Released without the usual flurry of hype, Before I Self Destruct fulfills 50 Cent's contractual obligation to the Interscope label. It also doubles as a throwback album, returning the rapper to the hunger and hatred of his early mixtapes while skillfully recasting him as a wannabe upstart. That is, for the most part. The four radio-friendly bedroom numbers that conclude the album are out of place but fairly good to dime-piece beautiful, with the best being the Ne-Yo showcase "Baby by Me" ("Have a baby by me, baby/Be a millionaire"). As pleasing as these final numbers are, if you leave the room after the macho bruiser "I Got Swag" ("I'm infinitely special/Girl the Lord is gonna bless you/If you do what I tell you to do"), you'll return to a confusingly different album, one that's as glamorous but less vital. The monstrous run of tracks that leads up to this flash and polish can be summed up by 50's "This ain't Tha Carter/It's Sparta!," a witty, deceptive, and brutish line barked over a prime Dr. Dre beat during the great "Death to My Enemies." On the cut, the producer sounds like he's been digging on RZA, but the tension and dark-night feel he has created for "Psycho" is easily identifiable as Dre. Add an especially rapid 50 trading horror-show rhymes with Eminem and the G-Unit soldiers will testify that the Shady/Aftermath dream is still alive. While "So Disrespectful" is the perfect title for a song that shocks, stuns, and brings reminders of the gritty G-Unit Radio mixtape series at its best, the Rick Rock-produced "Stretch" is an even craftier balance of amoral and humorous as it references Plastic Man and Mr. Fantastic before explaining the profitable benefits of cutting cocaine. There are only three guest vocalists, and save a production credit for Havoc, the G-Unit posse is absent, and yet 50 is able to carry the album alone, sounding as inspired as he did on his Interscope debut. That album, Get Rich or Die Tryin', beats this one thanks to its proper balance and structure, but Before I Self Destruct is still a fantastic juggernaut of a 50 album if you exit early, and a very good one even if you don't.
The Slim Shady LP is the second studio album and first commercial release from the American rapper Eminem. It was released on February 23, 1999, under Interscope Records and Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment. Recorded in Ferndale, Michigan following Eminem's recruitment by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, the album features production from Dr. Dre, the Bass Brothers, and Eminem himself. The majority of the record's lyrical content is written from the perspective of the rapper's alter ego Slim Shady, whom the rapper created on Slim Shady EP (1997). The lyrics are noted for their over-the-top depictions of violence and heavy use of profanity. The album was met with both critical and commercial success; critics praised Eminem for his unique lyrical style, and the record debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart behind TLC's FanMail with 283,000 copies sold in its opening week. The first official single, "My Name Is", peaked at number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Slim Shady LP went on to be certified quadruple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The record won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, and in 2012, the album was ranked number 275 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Respect The Classics is proud to present the cassette reissue of Eminem's classic Interscope/Aftermath debut album, "The Slim Shady LP". The Slim Shady LP transformed Eminem from an unknown rapper into a high-profile celebrity and was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. Continuing with its Respect The Classics campaign, UMe has reissued this classic on a translucent purple cassette and given it a removable 3D cover that doubles as a sticker.
THE WASH is a good-natured romp that showcases not only the musical talents of lauded West Coast rappers Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, but the pair's unexpected acting abilities as well. Centered around the action at a car wash, the film boasts a soundtrack that unsurprisingly features some of the best hip-hop you're likely to find in our outside the vicinity of the silver screen. Naturally, there are tracks from Dre and Snoop, including the pumping mission statement "On the Blvd., " but other high-end rappers such as Xzibit and Busta Rhymes are on hand as well, making this soundtrack a wealth of hip-hop riches. To keep things from getting too monochromatic, neo-soul crooner Bilal offers a tune as well; his "Bring 2" is a churning, funky number full of melodic twists and turns, effectively balancing off the work of his rapping peers.
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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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