This one is remembered mainly by one thing – it’s the very first UK hip-hop album. Second side of the coin – many of them UK heads don’t remember it with great memories. Probably because it sounds more like a rip-off of then popular US hip-hop style. But all in all. If you’re a collector of old hip-hop in good quality, so here you go.
Special 6-track EP.
”According to legend, MC Shan (b. Shawn Moltke) got his big break in 1983 when the future boss of Cold Chillin’ Records caught Shan trying to steal his car. Although the fact that old-school super-producer Marley Marl was Shan’s cousin probably didn’t hurt either, Shan took advantage of the opportunity to become a member of Marl’s Juice Crew All-Stars. After several singles (including the old-school classic “The Bridge”), his 1987 album debut Down By Law established a b-boy persona over tracks produced by his cousin. The same held for the 1988 follow-up, Born to Be Wild; on 1990’s Play It Again, Shan, he opted for a more mature outlook and a new producer, but it proved to be his final effort. Though he moved into production work, he made a return on “Da Bridge 2001,” from Queensbridge’s Finest, a 2000 LP released by Nas.” – Steve Huey@allmusic
Originally recorded in 1987, Franklin Thompson combined Electronic, Hip Hop, Funk and Soul on this solid EP.
Kool Moe Dee resented the fact that in the mid- to late ’80s, most of rap’s founding fathers were enjoying little attention. But Dee himself was one of the few exceptions, and the old-school survivor had a major hit with his sophomore effort, How Ya Like Me Now. He would have done better to devote more time to storytelling and less time to boasting, but he definitely brings plenty of soul and spirit (as well as technique) to this material. Though not as strong as his first album, it definitely has its share of classics, including “Wild Wild West,” a reflection on the nitty-gritty environment that surrounded rap during its early years; his denunciation of materialism “No Respect”; and the infectious title song, which was clearly inspired by Dee’s feud with L.L. Cool J. A few years later, much of the rap world was sick to death of hearing about the feud, but in 1987, it was a major topic of conversation in hip-hop.
MARRS (stylised M|A|R|R|S) was a 1987 one-off recording act formed by the groups A.R. Kane and Colourbox, which only released one commercial disc. It became “a one-hit wonder of rare influence” because of their international hit “Pump Up the Volume”, and nominated for a Grammy Award in 1989.
Bobby Jimmy (born Russ Parr) formed the Los Angeles comedy rap group Bobby Jimmy & the Critters in the late ’80s. One of the Critters was the Arabian Prince. His 1986 Macola album spent one week at the very bottom of the LP charts. In this 12” ”Milkshake” is a parody of Prince’s ”Housequake”, while B side makes a parody out of Rodney O & Joe Cooley’s – ”Everlasting Bass”.
Criminal Minded is widely considered the foundation of hardcore rap, announcing its intentions with a cover photo of KRS-One and Scott La Rock (on his only album with Boogie Down Productions) posing with weapons — an unheard-of gesture in 1987. BDP weren’t the first to rap about inner-city violence and drugs, and there’s no explicit mention of gangs on Criminal Minded, but it greatly expanded the range of subject matter that could be put on a rap record, and its grittiest moments are still unsettling today. Actually, that part of its reputation rests on just a handful of songs. Overall, the record made its impact through sheer force — not only KRS-One’s unvarnished depictions of his harsh urban environment, but also his booming delivery and La Rock’s lean, hard backing tracks (which sound a little skeletal today, but were excellent for the time). It’s important to note that KRS-One hadn’t yet adopted his role as the Teacher, and while there are a few hints of an emerging social consciousness, Criminal Minded doesn’t try to deliver messages, make judgments, or offer solutions. That’s clear on “South Bronx” and “The Bridge Is Over,” two of the most cutting — even threatening — dis records of the ’80s, which were products of a beef with Queens-based MC Shan. They set the tone for the album, which reaches its apex on the influential, oft-sampled “9mm Goes Bang.” It’s startlingly violent, even if KRS-One’s gunplay is all in self-defense, and it’s made all the more unsettling by his singsong ragga delivery. Another seminal hardcore moment is “Remix for P Is Free,” which details an encounter with a crack whore for perhaps the first time on record. Elsewhere, there are a few showcases for KRS-One’s pure rhyming skill, most notably “Poetry” and the title track. Overall it’s very consistent, so even if the meat of Criminal Minded is the material that lives up to the title, the raw talent on display is what cements the album’s status as an all-time classic.