1993 ALBUMS REVIEW
What’s really good family. I hope all my 90sHipHopJunkies out there had a good week. This is the purpburna back again as promised. Now in last weeks review I told you we would be putting 3 classics against each other this week, but after a little debating and some input from the fans out there I decided you can’t put Classics against each other. We’re here to represent them all ‘cause they all had a hand in making us fall in love with that era of HipHop. Myself included. So instead what we’re gonna do this week is take the Top HipHop albums of 1993 and review them for you . Hopefully reading this you’ll become a little nostalgic and go listen to your favorites…
Enter the Wutang (36 Chambers)
“Shaolin Shadow boxing and the Wu-Tang sword style. If what you say is true, the Shaolin and the Wu-Tang could be dangerous. Do you think your Wu-Tang sword can defeat me?’
“On guard!” “ Ill let you try my Wu-Tang style….”
And the rest is history…..
They promised to “Bring da Ruckus” and for 22 years that’s exactly what they have been doing. Like many of the albums we will review here on our year to year reviews, every song on this album is a classic. The raw, gritty, hood, gangsta, sewer raps cut through in 1993 and haven’t stopped since. No one else has been able to have 9 distinct personalities in one group and get equal shine. This album paved the way for a lot more classics to come as soon as the next calendar year. As you no longer could just be hardened thugs you also had to be able to hold your own on the Mic… The Rza(the Abbott), the Gza(the Genius), ol’ Dirty Bastard(Baby Jesus), Inspektah Deck(the Rebel INS), Raekwon(the Chef), U-god(Golden Arms), Ghostface Killah(Tony Starks), Masta Killah(the High Chief), and the Method Man(Hot Nickels)… The RZA’s production on this album is what sets the tone. The grittiness of the beats give you that basement studio type of feel. The way the Wu as a whole composes their sentences is like they were speaking a whole different language. It’s hard for the young ones these days to understand it, but we felt it ‘cause we lived it. The RZA’s sampling of Gladys Knight’s “The Way We Were” for the fourth single released “Can It Be So Simple” was able to bridge two different genres of music. Lyrics by the dynamic duo of Rae and Ghost spoke about the come up. That rags to riches story that all of us growing up in the hood dreamed about. That’s one of the reasons why this album was such a hit, because the hood understood it, we related to it on every level.
“Da Mystery of Chessboxin’”, which is my personal favorite on the album, and I’ll tell you why. It’s because we get to hear Masta Killah’s verse which to me is also one of the best on the whole album. Masta Killah and U-God are to two least heard on the album but best believe they make an impact on you when heard… Shout out and Thank you to Masta Killah for that verse. Songs like “Wu-Tang Clan Aint Nuthin’ Ta Fuck Wit”, “C.R.E.A.M.”, and “Protect Ya Neck” set the guidelines for so many of the future hits you would see spawn after 1993. Tracks like “M.E.T.H.O.D. Man”, which was released as the B-side of the “Protect Ya Neck” single are so classic. It’s easily one of the greatest HipHop singles ever. Not only was it an instant hit on the 36 Chambers album, but it was also able to launch Johnny Blaze’s solo career. It was the title track of his first solo album Tical which was released in November of the following year. All in all, when it comes down to production this album Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is the most important album released in the 90s ‘cause it set the bar for everything else that followed. It gets my vote for one of the best ever and I recommend it for anyone trying to understand why we say we are 90sHipHopJunkies. After hearing this album you will definitely understand why. I’m gonna end this review with the “Can It Be So Simple Intermission” and let the Method Man explain the 9 Members in his own words….
A Tribe Called Quest
“Seven times out of ten we listen to our music at night. Thus spawn the title of this program. The word Marauder means to loot. In this case we maraud for ears.”
-Female Robotic Narrator (Laurel Dann)
Midnight Marauders is the third studio album released by A Tribe Called Quest. ATCQ had already experienced HipHop success with The Low End Theory which was released 2 years prior to Midnight Marauders. The Low End Theory, with its mixture of samples and hard street beats, basically changed HipHop and paved the way for such albums as 36 Chambers and other albums released in ’92-’94, illmatic included. So when they released Midnight Marauders and changed the game all over again it made them greats. Up until now a few artists had tried to incorporate piano sounds into their production, but without much success. Now, when ATCQ lowered the bumpin’ of their drums in their production and added in the Fender Piano sounds, it changed the game all over again. The mixtures of the Fender, plus the lowered drums are ever so present in hit tracks like “Award Tour” and “Electric Relaxation”. Midnight Marauders are one of those albums that you can play from to beginning to end without having to skip a track. The third single released off of the Midnight Marauders was "Oh My God" which featured a sample of former Leaders of the New School MC Busta Rhymes on the chorus. The same sample of Busta Rhymes was also used on the last track of the album "God Lives Through". With this album ATCQ switched their content to not only conscious bars but also to more hood related content. It’s definitely a Classic and once like all the others I review here a must have. Make sure you cop this one for your collection if you don’t already have it because it’s one of the albums that paved the way for our genre.
Snoop Doggy Dogg
Due to his many guest spots on the extremely successful album “The Chronic” by Dr.Dre. Snoop needed absolutely 0 promotion for his own follow up solo album. “Doggystyle” just reiterated and cemented that G-Funk style that the “The Chronic” had previously brought to the game. Calvin Broadus a.k.a Snoop Doggy Dogg is possibly the coolest, smoothest, most charasmatic to ever touch the Mic. His affinity to the Mother Leaf was so strong that Dr.Dre made it the center focus of his critically acclaimed album “The Chronic”. Although “Doggystyle” received massive criticism for it vulgar and extreme lyrics, the album went on to sell over 800,000 copies its first week. That number wasn’t surpassed til 7 years later when Eminem released “The Marshall Mathers LP”. "Who Am I (What's My Name)?" was the first single released from the album. This song basically was an autobiography of who the dogg was. With his fluid, Ganja inspired flow, combined with the harmonizing hook, this song was an instant Classic. "Gin and Juice" was the second single. Again the flows and harmonizing on this track was the epitome of G-Funk not only then but still now. It’s nothing out of the ordinary to see a car coming down the street with “Gin and Juice” blaring out of the speakers. "Lodi Dodi" and "Murder Was the Case" were not official singles, but they both received acclaim from the HipHop heads out there. Snoop was one of the founding fathers who put the West Coast on their backs and made a name for not only himself, but for a whole Coast. I am born and raised in NY/NJ, and I remember growing up and hearing songs off of “Doggystyle” as frequent as I heard East Coast Classics. This here is another must have for the collection. Not only does it portray Gangsta Rap to the fullest, it also shows you how HipHop influenced people just like me on the other side of the country. If you don’t already have this make sure you cop it…
Thanks again for logging on and supporting the movement. The only way not to let the game die is to teach the young G’s out there so they never forget… Have a blessed week family…