Thursday, May 7, 2009

Questions For The Mind

I have 2 questions to ask for my hip-hop fans out there plus any of my old skool R&B fans out there. Feel free to weigh in, and let ur comments be known in the comments box below!!

I saw the cover of the new Vibe magazine, and the top tagline posed a question that me and my fellow friends always talked about and agreed. The question is, was 1998 the last classic year hip-hop?
I would answer with a empahtic YES!! To me the golden era is from 1994-1998. From those years, every classic material that we all know and love came out during that time. For me, that era will never be touched or duplicated! Let me give yall a flashback right quick: 1998 was one of the last years that rappers was selling records!! Like mad units! Jay-Z became a worldwide star selling 5 million! No Limit was selling records like hot cakes ( back in '98 down here, the radio had a No Limit hour when they played nothin but No Limit hits! my radio was turned off during that hour!), Master P was da man and u couldnt front. Puff Daddy & Mase was still reaping their rewards from '97 and was still hot, especially Mase, he was a damn star his LP sold 4 mil! Big Pun sold 2 mil and was just recking niggas! Noreaga was one of the biggest rappers in '98, his LP caught everybody off guard!! Cash Money was comin thru and sellin, Juvenile sold like 5 mil? Crazy! Lauryn Hill was winning grammy's buy the boatload!! DMX had 2 #1 albums in the same year, who what have thought he would have fallen off? Ruff Ryders came thru and bumrushed the show, doesnt hurt to have The Lox added to the label! Busta Rhymes was cementing himself as one of greatest emcee's ever to do it! And Def Jam was one of the powerful lables on the planet, doesnt hurt that Irv Gotti brought Jay Z, DMX & Ja Rule to the label. Gotti now is an after thought. Plus '98 hip-hop was just pure hot and mad exclusives. Like it was just real brand new and fresh. Niggas wasnt copying yet, everybody was different. Missy Elliot, Eve & Foxy Braown was representin for da ladies and even they was sellin mad records!! So, was 1998 the last classic year in hip-hop? U tell me!!

Im a fan old skool R&B from 1986-2000-'01. From those years, R&B was R&B!! Soulful, pure melodies and some actual thought into the lyrics!! Now its more pop and plain simple. Nothin is slow its all glamour & glitzy. Its just real wack. Back when i was younger it seemed like classic R&B was comin out by the week!! Heck, there is even some one hit wonders that dropped classic material!! How crazy is that? So i gave it some thought, if u had a R&B artist right now what producers would u pick from the golden era for him/ her to work with? simple question right? Yeah right, try to pick out of these choices:

a. DeVante from the group Jodeci- His beats are what we was accustomed to from the golden era of R&B. I mean its hard to explain his beats, they was just hard yo. DeVante had them joints that made u wanna bump and grind instantly and had some that made ur head bob! One of the all-time best that rarely gets mentioned.

b. Timbaland circa 1996-1999- The reason why i chose that time frame is because this man had some of the dopest R&B jamz on the planet at that time! Think about the people he worked with and classics he made!! Ginuwine, Playa, Aaliyah, Missy, Nicole Wray, 702, SWV, Total and many more made some of the illest jamz back in those days. Its no coincedence that they are now considered classics! We all know now that Timbo has changed his beat style, but i would be quick to ask him if he can provide me with a retro banger!

c. R.Kelly circa 1990-2000- I dont care what anybody says, after R. Kelly fell majorly!! was the pinnacle for him and he couldnt go any higher. But i didnt expect him to drop to the level where he at now musically. But for those 10 years, this man was a musical genius!! You can spend all day counting all the classics R. Kelly has made. All the countless hits and remixes and collaborations was timeless! His production skills at one point were top of the line at the time. Its just hard to imagine that he fell this low man. Real dissapointing. But ill ask him if he can summon up that old skool flavor he was known for and hit me off with something crazy!

d. Puff Daddy & The Hitmen circa 1994-1998- I know, I know what yall gonna say. Puff a producer? Man all he does is put this there and that over there! I say so what! At one point in time in the 90's everything that Puff touched neither went Gold or Platinum!! He had the midas touch. He has done so many classic remixes its crazy!! Heck, he even said he invented remixes. Yall better not front, go back to like '94, '95, '96 this man had produced so many classics they timeless!! And the Hitmen can say that each one of them had produced a or many classic records! Shout out to Nashiem Myrick, Chucky Thompson, Stevie J, D-Dot & Mario Winans!!

e. Teddy Riley circa 1987-1998- Does this man need introduction? He brought in New Jack Swing, which is to him meant yeah it can be R&B but that doesnt mean u cant get down to it! He made music that u can get ur jam on to but u forgot its R&B! Guy, Wreckx N Effect, Black Street, Keith Sweat, Bobby Brown and tons more!! This man has countless classics!! If u dont know, then do ur research and step ur game up!

*bonus* Whoever produced those joints for Bell Biv Devoe- They had some of the hardest R&B beats known to man. They were beyond classic, i just remember how me and friends felt when we 1st heard Poison!! Its a feelin u cant replace, it was just phenomenal!! I would track that person down in a heartbeat!!

Well the choice is urs people, its not hard is it? this further proves my point on how ill R&B was back then!! Great times!! Well call ur A&R and get this LP rollin!!


verge said...

What's good, Brandan.
To me the Golden Era= 1988-1998.
Everybody has their few years that were their favorite.
Mine are probably 94-96.
BTW-I hope you didn't feel I disrespected your Top 50 list, man.
I don't get down like that. To each his own.
It's just a pet peeve of mine.
Whenever I see a Top anything hip hop list that I don't agree with, I always run my yap. Lol
Keep bringing them Bobbito tapes, homeslice! There's mad demos he played that need to resurface already.

Anonymous said...

@Brandan:My downfall of RnB began with the Timbaland Era.I never really liked his beats and style.Aaliyah´s 1st Album was cool,but when she started to work with Timbaland,her style changed into something that I don´t call "soulmusic".
I know that Timbaland Beats were the shit at that time,I also got the Ginuwine,Missy,Playa,702 Cd´s and all that,but right at that point I started to feel the downfall of RnB.I can´t explain it.
You named "DeVante":I bought all Jodeci CD´s when they came out.Do U have Devante´s Solo Album "Ready or not"? No one talked about it,it seemed that nobody listened to it,but it´s not bad.Listening to nowadays RnB makes me sick! There´re still good RnB singers out there but people only want Chris Browns,The Dream´s,Ray J´s,and Neyo´s.Why does nobody name BIG BUB? Why does nobody mention D MAESTRO,or WADE O.BROWN? These singers got soul in their voices.Like Jaheim,Aaron Hall,or Tank.Remember Deathrow´s Dannyboy? His voice touches heart and soul.I hope he´ll drop an Album soon! Go to his myspace side and check him out!
Like I said,todays RnB is Pop Music,for a generation that doesn´t care about lyrics and voices.
Brandan,you name so many HipHop acts like...Jay-Z,DMX,Ruff Ryders,Lox and so on...,-I like their older stuff,too....,but why don´t you ever mention RAP-A-LOT Artists like Scarface,Bushwick Bill,Willie D(Geto Boys),5th Ward Boyz,or Too Much Trouble? Scarface´s 1993 Album "The World is yours" was a banger! Go and listen to 5th Ward Boyz´ "Concrete hell".REAL TALK,REAL RAP! Back in the days I prefered listening to Geto Boys or 5th Ward Boyz as to Snoop Doggy Dogg´s "bow wow wow yippie-yo" shit.Don´t get me wrong,-I jammed to Dre´s Chronic and Snoop´s Doggystyle,-got tons of Deathrow/G Funk/Westcoast CD´s...but to me it wasn´t all that.
Nowadays Dirty South is not my thang.Ok,some joints come good while cruisin in your car,and all that...,but basically I don´t like it.
I quit listening to new HipHop and RnB round 2001...sometimes I check some Albums,mixtapes or videos,but all that new stuff is for another generation.
Musically,I live only in the past...when Soul Music was real Soul Music,and HipHop was real HipHop.My Golden Era was 1988-1998.
Brandan,I hope you don´t retire.You blog is dope!!! It would be cool,if you could find some Raw Texas Mixtapes from the 90´s.There´re so many dope blogs like yours,Tapemasta´s or SOUL´s...there I´ve found the dopest mixtapes on planet earth.But you all got one thing in common,-90% is Eastcoast stuff *lol
Keep doin your thang...peace!

Anonymous said...

people in 94 were sayin they missed 88-92 & in 90 people were sayin they missed 86 so we really don't know what the future classics are right now. I don't think hip hop is dead. It's definitly watered down like a mutha. below are some recent albums that make me think there's still hope.

everliven sound "freedom"
rise "risen"
del the funky homosapien "funkman"
joel ortiz "the brooklyn bodega"

Gildog said...

My 2 Cents:Let me say "The Golden Era" of music was over when downloading became available. To me R&B music from the 80's can never be duplicated. The 90's R&B was good too. Hip Hip on the 80's was good but in the 90's it exploded. To me 90's Hip Hop was the best there was. What made 90's Hip Hop so good to me was the Collabos of Hip Hop & R&B. Artist worked hard to put a projects together and branch out to do work with different artist. The DJ's were also a big part in the growth of music back then. I can definitely say that when Napster became available, I stopped buying music. I have since bought 2 albums (Nas Untitled & R Kelly Chocolate Factory) all because music is free and ready for listening at no cost to me. So again I'm partly to blame for the death of music the way it use to be. So to your question I think the Golden Era was over when Record Companies started to lose money and artist were being robbed of their music. Where its going I don't know but thanks to you and the rest of the Hip Hop Bloggers I can relive my past.

S.O.U.L. said...

For me personally the golden era of hip hop was between 88 & 96.
In that time everything was real MC's, producers & dj's had skills and droped some knowledge & not like today if you have a image your a big artist. You don't have to have skills just some money and a nice sound to give you exposure and sell 1000s of cd's

Olskool4real said...

Wow aint that something, and I just ran into a colleague who turns out to have lived in my neighborhood and knew about the DJ's, m.c.'s and jams back in the day 79 and up for me!! He said his brother got a tape of a cat named
Disco Dino who used to cut it up in the Logan section of North Philly back in the day I remember this guy!!So we agreed to exchange his Disco Dino joint for my legendary battle of Cosmic Kev vs Dr. DJ Thorpe at the Wagners Ballroom 1983 in Philly!! Man were those the days!!

Well while we are on the subject I loved hip hops origins it's raw essence trying to keep a straight arm needle steady while cuttin, m.c.'s who kept rappin even when the record skipped or the DJ fucked up,doing these crazy ass energetic dances that didn't include the ladies but made the people feel good, free jams in the school yards, block parties, Dj and m.c. battles,etc. How about waiting for the next rap record to drop,listening to Grandmaster Flash when he first did Flash on the wheels of steel, seeing New Yorkers get down on the movie the Wildstyle, copping them live convention albums. Sneaking out to the jams getting my behind tore up later,watching legendary cats do their thing, the anxiety of going to the jam with these same legendary cats and trying to get the balls to ask to rock the mic or take the tables!!First witnessing cats doing tricks on the turntables,watching Jazzy Jeff and Cash Money reinvent the wheel on a local basis before they reached national and international stardom, hearing KOol Moe Dee obliterate Busy Bee, hearing the Treacherous Three speed rap, hearing Disco Drean kick it latino style,Hearing Pumpkin and the all stars,and oh yes Melle Mel and Grand master Flash and the anthology they formulated. Oh that's the early 80's was some great years for me I will never forget it, I am crying as I write this because that what it means to me man straight up!! That's my origins.

The middle school was unforgettable as well, can you remember when Run Dmc changed the whole game? We act like what they did was non existence some times!! Man everybody was rocking adidas and sporting them cool leathers and trying to cop their swagger at the time!!Can you remember all the Mantronix productions, remember Tlarock and the impact It's yours had!! LL Cool J was the cat you loved to hate but make no mistake he was a bad mother!!Remember the Roxanne Shante UTFO saga? How bout the LL Cool J vs Kool Moe Dee, and oh yes class began when KRS One dissed Mc. Shan and the whole Juice crew Mr. Magic vs Red Alert piece man them was the years!! How about when PE got political and had them hard as beats that blew out your speakers? Biz Markie, Eric B and Rakim come on man and my main man Big Daddy Kane? The Juice crew? And what about N.W.A.'s impact man Straight out of Compton put the West on the map 4 real and every car even on the East coast had that tape playing so don't front! MC Lyte, Roxanne Shante, Queen Latifah, the list goes on!! Oh yeah special shout to the Jungle Brothers and Sammy B who we don't talk about enough and De La Souls complex hip hop approach, throw in the Tribe called Quest, EPMD, KSolo, Super Lover Cee, Audio Two, and I can go on but that middle school was awesome gave us our best collab up to date the Symphony!!

Okay on to the Golden era which has to many names to name most of the folks we encounter on these sites are came into hip hop somewhere about then!! I love the Golden era it was the hieght of hiphops creative ability no disputing that one!! I stopped rapping in 98,which to me was the dawn of the lyrical spitters, Canibus, Rass Kass and so forth!! The lyrical talent in hip hop was off the chains, I agree that it hasn't been repeated after 98 but 99 and 2000 made some runs!! The LOX gave me all the excitement I needed Nas and Jay Z were impressive!! Beenie Segil stepping up to Jada and holding his own was impressive!! DJ Premeir was still lacing some blazing hiphop tracks if yo were looking for that raw sound!! The underground scene of hip hop was heavy!! I must admit I listen to nothing but old school hip hop 98% of the time by choice not because of hip hop being dead there is some nice stuff out there to me what's missing is that timeless music of years ago everything is so fadish. The young folks love this type of Hip Hop and R&B it fits there culture today!! I can't rock it simply because I like a different sounding hip hop!! What I am trying to say is that hip hop has expanded, what we have witnessed is a culture that has many subcultures in it and ever so expanding!!You choose which one you desire!! It's almost like the Monie Luv and Young Jeezy piece she didn't respect the type of hiphop he was puttin down because it wasn't the hip hop she came up on! Is that right or wrong? I say wrong it's hiphop to him and his culture doesn't mean I have to like it but I will respect it!! In the famous words of Dres from Black Sheep "But of course the choice is yours, You can get with this or you can get with that" LOL

Oldsoul76 said...

i'll say 1987 to 1998 was the golden era. Although Kane rakim etc slowed down a little by the early 90's, de la soul, tribe, gangstsarr brand nubian, ice cube, scarface and a few others made classics between the end of the 88 cats' rule and the beginning of the 94 rule. i can't even say '94 rule because 36 chambers, enta da stage and i believe midnight marauders all came out in 1993 which certainly makes 1993 part of any golden era. when you're 80 years old (god willing) you won't only say those 4 years were golden, the whole 10 year span will look golden. and btw, r&b is as good as it ever was, we just let r. kelly get away with a lot of wack ass songs. lol

Anonymous said...

@Oldsoul76''r&b is as good as it ever was, we just let r. kelly get away with a lot of wack ass songs. lol''

^^^ rnb today is basically dead most of todays shit is boring . Where the fuck is the rnb groups gone ???????

its funny coz when rnb was selling and doin well hip hop was too but when rnb started dying hip hop did as well .


ejnord said...

To me, the zenith for hip hop was 1994. Tribe, De La, KMD, Brand Nubian, DITC, Main Source, Digables, Ultramags, were realling warming things up. Then 1994 was, to me that perfect combination of thug and soul. And then I agree that actually a lot of great material got released between 1994 and 1998. But 1998 was definitely THE END of it. There's been a lot of good stuff since then. But the audience completely changed. I blame the radio. Radio formats changed around 1996, and within two years skills-based hip hop lost all support from corporate America. I would say the reason why 1994 was such a key year is that the magazines and the radio were actually promoting the great artists. It may not have seemed like it at the time, but quality hip hop actually got a lot of support back then.

As for R&B... to me, real R&B ended with the rise of disco. I hear very little actual "Blues" in what is now called R&B.

Shahryar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shahryar said...

Is this article available online? I was hoping to read it but can't find it on the site