Souls of Mischief’s ‘93 ’Til Infinity’ (TMR 48)

Plus 30 other favorites in rap and hip-hop

J.P. Williams
The Gleaming Sword
3 min readJun 10, 2023

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The back of the boombox used in the Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing, 1989. Public domain. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

I’m picky when it comes to hip-hop. My taste relegates countless artists famous and obscure to the same dustbin of music history, but I’m always searching for that special sound, and every now and then I run across a keeper. Recently, I knew within moments that I had exactly such a find in Souls of Mischief’s 93 ’til Infinity (Jive, 1993). “Let ’Em Know” opens with prominent upright bass and scratching, two main ingredients of the sweet sound. It’s all good from there on out, as this outfit from the collective Hieroglyphics keeps the beats up, the base hoppin’ and the rhymes smooth and comprehensible. Even the samples are worth tracking down, leading as they do to more goodness. I may be decades late to this particular rap game, but I couldn’t be happier to finally arrive.

Below are some of my other favorites in rap and hip-hop. If you read these words, you’re obligated to recommend your top picks, so leave me a comment. Always listening, always searching.

A list of favorites from the Golden Age of Hip Hop:

Eric B. & Rakim, “Lyrics of Fury” (1988)
The Jungle Brothers, “Because I Got It Like That” (Freestyle Indett Remix, 1988) > fun fact
Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
Salt-N-Pepa, Blacks’ Magic (1990)
LL Cool J, Mama Said Knock You Out (1990)
Public Enemy, Fear of a Black Planet (1990)
Cypress Hill, Self-titled (1991)
A Tribe Called Quest, “What?” (1991)
Arrested Development, 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life Of… (1992)
House of Pain, Self-titled (1992)
Ice Cube, “We Had to Tear This Motherfucka Up” (1992)
Arrested Development, Zingalamaduni (1993)
House of Pain, Same as It Ever Was (1994)
2Pac, “Hit ’Em Up” (1996)

Favorites from the new millennium:

Nas, God’s Son (2002)
Kanye West, “Gold Digger” (2005)
Fort Minor, The Rising Tied (2005)
M.I.A., Arular (2005)
M.I.A., Kala (2007)
Nicki Minaj, “Super Bass” (2010)
Eminem and Rihanna, “Love the Way You Lie” (2010)
Run the Jewels, Self-titled (2013)
Kanye West, Yeezus (2013)
Jay-Z, “Tom Ford” (2013)
Ghostface Killah, 12 Reasons to Die (2013)
Nicki Minaj, “Trini Dem Girls” (2014)
Run the Jewels, Run the Jewels 2 (2014)
Ghostface Killah, 12 Reasons to Die II (2015)

Other essentials:

Beastie Boys, Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds of Science (1999)
The Roots, Illadelph Halflife (1996) through …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin (2014)

Note: I wrote this for Medium.com. If you are reading this on another platform, it has been pirated. I quit the Medium Partner Program, so I’m not doing this for money. It is nice, however, to know someone’s reading, so please clap or comment to let me know somebody’s out there. Gladius adhuc lucet.

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