Photo Credit: Mauro Puccini
Welcome back to 10 x 10. We give 10 industry luminaries the unenviable task of selecting their 10 best hip-hop albums of the nineties; indisputably the creative high point in hip-hop’s fourty-four year lifespan. Following eye-opening entries from Peanut Butter Wolf and DJ Muggs next up we welcome: Jneiro Jarel
A man that needs little in the way of introduction to Bonafide readers: Jneiro Janel has had a chameleonic career in music production, releasing on a number of labels under various guises, collaborating with the likes of Damon Albarn, Massive Attack, TV and, perhaps most notably, teaming up with DOOM for 2012’s Keys to the Kuffs. JJ also put together the quite magnificent Bonafide Beats #50 mix.
1.Public Enemy – Fear of a Black Planet (1990)
It was revolutionary! Innovative! Powerful! The production was an amazing collage of sounds never heard before then. Public Enemy definitely shaped me as an artist back then.
2.A Tribe Called Quest- Midnight Marauders (1993)
I love every album from Tribe but this one was the complete package. It was Tribe in their prime! Love the Siri sounding voice over bossa nova jazz! Too many things to put in words on what I loved about this album.
3.Pharcyde- Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde (1992)
It was fun, crazy, youthful, and the beats J Swift came with on this album were amazing! My man DJ Frosty Ice hooked me up with the tape three months before it dropped. I had the original version of I’m That Type Of N****, which was way better than the version on the official album to me. Classic!
4.GZA – Liquid Swords (1995)
This album is amazing! I remember watching a lot of anime during that time. Ninja Scroll was one of my favorites! Liquid Swords reminded me so much of Japanimation in a musical form. GZA’s rhyme skills were like martial arts for real. I think RZA did his best production on this album.
5.Outkast- ATLiens (1994)
Me being a cat born in between Dre and Big’s b-day, and growing up in ATL as a youth when my family left Brooklyn, I could relate to Outkast! I even had a group called APB (Aliens from the Planet Brooklyn) back in ’89! I was so glad to see peers from the south rep real hip-hop and do it as aliens! ATLIENS!!
6.Goodie Mob- Soul Food (1995)
This album is perfectly titled! It was a full plate of your mama’s best soul food dish with secret recipes from grandma!! It was made with love! Made me chase down Khujo Goodie to collaborate on our album Georgiavania.
7.Terminator X- The Valley Of The Jeep Beets (1991)
I’ve always loved PE’s style of production. It influenced me to the fullest. So it was natural for me to cop this album from PE’s DJ as soon as I saw it on the shelves. Classic material!
8.Freestyle Fellowship- Innercity Griots (1993)
These cats used words like instruments. It was like their style and cadence was an extension of the music. Even though there was meaning to the lyrics, a lot of times I didn’t even understand what they were saying. But that’s what made this album so ill to me. Made me think harder. True freestyle talent right there yo!
9.Souls of Mischief- 93 ’til Infinity (1993)
I remember getting the underground Souls joint called Cab Fare. That made me cop 93 ’til Infinity when it dropped. I was flipping! My favourite song was Never No More. This album is so solid. Love the days of rap crews.
10.Leaders of the New School- A Future Without a Past (1991)
This album made me east coast stomp like crazy!!! I remember being broke in Brooklyn and I bought a cheap copy of the album from a bootlegger. Felt bad about it so I bought the official CD later. Just another Sobb Story! Ha!