Classic Hip Hop On Spotify

Ja Rule - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Song: Put It On Me

Artist: Ja Rule

Album: Rule 3:36 (2000)

Genre: Hip Hop

Ok, I didn’t intend on blogging today, but I was trying to figure out who was I gonna write about for my next article. I hadn’t written about a rap artist in a really long time, but I also informed my readers I wasn’t really a rap fan either (relatively speaking). I got to thinking about Ja Rule. Let me start of by saying, I definitely wasn’t attracted to his voice as a rapper. I looked at him and would never think he’d possess that kind of voice. His voice just seemed out of place for the rap genre. Again, I don’t claim to be a rap blogger extraordinaire; nor have I ever declared myself as some sort of “rap oracle.” It’s difficult to find a whole lot of rap I really liked after about 1980s. I’ve met many people who are heavy in to rap and hip hop who feel the same way I do.

Just On His Beats Alone, He Should Be At Least Considered One Of Many Rap GOATs!





Ja Rule - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Now, let’s be honest. If you were to hear Ja Rule rap with no music, you’d probably say, nahhhhhhh. Next!!!!! But, somehow the background music produced really worked with his voice, it just seemed to change everything. I don’t know if he produced all his music, but he pumped out a lot of sick hits he should be acknowledged for. If I’m not mistaken, “Rule 3:36” was his second album. The first song off this album I thought was cool was, “Put It On Me.” I don’t think it was one of his finest beats, but I liked it, despite him sounding a little like a thousand year old revived caveman trying to court a lady. You know what? I also liked “It’s Your Life,” featuring Shade Sheist. It had a slight reggae bit that was cool.

Ja Rule - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

I really started liking his music about a year after. I really like “Mesmerize” featuring Ashanti. Also I liked “Always On Time,” still featuring her. I didn’t think I would like the songs so much, since I cannot stand Ashanti! Sorry, I never thought she had a talented voice. I never heard a solo album by her I could tolerate. I’d rather listen to a whinny lama before I listen to her solo music. Oh, man!! I almost forgot! My favorite Ja Rule song was “Holla Holla (1999),” I believe this was from his first self titled album “Ja Rule.” Do you guys remember a soundtrack project Ja Rule did along with Nate Dogg for Mariah Carey’s bombed movie “Glitter (2001)?” The song was called “If We.” It was one of the very few things good that came from that movie. Actually, the soundtrack was the only good thing about that movie.

Are People Even Into His Music Anymore?!




You know, I don’t remember the details, but I was partly listening to some radio show, that was discussing how Ja Rule was invited to some kind of benefit/function (something or another). And Ja Rule got up on stage and yelled “Are you Ready for some 90s music!” One of the radio host said it was almost dead silence! I think this was the video they were referring to. I really didn’t understand that. Ja made some good crowed jumping beats! Did he say something the audience didn’t like? No way the audience should’ve treated him like that. I don’t think Ja is one of those washed up rappers. I feel he’s very talented. Give him the credit he deserves!

The Whole Darn Family - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Song: Seven Minutes Of Funk

Artist: The Whole Darn Family

Album: The Whole Darn Family Has Arrived (1976)

Genre: Funk

Please forgive me. I don’t mean to annoy my readers by beating that same dead horse. But, this group is an example of why we can’t allow our music history to fade away! It’s such a disgrace that I could only find little information, or sometimes no information at all on these forgotten artist & bands that helped to change history. I am so darn pissed yo!! Black folk need to start blogging! For real.

You May Not Know, But You Know.




Well, despite the fact that I can’t find virtually squat on this treasured forgotten group called “The Whole Damn Family (which is a hilarious name for a group),” luckily, I have some sort of recollection from my childhood. Although, I have absolutely no idea where their song “Seven Minutes Of Funk,” fell on the billboard charts, I was old enough to know that almost every single young Black home was playing this beat. This groups was as funky as you could get back in the day!

This song came out when a was about 9 years old. My little feet used to groove to this song to almost every barbecue party I ever been to! Despite the huge popularity, to be honest I didn’t think that most of my elders like this beat. There still existed major generation gaps even back then too. Perhaps the music was so unique and different, my then elders didn’t quite know how to dance to it? Unless you’re a lover of funk music, I’m gonna boldly assume that most of my readers don’t remember this group. However, you do know their music.

The First Cover Release.




How am I sure you know their music? Because If I’m correct, the first rap group to sample their music was Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, with their hit “Superappin’ (1979).” GFTFF’s sample rap version was played all over the place, every corner you walked in the hood, they were playing “Superappin’.” Next sample was done by EMPD in their rap called “It’s My Thing (1987).” I have to be honest, I think this is my most favorite rap out of all the samples done! Lastly, Jay-Z sampled this in his rap “Ain’t No Nigga (1996).” Now, we’ve got 3 different major artists that sampled the band’s music; yet, I can’t seem to find any trace of any of these on the Billboard’s chart! And nothing really written about the band on the net. Now, either google (or perhaps Billboard) has a conspiracy to bury certain Black music history, or the Black community has simply allowed it to be wiped out of our memories. Shame on you guys!! 😠

Newcleus - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Song: Jam On Revenge (The Wikki- Wikki Song)

Artist: Newcleus

Album: Jam On Revenge (1983)

Genre: Hip Hop

Let me ask you guys something? How many of you lovers of old school freestyle/hip hop remember a group called “Newcleus.” I would bet not many (at least today’s generation who claim to know old school hip hop). Although Newcleus only had about 2 major hits, their unique sound put them on the same rank (in terms of popularity) as groups like the Sugar Hill Gang, and Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five.

Artists Back In The Day, Experimented With A Lot Of “Space Age Sounds.”




“Jam On Revenge,” represents the kind of fun music I always write about. The old mainstream hip hop artists loved to experiment with all kinds of sounds, that produced some of the most memorable raps in hip hop (in my generation). It is a stark contrast to what we hear today. I never owned the album, but I did purchase the 12 inch version. It has about 5 remixes on it. That’s the other good thing I missed about the 80s. Once a song becomes a huge hit, you’d also find single albums with several remixes that were only played on certain radio stations. Those became rare out-of-print collections.

Newcleus - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

There was so many remixes to this song it wasn’t funny. However, I believe this “Jam On It,” is the original hit. Now, this song only peaked at #56 in the Top 100 Chart in 1984. However, it peaked at #9 on the R&B Chart. Some how I feel that this song should ranked much higher than that. For you young guys reading my blog, while this song may perhaps sound corny to you, this was massively popular in the Black community. I remember a show called “Video Music Box,” that was hosted by a guy named Ralph McDaniels. I believe he was the executive producer of the show. I found an interview put together by VladTV. Very interesting you should watch it. Anyway, I remember Video Music Box playing this song a lot. At the time, Video Music Box was not only the hottest show, it was the first and only show promoting Hip Hop.

Song: Perfect Match

Artist: Lauryn Hill

Album: A Perfect Match (2019)

Genre: Hip Hop

Wow guys!! Maybe I was totally oblivious, but I don’t think I’ve heard anything new (or major) from Lauryn, since her iconic 1998 album called “The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill (1998)!” Ever since that scandal broke out, about her stealing music for “The Miseducation” album, if you haven’t heard about it, you can read it in this Rolling Stones article, despite albums released after that, it kind of felt she was missing in action. I was hoping her daughter wasn’t gonna follow her footsteps, but so far, so good (I guess). “A Perfect Match” is released as a single. She doesn’t come hard like she did on her first album, but the essence of what she represented back in the day, still there. It’s a sweet romantic love song, and I think it really works for her voice. All the tones, tempos, and inflections we heard on her first and only iconic album is undoubtedly present in this song. Only difference is that it’s more laid back.


Battery Heated Jackets, Hoodies, and Gloves

Heavy D. & The Boyz - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Song: We Got Our Own Thang

Artist: Heavy D. & The Boyz

Album: Big Tyme (1989)

Genre: Hip Hop

Yes.. I think even the biggest classic music fans has forgotten about Heavy D. & The Boyz. And I definitely have not heard their music on classic radio stations! Sad part is, they were one of the very few hip hop artists that produced music that appealed to a wider audience. A lot of people loved and admired this groups. In addition to my favorite “We Got Our Own Thang,” you should also check out my other favorites. ” Now That We’ve Found Love (1991),” and “Somebody For Me (1989).” Such a shame we lost Heavy D. so early in his career. Not only was he talented lyrically, he also could dance his ass off. Not many “overweight lovers” could dance the way he did.


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Will Smith on the set of “Wild Wild West (1999).”

No doubt! In my opinion, Will Smith is either “The King Of Bubblegum Rap,” (or at least one of). To my recollection, I don’t think I’ve heard the slightest bit of profanity in any of Will’s music. Will definitely had his own unique style, and he made his rap music fun to listen to. He was one of the few young rap artists that took control of the images he was projecting out in the media. Not too many rap artists cared, or even understood the long term impact of negative imagery within hip hop.

Gave Strong Positive Messages To Our Youth Without The Profanity!




As many of my long time readers my know already, when it comes to rap music, almost anything that was not considered bubblegum, and or anything past the 80’s time line was a no-go for me. I wasn’t really attracted to most rap music beyond that. However, as a kid I’ve listened to my fare share of late 70s and 80s rap. Having said that, when I look at rap documentaries, or read articles about rap’s GOATs, I don’t understand why Will Smith is never mentioned.

Will Smith - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Sometimes I think this is so because the younger generation doesn’t think rap is good unless there are at least 15 expletives in a single rap verse. To be honest, I’m really not sure what people use as a criteria to figure out who and what music are the “greatest of all time.” Once again, I’ll admit, this could be of my own ignorance of the scope of rap history. However, the fact remains, even his music that didn’t make the Top 200 Billboard Charts, such as “Ya’ll Know (1997),” was extremely popular on Black radio stations.

Will Smith - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Not only that, I don’t think there has been any other rap artist, turned actor, who has taken their acting career to the level he has. I know many rap fans consider LL Cool J as being a GOAT (in terms of rap to acting); however, Will Smith has been in pretty big budget films. From “Independence Day (1996),” to “I, Robot (2004),” to “Men In Black (1997).” Those films were nothing to sneeze at. Will has not done a rap album in about a decade and a half. Some of my favorites are, “Switch (2005),” “If U Can’t Dance (2005),” “Miami (1997),” and “Wild Wild West (1999).” You know, the beauty of watching Smith’s career is that, he was one of the few rapper turned actors that wasn’t typecasted. He can literally play any character. Both Hollywood and fans accepted Smith as a true actor, and didn’t pigeonhole him into one type of role, simply because he was a rapper.

 
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Ain’t No Joke by Eric B. & Rakim
Five Minutes Of Funk by Whodini
My Adidas by Run DMC
Got To Have Your Love by Mantronix
Games People Play by Sweet G
Hey DJ by Worlds Famous Supreme Team

This was very difficult for me to put together, because as I looked through my collection, the song list kept piling up. However, I was strict on myself, and narrowed them down to only six songs. In my opinion, my six picks are most likely considered obscure in the hip hop world. I’m pretty sure anyone under 20 years of age hasn’t heard any of them, or most of them. These are what I consider some of the best rap songs I heard growing up. Of course there are more, but for the purpose of keeping things simple, I chose these six extremely rare songs. Enjoy.

Montell Jordon - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Ladies, ladies!! If you did not think that Montell Jordon was one of the finest men of the 90s to ever grace hip hop with his presence, something is definitely wrong 👀 🤣. He had the looks and the talent! But, WTF happen to Montell? Once he was burning up the charts in the mid 90s, and now it seems as though he fell off the face of the earth! Well, not exactly, but it sure seems that way. While the music industry has forgotten about him, and just thrown his accomplishments aside like a piece of rag cloth, his fans still remember him.

Montell Jordon - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

In 1995, Montell ripped the Billboard charts to shreds, when he released his smash #1 hit, “This Is How We Do It.” In addition, it was #1 on the Canada Dance charts, and #1 in the UK. I need to try and give my readers some perspective as to how massively popular Montell was. First, the song was not only #1 on the Top 100 Charts, it stayed number one for 7 weeks! Some of today’s most memorable hits has NEVER been #1 for seven weeks consecutively! That’s jaw dropping!  Another example (just to give you an idea), music streaming wasn’t even a thing in the 90s. In fact, I’m not even sure if it had even started yet. But Spotify has calculated over 86M+ streams to-date. I could only imagine what the numbers are like on other streaming services.

Montell Jordon - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

But, Montell didn’t stop there! He had other massive hits as well. Such as his 1998 song “Let’s Ride,” Let’s Ride was one of my least favorites, but never the less, it reached #2 on the Top 100 Charts. In that same year, he released a song that I absolutely loved called “Get It On Tonight,” which reached #4 on the charts! I used to dance to that all the time, the music was so smooth, unique, and groove-able.

Montell Has Written a Book called “Becoming UNFamous.”




Now, albeit, I didn’t read his book, and I’m NOT judging Montell, but from the little I know about his book, it appears VERY typical. In it he talks about how he devoted himself to god and the church, blah blah. We’ve heard that same thing from people such as the late Vanity, of Vanity 6. We also heard the same story from the legendary Al Green. The story is either, they weren’t selling any records anymore, so they “turned their lives over to god;” or something life altering had happened to them, that literally scared them in to the church. I literally feel like I could predict most of the stuff in his book.

Like many other classic artists who moved from one genre to gospel, that magic they once had that gave them the hits we all know and love, usually gets left behind as well. The only thing we can do is reminisce on the oldies that made them great once upon a time. The last I checked, Montell is still married to his wife of 25 years, Kristin Hudson, and they’re both very happy. Good for him.


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