I wouldn't say that modern rap is bad, it's just that mainstream rap tends to be either gangster rap or R&B now.
Here's some of my faves.
Brother Ali (Amazing)
The Cool Kids (These guys feel so oldskool)
Dizzee Rascal (UK grime)
House Of Pain
Insane Clown Posse (Yeah I know, but they have a few good tracks)
Kemo The Blaxican (Best mexican rapper I've heard)
Lordz Of Brooklyn (Similar to House Of Pain)
Mz. Streamz (New Orleans Bounce)
Early rap I like - but not the later stuff. "Gangsta" is right out.
Rap groups I'd listen to:
- Digital Underground (early rap/hip-hop. Shock-G is still touring, IIRC, solo and with the Underground)
- NNA (No Niggaz Allowed)
- Sir Mix-A-Lot (I like his opinion of a well-built woman)
- Blowfly ("dirty rap")
- Geto Boyz (my exception to "gangsta" - but the influence isn't as overt)
- Anthrax (fusion between rap and metal)
- and, when Biohazard and Onyx got together, they did good work.
That strikes me as a good place to start. Me? I'll listen to a broad range of music (Frank Zappa covers a broad range, all by himself!) except for gangsta, old "crying in your beer" country, and I've got to be in the mood for classical (working on a heavy maths project is good for that - considering "hear" classical arrangements as mathematical expressions anyhow. Mozart, Handel, some Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky - sp? - are all conduce to solid mathematical thinking.)
Lil Wayne's albums the carter 1, 2, and 3. His new stuff isn't the best, kind of annoying and his old stuff when he first started sucks too. But the carter 1-3 is pretty much a story of his life, and his lines are real smooth and flows real good.
Also, jedi mind tricks.
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04 TJ- Short Bus. It's got some stuff.
Sometimes I question my sanity. Occasionally it replies.