My Favorite Era of Hip-Hop

A typical question hip-hop heads often ask each other is, “What is your favorite era of hip-hop?” My answer is ’92-’96. I was familiar with hip-hop in the mid-80s–Salt ‘n Pepa, Run DMC, Beastie Boys, Eric B. & Rakim, LL Cool J. The music was cool, but it wasn’t until late ’91 that I started falling IN LOVE with the music.

There are three key albums that are responsible for my passion for hip-hop: “The Low End Theory” by A Tribe Called Quest (1991); “Daily Operation” by Gang Starr (1992); and “Mecca and The Soul Brother” by Pete Rock & CL Smooth (1992). When people ask who are my favorite artists, I guess they expect me to speak of people from the ’00s, but I always say, “A Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr, Pete & CL…” And, it’s always going to be that way because those three groups left such an impression on me.

Before I go off on a tangent, let me stop there because my love for ATCQ, GS, and PR & CL is not the purpose of this note. I want to create a list of songs from my “golden era” of hip-hop. The following songs still excite me like they just came out yesterday. I’m trying to only choose one song per group/MC, but through my selections you will see some of the songs that shaped my taste in music.

  1. “They Reminisce over You (T.R.O.Y.)” – Pete Rock & CL Smooth (
  2. “Lyrics to Go” – A Tribe Called Quest (
  3. “Take It Personal” – Gang Starr (
  4. “I Used to Love H.E.R.” – Common (
  5. “I Got Cha Opin (remix)” – Black Moon (
  6. “Stakes Is High” – De La Soul (
  7. “Uknowhowwedu” – Bahamadia (
  8. “Concerto of the Desperado” – The Roots (
  9. “It Ain’t Hard to Tell” – Nas (
  10. “Chief Rocka” – Lords of the Underground (
  11. “Runnin'” – The Pharcyde (
  12. “Here It Comes” – MC Serch
  13. “MCs Act Like They Don’t Know” – KRS-One (
  14. “93 ’til Infinity” – Souls of Mischief (
  15. “Protect Ya Neck” – Wu-Tang Clan (
  16. “Verbal Intercourse” – Raekwon ft. Nas & Ghostface Killah (
  17. “Shook Ones Pt. II” – Mobb Deep (
  18. “Fakin’ The Funk” – Main Source (
  19. “Liquid Swords” – GZA (
  20. “Mad Izm” – Channel Live ft. KRS-One (
  21. “Come Clean” – Jeru the Damaja (
  22. “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik” – Outkast (
  23. “Uptown Anthem” – Naughty by Nature (
  24. “Tonight’s Da Night” – Redman (
  25. “Crossover” – EPMD (
  26. “Bucktown” – Smif n Wessun (
  27. “Everyday Struggle” – The Notorious B.I.G. (
  28. “Pain” – 2Pac (
  29. “Deep Cover” – Dr. Dre ft. Snoop (
  30. “Streiht Up Menace” – MC Eiht (
  31. “The Choice Is Yours (Revisited) – Black Sheep (
  32. “Sobb Story” – Leaders of the New School (
  33. “What’s on Your Mind?” – Eric B. & Rakim (
  34. “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)” – Digable Planets (
  35. “Nappy Heads” – The Fugees (
  36. “Sally Got a One Track Mind” – Diamond D. (
  37. “Love Me or Leave Me Alone” – Brand Nubian (
  38. “Success” – Fat Joe (

I’M TAPPED OUT! I was trying to make it an even 40, but my brain has shut down!! (I was really going for 25, but I realized I had left off a few songs…then it get drawn out to a list of 38.)

Mecca and the Soul Brother


About SydTheBSL

I'm a huge lover of hip-hop. Simply put.

Posted on April 12, 2011, in Hip-Hop and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Love this post and couldnt agree more! although I would say the real “Golden Age” was ’91-’98 I’m right there with you.

    Some classic albums i would add to your list:

    Big Pun- Capital Punishment
    Big L – Lifestylez ov da poor and dangerous
    Lord Finesse – The Awakening
    Scarface- The Diary
    Rakim- The 18th Letter
    Kool G. Rap – “live and let die” “roots of evil” “4,5,6”

    and the list no doubt continues…damn I loved the 90s!

  2. Thanks for taking the time to read my list! (Damn, I loved the 90s, too!)

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