With the hailed release of the recent A Tribe Called Quest album and the massive popularity of Kendrick Lamar, golden era hip hop is in the mainstream spotlight. Many people know the main acts from back in the day, but a lot of great gems are gathering dust in the annals of obscurity. I’ll be doing a series of articles showcasing some of the best of the least known so that you may chill harder than ever before.
But what makes a 90’s golden era track? There are a few common denominators. Here are some but they are not always limited to: jazz samples, conscious lyrics, a large crew of rappers (not always of course) and the indescribable element of having a vibe. If you aren’t clear on what a vibe is, it’s essentially the feeling of mellow and cool at the same time. For a track to have a vibe, you should feel chilled out from the very first moment of the track. If you’re still not sure what I mean, then just start listening to the tracks on this post and you will soon understand.
Some of the songs recommended in this article are “east coast,” some are “west coast” and some are even “north coast” (Canada). Purists might have you believe that these types of tracks can only come from the east, but that is a foolish way to think. Try bumping some of these non-east coast picks and see if you aren’t convinced it’s all gold. But don’t expect to find these on Spotify or Apple Music, cuz they don’t exist.
Call O’ Da Wild – Clouds Of Smoke
What a chill tune. Definitely designed for toking to.
King Tee – Dippin’
A song made for the car. Does your vehicle have juicy hydro shocks? Even better.
AMG – Around the World
This is a chill tune that could work on a stoner’s dancefloor. A vibing track that will get you pumped for an evening out.
Artifacts – Wrong Side Of Da Tracks
Quintessential east coast pick complete with jazz samples and Krylon spray paint.
World Renown – How Nice I Am
Criminally under-known track from an album that was never released. This tune is like a long lost Tribe track.