Fast Virtuoso Feel-Good Hip-Hop FInder
August 5, 2014 7:00 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for suggestions for virtuosic hip-hop performances, with crazy-fast complex rhythms and vocal acrobatics, but with summery, happy, feel-good beats and tunes behind them.

Examples of what I love (please excuse how shallow my current knowledge is) include: Outkast's B.O.B., Nikki Minaj's Super Bass, the Iggy Azalea verse on Problem, and the Matoma remix of Biggie's "That Old Thing Back" (which might be some of my favorite music ever on a hip-hop track, but the lyrics are even too filthy for a vagabond like myself.)

I've found that this sort of thing is like liquid gold to get me out of depressive funks, and I want a greater variety of it. Please help. Thank you.
posted by Navelgazer to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Busdriver - (example)
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:53 PM on August 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

What you want is Blackalicious.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 8:07 PM on August 5, 2014

Some of these might not be fast enough for you, but they all have virtuouso-approaching flow and/or have feel-good vibes

Kendrick Lamar - Hol' Up
Kendrick Lamar - Westside, Right on Time
Kendrick Lamar - Rigamortis
Busta Rhymes - Woo Hah!
Lil B - No Black Person Is Ugly
Lil Wayne - Shooter
A Tribe Called Quest - Can I Kick It?
Mos Def - Hip Hop
Danny Brown - The Return of the Gangsta
Andre Nickatina - Dice of Life
Jay Z - Izzo (H.O.V.A.)
Husalah - Gear
Blackalicious - Make You Feel That Way
Blackalicious - Alphabet Aerobics
T.I. - Ball
HS87 - Parade
posted by ageispolis at 8:08 PM on August 5, 2014 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks! (And yeah, I've loved Busdriver since I first heard "Unemployed Black Astronaut," but that, like the stuff on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, is stuff which amazes me with its skill but isn't exactly what I'm looking for here, sadly.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:19 PM on August 5, 2014

I'm not 100% sure this is what you're looking for, but maybe let's get a couple other ladies in here:
Angel Haze - A Tribe Called Red and Jungle Fever (honestly I'm just a sucker for Kool A.D.)
Azealia Banks - 212 (crazy summer song imo, but the lyrics are also pretty filthy), Liquorice (ditto)

Also, Big Boi - Shutterbugg maybe. It's not that fast, maybe. But Sir Lucious Left Foot was my jam for a whole summer and this is maybe the summeriest of the bunch.
posted by valrus at 8:47 PM on August 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also Chance the Rapper's Cocoa Butter Kisses is pretty summery with three increasingly fast and virtuosic verses from three different rappers. Chain Smoker is a good one too.
posted by valrus at 8:54 PM on August 5, 2014

So my internet speed is pure suckage right now, so I can't provide links, and I'm not familiar with many of your examples above, so I'm guessing here, but a couple of my favs are:
Mos Def's Mathematics and Typical Cats' Any Day

…hope you like 'em!
posted by lettuce dance at 12:14 AM on August 6, 2014

Essential J Dilla beats + dextrous Madlib on mic duties + essential J Dilla on vocals over Madlib productions = Jaylib. Check the LP 'Champion Sound', but start here with 'The Red'.

I think you'll dig Leaders of the New School (cf. Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, both already mentioned above), and here's a hook to reel you in: 'Just Another Case of the PTA'. The overlap with ATCQ is 'Scenario', which keeps kickin all the way to the end (Busta Rhymes' final verse should tick your box).

Prefuse 73's glitchy productions feature a bittersweet summer-time vibe, and the range of guests vocalists is an education. Here's Ghostface and El-P: 'Hide Ya Face'. Check Prefuse 73s's earlier LPs, 'Vocal Studies and Uprock Narratives', and 'One Word Extinguisher'.

Method Man is known for a rambunctious, upbeat flow. You might enjoy 'M.E.T.H.O.D. Man'.

For a lop-sided, rhythmically complex flow, don't underestimate Common, try 'A Film Called (Pimp)' featuring MC Lyte.

More women rappers: you should go listen to Lil Kim 'Suck My Dick' (there's probably more 'filth' in here than in other male-fronted euphemistic stuff, where the misogyny is built in rather than stated in a headline). Bombastic, a massive hook, a huge sound.

Queen Latifah - 'Black Hand Side', great mix between a skippy and a straight-shooting machine-gun flow right through this one. From a slightly earlier sounding LP, check 'Ladies First', featuring Monie Love with a fast lyrical style.

I'm with you on Minaj. I think her greatest verse is probably the trump-card, full-house, blow-everyone-else-out-the-water hand she plays at the end of Kanye's 'Monster' (trigger warning: the video features exploited dead women). She steals the show, makes a mockery of the whole thing.

See what you make of Smif N Wessun 'Sound Bwoi Bureill', there's a load of styles on display, JA-patois deejay toasting flow alongside straight and terse Brooklyn stab rhythms. Also such a great beat. Window down system up.
posted by Joeruckus at 3:57 AM on August 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

You will absolutely love "In the Beginning" by K'Naan.
posted by jbickers at 6:37 AM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: You will absolutely love "In the Beginning" by K'Naan.

Wow, yes. You are correct.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:05 AM on August 6, 2014

Beef Wellington - Feel Fantabulous
Capital Cities - Farrah Fawcett Hair ft. André 3000
posted by cashman at 7:39 AM on August 7, 2014

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