To many, 1993 is considered the watershed moment in Hip-hop’s golden era. Classic album after classic album was released over that year. It’s the only year I can think of that’s in the title of an all-time hip hop classic. Some might even argue a top 10 song of all time within the genre. I’m of course talking about the Souls of Mischief classic and title of this post. If you don’t know by now I like to ramble about something that has nothing to do with baseball in my intro. This is to set the stage for the theme of the week’s two start pitching tiers. This week we delve into the greatest years in hip hop. Why? because if there’s one thing I know better than baseball it’s soccer… oops, I mean hip-hop. Then again soccer is pretty awesome….did you know we have a site here on Razzball where we talk about it exclusively? My plugs are shameless like William H. Mace, better have legs like B-Ham if you wants to keep pace, lace the track, dutchies dipped in honey, two start pitchers ain’t nothing move but the streamonator $. Okay now back to the lecture at hand, perfection is perfected…. What’s perfection? Why the greatest years of hip-hop of course. So I’ll discuss this week’s two start pitchers in relation to each great year in hip-hop and share some science on the top jewels to drop in the tier’s title year. If I missed any years or albums let me know. Hell drop some of your favorite jams/albums/miscellaneous stories about your mom’s slutty college experiences in the comments. I like to talk about all those things…
1993 (Aces) – The Nine – Three had a whole bunch of classics Wu-Tang’s Enter The 36, Snoop’s Doggystyle, Souls of Mischief’s 93 Til’, Tribe’s Midnight Marauders, KRS’s Return of the Boom Bap, Black Moon’s Enta Da Stage, De La’s Buhloone Mind State, Digable Planets, The First Jazzmatazz, Lords of the Underground, Cyprus Hill Black Sunday…You get it, it’s a long list. Well this list of aces is not nearly as long, but due to some players being pushed back this week’s list of aces is pretty deep. Kershaw, King Felix, Greinke, and Bumgarner. Okay maybe it’s not so deep, it’s four guys, but then again Kershaw is a one man Wu-Tang Clan so he counts as 9 or 10 or 100. Never sure on the exact number of members. Sort of depends if you count Cappadonna or not. I do, but I erase U-God from my memory. Who’s U-God? Exactly…..
Clayton Kershaw, LAD: (@MIL, @COL); Felix Hernandez, SEA: (@LAA, vs. OAK); Madison Bumgarner, SF: (vs. SD, vs. MIA); Zack Greinke, LAD: (@MIL, @COL)
1988 (Must Starts) – 88 was a great year some people might even say it’s a better year than 93 but those people are old. So be nice to them, and speak slowly. If they offer you a Worther’s original, take it and smile. 88 was chock full of dope releases Run DMC’s Tougher Than Leather, PE’s It Takes a Nation, EPMD Strictly Business, NWA’s Straight Outta Compton, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, Eric B & Rakim’s Follow The Leader, Big Daddy Kane’s Long Live the Kane, the list goes on. This tier is also full of classics and great starts. Andrew Cashner and his starts at San Fran and Arizona, Dallas Keuchel and his .39 ERA. Quick aside on Keuchel say what you will about his K rate but he’s a must start right now. He’s like hotel sex for your ratios. Hotel sex waddayamean? Yes hotel sex, it’s the best sex. Hotel’s making affairs better since 1778. I included young studs Carlos Martinez, Michael Pineda, Danny Salazar, and Drew Smyly. These kids are pitching like studs and all have enough upside that they need to be started each and every time they go out. Even if I hate Pineda’s matchups this week he needs to be started, no questions. Even if he’s facing a roster of space aliens sponsored by BALCO. Danny Salazar is sporting a 13.26 K/9 at the moment and a 2.37 BB/9. He punched out 7 Royals on Wednesday which is no small feat when you consider the Royals team K% is 14.8%. That’s 2.1% lower than the next best club the A’s. He gets the Twins in his second start so anything less than 20 K’s out of Danny S should be a disappointment. Drew Smyly looked great in his second start of the season punching out 10 Yankees at the stadium in 6 innings. On Tuesday he gets another tough matchup against the Sox at Fenway, but gets his first friendly start of the season when the Rangers travel to Tam-PAH.
Andrew Cashner, SD: (@SF, @ARI); Dallas Keuchel, HOU: (vs. TEX, @LAA); Scott Kazmir, OAK: (@MIN, @SEA); Carlos Martinez, STL: (vs. CHC, @PIT); Jordan Zimmermann, WAS: (vs. MIA, vs. ATL); Drew Smyly, TB: (@BOS, vs. TEX); Danny Salazar, CLE: (@KC, vs. MIN); Michael Pineda, NYY: (@TOR, vs. BAL); Alex Wood, ATL: (vs. PHI, @WAS)
1996 (One Good Start/One Bad Start) – Much like the past two years 96 had a lot of classics but some of the early stages of the jiggy era were starting to take shape and we lost one of the all time greats. Don’t get me wrong 96 gave us Jay-z’s Reasonable Doubt, De La’s Stakes is High, Mobb Deep’s Hell on Earth, The Fugees The Score, The Roots Illadelph Halflife, Tupac dropped Makaveli and All Eyez on Me before heading to the big park jam in the sky. We also got personal Ralph favorites Dr. Octagon, Rass Kass Soul on Ice, Redman’s Muddy Waters, Nas’ It Was Written, Ghostface’s Ironman, and Outkast’s ATLiens. Good year right? Well sure but we lost Tupac, Dr. Dre had his lowest point with The Aftermath (one good song), Master P showed up with Ice Cream Man, men rapped along to X-rated songs by Lil Kim, and Diddy started to get famous. Like I said it ain’t all good and that’s the truth. Same with these pitchers it ain’t all good. You have one good start and one bad start, so most of these double dippers you may want to avoid once this week. I dropped Tyson Ross down into this tier because he’s walking too many batters and sporting an ERA in the 5’s over his past three turns. You will also see Shane Greene or as the podcast’s JB calls him “Super Greene”. Sorry JB but Greene has been 7 shades of awful his last couple of starts and is more Soylent Greene than Super at the moment. What’s Soylent Greene? Hint it’s people!!!!!
Jeff Samardzija, CWS (vs. DET, vs. CIN); Jake Odorizzi, TB: (@BOS, vs. TEX); Tyson Ross, SD: (@SF, @ARI); Garrett Richards, LAA: (vs. SEA, vs. HOU); Phil Hughes, MIN: (vs.OAK, @CLE); Shane Greene, DET: (@CWS, vs. KC); Matt Shoemaker, LAA: (vs. SEA, vs. HOU); Jesse Hahn, OAK: (@MIN, @SEA); Travis Wood, CHC: (@STL, @MIL); Aaron Harang, PHI: (@ATL, vs. NYM); Kyle Hendricks, CHC: (@STL, @MIL);
2001 (Meh) – This was a big year for NY hip-hop maybe the last big one. Jay-z dropped the Blueprint, Nas answered with Stillmatic, one of my all-time favorite albums and maybe the genre’s greatest concept album dropped in Masta Ace’s Disposable Arts. This was also the period where the Alt hip-hop scene of NY was booming with Def Jux releasing Cannibal Ox’s classic Cold Vein, and Aesop Rock’s Labor days. Even with all of these classics there was a lot of disappointments in 2001 chief among them Wu-Tang’s Iron Flag. People were listening to Project Pat and Ja Rule. That’s not good. This group of arms is the same some potential classics that could come out of nowhere, like Jeff Locke. Locke’s been a bit unlucky as his BABIP is out of line with his peripherals in particular his ground ball rate. The streamonator has him valued at $15.1, right below Corey Kluber and just above Matt Shoemaker. Both the Reds and Cardinals struggle against lefties, as the two clubs rank 22nd and 23rd in team wOBA vs southpaws. I’m listing Mat Latos even if there’s a very good chance he won’t make both starts as he nurses a hamstring injury. He claims that to miss a start he needs to be “missing a limb”. I would contend that he could very well be missing a limb. Latos is an old 27, I guess that’s what happens when you live off a steady diet of donuts and deep fried snickers. He also relies on his four-seamer and slider and has seen a steady decrease in velocity on both since 2013. His O swing% has had a sharp decline thus far this year going from 35.9% in 2014 to 23% in 2015, and with a Z-contact% of 92.6%, it’s safe to say so no one’s fooled by Mat with one T’s stuff anymore. Latos is the Iron Flag of 2015 pitchers.
Jeff Locke, PIT: (vs. Cin, vs. STL); Matt Garza, MIL: (vs. LAD, vs. CHC); Jesse Chavez, OAK: (@MIN, @SEA); David Phelps, MIA: (@WAS, @SF); Josh Collmenter, ARI (@COL, vs. SD); Mat Latos, MIA: (@WAS, @SF); Clay Buchholz, BOS: (vs. TB, @TOR)
2014 (Stay Away) – You like any Hip-Hop that came out in the last 18 months? Me either…..Then again maybe Chase Whitley can be this tiers Action Bronson and build off his first good start.
Kyle Loshe, MIL: (vs. LAD, vs. CHC); Chase Whitley, NYY: (@TOR, vs. BAL); R.A. Dickey, TOR: (vs. NYY, vs. BOS); Trevor May, MIN: (vs. OAK, @CLE); Wandy Rodriguez, TEX: (@HOU, @TB); Scott Feldman, HOU: (vs. TEX, @LAA); Bud Norris, BAL: (@NYM, @NYY), Ryan Vogelsong, SF: (vs. SD, vs. MIA); Kyle Kendrick, COL: (vs. ARI, vs. LAD); Ross Detwiler, TEX: (@HOU, @TB)
Remember these starters are subject to change. If anyone was missed or gets pushed back/moved up drop me a line in the comments and I’ll Rank ‘Em.
5 start H2H
Do I go with deGrom at home v Bulletmore or Shoemaker at home v SEA?
I ain’t no joke
I used to let the mic smoke
now I slam it when I’m done
and make sure it’s broke
@wJessereid: Shoe vs Seattle, I haven’t given up on him yet.
Wondering if I’m done with Jimmy Nelson. Possible replacements Hahn, Lincecum (he’s making me believe, but i’m a giants fan), Haren, Colome, Karns…..
Out of those, who do you like ROS?
@greg: I believe in Timmy, damn he’s looked re-born.
I love yr 96 picks….illadelph and Stakes is high are two albums that made me truly love hip hop.
Also….im pretty sure it was 97 but how bout Camp Lo “Uptown Saturday Night”?
Anyway,is J Zimmeran a good buy low target?….wouldyou give up Soler?
@Guidedbyvoices: 97 but just barely…January. I think the Zimm for Soler deal is fair.
Hewy Ralph any suggestions to improve my staff? Lost McCarthy and Wainwright to injury and Walker reverted to pitching poorly. Guys on the wire are Fiers, Greene, Chavez, Duffy and then stashes like Syndergarrd, and Marco Gonzales.
( 5×5 HTH OBP league)
Bench RP Perkins
Bench SP Happ
DL RP Parnell
Obviously my main concerns are Walker, Colome and Haap. Also thinking of stashing Corbin in Parnells DL spot…appreciate any feedback you have to offer.
@Eric B: Grab Fiers, I’d probably dump Walker for now. Happ is pitching well tough to dump him at the moment and I like him today. Marco G is a good stash candidate as is Corbin for Moore.
Staff looks tite tho homie!
@Ralph Lifshitz: Thanks man, appreciate the insight.
@Eric B: Eric B for President!
@Ralph Lifshitz: Ha, Nice…now where’s Rakim when you need him?
@Eric B: Saw him last year. He was almost a Dr. Dre reclamation project but it was close to happening.
I don’t dislike Chavez’s two starts. I’d go that way. The SoN agrees….
I’m in a bit of a quandry. I can go with J.Chavez 2 starts against Trevor May and King Felix, or I can go with Desclafani vs Burnett or Pomeranz vs Minn. I’m not crazy about any of these starts but I need to pick one. Go with the safest bet in Desclafani?
Word to God…good write-up.
Re: recent albums, I knock Tragedy Khadafi “Pre Magnum Opus” album. Queens!
@Colton: First things first killer Avi…Yeah Intelligent Hoodlum in the house!
Some are saying Captain EO is streamable,
so far he’s been better than TJWalker ans Shane notsosuper Greene
Greene and TJ killed my pitching last 2 weeks, i also dropped Shoemaker!
would you go Travis Wood , Alex Colomé, …Foltynew?
Keep Eo? drop TJ, SG?
@Nick: Can you get Shoemaker back? I like him the best…
Two of my three two-start pitchers (Alex Wood and Jordan Zimmerman) are facing each other this week. Should I start one, both, or neither of them? If not both who should I start?
Rest of staff:
@Tuck: Tough to not start Kluber. Sit Wood.
hi Ralph, Collmenter or Hahn, H2H – thanks.
@Surfer dude: Hahn
The south & midwest do exist…
@dk: They do? Sorry I simply speak from my perspective. I’m a huge fan of Common, Atmosphere, Blueprint, MhZ, and other midwest acts. The south gave us Outkast, UGK, Goodie Mob, Ghetto Boys, and a lot of great music. No need to feel slighted.
Shhh don’t tell anyone but Billy Burns was called up.
Went 2-4 scored 2 runs. HURRY UP AND GRAB HIM
@ByeFelicia: I saw this note come in last night and I picked him up in all 10 of my re-draft leagues….Here’s to mad steals yo!
@Ralph Lifshitz: And he’s hitting leadoff! It’s like Xmas in May!
@Bye Felicia: Yes indeed sir and you are Santa!
Disposable Arts is criminally underrated/unknown.
And Bizarre ride is the shizz.
@NickfromtheRoc: It’s maybe my favorite album of all-time. Ace is one of my favorites, and the cast of characters and storytelling is cinematic.
@Ralph Lifshitz: Yeah, it reminds me a ton of where I grew up. There’s also an episode of the Wire that features “Take a Walk” if I’m not mistaken. Have you heard his most recent album over Doom beats?
Either way, thanks to everyone at Razzball for great fantasy advice (I’m in the top 3 in both of my leagues), daily entertainment, and hip hop knowledge…
In a H2H Points League…..Pick two
@Chris: Fiers and Shoemaker, and the SoN agrees.
nice write up…run the jewels, bat meets blaine (batsauce & qwaazar), and freddie gibbs & madlib are three of my favs.
@Raj: I have the RTJ and Freddie & Madlib album haven’t heard Bat meets Blaine…I’ll check it out. Good looks!
I didnt want Hamels but he “fell” to me in the late 6th of our 10 teamer… I totally regret taking him.
Would anyone deal their CI Pujols for Shields or Arrieta? Who would u prefer as CI replacement ROS Teixera or Moustakas?
@jal179: I got caught in the same trap with Hamels. Let’s hope he get dealt soon. Needs a fresh start, tough to get up when you’re pitching for the worst team in baseball.
I think you could find a taker with Pujols, Shields is a no brainer, Arrieta could be tough to pry away.
I’ll take Te(i)x…
Drop walker or Greene for colome,rubby,chase Anderson, jimmy Nelson, Aaron Sanchez, Hudson,Heston
@David Brys: I’d dump Walker and pickup Jimmy. Really any of those guys are worth I stream with the right matchup. Give Greene one more start.
would you do Fielder for G. Cole?
@McNulty: Will Cutch be holding the camera?
But probably not, I love Cole. If you have a surplus of pitching and need a bat go for it. Fielder is hitting but not for power yet. Cole is a stud.
Would you start a 2-start Travis Wood over any of these 1-starters:
Cueto, G.Cole, Strasberg?
@Josh Freeman: Only one I would consider sitting is Stras but I don’t think I’m at that point yet.
When we going to brng back Hip Hop Sundays? I’m thinking a June 1st call up?
@J-FOH: What about Hair Bands? Motown? The Big Band Era? Showtunes?
@The Great Knoche: I mix in everything if you follow all my links. I prefer old school punk over the metal, early 60’s girl groups over motown, be-bop over big band and showtunes is just ridiculous
@J-FOH: Hip Hop Sunday has Super twos
@J-FOH: Come on. Everyone loves Showtunes!
@The Great Knoche: What about fusion jazz, avant garde screaming, Nu-Metal, and dogs barking X-mas carols!
@J-FOH: Sounds good to me!
Great write up! I appreciate a man who knows his hip-hop. I have to defend some of the newer stuff. Run the jewels, Hail Mary mallon, ghostface still drops hot shit…
@Raptor jesus: All dope releases. I’m a huge fan of EL-P so I’m a ROJ fan. Ghost still brings it for sure, and HMM is also solid. Still these are all releases from older acts. All of those guys were out 15+ years ago. Maybe in different groups etc. I want something new to floor me.
Good stuff in your wrtie up!
Have couple if questions:
2 start Jesse Hahn or 1 start Trevor Bauer..
Also is it too early to stash Jose Fernandez? Hahn would be my drop..
@Malicious Phenom: I’d go Bauer in a roto, Hahn in H2H. Stash J-Fer as soon as you can. Especially if you have a DL spot.
@Ralph Lifshitz: thanks man! cheers
@Malicious Phenom: Thanks for reading
12 team league……Chris Carter for Garrett Richards, whacha think?………..I’m strong in pitching, weak in power.
@Curt C.: The answer lie within your question. Take a flier on Carter.
Id want more of a guarantee than Carter…
@jal179: He gave me Carter as an option, and I’m not sure there’s a ton of 30+ home run hitters available for Richards.
Its too bad one of the greatest albums from 1993 was released about 5 weeks too early, because it’s bumps was all up in 1993, coincidentally the same year I graduated high school. And that album is the Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde. IMHO, hands down one of the most listenable complete start to finish album of its genre of hip hop. I love 93 til, I even have a vinyl copy of the entire album instrumental, but it falls when put up against the Pharcyde.
As great as Black Sunday was, their self titled first album was one of the great game changers for west coast hip hop. Before we got the chronic, we had Cypress showing us what laid back west coast gangsta g funk was.
@J-FOH: Thanks for joining Jack, yeah I agree. For some reason Cypress was edited to Cypruss no idea how or why, but I digress. I love Pharcyde and the bizarre ride was a great album, not sure there’s a song on it that stand toe to toe with 93 til. I agree that BR2 is a better album start to finish.
@Ralph Lifshitz: I agree there, the track 93 is better than anything on Bizarre, but its ahead by a hair, Passing Me By is an all time classic, Oh Sh** and On the DL bring something that most don’t know yet have such a sense of humor that is missing today
@J-FOH: Yeah it’s one of my favorite albums for sure lots of good jams on it.
@Ralph Lifshitz: Otha fish is the breakup jam
@J-FOH: Love this discussion. 43 yr old hip hop head. 2 great albums. 2 great groups. Bizzare is a masterpiece. Soul Flower is underrated.
@Sandlot Bully: very much so.
@J-FOH: bizarre ride is a classic.
Dial the seven digits, call up Bridget her mans a midget. Plus she got friends yo I can dig it.
Awesome song. 1993 really was the best. People think I’m crazy but Biggie and Tupac were the beginning of the end. Both overated and the start of the crap with subpar lyrics about how rich they are.
Would you pick up Colome and drop any of these? Hutch, Paxson, Eovaldi, Weaver or Fiers. Wel not Fiers after today’s start.
@Zeus: Say what you will, you’re entitled to your opinion but Pac had great content. Hes a lot more than a thug or baller rapper. He was prolific as hell, had a dope delivery and cadence, ripped in battles, and more or less birthed the Thug image that’s still copied to this day.
Biggie on the other hand was all about delivery, much of his content was bullshit, and he didn’t spit on the “hardest” production all the time but few made words fit so seamlessly together as Big. If he worked more with Premo than he did with Trackmasters and Puffy’s production team you may think differently.
Hutch or EO for Colome is a good move.
@Ralph Lifshitz: Tupac was a clown who wrote all of these regarding songs about women then decided to write one where he’s all about respect. Come on man. And yes he did start the thug shite which I hate with a passion. If you want someone with real content and intelligent discussion of inner city life listen to the GZA. Well not just for that, he’s just the best.
Biggie was fine I just never understood the love. I liked some of his songs but as you say it was more for the production. Jay zed as welll. Nas was a better rapper with a worse publicity team.
Too bad the Hyroglyphics crew fizzled out. Enjoyed most of that and I’m more of a NYC guy.
@Zeus: I’m a big fan of the Genius, I’m 33 so that’s right in my wheelhouse. I appreciate you adding to the discussion, but I think you’re off on Pac there’s a ton of great material the man put out. Makavelli was an amazing album. Say what you will but his impact has stuck around. The issues that pollute the genre today have more to do with the explosion of trap music and the publics love of Lil Wayne.
Heiro’s issue was Del’s drug issues.
@Ralph Lifshitz: I’m 37 so I had a few more years of buffoon Tupac that it never played well for me. Even if I hadnt I just didn’t like his style or content. And it was coming out when Wu, Tribe, etc was still ether killing it or fresh on the mind.
At least we can agree that Lil Wayne is awful.
@J-FOH: @Zeus: Yeah we disagree on Pac, that’s fine.
@Ralph Lifshitz: 3rd Eye Vision is a great piece of work. The biggest issue with the Heiro was they put out everything they record and didn’t team people up the right way.
If u want a rapper who actually has something to say it’s Lupe Fiasco in my opinion
@Kevin: Meh, Lupe’s saying nothing new and that’s just his marketing angle. He’s as much of a pop rapper as Drake. I remember when Food & Liquor came out they hailed him as the second coming. He’s okay don’t get me wrong but there’s a lot of other music worth my time.
10 team, weekly h2h points
would you start burnett (1 start) over feldman (2 starts)?
@PistolofPete: Yeah, Burnett still in one start probably has more points. Especially if it’s a K-centric scoring system.
Taijuan walker or Hammel?
Thank You! I love the fact that this is the one place where my love of rap nerdery and fantasy basball cross streams!
@gordon shumway: and cats. You love to eat cats
@Zeus: I eat the cat all day sun…
@gordon shumway: No problemo Gordy.
Go listen to the new Yelawolf album. That is all.
@Bro Jackson: Not awful but also not a fan.
Drop greene for fiers or Colome fiers has 10k’s today?
@Bb: If you’re looking for K’s go Fiers but I’d give him one more chance….
@Ralph Lifshitz: Greene that is..
Which 2 of these 3 in a 12 Team H2H League with Holds and OPS:
M. Fiers (who I recently dumped but is available)
Thanks very much.
@GJH: Simon and Nelson. Fiers control issues worry me a bit. Today’s thr first day he’s been economical.
Hey man I’m in a h2h pts weekly roster lock league with ESPN these 2 start guys are available , add any of them to start?
Andrew cashner , Matt shoemaker , Travis wood.
We start 6 pitchers here is who I’m thinking of going for in week 5
P- max scherzer
P- Matt Harvey
P- Jeff smardza
P- Shane Greene
P- Danny Salazar
P- drew smyly
Greene has had two very bad starts in a row, drop him or keep him?
Also start shark or will he be suspended?
@Todd: Cashner over Greene and it’s not close. Go now!
Would you sit the shark and start DeGrom (vs Bal) with the Shark being on the verge of serving a suspension?
Also, are you back on the Taijuan Walker band wagon and his last two starts?
whoops! I meant
“After** his last two starts”
@Josh: I’d roll out Shark and I would still be careful who I start Walker against. I still wouldn’t start him against top ten offenses.