Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Category four artists

Peace and blessings.  Hope you have been well out there.  Both USC (R.I.P. McKinley) and Clemson are off to great starts, the temperature is dropping, and the South Carolina State Fair is right around the corner.  Let’s get it!!


Since autumn has officially begun and we have steered clear from any Hurricanes (literally); I developed a list of 15 artists (and albums) that have come into the game with the power of a category four storm.   Some have had everlasting impacts, some where just for a season. This list should inform you as to what comes out your mouth and how you spend your time can never be taken for granted...

RUN-DMC Raising Hell (1986): Although this was their third album, this was the album that separated Run-DMC (& Jam Master Jay) from every other Hip Hop act on the planet.  The number of accolades garnered from this album will forever remain in the record books.  Respect the architects.

L.L. Cool J Mama Said Knock You Out (1990):  After three previously successful albums (with a few slip ups), many thought that the self proclaimed ‘G.O.A.T.’ was down for the count.  This album proved otherwise.  With monster smashes like ‘Boomin’ System’, ‘Jingling Baby’, and the killer ‘Around The Way Girl’; Mama Said Knock You Out bought LL the title to over 20 years in the music business.

N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton (1988):  The DNA to ‘Street Reality on Wax’ begins with this album.  Although there were some earlier who touched on the topic of the other side of poverty; no other said it as this prophetic.  Think of ‘F#$k The Police’ and you’ll understand.  Salute!!!

Ice-T Power (1988):  The Original Gangster solidified his presence with this album.  From the historic album cover (sweet Darlene) to the thunderous tracks (shouts to Afrika Islam), Power is the blueprint to the West Coast sound.

Boogie Down Productions Criminal Minded (1986): ‘Poetry’, ‘9mm Goes Bang’, ‘South Bronx’, ‘P Is Free’, ‘Dope Beat’, ‘The Bridge Is Over’, and the title track all appear on this ferocious debut.  KRS-One became an emcee like no other before or after.  Singular would fit him best.

Eric B & Rakim Paid In Full (1986):  ‘I Ain’t No Joke’, ‘My Melody’, ‘I know you got soul’, ‘Eric B for President’, ‘Move The Crowd’, and the title track all are records that have literally shaped the approach that any and every emcee who has released a single, EP, LP, or bonus DVD after 1986.  Hands down the most influential album ever recorded.

Dr. Dre The Chronic (1992):  No explanation can be given if you have never heard this record and no explanation is needed if you have.  Classic!!!!!

Wu-Tang Clan Enter The 36 Chambers (1993):  The Wu-Tang Clan consisted of nine of the fiercest emcees (RZA, GZA, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa, Method Man, and the Ol’ Dirty Bastard-R.I.P.) ever.  They changed how music sounds sonically (i.e. - ‘Protect Ya Neck’), how albums are made (i.e. Wu-Tang Forever double album), and how music business is handled (literally rewrote recording contracts).  Their impact is worldwide.

Snoop Doggy Dogg DoggyStyle (1993):  The West Coast crowned its young king on this album.  His reigned has not waned since.  Listen to ‘Gin & Juice’, ‘What’s My Name’, ‘Doggy Dogg World’, and ‘Murder Was The Case’ and you will understand why.

The Notorious Big Ready To Die (1994):  Although I am partial to Life After Death as being his best album; he would not have been able to make that album if this one was not released.  This is one of the most greatly lyrical and relevant albums ever made.  R.I.P. to Big Poppa

Outkast ATLiens & Aquemini (1996/1998):  These two albums are two distinctively different sounding albums, but both convey the same message…CREATIVITY.  No other albums made sound like these and you will be hard pressed to find two other albums that say so much and are still true.

Public Enemy It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back & Fight The Power (1988/1990):  Simply pick up these two albums before you pick up any other albums on this list and you will truly understand the power of what Hip Hop is.  Classic!!!!!!!

NAS Illmatic (1994):  Released to a deaf public but slow burning to divinity.  Many have deemed this the greatest album in Hip Hop history, and based on the beats (Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Large Professor, etc.), the songs (‘NY State Of Mind’, ‘World Is Yours’, ‘Ain’t Hard To Tell’, etc.), and the seminal album cover (see insert), that argument is hard to dispute.

2 Pac All Eyes On Me (1996): Much respect goes to one of the greatest people to ever walk the face of the Earth.  Tupac Amaru Shakur was seminal and this album is proof positive as to why.  Classic!!!!

Jay-Z (Blueprint), Eminem (Slim Shady LP), 50 Cent (Get Rich Or Die Trying), EPMD (Business As Usual), Heavy D & The Boyz (Peaceful Journey), Gang Starr (Hard To Earn), Puff Daddy (No Way Out), UGK (Riding Dirty), and so many more to come.  Stay Tuned!!!!!


Seek and you shall find!!!

DJ KINGPIN-Villain of Vinyl (


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