“Trap Door” was originally released as the B-side on The Truth 12′. Later the mp3 proved to be a proper preview/teaser to Jake One’s first full-length, White Van Music, one of 2008′s stand out hip-hop albums. With tracks like this one, not to mention 22 other bangers, White Van Music maybe one of the top hip-hop albums of the decade. Fans of MF Doom I know you miss the days when it seemed like MF came out with an album a month. Comb though Doom’s catalog once again starting with, “Trap Door.”
“Trap Door feat. MF Doom“ (play/download mp3)
California reggae group Rebelution’s dreamy and catchy productions have been turning the ears of many Bay Area producers, including the ever prolific board master of Zion I, Amp Live. The marriage of Zion I and Rebelution makes for some of the freshest and most infectious hip-hop I’ve listened to in a long time. Commercial “urban” radio programming may be dominated with songs that feature the audio tune more heavily then the rapping, but Zion I shows true hip-hop fans that they can get down with many styles.
Zion I, “Many Styles (feat.Rebelution)” (play/download mp3)
Visit Rebelution’s website for all the intel.
K’Naan spent his childhood living in the midst of the 1991 Somali civil war. A multi-talented entertainer and song writer, he has dedicated his career to spreading the message of peace and love.
“ABCs (feat.Chubb Rock)“ (play/download)
Rich Boy broke out after having huge success with his first single “Throw Some Ds.” Eventually people stopped singing the hook in their cars, and the remixes stopped showing up on every other blog. And when you are signed to a major label all they want is your next hit. Well, Rich Boy decided to flip the script and lace us with one of my favorite singles of 2009, “Drop.” This is hip-hop at it’s finest, the booming kick drum and vocal sample will have your head nodding and the lyrics are as clever as it gets.
“Drop” (play/download mp3)
Jake One is Seattle’s most important hip-hop export. His productions are a nod to hip-hop’s roots: sample based, drum heavy, funky and soulful. Jake’s only mistake was his timing — one thing no artist can control. If he was producing 20 years ago he would have reached “legendary” status by now. But his recordings are here forever, no matter how much industry fame he collects.
“The Truth (feat. Freeway & Brother Ali)“ (play/download mp3)
Mavrik was once one of the more ambitious hip-hop groups from Oakland. There productions were a bright beacon in the middle of Oakland Street rap’s obsession with weed, money and Listerine strips. “Walk Around It” will have you skipping to its uptempo vibe, and its optimistic message that when people throw dirt on the ground in-front of you, you just have to walk around it.
“Walk Around It (feat. DJ Platurn)“ (play/download mp3)
Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is a “must-listen” album. Even pedestrian hip-hop fans should give it a listen. And now that I’m thinking about it, anyone with any musical tastes should give it a listen. Although slowed down from the original, “Bring Da Ruckus (Remix)” still brings the pain with all members of the Wu blasting like no other hip-hop crew, past or present.
“Bring Da Ruckus (Remix)“ (play/download mp3)
Rolex it up. This song is only for the flossy. I have never owned a rolex. Now I would like one. I feel like I could rep this song just THAT much more. This beat keeps it jumpin, keeps it movin, keeps me groovin!
“Rolex It Up (Heatwave Remix)” (play/download mp3)
Digital Undergrounds MTV/pop-culture fame may have fizzled by the mid-nineties, but the group’s founder Shock G (a.k.a Humpy Hump) continued to perform live and record new cuts. Their later sound incorporated more nu-soul and jazz, reflecting the Oakland music culture during that era. Once the internet and broadband got popping, Digital Underground released a copious amount of free unreleased tracks. Get a taste of that slowed-down soul sound with, “People Over The Stairs.”
“People Over The Stairs“ (play/download mp3)
Well WHAT DO YA WANT. I’ll tell you “Watchu Want’. No shame. All game. What’s the “Ghetto Pop Life” all about? Take a listen. I can guarantee you’ll figure it out. This tune is completely confident, no f*cking around. Straight off the top, dropping a steady beat to tune into.
“Ghetto Pop Life“ (play/download)
You can buy this puppy at CD Universe.