Since you reached out to us, please let me respond back in the same manner. I understand your anger with my generation of hip hop, I do, and I believe that your generation is holding down this current form of rap music right now but my brother there are some things we should discuss and since you reached out to us specifically, here goes.
Since you reached out to us, please let me respond back in the same manner. I understand your anger with my generation of hip hop, I do, and I believe that your generation is holding down this current form of rap music right now but my brother there are some things we should discuss and since you reached out to us specifically, here goes.
You started your recent diatribe like every other recent diatribe in regard to the previous generation by calling us “old niggas,” so of course every dialogue you have with us or in regard to us from this point on isn’t going to be filled with “fatherly advice”. Direct.disrespect garners more disrespect in any era. You respect us then we respect you.
“Our generation, like yours, was hated by many but never by it’s own”
Your generation was handed a billion dollar baby and most of those currently in the top ten don’t even know what it was like nor do you seem to even care about this gift you’ve been handed nor the craft or art it took us to even get hip hop to this stage of the game, and that in a big part is our fault for not being more favourable and fatherly to our future counterparts when you showed up.
We don’t respect ya’ll because ya’ll don’t respect us – period. It’s no secret that my generation was built on bars, metaphors, and ridiculous drum tracks but there was so much more that you never saw and never will. There wasn’t a lot of money back then, this art was built on creativity and a need to have a voice to speak to a government and world that had left us for dead and did not give a fuck about us.
That’s why we don’t wanna call ya’ll “hip hop”, because hip hop was a culture, a way of life that spoke to those in power and demanded that the world hear our side and our stories. Hip hop helped us communicate and unify people from Alaska to Korea and before the money it saved a lot of black and brown lives that needed an outlet.
Our generation, like yours, was hated by many but never by it’s own. It was hated by the oppressors who where angry that we found a way to get the message of our bondage and ill treatment out to the world. Hip hop started as something so powerful and beautiful and then something happened, and that is why your generation is here and rich and why my generation can no longer be respected on the same levels and receives crumbs.
The oppressors realized if they owned and controlled the major labels,the urban radio and the music distribution, they would be able to influence and control the people again. This started happening in the early 1990s and it has been an horrific and downward spiral for the culture of hip hop ever since my brother and now your arrival on the scene, (and many others like you) has sped up this deterioration process.
You guys knew there was no way you could out-rap the previous generation, but instead of protecting and nurturing this precious culture handed to you by your forefathers, you dumbed. You took the bread and butter of the early hip-hop pioneers and made it sound like an inaudible, drug induced zombie-fest with production standards that resemble the composition level of a 2 year-old playing with a musical toy.
The only way we can put things right, and bring hip hop through this impasse, is for the BG’s and the OG’s to collaborate more and open roads for everybody. Hip-hop has always had multiple genres and multiple streams of income and outlets for creativity and growth, not just a bloodlust for money and drugs. This was and still is our voice to the world, not just a road to the bank. We want hop-hop to live and her having babies is cool as long as they know and respect who their fathers and grandfathers are and know their history. Recognise our gift to you and instil this same ethic in future generations.
By reaching out you may be the one new rapper that can reunite the spark that got all of us here. By reaching out and venting you made your anger heard worldwide my brother and guess what? that’s exactly how hip hop got us all here! use your platform to leave something positive for the next generation so there is no rift and the real hip hop can continue. For that you can be forever remembered and this music (the real part of it) can last forever.
A prequel series to Ridley Scott’s 2007 ‘American Gangster” is currently in development stages according to Chris Brancato, the co-creator of the Netflix hit, Narco’s.
“It’s Harlem, the 1960s, a gangster named Bumpy Johnson was very close friends with Malcom X, so the show is about the collision of the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement. It’s an opportunity to examine some of the things that are going on racially right now, but through the prism of the past.”
The series is set five years before the events of the Ridley Scott film starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.
Age is just a social construct for these Hip Hop legends. – Here are 5 emcees whose lyrical skills have aged like fine wine.
Andre the Giant aka AG has been dropping jewels since the early 90s and just like the rest of the people on this list, the standard hasn’t dipped since day one. I’ve watched over time how Andre has evolved to an almost effortless style of rhyming. He possesses the kind of confident flow that can only be developed over many years of honing his craft. In addition to his solo projects, Andre has also featured on countless guest spots were the “South Bronx Animal” routinely outshines other artists on the track. A few highlights for me from recent years are, “All Real“, “South Bronx” and “These Rappers Under The Hex”. I’ve also got to mention “Walk With Me“. That track is absolutely sublime! No question, AG is your favourite-rappers- favourite.
What can we say about Ace? When it comes to rap longevity, Ace is the Masta, (pun intended). With a solid career spanning 3 decades and counting, Ace isn’t showing any negative signs of high mileage. Just compare some of his early work like “Slaughterhouse” and “Master Ace Incorporated” to later material like “Disposable Arts, A&Es and you can clearly hear the progression in lyrical mastery. Ace may have just recently reached the half century milestone, but his skills are sharper than ever. Often named as the man who birthed Eminem‘s flow, Masta Ace is a very dangerous emcee. Rappers who bring him in for guest features are almost guaranteed to be out-shined.
I had to add Daniel Dumile aka MF DOOM to this list for the simple fact that there probably isn’t another rapper in history whose popularity has increased year after year for the past 20 years. DOOM started out in the late 80s as Zev Love X in the group KMD, a 3 man outfit which he founded with his younger brother DJ Subroc and MC Rodan, who was later replaced by Onyx the Birthstone Kid. The group had some moderate success but disbanded soon after the death of Subroc in 1993. Zev Love X took a 4 year hiatus before re-emerging in 1997 under his new title MF DOOM (all caps). It was from that moment, when DOOM donned the iron mask that his artistic creativity skyrocketed. The rhymes he spits are just bananas (in a good way) and completely immersive to the point that you just want to keep digging out more. Doom also comes with a plethora of alter egos, Viktor Vaughn, King Geedorah, Metal Fingers. Then there’s the collaborative projects that merge the Doom persona with the stage names of other hip hop veterans, Madvillain, Danger Doom, MF Grimm, JJ Doom, NehruvianDoom, MA Doom, to name a few. This never ending conveyor belt of limitless reincarnations was a genius move from old metal face. I can’t see his brand wavering any time soon. Just remember to use “all caps” when you spell the mans name.
I’ve been a die hard Geto Boys fan since 88 when Face was still transitioning from DJ Akshun to his Scarface persona. One thing is for sure, he immediately stood out as the raw talent of the crew. Willie D brought the laugh out loud humour, Bushwick brought the horror-core element, but Face painted vivid street level stories like no other. He was the glue that brought it all together. Since then Face has forged a hip hop legacy that is unsurpassed. When kids name drop rappers like T.I. as the king of the south – or anyone else for that matter – I have to chuckle. Face is cut from the same cloth as Tupac, deep masterful storytelling that pierces your soul. I didn’t think it was possible for him to recapture the same emotionally charged lyricism shown in tracks like “I Seen a Man Die” and “Now I Feel Ya” but his astounding appearance on the DJ Khaled project with Nas has to be heard to be believed. You will quite literally shiver and the chills will stay with you…..Trust me. His catalogue speaks for itself. As far as I am concerned Brad Jordan is the G.O.A.T. Nothing more to be said.
Edo G is a rap veteran whose carrier underwent an extraordinary transformation. Starting out in the late 80s with crews like F.T.I. and Da Bulldog’s, Edo forged a lane for himself early on in the game. I first caught wind of Ed in 1993. His Roxbury 02119 album was like the soundtrack to my youth. As memorable as Edo’s early work was, I would be lying if I said it was anything extraordinary among his golden era piers. Some golden moments but nothing that would compel fans to edit their top 5 emcees lists. However, fast forward a couple of decades and it’s as if Edo morphed in to a completely different animal. His lyrical content became more punchy and witty, and his overall rhyme style more technically interwoven and polished. The 2009 collaborative album with Masta Ace was a bar raiser and the same standard Edo displayed on that project is showing no signs of diminishing any time soon. His more recent album material is testament of that. Salute.
In a 2008 interview with XXL’s now defunct sister magazine, King, Nas reveals that Biggie approached him to team up on 2Pac.
“Yeah, he called me. He said, “Let’s get together”. He said that everyone was a little nervous about it, but he was calling me about getting busy.”
When pressed further about why the collaboration didn’t materialise, Nas put it down to hectic work schedule.
Getting me and Big in the same room wasn’t easy. I had just dropped my record, and my schedule was crazy. Biggie was in Miami recording Life After Death. It was just timing. We were supposed to get together and talk more, so who knows what would have happened.
Pac may be gone and Biggie is no longer around to confirm Nas’s claim but it seems the story holds some weight. It all comes down to a beat that Busta Rhymes purchased from J Dilla. The beat in question was the infamous, “The Ugliest” featuring The Notorious B.I.G, who laid down a savage verse dissing Tupac.
Some interesting amateur J Dilla video footage surfaced recently in which Dilla claims that Biggie wasn’t the only rapper scheduled to appear on the track. According to Dilla, Nas was also lined up to drop a verse but it never materialised.
The infamous track was supposed to be on Busta’s 1996 debut album “The Coming”, but due to Biggie’s shots at Pac, Busta removed it to avoid beef with Pac. Puffy tried to buy the beat from Busta but he didn’t want to sell it. The track initially turned up as an unofficial leak on various mix tapes before the days of video streaming but now we have youtube.
It was back in May when Beneficence took to Instagram to announce he was working on a new project which will be entirely produced by Confidence, the Boston beatsmith who has a solid history of churning out bangers for the Ill Adrenaline label.
A post shared by ILL ADRENALINE RECORDS (@illadrenalinerecords) on
Beneficence recently put out an update and from the sound of it, things seem to be progressing very nicely indeed. Already 80 percent through the recording of what will be his seventh album, it looks like we are on for a late January 2018 release, but there’s still a possibility that Christmas might come early for the fans.
Confirmed guest spots so far include, Keith Murray, Masta Ace, EL Da Sensei & DJ Kaos, Ras Kass, Phantasm (of The Dwellas), Melinda Camille, Lord Tariq, Wordsworth and Truth Enola….Stay tuned.
If I asked you to name the most underrated rapper of all time who would you answer? What about the most underrated album of all time? I used to hesitate at this question, not anymore. Not since I found “Youngest In Charge”, by Special Ed.
The little known Cosby Show guest is of Jamaican descent, an apparent unique touch on his music, a fruit fallen off the HipHop apple tree: Brooklyn, or as the natives call it “The Bush. You can catch the bustle of NYC in the background of his music videos, another reason why I like him so much. This man was sixteen years old at the time of recording his first album, Youngest In Charge. He couldn’t even drive a car, yet he was driving some of the purest hip hop of the era to the ears of his listeners through the vehicle of choice…….the microphone. As I write this at sixteen, he makes me wonder what I’ve done with my sixteen years thus far.
I just implied Special Ed was the most skilled rapper of all time. I meant it. Every time I hear one of his songs, I get lost in anything I am doing. I forget that I’m even listening to music. Transfixed by his endless metaphors, similes, and downright rhythm and flow. It sounds like authentic free style, taking me on a ride and then dropping me off at the doorstep of the real HipHop residence. Every time his last verse comes to an end, even though I knew it was coming, I just sit there in shock and am almost upset that it’s over.
We are all familiar with “I Got it Made.” But take for instance his song “The Mission” to catch a glimpse of the talent flowing off the tongue of the sixteen year old. The song begins with a nasty cut up of Salt ‘n Peppa – a group deserving an accolade all their own. The homemade beat is the kind that when it comes on, you just break out in rhythm. It only gets better, Ed captures his lyrics in a net of, (again), metaphors and similes. And it’s not like those lines are completely disconnected, just being spat into a microphone, but those lines are part of a story. He literally goes on a mission to Japan, hunting down a pirate copy of his music. As he goes on, the rhyme feels endless, it has everything you could ask for.
Rewind. How about those metaphors and similes again? If you couldn’t tell, this might be my favorite part of HipHop because it highlights the creativity and skill required in commanding language and word play. All the essential ingredients that make a real emcee. When it comes to true emcees, Special Ed is like the Michael Jordan of HipHop. Don’t believe me? When you’re done reading this, go and listen to the album right through.
Now let’s talk about his rhyme scheme for a second. I can’t name anyone who has done it better. Special Ed took cross rhyming to another level. (For those who don’t know, cross rhyming is, put simply, when an artist rhymes the final syllable of one line with a middle syllable of the next. This allows him to take us on those complete stories all while maintaining his pattern and getting new words to rhyme with. For example, “And I make all the money from the rhymes I invent / So it really doesn’t matter, how much I spent, because, yo / I make fresh rhymes, daily.”) Maybe it’s the innocence of his rhymes that really gets me, “And when my dishes got dirty I got Cascade. When the weather was hot, I got a spot in the shade.” Who wouldn’t love a kid rapping about the dishes?
“Special Ed got caught in the crossfire between the slapstick rhymes of Slick Rick and the serious tones of Public Enemy and NWA.”
So then what happened to Edward Archer? After his follow up album “Legal” in 1990, Ed would surface here and there. He joined the Brooklyn super group “Crooklyn Dodgers” with Masta Ace and Buckshot to record a couple of Spike Lee movie soundtrack joints. He even turned up for an unaccredited 2 second clip in the 1992 movie “Juice”. But it wasn’t until 1995 that he would make a significant return to hip hop, when he released his third studio album “Revelations”. I think by this time hip hop had already shifted a couple of gears. Many huge game changing albums had been and gone, raising the bar to new heights. It all comes down to timing. By the time “Youngest In Charge” was released 1989, HipHop was already in a transition period. It was moving away from the innocence and happiness of Kurtis Blow and Biz Markie and quickly on the move towards a much needed call to action and representation of the hardships of black life in America. Special Ed got caught in the crossfire between the slapstick rhymes of Slick Rick and the serious tones of Public Enemy and NWA. I often wonder how different things might have been had Special Ed came along a few years earlier. Despite this Ed’s debut still managed to shift over 500 thousand units.
The next time someone asks you for the most underrated rapper of all time, play them a song off “Youngest In Charge” or “Legal“. Just make sure you don’t go hitting play when you’re in a place you don’t want to start pulling out moves you never thought you had in your bag, because that’s the magic of Special Ed. Caught in crossfire or not, this man is one that goes way too unrecognized and must be thanked for his contributions to HipHop culture.
The rapper Prodigy, who made up one half of the group Mobb Deep, has died aged 42. The hip hop star, whose real name is Albert Johnson, was on tour in Las Vegas performing with the “Art of Rap” tour alongside Ghostface Killah, Onyx, KRS-One, and Ice-T, amongst others. Mobb Deep performed Saturday.
It’s been long known that P had been suffering from life threatening sickle cell anaemia, but news like this still rocks you to your core. Another hip hop icon taken from us far too young. Rest easy Prod.
Funkmaster Flex came under a recent shit storm for his comments regarding 2Pac and the circumstances surrounding the robbery that took place at a New York recording studio back in 1995. One of the first to publicly chastise Flex, for what many view as over opinionated and unnecessary meddling, was T.I., albeit in a calm and collected manner. However, the same couldn’t be said for Naughty by Nature’s Treach, who unleashed a strong verbal assault across (as is the case nowadays in the modern world) social media. The Flex video has gone viral so pretty much the entire world and his dog has chimed in, but for those who somehow did miss it, here it is again, complete with extensive annotations and footnotes so you can get a full overview of what went down.
07:36 Flex talks about 2Pac’s Harlem roots, probably to control the narrative and prevent the topic from potentially escalating in to an east coast west coast thing.
09:20 Gives a brief history about his early career as a radio DJ who helped put out music from groups like Digital Underground. In what could be interpreted as an attempt to show listeners his support for artists closely affiliated with 2Pac, He brings out a platinum plaque of Digital Undergrounds 1990 album Sex Packets and holds it up to the camera.
10:06 Ed Lover sends message via IG and it reads. “My boy Stretch (Live Squad) was with Pac in the studio that night. He shot himself trying to pull out his gun”. Flex responds to Ed’s comment with an emphatic smile and tells him “he’s keeping it too raw too quick”.
10:43 Proceeds to illustrate his status and long career in hip hop by proclaiming he was one of the few dj’s playing Digital Underground tracks in 1990. This statement leads him to address T.I’s criticism, basically dismissing T.I. on the grounds that he was only 10 years old at the time and so his opinion is void.
13:07 This is where Flex starts to address his original 2Pac comments that put him in all the hot water. He starts by explaining that he agrees with the age old saying that one should never speak ill on the dead or those who are no longer here to defend themselves. This was a direct response to T.I’s G-Code statement and how he felt Flex was in direct violation of it. Flex’s defence is that there is no violation because the rules don’t apply in this particular instance. He then goes on to give some rambled reasoning, proclaiming that Notorious B.I.G was also a victim.
13:37 Backtracks a little, talking about 2Pac’s contribution to hip hop and how he loved him before he joined Death Row. He makes a further reference to Pac’s New York heritage, recalling 2Pac’s 1995 track “Old School” which pays homage to all the East Coast hip hop legends.
15:00 Flex starts to explain his one major issue with 2Pac, which he describes as his “pet peeve”. He then categorically proclaims that Biggie did not set 2Pac up the day he was shot in the elevator at Quad Studios.
17:10 Flex tries to address 2Pac’s claim that Biggie was implicit in the shooting. The account Flex gives was that 2Pac had full knowledge of his attackers and the reasons behind the ambush as they were associates of his. This was also the reason why Pac was carrying a piece because he was expecting something could go down.
“Somewhere in there, after the robbery, the claim is, that the Notorious B.I.G set him up. When you say that the Notorious B.I.G set you up and you’re now an artist that now lives on the West coast…..there was a whole team of people now who was against Biggie”
18:53 He then goes on to address T.I.’s G-Code comments for the second time, say that it was in fact 2Pac who was violating the G-Code because Pac was screaming Biggie’s name from the hospital, something that in his opinion Pac shouldn’t have done, regardless of whether it’s true or not.
“Cause you a G T.I., and you know we ain’t supposed to call false names and anything that happens to us in the street…..we ain’t supposed to call no names, number one, and then you supposed to take up your issues with the people that you have an issue with…..that’s it….that’s it….you don’t scream a name. He was screaming Biggies name, 2Pac lied bro”
19:46 Flex expresses his issue with 2Pac allegedly knowing his assailants but allowing the world to believe that it was Biggie who set him up.
20:00 Flex asks for a response from Ed Lover about what went down in the studio the night 2Pac got shot. Ed would respond later in the video.
20:40 Flex addresses the criticism of waiting 20 years to speak on the situation. He kinda deflects the question by giving an account of the type of person the Notorious B.I.G was, whom he also claims in the same sentence to not know all that well.
“Let me tell you about the 20 years later….[pauses]…I’ma tell you about Big and I ain’t even know Big that well. But I’ma tell you why I’m on it 20 years later….Let me tell ya about the kind of guy Notorious B.I.G was. He would never, ever, take part in that fuckin’ buffoonery… [Flex’s tone changes and face contorts]…of someone calling the wrong names on a robbery, because he’s not going to make himself look all nuts….Notorious B.I.G was a G. He would just eat it and keep it moving”
22:25 Flex responds to someone asking him why he wasn’t vocal about the situation on the radio at the time it happened.
23:47 Flex talks about how people worship and fixate on the gangster persona side of 2Pac which he describes as very small part of who Pac actually was.
24:49 Ed Lover responds to Flex’s earlier question on what actually went down at the time of the 2Pac robbery.
“Ed Lover said without any names, dudes came to see Pac because of some other street beef he had with (we know who). Stretch who was about 6.5 was never touched, Biggie didn’t know about it at all….Pac was my friend.”
26.20 Flex starts to talk about 2Pac’s contribution to the music industry but then diverts mid sentence and asks Ed Lover another question about whether it was true that 2Pac actually shot himself during the robbery. Ed responds almost immediately.
“Reaching for his gun he accidentally shot himself, yes”
27:50 Flex then gives a long commentary about similar street robbery confrontations and how Pac reaching for his gun could have been a factor in him being shot, inferring that Pac may never have got shot at all had he not reacted.
31:30 This is the part were Flex becomes highly emotional, revealing his true feelings towards 2Pac and the tragic outcome of the legendary beef.
“People always wanna ask me why I said it 20 years later….I said when the fuckin shit was going on….and Biggie wouldn’t have fucking died if that n###a hadn’t lied. He lied, and ya’ll n###a’s worship him!!”
32:44 Flex continues his emotional tirade, re addressing T.I. and proclaiming that nobody want’s to tell the truth. His focus becomes Biggie and the insinuation that 2Pac’s status as a hip hop God gives him immunity from any criticism or analysis of the truth.
34:55 Flex regains his composure before addressing Suge Knights son, who was also very vocal in his criticism of Funkmaster. Flex initially takes a calm and non hostile approach, appreciating that Suge’s son is just looking out for his dad. He also talks about his admiration for Suge Knight and his legacy in making the west coast hip hop scene the power house it became, particularly in regard to shaping Dr. Dre’s career. But those positive words of respect and admiration are short lived, as Flex goes on to mock Suge, explaining how nobody in New York was afraid of him the way the world thinks they was.
“And I wanna say this with a straight face so there’s no fucking confusion today. I do respect your dad and what he laid down in the music business, but I wanna be so fucking clear right now. When he used to come to New York, nobody gave a fuck!”
Flex wraps up by back tracking over statements he made throughout the video, how much he loves Pac and how much he respects Suge and he’s not slandering him.
What’s your take on all this shit? Leave a comment below
Seems as if Lil Boat just can’t escape the critical spotlight. This time it’s Joe Budden who gives him a grilling over the creative process behind his very bizarre album cover.
“A noticeably agitated Joe Budden took Lil Yachty to task on Complex’s new talk show, Everyday Struggle, where he sat down with Yachty, DJ Akademiks and Nadeska Alexis to discuss a range of topics, including Yachty’s controversial album cover for Teenage Emotions. On the cover, Lil Boat is photographed at a movie theater with several “outcasts” surrounding him — an overweight girl, a punk rocker, two gay men, an albino, and a woman with vitiligo. When the Atlanta native explains how he can identify with feeling like an outcast, Budden clearly takes issue with it and immediately calls his claim “bullshit.”
As much as I agree with Joe, and I hate the current mumble rap direction hip hop is taking, I can’t help but feel that this kind of public interrogation will only backfire. The kids seem to like this shit and us old school heads are going to have to find another way to pass on our precious hip hop torch.
The legendary posse cut. 4 or more of your favourite emcees jumping in on one song, all trying to outshine each other. To me posse cuts are like the pinnacle of a great rap album, the main event so to speak. You know the old saying, “nobody wants to be out-shined on their own song”, so the posse cut was like the ultimate test for showcasing rhyme skills side by side.
Posse Cut: A hip-hop track in which four or more artists rap.
For this post I want to present what I consider to be the 40 greatest posse cuts of all time. You can give us your favourites in the comments section at the end.
The criteria for this list is that all the songs must feature mc’s or more, preferably from at least 2 different rap group. I’ll make an exception for Wu Tang solo joints featuring other Wu members but not Wu Tang group albums. Wu Tang Clan would need a top 20 list all their own, but It wouldn’t be right to leave them out of this one entirely.
40. Craig Mack – Flava In Ya Ear (1994)
Ft: Biggie, LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes and Rampage
Craig Mack’s 1994 smash hit “Flava In Ya Ear” was a hugely popular solo track that became a posse cut when it received the remix treatment, adding Biggie, LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes and Rampage in to the mix.
39. Tommy Tee – World Renown (1999)
Ft: AG, Large Professor, Mike Zoot, Pete Rock
Back in 1999, Norwegian record producer, Tommy Tee, assembled some of hip hop’s royalty for a Guesswhyld project. This quality posse cut with it’s steller production also has some classic record sleeve artwork by the talented Skam2 making it a nice collectable piece of 12″ vinyl.
38. MC Ren – Mr Fuck Up (1993)
Ft: Rocc, Grinch, Bone and Ren’s brother Juvenile
In 1993, N.W.A legend MC Ren, dropped his most controversial album to date, the apocolyptic and long out of print “Shock Of The Hour“. The album introduced us to a new group called The Whole Click, consisting of Bigg J-Rocc, Grinch, Bone and Ren’s brother Juvenile. “Mr Fuck Up” turned out to be one of my favourite joints on the album with its dark and eerie bass heavy production. A nice little overlooked gem in the world of hip hop posse cuts.
37. Mobb Deep – Eye For An Eye (1995)
Ft. Havoc, Prodigy, Nas and Raekwon
We couldn’t have a posse cuts list without throwing in one from the Infamous Mobb Deep. Legend has it that Nas actually recorded two versions of his verse for the track but I doubt the lost verse will ever surface.
36. Penthouse Players Clique – Trust No Bitch (1992)
Ft: DJ Quik, Playa Hamm, Eazy E & AMG
Absolutely love Penthouse Players, “Paid The Cost”. Their one and only album from 1992. The production from DJ Quik and DJ Battlecat was on point, and of course you couldn’t have a Ruthless records joint without Eazy E dropping a verse or two, which he did on the albums posse cut, “Trust No Bitch”. An ode to scandalous females everywhere. The album was also another opportunity for DJ Quik to let off hard on the East coast’s rap scene, particularly the South Bronx. A diss aimed straight at Tim Dog no doubt
35. Too Short – The Dangerous Crew (1993)
Ft: Too Short, Pee Wee, Spice 1, Ant Banks & Mhisani
Too Short’s 1993 album, Get In Where you fit in, showcased Short’s Dangerous Crew. A collective of Oakland emcees and live musicians;Shorty B on the bass and drums, Pee-Wee on keyboards, drums and guitar, and Ant Banks on keyboards, drums, programming and mixing. The rappers consisted of Too Short, Goldy, FM Blue, Dangerous Dame, Rappin’ Ron, Ant Diddley Dog, Spice 1 and Father Dom. This posse cut featuring Pee Wee, Spice 1, Ant Banks and Mhisani, made great use of Funkadelics “Freak of The week”, Just like Digital Underground had done 2 years earlier with “Heartbeat Props”, only this time Ant Banks turned the funk up a notch more.
34. Venomous2000 – The Most Efficient (2011)
Ft: Venomous 2000, Cymarshall Law, John Robinson, El Da Sensei
I’ve been a Venomous fan since 2013, but I must confess I was a latecomer to this posse cut. I have to say Scottish Beatmaker SciFi Stu killed it with the production here, El Da Sensei has never sounded so good……Quality!
33. N’Matez – Trajical (2012)
Ft: Lady Of Rage, RBX, Daz & Kurupt
It’s been over 20 years since the fall of the mighty Death Row records, but the Death Row N’Matez, Daz, Kurupt, Rage and the Narrator RBX demonstrate why the O.G’s are still untouchable. Just listen to the Lady of Rage, as she almost explodes!!!!
32. RUN DMC – Down With The King (1993)
Ft: RUN, CL Smooth, D.M.C & Pete Rock
This RUN DMC classic received heavy airplay back in the day. The music video was so epic and featured cameos from, Redman, Kris Kross, Jermaine Dupri, Onyx, Salt-n-Pepa, KRS-One, EPMD, A Tribe Called Quest, Kid Capri, Das EFX, P.M. Dawn, Naughty by Nature and even the Godfather of gangsta rap, Eazy-E. The song contains samples of Galt MacDermot’s “Where Do I Go” from the original Broadway cast recording of the rock musical Hair and Run–D.M.C.’s 1988 single “Run’s House”. Pete Rock and CL Smooth’s verses contain reused lyrics from Run DMC’s 1983 single “Sucker M.C.’s”. “Down with the King” was certified Gold by the RIAA on May 11, 1993.
31. Panther: Movie Soundtrack – The Points (1995)
Ft: Notorious B.I.G, Coolio, Doodlebug of the Digable Planets, Big Mike, Buckshot, Redman, Ill Al Skratch, Rock of Heltah Skeltah, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Busta Rhymes, Menace Clan / 5th Ward Boyz & Jamal
This one could potentially be the most slept on posse cut of all time, which is surprising given the magnitude of the artists featured on it. Easy Mo Bee’s version featured the Menace Clan, while DJ U-Neek’s version featured the 5th Ward Boyz.
Outkast – Mainstream (1996)
Ft: T-Mo Goodie, Andre 3000, Khujo Goodie & Big Boi
A masterpiece album wouldn’t be complete without a posse cut and the ATLantian super stars brought in a couple of East Point natives from Goodie Mob to create “Mainstream”, a dark but thought provoking song about navigating through the ghettos shark infested waters. T-Mo and Khujo Goodie are both in full “Soul Food” form with their distinctively overstated Southern slang that we all love.
29. Above The Law – Call It What You Want (1992)
Ft: 2Pac, Money B, Cold 187um, KMG
“Call It What You Want” is a classic posse cut featuring the late Tupac Shakur and Digital Underground’s Money B. The track features on Above The Law’s, “Black Mafia Life” album, and was also given an official release on 12″ single in 1992. The music video features a short cameo appearance from Eazy E and MC Ren.
28. GZA – 4th Chamber (1995)
Ft: GZA, Ghostface Killah, Killah Priest & RZA
Possibly my favouriteWu Tang solo joint. Using soundbites from the classic samurai movie Shogun Assassin, The GZA managed to preserve that authentic martial arts theme that the Wu had become so loved for. This beat with its deep and bassy guitar distortions had me amped the first time I heard it. I remember blowing out my car speakers when it first dropped in 95. Classic!
27. South Central Cartel – The Gangsta Team (1994)
Ft: Havikk, Prodeje, 2Pac, Ice T, Mc Eiht, Spice 1
Havocc the Mouthpiece assembled some of the west coast’s dopest rappers for South Central Cartel’s, 1994 gangsta rap classic ‘N Gatz We Truss’. SCC would become known for their epic collaboration projects as they released another 2 posse cuts the following year under the “Murder Squad” moniker.
26. 2Pac – Got My Mind Made Up (1996)
Ft: 2Pac, Dat Nigga Daz, Kurupt, Redman, Method Man ( Inspectah Deck)
In 1996, at the height of the east coast/west coast rivalry, 2Pac dropped his momentous double album ‘All Eyes On Me’. Despite the bi-coastal beef wars, Pac brought in two heavyweights from the East, Red Man and Method Man, to add some diversity to this excellent posse cut. Death Row label mates Daz & Kurupt add the finishing touches. The original cut also contained a verse from the Wu’s Inspectah Deck.
The album may have marked the end of the Luniz/too $hort rivalry, but Yukmouth still had some choice words for Rappin 4-Tay, as he fires some heavy shots at the San Francisco legend. The Luniz hit their peak with this slept on and very infectious mafioso flavoured posse cut.
24. Dr. Dre/Group Therapy – East Coast/West Coast Killas (1996)
Ft: RBX, B-Real, KRS One, Nas
Between 96 and 97 it would seem Dr. Dre was pondering the idea of forming a supergroup that would ignite his Aftermath label. The Group Therapy project, which consisted of RBX, B-Real, KRS One and Nas was an interesting fusion of east and west coast flavour, but it only seemed to materialize into one single that featured on Dre’s Aftermath compilation album. Dre did eventually get his supergroup together, signing The Firm to his Aftermath label.
23. MC Serch – Back to the Grill (1992)
Ft: MC Serch, Red Hot Lover Tone, Nas, Chubb Rock
While “Live at the BBQ” goes down in history as one of the most well-known posse cuts, let’s face facts, it was all about Nas on that one. “Back to the Grill” on the other hand is more balanced out with standout performances by Serch and Chubb, not to mention it boasts a funkier beat. Still, Nas’ rhymes are still irreverent and astounding as they were “Live at the BBQ”. I mean, “waving automatic guns at nuns?” “My rhymes are hotter than a prostitute with gonorrhoea?” Goddamn, Nas killed this posse cut as well, no question about it.
22. South Central Cartel – Sowhatusayin (1995)
Ft: South Central Cartel, Ft. Jaylo Felony, MC Eiht, Treach, Sh’killa & Spice 1
Yet another epic posse cut from the “unofficial” masters of posse cuts, South Central Cartel. This one featured on the soundtrack to Russell Simmons 1995 Hip Hop documentary “The Show.” S.C.C were also signed to Simmons’ Rush Asscoiated labels around that time.
BEST VERSE: Jayo Felony
21. Stop the Violence Movement – Self Destruction (1989)
Ft: Boogie Down Productions (KRS-One, D-Nice & Ms. Melodie), Stetsasonic (Delite, Daddy-O, Wise, and Frukwan) Kool Moe Dee, MC Lyte, Doug E. Fresh, Just-Ice, Heavy D, Public Enemy (Chuck D & Flavor Flav)
A 1988 murder during a BDP and Public Enemy concert, mobilised community leaders and prominent east coast hip-hop artists to form the Stop The Violence Movement in a bid to bring awareness to violence within the black community. The movement spawned one of the biggest posse cuts of all time “Self Destruction”.
20. Big L – Da Graveyard (1995)
Ft: Big L, Lord Finesse, Microphone Nut, Jay Z, Party Arty & Grand Daddy I U
“Creep through your block, fuck a gloc; I step, through your neighborhood armed with nothing but a rep.” Jay-Z
Back in the days before Hov ascended to dizzying heights of fame, he was sending emcees to the Graveyard with D.I.T.C heavyweights. R.I.P Big L.
19. Same Gang – West Coast All Stars (1990)
Ft: King Tee, Body & Soul, Def Jef , Michel’le, Tone-Loc, Above The Law, Ice-T, Dr. Dre & MC Ren, Young MC, JJ Fad, Oaktowns 3.4.7, Digital Underground, MC Hammer & Eazy-E
Same Gang was the west coast’s equivalent of the east coast’s Self Destruction anthem in that 14 of the west’s most relevant rappers of the era gathered to bring awareness of the gang culture that was plaguing inner city communities.
18. The Luniz – 5 on it – Remix (1995)
Ft: E-40, Richie, Spiice 1, Dru Down, & Shock G
There probably wasn’t a soul on earth that wasn’t familiar with the “I Got 5 On It” melody back in 95. It wasn’t long before the label would cash in on the songs popularity with a remix featuring some more Oak-town vets.
17. 9th Wonder – Merchants of Dreams (2007)
Ft: Chaundon, Skyzoo, Torae and L.E.G.A.C.Y
When super producer, 9th Wonder isn’t making beats for his North Carolina crew, Little Brother, he’s laying the tracks for some of the dopest emcees in the game. The second installment of his Dream Merchant compilation project, released in October 2007 through Sixhole Records, featured the likes of Yasiin Bey, Jean Grae, Buck Shot, Sean Price and many more.
16. Marley Marl / Juice Crew – The Symphony (1988)
Ft: Masta Ace, Big Daddy Kane, Craig G, Doug E Fresh and Kool G Rap
Often touted as the benchmark that all posse cuts are measured by. The Symphony featured some of the baddest lyricists of the 80’s era. Masta Ace, Big Daddy Kane, Craig G, Doug E Fresh and Kool G Rap teamed up to form the Juice Crew, and together with some timeless Marley Marl production, “The Symphony” was the end result.
15. Digital Underground – Family Of The Underground (1991)
Ft: Shock G, Blocko, Mack-Mone, Kenny K, Big Stretch (Live Squad), Master Mind, Shassiah, The God Rakiem, O.B, D-Love (PBC)
“People wanna know about the Underground, and how the hip hop rivers keep flowin, they wanna know where we’ve been and where we’re goin, straight droppin style, after style, let’s take a look through the M-C file..”
In my opinion, Shock G is the unsung melody master of hip-hop, and Digital Underground’s,’Sons Of The P’, is still one of my all timefavourite albums.
14. South Central Cartel – No Peace (1995)
Ft: Prodeje, Young Prodeje, Havik,Ice-T, Powerlord JEL, Spice 1, Ant Banks, Boss & Treach
Taken from South Central Cartel’s 1995 ‘Murder Squad world wide project’, “No Peace,” boasted features from Ice-T, Powerlord JEL, Spice 1, Ant Banks, Boss & Treach making it the stand out track on the album.
13. LL Cool J – I Shot Ya (1995)
Ft. LL Cool J, Fat Joe, Foxy Brown, Keith Murray, Prodigy
This infamous LL Cool J track may have come at a time when East Coast/West Coast tension was heating up after Tupac being shot 5 times at a Times Square recording studio, but the track is allegedly aimed at Puff Daddy. LL had featured on Craig Mack’s “flavor in ya ear” remix the previous year and was due to feature on a project for Mary J Blige with Biggie and Kieth Murray guest versing. For whatever reason the deal went sour and Mary’s song project became Biggie’s “Who Shot Ya” track instead. LL must have felt some kind of way about the deal and this excellent posse cut was his response. Ironically it’s Ice T and Kool Moe Dee who take the direct shots, leaving the audience to interpret the Puffy subliminal for themselves.
12. Heavy D – Don’t Curse (1991)
Heavy D, Kool G Rap, Grand Puba, C.L. Smooth, Big Daddy Kane, Pete Rock, Q-Tip
I’ve never been a big fan of Heavy D, probably because I still have visions of him and the Boyz dancing around in yellow rubber rain-coats in the “Now That We Found Love” video. Still, there’s no denying he did drop a few gems, including “Don’t Curse”, which featured some major lyracists. As always, Kool G. Rap steals the show, displaying some phenomenal linguistics.
11. D.I.T.C. Presents – South Bronx (2014)
Ft: AG, A-Bless, Tashane, Majestic Gage
South Bronx veteran and criminally under appreciated D.I.T.C affiliate, AG teams up with fellow BX mc’s to produce an anthem that’s all about reppin the birth place where it all started. A bangin beat with cuts from Dj premier to top it all off nicely. I’m betting this will be the first time hearing this banger for many….Thank me later in the comments section.
10. Main Source – Live at the Barbeque (1992)
Ft: Nas, Joe Fatal, Akinyele
Nasty Nas had his career mapped from day one and this classic from Main Source was just another opportunity for him to shine. This was also the debut track for Akinyele, who would later become known for his notoriously explicit sex rhymes.
9. Nas – Affirmative Action (1996)
Ft: AZ, Foxy Brown, & Cormega
Following the acclaim of his landmark debut album, “Illmatic”, Nas hooked up with AZ and together with Foxy Brown and Cormega, planned to form a super-group that would tap into the popularity of the mafioso rap genre of the mid 90s. However, Cormega later left the group due artistic differences between him and Nas, as well as contract disagreements with Nas’ manager Steve Stoute. He was later replaced by “Nature” prior to recording the album, but not before featuring on the groups first debut “Affirmative Action”, which showcased on Nas’ 1996, Illmatic-sequel, “It Was Written”.
8. FTP Movement – Wrath Of The Siafu (2013)
Ft: Zayd Malik, El Sun, Ekundayo, Methuzulah, Mike Flo, G.R.E.A.T. Scott, FluxWonda, Isreal, Sa Roc, Chosen, StaHHr
Next up we have a posse cut from more recent years. Back in 2012, eleven of the dopest underground mc’s from around the Atlanta area gathered together under the umbrella of community activist Kalonji Jamma Changa and his FTP Movement. The result was mind blowing!!!
7. De La Soul – Buddy, Remix (1989)
Ft. Jungle Brothers, Q Tip, Monie Love & Queen LatifahDe La Soul’s “Buddy”
was the third single released from their hugely successful debut album 3 Feet High and Rising. Buddy is also one of those tracks that’s often referred to as a true remix; as not only was the beat switched up, but the lyrics and guest features were too. Phife Dawg lends a verse on the extended mix but his appearance was left out on the official video.
6. D All-Stars – 1.. 2.. Pass It (1995)
Ft: Mad Lion, Doug E Fresh, KRS-One, Fat Joe, Smiff-N-Wessun and Jeru The Damaja
The mighty D&D Studios, the iconic recording space whichpermanently closed its doors in January 2015 after more than 20 years of spawning some of hip hops most important records, including this magificent posse cut from 1995. The track also containIce Cube – Color Blind (1991)s one of the best Jeru verses in history.
5. Ice Cube – Color Blind (1991)
Ft: Ice Cube, Deadly Threat, J Dee, Kam, King Tee, Coolio & WC
Who could forget Color Blind, a vivid expose of L.A gang culture. Just one of a number of classic tracks taken from Ice Cube’s socio-political masterpiece, Death Certificate.
4. Ice-T – What Ya Wanna Do? (1989)
Ice-T & The Rhyme $yndicate, Randy Mac, Nat The Cat, Donald D, Bronx Style Bob, Hen-Gee, Shaquel Shabazz, Toddy Tee, Everlast, M.C. Taste & Divine Styler
An absolute classic from Ice-T’s 1989 album “The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech…Just Watch What You Say“. The song features the whole line up of Rhyme Syndicate royalty, with fine production from Afrika Islam and Ice T himself.
“No information, just say yes or no”I’ll never forget the first time I heard Wu Gambinos on Tim Westwood’s hip-hop show back in 95. I remember throwing a TDK tape in the deck and hitting record. Being the huge Wu fan I was at that time I was always looking for any new material I could get my hands on and Westwood’s Wu exclusive had me eagerly anticipating what the rest of Rae’s Cuban Linx joint had in store. Wu Gambinos is still one of my all-time favourite Wu joints. It posseses that unmistakable raw RZA production that I miss so much. In regards to posse cuts, this one is charged with adrenaline and still gets me amped!!
2. A Tribe Called Quest – Scenario (1991)
Ft: Phife, Q-Tip, Leaders of the New School: Dinco D, Charlie Brown, Busta Rhymes
What can we say about this classic posse cut anthem from A Tribe Called Quest? People still lose they shit every time this drops. Probably the first introduction to Busta Rhymes for many people too….“Raaah raaah like a dungeon dragon”. Classic!!!
Geto Boys – Bring It On (1993)
Ft: Scarface, 2Low, Seagram, Too Much Trouble, 5th Ward Boyz , Odd Squad, Ganksta N-I-P, DMG, Lord 3-2 & Big Mello
I’ve got a soft spot for anything coming out of the early Rap-A-Lot stable and “Bring It On” from the Geto Boys 1993 album ‘Till Death Do Us Part’ tops my list of memorable posse cut moments. Almost 9 minutes of the hardest verses ever put down on wax by an assortment of the hardest rappers that the dirty South has ever produced. If it doesn’t rank number one as the greatest posse cut of all time, it certainly ranks number one as the hardest.
If only Lil’ J had put out a video for this, that shit would be historical, especially now that 3 of the featured rappers have now passed away. R.I.P Seagram, Big Mello & Mr. 3-2
And that concludes my “40 Greatest Posse Cuts of All Time” list. How did I do? Tell me your favourites in the comments below ⇓
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