25 Jul 2007

ukhiphop

Hip Hop Connection magazine has always been the more sensible monthly rap mag but when it's mainstream competition is The Source it's not that hard.

This month we were treated to the list of the Top 50 Best British albums ever and I normally take this things with a pinch of salt - Q Magazine put me off lists for a long time. But this list proved really helpful for me. Looking through it I realised that my Hip Hop golden years stopped well before the year 2000. I've still uncovered a few albums from the list that I have to get my hands on.

Memorable mentions below with the Top Ten included in full. Links to samples were possible - all links are offsite and uploaded by others. I can accept no responsibility for content or copyright issues.

50. The Sindecut - Changing The Scenery [1990] An album I need to listen to again as the only thing I remember is 'Live the Life' - I have it on vinyl somewhere. Time to dust off the SL1210.

43. Stereo MC's - 33-45-78 [1989] From well before chart success this album spawned the wonderful 'What Is Soul?' - I picked it up on CD only last year despite owning the vinyl, great stuff.

26. Son Of Noise - The Mighty.... [1992] It was never going to top that debut from Hardnoise but the album left off a few singles that really should've been included. Still a banger.

21. Demon Boyz - Original Guidance [1992] The closest you can get to Drum 'n' Bass while still maintaining your Hip Hop credibility. The Demon Boyz could do no wrong in our eyes...errr ears.

20. Hustlers Convention - Various [1989] Worth mentioning for Merlin's gay dad rant on stage. A great line up but a shame it's been cut back so much.

18. Blade - The Lion Goes From Strength To Strength [1993] 'Fuck The System' and 'Dark And Sinister' alone make this worthy of a top ten place in my view. Again, this was missing some singles that could've had it battling for a top five placing. Oh yeah, I'm thanked in the sleeve notes too [swells with pride]

10. Mark B & Blade - The Unknown [2000] A very important album on many levels but I'd still put it below "Lion..." musically and that's hardly an insult.

9. Caveman - Positive Reaction [1991] Loved this album they seemed so fresh at the time - a real departure from some of the other stuff I was listening to. Great production and MCM never got the respect he deserved.

8. Gunshot - Patriot Games [1993] Gunshot are untouchable - one of the cornerstones of UK Hip Hop - this record is essential.

7. Lewis Parker - Masquerades & Silhouettes [1998] - Well, I'm ashamed to say I've never listened to this. It's '98 so that's quite late for my tastes but through the miracle of the net I now have a copy and I'm looking forward to listening to it.

6. Katch 22 - Dark Tales From Two Cities [1993] I didn't mention "Diary...." at (19) because I knew this was coming up. Both albums are classics in my view.

5. Blak Twang - Dettwork Southeast [1996] Repping South East and name dropping my old manors from the first few minutes and guess what?.... I've slept on this album for many many years. Played it a while back and just wasn't feeling it for some reason. On my "to do" list - deserves another few listens.

4. MC Mell'o' - Thoughts Released [1990] Missing the early singles which have a special place in my heart. A worthy top fiver despite that.

3. Demon Boyz - Recognition [1989] Proof that picking a top three is hard hard work. Surely this is a #1 all of it's own? So much more than just "UK Hip Hop" considering it had a wider appeal with a reggae feel. Ground breaking.

2. Hijack - The Horns of Jericho [1991] No disrespect to the #1 but this is without doubt the greatest Hip Hop album ever recorded, regardless of country. Versions were around well before '91 and even without including Hold No Hostage or Doomsday of Rap this is still a masterpiece. Crossed over to the USA and showed them how to do it. The artist concepts pre-dated Wu-Tang and 95% of this album still sounds ahead of it's time.

1. London Posse - Gangster Chronicle [1990] Following the Demons, this blended in reggae with great effect. Humourous touches keep this a joy to listen to - it's aged well but I'm still insisting this is top five at best.