Soundtrack of our lives: River Nelson picks his all time favourite hip-hop playlist

Hot on the back of his third album, US hip-hop artist River Nelson has picked out some of his favourite hip-hop records into a playlist for us here at Backseat Mafia. ‘How to dream’ is the follow up to his acclaimed albums T​he Rise and Fall of River Nelson ​ and T​he Shape of the Sky. Talking of the album, Newlson says “Life has a way of making you forget what your true passions are,” said River. “And sometimes age and time can make you feel guilty about still chasing your dreams, so this album serves as a reminder to never quit pursuing whatever it is you want to do.”

“How To Dream”​is the third full length album from U.S. hip­hop artist River Nelson, after his critically acclaimed LPs . Comprised of 12 tracks, the new album is about staying loyal to your dreams, regardless of age, personal difficulties or life’s daily challenges.

Nelson has drafted in a who’s who of up and coming producers, including from the UK Giacomo Trivelli, from the critically acclaimed hip­hop Sam Sure & Giacomo, Matt Sibley, who’s worked with Grammy nominated artist Fred Ball and Bias – who used to be the DJ for the rapper Lewis Parker before working on his own projects. In addition Film­beats, an up­and­coming hip­hop producer from Sweden also got involved.

“I strongly believe you’ll hear the passion and hard work in each song on this project, and you’ll also feel inspired as it plays from beginning to end,” stated River. Check out album cut Random Thoughts, below

Here’s a top-ten list of my favorite hip-hop albums. Daryl

1. A Tribe Called Quest, “Low End Theory”

A lot of people call Tribe’s “Midnight Marauders” their best album, but I always believed it was their second release the “Low End Theory.”

2. Nas, “Illmatic”

One of the best lyrical performances on any album of any genre.

3. Kendrick Lamar, “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City”

On this one, Kendrick perfectly describes what it’s like trying to avoid the pitfalls of his tough L.A. neighborhood and his rhymes and overall perspective are incredibly refreshing.

4. Kanye West, “My Dark Twisted Fantasy”

This easily could be considered the perfect hip-hop album, and it’ll probably go down as one of the genre’s best.

5. Common, “Be”

Clearly, one of Com’s best works so far, in terms of the sheer poetry on it and Kanye West’s production.

6. Outkast, “Aquemini”

A combination of funk, soul, rock, R&B and golden-era sounding hip-hop makes this Outkast album nothing short of a classic.

7. De La Soul, “Buhloone Mindstate”

Track 11 on this one, “I Am I Be,” changed the way I looked at songwriting. Plus, this is my very favorite De La album.

8. Jay Z, “The Black Album”

Because of Jay’s rhymes and the production of Kanye West and Just Blaze, this album will stand the test of time and creatively, it’s on the same level of the rapper’s other classics like “Reasonable Doubt.”

9. Black Star, “Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star”

A beautiful piece of work from two of the most talented lyricists in rap today.

10. Public Enemy, “It Takes A Nations of Millions To Hold Us Back”

The perfect album from the perfect group and it always inspires me to try and initiate change.

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