2Pac – Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. (1993)

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.

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S.F.C. – Illumination (1994)

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.

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Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle (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.

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The Nonce – World Ultimate (1995)

The Nonce is a Hip Hop duo from Los Angeles. “World Ultimate” is their debut album and it’s a shame they never got much credit for this great release. The whole record is of high quality and consistent from start to finish. The jazzy production and their smooth flow reminds one of groups such as A Tribe Called Quest. Get this and you’re always good to go.

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DJ Quik – Quik Is The Name (1991)

DJ Quik was signed by Profile Recods after they heard his mixtape “The Red Tape”. Even this album was supposed to be sold in the hood! It was recorded in only 17 days and sold over 1 million copies in the US. The production was mainly handled by DJ Quik himself and his smooth rapping accompanied by the funky beats is just a timeless classic.

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Digital Underground – This Is An E.P. Release (1991)

Digital Underground - This Is An EP Release

Digital Underground’s second release contains two remixes of their debut album, three new songs and a skit. “Tie the Knot” and “Same Song” were featured in the film “Nothing But Trouble”. If you like Digital Underground this E.P. is a no brainer. To everyone else: If you like funk and you’re okay with not getting pure Hip Hop you’ll enjoy it. Oh, I almost forgot: 2Pac makes his first appearence to the Hip Hop world on the track “Same Song”.

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Paris – Sleeping With The Enemy (1992)

Paris - Sleeping With The Enemy

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.

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Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. – New Funky Nation (1990)

Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. - New Funky Nation

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.

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415 – 41Fivin (1988)

415 - 41Fivin

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!

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Above The Law – Livin’ Like Hustlers (1990)

Above The Law - Livin' Like Hustlers

The debut by Above The Law was a milestone for Westcoast Gangsta Rap. Nobody else but the almighty Dr. Dre was responsible for production. Introducing the so called “G-Funk” the album was a real zinger. It is very funky indeed and highly consistent as well. Untouchable? Well, judge for yourself…

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