Early Christmas from T.R.O.Y.

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Every day this week our big brother T.R.O.Y. blog is dropping 25 joints (100 total) of their latest compilation, 100 Tracks You Need To Hear (’97-’99). –Gloss

1997-1999. You swear it wasn’t that long ago, but you know it might as well have been eons ago. Depending on your outlook, this is either the tail end of a gilded age or the beginning of the apocalypse. During this time, the hip hop artists born circa 1970 who catapulted the genre forward as teenagers and young adults in the ’87-’94 heyday are beginning to mellow out or gloss it up. Sampling laws are enforced more than ever but the indie labels are resolute in refusing to go the glittery route. Radio is dominated by obvious samples and tales of upward mobility and debauchery, while the underground mixshows stay saturated with eccentric rhyming clinics and surreal poetics. The divide is not entirely clean, however. In this era you can find surreal poets waxing profound on diamonds and champagne, gritty crime narratives on major label releases, and a whole host of songs that defy categorization (and a few that even defy simple explanation). This series is for those of you who know that the late ‘90s is deeper than just Organized Konfusion, Ras Kass, Mase, Nas, and Company Flow (no disrespect intended of course). This is for those of you that know that great hip hop comes from all corners of the USA and around the world, that the b-sides of overlooked 12”s and the album cuts of long forgotten tapes contain true gems. Songs that speak to our hunger for dope beats and lyrics and manage to stand out from the crowd. We made a special effort to seek out songs that you probably haven’t heard or don’t really remember too clearly, while making sure that each selection hearkens backs to the last era in which musical diversity and quality could be taken for granted. You need to hear this. Enjoy our 100 picks, coming at you at the rate of twenty five per day just in time for the holidays.

So what are you waiting for? Go open up your gifts

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