Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Top 25 rap albums

Although, ever since I read Peter Kreeft’s funny but revealing article “A Defence of Culture Wars”, I have been suspicious of rap because I have believed it to be really violent in a celebratory manner - as opposed to darkly depicting terrifying scenes of violence. However, with age I have realised - as indeed I suspected when I first read Peter Kreeft - that heavy metal and some forms of punk are actually even more violent than celebrated political rap groups like Public Enemy and N.W.A. Heavy metal and punk rock also took to celebratory violence earlier. It all began with AC/DC’s “TNT” and, as I mentioned in one recent post, the Dead Kennedys. Both these groups clearly condone violent acts to get one’s own way at any cost, and one can easily imagine the consequence of a culture where people are “educated” by such works.

However, looking with trouble for lists of best music of all-time as we move towards a culture with seemingly little appreciation thereof, I have decided I should look at a recent list of the top twenty-five rap albums by Chris Rock:

#25: Dizzie Rascal - Boy in Da Corner (2004)
#24: DJ Quik - Way 2 Fonky (1992)
#23: Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)
#22: Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
#21: Outkast - Aquemini (1998)
#20: Nas - Stillmatic (2001)
#19: Jay-Z - Reasonable Doubt (1996)
#18: Scarface - Mr. Scarface Is Back (1991)
#17: Ice Cube - Amerikkka’s Most Wanted (1990)
#16: Wyclef Jean - The Carvinal (1997)
#15: Geto Boys - The Resurrection (1996)
#14: Ghostface Killah - Supreme Clientele (2000)
#13: Genius/GZA - Liquid Swords
#12: Eric B. and Rakim - Follow the Leader (1988)
#11: The D.O.C. - No One Can Do It Better (1989)
#10: De la Soul - Buhloon Mindstate (1993)
#9: A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory (1991)
#8: Beastie Boys - Paul‘s Botique (1989)
#7: EPMD - Unfinished Business (1989)
#6: LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out (1990)
#5: Pharcyde - Bizarre Ride II: The Pharcyde (1992)
#4: Run-DMC - Raising Hell (1986)
#3: 2PAC - Rap Phenomenon II (mix tape, 2003)
#2: Snoop Doggy Dogg - Doggystyle (1993)
#1: N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton (1988)

The most surprising things from what I know about rap:
  1. Public Enemy so low at #22
  2. None of the wholly pre-Bush Senior rap groups are included
  3. A few little-known albums at the lower end of the list
All in all, though, the list is familiar though it does not look at why Joe S. Harrington and David Keenan did not keep up interest in rap after Bush Senior lost power and the radicalism of the Boomers abated.

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