My late teen years consisted almost entirely of me and my 3 friends hanging out at each other's houses, going to shitty suburban punk shows, watching mystery science theater 3000 like it was going to be outlawed soon, and listening to Anticon records. Sure, i looked like a punk, listened to punk music, and went to punk shows...but my true love was this crazy, absurdist rap music that was unlike anything anyone had ever heard before. Here are the records they put out that totally changed my young world:
"Themselves: Them" This is two members of anticon, Dose One and Jel, with Dose handling the rapping and Jel doing all the beats. Dose was always my favorite out of the bunch, and still remains my favorite rapper of all time. This is Themselves' first album, back when they were just called Them.
Download (Sorry, all i could find was a megaupload link.)
"Sole: Bottle of Humans" I wasn't big on this one when i first heard it, but my friend Luke was obsessed with Sole in the way that i was obsessed with Dose One. Bottle of Humans grew on me after a while, though, mostly because of how much luke liked it.
"Buck 65: Man Overboard" I bought this record from Buck 65 himself when i got to see him perform in Portland, ME in 2000. His live show was so much more of a real show than i had ever experienced at a hip hop show. After i saw him live and bought this record, i went on a two or three month binge of listening exclusively to Buck 65.
"Clouddead: Clouddead" Clouddead was/is Dose One and Why? rapping and Odd Nosdam making the music. This is still one of my top 5 favorite albums ever. It's a completely enveloping experience. The beats range from having some kind of traditional 'bounce' to them, to being super ambient, atmospheric, and almost heavy. The album has a real sense of sadness and nostalgia about it that few, if any, hip hop records have ever had.
"Themselves: The No Music" This is the second Themselves release. It's a way better album than the first one, in terms of sounding like a consistent whole and not just a collection of songs. It's also way more experimental without sacrificing their hip hop roots.
I doubt these albums will have the same impact on you as they did for me, but they're still totally worth checking out if you like hip hop, or just weird music in general.