The first full-length from Mos Def and Talib Kweli together as Black Star – a benchmark moment in hip hop history, and one of the finest duo vocal hip hip records of the 90s – and one of the best ever on Rawkus! In hindsight, it's all the more rewarding given Talib Kweli's longevity in ... read moreCD
Two of post millennium indie hip hop's most distinctive rhyme stylists – Open Mike Eagle and Serengeti – teaming up as Cavanaugh, and it's as inspired of a project as we'd hoped! There's a dark, hazy mood here – particularly in the thick waves of synth in the production, but the ... read moreCD
A stunner from a bonafide pride of Chicago and all around hip hop hero Common – on point lyrically with a political and spiritual focus as broadly-concerned as anything he's done since Like Water For Chocolate – and moving in the new realms sound wise, too! Black America Again sports a ... read moreCD
One of the best hip hop albums of all time – given the remastered, deluxe edition treatment! In 1994 when everyone seemed to be turning hardcore, Common Sense wasn't having it. Introspective tales of growing up and living on the South Side that fit perfectly with No ID's mellow production ... read moreCD
(A beautiful box set edition of one of greatest hip hop albums of the past 20 years!)
Cypress Hill's debut masterpiece – one of the biggest and best first albums in 90s hip hop – in cased here in skull for its 25th Anniversary! There's little we can add to the canon when it comes to describing this album's impact, but it's still pretty revelatory. Like other west coast ... read moreCD
Action-packed post millennium hip hop from Czarface – the increasingly impressive team of Wu veteran Inspectah Deck with 7L & Esoteric! Czarface's style is fresh take on some the wilder underground/grindhouse cinema, comic books and otherwise fantastically-inspired hip hop of Wu Tang Clan ... read moreCD
A major later career creative win for De La Soul – a mind-bogglingly diverse, frequently brilliant record that manages to rival their best early work in stylistic breadth! This one's an epic – a 17 track, nearly 70 minute opus that finds De La working with an eclectic group of ... read moreCD
Massive 20th Anniversary edition of DJ Shadow's masterpiece! It seems like when this came out, critics and even DJs liked to drop the then new moniker "trip hop" whenever possible, and this pivotal album is held up as the watershed mark. A number of years down the line, Endtroducing ... read moreCD
The great second Eric B & Rakim album – benchmark hip hop of the first order! Following up Paid In Pull, Follow The Leader completes one of the great one-two punches in hip hop history – bring in a richer, fuller, more skillfully creating sound, without sacrificing the dense, hard ... read moreCD
Paid In Full, indeed. Eric B & Rakim's seminal album still pays off in so many ways, and it was such a vital link between the party rockin' style of the old school and the terse, hard-hitting beats and rhymes of what was then the new school, we can't even come up with the words for the praise ... read moreCD
Fudge (Prefuze 73 & Michael Christmas) —
Lady Parts ... CD Lex, 2016. New Copy ...
A tight duo venture from producer Prefuze 73 and rhymer Michael Christmas! Prefuze 73 has been exploring all kinds of abstract production ideas for years, usually carrying his tired-and-true sputtering beats and tripped out atmopsherics, but his straighter hip hop productions really tighten things ... read moreCD
Eternal ... CD Heavenly Sweetness (Netherlands), 2016. New Copy ...
A real change for French producer Guts – a set that has him working with a lot more live instrumentation than ever before – in a way that really opens up his sound! The record's the result of a live tour that had Guts working with a full band – and that spirit continues here in a ... (New Grooves, Hip Hop)read moreCD
Pure wonderfulness from Internet – a group who seem to bound forward strongly with each new release! These guys are easily one of the most compelling mainstream soul acts we can think of – still very lean, and working with an indie-level vibe – but also able to focus in on hooks ... (Neo Soul, Hip Hop)read moreCD
J Dilla —
Dillatronic ... CD Vintage Vibez, Late 80s/1990s/2000s. New Copy ...
A killer compilation of rare Dilla instrumentals that hones in on his electronic-influenced side! It's the first time his archives have been mined with this sharp of a focus – but Dilla being the diverse cat that he was, it's STILL got a incredible stylistic sprawl! The beats are head nodding ... read moreCD
Stone classic LL Cool J! There was a time we didn't really rate this one on the same level as Radio, but listening with fresh ears after all these years – prime old school Def Jam with an energy that's really missing in so much of the hip hop to follow in the next couple years – and ... read moreCD
LL Cool J —
Radio ... CD Def Jam, 1985. New Copy ...
A hip hop milestone for the Def Jam label and early rap superstar LL Cool J! This the fantastic first LP for LL – one that really helped kicked off a whole new school of hip hop – and proved to be huge game changer for the early Def Jam era! Radio features straight up excellent early ... read moreCD
Chicago beatmaker Maker's third trip through the Now Again catalog the craft his own heady hip hop instrumentals – and it's the farthest reaching, funkiest yet! Give a no nonsense producer the keys to a vault as deep as Now Again's – rich with drum heavy funk, fuzzy psych, and heady ... read moreCD
The first full length from indie legend Mr Lif in seven long years, and just his fourth overall – hard to believe that's all given his longstanding, well-earned legacy as one of the best and brightest of the Def Jux era and beyond – but less is more when you're work is as distinctive ... read moreCD
The still solid second album from Original Flavor – a classic level snapshot early 90s east coast rap! Most people aren't really up on Original Flavor these days, but it's pretty much where Jay-Z got his start (though he had done a few small spots on with Big Jaz prior to this). Ski, the ... read moreCD
Phonte & Eric Roberson —
Tigallerro ... CD Hard Boiled, 2016. New Copy ...
A fantastic collaboration between Phonte and Eric Roberson – one that's way more than just the sum of its parts, as the duo really find a special place to come together and soar! Phonte's been giving us much more soulful sounds in recent years, and Roberson's always had a strong ear for a ... (Neo Soul, Hip Hop)read moreCD
The first mind-blowing salvo from the legendary PE! Public Enemy came with that strong, righteous voice in full force from the get-go – and if it's not quite the revolutionary aural experience as the following couple of albums on the production from, it's still pretty damn riveting effort. ... read moreCD
A diverse effort from the never predictable RJD2 – rolling from spacey synth-stoked tracks, to anthemic hip hop soul, to bubbling funky instrumentals and beyond – featuring collaborations with Phonte of Foreign Exchange, Blueprint, Son Little and others! There's a lot going on here, ... read moreCD
A less tense and caustic Roots than the crew that hit us on the majority of Rising Down a couple years earlier – and this one's as strong of an album as they've delivered since moving over to Def Jam. In truth, we were a little scared when we saw some of the guests credited – Monsters ... read moreCD
A vital third act in the thankfully ongoing RTJ saga! The first album was unsurprisingly excellent, but surprisingly popular. The second album not only turned out to be a bigger hit, it was also a creative peak for both El-P and Killer Mike – which is really saying something. So the stakes ... read moreCD
(Indie exclusive version – same great album at a lower price than the big boxes and chain stores!)
Slick Rick's first solo LP – a hip hop classic, and essential to everyone's collection! MC Ricky D introduced the world to a whole new rap style on Doug E Fresh's "The Show" and by the time this album dropped the world was more than ready for a full LP of his unique flow. The ... read moreCD
A hell of a comeback for Tribe Called Quest – maybe one of the best musical comebacks ever, and a fantastic reminder of why we loved the group so much in the first place! 18 years have passed since we last heard from the trio (now, sadly, a duo) – and that time only seems to have ... read moreCD
A fantastic tribute to the 808 drum machine – tracks all pulled together in support of the documentary on the magical beatmaker – but a set that stands more than strongly on its own! The mix of music is great – a heavy dose of 80s hip hop and club tracks, mixed with some more ... read moreCD
The most amazing and groundbreaking American musical phenomenon in ages gets some love from the hip hop and neo soul community that helped inspire it – spearheaded by Hamilton driving force Lin-Manuel Miranda and the mighty Questlove of The Roots! Much like the musical itself, there's a ... (Soundtracks, Hip Hop)read moreCD