KiD CuDi is a DARK dude. He makes G.O.O.D. Music though. Check out These Worries ft Mary J. Blige.

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The 14th most important hip-hop record label of all time might be the most controversial on the list…

…but not because they didn’t put out dope music.

#14 Uptown Records

Uptown Records did not make its mark with rap music, though it was founded by former rapper Andre Harrell who was one half of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and was home to some significant rappers.  Uptown Records however was extremely important to hip-hop culture for a few reasons.  First and foremost, Uptown almost single-handedly redefined what “hip-hop music” meant.  Prior to Uptown, rap music and hip-hop (the culture) were used interchangeably.  With artists like Jodeci, Mary J. Blige and Guy, Uptown invented (or at least brought to the masses) a genre called “hip-hop soul.”  Fast forward 20 years later and rap and R&B are nearly indistinguishable with rappers rhyming on R&B songs and R&B singers singing on rap songs, with much of it being called “hip-hop music.”  Another contribution that Uptown made to hip-hop was birthing the career of Sean “P. Diddy” Combs who started his life at a record label at Uptown as an intern (but more on him later).  When you add that Uptown also released the first single by Biggie Smalls (when that was still his name) it’s hard to deny Uptown’s place in hip-hop record label history.  Here’s the case:

Previously: #20 Rakwus Records, #19 Loud Records, #18 Select Records, #17 Rap-A-Lot Records, #16 No Limit Records, #15 Sleeping Bag Records

In My Lifetime – Ayah

Ayah is the great DJ Jazzy Jeff’s latest protege.  She puts her spin on the sample of the timeless Everybody Loves the Sunshine by Roy Ayers, previously taken on by Mary and Trendz of Culture.  Those are BIG footsteps to follow, but Ayah does her thing.

So Soulful

Listening to Rick Ross talk about his soulful musical influences inspired this playlist.  It features Curtis Mayfield, Mary J. Blige and others cited by the Teflon Don.  Tracklist below.

Summer Madness – Kool & The Gang

I Can’t Help It – Michael Jackson

Give Me Your Love – Curtis Mayfield

Holding You, Loving You – Don Blackman

Daylight – Ramp

Get It Together – India.Arie

Be Thankful – Omar ft. Erykah Badu

Nights Over Egypt – The Jones Girls

Better By the Pound – Me’Shell Ndegeocello ft. Caron Wheeler

Superman Lover – Johnny “Guitar” Watson

All I Do – Stevie Wonder

Stop Playin’ – Musiq Soulchild

Be Happy – Surface

Things We Do For Love – Horace Brown

Love No Limit – Mary J. Blige

Rick Ross Discusses Teflon Don on Fader TV

Rick Ross is soulful.  You can hear it in the rolling bass of Super High.  You can hear it in the way he rides tracks like an instrument in his lush orchestrations.  As he talks to Fader TV about his musical influences it all makes sense.  Take a look.

Stairway to Heaven – Mary J. Blige

The incomparable Mary J. Blige puts her stamp on one of the greatest rock songs of all time.  Like it or not, you have to respect the artistry.  Randy Jackson, Travis Barker, Mary and others talk about the making of the song and what it meant to perform together.

Never Too Much – Classic Soul and R&B Playlist

Classic joints never get old.  They just get better.  Click here or above to play.  Trackist below:

Never Too Much – Luther Vandross

Rock With You – Michael Jackson

Give Me the Night – George Benson

Give it to Me Baby – Rick James

September – Earth, Wind and Fire

Brick – Dazz Band

Back To Life – Soul II Soul

Back and Forth – Aaliyah

Be Happy (Remix) – Mary J. Blige ft Keith Murray

Things We Do For Love – Horace Brown

Real Love – Mary J Blige

Funkin for Jamaica – Tom Browne

A Night to Remember – Shalamar

Running Away – Roy Ayers

Off the Wall – Michael Jackson

Stomp – The Brothers Johnson

Another Star – Stevie Wonder