More Reasons Why Being Deaf Sucks/Rocks

Ok, so my current thing is that I’m revisiting the topics of older columns on the general anniversary of their original posting. Roughly three years ago I posted this column where I concluded my list of Skip-proof Hip Hop Albums.

Well I didn’t really want to rehash that column, so I thought of something better; instead of declaring an album “skip-proof” I’d actually make a skip-proof album. “How do you plan on doing that, Mathan” is what I’m sure you’re asking. Well I plan on condensing some double albums into a single disc.

Everyone knows about double albums; they’re as much a symbol of rock star excess as Fat Elvis. We’ve all suffered through some (and by “some” I mean “nearly every double album”) less than stellar offerings. So hindsight being 20/20 here’s how I would have condensed some of Hip Hop’s most notorious double albums into a single disc of skip-prooftivity.

Notorious B.I.G.Life After Death

I dig the album, but I just find some tracks difficult to listen to.

What Gets Cut

From Disc One:

Life After Death Intro – I’m not a fan of intros.

Hypnotize – I can see why it was a single, but this was far from my favorite song on the album.

I Love The Dough – I love a Biggie/Jay collabo, but that beat is so damn shiny, it’s tough on the ears.

What’s Beef – Maybe it’s just because at this moment I’m so tired of “beef” but this just doesn’t strike my fancy.

Niggas Bleed – Again, I’m not going to deny that the way Biggie’s life ended has be biased against some songs, like this one.

From Disc Two:

Miss U – This song is a bit too sweet for my taste.

Another – If I wanted to hear Kim spit Biggie lines, I’ll buy one of her albums. Any one of them.

Going Back to Cali – I never liked this song, which sucks because it’s the only Biggie I can hear on the radio out here in Vegas.

Playa Hater – I’m sure this sounded so much better as an idea, and when they were high.

My Downfall, Long Kiss Goodnight, You’re Nobody – I’ll be honest; it was hard for me to listen to the last half of this album knowing that Biggie was gone. These songs were literally bittersweet to me, as they contained such bile and it’s bile similar to that which got him killed.

The Tracks I Kept

1) – Kick in the Door – Sick beat, sick rhymes. This song is timeless.

2) – Notorious Thugs Biggie rips it. Interesting fact about this song; I’ve never heard the whole thing. I hate Bone and always skip to the next track after Biggie.

3) – Somebody’s Got To Die – I know, it sound hypocritical, but this was early on disc one and it’s much more of a vague threat than a pointed one.

4) – Last Day – Hearing Biggie and the Lox spit was dope. Plus this is one of the few tracks that has them together, so you know it’s not going anywhere.

5)- The World is Filled… – This beat slays me. I could fall asleep to this beat, easy. And everyone does their thing, even Puff.

6) – #$& You Tonight – It’s a hilarious conceit, and it’s well constructed. It’s a solid song that’s very much a guilty pleasure.

7) – Mo Money Mo Problems – A dope song that’s evolved into a guilty pleasure due to over exposure. Get past the corny video, and focus on the beat and party groove. And once again everyone those their thing.

8) – Nasty Boy – Gully song, but Biggie pulls it off.

9) – Ten Crack Commandments – Another guilty pleasure. Yes, crack is bad, but this song is as addictive as the titular drug. It’s another classic performance between Premo and B.I.G.

10) – B.I.G. Interlude – Classic beat, dope rhyme. It’s quick and to the point. It gets not better.

11) – Sky’s the Limit – I’m a sucker for an autobiographical song and this one is touching without being uber sweet.

12) – I Got A Story To Tell – This song is dope for numerous reasons; the dual storytelling, the actual story. Plus the rumor that the girl from that song was a classmate in college.

And that’s my version of Life After Death and it’s completely skip-proof.


Wu-Tang ClanWu-Tang Forever

(I’d be lying if I said that I dusted this gem off three times in the last 8 years. So to spare myself the strain the reason tracks got cut is because a) they didn’t immediately register as songs that I liked and b) they didn’t grab me in the first 10 seconds.)

What Gets Cut

From Disc One

For Heaven’s Sake
Severe Punishment
A Better Tomorrow

From Disc Two
Little Ghetto Boys
Deadly Melody
Suck Seazon
Hellz Wind Staff
Second Coming

The Tracks I Kept

1) – Wu Revolution – What can I say, I’m a sucker for that 5 Percenter wordplay.

2) – Triumph – It’s a shame that this track was buried on the second disc, as it was the lead off single and made you believe that this was going to be a great album.

3) – It’s Yours – This song has the essence of a hungry Wu-Tang. It’s one of the few tracks that reminds one of “Young” Wu (as opposed to “Fat” Wu.)

4) – Dog S$*t – ODB does what he does best, manic rantings that occasionally fall on beat. But you know I love it.

5) – As High As Wu-Tang Get – Gza has the best advice ever on this track “make it brief son, half short and twice strong.” Words that I live by.

6) – Cash Still Rules/Scary Hours – It had a nice beat, I could dance to it.

7) – Heaterz – This song has a beat that just picks me up. It’s a dope production and everyone does a good job rhyming over it.

8) – Older Gods – I remember being attracted to this song, plus it’s got Ghosface as the lead off? C’mon that can only be a sign of good things.

9) – The City – Grimy and gully, this is a track that showed fame hadn’t gone completely to the Wu’s head.

10) – The Projects – I love this beat. I love the stilted nature and they way Raekwon flows over it. Plus it’s got Rae and Ghost which is like Wu’s Finest.

11) – Bells of War – Another great beat that everyone rips. This is vintage Wu.

12) – Black Shampoo – C’mon, who doesn’t love a sensitive Clansmen?

13) – The Closing – More ranting, but it’s a great album closer. I like how dismissive they are of anyone who didn’t dig the album.

As you can see my version of Wu-Tang Forever is immensely more worthy of your time.


The DiplomatsDiplomatic Immunity

I love this double album, though clearly one disc is better than the other.

What Gets Cut

From Disc One;

Un Casa – Too much talking.

Juelz Santana (Interlude) – Dipset Interludes aren’t that compelling.

Real Ni**as (Interlude) – ” “

Real Ni&&as – I don’t dig the beat.

Have You Seen Juelz Santana (Interlude) – Yawn.

More Than Music – This one just barely missed the cut. It’s my least favorite of the tracks that I do enjoy.

Beautiful Noise – Don’t care for Jim Jones on the mic.

Hey Ma (Remix) – I didn’t really care for the original that much.

Hell Rell (Interlude) – Seriously, c’mon.

This is What I Do – Kind of a boring track.

Gangsta – Nothing special here.

Hell Rell Freestyle – Not really a fan of Rell.

From Disc Two

Bout It Bout It – Did this song really need to be remade?

Built This City – This is a guilty pleasure that almost made the cut. Thankfully I didn’t have to justify it.

The Tracks I Kept

1) – DJ Enuff Freestyle – Now this is a solid freestyle. Even Jim Jones does aight on this one.

2) – Dipset Anthem – This really does have an anthem vibe to it. It’s a solid track.

3) – Ground Zero – I dig the beat and the fact that it touches on 9/11 from a different perspective.

4) – I Love You – Yet another beat that raises in a triumphant glory. Personally I think that Juelz really shines on this song.

5) – I Really Mean It – Dig the beat and I was a fan of the “let the sample fill out the rhyme” flow that was going on back then.

6) – The First – I dig the “First of the Month” from a different perspective take of the song. Plus it was one of Bone’s more tolerable offerings.

7) – Purple Haze – I’m a fan of Cam, and this is a solid solo joint.

8) – What’s Really Good – This song reminds me of when there was a chance that NYC could control the rap game again. Sadly that day has passed, and this song equally reminds me of that. As a phrase “What’s Really Good” never left the East and took off. Oh and a DMX and Cam collabo is always worth listening to.

9) – I’m Ready – Yeah, this a mixtape burner before, but that sample is dope and everyone rides the beat nicely.

10) – Who I Am – I really dig how Juelz gets kind of emotional on this cut. It’s dope to hear. And the beat really causes you to ponder.

11) – My Love – Dope beat, and Freeway does his thing. Free and Juelz should have been the future.

12) – Juelz Santana the Great – Juelz really shows off his swagger on this one and he rides the beat like a pro.

13) – Let’s Go – The perfect outro. They sample something as precious as “Let’s Get It On” and make it work. Dopeness.

If the Diplomats had released my version Diplomatic Immunity would be considered a modern classic.


Jay-ZThe Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse
This album was such a disappointing follow up to the classic Blueprint.

What Gets Cut

From Disc One

’03 Bonnie & Clyde – I never liked this song. Let Pac’s corpse decay in peace.

What They Gonna Do – Not a fan of Sean Paul.

Poppin’ Tags – A bit too bouncy for me.

The Bounce – Way too bouncy for me.

From Disc Two

Diamond is Forever – Sadly this song just isn’t true.

Guns & Roses – Lenny and Jay doesn’t sound like it works and it doesn’t.

Meet the Parents – This is the most confusing story ever.

Some How Some Way – I usually dig ‘Face/Jay collabos, but not this time.

Blueprint 2 – Worst idea ever. This might have been a worse idea than his original tribute to B.I.G.

2 Many Hoes – This just isn’t anything special.

As One – This song is nearly hilarious now.

Bi#ches & Sisters – Just missed the cut.

What They Gonna Do Part II – Almost made the cut.

Tracks I Kept

1) – Hovi Baby – I love this song. Just is sick on the boards. And Jay rips it something fierce.

2) – N*gg@ Please – Nice slow tempo beat and I love Jay’s “I got wannabes who wannabe me that sound better than you.” Damn that just snatched someone’s heart.

3) – The Watcher 2 – I love Jay’s subtle dart at Ja on this track. I can even tolerate Dre on the mic.

4) – U Don’t Know (Remix) – This song lived up the promise, Jay and MOP? Dope.

5) – Some People Hate – Jay and Kanye make good music together.

6) – All Around the World – I dig globetrotting songs. And with Jay’s braggadocio you can’t go wrong with a track like this one.

7) – F&ck All Nite – The line about “Minnie Mouse” tickles me. Plus Pharrell put together a good hook.

8) – Excuse Me Miss – The older I get the more this song resonates with me.

9) – A Ballad For a Fallen Soldier – I really like Jay’s storytelling on this one. He crafted a pretty good tale, so it made the cut.

10) – I Did It My Way – I dig Jay on his imaginary cross. He sounds kind of hungry, like he’s backed against the wall. It’s refreshing to hear him passionate about something.

11) – A Dream – Dope beat, clever gimmick. It works well as a tribute and collabo.

12) – Show You How – This song was mixtape fire! It’s got to be the bonus track. It’s still dope to hear it today.

Finally Jay’s got an album worth of the Blueprint label. And I’m guessing that my version is superior to The Blueprint 2.1 too.


NasStreets Disciple

Nas clearly overreached with this anticipated double disc effort.

What Gets Cut

From Disc One

Intro – This does nothing for me.

American Way – I’ve never been a fan of “Atomic Dog”, so it’s sample kind of irritates me.

Disciple – The hood is kind clumsy, which prevents this song from really hooking me.

Rest of My Life – I’m not a fan of Nas’ flow on this one.

From Disc Two

Suicide Bounce – As I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of bouncy things.

Street’s Disciple – This song almost made the cut. Sadly it didn’t, there were other songs I liked more.

Virgo – This is another song that I really liked and it almost made it. In fact it just missed out. I think it’s because it was too jovial for me.

Remember The Times (Intro) – I don’t dig intros.

Makings of a Perfect Bi$ch – What was Nas thinking with this one? It almost sounds like a good idea, as long as you don’t really think about it. Or hear it.

Getting Married – I want “Illmatic Nas” not “Craftsmatic Nas.”

No One Else in the Room – I just can’t help but think that Nas and Maxwell are in the aforementioned room together, alone.

War – The song just doesn’t hit me like that.

Me & You – Of the many life lessons to learn from Eminem the first should be that no one should ever sing on a song dedicated to their child.

Tracks That I Kept

1) – Thief’s Theme – Who do got more style than son do? This is a song that just makes me want to walk the streets in a hoodie. Who’d have thought that Iron Butterfly could be gully?

2) – Nazareth Savage – This is a pretty dope beat that Nas flips over. This is what Nas should sound like every time he steps into the booth. He’s vicious on this track.

3) – A Message to the Feds, Sincerely, We the People – This track reminds me of the Nas of old. He’s just rhyming about life. I dig it.

4) – Just a Moment – This was the stand out track on the album and was wisely made a single. You’ve got to have this song on there.

5) – Reason – I dig Nas doing the autobiographical thing. He’s got such a vivid vocabulary he really paints a picture.

6) – Coon Picnic – I like this song. I make no apologies about it. It’s dope to see Nas address something topical. One shouldn’t bite their tongue to avoid controversy.

7) – Sekou Story & 8) – Live Now – I love when Nas tells a story. He does it like no other. He’s a master storyteller and this is an example why. I also dig how he gets into character.

9) – Remember the TimesMemory Lane is one of my favorite songs of all time, so clearly I’m partial to song in which Nas remises. This one’s a bit more vulgar, but I enjoy it all the same.

10) – Bridging the Gap – Great song, great video. It’s cool to see a father/son relationship in Hip Hop, where they’re pretty nonexistent. And flipping the blues riff and making it viable for Hip Hop was an inspired touch.

11) – U.B.R. – Over an eerie beat Nas does something ambitious, to chronicle the life of a fellow MC, who’s still alive. And once again he pulls it off. Nas is a visionary.

12) – You Know My Style – This is the song that proved my faith in Nas wasn’t wasted. The old school boom bap and Nas does it justice. This track is sick.

Had Nas used my format, Street’s Disciple would have been considered up there with Illmatic.


There you have it, five double albums whittled down to five skip-proof single disc albums. Completely skip-proof.

The Postal Service

Tom gives Zakk some props.

Greg debuts a new column!

Kyle makes a bold statement in his title.

Gloomchen continues to break Myspace hearts.

All Time Quarterback

Ian has interesting news about the White Stripes and good news about the Postal Service.

Phil (who unofficially inspired this column when he truncated Life After Death last year) has good news for Dilla and Jay-Z fans, as well news about his impending Top 100 list.

Five Artists I’d Like To Release Double Albums

1. – Radiohead
2. – Sufjan Stevens
3. – Fiona Apple
4. – Little Brother
5. – Portishead