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Thread: Who 'created' Backpack rap?

  1. #1

    Default Who 'created' Backpack rap?

    Just reading in another thread someone saying MF Doom was responsible and got me thinking about that again.

    Going far back, I'd say Critical Beatdown was one of the first un-comercial hip hop albums, that gained a big following for being different.

    But as far as backpack, or underground rap from the 90's onwards, Ive always thought The RZA styled ALL of that, up to what we see today. Without being too biased, thats my geniune opinion.

    Theres so many examples of what RZA did with Wu that styled so much back pack rap after it.

    The whole thing with detailed lyricism Wu bought, seeing lyricsm as an art, the comic book covers of Liquid Swords, the dark weird beats, the weird samples. Im not gonna make a list right now but its endless.

    Then in 1996, Company Flow released Funcrusher, which I always felt was a Wu homage. I consider Company Flow one of the first 'back pack' records. If not THE first.

    Then came Wu Forever.

    Again, Wu Forever sparked off back pack rap even more. Wu Forever set the blueprint for what back pack rap would be. The clean but noncommercial beats and the intense, 'were taking this rhyming shit serious' lyrics.

    For instance, Rawkus, Dilated Peoples, they came in 2000ish. They all were still using the Wu Forever heavy sound imo.


    who else could be seen as one of the first?

    Common's Ressurection album also set a tone, as did Nas' Illmatic.

    But the first actual back pack album? I'm pretty sure Operation Doomsday wasnt the first.


  2. #2
    Killer Bob claaa7's Avatar
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    don't forget Black Moon's "Enta Da Stage", definitely another album that shaped alot of the backpack movement.



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  3. #3

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    I never really considered Wu backpack, i know your not saying that they were backpack but infulenced a lot of the ideals of backpacker rap, but i dont think just because something was underground it was backpack. Although i kind of agree with the lyricism aspect of "Wu-Forever".

    I think the whole backpacker movement really came together in the late 90's in the Jiggy/diddy/expensive videos/designer/rims/jewelery etc etc etc when a lot of young soon to be hip-hop artists got sick of all the r&b hooks and bullshit lyrics and wanted to go back to the true essence of hip-hop without any gimmicks (unlike Wu who had their dark, kung-fu vibe) so started rapping about hip-hop and whatever else over strictly sample based production.

    I always considered Dilated Peoples as the definite example of backpacker rap. They have some great materical, but I find them a little boring at times, and find myself more impressed with their abilities on the mic or on the production than actually enjoying the music.

    But going back, I'd say A Tribe Called Quest were a huge influence on the whole backpack movement along with the whole Native Tongues crew.

  4. #4
    CORNED BEEF SAMMICH Synthesizer Patel's Avatar
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    What exactly do you mean by first "backpack album"? Like first underground, super-lyrical/conscious album?

    If thats what you mean, the title goes to:

    ORGANIZED KONFUSION - ORGANIZED KONFUSION

  5. #5

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    I agree with the threadstarter about the wu, but even more the whole wu killa beez.

    Ifyou listen to guys like army of the pharaons they pay homage to wu all over the place.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by claaa7 View Post
    don't forget Black Moon's "Enta Da Stage", definitely another album that shaped alot of the backpack movement.
    Disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Durag View Post
    young soon to be hip-hop artists got sick of all the r&b hooks and bullshit lyrics and wanted to go back to the true essence of hip-hop without any gimmicks .
    Back to the true essence?

    What the fuck is the true essence?

    I hate when people say that shit. You mean the 'true essence' acccording to your selctive and subjective opinion of what the 'true essence' is?

    You trying to say hip hop was never about singing?

    Hip hop was never about, as you call it, 'bullshit lyrics'?

    Pfft.

    Quote Originally Posted by Durag View Post
    I never really considered Wu backpack, i know your not saying that they were backpack but infulenced a lot of the ideals of backpacker rap, but i dont think just because something was underground it was backpack. Although i kind of agree with the lyricism aspect of "Wu-Forever".

    .
    Dude, Wu wasnt underground, Wu were selling millions of records and being one of the first hip hop groups to do sold out stadium tours.

    But they would of still been considered underground by popular culture standards, unlike say, modern million selling hip hop artists who would very much be pop culture. 2 different eras.

    Like Grateful Dead. Grateful Dead have millions of fans and sell lots of records, but they were never popular culture. Hip hop used to be like that, now its blown up out of all proportion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Durag View Post

    But going back, I'd say A Tribe Called Quest were a huge influence on the whole backpack movement along with the whole Native Tongues crew.
    i'd agree to a point, but then youve got a quintisential modern back packer, Lupe Fiasco, claiming he'd never listening to ATCQ album all his life.


  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Synthesizer Patel View Post
    What exactly do you mean by first "backpack album"? Like first underground, super-lyrical/conscious album?

    If thats what you mean
    no, thats not what i mean

    .

    Early backpackers (96-98) -

    Jurrasic 5
    MF Doom
    Company Flow
    Common

    Mid-era backpackers (99-2000) (best era imo)

    Talib Kweli
    Mos Def
    Blackalicious
    Cannibal Ox
    All of Rawkus records
    Dilated Peoples

    Late Era backpackers

    Little Brother
    Murs
    Blu and Exile
    Kidz in the Hall
    Panacea


  8. #8
    Sticky Bandit shystar36's Avatar
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    how can you disagree with black moon being a big part of back pack hip-hop... they prectically pioneered that shit
    FCK A SHOUT OUT!

  9. #9
    CORNED BEEF SAMMICH Synthesizer Patel's Avatar
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    am still not clear on the concept of "backpack rap"

  10. #10
    Poet Of The Streets
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    Quote Originally Posted by claaa7 View Post
    don't forget Black Moon's "Enta Da Stage", definitely another album that shaped alot of the backpack movement.
    stole my post sucka.

  11. #11
    PRODIGAL SUN
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    I'm definitely going to say it was started by large professor and cats like masta ace

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost In The 'Lac View Post
    Disagree.



    Back to the true essence?

    What the fuck is the true essence?

    I hate when people say that shit. You mean the 'true essence' acccording to your selctive and subjective opinion of what the 'true essence' is?

    You trying to say hip hop was never about singing?

    Hip hop was never about, as you call it, 'bullshit lyrics'?

    Pfft.


    Dude.



    Fuckin.




    Relax.



    I was talking about the general opinion at the time, which was that in the late 90's in the Diddy era, the commercial side of hip-hop lacked any lyrical substance, a lot of it was the bullshit about fast cars, how much ice you got etc, over R&B hooks.

    Dont bother listing albums that wernt in the formula i know there was some great releases at the time, but the late 90's after Pac and BIG died is known as one of the worst times for hip-hop musically (in a commecial sense, theres always great albums been releases underground).

    So my point was, these up and coming rappers/producers wanted to go back to whats REGARDED as the 'true essence' of hip-hop, i said nothing about my opinion there.

  13. #13

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    a "Backpacker" originally was just peeps on the graffiti scene that wore backpacks with their shit in.. i.e. cans, markers & music..

    the term has just gradually ended up bein used to label peeps listenin to a certain type of music..

    ..

  14. #14
    BIG OPINION, BIGGER LOAD TSA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by claaa7 View Post
    don't forget Black Moon's "Enta Da Stage", definitely another album that shaped alot of the backpack movement.
    bull.

    Enta Da Stage is 100 and 10% gangster rap.
    Nothing backpack about the album except backpackers like the era.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost In The 'Lac View Post
    Just reading in another thread someone saying MF Doom was responsible and got me thinking about that again.

    Going far back, I'd say Critical Beatdown was one of the first un-comercial hip hop albums, that gained a big following for being different.

    But as far as backpack, or underground rap from the 90's onwards, Ive always thought The RZA styled ALL of that, up to what we see today. Without being too biased, thats my geniune opinion.

    Theres so many examples of what RZA did with Wu that styled so much back pack rap after it.

    The whole thing with detailed lyricism Wu bought, seeing lyricsm as an art, the comic book covers of Liquid Swords, the dark weird beats, the weird samples. Im not gonna make a list right now but its endless.

    Then in 1996, Company Flow released Funcrusher, which I always felt was a Wu homage. I consider Company Flow one of the first 'back pack' records. If not THE first.

    Then came Wu Forever.

    Again, Wu Forever sparked off back pack rap even more. Wu Forever set the blueprint for what back pack rap would be. The clean but noncommercial beats and the intense, 'were taking this rhyming shit serious' lyrics.

    For instance, Rawkus, Dilated Peoples, they came in 2000ish. They all were still using the Wu Forever heavy sound imo.


    who else could be seen as one of the first?

    Common's Ressurection album also set a tone, as did Nas' Illmatic.

    But the first actual back pack album? I'm pretty sure Operation Doomsday wasnt the first.
    Illmatic isn't a backpack album, it's gangster rap through out the entire thing. It's just backpackers like it.




    The roots of the backpacker album are in Tribe Called Quest and the east coast during the era of Westcoast gangster rap (early 90s) when the east hadn't caught on to the trend yet (no, G rap wasn't a gangster rapper either)





    I would define backpack rap as hip hop for the sake of hip hop that's less concerned with current popular trends the a majority of the mainstream, or hip hop that purposely subvert mainstream trends.


    Illmatic was 100% steeped in the mainstream trends of it's era

    Tribe called quest and that whole movement wasn't, and wasn't on purpose. Were hip hop was becoming cartoonishly macho (Death Row, Onyx, NWA) Tribe called quest was rebelliously 'soft'.



    Where as today, backpack rap is rebelliously anti-materialism, and anti-corporate, where the majority of the mainstream is cartoonishly materialistic and corporate.







    Rakim
    Nas
    Wutang
    Black Moon
    Death Row
    G Rap
    EPMD and a whole SLEW of others were all avid participants and even pioneers of the trends of their time like Drake, Kayne, and Lil Wayne are today.

    it's just they're now considered backpack because of backpack raps nature. backpack rap simply strives to be anti-popularity and being retrogressive and nostalgic in your taste is this rebellious and 'backpack' in it's obsession with the 'old' because the current trend in hip hop is to be trending and obsessed with 'the new'.

    This is why i believe backpackers would have hated Rakim had they lived in that Era and hip hop in general.

  15. #15
    sleepless in basedworld ALCATRAZ's Avatar
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    boot camp gets my vote

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