Monday, October 11, 2010

25 Choice Cuts, Day One

"There used to be pride in the album cut ... " - Chuck Creekmur CEO, of

I've been holding on this post for the longest. I thought I better let it go before someone else does it better. Here are 25 of the greatest hip hop album cuts, some are parts of classic efforts, others are forever trapped among the duds of a wack release.

I'll be updating this list airday this week.

20. "Story Of My Life" The Marxmen (M.O.P.) Marxmen Cinema
The aggressive energy of the Mash Out Posse is contagious. Not even the R&B chick who sings the hook on this guitar-driven track, "Tanya" is immune. By the end of the number she's cursing along with the duo and nearly takes over this mixtape track. M.O.P. has perserved in an industry that doesn't seem to have a place for them and that's their story.

21. "The Doo-Wop" LL Cool J Bigger and Deffer
What was it like to be LL Cool J back in 1987? Mr. Smith breaks down the lifestyle of a rap star atop a Platters' loop and Cut Creator's scratches. The song takes us through a day in the life of the young, black and fabulous: wearing Devon cologne, eating cornflakes, wham-bamming freaks with minks and making more money than your Dad. The song ends with a unexpected moment of humility as Cool James admits it was all a dream.

22. "I'm Only Out for One Thang" Ice Cube & Flavor Flav Amerikkka's Most Wanted
Perhaps the first clue to the general public on how wild Flavor Flav really was. Turned loose on a Bomb Squad track with South Central's illest, Flav sounds like 90s era Donald Goines without the subtlety. This shade of Flav closed the first side of this record and confirmed that Ice Cube's debut as a rap landmark.

23. "Kick in the Door" The Notorious B.I.G. Life After Death
The late Christopher Wallace wore suits and rhymed over R&B loops, but his street cred was never in question. Songs like this one are the reason why. Biggie eclipses the rappers that inspired him with ferocious wordplay and DJ Premier's prodigious production. The music starts after the skit, around 1:14.

24. "Word From Our Sponsor" BDP Criminal Minded
This track follows "Wadadang," one of the first hip-hop songs to show a strong jamaican influence. That songs' patios and Krs-ONE's attempt at singing were a bit of jolt, but after a few seconds of "Word From Our Sponsor," you were reminded that you were listening to something special. KRS takes a trite phrase from the early days of television and makes it an anthem for his life and mission.

25. "On the DL" The Pharcyde
The title of this song reminds us all how the media destroyed a perfectly good catch phrase when they gave it a slightly different meaning. We all have our secrets, but the Pharcyde's confessions are just unlikely and unusual as their debut, "Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde." J. Swift's jazzy production is perfect landscape for the group's secret shames and dark desires.

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