New Vinyl: Early Gangster Rap And Some Ragga Hip Hop

in Music4 months ago

Today I share some more of my recent vinyl acquisitions...mostly proto-gangster rap from the 80s! Back in the day, they called it "reality rap," just talking about what they saw in the streets.

That was before some rich guys thought they would like to make money off promoting drugs and violence to the youth of America and feeding the for-profit prison system- all while blacklisting conscious hip hop because "that's not what sells." 🤑 Don't believe me, just listen to Krayzie Bone:


That's probably a story for another time, though... Let's get on with the jams!

Schoolly D
"Parkside 5-2/Saturday Night"
1987


Schoooy D is widely considered as the first hardcore gangster rapper, even Ice T will admit that he bit Schooly D with his "6 in the Morning," an early incarnation of west coast gangster rap(it's not a bite, it's just the same syncopation and theme😉)...but Schoolly just might be possibly most famous for doing the Aqua Teen Hunger Force theme song! I always liked those early tracks, always hearing them in old mixtapes, and Parkside 5-2 is no exception. I guess disrespecting women and doing drugs was still refreshing back then, before being played out ad nauseam in the 90s, and even today. Stay out of the Park Side Killers territory or they might get you!

NWA
"Panic Zone \ Dopeman \ 8 Ball"
1987


This group is probably synonymous with the term "Gangster Rap," and this is their first release, a three track single, of which I share the least gangster sounding track, Panic Zone. I was just reading about this record on Wikipedia, and apparently it was originally called "Hispanic Zone," but they changed that to sell more records? Weird, I always thought that was pretty much an Arabian Prince solo joint, who put out a few records before NWA, both solo and with Bobby Jimmy and the Critters-but sure enough, one of the writing credits is to "Krazy dee."

Just-Ice
Kool & Deadly (Justicizms)
1987


Uh oh!... Is Just-Ice coming in now to claim that he is the "original gangsta?"
Just-Ice was a ripped punk club bouncer in NYC who had teamed up with Kurtis Mantronik for his first album, producing hits such as "Cold Getting Dumb" and "Back to the Old School." Here he is a year later working with KRS One, even having a track called, "The Original Gangster of Hip Hop," which I share here. Just-Ice would have a couple Jamaican influenced songs, a sound he would revisit on later albums. How could you not love that smile?

Soul Dimension
"Trash and Ready"
1987

.. Which brings us to another Jamaican influenced hip hop record. I can't really dig up much info about this group, but it's a release on B-Boy Records, a label most famous for putting out the first Boogie Down Production records. I'm trying to find out about the label heads prison sentence and it's closure, and I found a good quote about someone saying the label was started as a way to laundry a pornography business...maybe the real gangsters were the folks putting out the records after all!...My heads spinning, so I'll let someone else do that research and we'll just check out some hot music!

Thanks for reading, I hope you liked my post! Keep it REAL.

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