Monday, April 16, 2007

Straight Bangin' challenge- Whoadie Edition

I actually still listen to Long Live the Kane. I'm that guy.

Earlier today, citizen Joey Straight Bangin' put out a call to prayer, distilled in the following excerpt:
I'd like to see if we can't create an internets top-25 rap albums list. I would use a simple weighted scoring system to rank the records. Albums placed at #1 would receive 25 points; those at #25 would get 1 point. I'd take the mean average of each nominated record and divide it by total votes received. The records that received the 25 highest vote totals would get slotted onto the list in order of average points, from most to fewest.
OK. Despite the fact that these lists are going to be so colored with regional bias and the blinders of age, we're gonna take a crack at this- idiosyncrasies and blind spots be damned.

First, here is my pathetic attempt to justify this arbitrary list:

My list pretty much pegs me as an East Coast rap fan whose musical consciousness (rap-wise) formed in the mid-1990s. Many of the albums on this list simply had a stay atop my personal charts (headphones/car). There are some tips of the hat to the old-school here as well as some nods to albums I love just because I'm a DJ and I love to spin them before 11 o'clock, when nobody minds if you are strictly playing old rap.

It's a shame that singles don't count for anything here, because there have been tons of game-changing singles which ended up on forgettable albums or never even made it to album. I have also included instrumental albums that were universally determined to be "hip-hop" although they contain little or no rapping. This is sure to be a point of dispute. There's nothing particularly risky about the contents of the list, but the order is surely disputable. As you can tell, there were a lot of great albums I had to cut out, these near-misses are all at the bottom. Enjoy.


1. Nas- Illmatic
2. Notorious B.I.G.- Ready to Die
3. Wu Tang Clan- 36 Chambers
4. Dr. Dre- The Chronic
5. NWA- Straight Outta Compton
6. DJ Shadow- Endtroducing
7. Black Star- Black Star
8. Cannibal Ox- The Cold Vein
9. The Roots- Do You Want More?
10. Boogie Down Productions- Criminal Minded
11. Ghostface Killah- Supreme Clientele
12. A Tribe Called Quest- The Low End Theory
13. Outkast- Stankonia
14. Eric B. and Rakim- Paid in Full
15. Ghostface Killah- Fishscale
16. Big Daddy Kane- Long Live the Kane
17. Company Flow- Funcrusher Plus
18. Pharoahe Monch- Internal Affairs
19. Common- Resurrection
20. J-Live- The Best Part
21. Fugees- The Score
22. Gangstarr- Moment of Truth
23. Black Moon- Enta Da Stage
24. Slick Rick- The Great Adventures of Slick Rick
25. Schooly D- Schooly D

The next 25(ish) in approximate order: GZA- Liquid Swords, The Juggaknots- Clear Blue Skies, Mos Def- Black on Both Sides, Black Sheep- The Choice is Yours, Snoop- Doggystyle, Jay-Z- The Blueprint, Raekwon- Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Das EFX- Dead Serious, The Roots- Things Fall Apart, Main Source- Breaking Atoms, Wild Style Soundtrack, Organized Konfusion- Organized Konfusion, Aesop Rock- Labor Days, Masta Ace- SlaughtaHouse, EPMD- Strictly Business, Canibus- Can-I-Bus, Redman- Whut? Thee Album, OutKast- ATLiens, De La Soul- 3 Feet High and Rising, Blackalicious- A2G, El-P- Fantastic Damage, ATCQ- Midnight Marauders, Three 6 Mafia- Da Unbreakables, Whodini- Escape, The Pharcyde- Labcabincalifornia, Busta Rhymes- When Disaster Strikes, Dr. Octagon- Dr. Octagonecologyst, RJD2- Deadringer, Ultramagnetic MCs- Critical Beatdown, Devin the Dude- Just Tryin Ta Live, Salt n Pepa- A Salt With a Deadly Pepa

I was arguing with a friend in a bar on Thursday- 4th Chamber came on the jukebox (I know!) and he said Liquid Swords was the best rap album of all time. I disagreed and said it might not even be in my Top 25. As you can see, Christian, it's number 26.

Skinny's list can be found here. Burnso's list can be found here.

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