Archive for the 'Lists' Category

Happy 75th Birthday Queensbridge: The 75 Greatest QB Rap Songs

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

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Words by Paul Meara (@PaulMeara)

Queensbridge Houses was infamous long before any hip-hop gatekeeper donned it such. The harrowing hallways of North America’s largest housing projects were a refuge for drug dealers, stick up kids and mob figures long before Marley and Shan touched a 4-track or mic and broadcasted about it. Opening in 1939, The Bridge has a long history of housing the hard-stricken. Those who famously made it out did it either with a basketball or a microphone.

There’s no doubt the crack epidemic affected the surroundings of those who would choose music. Pioneering clique The Juice Crew’s earlier rhymes didn’t typically assume the gangster element but those who spawned from them couldn’t help but represent what they saw. The youngest member of the 80s mega posse began to take it exclusively to the streets. Intelligent Hoodlum, and his debut self-titled LP, was one of the first in a long succession during the 1990s to represent QB’s dark street vibes while incorporating a wiser message. And this trend continued with nearly everyone who followed. Nas would be next. Up to that point in Hip-Hop’s history, nobody had ever come across an 18-year-old with such a firm command of the English language and rhymes imparted with a wisdom beyond his years. Mobb Deep would release their peak project at the tender age of 19 soon after. Tragedy Khadafi disciples Capone-N-Noreaga would keep the fire burning two years later with another Big Apple classic. No other neighborhood in hip-hop music’s history released more quality in a shorter amount of time. It was legendary and heavily influential in not only New York’s rap makeup, but also the genre’s.

In honor of Queensbridge’s 75th year in existence (and Nas’ recent release of Time is Illmatic), Nah Right has compiled and ranked as many songs. The greatest QB hip-hop cuts of all time. You know, the joints that scream grimy. The ones that take you straight to 41st and Vernon. The jawns that helped shape the legacy of Queensbridge and were important in its musical vibrancy. This list isn’t the greatest songs from artists who happen to be from QB. Nah. This is that diggin’ though crates for unreleased white labels shit. That dun lingo laced crack that brought you straight across the 59th Street Bridge into the valley of tough cats and rhymes just as thoro. Or as Mobb Deep would call it “Hell on Earth.”

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The Songs on The Blueprint, Ranked

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

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Today marks 13 years since Jay dropped The Blueprint on the same day that the towers fell. Prompted by the homie Lowkey’s question from earlier about which song people believe is the best on the classic LP, plus our own internal NMC debate, I decided to toss this list together.

This is neither up for debate, nor written in stone: I reserve the right to change this order tomorrow.

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The Lone Swordsman: RZA’s Best Solo Songs

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

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Presented by Dr Pepper

Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Staten Island-bred hip-hop icon the RZA has enjoyed a fruitful career in the music industry. Of course, he is best known for his work with the Wu-Tang Clan, producing and rhyming on their untouchable group albums like their debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and their follow-up double LP Wu-Tang Forever, as well as the many five-star solo albums under the Wu umbrella (Raekwon’s Only Built for Cuban Linx, GZA’s Liquid Swords, and Ghostface Killah’s Supreme Clientele to name a few). He’s also collaborated on joints with everyone from Cypress Hill to The Notorious B.I.G. to Kanye West. But truth be told, the RZA is quite capable of making classics on his own. In fact, some of his finest musical work has been done when he’s gone for self. Read about and listen to RZA’s Best Solo Songs below, and be sure to check out RZA’s One of a Kind Studio Sessions EP courtesy of Dr Pepper.

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Video Vault: 10 Classic ’90s Common Music Videos

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

I was sixteen when Common released his classic sophomore album Resurrection. I admittedly slept on his first joint, but Resurrection held me down so hard my junior year of high school, and I still bang it regularly when I need a jolt of purity. In fact, I’ve been playing it all weekend, and it’s as dope as it was the day I first listened to it, start to finish, no skips, just pure lyricism and skill over a soulful collection of banging No I.D. beats. Now twenty years later, Common is getting ready to drop his 10th album, Nobody’s Smiling, via Def Jam on July 22nd, and I’m super-psyched about its release, because it once again pairs him with Resurrection producer No I.D. The first single “Kingdom” with Vince Staples is a banger, and his recently released Big Sean collabo “Diamonds” knocks too, so there’s no doubt in my mind this LP is going to be special.

After listening to Common’s interview with Combat Jack earlier this week, I got all fired up and decided to put together this collection of classic ‘90s Common music videos for our latest Video Vault. This is a return to Common’s foundation, which you will see from the visuals is deeply rooted in his hometown of Chicago. From the singles off his debut album, to the breakout clip for “I Used to Love H.E.R.,” to collabos with Lauryn Hill, Sadat X, Black Star, and more, enjoy these 10 Classic ’90s Common Music Videos.

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Editorial: 10 Songs You May Have Slept On in 2014 (So Far)

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Dozens of new hip-hop songs drop every day. It’s hard to keep up, I know. Where does one even find the time to listen to everything that’s released? It’s virtually impossible nowadays. You have to actively seek out music by the artists you like, and stay on top of your favorite outlets to make sure you don’t miss anything new in the genre. Well, that’s if you care. I have some friends that don’t really give a shit about new music. They care about sports, or market trends, or sneakers. Me, I care about music. I don’t want there to be a dope song out anywhere, old or new, that I am missing in my iTunes. I need all the heat. It’s a personal mission, and I’ll be on it forever.

That said, I want to take this mid-year opportunity to share a few personal favorites from 2014—so far—that you may have slept on. If you’re on NahRight religiously like I am, then you’ve probably heard most or even all of these. But maybe you missed a couple, or possibly you clicked on one of them and didn’t absorb it properly. Here’s your chance to make up for those oversights. Oh, and this ain’t no “best of” list. If you read our daily content and features, you know there are lots of other artists, songs, and projects we’ve been rocking with this year that are worthy of praise. The proof is in our posts. This is just me, speaking for the nooks and crannies I’ve found to be highlight-worthy since the ball dropped that you may have missed, forgotten about, or not given their proper listen. I want to make sure you’re not caught out there sleeping. Ride with me.

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Video Vault: 25 Classic Jay Z Television Performances

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Jay Z just embarked on yet another high-grossing Summer tour earlier this week, this time with his superstar wife Beyonce as the co-headliner. While young new artists continue to build up their following on the road, and legendary acts keep their careers alive off show money, Hov will be comfy cozy on his private jet flying city to city, padding his family bank account and perhaps Blue Ivy’s college fund with new bags of bills. But the route from Marcy Projects to mansions in the Hamptons didn’t come without continuous hard work. Jigga’s been out here doing this for a minute now (his debut Reasonable Doubt just turned 18 on June 25th), and though his career lifestyle has become more luxurious, it’s still a grind.

To help kick off Jay’s latest tour with wifey, we gathered up 25 Classic Jay Z Television Performances—dating back to 1996 and spanning his entire career—for our latest Video Vault. These TV clips feature on-stage performances with everyone from Beanie Sigel to UGK to Eminem to Lenny Kravitz to the Queen Bey herself, and there’s a few Dame Dash cameos to enjoy as well. Also included is a nice batch of past BET Awards performances to warm you up for tonight’s big show. Throw your diamonds up, the Roc is in the building!

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Do Remember: 5 Wu-Tang Clan Bangers featuring Raekwon and RZA Verses

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

When taking into consideration the amount of group and solo releases that make up the Wu-Tang Clan discography, you’d think that Raekwon and the RZA would have rapped on more songs together than they actually have. But if you exclude the Wu’s posse-style singles, the number of album cuts featuring verses by both of them isn’t as abundant as it should be. So we’re hoping the alleged report stating that the strike is over and the two Wu Gods are back on good terms is true, and that they’re getting ready to make some new joints together for the upcoming group reunion album tentatively titled A Better Tomorrow.

With an optimistic outlook on the situation, we combed through Wu-Tang’s ’90s back-catalog to present you with 5 of our favorite throwback bangers that feature both Raekwon and RZA Verses. And no, you won’t find singles like “Protect Ya Neck” or “Triumph” on this short list. These are the less-celebrated but still heavily rotated Wu classics that best represent what happens when Raekwon and the RZA spit darts on the same track (pardon the lack of obscurity—in our opinion, not all rap lists have to be filled with rarities). We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the new LP, beyond the singles, has bountiful gems like this to uncover.

All you Wu-Tang diehards out there please throw your W’s up and rap along, we already know you can recite every word of these joints, though you may not have heard some of them in a minute. And for the Wu newbies, don’t be afraid to abuse the rewind button on these selections—Lord knows we have to death.

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5 Rap Collaborations We’d Like to Hear in 2014

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

We’re still in A&R mode after putting together our Illmatic tribute mixtape with UpNorthTrips, which dropped this past weekend on the 20th anniversary of the album’s release. And though we’re in no way anxious to dive back into another project of that magnitude, we’ve got a few ideas for collaborations we’d like to hear this year. There’s nothing more exciting than a sick collabo. Remember when Jay Electronica and Jay Z’s remix of “We Made It” dropped? We all woke up that Sunday morning and neglected our loved ones for the rest of the weekend listening to it and tweeting about whose verse was better. And a month later, we’re still talking about it.

Well, we’ve got five more ideas for rap collaborations that we think will not only be epic for hip-hop in 2014, but also just flat-out dope to listen to for years to come. We even included in our choice of producers for each to save the artists the work of finding the right person to make the track if they intend to follow through on any of these proposed records (in which case we will expect a percentage of the iTunes sales thank you kindly). Check out the collabos we cooked up below, and feel free to let us know if you have any additional ideas of your own in our comments section.

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7 Classic Yo! MTV Raps “Live Fridays” Performances

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Ip is back at it with a new compilation of iconic moments from Yo! MTV Raps. For this week’s installment of our Video Vault series, he dug up some crispy clips of some very memorable performances from the official MTV archives. Check out these “Live Fridays” segments with Big Daddy Kane, Wu-Tang Clan, Redman and Del the Funky Homosapien and relive the era. A Tribe Called Quest’s performance of “Check The Rhime” and KRS-One’s live rendition of “Outta Here” where everything at the time.

Click here to read Video Vault: 7 Classic Yo! MTV Raps “Live Fridays” Performances

Previously: Video Vault: 14 Artists Promote Their 1994 Album Releases onYo! MTV Raps

14 Artists Promote Their 1994 Album Releases on Yo! MTV Raps

Friday, March 28th, 2014

These days when a rapper wants to promote their new album, they might hit up half a dozen media outlets in an afternoon, but back in 1994 the options were much more limited. Yo! MTV Raps was by far the most important though, particularly from the perspective of young fans starving for coverage of a genre that was still very much on the fringes of the mainstream.

In 2014, you can sit at your desk or pull out your phone and catch a real time stream of RapFix Live from wherever you may happen to be. But back in 1994 you were rushing home from school or fiddling with your VCR timer to be sure you didn’t miss that day’s special guest on Yo! As part of our ongoing retrospective coverage of the amazing year of music that was 1994, we pulled together a bunch of classic clips showcasing a wide array of artists doing promotional appearances for their new releases on MTV’s iconic show.

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