CD Hip Hop Roots (CD 842992),
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Hip Hop Roots

  • 1. It's Just Begun
    2. Big Beat, The
    3. Think (About It)
    4. Take Me to the Mardi Gras
    5. Fame
    6. Happy Music
    7. Express Yourself
    8. Bra
    9. Mary, Mary
    10. Let a Woman Be a Woman (Let a Man Be a Man)
    11. Give It Up or Turnit a Loose
    12. UFO
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1625

  • Credits
    ProducerCreed Taylor; David Bowie; Donald Byrd; Eddy Oddford; Harry Maslin; James H. Brown; John Schroeder Orchestra; Martin Hannett; Michael Nesmith & The First National Band; Art Laboe; Billy Squier; Charles Wright

    Illustrator: Dave Scott.
    An entry-level class on breaks that's more like your favorite recess activity, Tommy Boy's Hip Hop Roots is based on some of the most notorious tracks sampled throughout the history of hip-hop. This demonstrates the keen ears required to hear the potential in unlikely sources -- take Billy Squier's "The Big Beat" (Run-D.M.C.'s "Here We Go," U.T.F.O.'s "Roxanne, Roxanne"), first spotted by Afrika Bambaataa, or the Monkees' "Mary, Mary" (Run-D.M.C.'s track of the same name), initially re-contextualized by Rick Rubin. The straight funk and hard soul that formed the backbone of hip-hop is also well represented through the Jimmy Castor Bunch's "It's Just Begun," James Brown's "Let a Woman Be a Woman (Let a Man Be a Man)," Lyn Collins' "Think (About It)," and Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band's "Express Yourself." Seasoned spotters might be dismayed by the lack of less-known breaks, but that's not the crowd that this compilation has in mind. As a starter kit, the disc's power cannot be denied, even though numerous oft-sampled sources (such as Funkadelic/Parliament, Zapp, and Sly & the Family Stone) go unchecked. (Blame the lack of space and the disc's perfectly defendable focus on what took root in New York.) A couple minor exceptions aside, the compilation is completely enjoyable without considering the theme that ties together its content. ~ Andy Kellman

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