1 Large Professor – a master of production (he even taught premier how to use the sp1200, that he learned from paul c…the most unknown producer, but probably the most influential) and a really good mc (the lyrics on main source are classic and his guest spots are as well ”queens represent , buy the album when I drop it…” but we waited too long!)
LISTEN TO JUST A FRIENDLY GAME OF BASEBALL
2 Q-tip – endless classic from the abstract and tribe (even if he had some help from ali on production….but check the first crooklyn dodgers for some solo production and the drink away the pain tune he did for mob deep first lp….is that enough?)
LISTEN TO DRINK AWAY THE PAIN
3 Pete Rock – the soul brother is one of the finest producer (coming from the Marley marl school of production is not a surprise…) and on the mic is not bad as well (even if on the mecca and the soul brother lp grand puba was writing most of his lyrics)
LISTEN TO SOUL BROTHER # 1
4 Diamond D – you can’t front on the big man from the bx, a true crate digger and has some nice skills on the mic (his first lp is a slept on classic)
LISTEN TO SALLY GOT A ONE TRACK MIND
5 Rza – the first round of wu albums are classic and rza lyrics were on point…not sure about latest material (favourite line” Feelin mad hostile, ran the apostle/Flowin like Christ when I speaks the gospel”)
LISTEN TO TRAGEDY
6 The Beatnuts: I just like the beatnuts approach to music (especially the first ep and the first lp): great obscure jazz sample (the way they flipped roy ayers “painted desert” is just great) and no- nonsense lyrics.
LISTEN TO “STORY”
6 Erick Sermon – classic material from the green eye bandit: the epmd stuff before the break up was just brilliant (apparently biz markie supplied most of the records that was sampled for the epmd first album) and is first solo album was constantly in my tape deck
LISTEN TO “STAY REAL”
7 Madlib – even if it’s not part of the golden age, madlib still offer quality beats and good lyrics (not always up to par with his beats…but still manage to do some damage on the mic)
LISTEN TO “THE JAM”
8 MF Doom – much better mc than madlib, not bad with his production.
LISTEN TO “OLD SCHOOL”
9 E-swift – really nice beats on the liks albums and nice lyrics as well, only fault he haven’t done so much production outside the liks camp (nice work for heltah skeltah, anyway)
LISTEN TO “BULLSHIT”
10 Dr.Dre – last spot for Dre, since he’s an amazing producer, but never wrote his lyrics (which is quite sad!).
LISTEN TO “GAME OVER”