#TBT to kick off Halloween right – Gravediggaz – Diary of a Madman

We’ll end this Thursday with a head start on Halloween here in the US.

In the mid 90’s there was a short lived push toward a sub genre of hip hop called Horrorcore. There were a few notable artists who dabbled in it (think Big L, Bone Thugz N Harmony, and later Eminem) but at the time the two crews to know were Flatlinerz and Gravediggaz.

When Gravediggaz dropped the Prince Paul and RZA produced 6 Feet Deep, it was a weird but great move. It sounded spooky. It sounded a little evil. The instrumentals from this album are incredible, and there’s plenty of blood and gore in the lyrics. Perfect for a Hallows Eve soundtrack.

BONUS – Flatlinerz – “Live Evil”

#TBT – The Beatnuts – Props Over Here

Me and my homeboy Tony used to bug out to this album back in the day. This was the big single from The Beatnuts self titled album. They were vulgar and perfect for the time. I’m always surprised they didn’t get bigger than they did. They got a shot at the mainstream with “Off The Books” and “Watch Out Now” but never quite popped off.

#TBT – De La Soul – Stakes Is High

I was going to post something else by De La Soul and then I remembered how this video starts.

De La Soul wasn’t new, and they’re not old today. They still put out music. Stakes Is High felt like a warning shot to a hip hop industry that was already way down the path of marketing the hood. I remember hearing this playing out the back of my buddy Truc’s Pathfinder so loud it hurt my ears.

#TBT – RUN DMC – Mary Mary

RUN DMC have always been my favorite rap group. There were the very first rap group I ever heard. Tougher Than Leather was the first tape I ever bought with my own money. There were arguably the first Hip Hop Super Stars and can claim to have been the first at a lot of things. The crew were already veterans and had their swag mode turned all the way on. They had a signature look, a signature sound, one of raps first ever endorsement deals (Adidas), big gold ropes, and so much energy you couldn’t ignore them.

What I love about this album, and this song specifically is the way Jam Master J (rest his soul) cuts every single time a drummer would normally fill.

RIP Jam Master Jay

#TBT – Notorious B.I.G. – Notorious Thugz (feat. Bone Thugz N Harmony)

What else needs to be said about Biggie?

While Ready To Die was the classic album we all remember the lyrics to, I remember where I was when I first heard this track. The connection with Bone seemed a little momentous at the time since they came up under the late Eazy-E and were were still in the throws of the East Coast vs. West Coast hype that killed 2 of our brightest stars ever. Sure, Bone is from Cleveland, but the connection was still very real.
Whatever the politics of the time, this was a great way to start disk 2 of Life After Death, a record that solidified Biggie as a true great and not an artist who put out one record and fell off.