Fourteen Rather Obscure Hiphop Tracks That you Might Have Missed

Every year I hear thousands of hiphop tracks, old and new, most ones coming from the mellowed/positive minded spectrum. Because of this flood of music I gather the tracks that stick to me most, then put them in compilation folders which after one year contain about 250 tracks. So…. even my selections are pretty huge.

Sometimes this high rate of consumption (or magnetism, or however you describe laws of attraction) seems a bit dusturbing to me. I mean, I LOVE to have access to so.much.good.music but still…nostalgia can creep in to days wherin I downloaded 10 tunes at a 5 kbps per second bandwith.

The one advantage of this slowness was that I really got attached to the tunes that I had. Nowadays I browse through my compilations and feel almost intimidated at times by all the music that I love.

But what the heck, enough already, here are some obscure tunes that i listened to in 2008 and 2009, and that I consider as true gems of strong souls, specially selected for you and yours. Enjoy!
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The Smile Rays – Museum (2008)

You have to be happy for this tune. This beat gives me goosebumps every time, had me spassing from euphoria on the regular four years ago, laying on my bed engulfed in these good, good vibes.
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Project Move – Planet Earth (2007)

Project Move is a combination of three talented emcees from Boston of whom Moe Pope has gained the most acclaim through his career thusfar. Moe is the first emcee on this track and sets the tone for a beautiful prayer for peace. It’s a shame that the second emcee, Anonymous (not a great name to gain recognition i guess..) hasn’t garnered more attention, or made more music,  because I would have loved to hear more from him recently. The third emcee, Raheem Jamal, sounds like a nefue of Moe Pope but doesn’t entice me as much, while still complementing the other ones nicely.
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J-Live – A Charmed Life (2001)

How to pour your lifestory in one track? J-Live shows you how, with his positive outlook on life expressed through his calm but very technical delivery, riding unorthodox jazzy vibes that perfectly suit J-Live’s reflective powerful intellect. A perfect tune to accompany you on any of your travels!
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Moka Only – Hibiscus (2007)

THE tune that brought me on Moka Only and I have been a devoted follower ever since. This tune was so different from everything i had heard hiphopwise at that time and it vibrated RIGHT on a special frequency in my mind. The beat is catchy and hypnotic and Moka got a sexy funkiness that (here i go again) perfectly complements the beat, which is no surprise since he made the beat himself, testament to the versatility of this man, cranking out quality wonky mellowness at a rate that puts most rappers to shame. Get off your ass you lazy bums, fire!!
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One be Lo – Lesson #1 (2007)

I was about to post another track of One Be Lo but instead found this one, a click away in the vast expanding galaxy called Youtube, part of the universe that is internet. I’m spaced. Please One Be Lo, bring me back to earth, with this beautiful uplifiting piece of work. One Be Lo once again manages to combine refreshing humility and braggadocious technique on a simple but lovely jazzloop. The simplicity and honesty of this track is something that i will come back to, and back to, and back to.
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Jneiro Jarel – Breathin (2007)

Brazil meets Brooklyn. Jneiro’s music is heavier than most, with abstract imagery, the use of flanger/weird effects over his vocals,  a very distinct style in beats and a very strong influence from psychedelics -> psychedelic music. Listen to the amouresque piece of hypnosis and don’t forget the whole ‘Three Piece Puzzle’ album! It’s an underrated gem for sure!
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Saukrates – Hate Runs Deep (1995)

Voices travel far in the giant chamber that is hiphop, they come and go. Some voices echo longer than others, long after they spoke their last words. The last of Saukrates’ work has been released in 2003 and it doesn’t seem he’s coming back soon. Maybe he lost the hunger to rap, maybe he just feels ‘too old for this shit’, maybe he’s busy feeding a family, maybe he’s gone from this physical plane. Regardless of what happened i will keep bumping this, as music continues to travel ina way that the authors couldn’t have envisioned.
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Grip Grand – Win The War (2008)

Grip Grand is probably best known for his collaboration with Percee P but this track shows he easily can hold his own. Oh and check out the artwork of the album where this track came from, reason alone to get this on vinyl!


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Sweatshop Union – Time Machine (2008)

There are tracks of Sweatshop Union that i don’t like all that much. Their delivery can feel a bit forced at times. Luckily for me i think some of their tracks are brilliant, such as this pure party tune. This is a versatile crew though, as i will show later with some of their more melancholic work.
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Blu Rum 13 feat. Luke Vibert – Deviant Diction (2008)

In my 28 years of living hiphop has boiled up rather recently. Really just six years ago i started listening to more and more hiphop, writing my own lyrics and in turn growing more learned and attentive towards the techniques and intentions of rappers. The science of flow. The funny thing with Blu Rum is is that he clearly is a complex mind but almost sounds lackadasical at times. If you pay more attention to him on this track you notice he isn’t lazy at all, he just takes his time and is totally comfortable with the way he expresses himself. A funny detail on a personal level is that the beat was made by one of my musician heroes Luke Vibert, an English abstract electronic musician who can be compared loosely to his more famous contemporary Aphex Twin. If you like this work from him be sure to explore the rest of his catalogue!
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Maspyke – All Things Fall (2002)

I always hold Maspyke in high regard because their sound has something…extra to me. Clever lyrical rawness combined with experimental beats in a style that i have trouble with describing in words. This track is maybe their most memorable, a haunting banger that I often cite as a perfect example of an UNDERRATED gem.
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Metty the Dertmerchant (of Sweatshop Union) – I just Trip (2008)

One of the most beautiful depressed hiphopsongs i have ever heard.

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Supastition – Waiting Period (2002)

Okay, another depressed gem here, from a rapper who has found a lot of fuel from his frustrations. Brilliant tune.

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Double Helix – Old And Grey (2003)

Let’s end on a positive note now! Forever hiphop. 

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