After growing weary of my sad assortment of Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, and MC Frontalot tracks I recently embarked on a concerted effort to flesh out my mostly alt-rock music collection with some smart hip-hop trackage. I could use some suggestions from you younger and/or hipper types.
Here's the thing: for the most part the whole hard-ass gangsta act feels tired. And I'm not into blatant misogyny and pimp personas. It's a drag, because I totally dig Notorious B.I.G.'s sound, for example–I love the grooves on Ready to Die and Life After Death–but the lyrical content is a dealbreaker. Call me a patsy, but there it is. It's why I've avoided the genre for so many years.
Here's what I do like: early Mos Def/Talib Kweli (Black Star is awesome), Blackalicious (Blazing Arrow and Nia), Fugees. I've also got some Common, Digable Planets, Tribe Called Quest, Jungle Brothers, Nas (Illmatic), Dilated Peoples. Massive Attack's hip-hop leaning tracks (old and new) also float my boat. I've just recently discovered most of the above and I'm looking for more.
Anyone have any recommendations–labels, artists, albums? Or, even better, single tracks. I'm on an itunes binge.