We have collected ten of the groundbreaking and influential albums that got here out of that first decade of old-school rap as a celebration of fifty years of hip-hop.
XII – The Fatback Band, 1979
Fatback maintained the identical excessive normal of high quality to supply one other spectacular slab of funk-tinged disco. XII is notable to hip-hop historians for the monitor “King Tim III (Character Jock),” a music usually tagged as the primary rap music (it was launched as a single shortly earlier than the extra in style “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang). “King Tim” stays a killer blast of hip-hop, seamlessly mixing a slick old-school rap into the band’s intensely funky mix of organ, energetic horn blasts, and a relentless strolling bassline. – Learn the total evaluate.
The Sugarhill Gang – The Sugarhill Gang, 1980
Though the Sugarhill Gang did not invent hip-hop, they had been the primary rap act to have an enormous worldwide hit. Launched in 1979, “Rapper’s Delight” was thousands and thousands of listeners’ first publicity to hip-hop — earlier than that, only a few folks exterior of New York even knew what hip-hop was. The Sugarhill Gang had been additionally among the many first rap acts to file a full-length LP; when this self-titled debut album got here out in 1980, the overwhelming majority of old-school MCs had been solely offering 12″ singles. – Learn the total evaluate.
Kurtis Blow – Kurtis Blow, 1980
Again in hip-hop’s old fashioned period — roughly 1978-1982 — albums had been the exception and never the rule. Hip-hop grew to become much more album-minded with the rise of its second technology (Run-D.M.C., Whodini, the Fats Boys, amongst others) round 1983-1984, however to start with, many MCs recorded nothing however singles. Two exceptions had been the Sugarhill Gang and Kurtis Blow, whose self-titled debut album of 1980 was amongst hip-hop’s first LPs and was the primary rap album to come back out on a serious label. – Learn the total evaluate.
“Planet Rock” – Afrika Bambaataa, 1982
When “Planet Rock” got here out in June of 1982, it revolutionized the hip-hop scene and put the Tommy Boy label on the map. Quickly, city producers had been turning to synthesizers and keyboards, churning out dozens of electro hits like “Clear” by Cybotron, “Rockit” by Herbie Hancock, “Jam on It” by Newcleus, “Egypt, Egypt” by the Egyptian Lover, and “Jam the Field” by Fairly Tony. The electro fascination proved the launching pad for techno, home, and bass music. – Learn the total evaluate.
The Message – Grandmaster Flash & the Livid 5, 1982
Grandmaster Flash & the Livid 5 merged the Afrocentric consciousness expressed by such early rappers as Gil Scott-Heron and the Final Poets with b-boy manufacturing to create “The Message,” an all-time rap anthem. It was the focus of this LP, which additionally included “It is Nasty” and “Scorpio,” two different sturdy cuts that may have been winners on their very own. – Learn the total evaluate.
Wild Type – Varied Artists, 1983
Wild Type largely went unseen upon its 1983 launch, however its soundtrack grew to become one of many key information of early-’80s hip-hop, offering rappers with a treasure trove of beats and rhymes. Not one of the cuts on Wild Type grew to become crossover hits, however the songs grew to become underground staples, inspiring new rappers and providing rhythms that had been sampled over time. – Learn the total evaluate.
Escape – Whodini, 1984
In contrast to many rappers, Whodini acquired their beats and musical backing from synthesizers. Whereas this is not a conceptual masterpiece and actually is nothing greater than sure-shot singles and sound-alike single, “5 Minutes of Funk” was an on the spot basic. The just-as-good “Freaks Come Out at Evening” has the fellows speaking about nocturnal freaks with vivid lyrics and just a little an excessive amount of inside info. – Learn the total evaluate.
Fats Boys – Fats Boys, 1984
After making some noise because the Disco Three, the Brooklynites modified their title to the Fats Boys in 1984 and hit huge with this glorious debut album, which is humorous, wildly entertaining, and unapologetically funky. All the pieces from “Fats Boys” to the amusing “Jailhouse Rap” proves that their rapping abilities had been first-rate. One of many group’s strongest property was Darren Robinson, aka the Human Beat Field, who was recognized for making percussive sounds together with his voice. – Learn the total evaluate.
On the Nile – The Egyptian Lover, 1984
The Egyptian Lover by no means claimed to be a hardcore rapper; On the Nile, his debut album of 1984, does not faux to be a Run-D.M.C., L.L. Cool J, or Fats Boys launch any greater than Grover Washington, Jr. claimed to be a jazz purist. The closest this LP involves an East Coast hip-hop vibe is the one “What Is a DJ If He Cannot Scratch”; all the different tracks supply a synthesizer-driven mix of rap, dance music, and electro-funk. Although “Planet Rock” is a powerful affect on this launch, it’s hardly the Egyptian Lover’s solely affect — his sound additionally owes a debt to Germany’s seminal Kraftwerk (whose improvements vastly influenced “Planet Rock”), Prince, Man Parrish, and Giorgio Moroder, in addition to Center Japanese and North African music. – Learn the total evaluate.
Run-D.M.C. – Run-D.M.C., 1984
The manufacturing is hard and minimal, constructed on relentless drum machines and Jam Grasp Jay’s livid scratching, mixing in a guitar riff or a keyboard hit every now and then. It’s brutal city music, and Run and D.M.C.’s forceful, muscular rhymes match the music. The place different MCs sounded cheerful, Run and D.M.C. prowl and taunt the listener, sounding as in the event that they had been a avenue gang. And whereas a lot of the file is dedicated to braggadocio, boasting, and block events, Run-D.M.C. additionally addressed grittier realities of city life, giving this file each context and thematic weight. All of this — the music, the angle, the phrases, the themes — marked a turning level for rap, and it is not possible to calculate Run-D.M.C.’s affect on all that got here afterward. – Learn the total evaluate.