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.
Organized Konfusion is an alternative Hip Hop duo from New York. Starting their careers as “Simply II Positive MCs, they were convinced by Russell Simmons from Def Jam that the name was whack and changed it to “Organized Konfusion”. They released their self-titled album in 1991 – a debut with great use of samples and an overall very positive vibe to it. Recommended greatly, one of the most underappreciated Hip Hop records of the 90’s.
S.F.C. stands for Soldiers for Christ – yeah, you guessed right, this is a Christian rap group. They were pioneers for Holy Hip Hop bringing authentic street rap with topics such as drugs, gang violence or immoral living. A nice album from start to finish – both in regards to scratching & sampling as well as rapping. Interludes aside you look at 40 Minutes of Illumination.
Paris is a Californian rapper who is known for his highly charged political and socially conscious lyrics. His second album “Sleeping With The Enemy” stimulated much controversy with songs such as “Bush Killa”. That’s why he had had a lot of difficulties to find a label to distribute the album. After being rejected by a few companies, the record had been already manufactured by Warner Bros. but they destroyed the copies at the last minute and payed him off. So he started his own label and released the record there.
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.
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.
This is their forth album and my favourite one. Why? It is highly consistent and features some dope tracks like “Can’t truss it” or “Shut’em down”. They continue to be very political even though they already lost one member due to antisemitic remarks. Racism towards the black community is the main topic. In combinance with the hard beats those political messages need to be played out loud. So turn up the volume!
“Vanglorious – This is protected by the red, the black and the green with a key. Sissy!” You gonna hear that in every song. Professor X drops some wise words here and there. Brother J follows with afrocentristic lyrics. What makes this album so good is his voice and the way he’s rapping in combination with funky samples. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.