Although the genre itself is long overdue to being praised by the masses, Vh1 celebrates the genre of hip-hop through their fourth annual Hip Hop Honors 2008. Each year, VH1 honors the trailblazing pioneers of hip-hop, with some of the past ones including Run-D.M.C., 2Pac, Wu-Tang Clan, Missy Elliott, and Ice Cube. This year's honorees are Cypress Hill, De La Soul, Naughty By Nature, Slick Rick, and Too $hort. If any of you readers do not know who these rappers are, allow the following paragraphs explain them to you.
Coming up from South Central Los Angeles, these three vatos - known collectively as B-Real, Sen Dog, and DJ Muggs - broke new grounds for hip-hop as the first Latino hip-hop group earning platinum and multi-platinum selling albums. Through B Real's nasal-driven voice, Sen Dog's thunderous shrills, and Muggs' gritty hardcore beats, Cypress Hill stayed true to their roots without becoming carbon-copy gangsta rappers. Throughout their albums, the topics ranges from police brutality, experiencing insanity, and their undeniable affection of cannabis (no, not the rapper). Cypress Hill also not only kicked the doors open for upcoming Latino rappers in a predominately African-American culture, but they also help combined the genres of rock and rap like none has ever done before. Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park owe their thanks to them, as VH1 finally gives the group their respect that's due.
"Insane in the Brain", "How I Could Just Kill a Man", "Latin Lingo" "Rock/Rap Superstar", "Lowrider"
De La Soul
Although gangsta rap was starting to rule the mainstream back in 1989, the trio from Amityville, NY named De La Soul help pulled the plug (no pun intended) by rapping on subjects an average hardcore emcee would've been scared to touch. Now if you excuse the parenthesis in the last sentence, the De La Soul fans already know the members as Plug One a/k/a Posdnuos ("Soundsop" backwards) and Wonder Why, Plug Two a/k/a Trugoy the Dove ("Yogurt" backwards) and Dave, and Plug Three a/k/a P.A. Pasemaster Mase and Maseo. Anyways, while emcess were bragging about the crack they're selling, De La Soul rapped about the downfalls of the addictions of crack. While wanna-be lovers were rapping on how suave they are in bed, De La Soul rapped about the dangers of being with a materialistic mate. While hardcore rappers were bragging about bustin' a cap on a buster's forehead, DLS rapped about "potholes in their lawn." De La Soul made history by daring to be different in rap. While they are blatantly defined as "weird" by first listeners, they are appreciated by any average hip-hop listener who goes through everyday things which DLS covers through their songs. Cut from the Native Tounges Posse, De La Soul are the few still together today as they celebrate their 20 years together while being honored this year by VH1. Ain't that about time, y'all?
"Me, Myself, & I", "Breakadawn", "Stakes is High", "A Roller Skating Jam Named 'Saturdays'", "Buddy"
Naughty By Nature
New York and California are the first two states that comes to mind whenever one thinks about 90s' hip-hop. Three boys from East Orange, New Jersey would forever change outlook on rap by turning it to a big ol' party that lasted for nearly two decades. With Treach as the leader, Vin Rock as the back-up, and Kay Gee as the beat provider, Naughty By Nature brought hard-hitting anthems
to the top of the Billboard charts while staying rugged and never changing anything for it. Their songs are consitantly being played through the suburban neighborhoods and the ghettos alike. Although they are sometimes labeled as merely "pop rap", Naughty By Nature still represents hip hop to the fullest as Vh1 recognizes their credibility.
"O.P.P.", "Hip Hop Hooray", "Uptown Anthem", "Feel Me Flow", "Jamboree"
Before rappers were bragging about how glamorous their jewels were, Slick Rick is easily the originators of wearing enough gold to make the 1849 gold miners jealous. As an eyepatch rocking and Kangol hat wearing rapper with a jolly British accent, Slick Rick has always been revered as one of the main influences in rap with his incredible storytelling skills through rap music. He is also seen as the original king of rap, hence the title Slick Rick the Ruler. Although Slick Rick haven't release a new album in almost ten years, he is still highly respected by peers and feared by the crumbs as they kneel to the ground and kiss his four-fingered ring. SLICK DA RU-LAH!!
"Children's Story", "Teenage Love", "Hey Young World", "Mona Lisa" - Heck! The whole "Great Adventures of Slick Rick" album.
Back when rappers were timid to utter even the smallest suggestive rhyme, this Oakland O.G. named Too $hort walked in, took the mic from the sucka, and spit some of the dirtiest and freakiest lyrics ever put on wax. With over twenty years AND albums under his belt, Too $hort proved that he was anything but short minded when it came to his rhymes. His rhymes detailed the raw elements of the ghetto and the ills around it. From poverty to drug selling to pimping and prostitution, Too $hort isn't shy when it comes to talking about it in his raps. Many people see him as being "too dirty", but others see him as one of the originators of gangsta raps as he raps about his lavish lifestyle like it's still all good in the 'hood. $hort Dog in the house!!
"Freaky Tales", "Life is...Too $hort", "In the Trunk", "Ghetto", "Gettin' It"
So don't miss it! "Hip Hop Honors" airs on Monday October 6, 2008 at 10 PM EST. It's hosted by Tracy Morgan and it's gonna be CRAZY!!
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