News & Reviews

Two Years of Greatness. The two best years in Hip Hop history. 1988-1989

By Chucky Oldskool

Much of what is released today that sells is a hybrid of Rap and R&B. It is sometimes hard to distinguish if it is a Rap song or R&B song. The other issue that resonates is the term “classic” Most of the albums that come out now if 5-6 of the songs on album are good the album is considered very good. Some of these albums are even called “classic” The bar was subliminally lowered. Over the years in Hip Hop there have very good to great albums were released. A year like 1994 had some iconic and yes even classic albums came out. However, there has never been a two-year span where just about every album that came out was a classic.

From the icon attacking (Run- D.M.C, LL Cool J and even Rakim) unorthodox rhymes from Kool Keith and Ced Gee of the Ultramagnetic MCs in 1988’s Critical Beatdown to the rapid fire genius of Kool G Rap in 1989’s Road to the Riches, the releases in those two years are part of the golden age of Hip Hop.  There were releases from the east coast, west coast and even the south.  The were classic releases from woman such as 1989’s All Hail the Queen by Queen Latifah and Eyes On This by Mc Lyte.  This was a time where Hip Hop was years past the “Yes yes yall”. It had become intricate diverse and in some cases militant. It had not become “Rap” yet. That was still a few years off.  The music came out during those two years are some of the most universally respected ever in Hip Hop

 In 1988 Hip Hop was not yet the global entity that it is now in 2020. In fact, many R&B radio stations did not even play Hip Hop all the time during the day. Corporations fresh from their capitalization and pillaging of the “break dance” was dipping their toe into the water of what would become another pillage.

1989 would be the last year of the 80s. The 90s would bring about a monumental change in the music. Some of the changes were good and some were “jiggy” . In that respect 1989 gave you the last vestiges of the “golden age”  of Hip Hop.

1988

Critical Beatdown- Ultramagnetic M.Cs – notable songs from the album Feelin It, Housin Things, Traveling at Speed of Thought,  Ego Trippin 

Video clip courtesy of YouTube

He’s the DJ. I’m the Rapper – DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince – notable songs from the album Rhythm Trax House Party Style, Brand New Funk, He’s the DJ I’m the Rapper, Parents Just Don’t Understand,

Long Live the Kane-Big Daddy Kane – notable songs from the album Just Rhymin’ with Biz, Ain’t No Half-Steppin, Raw, Set It Off 

Video courtesy of YouTube

Going Off-Biz Markie- – notable songs from the album Pickin’ Boogers, Biz is Goin’ Off, Vapors, Nobody Beats the Biz, Make the Music with Your Mouth, Biz

Video courtesy of YouTube

Greatest Entertainer-Doug E Fresh– notable songs from the album- Guess? Who, Cut That Zero, Keep Risin’ to the Top, D.E.F. =Doug E. Fresh

Follow the Leader-Eric B and Rakim– notable songs from the album “Follow the Leader, Lyrics of Fury, “Microphone Fiend, The R”

Video courtesy of Vevo

Eazy-Duz-It-Eazy E– notable songs from the album –Boyz-n-the-Hood, Eazy Duz It, We Want Eazy, Eazy-er Said Than Dunn”

Strictly Business-EPMD– notable songs from the album – Strictly Business, You Gots to Chill, It’s My Thing, You’re a Customer

It takes a nation of millions to hold us back –Public Enemy– notable songs from the album = Bring the Noise, Don’t Believe the Hype, Terminator X to the Edge of Panic, “Night of the Living Baseheads

Straight out the Jungle-Jungle Brothers– notable songs from the album = Straight out the Jungle, What’s Going On, Jimbrowski, Because I Got it Like That”

1989

3 feet high and rising –De La Soul – notable songs from the album = Potholes in My Lawn, Say No Go, Plug Tunnin, Buddy, Me Myself and I

Video courtesy of YouTube

Paul’s Boutique-Beastie Boys-notable songs from the album = Hey Ladies, Shake Your Rump

Nasty as they want to be-2 Live Crew-notable songs from the album = Me So Horny, Coolin, C’mon Babe

The Cactus Album-3rd Bass-notable songs from the album = Wordz of Wisdom, Steppin to the AM, The Gas Face, Brooklyn Queens

Video Courtesy of YouTube

No One can do it better-DOC-notable songs from the album =Is it Funky Enough, Mind Blowin, The Formula, Grand Finale

Straight Outta Compton-NWA-notable songs from the album = Straight Outta Compton, F-Tha Police, Dopeman, Express Yourself

Video courtesy of YouTube

Road to the Riches-Kool G Rap-notable songs from the album= Road to the Riches, Men At Work, It’s a Demo, Truly Yours

Video courtesy of You Tube

Fear of a Black Planet-Public Enemy-notable songs from the album= Brothers Gonna Work it Out, 911 Is a Joke, Welcome to the Terrordome, Fight the Power

3xdope-Original Styling- notable songs from the album= Greatest Man Alive, Funky Dividends, Straight Up, From da Giddy Up

Video courtesy of YouTube

All Hail the Queen-Queen Latifah-notable songs from the album=Dance for Me, Princess of the Posse, Wrath of My Madness

Eyes on this –M.C Lyte -notable songs from the album= Cha Cha Cha, Stop Look and Listen, Shut the Eff Up (Hoe)

Honorable Mention ( A year before and a year after)

1987

Criminal Minded-Boogie Down Productions

Paid in Full-Eric B and Rakim

Rhyme Pays-Ice T

1990

Amerikkka’s Most wanted-Ice Cube

Peoples Instinctive Travels..-Tribe called Quest

Blacks Magic-Salt and Pepa

Sex Packets-Digital Underground

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