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Word Up: What Albums Do You Know Word For Word?

Posted by Lucas G. on 07/11/13 | Filed under Top Stories, Opinion, Debates, RH Nation Answers
Regardless of where they stand in the greatest of all time rankings, we all have those albums that we know word for word no matter how much time has passed since the last time you played said album. While we might forget about the album for a while, there is no forgetting the lyrics, no matter what. When you pick up one of these albums it is like you are transported back to the height of it's spin count. I for one have a terrible memory, but if you play any of the following albums, reciting the lyrics would be no problem.

Kanye West: College Dropout
Considering I have listened to this album more than any other album ever, it is basically a foregone conclusion that I know all the words. Whenever, I play College Dropout it is almost 2nd nature to rap right along with it. I don’t even realize I am doing it; it’s just what you do when cuts like "Spaceship" and "Two Words" are blaring. I probably knew "Through The Wire" first but that only scratched the surface. Some rappers have those one liners that you sing along with, but for Kanye nearly every line is like that. From “African-American express” and “Lock your self in a room doing 5 beats a day for 3 summers” to “ They favorite 50 Cent Song 12 questions” this album is littered with lines that are unforgettable, making it much easier to pick up at any moment and rap with. College Dropout also has some great hooks. Most notably, “All Falls Down” you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t know this hook, hip-hop fan or not. Seriously do a test, next time you have people in your car, put on this song and see if there is anyone who doesn’t sing/rap right along with it. The best albums are the ones where you don’t even try to memorize it, but it just sort of happens naturally; College Dropout is the epitome of that. The only part I don’t know is the end of “Last Call” but can you blame me for that?



Kanye West: Late Registration
I feel like these two albums come up a lot, but I cant help it; dope albums are dope albums. While College Dropout is the better album, Late Registration has a few songs that just might be my favorites form Kanye. “Touch The Sky” was an easy one to memorize. There is so much energy and feel-good vibe screams replay. I often listen to a lot of old Lupe, but his verse on the cut is still the only one I have memorized. “Gone” is probably my favorite Kanye cut. I know I said the best albums are memorized naturally, but I took my time to learn Kanye’s second verse; it is so dense it took me a minute to master; it almost feels like he is spitting 50 bars. I remember how happy I was when I finally nailed that verse and thankfully, I still know it to this day; lord knows I don’t want to have to practice it again.



Frank Ocean: Channel Orange
No album has been in my rotation more consistently than Channel Orange. I play it so much that even my girlfriend who doesn’t listen to hip-hop (other than what I play as I always takeover the radio) knows a majority of the words. I can’t sing worth a damn, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling like I can. It is such an easy, smooth album that it sort of melted its way into my brain. I can listen to this album in any context and still enjoy it so it’s not wonder I have it memorized. “Sweet Life” might be my favorite song, but other than that there isn’t one particular song that sticks out; it is truly an album. Listening from start to finish is so easy and every song works so well as a part of the whole so you would be hard pressed to skip any track. That is how I think I was able to memorize it. Often times I skip to my favorite songs and leave a few in the shadows, but with Channel Orange each song makes you want to listen to the next.



Lil Wayne: Tha Carter II
Lil Wayne claiming he is the best rapper alive is an absurd notion now, but there was a time when you had to take the lofty claim seriously. I never thought it was true, but it was very hard to argue against. In his prime, Weezy was lethal and had some best lines around; making memorizing Tha Carter II a ton of fun. His lyrics aren’t complex or thoughtful, but Weezy had some truly remarkable one-liners on this album. Granted I probably couldn’t spit from memory, but if you gave me the song in the background, I know I could keep up with pretty much every song. The best part of having all the album memorized is that the beats are so dope, you might actually think you can rap. That "Best Rapper Alive" beat is insane and the combination fun bars and a charismatic flow make it so easy to get stuck in your brain.



Red Hot Chili Peppers: Californication
Way back when, there was a time I didn’t listen to hip-hop. From that era of my life, The Red Hot Chili Pepper’s album, Californication is the one that sticks out to me. Now, I listen to nothing but hip-hop but everyone and a while I sneak this album in and I still know every word. Even with College Dropout I slip up a few times, but with this album it’s a flawless performance every time. Back when CDs were a thing, the only one I kept on me was the one I was listening to; 9 times out of ten it was this album. "Scar Tissue" is a modern day classic, but my proudest moment was when I knew all the words to “Parallel Universe”. Anthony Kiedis’ lyrics are unique and colorful, making them all the more fun and easy to memorize. Go check this album out if you don’t know about it. Street cred alert; the album was produced by Rick Rubin.



Masta Ace- A Long Hot Summer
F it, I’ll say it, Masta Ace is a top 5 rapper. He doesn’t have the sales or fan base to support my claim but the proof is in the bars. I don’t know how or when it happened, but I replayed A Long Hot Summer the other day and was amazed that I knew all the lyrics. Conceptually, this album is genius and his lyrics are so good you would be hard pressed not to find a memorable line. Dude has a whole song where uses soda and soap brands in nearly every line. The fact that I know all the lyrics is a phenomena, I haven’t listened to this album over and over, but the quality and depth of his bars are branded into my memory; there are some truly unforgettable lines and some vivid images he paints. Again, I don’t know how I know the lyrics, but I am sure glad I do.



Well, there is my list (in no particular order). Its amazing to me that, while I cant remember where I put my keys or what I was supposed to get at the grocery store, you could put on any one of these albums and I wouldn’t miss a bar; music is a powerful instrument. So its your turn RH Nation. What album(s) do you know all the words to? If you had a gun to your head and told your only chance of survival was to spit an entire album, which one would it be?

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