An Indeterminate Amount of Incredible Rap Songs You Need To Hear.....Right Now (Part 4)

The following people contributed many beautiful words...
The Coup ft. E-40 & Spice 1 - "Santa Rita Weekend" (1994)

Santa Rita is the fifth largest county jail in the United States. Spice 1, E-40, Boots Riley, and E-Roc spent an entire weekend there back in 1994 conducting independent research for one of the greatest regional anthems ever recorded. While Earl plays a convincing victim of false accusation, The Coup's front man steals the show with his serene demeanor. Boots' messages always resonate loudest when driving a narrative. His familiarity with the cell block and its occupants illustrate a revolving door of state funded furloughs, working as an effective phantom social commentary.  H.L.

Z-Ro - "These Days" (2010)
Orphaned from some release or another, Z-Ro's "These Days" owes a lot to Beanz N Kornbread's understanding that 'comfort food' isn't about what kinds of samples you use, it's about the mood you create. "These Days" better captures Ro's solemn reactionary gangsterisms better than a hundred K.R.I.T. tracks--not that "These Days" is a fair bar to set for K.R.I.T. or any rapper hoping to work in that lane. I can't say I share Z-Ro's concern about how many people think its cool to pretend to be gay, but I can entirely sympathize with that overwhelming feel of society slipping into darkness, a sense of losing your grip on how you thought the world was supposed to operate. It's too personal to be a broad political statement anyway; instead, it perfectly encapsulates the shattering of youthful optimism, foregrounding morality in the face of a world that seems to undervalue life. — David Drake

Lakim Shabazz - "Your Arms Too Short To Box With God" (1989)

Puzzlingly, 'Your Arms Too Short To Box With God' rarely ever comes up in conversation when Rap's best non-album cut B sides are discussed even though it's every bit as dope as 'Love Rap', 'La Di Da Di', the 'Scenario' remix, 'Puffin' On Blunts and Drankin' Tanqueray' or 'Who Shot Ya?'. Additionally, it's also Lakim's best performance on wax with his thick New Jersey inflection ricochetting between the scattershot drums and horn toots of Louie "Louie Louie" Vega's beat as he breaks down why the white man is the devil or sumfink, so let's celebrate its greatness. Richard Tre Mane

Von Pea & Danny! - "Open School" (2010)
Most rappers would use a concept album about high school to joke around with a bunch of tacky teen drama tropes. There would be a narrative about asking a girl to the prom and a jock who's determined to ruin everything. Von Pea made just such a concept album, but he wasn't totally obvious about it. “Open School” is Von and Danny! sarcastically reliving high school dilemmas ten years after the fact. Von's vanilla incense beat leans more toward exotic dancers than cheerleaders, which is why it's not a disposable novelty track. The juxtaposition makes it a dope song in its own right with the theme as an added quirk. Betraying expectations is always a good trick. 
Evan Nabavian

Compton's Most Wanted - "One Time's Gaffled 'Em Up" (1990)

MC Eiht was famous before he & DJ QUIK's feud made Hip Hop headlines as rap's unofficial first gang bang beef. In Compton, California, as N.W.A. was making global headlines as "The World's Most Dangerous Group," another rap group from Hub City was telling the same stories, except much closer to the actual street. This was what N.W.A's "Fuck The Police" looks like without money & notoriety. Tony Grands

Penny Goodwin - "Too Soon You’re Old" (1974)

This one’s a soul record from the Nixon administration—not rap, but who’s to say what’s rap and what’s not? There’s a Kool-Aid-Man-shaped professional grunter with a glistening Audemar who would like to remind you that sometimes it’s deeper than rap, guys. Penny gets a spot on my list by virtue of her A$AP-ish lyrics about sweaty acid-drip adventures, eyes bucked, chatting with the devil, which sound so dreadful and scary and appealing. She also provides the backing track over which Curren$y discusses different denominations of, um, currency, at the beginning of the “#JetsGo” video. Then there’s the actual rap song “#JetsGo”, with typical Curren$y syrupy-accent lazy-voiced goodness. His bars focus on boss-like living, but I’m positive Curren$y’s interests are broader than his professional persona suggests. My inner English teacher is often pleading with him to expand his lyrical horizons, to get beyond his Xbox and Caprice and sweet-smelling things (ladies, weed) in terms of subject matter. Lucky for him, he doesn't care to share his hotel-room with English teachers, so he won’t be subjected to my lecture. Logan Melissa

Wook Da Kid - "Geek Show" (2011)

Bricksquad’s in-house producer Southside on tha Track has been around for a few years, but it was Wooh Da Kid’s Black Out mixtape that raised the profile of his name from just being in poorly tagged MP3s. Southside’s style is not too far away from the Lex Luger style, but the lethargic stomp of “Geek Show” is something he has nearly redefined as his own (assuming you have never heard a classic Dubstep tune from 2004-2006). And here that slowed up pace works excellently with Wooh Da Kid’s name checking of any type substance you can put in your body to get yourself geeked up, because whether you are snorting lines, popping pills, mixing liquors, or smoking who knows what you’ll probably enjoy the slowed up lurch in Southside’s work. David Turner

Big Baby Gandhi - "Lighters Up" (2011)

Yes, “Big Baby Gandhi” is such a ridiculous rap name that I had a time convincing one of my blogger friends that he was even a real artist. Don’t dismiss this guy’s talent, though. The newest and youngest member of Das Racist’s Greedhead label is a rapper slash producer of the crusty early MF Doom variety, which is to say he’s more interested in the art of weird sample chops and reflexive wordplay than how any of it hangs together as a whole. On his debut mixtape Big Fucking Baby, it makes for a glut of intriguing tracks like “Lighters Up”, whose busy instrumental is a launchpad into nonsensical flights of lyrical fancy. With a little more polish and experience, this guy might be a problem. Craig Jenkins

AP.9 - "The Grinch" (2008)

How do you describe music like this? Thugged out, grimey, raw, hard as fuck, guttural, gangster rap music, perhaps? Husalah and The Jacka are the two names that everyone in the Bay recognizes when talking about the infamous rap group, The Mob Figaz, but AP.9 has been steadily releasing straightforward gangster rap music for over ten years now and crafted the absolute perfect song for his self proclaimed "mob music" on this track that clocks in at just over two minutes, with no hook or chorus. The music video for this song serves as the perfect companion, ending on the line "look at all these bullet wounds, I know my body full of scars," with AP.9 lifting up his shirt to reveal the scars left on his abdomen from being shot twelve times. Quite possibly the hardest rap song ever released. Thomas

Fki ft. Travis Porter - "Koo Koo Remix" (2010)

Travis Porter are going to continuously be ignored as legitimate rap icons, even if more recognizable stars (most notably Roscoe Dash and Big Sean) have OBVIOUSLY stolen from the camp's playful attitude torwards modern rap. But over this fittingly Looney Tunes beat by Fki, they proceed to demonstrate a technical ecstasy superior to a certain pop singer's hit rap record last year. Maxwell Cavaseno


  1. "shatterinumpg"

    lol ... typo? i meant shattering

  2. "Santa Rita Weekend" is so fucking sick. "Geek Show" slaps pretty hard too.

    I really like that Z-Ro song and hope being gay does not become cooler than being straight because it's the only cool thing I have left going for me.

  3. @David LOL I fixed it man.

    Some of the links were taken down by "the man", but I'll be uploading a compilation with all the tracks from this series eventually.

  4. Think this my favourite selection so far.
    HL you picked my fav one off Genocide & Juice there, E-Roc's got the best verse though imo.

    "Ali shook the world I'm gon' shake my homie's hand"