Important Things You Should Know About Hip Hop Concept Albums
Hip hop is not among the oldest music genres we have today but it has made significant inroad in the music industry and it still stands beside “The Big Boys”. In fact, it was until mid 90s when the first hip hop concept album was released. Kool Keith released “Dr Octagonecologyst in 1996, marking the beginning of a long journey. Over the years, new and talented artists have put up a lot of hard work and today we have hundreds of hip hop tracks and albums. While there is an endless debate about the evolution of other music genres like classic rock albums, there is absolutely no doubt about the history of hip hop. Today, hip hop is one of the main genres not only in America but other countries as well around the globe. You will not easily find accurate information about hip hop concept albums and the entire history. Don’t panic because we’ve got you! Here is a brief discussion on the history of hip hop and a few things you need to know about concept albums.
Over the years, we have had a considerable number of hip hop concept albums released. They are great albums with most of them telling complete stories. However, two of them stand out – The Roots and Cunninlynguists. Although different people have different tastes when it comes music, it is safer to conclude that “undun” is one of the favourite albums that belong to The Roots. You cannot mention “undun” without giving a shout out to Sufjan Stevens. Sufjan Stevens is known for starting Fifty States Project. In this project, he planned to release concept albums using state names. So far, he has done two concept albums. Basically, he is not far from done – just 48 states away. It is important to note that “undun” was designed to follow the life of Redford Stevens. It starts with his death and subsequent events.
The story points to the struggles he had to put up with, and at sometime accepting the life of crime just to escape the rings of poverty in his surroundings. “Undun” is an album you would love to listen to – if possible, on repeat mode. Although there were critiques here and there, if you follow Redford Stevens’ life history and judge him based on the decision he made and the choices he had, you might find sense in his lifestyle. For your information, he reflected a lot towards the end of his life and questioned whether he could have made better decisions. It is still an open question.
The second album in this category is “A Piece Of Strange”. This brilliant piece of work was released by Cunninlynguists and is regarded as their finest work so far. And since it has a beautiful cover art, it still resonates with fans especially overseas. Just like the “undun”, this album also requires a repeat listen so you can digest its contents. We cannot go into every detail about all hip hop concept alums. However, the highlights above should give you an insight into dynamics and changes in the music industry as far as hip hop is concerned.