Animal Farm

On its new “Culture Shock” album, Portland, Oregon, rap quartet Animal Farm makes boom bap music that pays homage to rap’s Golden Era. So it was no surprise that the crew selected legendary rap outfits for its Top 5 Rap Groups of all time, which they listed in no particular order.

A Tribe Called Quest

Gen.Erik: “I just think that they were doing something that was way ahead of their time in terms of how their records were made. It was almost like a mixtape.

Every song would go in perfectly to each other and they created this vibe that was almost like jazz and soul, but they still made it hip-hop. I personally wouldn’t have even been involved in hip-hop if it wasn’t for A Tribe Called Quest.”

Organized Konfusion

Hanif Wondir: “With Organized Konfusion, the way that Prince Po and Pharoahe played off each other as lyricists I thought was just genius in the early and mid ‘90s, especially Pharoahe. He was doing a lot more singing and rapping.

They would get into some really, really serious topics but still be able to keep the balance and keep it relatively marketable and really dope for the masses. When Yo! MTV Raps was coming out and you could see the Organized Konfusion videos, it was like Pharoahe’s just a G.”

De La Soul

F-1: “I like them because the way they came out with such a sideways angle on hip-hop and stuck with it. They’ve always had good, positive messages, but at the same time were just calling out cats for acting too hardcore or whatnot. They’ve also consistently had one of the best live shows.

Wu-Tang Clan

Serge Severe: “They were unprecedented and it had never been done before with nine members. They came out of New York City with such a raw sound. It was almost foreign at the time.

I felt like it was some really different, new stuff. It was just so fresh. All these guys were so successful on their own and for them to all come together was amazing. Ghostface is my favorite MC, so I guess I’m a little biased. I pick Wu-Tang for their originality.”

The Roots

Hanif Wondir: “No one’s ever brought a hip-hop soul band into the mainstream, especially a hip-hop soul band like the Roots did. Black Thought is one of the filthiest MCs out there.”

F-1: “Black Thought’s live show, he just brings himself out there and doesn’t mess up, ever. He’s consistently killing syllables.”

Gen.Erik: “Who else has seen a three-hour live show with a live, hip-hop soul band that can pull it off?” 

For more from Soren Baker follow him on Twitter: @SorenBaker



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