In the last post about the best hip hop related videos of 2017, I neglected to include the output from youtube channel Vox. Vox has become one of the most consistently well-produced channels, youtube or otherwise, and they had some really good hip hop-related videos that are worth the five or so minutes each segment lasts. Below are the best of the bunch from Vox this year, the highlight being the Triple Flow video that traces Migos' flow all the way back to Public Enemy's Bring The Noise
I refuse to let an entire year pass without posting some sort of itemized list, so below are my five favorite hip hop-related video segments of 2017:
Cam'ron on Highly Questionable - ESPN's Highly Questionable continued its streak as the best televised source for hip hop-related interviews, and it's two parter with Cam'ron was the best of the bunch this year.
Catch part 1 here.
Desus and Mero interview Big Boi - If you're not up on Viceland's Desus and Mero yet, make a point of adding it to your DVR rotation. For me Big Boi's interview on the show was the most notable of the year for the update on his legendary Boom Boom Room.
Hot Ones interview with Logic - Hot Ones has elevated itself this year to the best interview series, youtube or otherwise. It's had a few rappers on this year, including ASAP Ferg and Danny Brown, but this one with Logic is likely the only time you'll see someone solve a Rubik's cube while eating a hot wing and answering Jurassic Park trivia questions.
As some of you know, I took a job with a company based in Detroit a few years ago; not coincidentally the frequency of posts on this site took a severe nosedive right around the same time. Though not its main focus, the company has spent the past several years helping to invest in and rebuild the city. It's rare that there is much crossover between my job and my musical interests (though we do share an office with RapGenius), but the above promo video put out by my company and Big Sean is one of those occasions.
I don't have anything poignant to say to commemorate Phife's passing, but I came across these old Tribe videos today and felt the need to share. Easily one of the most quotable emcees of all time, RIP Phife!
At some point I'll get around to checking out The Life of Pablo - I'm too far out of touch to know whether further segmenting the marketplace for music is what it takes to maximize your sales in this day and age, though it was enough of a barrier to keep me away from the album for at least a week - but I wanted to take a minute to appreciate the early Kanye years when his life was dope and he did dope shit as Common's sidekick.
I won't spoil the ending for you, but the above video from DJ Funktual is well worth five minutes of your time to find out who exactly was the inspiration behind the Fugees' Killing Me Softly. Funktual breaks down the origins of the song with a tale that involves Roberta Flack, Lori Lieberman, Al B. Sure, and Marvin Gaye.
If you've never seen any of his videos before, I highly recommend Funktual's series of Hip Hop Sample videos. His knowledge about the records he talks about is second to none, and his enthusiasm for the music makes the videos incredibly enteratining. I started watching them last week, and have since binge watched nearly fifty of them. Start with Top 10 Samples in Hip Hop History Part 1 and go from there.
And back to the subject of Killing Me Softly, here's my favorite live version of the song featuring The Fugees and Roberta Flack during the 1996 MTV Movie Awards:
I don't know if this quite lives up to the video's title of it being "the best 7 minutes of your life," but DJ Scratch's routine is certainly worth a few minutes of your time. Keep an eye out for Scratch tucking his chain during MOP's Ante Up, you can never be too careful when that song comes on.
I'm not sure what it says about the state of hip hop journalism, or perhaps more accurately what it says about the specific hip hop outlets that I've been checking for lately, but ESPN's Highly Questionable was far and away the best source of rap-related interviews in 2015. (Honorable mention to HipHopDX for the overall interview of the year with Marti Shkreli.) This past week had one of Highly Questionable's most entertaing interviews, featuring Jay-Z's former 15 year old protege/sidekick Memphis Bleek.