De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest may have been more commercially successful, but the afrocentric, jazz political rap movement and unfadeable Native Tongue Massive started with the Jungle Brothers. Their debut full length “Straight Out the Jungle” opened up many doors that are walked through by today’s artists like Mos Def, Common and even Kanye West. Their taste for jazzy horn samples helped kick-start the entire jazz-rap movement, and their James Brown fixation was one of the first. Plus, the group’s groundbreaking collaboration with legendary house producer Todd Terry, “I’ll House You,” paved the way for numerous hip-house hybrids that shot up the dance and pop charts over the next few years and appeared to be a staple on every East Coast Rap Album from ‘88 until ‘92. The opening track “Straight Out the Jungle” samples the classic Bill Withers drum break as the JB’s tell you where they are coming from. “Black Is Black” (featuring a young Q-Tip) and “Sounds Of The Safari” introduces the pro-black edge, while the sexually subtle classics “Jimbrowski” and “I’m Gonna Do You” are funny, clever and timely. Hard, smart, fun, clever and brilliant, Mike G., Africa Baby Bam and Sammy G may not have realized it but they crafted a classic rap album that stands the test of time. Available here on high grade, loud pressed, double vinyl for the first time ever!
Whether it’s Hip Hop, its face pointed reverentially to the Old School, or House stealing Disco riffs by the truck load, people are increasingly intrigued by back-in-the-day. And common to both the aforementioned scenes and much more is one person, Arthur Russell, a man some regard as the best songwriter of the 20th century. In 1981 Arthur set up Sleeping Bag Records with Will Socolov. The first release was the album “24-24 Music” as Dinosaur L. If you’re wondering about the name it would appear Arthur would often use the names of extinct or near-extinct animals. On one production credit he’s “Killer Whale, whilst the logo for Sleeping Bag is a Koala bear! Will remembers how they came up with the name for their label. “We were joking about names, and James Brown was on with “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” and I was sleeping in a sleeping bag in my apartment and I kind of made a joke about that, and Arthur said that was a great idea for the name of the company!” The line up was pretty much the same as the Loose Joints sessions, (which boasted the Ingram Brothers rhythm section) and a similar stream-of-conscience approach was taken with the recording itself. Russell arranged the beats so there’d be a change every 24 bars (hence the title) and the band would have to improvise the songs over the top. He also made sure he went into the studio when there was a full moon! The album is again very experimental, and makes occasional uneasy listening but the same magic is very much in evidence. Arthur would continue to be involved in production and mixing duties for the label, but parted company with Socolov in 1985. Arthur sadly died of AIDS in 1992 leaving behind many songs; as one obituary put it, it was though he simply vanished into his music.
Remastered from the original tapes and pressed on loud double vinyl. Includes 18" X 24" poster illustrated by cover artist Dr. Revolt. Hot of the success of Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt, producer extraordinaire Ski was on fire when he flipped Dynasty's "Adventures In The Land of Music" for Camp Lo's breakout 1996 smash single "Luchini aka This Is It". The same year saw Camp Lo opening shows for De La Soul during their Stakes is High tour. Combine that with the fact that Ish aka Butterfly from Digable Planets had cosigned for the group's reputation and would appear on of the tracks (in addition to Trugoy from De La), there became a huge buzz around their debut album Uptown Saturday Night. Fast forward a few months to January 1997 and the heavily anticipated release of Camp Lo's first record, which did not disappoint. It struck the perfect balance between club tracks and underground bangers for the mixtape crowd. Critically acclaimed and fan approved, this late 90s must-have was complimented by the incredible cover art illustrated by legendary NYC graffiti artist Dr. Revolt that paid homage to Marvin Gaye's 1976 classic I Want You. It's hard to believe in the time of Puffy's heyday, Camp Lo had developed and delivered a style of Hip Hop that was not only fresh and creative, but also straight up dope. Flipping intricate rhyme styles over some of Rap's finer beats, the fact that Camp Lo got main stream radio play and love from big time club DJ's is a testament to the essence of what Hip Hop was once about: raw talent and originality!
KMD (Kausing Much Damage, or a positive Kause in a Much Damaged society) was a Hip Hop group in the early 90s perhaps best known for launching the career of acclaimed MC/Producer MF Doom (known during his KMD tenure as Zev Love X). After guesting on 3rd Bass’ “The Gas Face,” the trio (Zev, brother Subroc, and Onyx) released the acclaimed and overlooked “Mr. Hood” full-length. Their political outlook was similar to the group Brand Nubian, who guested on Hood; however, the style was more comical and included a great deal of clips from old children’s recordings, mostly notably a sample of the Sesame Street character Bert on the single “Who Me?” This is the official Elektra Records/Traffic Entertainment Group re-release with original artwork and track listing in it’s entirety. Cutting edge, ahead of it’s time production and skits from KMD and Stimulated Dummies (John Gamble and Mr. Dante Ross). Features the singles “Peachfuzz”, “Who Me?” and “Nitty Gritty” (feat. Brand Nubian). This is one Rap album that is not to be missed.
In listing the greatest albums in hip-hop history, one title never seems to stray from the upper echelons, no matter how many years pass: Boogie Down Productions' undisputed classic from 1986, Criminal Minded. Released amidst a battle between BDP and MC Shan that would redefine the New York rap landscape as it was then known, the album, which features the songs "South Bronx," "Criminal Minded" and "The Bridge is Over," captures the excitement, urgency and raw power that embodies hip-hop culture as we know it, with KRS-One's aggressive yet intelligent lyricism backed by Scott La Rock's hard-hitting, stripped-down beats. A true classic, Criminal Minded has been recognized by Vibe Magazine, The Source and Rolling Stone as one of the most important albums of all time.Traffic Entertainment Group and B-Boy Records are proud to present Criminal Minded, presented for the first time ever in a double-LP pressing with a new digital transfer from the original analog master tapes.The album is packaged in a gatefold "paste-on style" jacket, featuring extensive liner notes from journalist Brian Coleman and KRS-One, full color printed dust sleeves with vintage B-Boy Records graffiti artwork, full-color 24" x 36" poster and the bonus track "P is Free (Original 12" Version)."
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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