2002 - a moment in hip hop history

I would be lying if I said that I, after 2000 and 2004 was even able to feign excitement about hip hop in the current decade...
I would also be lying if I said that I was any less willing to impose my opinion just the same with this, the space that the nice folks over at Google provide me here on blogger. Anything less would be a waste of such, as it would the ownership of this nice comprutah of mines...

You know what?
I was fucking DRUNK most of 2002. I was making good money, my cash outlay was not necessarily exorbitant, I was newly popular basically out of nowhere and enjoying life in general. Plenty of money to blow on music and car shit, and God knows I did.
Did I mention I was intoxicated most of the year? Yeah, Absolut, Yuengling and Jim Beam were good friends of mine all year, so I don't terribly recall a representative most of the shit we did, as much as I do where I did it and who I did it with [pause...].
Lord knows, somehow I am drinking a LOT less these days, but have less money for music, that is fucking STRANGE when taken in the face of the lack of a car payment and lower insurance costs and such now. Needless to say, I was about women, cars, alcohol and general heathenery (if that is even a word... If not, now it is), my life was a bigass rap video, except I can't rap.
Was this a blog about alcoholism or another of my hip hop history lessons?

Yeah, I guess I was on an off-topic tangent there, no?
We're talking about 2002 this time around.

KRS-One released Spiritual Minded and SOMEONE released a Nas compilation, The Best of Nas on the same day and I BET you only downloaded either, not purchases, but downloads. This month would totally suck if not for Devin The Dude's Just Tryin Ta Live, which is my second favorite of his albums.
Fun fact: that KRS album failed to scan enough copies to break into the Billboard 200, but charted #4 on the GOSPEL charts. Let that internalize for a minute, fam... I know I went in on the Blastmaster last week, but this FURTHER solidifies what an ass he is. Hip hop just can't love him for his own faults, so he ignores his past comments about organized religion tries his hand at a christian gospel album and still doesn't do so great.

Back to the task at hand, there is nothing else that came out this month anyway.

In the stereotypical spirit of Black History Month, Nappy Roots gives us Watermelon, Chicken and Grits... It was not a bad album either, I own it.

Back to the swing of things, we're greeted with Jay-Z & R. Kelly's The Best of Both Worlds, then Ol' Dirty Bastard's The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones. The month ended with ingnorable product from Infamous Mob, Special Edition and The Ying Yang Twins, Alley: The Return of the Ying Yang Twins.

A Busta Rhymes compilation, Turn it Up!: The Very Best Of started the month off and it got no better with Z-Ro's Screwed Up Click Representa and Big Moe's Purple World. 50 Cent's Guess Who's Back began to help things, and the Big Tymers' Hood Rich reminded us that sometimes it was kinda entertaining to not pretend that you should be taken seriously and Blackalicious gave us Blazing Arrow just under the radar, but well worth having, as did J-Live with All Above All.

Cam'ron continues his refusal to just go away with Come Home With Me and Camp Lo releases Let's Do it Again. Death Row tries to piggyback on a forthcoming album with a Dr. Dre compilation Best of the Work, then the album they were trying to catch some shine from, Eminem's The Eminem Show came out. El-P also dropped Fantastic Damage, which I intend to find soon as well. Forgotten was Naughty By Nature's IIcons, which I have no intentions of caring about even though this is the first I have heard of it's release.

DJ Quik releases Under Tha Influence on the same day as Rawkus Records' Soundbombing III. Later in the month, Daz Dillinger released This is the Life I Lead and no one cared. AZ released a VERY slept-on Aziatic, Chamillionaire and Paul Wall released Get Ya Mind Correct, which I will admit to actually getting into and kinda enjoying for some odd reason in 2006... Atmosphere came with God Loves Ugly. Cormega dropped The True Meaning and Will Smith jumped in the "I don't NEED rap money, but I will take some of it anyway" fray with Born to Reign, NORE released God's Favorite and the month was over.

My birth month gave us Nas with From Illmatic to Stillmatic, the Remixes and then Lil Wayne with 500 Degrees -- the first of HIS albums where he was REALLY spitting in my opinion -- Onyx exercised their overstay of their welcome with Bacdafucup Part II and Styles P released A Gangster and a Gentleman on the same day. Wyclef Jean held down the middle of the month with Masquerade and Cee-Lo, Mack 10 and Public Enemy came the next week with Cee-Lo Greene and His Perfect Imperfections, Mack 10 Presents da Hood and Revolverlution respectively. Nelly conspired to ruin the month with Nellyville, but Linkin Park saved us with Reanimation.

Scarface drops The Fix, Trick Daddy has a Thug Holiday and DJ Jazzy Jeff is Magnificent. Factor in Slum Village's Trinity: Past, Present and Future and Clipse's Lord Willin' and you're almost able to forgive August 2002 for Lil Flip's Underground Legend (which I do happen to own for some reason) KRS-One's The Mix Tape and Eve's Eve-Olution. What might have been salvaged by NWA's The NWA Legacy, Vol. 2 was totally stifled by Trina's Diamond Princess.
Good bye August 2002, rot in pieces.

Run DMC's Greatest Hits came first, then Benzino released Redemption on the same day as Nas' The Lost Tapes, Sean Paul's Dutty Rock, Pastor Troy's Universal Soldier and UGK's Side Hustles... Tech N9ne released Absolute Power this month as well.
4 out of 7? Not a bad month at all.
Let all signs show that Benzino and Tech N9ne are what I do not and will not own.
What DID happen, though, is that the release of that Benzino album and the fact that if SURELY for 4-4.5 mics in The Source caused the Beltway Snipers to start busting peoples' heads open in and around DC.
Me being a sickass, was THOROUGHLY entertained at this shit. Most that know me know I have a bit of a THING for reading about serial killers and I was seeing the first one of my generation, right down to the "Dear Mr. Police Man... I am God" letter left at one of the scenes.

Daz Dillinger offers an unfulfilled promise To Live and Die in CA and Xzibit releases Man vs Machine (which has NOTHING to do with having trouble tastelessly modifying cars on MTV). Large Professory released 1st Class and then Jurassic 5 released Power in Numbers on the same day as Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz' Kings of Crunk. LL Cool J released the ignored 10, then The Outlawz released Neva Surrenda [man, I bet those guys miss Tupac, I am willing to bet that this is one of those cases where being a weed carrier was more lucrative than rapping for money]. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony tried to see it that the month got no better with Thug World Order, but The 8 Mile Soundtrack(s) helped greatly to cleanse our palettes of that shit.
Making the shit worse was the fact that the fucking Beltway Snipers were caught all fucking ready, sleeping in a box Chevy Caprice. No word on whether or not the Caprice had 28" chrome wheels on it, but it could have, being that the snipers HAPPEND to be black... FUCK!!!

This is a VERY fucking bad month...
Insane Clown Posse, The Wraith: Shangri-La
Missy Elliott, Under Construction
Fat Joe, Loyalty
Jay-Z, Blueprint²: The Gift and the Curse
YoungBloodZ released Drankin' Patnaz on the same day as well, as did Swollen Members Monsters in the Closet, but those were not enough to undo the damage done. Canibus would release Mic Club: The Curriculum the same day as Hussein Fatal's Fatal, but no one cared about either of those albums either. Royce Da 5'9" released his "debut" Rock City and Ms Jade with Girl Interrupted this month too.
This seems to be a "double up" month, as another multiple-releases day was later in the month, with Busta Rhymes' It Ain't Safe No More, Birdman's Birdman, The Roots' Phrenology (which some of you hated, but I enjoyed), Will Smith's Greatest Hits and Snoop Dogg's Paid the Cost to Be the Bo$$. Of course, the millionth posthumous 2Pac album, Better Dayz.
Save for the purchase of The YoungBloodZ and The Roots; then a download of Busta Rhymes, this is an UGLY fucking month, including a really fucking bad album from Jay-Z.
God, I am glad that shit is over!

Slow month ahead!
GZA Released Legend of the Liquid Sword, which I have never heard to this day, perhaps because it was released the same day as Nas' God's Son. All of this transpires one week before Talib Kweli's classic solo debut Quality and of course Master P groomed his son Lil Romeo to crash the party as he once did with Game Time.
4 releases, I own 2 and MIGHT download a third if I am still thinking about it when I get home from work tonight.

Scores... 86 albums released, 36 of them owned/downloaded. That is a scary 41.86%.
Modifiers being that I want my money back for one of them and might soon cop 2 different as well, so that is 86 and 37 for an ultimate of 43.02%, not enough LESS scary to even bother with. I REFUSE to sell the modifier that Jay-Z Stans actually bought -- and would buy again -- Blueprint² ... Same applies to the Cam'ron album.

This really is saddening... I look back to years in the 90s and while there was clearly less product for consumption, the ultimate numbers related to what was worth owning would not be so drastically different if there was not CLEARLY a dropoff in the quality of product released. No, "small victories" will not do it, so there will be no "well, at least [album] came out this year and it was better than that other shit" will not be something coming from me. I do not live on a planet where pseudo legends releasing music that is FAR below their standard -- even fucking BAD at times as presented -- is acceptable. I would sooner listen to something else or something old before taking that.
Funny, is how I skip years in these on purpose as I write these, yet I REALLY don't look forward to doing 2007-2009.
I will save those for last.

2005 coming next, no promises whether it will be this afternoon, tonight or tomorrow.


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