Unless you’re deep in the catalogs, chances are you’ve never heard of some of these rare gems. I have been listening to Hip Hop since the inception and I know the culture has far more to offer than what you typically hear on the radio.
By no means am I a Hip Hop historian but I know a thing or two about the genre and evolution of rap music. With that said; the compiled list below is not necessarily foundational rap songs but a few dope cuts that I came across in recent years and figured they are worth a notable mention.
Each one in it’s respective way tick a lot (not all) of the boxes on the fundamental pillars of Hip Hop culture, DJing, MCing, B-Boying and Graffiti Writing.
Check these out and let me know what you think:
In the Ghetto (Wake Up!) – (feat. Black Thought & Rakim)
I’m not sure why Black Thought isn’t mentioned in the top 3, top 5 or even top 10 of dopest emcee’s. I mean, there are a lot of cats out there that can rap but this brother can RAP.
On this track he collaborated with the legendary God Emcee himself, Rakim Allah on a remake of Eric B. & Rakim’s “In the Ghetto” from Let the Rhythm Hit ’Em, the third studio album by hip hop duo Eric B. & Rakim, released on June 19, 1990.
SUPERMAN III – Kev Brown
I’m not sure if you can consider yourself a true hip hop head if you don’t own a few Kev Brown albums or at least tracks by Kev Brown. This guy is a producer that can probably out rap most rappers.
He has the rare talent of making the dopest beats but also has bars on the mic. That honor is held by a seldom few heavyweights in the game like Kanye West, Pete Rock and Dr. Dre to name a few.
On this track the self proclaimed King of the Bassline Kev Brown, is having fun over a slow tempo beat that he produced.
Classic – Better Than I’ve Ever Been – Dj Premier (feat. Rakim, Kanye West, Nas & Krs-One)
“Classic (Better Than I’ve Ever Been)” is a collaboration song between Rakim, Kanye West, Nas, KRS-One that is co-produced by Rick Rubin and DJ Premier.
I heard this track several years ago and ever since I have been searching for a downloadable or purchasable copy. Apparently it is a promotional track, released only on vinyl but not for digital download.
It was performed live at the Nike Air Force One’s 25th-anniversary party shown on MTV2. Each emcee brings to the table what they do best over a Preemo track.
“Timeless so your age don’t count in the booth when your flow stay submerged in the fountain of youth…..” Hip-Hop quotable.
Freedom Form Flowing – Gift of Gab (feat. R.A. The Rugged Man and A-F-R-O)
Okay, I know R.A. The Rugged Man, he’s been around for a minute but Gift of Gab and A-F-R-O, I have to admit, I am not too familiar with their work.
Perhaps I am the one that has been under a rock somewhere. None the less, the 3 of these underrated cats on one record equals a banging beat, superb lyrics and an overall fire track. I’m already checking for more of their stuff.
This Sh*t Right Here – HRSMN (Ras Kass, Killah Priest, Canibus, Kurupt)
Honestly, I’m not sure how I came across this record. I don’t know, I guess I was digging in the digital catalogs late one night probably checking for a Canibus song or album and came across this song where he is one of the featured MC’s.
The song originally appeared on Ras Kass & DJ Rhettmatic’s A.D.I.D.A.S. but I cannot find a downloadable copy anywhere. This Sh*t Right Here features (Ras Kass, Killah Priest, Canibus and Kurupt). Dope beat, dope lyrics what more can I say.
Your turn, comment below and tell us your top five hip hop songs we have probably never heard.