It’s been a good week for white rappers, which is a weird sentence. Both Eminem and Action Bronson released new albums, new albums that just so happen to be sequels to arguably their greatest works. (Blue Chips 2 > The Marshall Mathers LP 2.) It might be awhile until “white” and “rap” are used positively in the same sentence, so in honor of Shady and Bam Bam, let’s rank eight of the greatest albums from white rappers.
#8. The Cactus Album by 3rd Bass
For awhile there, in the early 1990s, you couldn’t have a conversation about 3rd Bass without also mentioning the Beastie Boys. I guess the same is still true, considering I just mentioned 3rd Bass in the same sentence with the Beastie Boys, but that’s not giving the Def Jam trio enough credit: they might be best known as the “second white hip-hop group,” but their debut, The Cactus Album, is by no means a copy-cat; it’s inventive (with beats courtesy of Sam Sever and the Bomb Squad, among others), often hilarious while still remaining aggressive, and still sounds fresh. One might even say 3rd Bass hit a home run (but they shouldn’t because that’s awful).
#7. The Future Is Now by Non Phixion
Ill Bill, Goretex, and Sabac Red are one of the strongest truly underrated rap trios in history. They work together in perfect horrific harmony, assuredly spitting rhymes like, “The government, these other kids, it’s like the drunken bitch/That sucked a hundred dicks at your party then cried rape” that would make most others blush. The heavy production comes courtesy of an insane collection of talent, including DJ Premier, Pete Rock, and Large Professor, who make the underground The Future Is Now sound professionally paranoid.
#5. Labor Days by Aesop Rock
With every album, Ian Matthias Bavitz, or as he’s better known Aesop Rock, gets more and more popular, culminating (for now at least) with the release of last year’s Skelethon, which debuted in the Billboard Top 30. But you have to go back to 2001 to find his best work. That would be the wordy Labor Days, a concept record about day-to-day existence. The beats are solid, but never distract from the real star: Aesop’s flow, which always sounds far more rapid than it is. He raps clearly and convincingly, and abstractly, and his fame is well deserved.