Re-Release Tuesdays “Do It Again”

Jay-Z - Vol.3 In the Life and Times of S.Carter

Many a nights in the club with this one. Not the best Jay-z album in my opinion, but it still contained some classic records. Beanie did his thing too. A little credit to the Backyard Band.  ;-) This week’s Re-Release is Jay-Z feat. Beanie Sigel & Amil “Do It Again”.

“After the crossover success of 1998’s Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life (complete with highly publicized samples from Annie), Jay-Z returned to the streets on his fourth proper album overall, 1999’s Vol. 3: Life and Times of S. Carter. A set of hard-hitting tracks with some of the best rhymes of Jay-Z‘s career, the album is much more invigorating than its predecessor, and almost as consistently entertaining as his best album, In My Lifetime, Vol. 1. As good as his rapping has become, the production here plays a large part as well. Befitting his superstar status, Jay-Z boasts the cream of hip-hop producers: Timbaland (four tracks total), DJ PremierSwizz Beatz, and RockwilderDJ Premier‘s “So Ghetto,” Timbaland‘s “Snoopy Track” (with Juvenile), and DJ Clue‘s “Pop 4 Roc” are innovative tracks that push the rhymes along but never intrude too much on Jay-Z‘s own flow. If this album doesn’t quite make it up to Jay-Z‘s best, though, it’s the fault of a few overblown productions, like “Dope Man” and “Things That U Do” (withMariah Carey).”  –

Re-Release Tuesdays “Crossover”

For a long time this was my favorite hip-hop group of all-time…until the break up. I was crushed. 4 dope albums in a row. They couldn’t miss, and the production was top notch. When you look at the rap game today and your hear a song like this….my have things changed. This week’s Re-Release is EPMD’s “Crossover

TOn the surface, the sample-reliant productions and monotone rapping styles of Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith had little to recommend them, but the duo’s recordings as EPMD were among the best in hip-hop’s underground during the late ’80s and early ’90s. Over the course of four albums (from the 1988 classic Strictly Business to 1992’sBusiness Never Personal), the group rarely varied from two themes: dissing sucker MCs and recounting sexual exploits. A closer look, however, revealed that the duo’s rhymes were nothing less than incredible, simply undervalued due to their lack of intonation during delivery. EPMD also had a feel for a good groove, and created numerous hip-hop classics, including “It’s My Thing,” “You Gots to Chill,” “Get the Bozack,” “Strictly Business,” and “Rampage.”

Re-Release Tuesdays “Uptown Hit”

This is one of them joints that just feels like 90s. One of my favorite tunes from back then… This week’s Re-Release is Kurious’s “Uptown Hit“.

“Latino-American rapper Kurious Jorge hailed from the Uptown section of Manhattan known as Spanish Harlem. His brazen talents landed him a guest spot on the Prime Minister Pete Nice and Daddy Rich cut “Three Blind Mice” from their album Dust II Dust in early 1993. Having forged an allegiance with the former Third Bass rapper, Kurious dropped his own single “Walk Like a Duck” later that year with a little help from Pete Nice. The gifted lyricist with a Latino twang released his debut album A Constipated Monkey on Hoppoh Records in early 1994. Applauded by fans of the New York underground scene, the album’s Spanglish tone called to mind the work of Queens’ Latin rap trio the Beatnuts. Kurious’ joint was slightly less vulgar than the Nuts’ EP Intoxicated Demons and featured a spicy array of musical influences ranging from salsa to rock & roll. The singles and subsequent videos for “Uptown Shit” and “I’m Kurious” gave the album some longevity on DJ play lists and car stereos.Constipated Monkey afforded Kurious with healthy respect among hip-hop’s diehards, but Kurious never translated this success commercially and never returned with a sophomore effort.”

Re-Release Tuesdays “Brand New Funk”

For those who thought it was all Uncle Phil and Carlton… Allow me to introduce you to one of DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s hip-hop classics… “Brand New Funk

To many present-day listeners, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince are best-remembered for launching the superstar music/acting career of the latter, now known by his real name of Will Smith. In their heyday, however, the Philadelphia duo played a major role in making rap music accessible to pop audiences, as well as younger listeners. Smith‘s raps were never anything more than PG-rated, and his genial, winning personality came through in the good-humored stories that many of his best raps wove. His partner, Jeff Townes, was one of Philadelphia’s best DJs, an inventive scratcher who provided appropriately playful backdrops. At a time when rap wanted to establish itself as the authentic voice of the streets, DJ Jazzy…

Re-Release Tuesdays “Triumph”

Not much to say on this one. One of the dopest beats, songs, and videos of all-time. This week’s Re-Release is Wu-Tang Clan’s “Triumph

The Wu-Tang Clan‘s long-awaited second album, Wu-Tang Forever, arrived to great anticipation, and the double-disc set does not disappoint. Where contemporaries like 2Pac and the Notorious B.I.G. issued double-discs cluttered with filler, Wu-Tang Forever is purposeful and surprisingly lean, illustrating the immense depth of producer RZA and the entire nine-piece crew. Each rapper has a different lyrical style, from Ol’ Dirty Bastard‘s bizarre rants to Raekwon‘s story sketches, and RZA subtly shifts his trademark style for each song, creating an album of cinematic proportions. There are no great musical innovations on the album, since the Wu-Tang‘s signature blend of skeletal beats, scratchy samples, eerie pianos, and spectral strings remains intact. Yet the music is more nuanced and focused than ever before, balanced equally between scary soundscapes and darkly soulful tracks. The result is an intoxicating display of musical and lyrical virtuosity, one that reveals how bereft of imagination the Wu-Tang‘s contemporaries are. -

Re-Release Tuesdays “Throw Ya Gunz In The Air”

It’s the mad face invasion! Hip-Hop’s Heavy Metal (this and M.O.P.). Loved this album back in the day. Remember when Biggie said, “I let my tape rock until my tape popped”… That was this Onyx album for me. They were radically different for what East Coast Hip-Hop was doing in the very early 90s. Classic material right here… This week’s Re-Release is Onyx’s “Throw Ya Gunz In The Air”.

Onyx‘s shouting, in-your-face brand of high-volume rapping proved to be more at home in the slam pit than on the dancefloor and brought the rap quartet instant chart success. Originally formed in Queens, NY, during 1990, the members of Onyx (Fredro StarrSticky FingazBig DS, and DJ Suave Sonny Caeser) met while working as barbers. The band honed their rhyming skills and act by performing at local clubs, which eventually gained the attention of Run-D.M.C.‘s Jam Master Jay, who signed the group to his label, JMJ Records, and even helped produce Onyx‘s debut full-length, Bacdafucup, in 1993. The album turned out to be a platinum-certified smash, spurred on by the runaway success of the hit single “Slam,” which went on to become one of the year’s biggest rap hits.