The ten weirdest hip-hop releases of all time

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Weird is not a bad thing. It sets you apart. So, in rap, where so often so much music sounds so much like the same thing, weird can be a part of something really, really good. It's not surprising, then, that some of the weirdest rap albums of all time have also been some of the most influential. Everyone wants to be different, so when an artist achieves something that both makes you want to scratch your head and tap your foot, you know it's something special. Here are the ten weirdest hip-hop releases.

See also:
- The ten most enigmatic figures in hip-hop
- The ten best storytellers in hip-hop
- The fifty best rap lyrics of all time

10. Bushwick Bill - Phantom of the Rapra
An album scored with both blood-curdling screams and smooth, sexy synths, Bushwick Bill really tried to throw critics for a loop on this one. For the release, he changed his name to Dr. Wolfgang Von Bushwickin The Barbarian Mother-Funky Stay High Dollar Billstir. He then begins the album pointing out the double standard between rap and opera -- because opera "deals with sex, rape, violence, incest, and suicide," but rap gets censored when it covers such topics. The resultant album is how such childishness and seriousness are reconciled. Bushwick's self-awareness allows him to construct such a strange and disturbing world that feels at times like a viewing of Evil Dead: funny, unsettling and, most of all, weird.

9. Die Antwoord - $O$
Perhaps Die Antwoord only seems strange because the zef culture is foreign to us, but it's hard to imagine any world where Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er would be ordinary people. From their exaggerated voices to the very loose manner of speaking and the looser clothes they wear, it's actually pretty surprising that the mainstream has accepted Die Antwoord to the level it has, which is only a little bit, but still enough to capture quite a few fans in their dazzling strangeness.

8. De La Soul - 3 Feet High and Rising
The original concept for this album was that De La's MCs were microphone plugs picking up signals from mars. This idea was eventually scrapped for some unforgivable reason, but what remained was still the most radically adventurous album hip-hop had offered to date. By today's standards, De La's music sounds much more normal purely due to the fact that emulation by so many other acts has normalized their style. Still, the outstanding weirdness of bits like "Transmitting Live From Mars," part of which can be translated as "What time is it? It is midday. It is lunchtime. What is there to eat? There is sausage, no doubt." make this entry irreplaceable the canon of oddities.

7. Homeboy Sandman - Actual Factual Pterodactyl
This album is exactly as quirky as it's name, and better, it's compulsively fun to listen to. Using an array of highly irregular voices, in contrast to his normal flowing voice, which is mesmerizing, if not a bit robotic and monotonous. Sandman's flow revolves around the similitude of assonant words; he delivers them so quickly, you can almost see the consonants spinning in place around the vowels. On "Gggrrraa!!", Sandman unleashes his id in one of the more primally powerful songs you'll hear. Every song is so uncompromisingly idiosyncratic, it might drive you crazy at first, but you'll learn to love it.


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8 comments
undercutsonly
undercutsonly

Glad to see Captain Murphy on the list, probably would've put it as #1 tho

adrotar623
adrotar623

do i even need to say you could have picked any of death grips albums... ffs no love deep web has a dick on the album cover

aquariusbabies
aquariusbabies

Did I misread, or ODB "RETURN TO THE 36 CHAMBERS" is not even in the ten? 

(It should be Number One)

Øbserve Gnarly
Øbserve Gnarly

i would even say aesop rocks float is a pretty weird album too...

Øbserve Gnarly
Øbserve Gnarly

de la wasnt that weird, and wheres mf doom, c rayz, old anticon(themselfs, dose one)? i think you should dig a little deeper in the crates guys...

Ben Rodriguez
Ben Rodriguez

Redman's dare iz a darkside needs to be here...

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