Underground hip-hop music maintains the core competencies that mainstream artists sometime miss. Artists like Aesop Rock, Moors, Atmosphere and Blackalicious certainly focus more effort on creating well produced beats and thought provoking lyrics. Here’s a quick list of the underground hip hop music I’m hearing at the moment. Float by Aesop Rock. This classic hip hop album screams underground. I’ve had this album for over seven years and still hear a new challenge each time. The lyrics are one of the deepest and many complex ever written, with each track unfolding new layers of meaning after repeated listens. This is really not probably the most readily accessible Hip hop, so you shouldn’t expect much following a single cursory listen just like all of Aesop’s albums, it only gets better eventually.
The Undisputed Truth by Brother Ali. Since his album Rites of Passage dropped in 2000, I’ve been a fan of this Hip hopper. Underground Hip hop music goes in many directions, and while Hip hoppers like Aesop Rock stretch its boundaries, Brother Ali returns to its roots, using call and response over classic break beats Hip Hop Vibe. This is just one of my personal favorite Hip hop albums, ever. Blazing Arrow by Blackalicious. This album is among the most broad musical landscapes ever produced. With the unbeatable team of Chief Xcel as producer and MC Gift of Gab, Blazing Arrow is in times frightening, inspiring and downright spiritual in the exploration of topics such as the role of blacks in the us, presidential campaigns and this indescribable sense of joy that can be found on the strangest of times. Certainly one of the highest expressions of hip hop music before decade.
Black Star by Moss Def and Talia Kwela. OK, so the commercial success with this album may hinder its inclusion with all the underground, nevertheless the topics addressed by these first class MCs is extremely underground in scope. Throughout the album, you hear references to where mainstream hip-hop goes wrong, and exactly how the truly great Hip hoppers still range from underground. Talia Kwela says so himself Cats with all the raw skills… they’re from the underground. These four albums are my current favorites as representations of underground hip-hop music at its finest. For anybody looking for more information on underground Hip hop, these four are a great start, both for their musical and lyrical prowess. While mainstream artists may earn more income, the underground artists are the type who carries the torch.