Rough, rugged, raw reality rap essentials from a redefining year
Forgive me for listing only New York classics here. I want examples of reality-driven, block-inspired hood-hop, and since I grew up in Queens, these are joints that I consider rap music in its purest, most eternal form. If you have additional picks, or care to contest mine, please text us or leave a comment.
M.O.P. | WARRIORZ | 2000 | Every Mash Out Posse album fits into this category, but Warriorz best shows how even Brooklyn’s gun-rap specialists can peel back some grime and cut legit radio bangers.
PRODIGY | H.N.I.C. | 2000 | After establishing himself as one of hip-hop’s special storytellers with Mobb Deep, Prodigy on H.N.I.C. stepped solo with a disc that put detail above everything — including, at times, melody and end rhymes.
D.I.T.C. | D.I.T.C. | 2000 | The indisputable hood-rap kings hardly approved of the way Tommy Boy cobbled this disc from old singles, but with O.C., Big L, Diamond, Buckwild, Showbiz, Fat Joe, AG, and Lord Finesse, things get dirty nonetheless.
SCREWBALL | Y2K | 2000 | The lead single off this murderous Queensbridge classic: “Who Shot Rudy.” And in 2000, there was no realer sentiment in New York City than wanting to push Mayor Giuliani’s wig back.
THE LOX | WE ARE THE STREETS | 2000 | After leaving Diddy’s Bad Boy for the meaner pastures at Ruff Ryders, Sheek Louch, Jadakiss, and Styles P took the opportunity to kick it from the curb and earn some real money, power, and respect.
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