Unhip to the hip hip hop
April 25, 2008 3:45 AM   Subscribe

A rap education for an picky atheist feminist weaned on indie, punk and new wave - primarily music but books/essays would be good too.

I'm finding lately that I really like listening to rap while working, but I know so little about it and could do with some recommendations. I'd love to have some kind of broad knowledge, and also to find some avenues worth exploring that might lead to stuff I love. Discovery by myself is fun but it's a bit aimless right now and it's too broad a question to be finding much help via Google - I didn't find a past question with the same scope, either.

Here's a bunch of background information:

- I really, really like Run DMC (especially 'It's Tricky') and Public Enemy, and have always loved how 'Rappers' Delight' sounds
- I know the Beastie Boys are typical overlap territory here but they irritate me
- Slick production doesn't do a whole lot for me
- I listen to indie, punk (hardcore and folk-punk), 60s garage, some country, some blues and bluegrass, and I'm tiptoeing into electronica. For reference, here's a recent muxtape.
- Crossover with those genres isn't really what I'm looking for, though
- I don't like reggae, smooth jazz, r&b, anything with slick female singing vocals
- I don't need it to line up idealogically 100% with me at all
- That said, proselytising or new ageyness reeeally turn me off

posted by carbide to Media & Arts (76 answers total) 85 users marked this as a favorite
You'd probably like The Roots. When I first bought Things Fall Apart I listened to it non-stop and exclusively for about 3 months. It's a pretty amazing album in any number of ways.
posted by sully75 at 3:56 AM on April 25, 2008

just for the heck of it: youngblood brass band
posted by FidelDonson at 3:57 AM on April 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

You could do a lot worse than Black Star.
posted by juv3nal at 4:00 AM on April 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I think the best way to sample a bunch of different stuff is to check out different rap blogs, which frequently post one or two mp3s for download or listen. Some of these sites even hosts mixes you can download and you can find great stuff.

Nah Right (current Top 40ish and some current "undergroundish" stuff)

Oh Word (a mix of everything)

Unkut (this might be a good choice for you if you like Run DMC-- Unkut tends to write about and post mp3s of old school artists)

From Da Bricks (ditto)

Cocaine Blunts and Hip Hop Tapes (lots of random rap, regional rap and older stuff)

Another thing to do would be to use Last.fm or Pandora Radio and plug in an artist or song you already like and let them play music they think is similar. I've found great music that way.
posted by sneakin at 4:03 AM on April 25, 2008 [2 favorites]

Not to be totally obvious, but Kanye West. Seriously some great shit.
posted by awesomebrad at 4:07 AM on April 25, 2008

- Slick production doesn't do a whole lot for me

Don't let that blind you to the sheer wonderfulness of Timbaland's work with Missy Elliot.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:09 AM on April 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

aw crud. stupid last.fm links. try this link? (for black star.)
posted by juv3nal at 4:11 AM on April 25, 2008

It sounds like you're into rap from the '80s, so try exploring some of those artist, likeDela Soul, Salt and Pepper, Eric B and Rakim, A Tribe called quest.

Seconding Last.fm or Pandora Radio. They're like gold mines for finding similar music to the particular artist you plugin.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:14 AM on April 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

You'll like Jean Grae.
posted by fire&wings at 4:15 AM on April 25, 2008

The All Music Guide to Hip Hop is (mostly) online. It's a little outdated, but it will give you a basic education in the kinds of rap, lingo, and artists.
posted by Alison at 4:16 AM on April 25, 2008

Two suggestions.

Blackalicous. In particular, "Revolution pts. 1,2 and 3". Saul Williams. You will like that shit.

Also, check out some Roots Manuva. There is, admittedly, a little bit of reggae in there (mainly in his accent), but I'm sure you'll like what he come out with.

Oh yeah to add to my list, Dialated Peoples and KRS-One.
posted by Jimbob at 4:22 AM on April 25, 2008

Definitely check out Saul Williams. He's got a very inide/artsy sensibility. His first album is a bit better than his last one, but they're both very good. I believe you can download his newest album "The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust" (produced in part by Trent Reznor) for free at his website, and you can also pay five dollars for a better download (and, of course, to support the artist!)
posted by Septimus at 4:39 AM on April 25, 2008

Jurassic 5. "Quality Control" is a good intro. Then "What's Golden."
Talib Kweli.
Saul Williams. He gets mentioned around here a bit. Go with the self-titled album first, which includes "List of Demands."
Common. Try Electric Circus, see where it takes you.
Jay-Z. American Gangster is profoundly good.
Pharoahe Monch. You like Public Enemy? You'll dig Monch. He did a cover of "Terrordome" on his last.

There are a couple of recent blog posts about hip hop culture and underground hip hop that might be of interest: Long Rambling Post On Hip-Hop ... and The Hip Hop Thing.
posted by grabbingsand at 4:42 AM on April 25, 2008 [2 favorites]

Nthing Blackalicious and KRS-One. Also Atmosphere and Sage Francis. Maybe Non-Prophets, if you like Sage Francis.
posted by korres at 4:44 AM on April 25, 2008

Blackalicious, MF DOOM, Aesop Rock, Kanye, Outkast, and N.E.R.D. are all rap dudes that I (a white guy) like.
posted by Mach5 at 4:54 AM on April 25, 2008

Best answer: Sounds like we like the same music, but I also grew up on rap. Definitely get De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising. You may like 3rd Bass. Slick Rick was always one of my favorites (Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh together, too). You may like old Heavy D. I've been liking Kanye West, too, so I agree with awesomebrad.

I'll keep thinking, but also could make you a cd since it sounds like our music lines up pretty exactly.
posted by jdl at 4:58 AM on April 25, 2008

Best answer: I will second Mach5's recommendations.

And also add Dalek, which sounds like rap dragged over eight miles of bad road, then dumped into an abandoned well full of broken glass and rusted metal.

jdl, how about you make a muxtape?
posted by Shepherd at 5:46 AM on April 25, 2008

Digable Planets. Blowout Comb is my favourite. Their other album (Reachin') is more overtly political, so fits your bill less. They get called jazzy but I think they're pretty far from the "smooth jazz" you said to stay away from.
posted by louigi at 5:50 AM on April 25, 2008

Mild amendment: this is a better link for more recent dälek material (and I forgot the umlaut on his name).
posted by Shepherd at 5:50 AM on April 25, 2008

Rock some yummy old-skool goodness before it was all about pimps and ho's. Check out some gangstarr, some tribe called quest, some wu-tang, N.W.A., definitely some Busta Rhymes, and you can't ever go wrong with Wyclef--although Wy's probably not so much hip-hop/rap.

Also, because it totally jives with your alt-mojo, check out Matisyahu---the bomb-droppinest hassid I've ever seen.

Others in my collection (may or may not be strictly rap): The Streets, Mos Def, and Fugees.
posted by TomMelee at 5:59 AM on April 25, 2008

Oh the best thing in my hip-hop education was watching Dave Chappelle's Block Party. One of my favorite movies, and there are a number of really great performances in it.
posted by sully75 at 6:04 AM on April 25, 2008

Antipop Consortium.
posted by mykescipark at 6:08 AM on April 25, 2008

You NEED to buy 36 Chambers, the first Wu-Tang album. Incredible.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 6:10 AM on April 25, 2008

Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip
posted by kaseijin at 6:21 AM on April 25, 2008

Yo Majesty, maybe? Female rap group from Tampa. Not necessarily great, but fun, and would be in line with your sensibilities.
posted by darksong at 6:25 AM on April 25, 2008

Best answer: Hmm, I think these recommendations are taking the "indie" angle a little too strong and missing lots of good hip-hop...

For old-school stuff, try a best ofs from Enjoy Records, Sugar Hill Records, Cold Chillin' records and Rhino's Street Jams series.

Then you can start with classic LPs -- I'll bet you'd like:
"Goin' Off" by Biz Markie
"Paid In Full" by Eric B. and Rakim
"Radio" by LL Cool J
First two LPs each by De la Soul, Tribe Called Quest, and Jungle Brothers

Still going? Classics from the mid-1990s:

"Illmatic" by Nas
"Enter the 36 Chambers" by Wu-Tang Clan
"Tical" by Method Man
"Ready to Die" by Notorious BIG
posted by alb at 6:28 AM on April 25, 2008 [3 favorites]

Public Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet is one of the greatest albums ever. If you don't have it, get it.

Mr. Hood by KMD is a fantastic album that was out of print for awhile, but since MF Doom is so popular now they rereleased it (it's one of his first albums).

The new stuff? Mostly meh. Although the Dirty South stuff is generally decent. DJ Screw did some cool stuff.
posted by electroboy at 6:38 AM on April 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh, and Beef is a fun documentary on the various hip-hop rivalries. Good stuff, definitely helps you understand the callouts on a lot of the records you'll be listening to.
posted by electroboy at 6:40 AM on April 25, 2008

Personally, I love instrumental hip hop:


J Dilla

Kid Koala

Dan the Automater
posted by cinemafiend at 6:43 AM on April 25, 2008

I enjoyed the book Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation by Jeff Chang.
posted by goatdog at 6:54 AM on April 25, 2008

posted by brevator at 7:02 AM on April 25, 2008

oops.. should be double d.
posted by brevator at 7:06 AM on April 25, 2008

I don't know what you do, and this is far from hip-hop purity, but I listen to NerdCore Hip-Hop while I write code. The beats are good, and the lyrics are mostly about...um...writing code, so it works for me.
posted by foxydot at 7:08 AM on April 25, 2008

posted by Netzapper at 7:32 AM on April 25, 2008

Check out Stone's Throw records.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:32 AM on April 25, 2008

Black Elephant
posted by drezdn at 7:54 AM on April 25, 2008

Seconding Jurassic 5. Also, check out the documentary Scratch on google video.
posted by phrontist at 7:57 AM on April 25, 2008

From one musically eclectic atheist female to another, I'm going to suggest:

Missy Elliot - she's slick but not in a greasy way
M.I.A. - lo-fi, worldly, I think you'd love her!
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 8:03 AM on April 25, 2008

I can't believe Hieroglyphics / Del tha Funkee Homosapien / Deltron 3030 have yet to be mentioned!
posted by soplerfo at 8:13 AM on April 25, 2008

Wow, you could be me. I was sort of shocked and horrified when I started getting into rap...but now it's most of what I listen to.

Definitely use Pandora. You should probably check out most of the artists on Def Jux (but especially Aesop Rock) - I find they're more on the brainy side and often have really awesome beats too.

I've had spontaneous conversations with multiple people that concluded M.I.A. is the punk rock of our generation. I think I have most of the tracks she's ever released and she just keeps getting better. However, a lot of men I've talked to who seem otherwise similar to me in taste seem to hate her. This actually makes me like her more...

I can't help loving Snoop Dogg, honestly. He's kind of an American classic. Wu-Tang too, in a different way. Missy Elliot was all I listened to for awhile and weirdly I feel like she really understood where I was coming from as a girl in the CS department at a large university. You can hear all the weird insecurity that comes from being one of the few women who's doing what you're doing and doing it well - it was really cathartic. I don't know if that's something you need per se, but it definitely puts an interesting spin on her rhymes.

Finally, yes, Kanye's latest album is pretty great. Play it loud.
posted by crinklebat at 8:16 AM on April 25, 2008

Best answer: ok, ladies first:

Queen Latifah's early albums, especially her first All Hail the Queen

Bahamadia has all her own style

as does MC Lyte - check out her recent cut Wonder Years

for your bookshelf: Home Girls Make Some Noise: Hip Hop Feminism Anthology

now the gents:

check out Lyrics Born from some great old school sound

if you can find it, The Goats first album Tricks of the Shade is amazing

Aceyalone & RJD2's album Magnificent City had some great pieces on it (All for U, especially)

Zion I, especially their first album: Mind Over Matter

don't forget Del the Funky Homosapien!

nthing nthing nthing the Jungle Brothers and Eric B. & Rakim

have fun!

posted by jammy at 8:19 AM on April 25, 2008

Best answer: As a weedy indie-boy with a secret, dark interest in hip hop I'm going to repeat the recommendations for the Wu's first album, 36 chambers, and if you like that try some of the Wu solo albums. The best, in my opinion, are GZA's Liquid Swords and Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, both of which rival any of the 'proper' Wu albums.
posted by Ted Maul at 8:24 AM on April 25, 2008

actually, just to add something in a completely different direction, if you want something that's hilarious and intelligent and abstract, you could do a lot worse than The Weather, a one-off album by Busdriver, Radioinactive and Daedelus.


Definitely worth a listen and always appeals to the indie crowd in my experience, just thought I'd throw that one out there as no one else has recommended it.
posted by Ted Maul at 8:26 AM on April 25, 2008

I like Jurassic 5 a lot as well, and you might try The Brand New Heavies album Heavy Rhyme Experience, Vol. 1. Each track has a different vocalist, and it will give you a good range of different styles to consider.
posted by demiurge at 8:33 AM on April 25, 2008

You might like this Thomax Mixtape. A pretty sick mixtape I stumbled upon.

I'm not sure what you mean by smooth jazz, but some of the best underground Hip-Hop have beats rooted in jazz. I recommend anything from this forum thread. Especially Metaphorical Music from Nujabes, although about half the songs in his albums are instrumentals only.

You might also like k-os, a really great Canadian MC. All three of his albums are excellent.

Jurassic 5 - Quality Control
Dela soul - 3 Feet High and Rising
Talib Kweli

More recommendations you might find on that forum:
Ugly Duckling - Journey to Anywhere
Speech Defect - Come For Da Funeral, Stay For Da Food
VA - Beat Studies Lesson One
posted by robofunk at 8:34 AM on April 25, 2008

A few off the top of my head--

Busdriver is a current favorite. Some people don't like fast rapping, though.
Talib Kweli is always awesome
I don't know if you'll like it it or not, but the Anticon label has some cool stuff-- kinda quirky hip hop, big among the indie-rock set
Jay-Z is huge for a reason
Eric B. & Rakim are classic
Outkast, of course
Soul Position is the rapper Blueprint + the turntablist RJD2, both are really good at what they do, so it's a great combo
Peanut Butter Wolf (RIP)
El-P has some good tracks, too
posted by fructose at 8:37 AM on April 25, 2008

Oh and 2nding Lyrics Born.
posted by fructose at 8:38 AM on April 25, 2008

I'm pretty sure I just read this entire thread and didn't see a single mention of Tupac Shakur. Rapper yes, but also an accomplished actor, activist, and poet. He delved a little deeply into the gangsta genre for some, but when he was on top of his game there are few who are his equal IMO.

His mother produced an Oscar-nominated documentary about his life that I can't recommend highly enough.
posted by Roach at 8:54 AM on April 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Can't believe no one has mentioned Aesop Rock, he even has a song with John Darnielle from the Mountain Goats on his new album!

Also check out Why? They aren't exclusively rap but have that pop rap blend which works well for them.
posted by huxley at 9:28 AM on April 25, 2008

Best answer: Here's a couple of fun free ones to add to the mix:

Free download: DJ Swindle's mashups of Nas-meets-Al-Green and Mobb-Deep-meets-Bob-Marley are a lot of fun. Great grooves.

Free download: Tim Fite's Over the Counter Culture is one of the most bizarrely interesting things I've heard in a long time. Think maybe of an erudite Eminem with non-garden variety lefty political views.

Free download: I found this post on the Blue last July, linking this collection of MP3 files of Funkmaster Flex spinning classic 90s rap for FIVE STRAIGHT HOURS commercial free. I pop this into my headphones while I work sometimes, and it can damn near get you through a whole day in one swoop.
posted by peacecorn at 9:38 AM on April 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Dizzee Rascal is always fun, and +1 for MIA though I see she's on your Muxtape. Go Team! maybe? Princess Superstar's "My Machine" is cheesy (not cheesy music, just generally cheesy) as hell, but a lot of fun. Santogold is in some ways similar to Tegan & Sara, but a bit more 'digital' heading in MIA's general direction.
posted by gregjones at 10:10 AM on April 25, 2008

I'll not say much, but a lot of these suggestions seem to ignore one or more aspects of the original post.

  • Black Noise
  • Rap Attack
  • Blues People

  • posted by rhizome at 10:14 AM on April 25, 2008

    Best answer: here's a hip hop muxtape for ya

    posted by jammy at 10:20 AM on April 25, 2008 [2 favorites]

    As far as Traditional American Rap goes. Which you may consider Indie Only because you are unfamiliar or has fallen out of the spotlight.

    You'd like The Bridge is over
    You'd Definitely like The Symphony feat. Masta Ace, Craig G, Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane (Juice Crew).
    BDP's South Bronx.

    Special Ed's: I Got it Made.

    These are actually Iconic rap classics much Like Run DMC's and PE's stuff. They are also typical of that period (Late 80's) in rap and most closely resemble what you like about that brand of rap.

    Later In the Early 90's
    Fu Gee La.
    RZA's (0f the Wu-Tang) beats are good in that they have a lot of character because of their very imperfections as well as their uniqueness in sampling way before Kayne West.
    Wu Gambinos. (Wu banger!) Actually the Whole album Only Built for Cuban Linx is now a hip hop classic).

    Both Fugees and the Wu were about self empowerment and righteousness and the were both fantastic. I implore you explore the rest. You'll thank me.

    In contrast, Ice Cube, Snoop, Dre and the rest were very rebellious and were of the "shock rap" variety. But had some good hits you would like such as the superb Nutthin' but a G Thang.

    Cube's Today was a good Day.

    Continuing on the different Tastes, down south Had some great stuff too.
    Outkast's Atliens.Good Bouncy Beat. Second verse is siiick.
    posted by Student of Man at 10:28 AM on April 25, 2008

    Best answer: Ahhh...love this subject. Not that one should have to justify their musical preferences, but it can be frustrating for the aficionado that rap can sometimes seem so indefensible (mysoginy, violence, materialism, etc.) Once you get past that though there's so much on the other side: Great beats, linguistic creativity, humor...

    Rather than enumerate an incredibly long listing of artists/songs, I'd love to burn you a mix CD of MY favorites (to include a great many of the above). If anyone else is interested in trading CD's (you send me one I send you one), drop me a line.

    Here's an interesting book on the subject of East coast music development.
    posted by subajestad at 10:37 AM on April 25, 2008

    I've got similar taste to you it seems for the most part, but I do enjoy a little hip-hop. Some greats:

    Edan - Beauty and the Beat

    Illogic - Celestial Clockwork

    I'll 2nd GZA - Liquid Swords

    Cannibal Ox - The Cold Vein

    Lots of good stuff on the Anticon label...

    Devin the Dude - Waitin' to Inhale

    Also, I love this track off the last Public Enemy record.
    posted by pilibeen at 10:46 AM on April 25, 2008

    I'm down with your music tastes totally, I lean towards punk/folk/indie and I'm atheist. I would 2nd the Blackalicous suggestion but my personal favorite is Awol One formerly of the Shapeshifters. My punk rock boyfriend who barely can handle the Beastie Boys is always borrowing my cds. You can check out his newer album here... the older stuff is really awesome too. (I spent too much on a lot of records by him on ebay - that's how much i dig him) Of course there's his space or fansites you could also check out.
    posted by xpix at 11:19 AM on April 25, 2008

    Best answer: If it's BROAD knowledge of hip-hop you're going for you can't go wrong with The Rub's History of Hip Hop series. One podcast for every year between 1979 and 1999. Some of the early shows are around 45 minutes, but the later ones run over 2 hours. There are also tracklists for every show, so you can find more stuff by people you like. I made a bunch of text files out of the tracklists to keep on my ipod for easy reference.
    posted by clockwork at 1:51 PM on April 25, 2008 [2 favorites]

    I love helping people find new music they love so I'll do my best here. If you like what I put up feel free to email me for more.
    For old skool stuff I'm going to suggest The Cool Kids and The Pack.
    As for more modern awesomeness check out Astronautalis, Aesop Rock, Cage, and Doomtree.
    posted by Hitoshura at 1:53 PM on April 25, 2008

    Good idea Shepherd. I'll work on that this weekend and post to this question.
    posted by jdl at 1:53 PM on April 25, 2008

    Deltron 3030
    DJ Krush
    Handsome Boy Modeling School, and really, anything involving Dan the Automator.
    posted by mullingitover at 2:37 PM on April 25, 2008

    Seconding Edan, MF Doom, Madlib
    posted by ijoshua at 2:54 PM on April 25, 2008

    Response by poster: Whoa, this is amazing, thanks all. I think there's a summer project in the makings here. Might have oversold my cluelessness (I have listened to cLOUDDEAD, like De La Soul, and a bunch of other stuff across the spectrum) but this is so comprehensive and awesome. Unlike my thank-you, but I was so overwhelmed with happy that I didn't want to leave it until i had more time...

    Ahhh...love this subject. Not that one should have to justify their musical preferences, but it can be frustrating for the aficionado that rap can sometimes seem so indefensible (mysoginy, violence, materialism, etc.) Once you get past that though there's so much on the other side: Great beats, linguistic creativity, humor...

    subajestad: that's just the thing. It's hard to jump into a genre, and although I can sort of squint and see the other side (which had me rephrasing my question a dozen times to avoid negative broad strokes of stupid), guidance helps a ton.

    jammy: the muxtape wins, every track. thanks so much.
    posted by carbide at 3:37 PM on April 25, 2008

    my pleasure! i'm glad you liked it

    and thanks to you for a question that has produced such an overflowing bounty of links & artists to explore! i'm going to be perusing this thread for awhile - gracias to y'all

    posted by jammy at 5:19 PM on April 25, 2008

    fructose, why the RIP for Peanut Butter Wolf?

    Don't cha mean J Dilla [RIP]
    posted by cinemafiend at 9:32 PM on April 25, 2008

    Check out Immortal Technique. He has some of the best lyrics and flow of any rapper I've ever heard, and in this case, his music might actually line up with you ideologically (I know you said that wasn't important, but it seems like it'd be a nice plus).
    posted by Oobidaius at 10:22 PM on April 25, 2008

    if you can find copies of Tommy Boy's The Perfect Beats compilations.. it's all fantastic.

    wow, most everybody here listens to the backpacker stuff??
    posted by citron at 11:31 PM on April 25, 2008

    black moon
    old, but fundamental
    posted by edtut at 8:02 PM on April 26, 2008

    Best answer: For books, Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists is packed with information but a really great primer on hip hop.

    Albums I always recommend to people who insist they don't like rap (some of which have been mentioned upthread already):
    OutKast - Aquemini
    CunninLynguists - A Piece of Strange
    Fugees - The Score
    The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die
    Kanye West - The College Dropout
    Black Star - Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are...
    Mos Def - Black on Both Sides
    Common - Like Water for Chocolate (Electric Circus is a complete mess and Common's worst album by far, you'd do well to skip it)
    A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders
    The Roots - Things Fall Apart

    Other great rap albums that might be more hit-and-miss:
    Nas - Illmatic
    Wu Tang Clan - Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers)
    Jay-Z - Blueprint
    Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP
    Big L - Lifestylez ov Da Poor & Dangerous
    Gang Starr - Moment of Truth

    More "old-school"/golden age albums:
    Eric B. and Rakim - Paid in Full
    De La Soul - De La Soul is Dead
    KRS-One - Return of the Boom Bap
    Grandmaster Flash - The Message
    EPMD - Strictly Business

    (I'm from Brooklyn, so these selections are overwhelmingly East Coast centric, and just a fraction of what I could recommend. I love hip hop like literally nothing else and am almost jealous of you getting to listen to some of this for the very first time.)
    posted by cosmic osmo at 11:30 PM on April 26, 2008 [4 favorites]

    Late to the thread, but for sure check out
    Andre Nickatina
    Mobb Deep
    posted by generalist at 10:24 AM on April 27, 2008

    I love hip hop like literally nothing else and am almost jealous of you getting to listen to some of this for the very first time.

    hell yeah!

    damn but some jams have the power to send one right into the freakin' stratosphere - hearing a skilled rapper perform with a skilled DJ & wrap their tongue around some impossible rhyme, dropping it precise on the beat? fucking transcendent! knawhatimean?

    sorry, listening to Eric B. & Rakim laying down Don't sweat the technique at the moment & I just can't help myself...

    again, carbide, gratitude to you for instigating such a great thread!
    posted by jammy at 4:28 PM on April 28, 2008

    Everyone I know has loved Mos Def's Miss Fat Booty. Anything with Mos Def is great.

    Also, Deltron 3030 - just so you can see the future, post-apocalyptic version of hip hop in the year three thousand thirty, when everybody wants to be an MC.

    And for shits and giggles galore, Thirstin Howl III - I still live with my moms.
    "Yo it's cheap by my place
    I ain't scared to open bills cuz non of them in my name
    Got kicked out, my mom said I could move back
    If I prove that I didn't steal my sister's food stamps"

    Others have already been said, Talib Kweli, De la Soul, etc. Maybe you'd go in for the French MC Solaar? MC Hot Dog is probably the most famous Chinese rapper, specifically for "wo ai taimei 我爱台妹" (I love Taiwanese girls) which is fairly harmless :)
    posted by Herman Hermanson at 4:28 PM on April 29, 2008

    Sorry this took me so long, hopefully it's enjoyable. I had some issues b/c muxtape doesn't do aac. Kwame doesn't totally fit in with this group, but thought I'd keep him:
    posted by jdl at 8:30 AM on April 30, 2008

    I slapped together a rather poor muxtape today -- not very well sequenced, and really just made to introduce a friend to some hip-hop I like -- but it might be of some use.
    posted by Shepherd at 10:42 AM on June 16, 2008

    This thread is a blessing in the skies (l01z).

    From one unhip atheist to another:

    I've been on the same search and have had various breakthroughs beginning with Deltron 3030, which I've played to death over the course of two years...Mr. Lif and Immortal Technique also enjoyed much play during my initial hip-hop introductory phase and I haven't fully explored their catalogs. Gotta love the Office Space soundtrack, too.

    Canibus - Rip the Jacker
    Hilltop Hoods - Left Foot, Right Foot
    CunninLynguists - Southern Underground (Love Ain't Nothin But a Loss of Control = spine-tingling awesomeness)
    The Lost Children of Babylon: The Equidivium (you could probably call them "new agey" but seriously give 'em a try)
    posted by aydeejones at 11:26 AM on July 12, 2008

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