Monday, 15 March 2021

Generic list post: can you believe 1991 was 30 years ago?!?

Transitional, pan-regional, transcendent, pandemonium...

Best way to describe Rap in 1991 - all of the above or with this 50 song list below? A Wonderful 12 months in Rap that I'm still findin' jams from 30 years later. An annum of last hurrahs, grand entrances, artistic peaks, all-time anthems, and sustained plateaus. Let's party like it's 1991 - in a disused Essex warehouse or a Seattle high school gymnasium.

Ice-T - New Jack Hustler
Eric B. & Rakim - Juice (Know The Ledge)
Ice Cube - Steady Mobbin'
N.W.A - Real N*ggaz Don't Die
Slick Rick - Bond
Mac Dre - Da Gift To Gab
Geto Boys - My Mind's Playing Tricks On Me
Scarface - Money And The Power
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Summertime
Digital Underground ft. 2Pac - Same Song
2Pac - Tha Lunatic
Nice & Smooth - Hip Hop Junkies
Gang Starr - Form Of Intellect
Naughty By Nature - O.P.P.
Cypress Hill - Light Another
Black Sheep - Try Counting Sheep
De La Soul - Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)
A Tribe Called Quest - Buggin' Out
Leaders Of The New School - Case Of The P.T.A
KMD ft. Brand Nubian - Nitty Griity
Grand Puba - Fat Rat
M.C Breed & DFC - Ain't No Future In Yo Frontin'
Main Source - Looking At The Front Door
Big Daddy Kane - Nuff Respect
Kool G. Rap & D.J Polo - Bad To The Bone (Street Remix)
Biz Markie - What Goes Around Comes Around
Kid Capri - Don't Sweat Me
DJ Quik - Tonite
2nd II None - If You Want It
D-Nice - 25 Ta Life
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - All Souled Out
Heavy D ft. Kool G. Rap, Grand Puba, CL Smooth, Big Daddy Kane etc - Don't Curse
Above The Law - 4 The Funk Of It
MC Lyte - Poor Georgie
Positive K - Night Shift
The Convicts - Free World
Chubb Rock - Just The Two Of Us
Too $hort - So You Want To Be A Gangster
MC Pooh - Sex, Money & Murder
Showbiz & A.G. - Giant In The Mental
Compton's Most Wanted - Def Wish
Black A.G. - No Typa Drugdeala
A.Z. Of MobStyle - Don't Dis Nobody
Freestyle Fellowship - Legal Alien
Organized Konfusion - Prisoners Of War
Del Tha Funkee Homosapien - The Wacky World Of Mass Transit
Ed O.G. & Da Bulldogs - I Got To Have It
PHD ft. Cormega - Set It Off
Public Enemy - By The Time I Get To Arizona
39 Posse - Got What It Takes To Make It

Bonus thoughts: I'm genuinely jealous of folk who got to grow up listening to those early Mac Dre EPs; O.P.P. has always been my fave song from Naughty By Nature's first album so I'm happy it's gone from being overplayed to being not played enough; lots of potential honourable mentions here but the two I'm gonna choose are Kraftworks by the UMC's and Easy Star by Poor Righteous Teachers; Tim Dog can, indeed, suck a big fat dick.


Smell Rell said...

Slick Rick's 2nd album is underrated.

Ray Garraty said...

not a lot of ignorance here. song titles are all classy, though.

Yohan said...

Great list for a great year in rap. There's a few records on there I'm unfamiliar with so am looking forward to checking those out. Crazy to condense it to 50 songs and still have to leave some artist out.

I'm noticing I'm low key starting to enjoy certain songs again I fell out of love with. Thought 'Case of the P.T.A.', 'Ain't No Future' and 'Tonite' were pretty corny for a while. Overplayed, but also overhyped by annoying 'rap started being good after 1994' dudes. Who knows, maybe I'll enjoy 'T.R.O.Y.' again in 10 years.

As I'm spending large parts of my days with headphones because of corona, so I've been listening to most releases of 1991. A few additional songs I've loved:

8Ball & MJG - Listen To The Lyrics
Bust Down - Pissin' Razor Blades
MC T.T. Tucker & DJ Irv - Where Dey At?
UGK - Cocaine In The Back Of The Ride (OG Version; might be cheating 'cause I've dated their debut EP as 1991)
Black Rob - Da Smoothness
Grand Puba - Fat Rat (which I know because of your earlier coverage btw)
LL Cool J - Year Of The Hip-Hop (also dated to 1991 I believe)
Main Source - Life At The BBQ (as I think Looking At The Front Door was technically 1990, to be 'that guy')
AMG - Bitch Betta Have My Money
Coolio Da Unda Dogg - Jackin'
Craig G - Word Association
Hi-C - Sitting In The Park
Tim Smooth - I Don't Give A Fuck About Your Boyfriend

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Anonymous, obviously.

Ray, there's definitely ignorance in this list. But not at the expense of quality.

Yohan, can't believe I forgot Fat Rat was '91. Adding that. Some great choices here including a couple which were on my shortlist. I had Putcha Ballys On for Bust Down tho. However, gotta disqualify the Black Rob, UGK and LL songs for not being 1991.

You can have I Be Gettin' Busy from Marley Marl's second album as a 1991 LL choice tho. Personally, I'd choose Tragedy's America Eats The Young as the song from that album.

hotbox said...

I'm glad you have new jack hustler as #1, that is the winner in a year full of winners. Also co-sign smell rell 100%

I notice you have 4 songs on here from the juice soundtrack, didn't that drop in 1992?

hotbox said...

never mind, you are technically correct discogs is saying juice = dec 31 1991 !

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Technically there's no order of preference in these lists. But I suppose the first song which springs to mind to top each list would probably qualify as my favourite.

Yohan said...

Would you assess UGK and LL to be 1992? And Black Rob earlier? I also prefer 'America Eats The Young' over 'I Be Gettin' Busy'. Will also admit to like 'Keep Control' from that album, the rest not so much.

Also noticed a kinda crucial typo in my previous comment: started = stopped.

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

UGK is 1992 because that's the year The Southern Way dropped. The Black Rob is 2002 because that's when it first saw the light of day on Dan The Automator's compilation, and the LL is whatever year K-Def finally released it (2010 or 2011?)

Doesn't matter when they were recorded, release date is the key for these lists.

L.A said...

Unexpected Slint reference lol.

Great list. Add 'Dress Code' by WC & The MAAD Circle.

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

#Actually I love Spiderland. It's the Yank equivalent of Laughing Stock innit?

Andrew Barber said...

no love for Leave My Curl Alone?!??!!

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

I'm a Sitting In The Park guy, personally.

Andrew Barber said...

LMAOOO!!!! Fair enough Marty

GGGGGG said...

Juice soundtrack is the shit.

L.A said...

What is Laughing Stock?

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

It's Talk Talk's album from 1991.

Fred said...

Thorough list I gotta say, so much good stuff.

Was gonna mentionned Dress Code as well. A couple additions:

E-40 introducing himself to the world as Mr Flamboyant:

Staying in the Bay, Rappin' 4-Tay - Streets Of San Francisco:

Not the best 4-Tay album but a couple really good songs on there, this one closing the album is maybe my favorite.

Some obscure stuff I discovered through hotbox's blog:

Bobske & The Outlawed - The Crack Did It:

Put it as a B-Side to K-Solo's Tales From The Crackside for cautionnary tales about the use of crack. Crazy shit but Bobske is still rapping today.

And let's close this with a joker:

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Funky Flute 😄

Did consider Mr. Flamboyant but I don't like it as much as anything in this list.

My tune of choice from the WC & MAAD Circle album would be Caught In A Fad.