Today in Hip-Hop: B-Legit Drops ‘The Hemp Museum’ Album
On this day, Nov. 26, in hip-hop history...
1996: Vallejo, Calif. rapper B-Legit drops his sophomore album The Hemp Museum on Sick Wid It/Jive. It peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and topped out at No. 55 on the Top 200.
He started out with his cousin E-40's group The Click, but released his outstanding debut album Tryin' to Get a Buck in 1993 and followed up with this album three years later.
The biggest difference on B-Legit's second LP is the production. Though his first album had a hard, straightforward production style done entirely by Studio Ton, The Hemp Museum had a more expanded roster behind the boards that included legendary Cali cats like Mike Mosley and Tone Capone. Either as a result of Sick Wid It landing a deal with Jive in 1994 or B-Legit simply looking to bring in other sounds, the budget opened up and the beats on the second album are more melodic and intricate. He even had Darryl Hall singing on one of the singles, "Ghetto Smile," while live keys and guitar are strewn across the album.
Scarface once said an MC's voice is their most important characteristic, and B-Legit's baritone is as distinct as any. He might not have seen the same success that 40 Water enjoyed, but his music was essential to the bustling Bay Area rap scene and still sounds fresh twenty years later.
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