5. Gangstarr – Mass Appeal

I was fuckin with the album when it first came out, and I remember me and Lewda (R.I.P) used to mash in the Jeep at 5AM in the morning on the way to work. We were both working construction back then, so this was the joint to get us motivated. “Yeah that’s right/cause I survived mad fights/ and for my peeps that I truly care/ cause without some of them I wouldn’t be here/ and they all know how I feel.” Yeah, this was my shit.

4. Wu Tang Clan – Can it All Be So Simple

36 Chambers, that classic shit. Debut album and they were just fuckin the game up. Although they were East Coast cats, we were rockin with em heavy. We had this spot out in LA called the Unity. That shit carried the spirit of Hip Hop in LA, and Wu came and shut that shit down. I remember Gravediggas opened up the show, and looking back now, that shit was epic to have watched them so early on. Place was packed and this was before the Twitter and Facebook days. Just all word of mouth.

3. Notorious B.I.G. – The What feat Method Man

I think the song came out in the summer. Shit was on heavy rotation for a minute. Both came correct lyrically but it was good to see the contrast between two different styles of rap just meshing so well together. Meth had the gritty, ninja shit, while BIG had that smooth player flow. Shit was just crazy.

2. Nas – Life’s a Bitch feat AZ

Illmatic was one of the revolutionary-fuck-up-the-rap-game- type of album. Shit just solidified him as the messiah of hip hop’s Golden Era. With all that hype around joint, it was crazy that Nas let AZ (someone who not a lot of people heard of at the time) go first on the song too. This track pretty much set the tone for our crew, shit just spoke and touched on our mind state and what we were going through at the time.

1. Mobb Deep – Shook Ones pt. II

Man. Do I even I even gotta explain? Anthem. Henney. Adrenaline. Crew. Mashin. Crooks.