While the rest of the hip-hop world reviews 2008 and ponders 2009, I’ve been steadily sifting through the hip-hop world of 1995 and 1996. Right off the bat, I want to know if you think 1995 was better than 1994 based on the albums released in those years. Whether you think ’94 was better than ’95 or vice versa, ’95 was a great year and I still believe it was Wu-Tang’s year of supremacy. It was also a good year for Loud Records since they released both Mobb Deep’s The Infamous and Raekwon’s Only Built for Cuban Linx. The owner of the label, Steve Rifkind, must have kicked himself for not finding a way to sign ODB and Gza as well. 1995 also saw Tupac release his best album (Me Against the World) while locked up, then Suge bailed him out and flew him straight to California to record 20 albums worth of material. Good hip-hop music was not only being released from just about every area of the country (check the fat tape and list of albums below) but it was getting consistent nationwide exposure even with the cancellation of Yo! MTV Raps and the beginning craziness of the East Coast/West Coast beef. This definitely shows in the 1996 issues of The Source with only two artists from the East Coast gracing the cover (Nas and Mobb Deep) in the entire year. But enough of my blabbering, just let me know, what was the BEST ALBUM of 1995 in your opinion?
Source January 1996 issue
January 1996 fat tape