Earlier this year, Columbus, Ohio emcee/poet/author Illogic released his fifth studio album, Capture The Sun, on Man Bites Dog Records. This was Illogic’s first retail release fully produced by New York producer Blockhead. While speaking to the pair recently, HipHopDX asked Illogic about his five favorite Hip Hop albums.
While 1996 has proven to be the most popular release year within selections as of late, the Greenhouse Effect emcee highlighted a Tommy Boy Records gem from 17 years ago. “Let me see, what would be…well, I’d say Stakes Is High by De La Soul. De La Soul is like my favorite group ever, of all time, so really any record of theirs could be in that place. That’s probably one I listen to a lot.” Stakes Is High was particularly significant for J Dilla, who as Jay Dee, largely filled the production void left by Prince Paul on the Long Island, New York trio’s fourth LP. He remained on the island for his second pick, “This is very hard. It Takes A Nation Of Millions [To Hold Us Back by] Public Enemy,” was the Scribble Jam vet’s second choice. The 1988 sophomore album by Public Enemy remains their magnum opus. Rather quickly, Illogic touted off the two heralded debuts by two kings of New York City Hip Hop: “Illmatic by Nas. Reasonable Doubt [by Jay-Z].” Released in 1994 and 1996 respectively, both LPs are revered as classics from the Queens and Brooklyn superstars, despite slower sales than later, less-acclaimed albums. Lastly, Illogic selected a third L.I. musical act, and an album significant to his own career. “Labor Days by Aesop Rock is actually one of my favorite records ever.” The 2001 release was Aesop’s first on the Definitive Jux, and is often hailed as one the emcee/producer’s best. Illogic was featured on “One Brick,” a song—produced by Blockhead, that would set the stage for the pair’s own collaborative LP 12 years later.
Reflecting on his list, Illogic noted that his picks were impulsive and specific to when asked, “There’s no particular order and that list will probably change five or six times throughout the day.”
Additional Reporting by Jake Paine.