Last night, BBC Radio 1 & 1xtra broadcast 5 hours of hip-hop as part of their celebration of ’30 years of hip hop’. It was alright.
Most of the quality came from an hour long mix from Jaguar Skills, featuring tracks from the past 3 decades. Superb, and available to download courtesy of the man himself here. The quality of the mix is undeniable, but some of the tracks toward the end (i.e. recent times) are a bit iffy.. Maybe that’s just me and my distaste of modern music, who knows. Either way, worth a listen. Great stuff. I’m not sure how different it is from his ‘Hip-Hop Odyssey’ 1979-2006 mix from a few years ago (I’d need to listen to it again) but to be fair, that was brilliant in itself and pretty hard to beat so he could be forgiven if there are any similarities .
The rest of the show, hosted by Zane Lowe & Tim Westwood, took the form of a top 30 countdown of the ‘most hip hop’ people. It was generated by a ‘consensus vote from influential people in hip hop’ including Dizzee Rascal, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Zane Lowe, Tim Westwood and more. Comprehensive indeed. There are definitely some questionable entries and positions but generally, I was actually surprised at how good it is. Bear in mind this was broadcast on Radio 1 which is generally hip hop retarded, and you’ll share my surprise.
The list, in full, is as follows.. complete with links to their featured songs in case you’re not sure who they are..
Founding member (and the most notable one?) of A Tribe Called Quest.
Featured track: Can I Kick It? (ATCQ) from People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.
The world’s most dangerous group..
Featured track: Express Yourself from Straight Outta Compton.
28. Ice Cube
Featured track: Today Was a Good Day from The Predator.
27. De La Soul
Started the D.A.I.S.Y. Age, repping native tongues.
Featured track: The Magic Number from 3 Feet High And Rising.
26. Beastie Boys
Known to let the beat.. dddddrooppp!
Featured track: Intergalactic from Hello Nasty.
25. Wu-Tang Clan
From the slums of Shaolin.. The RZA, the GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon The Chef, U-God, Ghostface Killah and the Method Man! (& Masta Killa )
Only at number 25?! Loco.
Featured track: Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthin Ta F’Wit from Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).
24. DJ Premier
Producer extraordinaire. He IS that boom bap NY sound.
Featured track: Just To Get A Rep (Gang Starr) from Step Into The Arena
23. Lil’ Wayne
Biggest selling artist of 2008. “best rapper alive”? Fucks sake.
Featured track: A Milli from Tha Carter III.
22. LL Cool J
Don’t call it a comeback, he’s been here for years.
Featured track: Mama Said Knock You Out from Mama Said Knock You Out.
21. Snoop Dogg
Featured track: Gin and Juice from Doggystyle.
He was a fiend, before he became a teen..
Featured track: Paid In Full from Paid In Full.
19. Barack Obama
Featured track: Victory Speech.
18. Run DMC
Featured track: Run’s House from Tougher Than Leather.
17. James Brown
The most sampled man in the world. Praise be to the funky drummer.
Featured track: The Payback from The Payback.
16. Puff Daddy
Don’t worry if he writes rhymes, he writes cheques.
Featured track: Bad Boy For Life from The Saga Continues….
15. Public Enemy
Featured track: Fight The Power from Fear of a Black Planet.
14. Spike Lee
Doing the right thing.
At this point, I stopped listening. Not in a protest or anything, but because things to do and that.. 5 hours is a looong time. I have the final ‘chart’ entries but the featured songs from here on are my choice as opposed to the tracks that were played on the radio.
Half man, half amazing.
Featured track: Nas Is Like from I Am...
12. Kool Herc
Featured track: Old school documentary.
11. Afrika Bambaata
Zulu nation overlord.
Featured track: Planet Rock from Planet Rock.
Knowledge reigns supreme over nearly everyone.
Featured track: Sound Of Da Police from Return of the Boom Bap.
9. Notorious BIG
Mo money mo problems.
Featured track: Party & Bullshit.
Sippin’ hennesy and ridin’ on his enemies..
Featured track: 2 Live And Die In L.A. from The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory.
How the fuck can he be white? He don’t even exist..
Featured track: Role Model from The Slim Shady LP.
6. Chuck D
Different to Public Enemy(?) Never hear a brother like him go solo.
Featured track: Welcome To The Terrordome from Fear Of A Black Planet.
5. Kanye West
Featured track: 2 Words from College Dropout.
4. Grandmaster Flash
Grandmaster! Cut-cut-cut faster!
Featured track: The Message from The Message.
3. Russell Simmons
Bigger and deffer.
Featured track: EPMD – Rampage ft. LL Cool J from Business As Usual.
2. Dr Dre
The motherfucking D R E.
Featured track: Keep Their Heads Ringing from Friday Soundtrack.
Featured track: Can’t Knock The Hustle from Reasonable Doubt.
And that’s that. If you’re in the UK and reading this within the first week of this being posted, you can go and listen to the various hip hop shows that formed this mini celebration over at the BBC here. The Sarah Love UK hip hop show is a standout. Live cyphers from Jehst, Verb T, Mystro and some others..