I remember the first time I made a mixtape it really wasn’t for anybody’s listening pleasure except myself and the songs that I fell in love with. It was my first exposure to the colorfully gritty world of hip hop and my parent’s refusal to buy me records with profanity (I was barely a teen) that led to me making mixtapes. While in Junior High School you can often find me sitting by my stereo’s tape deck to catch Wu-Tang Clan’s “Da Mystery of Chessboxin” and Shyheim’s “On and On” get played on 97.1 and staying up very late listening to Stretch and Bobbito’s show on 89.9 to catch some uber-interesting tracks I wouldn’t have been able to listen to otherwise. Inspired by those first mixtapes experiences, the following selection of music is a compilation of some of my favorite 90s hip hop songs that aren’t too familiar but aren’t too obscure either, enjoy!
Smiff N Wessun
My goodness, this song is such a smooth headbopper and when the chorus comes along you just can’t help sing along.
“8 Steps to Perfection”
Rugged like Rwanda!!! This song is hard as hell without having to be aggressive.
“Wrong Side of the Tracks”
The best song ever made about grafitti.
“I’m Gonna Kill You”
Breezly Brewin’s liquid flow telling a story? Perfect.
Siah & Yeshua Da Poed
Unsung Heroes production is great and the song features, in my opinion, one of the best hip hop duo to ever grab the mic.
“I Just Don’t Give a Fuck”
One of the best punchline-fest I have ever heard.
“Bitch in You”
Common Sense putting Ice Cube in his place accompanied by Pete Rock’s production, this is one of those diss songs with tons of replay value.
J-Live’s production and lyrical ability makes him a double-threat and this song really shows that off. A classic!!!
Okay, so this was actually around 2000, I think, but everything from Non Phixion’s conspiracy politics is perfect and Necro’s production is on point so I just had to put this in!
A smooth, funky headbopper featuring some of the best flows Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede has recorded.
As published in NYLON Indonesia December 2011
Photo by Poppie Mayiesky
Hear Jirapah music on http://www.myspace.com/jirapah