Hip Hop Connection
Under the editorship of Chris Hunt, the magazine published its first issue in July 1988, six months before The Source began in newsletter form. Prior to the first issue, the magazine's parent company had run a premium rate 0898 telephone information line using the same name, presented by Radio 1 DJ Dave Pearce. It invited MCs to call and record their own rhyme after listening to the best rhyme of the previous week.
HHC's early issues were its biggest selling and saw Hunt bringing together a talented group of writers and photographers, including Ekow Eshun, Malu Halasa and Vie Marshall. Future television presenter and celebrity Normski was given his own section to showcase his rap photography.
Hunt had two stints as editor before leaving for a final time in 1993. His longtime deputy Andy Cowan took over the title in November 1993. HHC changed owners several times (Popular Publications, Future Publishing, Ministry Of Sound, the Cambridge-based Infamous Ink). HHC and Popular Publications were owned by Music Maker Publications throughout the early 1990s until Music Maker was acquired by Future Publishing. Future sold the title to Ministry Of Sound in 2000. The first Ministry issue featured Mariah Carey on the front cover. Ministry tried to continue with a 'female artists only' cover policy, which had proved successful for their dance magazine but – after Kelis and Lauryn Hill – it became apparent that they were running out of suitable candidates. Ministry sold the title after one year and Andy Cowan continued to run and publish the magazine. In April 2006, Hip Hop Connection published its 200th edition, rerunning many classic interviews from its eighteen-year history.
Readers' greatest album
Readers' Best Album Of The Year
2009: Roots Manuva - Slime & Reason • 2008: Panacea - Scenic Route • 2007: unknown • 2006: unknown • 2005: unknown • 2004: unknown • 2003: unknown • 2002: Jay-Z - The Blueprint • 2001: Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP • 2000: The Roots - Things Fall Apart • 1999: Gang Starr - Moment of Truth • 1998: Company Flow - Funcrusher Plus • 1997: Rass Kass - Soul On Ice • 1996: Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... • 1995: The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die • 1994: Cypress Hill - Black Sunday • 1993: unknown • 1992: unknown • 1991: OG Original Gangsta - Ice-T• 1990: unknown • 1989: N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton
Readers Best Single Of The Year
2009: unknown • 2008: unknown • 2007: unknown • 2006: unknown • 2005: Klashnekoff - It's Murda • 2004: unknown • 2003: unknown • 2002: Pharoahe Monch - Fuck You • 2001: M.O.P. - Ante Up • 2000: Pharoahe Monch - Simon Says • 1999: Canibus - Second Round K.O. • 1998: Gang Starr - You Know My Steez • 1997: Jeru The Damaja - Ya Playin Yaself • 1996: Mobb Deep - Shook Ones Part II • 1995: Craig Mack - Flava In Ya Ear • 1994: Onyx - Slam • 1993: unknown • 1992: unknown • 1991: unknown • 1990: unknown • 1989: Public Enemy - Fight The Power
Readers' Best Group Of The Year
2009: unknown 2008: unknown 2007: unknown 2006: unknown 2005: unknown 2004: unknown 2003: unknown 2002: unknown 2001: Dilated Peoples 2000: The Roots 1999: Gang Starr 1998: Company Flow 1997: unknown 1996: unknown 1995: unknown 1994: Wu-Tang Clan 1993: unknown 1992: unknown 1991: unknown 1990: unknown 1989: N.W.A.
Readers' best of the 80s
Best Album: Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back • Best Single: Public Enemy - Rebel Without A Pause • Best Group: Public Enemy • Best Rapper: Chuck D • Best DJ: Cash Money • Best British Artist: MC Duke • Best Record Label: Def Jam • Best Non Hiphop: Michael Jackson • Most Important Human Being: Nelson Mandela
100 Best Albums Ever
Hip Hop Connection published its readers' favourite albums in its March 2000 issue. The result, wrote compiler Mansel Fletcher, was "the essential hip-hop list that beats all others straight into a bloody pulp".
96. Blak Twang, 19 Longtime ("Wit and intelligence over innovative, soulful production that successfully brought out Tai's conscious lyrics")
92. Mountain Brothers, Self Vol 1 ("Turning their back on samples, the Brothers record all their instrumentals live in the studio, which goes a long way in explaining the funky, organic feel")
89. First Down, World Service ("Sadly the public treated it with the kind of contempt only reserved for UK releases… First Down created hip-hop bohemian rhapsodies")
87. The Goats, Tricks of the Shade ("Full of righteous fury bursting through dynamic tunes")
52. Gunshot, Patriot Games ("…warmly received critically, especially by an alternative press thrilled to find a rap record that didn't offend their liberal sensibilities")
50. Wild Style Original Soundtrack ("It captures the spirits of hip-hop's roots (c.1982) and, as such, is a must for all hip-hop fans")
46. StreetSounds Electro 1-10 ("Any excuse to listen to the computerised beats on these records and relive those moments is a good one")
43. A Tribe Called Quest, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm ("A beautiful set of songs that inspired, amused and touched in equal measures")
- "Hip-hop and it don't stop: What does the future hold for Hip-Hop". The Independent. 23 October 2011.
- "unkut.com – A Tribute To Ignorance (Remix)".
- Fletcher, Mansel (March 2000). "100 Best Albums Ever". Hip Hop Connection: 21-42.