In this selection you will find seven slept on albums, released after the year 2000, by artists who came up in the Golden Age of Hip Hop.
With so much garbage rap being released and getting the mainstream attention in the 00’s and 10’s, perhaps it is not so strange that the albums on this list flew under the radar. If you kept tabs on the artists from the Golden Age you probably have them in your collection, but if for some reason you slept on these albums you really have to go check them out.
Aceyalone "Accepted Eclectic" (2001)
He dropped two brilliant solo albums in the 1990’s (All Balls Don’t Bounce in 1995 and A Book Of Human Language in 1998) and continued dropping quality Hip Hop in the 2000’s.
You can’t go wrong with any Aceyalone album; and Accepted Eclectic is a perfect example of Aceyalone’s abilities. A master lyricist, Aceyalone drops intelligent, thoughtful lyrics over tight beats. A West Coast album, but no gangsta stupidity here – this is Hip Hop as it’s supposed to be.
Masta Ace "Disposable Arts" (2001)
Masta Ace is one of those few artists who are able to keep reinventing themselves, while turning out consistent quality. This album is no exception. Ever since his 1990 debut album Take A Look Around Masta Ace has been one of Hip Hop’s greatest talents, who was always able to capture the true essence of Hip Hop in all his work.
Disposable arts is a conceptual album, filled with dope tracks. Excellent production and clever wordplay; from Masta Ace himself and guests like Rah Digga, Jean Grae, Greg Nice, Punchline, Wordsworth and more.
Viktor Vaughn "Vaudeville Villain" (2003)
Viktor Vaughn a.k.a. MF DOOM made his first appearance on 3rd Bass‘ 1989 The Cactus Album as Zev Lov X. After two albums with KMD, his brother’s (Subroc) death and the end of KMD, he came back reinvented as MF DOOM with the 1999 classic Doomsday.
In the 2000’s MF DOOM was responsible for numerous dope collaboration releases (with Madlib, Masta Ace, MF Grimm amongst others) as well as a number of acclaimed solo releases. Vaudeville Villain is his third solo album and the first as Viktor Vaughn.
The production of the album is excellent. The beats sound futuristic yet classic. MF DOOM’s wordplay is intelligent and eminently enjoyable as always. This album is a true underground banger and should be viewed in the same light as DOOM’s own Doomday album.
De La Soul "Grind Date" (2004)
De La Soul in a slept-on albums list? De La Soul has been one of the best and most consistent groups in Hip Hop since their debut in 1989. Nobody will dispute that fact; still De La’s 2004 release The Grind Date (their 7th album) is rarely mentioned when discussing their best releases. It should be though.
The album is tighter and leaner than other De La releases (no skits, something a lot of people can appreciate) and it boasts production of Madlib, J Dilla, 9th Wonder, with guest spots of MF DOOM (with an epic verse), Common, Ghostface Killah and others. If you somehow missed The Grind Date – now’s the time to check it out.
Percee P "Perseverance" (2007)
Percee P is a criminally underrated emcee. One of the best lyricists in the game, ever. Active in the rapgame since the early 80s, Perseverance, his official solo debut album came out as late as 2007. If he could have gotten himself released in the early 90s, no doubt he would be widely recognized now as one of the all-time greats. As it is, this album may have come too late – in a time when Hip Hop was being watered down and dumbed down for near on a decade already and quality Hip Hop like this was not promoted anymore by the big money people.
This is a real Hip Hop album, that should have a place in any real heads collection. Superior lyrical skill, astute lyrics and produced by one of the best producers in the game: Madlib. It has Madlib’s signature sound; a bit modern & expirimental at times, but still with an ‘old-school’ feel to match Percee’s lyrics.
The album has a couple of guest spots – Guilty Simpson, Vinnie Paz, Diamond D, Prince Po, Aesop Rock – all quality emcees, but Percee P outshines them all effortlessly.
Craig G "Ramblings Of An Angry Old Man" (2012)
Craig G is a bonafied Hip Hop legend. One of the best freestyle- and battle rappers ever and an original member of Marley Marl’s Juice Crew, Craig G has been representing real Hip Hop for three decades now. This 2012 album is strictly boom bap with real lyricism. Don’t sleep on Craig G and go check out this album if you haven’t yet.
Showbiz & AG "Mugshot Music" (2012)
Classic D.I.T.C. As members of one of the strongest Hip Hop collectives in the history of Hip Hop, Showbiz & A.G. have always produced quality Hip Hop. Their 1992 debut album Runaway Slave is a Golden Age classic, and the 1995 follow up Goodfellas is a solid NYC boom bap album as well.
2012’s Mugshot Music picks up right where they left of in the 1990’s. Real Hip Hop for real heads. As always, Showbiz produces tight and banging beats; and AG’s lyrics are tough and on point. Fellow D.I.T.C. member O.C. makes a few appearances – so you know you can’t go wrong with this album. Underground Hip Hop at its finest.