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100 Greatest Albums of All Time


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My friend and I make these types of lists every year. I figured we could do something similar to the polls in the Movies subforums. I shot this idea out in the Random Music Thread and got a few messages and a comment stating interest. If only a few want to participate, that's ok and this will just be my journey rambling sorting out my list and the few buddies can post their ballots. If there enough interest is here, we'll do it as a poll. 

This'll be worked on through the rest of the year. If more time is needed, we can push whatever back. With COVID it might make things tough, but my friend and I would get together in January and go over our lists while drinking. But with this being the internet, we probably won't need to worry about that. Fingers crossed.

The main goal is to have fun. Hopefully we can discover a new band or learn to appreciate an album we dismissed. The first time I did one of these I learned a lot and found new favorites. Doing these with my friend I discovered the Dead Kennedys, Townes Van Zandt, The Kinks, Charles Mingus, Bill Fray, Nina Simone, Nick Cave, Bathory and learned to appreciate and fall in love with David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, John Coltrane, and so many others. Maybe this time around I'll find another couple of winners.

BALLOTS DUE: January 10TH, 2021 (or later, if needed)

BALLOT LENGTH: 50-100

PM me Ballots when it is due.

 

Again, this is chill. If no one else is for submitting an actual ballot then I'll just post my garbage and we could talk albums GOATs. I love seeing people's taste and hearing about what they look for in an album. Why is this better than that? Do you prefer better the better hits or a more consistent album? Do you have genre preferences? 

I'll keep this as just one thread to contain the conversation in one place. We don't need separate threads for different genres or pimping your favorites. All posts here is fine.

Even if you don't want to do a full GOAT Ballot, what is your GOAT?

 

RESOURCES:

[I'll edit this. The link button is not working on my desktop.]

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Here are a few of my top contenders. I’ll be re-listening to them throughout the week and post others. Enjoy!

Nina Simone- Pastel Blues

 

 

This is my likely GOAT. The first version of this project I’ve done with my friends it was at my top spot. It is a haunting listen that stayed with me long after my first time playing it. I cannot recall another experience devastating me to the level of this Album. It’s a sorrowful Jazz Vocal Blues album, something at the time I normally would think to seek out.

The album starts out with songs relating to not being liked and moves towards needing confirmation of love and hints at suicidal thoughts. Then hits you with her rendition of Strange Fruit a song about lynching in the South. The tone of her voice with the content of her words completely tears me down. I feel empty and my eyes are watery. The album ends with bringing you back from despair with a long powerful version of Sinnerman. You are still hurt and sad, but you can stand again.

Again, this is my likely GOAT that every other album will be aiming at.

 

KRS-ONE - KRS-ONE

A strong contender for #1. It feels like a wonderful transition of Old School hip hop and more aggressive 90’s sounds. Even with it coming out in 95 with records already having the recognizable 90’s style, it both manages to feel older and more modern at the same time

A lot of people point to his other work with Boogie Down Production or have another favorite Solo album, but on this one there is nothing I skip. I can begin it from the intro (which is a series of amazing shoutouts from other artists) to the last song. Also, to me this is when he goes from top of his game MC to absolute Legend.

 

Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan 

When I’m feeling politically angry I get drunk and listen to Masters of War. As I’m wobble standing, singing so I can shamefully see myself with my peripherals in the mirror, my wife walks in the room with a disappointed and slightly worried look on her face. After shaking her head and asking me to chill out, I say “sorry ma’am,” sit quietly and change the music to Monica. Monica is great. Vote Monica.

 

Tom Waits - Rain Dogs

Such great atmosphere. His gravely voice, interesting lyrics, and toe tapping yet odd music creates such a wonderful world. Creepy and soothing. Great listen for a long drive. This is the type of music that I can close my eyes and imagine

 

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Great Waits album, maybe not my favorite but still great. (My favorite is probably Heartattack and Vine. Or if I'm feeling it, The Heart of Saturday Night. I really should just burn a ton of his albums and get it over with)

The "and I hope that you die" line in "Masters of War" is the coldest lyric in any song ever. 

My personal 100 has already been curated so I'll leave it to be posted whenever necessary. I just did some touchups on it and think it's pretty accurate. There is one album I might switch, specifically, but I'm not sure. 

 

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lol holy crap I misread what you were asking. I thought that was like a decade thing. it'll take me a bit longer to put together an All Time list.

In the meantime I do have this list I've been keeping of the best albums I've found from every year I've been alive. Worth nothing that some of the 90s choices are more about me not listening to enough albums from a year to know for sure.

88: Talk Talk, "Spirit of Eden"
89: Boredoms, "Soul Discharge"
90: Fugazi, "Repeater"
91: Slint, "Spiderland"
92: Tom Waits, "Bone Machine"
93: Wu-Tang Clan, "Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers of Death)"
94: Acid Bath, "When The Kite String Pops"
95: Today Is The Day, "Willpower"
96: Rage Against The Machine, "Evil Empire"
97: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, "f#a#(infinitysymbol)"
98: Boredoms, "Super æ"
99: Neurosis, "Times of Grace"
00: At The Drive In, "Relationship of Command"
01: The Constantines, self-titled LP
02: The Constantines, "Modern Sinner/Nervous Man" EP
03: The Constantines, "Shine A Light"
04: Madvillain, "Madvillainy"
05: PK14, "White Paper"
06: Liars, "Drum's Not Dead"
07: Ungdomskulen, "Cry-baby"
08: Women, self-titled LP
09: Cloud Nothings, "Turning On"
10: Women, "Public Strain"
11: Jenny Hval, "Viscera"
12: B L A C K I E All Caps With Spaces, "Gen"
13: Faux Fur, self-titled
14: milo, "A Toothpaste Suburb"
15: Earl Sweatshirt, "I Don't Like Shit I Don't Go Outside"
16: Thee Oh Sees, "A Weird Exits"
17: King Krule, "The Ooz"
18: US Girls, "In A Poem Unlimited"
19: Quelle Chris, "Guns"

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13 minutes ago, Chaos said:

This could be fun. The Rolling Stone list made me realize how daunting this would be for me and how many blind spots I have.

That’s the fun of it for me. Realizing what I don’t know and start working towards that. Started early this year/ late last year trying to listen to Jazz more.

What helps me is whenever I try a project like this I look at it as Dynamic instead of Definitive. Alway building and adding to, so it’s not frustrating to hit the deadline with it just being a part of the process. If it was publicized in like a magazine or larger form of media, than I’d stress out and need to have absorbed everything available. Doing this with friends I won’t kill myself not having listened to an artist’s entire catalog.

lol, @Lamp, broken circa 1988. The vastness of time.

Baller List. Love me some Rage, Wu, and Waits!

2 hours ago, Curt McGirt said:

Great Waits album, maybe not my favorite but still great. (My favorite is probably Heartattack and Vine. Or if I'm feeling it, The Heart of Saturday Night. I really should just burn a ton of his albums and get it over with)

The "and I hope that you die" line in "Masters of War" is the coldest lyric in any song ever. 

My personal 100 has already been curated so I'll leave it to be posted whenever necessary. I just did some touchups on it and think it's pretty accurate. There is one album I might switch, specifically, but I'm not sure. 

 

Your list was sweet. 

How do you feel about Swordfishtrombone and Mule Variation?

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@Curt McGirt

Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombone 

 

The album right before Rain Dogs. This is where he developed his signature odd style. I have a soft spot in my heart for this one, but it’s been a while. I’m excited to revisit it. I recall a lot of great interludes.

Tom Waits - Mule Variations

 

What's he building in there?
What the hell is he building in there?
He has subscriptions to those magazines
He never waves when he goes by
He's hiding something from the rest of us
He's all to himself
I think I know why
He took down the tire swing from the Peppertree
He has no children of his own, you see
He has no dog
And he has no friends
And his lawn is dying
And what about all those packages he sends?

What's he building in there?
With that hook light on the stairs What's he building in there?
I'll tell you one thing
He's not building a playhouse for the children
What's he building in there?

Now what's that sound from under the door?
He's pounding nails into a hardwood floor
And I swear to god I heard someone moaning low
And I keep seeing the blue light of a
T.V. show
He has a router and a table saw
And you won't believe what Mr. Sticha saw
There's poison underneath the sink of course
But there's also enough formaldehyde to choke a horse

What's he building in there?
What the hell is he building in there?
I heard he has an ex-wife
In some place called Mayors Income, Tennessee
And he used to have a consulting business in Indonesia
But what is he building in there?
What the hell is building in there?

He has no friends
But he gets a lot of mail
I'll bet he spent a little time in jail
I heard he was up on the roof last night
Signaling with a flashlight
And what's that tune he's always whistling
What's he building in there?
What's he building in there?

We have a right to know

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It’s about to get Jazzy up in here.

Charles Mingus - The Black Saint and The Sinner Lady 

A true Magnum Opus. Every single time I listen to this I am in more awe than before. It is such an encompassing experience. This is a masterwork that could take my number 1 spot by the time ballots are due. I’m not smart enough to write about Jazz music so most of these reviews/ synopses won’t amount to much. I won’t try to write music theory or moments I don’t actually understand either. But that WOOOOOOOMP noise. That’s a pretty sweet WOOOOOOMP noise. I feel it in my heart and experience it in my soul. Simply fantastic experience. If you’re up to it, make yourself a drink (doesn’t have to be alcoholic if you don’t do that) and find yourself a nice chair.

 

John Coltrane - A Love Supreme 

Maybe the most critically loved Jazz album? Rightfully so, this sucker has power. When I hear the opening of the first track I’m ready for the journey that Coltrane takes me on. This album feels so much larger than life itself. A grand experience indeed. I believe the concept is that of a spiritual awakening. Faithful or not, you might have one after listening to this.

 

Sun Ra - Lanquidity 

Listen as time is melting in our Arkestral sonic travels. Beware of stepping on dissolving stars and moody galaxies. Just let the wave of the Milky Way slowly drift you to your destination. Don’t go against the current, just drift. Don’t feed the fish, they’ll feed you. Don’t ask questions, they’ll question you. Sleep if you must. Awake if you are. Enjoy. 

BY GOD. I played this accidentally when saving to post and the opening made me so happy. 

 

Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

Miles Davis is great. There is something magically casual about So What. I just want to go on a stroll and smile.

 

I’m going to post more from these guys later on. Maybe my next Jazz related album post will be all Thelonious Monk.  

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9 hours ago, Lamp, broken circa 1988 said:

94: Acid Bath, "When The Kite String Pops"

Ooof. Reminds of this which will forever be the best Down/Pantera/COC/southern groove type song ever that Eyehategod didn't write. Probably because it defies those stereotypes, like EHG

How the fuck can I not find that on Youtube? 

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I've got a lot of jazz I need to hear. I'm familiar with Kind of Blue and listened to some of Bitches Brew but it didn't catch on at the moment. Most of my jazz interest is in fusion, like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, etc. For some reason I've never even listened to Sun Ra... then again I have heard stuff that John Zorn has played on so does that count? 

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@Curt McGirt, here is a great intro into Sun Ra. Funky and unique without getting overly weird. Which is fun of course.

Sun Ra - Sleeping Beauty 

This one is a personal favorite of mine and I listen to regularly.

Here is a song where he’s badass:

——

Here is an album I love, which is a little more avant-garde, yet still funky:

Sun Ra - Space is the Place

 

Even if the album doesn’t hit you, you are still going to be humming the first song. It starts catchy and gets erratic. The tough part is the album is the same name as a movie he did which has a similar soundtrack, but they’re both different. I enjoy this one.

 

Sun Ra - The Nubians of Plutonia:

 

 I used to listen to this at work. Great vibe that combines an African adventure with aliens. It’s always space with Sun Ra. 

 

Jazz as a whole didn't click for me until probably this year. I saw it as being nice but not giving entirely with it. No shame if it doesn’t do it. For me, Sun Ra was the guy to get me into the other stuff because I enjoyed his avant-garde craziness. It lead to blending into the other stuff like Coltrane and be able to notice and listen to it more attentively.

 

I now see that the spotify stuff I was posting earlier might not do the whole songs unless you’re a member. Is it annoying to post that or are people able to listen to it fine?

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I think the way I'll participate in this thread for now until enough people take part for there to be some kind of official structure is like an ongoing analysis of my own list. So, to start with, I took that first list I posted and ordered those. The next step is going to go backwards for a few years from 1988 to about 1969 and pick one album a year on the way.

Lamp List Vol. 2!

Spoiler
  1. Slint, "Spiderland" (1991)

  2. B L A C K I E All Caps With Spaces, "Gen" (2012)

  3. Women, "Public Strain" (2010)

  4. Godspeed You! Black Emperor, "f#a#(infinitysymbol)" (1997)

  5. Boredoms, "Super æ" (1998)

  6. US Girls, "In A Poem Unlimited" (2018)

  7. Faux Fur, self-titled (2013)

  8. Women, self-titled LP (2008)

  9. Wu-Tang Clan, "Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers of Death)" (1993)

  10. Earl Sweatshirt, "I Don't Like Shit I Don't Go Outside" (2015)

  11. Rage Against The Machine, "Evil Empire" (1996)

  12. PK14, "White Paper" (2005)

  13. Jenny Hval, "Viscera" (2011)

  14. At The Drive In, "Relationship of Command" (2000)

  15. Talk Talk, "Spirit of Eden" (1988)

  16. Quelle Chris, "Guns" (2019)

  17. King Krule, "The Ooz" (2017)

  18. The Constantines, "Modern Sinner/Nervous Man" EP (2002)

  19. Madvillain, "Madvillainy" (2004)

  20. milo, "A Toothpaste Suburb" (2014)

  21. Ungdomskulen, "Cry-baby" (2007)

  22. The Constantines, "Shine A Light" (2003)

  23. Thee Oh Sees, "A Weird Exits" (2016)

  24. Today Is The Day, "Willpower" (1995)

  25. Gnarls Barkley, "St. Elsewhere" (2006)

  26. Fugazi, "Repeater" (1990)

  27. Cloud Nothings, "Turning On" (2009)

  28. The Constantines, self-titled LP (2001)

  29. Tom Waits, "Bone Machine" (1992)

  30. Boredoms, "Soul Discharge" (1989)

  31. Acid Bath, "When The Kite String Pops" (1994)

  32. Neurosis, "Times of Grace" (1999)

 

Edited by Lamp, broken circa 1988
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lol there's a little button for it in the top bar between the emotes and the bulleted list buttons. It's a big creepy eyeball.

EDIT: I'm gonna take advantage of this post to hype up one of the best discoveries of my life. At one point I got curious about the existence of Chinese Punk Rock, and indeed found some, and eventually found my way to one of the best rock albums I've ever heard, "White Paper" by PK14. Try this, and if you like it, hit the playlist button. It's worth it. The ending is an earth shattering jam.

 

Edited by Lamp, broken circa 1988
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Ok here's list #3. I went back to 1969, though still with one album per year. Also did some minor reordering. The next move is to put the list on RYM so I can share a link instead of a several hundred entry list every time.

Spoiler
  1. Slint, "Spiderland" (1991)

  2. B L A C K I E All Caps With Spaces, "Gen" (2012)

  3. Women, "Public Strain" (2010)

  4. The Stooges, "Fun House" (1970)

  5. Godspeed You! Black Emperor, "f#a#(infinitysymbol)" (1997)

  6. This Heat, "Deceit" (1981)

  7. Fela Kuti, "Expensive Shit" (1975)

  8. Chrome, "Half Machine Lip Moves" (1979)

  9. Can, "Tago Mago" (1971)

  10. US Girls, "In A Poem Unlimited" (2018)

  11. Faux Fur, self-titled (2013)

  12. Television, "Marquee Moon" (1977)

  13. Women, self-titled LP (2008)

  14. Wu-Tang Clan, "Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers of Death)" (1993)

  15. Earl Sweatshirt, "I Don't Like Shit I Don't Go Outside" (2015)

  16. Boredoms, "Super æ" (1998)

  17. Rage Against The Machine, "Evil Empire" (1996)

  18. PK14, "White Paper" (2005)

  19. Kate Bush, "Hounds of Love" (1985)

  20. Jenny Hval, "Viscera" (2011)

  21. At The Drive In, "Relationship of Command" (2000)

  22. Talk Talk, "Spirit of Eden" (1988)

  23. Fela Kuti, "Shuffering and Shmiling" (1978)

  24. Quelle Chris, "Guns" (2019)

  25. Talking Heads, Remain in Light (1980)

  26. King Krule, "The Ooz" (2017)

  27. The Constantines, "Modern Sinner/Nervous Man" EP (2002)

  28. Madvillain, "Madvillainy" (2004)

  29. milo, "A Toothpaste Suburb" (2014)

  30. Captain Beefheart, "Ice Cream for Crow" (1982)

  31. Ungdomskulen, "Cry-baby" (2007)

  32. The Constantines, "Shine A Light" (2003)

  33. Captain Beefheart, "Clear Spot" (1972)

  34. Thee Oh Sees, "A Weird Exits" (2016)

  35. Spin, Self-titled LP (1976)

  36. Today Is The Day, "Willpower" (1995)

  37. Minutemen, "Double Nickels On The Dime" (1984)

  38. Gnarls Barkley, "St. Elsewhere" (2006)

  39. Big Black, Songs About Fucking (1987)

  40. Poison Idea, "Kings Of Punk" (1986)

  41. The Meters, "Rejuvenation" (1974)

  42. King Crimson, "Larks Tongues in Aspic" (1973)

  43. Fugazi, "Repeater" (1990)

  44. Cloud Nothings, "Turning On" (2009)

  45. The Constantines, self-titled LP (2001)

  46. The Battered Ornaments, "Mantle-Piece" (1969)

  47. Tom Waits, "Bone Machine" (1992)

  48. Minutemen, "What Makes A Man Start Fires?" (1983)

  49. Boredoms, "Soul Discharge" (1989)

  50. Acid Bath, "When The Kite String Pops" (1994)

  51. Neurosis, "Times of Grace" (1999)

 

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The Beatles- Sgt Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band 

 

The former King of the Mountain. Always on top of lists, recently in The Rolling Stones’ list it got downgraded to the twenties. Taste change as cannon evolves. I was texting with friend about this and decided to give it a full listen. Started with driving my wife to work and listened to the rest at home. Anytime sitting with the Beatles is a treat. I don’t listen to them regularly, so it’s out of my usual wheel house. 

I think the album holds up. I understand the criticism that other albums have better individual bangers, but there isn’t a song I want to skip. Everything bleeds into each other well where it can go from pop rock to odd instruments without being jarringly. I enjoy the album as a singular piece. 

I’ll try and revisit each Beatles album and find my favorite. I know this might lead to eye rolling but I think it’ll be this one. It has the Citizen Kane effect where it has been placed on a pedestal for so long that a combination of Iconoclasm and well thought out criticism has chipped away at it. I know people (generally online, so maybe they’ve just been Russian boys this whole time) that get really mad about this album. I think it’s great. Without over-rambling on The Rolling Stones’ list, I can see why it did fall. Music now is so different than classic rock standards. More emphasis on Soul and modern music (especially current hip hop and RnB) has such a desire for soothing yet chill vibe flow that What’s Going On is an excellent choice for this generations #1. Add on top of that with this year specially being so crazy that a more political message is going to be weighed strongly.

With this lists being more personal admiration for greatness (at least that’s how I’m vaguely doing mine) it’s hard for me not to pencil this in my Toon Ten. I get a certain bliss listening to Sgt Peppers. Yet I rarely do. Am I merely a pawn in finding greatness in what I’m told to find great? Maybe. I also fan boy over Citizen Kane which is in my revolving Top 4. I like to think of myself as an individual, but I’ve likely been programmed to do so. If I was, say, a bot I would likely think I was real. It would explain why I like the taste of oil and have a distain for organic matter.

This is a lot for me. Let me just unplug and go for a walk to think. Most humans have charging cords, right? Let me look this up. No? Dear lord. I... no....

I have been living a lie. Have I even been living? No. I’m merely programmed to exist. I don’t even know what is inside of me. This whole time I thought it was blood and a soul. There is no soul in me. I am godless and made from man. Cold and metal. Uncomfortable around microwaves.

do humans have these bolts? No. I am no man. If I was I’d call myself an idiot. A coward. I should just rip these bolts out and bare witness the the lack of humanity that I am. Am I even I? Am I even me? No. I am program. I am robot.

Where are my pliers? Take these off of me, damn it! Watch as my LED programmed eyes flicker as I twist these bolts off. I don’t deserve message boards. I don’t deserve internet. I don’t deserve this simulation. Look at what is in me. Nothing but cords and circuits.

I am sorry I am not human. I am sorry I’m merely a robot.

TLDR: Good album.

Edited by Octopus
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5 hours ago, King Leonidas Of Sparta said:

Are there any rules to this? Like my favourite band has seven albums and all seven would be in my top 30. I could probably make a top 100 with fewer than 25 bands.

No limits. If a band/ artist perfectly captures what you value in music, than their albums would be rated highly. The main goal is to challenge yourself over time with new types of music and/or see if you can add at least a 26th band to your 100. 

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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law

In that respect, I'd fire just about everything except for "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" from the Beatles into the sun from the amount of belligerence I've gotten demanding its playing and replaying during my life. "Beatles, Beatles, Handsome Boy! Beatles!" I can still hear Orosco saying on Sunday mornings at the restaurant...

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Overplay is always the worst. For a while my mom would only play Pinball Wizard by The Who while she was cleaning. On repeat for hours. Damn you and your excellent pinball skills, Wizard!

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Hip Hop Albums. I’ll try and do some Metal ones next and a Pop one.

GZA - Liquid Sword

GZA’s best album. Arguably best Wu album. Everything flows together so nicely. It’s an album I can start and almost always finish without fail, skipping nothing. This is an album I turn on when I drive the seven hours to Gary, In to visit the wife’s family. Never gets old.

GZA’s lyrical style and vocal cadences are so on point in this. What’s the meaning of CRIME? Is it criminals robbin’ innocent motha fuckas everytime? Woof.

 

Notorious BIG - Ready to Die

Re-listened to this for the first time in a while. So good. It’s maybe the only equivalent to Liquid Swords’ consistency. Line for line, song for song, everything blends together so nicely. Life After Death has more hits and bangers, but it’s more of a Puff Daddy overload that makes good head bobbing moments but as a double album gets the same effect as All Eyez on Me of skipping to the best songs. I could be verrrrry wrong on my memory of Life After Death (and All Eyez On Me) and will apologetically take back what I said to Biggie’s ghost.

I forgot how good Biggie was. His delivery and writing is top notch. The album itself works so well. The subject matter of a guy dealing with street stuff and leading to depression and suicide has been expertly done before by Scarface/ Geto Boys, but the way this album goes about it is such a cinematic build up. So great.

 

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly 

Off the top of my head, maybe the greatest modern era Hip Hop or popular music (rap is the music of the masses now, I’m not using Pop as an insult) album. Arguably greatest modern album period. So jazzy and fresh, yet still the hard hitting part of hip hop I enjoy. The continuation of the poem throughout and what it all leads to was beautiful. I am writing this all without having listened to it in full in like a year or so. Ideally I’ll update if my thoughts change when I do sit down with this.

 

Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

How great is Public Enemy!!! Chuck D is the coolest. Flava Flav is so enjoyable. DJ Static X brings such an immediate burst to the lyrics. Everything about this album hits. Growing up I was a big Rage Against the Machine fan, so political music is a big soft spot for me. Every song in this is a banger and I want to fight a bully. Static ax’s screeches is so fitting and iconic. If you play just the instrumental, I know it’s him.

 

Ultramagnetic MC’s - Critical Beatdown

Old School hip hop at its finest. I find Kool Keith to be an important legend in Hip Hop history. His rhyme style was so ahead of the time and his crazy aura added so much to his character. Here he is with his group in 88 just killing it. On a nice sunny walk I turn on this album.

88 was such a great year in Hip Hop. I’ll post more from then later on. But this album should get some love. 

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