Coming Soon From Rawkus
Rawkus Records’ B-Side Bangers
In 1998, the divide within the rap game was at its most glaring. On one side of the stage stood the jiggy, “shiny suit era” mainstream rappers, with CD sales on their mind, expensive tastes, and a penchant for fly cars, clothes, money, cash and hoes. At the other end of the stage was the underground, “backpack”, independent scene, where rappers and crews still made time for college radio, performed small venue shows, and aimed more for putting out records on vinyl than for selling CDs in stores. A strange state of affairs was that this was a year where the dichotomy of Hip Hop was at its furthest split. And then an album dropped and something happened. The deep chasm between the mainstream and the underground was filled, but not by much.
Yesterday marked the fourteenth anniversary of Black Star’s debut album. It was a higly anticipated release celebrated and critically acclaimed album immediately from the moment it dropped. It gave a celebrity face to the indy movement that was going on, and did it’s best to bridge the gaps between the polar-opposite movements that were co-existing inside of Hip Hop’s genre. Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, was the second full-length album on Rawkus Records and was the epicenter for the NYC underground movement.
Last week, the good folks at Complex tackled another famous list by profiling 50 Best Rawkus Records Songs. Inspired by the idea to honor Mos and Kweli’s epic release, and the label that birthed it, we figured it was our turn to pay respects as well. Sticking more towards the Rawkus-released vinyls, which was the essence of the movement, we put together a list of 14 of the dopest B-Sides from Rawkus Records. [Read More…]