Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rhymes: Top Single of the Decade #10-1

10. Kanye West - "Jesus Walks" [2004]

This song put Jesus on the radio, a feat that very few can they've accomplished.

9. Marco Polo - "Nostalgia (ft. Masta Ace) [2007]

Masta Ace delivers some pure hip hop lyricism over the Canadian beatsmith's vintage boom bap production.

8. Freeway - "What We Do (ft. Jay-Z & Beanie Siegle) [2003]

One of those songs that just hit me hard when I first heard it. My introduction to the Philly Freezer over this just blaze gem, was an unforgettable one.

7. Nas - "Made You Look" [2002]

Pure, raw, stripped down, NY hip hop. One of the God's son's finest.

6. UGK - "Int'l Players Anthem (I Choose You) (ft. OutKast) [2007]

Once you think 3 Stacks has completely run away with another track that doesnt belong to him, the drums drop in and the late great pimp comes in with some of his hungriest rhymes. Off of the best double disk released in the decade, the pimp was so in the zone during this album after being released from prison, and its tragic we lost a legend right when he was in his prime.

5. Talib Kweli - "Get By" [2002]

So after listening to College Dropout for the millionth time, I decided to check out more from one of his guest spots, Talib Kweli. My jaw completely dropped when I first heard this song, I went out and instantly purchased Quality after hearing Kweli's most recognizable single.

4. CunninLynguists - "Don't Leave (When Winter Comes) (ft. Slug of Atmosphere" [2009]

It is very rare when collaborations between two high profile artists work out as well as this (not that atmosphere and cunninlynguists are all that popular, but in the underground these two groups reign supreme). Slug, my favorite emcee paired up with the Cunninlynguists, my favorite group, released an incredible song. Kno's beat was flawless, Slug's verse, amazing, Deac and Natti, top notch as well, but the sample in the outro is absolutely haunting and breath taking.

3. Kanye West - "Through the Wire" [2004]

I will never forget the first time I saw this video. I had never heard of Kanye West up until that point, but when I saw this video, I knew this guy was going to be special. And once I heard "All Falls Down" and "Slow Jams" I bought one of my favorite albums of the decade (and all time), College Dropout during my 8th grade class trip to Washington DC. This song was the beginning to one of the most important and influential artists of the decade.

2. Reflection Eternal - "The Blast" [2000]

Just an undeniable song where two incredible musicians are at their peak delivering an inspired masterpiece that will never be duplicated. The Ohio native and the BK emcee dropped one of the decades best albums right at the beginning of the decade at it stayed at the top throughout the years.

1. OutKast - "Bombs Over Baghdad (B.O.B.)" [2000]

One of the most innovative songs in the history of hip hop. This song gets love from hip hop purists, critics, and the mainstream radio. Unprecedented performances by three stacks and sir lucious claims the top spot on my list, this song is undeniable greatness.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rhymes: Vampire Weekend @ MTV Unplugged

The ultimate college band celebrates their sophomore album (which was released last tuesday) with an MTV Unplugged, which brought us memorable performances from acts including Nirvana, Jay-z, and Lauryn Hill.

Here's a link to the rest of the performances: http://www.mtv.com/music/unplugged/ I posted my personal favorite Vamp Weekend song.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Rymes: Best Hip Hop Single of the Decade #20-11

#20 Devin the Dude - "What a Job (ft. Snoop Dogg and Andre 3000) [2007]

Devin and Snoop do their thing speaking of the behind the scenes shit that goes into making music. But my God does 3 stacks go off on that last verse. Verses from Benjamin Andre were few and far between towards the end of the decade, but all of them were absolutely spectacular as this one.

#19 Nas - "One Mic" [2001]

Few songs and videos are as powerful as Mr. Jones' 2nd single off of Stillmatic. This and "Hate me Now" were my introduction to the God Son emcee.

#18 Atmosphere - "Guarantees" [2008]

One of the best songs off of one of the best albums of the decade. Sean Daley doe shis damn thing speaking of blue collared struggles over amazing guitar playing by Nate Collis. ONe of my favorite atmosphere songs ever.
#17 Dilated Peoples - "This Way ft Kanye West" [2004]

Damn I miss backpack rap Kanye. This song was an introduction to one of my favorite west coast acts, Dilated Peoples and Evidence. One of my fav Kanye productions ever.

#16 Gangstarr - "Rite Where You Stand (ft Jadakiss)" [2003]

One of my fav Primo joints ever, 'kiss and Guru deliever incredible verses over my introduction to that gritty NY boom bap hip hop.

#15 SunN.Y. - "Soul of a Hustler" [2005]

Now this is an incredible song from an artist who i've never heard from again. He was signed to so so def in 05 but his album was never released, which is a damn shame becuase few emcees can hold down a 5 minute song with just straight spitting and no hook. This song is just as amazingly jaw dropping today as it was half a decade ago.

#14 Hi-Tek - "Music is for Life (ft Nas & Common)[2006]

Nas blacks out on one of hi-teks best beats ever. I prefer hi-teks original verse on this song that was on the demo version of the song, but Common is also excellent on this track.

#13 Lupe Fiasco - "Kick, Push" [2006]
Lupe's debut single was an instant classic, a smooth lush beat provided soundtrakk. Lupe's introduction to the world came at a perfect time, where D4L was dominating the airwaves and nas claim hip hop's demise, lupe brought lyricism back to the forefront of mainstream hip hop.

#12 Jay Electronica - "Exhibit C" [2009]

Similarly what Lupe did 3 years earlier, Jay Electhannekkuh has had the internet going insane during the final weeks of the decade. This being the newest single on the list, its difficult to place exactly where this song belongs in the list, but few songs that I can remember have had as much impact as this just blaze production.

#11 CunninLynguists - "Mexico" [2007]

This song is just a masterpiece. Off of one of the best albums of the decade, released as a digi-single, songs like these make me wonder why arent the 'Lynguists all over MTV and selling a million records. Its a damn shame, maybe in a different era, they would be the most acclaimed group of a generation, but in this decade, they are underground's special little secret.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Rhymes: Best Hip Hop Singles of the Decade (30-21)

#30 Lupe Fiasco - Hip Hop Saved My Life [2007]
While Lupe's first single (Super star) received more commercial success and his third single (Paris, Tokyo) recieved more critical acclaim from hip hop purists, but his second single off his second album is one of the best songs of the decade. Lupe tells a tale of an aspiring emcee trying to make it in the game, very inspirational.

#29 Scarface - On My Block [2002]

Off of 'face's classic 2002 album, the fix, the legendary Geto Boy emcee speaks on life in Houston Texas over those timeless keys.

#28 Eminem - Stan [2000]

Marshall Mathers' third single off of his arguably best album is my personal favorite Eminem single. Mr. Mathers' storytelling on this track is top notch, and his live performance of this song at the Grammy with Elton John is one of his most memorable moments of his career.

#27 Kidz in the Hall - Wheelz Fall Off ('06 til) [2006]

Off the duo's debut album, School was My Hustle this is one of the more obscure songs on this list, but this song is phenomenal. Double O's task of sampling a classic song (93 til Infinity) is often considered taboo, mainly because the song will rarely live up to the original, but this is not the case. Naledge drops some lyrical gems over the incredible soundscape laced by Double O.

#26 Dead Prez - Hip Hop [2000]

This incredible song was released at the beginning of the decade and was one of my first introductions to what is often called "Conscious Rap" but being a ten year old all i cared about was that crazy bass line.

#25 Blu & Exile - Blu Colla Workers [2007]

Amazing video and song, this is truly hip hop in its essence. I kept hearing people talking about Blu and how great his album was, I finally caved and for some reason this was the first song I listened to from the classic 2007 album, entirely produced by the MPC wizard, Exile, and I didnt listen to another song from the album for a couple weeks cuz I couldnt stop listening to this song.

#24 Common - The Corner [2005]

Often dubbed as Common's comeback single, his first release with Kanye West, few songs and albums giving me the feeling hearing them for the first time, that this song and Be did.

#23 Louis Logic - The Great Divide [2006]

Off of his sophomore album, Misery Loves Company, classic song and video.

#22 Beanie Sigel - Feel it in the Air [2005]

Beans' best song from his best album. I had this song on repeat for a lot of my freshman year in high school.

#21 Q-Tip - Gettin' Up [2008]
This is how a legend comes back after 9 years of shelved albums and disappointment. This song is vintage ATCQ.