5 Extra Smooth Albums From 1994
Twenty years ago Nas dropped ‘Illmatic’ and made the world his. But 1994 was more: The Beatnuts dropped their debut ‘Street Level’, O.C. released his first album, the iconic ‘Word…Life’ and Biggie rapped himself unto immortality with ‘Ready To Die’.
1994 was a defining year for many last-long rap talents.
At the same time, it was ‘the year of smooth’. Sit back, relax. With laid-back, jazzy records. Common’s ‘Ressurection’ for one, but also:
Odd Squad – Fadanuf Fa Erybody
In the shadows of The Geto Boys -one bigger than the other- The Odd Squad made noise on Rap-A-Lot Records with their one and only release ‘Fadanuf Fa Erybody’. Scarface -not the movie charachter but the rapper and Southside hero- named the album the best of off Rap-A-Lot. Devin The Dude and buddies Rob Quest and Jugg Mugg hook up after an infamous talent show in 1989. Five years later this album dropped: a smooth and groovey work of art with entertaining tales of smoking weed and the opposite sex.
K-Dee – Ass, Gas Or Cash
Under the auspieces of his protege, Ice Cube, K-Dee released the magnificent ‘Ass, Gas Or Cash’ with the brilliant subtitle ‘No One Rides For Free’. G-funk with a grand ‘G’, with indelible tracks such as ‘Make The Music’, ‘Gigolos Get Lonely Too’ and ‘Thought I Saw A Pussy Cat’ with Bootsy Collins.
Saafir – Boxcar Sessions
Jazz samples were huge in 1994. On Saafir’s ‘Boxcar Sessions’, they were flipped ingeniously. Amidst a wave of gangsta rap, the Oakland rapper kicked abstract battle rhymes over multi-layered production by Hobo Junction. In 2002 the Saucee Nomad dropped a string of tunes that did not appear on the record: ‘Unreleased Boxcar Sessions‘. Despite being confined to the weel chair, Saafir is still making music.
Ahmad – Back In The Days
18-year old L.A. rapper Ahmad made waves with the album’s single and reached a plausible ranking in the billboards. But this is just a great, mellow and funky record overall. Smell the summer.
Extra Profilic – Like It Should Be
Not a rapper but a group, Snupe and A-Plus took notice for the most smoothed out Hieroglyphics records of all times. A pitch slower than most Hiero records, but the production is quintessential 1994.