A lot of people might know MC Solaar from Guru’s Jazzmatazz Vol. 1. But there is a lot more to him than just that. He was the first french MC to get popular. The fusion of jazz & funk samples combined with his smooth flow was just irresistible. A year after the release of his second album “Prose Combat”, he received an award for Best Male Singer of the Year at the 10th edition of the French “Victoires de la Musique” awards.
Blumentopf is a German Hip Hop group from Bavaria founded in 1992. “Großes Kino” is their second release with radio-friendly sound suitable for the mass market. This is not meant to be negative, not at all – combined with their intelligent & honest lyrics this album still sounds fresh today. They mix topics of everyday life with social criticism and because of that every song is entertaining.
The Jungle Brothers belong to the native tongues just like De La Soul or A Tribe Qualled Quest. The music sounds alike – It’s a fusion of Jazz & Hip Hop with influences of other genres such as Soul or House. The album was produced by the JB’s & the legendary Kool DJ Red Alert. With Afrocentric lyrics and innovative beats this record became a classic but is not quite as good as De La Souls debut “3 Feet High…” released in the same year.
The Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. consists of six brothers from Samoa. After their youngest brother got shot they decided to stop with their gangster life and toured in Japan in the late 80’s and got popular there. Eventually, they would return to California where A&R Chris Blackwell of Island Records got interested in them. This album is the result, very funky – and they played the instruments themselves.
The Hip Hop Supergroup that pioneered Horrorcore. Horrorcore? Yeah, they’re talking about tough topics such as suicide, death, killing or psychopathy. The album was titled Niggamortis at first but was changed to 6 Feet Deep for a better reaction on the American market. Overseas, the album kept its original title and included a bonus track called Pass The Shovel. Ah btw – it was produced by Prince Paul…
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are about to present you one of the most influential Hip Hop albums of all time: 3 Feet High And Rising. Produced by the later so famous Prince Paul it features really nice, poppy sounding samples which made the album such a high seller. Being members of the Native Tongues Posse, De La Soul were just the total opposite to groups such as N.W.A. transporting gangster themes. Instead a positive attitude toward life and peace & harmony characterized their lyrics.
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!
“Paid In Full” was selected to be the best album of all time by MTV. That’s how good it is! The record had to be finished in less than a week to complete it within budget. Rakim’s rapping pioneered the use of internal rhymes in Hip Hop. Unlike previous rappers as Run DMC who used to express their lyrics with high energy, Rakim changed the game with his rather relaxed and stoic delivery. Not to forget: The heavy sampling by Eric B. became influential in hip hop production.
Willie D was a member of the popular Southern Hip Hop group “Geto Boys”. In 1992 he left the Geto Boys to pursue his solo career. So in 1994 he released his third album. It’s very consistent and really rather sounds like a West Coast album than Rap from the South. The lyrics are hilarious when he talks about women and sex – but a few songs also cover conscious topics. Somethin’ Good? That’s up to you…
Another one of those rap groups that seemed to pop out of nowhere in the late 80’s. 415 is the former area code of Oakland. This album has been well overlooked. It has that raw 80’s sound to it but at the same time features some nice funky samples. The lead rapper Richie Rich has a gritty voice and a great flow. This album is very rare to find nowadays at a decent price. So if you’re able to get a hold of a copy – pick it up!