Life After Death
Creepy, right?

The Notorious B.I.G., Life After Death 

Release Date: 1997
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions: I'm usually way behind on pop culture trends. I tend to wait until the clamor all dies down and then I will peruse said album, movie, tv show, book, or trend without the glow of the excitement and hype that accompanied it in the first place. Then, if I like it, then I'll drive everyone crazy talking about how great, say, Battlestar Galactica is when everyone else is like "where … Continue Reading ››

RS #480: Raekwon, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx


Raekwon, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx

Release Date: 1994
Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes
Raekwon -
Is Raekwon getting photobombed here?
Impressions:  The title of the album itself is a challenge: "Are you tough enough for this?"  I guess we'll see. Hmmm, kinda takes a while to get going... "Knuckleheadz," production boring, but bouncy. Not bad, but seems a bit ordinary for '90s hip hop. "Criminology" clicked a bit more from me. This album's vibe takes me back to college; living in a post-graduate haze back in the "slums" of Champaign, IL,  shooting hoop and … Continue Reading ››

RS #481: D’Angelo – Voodoo

D'Angelo - Voodoo
For the year 2000, D'Angelo possesed the world's most famous abs.

D'Angelo, Voodoo

Release Date: 2000
Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions:  D'Angelo is never in a rush. Songs take as long as they need to (the shortest track on this album is still four and a half minutes.) He starts singing when ever he feels like it and he puts out albums when ever he wants to. Voodoo came out five years -an eternity in pop music- after his successful neo-soul debut Brown Sugar. Take the opening song; "Playa … Continue Reading ››

#500: OutKast – Aquemini


OutKast, Aquemini

Release Date: 1998
Previously Owned: No
First time listen? Yes
OutKast, Aquemini
One day, I'll pronounce "Aquemini" properly"
Impressions: Eclectic, Southern-fried hip-hop that is at times wildly creative, yet still funky enough to please most hardcore hip hop heads. I got no idea why I missed the boat on them at the time. I'm positive I would have listened to this a lot in 1998--as I was starved for quality hip hop. There was a huge gap in the mid '90s after gangsta rap took over where I lost … Continue Reading ››