When we think of albums that had that had an impact in the rap world we think of 36 Chambers, Paid In Full, The Chronic, and so forth. Rarely would one mention LL vol.1.
But to me this album is as important as any album I mentioned above and a classic. What made this album so important is it introduced us to a lot of rappers like PunchLine and Words Worth ,Brooklyn Academy , Company Flo, Thirsten Howl the 3rd, Mos Def. Sure these artist were already doing their thing but LL gave them much needed spot light. If youre like me you haven't heard of these rappers until this album dropped. This album ushered in a new era of hip hop besides putting the Lyricist Lounge on the map. It was about skills. This album coined the phrase "spitter". In 97, when rap was getting soft and muthafuckas was duplicating the late Pac, the shiny suit era was comin; in, and the south was on rise with No Limit, this album was a much needed masterpiece.
The beats weren't spectacular, but thats the point, it was lyrics over beats all day. I was mesmerized (and still am) at the crazy wordplay and punchlines going on here when I first heard this album. For a moment I stated to myself Im done listening to Gangsta Rap and pop freindly rap. On this LP not one person is talking about selling crack or popping guns and there is nothing close to a radio trendy song. The closest thing to a radio song was OC & Ras Kass's team-up (what an awesome collab) Action Guaranteed, and thats a stretch.
I got all the LL albums after that. Anywhoo, anyone remember the LL comedy sketch that was on MTV? Yeah, that shit was kinda wack but what can you expect from MTV. Another thing to note as I was recently reading my liner notes I noticed on the song After The Show it listed Jedi Minds Tricks as an artist on that song. What a minute, I dont remember JMT being on this album, but then again JMT were back-pack rappers with a completely different style in the 90s. But as it turns out the Jedi Mind Tricks here was a solo rapper in no relation to the group. Good thing that dude didn't blow-up or there would have been problems.