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Mecca And The Soul Brother
Pete Rock & CL Smooth
Mecca and the Soul Brother is the 1992 debut album from the Mount Vernon, New York hip-hop duo, Pete Rock & CL Smooth. The album contains their best known song, "They Reminisce Over You". Mecca and the Soul Brother has been widely acclaimed as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. The album was mostly produced by Pete Rock and executive produced by DJ Eddie F of Heavy D & the Boyz.
Reflection Eternal [Train Of Thought]
Train of Thought is the debut album of American hip hop duo Reflection Eternal, released October 17, 2000 on Rawkus Records. Collaborating as a duo, rapper Talib Kweli and DJ and hip hop producer Hi-Tek recorded the album during 1999 to 2000, following their individual musical work that gained notice in New York's underground scene during the late 1990s. Kweli had previously worked with rapper Mos Def as the duo Black Star, and Hi-Tek had served as producer on the duo's debut album.
Produced primarily by Hi-Tek, the album is characterized by dynamic, high-tempo tracks and a Soulquarians-type neo soul sound. It showcases Kweli's rapping and features themes of revolutionary mentality, love, the state of hip hop, and modern African-American culture. Upon its release, Train of Thought achieved moderate sales success and received critical acclaim from music critics. The song "love language" was part of the soundtrack in the movie Disappearing Acts.
The Minstrel Show
The Minstrel Show is the second studio album by hip hop trio Little Brother. It followed the critical success of their 2003 debut, The Listening. The album was highly anticipated and touted as a probable breakthrough for the group, even before its release. The title is a reference to the minstrel shows that were popular in the United States during the 19th century.
Supreme Clientele is the second studio album by American rapper and Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah, released on February 8, 2000 by Epic Records. The album showcases Ghostface's signature up-tempo, stream-of-consciousness rhyme style, and features guest appearances from Cappadonna, GZA, Masta Killa, Method Man, Raekwon, Redman, RZA, U-God, and others. It features affiliates of what would become members of Theodore Unit and T.M.F. Supreme Clientele contains a large amount of production from group member RZA, who also re-worked and remixed beats from other producers involved, as a means to create a unified and cohesive sound for the album.
Upon its release, Supreme Clientele debuted at number seven on the Billboard 200 chart and number two on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, while selling 134,000 copies in its first week. On March 8, 2000, it was certified Gold in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America. The album featured the singles "Apollo Kids" and "Cherchez La Ghost", which, despite receiving limited airplay, went on to achieve notable chart success.
Like Water For Chocolate
Like Water for Chocolate is the fourth studio album by American rapper Common, released on March 28, 2000 through MCA Records. It was Common's first major label album and was both a critical and commercial breakthrough, receiving widespread acclaim from major magazine publications and selling 70,000 copies in its first week. The album was certified Gold on August 11, 2000 by the Recording Industry Association of America. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album has sold 748,000 copies by March 2005. The video for "The Light" was frequently shown on MTV, adding to Common's exposure. The album also formally marked the formation of the Soulquarians, a collective composed of?uestlove, Jay Dee, keyboardist James Poyser, soul artist D'Angelo and bassist Pino Palladino, among numerous other collaborators. This group of musicians would also be featured on Common's next album, Electric Circus.
The album's cover photo, 1956 Alabama by Gordon Parks, is a photo of a young black woman in Alabama, dressed for church, and drinking from a "Colored Only" drinking fountain.
Enta da Stage
Enta da Stage is the debut album of American East Coast hip hop group Black Moon, released on October 19, 1993 through Nervous Records. The album was produced by DJ Evil Dee and Mr. Walt of Da Beatminerz. Enta da Stage features the debut of underground hip hop duo Smif-N-Wessun, as well as appearances from Havoc of Mobb Deep and Dru Ha, the co-founder of Duck Down Records.
Despite being critically acclaimed and having two singles that charted on the Billboard Hot 100, the album sold poorly, and is often overlooked in favor of subsequent East Coast albums such as Enter the Wu-Tang, Illmatic, Liquid Swords, Ready to Die, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..., and The Infamous. Nonetheless, Enta da Stage preceded those releases and served as a precursor to the resurgence of the New York hip hop scene in the mid-1990s.
Labcabincalifornia is the second album by The Pharcyde, released in 1995, three years after their debut Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde. The album's production was handled by The Pharcyde themselves and Jay Dee, with additional help from Diamond D and M-Walk.
The first single was "Drop". The video for "Drop" was directed by Spike Jonze, and used footage of the group performing the song backwards, replayed backwards, giving it a surreal quality. The backwards theme of the video is also a reference to the song itself, which features a backwards sample. "Drop" was a hit, as was the follow-up single "Runnin'," which peaked at #55 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Overall, this album is a more mellow and introspective affair than their debut and features more somber themes such as dealing with fame and success, drug abuse, and broken down relationships.
Album sales compared to Bizarre Ride did not fare as well; the group was not able to reach Gold status. After Labcabincalifornia was released, Fatlip left the group to concentrate on his solo career.
Illadelph Halflife is the third studio album by American hip hop band The Roots, released September 24, 1996 on Geffen Records. It features a tougher and broader sound than their previous album, Do You Want More?!!!??!. The album also contains integration of programmed drums and guest contributions by R&B musicians such as Amel Larrieux and D'Angelo, as well as jazz musicians such as David Murray, Steve Coleman, Cassandra Wilson, Graham Haynes. In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums. In 2006, the album was selected as one of Hip Hop Connection's 100 Best Rap Albums from 1995 to 2005. The master tapes for the album were destroyed in a fire at the Universal Studios back lot in 2008.
The Renaissance is the second studio album by American hip hop artist Q-Tip, released November 4, 2008, on Universal Motown Records. The follow-up to his solo debut album, Amplified, it was recorded after Q-Tip's Kamaal the Abstract was initially shelved in 2002 by his former label Arista Records and his proposed effort Open was shelved by Universal Motown, both deemed commercially inadequate by the labels. The Renaissance was produced primarily by Q-Tip and features guest contributions by D'Angelo, Norah Jones, Amanda Diva, and Raphael Saadiq.
The album debuted at number 11 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 34,219 copies in its first week. It produced three singles and has sold 131,200 copies in the United States. Upon its release, The Renaissance received universal acclaim from music critics, who praised Q-Tip's lyricism and production aesthetic, and earned him a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Album.
The Grind Date
De La Soul
The Grind Date is the seventh studio album by American hip hop group De La Soul, released on October 5, 2004. The album was originally intended to be the final album of the Art Official Intelligence trilogy, but as the album quickly changed focus, the group decided to put AOI III on hold and finish The Grind Date as a stand-alone work.
Desire is the second solo album from hip hop artist Pharoahe Monch, released on June 26, 2007. The album comes eight years after the rapper's critically acclaimed solo debut, Internal Affairs, which followed the break-up of Monch's former group Organized Konfusion. After a short stint on Geffen Records, a number of labels began a bidding war for the rapper, including Eminem's Shady Records, Denaun Porter's Runyon Ave. Records, Bad Boy Records and Sony Records. In early 2006, it was announced that Pharoahe had signed a deal with Steve Rifkind's Street Records Corporation for the release of his second album. The first song released from the album was "Let's Go", produced by Black Milk. "Let's Go" was featured as the B-side on the album's first proper single, "Push", released in September 2006. A music video for "Push" was also released in late September 2006, and has received play on MTV Base. The video is set in the New York City blackout of 1977. A ten-minute internet-only video for the track "When the Gun Draws" was released exclusively to AllHipHop.com on January 3, 2007.
Hard To Earn
Hard to Earn is the fourth album from the hip hop duo Gang Starr. It was released in March 8, 1994 and featured the singles "Mass Appeal", "DWYCK", and "Code of the Streets". Guest appearances on the album include Group Home, Jeru the Damaja, and Big Shug. At the time, all were part of the Gang Starr Foundation, which made the album a stepping-stone for future DJ Premier-helmed projects by Group Home and Jeru. The single "DWYCK" recorded in 1992 also featured hip hop duo Nice & Smooth. The track "Now You're Mine" originally appeared on the 1992 soundtrack White Men Can't Rap.
Hard to Earn is also the duo's first album to carry the "Parental Advisory" label.
Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... is the solo debut album of American rapper and Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon, released on August 1, 1995, by Loud Records and RCA Records. The album was loosely composed to play like a film with Raekwon as the "star," fellow Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah as the "guest-star," and producer RZA as the "director." It features appearances from every member of the Wu-Tang Clan except for Old Dirty Bastard. The album also features debut appearances for affiliates Cappadonna and Blue Raspberry. It also features an acclaimed guest appearance from rapper Nas, which marked the first collaboration with a non-affiliated artist on a Wu-Tang related album.
Upon its release, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 chart, and number two on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, while selling 130,000 copies in its opening week. The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America on October 2, 1995, and according to Nielsen Soundscan, it has sold 1.1 million copies in the United States alone.
Fantastic Vol. 2
Doe Or Die
Doe or Die is the debut studio album by rapper AZ, released October 10, 1995 on EMI Records. The album features guest appearances by artists such as Nas and Miss Jones, and production from Pete Rock, L.E.S., and Buckwild, among others.
Upon release, Doe or Die received notable critical and commercial success. The album peaked at #15 on the Billboard 200, and #1 on the U.S. Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. Doe or Die produced several singles, including, "Mo Money, Mo Murder," "Gimme Yours," "Doe or Die" and "Sugar Hill" - which was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1995. The album went on to sell over a million copies AZ has planned a sequel for the album entitled Doe or Die 2, which is currently awaiting release.
A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing
A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing is the debut studio album from American hip hop group Black Sheep, released October 22, 1991, on Mercury Records.
The album peaked at number 30 on the Billboard 200 chart. By April 1992, it was certified gold in sales by the RIAA, after sales exceeding 500,000 copies in the United States.
2000 is the second solo studio album by American rapper Grand Puba. It was released on June 20, 1995 through Elektra Records. Recording sessions took place at Soundtrack Studios, Platinum Island Studios, Battery Studios, V. Dubbs Studios, Acme Recording Studios, Fiber Studios, and Chung King Studios in New York. Production was handled by Mark Sparks, Minnesota, DJ Alamo, Chris Liggio and Dante Ross. The album peaked at number 48 on the Billboard 200 and at number 5 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums in the United States.
The album spawned two singles: "I Like It" and "A Little of This". Its lead single, "I Like It", reached #91 on the Billboard Hot 100, #68 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, #21 on the Hot Rap Songs, and was featured in the soundtrack for the video game Tony Hawk's Underground 2. The album's second single, "A Little of This" featuring backing vocals from Kid, made it to #90 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and also #21 on the Hot Rap Songs.
Dah Shinin' is the debut album from American East Coast hip hop duo Smif-N-Wessun. Members Tek and Steele made their debut previously on Black Moon's classic 1993 album Enta Da Stage. Dah Shinin' was noted for its hardcore lyrical content and production, which was handled by Da Beatminerz members DJ Evil Dee, Mr. Walt, Rich Blak and Baby Paul.
The album marked the arrival of Hip Hop supergroup, the Boot Camp Clik, a prominent rap crew of the 1990s. The group includes Black Moon member Buckshot, Heltah Skeltah and O.G.C., as well as Tek and Steele. All members make an appearance on the posse-cut "Cession at da Doghillee".
The album has gone on to sell over 300,000 copies in the United States, and includes the underground single "Bucktown". In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums.
The album's cover draws its inspiration from Roy Ayers Ubiquity's 1972 album He's Coming.
Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star
Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star is the only studio album by Black Star, a hip hop duo consisting of emcees Talib Kweli and Mos Def. The album was released on September 29, 1998, to critical acclaim. The title is a reference to the Black Star Line, a shipping line founded by Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey. The album deals with modern-day issues, philosophical ideas, and life in Brooklyn, New York City as the two artists know it.
Breaking Atoms is the debut album of Canadian/American hip hop group Main Source, released July 23, 1991 on Wild Pitch Records. Production for it was handled by the group and took place during 1990 to 1991 at Homeboy Studio, Power Play Studios, and Libra Digital in New York City. Recorded during the golden age of hip hop, Breaking Atoms is distinguished stylistically by its incorporation of jazz and soul music samples. The album has been highly regarded by music writers due mostly to its production, whose heavy and original use of sampling influenced hip hop producers for a considerable portion of the 1990s.
The album has been widely regarded by writers and music critics as a significantly influential album and has been noted for debuting rapper Nas, who appears on the track "Live at the Barbeque". His contribution to the song was sampled on "Genesis", the intro track to his debut album Illmatic. Breaking Atoms has been recognized as one of the most important records in hip hop history, and was out of print in the United States after the demise of Wild Pitch Records in 1997. It was reissued on April 22, 2008 through Fontana Distribution.
Wrath Of The Math
Jeru The Damaja
The 18th Letter/The Book Of Life
The 18th Letter is the debut solo album of American emcee Rakim, released November 4, 1997 on Universal Records in the United States. It is his first release of new material, following a five-year hiatus after Don't Sweat the Technique as duo Eric B. & Rakim. The album features production by DJ Clark Kent, Pete Rock, Father Shaheed, Nick Wiz and DJ Premier. It contains lyrical themes that concern the hip hop's golden age, Rakim's rapping prowess, and the state of hip hop. The album's title refers to the letter "R" being the eighteenth letter of the english alphabet.
The album debuted at number 4 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and sold 500,000 copies in the United States. A deluxe version of The 18th Letter was sold with the compilation disc The Book of Life, an Eric B. & Rakim greatest hits collection. The Book of Life was also issued separately as a double vinyl LP in 1997.
One for All
One for All is the debut studio album by American hip hop group Brand Nubian, released on December 4, 1990 by Elektra Records. The album was highly acclaimed for its politically charged and socially conscious content. Sales never matched the wide acclaim — the album has only sold 350,000 copies as of May 2013 — but it has remained in print since its 1990 release. The album is mainly produced by Brand Nubian, but it also features production by Skeff Anselm, Stimulated Dummies, and Dave "Jam" Hall. The album's production contains many motifs of hip hop's golden age including James Brown-sampled breakbeats and funky R&B loops. The album is broken down track-by-track by Brand Nubian in Brian Coleman's book Check the Technique.
93 'til Infinity
Souls Of Mischief
93 'til Infinity is the debut album by Souls of Mischief. It was released on September 28, 1993 by Jive.
Whut? Thee Album
Whut? Thee Album is the debut studio album by American rapper Redman; it was released on September 22, 1992 by Def Jam Recordings and Chaos Recordings, a dimension of Columbia Records. While taking place at Ian London Studios, North Shore Soundworks and Power Play Studios, recording sessions began in 1991 and continued into 1992. The album heavily features production from mentor and fellow Hit Squad member Erick Sermon, as well as Redman himself under his birth name, with additional production from Pete Rock.
Upon its release, Whut? Thee Album debuted at number 49 on the US Billboard 200. In June 1993, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, exceeding the sales of 500,000 copies in the United States. The album initially garnered favorable reviews from music critics due to Redman's humorous lyrics, and the album's production, which was noted as having the "EPMD sound." Over the years, Whut? has been commonly esteemed as a classic hip hop album, and along with Muddy Waters, it is widely regarded as Redman's best work.
Beats, Rhymes & Life
A Tribe Called Quest
Beats, Rhymes and Life is the fourth studio album by American hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest. Released on July 30, 1996, by Jive Records, it followed three years after the highly regarded and successful Midnight Marauders. Produced by The Ummah, the album is a departure from the joyful, positive vibe of the group's earlier albums and is regarded as their darkest album in content. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on October 27, 1998.
Nocturnal is the debut album from hip hop duo Heltah Skeltah, consisting of members Rock and Ruck, members of Brooklyn supergroup Boot Camp Clik. It was the first BCC album to feature some outside producers, such as Shawn J. Period and E-Swift.
Liquid Swords is the second solo studio album by American rapper and Wu-Tang Clan member GZA, released on November 7, 1995, by Geffen Records. Recording sessions for the album began midway through 1995 at producer RZA's basement studio in the New York City borough of Staten Island. The album heavily samples dialogue from the martial arts film Shogun Assassin and maintains a dark atmosphere throughout its course, while it incorporates lyrical references to chess, crime and philosophy. Liquid Swords features numerous guest appearances from the entire nine piece Wu-Tang Clan, and also Wu-Tang affiliate Killah Priest.
Upon its release, Liquid Swords peaked at number nine on the Billboard 200 chart, and number two on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The Recording Industry Association of America certified the album platinum in sales nearly 20 years after its release. Upon its initial release, Liquid Swords received critical acclaim for its complex lyricism and hypnotic musical style. Over the years, its recognition has grown, with a number of famous publishers proclaiming it as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time.
Black On Both Sides
Black on Both Sides is the debut studio album by American rapper Mos Def, released on October 12, 1999 by Rawkus and Priority Records. Prior to its recording, Mos Def had collaborated with Talib Kweli for the album Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star in 1998, which raised high expectations for a solo effort by the former. Black on Both Sides features an emphasis on live instrumentation and socially conscious lyrics.
On February 2, 2000, the album was certified Gold in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America, following sales in excess of 500,000 copies.
Elmatic is a mixtape by Detroit rapper and former Slum Village member eLZhi. The album is a tribute and a remake of Nas' 1994 classic debut Illmatic. Elmatic was initially released as free download on May 10, 2011, and was later officially released via iTunes on December 20, 2011, with two extra tracks included. The album was acclaimed by critics and praised for its lyrics and production, many publishers and websites have named it on their top list of the year.
Here Come The Lords
Lords Of The Underground
Here Come the Lords is the debut studio album by American hip hop group Lords of the Underground, released on March 9, 1993 by Pendulum and Elektra Records. It was produced by Marley Marl, K-Def and DJ Lord Jazz.
The album was a success for the group, making it to #66 on the Billboard 200 and #13 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Five singles from the album managed to make it to the billboard charts, "Chief Rocka", "Here Come the Lords", "Funky Child", "Flow On" and "Psycho".
Livin' Proof is the debut album by Group Home, the Gang Starr-affiliated duo composed of rappers Lil Dap and Melachi the Nutcracker. The album featured the popular underground single "Supa Star" and the instrumental work of producer DJ Premier. The album is known both for these instrumentals and the interplay between the lyrics of Group Home's two members. DJ Premier produced all of the album's songs except "Serious Rap Shit" and "4 Give My Sins," which were produced by Guru of Gang Starr and Big Jaz, respectively.
"Supa Star" also appeared in the soundtrack of the 2008 video game Grand Theft Auto IV and is prominently featured in the movie Boiler Room.
The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World
The Most Beautifullest Thing in This World is the debut studio album from American hip hop artist Keith Murray, released September 20, 1994 on Jive Records.
The album peaked at number thirty-four on the Billboard 200 chart. By August 1995, it was certified gold in sales by the RIAA, after sales exceeding 500,000 copies in the United States. The album is now out of print.
Dead Serious is the debut studio album of American hip hop duo Das EFX, released April 7, 1992 on compact disc and audio cassette on East West Records and distributed through Atlantic Records. Recording sessions for the album took place at Firehouse Studios in Brooklyn, New York and at Charlie Marotta's North Shore Soundworks studio in Long Island, New York.
The album was a certified hit, peaking at 16 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, topping the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for five weeks and reaching platinum sales by 1993. Well-received upon its release, Dead Serious has since been regarded by music writers as a significant and influential album in hip hop.
Beyond The Spectrum - The Creamy Spy Chronicles
Beyond the Spectrum: the Creamy Spy Chronicles is the first compilation album from Digable Planets. The album contains remastered songs in addition to previously unavailable songs and remixes, one of the most memorable being a remix of “Where I’m From, ” a darker version of the LP version with horn stabs. The album contains "Rebirth of Slick" which ranked as high as #6 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart on February 20, 1993.
The Art Of Storytelling
The Art of Storytelling is the fourth and final studio album by British-American rapper Slick Rick, released May 25, 1999, on Def Jam Recordings. The album features production from DJ Clark Kent and Kid Capri, among others. Upon its release, The Art of Storytelling proved to be Slick Rick's highest-charting album, peaking at number eight on the Billboard 200, and number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, and was certified gold by the RIAA within a month of its release.
Kollage is the first studio album by the American hip hop musician Bahamadia, released on April 2, 1996, by Chrysalis Records. The album peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Heatseekers.
Ventilation: Da LP
I Got Next
I Got Next is KRS-One's third official solo album. The album sold 94,000 copies first week and it peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 chart. It remains his best-selling album to date, receiving the RIAA certification for Gold-level sales.
Phat Kat used a lyrical excerpt from "A Friend" for his 2007 J Dilla-produced single "Don't Nobody Care About Us" from his album Carte Blanche.
1st Infantry is the debut solo studio album by American hip hop producer and recording artist The Alchemist. The album was released on June 29, 2004 and peaked at number 101 on the Billboard 200 and number 11 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
The album was solely produced by The Alchemist and features guest vocalists including Prodigy, Nina Sky, The Game, The Lox, Nas, M.O.P., Mobb Deep, Lloyd Banks, T.I., and Dilated Peoples.
One single from the album, "Hold You Down", peaked at number 95 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 47 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
The album was also released in an instrumental version and deluxe edition with a bonus DVD on October 4, 2005.
Project: Funk Da World
Project: Funk da World is the debut studio album by rapper Craig Mack, released September 20, 1994. The album was the second release on Bad Boy Records, following The Notorious B.I.G.'s classic Ready to Die by one week. Propelled by the success of the Platinum RIAA-selling smash hit single "Flava in Ya Ear", the album reached Gold-RIAA sales status on February 22, 1995. "Flava in Ya Ear" also featured a successful remix, featuring guest verses from The Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes, Rampage and LL Cool J. The album's second single, "Get Down", was the rapper's second Top 40 hit in 1994, & achieved Gold sales status in the United States in April 1995.
Though commercially successful & acclaimed at the time of its release, the album was overshadowed by the massive success of Ready to Die, and Craig Mack quickly lost public image, releasing only one other album, the commercially unsuccessful Operation: Get Down, in 1997.
Kool G Rap
4,5,6 is the debut studio album by American rapper Kool G Rap, released on September 26, 1995, on Cold Chillin' Records. The release followed his break-up with DJ Polo in 1993. The album was mostly received neutrally among critics, but was warmly accepted by underground fans. Despite the album's dark, grimy street sound, it peaked at number one on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart, and the single "Fast Life" charted on the Billboard Hot 100. The album features guest appearances from B1, MF Grimm, and Nas, as well as production from Dr. Butcher, Naughty Shorts, T-Ray, and Buckwild of D.I.T.C. It would also be Cold Chillin' Records' final release before it went defunct in 1997.
Let's Get Free
Let's Get Free is the debut studio album by hip-hop duo dead prez. It was released March 14, 2000 on Loud Records & Columbia Records, under distribution from Relativity Records.
Critically acclaimed upon its first release, Let's Get Free was called a "return to politically conscious rap" and, "the most politically conscious rap since Public Enemy"; the duo's messages also earned them favorable comparisons with Brand Nubian, The Coup, Def Jef and X-Clan. The album's lyrics, performed in front of sparse beats that many critics derided as a "dull musical backdrop" are startlingly direct, militant and confrontational. M-1 and stic.man excoriate the media, the music industry, politicians and poverty, and urge their target audience to study socialism and ideas of black power. Rolling Stone gave the album four stars and lauded its equation of "classrooms with jail cells, the projects with killing fields and everything from water to television with conduits for brainwashing by the system". The album art is a homage to the Tricontinental Conference promotional posters. The song "Hip-Hop" was used in EA's video game Skate.
The Shining is the third studio album by American hip hop recording artist J Dilla, who died February 10, 2006. The Shining was incomplete at the time of J Dilla's passing and was posthumously completed. Discounting the instrumental album Donuts, The Shining was the first full-length solo release by J Dilla since Welcome 2 Detroit five years earlier, and as such was highly anticipated. It was released on August 22, 2006 through BBE Records. An instrumental version of the album followed its release shortly afterward.
Classic Nuts Vol. 1
Disposable Arts is the second solo album by American rapper Masta Ace, his first album since 1995's Sittin' On Chrome. The concept follows a young Brooklyn man's release from prison, his return home, and his life at "The Institute of Disposable Arts", a school in which Ace enrolls after realizing how bad the situation in Brooklyn is. The album sold poorly compared to his previous albums, but was generally well received by critics. The cover art is a parody of his "Sittin' on Chrome" days, showing Masta Ace sitting on a seat on the street instead. Included on the album is the song "Acknowledge", a notable diss track to rapper Boogeyman and group The High & Mighty. The song "Unfriendly Game" was used in the TV series The Wire and is included on one of its soundtracks. The song "Take A Walk" was used in the video game Saints Row, and was found on one of the various in game radio stations.
The Lost Tapes
The Lost Tapes is a compilation album by American rapper Nas. It was released on September 23, 2002, by Ill Will Records and Columbia Records, who wanted to capitalize on what was seen in hip hop music as Nas' artistic comeback the year before. The album compiles previously unreleased tracks that were discarded from recording sessions for Nas' previous studio albums, I Am... and Stillmatic. It features production by L.E.S., The Alchemist, Poke and Tone, and Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie, among others. With low-key, sparse sounds and observational lyrics about urban life, the songs are autobiographical and nostalgic, departing from the thug persona of Nas' previous records.
Released with little promotion, The Lost Tapes debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200, selling over 70,000 copies in its first week. It was met with widespread acclaim from critics, some of whom viewed it as Nas' best record since his 1994 debut album Illmatic. A second volume of previously unreleased songs was planned before Nas had signed with Def Jam Recordings in 2006, but the project was delayed and eventually abandoned because of issues with his record label.
The Infamous is the second studio album by the American hip hop duo Mobb Deep. It was released on April 25, 1995, by Loud Records. The album features guest appearances by Nas, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, and Q-Tip, who also contributed to its production and mixing. Embedded with hyper-visual lyricism, dark soundscapes, gritty narratives, and hard beats, it marked Mobb Deep's transition from a relatively unknown rap duo to an influential and commercially successful one. Most of the left-over songs from the album became bonus tracks for Mobb Deep's The Infamous Mobb Deep album.
Upon its release, The Infamous achieved notable commercial success, debuting at number 15 on the US Billboard 200 and number 3 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums charts. On June 26, 1995, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. The album produced four singles; "Shook Ones Pt. II", "Survival of the Fittest", "Temperature's Rising", "Give Up the Goods", which all achieved varying degrees of chart success, with "Shook Ones Pt. II" being the most successful.
Stunts, Blunts, & Hip Hop
Diamond & The Psychotic Neurotics
Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version
Ol' Dirty Bastard
Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version is the solo debut album of American rapper and Wu-Tang Clan member Ol' Dirty Bastard, released March 28, 1995 on Elektra Records in the United States. It was the second solo album, after Method Man's Tical, to be released from the nine-member Wu-Tang clan, following the release of their debut album. Return to the 36 Chambers was primarily produced by RZA, with additional production from Ol' Dirty Bastard, and affiliates True Master and 4th Disciple. The album features guest appearances from Wu-Tang members GZA, RZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and Masta Killa, as well as several Wu-Tang affiliates and Brooklyn Zu.
Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version peaked at number seven on the Billboard 200 and number two on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album sold 81,000 copies in its first week, and was certified gold in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America on June 21, 1995. Upon its release, the album received positive reviews from most music critics, with many complimenting Ol' Dirty Bastard's bizarre lyrical delivery and RZA's eerie production.
The Pillage is the debut solo album of Wu-Tang Clan affiliate member Cappadonna. It was released on March 24, 1998 by Razor Sharp/Epic Street on compact disc, vinyl and tape cassette. It debuted at #3 on the charts and has been certified Gold.
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