- Eightball & MJG's On Top of the World is released on 11/1/1995
- GZA's Liquid Swords is released on 11/7/1995
- The Pharcyde's Labcabincalifornia is released 11/14/1995
- Goodie Mob's Soul Food is released on 11/17/1995
- Group Home's Livin' Proof is released 11/21/1995
The first seven days of November 1995 saw two distinct visions for the future of hip-hop. GZA's Liquid Swords essentially looked backwards. GZA was a golden-age MC who had a failed deal with Cold Chillin' Records before finding success with the Wu-Tang Clan. His album Liquid Swords was one of the more New York-centric releases in an era where NYC dominated the rap conversation. His rhymes all took place on the chessboard of the streets of Shaolin and sometimes Brooklyn. His cadence was distinctly old school, too. When those things combined, Liquid Swords stood as a testament to classic New York rap in the midst of one the greatest stretches of NYC hip-hop.
Meanwhile, Goodie Mob's Soul Food made the same case that OutKast's Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik had made the year before: The South had something to say. But they weren't OutKast clones; Goodie Mob also incorporated the South's rich musical history with Arrested Development's conscious thought to create a hip-hop style from Atlanta that was lauded nationwide. This was a harbinger of the future of rap, as Southern hip-hop would not only continue to grow in the coming decades, but the epicenter of commercial hip-hop would also eventually move to Atlanta.
The month's other two big releases would mimic these trends. Group Home's Livin' Proof dropped and was considered a classic in some circles, with superior production from DJ Premier saving the second-rate rhymes of the group. Eightball & MJG's On Top of the World had the opposite problem, however. Although T-Mix was a perfectly competent producer, he wasn't a dynamic visionary like Premier or Organized Noize, so his beats weren't quite enough to carry Eightball & MJG to the heights Goodie Mob reached later in the month. -Insanul Ahmed