Tasteful Rap Suggestions
March 7, 2012 12:23 PM   Subscribe

Tasteful rap recommendations (no "N" word)?

"Tasteful" is subjective, but one constraint is that I don't want to hear the "N" word.

Doing a google search for "tasteful rap" just led me to suggestions where the "N" bomb is dropped right and left.

I've got nice studio monitors and studio monitor headphones, and I'd like to hear some aesthetically pleasing rap sounds without cringing.
posted by Eiwalker to Media & Arts (42 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer.
posted by mazola at 12:26 PM on March 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Run DMC is pretty inoffensive.
posted by phunniemee at 12:28 PM on March 7, 2012


Pretty much anything involving Abdominal is going to be ok.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 12:29 PM on March 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Atmosphere.
Aesop Rock.
posted by herbplarfegan at 12:29 PM on March 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Some of Will Smith's stuff.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:31 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dessa is a member of the Doomtree rap collective. P.O.S. is AMAZING. Also TC hip hop standards Atmosphere are awesome. I like Brother Ali a lot. Oh my god and Sims! So good!

Stepping outside of Minnesota, Blackalicious have been around for a long time and I don't think it's possible to dislike Gift of Gab.

Man. I love that my home state has such a kick-ass hip hop. =D
posted by kavasa at 12:31 PM on March 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Do you only want rap, or would you also be okay with hip-hop? Because Ugly Duckling is absolutely magical, and as far as I know, they don't use any profanity.
posted by scarykarrey at 12:32 PM on March 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's hilarious how many Minnesotan rappers are being recommended, I guess we are pretty much the epicenter of "inoffensive."

Anyway, I'll second Blackalicious and Atmosphere!
posted by stoneandstar at 12:35 PM on March 7, 2012


Your stumbling block is word choice here, I think. Representing nerdcore, I'll throw out MC Frontalot.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 12:36 PM on March 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you like rap, but are lyrics sensitive, why not turn your attention to rappers who speak languages other than English? French language hip-hop is actually quite good. Everyone knows MC Solaar. There's also IAM, Keny Arkana, Oxmo Puccino, and many others to choose from. You'll get your beats, and (presuming you're not a fluent French speaker) you can zone on the lyrics a bit.
posted by .kobayashi. at 12:36 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Common is positive enough to have been invited to the White house by Obama AND is quite talented.
posted by StUdIoGeEk at 12:37 PM on March 7, 2012


According to the internet, the word only appears once in the Beastie Boys ouvre (from featured rapper Q-Tip), in the track "Get It Together" off Ill Communication.
posted by griphus at 12:41 PM on March 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm also a huge fan + proponent of Busdriver.
posted by scarykarrey at 12:43 PM on March 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Classified Lupe Fiasco
posted by blueberrypicasso at 12:45 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Taking you back to the 90's: Arrested Development, Digable Planets, Tribe Called Quest.
posted by smirkette at 12:47 PM on March 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Streets
posted by 3FLryan at 12:57 PM on March 7, 2012


Jurassic 5
posted by Rat Spatula at 1:04 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


On review: J5 is not 100% "N"-clean, but its use is not gratuitous.
posted by Rat Spatula at 1:05 PM on March 7, 2012


I asked a related question a while ago, but for now, I'll second A Tribe Called Quest. They do drop the n-word on occasion, but I don't think it's too in-your-face.
posted by Geppp at 1:13 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Professor Elemental!
posted by jbickers at 1:14 PM on March 7, 2012


Macklemore. Macklemore. Macklemore. Macklemore. Macklemore. Macklemore.

I know we all think that our guy is "one of the best out there," but seriously, what Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are currently putting together is incredible.
posted by cheeken at 1:14 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd second Classified ('Unexpected', 'That Ain't Classy'). Class act out of Halifax. Also, Flobots ('Stand up', 'Combat') and the Roots (Occasional use of that word, but used to make a point rather than flavour).
posted by vohk at 1:14 PM on March 7, 2012


Aesop Rock is great, but he drops the occasional F bomb. Start with Labor Days. It's a great album.
posted by deathpanels at 1:14 PM on March 7, 2012


Not sure what constitutes tasteful, but I think Lyrics Born is underrated, but definitely pretty tame.

Strongly seconding Busdriver.

Doesn't get more classic than Ultramagnetic MCs

I'm not totally sure that Blakroc never uses the "n-word" at all, but it's definitely not a central feature.

Gravediggaz are definitely not N-free, but RZA can do whatever he wants, it's not gratuitous, and You'd be seriously depriving yourself by excluding them.
posted by cmoj at 1:15 PM on March 7, 2012


Can't you just listen to the clean versions?
posted by wongcorgi at 1:24 PM on March 7, 2012 [2 favorites]




Seconding Saul Williams. Intelligent topical rap. His collaboration with Trent Reznor is outstanding.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:41 PM on March 7, 2012


I'll second A Tribe Called Quest. They do drop the n-word on occasion, but I don't think it's too in-your-face.

Except for that one song, of course.

How about Blackalicious? Or Mos Def? (Except, of course, for that one song).
posted by milk white peacock at 1:44 PM on March 7, 2012


(Hover for artist)

Back on the Scene.
Inner Light (Remix)
Put Your Weight On It.
Where Thawght is Worshipped.
The 18th Letter.
Neural Circuitry.
Nobody.
Coolzey.
One.
To the Listeners.
The MC.
Auditorium + Wahid + Priority.
Deep Space 9mm.
ALL CAPS.
Back Again.
I Should Tell Ya Momma on You. (Incredible Live performance from Red, who was homeless at the time)
Big Shots.

And just to take it all the way back - Triple Threat by Z3MCs. Still knocks, after like 30 years.
posted by cashman at 2:01 PM on March 7, 2012


Murs
Zion I
posted by waitangi at 2:01 PM on March 7, 2012


I may be wrong, but I think a lot of the Beastie Boys stuff might work for you.
posted by blaneyphoto at 2:05 PM on March 7, 2012


Queen Latifah and Monie Love.
posted by Lieber Frau at 2:06 PM on March 7, 2012


Pharcyde actually say the n-word kind of a lot. =x

Queen Latifah is definitely great.

I totally forgot Murs! He's totally amazing. Definitely listen to him.

And actually Lupe Fiasco is more mainstream/top 40 but I like him a lot.
posted by kavasa at 2:44 PM on March 7, 2012


I'll toss out broad labels (and that's record labels, not genre labels): Anticon and Strange Famous Records are US indie hip-hop labels. Big Dada is the UK hip-hop off-shoot of Ninja Tune, and Lex Records is another UK label, formed as part of Warp, now it's own entity.

For a single artist suggestion, I'm a big fan of Buck 65. His early stuff was more indie hip-hop, but now he's adding more diversity to his sound than the old boom-bap. Far from "normal", but so good.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:32 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seconding Saul Williams.

*cough*
posted by juv3nal at 4:00 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did MC Hammer ever use the n word? I know his stuff is kinda old, but I'd be surprised if he ever used that word much.

There are also Kamini (YT link), a French rapper; Shi 360 (YT link), an Israeli rapper; and Fronda from Sweden (YT link). As someone else upthread put it, it's hard to pick up on racial slurs in languages you don't speak.
posted by AMSBoethius at 4:33 PM on March 7, 2012


De La Soul?
posted by elizardbits at 5:03 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aussie hip hop artists are far removed from gangster/American hip hop scene that if memory serves me right, there is no purpose to using the "n" word over here! Enjoy the unashamedly different accent, then try the following:

Hilltop Hoods (1)
Hilltop Hoods (2) (They're the heavyweights of the hip hop scene in Oz)
360
The Herd
Hermitude
Bliss n Eso
Funkoars

Swearing yes, "n" word no.
posted by chronic sublime at 2:33 AM on March 8, 2012


Cant Stop, Won't stop - Up and Away

Also, think about listening to rap in a different language. It's all about the flow of sounds anyway, rather than the lyrics.

I like rap in portuguese, although I don't speak the language.
posted by guy72277 at 2:52 AM on March 8, 2012


Blue Scholars

Common Market
posted by emmling at 8:33 AM on March 8, 2012


How about Allen Mask?
posted by EtTuHealy at 2:11 PM on March 8, 2012


There's always Instrumental Hip-Hop like Coldcut, DJ Shadow or Dr Octagon instrumentals...
posted by softlord at 8:04 PM on March 8, 2012


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