Category Archives: Plug One 2000s

The Plug One 2000s: Black Milk, “Tronic”

72. Black Milk, Tronic Fat Beats Released October 28, 2008 While Black Milk’s past work (including 2007’s Popular Demand) hewed to typical Okayplayer backpacker styles established by Madlib and 9th Wonder, he finally found his voice with Tronic. On the … Continue reading

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The Plug One 2000s: The Cool Kids, “The Bake Sale”

78. The Cool Kids, The Bake Sale Chocolate Industries Released May 20, 2008 The Bake Sale was the closing of a first chapter in the Cool Kids’ career. Most of its tracks had already circulated around the Internet, catapulting the … Continue reading

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The Plug One 2000s: Kid Cudi, “A Kid Named Cudi”

81. Kid Cudi, A Kid Named Cudi Online mixtape Released July 2008 Mixtapes are by nature vocal showcases built on freestyles over familiar beats, a handful of original songs, and plenty of shout-outs to famous mentors and friends, as if … Continue reading

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The Plug One 2000s: Flying Lotus, “1983”

82. Flying Lotus, 1983 Plug Research Released October 3, 2006 Born Steven Ellison and a nephew of Alice Coltrane, Flying Lotus appeared in random spots before 1983: a beat for Adult Swim here, a Mia Doi Todd remix there. And … Continue reading

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The Plug One 2000s: Cormega, “The Realness”

83. Cormega, The Realness Legal Hustle/Landspeed Records Released July 24, 2001 Cormega’s debut arrived during a moment of reconciliation between the oppositional worlds of underground and mainstream rap. The Realness was distributed by Boston-based Landspeed Records, an indie distributor known … Continue reading

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The Plug One 2000s: Prodigy, “Return Of The Mac”

85. Prodigy, Return of the Mac Koch Released March 27, 2007 On Return of the Mac, Prodigy plays the role of superthug. The Alchemist produces a context for his mannerisms, liberally lifting from 70s and 80s classics such as James … Continue reading

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The Plug One 2000s: Tanya Morgan, “Moonlighting”

88. Tanya Morgan, Moonlighting Loud Minority Music Released April 4, 2006 In the Okayplayer-led world of soulful, classically inspired hip hop, Tanya Morgan’s debut marked a transition from the Little Brother styles of the mid-00s to the freewheeling blog rap … Continue reading

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The Plug One 2000s: People Under The Stairs, “O.S.T.”

89. People Under the Stairs, O.S.T. Om Records Released June 4, 2002 First emerging in 1998 amidst an L.A. indie explosion led by Dilated Peoples, Jurassic 5 and the Lootpack, People Under the Stairs were the scrubs of the bunch. … Continue reading

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The Plug One 2000s: Mr. Lif, “Enters The Colossus”

91. Mr. Lif, Enters the Colossus Definitive Jux Released November 28, 2000 A veteran of the East Coast battle rap scene, Jeffrey “Lif” Haynes’ loquacious rhymes hewed to the “super-scientifical” style – coined after a phrase in Jeru the Damaja’s … Continue reading

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The Plug One 2000s: Beanie Sigel, “The Truth”

87. Beanie Sigel, The Truth Roc-A-Fella Records Released February 29, 2000 These days, it seems improbable that Beanie Sigel, the oft-arrested, thematically-limited Vladtv.com star and indulger of corny beefs with other rap gangstas, was once considered a next-to-blow rookie. The … Continue reading

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The Plug One 2000s: Saul Williams, “The Rise And Liberation Of NiggyTardust!”

93. Saul Williams, The Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! Fader Label Released October 31, 2007 Produced by Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, The Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! was a noisy salute and vicious satire of black culture, identity, contradiction … Continue reading

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The Plug One 2000s: Dabrye, “One/Three”

94. Dabrye, One/Three Ghostly International Released January 1, 2001 With J Dilla’s death and canonization from indie-rock bands to pop machinists, it’s easy to forget that he has long been a source of inspiration for adventurous musicians. Tadd “Dabrye” Mullinix’s … Continue reading

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The Plug One 2000s: Lil Wayne, “Tha Carter II”

96. Lil Wayne, The Carter II Cash Money Records Released December 6, 2005 As a launchpad for Lil Wayne’s ascent as a dreadlocked, eccentric purveyor of Southern Gothic, The Carter II has an outsized reputation. Too long at nearly an … Continue reading

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The Plug One 2000s: Mike Ladd, “Welcome To The Afterfuture”

98. Mike Ladd, Welcome to the Afterfuture Ozone Music Released January 13, 2000 Welcome to the Afterfuture sounds like a relic of 90s pre-millennial tension and the culture wars of Giuliani-era New York (before Bloomberg-ian gentrification schemes and hipster-dom permanently … Continue reading

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The Plug One 2000s: 2Mex, “B Boys In Occupied Mexico”

99. 2Mex, B Boys in Occupied Mexico Mean Street Records Released October 9, 2001 Alex “2Mex” Ocana’s career dates back to the mid 90s, and sprawls over dozens of tour-only CD-Rs, side projects (including now-defunct supergroup the Visionaries) and poorly-distributed … Continue reading

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The Plug One 2000s: 9th Wonder, “God’s Stepson”

100. 9th Wonder, God’s Stepson HipHopSite.com Released March 2003 9th Wonder inadvertently pioneered the album remix when online retailer Hiphopsite.com obtained a cappella recordings of Nas’ albums, and sought out three producers to rework them with original music. He was … Continue reading

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Plug One 2000s: Quasimoto, “The Unseen”

17. Quasimoto, The Unseen Stones Throw Released June 13, 2000 When Quasimoto first appeared on Peanut Butter Wolf’s 1998 single, “Styles, Crews, Flows, Beats,” few realized that the helium-voiced instigator who promised to “slap your bitch up like a pimp” … Continue reading

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Enter: The Plug One 2000s

This is an introduction to a failed project that will, over the next few months, provide a measure of redemption. The Plug One 2000s was originally conceived to document some of the changes that took place in hip hop culture … Continue reading

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