Posted by: vincentlopez | July 12, 2008

Philadelphia Drive (Random albums from the car #2)

Brother Ali – Shadows on the Sun (2003)


I think everyone visiting this blog knows me as a brutally honest old man with his own weird opinions.  So I’ll come right out and say honestly, that I didn’t hear this album until the end of May/beginning of June when I saw an old review written on someone else’s blog.  I decided to find this and give it a listen and surprise, surprise, this album isn’t bad at all.  While Ali doesn’t have the greatest rhyme style or voice for that matter, he makes up for that with heaps and heaps of honesty, which is exactly what’s missing in most hip-hop today.  On this album, I hear a man (not a fantasizing little boy) who looks himself in the mirror and tells the world who he is; take it or leave it.  For that alone, this album is worth a listen.  FYI – ‘Forest Whitaker’ is dope and so is the album cover.



Public Enemy – Yo! Bum Rush the Show (1987)


While most of my praise goes to the greatest hip-hop album of all time, It Takes a Nation of Millions…, Yo! Bum Rush the Show, was initially the album that was played over and over again when me and my friends were just hanging out in my basement in ’87 while looking at record covers or playing Monopoly .  Twenty one years later, I can still hear one of them saying, “play Side E first” when putting the cassette tape in the boom box.  I’m amazed that we were listening to this album as 13 and 14 year olds in ’87 (as opposed to being 13 or 14 today and listening to the junk out there).  Chuck had my mind going a mile a minute, which is the reason why I ran to King James’ record store and bought the cassette.  The production was crazy, in a good way, to say the least and while I didn’t like the sequencing as a teenager, I see the method to the madness as an adult.  As youngsters, we just couldn’t figure it out and that added to the PE mystique for us.  Today, I absolutely love blasting the first three songs (‘You’re Gonna Get Yours’, ‘Sophisticated B**ch’, and ‘Miuzi Weighs a Ton’) as I drive around and people look at me like “What the eff is that?”  If you don’t have this in your collection, download it and then buy it used on 


The Coup – Genocide and Juice (1994)


I’ve always had this curiosity thing with hip-hop from Oakland and the Bay area.  I think it stems from the images I have in my head of Black Panthers standing alongside pimps and Asian DJ’s.  In college, I thought of people in that area as being either very socially and politically conscious or apathetic and apolitical with no one in between.  I don’t understand that statement either.  Anyway, The Coup have always seemed to speak to me and of course, I find them curious.  Kill My Landlord (1993) was an interesting album as well but they really stepped it up on this one.  The beats are very funky and lead lyricist, Boots Riley, is in a word, clever with his rhyme style like Masta Ace.  Dude clearly has a brain and everyone knows I support clever MC’s with brains (alongside a fair share of ignorant ish, too).  But even curious-er is that they have a female DJ (Pam the Funkstress) who looks just like the lady cooking scrambled eggs at the greasy spoon restaurant I used to eat at on 60Th & Market under the El stop back in the late 80’s.  Just the fact that they have a clever message, funky beats and a good DJ (gender matters not) should be enough for you to listen to this.  Did I mention that they have a DJ?  Who has DJ’s in their groups today?  And then there’s the guy who reminds me of Vinnie from Naughty by Nature, E-Roc, with an unusual voice.  It’s not bad or even irritating, it’s just different in a curious way.  And for all of you boom bap golden-agers who haven’t heard this album yet, it’s from 1994.  Trust me, it’s good.  And did they quietly dis liquor manufacturers and/or Snoop with their album title?




ED OG Featuring Pete Rock – My Own Worst Enemy (2004)


Boston STAND UP!!!  I just can’t stop playing this in the car these days.  Ed has always been one of my favorite MC’s on the mic and he and Masta Ace seem to have an unlimited life span in hip-hop. They’ve definitely aged well.  Pete Rock, for the most part, has crafted some gems that fit Ed’s style and flow.  I really felt his hunger (and honesty) on this one and it sort of makes me angry with commercial hip-hop.  This is the kind of music that should be played on the radio and get more exposure.

FYI – Make sure you get that ‘Wishing’ (remix) at this link:  It’s much better than the album version. 





  1. ” I’m amazed that we were listening to this album as 13 and 14 year olds in ’87 (as opposed to being 13 or 14 today and listening to the junk out there). ”

    I agree with that quote. I hate how everybody uses age to excuse the garbage out. I was 14 in 1999 and I was still listening to old albums like the first 4 Public Enemy albums, ATCQ albums (when all the kids were into the Q-Tip solo album), LL’s 2nd album, and a lot of other classics. Back then everybody was into the Cash Money Records garbage and whatever latest 1 mic song of the week Master P and his wack ass No Limit soilders were putting out. But at least when you were 13-14 the amount of good hip hop music greatly outweighed the nonsense as opposed to now where it’s the complete opposite. It’s sad because it’s more likely to continue that trend since a lot of these new kids calling themselves rappers don’t have to do anything besides get a song that people can make up the latest chant (“shake it like a salt shaker” or whatever other trash is out) and dance to in order to succeed.

    “Today, I absolutely love blasting the first three songs (‘You’re Gonna Get Yours’, ‘Sophisticated B**ch’, and ‘Miuzi Weighs a Ton’) as I drive around and people look at me like “What the eff is that?” True, I get the same reaction driving around listening to Ice Cube’s AmeriKKKaz Most Wanted as if I’m listening to some wierd outerspace music. BTW “You’re Gonna Get Yours” was the best song off the LP.

    ED OG Featuring Pete Rock – My Own Worst Enemy (2004). That along with Masta Ace’s album were two of my favorites from 2004. I can’t wait for those two to do the album together that they’ve been talking about. Considering how long I had to wait for the eMC album (I remember it first being advertised back in 2006), I may as well be prepared for a 2010 release. That Ed OG album >>>>Pete Rock’s Soul Survivor II, which also came out during that year.

    The Coup – Genocide and Juice (1994):
    Considering how popular the west was around that time, I’m surprised that they didn’t even go gold. But then again it wasn’t that G-Funk style everybody went nuts over. I agree that they stepped it up on this one. I hardly listen to Kill My Lard Lord all the way through, but this album and “Steal This Album” get play back to back. Boots Riley got arrested in my city a few weeks ago beacuse some people felt his profanity during his performance was too offensive.

  2. Yo Vinz, I’ll cut you a deal… You add me to your blogroll and I’ll see if I can up a few of those Premier albums to a site with less hassling… I like your blog keep it up. (And you seem to have good taste if you dig P.E. and Brother Ali.) 😉

  3. It’s nice to see mention of “Genocide and Juice”. When that came out I had a 30 minute drive to work cooking at a country club every day and every word on that album carried so much weight with me. The Coup were criminally undervalued at that time. I remember having to convince lots of people to give it a listen and they just didn’t get with it. I loved it because on top of being political it was funky. But not “G-Funky”. All of the political stuff I had before that (P.E., B.D.P.) was considerably more rugged but The Coup made it smooth and it was refreshing to hear. That combination of smart lyrics and funk was brilliant.
    What do you think about Paris? He was from the Bay too.

  4. @ Franklin Mint – Paris is the truth. He’s politically conscious AND business savvy. He scared a lot of people when he came out, too.

  5. i’m big on Shadows on the Sun also. the one track in particular.. with the lady spitting her rhyme over a slow melodic loop. that was actually my favorite. i forgot the title.

  6. Ahh, man. After downloading from your recent post with D.O.C and BDP etc. I decided to go back and collect the rest of the albums you recommended and uploaded.
    But, ZShare has taken them down for whatever reason.
    I know it’s a pain in the booty to upload this shiz – could you think about finding a different uploading site so your future posts dont get lost (and possibly uploading your old posts again)?

    • @Tagalog – That’s why I switched to Megaupload. I only use Zshare for smaller links now.

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