June 25, 2014

The Source "The Best Hip-Hop Albums & Singles of 1994"

If you've been following, I do these kinds of challenges to humor myself: I look back on certain years and which albums & singles The Source chose as the "best" of the year and then try to declare which of them is MY favorite from the year. I go row for row, then declare a winner for the whole year that serves as my personal favorite. Row 1: "Doggystyle" might sonically be the best album in all of hip-hop history. I mean, Snoop & Dr. Dre really put a foot in "Doggystyle," in its entirety (music, mixing, visuals, concept, etc). Even with that, I have to go with "Ready To Die," because I don't revisit "Doggystyle" all that much but I do listen to "Ready To Die" at least twice a year, so it's a personal choice more than thinking it's actually "better." Row 2: between Wu and OutKast, I'm going with Wu-Tang and it's not that hard a decision ... it's just too classic to argue. Row 3: between Illmatic & Hard To Earn, I'm going with Illmatic, because "Hard To Earn" isn't the best album in Gang Starr's catalog, so I can't let it beat one of the greatest albums of all-time. Row 4: I'm going with Jeru's The Sun Rises In The East over Scarface's "The Diary," although Scarface is higher on my list as an overall MC; in fact, he's in my top 10. Row 5: Easily goes to A Tribe Called Quest on "Midnight Marauders." Classic! In the end, of all the albums, I am going with "Illmatic" by Nas, it's been my favorite hip-hop album since the 90s. You probably knew that already lol Cont'd...

As for the best single of 1994, I will cut to the chase and let y'all know, hands down it's Wu-Tang Clan's "C.R.E.A.M." What a classic cut! That it was even a single on an album with as many hard cuts, tells you how far ahead they were; they knew fans would rock with that cut. My only real hot-take on the record is that Inspectah Deck runs away with the best verse on the song, yet it was Raekwon who received "Hip-Hop Quotable" for "C.R.E.A.M." Inspectah Deck's verse is one of the best on the whole album, why did they do that to Inspectah Deck? Not to say Raekwon's verse wasn't dope, but c'mon ... am I buggin? F'real, let me know what you think about the track. If you didn't choose it for the best single, what did you choose? Thinking back on "Flava In Ya Ear," Craig Mack sparked everything over at Bad Boy, it's a shame how Puff handled things moving forward.