Ten essential gangsta-rap albums

The Infamous.jpg

Shook Ones Pt.2 by Mobb Deep on Grooveshark

8. Mobb Deep -- The Infamous
A standout in the traditionally funk-based gangsta-rap genre, The Infamous relied heavily on Havoc's dark and hypnotic piano loops, most famously that of "Shook Ones, Part II," which featured what is perhaps rap's most effective sample, taken from Herbie Hancock's "Jessica." Havoc and Prodigy's lyrics eschewed traditional moral values for more street-worthy, Darwinian, even nihilistic ethics, as seen in "Only the Strong Survive," "Eye for a Eye" and "Trife Life." There's a thin line between boast and glorification; while this duo does employ hyper-masculine boasts familiar in gangsta rap, there's nothing glorious here.



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51 comments
Jamie Nershi
Jamie Nershi

Not mr coors light slash are we there yet

Stan Salazar
Stan Salazar

The one who died first. Easy E exempt because he died from aids.

Lee Edward Miller
Lee Edward Miller

Where the hell is Body Count. They got a nationwide ban for what they spit.

Eli Baca
Eli Baca

Raekwon!! son no doubt and the entire clan

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

Exactly. It's proto-BLipster garbage masquerading as "underground hip hop."

dmc_1976
dmc_1976

Um how about Ice-T, Schooly-D, or Too $hort?

Christian Anthony Martinez
Christian Anthony Martinez

I agree no BDP and the list should have included Spice 1. Also could have 2nd 2 None or Compton's Most Wanted but hey it is Denver Westword

Sean Dolan
Sean Dolan

Geto Boys just cause it's so dammed funny

David Dinsmore
David Dinsmore

BDP is not gangsta rap. Great list otherwise, thanks.

Brendan Flynn
Brendan Flynn

when are you going to get over your rap obsession and do a list of essential death metal albums or somethin? tired of rap

Jm Martinez
Jm Martinez

Death certificate need to be in too three!

Tyler Wood
Tyler Wood

thanks for your educated opinion on gangster rap, Denver alternative weekly newspaper Denver Westword

Dana Trujillo
Dana Trujillo

I do t know I'd 2 live crew was considered gangsta rap, it was definitely during the NWA era right. And any Cypress Hill was great.

oleinikgleb7
oleinikgleb7

"There will probably never be another rapper who can paint such violent and downright offensive material with such cartoonish charisma as Eazy-E" couldn't have said it better. The writer knows his shit. Great list!

Resse3
Resse3

Finally a Westword Hip-Hop writer that has good taste in music!! AND is knowledgeable! Damn.. it's been a long time coming!

virgil1
virgil1

I'd say that Boogie Down Productions wasn't a gangsta rap album. I'd say that you are missing DJ Quik "Quik is the Name". And before you put Scarface on there, you should have put Geto Boys. other honorable mentions include Notorious BIG, Too $hort, Warren G, and you have to mention the D.O.C. as he wrote a lot of the best gangsta rap songs out there. 

dmc_1976
dmc_1976

Bro... listen to '6 in tha Mornin' and wake up.

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