The Second Year Of The 3 Greatest Years In Hip Hop
In 1995 good hip-hop music was not only being released from just about every area of the country, but it was getting consistent nationwide exposure even with the cancellation of Yo! MTV Raps and the beginning craziness of the East Coast/West Coast beef.
The artist who had the biggest year in hip hop didnt even release one project the whole year, however The Rza did all the production for 3 classic Wutang solo LPs in 95.
The 2nd MC to get a solo album from the Wu-Tang Clan was Ol' Dirty Bastard and just like Method Man, he's one of the members that really stood out from the rest. There's just never been another rap character as crazy and wild as ODB, and there's probably never gonna be another like him. The guy is just fuckin hilarious and pretty much everything that comes out of his mouth is a quotable.The album is full of great beats and full of hilarious lines, all while staying true to the Wu-Tang sound.
Only Bulit For Cuban Linx/ The Purple Tape
The 3rd solo album from a Wu-Tang Clan member came from Raekwon and it's arguably the best album to release that year. Calling it a solo is almost wrong cause Ghostface is featured on all the tracks except 3 and the album is jam packed with guest spots from other wu members, in reality it's almost the true followup to the 36 Chambers. So just like all the first wave solos, it's RZA that handles all the production. His production style was just so advanced compared to everyone else in the east, even by 1995 most were still trying to catch up with 36 chambers and here he was creating even more advanced beats to fuck up heads even more.
The 4th solo album from the Wu and last of that year was from The Gza. Liquid Swords to this day remains one of the crowning achievements in the history of hip-hop. It is almost universally respected by all critics and rap heads. RZA's production might be one of the main reasons this album is so well regarded today. Moving further away from the lo-fi sound characterized by the Clan's debut, and Ol' Dirty Bastard's first solo effort, RZA employs some of best kung fu sample to date, and experiments with different sounds, such as the muffled accordion layered beneath the title track. GZA is a lyrical genius (no pun intended) who drops some of the most razor sharp lines and memorable lines I've ever heard. The title track is filled with quotables, such as "Lyrics are weak like clock radio speakers".
Another group who dropped classic material in 95 was The Infamous Mobb Deep. One of the things that really makes the album so good is the outstanding production from Havoc, his beats sound a little bit like Midnight Marauders but with an added dose of darkness. Speaking of Tribe, Q-Tip also produces 3 cuts on this album which fits right in with the sound of the rest of the album. These dark soundscapes are just the perfect soundtrack for Havoc & Prodigy's street tales, it's really the only thing that they rap about but they are easily some of the bests at doing this. Prodigy is just so poetic, he's got an unexplainable factor that makes him sound so good on every line... Havoc's style is a little harder but he's also very good, both rappers just form a good rapping team.
This imo, was the best album to release in 1995. 2pac was an important west coast rapper prior to this album, but it's really with the release of "Me Against the World" that he became really huge. 2pac was locked up on the release of this album, but that didn't stop him from reaching #1 on the billboard album charts. His 3 first projects were really good, but on "Me Against the World" he's even better than before and he reached the point where he could be considered one of the all-time best rappers. There isn't another rapper that means his lyrics as much as 2pac does and he just had an ease to make classic songs.
MANY people believe this was the best album to be released in 1995. Just after Outkast changed the south with their debut album "Southern...", here is the Goodie Mob to also rep the Dungeon Family with an album featuring the same production team (Organized Noise). And what an album Soul Food is! The group features 4 MC's including the great Cee-Lo who stands out a little more from the rest since he also does the hooks, but all MC's here are great with sociopolitical lyrics that make you think.The title "Soul Food" really sums up what you get with this album, the music and the lyrics are very soulful delivered with much passion, while the conscious lyrics are food for your brain. Soul Food is a classic hip hop album that I absolutely recommend to all hip hop fans, it remains incredible after all these years and nothing quite compares to it.
Here´s a list of other Hip Hop albums that released in 1995.
The Roots - Do You Want More?
Bone Thugs N Harmony - E.1999 Eternal
LL Cool J - Mr Smith
E 40 - In A Major Way
Smif N Wessun - Dah Shinin
Big L - Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous
The Dogg Pound - Dogg Food
AZ - Doe or Die
3 6 Mafia - Mystic Stylez
8Ball n MJG - On Top Of The World
Masta Ace Inc - Sittin On Chrome
Junior Mafia - Conspiracy
Fat Joe - Jealous Ones Envy
The Pharcyde - Labcabincalifornia
KRS-One - KRS-One
Naughty By Nature- Poverty´s Paradise
Luniz - Stackola
Onyx - All We Got Is Us
Kool G Rap -456
Mack 10 - Mack 10
The Show Soundtrack
Many others released in 1995.............