Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Source- Rap's New Generation: Class Of '98 (Mixtape)

People think XXL started that whole Freshman Class thing of new rappers coming out for that year, but it was the Source who birthed that whole thing way back in '98. Hip-hop was comin off a very successful year in '97 when albums was flying off the shelves and in '98 Hip-Hop just went to another level man. In '98 albums was swooping off the shelves and commercial success was coming everyone's way. I remember when this issue came out and i still have Orig. copy in the archives. As u look at the cover it seemed it was a whole new batch of MC's that was gonna take us into the 2000s and beyond. U know sometimes u think certain things will go on the right path and with no hitches, and with this batch of artists it seemed they came out of nowhere whether it was fate or self-inflicted or just their time of hotness just worn out.
In '98 Silkk da Shocker was sellin LPs like hot cakes & No Limit was a label to be reckoned with. Kurupt at this time had built up a nice solo rep displaying very ill rhyme skills and a very solid dope 1st LP Kuruption (which was a double album). DMX was competing with Jigga & Nas for status as #1 MC in the game, he was everywhere in '98 and his 1st LP was flying off shelves. Peter Gunz & Lord Tariq had the whole NY on smash wit 1 record "Deja Vu", this was gettin radio play every 10 seconds it seemed like. And they was the 1st ones to get Jay & Nas on the same record (thats a great feat to me at the time). Cam'ron had all ladies & niggas goin crazy over "Horse & Carriage" then he took it to the streets wit ".357". He showed huge potential and and gave reason to why Biggie made sure he got signed before he passed. The legendary Big Pun was making soundwaves in the game with his spit fire rhymes and puttin boriquas on the map! He was the 1st latino rap artist to have a LP go double platinum! Cappadonna was branching away from the WU and got heads open wit "97 Mentality" which led to his 1st LP The Pillage to receive positive reviews. Eightball went solo and released a platinum plus double album Lost. Noreaga blew heads away wit "Superthug" which was the new anthem worldwide, released a classic solo debut and was featured on so many tracks its way to many to count! Then u have the young neophyte Canibus, an MC who came out of nowhere the previous year who in '98 decided to go against the legendary LL Cool J and damn near ended his career!
Fast Forward to 2012, Silkk made all of his money and disappeared. Kurupt was still kinda relavant thru the years but nowhere near where was at solo wise. DMX is kinda self explanatory, if u would have told me back in '98 that he would fall off i would have laughed at u. Its a damn shame what happened to X. Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz 1st LP flopped and went their separate ways. Cam'ron had showed potential thru the last decade and was making strides, in 2002 u could argue he was that dude for a hot minute. But many bad decisions ruined his fate like wearin pink (many people did as well but cmon), beefin wit Jay, beefin wit Nas, beefin wit 50, nursery rhyme style, no longer wit the Diplomats, goin on national TV talkin about he wont never snitch even if the killer is livin next door.....as u can see many decision just killed this dude. The sad fate of Big Pun, just wished he could of watched his weight a little better but we miss him! Cappadonna went from the WU to drivin taxi's! Eightball is a legend wit MJG so his status is pretty much set. Noreaga is very sad one for me, this dude from '98-'01 was one of the most elite MC's in the game. I mean he was star!! But after 2002 he just slowly declined man then in '04 he went reggatoni and look where that went. He started a couple of years ago to get back in the rap game but his audience is much different now. Just very disappointing. And finally Canibus, the 1st bad decision he made was runnin wit Wyclef! That is the worst pairing ever, two different styles that didnt mesh. 2nd bad decison was going against LL, he was winning at 1st then LL dropped "The Ripper Strikes Back" and preserved his career. 3rd bad decision was going against Eminem in '02, he was never gonna win the battle in the public's eye. His albums never sold madd copies and its a shame Def squad or another crew never took him in.

As u can see this class showed mad potential in '98 and couldve been mentioned up there with the class of '86 & '94, but it didnt happen sadly. So i present u a little short mix of the class of '98 to give them some light and u can see what made them so promising! Enjoy!

Freshmen of '98 


vincentlopez said...

Interesting time back in '98. Hip-hop was going through some major changes, music sales were way up, and beef was everywhere. I thought this group of artists would have done a little more as well. Especially Big Pun but unfortunately poor health took him away. I knew DMX would blow up but I didn't like him in '98 so I have never purchased his stuff.

Deon said...

I never liked Nore after he ditched Trag and went solo. Nore went from a lyricist on the War Report to a popcorn club rapper the rest of his career. The way he ended up was predictable to me at least.

Cappadonna was nice but I never thought he could carry his own weight through the game, especially since he never made "hot singles". I feel similarly about Kurupt. That nigga could rhyme, and I was bumpin "We Can Freak It" like crazy. But idk, over time he lost his energy and his beat choices were almost as bad as Canibus.

Speakin of which, the saddest losses for me were Canibus, Big Pun, and X. Bis was insane back then, he could've really impacted the game if things went his way. And Pun was taken from us too early. DMX was the king for a minute, idk wtf happened tho