An Indeterminate Amount of Incredible Rap Songs You Need To Hear.....Right Now (Part 5)

The following people contributed many beautiful words...
C-Nile ft. Juvenile & Skip - "U Know Me Remix" (2004)

Demonstrating the radical transformative qualities of a remix, an aiight 2003 album cut by Mobile, Alabama's C-Nile is given wings to soar its way to New Orleans Rap Heaven via a slightly reconfigured beat and the addition of Juvenile and U.T.P weed carrier Skip in 2004. The synths reach such shrill levels that only certain breeds of ancient Japanese dogs can hear them and the song is best used as an accompaniment to Juve's own 'Nolia Clap' remix with Wacko & Skip from U.T.P from the same year, rather than a remix of the earlier C-Nile song. Richard Tre Mane

Yukmouth - "Thug Lord"
(2001)

Yukmouth & Numbskull (better known as Tha Luniz) became a household name in 1994 with "I Got 5 On It." In 2001, Yukmouth released his second Smoke-A-Lot/Rap-A-Lot Records LP, "Thugged Out: The Albulation," where he's going for the throats of any rapper listening. Though chocked full of guest appearances, this track sets the tempo for the rest of the CD & quickly separated Yukmouth the thug lord from Yukmouth the weed head. I'm pretty sure Lil B was still in junior high school back then. Tony Grands

Bump J - "Bad Influence" (2008)

Up with Soulja Slim as one of the more underrated rappers to peak in the 2000s, Bump J locked down Chicago for a few years before getting put away on a bank robbery charge in 2008. He was a prodigal talent in Chicago; it's nice to see that as the scene comes online for the first time now, no one is putting the weight of an entire city on one artist's back the way they were back then. Lyor Cohen even flew out personally to give Bump his offer with Atlantic Records in the early days. There are rumors that Bump was released from his Atlantic deal -- he'd completed a full solo record that included considerable contributions from Kanye -- because his label was scared of him, or at the very least scared of some of the people he had in his circle. Whether or not this is actually true is almost irrelevant, because it only serves to enhance his legacy. Few rappers sound as effortless brutal as Bump and Sly Polaroid did in the middle of the decade, and few songs encapsulate this as well as the Boogz-produced "Role Model" from Bump's 2008 Dinner Time mixtape. — David Drake

Danny Brown ft. Dopehead & Chip$ - "Rese'Vor Dogs" (2008)

Rap cousins joining the ranks of Bleek and Sean P, Sir Jinx and Dre, GZA and RZA, Ice Cube and Del, and I’m sure numerous others who will be pointed out to me in the comments section, thank you in advance, Mr. Brown and Dopehead keep it all tight and filthy (i.e., charming and terrific) with their wordplay over a Neptunes-ish beat, assisted by Chip$ (unrelated, I’m pretty sure) plus a guitar lick from Jesse Johnson in ’84. (Just kidding. That would be so fresh, though!). There are certainly details that reveal this track came from a historical period—Chips’ voice was higher, Danny had braids and a less-raspy voice, there’s an old group MySpace page that’s not too hard to find—but who cares, hearing these guys in ’08 is no less pleasurable than hearing them now. The only real difference is they’re all richer now, girls on Twitter post pics in their XXX shirts, and nobody calls it “Dopetroit” anymore. Logan Melissa

Slim Dunkin ft. Waka Flocka Flame - "Same Shit" (2010)

Before “No Hands”, before “Hard in the Paint”, and even before the Peta endorsements, Waka Flocka Flame was your average weed carrier to the star of the Bricksquad (formerly the So Icy) camp Gucci Mane. These were the humble beginnings that began Waka’s rap career, and while he has never been one to brag about the quality of his lyrics—even if he should with songs like “Clap” or “Stereotype”—here with Slim Dunkin they make one of the meanest rap songs of the last few years. Waka never shies away from aggressive content, but even his verse cannot compare to Slim Dunkin’s asserting “I skeeted on the same place you put your head at” and “Same nigga that ride your baby mama on Mother’s day”. David Turner

Q-Tip ft. Busta Rhymes, Lil Wayne, & Raekwon - "Renaissance Rap Remix" (2009)

Considering it was released well into the age of digital convenience and halfhearted posse cuts, the 'Renaissance Rap' remix is impressive on duel fronts. Q-Tip and company sidestep the calculated demographic pandering we've grown to expect from modern remixes, and despite featuring several of the most distinct voices in the history of rap music there's a genuine chemistry between all parties involved. Remarkably, Raekwon, Busta Rhymes, and Lil Wayne don their game faces for a song predisposed to obscurity, seeing as how the prototype is a quasi-hidden track buried underneath the other J Dilla placement on Kamal's Grammy nominated sophomore album. Perhaps even more impressive is this was the first successful interpolation of 'The Symphony' since the 'Affirmative Action' remix. H.L.

Blu - "Soupa" (2011)

Calling Blu’s 2011 confusing would be a gross understatement. He spent much of it donning weird pseudonyms, stashing tracks on obscure bandcamp pages, and dropping defiantly unmastered albums, to the chagrin of the hip-hop bloggerati’s current CDQ-ocracy. Blu’s Warner deal appears to have disintegrated, and the record he may or may not have personally leaked to fans that may or may not be the result of the Warner money was not the expected mainstream crossover attempt, but a spaced out, experimental meeting of the minds with the electro-loving Low End Theory set. NoYork! was destined to be the rap internets’ punching bag, but one play of the psychedelic “Soupa”, with its pulsating video game synths and soulful backing vocals, shows he was onto something, even if it wasn’t what we wanted him to be onto. Craig Jenkins

Ampichino ft. Young Bossi & The Jacka - "Livin N Hell" (2008)

Ampichino, from Akron, OH, has released some of the bleakest gangster rap music ever recorded for years now to little fanfare. The bitterness in his voice perfectly emulates the atmosphere of desolate industrial towns all across the midwest and their growing rates of abandoned factories, unemployment, and crime. On this song Ampichino creates endless visual images of post-industrial, ghetto misery; his grandmother dying while he's in jail, being abandoned by his father, not being able to turn away from a life of crime, his best friend being killed over drugs, and trying to explain himself to God. The Jacka backs up Ampichino with an equally heartbreaking verse about desperately trying to steer his children away from the path of crime he chose, but acutely aware of the affluence his lifestyle has afforded him and his family. The last line summarizes the song's meaning rather well: "After life gotta be heaven, 'cause we livin' in hell." Thomas

Tha Pope - "Watch Me Work, Watch Me Bang" (2010)

Chicago's juke movement has had a signifcant push in the last few years thanks to the involvement of bored European electronic producers looking for yet another American style to excavate. But there's also been no shortage of effort made by young maverick producers working every possible angle to capture the general consciousness of "urban music listeners". From DJ Nate's minor hits as "Yung Baka", to the flirtations with artists like Kid Sister, Dude 'n Em and Twista. But so far, only Juke producer Tha Pope has offered a pure rap-juke hybrid meshing the two styles, featuring his own charming (if amateurish) raps. Maxwell Cavaseno

Danny Brown - "Gun In Yo Mouf" (2009)

At this point it's disingenuous to tout Danny Brown as "underrated", but we can definitely say this gem from his Detroit State Of Mind mixtape series was rather slept on. Sounding like it could've been produced by german avant-garde industrial group Einsturzende Neubauten, you get the feeling that you're being suspended at the collar by Danny and his co-defendants while a building collapses upon you. Maxwell Cavaseno

Del - "Memory Loss"
(3030)
I'm always taken aback when I grow to respect someone's taste in music, only to later discover we don't see eye to eye on what I consider classic material. There's no better example of this than the lone self-titled release by rap "supergroup" (as wiki labels them) Deltron 3030. The album's final track, 'Memory Loss', serves as a perfect final act for Del and producer Dan the Automator's space age concept. Del paints a grim picture of a future where our resources are depleted and the government rules with an iron fist. But wait, couldn't he be describing the present day? (MESSAGE!) The Automator provides a captivating instrumental dominated by an addictive horn loop. So while I was surprised to learn that not everyone is blown away by sci-fi comic book esque nerd rap, 'Memory Loss' serves as a prime example of how to make it work. Abortaron

18 comments:

  1. "Shinin' like I just came home - ya'll ni**as songs sound like ringtones - I live fast like reggatone."

    also,

    "Food stamps in the collection plate, shiiiit Jesus know we on section 8"

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Food stamps in the collection plate, shiiiit Jesus know we on section 8"

    ^^^^^

    WOO!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can't believe a C-Nile remix from an obscure indie compilation got shut down by the Hulkshare powers-that-be.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Lattisaw Tapes: that line made me go apeshit when I first heard Hot Soup. Chips just doesn't rap like that at all anymore, I didn't dig his "Couch Potato" tape.

    Also, not that it matters, but "Gun in Yo Mouf" is from Hot Soup.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The Slim Dunkin and Blu songs are my favorite from this round, I wish I could have heard that C-Nile song though :(

    I really enjoyed reading all of these, thanks for putting it together HL.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh also "Thug Lord" is one of my favorite songs of all time, so good call on that one Tony.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ampichino ft. Young Bossi & The Jacka - "Livin N Hell" (2008)
    ^^^
    I'm a fan of morbid gangster rap tunes. I wished more rappers would balance those kinda of songs w/ their Super Gangster persona's.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yo HL, thanks for inviting me to contribute. And props to everyone else and their encyclopedic knowledge of rap. This was fun.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh no, Bad Influence got shut down too.

    H.L should use Divshare.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Richard I'm going to upload a zip file with the entire compilation next week.

    ReplyDelete
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