best of underground hip hop

Wu-Tang Clan - Method Man

Not only is this my favorite song off of Wu-Tang Clan’s legendary 1993 debut album Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) but it’s easily in my top 5 favorite old school hip-hop songs of all time (which is obviously saying a lot).  It’s a true classic of classics, and represents the epitome of 90’s hip-hop.  This song is also one of the many reasons why Method Man is my favorite Wu-Tang member.

“I got, fat bags of skunk
I got, White Owl dub
And I’m about to go get lifted
Yes I’m about to go get lifted”

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My Song Rating: 10 out of 10

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Dyme Def - For The World

This is my all time favorite song that illustrates “motherly love”, and my third favorite song by Dyme Def…which is definitely saying something since Dyme Def has a lot of really outstanding songs.  This is off their solid album Space Music. Happy mothers day and what not.

“Still another day but not any other day

See its mothers day, gone tell my mother hey

You hear me momma, you was my girl

And the memories we shared, I wouldn’t change that for the world”

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My Song Rating: 9.5 out of 10

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Blu & Exile - Cold Hearted

This song is off Blu & Exile’s legendary hip-hop collab album Below The Heavens.  It’s easily one of the best collab albums of all time.  If your ears have never been graced by Exile’s organic and soulful instrumentals or Blu’s profound lyrics, you really need to check them out.  They recently released their second collab album Give Me My Flowers While I Can Smell Them, and even though it’s a really solid album with some amazing songs such as Everybody Nose, it doesn’t stack up to the classic status of Below The Heavens.

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My Song Rating: 9.8 out of 10

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Binary Star - Reality Check

This song has randomly gotten pretty well known thanks to Pandora (still only “underground hip-hop” famous though).  Regardless, this is a true classic of classics.  One Be Lo sure can rock a track. Each lyric he spits is incredibly well constructed and oozes vivid imagery and ideas.

“Binary Star, superstar its no coincidence Every verse is intricate, this ain’t a circus in a tent”

“Fortunately my music is never watery That’s how its gotta be, as far as I can see  Maybe you should grab a telescope to see my view its like astronomy  It ain’t all about economy  so the fact that these wack emcees is making G’s don’t bother me Honestly, my number one policy is quality never sell my soul is my philosophy High velocity, lyrics like Nastradamus make a prophecy”

“Got everybody ridin’ on my wagon like the Amish”

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My Song Rating: 10 out of 10

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Blueprint - So Alive

So Alive is my favorite song off of Blueprint’s outstanding 2011 album Adventures In Counter Culture.  I saw him perform pretty much the whole album live last year on 4/20.  It was quite a show.  Blueprint randomly had a guitarist playing with him that must’ve been 6’6” and 300 lbs and had extremely long hippy hair, which made for an amusing hip-hop combo.  Not to mention DJ Abilities was on the scratch…some truly sick shit.  ————————————————————————— 

My Song Rating: 9.4 out of 10

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CunninLynguists - Never Come Down (The Brownie Song)

This is one of my all time favorite hip-hop songs about ganja.  As always, Kno provides a beat with an amazing vibe and superb sampling.  The lyrics are also well put together, with a lot of memorable lines such as “I’m like gas prices, high for no reason”.  If you’ve never checked out the music video for this song, I highly recommend you do…it’s pretty damn amusing.  This is from their outstanding album Strange Journey Volume One.  Happy 4/20.

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My Song Rating: 9.75 out of 10

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CunninLynguists - Don’t Leave (When Winter Comes) (ft. Slug)

If you didn’t know, CunninLynguists are my favorite hip-hop group.  They are ridiculously consistent, and all of their albums are pretty damn amazing.  This is from their album Strange Journey Volume One.
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My Song Rating: 9.5 out of 10

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Bliss N Eso - Smoke Like A Fire (ft. RZA)

This is what I call a hip-hop song with variety.  I’ve bumped this song quite a lot, and it’s never gets old. The production is top notch with that Wu-Tang sample.

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My Song Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Blu & Exile - Growing Pains (ft Johaz & Fashawn)

This is the type of song you’ll need to listen to quite a few times and comprehend all the lyrics to fully appreciate it.  All three of the artists paint emotionally riveting tales of their past, and you can’t help but feel the profound nature of their words.  I really like Fashawn’s verse because through his previous songs you learned how he grew up in a rough neighborhood, but this puts the true struggles he endured as a kid in a much clearer perspective.  This is my favorite song off of Blu & Exile’s second collab album Give Me My Flowers While I Can Smell Them, which was only recently released, even though it was recorded back in 2009.

“Moved in 94, the same year as Illmatic.  Then back to the block with John and elastic.  The way he lost his life in that car it was tragic. Trying to understand it, still can’t get a grip…seven years later niggas still don’t give a shit.” - Johaz

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My Song Rating: 9.6 out of 10

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Black Violin - Don’t Wanna Lose You

My favorite sensual song of all time, so not surprisingly it’s more r&b than hip-hop. Whenever I’m in the process of seducing a lady friend, I always try to make sure this is playing in the background. It can turn any potential situation into an emotionally riveting experience. This song’s beauty is so intense it defies reason. Even after all these years of listening, it still has the capacity to send shivers down my spine.

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My Song Rating: 10 out of 10

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Black Violin - Missing You

Black Violin are champions at portraying the emotions pertaining to the joys and pains of love. Their violins add a definition to their songs that other artists can only dream of possessing. This beautiful song just oozes emotion from their sensual strings and smooth voices. It’s impossible not to get lost this kind of music.

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My Song Rating: 9.7 out of 10

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The Cool Kids - Gold and a Pager

Honestly when The Cool Kids first came to the hip-hop scene they were sooooo funky fresh it wasn’t funny. Their first album The Bake Sale is one hell of an achievement. I’m not saying they suck now, but I’m fairly confident they wont be able to reach that level of cool again.

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My Song Rating: 9.8 out of 10

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Handsome Boy Modeling School - The Truth (feat. Roisin & J-Live)

Now this is hip-hop with some serious soul. From their great album So…How’s Your Girl?  I really hope they go ahead and make a 3rd album.

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My Song Rating: 9.7 out 10

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Nujabes - Battlecry (ft. Shing02)

I’ve seen every episode of Samurai Champloo at least once, so I’ve definitely heard a portion of this song a bunch of times. I forgot this song was on the same OST album as Aruarian Dance, which is Samurai Champloo Music Record: Departure (a must have for Nujabes fans).  This hip-hop song is pretty solid, and it’s the only one with rapping on the who album.  By the way, within 5 hours the Nujabes song I posted last night got it over 600 views and over 200 notes.  As you can see, Nujabes will always have fans…may he rest in beats.

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My Song Rating: 8.6 out of 10

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Atmosphere - Sunshine

This is a true classic of hip-hop classics, and overall one of the best hip-hop songs ever.

“At a standstill with how bad I feel.  I think I need to smell fresh air, so I stepped out the back door and fell down the stairs. The sunlight hit me dead in the eye, like it’s mad that I gave half the day to last night.  My bad sight made me trip on my ass, right into that patch of grass like that’s life. All of a sudden, I realize something…the weather is amazing, even the birds are bumpin. Stood up and took a look and a breath, and there’s that bike that I forgot that I possessed.”

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My Song Rating: 10 out of 10

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