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5 Great Hip Hop Songs You Probably Have Never Heard

Joel

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Hip Hop Songs You Never Heard

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.

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Music

Nas: King’s Disease Album Review

Joel

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Nas

Peeps – In a time where younger cats in the rap game dish out a few quick hits with little to no authenticity, Nas’ King’s Disease cuts through the clutter with an adult contemporary Hip Hop album that just feels right.

Primarily produced by Hit-Boy, King’s Disease delivers organized and thought out songs allowing Nas to do what he does best, telling real stories that resonate with his loyal fans.

“Nas’ King’s Disease cuts through the clutter with an adult contemporary Hip Hop album that just feels right.”

On the album Nas deals with relevant topics in our current climate ranging from black love to being an entrepreneur, he even mentioned a few of his personal experiences with the women he has dated.

Like many of you, I always prefer when artists put out music that they would enjoy listening to, music that strikes a chord with their core fan base.

Nas hits the mark on this as the bean counters (record executives) constantly flood the industry with the next wave of shiny objects and one-hit wonders.

Nas

Veteran MC’s like Nas who continued to build upon the foundation laid before him by the founding fathers of Hip Hop, do not always get the credit they deserve for continuously putting out good music after all these years.

Rappers like Nas, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z to name a few.

Nas alluded to that himself when he posted on Instagram about how grateful he was for his work to be considered a “Masterpiece”.

It’s the greatest feeling to see people i respect in music and even media using words like “Classic”, “Masterpiece” , Album Of The Year !” Hard to describe this feeling love to All the people that rocked with me , OG’z to the new G’z, from the 1990s, 2000’s, 2010s, to 2020! LOVE to everyone. Thank You.

Typically, our pioneers and legends get shoved in a corner and labeled irrelevant while some of them still have something to contribute to the culture.

Is this Nas’s best work? I don’t know, you would have to tell me because I am not qualified to answer that question. I can only give credit where credit is due, and the man’s got a lot of dope content under his belt.

The album feels and sounds thorough and complete, with no skips and great collabs with Big Sean, Anderson Paak, AZ, and of course the joint with Charlie Wilson.

Some of the standout tracks are King’s Disease, Car #85 feat. Charlie Wilson, Ultra Black feat. Hit-Boy, 27 Summers, and Full Circle feat. The Firm & AZ & Foxy Brown & Cormega.

I can only tell you what sounds dope and Nas apparently found the cure for King’s Disease.

Nas: Ultra Black

Pick up King’s Disease here, and check out two more album reviews we did here and here.

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J. Cole: 2014 Forest Hills Drive Still Going Crazy 6 Years Later

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Tabatha Fireman/Getty Images

Things are heating up for J. Cole as Dreamville co-founder and Cole’s manager, Ibrahim Hamad, tweeted that J. Cole now has 12 new plaques to his name. These new RIAA certifications all come from tracks featured on J. Cole’s acclaimed album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive.

This is a big deal for the talented rapper because RIAA’s Platinum and Gold certifications are awarded to artists when their record sells 1 million units and 500,000 units respectively.

The certifications for 2014 Forest Hills Drive arrives shortly after the RIAA announced 10 new plaques for its follow-up studio album, 4 Your Eyez Only.

If you are not familiar with J. Cole’s body of work, or 2014 Forest Hills Drive in particular, it is his third studio album that was released on December 9, 2014, by ByStorm Entertainment, Columbia Records, Dreamville Records and Roc Nation.

Without a doubt, 2014 Forest Hills Drive was an album that gave the term “nostalgia” a completely new meaning. Released on December 9th, 2014, the album soared into popularity as over two million copies were sold worldwide.

J. Cole

Continuing to achieve musical feats, FHD went on to go double platinum, furthering Cole’s success.

Not only did this prompt the Forest Hills Drive Homecoming Tour in the artist’s home state of North Carolina, but the success inspired the production of the 2014 FHD Homecoming movie, which was a self-narrated documentary depicting the origin story of Jermaine “J.” Cole.

This fame welcomed the introduction of his 2016 album “4 Your Eyez Only” with somewhat confused-yet open-arms. The various confusion amidst fans regarding the variety of song styles led to an overall drop in sales, as 4YEO only managed to go platinum.

Dealing with much heavier topics like gun violence, mass incarceration, and toxic masculinity, the artist’s fans were utterly shocked as to why J. Cole decided to take such a far step back from the light that Forest Hills Drive had provided everyone with.

However, Cole’s fanbase still supported him, and although the 4YEO album brought up hidden details about the artist’s own personal life, listeners still couldn’t wait to see what the artist came up with next.

This hope was not in vain this year as J. Cole released his latest album “K.O.D” in May 2018. Initial reviews were somewhat surprised; the album, taking a much more aggressive approach, was something unfamiliar to listeners who had been a part of the nostalgic “2014 Forest Hills Drive” and somewhat somber “4 Your Eyez Only” in the past.

There was more confusion; not only about the meaning behind the album’s acronym in general but behind the meaning and interpretation of the accompanying music videos for some of the songs.

However confused his fanbase seemed to be, the album still hit record sales; 4YEO succeeded in being the fifth straight album to debut at the top of the Billboard 200 charts. J. Cole also succeeded in being able to appeal to both his younger, newer fans, as well as his more experienced listeners.

With this being his third album in 6 years, Cole honed in on his versatile music creating skills in order to make three differently styled, unique albums that intrigued his entire fanbase.

And although the albums continue to dive further into more serious social topics, the overall stability of J. Cole’s music career remains unwavering, even while he continues to perplex his fans and make them wonder what his next move is.

Image: Tabatha Fireman/Getty Images

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Joey Bakes Poseidon Album Review

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POSEIDON

History tells us that Poseidon was one of the Twelve Olympians in ancient Greek religion and mythology. He was most notably the god of the sea, storms, earthquakes and even horses.

Poseidon was also known to be the protector of all waters; sailors relied on him for safe passage.

Joey Bakes based out of Dallas, Texas, decided to make a few waves of his own in the music industry by titling his latest album POSEIDON. The rapper said his story relates to Poseidon in many ways.

His latest project dropped on August 13th, 2020 on all streaming platforms and we got our hands on it soon after the release date to get an immediate first impression. The album consist of 10 complete songs, see the full tracklist below.

The album has guest features from indie artists HonestE, RiqueProductions, Fnote, JBurn, and Val Vicious and is an ode to late-night sessions in the studio, relationships, and general life lessons from the perspective of a young rapper on the come up.

POSEIDON

@joey_bakes

In an interview with Hood Critic Magazine, he shared:

I’m coming out of the gate with something different. I have a unique story and people don’t really know what I go through on a daily basis. I relate my life and story to the Greek god Poseidon in many ways. The whole album is personified through Poseidon and personified through the restless dark and deep of the ocean.

Each song embodies the tale of the ocean. At times unpredictable and reckless, however, beyond the destruction and catastrophe, there is a profound measure of creativity, potential and uncharted waters for the up and coming rapper.

With roots in Roosevelt, New York Joey Bakes exudes a certain star quality like many of the greats from Long Island.

Inspired by his father who introduced him to the Golden age of Hip Hop at a young age Bakes seemingly mastered writing, producing, and engineering his own music, creating tracks that leave listeners wanting more.

Every track on Poseidon represents a unique element of his versatility and talent, which is a breath of fresh air for a culture weighed down by everyone sounding the same.

A perfect example that sets him apart is the opener “Abyss”, a fierce jab packed with bravado over a smooth flute and heavy baseline.

With a level of grit, swagger, and wit packed into each punchline, Bakes paints himself as his only competition.

To my dome now my brain is spiral, heated cyphers with my soul, I’m my only rival.

The song contains a few dope lines like (“Straight water with the waves we don’t do splashes”, and “Heated cyphers with my soul, I’m my only rival.”), on Poseidon Bakes’s lyrics aren’t the only thing banging, the heavy base produced by HollyWoodSounds is at its best coming at you out of a big speaker system.

Innovation and the influence of golden age Hip Hop during his upbringing has proved itself to be a driving force behind Bake’s music.

Bakes’s metaphors, cadence, and delivery separate him from his peers in the game, 2020-21 could prove to be a promising year for the rapper-songwriter.

Check him out for yourself.

Via JoeyBakes.com

Joey Bakes was born in July 93 in Roosevelt, New York, but moved to Dallas, Texas in his teens. His father being an avid music lover was one of the many inspirations of young Bakes.

Along with most of the 90’s era rappers (some of the best rappers of all time) whose conscious levels and styles of music dominated that time period.

Whether it was sciences or the fate of the Gods, Bakes became an early musician starting off writing solid bars to spit for his friends at the lunch table.

This grew into a deeper art, Young Bakes then started recording, mixing, and releasing both freestyles and completed songs throughout his high school years.

As time went on, so did his love for the music. Followed by a life littered with hardships, struggle, dedication, discipline, and success, Bakes continued to pursue music with numerous influences both inside and outside the music industry.

Joey Bakes will capture the minds of true hip hop heads and suppress the theory that true hip hop is lost. Stream Poseidon on all platforms now and grab a copy of his album here.

Tracklist:

  1.  Abyss (feat. Honeste)
  2.  The Wave
  3.  Poseidon (feat. F-Note the Visionary)
  4.  Next
  5.  Calypso (Interlude [Off the Deep]
  6.  Thrasher
  7.  Deep State (feat. J Burn)
  8.  Shadows (feat. Honeste)
  9.  Fifty Blunts
  10.  Drift (feat. Val Vicious)

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