Originally launched in 1997, Audiotistic has always celebrated the harmony found within the convergence of hip-hop and electronic music. And as the two worlds have grown closer in recent years, Audiotistic’s mission of bringing these two formerly nascent worlds together has become more relevant over the years.
Next month, Audiotistic makes its grand festival return at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in NorCal Saturday, July 15. And given the festival’s storied history in presenting some of the finest rappers and dance music artists of the day, we invited Audiotistic performer ANGELZ to compile his list of definitive hip-hop albums. In recent years, the G-house don has been slanging a supreme blend of funky house vibes and hip-hop gangsta swagger. It’s likely something that comes naturally to the former Def Jam producer, who created some of the thickest slaps for the label’s most prolific artists. ANGELZ is clearly the human embodiment of what Audiotistic is all about.
SEE ALSO: Metronome: ANGELZ
Here, in his own words, ANGELZ outlines the 10 hip-hop albums that changed his life.
Ghostface Killah – Fishscale
Ghostface always was my favorite Wu-Tang Clan member. His voice and his themes always had my attention—and most importantly, his beat selection. This album has some of my favorite beats ever, like “Be Easy” and the super stripped-back “9 Milli Bros.”
The Game – The Documentary
Easily the Game at his best. Every beat was perfect for his voice, and he had such a huge buzz behind him that having an album like this actually live up to the expectations was very impressive. Highlights for me on the album are the Just Blaze–produced “Church for Thugs” and, of course, “Put You on the Game.”
Kid Cudi – Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
People don’t realize how much Kid Cudi is responsible for, in terms of what is being made in the urban world. He’s always been 5–10 years ahead, and this release was no exception. The beat selection was so next-level; I think I produced only psychedelic stuff for months after listening to this for the first time. There’s also some great Emile Haynie beats on here. My favorite songs from the album are “Revofev” and “The Mood.”
OutKast – Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
The quality of the content on this double album is legendary, just like all of OutKast’s body of work. When I was younger, the Speakerboxxx side was my favorite. With time, I got to revisit the album and appreciate the genius of André 3000’s The Love Below side.
Timbaland – Shock Value
Timbo is one of my favorite producers of all time, and this album is, in my opinion, one of the first proper electronic/hip-hop hybrids ever. When “The Way I Are” dropped, I started working on four-to-the-floor stuff and haven’t stopped since.
Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP
One of the first albums I ever bought. Dr. Dre and his team are behind a lot of the production on this one, and it is why it has aged perfectly.
Ludacris – Word of Mouf
My introduction to Southern rap music.
The Neptunes – The Neptunes Present…Clones
I was so hyped before this album dropped, I remember counting the days religiously. I was not disappointed, and most of the songs on there would inspire me forever.
JAY-Z – The Black Album
This album had JAY-Z collaborating with every hottest producer of the moment, and it was also supposed to be his last album; people actually believed that. He went on to release tons of other stuff after, but when this one got out, it was hard not to believe him. The songs were all so perfectly made that it was a believable last piece of work. I know everything there is to know about this album; I watched the movie a bunch of times, and I also got a couple of rare unreleased songs from the album.
Clipse – Lord Willin’
I discovered some of the albums on this list when I was already producing, some not. For this one, I was not [producing], but it is #1 because it is the album that made me realize I was going to be a producer. Even years later, the album still has a unique aesthetic, like it is frozen in time but hasn’t aged. There is no criticism to be said about any of the tracks, since there is nothing to compare them with. The whole album was groundbreaking, sonically and lyrically. This year, I got to work with [Clipse member] Pusha T, and having him love my work felt as full-circle as full-circle can be.
Catch ANGELZ at Audiotistic Bay Area 2017, taking place Saturday, July 15, at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in NorCal. For more information, visit the official website.
Alexander Dias is the don of dance. Follow him on Twitter.