Even if you don’t like rap and hip-hop, give this post a chance. I know Jose has quoted Jay-Z and met Rakim, Dan‘s spotlighted a homemade Jay-Z poster, and Taylor loves Eminem and Ice Cube; I’m counting on you (& similar-minded folks) to help me out here and in the next post. The rest of you might learn something new.
I was introduced to rap the same way as many other white suburban kids my age – when Run-DMC and Aerosmith collaborated on a cover of “Walk This Way.” I was 9 and in fourth grade, and I ate it right up – that was my gateway into hip-hop.
By the time I hit high school I was discovering the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Clapton, Hendrix, and focusing on rock music, but in that five-year span from 1986 to 1991 I’d absorbed a lot of rap (mostly via Yo! MTV Raps)*, including Eric B & Rakim, Kool Moe Dee, KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions, EPMD, Digital Underground (featuring a pre-solo success Tupac), Ice-T, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, N.W.A., and my personal favorite, Public Enemy.
My inability to musically multi-task as a teenager shut me off to a lot of great stuff of all genres, I’m sure, and I regret that. Even with my blinders on, though, I managed to pick up on Cube, Snoop, Dre, Del tha Funkee Homosapien, the evolution of the Beastie Boys, and later, Biggie, Busta Rhymes, and Wu-Tang Clan.
There’s a reason I’m posting this, to be revealed in Part II. For now, I’m just trying to stir the pot a bit. If you’re with me, drop me a comment – who are your picks for top rap artists? Who’s out there right now that’s good that isn’t getting radio play?
*I’m showing my age – I’m so old I remember when MTV showed music videos. 🙁