Posted by: vincentlopez | April 6, 2009

Philadelphia Drive (Random albums from the car #4)

I haven’t done this in a minute mainly because it’s time consuming and most of you want those magazines more than this. But whatever. I’ve been bumping three albums in my car lately and something was telling me that I just had to post them because some (or most) of you have never bought them.


The D.O.C. – No One Can Do It Better (1989)

Most of you Dr. Dre fans know about this album already.  But it wasn’t the production that made this album so fantastic to me.  Lyrically, D.O.C. was in a zone on this album.  Yeah, he was cocky, arrogant, and brash but he was also on point.  I think he was trying to make a statement that there was more than one good lyricist in the crew and he patiently waited his turn to literally explode.  He tore apart my favorite tracks (Mind Blowin’ and Portrait of a Masterpiece) with ease.  Is there any wonder why he had a solo album out before Ren and Ice Cube?



Ultramagnetic MC’s – Critical Beatdown (1988)

1988.  It’s still the greatest year in hip-hop to me and this album (as you already know) is one of the best ever.  It’s clearly in my top 20 hip-hop albums of all time and if you haven’t heard it yet, then shame on you.  Can you even call yourself fan of hip-hop? Looking back, we really took things for granted in the late 80’s.  There was a clear expectation that every artist/group would come out with their own style and not copy anyone else.  And that’s what made it so great.  You could listen to political rhymes, braggadocio rhymes, party rhymes, love rhymes, gangster rhymes, etc. from a slew of different rappers.  But when Ultramagnetic came out, they took it a step further.  I can’t remember which song I heard first (Ego Trippin’?) but I know that it had the same effect on me as Rakim’s rhymes did to me in late ’86.  I hadn’t heard anything like Kool Keith before.  None of my friends could figure out what he was saying but that didn’t stop us from blasting that tape from our faithful little boombox.  I recently re-read the ‘making of’ interview in the book Rakim Told Me by Brian Coleman.  I suggest you buy that or Check The Technique by the same author to read the full interview.  In the meanwhile here are a couple of quick excerpts:

Released in the fall of 1988 in the face of fierce competition (Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation Millions To Hold Us Back, Boogie Down Productions’ By All Means Necessary, and Eric B & Rakim’s Follow The Leader), the album was an all out triumph.  “It had a big impact on the way that people produced when it came out, during 1988 and later with people like Large Professor and DJ Premier,” beams Ced.  “But also, groups were free to say: We can do any style that we want, we don’t have to rap like everybody else.”  Ced notes groups like the Jungle Brothers, De La Soul, and A Tribe Called Quest as inheritors of the Ultra freedom.


Looking back, Keith lays it down like so: “1988 was the Golden Era, it was the best year for rappers who were distinctive and had different voices.  When we went in to do Critical Beatdown, we knew what we wanted stuff to sound like, and it worked.  We’re also a great match because we grew up knowing what we want, plus we’re all musicians and we make our own stuff.  Our lyrics are different, and they should be on top of some different shit.  Critical Beatdown is a classic because we didn’t copy anybody, we were ourselves, we were the originals.  That record stuck out like a sore thumb.  There was nothing else like it.”


Boogie Down Productions – Live Hardcore Worldwide (1991)

If you’re a fan of live hip-hop, then this album is the one you must have in your collection.  Why?  Because it’s the greatest live hip-hop album ever.  Period.  My boy Chris out in Las Vegas (originally from North Jersey) still swears by this album and I agree. I’ve bought this album 3 times already after wearing out the tape and scratching the first CD.  KRS-One (the G.O.A.T.) can still rock a party (by himself) better than anyone.  The funny thing is that he could probably take out 99.9% of these young cats today because as we all know, Kris is an entertainer born for the stage.  He has no fear, no need for a big platinum chain around his neck and he can still freestyle the way an MC should be able to. If this album doesn’t get you hyped, then you must be dead or a fan of Rick Ross.

Get all 3 albums





  1. Got all three in my original collection. Instant classics, especially the last two ones.

  2. I am living under a rock, as far as live albums go, I’m gonna have to check out that BDP album, thanks for the 411!

  3. The D.O.C. tore sh.. up on that album and that Ultramagnetic album is just fire from end to start??!!! Heard That KRS One live joint not too bad. Will check out sometime.

  4. Thansks vince! haven’t listened to a couple of these in a while TIME TO BUMP

  5. High energy flowin’ with the wisdom
    sense of a rich man, knowledge and the rhythm
    this is what I’m using to come up with the style
    so I’ll interact alltogether better with the crowd.

    …today it would be something like this:

    High nothing flowin’ with the nothing
    no sense of anybody, no ledge and the rhi-thi-thm
    this is what I’m using to come up with no style
    so I can act out alltogether better with the crowd.

    …1988 was the golden year.

    Peace out, Vince.

  6. I agree with you with all 3 of those albums. I remember hearing No One Can Do It Better for the first time and forcing my brother to listen to it. That album was the beginning of taking lyricism to the west coast.

  7. This is a great post, all these pushed hip hop to a new level. I’m having problems downloading the magazines because the files are rar. Can anyone help me?

  8. @D-Nice – Download WinRaR @

  9. i have that DOC LP (and i did go to the store and buy it), that LP is pure dope! a very underrated MC. but he can say he has a classic! how many MC’s can say that?

    i have that Ultra Mag. LP as well (i went to the store and bought that as well). very dynamic LP, there’s one cut on there thats crazy and i think Kool Keith did the whole song, dont know the name off hand but that song stays on repeat!

    now u know KRS is my ni99a! but i dont have this LP, i heard about it but i never heard it. ill check it out sometime down the line. but if people out there dont know that KRS can rock a show, then they aint hip-hop!!

    Hip-Hop at one point used to be so diverse right? everybody used to talk about different subject matter, nobody sounded the same. its a shame where we at today huh?

  10. Thanks for the help.

  11. I havent heard that BDP live cd in a minute…I went diggin and found it in the basement. I probably havent listened to that joint since 1991 in my Ford Bronco II. Thanks for the reminder.

  12. I’m willing to argue that 94>88. Not just based on Illmatic, Word… Life too.
    Although 88 was jammed with numerous “classic” albums.
    Good post.

  13. Having troubles. What’s the password for the unzip?

    • @tagalog – the password is in the top right hand side of the page.

  14. Cheers Vincent! Got it now.

  15. what’s your thing with Ross anyway? Ultra and DOC are classics, but yo….calling the BDP joint the greatest live hip hop album isn’t exactly sayin much. What would be second? But given that, i actually listened to this when i wanted to hear a bunch of their classic joints on one disc. Which was most of the time. I’m not sure what happened to KRS after he went indy. He had all this weird stuff goin on. I remember i went to one of his shows in like 2004 and he kept sayin “bling blung” over and over and then went into a song of the same name. I dunno if he was high or somethin, but i remember my girl kept sayin “KRS is a crackhead” and it was pissin me off.

    • LMAO!!!!

  16. I gotta go with 1994 as the greatest year with 1988 as a close milisecond, just because Hip-Hop was at it’s peak commercially and musically during that period. In ’88, Hip-Hop had no juice in the industry, so it was fun to rappers like Snoop come up and have Madonna wearing his shirt on stage and shit.

    Plus, in ’88, there wasn’t a strong Southern and Midwestern presence. It was mostly New York with N.W.A representing the West Coast.

    By 1994, you had Bone Thugs with the classic joint “Creepin’ On Ah Come Up”, Common with “I Used To Love Her” ,you had Outkast, The Goodie Mob, The Geto Boys, and the obvious Biggie, Nas, Snoop, Black Moon types. Rap City was must see TV by then

    ’94 was the year every coast was at their peak. It was the best year because everybody was runnin’ on all cylinders

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