Best Underground Hip-Hop Deep Cuts
Meaning of Deep Cuts Music
Typically, a deep cut refers to songs by an artist that isn’t radio singles (and often underplayed). People who are really into the artist are more likely to know the tracks, but casual listeners aren’t as likely to know them.
Everyone has their favorite deep cuts that no one really knows about. These gems are buried underneath every Billboard hit for decades. I could list thousands of underground hip hop classics that sonically crush any of the latest Six9ine or Rihanna tracks that have been force fed to the masses.
I love underground hip hop, as you can tell if you’ve been following us at Loud News Net for a minute. We’ve been posting features on Weed and Hip Hop since the beginning. This week we explored the Kung-Fu samples of the Wu Tang Clan. And we are just starting.
All that aside, I thought I’d spend some time this Saturday discussing some hidden gems in the world of the underground. Hip hop classics that you might have missed but will find on my Incomplete History of Hip Hop playlist on Spotify. So let’s pick a few this week.
1. ‘Mayor’ by Pharoahe Monch
Pharoahe Monch is one of the most technically advanced rappers in the game. He’s been bringing the heat for decades, starting back when he was one half of Organized Konfusion. More recently you can hear him on the track ‘Palindrome‘, rhyming in palindromes like “Smoke you like a (cigar toss it in a can it is so tragic)”
Back in 1999, Pharoahe was still releasing music on Rawkus Records. So it’s no surprise he appears with a solo joint on the ‘Soundbombing II’ showcase album. His track ‘Mayor’ remains one of my favorite on this record that is littered with classics. What is surprising though, is the transformation of Monch on this track into a vivid storyteller. This track is like watching an action move in your mind. And further cements Pharoahe as an all-time legend. Check it out.
2. ‘Deception’ by Blackalicious
The Chief Excel beat is perfect on this next one. Blackalicious is one of those groups that often get overlooked. But for a brief moment in the early 2000’s, the Gift of Gab and Chief Excel were the most dynamic duo in the game. I’ll let you experience it for yourself, but don’t let money change ya:
3. ‘Omnipotence’ by Virtuoso
Maybe it’s because I’m a New England native but there was a moment when the Boston underground hip hop scene couldn’t be touched. Rebel Alliance standout Virtuoso was dropping some of the illest shit out of the scene. Before his album ‘World War One: The Voice Of Reason’ dropped in 2001, he released the wax for ‘Orion’s Belt’ featuring Mr. Lif and Esoteric (Czarface).
Virtuoso always had great mic presence and cadence. Personally, the album version of ‘Omnipotence’ has always been my favorite track of his. The eerily sounding beat and detailed story telling about the life of a street hustler who takes it international have always locked me in to the story when the beat drops. Take a listen and let me know in the comments that you don’t have to be from Boston to think this is dope AF.
Bonus: The original cut of this track is equally as fresh. Hard to say which one is better. This one has some real underground charm to it.
4. ‘Uncommon Valor’ by Jedi Mind Tricks ft. R.A. The Rugged Man
I know this is a JMT song, but The Rugged Man steals the show. R.A. wasn’t gassing when he called this the verse of the decade. Overall, this song is so unique and accomplishes what had never been done before in underground hip hop – a song about the Vietnam War. This is so real it hurts.
5. ‘Soweto’ by Heiroglyphics
Soweto is one of the poorest and roughest areas of Johannesburg, South Africa. This single by Heiroglyphics crew embodies that feel. It’s the feel of survival with a glimmer of hope. This song appears on the ‘One Big Trip’ soundtrack. The 2002 film was about a group of kids traveling and filming themselves but well before the days of Instagram Live. Anyway, Heiro is dope, this track is dope. You’ll enjoy if you know what’s good for you.
That’s my list for today and I’m sticking to it. Check out our other content on the home page. We’ve been working hard to bring you dope shit and plan to keep doing so for a long time. If you want to contribute to the movement, hit me up here or on any of those radical social media platforms @loudnewsnet 😉 Have a fun and safe holiday all!