So after hearing Zane Lowe find another reason to suggest Illmatic is the only hip-hop album worth listening to (other than anything from the Beastie Boys), you've onerously scanned its Wikipedia pages and decided you agree. There's no harm in that.

Maybe you preach your undying love for Dilla having listened to one LP, or know all the lyrics to a Jurassic 5 album cut, or liked Mac Miller "wayyy before the Best Day Ever mixtape". Good for you! Though once you've downloaded the supposed top five albums of hip-hop's Golden Age, organised them under a playlist called Old Skl Bangaz, seasoned it with some early Odd Future fodder and pressed shuffle a few times, your collection may become a little stagnant.

No matter, The 405 are to the rescue! We've nitpicked through the collections of some rap fans who were past nappies when Midnight Marauders was released, and who consequently know their shit. Get ready for suede Timbs, XXXL white tees and videos grainier than the last Golden Delicious.


Da Youngstas - 'Mad Props' (Klaus Layer Remix)

Da Youngstas were a prominent, premature trio hailing from Philly who managed to release four albums in as many years through the early nineties, featuring hits such as 'Pass Da Mic' and 'Iz U Wit Me'. German Surrealist-cum-nostalgic producer Klaus Layer adds a touch of class with the keys in this remix, check out his other stuff here.


Group Home ft Guru & Big Shug - 'Serious Rap Shit'

In an album universally appreciated for DJ Premier's unimpeachable production skills, it was in fact Guru who produced this moody Cyborg of a beat. Its aggression and simplicity in style makes it one of the only tracks that really complements the LP's straight-forward battle bars.


Ground Floor - 'One, Two'

New England natives Ground Floor were another hip-hop group destined for great things after signing to the same indie label as (now legendary) producer Lord Finesse and releasing this banger. Unfortunately, like all too many of their peers they fizzled away without explanation and the rumoured collaboration with Finesse has yet to surface in full.


KMD - 'Sounded Like A Roc'

As the more astute of hip-hop heads will be more than familiar with, KMD consisted of core duo Zev Love X, who later became MF DOOM and DJ Subroc; his brother who was fatally killed in a car crash. Displaying almost unparalleled skill and innovation in production for his time, his influence is clear in DOOM's work since, referenced by a dedication in Kon Karne as the "hip-hop Hendrix".


Nas & DOOM - 'One Love // Arrow Root'

Continuing with DOOM gems, fans of the Mighty Boosh will know that elements of the past and elements of the future will "combine to make something not quite as good as either". Somehow the opposite has occurred here and long will I bow down to the creator of such brilliance, whoever it may be... (some bloke on Youtube).


Jeru The Damaja - 'Me Or The Papes'

"My name 'aint Puff and I 'aint got loot to waste", take heed to this, young MCs of today. Although although anyone under 30 probably hasn't got a clue who Jeru is, the man has been touring and releasing records since his debut back in 1994. Premo was effortlessly secreting classics at this time, I can only he imagine he masterminded this masterpiece and had it mastered within minutes.


Dream Warriors - 'California Dreamin''

As pioneers of the alternative hip-hop game, Dream Warriors put Canada on the map. However for taking so long to release their sophomore Subliminal Stimulation, critics lambasted the duo as "past it". Looking back, this mellow, happy-go-lucky number sounds fresher than ever.


Fatlip feat. Chali 2na - 'Today's Your Day (Watchagonedu?)'

Time for some Home Counties hip-hop heaven. Anyone who owned a skateboard around the mid naughties will recognise this track from the "Magic Board" scene in arguably the best skate video of all time; "Yeah Right!". They will also know that Hollywood Star Owen Wilson was a pro-skater in a past life, or was he...


Black Moon - 'Who Got The Props (peep the dappy hat)'

Way before Dappy was rocking the winter hats, Black Moon were "flibby dibby dibbying" across classic jazzy samples. While the lyricism is almost enough to give Das EFX a run for their money, Black Moon had a commendable flash in the pan based on fantastic beat choice and rap-along rants.


M.O.P. - 'Rugged Neva Smoove' (DJ Premier Remix)

Of course we had to end with Premier - you could have week-long mixathon of his work without fishing out all the gems. Ever the convention breaker, he decided that the ever aggressive M.O.P. can in fact sound "smoove" with a little tinkering. This is Premo like Neva before.

Shouts to Vivek Thaker and Freddie Wilson for contributing and being alive for ages.