Not only did this young Arizona (Phoenix) emcee Bag of Tricks Cat (aka Felix El Gato) work with his spiritual Detroit bros D12 on his recent album Cat's Out of the Bag (listen to the ominous rager "Hometown Hero." Yow.), but he also popped out a 2015 split EP with nerdcore heavyweight Mega Ran, and toured all over god's green earth. And dig this bit of hardcore street cred: dude's grandma, Ann Bennett, wrote and sang the theme song to the 1959 cartoon series Felix the Cat. That's a lot of shit for a kid to live up to, to be sure. But D12's Bizarre says Bag of Tricks Cat is dope. His spits and rhymes show he's gifted, and word is his banging shows yank down barriers and rattle rafters. Here Bag picks the five albums that altered his life forever. Go see him with Stoner Jordan, Friday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m. Scratch Shack, 245 W Speedway Blvd. $15. All Ages. –Weekly Staff
1. The Roots –How I Got Over: The instrumentation and Black Thought's lyrics really spoke to me on a deep level. Ironically, this album got me through some of my lowest points.
2. Eminem–The Eminem Show: This is the project that inspired me to start making my own music. I was an outcast in school at the time, and the songs on that record made me feel like that was okay. (Specifically "Sing For The Moment.")
3. Lupe Fiasco–The Cool: Lupe was very poetic with his lyrics on this album, and gave me a new perspective on how to write music. I can still listen to it from front to back.
4. The Game–The Documentary: I've always been a fan of west coast hip hop. There was definitely an absence of it for several years until this album came out. I also thought it was inspiring that Game came from one of the worst places to grow up in the country, got shot in the heart and lived to work with the artists that inspired him growing up.
5. Jay-Z–The Black Album: I feel like you have to reach a certain level of maturity to fully appreciate Jay's music. The Black Album definitely opened my mind up, and it's one of those bodies of work I can always find something new I didn't catch when I listen to it again.
-50 Cent–Get Rich Or Die Tryin'
-Nas–Hip Hop is Dead