Was compiling some old school sounds (not too tough, must have got 1 hip hop album in the last 15 years, by Root Manuva) for a younger pal, so i dug in a whole pile of dusty cd's. Yep, there used to be great hip hop even in big labels? UNBELIEVABLE !!!!
Here are a few from that batch :
Gangstarr : Step in the Arena
Disposable Heroes of Hipoprisy : Hypocrisy is the Best Policy
London Posse : Gangster Chronicle
De La Soul : is Dead
Leaders of the New School : T.I.M.E (amazing !)
House of Pain : same
Poor Righteous Teachers : Pure Poverty (not too sure about 5%ers, though).
Laquan : SoUNDS of a Native Son
Twin Hype : Double Barrel
Arrested Development : 3 Years...
They may not all be classics (some definitely are) but... hell, to say that many of those cool sounds were released on majors is plain amazing when compared to the crap rap majors release today. Those acts were so different from each other, sound-wise, flow-wise, ideologically... I don't follow current rap but i hope some diehards carry on with bearing this torch. i am sure they do, mostly unoticed, while con artists run the "market".