Good Kid, M.A.A.D City – Kendrick Lamar (2012)

Good Kid, M.A.A.D City - Kendrick Lamar (2012)

Although my comments about Kendrick Lamar may have given off a vibe that I don’t like his work, I actually really enjoy his work. Good Kid M.A.A.D. City, while a gangsta rap album, is more complex then whatever passes for gangsta rap these days. Yeah, there’s the bangers like Backseat Freestyle, but there’s also songs like Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst which is the complete opposite of a banger. Kendrick Lamar knows how to make an album that is just more than some gangbanger nonsense, which is unusual in gangsta rap these days.

Choice Cut: Swimming Pools (Drank)

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Ridin’ Dirty – UGK (1996)

Ridin’ Dirty - UGK (1996)

Even with several unabashed celebrations of the gangsta lifestyle (see Murder, 3 in da Mornin’, and Good Stuff), a big part of what really makes this awesome is the clear-eyed, “holy shit we could die at any minute” bent to their songs. And that’s when this one’s at its best – Diamonds & Wood, Hi-Life, and the all-time masterpiece One Day. The other part, of course, is the beats. The atmospheric, laid-back, late-night Ridin’ Dirty, or the funkiest hip-hop song of all time, Pinky Ring… those are timeless, timeless beats that anyone can get good vibes off of.

Choice Cut: One Day

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Oxymoron – ScHoolboy Q (2014)

Oxymoron - ScHoolboy Q

Sometimes when I’m driving around my predominantly white town, I want to blast some rap with heavy bass that talks about smoking weed and being a ‘gangsta’. Not that I smoke weed, nor am I a ‘gangsta’, but something about listening to people rap about those topics appeals to me. ScHoolboy Q does a perfect job at doing those two things. This album is full of bangers that you just want to blast. Whether you’re blasting them to party to, or blasting them to scare your neighbors like I do, this album will satisfy your needs.

Choice Cut: Gangsta
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