So i blogged about how the MTV show "When I was 17" panders too much to the younger generation by having artists who haven't accomplished much and who aren't much older than their listeners. I don't think it brings anything to the culture to hear from someone your same age who remembers the same things you do in the same way with little time between to even reflect on it. Hell, the artists I came up with my age I don't need to hear from really because I was there. I heard the same songs and already get it, unless they have some truly different realization that has happened since that time period which would bring a new understanding to their situation.
While writing I needed to look at see what songs and artists were popping when I was 17 to really be able to compare. Yes, my age is going to have something to do with my perception, however, the game was much stronger in 1999 when I was 17 even though there were more major studio releases. There was also much more quality control and there weren't as many random people with dsl and youtube accounts building some random name for themselves and not having as much content or skill but just using social media to make themselves. This was a time when a mix tape was actually that.
Let's look at the albums from that year that I remember being in heavy rotation:
Ja Rule's first album wasn't the biggest in terms of singles but it did establish him and got him started on a huge run that lasted until late 2003/2004 when he was the "Lil wayne" of that era.
Bleek was the next coming if only he could have developed. He had the Def jam Roc-a-fella machine behind him and had hell of energy. This video is so 90's big baggy jeans, chicks not really dancing and not strippers at that!
This album was such fire that people started asking if the Mobb had gone commercial. Maybe it was the Hype Williams directed video or maybe the fact that you could not deny the classics on this album. With music like this why would I ever listen to Plies or even a new Fat Joe record?
Feeling more neo-soul. Mos Def dropped his gem of a first solo album and unfortunately has been much less consistent since then.
Also in 1999 The Slim Shady LP, Terror Squad ( one of the most underrated albums ever), Pharoahe Monch. Nas dropped two albums Iam... Nastradamus which were at the height of his hip-hop "battle" with Jay-z for the defacto number 1 slot, who released Vol.3 the life and times, and the long awaited Chronic 2001 from Dr. Dre. I would put 1999 against any year ever in terms of quality hip-hop that was released.