Tag: Pop Rap

1996, Music

All Eyez on Me (1996) by 2Pac

When I was young, I would eat up everything I thought I should like and this included double albums which, in the LP days, meant a maximum approximately 90 minutes of music. (Usually 88 or less, but often much less, such as Exile on Main St.), which is not much more than an hour.) But …

1990, Music

Gonna Make You Sweat (1990) by C+C Music Factory

There’s something about Martha Walsh almost shouting the hook to the title track of this record that just captures a very particular moment in time. I was 9 and I didn’t know what dance music was, let alone house. But I knew this song, like the rest of the planet. It was just inescapable. And …

2000, Music

Stankonia (2000) by Outkast

In first year university I lived a few doors down from a girl who played “So Fresh and So Clean” and “Ms. Jackson” on repeat for what felt like weeks. (There were probably other songs in between but I don’t remember them. I certainly don’t remember a single other track from this album.) That, combined …

2000, Music

Let’s Get Ready (2000) by Mystikal

When I first started purposely listening to hip hop about 5 years ago, the idea that a rapper had charisma was something I couldn’t really stomach. As a music fan I am primarily a fan of chops and, for me, vocal chops had to do with singing, not rhyming. I didn’t understand flow and I …

1990, Music

Mama Said Knock You Out (1990) by LL Cool J

Before he was an actor, LL Cool J always struck me as a rapper with less weight. I don’t really know if I heard much of his music beyond the title track here, but the moment I learned what LL Cool J stood for, I smirked and I couldn’t take him seriously. (Not that this …

2000, Music

The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book (2000) by Wyclef Jean

Why are Wyclef’s albums so fucking long? I don’t know the answer but it feels like it’s not just a case of the ’90s album bloat. Here is a man with a lot of pretty decent material (arguably more than on his debut) who doesn’t seem to know how to present it to the world. …

1990, Music

Sex Packets (1990) by Digital Underground

What can I possible say about this insane album? It’s a concept album about a sex drug but, like most concept albums, that concept isn’t evident on many of the tracks. And it features the main rapper rapping both as himself and, infamously, in character, something I don’t know how often I’ve encountered before (and …

1990, Music

Blacks’ Magic (1990) by Salt n Pepa

Contrary to what I thought, Salt n Pepa are a manufactured group, just TLC is (which I didn’t know either, at the time). They’re like proto TLC albeit with their own DJ. (That’s a joke.) Not knowing much about the state of Hip Hop in 1990, it still feels to me more authentic than “manufactured” …

1990, Music

Please Hammer Don’t Hurt’Em (1990) by MC Hammer

This record has a 1.81/5 rating on Rate Your Music as of March 2020, one of the lowest ratings I’ve ever seen on the site, and a particularly low one for a record that sold 20 million copies. I am not about to argue that this record is good but it’s far from the worst …

1999, Music

Rainbow (1999) by Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey might be the best female pop singer of all time, if we go by technical ability. (I say ‘female’ not to perpetuate gender divisions but only to distinguish her from the man I consider the greatest popular music vocalist in history, who is not female.) It’s this record that has brought me to …

1994, Music

CrazySexyCool (1994) by TLC

I was 13 when this came out but I was already sort of aware of manufactured pop music. I already sort of got that the Monkees hadn’t evolved like the other bands I listened to, and I was sort of aware that some of the oldies music I listened wasn’t made the same way. I …

1998, Music

Dearest Christian, I’m So Very Sorry for Bringing You Here. Love, Dad (1998) by PM Dawn

I have long had a particular impression of 1990s R&B, an impression formed in high school when subjected to Boyz II Men and whatever else. Even with all the listening to ’90s R&B I’ve been doing lately, encountering all sorts of things I never thought I’d listen to, I still haven’t been able to muster …