Lesane Parish Crooks, better known as 2Pac, started out as a background dancer for the alternative Hip Hop group “Digital Underground”. His second release “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.” was his breakout album and reached platinum status. It has a weird raw sound to it – in a good sense. A few singles stand out such as “I Get Around” or “Keep Ya Head Up” making it not only a must have for 2Pac fans but a great rap album of 1993.
Right here we got a classic – Snoop Doggs debut sold almost 1 million copies just within the first week of its release making it the fastest selling Hip Hop record back then! Nobody else but Dr. Dre was responsible for production and following “The Chronic”, the so called G-Funk was in its prime in 1993. Snoops voice was unique and irresistible, his flow outstanding – a new rap star was born.
In 1993, out of nowhere, a Hardcore Hip Hop group released “Bacdafucup” and won the Soul Train Award even acing out Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic”! The group was founded in a small barber shop in Queens where Fredro Starr and Stinky Fingaz were working at the time. After they presented a demo to Jam Master Jay at Def Jam they were promised an album – and what an album it is! Their rap style was unique back then – shouting & screaming to put it in a nutshell. Atak of da Bal-Hedz!
An underrated gem by Digital Underground, a crossover band with origins in Oakland, CA. They heavily sampled funky songs from the 70’s. It really pays off here. Mellow voices rap and partially sing about having fun, talking about sex and partying. The whole record is highly consistent and a joy to listen to.
His first self-titled album made it into the 100 best Hip Hop Albums by the Source. However, this one, his second record is both a lot better in terms of production and rapping. His flow is really nice thanks to his slowish rap style. The album has the typical West Coast sound to it and is very consistent. A no brainer for any Hip Hop fanboy.
Hailing from Oakland, CA, Souls of Mischief released a classic with their debut “93 til Infinity”. They are not your typical west coast rap group. Characteristic is the heavy use of internal rhymes which makes their style unique but at the same time just doesn’t sound as smooth as most rappers. Nonetheless the whole record is dope – 93 til Infinity!
The Coup is a political rap group dwelling on serious topics such as capitalism or police brutality. The leading MC Boots Riley has a smooth and relaxed voice – but a great flow at the same time. It’s the perfect addition to the very fresh & funky sound underlying this record. Released on the legendary label Wild Pitch Records it’s easy to get today. What more can I say? Dig it!
Digable Planets’ debut album Reachin’ is a very relaxing joint. Funk and jazz samples are heavily being used and the mellow voices of Butterfly, Doodlebug & Ladybug are just the perfect addition. Today this album is regarded as a classic. Maybe the only downside is that they aren’t great rappers but it really doesn’t matter here.
Their debut “Livin’ like hustlers” is considered to be one of the best west coast rap albums of all time. However, this time Cold 187um took over production from Dr. Dre. A few guest appearances (2Pac, Eazy-E, Kokane & MC Ren) spice up their third release. “Livin like hustlers” is arguably the better record but if you like funky albums you should definitely check out “Black Mafia Life”. To put it in a few words – G-Funk at its best.
Naughty by Nature’s second album after their successful debut. NBN are one of the few Hip Hop groups that dropped several very good albums and didn’t have a disappointing release. That’s why they’re one of my favourite rap groups. This record is very consistent. There’s no bad track on here. They shine as usual with their superior rapping skills and the beats and the background music fits just perfectly. Underrated one, be sure to check it out!