I was culturally pretty sheltered from Hip-Hop until I was an adult. I’d just gained enough interest to work sequentially through Kanye West’s discography, but the bigger revelation was listening to A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory for the first time. I think it was the first Hip-Hop classic I listened to all the way through, and it was also the first time I listened to a full album twice in a row because I was so floored by it. Obviously he compares what they’re doing with Jazz within the song, but just that moment when Q-tip fumbles a line near the end of Excursions and keeps going like a Jazz musician fully changed my understanding of what Hip-Hop is.
I also want to shout out some contemporary stuff that is happening here in Australia. It seems like every couple of weeks there are young rappers coming out with top tier stuff representing all sorts of areas that have never had it before:
I can actually peg my introduction to hip-hop to one song:
I heard this song at age 5/6, loved it, so my parents bought me Eminem’s Curtain Call album. They weren’t really up to date on pop culture or really anything more hardcore than Coldplay, so I don’t think they knew how vulgar Eminem was when he bought me that record. Eminem deservedly has a reputation as a cornball now, but he was my and a lot of other people’s introduction to hip-hop.
A few months later, with Gold Digger and Touch the Sky burned into my brain from constant rotation on MTV and radio, I got Late Registration by Kanye West. That’s what really sealed the deal for me, after that I was completely hooked, to the point that Graduation was the first album I ever pre-ordered. I’d probably call Late Registration, Coldplay’s Live 2003 (ugh) and U2’s Achtung Baby (also their Zoo TV: Live from Sydney DVD) the most formative albums of my first ten years; all of those records, for better or worse, turned me into an absolute music fanatic from a super young age and I’ll never shake that.
I say I didn’t properly get into Hip-Hop until I was an adult, but that’s not to discredit Eminem who was a big part of my childhood too, I just never got the full picture for a very long time. Funny though that it happened because Eminem was the first Hip-Hop that my parents were able to get into But yeah, no doubting he was absolutely on top the game in a way that his current reputation would have you forget about if you weren’t revisiting those first projects.
Similarly, one of the only other exceptions was just the song Homecoming from Graduation (listening to full albums was still the exception for me at that stage), very formative memories with that song relating to the freedom of older friends first being able to drive us around.
Paris Texas and Noname have been the most recent stuff on repeat for me.
Since King Gizzard’s next album is obviously going to be an all rap album, let’s talk some of the potential inspiration for Amby’s big rap debut
I know they’ve gone in that Beastie Boys direction for the rap stuff, but I think this could be more up their alley:
Masterpiece of a sci-fi concept rap album. You mentioning Souls of Mischief has got me revisiting Hieroglyphics for the first time in a while, I was always more about east coast when it comes to this older stuff so I forget how smooth some of this is.
Gorillaz was my first music obsession, so I was at least across Danger Mouse 20 years ago, but its crazy to think he and Jemini have been sitting on this for that long because it’s sick. Probably the best album artwork out this year too.
Today I discovered little simz and I’m immediately sold! I’m wondering how I wasn’t aware of her existence before. She’s full of talent!!
“Hat low, incognito livin’ Introvert, but, she ain’t timid
*My art will be timeless, I don’t do limits * Be very specific when you talk on who the best is How can I address this? Basically, the rest is almost like to me what a stain to a vest is You ain’t drop nothin’ in my eyes I’m impressed with
*Please, don’t be offended * But I’m not in the business for pretendin’ “