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 TP2.com R. Kelly fell majorly!! TP2.com 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!!