Resident ‘Knowledge‘ mix master, champion of funk, and devout hip-hop scholar DJ Blugnosh has agreed to curate a guest post for us- we’re excited to present his run down of 6 Hip-Hop albums that made history.
If you’ve heard any of his beats or caught any of his sets or mixes, you’ll know that Blugnosh is deeply invested in the old school, and a particular advocate of the uncompromising east-coast sound. A true student of music, keen to learn and express, Blugnosh immerses himself in the sonic landscapes of the various global rhythms including soul, funk, samba and jazz. This doesn’t root him in the past however, as he has a keen ear for modern mellow sounds, and an appreciation for the hip-hop lifestyle as a whole.
But enough with the flattery! Peep the list he has devised below and read his relating comments and opinions on some seminal works from Hip-Hop history.
Don’t forget to check his Soundcloud, and if you’re in the Canterbury area be sure to attend a ‘Knowledge‘ night or two before the term is out. It’s definitely one of the most unique nights on offer, and it plays amazing music to a great crowd. (The next one is on the 2nd of June!)
The Sun Rises In The East – Jeru
DJ B: Jeru shows everyone what New York is all about. It’s not just a grittiness, but his verses speak for a type of Hip-Hop experience that is intimately tied to New York.The cool thing about Gang Starr is that they didn’t come across as a collective solely driven by fame, money or music- they had a prominent political and social awareness too, and were very aware of the shit that was happening in their City. DJ premier produced whole album, and he appeared to abandon a classic style of sampling to be a lot more experimental – helping to shift the balance from West to East. This album is essentially Jeru’s introduction into the rap game, and he came straight in and laid down a big marker for himself and for the east coast. You can hear from ‘Come Clean’ a type of underground, grittier sound, thanks to both Premier’s beats and Jeru’s flow.
Fantastic Vol 2 – Slum Village
DJ B: Only officially released in 2001, after being one of the most bootlegged, underground albums of all time. What makes the tape so distinctive is Dilla’s trademark, revolutionary beats. Whilst of course there is a message in the lyrics, it’s almost as if the way that the beats and the nasaly flow come together is the real music here – a perfect partnership. Apparently Questlove from the roots said he was very close to breaking from the group when one of the other members borrowed his copy of Fantastic Vol 2. without telling him. This record is important!
Moment Of Truth – Gang Starr
DJ B: Largely regarded as Gang starr’s most respected album, by both fans and the group themselves. Premier had arguably reached an unprecedented maturity in terms of his beat-making skills. The beats on this track demonstrated an almost perfectly refined roughness, a clear progression and evolution from the previous Gang Starr releases. In the meanwhile, Guru’s life both inside and out of the rap game, is at it’s most intense – finally getting serious recognition in the underground rap scene, but also about to face a trial that could effectively disrupt his rap career for a long time (he was facing a five year bid on gun charges). On the album you can feel the palpable, deep emotions that the duo were undergoing in that period – something that’s able to create an immediate and intimate connection between the listener and the artists.
The Main Ingredient – Pete Rock & C.L Smooth
DJ B: I love all the songs on this album, so it was hard to pick just one – But “In The Flesh” is a particular gem, featuring Italian rapper Deda, and Rob-O from Pete Rock’s Ini crew. Although not the most celebrated album that the duo released, it has a tremendous importance for me. I literally never get bored of its organic production, and this album has some of my favourite beats of all time. I was probably 17 when i first heard it, after a close friend introduced me to Pete Rock’s work. It’s not just the beats however, as C.L’s voice has warmth – Pete Rock creates the flying carpet, C.L smooth takes you there
The Awakening – Lord Finesse
DJ B: The third and most fundamental of Finesse’s albums, ‘The Awakening’ was an essential release in terms of charting the development and growth of the East coast’s underground Hip-Hop scene. This album saw Finesse really hone his own, unique style of sampling, made up of a lot of single note horns, and fat analogue delays. Coupled with this newfound sound, Finesse showcases a genius braggadocio – the perfect recipe for a masterpiece.
Madvillainy – Madvillain
DJ B: Considering Doom is a meticulous architect when it comes to his own music – his handcrafted beats, his intricate story lines for his multiple characters and personas – it’s so impressive that he is able to work with other producers and artists so effectively. For me, this is the most influential underground album of the 2000’s. It demonstrates the progression of Hip-Hop – It’s innovative and unique on both Madlib and Doom’s part, and they were album to redefine what Hip-Hop was. It’s a thoroughly refreshing album that proves that Hip-Hop as a genre is still alive and well. Even though the album is deeply cherished by underground Hip-Hop heads, it’s influence extended to the broader, profane field of the mainstream.