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Black History Month: Hip-Hop Playlist

Khaaliq Crowder, Contributing Writer

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Hip-Hop is more than one of the greatest contemporary genres: it is an art form; it is a culture; it is a lifestyle. Hip-hop was born in the Bronx in the mid-70s with two turntables and a microphone. DJs such as Grandmaster Flash and Kool Herc were spinning at clubs and block parties. Several years later, hip-hop’s breakthrough came in 1979 with Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” Almost 40 years later, hip-hop is a global icon with innovate subgenres from gangsta rap to crunk, Christian hip-hop and trap music.

Summer Story – Young M.A. (2016)
M.A. captures the spirit of New York-styled rap with legitimate, clearly enunciated bars — no mumbling like most MCs these days. I know everyone knows her OOOUUU single, but I prefer Summer Story; the Mary J. Blige-sampled beat alone throws us back to the good ol’ days in New York.

Doo Wopp (That Thing) – Lauryn Hill (1998)
Why did L’Boogie never put another album, and why does she show up 3 hours late to concert to perform her 18-year old songs? We’ll never know. I do know I’ll always have the hook of this song stuck in my head. Hill was woke before there was such a thing as being woke.

Work It – Missy Elliott (2002)
Childhood nostalgia. Missy Elliott slayed me and every other 90s’ babies childhood with her outrageous music videos and extraordinary produced songs. Work It is just one of my many favorite Missy records, but everytime this comes on I feel like break-dancing when I shouldn’t be.

Juicy – Biggie Smalls (1994)
“It was all a dream, I used to read word up magazine” and then it’s just straight fire from there. Biggie Smalls made such an impact on hip-hop in his short 4-year career and was truly the king of east coast hip-hop. As a native New Yorker, he’ll always have a place in my heart.

King Kunta – Kendrick Lamar (2015)
Kendrick is the saving grace. The antidote to today’s questionable rappers, Kendrick tells stories and creates visual in his rapping. King Kunta is just one of the many gems on his album To Pimp a Butterfly.

Best I Ever Had – Drake (2009)
Drake kicked off his rap career with this first of many ladies’ man with “Best I Ever Had” off his EP So Far Gone.

Rule – Nas feat. Amerie (2001)
Nas keeps it real with the way of the world today.

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Black History Month: Hip-Hop Playlist