I’m going to try and regularly share some playlists with you, my friends, the Enclave community. These lists are going to be hip-hop heavy, since I listen to a lot of hip-hop, but there will be other things as well.
This first one I’m going to share with you will be a mellow playlist. (We’ll get to some heart-pounding music later when I share some of the music I run to.) Mellow, but with a sharp edge, I think. These are all recent albums—many of them are hot off the presses, and each (I think) is less than a year old.
As a bonus, I’m going to tell you how I first discovered (or think I first discovered) each of the artists on this list.
Brother Ali — This is a really lame way to start, but it’s been so long I can’t really recall. I know the first album of his I listened to was Us. “House Keys” still creeps me out.
Atmosphere — Pretty sure I discovered The Family Sign one day back when I used to be a subscriber to eMusic.
Pharoahe Monch — Oh god, “Simon Says” was the jam for a while back when I was a junior in college.
Royce 5’9″ — The Slim Shady LP, “Bad Meets Evil.” He killed that track, but I never really checked for Royce again after that until around 2010, when Street Hop came out. Been listening ever since.
DJ Premier — Who in their right mind can honestly remember the first time they heard Premo production? I think the moment I realized DJ Premier was DJ Premier was when I was discovering Gang Starr with the Moment of Truth album.
Run the Jewels
El-P — “Patriotism” off the Soundbombing II mixtape. Still one of my favorite El-P tracks ever.
Killer Mike — Pretty sure that was “Bust” off of Big Boi’s Speakerboxxx. Mike has come a looooong way.
Lupe Fiasco — Pretty sure it was his verse on “Touch the Sky” off of Kanye West’s Late Registration. And, goddamn, like Mike, Lupe has come a looooong way since that verse.
ScHoolboy Q — That must have been Section.80 “The Spiteful Chant.”
Eminem — Pretty sure that was “’97 Bonnie & Clyde” off the Slim Shady EP (not the LP, which would come later, when Dr. Dre got involved). I remember telling people, dude, this guy Eminem is screwed up.
Natalie Prass — I just found out about her last week when someone I find interesting tweeted that Pitchfork was streaming her new album.
Ab-Soul — This must have been on “Ab-Soul’s Outro” off Section.80, although I didn’t realize Ab-Soul’s talents until Control System.