34. 03 Greedo, 'Purple Summer 03: Purple Hearted Soldier'
There's been a deluge of Nineties Los Angeles gangsta-rap revivalism in recent years, but gang life isn't a nostalgia-driven, one-dimensional meme. Here, 03 Greedo breaks out with his unpretentious, unfiltered perspective on the subject over 30 remarkably consistent tracks. His sheer versatility is unmatched by most rappers and his personality is smartly reflected not just in his stylistic choices, but in every expressive, quotidian lyrical detail. Greedo's unique ability is how what he believes, what he does, who he is and how he chooses to express himself feel inseparable, each magnifying the other. Whether crooning, rapping, writing hooks, passionately storytelling, joking or sending a message to his daughter – as on the moving highlight "Mei Mei" – 03 Greedo's work is fingerprint-distinct. D.D.