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Old 12-11-2011, 10:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default (_____) Changed My Life.


To me, hip hop has always been a transformative genre of music. As a young kid, listening to various artists has always produced such strong emotions that my paradigms about life, the world, history, and relationships has changed. Hip hop has the power to enlighten, and also to corrupt, but my question to all y'all true rap lovers out there is; what artists really catalyzed a change in your perceptions of life?

Some examples


Raekwon the Chef & Ghostface Killah - Two of the most enigmatic and truly mystifying artists hip hop has ever produced, Raekwon's lyrics are something I personally believe should be mandatory listening for anyone serious about rap. Ghost's litany of personalities lends both comedy and variety of quality lyrical style to his raps that really set him apart from any other rapper out there. Wu as a whole really personifies an elevated style of lyricism that reflects innovation in syncopation and depth of subject.


Pep Love - Hiero's most underrated rapper in my opinion, Pep is absolutely devastating on the microphone and his slick rhyme style and intricate flows feature perfectly over Hiero's unique production. One of my favorite rappers of all time, his verses on Souls of Mischief's "Yeah It Was You" was one of my first introductions to his otherworldy rap abilities. "Love Flowin" is another classic Pep track that I highly recommend listening to.


James Dewitt Yancey - Obviously anyone who knows me or has familiarity with my previous postings should know of my affinity for Dilla. His music is timeless and evokes overwhelmingly intense emotions in me to the point that I am quite honestly left breathless when I listen to some of his work. I can honestly say without hyperbole that he was and continues to be the greatest producer of this or any other era.
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great post and I agree (apart from the shameful admission that I have no idea who Pep Love is...).

To me, O.D.B on "Shame on a N****" is what 'changed' my perspective on Hip Hop. I listened to that before any other Wu Tang song and fell in love with the gritty production, vocals and subject matter. I think he is over and under rated by many, but he is one of the best sounding rappers of all time without question.

DJ Shadow changed my way of thinking when it came to beats. I genuinely thought that any bass, drum etc... was played in the same way as in a band at one point (I was 12 or 13... I didn't know any better) then I was given "Endtroducing", listened to it, read the booklet and watched the documentary "Scratch" (essential viewing) and have been obsessed with beats ever since.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm really glad you mention Pep Love. I had the pleasure to see him live solo once and he truly did rule the mic and made a helluva show. The track Pacific Heights really got me into him. Pacific Heights is a Pacific coast anthem; it just really feels good to listen to to remind me why I never want to live away from here.



Glad to see you're a DJ Shadow fan TC...

I gotta say Del the Funky Homosapien and Aesop Rock really did a number on changing my whole outlook on hip-hop, and some of their words of wisdom and philosophies have really sunk into my own.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Also...



Holy rhyme scheme.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If we're going that route, Aceyalone is a great rapper and a great person but I gotta say Myka 9 / Mikah 9 (however he's spelling his name)'s lyrics really reach me on a deep level. I got a chance to smoke and talk with Myka at a show and I've really taken on a few of his philosophies. It's all love.
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Will have to check out Pep Love, thanks!

Whenever I hear Notorious BIG rapping it still always amazes me, the way he floats over the beat and the humour within the music. A couple of days ago I was listening to some of the radio shows he did freestyles (a loose word I know) on. Impressive to say the least. I never seem to get bored with him.

Make sure you check out the 1Xtra J Dilla thread! http://www.musicbanter.com/rap-hip-h...-too-soon.html
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Aesop Rock

although my affection for his music isn't the same as it was when i was younger, he's responsible for introducing me to most of the alternative artists in hip hop i like now


(skip to 1:10 if the first beat isn't captivating)

His brainiac bad-boy demeanor, and super intricate rhyme flow sounded really cool to me at the time. It was in sharp contrast to everything people would tell me was bad about hip hop, like dumb subject matter or repetitive lyrics.


He also wasn't as self-obsessed and melancholy like the rhymesayer sound, he still had that new york snap in his production and delivery.


I would argue some of those things aren't quite as distinct in his newer music, or maybe i grew out of it, but i still have a fondess for his music in the same way sunny day real estate or even nirvana.

You also have to give him credit for simply writing so much when recently the genre seems to put less emphasis on versatile lyrics/flows
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Aesop Rock

although my affection for his music isn't the same as it was when i was younger, he's responsible for introducing me to most of the alternative artists in hip hop i like now


(skip to 1:10 if the first beat isn't captivating)
I've always loved that transition "Bazooka Tooth". It's so abrupt and essentially sounds like two completely different songs and yet somehow it totally works. It's really a pretty impressive feat.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I know dude. Honestly i would always skip this song because i have bad attention span and got bored after the first 30 seconds. It wasn't until last year i was like woah theres a dope song here
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Aesop Rock

although my affection for his music isn't the same as it was when i was younger, he's responsible for introducing me to most of the alternative artists in hip hop i like now

It's nice to see some love for Bazooka Tooth. I've always felt so alone thinking that it's one of his greatest works. All of it. Also .. you're into Sunny Day Real Estate?

Back to original topic.

A Tribe Called Quest specifically People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm


This was my first real experience with hip-hop. That is, the first time I took it seriously. Before this came out, all I really knew about was Public Enemy, and I never actually paid much attention to the lyrics, I just liked their logo. The high-pitched siren thing (I mean the sample they incessantly used, not Flavis Flav, which I also could never stand) turned me off of them. Also N.W.A.
These were all I knew before the Tribe album. So, for me, before People's Instinctive Travels the only rap I really liked was N.W.A who were kind of a joke to me and my friends who listened to it driving around in our parents' cars bewildered at the fact that these guys were apparently selling crack and killing each other for no apparent reason and still had the time to make awesome-sounding music with hilarious lyrics.

Then came De La Soul, and all of the other late-80s/early 90s stuff that I listened to occasionally and always just for fun. This lasted well into the 1990s when turntablism became a kind of respectable musical art form and I was into all those artists like Beat Junkies et. al. and I also got into DJ Shadow and all of that. None of this was life-changing.

Then, well into young adulthood came..
Viktor Vaughn and his Vaudeville Villain album.

This album changed my life and will be a hard album to ever beat as my personal favorite rap album. It's hard to describe why exactly. It's just that it was the first album that ever felt so totally complete. Everything just fits. Doom's rhymes, his voice, the beats, even the skits. I honestly feel that this album elevates rap into the realm of high art. Or at least that's how it felt back when it changed my life. After this, I could listen to each and every rap album with a more critical ear and allowed me to explore my deeper feelings about all rap.

I love many hip-hop albums and artists but these two particular works stand out for me. Changed my perception of music and therefore changed my life.
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