I come bearing a message for the babies---you can't even begin to call yourself a hip-hop fan until you've listened to some Rakim. I'm sure that there are a few miscellaneous heads out there who genuinely dislike his style, but trust me...such individuals are (understandably) few and far between.
The history of hip-hop has seen many rappers come and go, but Rakim represents something far greater than the average---he's a legendary street poet and lyricist in the truest sense of the words. If you don't own any of his records, you should empty out your piggy bank and make every effort to get familiar . If you really open your ears, you'll be astonished at how many of his lines have been hijacked and repeated by other MC's over the years. His rhyme book is a breeding ground for plagiarism, to say the very least...
There are a couple of you who still don't get it, so let me use an analogy. He is to rap what Dave Chappelle was to "The Chappelle Show"---pretty fuckin' essential. Knowledge of this man's work is absolutely fundamental to hip-hop appreciation. That means it's time to unpeel your lips from the window of the short bus, and start pursuing your primary education:
A few joints that you can currently download, courtesy of blogger generosity...
"Follow The Leader" (w/ Eric B)
"Waiting For The World To End"
...and a handful of videos for those who learn best by visual means:
"When I Be on the Mic"
"Don't Sweat the Technique"
"Casualties of War"
"In the Ghetto"
Speaking of hip-hop's pioneers, Recidivism is currently featuring "Superman's Black in the Building (Mauly T remix)" by Public Enemy and "Real Niggaz Don't Die" by NWA.
You can also cop Public Enemy's classic joint "Rebel Without A Pause" at Mocking Music.
A vintage Black Sheep track ("Black With N.V. (No Vision)") is available at Underneathica.
Two Special Ed joints are up at Soul Sides---"I'm the Magnificent" and "C'mon Let's Move It".
And if that's still not enough old school madness for ya, you could always try breakdancin' with Mr. T.
For my soul fans, who are probably bored with all of this---download "Till I Can't Take It Anymore" by Irma Thomas and "His Hands" by Candi Staton at Living in Stereo.
Funky peoples (in the place to be) should definitely check out this blog---Old School Funk Videos.
I know I've already used an analogy once in this post, but I can't help thinking that George Bush entertaining the American Idols has some obvious things in common with the story of Nero fiddling while Rome burned. Maybe that's why 86% of us would like to see his ass get impeached.
Donny Hathaway's incredible cover of The Beatles song "Yesterday" is available at Undercover.
Two Jimi Hendrix tracks are up at Kwaya Na Kisser--versions of "Hey Joe" and "Hound Dog" from the BBC sessions.
Another new joint from Masta Killa---"Iron God Chamber" (w/U-God, RZA, and Method Man)---is available at Straight Bangin'.
Cop the freshest/latest in gangsta accessories and gear--the tampon shooter can be your own personal weapon of mass destruction.
Download "I've Got No Time To Lose" by Carla Thomas via The Stepfather of Soul.
"Everybody Loves the Sunshine" by Roy Ayers Ubiquity is available at 33/45.
Acquire Nina Simone's version of "Wild Is the Wind" at Said the Gramophone.
Freemotion is featuring a few joints by female rapper Psalm One.
Curtis Mayfield's "Move on Up" is available by way of One Louder.
Analog Giant is the place to score DJ A-Trak's joint "Knucklehead".
Pharmaceutical reps are greedy bastards, and apparently drug lunches are the norm. I'd hate to think that my doctor chooses my prescriptions based on how much he likes the lasagana.
Pick up a couple of Little Brother joints from their Seperate But Equal mixtape at 33 Jones----"Let It Go (w/ Mos Def) and "Macaroni".
"Fishtales" by Aesop Rock is up at Sumish.com.
Some great mp3s were recently posted at Palms Out Sounds. Download tracks by The Roots, Rhymefest, Pharrell, Jay-Z/ Mary J Blige, Pharoahe Monch, and more.
Before I go, I wanted to mention that Souled On reader Chris has started his own mp3 blog on deep house, acid jazz, downtempo, disco, Detroit sounds, etc. Show him some love by paying a visit to Another Night On Earth.
"My fear was not of death itself, but a death without meaning."---Huey P. Newton