Aight. So now that I’ve finished my 1992 reviews, I thought I’d start a new tradition and highlight some of the highs and the lows of the year.
I plan to start my ’93 reviews in a few weeks. But before I can do that, I have to take care of a few backdated new additions to the collection. But for now, enjoy this read and stay tuned…
Worst Moniker – The Funky White Nigga: Aka JFN, was once a part of DJ Quik’s crew, who made his debut on “Niggaz Still Trippin'” from Quik’s sophomore effort Way 2 Fonky. Unfortunately, his flow sounded just as bad as his moniker. Honorable Mentions: Rich Lord of the Mix Board (He’s given a production credit on Positive K’s “Friends”…way too long of an alias and he technically should have a comma after “Rich”), Spice 1 (Sex. Pistols. Indo. Cash. Entertainment and a random “1” thrown in for good measure…need I say more?).
Worst Song Title – SFC – “Glory Halagroovin'” (Phase III):Being the Christians brothers that they are, Super C and company thought it would be clever to play off of the religious phrase “glory hallelujah” for the song title. Instead of sounding cute it comes off cheesy as hell (no pun intended). Honorable Mentions: Lord Finesse – “Funky On The Fast Tip” (Return Of The Funky Man): The title sounds like something you would write on the song’s demo tape until you came up with a proper song title.
Worst Album Artwork – Spice 1 – Spice 1: The cheesy eighties style double exposure school pic of Spice 1 on the cover was a very bad idea. Luckily for Spice, his fans didn’t judge this book by its cover. Honorable Mentions: Willie D – Goin’ Out Lika Soldier: Willie D comes in at a close second with this horrible cut and paste job of his questionable profile pic slapped in front of a picture of Capitol Hill; definitely a wtf moment.
Worst Album Title – The Whole Shabang Volume 1 (Future Sound): While it’s not the worst album title I’ve ever heard, it is still kind of corny. Plus, there really weren’t that many options to choose from, so it kind of wins by default.
Worst Song – UGK “I’m So Bad” (Too Hard To Swallow): The concept of the song is built around a LL Cool J sample (“I’m so bad I can suck my own dick”), as Pimp C shares two different sexapades that end with him forcing them to tie back into the hook. This has to be one of the worst songs in hip-hop history. Honorable Mentions: Considering that the majority of hip-hop albums have quite a few bad songs on them, there are way too many to list by name.
Worst Album – 5150 Home For Tha Sick: You deserve this award if the only way to make your 5 song ep hot is to chop it down to a single. Honorable Mentions: Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury (Too much content, unpolished flow and weak production get this album a mention), Close To You (Father MC gives up too much bad rap and r&b for my taste buds), Little Big Man (Bushwick Bill releasing a solo album is like leaving Jared Fogle alone with a room full of fifteen year old girls: very bad idea).
Best Song Title – Dr. Dre “Lyrical Gangbang”: Dre’s intense track coupled with the bullets the Death Row Inmates let spray all over it, match the dope song title to a tee. Honorable Mentions: The Future Sound “Pixie Groove” (Unique title that describes the song’s instrumental, perfectly), Gang Starr “Soliloquy Of Chaos” (“Soliloquy” and “chaos” have no business being in the same sentence together…but they sound so ill together), House Of Pain “Shamrocks And Shenanigans” (Random stupidness never sounded so clever).
Sleeper Album – This Is How It Is & Whole Shabang Volume 1: This one is a tie between Original Flavor and The Future Sound’s debut albums, who were both brought to us courtesy of a young Dame Dash. Neither group had great emcees but both had wonderfully produced debut albums that I completely slept on until hearing them for the first time in 2015.
Best Album Artwork – Music To Driveby: Very ill concept to have the picture on the album cover, on the picture of the album cover. Honorable Mentions: Sex And Violence & Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde (because I’m a sucker for animated artwork), Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop (It’s pretty sick how Diamond D’s boys are fuzzy in black and white, while he’s the center of attention, shining in living color).
Best Album Title – Music To Driveby: The double entendre in the title is what ultimately gives CMW the title in this category; and the music is definitely dope enough to bump while driving in the whip, but also gangsta enough to catch a body and peel out to, if required. Honorable Mentions: Dead Serious (The title is the duo taking a clever tongue in cheek shot at their own animated style), Business Never Personal (I’ve always loved the fact that EPMD stayed true to the “Business” theme for the entirety of the group’s catalog…this title was very fitting, considering the turbulence going on between the E and P at the time), Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop (With these three words, Diamond D would simply but effectively sum up the mentality of a generation of young hip-hoppers).
Best Song – Pete Rock & CL Smooth – “T.R.O.Y.”(Mecca & The Soul Brother): From the beautiful saxophone loop, to the angelic vocal sample that mystically hovers over the song, to Pete Rock’s signature heavy drums and CL’s reminiscent lyrics that sound tailor-made to fit PR’s backdrop, this song is brilliant; and just may be the greatest hip-hip song of all time. Honorable Mentions: The Pharcyde “Passin’ Me By” – Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde (Only the perfection that was “T.R.O.Y.” keeps this from claiming that number one spot…but I still put it in my top ten hip-hop songs of all time), Eric B & Rakim “Know The Ledge” – Don’t Sweat The Technique (Hard backdrop and precise rhymes from – in my opinion – the greatest to ever do it), EPMD “Head Banger” – Business Never Personal (Top five posse cut of all time).
Best Album – The Chronic: I went back and forth on naming this one the album of the year, only because it was released so late in 1992. Ultimately, I figured since it was officially released in ’92 it deserved to be in the running, and aint no frontin’ on Dre’s stellar production and Snoop and the Death Row Inmates refreshingly innovative sound. Honorable Mentions: Daily Operation (One word: Premo), Stunts, Blunts, and Hip-Hop (Thanks to his dope production and solid rhyming, Diamond D sneaks in an unheralded classic), Music To Driveby (Eiht’s slickness combined with the brilliant production of Mike T, Slip and Unknown, makes for a nearly flawless album).
There you have it. Let me know what you think in the comments.