Tuesday 21 June 2016

Generic list post: Rawkus Records edition

The thing about Rawkus Records is that all defenses or criticisms the label's legacy invariably choose the wrong songs to illustrate their respective arguments. Despite it spawning the careers of pondlife like El-P and Mos Def, Rawkus was a handy refuge for rappers who'd previously had difficulty navigating the major label system, a place where then-major label rappers could drop a raw single/compilation track on Rupert Murdoch's dime, and a dream-maker for Stretch & Bobbito radio show stalwarts who'd always wanted a 12" to their name. To prove that the label atoned for its cardinal sin of inflicting Umi Says on humanity, here's a generic list post of ya host's 20 favourite songs in the Rawkus catalogue. No order of preference and one song per artist, natch.

Brick City Kids - Brick City Kids (1997)
Pharoahe Monch - Simon Says (1999)
Mad Skillz - Ghost Writer (2000)
R.A The Rugged Man ft. 8-Off - Till My Heart Stops (1997)
Black Attack - My Crown (1997)
L-Fudge - Liquid (1997)
Big L - Flamboyant (2000)
Sir Menelik ft. Grand Puba & Sadat X - 7XL (1999)
B-1 - The Life We Lead (1998)
D-12 - Shit On You (2000)
Diamond ft. John Doe - When It Pours It Rains (1999)
Common - Like They Used To Say (1999)
Big Noyd ft. Prodigy - The Grimy Way (2000)
The Bad Seed - Would You Luh Me? (2000)
Styles P & Pharoahe Monch - My Life (2002)
Cormega - Take Mine (2000)
Thirstin Howl III ft. Master Fuol - Spit Boxers (1999)
Shabaam Sahdeeq - Are You Ready (1999)
Kool G. Rap ft. Devin The Dude & Snoop - Keep Goin' (2002)
Smut Peddlers - One By One (Revamped) (2000)

Just sayin', bruv: Rawkus' greatest artistic achievement was releasing Ego Trip's The Big Playback compilation back when the vast majority of its track-list was hard-to-find rare 12" singles which had never been available on CD before. There's some classic songs on ya host's list up top here but none of 'em are as good as Rammellzee & K_Rob's Beat Bop or Positive K's Step Up Front.


Ray Garraty said...

I thought I was the only person on earth who likes D-12.

Unknown said...

I can't fault your selection, though in all good conscience I can never listen to anything involving Mr Eon again.

Rawkus was one of my introductions to rap. I remember the thrill of hearing RA the Rugged Man talking about 'eating shit fucking ugly bitches' on 'Flipside'. It was up there with Dre and em declaring all bitches ain't shit.

Your Mos Def hate knows no bounds lol I personally thought he was one of the shining stars of that early Rawkus era, though he did become an obnoxious mediocrity from early on.

Interesting to see 'Shit on You' there cos I didn't even know that was Rawkus. Eminem actually had two classics on Rawkus in the shape of 'Any Man' and the original version of 'Last Hit' (unfortunately featuring Eon) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5CsBsj0BY4

Daps said...

Always liked a bit of 'Brooklyn Hard Rock'.

Unknown said...

In general Rawkus was pretty overatted but if you weed through the shit there were some bangers and I always wondered where that Cormega song was from. Whats your take on Hydra and Tru Criminal?

Anonymous said...

Eminem actually had two classics on Rawkus in the shape of 'Any Man' and the original version of 'Last Hit' (unfortunately featuring Eon) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5CsBsj0BY4


i wouldn't ay classic but imo best rawkus era eminem is either 5 star generals or watch this w thirstin howl

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Hydra was my favourite outta all the indie labels, although the Godfather Don LP was a disappointment.

Only Tru Criminal stuff I've ever owned was the Street Smart and F.T singles.

step one said...

The D12 joint wasn't on Rawkus from what I remember.

The Premier remix of Kool G Rap 'First Nigga' needs a mention.

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Shit On You came out on 12" on Rawkus back in late 2000 to give it some underground cred, before it came out officially on Interscope as a CD single.

Fred said...

This needs a zip.

step one said...

Stand corrected. That's weird as fuck though. Can't imagine it really helped much as anything Eminem related sold a shitload back then regardless.

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Probably more of a favour to Rawkus than anything.

Andrew Barber said...

Any Man
Crosstown Beef
The Sun God

Daps said...

The original version of 'Holdin It Down' would get my vote but I appreciate your one track per artist approach. Good list.

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Ian Wright got that The Big Picture front cover swag with those glasses he's been wearing lately.

Unknown said...

Hi tek:'Round and Round'

Kweli: 'Get By'

Cormega: 'You Don't Want It'

Unknown said...

I never really got Shabaam Sadeeq or why Rawkus pushed him like that.

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Are You Ready was his only good tune and that's because it was an Alchemist banger.

Unknown said...

He was alright. The epitome of alright.

Unknown said...

Get Up by smif n Wessun was good to

noz said...

cmd-f medina green

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

If I were forced to have a song featuring Mos Def on here, it'd be Fortified Live.

step one said...

Oh No with Monch & Nate Dogg still goes. Plus it upset the hardcore backpackers when it dropped.

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

That song was a waste of a Nate Dogg hook, imo.

d said...

James Murdoch looks like dude from Kids In The Hall there.

the Body Rock instrumental provided for this classic too


Tash was so good on the original but the songs a bit whatever in retrospect

d said...

Also Oh Nos a westwood classic

Unknown said...

Your mos hate is extraordinary lol What is it about him that so gets your goat?

I'm not saying you're wrong but I've not seen such a burning hatred for Mos Def before. I did love seeing Westwood laying waste to him that time.

Unknown said...

Who was the best Rawkus rapper in your opinion (if any)?

Glad you included 'When It Pours It Rains' that's classic.

David said...

^^^doesnt pass more essays than motorcade police parades through east LA

Albee Square Mangel said...

Only three of those records are really essential in my book - the Noyd track, '7XL' and the Big L. The rest are fair to middling.

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

SMH, Ghost Writer >>>>>> Milano

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Jack, this post best explains why Mos Def should be held in the lowest regard.