Maestro Maven - Hip-Hop/Rap
Top 100 Singles List...
I had two significant introductions to rap music when I was a teenager. One summer while staying in Munich, Germany, my family rented a house and I stayed in their son's room. He had a record player and a small collection of LPs. Most of them were rap albums, including Public Enemy and N.W.A.. I began listening to the records and was enthralled by the taboo lyrics, hard message and tough personas of the gangster rappers of N.W.A.. Then when I returned to Canada, a friend brought Wu-Tang Clan's Enter the 36 Chambers CD over to my house. I really loved the sampling for the beats and that the Wu members were such gifted lyricists. From that point on I paid a lot more attention to rap music and started to build my CD collection up. By the end, I had hundreds of CDs. Not all of the popular stuff appealed to me and I didn't like the rap that pandered toward pop culture (ie. most Bad Boy music at that time). Over time, that brand of hip-hop has taken over the rap scene and most of youth culture believes that Jay-Z is one of the greatest of all time. I would have him way down my list and I haven't enjoyed his music since Lifetime Vol. 1. That being said, my tastes are relatively mainstream so this list is neither the most pop-hop or the most hardcore underground. In addition, like most of my Maestro Maven lists, you will notice that I don't care much for music in the 2000s. I believe that piracy has destroyed the music industry - the greatest talents and musical genius don't even pursue music anymore because they need a more secure career and future. Artists aren't scouted actively anymore and if you want a contract you have to work on collecting tens of thousands of serious fans all on your own first. It is a bad joke. Despite that, there have been decades of incredible rap music in the past and this is my top 100 singles. The first twenty tracks are in order and the rest are listed alphabetically. As always, my lists are a reflection of my personal taste only.