Guru's Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 is a jazz rap album from Guru, one half of the duo, Gang Starr. This album is one of the first albums to combine a live jazz band with hip hop production and rapping. Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 brought together a diverse group of jazz cats both old-school and new, including Roy Ayers, Donald Byrd, Lonnie Liston Smith, Ronny Jordan, and Courtney Pine. Continuing with its Respect The Classics campaign, UMe will be reissuing this classic album back on standard weight vinyl.
The Killers match post-punk guitars with a synthesizer overlay that recalls '80s New Wave without burying their sound in nostalgia. On their debut, Hot Fuss, frontman Brandon Flowers plumbs his imagination for tales of murdered lovers ('Jenny Was a Friend of Mine,' 'Midnight Show'), voyeurism ('Mr. Brightside'), and sexual confusion (the single 'Somebody Told Me').
Hot Fuss features eleven nuggets of reel-you-in storytelling genius and musical nectar. These eleven tracks span from the "very Vegas – like Ziggy came to town" first proper single release "Somebody Told Me";"Mr Brightside" - a tale of jealousy that depicts that moment in a relationship when you realize that your other half might be playing away and this thought takes up residence in your psyche feeding the worst fears and visualisations your imagination can then throw at you. You’ll find two-thirds of a murder trilogy in "Midnight Show", which starts off harking back to "Lipgloss" before veering into far darker territory than old Jarvis would ever have flirted with, in Pulp days at least, and "Jenny". These two are connected by the story of a murder of a girl by her jealous boyfriend. The first part of the trilogy, "Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf", will, you can be sure, make an appearance at some point in the future. It’s a deliciously ambitious series that! belies the band’s tender years. Elsewhere, meanwhile: "On Top" celebrates where Brandon feels the band is at, while stalker’s tale "Andy You’re A Star" and "All These Things That I’ve Done," saw Flowers realise his dream of using a gospel choir in their recordings.
Any serious fan of house music knows the name Frankie Knuckles. Like Marshall Jefferson, he commands the type of respect in the genre that Grandmaster Flash enjoyed in hip-hop. Part of the Virgin "respect the classics" reissue series.
On their fifth album MOMENT OF TRUTH, Gang Starr solidifes their position in the hip-hop arena. Lyrically and musically, Guru and DJ Premier have always been head and shoulders above the rest, but with MOMENT OF TRUTH, the duo's experience is both obvious and rewarding. Since their debut in 1989, Gang Starr have remained true to themselves, and as a result, prove to be one of the most street-credible rap groups around. With Premier's amazingly creative production tactics and Guru providing lyrical education, Gang Starr can't lose. Premier's track record shows that any MC lucky enough to work with him automatically earns props, while Guru's monotone style forces listeners to pay close attention. See songs like "Above The Clouds" and "B.I. Vs. Friendship" to be schooled. No phony gimmicks, just raw straight-up hip-hop.
Available on standard weight vinyl for the first time, Live at the Jazz Cafe is a live album by R&B and neo soul musician D’Angelo. The original 1998 release of this album only contained 7 tracks, this new release contains the complete show for the first time anywhere. Now included are four unreleased performances - three of them covers of tracks originally by D'Angelo influences Mandrill, Ohio Players and Al Green - plus a longer version of 'Lady'.
The Ownerz is the sixth and final studio album by the hip-hop duo Gang Starr, recorded two years before the duo broke up. It was well-received critically and boasts four singles, "Skills," "Rite Where U Stand," "Nice Girl, Wrong Place," and "Same Team, No Games." Continuing with the Respect The Classics campaign, UMe will be reissuing this classic album back on vinyl for the first time in over 10 years!
Released four years after its previous album, Hard to Earn, this album could be perceived as a comeback, with a newer, updated style of the group's already-established jazz-tinged hip-hop. The album is the group's most commercially successful album to date. The lead single, "You Know My Steez," became the duo's second Billboard Hot 100 appearnce in 1997. Continuing with it's Respect The Classics campaign, UMe will be reissuing this classic album back on vinyl for the first time in 15 years.
15 year anniversary edition vinyl of D’Angelo's classic sophomore album, "Voodoo". The album features an extensive line-up of musicians associated with the Soulquarians musical collective. Produced primarily by D'Angelo, “Voodoo” features a loose, groove-based funk sound and serves as a departure from the more conventional song structure of his debut album, Brown Sugar. In celebration of the album’s 15 year anniversary, UMe will be reissue a deluxe vinyl version of "Voodoo" on colored vinyl.
Brown Sugar is the debut album from D'Angelo, released on July 3, 1995. Brown Sugar features a fusion of contemporary R&B and traditional soul music, along with elements of funk, quiet storm, and hip hop music. Upon its release, Brown Sugar received acclaim from music critics and earned D'Angelo several accolades. In celebration of the 20 year anniversary of this classic album UMe will be reissuing it back on vinyl for this first time in almost 10 years, on limited edition white vinyl.
Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) will continue its Respect the Classics tribute to many of hip-hop’s finest with the 20th anniversary vinyl reissue of Hard To Earn from the seminal rap duo Gang Star featuring MC Guru and DJ/producer DJ Premier. Originally released in 1994 as the follow-up to 1992's Daily Operation, Hard To Earn was Gang Starr's fourth full-length and it found the duo stripping things down and offering more of a straight up hip-hop record full of raw beats and attitude. Includes the singles "Mass Appeal," "DWYCK" and "Code of the Streets" plus guest appearances by Group Home, Jeru The Damaja and Big Shug. “With Hard to Earn, one of the things that I was going through sonically was, it was right around the time that Guru started doing Jazzmatazz, and we kept getting categorized as ‘jazz rap.’ Which is why Guru did Jazzmatazz, because we wanted to protect Gang Starr from being categorized like that, because we felt like we were a hip-hop group from day one...Being that Guru was getting aggravated with us being labeled like that, I said, ‘I’m gonna strip this album down,’ just to show that I could use things other than jazz samples. We both wanted to show that anything I use is going to be a hip-hop beat. We said we were going to make it as raw as possible, and less musical, on purpose, just to show we’re good on any track, together." - DJ Premier
Daily Operation is a 1992 album by Gang Starr. The album represents the gritty sound of early 1990s Brooklyn hip-hop. Guru rhymes on a variety of subjects, from the hypocrisy of the government, pro-Black rights and anti-prejudice, to his intellectual depth on "2 Deep," to his penchant for smoking marijuana on "Take Two and Pass," to anger and sadness on "Take it Personal," to the opposite sex in "Ex Girl to the Next Girl." DJ Premier and Guru are credited as the producers of every track. The track "I'm the Man" also features the debuts of Lil' Dap from Group Home and Jeru the Damaja, two artists who gained instant underground credibility because of the exposure. Despite the album originally only being rewarded 3.5 mics in The Source, it was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Hip Hop Albums in 1998.
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Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo (The Neptunes) have been the hottest producers in urban/pop music for years now. On their debut as performers they take a left turn from the hard hitting tracks they've produced for everyone from Jay-z to Britney Spears and give us a fresh, innovative, classic record. IN SEARCH OF Is the debut album from the hip-hop, rock, funk band N.E.R.D (No One Every Really Dies). The group is comprised of super producers Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, along with their longtime friend Shay Haley. Fusing rock and rap more forcefully and convincingly than any other album at the time, IN SEARCH OF successfully bridges the worlds of Pop/R&B and Alternative/Classic Rock into a blessed union of sound, making it one of the best albums of 2002. As part of the Respect The Classics series, UMe will be putting this classic double LP back in print on white vinyl. The reissue also includes the original electronic version of ''Run To The Sun'' as a bonus track.
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Step In the Arena is the second studio album by hip hop duo Gang Starr (DJ Premier and Guru), originally released on January 15, 1991.
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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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