Honestly, there isn’t much I can say about this record. At a time when rap’s mainstream success was booming, Rawkus was keeping the True School alive with a rookie line-up that obliterates XXL’s list today. This week’s Re-Release is Common feat. Sadat X & Talib Kweli “1999“.
“Rawkus Records — the little hip-hop indie label that could — went through various major-label dealings over the years, eventually falling under the Geffen Records banner in 2005, in theory an unseemly partnership that did have one immediately positive outcome: a long-overdue best-of collection, Rawkus Records: Best of Decade I (1995-2005). If you’re relatively familiar with Rawkus, you might find the title curious — the “1995-2005″ part, that is — because for all means and purposes, the label became inactive once the ’90s came to a close. Without a doubt, the glory years of Rawkus were the late ’90s, back when the Soundbombing and Lyricist Lounge series were a cultural touchstone, back when Mos Def and Talib…” - Allmusic.com
There was a time when hip-hop had to make you dance. Chubb Rock always came with the perfect dance tracks. He was also respected lyrically. One of my favorite hip-hop records, this week’s Re-Release is Chubb Rock’s “Treat Em Right“.
“If you’d asked a hypothetical leading hip-hop expert what the main difference between East Coast and West Coast rappers was in the early ’90s, he might have explained that the West was more interested in beats and grooves, while the Northeast was concerned with rapping technique. Well respected in New York rap circles, Chubb Rock had plenty of technique — something there’s no shortage of on The One. The album leaves no doubt that his rapping skills are first-rate, but technique only carries Rock so far. Although decent and at times exhilarating, The One isn’t a great album. Rock (who often incorporates dancehall reggae) is at his best on excellent message songs like “What’s the Word” and “The Night Scene,” an arresting description of the horrors that surround drugs. But his boasting raps wear thin after a while. Rock has the chops; it’s his lyrics that aren’t always memorable.” - Allmusic.com