Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hip-Hop's Golden Age Countdown (20-16)

20.Too Short-Life Is Too Short
Release: 1988
U.S. Rap Position: #7
Lowdown: The self titled single from Oakland California's Too Short was a staple on Yo MTV Raps! in the late eighties and helped assist him in gaining his first platinum album. Unfortunately, when west coast rap started to explode through the nineties, Too Short began to become drowned out by other artists doing the same thing. But, we can always go back to this golden age classic with a tight sample from the Average White Band's "School Boy Crush", which was also used by TLC a couple years later with "Ain't Too Proud To Beg."

19. Gang Starr-Jazz Music
Release: 1990
U.S. Rap Position:  N/A 
Lowdown: Gang Starr's emcee Guru just recently passed away in April at the age of 48 from cardiac arrest. What he and DJ Premier's combination in the their band Gang Starr created was the beginning of Jazz Rap as shown here in their 1990 song for Spike Lee's film "Mo Better Blues". It just doesn't get as smooth as this. RIP Guru.

18. Jungle Brothers-40 Below Trooper
Release: 1993
U.S. Rap Position:  #2 
Lowdown: The Jungle Brothers are almost more of a cult band now looking back with their name dropped for influences, their style of alternative rap...a nice fusion of jazz rap and golden age fun, then their actual success. They never achieved critical acclaim like De La Soul or had the commercial successes of other bands from the era, but "40 Below Trooper" remains a fantastic party anthem from the early nineties.

17. Leaders Of The New School-Case Of The PTA
Release: 1991
U.S. Rap Position: #4
Lowdown: "It's just another case of that old PTA...". The Leaders Of The New School is often looked at where Busta Rhymes got his start. Their call and response lyrics are just another great reason to love the golden age of hip-hop. "Case Of The PTA" is good light-hearted high school fun and the sample of Ramsey Lewis's "The Mighty Quinn" is choice.

16. Naughty By Nature-O.P.P.
Release: September 24, 1991

U.S. Rap Position: #1
Lowdown: When you take the Jackson 5's "ABC" and mix it with a tale of infidelity, and you have one of the most successful crossover golden age songs to make everyone asking "Do you know what O.P.P. stands for?"  They say it's Other People's Property, but feel free to add in whatever you want for that second P. A must for any countdown of rap music from this era.

<<< Songs 25-21

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