Year Released: 1995
Although the Freestyle Fellowship is the definitive group to come out of Los Angeles' underground scene, the Nonce is a fan-favorite largely in part to its 1995 album, World Ultimate. MCs Nouka Basetype (who would later go by Sach) and Yusef Afloat came together with their conscious perspectives to rap over jazzy instrumentation about everything from taking the bus to the issues plaguing hip-hop. Sach's flow was able to anchor the crew, but Yusef Afloat balanced the dynamic with a slick, laid-back demeanor.
Yusef Afloat tragically passed away in 2000 and Sach went on to make solo records, but the moment they captured together is a testament to two MCs being at their pinnacles. If you're looking for great lyricism and music filled with trumpets and saxophones, look no further—the Nonce mastered that vibe two decades ago.