The Roots, "Proceed"
While it wasn't really their debut album, Do You Want More?!!!??! feels like it SHOULD be their debut album. Organix feels more like a practice run or a demo, a band trying to find its voice, and several of its songs appear on the next album in re-worked forms. Anyway, this is the first full song on Do You Want More, and it really sets the template for the album and indeed their first couple albums, with the jazzy groove of the band revolving around Scott Storch's keyboards and ?uestlove's drums. I think Black Thought is better on the subsequent albums, but he's certainly good on this record. Basically, this is where to start with the Roots in exploring their early career.
J Church, "The Overwhelming Smell"
This album is called Whorehouse: Songs and Stories, showing that some people never really forgave Hüsker Dü's major label "sell-out" record. I, personally, never forgive having to type those umlaut-us. Anyway, nobody is really going to accuse this song of being a slick production, so there's that going for it.
Death Grips, "On GP"
For about twenty seconds, this actually kind of sounds like a J Church song. As usual with Death Grips, it's basically impossible to really categorize them into a neat box. Is this a rap song? Well, not really - even if you decide that Stefan Burnett's vocals count, what the rest of the band is playing is really more of an epic, psychedelic rock song than anything else. The album as a whole is out there, with the first half of the double album being constructed out of Bjork samples, and the second half being a normal Death Grips album. If anything about them is ever normal. It was also their farewell record, which of course means there have been two albums following it thus far. The only thing you can be sure of with Death Grips is that you never know what's coming next.
Public Enemy, "I Stand Accused"
Public Enemy has always been paranoid, from their first record to their last, but they were usually at their best musically when the beats also reflected that paranoia. This track is an example, featuring dense washes of sound that give the whole thing a closed off feel that feeds into the mood of Chuck's lyrics. While there's a fair bit of iffy stuff on Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age, there's also plenty of solid stuff as well.
Ennio Morricone, "Refusal"
I don't really remember picking up the soundtrack to The Mission, but maybe Megan did? Or I bought it during a record-buying fugue, as one does? Anyway, whatever, Morricone was a genius, so I'm happy it's here.