Content tagged 'Hip Hop'
Life After Death (Album of the Day)
The Notorious B.I.G. rose quickly to the top of East Coast hip-hop with a brilliant debut; unfortunately, Biggie's reign was brief - he was killed just weeks before the release of follow-up album LIFE AFTER DEATH. The acclaimed collection picks up right where READY TO DIE left off, and like its predecessor, is peopled with thugs and playas trying to survive some very mean streets. As befits its epic 24-track length, the set features a small army of talented producers (Sean "Puffy" Combs, RZA, Easy Mo Bee) and guest rappers (Jay-Z, Lil' Kim, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony) while remaining the product of a singular vision. Though filled with violent drama, LIFE AFTER DEATH also sets its sights on mainstream radio with the catchy beats of "Mo Money Mo Problems,” the unexpected optimism of “Sky's The Limit” and “Hypnotize,” which became a posthumous #1 hit on this day in 1997.
Bad Boy 20th Anniversary Box Set Edition (Album of the Day)
Founded by Sean “Diddy” Combs (aka Puff Daddy), pioneering hip-hop imprint Bad Boy Entertainment has been one of the music industry's premier production, distribution, publicity, promotion and marketing companies for more than two decades. The company helped launch the careers of such heavyweights as Notorious B.I.G., Craig Mack, Ma$e, Faith Evans, New Edition, Danity Kane and dozens of others. Curated by Bad Boy President Harve Pierre, the BAD BOY 20TH ANNIVERSARY BOX SET EDITION celebrates the label's legacy with 80 tracks on 5 CDs. The Notorious B.I.G.'s “Juicy,” “Hypnotize” and “I'll Be Missing You” are among the many hits here, and to honor Biggie on what would have been his 47th birthday, we'll cue up the BAD BOY 20TH ANNIVERSARY collection.
Viva! La Woman (Album of the Day)
Formed in New York City by Japanese expatriates Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori, Cibo Matto means “crazy food” in Italian. As Honda explained, “Food is something you can't escape. It's there every day,” and the duo get plenty of mileage out of the concept on their 1996 Warner Bros. debut, VIVA! LA WOMAN. Including a cover of “The Candy Man” and such originals as “Sugar Water,” “Know Your Chicken” and “Birthday Cake,” the collection features plenty of gastronomic references, but this is no novelty album. While the off-the-wall lyrics are lots of fun, an equally creative use of samples ranging from cool jazz, rap and bossa nova keeps the sonic stew bubbling. VIVA! LA WOMAN topped the College Music Journal chart for six weeks, but you don't need a degree to enjoy this tasty trip-hop treat.
Hamilton Cast Recording (Album of the Day)
A hip-hop take on our Founding Fathers hardly sounds like a guaranteed hit, but Hamilton: An American Musical became the toast of Broadway upon its premiere in 2015, and the original cast recording proved just as revolutionary. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who originated the role of Alexander Hamilton onstage, penned all the songs on this double-disc set, couching historical insight in arrangements that mix rap, R&B and pop with more traditional show tunes. With Questlove and Black Thought of the Roots lending production assistance, the Grammy-winning set is as accessible as it is ambitious and its 6x platinum sales make it the most successful cast album ever. HAMILTON: ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST RECORDING was released five years ago today, and it's already become a musical milestone of the new millennium.
Done By The Forces of Nature (Deluxe) (Album of the Day)
Part of the New York Native Tongues hip-hop collective later made famous by De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, Jungle Brothers framed positive rhymes with beats and samples that drew from jazz, African and house music. On DONE BY THE FORCES OF NATURE, their second album and first for major label Warner Bros., the trio delivers 16 dazzling and danceable tracks including “Feelin Alright” “Beyond This World,” “What U Waitin' '4'?” and “Doin' Our Own Dang” (which features guest spots from Queen Latifah, Q-Tip and other hip-hop heroes). The 1989 collection was named by The Source as one of the 100 best rap albums, and a new digital-only Deluxe Edition of DONE BY THE FORCES OF NATURE shows it remains one of the true classics from the music's golden age.
Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version (Album of the Day)
Born Russell Jones on this day in 1968, Ol' Dirty Bastard helped make Wu-Tang Clan one of the most revered groups in hip-hop, and his solo debut, RETURN TO THE 36 CHAMBERS, features bandmates GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa and RZA (who handles most of the production chores) lending a hand in return. If ODB's whacked-out, very explicit (“The Dirty Version” label is well-earned) rants may have seemed a side show under the Wu-Tang tent, they take impressive command of the center ring here – especially when framed in such irresistible tracks as “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” and “Brooklyn Zoo.” Tapped by The Source magazine as one of the 100 best rap albums of all time, RETURN TO THE 36 CHAMBERS is Ol' Dirty Bastard at his most entertainingly delirious.