Welcome to Greatest Rappers . Lets introduce you to some of the best rap out there as well as bringing back some of the classic stuff you may be familiar with.
Now when I talk about greatest rappers, those in the know will know I am talking about the old school. Everyone has their favourite rapper, their favourite coast and favourite genre. I am going to share the rap I have discovered, through various genres of rap, since I first heard Straight Outta Comptonin 1990.
I don’t claim to know everything there is to know (who does?) but I do know there is an awful lot of funky stuff out there that does not get enough recognition.
I hope you enjoy Greatest Rappers and you get the same experience that I did on the first time I heard some of the tracks I will introduce.
Straight Outta Compton
I grew up in the 80’s, I had heard some hip-hop and electro sounds and knew it was the stuff for me. However, around 1990 I heard something that changed my perspective on rap music forever, NWA’s album Straight Outta Compton
I remember some girls at school with a battery powered cassette player (I would say ghetto blaster but it wasn’t blasting and we weren’t in the ghetto) and hearing the sounds of “Gangsta Gangsta” by NWA. “Jesus Christ” – I thought – “Did he just say N*gga? Crazy Motherf*cker from around the way? Whaaaaaa?”
Now as a 14 year old kid this was the ultimate. Funky Hip-Hop beats with Raps that bragged about being hard, getting “bitches” and not giving a f*ck. At a time in your life when you feel confused and pretty low on the world, along come these guys saying “Hey, life is a bitch but we don’t care lets all take what we want and f*ck you if you don’t like it.”
Don’t get me wrong, 21 years on I am a lot older and wiser and realise you can just enjoy the lyrics and romanticised ‘gangsta’ lifestyle without actually trying to partake in something that you don’t belong (didn’t stop me from making a feeble attempt though.)
Anyway, this led to me buying the album. The first and title track of the album Straight Outta Comptonis one of the best. Very hard intro “You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge.” Followed by beats that suit a gang of angry looking black teenagers swaggering down the street dressed in LA Raiders black.
“F*ck tha police”, must be one of the most notorious rap tracks they did. Personally I think it’s one of the weaker tracks on the album and was more about shock value than decent rhymes and flow, although the production is pretty funky.
“Gangsta Gangsta” , fantastic track. This epitomises the glamorising of the Gangsta lifestyle, very funky, very offensive and full of unforgettable quotes. “Here’s a little somethin’ bout a N*gga like me, Never shoulda been let out the penitentiary. Ice Cube would like to say,that I’m a crazy m*therf*cker from around the way.”
Another stand out track for me is If It Ain’t Ruff . This has MC Ren laying down a hard, hypnotic rap over a basic, funky beat.
If you like rap and you have never heard this album, you need to. It may be too offensive for some but it pushed the boundaries and paved the way for hard rhymes over funky beats. It also introduced us to some of the rappers who will be discussed further on Greatest Rappers – Dr Dre, Ice Cube, Easy E and MC Ren.
When Ice Cube left, it didn’t stop for NWA. 100 Miles and Running EP was well produced, the title track a classic.
The album Efil4zaggin (Niggazforlife backwards) has some outstanding tracks too most notably: -
- Real Niggaz – Fast, funky Ice cube Diss.
- Niggaz for life – Once again very funky, a kind of ghetto hymn that answers “Why do I call myslf a nigga you ask me?”
- Alwayz into Somethin – An absolute classic. Slow creepy sounding track, funky as ever with great flow (especially from MC Ren on this one) with a Ragga flavor given by guest ‘Admiral D‘.
Have a listen below then check the next page for an essential guide to some of Snoop Dogg‘s best tracks.