10 Great Hip-Hop Albums You’ve Never Heard (5-1)

Written by J.Monkey. Posted in Lists

Published on April 29, 2009 with 40 Comments



J Dilla – “No One Knows”

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J Dilla – “We F’d Up” (Prod. by Kanye West)

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With his too early passing and subsequent elevation to ‘Patron Saint of the Beats’ it’s a complete mystery too many how a fully realised album by J Dilla can still remain unreleased. That’s exactly the case with ‘Pay Jay’ though, Dilla’s solo album recorded for MCA in 2002. Dilla was primarily known for his production but decided to focus on his presence as MC with this record. He did some beats but the majority of the production was handed over to other musicians, among them were ?uestlove, Kariem Riggins, Kanye West, Pete Rock and Supa Dave West. Bootlegs of this album also feature ‘Fuck The Police’, the track Dilla released back then as a 12″ which is still a regular favorite with many DJ’s and one of his most popular solo tracks. Kanye did release one thing from this album: he recycled the bassline sampled from ‘The Doors’ on ‘We F’d Up (ft. Frank ‘n Dank)’ in Jay-Z’s ‘Takeover’. Can’t blame him for that, that bassline is a monster. [Download Pay Jay]

 

4. Ol’ Dirty Bastard - A Son Unique

ODB – “Intoxicated” (Feat. Method Man, Macy Gray, Raekwon)

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ODB – “Pop Shots” (Feat. Lil Fame)

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Damon Dash surprised many when he signed the ODB fresh outta rehab/jail to a deal with Rocafella records. The man with no father to his style didn’t turn his back on the Wu though as Rza was on board to produce and Ghostface and Method Man recorded guest verses. So did Clipse, NORE and Joe Budden, non-Wu production was provided by The Neptunes and DJ Premier. Maybe it was ghostwriters (Rhymefest was rumored to be one of them), maybe it was ODB’s nenewed focus, a drive to create something more personal or a combination of those factors, but this sounds like the most coherent release in his catalogue by far. Aside from the awesomely awful or awfully awesome Macy Gray duet covering ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ there’s surprisingly little singing and ranting while still sounding like a real ODB album. It was supposed to be released in november of 2005 to commemmorate the anniversary of his sudden death in Wu-Tang’s recording studio a year earlier. Somehow that still hasn’t happened.

 

3. Large Professor – The LP

Large Professor – “One Plus” (Feat. Nas)

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Large Professor – “For My People”

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“Peace, represent, buy the album when I drop it”. Many people would’ve liked to comply with Large Pro’s request at the end of Tribe’s ‘Keep It Rollin’ but never got the chance. What could’ve been a well-remembered gem of 90’s hip-hop and the definite launch of Large Pro’s solo carriere turned out to be a legal battle between artist and label that lasted for years. It eventually came out as a bonus with the first pressing of Large Pro’s debut ‘1st Class’ once he got the rights to The LP in his own hands but suffice to say the momentum was gone. That doesn’t mean this isn’t a well balanced album, it showcases a versality in styles from the mellow Nas-assisted ‘One Plus One’ to the raw sounding ‘Spacey’, the jazzy ‘For My People’ and the Vincent-Price-Thriller-laugh sampling ‘The Mad Scientist’. It’s time has definitley passed as a potential hit record but after all these years it still deserves a decent release on it’s own merits.

 

2. KMD – Black Bastards

KMD – “Constipated Monkey”

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KMD – “Get U Now”

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The follow-up to their 1991 debut Mr. Hood had Zev Love X, DJ Subroc and Onyx (the Birthstone Kid) still sounding funky, but a lot darker. The album cover featured a hanging Sambo caricature which didn’t exactly make Elektra Records bounce off the wall with excitement about its commercial prospects. It may not have been the most easily marketable album but there was still trademark KMD humor on tracks like “Constipated Monkey,” hyped posse cut rhyming on “F-ck With Ya Head” and banging production all over by Subroc. Sadly, Subroc didn’t survive a car crash in 1993. That made Elektra definitely loose their nerve in publishing the album and made his brother Zev Love X disappear altogether. He emerged back on the scene years later wearing a mask and calling himself MF Doom. You might’ve heard of him.

 

1. Q-Tip – Kamaal The Abstract

The man who coined Industry Rule #4080 is far from a stranger to its effects himself. Q-Tip made Tribe fans all over the world collectively scratch their heads with his electronic-tinged solo debut Amplified. But Kamaal wasn’t about to cave in to the pressure of releasing an easy crowdpleaser in 2003. In fact, his second solo-album can barely be described as a hip-ho album. He opens it with a verse followed by a sung chorus but just when you think the second verse is about to start an organ solo kicks in and takes over half of the song. Eventually it gets accompanied by a guitar and then even more singing towards the end. Put on the album with an open mind and you’re treated to an amalgam of jazz, funk, hip-hop, rock and probably some other stuff that not only lets you in on the personal development of an artist but also treats you to some genuine dope music. Review copies were pressed and sent out and critics alternately burned it to the ground or hailed it as a masterpiece. Probably already nervous in regard to the response to Q-Tip’s first solo outing, Arista didn’t know what to do with it and decided to shelve the album. A damn shame, record company people are shady…
[Download Kamaal the Abstract]

 

Honorable Mentions: Rakim - Oh My God (Aftermath) (There’s no bootleg and practically no one ever heard it, but it’s Rakim on Dre beats); Elzhi – Untitled

CLICK HERE FOR 10 – 6

TRU

J.Monkey

1982 was when Jaap van der Doelen aka J.Monkey shot his way out his mom dukes. A mere two years later he was already battling Big Brother and The Illuminati. Whenever he has time to spare from those efforts he writes (about music, mostly), hosts a radio show and designs graphics for a living. He lives in The Netherlands where he continues to be winning.

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40 Comments

There are currently 40 Comments on 10 Great Hip-Hop Albums You’ve Never Heard (5-1). Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. GREAT.

    My weekend will now be spent scouring for a lot of these albums.

  2. GREAT.

    My weekend will now be spent scouring for a lot of these albums.

  3. GREAT.

    My weekend will now be spent scouring for a lot of these albums.

  4. dope. i only have three of these and they are super dope. i cant wait to get my hands on the rest.

  5. dope. i only have three of these and they are super dope. i cant wait to get my hands on the rest.

  6. dope. i only have three of these and they are super dope. i cant wait to get my hands on the rest.

  7. “My weekend will now be spent scouring for a lot of these albums.”

    Word. Don’t fail me now, internet…

  8. “My weekend will now be spent scouring for a lot of these albums.”

    Word. Don’t fail me now, internet…

  9. “My weekend will now be spent scouring for a lot of these albums.”

    Word. Don’t fail me now, internet…

  10. word up ive heard most of these but dont own them. any one tryna hook me up with a rapidshare link for cds 5-1?? HOLLA

  11. word up ive heard most of these but dont own them. any one tryna hook me up with a rapidshare link for cds 5-1?? HOLLA

  12. word up ive heard most of these but dont own them. any one tryna hook me up with a rapidshare link for cds 5-1?? HOLLA

  13. Nice post, some real gems there.

  14. Nice post, some real gems there.

  15. Nice post, some real gems there.

  16. the Last Emp song Suzie Wong was produced by the Rza. just a side note.

  17. the Last Emp song Suzie Wong was produced by the Rza. just a side note.

  18. the Last Emp song Suzie Wong was produced by the Rza. just a side note.

  19. @SiRe: Google the title with ‘rapidshare’ in the search line and you’ll hit home on most of ‘em (Ypu ain’t heard it from me though ;)).

  20. @SiRe: Google the title with ‘rapidshare’ in the search line and you’ll hit home on most of ‘em (Ypu ain’t heard it from me though ;)).

  21. @SiRe: Google the title with ‘rapidshare’ in the search line and you’ll hit home on most of ‘em (Ypu ain’t heard it from me though ;)).

  22. I NEED to hear that Clipse album.. Didn’t even know about it.

  23. I NEED to hear that Clipse album.. Didn’t even know about it.

  24. I NEED to hear that Clipse album.. Didn’t even know about it.

  25. “Rapper Nas on topic; seems we gonna rock it; Queens represent, buy the album when I drop it”

  26. “Rapper Nas on topic; seems we gonna rock it; Queens represent, buy the album when I drop it”

  27. “Rapper Nas on topic; seems we gonna rock it; Queens represent, buy the album when I drop it”

  28. i remember that Large Pro joint with Nas on some Dj Clue mixtapes back in the 90’s, very ill and that secret wars tracks was illy

  29. i remember that Large Pro joint with Nas on some Dj Clue mixtapes back in the 90’s, very ill and that secret wars tracks was illy

  30. i remember that Large Pro joint with Nas on some Dj Clue mixtapes back in the 90’s, very ill and that secret wars tracks was illy

  31. wheres 50 cent power of the dollar

  32. wheres 50 cent power of the dollar

  33. wheres 50 cent power of the dollar

  34. whr iz 50 cent power of da dollar!!!!! or guess whos back?!?!?!!!!

  35. whr iz 50 cent power of da dollar!!!!! or guess whos back?!?!?!!!!

  36. whr iz 50 cent power of da dollar!!!!! or guess whos back?!?!?!!!!

  37. How can i get ahold of Pay Jay, or Kamaal the Abstract? none of the links work.

  38. How can i get ahold of Pay Jay, or Kamaal the Abstract? none of the links work.

  39. How can i get ahold of Pay Jay, or Kamaal the Abstract? none of the links work.

  40. uyehejnlkerj;

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