WARMER MIXTAPES #778 | by Joseph Bartlett-Vanderpuye [Smiler]

1. Vanilla Ice | Ice Ice Baby
And MC Hammer - U Can't Touch This... I put both of these tracks on the same plateau for the effect they had on Rap and Popular Culture at the start of the 1990's. I remember being around 5 or 6 and seeing the videos all over TV. Both songs were like earthquakes to the Music Industry at the time and basically signalled the start of Rap dominance of the Mainstream charts in America.

2. 2Pac | All Eyez On Me (feat. Syke)
This song signified a point in my life where I started to really experience what was going out there in the streets and the relevance of Gangsta Rap and balling to our Culture. I grew up in Woolwich, which is in deep South London - it's an area riddled with Crime and Social issues. To hear a rapper from thousands of miles away talk about things that were similar to what I was going through meant a lot.

3. Mark Morrison | Return Of The Mack
A big #1 single that you couldn't escape from at the time. He was probably the first British based rapper that me and my age group related to. Plus any rapper who can somehow get away with performing at The Brit Awards (UK version of Grammys) holding a gun deserves a mention!

4. Oxide & Neutrino | Rap Dis (U Can't Stop Dis Shit) (feat. Kaish, MC Harvey, Scat D, DJ Swiss aka So Solid Crew)
So Solid Crew are legends within UK Urban Music and after the success of their first few singles, Rap Dis felt like a turning point for the group. They were introducing a new style of UK Hip Hop which was mad refreshing and lyrical.

5. DMX | Ruff Ryders Anthem
I've never seen or experienced a phenomenon in Music like this, ever. Michael Jackson had everybody's hearts, many other acts had very loyal and devoted fan bases, but no one in Music has had grown men barking and throwing up an X sign with their arms! I was 13 when this track really caused a heatwave through my city... I was sneaking into over 18 raves where it was DMX fever! Everybody on the streets was reciting his lyrics, buying pitbulls and even shaving their heads... It was crazy!

6. Nas | Doo Rags
This was the song that first made me pick up the pen and pad and attempt to write my first rhymes. I remember hearing his Lost Tapes mixtape and thinking wow, this is special!... I would lock myself in my room whilst filling up notepads then ringing my boys and saying "yo, listen to this and they were like yeah, it's alright... Looking back with hindsight - it wasn't, haha. But everybody's gotta start somewhere.

7. Nas | Take It In Blood
After realising that Nas was my favourite rapper, I began delving through his earlier stuff when I stumbled across this song. It was everything that Rap was about for me, Lyricism! We would play this while on long car journeys, whilst at my boy's houses, any chance we got! This is still my favourite Nas song 'til today!

8. 50 Cent | Your Life's On The Line
Similar to DMX, 50 came through with an incredible buzz on a Fuck you, I'm coming for mine type of vibe which the streets will always respect! Plus the whole beef with the Murder Inc. boys and the conspiracy behind his 9-shot attempted murder made his story that bit more interesting and exciting. This song was everything Rap needed at a time when Commercial Rap was at an All Time High! 50 came through and reminded us all exactly what Rap was about!

9. The Notorious B.I.G. | Mo Money Mo Problems (feat. Puff Daddy & Mase)
After Death Row had taken their seats on the throne as kings of Gangsta Rap, Bad Boy came through shining in Avirex suits, Rolex's and sunglasses with convertible cars and the baddest broads! A curveball for Rap as we knew it, brought Excitement and Colour to the Expressive, Dark, Aggressive genre.

10. Jay-Z | Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)
Hard Knock Life is probably one of the most important in this list for me as it showed the leap of Faith that an Underground artist needs to take if they're to appeal to the wider audience (both Musically & Lyrically). This really was the song that positioned Jay on the path to Middle America and he never looked back.

+11. Dizzee Rascal | Dance Wiv Me (feat. Calvin Harris and Chrome)
This isn't actually about the Music, as I'm not a fan of the song, but more the story behind it. I have nothing but respect for Dizzee for believing in himself and his Music at a time when his record label and most others didn't. The song went on to be a smash and opened a door for Dizzee much wider than he probably anticipated and positioned him at the forefront of the Music Scene, not just the Urban one.