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1988 - That Was The Year That Was!

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  • 1988 - That Was The Year That Was!

    1988 - THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS

    ... more picks from the golden age of hip hop ...

    Following on from the excellent 1987-themed hip hop chart by Warren, I thought I would continue the series by sharing some of my favourites from 1988. For me, this is my favourite year from 'The Golden Age' of Hip Hop, I hope you agree... don your gold rope and read on...


    Eric B & Rakim "Follow The Leader" LP (MCA)



    After enjoying the "Paid In Full" album throughout the whole of '87, this album seemed to be such a radical, hard-edge departure away from the party raps of the debut. Listen to the opening three tracks - "Follow The Leader", "Microphone Fiend" and the ultra hard "Lyrics Of Fury" if you need to understand what I'm saying - utterly brilliant - fantastic wordskills and brilliant beats (especially on the relentless "Lyrics Of Fury" - has Funky Drummer ever sounded harder..?*). This album is still still essential to this day, almost 20 years on...

    * = perhaps on LL Cool J's "Mama's Gonna Knock You Out", or the Kev E Kev 12" below, but who's arguing..?


    Biz Markie "Goin' Off" LP (Cold Chillin')



    "Say Ma, What's For Dinner..? Go Up Your Nose And Pick A Winner.." - C'mon, you all remember the first time you heard "Pickin' Boogers"; has comedy rap ever sounded so good..? Biz got it on with Marley Marl and Big Daddy Kane to produce a quality LP and, although I've not picked up many of his later albums, I doubt the debut was ever bettered. For your seven quid (the price of a new import LP in 1988 as I remember) you get the aforemention bogey-homage plus "Make The Music With Your Mouth Biz"" (a Marley Marl remix on this LP that ain't as good as the 12" version I recall..?) plus "This Is Something For The Radio" and my personal fave "Vapours" - the first rap that sampled "Papa Dont Take No Mess" I can recall buying. Top drawer. Any time a camera was drawn from someone's pocket during the 90's, me and my mate Rich would instantly jump into the pose held by Biz and DJ Cool V on the back cover photo of this LP - if you've seen it, you'll know what I mean... Daft, I know, but it was our little homage to the Golden Age...


    Slick Rick "The Great Adventures Of..." LP (Def Jam)



    I suppose the first I heard of Slick Rick was the "Lodi Dodi" flip to Doug E Fresh "The Show" but this album was like two years later. You want this album for "Children's Story", "Mona Lisa" and "Lets Get Crazy" that have perhaps aged better than "Treat Her Like A Prostitute" and "Lick The Balls" but hey! this was '88 and Rick was getting stupid fresh...


    Kev E Kev & AK B "Listen To The Man" 12 (DNA International)



    Top Funky Drummer/The Champ-sampling twelve that packs plenty of punch. This was one of the first hip-hop 12"s I DJ'ed with in December 1988 at the tender age of 17, hence the virginal cling. Probably the only Paul C production I own, I should go proper check... Shame with 12" is that there is no variation in the mixes.. With vocals, wthout vocals, just the vocals.. no remixes to speak of, damn it.


    Ultramagnetic MC's "Critical Beatdown" LP (Next Plateau)



    Could this be one of the most consistent hip hop LP's of The Golden Age..? Let's think about it - "Watch Me Now", "Ego Trippin'" (awesome!), Travelling At The Speed Of Thought", "Moe Luv's Theme", "Ease Back", "Funky", "Give The Drummer Some"... all have stood the test of time... Hmmm, I think we've a strong case for awarding that accolade*. During '87 I was only able to find a few of the Ultra's 12"s on UK issue and so when the LP dropped in '88 I was in heaven. I am still never more that 10 metres from this album at any time of the day, the draw is that strong...

    * - discuss...


    Mantronx "Join Me Please (Homeboys Make Some Noise)" 12 (Capitol)



    I can remember the feelings of dispair when Mantronix dropped the "In Full Effect" album in 1988. I nearly cried, it is that shit. I still bought the 12"s from it with religious regularity, but they all sucked. The third single from the album was "Homeboys.." my favorite track from the LP. Off I trotted to Selectadisc to buy this US 12"and was very surprised to find lurking at the end of side two an instrumental by Mantronix and Chep Nunez (top cut and paste producer, splendidly referred to on the back of the Just Ice LP as "the baddest latin in Manhattan..") entitled "King Of The Beats".. the birth of big beat, the rebirth of breakdancing - an awesome mash up of all your favorite breaks and beats that now commands a hefty price and rightly so, especially seeing how it is probably the last decent thing Curtis Mantronix put his hand to...


    Run DMC "Run's House / Beats To The Rhyme" (Profile)



    Forget "Run's House", that's not why we are here. "Beats To The Rhyme" is DMC in full-on mode and definitely in the mood for kicking ass. Lightning speed rap over Bob James "Nautilus" released on an ultra-loud US 12" pressing. Awesome. Still blows speakers. Handy instrumental on the flip too.


    EPMD "You Gots To Chill" 12 (Fresh)



    The debut twelve "It's My Thing" was genius and takes some beating, but this runs it close. Zapp's "More Bounce.." sample used to maximum effect to compliment a low slung lyrical flow.


    Cold Crush Brothers "Feel The Horns" 12 (B-Boy Records)



    I first heard this on the John Peel radio show - in fact, I've probably still got the tape with this show on - I was hooked, Took ages to find a copy of this but will worth wait. Contains one of my favourite rap lines - "...boy, we be doin' fine, we be sippin' on Moet whilst you're sucking on a lemon or lime...". I've other Crush twelves, but none seem to move me like this.


    Did I forget/miss out some records from '88...? Of course I did. A second chart would include other gems including Stetsasonic "In Full Gear", BDP "By All Means Neccessary", MC Lyte "Lyte As A Rock", The 45 King "Master Of The Game", Schooly D "Smoke Some Kill", Cash Money "Where's The Party At?", Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock "It Takes Two"...

    Hey! These are just the one's I could think of.. I know you've got ten more...

    If you're looking for a pristine copy then this isn't the one for you. The vinyl looks like someone has polished their brickwork with it and the label has been ruined by some fool with a pen.

  • #2
    Did you forget this one?
    www.45cat.com
    http://www.45worlds.com/

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    • #3
      good call...

      Yes I did forget it (it happens if you stay up late and write these things after several light ales) - but not from my chart, but from the list of "alternatives"... I dunno, I thought long and hard about it's inclusion and the axe fell when I asked myself the question "how often do I play it?". Very rarely. I'm more likely to play the "You're Gonna Get Yours" 12 than this album to be honest...

      Like I said "I know you got ten more"... .. just wait until Ben H, Sayers, DC and Hadrian wade in...
      If you're looking for a pristine copy then this isn't the one for you. The vinyl looks like someone has polished their brickwork with it and the label has been ruined by some fool with a pen.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sie Vulture
        Yes I did forget it (it happens if you stay up late and write these things after several light ales) - but not from my chart, but from the list of "alternatives"... I dunno, I thought long and hard about it's inclusion and the axe fell when I asked myself the question "how often do I play it?". Very rarely. I'm more likely to play the "You're Gonna Get Yours" 12 than this album to be honest...
        a foolish error, especially given the little tag / quote you put at the end of all your messages, young man.

        allround better album than "yo, bum rush the show" i think.

        and face it, few have bettered chuck d's "hard as fuck but still pouting for the camera" look from the "nation of millions" sleeve.

        still, at least you fessed up to missing the Stet off the list. the finest purveyors of Troop clothing the world has ever seen. And it got me to dig out the tomoy boy 12s as well, for which, thank you, as a smile as big as an arsenal fan's is now upon my face.

        nighty night.

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        • #5
          hmmm...Tuff Crew 'Danger Zone' / NWA first LP / Jungle Brothers 'Straight Out The Jungle' maybe....
          We know when a mate buys it for you too.

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          • #6
            Crazy. We're all roughly the same age, I think. Plus I live in the United States. Yet I have never heard a single song off this list or the 1987 one.
            http://hidingplaceplace.com/

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Sie Vulture
              I'm more likely to play the "You're Gonna Get Yours" 12 than this album to be honest...
              Backspinning two copies,natch Sie...

              I'll second the Tuff Crew vote,though I think I preferred their follow up (Sho em hell! )

              Am I the only person who wasn't/isn't a fan of Slick Rick? (cue a swift "yes!" )

              That's quite a list is that,looks like it's set the theme for the day...






              FRESH FOR '88...
              stretchy eyes..........

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sie Vulture
                Like I said "I know you got ten more"... .. just wait until Ben H, Sayers, DC and Hadrian wade in...
                i'll post a few up later!
                http://soundcloud.com/benjaminhatton

                http://mixcloud.com/benjaminhatton

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by d-cee
                  Am I the only person who wasn't/isn't a fan of Slick Rick?
                  blasphemy!
                  http://soundcloud.com/benjaminhatton

                  http://mixcloud.com/benjaminhatton

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                  • #10
                    great chart, Sie, liking the wayward direction these charts are taking...

                    still, there is a heavy focus on US stuff (granted, formative classics), but where's UK stuff like the London Posse, Demon Boyz, Krispy 3, etc??

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                    • #11
                      Flava Flav vs Ringo

                      Originally posted by Sie Vulture
                      Yes I did forget it (it happens if you stay up late and write these things after several light ales) - but not from my chart, but from the list of "alternatives"... I dunno, I thought long and hard about it's inclusion and the axe fell when I asked myself the question "how often do I play it?". Very rarely.
                      I was asking out of interest really as I was wondering If Public Enemy are kind of like Hip Hop's version of The Beatles i.e. So obvious that they are not worth mentioning or so over-exposed that major Hip Hop fans are sick of them.

                      I personally only have around maybe 100 or so rap records (though a great many more than that have passed through the collection) but "A nation of.." will always be there as it was probably the first Rap album I bought (a few years after it's release i should add)

                      I'm certainly enjoying the 2 charts so far as i maybe only know about half the records on them so It encourages me to seek out more which I guess is the point.

                      www.45cat.com
                      http://www.45worlds.com/

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                      • #12
                        Sie Vulture] has Funky Drummer ever sounded harder...?
                        * = perhaps on LL Cool J's "Mama's Gonna Knock You Out", or the Kev E Kev 12" below, but who's arguing..?
                        i'll nominate my first choice....
                        http://soundcloud.com/benjaminhatton

                        http://mixcloud.com/benjaminhatton

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                        • #13
                          Sir Fresh and DJ Critical “Sir-Vere” (Solid Goals)
                          I first heard this via the Streetsounds Hip Hop/Electro series (Volume 21?) and it took me years to track down a copy of the 12”, unfortunately with the recent fad for “random rap” this is now a pricey one should you be after one yourself…Hard battle rhymes (“I don’t carry a gun but a nuclear warhead”!) over a live cut-up of Funky Drummer and Mr Magic this is one 12 I’ll never tire of….also worth checking is their uptempo “I’m Smooth” 12” on the same label….

                          Demon Boyz “Northside/Rougher than An Animal” (Music Of Life)
                          Had to mention some British tunes, and for me it doesn’t get much better than “Rougher Than An Animal”….standard JB-sampling braggadocio fare but so tuff!

                          London Posse “Money Mad” (Justice)
                          A harder (and to my ears, better) version than the one included on their “Gangster Chronicles” lp, this adds a heavy ragga/sound sytem influence, making it stand out amongst the standard JB samples of the time and in turn influencing a new generation of MC’s on this side of the pond to develop a more “british-sounding” style of hip hop….

                          Jungle Brothers “Straight Out The Jungle”
                          As mentioned by John Stapleton above, I always felt this was as good as “Critical Beatdown” and “It Takes A Nation…” although it never seems to get the same props as those….on a similar tip to De La Soul’s “Three Feet High…) this was an alternative to the gold chains and Gucci, all over some of the best production of the time (apparently Towa Tei of Dee-Lite fame is to thank for a lot of this…)
                          http://soundcloud.com/benjaminhatton

                          http://mixcloud.com/benjaminhatton

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                          • #14
                            more to come later, when i get home amongst my records!
                            http://soundcloud.com/benjaminhatton

                            http://mixcloud.com/benjaminhatton

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                            • #15
                              88 also gave us these long players...

                              Audio 2 - What more can I say?
                              B.D.P. - By all means neccessary
                              Lakim Shabazz - Pure Righteousness

                              And Sie,why not the EPMD album? Don't you DARE go telling me that's a one tracker!!
                              stretchy eyes..........

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