Dilated Peoples – 20/20: #481 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Dilated People - 20-20

So why is Dilated Peoples’ 20/20 on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

“You Can’t Hide, You Can’t Run” is one of my most favorite hip hop songs of the 2000s. Like Dilated People’s “Worst Comes to Worst,” off of Expansion Team (#783 of best 1,000 albums ever), it’s endlessly catchy and never seems to get tiresome – even on heavy repeat plays.

Beyond its absolute smasher of a hook, I realized that there’s something about the warm sounding, soulful production and the superior and clean-sounding flow of Evidence and Rakaa that reminds me of fellow west coast rap collective Jurassic 5*.

* Spoiler alert that the best 1,000 albums ever project hasn’t gotten to these guys… yet.

“Kindness For Weakness,” featuring Talib Kweli, leans even further into soul sample territory while amping up the tempo with a pulsing keyboard. Again, I’m very impressed with the production on this track and throughout the album.

“Satellite Radio,” with its percussive keyboard, reminds me of another LA-based hip hop legend – this time Dr. Dre’s “Still D.R.E.”

“Rapid Transit,” which features Krondon, has a wilder funk sound and odd effects. And it also reminds me a bit of 50 Cent for some reason.

Personal stuff that somehow related to Dilated Peoples’ 20/20

There’s something about 20/20 that reminds me of the era when my wife and I purchased our first home on the north side of Pasadena, California. This makes sense as the year was 2007, so I likely had the album, and “You Can’t Hide, You Can’t Run” cranked up on my iPod while moving in.

I like to refer to it as a “shoebox” of a house, as it truly was tiny (if not what’s these days referred to as the “tiny house movement”). It was perfect for us though, as it had a detached garage that had been converted into a carpeted storage space – which became our office eventually – and a large backyard by Los Angeles County standards with a view of the San Gabriel mountains.

Some stats & info about Dilated Peoples – 20/20

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rap, Hip Hop, Bay Area Hip Hop, Underground Hip Hop
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 3 out of 5 stars
  • When was 20/20 released? 2006
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #481 out of 1,000

Dilated Peoples’ 20/20 on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Dilated Peoples’ 20/20 that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

About to steal the game, I’m a whole new crook. Bakin’ up that fire, I’m a whole new cook.

What’s something interesting thing about Dilated Peoples’ 20/20 that most people don’t know?

Sometimes I’ll consult ChatGPT about albums I’m covering as a way to “prompt” interesting facts and information that I should look further into. As has oft been reported of late, of course – and as with all information taken in by way of the interwebs* – you have to be careful about what artificial intelligence tells you.  

* I may or not hold a graduate degree related to information literacy and research, which included a relatively short-lived career working at a university in Southern California.

So I asked ChatGPT to tell me something about the background on 20/20, and one of the things it relayed was the following:

20/20 was released on January 20, 2006, which is also the day of George W. Bush’s second presidential inauguration. Evidence has stated that the album’s release date was intentional, as the group wanted to provide an alternative form of entertainment for people who were not interested in watching the inauguration.

It turns out that this is crazy wrong information in multiple respects. Via Wikipedia, 20/20 was released on February 21st, 2006. So ChatGPT was only about a month off there, but the much bigger problem is that George W. Bush’s second inauguration date was January 20th, 2005.

Which makes the part about Dilated Peoples timing the release as “an alternative form of entertainment for people who were not interested in watching the election” kind of weird. Strike that: very weird.

One cool thing about ChatGPT is that you can respond to what it tells you, and it will “remember” the conversational thread. Therefore, I let it know that it was wrong about each part of that statement, which finally prompted it to admit:

I apologize for any confusion I may have caused. The statement I made about Dilated Peoples’ album 20/20 being released on the day of George W. Bush’s second presidential inauguration was incorrect, and the statement about the group wanting to provide an alternative form of entertainment for people who were not interested in watching the inauguration was a mistake on my part as well.

Beyond this being an interesting anecdote about our new world of “generative” artificial intelligence, I’m reminded that when George W. Bush was re-elected in November of 2004, he was relatively popular at the time. In fact, it was the last time as of this writing that a Republican presidential candidate earned a higher share of the popular vote than the Democratic candidate*.

* Barack Obama was elected president twice, in 2008 and 2012, and Joe Biden is the sitting president as of this writing. Donald Trump squeaked out an electoral college victory in 2016 over Hillary Clinton while earning fewer total votes in the raw vote tally.

W. Bush’s popularity fell off a cliff throughout 2005 and 2006 due in part to the Iraq War not going well and a badly bungled response to Hurricane Katrina, setting the stage for major Democratic “wave” elections in both 2006 and 2008.  

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery. But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.