Skits are a crucial part of a dope hip hop album.
A while back, we rounded up some of the funniest hip hop skits out there. Now we’re hitting up the albums which use skits in the best way. Whether it’s hilarious, serious, makes you think or just tells a good story, these are the albums that feature the best hip hop skits.
Real quick, let’s just review why skits are such a crucial part of hip hop. If you’re just listening to an album with no concept and no skits, it might as well just be a collection of tracks. Once you get skits in an album though, the whole album feels more cohesive, and in the best cases you start feeling like you’re taking in a movie.
Kanye West – College Dropout
First of all, the world has now been blessed with Yeezy’s debut album for 11 years (as of a few days ago.) College Dropout is a great showcase of Yeezy’s tight, soul-sampling beats and alternatively playful and deep lyrics. Anyways, these skits (along with the rest of the album) make you question the value of a college education, and at the very least you see that a genius like Yeezy didn’t need a degree. These skits are damn funny but seriously make you think, too.
Masta Ace – Disposable Arts
Speaking of funny college-related skits Masta Ace’s are even funnier than Kanye’s. Masta Ace is one of the most underrated rappers of all time, considering how long he’s been around and how consistently dope his shit is. Disposable Arts proves you should be listening to him, but the skits really put it over the top. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed more at a rap album than when Masta Ace meets his college roommate from Saskatchewan.
Biggie – Ready to Die
You know how I was saying some of these skits are funny and some are mad serious? Well Ready to Die’s got the whole spectrum. The skit that starts the album, where Big’s mom gives birth to him (with Diddy egging her on) includes a musical gallery of what Biggie grew up listening to. Some of them are totally skippable (no one’s trynna hear Big get it in), and some of them show who Big is. By the end though, the last skit (which is also the last track) will leave you speechless, and I ain’t playing.
Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d. city
This one’s mad obvious, and proves my point about skits making albums feel like movies because Kendrick even calls it a “short film” right on the cover. By switching off almost every song between voicemails from his parents and audio inside the car him and his friends rode around in, you really feel like you were there with Kendrick coming up. If not for the skits, this album wouldn’t feel nearly so personal.
Tyler, the Creator – Wolf
This is one I almost forgot, but the skits Tyler has here don’t just add to it, they are vital to the storytelling in the album. From the beginning, where Sam and Wolf (both played by Tyler) meet, the tracks weave together to form a narrative. Wolf really does feel like it’s a linear narrative, and that’s no surprise coming from Tyler, the Creator, who has made more than one album that was supposed to be a therapy session.
Skits can elevate an album to the next level.
So which album makes the most use of skits? I definitely didn’t cover them all here. Also I was gonna put Liquid Swords on here because GZA is the genius after all, but a lot of the skits are technically just samples from Shogun Assassin. Most of these are newer albums, so I know some of y’all think I missed out on some crucial ones, so hit me with a comment.