Classic Material: ‘The Breaks of 88’

A continuation of sorts from The Diary and Classic Material mix series, 'The Breaks of ...' revisits the chronological theme of those mixes, this time reconstructing classic hip hop from the year in question utilising only the original sample material. Originally released on Limited Edition Cassette in the summer of 2013, I thought it was about time these mixes got an airing online. This edition reconstructs the hits of 1988. Artwork by John Brotherhood in tribute to the Ultimate Breaks and Beats series, the original sampled breaks collection. We hope you enjoy!

Listen on Mixcloud or download from Bandcamp via the downloads page.

 

Classic Material: ‘The Breaks of 87’

A continuation of sorts from The Diary and Classic Material mix series, 'The Breaks of ...' revisits the chronological theme of those mixes, this time reconstructing classic hip hop from the year in question utilising only the original sample material. Originally released on Limited Edition Cassette in the summer of 2013, I thought it was about time these mixes got an airing online. This edition reconstructs the hits of 1987. Artwork by John Brotherhood in tribute to the Ultimate Breaks and Beats series, the original sampled breaks collection. We hope you enjoy!

Listen on Mixcloud or download from Bandcamp via the downloads page.

 

The Pharcyde – Runnin / Passin Me By (Chris Read Remixes) 7inch Vinyl Double Pack

I’m very pleased to announce that this remix release for BBE Records x Delicious Vinyl (available exclusively on 7inch vinyl double pack), is out now and available to purchase from Juno among other typical outlets. Blurb from BBE below:

“In the closing months of 2012 BBE label artist Chris Read was enlisted by classic Los Angeles imprint Delicious Vinyl to produce a mixtape for Wax Poetics magazine celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the release of The Pharcyde’s seminal debut LP ‘Bizarre Ride’. The resulting mix was a runaway success clocking tens of thousands of plays online and kickstarted a relationship with the label that would go on to see Chris remix two of the group’s best loved tracks, ‘Runnin’ and ‘Passin Me By’.

Those tracks are now available for the first time on this limited edition BBE x Delicious Vinyl double vinyl 7inch release. Treating the familiar original with respect, Chris has called upon the vocal talents of long time collaborators Lizzy Parks (Tru Thoughts) and guitarist Giles Barratt (Breakin Bread) to rework passages from ‘Runnin’ to create a 2014 update on the themes of the much loved Jay Dee produced classic. ‘Passin Me By’ meanwhile gets a ’90s throwback rework utilising sample material from the original to great effect to create a track which bears all the hallmarks of the golden era.

Mastered and cut by Walter Coelho who cut Jay Dee’s ‘Welcome to Detroit’ back in 2001, the circle is complete!”

Listen to previews on Bandcamp or Soundcloud.

 

1974 to 2014 - Mr Bongo x WhoSampled: Incredible Bongo Band ‘Bongo Rock’ 40th Anniversary Mixtape

It's been up on the downloads page here for some time but we haven't yet given it a mention here on the blog so before we move on to new releases, here's a quick reminder of this mix put together for WhoSampled and Mr Bongo in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Incredible Bongo Band's classic 'Bongo Rock' LP.

Listen here.

 

2006 to 2010 - Classic Material Edition #16 Bonus Tracks

Last year we rounded off our series of Classic Material mixes with a mix covering the years 2001 to 2005 which didn't feature as part of the original CD series. Our intention had been to supplement that with a final mix covering the years 2006 to 2010, but new projects got underway and other priorities took over so that idea has been parked for the foreseeable. That said, we wanted to wrap up the series in some way before getting this year's project underway, so here are the bonus tracks that were intended to go along with that mix: A selection of remixes of music released between 2006 and 2010 put together by Classic Material's Chris Read back in 2009 /2010. Many have been available before in some format, but some have not been available until now.

Listen / download here

 

Classic Material 2013 Photographic Prints In Store

Five brand new photo prints produced in collaboration with Classic Material contributor Normski are now available to purchase from our online store. Featured artists include Ice Cube, De La Soul, Dr Dre, Eric B and Guru.

Shop here.

 

1993 to 2013 - A Tribe Called Quest ‘Midnight Marauders’ 20th Anniversary Mixtape

Produced in conjunction with Wax Poetics and WhoSampled and mixed by Classic Material's Chris Read, this mix celebrates the 20th Anniversary of A Tribe Called Quest's 'Midnight Marauders'. Original album tracks and original sample material in the mix. At the time of writing it has been streamed almost 60,000 times on Soundcloud and Mixcloud.

Listen on Mixcloud here.

 

1993 to 2013 - Souls of Mischief ‘93 Til Infinity’ 20th Anniversary Mixtape mixed by Chris Read

Produced in conjunction with Wax Poetics and WhoSampled and mixed by Classic Material's Chris Read, this mix celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Souls of Mischief's seminal debut '93 til Infinity'. Original album tracks, remixes and alternate versions, interview extracts and original sample material in the mix. At the time of writing it has been streamed over 20,000 times on Soundcloud and Mixcloud.

Listen on Mixcloud here.

 

2013 - Adidas Original ‘Unite All Originals’ Mixtape mixed by Chris Read

Commissioned mix for Adidas Originals & WhoSampled pairing some of Hip Hop's biggst names with the tracks they have sampled. Features the likes of Common, Mos Def, The Beatnuts and many more. At the time of writing, the mix has been streamed over 40,000 times.

Listen here.

 

2013 - Chris Read feat Phill Most Chill - Rap Tradition 7” Single

Released in September 2013, traditional rap from Classic Material's Chris Read featuring Phildelphia Soulman Phill Most Chill on Breakin Bread records. Info from the Breakin' Bread press release:

” ‘Rap Tradition’ is not only a title but a mission statement as guest vocalist Phill Most leads the fast-rap renaissance. Fondly recalling an era of innovation and the competitive spirit of the battle, the track is a lyrical ode the genre’s traditions. Sitting atop a pounding drum track which is equal parts crisp 2013 production and homage to the classic beat makers of the late ’80s, deft wordplay weaves in and out of punchy drums, horn stabs, hints of hammond and a captivating bass groove. With a nod to ’80s greats 45 King and Marley Marl, it’s a track which follows in the footsteps of those playfully keeping their tradition alive: NuMark, DJ Format, Cut Chemist et al.”

Listen to the A-Side here / B-Side here. Purchase here.

 

2013 - Simba & Milton Gulli - Scenrario (Chris Read Rap Renaissance Remix)

Released in September 2013, Classic Material's Chris Read remixes Mozambique duo Simba & Milton Gulli's cover version of A Tribe Called Quest's early 90s classic 'Scenario' for BBE Records.

Listen on Soundcloud here. Purchase from BBE here.

 

2013 - WhoSampled Guest Mix: “Jay-Z The Samples”

Put together as a guest mix for WhoSampled by Classic Material's Chris Read in July 2013 to coincide with the release of Jay Z's 'Magna Carta, Holy Grail' album. Here's what they had to say about it at the time:

"Coinciding with the release of Jay-Z's twelfth studio album 'Magna Carta... Holy Grail', once again we dig in the vaults, this time to bring you a retrospective of some of our favourite source material from Jay-Z's 20+ year career. With a little bias toward the late '90s classics which forged his reputation as a major player, we take in samples sources from early 90s collaborations with Jaz and Original Flavor all the way through to 'Magna Carta... Holy Grail'. Many of the classics are represented and a few less prominent cuts too."

Listen on Mixcloud here.

 

2013 - WhoSampled Guest Mix: “Kanye West The Samples”

Put together as a guest mix for WhoSampled by Classic Material's Chris Read in June 2013 to coincide with the release of Kanye's 'Yeezus' album. Here's what they had to say about it at the time:

"As Yeezus fever grips the internet ahead of tomorrow's official release of Kanye's electronic opus, we thought it a perfect opportunity to review some of the source material that has made Kanye consistently one of our site's most popular artists. With a nod to the quirky sources of the forthcoming Yeezus and the trademark vocal chops of Cruel Summer, we revisit the early years of the Soul on 45 sound that made his debut LP a timeless classic and reference his wholesale reworkings of classics from the likes Curtis Mayfield, Ray Charles, Otis Redding and others: A whistle-stop tour of some of our favourite moments in the career of the poster boy for contemporary popular sample based Hip Hop."

Listen on Mixcloud here.

 

2013 - Southern Hospitality Twelve 12s Guest Mix

The 43rd of Southern Hospitality's 'Twelve 12"s' live vinyl only mix series. Twelve mid '90s dancefloor hip hop edits from Armand Van Helden's much maligned AV8 records imprint in the mix. Mixed by Classic Material's Chris Read.

Listen on Mixcloud here or download from Southern Hospitality here.

 

1992 to 2012 - Bizarre Ride to the Pharcyde 20th Anniversary Mixtape

In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of The Pharcyde's seminal 'Bizarre Ride' album and in support of the group's 2012 'Bizarre Ride Live' tour Classic Material resident DJ Chris Read put together this special mix for OG West Coast label Delicious Vinyl in conjunction with Wax Poetics. Comprising original album tracks, remixes, instrumentals, acapellas, original sample material and even some interview snippets from the time of release, this 40 minute mix takes in the high points of this incredible album and summarises why to us (and many others) it is a timeless classic.

Listen / download links here.


 

2012 - DJ Center feat Oddisee - Leave The City Outside (Chris Read Remix)

Remix by Classic Material's Chris Read of Brooklyn's DJ Center's single 'Leave The City Outside' featuring in demand vocalist Oddisee.

Listen on Bandcamp, Soundcloud or Spotify / Purchase on iTunes


 

2011 - The Electric - Overloaded (Chris Read Remix)

Unreleased track from late 2011. Classic Material's Chris Read remixes 'Overloaded' from DJ Vadim's 'Electric' project featuring Sabira Jade and Pugs Atomz.

Listen on Soundcloud or Bandcamp.

 

2011 - Beat Generation 10th Anniversary Mix Album

In March 2011, Classic Material resident DJ & curator Chris Read released his first official mix for the BBE label, a mix in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of BBE's Beat Generation series which accompanied similar mixes from DJ Spinna and Mr Thing on the digital version of the official 10th Anniversary Compilation and Mix Album.

You can listen to an extract from the mix on Mixcloud here.

 

2010 - DJ KO feat Phonte, Masta Ace, Wordsworth & K Hill - Ladder of Success (Chris Read Remix)

Chris Read remix of DJ KO's 'Ladder of Success' featuring an all star cast of vocal talent inc Phonte of Little Brother, Masta Ace & Wordsworth.

Listen / Download here.

 

2009 - Chris Read presents The Little Brother Show (Instrumentals)

Instrumental version of Chris Read's 2009 EP of Little Brother Remixes. Listen / Download via Bandcamp here.

 

2009 - Chris Read presents The Little Brother Show

Nine track remix EP of tracks by or featuring members of North Carolina's Little Brother.

Listen or Download via Bandcamp here.

 

1989 to 2009 - Diary Remix Instrumentals

Having now posted the last of the Diary Remixes from the series, grab instrumentals of the entire set via Bandcamp here.

 

2006 to 2009 - Chris Read’s Diary Remixes

Another set of remixes produced by Classic Material's Chris Read revisiting some favourites from 2001 to 2005, remixed in tribute to the popular production styles of the day:

- Lupe Fiasco - Kick Push (Chris Read Remix) (2006)
- Little Brother feat Carlitta Durand - Life of the Party (Chris Read Remix)
(2007)
- Black Grass feat J Live - Set It Straight (Chris Read Remix)
(2008)
- Nothing's Gonna Stop Me
(2009)

Someone also set the Lupe Fiasco track to the original video. The audio and visual quality seem to have suffered a little in the process but it's still worth a view. Check that here.


 

2001 to 2005 - Classic Material Edition #15 Bonus Tracks

It's been a long road over the last few months to get all of the Classic Material bonus tracks up on to Bandcamp, but we're finally at the end of the series. Well, we say that - we are considering putting together a Classic Material #16 mixtape so, if that happens, it's not unlikely that we'll have some bonus tracks to accompany that but for now at least, this is the final bundle. And it's a bumper one - 7 tracks this week, among them 3 that have never been available before on either CD or online! This collection of Chris Read remixes includes tracks by Kev Brown, Jay Dee, Little Brother, Checkmate, and Big Daddy Kane & DJ Premier.

Listen / download here.

 

2001 to 2005 - Chris Read’s Diary Remixes

Another set of remixes produced by Classic Material's Chris Read revisiting some favourites from 2001 to 2005, remixed in tribute to the popular production styles of the day:

- Jaz O & Immobilaire - The Love Is Gone (Chris Read Remix) (2001)
- Jay Dee feat Frank & Dank - Pause (Chris Read Remix) (2002)
- Kev Brown - Allways (Chris Read Remix) (2003)
- Encore feat LadyBug Mecca - Real Talk (Chris Read Remix) (2004)
- Common feat Floetry - Superstar (Chris Read Remix) (2005)

 

2001 to 2005 - Diary Rap Megamixes

This is the final post for our Diary Rap Megamixes! By now regular followers of the blog know the format so little explanation required. Listen / download links below:

2001 Rap Megamix / 2002 Rap Megamix / 2003 Rap Megamix / 2004 Rap Megamix / 2005 Rap Megamix

 

2001 to 2005 - Classic Material Edition #15 Mixtape

Beyond content relating to the year 2000, we're switching up the format a little covering a longer time period with each of the final editions. Edition #14, covering material for the year 2000, marked the end of our initial series of events and monthly box set releases, following which Classic Material changed its focus to more one off projects, exhibitions, products and spending more time on our online endeavours. Bringing things more up to date, this mixtape covering material from the years 2001 to 2005 was released about this time last year to coincide with our first collaboration with Normski and FootPatrol.

Listen here or download here.

 

Classic Material Bonus Tracks Round Up [Download]

For the past 3 to 4 months we've been posting a new free download bundle on Bandcamp each week, each one containing the bonus tracks from one of the now sold out Classic Material CD series. Those bonus tracks were a mixture of material previously featured on the Diary mixtapes and new remixes produced especially for the Classic Material CDs. To round off the series, here is a full download of the final CD of the series, a sort of 'best of' the remixes, previously limited to just 100 physical copies. The collection features 14 Chris Read Remixes taken from Classic Material Editions #1 to #14 featuring artists including Heavy D, Kool Chip, Ultramagnetic MCs, Erick Sermon, The Beatnuts and Common, each produced in tribute to the production styles popular at the time of original release.

It doesn't quite end here though, there will also be a bonus tracks download for the digi-only Classic Material #15 which will include some new remixes never before available either online or on CD! Watch this space for details.

Listen / download Classic Material 'Bonus Material' here.

 

Classic Material x Normski x FootPatrol 2013 T-Shirt Range

With all the talk of our recent 2013 season launch party, it's about time we posted some images of the range itself. So here they, the 5 tees that make up our 2013 t-shirt range featuring artists De La Soul, Ice Cube, Guru, Dr Dre and Eric B.

Purchase from the FootPatrol online store here.

 

‘Classic Material: The Breaks’ Limited Edition Cassette Only Mixtape

Those in attendance at our recent launch party may have been lucky enough to take home a copy of this exclusive cassette only mix, 'Classic Material: The Breaks'. Limited to just 100 copies, they were only available to those who attended our Soho pop up store and a select handful of close friends of Classic Material. We may in due course make some of the audio available online though so watch this space!

 

Classic Material x Normski x Footpatrol Season 3 Launch Event [Video]

With the main portion of our year by year rap history run down now complete, this seems an opportune time to introduce our Season 3 product range. Two weeks ago we launched Classic Material's third range of T-Shirts in collaboration with Foot Patrol and photographer Normski. The launch night at our Soho pop-up store supported by Celia Lager was a huge success. The team at Nonsense put a great video documenting the event together for us, which premiered this week on Slam X Hype.

Watch the video here.

 

2000 - Classic Material Edition #14 Bonus Tracks

In keeping with tradition, we wrap up our entries for the year with a free download of bonus tracks from our Classic Material CD for the year. This week's edition includes a remix of a West Coast indie classic from Jurassic 5 in stylistic tribute to production trends of the day and another of our classic megamixes.

Listen / download via Bandcamp here.

 

2000 - Classic Material’s Top 25 Rap Albums

In previous weeks our top 25 album chart has been delivered courtesy of Ego Trip's book of rap lists. Unfortunately that resource only takes us as far as 1998 so we're now left to do the work ourselves. Beyond the end of the 90s the scene is pretty splintered, so the following list is presented in no particular order and is a mixture of personal favourites and albums with notable impact:

1. Common - Like Water For Chocolate
2. Slum Village - Fantastic Volume 2
3. Ghostface Killer - Supreme Clientele
4. De La Soul - Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump
5. Reflection Eternal - Train of Thought
6. Outkast - Stankonia
7. Quasimoto - The Unseen
8. Dead Prez - Let's Get Free
9. Big L - The Big Picture
10. People Under The Stairs - Question in the Form of an Answer
11. Jurassic 5 - Quality Control
12. Black Eyed Peas - Bridging The Gap
13. Foreign Legion - Kidnapper Van
14. Various Artists - Lyricists Lounge Volume 2
15. Creators - The Weight
16. Wu Tang Clan - The W
17. MOP - Warriorz
18. Deltron 3030 - Deltron 3030
19. Guru - Jazzmatazz 3: Streetsoul
20. Ugly Duckling - Journey to Anywhere
21. Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP
22. Dilated Peoples - The Platform
23. Bumpy Knuckles - Industry Shakedown
24. Screwball - Y2K The Album
25. D.I.T.C - D.I.T.C

 

2000 - A Year In Rap

The year 2000 of course signals the beginning of a new decade and the end of what many consider to be hip hop's greatest era, the 90s. The year 2000 marked a turning point for the Indie scene with artists such as De La Soul, DJ Premier and others proving to the so called 'back pack' fraternity that credibility and club friendly / commercial music could co-exist. It's a landmark year for us here at Classic Material since it was the last year covered by our initial series of events and mixes. There have of course been a number of follow up projects, but it's the year that closes our year by year run down. Below is a snapshot of some of the year's key mainstream events, produced this time with the assistance of Dream Door's hip hop timeline:

- Outkast continues to sit at the cutting edge of mainstream hip-hop with their fourth LP, 'Stankonia'. As praised as their previous work and containing their two biggest commercial hits thus far, the group graduate from critics' darlings to superstars.

- Eminem's second album, 'The Marshall Mathers LP', is a huge hit, (eventually becoming one of the best-selling rap albums of all-time). A more personal album than his previous one, (but even more inflammatory), it catapults Em into rap superstardom and creates controversy for its homophobic content. Despite a small backlash, he maintains credibility in the hip-hop community while remaining immensely popular (and controversial) outside of it.

- Jay-Z continues his reign as a figurehead of mainstream hip-hop with the release of 'Dynasty: Roc-La-Familia', an album featuring up and coming artists from the Roc-A-Fella Records label, founded by Jay-Z with business partner Damon Dash.

- Building on his semi-reunion with Snoop Dogg on 1999's successful comeback effort '2001', Dr. Dre reunites with former NWA bandmates Ice Cube and MC Ren on the single, 'Hello,' from Cube's album, 'War & Peace, Vol. 2'.

- St. Louis-based rapper Nelly debuts with 'Country Grammar'. The album is a monster hit, it's success (and that of other rappers from New Orleans, Houston, and Detroit) prove that hip-hop has moved farther away from bi-coastal domination.

- Superstar Latino rapper Big Pun (pictured) dies of heart attack aged just 29.

- Shunning fame and the spotlight, acclaimed MC/singer/songwriter Lauryn Hill goes into self-imposed seclusion.

 

2000 - Diary Rap Megamix

Another nugget from the Classic Material vaults, our 4 minute megamix of 30 or so of 2000's best loved hip hop releases.

Listen / download via bandcamp here.

 

2000 - Jurassic 5 - Quality Control (Chris Read Remix)

This remix of Jurassic 5's 'Quality Control' originally appeared on the 2009 remix compilation 'Diary 1.5: Twenty Years of the Remix'. As with all remixes from the Diary collection, the production style owes something to popular production styles of the day.

Listen to / download the vocal version here or grab the instrumental version here.

 

2000 - Classic Material Edition #14 Mixtape

Continuing with another mix documenting the music of 2000, here's a quick reminder of our own 2000 mixtape. Classics from the likes of Mos Def, De La Soul and Common appear alongside lesser known cuts. Mixed by Classic Material's Chris Read.

Listen on Mixcloud here or grab yourself a free download here. We've also now created a handy Mixcloud playlist where you can check out all of the mixes from the Classic Material mix series in one place.

 

2000 - The Rub History of Hip Hop Mix

Moving on to 2000, we kick things off with another offering from New York's Rub DJs.

Listen to their 200 mix on Mixcloud here or download from Brooklyn Radio here. And to make life easier, we've now created a handy Mixcloud playlist where you can check out all the mixes from this series in one place. You can check that out on Classic Material curator Chris Read's Mixcloud page here.

 

1999 - Classic Material Edition #13 Bonus Tracks

In keeping with tradition, we wrap up our entries for the year with a free download of bonus tracks from our Classic Material CD for the year. This week's edition includes a remix of an indie era classic from Common (originally produced by 45 King) in stylistic tribute to production trends of the day and another of our classic megamixes.

Listen / download via Bandcamp here.

 

1999 - Classic Material’s Top 25 Rap Albums

In previous weeks our top 25 album chart has been delivered courtesy of Ego Trip's book of rap lists. Unfortunately that resource only takes us as far as 1998 so we're now left to do the work ourselves. The scene is pretty splintered by the time we hit the end of the 90s so the following list is presented in no particular order and is a mixture of personal favourites and albums with notable impact:

1. The Roots - 'Things Fall Apart'
2. Dr Dre - 'The Chronic 2001'
3. Blackstar - 'Blackstar'
4. Mos Def - 'Black On Both Sides"
5. Pharoahe Monche - 'Internal Affairs'
6. Q Tip - 'Amplified'
7. Eminem - 'The Slim Shady LP'
8. The Beatnuts - 'A Musical Massacre'
9. Rob Swift - 'The Ablist'
10. MF Doom - 'Operation Doomsday'
11. Mobb Deep - 'Murda Muzik'
12. High & Mighty - 'Home Field Advantage'
13. Method Man & Redman - 'Blackout!'
14. Lootpack - 'Soundpieces: Da Antidote'
15. Prince Paul - 'Prince Among Thieves'
16. Arsonists - 'As The World Burns'
17. Black Moon - 'War Zone'
18. Nas - 'I Am...'
19. Notorious B.I.G - 'Born Again'
20. Peanut Butter Wolf - 'My Vinyl Weighs A Ton'
21. Roots Manuva - 'Brand New Second Hand'
22. Inspectah Deck - 'Uncontrolled Substance'
23. DJ Spinna -'Heavy Beats Volume 1'
24. Various Artists - 'Soundbombing Volume 2'
25. Mountain Brothers - 'Self: Volume 1'

 

1999 - A Year In Rap

1999 was a year which marked a coming of age for the Indie Hip Hop scene. Whereas the previous year had been dominated by leftfield and arguably less accessible indie releases, 1999 delivered more accomplished and club friendly indie releases with labels such as Rawkus really growing into their hype. At the more commercial end of the spectrum big budget albums including Dre's Chronic 2001 delivered on expectations. Other notable albums from the year include DJ Spinna's Heavy Beats Volume 1 and underground classics including MF Doom's 'Operation Doomsday' and Lootpack's 'Soundpieces'. Below is a snapshot of some of the year's key mainstream events, produced this time with the assistance of Dream Door's hip hop timeline:

- Nas releases his third album, 'I Am...', to mixed reviews and mediocre sales, as does its rushed follow-up 'Nastradamus', furthering the Queensbridge rapper's downward career slide.

- With the continuing multiplatinum success of Cash Money Records out of New Orleans and hit albums by Atlanta-based Ludacris and the Hypnotized Mindz Camp from Memphis. the South looks to eclipse the West Coast in overall popularity and sales.

- Jay-Z, DMX, Redman and Method Man embark on the 'Hard Knock Life Tour', one of hip-hop's most successful major tours in around a decade.

- Lauryn Hill's debut album wins five Grammy awards, including Album of the Year; the first hip-hop album to do so.

- Now signed to Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment, Eminem makes his major label debut with 'The Slim Shady LP'. The album and debut single, 'My Name Is', announce the darkly comical rapper as a star in the rap world. The rapper garners both praise for his wit and creativity and derision for the album's misogyny and vulgarity.

- Mos Def and Talib Kweli, collectively known as Black Star (pictured above) release their eponymous debut. With their thoughtful, intelligent lyrics and laid-back approach, the album, along with Mos Def's solo debut, 'Black On Both Sides', delivers the sound of Hip Hop's independent underground to wider audiences.

- Slick Rick releases 'The Art of Storytelling', his first album since being released from prison two years earlier. It is praised as a return-to-form for the MC.

- Puff Daddy releases 'Forever'. It fails to match the success of his debut and disappears from the charts quickly. To add insult to injury, Ma$e, the biggest star on his Bad Boy label after Puffy himself leaves rap music behind to pursue religious ministry.

- Eve, a brash young female rapper from DMX's Ruff Ryders posse, releases her debut album 'Let There Be Eve...Ruff Ryders First Lady'. Despite a degree of pop gloss, her presence is viewed by some as a welcome departure from the money-and-sex obsessed rhymes of most of her female contemporaries.

- Underground sensation Big L is shot and killed just blocks away from his home.

- After touring successfully for years, Run DMC return to recording after a six-year hiatus. The album, 'Crown Royal', is both a critical and commercial disappointment. Featuring little-to-no input from DMC, a bevy of guest stars and spawning only one moderate hit, it throws the future of legendary trio into doubt.

- Dr. Dre finally releases a proper follow-up to his 1992 masterpiece, 'The Chronic'. '2001' is a strong return to form for the producer/rapper, with guest appearances by his new protege, Eminem and a long-awaited reunion with Snoop Dogg.

- At a New Year's Eve party at club New York, Puff Daddy and his girlfriend, actress/singer Jennifer Lopez get into an altercation with some patrons that turns into a shootout. After fleeing from the scene, they are arrested on charges of aggravated assault.

 

1999 - Diary Rap Megamix

Another nugget from the Classic Material vaults, our 4 minute megamix of 30 or so of 1999's best loved hip hop releases.

Listen / download via bandcamp here.

 

1999 - Common - Car Horn (Chris Read Remix)

This remix of Common's 'Car Horn' originally appeared on the 2009 remix compilation 'Diary 1.5: Twenty Years of the Remix'. As with all remixes from the Diary collection, the production style owes something to popular production styles of the day.

Listen to / download the vocal version here or grab the instrumental version here.

 

1999 - Classic Material Edition #13 Mixtape

Continuing with another mix documenting the music of 1999, here's a quick reminder of our own 1999 mixtape. Classics from the likes of Rakim, The Roots and Common appear alongside lesser known cuts. Mixed by Classic Material's Chris Read.

Listen on Mixcloud here or grab yourself a free download here. We've also now created a handy Mixcloud playlist where you can check out all of the mixes from the Classic Material mix series in one place.

 

1999 - The Rub History of Hip Hop Mix

Moving on to 1999, we kick things off with another offering from New York's Rub DJs.

Listen to their 1999 mix on Mixcloud here or download from the Rub blog here. And to make life easier, we've now created a handy Mixcloud playlist where you can check out all the mixes from this series in one place. You can check that out on Classic Material curator Chris Read's Mixcloud page here.

 

1998 - Classic Material Edition #12 Bonus Tracks

In keeping with tradition, we wrap up our entries for the year with a new download of bonus tracks. This week's edition includes a previous unreleased remix of DJ Honda & The Beatnuts and another remix of an indie era classic from Unspoken Heard both produced in stylistic tribute to production trends of the day.

Listen / download via Bandcamp here.

 

1998 - A Year In Rap

1998 is a year often celebrated as the pinnacle of the late 90s 'Indie' era. Revered independent labels including Rawkus, ABB, Fondle Em and countless other less well known imprints released some of their strongest material during the year. Major labels were quick to get in on the act with Tommy Boy launching its 'Black Label' imprint as an outlet for less commercial sounding output from the likes of Defari and DV Alias Khrist. Notable albums include Black Star seminal debut, Tribe Called Quest's Ummah produced 'Love Movement' and Pete Rock's star studded solo debut 'Soul Survivor'. Below is a snapshot of some of the year's key events, produced this time with the assistance of Dream Door's hip hop timeline:

- DMX makes his debut with 'It's Dark and Hell Is Hot'. It becomes a monster hit and signals a return of gritty, hardcore rap after a year of the more radio-friendly, Bad Boy-influenced party-rap.

- Master P's No Limit Records continues to churn out one hit album after the other. Even though critics and hip-hop purists scoff at the cheap production and lackluster artists on the label. Seeking to strike while he's hot, P also creates No Limit Films, No Limit Wireless, and his own Percy Miller Clothing Line.

- Jay-Z's third album, "Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life," becomes his biggest-seller and restores some of his credibility in hip-hop circles.

- Lauryn Hill (pictured), formerly of the Fugees, releases her solo debut, 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill'. With an emphasis on confessional songwriting and a powerful mix of rap, reggae, gospel, soul and folk, it becomes the most-acclaimed album of the year and thrusts Hill into international stardom.

- 'Aquemini', the third outing for Atlanta rappers Outkast, is a startling leap forward for the group. Combining live instrumentation with thought-provoking and forward-thinking lyrics, as well as meshing hip-hop, country, soul, techno, and funk elements, the album follows Lauryn Hill's debut as one of the most acclaimed albums of the year, though it isn't as successful commercially.

- After releasing their fifth album, 'The Love Movement', A Tribe Called Quest abruptly announce their breakup. Lead rapper Q-Tip immediately embarks on a solo career.

- Seeking a career rebirth, Snoop Dogg signs with Master P's No Limit label and rush-releases two lackluster albums.

- With a chain of restaurants, ("Justin's"), a clothing line, ("Sean John"), and a celebrity girlfriend, (Jennifer Lopez), Puff Daddy becomes the most recognized man in hip-hop.

- West Coast underground rapper C-Bo goes to jail as a judge claims his violent lyrics are a violation of his probation.

- Upstart New Orleans label Cash Money Records signs a 100M distribution deal with Universal and releases albums from Juvenile, Lil Wayne and B.G. confirming the 'Dirty' South as hip-hop's new second coast.

- Rap-rock explodes into the mainstream as albums by Limp Bizkit, Korn, and Kid Rock sell huge numbers, confirming the influence of hip-hop in general (and Run DMC in particular) on an entire generation.

- After appearing on the song '4, 3, 2, 1' with LL Cool J, young up-and-comer Canibus releases '2nd Round K.O.', a scathing diss of the legendary rapper. LL responds with 'The Ripper's Back', returning some of the street credibility to his career after a string of pop hits.

- Later the same year DMX releases his sophomore album, 'Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood'. He becomes the first rap artist to have two number one albums in the same year.

- Puff Daddy, Russell Simmons, and Master P all appear on Forbes' Top Moneymakers in Entertainment of 1998.

- Big Punisher, a Puerto-Rican MC from the Bronx; releases his debut album, 'Capital Punishment', and becomes the first Hispanic solo rapper to have a platinum-selling album.

 

1998 - Diary Rap Megamix

Another nugget from the Classic Material vaults, our 4 minute megamix of 30 or so of 1998's best loved hip hop releases.

Listen / download via bandcamp here.

 

1998 - Ego Trip’s Top 25 Rap Albums

A snapshot of 1998's most popular hip hop album releases, borrowing the top 25 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists. This will be the last Ego Trip we'll be publishing here on the site, the last to appear in the book. Stay tuned for new features in coming weeks:

1. Gang Starr - Moment of Truth
2. OutKast - Aquemini
3. Jay-Z - Vol.2 ... Hard Knock Life
4. Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
5. M.O.P - First Family For Life
6. Goodie Mob - Still Standing
7. DMX - It's Dark and Hell Is Hot
8. Redman - Doc's Da Name 2000
9. Noreaga - N.O.R.E
10. Big Punisher - Captial Punishment
11. Def Squad - El Nino
12. Master P - MP Da Last Don
13. Jermaine Dupri - Life in 1472
14. Silkk The Shocker - Charge It 2 Da Game
15. Snoop Doggy Dogg - Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told
16. Daz Dillinger - Retaliation, Revenge And Get Back
17. Young Bleed - My Balls and My Word
18. Juvenile - 400 Degreez
19. WC - The Shadiest One
20. E-40 - The Element of Surprise
21. Witchdoctor - ...a s.w.a.t Healin' Ritual
22. Eightball - Lost
23. C Murder - Life or Death
24. Devin - The Dude
25. Show & AG - Full Scale EP

 

1998 - Unspoken Heard - Better (Chris Read Remix)

This remix of Unspoken Heard's 'Better' originally appeared on the 2009 remix compilation 'Diary 1.5: Twenty Years of the Remix'. As with all remixes from the Diary collection, the production style owes something to popular production styles of the day, in this case a nod to the fluid jazzy production appearing on key tracks from the era such as Fortified Live's '2000 Seasons'.

Listen to / download the vocal version here or grab the instrumental version here.

 

1998 - Ego Trip’s Top 40 Rap Singles

A snapshot of 1998's most popular single releases, borrowing the top 40 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists. As we mentioned in connection with the 1997 list, as we enter the late 90s, the content of these release lists starts to deviate fairly dramatically from the personal tastes of the Classic Material curators (as is evidenced by the fact that very few of the records listed here appear on our 1998 mixtape):

1. Jay-Z: "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" (Roc-a-Fella)
2. Noreaga: "Superthug" (Penalty)
3. Big Punisher featuring Joe: "Still Not a Player" (Loud)
4. DMX: "Ruff Ryders' Anthem" (Def Jam)
5. Outkast: "Rosa Parks" (LaFace)
6. DMX featuring Sheek: "Get at Me Dog" (Def Jam)
7. Silkk the Shocker featuring Mystikal: "It Ain't My Fault" (No Limit)
8. Jay-Z featuring Amil & Ja Rule: "Can I Get a..." (Roc-a-Fella)
9. Jermaine Dupri featuring Jay-Z: "Money Ain't a Thing" (So So Def)
10. Juvenile: "Ha" (Cash Money)
11. Master P featuring Fiend, Silkk the Shocker, Mia X and Mystikal: "Make 'em Say Unngh!"(No Limit)
12. Redman: "I'll Bee Dat!" (Def Jam)
13. Lauryn Hill: "Doo Wop (That Thing)"/"Lost Ones" (Ruffhouse)
14. Noreaga: "N.O.R.E." (Penalty)
15. Pete Rock featuring Inspectah Deck & Kurupt: "Tru Master" (Loud)
16. Busta Rhymes: "Dangerous" (Elektra)
17. Def Squad: "Full Cooperation" (Def Jam)
18. Canibus: "Second Round K.O." (Universal)
19. Jayo Felony featuring Method Man & DMX: "Whatcha Gonna Do" (Def Jam)
20. Puff Daddy: "Victory"/"Been Around the World (Remix)" (Bad Boy)
21. E-40: "Hope I Don't Go Back" (Sick wid It)
22. Big L: "Ebonics" (Fat Beats)
23. Xzibit: "What U See is What u Get" (Loud)
24. Mystikal: "The Man Right Chea" (No Limit)
25. Snoop Doggy Dogg: "Still a G Thang" (No Limit)
26. Cam'ron: "357"/ "Pull It" (Untertainment)
27. Goodie Mob: "They Don't Dance No Mo" (LaFace)
28. Cam'ron featuring Mase: "Horse & Carriage" (Untertainment)
29. Flipmode Squad: "Cha Cha Cha" (Elektra)
30. Dilated Peoples: "Work the Angles"/"The Main Event"/"Triple Optics"(ABB)
31. Missin' Linx: "M.I.A." (Fat Beats)
32. A Tribe Called Quest: "Find a Way" (Jive)
33. Mase featuring Total: "What You Want" (Bad Boy)
34. Kurupt featuring Baby S: "We Can Freak It" (A&M)
35. 2Pac: "Do for Love" (Interscope)
36. Gangsta Boo featuring DJ Paul & Juicy J: "Where Dem Dollas At" (Relativity)
37. Timbaland featuring Magoo & Missy Elliott: "Here We Come" (Atlantic)
38. All City: "The Actual"/"Priceless" (MCA)
39. Sporty Thievz: "Cheapskate" (Ruffhouse)
40. Lootpack: "The Anthem"/"Lost Art"/"Likwit Fusion" (Stones Throw)

 

1998 - Classic Material Edition #12 Mixtape

Continuing with another mix documenting the music of 1998, here's a quick reminder of our own 1998 mixtape. Classics from the likes of Gang Starr, Pete Rock, Paula Perry and Black Star appear alongside lesser known cuts. Mixed by Classic Material's Chris Read.

Listen on Mixcloud here or grab yourself a free download here. We've also now created a handy Mixcloud playlist where you can check out all of the mixes from the Classic Material mix series in one place.

 

1998 - The Rub History of Hip Hop Mix

Moving on to 1998, we kick things off with another offering from New York's Rub DJs.

Listen to their 1998 mix on Mixcloud here or download from the Rub blog here. And to make life easier, we've now created a handy Mixcloud playlist where you can check out all the mixes from this series in one place. You can check that out on Classic Material curator Chris Read's Mixcloud page here.

 

1997 - Classic Material Edition #11 Bonus Tracks

In keeping with tradition, we wrap up our entries for the year with a new download of bonus tracks. This week's edition includes remixes of The Beatnuts and X-Men both produced in stylistic tribute to production trends of the day.

Listen / download via Bandcamp here.

 

1997 - A Year In Rap

1997 is a year which many associate with the dawn of the so called 'Indie' era. The music of 1997 set the stage the development of two distinct sounds over the following years, the underground independent sound nurtured by labels such as Correct, ABB, Rawkus et al and the commercial sound of the major labels typified by the output of artists such as Jay Z, Foxy Brown and others. Whilst the independent productions of the likes of Shawn J Period and DJ Hi Tek certainly broke new ground, the commercial output should not be written off, with novel sample sources still playing an important role (see Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz' use of Steely Dan or Lil Kim's use of Jeff Lorber for example). Notable albums include, of course, Notorious B.I.G's (pictured above) seminal 'Life After Death' and at the other end of the spectrum Jurassic 5's debut 'J5' EP and Company Flow's leftfield classic 'Funcrusher Plus'. Below is a snapshot of some of the year's key events, produced this time with the assistance of Dream Door's hip hop timeline:

- After a year of critical acclaim, The Fugees announce that they are going their seperate ways, citing creative differences. Wyclef Jean almost immediately begins work on his solo debut.

- After leaving the Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles, the Notorious B.I.G. is shot and killed in a drive-by shooting that eerily resembles that which claimed 2Pac's life six months earlier. With the twin murders of two of it's biggest stars, the hip-hop community is forced to take stock of itself and what it represents. B.I.G.'s second album, the prophetically titled 'Life After Death', is released only a few days after his killing and becomes the best-selling rap album of all time.

- Sean Combs, now calling himself 'Puff Daddy' releases two benefit singles as memoriam to the slain Notorious B.I.G.

- The Wu-Tang Clan release their second album, the double LP 'Wu-Tang Forever'. It sells well but fails to match the critical respect of the group's more acclaimed debut.

- Suge Knight is sentenced to four years in prison for parole violation.

- After writing and producing hits for MC Lyte and R&B groups Xscape and 702, female rap artist Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott releases her debut album, 'Supa Dupa Fly'. It is a triumph and she is praised for her wit and quirky musical approach.

- Puff Daddy makes his debut as an artist with 'No Way Out'. Spawning four top ten singles, the album becomes a monster hit and makes Puffy the biggest star on the Bad Boy label in the wake of B.I.G.'s murder.

- Snoop Dogg finally releases his second album, the lackluster 'The Doggfather'. After the album fails to sell, Snoop announces he is leaving the crumbling Death Row Records.

- After starring in his third-straight summer blockbuster, 'Men In Black', Will Smith confirms his status as one of the biggest box-office draws of the 90s. In a somewhat surprising move, he also returns to music, releasing his first solo album, 'Big Willie Style'. Though lightweight, it becomes one of the best-selling albums of the year.

- Ending a five-year period of seclusion that saw his reputation as a lyricist reach near-mythic proportions, Rakim finally makes his return with 'The 18th Letter', his solo debut.

- After operating in obscurity in the Deep South for almost a decade, New Orleans based rapper-entrepeneur Master P releases 'Ghetto D'. Derided by critics as an untalented hack, the album nonetheless becomes a hit and opens the floodgates for a wealth of New Orleans gangsta rap to hit the airwaves. Master P, as founder and CEO of the No Limit record label, unexpectedly becomes one of the most powerful men in hip-hop.

- Emerging from the shadow of Notorious B.I.G, Bad Boy rapper Ma$e releases his debut album, 'Harlem World'. It is a smash and confirms Bad Boy's status as one of the most commercially successful labels in rap.

- Def Jam Records signs Jay-Z and releases popular albums by rappers Redman, Method Man, and Foxy Brown, signalling a return to form for Russell Simmons and rap's longest-running label.

- Simmons also signs a newly-reformed EPMD and DMX, an intense MC from Yonkers. Jay-Z releases his second album, 'In My Lifetime, Vol. 1'. It sells much better than his debut, but critics deride it as a flaky attempt to reach a crossover audience.

- Afeni Shakur, mother of the slain 2Pac Shakur, releases 'R U Still Down (Remember Me)', a double-album of unreleased material the rapper recorded prior to his death. It is the beginning of a flood of songs, compilations and albums from the deceased rap star's vaults.

 

1997 - Diary Rap Megamix

Another nugget from the Classic Material vaults, our 4 minute megamix of 30 or so of 1997's best loved hip hop releases.

Listen / download via bandcamp here.

 

1997 - Ego Trip’s Top 25 Rap Albums

A snapshot of 1997's most popular hip hop album releases, borrowing the top 25 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. The Notorious B.I.G - Life After Death
2. Capone N Noreaga - The War Report
3. Wu Tang Clan - Wu Tang Forever
4. Wyclef Jean feat Refugee Allstars - The Carnival
5. The Beatnuts - Stone Crazy
6. Mystikal - Unpredictable
7. Puff Daddy & The Family - No Way Out
8. Master P - Ghetto D
9. Missy Elliott - Supa Dupa Fly
10. Mia X - Unlady Like
11. Jay-Z - In My Lifetime Vol. 1
12. Kool Keith - Sex Style
13. Company Flow - Funcrusher Plus
14. Bust Rhymes - When Disaster Strikes...
15. Ma$e - Harlem World
16. Bone Thugs & Harmony - The Art of War
17. Rakim - The 18th Letter, The Book of Life
18. EPMD - Back In Business
19. Jurassic 5 - Jurassic 5 EP
20. TRU - Tru 2 Da Game
21. O.C. - Jewelz
22. Scarface - The Untouchable
23. Mack 10 - Based On A True Story
24. Cru - Da Dirty 30
25. No I.D. - Accept Your Own & Be Yourself (The Black Album)

 

1997 - The Beatnuts - Off The Books (Chris Read Remix)

This remix of The Beatnuts' 'Off The Books' originally appeared on the 2009 remix compilation 'Diary 1.5: Twenty Years of the Remix'. As with all remixes from the Diary collection, the production style owes something to popular production styles of the day, in this case a nod to the Beatnuts' own productions from the era.

Listen to / download the vocal version here or grab the instrumental version here.

 

1997 - Ego Trip’s Top 40 Rap Singles

A snapshot of 1997's single releases, borrowing the top 40 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists. At this point it's probably worth pointing out that the content of these release lists starts to deviate fairly dramatically from the personal tastes of the Classic Material curators (as is evidenced by the fact that very few of the records listed here appear on our 1997 mixtape). The same is largely true of the lists for 1996. Nonetheless it's interesting to see the divergence of taste and opinion as the decade draws to a close so in the interests of completeness we'll continue to post these.

1. Puff Daddy featuring the Lox, Lil' Kim & the Notorious B.I.G.: "It's All About the Benjamins (Remix)" (Bad Boy)
2. The Notorious B.I.G. featuring Puff Daddy & Mase: "Mo' Money Mo'Problems" (Bad Boy)
3. The Notorious B.I.G.: "Hypnotize" (Bad Boy)
4. Busta Rhymes: "Put Your Hand Where My Eyes Can See" (Elektra)
5. The Beatnuts featuring Big Punisher & Cuban Link: "Off the Books" (Relativity)
6. Jay-Z: "Who You Wit" (Qwest)
7. Puff Daddy featuring The Notorious B.I.G. & Mase: "Been Around the World" (Bad Boy)
8. Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz: "Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)" (Codeine)
9. The Lox featuring Lil' Kim & DMX: "Money, Power & Respect" (Bad Boy)
10. Mase featuring Kelly Price: "Feel So Good" (Bad Boy)
11. Wu-Tang Clan: "Triumph" (Loud)
12. L.L. Cool J featuring Method Man, Redman, Canibus & DMX: "4. 3. 2. 1" (Def Jam)
13. Young Bleed featuring Master P & C-Loc: "How Ya Do Dat" (No Limit)
14. Capone-n-Noriega featuring Tragedy: "T.O.N.Y. (Top of New York)" (Penalty)
15. Gang Starr: "You Know My Steez" (Noo Trybe)
16. Makaveli featuring the Outlawz: "Hail Mary" (Death Row)
17. Lil' Kim featuring Lil' Cease: "Crush on You (Remix)" (Big Beat)
18. Missy Elliott: "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" (EastWest)
19. Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ & Nature: "Phone Tap" (Aftermath)
20. Wyclef Jean featuring Lauryn Hill: "Guantanamera" (Ruffhouse)
21. Redman featuring Erick Sermon: "Whateva Man" (Def Jam)
22. Tha Alkaholiks featuring Ol' Dirty Bastard: "Hip Hop Drunkies" (Loud)
23. Mos Def: "Universal Magnetic" (Rawkus)
24. DJ Pooh featuring Kam: "Whoop! Whoop!" (Big Beat)
25. Rakim: "It's Been a Long Time" (Universal)
26. Ras Kass: "Soul on Ice (Remix)" (Priority)
27. Scarface featuring 2Pac & Johnny P: "Smile" (Rap-a-Lot)
28. Street Smartz featuring O.C. & Pharaohe Monche: "Metal Thangz" (Tru Criminal)
29. Reflection Eternal featuring Mos Def & Mr. Man: "Fortified Live" (Rawkus)
30. EPMD: "Da Joint" (Def Jam)
31. Rampage featuring Busta Rhymes: "Wild for da Night" (Elektra)
32. Mobb Deep featuring Big Noyd & Rakim: "Hoodlum" (Loud)
33. KRS-One: "Step into a World (Rapture's Delight)" (Jive)
34. Freak Nasty: "Da Dip" (HardHood)
35. D.I.T.C.: "Day One" (D.I.T.C.)
36. Krumb Shatcha: "Gettin' Closer to God" (Mass in Action)
37. Big Mike: "Burban & Impalas" (Rap-a-Lot)
38. Mos Def, Tash & Q-Tip: "The Body Rock" (Rawkus)
39. Tela: "Tired of Ballin'" (Suave House)
40. Mr. Complex: "Visualize" (Raw Shack)

 

1997 - Classic Material Edition #11 Mixtape

Continuing with another mix documenting the music of 1997, here's a quick reminder of our own 1997 mixtape. Classics from the likes of D.I.T.C, Gang Starr, The Beatnuts and Rakim appear alongside lesser known cuts. Mixed by Classic Material's Chris Read.

Listen on Mixcloud here or grab yourself a free download here. We've also now created a handy Mixcloud playlist where you can check out all of the mixes from the Classic Material mix series in one place.

 

1997 - The Rub History of Hip Hop Mix

Moving on to 1997, we kick things off with another offering from New York's Rub DJs.

Listen to their 1997 mix on Mixcloud here or download from the Rub blog here. And to make life easier, we've now created a handy Mixcloud playlist where you can check out all the mixes from this series in one place. You can check that out on Classic Material curator Chris Read's Mixcloud page here.

 

1996 - Classic Material Edition #10 Bonus Tracks

In keeping with tradition, we wrap up our entries for the year with a new download of bonus tracks. This week's edition includes a remix never before available online, plus a previously released remix both produced in stylistic tribute to production trends of the day.

Listen / download via Bandcamp here.

 

1996 - A Year In Rap

1996 is a year which marks a turning point for the genre with a divide growing between the popular RnB influenced sound and the underground 'independent' sound blossoming in reaction to it. Whilst many established artists including De La Soul openly attacked the emerging commercial sound of the day, artists such as Busta Rhymes managed to retain underground credibility and deliver more chart friendly offerings for major labels. Notable album releases include the Fugees' (pictured above) commercially succesful yet credible 'The Score', Tribe Called Quest's Ummah produced 4th album, 'Beats Rhymes and Life', Jay Z's 'Reasonable Doubt' and Jeru's 'Wrath of the Math' in stark contrast to it. Debut releases from Kool Keith alias Dr Octagon and newcomers Company Flow set the tone for a new breed of leftfield acts. Below is a snapshot of some of the year's key events, produced this time with the assistance of Dream Door's hip hop timeline:

- 2Pac releases his fourth album, 'All Eyez On Me', hip-hop's first double-disc of all-original material and his first album for Death Row Records. It becomes a hit and raising the rap star's ever growing profile.

- Underground sensation Jay-Z begins a budding friendship with the Notorious B.I.G. and releases his first two mainstream singles, 'Dead Presidents' and 'Ain't No N*gga'. Both are moderate hits and help build anticipation for his debut album.

- Cleveland rappers Bone Thugs-N-Harmony release, 'The Crossroads,' the second single from their critically-acclaimed 1995 album, 'E. 1999-Eternal'. With it's heartfelt lyrics and funereal production, it becomes a huge hit and is nominated for a Grammy.

- Alternative rap group The Fugees release their second album, 'The Score', a stirring mix of reggae, rap, and soul, the album is one of the most acclaimed of the year and the group members, (Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, and Pras) are thrust into the spotlight.

- 2Pac releases the inflammatory b-side single, 'Hit 'Em Up'. Dissing the Notorious B.I.G. and Bad Boy Entertainment, he also claims to have had sex with B.I.G.'s estranged wife, Bad Boy ingenue Faith Evans.

- Nas finally releases 'It Was Written', the follow-up to his landmark 'Illmatic'. With the lyrical focus shifting from street poetry to a glamorised criminal lifestyle and the production becoming more slick and accessible, he is bashed by hip-hop purists for selling out to a pop audience.

- Dr. Dre abruptly announces he's leaving Death Row Records. He goes on to form a new label, Aftermath Entertainment.

- Will Smith stars in the action sci-fi flick 'Independence Day', raising his profile as an A-list celebrity in Hollywood.

- Jay-Z's debut album, 'Reasonable Doubt' is released to much praise from critics but disappointing initial sales.

- After leaving a Mike Tyson fight in Las Vegas, a car carrying Suge Knight and Tupac Shakur is riddled with gunfire. Though Suge only suffers minor injuries, 2Pac, after fighting for his life for seven days in a hospital, dies from his wounds.

- Southern rap duo Outkast release their second album, "ATLiens." It is critically acclaimed for it's positive outlook, progressive lyrics and a more futuristic production style.

- The Notorious B.I.G. is almost killed in a car accident in New Jersey. With his leg partially shattered, he is forced to walk with a cane.

- Eminem, a White rapper from Detroit, releases his debut album, 'Infinite', on a small indie label. Despite displaying a flair for clever, witty rhymes, the album goes largely unnoticed by fans and critics.

- A Tribe Called Quest release their fourth album, 'Beats, Rhymes, & Life'. For the first time in their storied career, the trio is bashed by critics for releasing a half-hearted album. The album however displays the early examples of Dilla's stripped down production style that would go on to shape the course of seminal underground releases for years to come.

- Two debuts by two new female rappers, B.I.G. protege Lil Kim and Foxy Brown, albums that feature a heavy emphasis on sex and materialism, signal a change in direction for female MCs in hip-hop.

 

1996 - Diary Rap Megamix

Another nugget from the Classic Material vaults, our 4 minute megamix of 30 or so of 1996's best loved hip hop releases.

Listen / download via bandcamp here.

 

1996 - Ego Trip’s Top 25 Rap Albums

A snapshot of 1996's best loved hip hop album releases, borrowing the top 25 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. Jay-Z - Reasonable Doubt
2. Ghostface Killah - Ironman
3. Mobb Deep - Hell On Earth
4. Outkast - ATLiens
5. Fugees - The Score
6. Redman - Muddy Waters
7. M.O.P - Firing Squad
8. De La Soul - Stakes Is High
9. Prince Paul - Psycoanalysis (What Is It?)
10. Makaveli - The Don KIlluminati: The 7 Day Theory
11. Keith Murray - Enigma
12. Dr. Octagon - Dr. Octagonecologyst
13. Busta Rhymes - The Coming
14. 2Pac - All Eyez On Me
15. Westside Connection - Bow Down
16. Lil Kim - Hardcore
17. The Roots - Illadelph Halflife
18. Jeru The Damaja - Wrath of the Math
19. E-40 - The Hall of Game
20. Heltah Skeltah - Nocturnal
21. U.G.K - Ridin' Dirty
22. Geto Boys - The Resurrection
23. Xzibit - At The Speed Of Life
24. Master P - Ice Cream Man
25. Crucial Conflict - The Final Tic

 

1996 - Busta Rhymes - Woo Hah Got You All In Check (Chris Read Remix)

This remix of Busta Rhymes's 'Woo Hah Got You All In Check' originally appeared on the 2009 remix compilation 'Diary 1.5: Twenty Years of the Remix'. As with all remixes from the Diary collection, the production style owes something to popular production styles of the day, in this case a nod to the mid 90s output of Tribe and the Ummah.

Listen to / download the vocal version here or grab the instrumental version here.

 

1996 - Ego Trip’s Top 40 Rap Singles

A snapshot of 1996's best loved single releases, borrowing the top 40 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. Outkast: "Elevators (Me & You)" (LaFace)
2. Jay-Z: "Dead Presidents"/"Ain't No Nigga" (Roc-a-Fella)
3. Fugees: "Killing Me Softly" (Ruffhouse)
4. Jay-Z featuring Mary J. Blige: "Can't Knock the Hustle" (Roc-a-Fella)
5. Busta Rhymes: "Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check" (Elektra)
6. Goodie Mob: "Cell Therapy" (LaFace)
7. Westside Connection: "Bow Down" (Priority)
8. Junior M.A.F.I.A. featuring the Notorious B.I.G.: "Get Money (Remix)" (Big Beat)
9. Lil' Kim: "No Time"/"Queen Bitch" (Undeas)
10. Mobb Deep: "Drop a Gem on 'Em" (Loud)
11. Too $hort featuring Erick Sermon: "Buy You Some" (Jive)
12. Ghostface Killah featuring Raekwon, Cappadonna & the Force MDs: "Daytona 500" (Razor Sharp)
13. Fugees: "Ready or Not" (Ruffhouse)
14. Jeru the Damaja: "Ya Playin' Yaself" (Payday)
15. Mobb Deep: "Hell on Earth (Front Lines)" (Loud)
16. De La Soul: "Stakes is High"/"The Bizness" (Tommy Boy)
17. Crucial Conflict: "Hay" (Pallas)
18. GZA: "Shadowboxin'"/"4th Chamber" (Geffen)
19. Fugees: "Fu-Gee-La"/"How Many Mics" (Ruffhouse)
20. The East Flatbush Project featuring DeS: "Tried by 12" (10/30 Uproar)
21. Akinyele featuring Kia Jefferies: "Put It in Your Mouth" (Stress)
22. 2Pac featuring Dr. Dre: "California Love" (Death Row)
23. Xzibit: "Paparazzi" (Loud)
24. The Fab 5: "Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka" (Duck Down)
25. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony: "Tha Crossroads" (Relativity)
26. Do or Die featuring Johnny P & Twista: "Po Pimp" (Rap-a-Lot)
27. Redman: "Funkorama" (Interscope)
28. Capone-n-Noriega featuring Mobb Deep & Tragedy: "L.A., L.A." (25 to Life)
29. Company Flow: "8 Steps to Perfection"/"Vital Nerve" (Official)
30. Chuck D: "No" (Mercury)
31. M.O.P.: "Brownsville"/"Stick to Ya Gunz" (Relativity)
32. Ghostface Killah featuring Raekwon: "Motherless Child" (Razor Sharp)
33. Master P featuring Mia X: "Bout It, Bout It II" (No Limit)
34. InI: "Fakin' Jax" (Soul Brother)
35. Royal Flush: "Worldwide" (Blunt)
36. Saukrates: "Father Time" (Day)
37. Mr. Voodoo: "Lyrical Tactics"/"Shine" (Fortress)
38. Big Noyd featuring Prodigy of Mobb Deep: "Recognize & Realize (Pt.1)" (Tommy Boy)
39. Foxy Brown featuring Blackstreet: "Get Me Home" (Def Jam)
40. Big Shug: "Crush"/ "Official" (Payday)

 

1996 - Classic Material Edition #10 Mixtape

Continuing with another mix documenting the music of 1996, here's a quick reminder of our own 1996 mixtape. Classics from the likes of Mobb Deep, Busta Rhymes, Tribe Called Quest and Jeru appear alongside lesser known cuts. Mixed by Classic Material's Chris Read.

Listen on Mixcloud here or grab yourself a free download here. We've also now created a handy Mixcloud playlist where you can check out all of the mixes from the Classic Material mix series in one place.

 

1996 - The Rub History of Hip Hop Mix

Moving on to 1996, we kick things off with another offering from New York's Rub DJs.

Listen to their 1996 mix on Mixcloud here or download from the Rub blog here. And to make life easier, we've now created a handy Mixcloud playlist where you can check out all the mixes from this series in one place. You can check that out on Classic Material curator Chris Read's Mixcloud page here.

 

1995 - Classic Material Edition #9 Bonus Tracks

In keeping with tradition, we wrap up our entries for the year with a new download of bonus tracks. This one's extra special since it includes a two remixes never before available online, one of Mobb Deep's 'Shook Ones' and another of Erick Sermon's 'Bomdigi', both in stylistic tribute to production trends of the day.

Listen / download via Bandcamp here.

 

1995 - A Year In Rap

The output of 1995 arguably typifies what is often referred to as the 'mid 90s sound', with filtered and layered grooves accompanying crisp programmed drums at a tempo generally far lower than in previous years. The general trend for decreasing tempos peaked in '95 with a significant proportion of single releases barely breaking the 90bpm mark. 1995 is also notable for the rise of a darker more melancholy production style with even the darkest of backdrops (Mobb Deep's Shook Ones Part 2 for example) scoring as unlikely club hits. There were of course also a host of more typically upbeat club tracks, Blahzay Blahzay's 'Danger' and ODB's 'Shimmy Shimmy Ya' being good examples. Below is a snapshot of some of the year's key events, produced this time with the assistance of Dream Door's hip hop timeline:

- 2Pac is shot in what appears to be a robbery outside of a New York recording studio only days after being found guilty of sexual assault. He checks himself out of the hospital and appears in court in a wheelchair for his sentencing. He immediately accuses the Notorious B.I.G. (a former friend) and Puffy Combs for orchestrating the attack. Nonetheless, he begins serving his five-year prison term.

- Brooklyn rapper Jay-Z releases the underground single, 'In My Lifetime.' With his clever wordplay and quick delivery, he quickly becomes a word-of-mouth sensation in New York.

- Eccentric Wu-Tang Clan member, Ol' Dirty Bastard gains notoriety by picking up food stamps in a limousine while appearing on MTV. He is promptly arrested.

- 2Pac releases his third album, 'Me Against the World' while still in prison. It's more thoughtful and introspective approach earns him the biggest critical praise of his career and his legend grows among hip-hop fans as he showcases his more tortured and self-conscious side.

- At the Source Awards, Suge Knight publicly insults Sean "Puffy" Combs onstage adding fuel to the ever-growing tensions between the East Coast and West Coast and the feud between his L.A. based Death Row Records and Combs' New York based Bad Boy Entertainment.

- While filming the video for the song 'New York, New York,' members of the Death Row Records group Tha Dogg Pound are shot at.

- Eazy-E (pictured), gangsta rap icon and co-founder of N.W.A., announces that he has full-blown AIDS. After only a few days at Cedar-Sinai hospital for treatment, he dies from pneumonia.

- Notorious B.I.G. signs his proteges, the Junior M.A.F.I.A. to the small Untertainment Label. Their debut album, "Conspiracy" is a moderate hit and provides a showcase for a young female rapper named Lil Kim.

- Will Smith stars in the buddy-cop action film "Bad Boys". It becomes one of the biggest hits of the year.

- Chicago-bred female rapper Da Brat releases her debut album, 'Funkdafied'. It becomes the first album by a solo female rapper to go platinum.

- Bad Boy Entertainment's empire continues to grow with platinum-selling R&B albums by Faith Evans and the girl-group Total.

- Snoop Doggy Dogg is acquitted of second-degree murder charges.

- At the end of the year, Suge Knight bails 2Pac out of prison and immediately signs the embattled rapper to Death Row Records. With Knight's hatred of Sean "Puffy" Combs and 2Pac's belief that the Notorious B.I.G. conspired against him; the conflict between Death Row and Bad Boy Entertainment intensifies.

 

1995 - Diary Rap Megamix

Another nugget from the Classic Material vaults, our 4 minute megamix of 30 or so of 1995's best loved hip hop releases.

Listen / download via bandcamp here.

 

1995 - Ego Trip’s Top 25 Rap Albums

A snapshot of 1995's best loved hip hop album releases, borrowing the top 25 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. Raekwon - Only Built For Cuban Linx ...
2. Mobb Deep - The Infamous
3. The Genius - Liquid Swords
4. Ol' Dirty Bastard - Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version
5. Tha Alkaholiks - Coast II Coast
6. Goodie Mob - Soul Food
7. 2Pac - Me Against The World
8. Group Home - Livin' Proof
9. Smif N Wessun - Dah Shinin'
10. KRS One - Krs One
11. The Dogg Pound - Dogg Food
12. DJ Quik - Safe & Sound
13. Grand Puba - 2000
14. E-40 - In A Major Way
15. WC and the MAAD Circle - Curb Servin'
16. Bone Thugs N Harmony - E.1999 Eternal
17. Fat Joe - Jealous Ones Envy
18. Mack 10 - Mack 10
19. Luniz - Operation Stakola
20. TRU - True
21. The Pharcyde - Labcabincalifornia
22. Eightball & MJG - On Top Of The World
23. The Click - Down And Dirty
24. JT The Bigga Figga - Dwellin' In Tha Labb
25. Big L - Liefstylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous

 

1995 - Matman’s Classic Material Guest Mix

Guest DJ at our 1995 event was former DMC Champ and in demand London club rocker DJ Matman. Not content with rocking a tidy set at the event, Mat kindly put together a two part guest mix which pays tribute to the finest releases of the year with the usual style and flair.

Listen to Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

 

1995 - Mobb Deep - Survival of the Fittest (Chris Read Remix)

This remix of Mobb Deep's 'Survival of the Fittest' originally appeared on the 2009 remix compilation 'Diary 1.5: Twenty Years of the Remix'. As with all remixes from the Diary collection, the production style owes something to popular production styles of the day.

Listen to / download the vocal version here or grab the instrumental version here.

 

1995 - Ego Trip’s Top 40 Rap Singles

A snapshot of 1995's best loved single releases, borrowing the top 40 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. Mobb Deep: "Shook Ones Pt. II" (Loud)
2. The Notorious B.I.G.: "One More Chance (Stay with Me Remix)" (Bad Boy)
3. Luniz: "I Got 5 on It" (Noo Trybe)
4. Ol' Dirty Bastard: "Brooklyn Zoo" (Elektra)
5. The Notorious B.I.G.: "One More Chance (Stay with Me Remix)" (Bad Boy)
6. Method Man featuring Mary J. Blige: "You're All I Need to Get By" (Def Jam)
7. Junior M.A.F.I.A. featuring the Notorious B.I.G.: "Get Money" (Big Beat)
8. TRU featuring Mia X: "I'm Bout It, Bout It" (No Limit)
9. Smoothe da Hustler featuring Trigger tha Gambler: "Broken Language"(Profile)
10. Raekwon: "Incarcerated Scarfaces"/"Ice Cream" (Loud)
11. KRS-One: "MCs Act Like They Don't Know" (Jive)
12. E-40 featuring Suga T: "Sprinkle Me" (Jive)
13. Blahzay Blahzay: "Danger" (Mercury)
14. WC and the MAAD Circle featuring Mack 10 & Ice Cube: "West Up!"(Payday)
15. Onyx: "Last Dayz" (Def Jam)
16. Tha Dogg Pound featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg: "New York, New York" (Death Row)
17. Junior M.A.F.I.A. featuring the Notorious B.I.G.: "Player's Anthem" (Big Beat)
18. Big Mike: "Playa Playa" (Rap-a-Lot)
19. Mack 10: "Foe Life" (Priority)
20. Redman & Method Man: "How High" (Def Jam)
21. Raekwon: "Criminology"/"Glaciers of Ice" (Loud)
22. Smif-n-Wessun featuring Starang Wondah: "Sound Bwoy Bureill" (Nervous)
23. Grand Puba: "I Like It (I Wanna Be Where You Are)" (Elektra)
24. Show & AG: "Next Level" (Payday)
25. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony: "1st of tha Month" (Relativity)
26. Da Brat: "Give It 2 You (Remix)" (So So Def)
27. The Pharcyde: "Runnin'"/"Drop" (Delicious Vinyl)
28. Tha Alkaholiks: "DAAAM!" (Loud)
29. GZA: "Liquid Swords" (Geffen)
30. Group Home: "Livin' Proof" (Payday)
31. Crooklyn Dodgers '95: "Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers" (MCA)
32. Das EFX: "Real Hip Hop" (EastWest)
33. J-Live: "Braggin' Writes" (Raw Shack)
34. Nine: "Whutcha Want?" (Profile)
35. Lost Boyz: "Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz" (Universal)
36. Ol' Dirty Bastard: "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" (Elektra)
37. Jay-Z: "In My Lifetime"/"Can't Get wit That" (Roc-a-Fella)
38. Three 6 Mafia: "Tear da Club Up (Da Real)" (Prophet)
39. Frankie Cutlass feat. Doo Wop, Fat Joe, Ray Boogie & True God; "Boriquas on da Set"(Relativity)
40. Q-Ball & Curt Cazal: "My Kinda Moves" (VZQ)

 

1995 - Classic Material Edition #9 Mixtape

Continuing with another mix documenting the music of 1995, here's a quick reminder of our own 1995 mixtape. Classics from the likes of Grand Puba, Das EFX, Common and Erick Sermon appear alongside lesser known cuts. Mixed by Classic Material's Chris Read.

Listen on Mixcloud here or grab yourself a free download here. We've also now created a handy Mixcloud playlist where you can check out all of the mixes from the Classic Material mix series in one place.

 

1995 - The Rub History of Hip Hop Mix

Moving on to 1995, we kick things off with another offering from New York's Rub DJs.

Listen to their 1995 mix on Mixcloud here or download from the Rub blog here. And to make life easier, we've now created a handy Mixcloud playlist where you can check out all the mixes from this series in one place. You can check that out on Classic Material curator Chris Read's Mixcloud page here.

 

1994 - Diary Rap Megamix

Another nugget from the Classic Material vaults, our 4 minute megamix of 30 or so of 1994's best loved hip hop releases.

Listen / download via bandcamp here.

 

1994 - Classic Material Edition #8 Bonus Tracks

In keeping with tradition, we wrap up our entries for the year with a new download of bonus tracks. This one's another special one since it includes a remix never before available online, a remix of Funkdoobiest's 'Rock On' in stylistic tribute to the mid 90s output of producers such as Buckwild.

Listen / download via Bandcamp here.

 

1994 - A Year In Rap

1994 was a year which for many is best remembered for giving us two of hip hop's most revered debut albums, Nas' 'Illmatic' and Notorious B.I.G's 'Ready to Die'. It was also a golden year for radio and mixtape DJs with tapes from the likes of Funkmaster Flex, Stretch Armstrong, Doo Wop, Ron G and others being a key outlet for the new breed of underground acts as well as established names. Despite tempos generally drifting downward in comparison with previous years and the general sound of the year's output being laidback and largely jazz infused, '94 had its fair share of anthems, Craig Mack's 'Flava In Your Ear', Gang Starr's 'Mass Appeal' and Channel Live's 'Mad Izm' being notable examples. Below is a snapshot of some of the year's key events, produced this time with the assistance of Dream Door's hip hop timeline:

- Arista chief Clive Davis signs Bad Boy Entertainment to a subsidiary/distribution deal. Puffy Combs begins work on the Notorious B.I.G.'s debut album. After cameo appearances on several popular singles, B.I.G. finally releases 'Ready to Die', his debut album for Bad Boy. It spawns two hit singles, 'Juicy' and 'Big Poppa;' one hit remix, 'One More Chance', and returns the East Coast to the top of the charts after a two-year absence. It also elevates Puffy Combs' Bad Boy label to the top of hip-hop.

- Queens rapper Nas releases his solo debut, 'Illmatic'. It instantly becomes one of the most critically-acclaimed rap albums of all time, with Nas' lyrical skill giving rise to comparison with veterans of the scene such as Rakim.

- Snoop Doggy Dogg releases the short film/soundtrack, 'Murder Was the Case'. With it's graphic storytelling about a man being sentenced for murder uncomfortably close to Snoop's real-life legal woes, many critics blast the rapper for exploiting the unfortunate circumstances.

- 'Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik', the debut album from Atlanta-based rap duo Outkast signals a shift from hip-hop's bi-coastal grip. Loose and funky with clever lyrics, the group becomes a cult favourite among hip-hop enthusiasts.

- Adding to a seemingly endless string of legal charges, 2Pac is charged with sexual assault by a female fan in New York City.

- Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, a new Cleveland-based rap group discovered by Eazy-E, release an EP called 'Creepin' On Ah Come-up'. Their sound is a combination of double time raps over downtempo West Coast production and vocal harmonizing. The single 'Thuggish Ruggish Bone' becomes a moderate hit.

 

1994 - Ego Trip’s Top 25 Rap Albums

A snapshot of 1994's best loved hip hop album releases, borrowing the top 25 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. Nas - Illmatic
2. The Notorious B.I.G - Ready to Die
3. OutKast - Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik
4. Jeru The Damaja - The Sun Rises In The East
5. The Beatnuts - The Beatnuts
6. Common - Resurrection
7. Gravediggaz - 6 Feet Deep
8. Organized Konfusion - Stress: The Extinction Agenda
9. Gang Starr - Hard To Earn
10. Beastie Boys - Ill Communication
11. Big Mike - Somethin' Serious
12. Method Man - Tical
13. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony - Creepin On Ah Come Up EP
14. The Roots - Do You Want More?!!!??!
15. Scarface - The Diary
16. King Tee - IV Life
17. E-40 - The Mailman EP
18. Redman - Dare Iz A Darkside
19. Eightball & MJG - On The Outside Looking In
20. Odd Squad - Fadanuf Fa Erybody
21. U.G.K - Super Tight...
22. Dru Down - Explicit Game
23. JT The Bigga Figga - Playaz N The Game
24. Compton's Most Wanted - We Come Strapped
25. Kurious - Constipated Monkey

 

1994 - The Beatnuts - Props Over Here (Chris Read Remix)

This remix of The Beatnuts' 'Props Over Here' originally appeared on the 2009 remix compilation 'Diary 1.5: Twenty Years of the Remix'. As with all remixes from the Diary collection, the production style owes something to popular production styles of the day.

Listen to / download the vocal version here or grab the instrumental version here.

 

1994 - Ego Trip’sTop 40 Rap Singles

A snapshot of 1994's best loved single releases, borrowing the top 40 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. Craig Mack: "Flava in Your Ear" (Bad Boy)
2. Snoop Doggy Dogg: "Gin & Juice" (Death Row)
3. Wu-Tang Clan: "C.R.E.A.M." (Loud)
4. The Notorious B.I.G.: "Juicy"/ "Unbelievable" (Bad Boy)
5. Method Man: "Bring the Pain" (Def Jam)
6. O.C.: "Time's Up" (Wild Pitch)
7. Common: "i used to love h.e.r." (Relativity)
8. Black Moon: "I Got Cha Opin (Remix)"/"Reality (Killin' Every Nigga in Sight)" (Nervous)
9. Keith Murray: "The Most Beautifullest Thing in This World" (Jive)
10. Above the Law: "Black Superman" (Ruthless)
11. Nas: "It Ain't Hard to Tell" (Columbia)
12. Smif-n-Wessun: "Bucktown"/"Let's Git It On" (Nervous)
13. Fugees: "Nappy Heads (Remix)" (Ruffhouse)
14. Jeru the Damaja: "D. Original" (Payday)
15. Gang Starr: "Mass Appeal" (Chrysalis)
16. Nas: "The World is Yours" (Columbia)
17. Outkast: "Player's Ball" (LaFace)
18. Scarface: "I Seen a Man Die" (Rap-a-Lot)
19. Group Home: "Supa Star" (Payday)
20. Snoop Doggy Dogg: "Murder Was the Case" (Death Row)
21. Too $hort: "Money in the Ghetto" (Jive)
22. The Lady of Rage featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg: "Afro Puffs" (Death Row)
23. Wu-Tang Clan: "Can It Be All So Simple" (Loud)
24. Channel Live featuring KRS-One: "Mad Izm" (Capitol)
25. Black Moon: "How Many MCs" (Nervous)
26. Redman: "Rockafella (Remix)" (Def Jam)
27. Redman: "Can't Wait" (Def Jam)
28. Black Moon: "Buck 'em Down (remix)"/"Murder MCs" (Nervous)
29. De La Soul: "Ego Trippin' Part Two" (Tommy Boy)
30. Gravediggaz feat. Shabazz the Disciple & Killah Priest: "Diary of a Madman" (Gee Street)
31. Crooklyn Dodgers: "Crooklyn" (MCA)
32. Outkast: "Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik" (LaFace)
33. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony: "Thuggish Ruggish Bone" (Relativity)
34. Dru Down featuring Luniz: "Ice Cream Man" (Relativity)
35. Craig Mack featuring Q-Tip: "Get Down (Remix)" (Bad Boy)
36. Shyheim: "On and On" (Virgin)
37. JT the Bigga Figga featuring Mac Mall: "Game Recognize Game" (Get Low)
38. E-40 featuring the Click: "Captain Save a Hoe" (Sick wid It)
39. Ill Al Skratch: "Where My Homiez" (Mercury)
40. Nate Dogg & Warren G: "Regulate" (Death Row)

 

1994 - Classic Material Edition #8 Mixtape

Continuing with another mix documenting the music of 1994, here's a quick reminder of our own 1994 mixtape, one of our most popular mixes to date. Classics from the likes of Common, Nas, Brand Nubian and The Beatnuts appear alongside lesser known cuts. Mixed by Classic Material's Chris Read.

Listen on Mixcloud here or grab yourself a free download here. We've also now created a handy Mixcloud playlist where you can check out all of the mixes from the Classic Material mix series in one place.

 

1994 - The Rub History of Hip Hop Mix

Moving on to 1994, we kick things off with another offering from New York's Rub DJs.

Listen to their 1994 mix on Mixcloud here or download from the Rub blog here. And to make life easier, we've now created a handy Mixcloud playlist where you can check out all the mixes from this series in one place. You can check that out on Classic Material curator Chris Read's Mixcloud page here.

 

1993 - Classic Material Edition #7 Bonus Tracks

In keeping with tradition, we wrap up our entries for the year with a new download of bonus tracks. This one's another special one since it includes a remix never before available online, a remix of Da Youngstas' 'Iz U Wit Me' in stylistic tribute to early Pete Rock productions / remixes. One of our favourites from the series in fact.

Listen / download via Bandcamp here.

 

1993 - A Year In Rap

1993 was a year which many consider the pinacle of the so called early 90s golden era. Sampling and production techniques honed during the early 90s had reached a natural maturity by 1993 with key golden era producers such as Pete Rock and the Beatnuts establishing their own trademark sounds. The East Coast also ushered in a new harder edged sound with Wu Tang Clan (pictured) and Onyx both delivering gritty debuts. On the West Coast, the 'G Funk' sound which found its feet the year prior delivered arguably its most accomplished album in the form of Snoop's seminal LP, Doggy Style. 1993 was also a great year for emerging undergound acts carving out their own sound, Souls of Mischief being a notable example. Below is a snapshot of some of the year's key events, produced this time with the assistance of Dream Door's hip hop timeline:

- KRS-One, deciding on a change of approach, officially 'retires' the name Boogie Down Productions, subsequently releasing albums only as KRS-One.

- A loose collective of Staten Island MCs calling themselves the Wu-Tang Clan featuring former Cold Chillin' artist The Genius release their first single, 'Protect Ya Neck.' It becomes an underground hit, making anticipation for the nine-man crew's debut album extremely high. Wu-Tang Clan's debut album, 'Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers' is released in November that year to critical acclaim but moderate sales. After the single, 'C.R.E.A.M.' is released, the album begins a steady climb up the charts, beginning a new age for hardcore, gritty East Coast hip-hop.

- 2Pac releases his second album, "Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z." Almost as inflammatory as his debut, it also showcases a sensitive, thoughtful side to the rapper. The single, "Keep Ya Head Up" is especially praised as a love letter to Black women, and becomes his biggest hit to date.

- Run DMC make an unexpected return to the charts with their acclaimed comeback album, "Down With the King."

- Sean "Puffy" Combs sets up his own label, Bad Boy Entertainment, running the label initially from his apartment. The company grows rapidly, and Combs soon signs two up-and-coming MCs, former EPMD roadie Craig Mack and a former drug dealer from Brooklyn named Christopher Wallace aka Notorious B.I.G.

- Dr. Dre protege Snoop Doggy Dogg releases his highly-anticipated solo debut, 'DoggyStyle' for Death Row Records. The album is a monstrous hit, becoming the first debut album to enter the Billboard chart at #1. Around the time of release, Snoop is implicated in the murder of a Long Beach man and is charged with second-degree murder. Surprisingly, this does nothing to slow his skyrocketing popularity.

- 2Pac is arrested on charges of assault and battery after he attacks director Allen Hughes on the set of the film "Menace II Society".

- MC Lyte releases her first hardcore rap album in four years (after a brief foray into more pop-friendly territory). Her hit single, 'Ruffneck,' becomes the first rap single by a female artist to go gold and is nominated for a Grammy.

- Craig Mack's 'Funk Da World' becomes the first album to be released by the fledgling Bad Boy Entertainment label. It eventually goes gold.

- Continuing their string of brilliant albums, A Tribe Called Quest releases 'Midnight Marauders', which spawns their biggest hit to date, the infectious single 'Award Tour'.

- 2Pac is charged in the shooting of two off-duty police officers in Atlanta, GA. The charges would later be dismissed. He also lands a second high-profile film role, starring in John Singleton's urban romance 'Poetic Justice'. He follows that with yet another starring turn in the basketball drama 'Above the Rim'.

- Queen Latifah releases the uplifting respect anthem, 'U.N.I.T.Y.', which wins a Grammy. Her third album, 'Black Reign', becomes the first gold album for a solo female MC.

- C. Deloris Tucker, Dionne Warwick, and several other high-profile moral activists call for a boycott against gangsta-rap artists such as 2Pac, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Doggy Dogg, citing the lyrics of much of their music to be violent and misogynistic.

- Salt-N-Pepa release their fourth album, 'Very Necessary'. It goes on to become the best-selling rap album of all time by a female artist.

- After six years and four critically-acclaimed albums, (and jump-starting the career of close friend Redman) EPMD, one of underground rap's most respected groups, announce that they are going their separate ways.

 

1993 to 2007 - The Are’s Manipulated Marauders

A Tribe Called Quest's 'Midnight Maruaders', released November 1993 is without doubt one of the genre's best loved albums, a 90s classic which broke new ground in terms of production techniques, sample material and lyrical content. As a well loved album it has, probably more so than almost any other album, seen its fair share of unofficial remixes and reworks. One of our favourites is from Houston beat maker The Are. You can listen to (and buy) the 'Producers I Know' affiliate's 'Manipulated Marauders' beat tape via bandcamp here.

 

1993 - Diary Rap Megamix

Another nugget from the Classic Material vaults, our 4 minute megamix of 30 or so of 1993's best loved hip hop releases.

Listen / download via bandcamp here.

 

1993 - Ego Trip’s Top 25 Rap Albums

A snapshot of 1993's best loved hip hop album releases, borrowing the top 25 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. Wu-Tang Clan - Enter The Wu Tang (36 Chambers)
2. A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders
3. Snoop Doggy Dogg - Doggystyle
4. De La Soul - Buhloone Mind State
5. Black Moon - Enta Da Stage
6. KRS One - Return Of The Boom Bap
7. The Beatnuts - Intoxicated Demons EP
8. Onyx - Bacdafucup
9. Ultramagnetic MCs - The Four Horsemen
10. King Tee - The Triflin' Album
11. Alkaholiks - 21 & Over
12. Souls of Mischief - 93 Til Infinity
13. Masta Ace - Slaughtahouse
14. Mr Scarface - The World Is Yours
15. Yo Yo - You Better Ask Somebody
16. Del The Funkee Homosapien - No Need For Alarm
17. Geto Boys - Til Death Do Us Part
18. Too $hort - Get In Where You Fit In
19. Cypress Hill - Black Sunday
20. Eightball & MJG - Comin' Out Hard
21. E-40 - Federal
22. Akinyele - Vagina Diner
23. The Roots - Organix
24. Lords of the Underground - Here Come The Lords
25. Fat Joe - Represent

 

1993 - Whooliganz - Put Your Handz Up (Chris Read Remix)

This remix of The Whooliganz' 'Put Your Handz Up' originally appeared on the 2009 remix compilation 'Diary 1.5: Twenty Years of the Remix'. As with all remixes from the Diary collection, the production style owes something to popular production styles of the day. In the this instance some inspiration was taken from jazzy uptempo dancefloor cuts released at the time by the likes of Yaggfu Front and early Bush Babees cuts such as 'Swing It'.

Listen to / download the vocal version here or grab the instrumental version here.

 

1993 - Ego Trip’s Top 40 Rap Singles

A snapshot of 1993's best loved single releases, borrowing the top 40 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg: "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang" (Death Row)
2. Wu-Tang Clan: "Protect Ya Neck" (Wu-Tang)
3. Jeru the Damaja: "Come Clean" (Payday)
4. The Pharcyde: "Passin' Me By" (Delicious Vinyl)
5. Redman: "Tonight's da Night" (Def Jam)
6. 2Pac featuring Shock G & Money B: "I Get Around" (Interscope)
7. A Tribe Called Quest featuring Trugoy: "Award Tour" (Jive)
8. Onyx: "Throw Ya Gunz" (Def Jam)
9. Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg: "Fuck wit Dre Day (and Everybody's Celebratin'" (Death Row)
10. Redman: "Time 4 Sum Aksion" (Def Jam)
11. Wu-Tang Clan: "Method Man" (Loud)
12. KRS-One: "Outta Here" (Jive)
13. A Tribe Called Quest: "Electric Relaxation" (Jive)
14. Souls of Mischief: "93 'til Infinity" (Jive)
15. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo: "On the Run (Dirty Untouchable Remix)" (Cold Chillin')
16. Onyx: "Slam" (Def Jam)
17. MC Eiht: "Streiht Up Menace" (Jive)
18. M.O.P.: "How About Some Hardcore" (Select)
19. The Pharcyde: "Otha Fish" (Delicious Vinyl)
20. Notorious B.I.G.: "Party and Bullshit" (Uptown)
21. Alkaholiks: "Make Room" (Loud)
22. MC Breed featuring 2Pac: "Gotta Get Mine" (Ichiban)
23. Beatnuts: "Reign of the Tec" (Relativity)
24. Casual: "That's How It Is (Remix)" (Jive)
25. Fat Joe: "Flow Joe" (Relativity)
26. KRS-One: "Sound of da Police"/"Hip Hop vs. Rap" (Jive)
27. De La Soul: "Breakadawn" (Tommy Boy)
28. Ultramagnetic MCs: "Two Brothers with Checks (San Francisco,Harvey)"/"One, Two, One, Two" (Wild Pitch)
29. Diamond D: "I'm Outta Here"/"You Can't Front (the Shit is Real)" (ChemistrY)
30. Casual: "I Didn't Mean to" (Jive)
31. Lords of the Underground: "Chief Rocka" (Elektra)
32. Kurious: "Walk Like a Duck" (Columbia)
33. Geto Boys: "Crooked Officer" (Rap-a-Lot)
34. Leaders of the New School: "What's Next?" (Elektra)
35. Domino: "Getto Jam" (Outburst)
36. Intelligent Hoodlum: "Grand Groove (Remix)" (A&M)
37. 2Pac: "Keep Ya Head Up" (Interscope)
38. Trends of Culture: "Off & On (Remix)" (Mad Sounds)
39. Cypress Hill: "Insane in the Brain"/ "When the Shit Goes Down" (Ruffhouse)
40. Mobb Deep: "Hit It From the Back" (4th & B'way)

 

1993 - Classic Material Edition #7 Mixtape

Continuing with another mix documenting the music of 1993, here's a quick reminder of our own 1993 mixtape. Classics from the likes of KRS One, Tribe Called Quest, Black Moon and Main Source alongside lesser known cuts. Mixed by Classic Material's Chris Read.

Listen on Mixcloud here or grab yourself a free download here. We've also now created a handy Mixcloud playlist where you can check out all of the mixes from the Classic Material mix series in one place.

 

1993 - The Rub History of Hip Hop Mix

Moving on to 1993, we kick things off with another offering from New York's Rub DJs.

Listen to their 1993 mix on Mixcloud here or download from the Rub blog here. And to make life easier, we've now created a handy Mixcloud playlist where you can check out all the mixes from this series in one place. You can check that out on Classic Material curator Chris Read's Mixcloud page here.

 

1992 - Classic Material Edition #6 Bonus Tracks

In keeping with tradition, we wrap up our entries for the year with a new download of bonus tracks. This one's a little more special than the last couple of bonus giveaways since it includes a remix never before available online.

Listen / download via Bandcamp here.

 

1992 - A Year In Rap

1992 was a year notable for shifts in production techniques and styles and perhaps more importantly sampling trends. Abandoning over-saturated funk standards in favour of obscure jazz samples, producers such Showbiz, Diamond D, Q Tip and many others besides laid the foundations for the laid back jazz led sound that characterised countless East Coast classics of the early to mid 90s. On the West Coast, Dr Dre's seminal Chronic LP also broke new ground in terms of production style with a polished classicly LA sound that formed the blueprint for the 'G Funk' sound which ruled supreme throughout the early 90s. Below is a snapshot of some of the year's key events, produced this time with the assistance of Dream Door's hip hop timeline:

- 2Pac Shakur, former roadie, dancer, and second-string MC for Digital Underground, releases his debut album, '2Pacalypse Now'. It immediately incites controversy for it's content, particular lyrics regarding police officers. Vice President Dan Quayle even calls for a ban of the album during his campaign for re-election. Shakur's visibility is also raised by a star-making performance in the gritty urban drama 'Juice'.

- Body Count, Ice-T's new rap-metal band, release their debut album. The song 'Cop Killa' ignites a firestorm of controversy. After nationwide protests from law enforcement officials, Time-Warner pressures Ice-T to pull the song from the album and eventually sells it's share of Interscope Records, the distributor.

- With "Paul's Boutique" having obtained cult-classic status in the years following its release, the Beastie Boys (pictured above) release their third album, 'Check Your Head'. It becomes a smash hit debuting in the Top Ten and returning the Boys to the charts for the first time since their debut album, although with a much different sound.

- After producing a successful album for R&B singer Mary J. Blige and remixing several other hits for artists including Jodeci and Heavy D, Sean "Puffy" Combs is fired from Uptown after a dispute with label head Andre Harrell.

- Eric B. & Rakim release their fourth album, 'Don't Sweat the Technique'. The album is critically acclaimed, but the duo split almost immediately after its release. Eric B continues to produce for other rappers, (with mixed results), while Rakim, arguably the most celebrated MC in rap at this point in time goes into seclusion.

- After the acquittal of the officers accused of beating Rodney King, South Central Los Angeles erupts in violent street riots. After the two-day mayhem, rappers including Ice-T and Chuck D of Public Enemy are called upon to provide insight.

- Dr. Dre and Suge Knight form a partnership and create Death Row Records. Their first project is a song for the soundtrack to a police drama called 'Deep Cover'. The song features a previously unheard young rapper from Long Beach named Snoop Doggy Dogg.

 

1992 - Diary Rap Megamix

Another nugget from the Classic Material vaults, our 4 minute megamix of 30 or so of 1992's best loved hip hop releases.

Listen / download via bandcamp here.

 

1992 to 2012 - Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde 20th Anniversary Mixtape

In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of The Pharcyde’s seminal ‘Bizarre Ride’ album and in support of the group's ‘Bizarre Ride Live’ tour Classic Material's Chris Read produced this special mix for OG West Coast label Delicious Vinyl in conjunction with Wax Poetics.

Comprising original album tracks, remixes, instrumentals, acapellas, original sample material and even some interview snippets from the time of release, this 40 minute mix takes in the high points of this incredible album. Check out the feature on Wax Poetics here.

Listen to the mix on Mixcloud here or via Soundcloud here.

 

1992 - Ego Trip’s Top 25 Rap Albums

A snapshot of 1992's best loved hip hop album releases, borrowing the top 25 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. Dr Dre - The Chronic
2. Brand Nubian - In God We Trust
3. Gang Starr - Daily Operation
4. Redman - Whut Thee Album
5. Diamond D & The Psychotic Neurotics - Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop
6. Pharcyde - Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde
7. Beastie Boys - Check Your Head
8. Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Meccas & The Soul Brother
9. Showbiz & AG - Runaway Slave
10. Das EFX - Dead Serious
11. Da Lench Mob - Guerillas In Tha Mist
12. EPMD - Business Never Personal
13. Ice Cube - The Predator
14. DJ Quik - Way 2 Fonky
15. Heavy D & The Boyz - Blue Funk
16. Grand Puba - Reel to Reel
17. Positive K - Skills Dat Pay Da Bills
18. Too $hort - Shorty The Pimp
19. Compton's Most Wanted - Music To Drive By
20. Boogie Down Productions - Sex and Violence
21. UGK - Too Hard To Swallow
22. Spice 1 - Spice 1
23. Common - Can I Borrow A Dollar
24. House of Pain - House of Pain
25. J.T The Bigga Figga - Don't Stop Til We Major

 

1992 - Ultramagnetic MCs - Poppa Large (Daily Diggers Remix)

This remix of Ultramagnetic MCs' 'Poppa Large' originally appeared on the 2009 remix compilation 'Diary 1.5: Twenty Years of the Remix'. As with all remixes from the Diary collection, the production style owes something to popular production styles of the day. In the this instance some inspiration was taken from the likes of Diamond D and the practice of using well chosen drum loops laced with sample material from unusual sources.

Listen to / download the vocal version here or grab the instrumental version here.

 

1992 - Ego Trip’s Top 40 Rap Singles

A snapshot of 1992's best loved single releases, borrowing the top 40 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. Black Sheep: "The Choice is Yours (Revisited)" (Mercury)
2. Gang Starr featuring Nice & Smooth: "DWYCK" (Chrysalis)
3. Das EFX: "They Want EFX" (Eastwest)
4. Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg: "Deep Cover" (Epic)
5. Pete Rock & CL Smooth: "T.R.O.Y. (They Reminisce Over You)"(Elektra)
6. A Tribe Called Quest featuring Leaders of the New School: "Scenario" (Jive)
7. Main Source featuring Neek the Exotic: "Fakin' the Funk (Remix)"(Wild Pitch)
8. Brand Nubian: "Punks Jump Up to Get Beat Down" (Elektra)
9. Nas: "Half Time" (Columbia)
10. EPMD: "Crossover"/"Brothers from Brentwood L.I." (Def Jam)
11. House of Pain: "Jump Around" (Tommy Boy)
12. Ultramagnetic MCs: "Poppa Large (East Coast Remix)" (Mercury)
13. Das EFX: "Mic Checka (Remix)"/"Jussumen (Remix)" (Eastwest)
14. Redman: "Blow Your Mind"/"How to Roll a Blunt" (Def Jam)
15. Naughty by Nature: "Uptown Anthem" (MCA)
16. Eric B. & Rakim: "Juice (Know the Ledge)" (MCA)
17. EPMD featuring K-Solo & Redman: "Head Banger" (Def Jam)
18. A Tribe Called Quest: "Jazz (We've Got)" (Jive)
19. Naughty by Nature: "Everything's Gonna Be Alright (Ghetto Bastard)"(Tommy Boy)
20. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo: "Ill Street Blues" (Cold Chillin')
21. Black Moon: "Who Got da Props?" (Nervous)
22. Apache: "Gangsta Bitch" (Tommy Boy)
23. Cypress Hill: "Hand on the Pump" (Ruffhouse)
24. Afrika Bambaataa Presents Time Zone: "Zulu War Chant" (Planet Rock)
25. Grand Puba: "360 Degrees (What Goes Around)" (Elektra)
26. Diamond D: "Best Kept Secret"/"Freestyle (Yo, That's That Shit)" (Chemistry)
27. DJ Quik: "Just Like Compton" (Profile)
28. Double XX Posse: "Not Gonna Be Able to Do It" (Big Beat)
29. Pete Rock & CL Smooth: "Straighten It Out" (Elektra)
30. UMC's: "One to Grow On" (Wild Pitch)
31. Beastie Boys: "So What'cha Want" (Grand Royal)
32. Fu-Schnickesn featuring Phife Dawg: "La Schmoove" (Jive)
33. Show & AG: "Fat Pockets (Remix)" (Payday)
34. Organized Konfusion featuring O.C.: "Fudge Pudge" (Hollywood BASIC)
35. Chi Ali: "Age Ain't Nothin' But a #" (Relativity)
36. Del tha Funkee Homosapien: "Mistadobalina" (Elektra)
37. Eric B. & Rakim: "Don't Sweat the Technique" (MCA)
38. MC Ren: "Final Frontier" (Ruthless)
39. Sir Mix-a-Lot: "Baby Got Back" (Def American)
40. N2Deep: "Back to the Hotel" (Profile)

 

1992 - Classic Material Edition #6 Mixtape

Continuing with another mix documenting the music of 1992, here's a quick reminder of our own 1992 mixtape. Classics from the likes of Showbiz & AG, Gang Starr, Brand Nubian and Diamond D alongside lesser known cuts. Mixed by Classic Material's Chris Read.

Listen on Mixcloud here or grab yourself a free download here. We've also now created a handy Mixcloud playlist where you can check out all of the mixes from the Classic Material mix series in one place.

 

1992 - The Rub History of Hip Hop Mix

Moving on to 1992, we kick things off with another offering from New York's Rub DJs.

Listen to their 1992 mix on Mixcloud here or download from the Rub blog here. And to make life easier, we've now created a handy Mixcloud playlist where you can check out all the mixes from this series in one place. You can check that out on Classic Material curator Chris Read's Mixcloud page here.

 

1991 - Ollie Teeba’s 4 Hour Classic Material Guest Mix

For the last of our 1991 entries, we have something pretty special for you. The Herbaliser's Ollie Teeba, guest DJ at our 1991 party, went all out on the preparation and put together an amazingly comprehensive 4 hour set which he performed on the night. What's even better is that he recorded the whole thing and uploaded it to Mixcloud in seven handy sized chunks. We've added all seven parts to a convenient playlist so you can listen in one sitting or in parts as you please.

Listen here.

 

1991 - Classic Material Edition #5 Bonus Tracks

So, we arrive at the fifth of our Classic Material Bonus Tracks giveaways. This week's edition may not be of quite as much interest to seasoned followers since both tracks featured in this week's giveaway have in fact been available online before, but if you've always had a hankering for that Nice & Smooth Remix from the Diary Volume 1.5 remix album without the ident at the beginning, then you're in luck.

Listen / download the tracks from Bandcamp here.

 

1991 - Diary Rap Megamix

Another nugget from the Classic Material vaults, our 4 minute megamix of 30 or so of 1991's best loved hip hop releases.

Listen / download via bandcamp here.

 

1991 - Ego Trip’s Top 25 Rap Albums

A snapshot of 1991's best loved hip hop album releases, borrowing the top 25 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. NWA - Efil4zaggin
2. A Tribe Called Quest - Low End Theory
3. Main Source - Breaking Atoms
4. De La Soul - De La Soul Is Dead
5. Ice Cube - Death Certificate
6. Cypress Hill - Cypress Hill
7. Black Sheep - A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing
8. DJ Quik - Quik Is The Name
9. Mr Scarface - Scarface Is The Name
10. Show & AG - Soul Clap EP
11. 3rd Bass - Derelicts of Dialect
12. AMG - Bitch Betta Have My Money
13. Pete Rock & CL Smooth - All Souled Out EP
14. Leaders of the New School - A Future Without A Past
15. Naughty by Nature - Naughty by Nature
16. Nice & Smooth - Ain't A Damn Thing Changed
17. Public Enemy - Apocalypse '91... The Empire Strikes Black
18. UMCs - Fruits Of Nature
19. Del Tne Funkee Homosapien - I Wish My Brother George Was Here
20. Geto Boys - We Can't Be Stopped
21. Tim Dog - Penicillin on Wax
22. KMD - Mr Hood
23. Compton's Most Wanted - Straight Checkin' 'Em
24. Organized Konfusion - Organized Konfusion
25. Freestyle Fellowship - To Whom I May Concern...

 

1991 - Nice & Smooth - Hip Hop Junkies (Chris Read Remix)

This remix of Nice & Smooth's 'Hip Hop Junkies' originally appeared on the 2009 remix compilation 'Diary 1.5: Twenty Years of the Remix' and was subsequently featured as a bonus track on the Classic Material Edition #5 mix CD. As with all remixes from the Diary collection, the production style owes something to popular production styles of the day. In the this instance I took some inspiration from the SD50s, Electra Records remixers of choice, notable for their bouncey productions liberally borrowing recognisable Jazz-Funk hooks.

Listen to / download the vocal version here or grab the instrumental version here.

 

1991 - Ego Trip’s Top 40 Rap Singles

A snapshot of 1991's best loved single releases, borrowing the top 40 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. Geto Boys: Mind Playing Tricks on Me" (Rap-a-Lot)
2. A Tribe Called Quest: "Check the Rhime" (Jive)
3. Naughty by Nature: "O.P.P." (Tommy Boy)
4. Public Enemy: "Shut 'em Down (Pete Rock Remix)" (Def Jam)
5. Cypress Hill: "How I Could Just Kill a Man" (Ruffhouse)
6. Brand Nubian: "Slow Down" (Elektra)
7. Main Source: "Just Hangin' Out"/"Live at the Barbeque" (Wild Pitch)
8. DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince: "Summertime" (Jive)
9. Brand Nubian: "All for One" (Elektra)
10. Ed O.G. & da Bulldogs: "I Got to Have It" (PWL)
11. MC Breed: "Ain't No Future in Yo' Frontin'" (Ichiban)
12. EPMD featuring L.L. Cool J: "Rampage" (Def Jam)
13. Nice & Smooth: "Hip Hop Junkies" (Fresh)
14. Black Sheep: "Flavor of the Month" (Mercury)
15. De La Soul: "Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)" (Tommy Boy)
16. Ice Cube: "Steady Mobbin'"/"No Vaseline" (Priority)
17. Leaders of the New School: "Sobb Story" (Elektra)
18. Compton's Most Wanted: "Growin' Up in the Hood" (Orpheus)
19. Tim Dog: "Fuck Compton" (Ruffhouse)
20. Digital Underground featuring 2Pac: "Same Song" (Tommy Boy)
21. AMG: "Jiggable Pie" (Select)
22. MC Lyte: "Poor Georige" (First Priority)
23. Ed O.G. & da Bulldogs: "Be a Father to Your Child" (PWL)
24. WC & the MAAD Circle: "Dress Code" (Priority)
25. Gang Star: "Step in the Arena"/ "Check the Technique"(Chrysalis)
26. Poor Righteous Teachers: "Shakiyla" (Profile)
27. De La Soul featuring Q-Tip: "A Rollerskating Jam Named 'Saturdays'" (Tommy Boy)
28. Leaders of the New School: "Case of the P.T.A." (Elektra)
29. K.M.D.: "Nitty Gritty (Remix)"/"Plumskinzz" (Elektra)
30. Del tha Funkee Homosapien: "Sleepin' on My Couch" (Elektra)
31. K-Solo: "Fugitive" (Atlantic)
32. Eric B. & Rakim: "Mahogany" (MCA)
33. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo: "Bad to the Bone" (Cold Chillin')
34. AMG: "Bitch Betta Have My Money" (Select)
35. D-Nice: "25 ta Life" (Jive)
36. DJ Quik: "Tonight" (Profile)
37. Special Ed: "Come on, Let's Move It" (Profile)
38. Ice-T: "O.G. Original Gangster"/"Bitches 2" (Sire)
39. K.M.D.: "Who Me?" (Elektra)
40. Raw Fusion: "Throw Your Hands in the Air"/"Do My Thang" (Hollywood BASIC)

 

1991 - Classic Material Edition #5 Mixtape

As we push on with our entries for 1991, here's a quick reminder of our 1991 mixtape. Classics from the likes of Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep and Del alongside lesser known cuts. Mixed by Classic Material's Chris Read.

Listen on Mixcloud here or grab yourself a free download here.

 

1991 - A Year In Rap

1991 was the year which many consider to have signaled the birth of a golden period for club friendly credible hip hop releases. Aside from numerous memorable LP releases, 1991 was above all a year of anthems - Tribe's 'Scenario', Nice and Smooth's 'Hip Hop Junkies', Showbiz and AG's 'Party Groove' and many other club friendly cuts with catchy hooks saw release during the year. 1991 was also a solid year for long players with stand out debut LPs from Black Sheep and Main Source amongst others. Debut LPs from Del the Funkee Homosapien and Cypress Hill both broke preconceptions about the West Coast sound in very different ways. Below is a snapshot of some of the year's key events, produced this time with the assistance of Dream Door's hip hop timeline:

- Gilbert O'Sullivan successfully sues rapper Biz Markie, claiming that Biz's single 'Alone Again' uses a sample of O'Sullivan's song 'Alone Again (Naturally)' without consent. The lawsuit signals a turning point in hip-hop sampling, dissuading future producers from building multi-layered sound collages out of multiple samples for fear of litigation.

- Digital Underground follow their well received debut album with the quirkily titled 'This Is An EP Release'. The hit single 'Same Song' features a young, lesser-known member of the crew named Tupac Shakur.

- Ice Cube stars in the gritty urban drama 'Boyz N the Hood', telling he tale of a group of young black men growing up in South Central Los Angeles. The film is a huge hit and spawns a legion of similarly styled movies in the following years.

- Bronx rapper Tim Dog (pictured above) releases the single 'Fuck Compton,' firing some of the first verbal shots in a simmering feud between East Coast and West Coast rappers.

- A Tribe Called Quest releases their much-anticipated sophomore album 'The Low End Theory'. Praised by critics and fans, the album is notable for its jazz-led production sealing the group's reputation as leaders of the 'new school' movement of the day.

- After the success of A Tribe Called Quest's 'Low End Theory' and De La Soul's sophomore effort 'De La Soul Is Dead', an alternative movement in hip hop gains momentum supported by strong debuts from Digable Planets, Arrested Development, Del the Funkee Homosapien, the Pharcyde, and Gang Starr.

- N.W.A. release their second full-length album, the inflammatory and controversial 'Efil4zaggin'. In spite of widespread media criticism of the album's graphic content, the album debuts at number one on the charts.

- Vanilla Ice's film, 'Cool As Ice' premieres to poor reviews and even worse box office returns. He is also criticised for fabricating his entire life story in interviews. To add insult to injury, Ice is successfully sued by David Bowie and Queen, who claim that he used the bassline from their hit 'Under Pressure' for his hit single 'Ice Ice Baby'.

- A video showing four Los Angeles police officers brutally beating a black man named Rodney King filmed by a third party onlooker is broadcast on television news wordwide provoking outrage. The incident provokes a wave of politically charged commentary in hip hop releases shortly thereafter. The subsequent acquittal of the four officers on assault charges the following year spark the 1992 L.A. riots.

- M.C. Hammer releases his third album, '2 Legit To Quit'. Although the title cut is a sizeable hit, the album fails to match the success of it's predecessor as the backlash against 'pop-rap' has Hammer losing his (already limited) crediblity among rap fans and the general public.

- Dr. Dre, citing a dispute over finances with Eazy-E and Ruthless Records quits N.W.A. Dre is still under contract to Ruthless and hires gangster-turned-businessman Marion "Suge" Knight to get him out of his deal with the record label. With Dre departing for a solo career, N.W.A. officially split.

- Sean Combs, still only 20 years old, is promoted to A&R at Uptown Records and executive produces hit albums for Father MC and Heavy D.

- New York rap group Main Source release their debut LP, the critically acclaimed 'Breaking Atoms' on Wild Pitch records. Despite moderate sales, the album goes down in hip hop history as one of the greatest debut long players of all time and the single 'Live At the Bar-B-Q' features a memorable verse by a seventeen year old Queens rapper named Nas.

 

1991 - The Rub History of Hip Hop Mix

Continuing with another mix documenting the music of 1991, we have a further offering from New York's Rub DJs.

Listen to the mix on Mixcloud here or download from the Rub blog here.

 

1991 - Rap History Mix by DJ Crash

Moving on to 1991, we kick things off in the customary fashion with a mix from Berlin's Rap History crew. As with the 1989 and 1990 installments, we have a 75 minute mix from DJ Crash.


Listen to the mix on Mixcloud and check out the tracklist here.

 

1990 - Classic Material Edition #4 Bonus Tracks

As is customary, we complete our blog entries for the year with a free download of bonus tracks. For our latest, we offer you 2 remixes and a megamix, all produced in keeping with the styles of the day.

Listen and / or grab yourself a free download from Bandcamp here.

 

1990 - Diary Rap Megamix

Another nugget from the Classic Material vaults, our 4 minute megamix of 30 or so of 1990's best loved hip hop releases.

Listen / download via bandcamp here.

 

1990 - Ego Trip’s Top 25 Rap Albums

A snapshot of 1990's best loved hip hop album releases, borrowing the top 25 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. Ice Cube - Ameirkkka's Most Wanted
2. Brand Nubian - One For All
3. Public Enemy - Fear Of A Black Planet
4. NWA - 100 Miles and Runnin EP
5. EPMD - Business As Usual
6. LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out
7. Eric B & Rakim - Let The Rhythm Hit Em
8. Kool G Rap & Polo - Wanted: Dead or Alive
9. A Tribe Called Quest - People's Instinctive Travels In The Paths Of Rhythm
10. Gang Starr - Step In The Arena
11. Boogie Down Productions - Edutainment
12. Above The Law - Livin' Like Hustlers
13. X Clan - To The East Blackwards
14. Ice Cube - Kill At Will EP
15. Lord Finesse & DJ Mike Smooth - Funky Technician
16. Too $hort - Short Dog's In The House
17. Special Ed - Legal
18. Digital Underground - Sex Packets
19. King Tee - At Your Own Risk
20. K Solo - Tell The World My Name
21. Poor Righteous Teachers - Holy Intellect
22. Masta Ace - Take A Look Around
23. Digital Underground - This Is An EP Release
24. Compton's Most Wanted - It's A Compton Thing
25. D Nice - Call Me D Nice

 

1990 - Eric B & Rakim - Let The Rhythm Hit Em (Chris Read Remix)

This remix of Eric B & Rakim's 'Let The Rhythm Hit Em' originally appeared on the 2009 remix compilation 'Diary 1.5: Twenty Years of the Remix' and was subsequently featured as a bonus track on the Classic Material Edition #4 mix CD. As with all remixes from the Diary collection, the production style owes something to popular production styles of the day. In the this instance I took some inspiration from early Showbiz productions, particularly with regards to the jazzy bass groove and those trademark raspy horns.

Listen to / download the vocal version here or grab the instrumental version here.

 

1990 - Ego Trip’s Top 40 Rap Singles

A snapshot of 1990's best loved single releases, borrowing the top 40 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. Public Enemy - Welcome To The Terrordome
2. A Tribe Called Quest - Bonita Applebum
3. Digital Underground - The Humpty Dance
4. LL Cool J - Jingling Baby (Remixes and Still Jingling)
5. Nice Smooth - Funky For You / No Bones In Ice Cream
6. EPMD - Gold Digger
7. Gang Starr - Just To Get A Rep / Who's Gonna Take The Weight
8. A Tribe Called Quest - Can I Kick It? / When The Papes Come
9. Main Source - Looking At The Front Door
10. Boogie Down Productions - Love's Gonna Get Cha (Material Love)
11. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo - Streets Of New York
12. Eric B. & Rakin - In The Ghetto
13. Public Enemy - Brother's Gonna Work It Out
14. LL Cool J - Around The Way Girl
15. Jungle Brothers - J Beez Comin Through
16. Ice Cube - Amerikkka's Most Wanted / Once Upon A Time In The Projects
17. Terminator X feat Chuck D & Sister Souljah - Buck Whylin
18. Digital Undergound - Freaks Of The Industry
19. D Nice - Call Me D Nice
20. Chubb Rock - Treat Em Right
21. 3rd Bass - Product Of The Environment (Remix) / 3 Strikes 5000
22. K Solo - Your Moms In My Business
23. LL Cool J - To Da Break Of Dawn
24. Lord Finesse & DJ Mike Smooth - Strictly For The Ladies
25. Poor Righteous Teachers - Rock Dis Funky Joint
26. Above The Law - Murder Rap
27. Special Ed - I'm The Magnificent (Remix) / Ready 2 Attack
28. KMD - Peachfuzz
29. Ice Cube - Who's The Mack?
30. K Solo - Spellbound
31. King Tee - Ruff Rhyme (Back Again) / Played Like A Piano
32. X Clan - Funkin' Lesson
33. Kid Frost - La Raza
34. Kings Of Swing - Nod Your Head To This
35. Masta Ace - Me And The Biz
36. Double XX - Executive Class
37. Special Ed - The Mission
38. LL Cool J - Bookin System
39. Above The Law - Untouchable
40. The Jaz featuring Jay-Z - The Originators

 

1990 - Classic Material Edition #4 Mixtape

If you're following the daily updates here on the blog, then you'll no doubt be used to the formula by now: first some relevant mixtapes from friends and kindred spirits, then a reminder of our own for the relevant year. So, true to that formula, here's a reminder of our 1990 mix!

You can listen on Mixcloud here or grab yourself a free download here.

 

1990 - A Year In Rap

As we enter the '90s, we present another round up of the key events in rap history for the year 1990. In terms of general trends in the culture's development, 1990 is probably most celebrated as being the birth of the 'afro-centric' era, with debut albums from X-Clan, Professor X, Poor Righteous Teachers, Tribe Called Quest and many others hitting the stores during the year. But 1990 was also an important year for the artists from the opposite end of the spectrum: Compton's Most Wanted, Capital Punishment Organisation and Above The Law all released debut albums proving LA's harder edged sound had more to offer than just NWA. Aside from new developments, established artists including LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, Public Enemy and EPMD all dropped certified classics. Below is a snapshot of some of the year's key events, produced this time with the assistance of Dream Door's hip hop timeline:

- Queens-based A Tribe Called Quest (picture above) follow close stylistically in the footsteps of De La Soul's '3 Feet High And Rising' with the release of their debut album, 'People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm'. Building on the template established by fellow Native Tongues crew members the Jungle Brothers, Queen Latifah and De La Soul, the group is praised for it's intelligently quirky lyrics, inventive musical style and use of unconventional sample material.

- Following an acrimonious split from NWA, Ice Cube takes his new crew, Da Lench Mob to New York and records his solo debut with production from Public Enemy's production team, The Bomb Squad. The album, "AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted," goes down in history as a classic and sets Cube on the road to solo superstardom.

- M.C. Hammer continues to enjoy pop-rap notoriety with two Grammy nominations, a Saturday morning cartoon, and an action figure. Despite all of his commercial success; there is a growing backlash against his image and music among rap fans and artists, 3rd Bass's 1989/1990 single 'The Gas Face' being a notable example of Hammer receiving a lyrical lashing from the credible underground.

- Salt-N-Pepa release their third album, "Blacks Magic." The album receives strong reviews with the single 'Let's Talk About Sex' both causing controversy and attracting praise for it's honest look at relationships and promiscuity.

- After shooting his cousin and leading police on a high-speed chase, Slick Rick is captured and taken to prison. Def Jam head Russell Simmons bails Rick out in time to finish his second album, 'The Ruler's Back', but Rick is eventually sentenced to five years in prison on charges of attempted murder.

- Will Smith aka The Fresh Prince is tapped to star in a new sitcom, dubbed 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air'.

- Oakland-based alternative rap group Digital Underground release their debut album, 'Sex Packets'. Drawing heavily on staple West Coast sample material from the Parliament / Funkadelic camp, the group are quick to capture the world's attention with rapper Shock G adopting a number of voices in his raps to create a cast of quirky characters including the hapless 'Humpty Hump'. The Album's second single, 'The Humpty Dance,' becomes a platinum hit.

- Run DMC release their fifth album, 'Back From Hell'. The single 'What's It All About', which samples UK indie rockers The Stone Roses' 'Fools Gold', is a moderate success, but in stark contrast to earlier releases, the album barely goes gold and the group takes a break from recording.

- 'Ice, Ice Baby' becomes a hit for Miami-based white rapper Vanilla Ice. Though Ice is derided as a fake, his debut album, 'To The Extreme' goes on to sell over seven million copies.

- Popular rapper Heavy D. convinces Andre Harrell, the president of Uptown Records (Heavy D's label), to take on a young college student/dancer named Sean Combs (later known as Puff Daddy / P Diddy) as an intern. Combs goes on to forge the sound of the label's further releases and play a central role in a hip hop / RnB crossover movement that will shape popular hip hop for years to come.

 

1990 - ‘Stompin’ To Tha 90s’ mixed by Bobafatt

Friend of the site Bobafatt who kindly played at our 1993 party has put together not one but two mixes documenting the musical output of 1990. Check out Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

 

1990 - The Rub History of Hip Hop Mix

Continuing with another mix documenting the music of 1990, we have a further offering from New York's Rub DJs.

Listen to the mix on Mixcloud here or download from the Rub blog here.

 

1990 - Rap History Mix by DJ Crash

Moving on to 1990, we kick things off in the customary fashion with a mix from Berlin's Rap History crew. As with the 1989 installment, we have a 75 minute mix from DJ Crash.


Listen to the mix on Mixcloud and check out the tracklist here.

 

1989 - Strictly Kev’s Classic Material Guest Mix: “88 Was Great But 89 Is Mine”

The last blog entry for 1989 is also the first to showcase a guest mix from one of our contributors. Strictly Kev who kindly played at our 1989 party made a live all vinyl recording of the set he prepared for the night which he aptly titled '88 was great but 89 is mine'. Kev also wrote a great blog post in which he reminisces on his favourite releases from the year, home made De La Soul t-shirts and much more besides.

Check out the mix on Soundcloud here.

 

1989 - More Remembrance of Paul’s Boutique

We certainly weren't the only ones to put together a tribute to the Beastie Boys' 'Paul's Boutique' worthy of your time. Ninja Tune's Strictly Kev (coincidentally the guest DJ at our 1989 party) and his Solid Steel compadres DJ Cheeba and Moneyshot put together this mix entitled 'Caught In The Middle Of A Three Way' reconstructing Paul's Boutique from its constituent parts creating something of an online hit.

Read more about it on the DJ Food blog here, together with tracklist and stream links for Soundcloud and Mixcloud.

 

1989 - Classic Material Edition #3 Bonus Tracks

So, we finally arrive at the third of our Classic Material Bonus Tracks giveaways. This week's edition may not be of quite as much interest to seasoned followers since both tracks featured in this week's giveaway have in fact been available online before, but if you've always had a hankering for that Heavy D Remix from the Diary Volume 1.5 remix album without the ident at the beginning, then you're in luck.

Listen / download the tracks from Bandcamp here.

 

1989 - Beastie Boys’ ‘Paul’s Boutique’ Remembered

It's no coincidence that the two albums that appear in positions 1 and 2 in Ego Trip's Top 25 albums of 1989 (De La Soul's '3 Feet High And Rising' and Beastie Boys' 'Paul's Boutique') are renowned for their unique take on the use of samples - both in terms of quantity and variety. It's perhaps for that reason that both albums have been so heavily celebrated over the years. Unlike De La Soul's much celebrated debut however 'Paul's Boutique' was very much the Beastie Boys' 'difficult second album'. It's a testament to the album's unique feel that it subsequently rose above it's comparatively poor sales figures and lack of mainstream media attention at the time of release to take it's place in hip hop history as one of the genre's unsung classics.

Following the untimely passing of Beastie Boys' MCA last year after a lengthy battle with cancer, tributes were understandably numerous and varied but many focused on Paul's Boutique and its famously quirky sample material. Our 'Boutique Beats' mix blends a selection of Beastie Boys favourites, acapellas and more with original sample material, largely (but not exclusively) from the Paul's Boutique LP.

Listen to the mix on Mixcloud here or grab yourself a download here.

 

1989 to 2009 - Twenty Years of De La Soul

The presence of De La Soul's '3 Feet High And Rising' in the number one spot in Ego Trip's Top 25 Rap Albums of 1989 gives a good opportunity to remind the world of this great mixtape released in 2009 celebrating 20 years of De La Soul. Although presented as a 'mixtape', in fact it's a collection of De La Soul classics (from 3 Feet High And Rising and subsequent albums) reworked by some of the genre's best talent, including Talib Kweli, Phife, Tanya Morgan and Camp Lo.

You can download the individual tracks via Mixstream here.

 

1989 - Ego Trip’s Top 25 Rap Albums

A snapshot of 1989's best loved hip hop album releases, borrowing the top 25 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. De La Soul - 3 Feet High And Rising
2. Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
3. Jungle Brothers - Done By The Forces Of Nature
4. Big Daddy Kane - It's A Big Daddy Thing
5. The D.O.C - No One Can Do It Better
6. Geto Boys - Grip It! On That Other Level
7. 3rd Bass - The Cactus Album
8. 2 Live Crew - As Nasty As They Wanna Be
9. Nice & Smooth - Nice & Smooth
10. Biz Markie - The Biz Never Sleeps
11. EPMD - Unfinished Business
12. Queen Latifah - All Hail The Queen
13. LL Cool J - Walking With A Panther
14. Special Ed - Youngest In Charge
15. Chill Rob G - Ride The Rhythm
16. Low Profile - We're In This Together
17. MC Lyte - Eyes On This
18. Three Times Dope - Original Stylin'
19. Stezo - Crazy Noise
20. Boogie Down Productions - Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip Hop
21. Ice T - The Iceberg / Freedom of Speech ... Just Watch What You Say
22. Willie D - Controversy
23. Heavy D & The Boyz - Big Tyme
24. Sir Mix-A-Lot - SWASS
25. Kwame - The Boy Genius Featuring A New Beginning

 

1989 - Diary Rap Megamix

Another nugget from the Classic Material vaults, our 4 minute megamix of 30 or so of 1989's best loved hip hop releases.

Listen / download via bandcamp here.

 

1989 - Heavy D - We Got Our Own Thang (Chris Read Remix)

As we approach the last of our blog entries for 1989, we finally have an opportunity to post the first of our Classic Material remixes. This remix of Heavy D's 'We Got Our Own Thang' originally appeared on the 2009 remix compilation 'Diary 1.5: Twenty Years of the Remix' and was subsequently featured as a bonus track on the Classic Material Edition #3 mix CD.

Listen to / download the vocal version here or grab the instrumental version here.

 

1989 - Classic Material Edition #3 Mixtape

With all the 1989 mixes we've posted on the blog over the last week or so, it's only right that we give a little reminder of our own mix. 30 or so classic and lesser heard tracks from 1989 in the mix. CD copies of this mix have long since sold out but you can listen on Mixcloud here or cop a free download (and read little more about the mix) here.

 

1989 - ‘Who’s Flat Top Ruled in ‘89?’ Mixed by Bobafatt

There's no shortage of mixtapes reminiscing on 1989 it seems. Friend of the Classic Material family Bobafatt (who kindly played at our 1993 party) put together this very nice mixtape aptly titled 'Who's Flat Top Ruled in '89?'.

Have yourself a listen on Mixcloud here.

 

1989 - Ego Trip’s Top 40 Rap Singles

A snapshot of 1989's best loved single releases, borrowing the top 40 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. Public Enemy - Fight The Power
2. EPMD - So Watch Sayin'
3. Slick Rick - Children's Story
4. Special Ed - I Got It Made
5. Slick Rick - Hey Young World / Mona Lisa
6. Biz Markie - Just A Friend
7. Big Daddy Kane - Smooth Operator / Warm It Up Kane
8. De La Soul feat Native Tongues - Buddy (Native Tongue Decision)
9. NWA - Straight Outta Compton
10. Three Times Dope - Funky Dividends
11. DOC - It's Funky Enough
12. NWA - Express Yourself / A Bitch Iz A Bitch
13. Eazy E - Eazy-er Said Than Dunn
14. 2 Live Crew - Me So Horny
15. 3rd Bass feat Zev Love X - The Gas Face
16. Stezo - It's My Turn / To The Max
17. LL Cool J - Big Ole Butt
18. Gang Starr - Words I Manifest (Remix)
19. Digital Underground - Doowutchalike
20. Chubb Rock feat Hitman Howie Tee - Ya Badd Chubbs
21. Positive K - A Good Combination
22. YZ & G Rock - In Control Of Things / Thinking Of A Master Plan
23. 3rd Bass - Steppin' To The AM
24. Main Source - Think / Atom
25. Beastie Boys - Hey Ladies / Shake Your Rump
26. Nice & Smooth - Early to Rise / More and More Hits
27. MC Lyte - Cha Cha Cha
28. Chill Rob G - Court Is Now In Session
29. MC Sugar Ray & Stranger D - Knock Em Out Sugar Ray
30. Ice T - You Played Yourself
31. Stop The Violence Movement - Self Destruction
32. Boogie Down Productions - Why Is That?
33. Queen Latifah - Dance For Me / Inside Out
34. Low Profile - Pay Ya Dues
35. The Bizzie Boyz - Droppin' It
36. Young MC - Bust A Move
37. Divine Styler feat The Scheme Team - Ain't Sayin Nothin
38. Kwame The Boy Genius featuring A New Beginning - The Rhythm
39. Cool C - The Glamorous Life
40. Tone Loc - Wild Thing

 

1989 - MC Lyte Photo Print by Normski

Once again, we refer back to last summer's product range which included a series of T-Shirts and limited edition photograph prints produced in collaboration with central London sneaker boutique Foot Patrol and renowned UK streetstyle photographer Normski. This shot of MC Lyte was taken following a performance at London's Astoria club in 1989.

You can purchase this limited edition photo print embossed and signed by Normski in the Classic Material store here.

 

1989 - The Rub History of Hip Hop Mix

Continuing with another mix documenting the music of 1989, we have another offering from New York's Rub DJs.

Listen to the mix on Mixcloud here or download from the Rub blog here.

 

1989 - Rap History Mix by Daniel Drumz

Joining their Berlin counterparts, Rap History's Warsaw chapter provide another 1989 mix, this one mixed by Daniel Drumz.

Listen to the mix / check out the tracklist on Mixcloud here.

 

1989 - Rap History Mix by DJ Crash

Moving on to 1989, we kick things off as ever with a mix from Berlin's Rap History crew, this time a 75 minute mix from DJ Crash.


Listen to the mix on Mixcloud and check out the tracklist here.

 

1988 - Classic Material Edition #2 Bonus Track!

So, it's a taken a little more than a week to get to the second of our free bonus downloads, but here it is, an extract from 'The Breaks of '88' a mix of the tracks sampled in 1988's best known hip hop tracks which originally appeared in its full length version as a bonus track on our Classic Material Edition #2 CD. The full length mix will be released online in due course as part of a forthcoming Classic Material breaks mix series.

Listen / Download here.

 

1988 - Diary Rap Megamix

Another nugget from the Classic Material vaults, our 4 minute megamix of 30 or so of 1988 best loved hip hop releases.

Listen / download via bandcamp here.

 

1988 - Classic Material Edition #2 Mixtape

As we approach the last of our entries for 1988, here's a quick reminder of our 1988 Mixtape. 30 classic and lesser known cuts from 1988 in the mix!

Listen (and check out the tracklist) on Mixcloud here or grab a free download here.

 

1988 - Yo! MTV Raps Revolutionises Music Television

In August 1988, a new music television show went to air giving much needed exposure to hip hop music and culture in a move that would revolutionise music television for ever more. Although rap videos had made occasional appearances on the largely rock biased network in its early years, Yo! MTV Raps was the first show on US MTV to focus entirely on hip hop and its huge success paved the way for the integration of hip hop music videos into the station's regular rotation, hip hop ultimately coming to dominate the mainstream video playlist in later years. Commissioned by Ted Demme and Pete Dougherty, the content of the show was based to some extent on the MTV Europe Europe show simply named 'Yo!' hosted by Sophie Bramley which went to air approximately one year prior.

Hosted by Ed Lover & Doctor Dre with outside reports from Fab 5 Freddy, the show's mix of videos, interviews, scene reports and light hearted comedy presentation style was key to its success. The show ran until 1995 when it was rebranded simply as Yo! and continued to run under that name until 1999.

VH1 produced a great documentary on the show which tells its story and that of rap music's development on music television including some interesting commentary on how rock-rap cross over from the likes of Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys was instrumental in allowing rap music to break through the rock dominated playlisting on the early '80s.

Watch the documentary here.

 

1988 - Ego Trip’s Top 25 Rap Albums

A snapshot of 1988's best loved hip hop album releases, borrowing the top 25 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
2. NWA - Straight Outta Compton
3. Slick Rick - The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick
4. EPMD - STrictly Business
5. Boogie Down Productions - By All Means Necessary
6. Big Daddy Kane - Long Live The Kane
7. Ultramagnetic MCs - Critical Beatdown
8. Eric B. & Rakim - Follow The Leader
9. Biz Markie - Goin' Off
10. Jungle Brothers - Straight Out The Jungle
11. Eazy-E - Eazy Duz It
12. Run-DMC - Tougher Than Leather
13. MC Lyte - Lyte As A Rock
14. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - He's The Rapper, I'm The DJ
15. Marley Marl - In Control Volume 1
16. Salt N Pepa - A Salt With A Deadly Pepa
17. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo - Road To The Riches
18. Doug E Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew - The World's Greatest Entertainer
19. Stetsasonic - In Full Gear
20. 2 Live Crew - Move Somethin'
21. Super Love Cee & Casanova Rud - Girls I Got 'Em Locked
22. Too $hort - Life Is... Toos $hort
23. King Tee - Act A Fool
24. Kid 'N Play - 2 Hype
25. Lakim Shabazz - Pure Righteousness

 

1988 - Big Daddy Kane Photo Print by Normski

Once again, we refer back to last summer's product range which included a series of T-Shirts and limited edition photograph prints produced in collaboration with central London sneaker boutique Foot Patrol and renowned UK streetstyle photographer Normski. This shot of Big Daddy Kane was taken during the 1988 Cold Chillin' UK Tour and shows Kane and tour crew late night shopping at 7-Eleven in West London.

You can purchase this limited edition photo print embossed and signed by Normski in the Classic Material store here.

 

1988 - Ego Trip’s Top 40 Rap Singles

A snapshot of 1988's best loved single releases, borrowing the top 40 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock - It Takes Two
2. Eric B. & Rakim - Paid In Full (Seven Minutes of Madness Remix)
3. Big Daddy Kane - Ain't No Half Steppin'
4. Boogie Down Productions - My Philosophy
5. Run-DMC - Run's House / Beats To The Rhyme
6. Public Enemy - Don't Believe The Hype
7. Marley Marl & The Juice Crew - The Symphony
8. De La Soul - Plug Tunin'
9. EPMD - You Gots To Chill
10. Biz Markie - Vapours
11. Doug E Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew - Keep Risin' To The Top
12. J.V.C Force - Strong Island
13. Biz Markie - The Biz Is Goin' Off
14. 45 King - The 900 Number
15. Boogie Down Productions - Jack of Spades / Still #1
16. Eric B. & Rakim - Microphone Fiends
17. MC Lyte - 10% Dis
18. Stetsasonic - Sally / DBC Let The Music Play
19. Jungle Brothers - Because I Got It Like That
20. De La Soul - Jenifa (Taught Me) / Potholes In My Lawn
21. Chubb Rock feat Hitman Howie Tee - Caught Up (Remix)
22. 2 Much - Wild Thang
23. Marley Marl featuring Craig G - Droppin' Science
24. LL Cool J - Going Back to Cali / Jack The Ripper
25. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo - Road to the Riches
26. MC EZ & Troup - Get Retarded
27. Stetsasonic - Talkin' All That Jazz
28. Queen Latifah - Wrath of My Madness / Princess Of The Posse
29. MC Lyte - Paper Thin
30. Positive K - Step Up Front
31. MC Shan - I Pioneered This
32. Chill Rob G - Dope Rhymes / Chillin / Wild Pitch
33. Kid N Play - Do This My Way
34. Super Lover Cee & Casanova Rud - Super Casanova
35. Antoinette - Hit Em With This / Unfinished Business
36. King Tee - Bass
37. JJ Fad - Supersonic
38. Sir Mix-A-Lot - Posse On Broadway
39. Supreme Nyborn - Versatitlity
40. Kid N Play - Gittin Funky

 

1988 - The Rub History of Hip Hop Mix

Continuing with another mix documenting the music of 1988, we have another offering from New York's Rub DJs.

Listen to the mix on Mixcloud here or download from the Rub blog here.

 

1988 - Rap History Mix by Marc Hype

Moving on to 1988, we kick things off as ever with a mix from Berlin's Rap History crew, this time a 75 minute mix from former ITF Camp Marc Hype.


Listen to the mix on Mixcloud and check out the tracklist here.

 

1987 - Demon Boyz Photo Print by Normski

For the second of two photos from 1987 in our range of limited edition photograph prints produced in collaboration with central London sneaker boutique Foot Patrol and renowned UK streetstyle photographer Normski. This portrait shot of Music of Life recording artists Demon Boyz was taken on the rail tracks at the disused Primrose Hill overground station in North London.

You can purchase this limited edition photo print embossed and signed by Normski in the Classic Material store here.

 

Classic Material Edition #1 Bonus Track!

Those of you who have been following the blog and / or our CD series over the last couple of years will be aware that each of the Classic Material CDs contained a number of bonus tracks not available on the download version. With all the CDs having long since sold out from the online store and preparations underway for our season 3 range, we've decided to start a series of giveaways. Every week (or every couple of weeks depending on how quickly we can get the blog updated!), we'll be giving away at least one of those bonus tracks as a free download. So, without further ado, here's the first in our series of giveaways, the bonus track from Classic Material Edition #1:

Listen to / download the track from Bandcamp here.

 

1987 - Flavor Flav Photo Print by Normski

Referring back to last summer's Classic Material product range which included a series of T-Shirts and limited edition photograph prints produced in collaboration with central London sneaker boutique Foot Patrol and renowned UK streetstyle photographer Normski, this shot of Public Enemy's Flavor Flav was taken as Flavor made his way to shoot a cameo appearance in the video for UK DJ Simon Harris' house hit 'Bass, How Low Can You Go', the title of which refers to a sample taken from Public Enemy's 'Bring The Noise'.

You can purchase this limited edition photo print embossed and signed by Normski in the Classic Material store here.

 

Classic Material 80s Electro Bonus Mix

Originally issued as a bonus feature on the Classic Material Edition #1 Part 2 CD and subsequently made available online in conjunction with the now defunct Spine Magazine some months later, now seems an appropriate time to post a little reminder of our 80s Electro Bonus Mix.

So, if you missed it first time round, you can listen to (and check out the tracklist of) this 40 minute journey through mid 80s Electro and Drum Machine Rap on Mixcloud here or grab yourself a free download from our mixes page.

 

Classic Material Edition #1 Mixtape Part 2 (1984-1987)

As we continue through our posts for 1987, it seems appropriate to post a little reminder of another of our Classic Material mixes. This mix is the second of our two part Edition #1, covering music from the year 1984-1987, with some bias toward the more sample based material from the later part of that period.

You can get yourself a listen (and check out the tracklist) on Mixcloud here or grab yourself a free download from our mixes page. Physical copies of this CD are now sold out but there are other Classic Material goodies available from our online store.

 

1987 - Ego Trip’s Top 40 Rap Singles

A snapshot of 1987's best loved single releases, borrowing the top 40 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. Audio 2 - Top Billin'
2. Public Enemy - Rebel Without A Pause
3. Boogie Down Productions - The Bridge Is Over
4. EPMD - It's My Thing / You're A Customer
5. Big Daddy Kane - Raw
6. Public Enemy - Bring The Noise
7. Biz Markie - Nobody Beats The Biz
8. Eric B & Rakim - I Know You Got Soul
9. Public Enemy - Public Enemy No. 1 / Time Bomb
10. Big Daddy Kane feat. Biz Markie - Just Rhymin' With Biz
11. Super Lover Cee & Casanova Rud - Do The James
12. LL Cool J - I'm Bad
13. Ultramagnetic MCs - Funky
14. Eazy E - Boyz N The Hood
15. Divine Force - Holy War (Live)
16. Schooly D - Saturday Night
17. Eric B & Rakim - I Ain't No Joke
18. MC Lyte - I Cram To Understand U
19. NWA - Dope Man
20. Just Ice - Going Way Back
21. Roxanne Shante - Have A Nice Day
22. Biz Markie - Pickin' Boogers
23. Salt-N-Pepa - Tramp / Push It
24. Boogie Down Productions - Poetry
25. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo - Rikers Island / Rhyme Time
26. Jungle Brothers - Jim Browski
27. Dismasters - Small Time Hustler
28. Heavy D & The Boyz - The Overweight Lover's In The House
29. Spoonie Gee - The Godfather
30. Alliance - Bustin Loose / Do It, Do It / Oreo Cookie
31. Antionette - I Got An Attitude
32. Spoonie Gee - Take It Off
33. Kid N Play - Last Night
34. Latee - This Cut's Got Flavor / Puttin On The Hits
35. Steady B - Use Me (Before I Let Go)
36. Masters Of Ceremony - Sexy
37. Busy Bee - Suicide
38. Lord Shafiyq
39. Classical Two - New Generation
40. 2 Live Crew - We Want Some Pussy!!

 

1987 - The Rub History of Hip Hop Mix

Continuing with another mix documenting the music of 1987, we have another offering from New York's Rub DJs.

Listen to their 1987 mix on Mixcloud here or download from the Rub blog here.

 

1987 - Rap History Mix by DJ Dejoe

Moving on to 1987, we kick things off once again with a mix from Berlin's Rap History crew, this time a 70 minute mix from DJ Dejoe.


Listen to the mix on Mixcloud and check out the tracklist here.

 

1986 - Kool Moe Dee Photo Print by Normski

To round off our entries for 1986, we refer back to last summer's product range which included a series of T-Shirts and limited edition photograph prints produced in collaboration with central London sneaker boutique Foot Patrol and renowned UK streetstyle photographer Normski. This shot of Jive recording artist Kool Moe Dee was taken at Battery Studios in Willesden, London in 1986 during Kool Moe Dee's UK tour.

You can purchase this limited edition photo print embossed and signed by Normski in the Classic Material store here.

 

1986 - The Birth of the Bridge Wars

1986 marked the starting point of what might be described as the second of Hip Hop's major battles to be played out on wax, the so-called 'Bridge Wars', a lyrical battle waged between the crews of New York's South Bronx and Queensbridge projects (from which the battle takes its name). The battle centers around claims over hip hop's origins in New York, crews from the New York boroughs of the Bronx and Queens each stepping to the mic in a series of releases to defend the honour of their neighbourhood.

In truth it was the release of Marley Marl & MC Shan's 'The Bridge' in 1985 that sparked the feud, but it was not until the South Bronx's Boogie Down Productions (pictured above) launched an attack on the Queens duo with their retort entitled simply 'South Bronx' in 1986 that the battle was born. Accounts of the intent of these initial records vary but the salient facts are that the Bronx crew understood the lyrics contained in 'The Bridge' ("You love to hear the story, again and again, of how it all got started way back when, the monument is right in your face, sit and listen for a while to the name of the place, the Bridge, Queensbridge") to be a claim that Hip-Hop had its origins in Queensbridge. MC Shan has since gone on record as saying that was not his intent and that the record was simply intended as a celebration of the early days of Hip-Hop in Queens. Whether the perceived attack was intentional or not, a battle had been born and with the release of BDP's 'South Bronx' that battle took on a hostile tone as the lyrics demonstrate: "So you think that hip-hop had its start out in Queensbridge, if you popped that junk up in the Bronx you might not live."

Whilst BDP's response was viewed at the time as an attempt to defend the Bronx as rightful owner of it's claim to be Hip Hop's birthplace, subsequent interviews with BDP's KRS-One suggest there was more to the feud than met the eye. Prior to the release of 'The Bridge', KRS-One had approached Queens' Juice Crew affiliate Mr Magic, seeking interest in his group '12:41' (an earlier incarnation of BDP of which Scott La Rock was also a member). Magic had rejected the track causing some resentment between the two camps. Although arguably the original source of the feud, the absence of Magic's approval did not prevent the group from forging a career and in the same year they released the single 'Succe$ i$ the Word' on Fresh Records.

1987 saw the battle escalate with Shan and Marley Marl responding with the track 'Kill That Noise' appearing on Shan's 'Down By Law' LP, but the track was soon eclipsed by BDP's lyrically bold 'The Bridge Is Over'. Although arguably the strongest lyrical blow in the series of releases, the battle continued with Juice Crew member Roxanne Shante (also centrally involved in the Roxanne Wars) taking a shot at KRS-One in her track 'Have A Nice Day', ghostwritten by fellow Juice Crew member Big Daddy Kane. Shan's 'Juice Crew Law' contained similar sentiment.

As with the Roxanne Wars, the popularity of the battle records prompted a number of artists not directly involved to step up and give their take on events. Philadelphia's Cool C weighed in with 'Juice Crew Dis' and Queens MC Butchy B responded in his track 'Go Magic' / 'Beatin Down KRS', the former a promo cut for Queensbridge DJ Mr Magic. Queens duo DJ Rockwell Noel and the Poet further contributed to the feud with "Taking U Out'. The heat of the battle had certainly subsided by 1988 but that didn't prevent BDP's KRS-One making reference to it in both 1988's 'My Philosophy' and 1990's 'Blackman In Effect'. Into the '90s vague references were made by a number of artists but the battle was in essence over. Putting matters beyond doubt was the release of the 2007 collaboration album between KRS-One and former Juice Crew producer Marley Marl entitled 'Hip-Hop Lives', officially putting the feud to bed and celebrating the legacy of one of Hip-Hop's most important battles played out on wax.

 

1986 - Ego Trip’s Top 40 Rap Singles

Replacing our usual 'notable releases' section which appeared in the earlier sections of the blog, we give you a snapshot of 1986's best loved single releases by borrowing a top 40 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists:

1. Eric B & Rakim - Eric B is President / My Melody
2. Run DMC - My Adidas / Peter Piper
3. MC Shan - The Bridge
4. Boogie Down Productions - South Bronx
5. Ultramagnetic MCs - Ego Trippin
6. Beastie Boys - Hold It Now, Hit It
7. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo - It's A Demo / I'm Fly
8. Biz Markie - Make The Music With Your Mouth Biz
9. Stetsasonic - Go Stetsa I
10. Just Ice - Latoya
11. Just Ice - Cold Gettin Dumb
12. Roxanne Shante feat Biz Markie - Def Fresh Crew
13. Beastie Boys - It's The New Style / Paul Rever
14. Ice T - 6 N The Mornin
15. Salt N Pepa - My Mic Sounds Nice
16. Doug E Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew - Play This One Only At Night
17. Too $hort - Freaky Tales
18. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble
19. Joeski Love - Pee-Wee's Dance
20. Sweet Tee & DJ Jazzy Joyce - It's My Beat
21. Cutmaster DC - Brooklyn Rocks The Best
22. Dana Dane - Nightmares
23. Word of Mouth feat DJ Cheese - Coast to Coast
24. Whodini - One Love
25. Original Concept - Knowledge Me / Can U Feel It
26. Doug E Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew - All The Way To Heaven / Nuthin'
27. Divine Sounds - Do Or Die Bed Stuy
28. Rodney O & Joe Cooley - Everlasting Bass
29. Whodini - Funky Beat
30. Sweet Tee & DJ Jazzy Joyce - It's Like That Y'all
31. King Tee - Payback's A Mutha
32. DBL Crew - Bust It
33. Stetsasonic - Faye / 4 Ever My Beat
34. MC Shan - Jane, Stop This Crazy Thing / Cocaine
35. Kool Moe Dee - Go See The Doctor
36. Grandmaster Flash - Style (Peter Gunn Theme)
37. Heavy D & The Boyz - Mr Big Stuff
38. The Real Roxanne feat Hit Man Howie Tee - Bang Zoom (Let's Go Go)
39. Steady B - Bring The Beat Back
40. B Fats - Woppit

 

1986 - The Rub History of Hip Hop Mix

Continuing with another mix documenting the music of 1986, we have another offering from New York's Rub DJs.

Listen to their 1986 mix on Mixcloud here or download from the Rub blog here.

 

1986 - Rap History Mix by Andre Langenfeld & DJ Scientist

Picking up where we left off before a brief hiatus for our latest product launch, we move on to the music of 1986. We kick off our 1986 coverage with a mix from Berlin's Rap History crew, this time a one hour mix from Andre Langenfeld and DJ Scientist.


Listen to the mix on Mixcloud and check out the tracklist here.

 

Classic Material x Normski x Foot Patrol launch party [Video]

A massive thank you to Jonny Griffiths for putting together this great VIDEO of the launch party we held last week for the Classic Material x Normski x Foot Patrol t-shirt collection. Thanks also to our DMC champ DJs Mr Thing and Matman for moving the crowd, our sponsor Red Stripe beer and everyone who came down, supported, bought t-shirts, partied and generally made it a night to remember!

The collection is available now exclusively from Foot Patrol.

 

Classic Material ‘Bonus Material’ CD teaser track

In advance of the Classic Material x Normski x Foot Patrol launch party tonight, we have added a little treat to Bandcamp, a teaser track (and instrumental) from the Classic Material 'Bonus Material' CD available exclusively from tonight's launch party.

Listen and download from Bandcamp here.

 

Classic Material x Normski x Foot Patrol T-Shirt Collection 2012

We are pleased to release details of our latest project, a capsule range of 6 limited edition t-shirts in collaboration with UK streetstyle icon Normski and central London sneaker boutique Foot Patrol. Details on our launch event and availability coming later this week. Watch this space!

 

1984-1985 The Roxanne Wars

Released in 1984, UTFO's 'Roxanne Roxanne', a song launching a verbal attack upon a fictional character who refused the advances of the group, was a surprise hit thanks largely to its frequent airplay on New York radio. In fact the b-side of UTFO's single 'Hanging Out', the track triumphed over its a-side counterpart in popularity and unwittingly started one of hip hop's first (and arguably most famous) battles to be played out on wax. Over the following year literally dozens of records would be released in what became known as the 'Roxanne Wars'.

'Roxanne Roxanne' may have been limited to a hip hop footnote however were it not for Juice Crew affiliate Roxanne Shante (pictured) siezing the opportunity to capitalise on the popularity of UTFO's original song with the Marley Marl produced 'Roxanne's Revenge'. Roxanne's original profanity laden response was an instant hit. Rumoured to have sold of 250,000 copies in the New York area alone, the track used the instrumental version of UTFO's original track as its backing. Following legal action from UTFO's record label, the track was eventually re-released in early 1985 with a new Marley Marl produced instrumental replacing the original and profanities toned down.

Not prepared to let Shante have the last word on the matter, a third record in the series, UTFO and Full Force's 'The Real Roxanne' was released later that year in response to Shante's track. The role of the 'Real Roxanne' on the record was played by relative unknown Elease Jack although female rapper Adelaia Martinez later took on the moniker and enjoyed a successful recording career using the name including, most notably, the 1986 Howie Tee produced hit 'Bang Zoom Let's Go'.

What happened next, however could not have been predicted. Estimates vary, but over the following year anywhere between 30 and 100 follow up records were released by artists in most cases unconnected with the original call and response giving their stance on the Roxanne story or alternative fictional tales of Roxanne's exploits. Some of the more notable releases are listed below:

Sparky D - Sparky's Turn (Roxanne, You're Through)
Dr Freshh - Roxanne's Doctor The Real Man
Dr Rocx & Co - Do the Roxanne
Gigolo Tony & Lacey Lace - The Parents of Roxanne
Tanganyika - I’m Lil Roxanne
Crush Groove - Yo, My Little Sister (Roxanne's Brothers)
DW and the Party Crew featuring Roxy - Rappin' Roxy: Roxanne's Sister
Ralph Rolle - Roxanne's a Man (The Untold Story—Final Chapter)
The East Coast Crew - The Final Word: No More Roxanne (Please)
UTFO - Roxanne, Roxanne, Pt. 2: Calling Her a Crab
Roxanne Shanté - Queen of Rox
Roxanne Shanté and Sparky D - Round 1: Roxanne Shanté Vs. Sparky Dee

 

1985 - Ego Trip’s Top 40 Rap Singles

Replacing our usual 'notable releases' section which appeared in the earlier sections of the blog, we give you a snapshot of 1985's best loved single releases by borrowing a top 40 list from the rap nerd's bible that is Ego Trip's book of Rap Lists:

1. Doug E Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew - The Show / La Di Da Di
2. Schoolly D - PSK / Gucci Time
3. LL Cool J - Rock The Bells
4. Run DMC - King of Rock
5. Marley Marl featuring MC Shan
6. LL Cool J - I Can't Live Without My Radio
7. Mantronix featuring MC Tee - Fresh Is The Word
8. Whistle - (Nothing Serious) Just Buggin'
9. Cutmaster DC - Brooklyn's In The House
10. Stetsasonic - Just Say Stet
11. Roxanne Shante - Bite This
12. Grandmaster Flash - Larry's Dance Theme
13. The B Boys - Girls
14. The B Boys - Girls pt. 2
15. Roxanne Shante - Queen of Rox
16. Word of Mouth featuring Dj Cheese - King Kut
17. Boogie Boys - A Fly Girl
18. Toddy Tee - Batterram
19. Too Short - Girl
20. Kurtis Blow - If I Ruled The World
21. Run DMC - Together Forever (Krush Groove 4)
22. Bad Boys featuring K Love - Bad Boys
23. Hollis Crew - It's The Beat
24. Beastie Boys - Rock Hard
25. Bad Boys featuring K Love - Veronica
26. Rockmaster Scott & The Dynamic Three - The Roof Is On Fire
27. DJ Hollywood - Hollywood's World
28. Jazzy Jay - Def Jam / Cold Chillin
29. Super Nature - The Show Stoppa
30. Sparky D - Sparky's Turn (Roxanne You're Through)
31. Super Kids - The Tragedy (Don't Do It)
32. Steady B featuring Roxanne Shante - Just Call Us Def / Fly Shante
33. LL Cool J - I Want You / Dangerous
34. Mantronix - Needle To The Groove
35. Craig G - Shout (Rap Version)
36. Force MDs - Itchin For A Scratch
37. Beastie Boys - She's On It
38. Tricky Tee - Johnny The Fox
39. DJ Born Supreme Allah - 2, 3 Break (Part II - The Sequel)
40. Masterdon Committee - Funkbox 2

 

1985 - West Coast Electro Mix by DJ Friction

Following on from 1984 Electro mix that was posted a week or so back, we have another great mix of West Coast Electro from Germany's DJ Friction, this time covering music from the year 1985.

Listen to the mix and check out the tracklist on Mixcloud here.

 

1985 - The Rub History of Hip Hop Mix

Continuing with another mix documenting the music of 1985, we have another offering from New York's Rub DJs.

Listen to their 1985 mix on Mixcloud here or download from the Rub blog here.

 

1985 - Rap History 1985 Mix by DJ Haitian Star

Moving on to 1985, we kick things off once again with a mix from Berlin's Rap History crew, this time a one hour mix from Germany's DJ Haitian Star.


Listen to the mix on Mixcloud and check out the tracklist here.

 

1984 - Ego Trip’s Top 40 Rap Singles

So far in the our chronology, we've posted a list of 'Notable Releases' for each year from 1979 through to 1983, which has been as complete a record of the releases for that year as we have been able to compile. As we hit the mid 80s the number of hip hop releases in any given year has grown to a size that makes that impractical so we're going slim the annual list down to a "best of" and borrow from a reliable source, Ego Trip's good old Book of Rap Lists. Here's their top 40 rap singles of 1984:

1. T La Rock & Jazzy Jay - It's Yours
2. LL Cool J - I Need A Beat
3. Run DMC - Rock Box
4. UTFO - Rock Box
5. Whodini - Friends / Five Minutes Of Funk
6. Roxanne Shante - Roxanne's Revenge
7. Kurtis Blow - 8 Million Stories / AJ Skratch
8. Davy DMX - One For The Treble (Fresh)
9. Cold Crush Brothers - Fresh, Fly, Wild & Bold
10. The World Famous Supreme Team - Hey DJ
11. Whodini - Freaks Come Out At Night
12. Disco 3 - Fat Boys / Human Beat Box
13. Divine Sounds - What People Do For Money
14. Afrika Bambaataa & James Brown - Unity
15. Freddy B & The Mighty Mic Masters - The Main Event
16. Fat Boys - Jailhouse Rap
17. Newcleus - Jam On It
18. Grandmaster Melle Mel - Beat Street Breakdown
19. The Furious Five feat Cowboy, Grandmaster Melle Mel & Scorpio - Step Off
20. Kurtis Blow - Basketball
21. Grandmixer DST - Megamix II (Why Is It Fresh?)
22. Chuck Chillout - Hip Hop On Wax Volume 1
23. Kool DJ Red Alert - Hip Hop On Wax Volume 2
24. Fat Boys - Can You Feel It?
25. Donald D - Don's Groove
26. Pumpkin & The Profile All-Stars - Here Comes The Beat!
27. Doug E Fresh featuring DJs Chill Will & Barry Bee - Just Having Fun
28. Doug E Fresh - Original Human Beat Box
29. Trecherous Three - Turning You On
30. Master OC & Krazy Eddie featuring Peso & Tito of the Fearless Four & Main Attraction - Masters of the Scratch
31. Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde - Fast Life / A.M P.M
32. Cutmaster DC - That's Life
33. Captain Rock - Cosmic Blast
34. DJ Hollywood - Hollywood's Message
35. Lovebug Starski - Starski Live at the Fever Pt II
36. Ultimate 3 MCs - What Are We Gonna Do?
37. Awesome Foursome - Funky Breakdown
38. Just Four - Games Of Life
39. Frederick "MC Count" Linton - I'm Somebody Else's Guy
40. Masterdon Committee - Paid The Cost To Be The Boss

 

1984 - A Year in Rap

Produced with some assistance from Mr Wiggles of the Rock Steady Crew's 'Hip Hop Timeline', here is a round up of some of the significant hip hop related events of 1984:

- Classic Hip Hop movie 'Beat Street' is released, featuring appearances from legendary acts including Kool Herc, Treacherous 3, Doug E Fresh, Rock Steady Crew and New York City Breakers.

- Released in the same year was the more commercially orientated 'Breakin' (re-titled 'Breakdance the Movie' in the UK), a more Hollywood take on the breakdance phenomenon featuring an all West Coast line up which included breakers such as Boogaloo Shrimp and Poppin' Pete plus a young Ice T who appears performing in the night club scene alongside West Coast Electro DJ Chris 'The Glove' Taylor. (Screenshot from the movie above)

- Both 'Beat Street' and 'Breakin' prompted world tours featuring the cast and dancers from the films, culminating in a breakdance battle featuring members of both tours at a Paris nightclub.

- DJ Cheese wins the New Music Seminar DJ battle in Philadelphia

- Photographers Henry Chalfant and Martha Cooper compile the seminal New York graffiti photo anthology "Subway Art"

- Although Chalfant and Cooper's book is often credited as the first book to investigate the phenomenon of New York subway graffiti, earlier the same year Craig Castleman's book "Getting Up" documented the inside story of the lives and activities of New York's graffiti artists through a series of candid interviews.

- Run DMC release their self titled debut LP on the Profile label ushering in a new harder edged sound in contrast to the disco rap sound popularised by artists such as Kurtis Blow who released his 'Ego Trip' LP the same year.

- UTFO released the controversial single 'Roxanne, Roxanne' prompting a response from Juice Crew affiliate Roxanne Shante in the form of her 1984 single 'Roxanne's Revenge'.

- Dancers Boogaloo Shrimp, Shabadoo and Pop 'n' Taco appeared in the video for Chaka Khan's hit single "I Feel For You".

 

1984 - West Coast Electro Mix by DJ Friction

Whilst seeking out the 1984 mix from the Rap History series, I stumbled on this great mix of West Coast Electro / Electro Rap from the year 1984 put together a year or so ago by Stuttgart's DJ Friction. It's a very nicely executed mix that covers a side of the music from that year not really tocuhed on by the Rap History or Rub mixes.

You can listen to Friction's 1984 Electro mix on Mixcloud here.

And to do a little catch up, Friction has another mix of similar West Coast material covering the years 1980-1983 which you can also listen to on Mixcloud here.

 

1984 - The Rub History of Hip Hop Mix

Continuing with another mix documenting the music of 1984, we have another offering from New York's Rub DJs.

Listen to their 1984 mix on Mixcloud here or download from the Rub blog here.

 

1984 - Rap History Mix by Dejoe

Moving on to 1984, we kick things off once again with a mix from Berlin's Rap History crew, this time a one hour mix from Rap History resident Dejoe.


Listen to the mix on Mixcloud, read what the compiler has to say about the mix and check out the tracklist here.

 

Classic Material Edition #1 Mixtape Part 1 (1979-1983)

So, as we complete the entries for 1983, it's only right that we give you a quick reminder of the first of our Classic Material mixtapes before moving on to the events of 1984. With a cover graphic inspired by arguably the most influential label of hip hop's disco era, Sugarhill Records, the mix covers a selection of disco rap's better known cuts plus a few of the lesser heard for good measure.

Listen or download here.

 

1983 - Notable Releases

The most notable rap single releases of 1983 (alphabetical by name of artist):

10-Speed - Tour De France
4 Killer M.C.'s - Killer Rap
Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force - Looking For The Perfect Beat
Airplay - Troy The Wonder Boy And Duck
All Ages - Ages Rap
B Beat Girls - Jungle Swing
B.E.B. - Hotdog
B+ - B-Beat Classic
B-Boys, The – Two, Three, Break
Bobby Stringer - The Sarge
Boo-Dah Bliss Crew - Pass The Boo-Dah
Break Machine - Street Dance
C.O.D. - In The Bottle
Canute - Amazing Mind
Captain Jones - Space Dawg
Captain Rapp - Bad Times (I Can't Stand It)
Captain Rock - The Return Of Capt. Rock
CD III - Get Tough
Chapter Three - Smurf Trek
Chilltown - Rock The Beat
City Rappers Band - Sundden Move Syndrome
Clair - Ya Dog
Cosmic Touch - Nothing Ever Changes
Crash Crew - On The Radio
Crash Crew - We Are Known As Emcees (We Turn Party's Out)
Cutmaster D.C. - That's Life
Cybotron - Clear
Dark Star - Sexy Baby
Debbie Deb - When I Hear Music
Dimples D. - Sucker DJ's (I Will Survive)
Disco 3 - Reality
Disco Daddy - Zodiac Rhymes
Disco Four - Throwdown
DJ Divine - Get Into The Mix
Donald Banks - Status Quo
Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde - Gettin' Money
Dynamite Two - Can't Stop (Till I Reach The Top)
Fantasy Three - Biters In The City
Fantasy Three - It's Your Rock
Farrari - Simon Says Dance
Felix & Jarvis - Jam The House
Freestyle - Summer Delight
Freestyle Express - Freestyle
Fresh 3 MC's - Fresh
Funky Four - Feel It (The Mexican)
G.L.O.B.E. & Whiz Kid - Play That Beat Mr. D.J.
Garrett's Crew - Nasty Rock
Gary Byrd & The G.B. Experience - The Crown
George Clinton - Nubian Nut
George Nooks & The Electrons - Computer Reggae
G-Five - Keep It On
G-Force Featuring Ronnie Gee & Captain Cee - Feel The Force
Glen Adams and D.J. Freeze - Chicken ScratchGrandmaster Caz & Chris Stein - Wild Style Theme
Grandmixer D. ST. - Crazy Cuts
Hashim - Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)
Herbie Hancock - Rockit
Home Boy And The C.O.L. - Money's Funny Change Is Strange
Hurt 'Em Bad And The SC Band - The Boxing Game
Ice "T" - The Coldest Rap
Interface - Robot Love
Jazzy Dee - Put It To The Test
Jenny Burton - Remember What You Like
Jimmy Spicer - Money (Dollar Bill Y'all)
Jonny Bankcheck - The Runaway
Ken 'C' - Get Outta My Face
Kevie Kev (Waterbed Kev) - All Night Long (Waterbed)
Kevin Fleetwood And The Cadillacs Of Sound - Sweat It Off
Kilowatt - Kil-O-Watt
Kinetic Force - Wait Take A Minute
Krome - Get On Up
Lambchops - Bus Stop
Lemon Lime - The Hollyweird Game
Leon Kittrell And Formula V - Killer Groove
Little Toni Marsh - Video Burnout
Magic Mike Crew - Magic Mike Theme
Maniacs - Sweet Ladies
Maurice Starr - Electric Funky Drummer
Maxine Dee & Dr. Jyve - Don't Do That Rap
MC Connection - Burnin' For Another Shot
Men At Play - Dr. Jam (In The Slam)
Monzie-D & Too Quick - Intelligence
Newcleus - Jam On Revenge
NJ 4 - How Many Girls You Got
Osé - Computer Funk
Otis Clay - Love Bandit
P.C. Crew - Get Fresh - Get Fresh (Break Dance)
Project Future - Ray-Gun-Omics
Rammellzee vs. K-Rob - Beat Bop
Rhythm Makers Ltd. - Party Rap
Rich Cason And The Galatic Orchestra - Year 2001 Boogie
Rickey G & The Everloving Five - To The Max
Robert Schröder - Space Detective
Rock Master Scott & The Dynamic 3 - It's Life
Royal Cash - Radio Activity
Run-D.M.C. - Hard Time
Run-D.M.C. - It's Like That / Sucker M.C.'s
Shango - Shango Message
Sine - Rotation
Slingshot - You Shook Me All Night Long
Solo Sound - Chilly
South Bronx Movement - You've Got The Power To Get High On Yourself
Spoonie Gee - The Big Beat
Spyder C - Unity (In The Place To Be)
Starr's Computer Band - Computer Rock Control
Steve Green - Video Reaction
Stockingcap - Wave Craze
Sugarhill Gang - The Word Is Out
Supa-Rap - Bills
Sweet G - Games People Play
Synergy - Project 5
Terry Lewis And Wildflower - The Peoples Message Take Two
The "P" Crew - Busy Body
The Art Of Noise - Into Battle
The B-Boys - Rock The House
The Beat Boys - Be Bop Rock
The Caution Crew - Rhythm Rock
The Caution Crew - Westside Storie
The Cold Crush Brothers - Punk Rock Rap
The Computer People Communicator - Talking And Scratching (For The People)
The Extra T's - I Like It (Corn Flakes)
The Increadible T. H. Scratchers - Hip-Hop-Bommi-Bop
The Jazzie Ladies - Blowin' Your Mind
The Jonzun Crew - Pack Jam (Look Out For The OVC)
The Micronawts - (I Can Do It...You Can Do It) Letzmurph Acrossdasurf
The Motor City Crew - Let's Break
The Plainwrap Band - The Ghetto Bird
The Public - Win Jesse Win
The Radio Crew - Breakig And Entering
The Rake - Street Justice
The Rock Steady Crew - (Hey You) The Rock Steady Crew
The Russell Brothers - The Party Scene
Tilt - Arkade Funk
Tim Greene & The Philly Four MC's - Let's Get Exotic
Time Zone - The Wildstyle
Tony Davis - Bootie Whip
Tranquilizing Preview / Tranquilizing 3 - Vote Like You Party / A Fact Of Life
Trans-Lux - Big Apple Noise
T-Ski Valley - Cut It Up
T-Ski Valley - The U.S.A. Is The Best
T-Ski Valley & Grand Groove Bunch - Never Let Go
Twilight 22 - Electric Kingdom
Twilight 22 - In The Spirit
Valerie Oliver - (GTM) Get The Money
Vericheri - Ultra-Sonic Breakdance
Verycheri - 69 Cancer Sign
Warp 9 - Beat Wave
West Street Mob - Break Dancin' - Electric Boogie
Whodini - Rap Machine
Whodini - The Haunted House Of Rock
Wuf Ticket - The Key
Xena - On The Upside
X-Visitors - Hokey Pokey
X-Visitors - The Planet Doesn't Mind

List produced with the assistance of Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists and Spitfire's Hip Hop On Wax database.

For a comprehensive list of Rap and related releases from the year with label and release info, Rap History has a helpful database.

 

Diggers With Gratitude - Old School Rap (1979-1983)

This great poster has just been released by Diggers With Gratitude. Limited to just 100 copies and perfectly in keeping with our recent activities, it's a must have item for anybody with a penchant for clean design and old school rap nerdery.

More information from www.diggerswithgratitude.com

 

1983 - Club Flyers

Selection of club flyers from 1983 designed by Buddy Esquire, "King of the Flyer". I particularly like the Pac Jam Record Co flyer "celebrating 10 years of hip hop", which gives some indication of just how long New York had a coherent hip hop scene before the first hip hop records were released in 1979.

 

1983 - A Year in Rap

Produced with some assistance from Mr Wiggles of the Rock Steady Crew's 'Hip Hop Timeline', here is a round up of some of the significant hip hop related events of 1983:

- Revered jazz musician Herbie Hancock (pictured above) drafts in the DJ skills of Grandmixer DST to perform scratches on his hit single 'Rockit' taken from the album 'Future Shock'.

- DJ Afirka Islam, son of hip hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa starts his own hip hop radio show on New York's WHBI. The same year Afrika Islam wins the New Music Seminar DJ battle in Los Angeles.

- Hip Hop documentary Style Wars is aired on PBS in the USA. The film featured appearances from genuine figures from graffiti underground of the day including Mare 149, Skeme and Seen.

- Hip Hop spreads its influence further on the international stage with the 'Wild Style' tour taking the Cold Crush Four and Rock Steady Crew to Japan.

- Rock Steady Crew appear in the hit movie Flash Dance.

- Rock Steady Crew also appear in the video for Malcolm Mclaren's Buffalo Gals single taken from the 1983 album 'Duck Rock'.

- B-Boy crews also appeared in music videos for artists outside the hip hop fraterntity. The New York City Breakers appeared in the video for Gladys Knight and the Pips' 'Save the Overtime for Me'

- New York punk band the Beastie Boys release the first of their records to experiment with new recording technology and the hip hop sound. The A-side 'Cookie Puss' placed scratching and recorded phone calls over drum machine programming.

- Rammelzee & K Rob release the leftfield classic 'Beat Bop' produced by renowned New York artist Jean Michel Basquiat.

 

1983 - Rap History Mix by Roscow (Jazzanova) & DJ Runex

Yes, that's right, another 1983 Rap History mixtape. This time, we have a great mix put together by Jazzanova's Roscow and DJ Runex, tocuhing on boogie rap classics and a few related 80s soul joints from the likes of Mtume. Tastefully mixed in a style which, in their own words, pays tribute to the Latin Rascals.

Listen to the mix on Mixcloud here.

 

1983 - The Rub History of Hip Hop Mix

Continuing with another mix documenting the music of 1983, we have another offering from New York's Rub DJs.

Listen to their 1983 mix on Mixcloud here or download from the Rub blog here.

 

1983 - Rap History Mix by DJ Scientist

Moving on to 1983, we kick things off once again with a mix from Berlin's Rap History crew, this time a half hour mix from DJ Scientist which he describes as "28 minutes about money and hard times".

Listen to the mix on Mixcloud, read what the compiler has to say about the mix and check out the tracklist here.

 

1982 - Notable Releases

The most notable rap single releases of 1982 (alphabetical by name of artist):

Afrika Bambaataa & The Jazzy 5 - Jazzy Sensation (Remix)
Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force - Planet Rock
Ah-Boo - Jungle Pack Man
Aural Exciters - Chinese Rap
Azymuth - May I Have This Dance
Began Began - Computer Wars
Began Began - Stay In Touch
Blaze - We Come To Jam
Blowfly - Business Deal
Bon Rock & Cotton Candy - Junior Wants To Play
Bunny Wailer - Back To School
Busy Bee - Making Cash Money
Captain Rock - Cosmic Glide
Carver Area High School Seniors - Get Live '83
Cat Claw - Out In The Streets
Chris Thomas - Celebrity Funk
Cold Crush Brothers - Weekend
Connie Case - Get Down
Count Coolout - Touch The Rock (Rhythm Rap Rock Revival)
Cybotron - Cosmic Cars
D.J. Magic Ray And The Undefeated Three - Unity Rap
Disco Four - Country Rock And Rap
Disco Four - We're At The Party
Disco Four - Whip Rap
Dizzy Heights - Christmas Rapping
Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde - Jeckyll And Hyde Dance
Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde - The Challenge
Drum Machine - Drum Machine
Dwayne Omarr - This Party's Jam Packed
Edwin Birdsong - She's Wrapped Too Tight (She's A Button Buster)
Electrik Funk - On A Journey
Extra T's - E.T. Boogie
Extrol (E.S.P.) - E.S.P.
Eye Beta Rock - Super Rock Body Shock
Fab 5 Freddy - Change The Beat
Falco - Der Kommissar (Rap' That)
Felix & Jarvis - Flamethrower Rap
Funkmaster General - L.A L.A
Funky Four - Do You Want To Rock
Futura 2000 - The Escapades Of Futura 2000
G. & G. Rhytmn Section - Funkadelic Funk
G. & G. Rhytmn Section - Hankie Pankie Funk
Galaxxy - We Like To Party
Grand Master Flash - Flash To The Beat
Grand Wizard Theodore & The Fantastic Romatic Five - Can I Get A Soul Clapp
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Message
Hurt 'em Bad - N.B.A. Rap
Hurt 'em Bad And The SC Band - Monday Night Football
Infinity And Grandmixer D.ST. - Grandmixer Cuts It Up!
Interboro Rhythm Team - Watch The Closing Doors
J. Griffin - Rock Attack
Jahneen - Gigolette
Jalil - Smirfathon U.S.A.
Jimmy Spicer - The Bubble Bunch
Just Four - Games Of Life
Just Four - Girls Of The World
Just Four - Jam To Remember
Kasso - Key West
Ken Lewis - Cosmic Cars
King Josey - Keep On Dancin' (Rap All Night)
Kool D.J. A.J. - Ah, That's The Joint
Kool Kyle - Getting Over
Kurtis Blow - Tough
Lavaba & E. Mallison - A Game Of Life
Lazerock - The Ballad Of Mr. T.
Les Love & The Love Kids - Let's Get It On
Malcolm McLaren - Double Dutch
Malcolm McLaren And The World's Famous Supreme Team - Buffalo Gals
Man Parrish - Hip Hop Be Bop (Remix)
Man Parrish - Hip Hop, Be Bop (Don't Stop)
Man Parrish - Man Made
Masterdon Committee - Gonna' Get You Hot
Maximus III - Rock It Out
MC Chocolate Star / The Professor - The Pop / Space Walking & Slow Walking
MC Romeo - Give A Little Bit To Ethiopia
MC Sweet - Jesus Christ
Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - Message II (Survival)
Mr. JC - School Days
Mr. Magic - 2001 Kazoo's
Mr. Sweety G - We Want To Get Down
Nairobi - Funky Soul Makossa
Orbit - The Beat Goes On
P.L. - I Don't Know What It Is
Phase 2 - The Roxy
Phoenix - Be Happy (Live, Love, Laugh)
Pieces Of A Dream - Mt. Airy Groove
Planet Patrol - Play At Your Own Risk
P-Man - Rock It Baby
Portable Patrol - Cop Bop
Pressure Drop - Rock The House (You'll Never Be)
Q - The Voice Of "Q"
Quadrant Six - Body Mechanic
Radiänce - This Is A Party
Ramsey 2C-3D - Fly Guy And The Unemployed
Rappers Rapp Group - Rappers Rapp Theme
Reggie Griffin & Technofunk - Mirda Rock
Rich Little - President's Rap
Ricky Clark - Flam
Ron Hunt – Spider
Ronnie Hudson & The Street People - West Coast Poplock
Ronnie Jones - Don't Turn Around (The Kommissar)
Sandy Kerr - Thug Rock
Shock - Electrophonic Phunk
Silver Star - Eei Eei O
Soul-Sonic Force - Planet Rock (Adams Family Mix)
South Bronx - The Bottom Line
Spyder-D - Smerphies Dance
Sugarhill Gang - The Lover In You
Sunburst Band - Easton Assassin
Super 3 - When You're Standing On The Top
The Computer People Communicators - Hey Party People
The Crash Crew - Breaking Bells (Take Me To The Mardi Gras)
The Evasions - Jocks Rap (The Passage)
The Fearless Four - It's Magic
The Fearless Four - Rockin' It
The Jonzun Crew - Pak Man (Look Out For The OVC)
The Masterdon Committee - Funkbox Party
The Murphys - Murphy's Jive Law
The Packman - I'm The Packman (Eat Everything I Can)
The Sequence - Simon Says
The Smurfs - Smurf For What It's Worth
The World Of Mazehe - Everybody What's The Word
Tony Cook & The Party People - Do What You Wanna Do
Treacherous Three - Whip It
Tribe 2 - What I Like
Trigger Finger And The Space Cadets - Video Freak (Defent It)
T-Ski Valley - Big Stuff
T-Ski Valley - Catch The Beat
T-Ski Valley - Sexual Rapping
T-Ski Valley - The Jam Is On
Tyrone (Tystick) Brunson - Sticky Situation
Tyrone Brunson - The Smurf
Verticle Lines - Beach Boys
Warp 9 – Nunk
West Street Mob - Ooh Baby
Wham! - Wham Rap (Enjoy What You Do)
Whodini - Magic's Wand
Wuf Ticket - Ya Mama
X-25 Band - Black Hole Bop

List produced with the assistance of Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists and Spitfire's Hip Hop On Wax database.

For a comprehensive list of Rap and related releases from the year with label and release info, Rap History has a very comprehensive database.

 

Classic Material store offers!

Well, the Classic Material sale is now over and we are in full swing preparing for our new range in collaboration with Foot Patrol to be released this summer. In the meantime, however, we’re pleased to offer the last few tees in two of our most popular designs at the reduced price of £15. Limited sizes remain in very limited quantities so don’t sleep!

Grab an Edition #5 or Edition #6 t-shirt for just £15 plus postage from the online store here.

 

Final week of the Classic Material 25% online sale

Just a quick reminder that there is just one week left of our 25% Spring Sale. All items except photography prints are reduced by 25% until the end of February. That brings box sets down to £24, t-shirts to £18 and CDs to just £5. Take advantage while the deals remain by visiting www.classicmaterial.co.uk/shop (online store tab above).

 

Final week of the Classic Material exhibition

All good things must come to an end and the Classic Material exhibition at City Arts and Music Project is no exception. This week will be the final week that the exhibition is on display, so if you've not yet had a chance to check it out, take yourself along to the City Arts and Music Project for a look while you still have the chance. The work will be taken down on 28th of February so we're extending an open invite to friends and anyone else who would like to come along to pop in for a beer or two on the evening of Monday 27th to say goodbye to the exhibit and also offer a few bargains on Classic Material products as a thanks for everyone's support. Hope to see you there...

 

Classic Material’s Chris Read interviewed by Oliver Wang for Soul Sides

A week or so ago Classic Material's Chris Read was fortunate enough to have been interviewed by renowned hip hop / funk / soul journalist and author Oliver Wang for his excellent Soul Sides website. If the name Oliver Wang is not familiar to you, then get familiar: he counts amongst his achievements material written for almost every major stateside hip hop publication (amongst them The Source, XXL, Vibe, Scratch and so on), is author of the aptly titled ‘Classic Material’ hip hop album guide and oversees the Soul Sides compilation series (cover art above). Oliver currently writes for publications including the LA Times and Wax Poetics not to mention being a doctor of ethnic studies and assistant professor of sociology at California State University.

Recent guests also to appear on Oliver’s ‘Side Bar’ podcast series include heavyweights such as PUTS’ Thes One, Quantic and soul legend Mike James Kirkland so we are pleased for Chris to be in such great company.

Listen to the interview here.

 

Classic Material Spring Sale - 25% off Boxsets, T-Shirts and CDs

We are pleased to announce our Spring Sale is now on, offering 25% off all boxsets, t-shirts and CDs. Visit the online store to take advantage of our generosity!

 

Classic Material Exhibition update: Normski prints for sale

First up we’re pleased to announce that the Classic Material exhibition at the City Arts and Music Project has been extended into February so if you’ve not been down to check out the work yet, there’s still plenty of time.

We’re also very pleased to let you know that more of the work is now available to purchase online. Five prints by legendary UK street style photographer Normski are now available to purchase from the Classic Material online store. There are five prints in total, each printed on 200gsm matt stock, signed by the artist and embossed. Prints are priced at £50 each.

More about Normski:

Normski exploded onto the public stage in the early 90s as presenter of BBC2’s groundbreaking Def 2 and Dance Energy shows, broadcasting the under-represented elements of the UK’s dance music culture and black music as whole to a new audience.

For many years prior Normski had been documenting the rise of hip hop culture in the UK and UK club culture through photography. As a key figure on the UK’s early hip hop scene, Normski enjoyed unparalled access to rising stars of the home grown scene and touring acts from the US who appear in his own particular brand of portrait photography. Well known subjects appearing in Normski’s work include the likes of Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie and Public Enemy. In recent years, Normski’s photographic works have experienced a renaissance with high profile exhibitions at venues across the UK.

(Image: Big Daddy Kane, copyright Normski photography)

 

Classic Material Exhibition update: Mr Krum prints for sale

With about three weeks of the Classic Material exhibition left to run, it’s about time we let those of you unable to attend how you can get your hands on the work on show. One of our three exhibitors, Mr Krum, has set up an online store ‘Cold Rock Stuff’ where you can purchase each of the 4 prints on display in the show for the very reasonable price of £45, or a set of five (which includes a bonus print unavailable elsewhere) for the all in price of £150.

Visit the Cold Rock Stuff store.

More about Mr Krum:

Vinyl Veteran Mr Krum combines an in depth knowledge of music history with a passion for vinyl and the skills of seasoned designer to produce original works which draw influence from a variety of sources. Having recently applied his skills to record sleeve cover art for artists including DJ Format, The Simonsound and Soundsci, his work is currently in demand: Forthcoming releases for which Mr Krum has been enlisted to provide artwork include numerous members of New York’s hip hop underground royalty, amongst them the likes of Grap Luva, DJ Spinna feat Oxygen and Lord Finesse.

Mr Krum is exhibiting a collection of four 12″ x 12″ prints which combine a vinyl cover art aesthetic, obscure musical references and an irreverent sense of humour.

Visit Mr Krum’s blog.

 

Classic Material Exhibition at City Arts and Music Project (December 2011 - January 2012)

Exhibition

We interupt our somewhat eratic series of chronological blog posts to give you some information on the exhibition we currently have in residence at the City Arts and Music Project (70-74 City Road, London). Marking the end of our 14 month series of club night events, the exhibition curated by Chris Read and Nick Armitage displays the work of Classic Material designer John Brotherhood alongside a collection of 80s and 90s hip hop photography from UK street style icon Normski and the irreverant hip hop inspired design work of Mr Krum.

All work on display is for sale and priced at between £20 and £100 including limited edition prints and one offs. More information on the artists:

NORMSKI:
Normski exploded onto the public stage in the early 90s as presenter of BBC2’s groundbreaking Def 2 and Dance Energy shows, broadcasting the under-represented elements of the UK’s dance music culture and black music as whole to a new audience.

For many years prior Normski had been documenting the rise of hip hop culture in the UK and UK club culture through photography. As a key figure on the UK’s early hip hop scene, Normski enjoyed unparalled access to rising stars of the home grown scene and touring acts from the US who appear in his own particular brand of portrait photography. Well known subjects appearing in Normski’s work include the likes of Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie and Public Enemy. In recent years, Normski’s photographic works have experienced a renaissance with high profile exhibitions at venues across the UK.

Normski will be exhibiting a selection of his photographs dating from the late 80s and early 90s displayed on a variety of media alongside a collection of 5 limited edition prints.

JOHN BROTHERHOOD:
As a member of the WeLikeOurJob team, John Brotherhood is the man behind the majority of design work for Chris Read’s Music of Substance club night, website and mixtapes. With a shared passion for the design elements of hip hop’s history, John was a natural choice as Classic Material’s in house designer. Currently responsible for the runnings of London’s Foot Patrol sneaker emporium, John continues to be active as a deisgner.

John will be exhibiting a collection of 14 designs produced for the Classic Material series, each comprising a logo associated with a popular underground record label active during a year or era covered by one of the Classic Material events.

MR KRUM:
Vinyl Veteran Mr Krum combines an in depth knowledge of music history with a passion for vinyl and the skills of seasoned designer to produce original works which draw influence from a variety of sources. Having recently applied his skills to record sleeve cover art for artists including DJ Format, The Simonsound and Soundsci, his work is currently in demand: Forthcoming releases for which Mr Krum has been enlisted to provide artwork include numerous members of New York’s hip hop underground royalty, amongst them the likes of Grap Luva, DJ Spinna feat Oxygen and Lord Finesse.

Mr Krum will exhibiting a collection of four 12″ x 12″ prints which combine a vinyl cover art aesthetic, obscure musical references and an irreverent sense of humour.

 

The Rub - History of Hip Hop Mixes 1979 to 1982

So, a few years into documenting hip hop's early years here on the Classic Material blog, it came to my attention that New York's Rub DJs have just uploaded their Hip Hop History series onto Brooklyn Radio's Mixcloud page so we thought we would do a little catch up and bring ourselves up to date with the first four editions. Links for each appear below and further editions in the chronology will appear as we progress through the years (although if you want to go off and do a bit of exploring yourself the later editions are not hard to find).

The Rub History of Hip Hop - 1979

Listen to 1979 mix on Mixcloud / Download 1979 mix from the Rub blog

The Rub History of Hip Hop - 1980

Listen to 1980 mix on Mixcloud / Download 1980 mix from the Rub blog

The Rub History of Hip Hop - 1981

Listen to 1981 mix on Mixcloud / Download 1981 mix from the Rub blog

The Rub History of Hip Hop - 1982

Listen to 1982 mix on Mixcloud / Download 1982 mix from the Rub blog

Enjoy...

 

1982 - Club Flyers

Selection of club flyers from 1982 designed by Buddy Esquire, "King of the Flyer".

 

1982 - A Year In Rap

I have to confess that, despite best intentions to keep the blog part of this site up to date with events we've been promoting, it's been a struggle to find the time. But, with an exhibition on the horizon (more details coming soon) and projects for next year looming I'm going to do my best to pu that right. So, I'm picking things up where I left off some months back and moving on to the events of 1982. Produced with some assistance from Mr Wiggles of the Rock Steady Crew's 'Hip Hop Timeline', here is a round up of some of the significant hip hop related events of 1982:

- US Television network ABC's '20/20' show produces an episode that investigates the new cultural phenomenon becoming known as 'hip hop' featuring Afrika Bambaataa (pictured above)

- Charlie Ahearn's seminal movie 'Wild Style' is filmed and is heralded as a true and accurate representation of hip hop culture featuring key figures from the scene including Rock Steady Crew, Electric Force, Loose Bruce, Paulie Gee, Double Trouble, Cold Crush 4, Fantastic 5, Buzy Bee Starski, Lee, Pink, Daze, Crash and Zephyr.

- New York's 'Roxy Roller Rink' on 18th Street becomes known as one of the greatest hip hop clubs of all time under the management of Kool Lady Blue, providing a place where the downtown club crowds mix with local punk scene.

- Hip hop spreads its wings with US acts touring overseas. The "New York City Rap Tour" featuring Afrika Bambaataa, Rock Steady Crew, Phase 2, Double Dutch Girls, Grand Mixer DST, Infinity Rappers, Fab 5 Freddy, Ramellzee, Futura 2000 and Dondi travels to Europe showcasing New York's hip hop movement in all its forms.

- European hip hop movie 'Breakout' is filmed and features The Electric Company, Electric Force, Crash Crew, Debbie D, Wanda D, Grand Mixer DST and The Infinity Rappers.

- Kool Moe Dee triumphs over Buzy Bee in what goes down in hsitory as one of the most famous MC battles of all time.

- Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force record the Electro Funk classic 'Planet Rock' borrowing liberally from experimental European electronica artists Kraftwerk.

- Grand Mixer DST wins the New Music Seminar DJ battle.

- The first overseas issue of Print Magazine features New York graffiti artist Lee on its front cover and a includes a spread containing the photographs of Henry Chalfant of Subway Art fame showcasing the art of Dondi, Duro, Shy 147, Daze, Zephyr and Haze.

- Rock Steady Crew performs at the famous 'Studio 54' night club for the famed artist 'Antonio Lopez'.

- Rock Steady Crew's Poppin Squad 'The Electric Company' battles Double Trouble's 'Electric Force' at Club Negril.

- Rock Steady Crew splits into two groups. One half goes on to film the famous scenes in the Movie Flash Dance. The other half film scenes for a movie 'Portfolio' which is ultimately shelved.

 

1982 - Rap History Mix by Marc Hype, DJ Scientist & Dejoe

Moving on to 1982, we kick things off again with a mix from Berlin's Rap History crew. This installment has been put together by the club's resident DJs, Marc Hype, Scientist and Dejoe. Check out the mix on Mixcloud.

 

1981 - Notable Releases

The most notable rap single releases of 1981 (alphabetical by artist name):

Afrika Bambaataa & The Jazzy 5 - Jazzy Sensation
Black Super Man - Premium Black Super Man
Blondie - Rapture
Bo Kool - (Money) No Love
Bobby Deemo - Party Rap
Bobby Demo - More Ounce (Rap)
Bohannon - Let's Start II Dance Again
Bon-Rock & The Rythem Rebellion - Searching Rap
Brothers Unique - School Daze
Bumble Bee Unltd. - The Bumble Bee Rap
Busy Bee - School Days
Capt. Crunch & The Funky Bunch - The Gigolo Groove
Captain Chameleon - Grab Them Cakes
Captain Sky - Station Brake
CatClaw & The Better Love Crew - The Golden Rule
Chatsworth & Burt - Preppy Rap (Do The Alligator)
Cholly Rock & Avenue B Boogie Band - Cash Money
Cotton Candy - Having Fun
Count Coolout - Rhythm Rap Rock
Debbie Harry - Backfired
Dennis Franks & The Liberty Bells - Eagles Battle Cry
Disco Daddy & Capt. Rapp - The Gigolo Rapp
Doctor Ice - Calling Doctor Ice
Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde - Genius Rap
Eddie D - Adlib
Europ Express - Rapp Call You
Five Points - Equality
Flakes - Take It To The Max
Flame & The Dynamite Three - Work Your Body
Fly Guy - Fly Guy Rap
Funkapolitan - As The Time Goes By
Glory - Let's Get Nice
Grand Master Chilly-T & Stevie G - Rock The Message Rap
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - It's Nasty (Genius Of Love)
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Birthday Party
Junie - Rappin About Rappin
Juny Boom - Rules Of The Game
Kool Kyle (The Starchild) - It's Rockin Time
Kurtis Blow - It's Gettin' Hot
Kurtis Blow - Starlife
Liaisons Dangerous - Los Ninos De Parque
Little Starsky - Dancin' Party People
Lonnie Love - Young Ladies
Lovebug Starski & Harlem World Crew - Positive Life
Mike T - Do It Any Way You Wanna
Missy Dee & The Melody Crew - Missy Missy Dee
Mistafide - Equidity Funk
Motorcycle Mike - Super Rat
Mr. Sweety G - At The Place To Be
Pee Wee Mel And Barry B. - Life On The Planet Earth
Pookey Blow - Get Up (And Go To School)
Russ Mason - Prep Rap
Sangria - To The Beat Y'all
Sinister Two - Rock It, Don't Stop It
Smash - Blue Jeans
Solo Sound - Get The Party Jumpin
South Bronx - The Big Throwdown
Spanish Fly & The Terrible Two - Spanglish
Spoonie Gee - Spoonie Is Back
Star Quality & Class - Betcha Got A Dude On The Side
Sugar Daddy - One More Time
Sugarhill Gang - Apache
Sweet G - A Heartbeat Rap
T.J. Swan - And You Know That
T.J. Swann & Peewee Mel & Barry B - Are You Ready
T.J. Swann & Peewee Mel And Swann Controllers - Maximus Party
T.J. Swann And Company - Get Fly
The Afternoon Delights - General Hospi-Tale
The Boogie Boys - Rappin' Aint No Thing
The Crash Crew - We Want To Rock
The Disco Four - Do It, Do It
The Evasions - Wikka Wrap
The Furious Five Meets Sugarhill Gang - Showdown
The Master Rappers - Poverty
The Mean Machine - Disco Dream
The Reen-Machine - Rap-A-Reenie
The Sequence - Funky Sound (Tear The Roof Off)
The Treacherous Three - Put The Boogie In Your Body
Times Square - You're Hot
Tom Tom Club - Wordy Rappinghood
Toney Rome - On The Radio
Treacherous Three - Feel The Heartbeat
Trouble Funk - Holly Rock
Universal Two - Dancing Heart
Vaughan Mason & Krush - Breakers Anthem
Vin Zee - Funky Bebop
Wayne & Charlie (The Rapping Dummy) - Check It Out
West Street Mob - Let's Dance
Yella - Yella!!

List produced with the assistance of Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists and Spitfire's Hip Hop On Wax database.

For a comprehensive list of Rap and related releases from the year with label and release info, Rap History has a very comprehensive 1981 database.

 

1981 - Club Flyers

Selection of club flyers from 1981 designed by Buddy Esquire, "King of the Flyer".

 

Enjoy Records (1979 - 1981)

Whilst looking for something else the other day, I stumbled on an excellent article written by Kirk Degiorgio on the hip hop output of Bobby Robinson's Enjoy Records label from 1979 to 1981. The article, which gives an overview of each of the labels 12 inch releases during those years is reproduced in its entirety below, but if you would like to read it from Kirk's blog complete with label scans for each release, you can do so here.

FUNKY FOUR PLUS ONE MORE - RAPPIN AND ROCKING THE HOUSE

Enjoy #6000 featured the North Bronx rap crew Funky Four Plus One More (Keith Keith, KK Rockwell, Lil' Rodney C, Jazzy Jeff and female rapper Sha-Rock). The crew were also known as Bros. Disco - running a well-respected sound system named the Mighty Mighty Sasquatch fronted by DJ Breakout and DJ Baron. It's a well known fact that the Sugar Hill Gang were hastily put together specifically by Sylvia Robinson to record "Rapper's Delight" - they were not an established rap crew. "Rappin' and Rocking The House" along with The Younger Generation's "We Rap More Mellow" is therefore one of rap's first authentic releases by a rap crew out in the field - running through routines they had performed on the Bronx block party scene. Drummer Erol "Pumpkin" Bedward (pictured above) and friends provided a typically funky backing track that ran for more than 16 minutes on the A-side.

GRANDMASTER FLASH AND THE FURIOUS FIVE - SUPERAPPIN'

Enjoy #6001 saw the second appearance of The Younger Generation on vinyl - this time under their regular name Furious Five, alongside their legendary Bronx DJ Grandmaster Flash. The uncredited Enjoy house band lay down another lengthy backing track - with the rhythm guitar playing the bass-lick from B-Boy classic "Seven Minutes Of Funk" - no doubt a Grandmaster Flash favourite. The Furious Five - Cowboy, Mr. Ness, Rahiem, Kid Creole and Melle Mel - go through their quick-fire routines and make this one of early rap's most solid releases.

SPOONIE GEE AND THE TREACHEROUS THREE - LOVE RAP

Enjoy ER-6002 was the label's first release of 1980. A double-A sided release "New Rap Language" b/w "Love Rap", it featured both early rap pioneer Spoonie Gee - nephew of label owner Bobby Robinson - and the rap crew Treacherous Three (Special K, LA Sunshine and Kool Moe Dee). Again, this release has gone down as one of early rap's most solid examples - especially the "speed-rapping" style displayed on "New Rap Language" which took rap skills to a new level and elevated the importance of "flow". Pumpkin & Friends are once again credited, along with conga player Pooche Costello. The Spoonie Gee showcase "Love Rap" backed primarily by drums and percussion alone.

KOOL KYLE THE STARCHILD AND THE DISCO DOLLS - DO YOU LIKE THAT FUNKY BEAT

There is a gap in the catalog until Enjoy ER-6006, "Do You Like That Funky Beat", by Kool Kyle The Starchild. Also credited are female backing vocalists the Disco Dolls and Ronnie Ron & Crew - presumably the backing musicians. This release has a significantly bigger, more sophisticated production sound - less 'raw' than the previous Enjoy releases, including the female sung chorus chant and disco syn-drums. The rapper Kool Kyle Brinson was originally part of an expanded Furious Seven with Grandmaster Flash and later released tracks on Frills and Profile Records.

THE TRACHEROUS THREE - THE BODY ROCK

Enjoy ER-6007 saw the return of The Treacherous Three with another purist rap track - this time Pumpkin credited alongside Damond and Jeff, laying down a slower slice of funk for their tight routines.

THE TREACHEROUS THREE - AT THE PARTY

Enjoy ER-6008, possibly cut at the same session as ER-6007 features an identical line up - this time augmented by female party effects and a lead synth line hinting at the opening melody of B-Boy classic "Daisy Lady" by 7th Wonder.

THE DISCO FOUR - MOVE TO THE GROOVE

ER-6009 and ER-6011 were 7 inch and 12 inch alternative edits of the Furious Five's "Superrappin'", possibly released after the outfit had moved to Sylvia Robinson's Sugar Hill label. Sandwiched in between was ER-6010 "Move To The Groove" by The Disco Four - Mr Troy, Country, Kool Gee and Ronnie D plus Harmony - another solid group rap backed with a funky rhythm track and party effects.

DOCTOR ICE - CALLING DOCTOR ICE

ER-6012 was Enjoy's first release of 1981 - a decent release with an original backing track, licensed by Virgin for the UK Rap Tracks compilation.

THE TRACHEROUS THREE - FEEL THE HEARTBEAT

ER-6013 was a rap version of the Taana Gardner hit on West End Records "Heartbeat" - which used a cover version with party effects as its backing track. "Heartbeat" is acknowledged in the intro and Kenton Nix - it's original writer - is label credited.

KOOL KYLE - IT'S ROCKIN TIME

ER-6014 was Kool Kyle's follow-up to "Do You Like That Funky Beat". Pumpkin & Friends cook-up a backing groove based loosely on "Is It In" by Jimmy Bo Horne.

THE DISCO FOUR - DO IT DO IT / THE TREACHEROUS THREE - PUT THE BOOGIE IN YOUR BODY

ER-6015 & 6016 were 7 edits of earlier releases. ER-6017 and ER-6018 were both licensed by Virgin UK for the Rap Tracks compilation - solid releases by Disco Four and The Treacherous Three. "Do It, Do It" featured great brass hooks and quick-fire rap routines. "Put Your Boogie In Your Body" is a rap over a fierce slice of boogie with a keyboard bass-line and horn line echoing Parliament's P. Funk classic "Flash Light". These were the final rap releases of 1981 from the Enjoy label before they expanded into more R&B material and entered the electro era.

 

1981 - A Year In Rap

So, we move on to the events of 1981, produced with some assistance from Mr Wiggles of the Rock Steady Crew's 'Hip Hop Timeline', here is a round up of some of the significant hip hop related events of 1981:

- Punk / Rock group Blondie release “Rapture”, a track on which singer Debbie Harry raps, name-checking members of the New York hip hop community Fab 5 Freddy and Grand Master Flash (pictured above). Grandmaster Flash goes on to sample the record in his “Adventures of Flash on the Wheels of Steel”.

- Later the same year Grand Master Flash releases the seminal “Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel”, the first DJ led record of its kind.

- Funky Four plus One make their first national TV appearance on NBC’s Saturday Night Live

- DJ Whiz Kid wins the New Music Seminar DJ battle.

- Cold Crush 4 battle the Fantastic 5 at the Harlem World club. Fantastic 5 win the closely contested and controversial battle.

- On March 6th, “Flash vs Crash” takes place at the Audobon Ballroom, featuring the huge line up of DJ AJ, Afrika Bambaataa, Soul Sonic Force, Cosmic Force and Fantastic 5.

- NOC paints the famous “Style Wars” top to bottom whole car.

- The Fashion Moda gallery on 3rd Avenue in the Bronx runs exhibitions featuring the likes of Crash, Lee, Daze, Kel Shy 147 and others.

- Rock Steady Crew battle Dynamic Rockers at the Lincoln Center. The dance clash is covered by National Geographic.

- Locker / Popper “Cool Pockets” from the dance group Chain Reaction appears in the video for Rod Stewart’s “Young Turks” single.

 

1981 - Rap History Mix by Florian Keller

Sometimes, one year specific mix just isn't enough, and that's why Rap History Berlin's counterparts in Munich have added to the Rap History series with their own selection of mixtapes. Rap History Munich's Florian Keller has put together a solid selection 1981 disco rap, which you can check out on Mixcloud.

 

1981 - Rap History Mix by Scientist & Dejoe

So, we move on to the goings on of 1981. This time round we kick things off with Rap History Berlin's latest mix, a rundown of rap and related funk from 1981. This edition is mixed by the Rap History residents, Scientist and Dejoe. Check out the mix on Mixcloud.

 

1980 - Notable Releases

The most notable rap single releases of 1980 (alphabetical by artist name):

Afrika Bambaataa & The Cosmic Force / Harlem Underground Band - Zulu Nation Throw Down
Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force - Zulu Nation Throw Down Volume #2
Barry & Demo - Another One Bites Rap
Barry & Demo - Your Magic Rap
Black Bird & Kevski - On The Go
Blowfly - Blowfly's Christmas Party / Blowfly's New Year's Party
Blowfly - Rapp Dirty
Blowfly - The Incredible Fulk
Bo Kool - (Money) No Love
Bobby & Demo - Do It Right (Rap)
Bobby / Demo - More Ounce Rap
Bobby Mann - Body Rockin' Rap
Brother D with Collective Effort - Dib-Be-Dib-Be-Dize / How We Gonna Make The Black Nation Rise?
Casper - Groovy Ghost Show
CC Crew - CC Crew Rap
Community People - Education Wrap
Count Coolout - Rhythm Rap Rock
Danny Renee & The Charisma Crew - Space Rap
Denyce Flip Isaac - Be For Real
Disco Dave & The Force Of The 5 MC's - High Power Rap
DJ Hollywood - Hollywood's Message
DJ Hollywood - Shock, Shock The House
Don Covay - Badd Boy
Don Juan & K. Dog - Jammin' On The One
Dr. Love & Sister Love - Doctor Love & Sister Love Rap
Dr. York - Roll-A-Rock
Family Four - Rap Attack
Frankie Smith - Double Dutch Bus
Frederick Davies & Lewis Anton - Astrology Rap
Funky Four Plus One More - That's The Joint
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - Freedom
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - Super Rappin' No.2
Harlem World Crew - Let's Rock
Harlem World Crew - Rapper's Convention
Ikim & Bacardi - Funk Rap
Jackie "Small" Cochran - Summer Fun
Jimmy Spicer - Adventures Of Super Rhyme (Rap)
Johnnie & Michael Hill - Party Night
King Monkey - Badd Mann Dann Rapp
King Tim III - Charley Says! (Roller Boogie Baby)
Kool Kyle The Starchild & The Disco Dolls - Do You Like That Funky Beat (Ahh Beat Beat)
Kurtis Blow - The Breaks
Land Of Hits Orchestra / Little Starsky - Gangster Rock
Lonnie Love - Young Ladies
M. Brathwaite & W. Carter - Father Goose
Margo's Kool Out Crew - Death Rap
Master Jay - We Are People Too
Master Jay & Michael Dee - T.S.O.B.
Max 'N Specs - Don't Come Stoned And Don't Tell Trude
MC Rock Lovely - One Time Two Time Blow Your Mind
Mr. B - Rapper - Dapper - B
Mr. Fox - Smooth Talk
Mr. Magic - Potential 1980
Mr. Magic - Rappin' With Mr. Magic
Mr. Q - Coming Home
Naomi Peterson - Sweet Naomi Rap
Nice & Nasty 3 - The Ultimate Rap
Nuri - Let's Vote
Otis Williams - I Love The Way You Love Me
Outlaw Four - Million Dollar Legs
Phil-Marilyn & Marilyn - Buggs-B-Skate
Prince Blackman - Rockers Delight
Rappermatical 5 - Party People
Rappermatical 5 - Party People (Remix)
Rickie Clark - Ladies Rights
Ronnie Gee - Raptivity
Ronnie Jones & Disco Circus - Let's Do It Again / Cosmo Rap
Sharod - School'n (Put Your Mind To The Message)
She / Clappers Revue - Ms. DJ Rap It Up! / Rap It Up Dubwise
Sound On Sound - The Incredible Hump
Sound On Sound Productions - Season's Greetings
Sound On Sound Productions - Tribute To The Greatness
South Bronx - The Big Throwdown
Spoonie Gee & The Treacherous Three - The New Rap Language / Love Rap
Spoonie Gee Meets The Sequence - Monster Jam
Spyder-D - Big Apple Rappin' (National Rappin' Anthem)
Spyder-D - Rollerskaterap / Spinnin' Webs & Rappin' Rhymes
Sugar Daddy - Another One Bites The Dust
Sugarhill Gang - 8th Wonder
Sugarhill Gang - Hot Hot Summer Day
Sula - Jungle Rap
Super 3 - Philosophy Rappin' Spree
Super Wolf - Super Wolf Can Do It
Super-Jay - Santa's Rap Party
Sweet G - Boogie Feelin' Rap
Tanya Winley - Vicious Rap
Teen-Machine - Teen-Machine Rap
The Big Mouth Band - The Box
The Chill Factor - Keep On Trying
The Disco Four - Move To The Groove
The Jackson Two - Oh Yeah
The Jazzy Three - The Rappin' Spree
The Love Rapper - The Lover's Rapp
The Marvelous Three & The Younger Generation - Rappin' All Over
The Sequence - And You Know That
The Unknown Rapper - Election 80 Rapp
Treacherous Three - At The Party
Treacherous Three - The Body Rock
Trickeration - Rap, Bounce, Rockskate / Western Gangster Town
Xanadu / Joe Gibbs & The Professionals - Sure Shot / Do The Dance
Zoot II - Dr. Ice Rap

(links are to official videos or live performances of the named tracks)

List produced with the assistance of Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists and Spitfire's Hip Hop On Wax database.

For a comprehensive list of Rap and related releases from the year with label and release info, Rap History has a very comprehensive 1980 database.

 

1980 - Rap History Mix by Marc Hype

Another edition of Rap History Berlin's mixtape series, this time focussing on the output of 1980 and mixed by former ITF champion Marc Hype and Andre Langenfeld. The mix takes in disco flavoured rap cuts from the likes of The Sequence, Super 3, Tanya Winley, Jazzy Three and many more - well worth an hour of your time! Check out the mix on Mixcloud.

 

1980 - Club Flyers

Selection of club flyers from 1980 for events at the legendary T Connection and the Ecstasy Garage Disco clubs in the Bronx designed by Buddy Esquire, "King of the Flyer".

 

1980 - A Year In Rap

So, moving on to the events of 1980, produced with some assistance from Mr Wiggles of the Rock Steady Crew's 'Hip Hop Timeline', here is a round up of some of the significant hip hop related events of 1980:

- The number of commercially released rap records explodes with release statistics dwarfing those of 1979.

- The phenomenon of the rap album starts to take hold with long players from Blowfly, The Sequence and Kurtis Blow (pictured above) hitting the stores. (The Sugarhill Gang’s ‘Sugarhill’ was the only rap long player of 1979).

- Seen paints the famous “Hand of Doom” top to bottom whole car and Dondi paints “The Children of the Grave” top to bottom whole car, both later featured in the centre spread section of Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant’s seminal “Subway Art”, the first commercially available book to document graffiti art and culture. Dondi died of an AIDS related illness in 1998. The Dondi White Foundation, founded after his death, uses contributions made in Dondi's memory to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS.

- Fab 5 Freddy paints the pop-art influenced “Campbell’s Soup Cans” (as featured heavily in the work of Andy Warhol) top to bottom on the IRT line.

- Zapp releases the West Coast funk classic “More Bounce to the Ounce”, accepted by the West Coast poppers as a dance anthem and later heavily sampled in late 80s / early 90s hip hop.

- The New York Post reports the arrest of the High Times crew for B Boying in Washington Heights train station.

- Poppin Pete appears in the first music video to feature a break style dancer, Talking Heads' 'Crosseyed and Painless'.

- The popularity of hip hop events in commercial clubs rises. On Saturday November 15th, a jam takes place at New York’s Ecstasy Garage featuring one of hip hop’s biggest line ups; GW the Adore, Fantastic 5, Kool DJ AJ, Buzy Bee, Starski, Mean Gene, Gregski Mercedes Ladies, Fantasy 4, Erotic Disco Brothers and more.

- Another legendary jam takes place a month later: On December 19th, “A Slam Dunk Disco” features Sha Rock (of the Funky 4) vs Lil Bit (of Mean Machine) and Grandmaster Caz (of Cold Crush) vs Chief Rocker Starski and more.

 

1979 – The Birth Of Commercial Hip Hop?

It’s not unusual for someone to say to me in conversation “yeah, a lot of old hip hop was great, but it’s all so commercial these days”. It's an understandable thing to say, but the truth is I'd rather tell the person why I think they're wrong than politely nod and agree (which, being the easy option, I tend to do). I say that not so much because there is a wealth of creative and forward thinking hip hop still being released (although that is true), but more importantly because commercialism has been a fairly major aspect of hip hop more or less since the genre’s birth.

It’s not insignificant that hip hop’s first major hit, 1979’s “Rapper’s Delight” was performed by a group that was not, as some may have assumed at the time, a fixture of New York’s hip hop underground, but a group brought together by Sugarhill Records mastermind, Sylvia Robinson.

Sylvia Robinson (pictured above alongside Mickey Baker performing as 50s / 60s RnB duo “Mickey and Sylvia”), had experienced some success as a recording artist releasing the Bo Diddley penned hit “Love Is Strange” in 1957. Sylvia made her first moves into the publishing side of music in the late 60s, forming “All Platinum Records” with husband Joe Robinson in 1968.

Sylvia went on to have further success as a solo artist into the 70s, releasing the 1973 proto-disco cut “Pillow Talk”, a track originally written for but rejected by Al Green. With experience as both artist and publisher and a feel for what constituted a commercially viable club record, Sylvia was well placed to cash in on hip hop’s growing popularity and form the group that would have hip hop’s first hit, The Sugarhill Gang.

The rap phenomenon was quick to be adopted by mainstream culture with successful pop acts such as Blondie incorporating rap into their music as early as 1981. Throughout the 80s respected underground acts flirted with the more commercially accessible aspects of hip hop; LL Cool J attracted criticism from many of his peers following the release of his 1987 'love-rap' hit 'I Need Love' although many artists included similarly styled tracks on their albums in subsequent years. Other artists looked to the club for commercial success with the hip hop / house music hybrid of 'hip house' starting to make an appearance on albums from credible artists including EPMDand Craig G in the late 80s.

Over the years that followed, commercialism in hip hop has taken on a number of different guises. In the late 80s and early 90s ‘pop rap’ acts such as Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer would appear in stark contrast to the genre’s more hardcore proponents, who largely dismissed their output as not truly constituting hip hop at all. It would be easy to assume that commercial hip hop of the late 80s and early 90s was limited to that with a pop gloss, but there was another side to the coin. Revered underground acts of the era including NWA and Ice T clearly saw that the controversy caused by subversive political opinions and explicit depictions of violence in their lyrics could be exploited commercially. Ice-T’s “Cop Killer” is arguably the most overt example of use of negative press to raise profile and ultimately sell records that the genre has ever seen. Miami’s 2 Live Crew used graphic sexual imagery to similar effect. Ironically, the ‘Parental Advisory’ stickers introduced by the U.S. in an attempt to partially censor such content became worn on album sleeves almost as badges of honour and authenticity, and arguably helped boost sales of those releases for which the censors deemed the sticker necessary.

In the mid to late 90s, commercial hip hop took on a new face when a host of artists saw the potential for mainstream success with a hybrid of hip hop and the emerging RnB sound of the day. Building on the foundations laid by the ‘New Jack Swing’ sound of the early 90s, pioneered by producer Teddy Riley, Bad Boy Records producer Sean Puffy Combs played no small part in shaping the RnB hip hop crossover sound of the mid to late 90s. It’s not without irony that some of this emerging cross over style’s most important records were recorded by one of ‘real’ hip hop’s most revered stars, Notorious B.I.G.

Beyond the year 2000, hip hop has become well and truly established in the mainstream with a very obvious divide between musical stylings of the multi-platinum selling mainstream artists and the independent underground. Many would say that the commercial material of this era is characterised by the focus of the lyrics on wealth and success, but this is nothing new: the pursuit of wealth, cars and of course ostentatious gold jewellery were all prominent themes in many classics from the 80s underground. The defining characteristic of commercial hip hop from the last decade has been, perhaps more than anything else, the production style, with a well produced studio sound and glossy finish being the staple of many mainstream hits that might otherwise have been relatively underground records, artists such as 50 Cent and Dr Dre being obvious examples.

As we enter a new decade, hip hop continues to splinter in countless directions with new sub-genres of both commercial and undergound sounds emerging all the time. Many artists have enjoyed commercial success with uncompromising albums, Common and Cee-Lo being good examples. Many artists pursuing a traditionally commercial sound remain unsigned. One thing is certain though; commercialism remains somewhere in the mix.

If there were ever a time when it could be said that hip hop was created entirely without commercial concern, then those days were before the release of the first rap record in 1979, but that’s not something to lament. Were it not for Sylvia’s eye for a commercial opportunity, hip hop (commercial or otherwise) might never have lived beyond the streets of New York.

 

1979 - Rap History Mix by DJ Scientist & Dejoe

In much the same style as our Classic Material events in London, Berlin's Rap History crew have been running a monthly party documenting rap's history year by year over the last couple of years. Sharing our passion for the classic moments in rap's history we've exchanged opinions, mixes and DJ appearances over recent years. Here's a mix put together by Rap History residents DJ Scientist and Dj Dejoe for their 1979 party, which takes in notable rap, funk and disco tracks from 1979 in a pretty raw, vinyl only cut up sort of style: Listen to the mix via Mixcloud.

And for those of you who would like to dig deeper still, more impressive is former ITF Champion, Marc Hype's Rap History 'Prequel Mix', a deftly executed cut up of well known pre-rap breakbeats which formed the backbone of early rap jams and were later popularised by compilation series such as Ultimate Breaks and Beats.

 

1979 - Notable Releases

The most notable rap single releases of 1979 (alphabetical by artist name):

Bramsam - Move Your Body
David Lampell - I Ran Iran
Dr. Superman & Lady Sweet - Can You Do It (Superman)
Eddie Cheba - Lookin' Good (Shake Your Body)
Family - Family Rap
Fatback - King Tim III (Personality Jock)
First Class - Rappin' It Up
Funky Constellation - Street Talk (Madame Rapper)
Funky Four Plus One More - Rappin' And Rocking The House
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - Superappin'
Jazzy 4 MC's - MC Rock
Jocko - Rhythm Talk
Joe Bataan - Rap-O Clap-O
Kurtis Blow - Christmas Rappin'
Lady B - To The Beat Y'All
Lady D / MC Tee - Lady D / Nu Sounds
Mr. Q - D.J. Style
Mr. Q - Ladies Delight
Mr. Q - Love & Time
Neil B / Brooklyn Express - Body Rock / Body Rock
P.J. LaBoy - Baya Latinos
Paulette Winley & Tanya Winley - Rhymin' & Rappin'
Ron Hunt / Ronnie G & The SM Crew - Spiderap / A Corona Jam
Scoopy - Scoopy Rap
Sicle Cell & Rhapazooty - Rhapazooty In Blue
Solid C, Bobby D & Kool Drop - Wack Rap
Spoonin Gee - Spoonin Rap
Steve Gordon & The Kosher Five - Take My Rap...Please
Sugarhill Gang - Rapper’s Delight
The Sequence - Funk You Up
Troy Rainey - Tricky Tee Rap
Uno - Boogie Beat
Willie Wood & Willie Wood Crew - Willie Rap
Xanadu & Sweet Lady - Rapper's Delight / Rocker's Choice
Younger Generation - We Rap More Mellow

(links are to official videos or live performances of the named tracks)

List produced with the assistance of Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists and Spitfire's Hip Hop On Wax database.

For a comprehensive list of Rap and related releases from the year with label and release info, Rap History has a very comprehensive 1979 database.

 

1979 - A Year In Rap

So, here we are entering the fourth month of the Classic Material series and things are in full swing. Of the three events we've held to date, all have been enormously fun, musically inspiring and each has been busier and more vibrant than the last. Our product range has been a great success with all 4 CDs now sold out and early box set editions now close to sold out. One place we're yet to really get our game on though is the blog section of this site, but all that is about to change.

We had hoped to use this space not only to post updates on our own activities but also to share other bits and pieces of interest relevant to the eras celebrated at our events. To date we've not done much of that so there's a bit of catching up to do. So we're starting in the obvious place - 1979, hip hop's birth on wax. Produced with some assistance from Mr Wiggles of the Rock Steady Crew's 'Hip Hop Timeline', here is a round up of some of the hip hop related events that made 1979 a landmark year in rap history:

- Grand Master Flash forms what is to become known as one of the greatest MC crews of all time, “Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five MCs” (pictured), consisting of Grand Master Flash (Joseph Saddler), Melle Mel (Melvin Glover), Kid Creole (Nathaniel Glover), Cowboy (Keith Wiggins), Raheim (Guy Williams) and Mr Ness AKA Scorpio (Eddie Morris).

- Label mastermind Sylvia Robinson forms Sugarhill Records and selects the line up for the label's flagship rap act, The Sugrahill Gang. The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” becomes the first hit rap record, although there is later controversy over the source of the some of the lyrics in the song. Casanova Fly AKA Grand Master Caz (Curtis Fisher) of the legendary Cold Crush Brothers (who formed in 1978) lays claim to writing a portion of the lyrics in the song. He is generally accepted to be correct in his assertion although it has never been tested in the courts. Later the same year, The Sugarhill Gang release rap's first full length album, the self titled 'Sugarhill Gang'.

- Another of the Sugarhill label’s popular groups, “Funky Four Plus One More” is formed, consisting of KK Rockwell (Kevin Smith), Keith Keith (Keith Caesar), Lil Rodney Cee (Rodney Stone), Jazzy Jeff (Jeffrey Myree) and Sha Rock (Sharon Green). They later release the classic “That’s The Joint”. KK Rockwell and Rodney Cee go on to form "Double Trouble" who appear in the classic hip hop movie "Wildstyle". Sha Rock also goes on to form a new act joining two other female rappers in the group "Us Girls" who appear in the movie "Beat Street". Jazzy Jeff later has a legal battle with Jive Records over the use of his stage name following Jive's signing of Philadelphia duo "Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince".

- The Fatback Band’s “King Tim III (Personality Jock)" is the first record recorded by a non-rap group to feature a rap verse.

- Mr Magic’s “Disco Showcase” on New York’s WHBI station becomes the first radio show to showcase rap music, although his "Rap Attack" show (launched in 1981) is generally credited with being the first radio show to play exclusively rap. Mr Magic died in 2009, aged 53.

- The 15 year old Mark Bode, son of revered artist Vaughn Bode, starts work at a heavy metal magazine and continues his father's work, a huge influence to many in the early graffiti scene.

- A young Crazy Legs (Robert Colon) and cousin Lenny Len battle Jimmy Dee and Jimmy Lee of the Rock Steady Crew (formed in 1977) for a chance to become members of the crew. They lose but are accepted into the crew nonetheless.

 
Classic Material