I never think of NYC as being bleak except when it's dark, or when it's shot in black and white. Gotta love 90's era hip hop for exploiting this. 99 Problems eat your heart out!
Wu-Tang - Protect Your Neck
Company Flow - 8 Steps to Perfection
Gang Starr - Just to Get a Rep
A Tribe Called Quest - Electric Relaxation
Black Star - Respiration