Category: rap

On this day in music history: September 20, 19…

On this day in music history: September 20, 1988 – “It Takes Two”, the debut album by Rob Base & DJ EZ-Rock is released. Produced by DJ E-Z Rock, Rob Base, William Hamilton, David “DJ” Wynn, Donald “O” Bowden and Thomas Dean, it is recorded at Hillside Sound Studios in Englewood, NJ from Early – Mid 1988. Two friends hailing from Harlem, NY, MC Rob Base (Rob Ginyard) and DJ E-Z Rock (Rodney Bryce) record their first singles “DJ Interview” and “Make It Hot” for World To World Records in 1987. The latter song attracts the attention of Profile Records, who offer to sign them. When the label execs ask if they have any other new material, they reply “yes”, when in fact they do not. With no time to spare, the duo put together a new song overnight. They sample the break from James Brown protege Lyn Collins’ 70’s funk classic “Think (About It)” for the main body of the song, Titling it “It Takes Two” from a repeated vocal refrain the Collins song, it also samples The Galactic Space Band’s “Space Dust” (intro section) and Doug E. Fresh and MC Ricky D’s “La Di Da Di” (“hit it!” vocal sample). When Rob and E-Z Rock play the song for Profile, the label quickly rush releases it as a single out on August 2, 1988. To accompany it, they quickly film a low budget music video (costing only $5,000) on 16mm film. The records’ impact is felt immediately, becoming an instant classic on the street and on club dance floors around the world. “It Takes Two” (#17 R&B, #36 Pop, #3 Club Play), quickly turns Platinum. Its popularity and influence is so vast, that it is widely sampled on other rap, dance, rock and pop records over the next three decades. The album spins off two more singles, including “Get On The Dance Floor” (#6 Rap, #1 Club Play), and “Joy And Pain” (#5 Rap, #11 R&B, #9 Club Play, #58 Pop). In spite this major success, the duo’s time together is short lived. DJ EZ-Rock leaves, with Rob Base continuing as a solo act. Base charts once more on his own with the Gold certified follow up album “The Incredible Base” (#20 R&B, #50 Pop) and the single “Turn It Out (Go Base)” (#23 Club Play) in 1989. Reuniting in 1994, Base & EZ-Rock release the album “Break Of Dawn”, but is not successful and they part ways again. Still regarded as one of the greatest rap singles of all time, “It Takes Two” continues to permeate popular culture. The song has been used in numerous films and TV shows including “Iron Man 2”, “The Ant-Man And The Wasp” and “My Name Is Earl”. It is also prominently featured on the video game “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas”. Out of print on vinyl since its initial release, the album is remastered and reissued to commemorate its thirtieth anniversary on April 21, 2018 for Record Store Day. Limited to only 2,000 copies, the LP is pressed on red vinyl. “It Takes Two” peaks at number four on the Billboard R&B album chart, number thirty one on the Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

LiL PEEP (Feat. Craig Xen) – California World

LiL PEEP (Feat. Craig Xen) – California World

Bobby Raps – Cause I’m Sad…

Bobby Raps – Cause I’m Sad…

Pouya (Feat. Boobie Lootaveli) – Sit Ups

Pouya (Feat. Boobie Lootaveli) – Sit Ups

Lil Uzi Vert – New Patek

Lil Uzi Vert – New Patek

Gyyps – While I’m Young

Gyyps – While I’m Young

Yung Pinch – Castaway

Yung Pinch – Castaway

On this day in music history: September 16, 19…

On this day in music history: September 16, 1988 – “Eazy-Duz-It”, the debut album by Eazy-E is released. Produced by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella, it is recorded at Audio Achievements in Torrance, CA from Late 1987 – Mid 1988. Released on the heels of NWA’s first album “Straight Outta Compton”, the first solo release for the Ruthless Records founder has a similar trajectory to success. Masterfully combining Dre’s beats with Eazy’s distinctive voice and delivery (with lyrics mostly written by Ice Cube and MC Ren), it follows in the vein of NWA’s debut. In spite of receiving only minor radio exposure (due to the explicit language and violence depicted on many tracks) and play for the music videos, it goes platinum shortly after its release. It spins off three singles including “We Want Eazy” and the title track. It goes on to be regarded as a definitive hardcore rap album, and a classic of the genre. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2002, then again in 2013 with two additional bonus tracks. It is also reissued on vinyl as part of UMe’s “Respect The Classics” reissue series. And in 2016, the classic is reissued on cassette tape, with a 3D lenticular rendering of the cover artwork. “Eazy-Duz-It” peaks at number twelve on the Billboard R&B album chart, number forty one on the Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: September 16, 19…

On this day in music history: September 16, 1979 – “Rapper’s Delight”, the debut single by the Sugarhill Gang is released. Written by Michael Wright, Hank Jackson, Guy O’Brien, Sylvia Robinson, Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, it is the debut release biggest hit for the New Jersey based rap trio. Recorded at Joe and Sylvia Robinson’s All Platinum Studios (re-dubbed “Sugar Hill Studios”) in Englewood, NJ, the rhythm track and vocals are recorded entirely live in a single take. Though technically not the first rap record released (“King Tim III (Personality Jock)” by Fatback is released a few weeks before in August of 1979), it spreads the New York City born underground phenomenon beyond its five boroughs to the rest of the US, and the world. The song is an instant smash and at its sales peak is selling over 30,000 copies a day. Initially released only as a 12" single, it sells over three million copies in the US alone (featuring the full unedited version on one side (original labels list the timing as 15:00, though the actual running time is 14:29), and a edited version on the flipside (listed as 6:30 on the label, the actual running time is 7:10) ). It is later revealed that the verses by Big Bank Hank were actually written by Grandmaster Caz (aka Curtis Fisher) of The Cold Crush Brothers but does not receive a writing credit or receive royalties from sales of the record. Chic members Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers also have to sue Sugarhill for proper credit and royalties since the song borrows the music (also cutting in the strings from Chic’s record) from the band’s recent smash “Good Times”. “Rapper’s Delight” peaks at #4 on the Billboard R&B singles chart, and #36 on the Hot 100. The single is a huge international hit as well, peaking at #3 on the UK singles chart and hitting number one in Canada and The Netherlands.

G-Eazy (Feat. Anthony Russo) – Rewind

G-Eazy (Feat. Anthony Russo) – Rewind