10 February 2012

Mixtape Madness #12 - 90's Revue Part II

According to the novel High Fidelity the making of a good mix tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. Furthermore, a good mix is never finished. You never know when you will come across a song that changes the dynamic of the mix you just completed. There is a litany of intricacies to crafting the ideal mix no matter what the mix’s intended purpose should be. This feature is merely a guide on the cosmic highway of mix making, and while experienced, the writer does not claim to be an expert.

90's Revue Part II - Hip Hop
We have been riding the wave of 1980's nostalgia for awhile now. Don't get me wrong, it's been fun, but I think it is time we moved on to the 1990's. Some of the best music of the past thirty years was created in the decade between the Exxon Valdez and Y2K. Because of that, we here at the What will take a three-part look at the music of the 1990's.
PART I - Rock
PART III - Pop - Coming Soon!

1. "Can I Kick It?" by A Tribe Called Quest (1991) -  What better way to kick off the 90's hip-hop mix than with this Lou Reed-sampling jam from Tribe? I had forgotten about this song for along time until, as is the case with several songs on this mix, I saw the film The Wackness.

2. "Flava In Ya Ear" by Craig Mack (1994) - Much like the rock mix, I will be discussing the greatness that was the music scene in 1994. This track, with verses from Biggie, Busta, LL Cool J, and Rampage, is a classic.

3. "Not Tonight (Remix)" by Lil Kim (1997) - Though we'll address the Spice Girls in Part III of the 90's Revue, this is the true girl power anthem of the 1990's. Kim is joined by Da Brat, Angie Martinez, Missy Elliott, and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes on the track, and in the video by everyone from Queen Latifah to TLC to Mary J. Blige. 

Great song, questionable fashion.
4. "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems" by Notorious B.I.G. (1997) - I am fairly certain that even your grandmother would love this track. It was Biggie's second #1 single after his death and features verses from Ma$e and Puff Daddy.

5. "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" by Missy Elliot (1997) - Three tracks in a row from 1997, which was the year Missy Elliott broke through with this Timbaland-produced sample of an old Ann Peebles song. And who can forget that video?

6. "Regulate" by Warren G & Nate Dogg (1994) - Back to '94 with Warren G and the late Nate Dogg. We could not in good faith have a 90's hip-hop mix without this song.

Sweet shades.
7. "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" by Old Dirty Bastard (1995) - This quintessential ODB jam saw a huge resurgence in popularity after it was featured in the opening scene of Knocked Up

8. "Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)" by Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz (1997) - Can anyone even name a hip-hop track that samples Steely Dan and is not fantastic? Didn't think so.

9. "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" by Pete Rock & CL Smooth (1992) - Another discovery from The Wackness soundtrack. This one is a tribute to Trouble T.Roy of Heavy D and the Boyz fame.

10. "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By" by Method Man & Mary J. Blige (1995) - Inspired by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, I actually prefer the Puff Daddy mix of this track that features a line from Biggie's "Me and My Bitch."

11. "Vocab" by the Fugees (1992) - "Vocab" was originally released in the early 90's as one of the Fugees' first singles, but it's the hp hop remix on their Greatest Hits album that really flows.

12. "Around The Way Girl" by LL Cool J (1990) - This is one of those tracks that instantly brings me back to block parties in my old neighborhood, and is yet another gem on The Wackness soundtrack.

13. "Nuthin' But A G Thang" by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (1993) - It's amusing to look back at this video, which was most of the world's introduction to Snoop, and to know that he's still just as cool over 20 years later.
Don't let him touch your forehead.

14. "Tha Crossroads" by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (1996) - This excellent tribute to Eazy E's video is so powerful, that when a gentleman dressed like the Angel of Death got on the bus the other day, I was fairly certain at least one person on the bus wasn't making it to their stop.

15. "Here Comes the Hotsteppers" by Ini Kamoze (1994) - Ah, nothing like a  little Rasta influence to really round out this mix. I highly recommend checking out more of Kamoze's stuff.

16. "Shoop" by Salt-N-Pepa (1993) - Since finishing college, I have met very few women who didn't know all of the words to this song. Just an observation.

17. "California Love" by 2 Pac (1995) - After a smooth verse from Dre, who can forget "Out on bail, fresh out of jail, California Dreaming?" Such a great summertime jam.

18. "Feel Me Flow" by Naughty by Nature (1995) - This is, hands down, the perfect song to blast at a summer block party.

19. "I Can't Wake Up" by KRS One (1993) - Ah, the classic tale about not being able to wake from a dream in which you turn into a fat blunt. We've all been there.
Too soon?

20. "Gagnsta's Paradise" by Coolio (1995) - This is one of those songs that will come on the radio and I still know every word.

21. "He Got Game" by Public Enemy (1998) - Really any song from PE could fit here, but this one has Stephen Stills so there you have it.

22. "The What" by Notorious B.I.G. and Method Man (1994) - Of course this track makes the list. This song is what this entire website is named after. Enjoy.


  1. Very nice mix, needs some Wu0Tang though.


    1. Yeah, I'll agree with that. Meth shows up twice though, plus one from ODB.

    2. Yeah, that's true.



Share your thoughts!