As the second installment of Kurtis Blow Presents the History of Rap, The Birth of the Rap Record chronicles the moment that hip-hop entered the popular consciousness. The record that broke the doors down was "Rapper's Delight," which is represented here, like the ten other tracks on the compilation, in an extended version that allows both the beats and the rhymes to flourish. Where most early rap compilations focus on records that made an impact on the R&B charts, The Birth of the Rap Records is devoted to the underground. There are a number of familiar songs here -- "The Breaks," "The Message" -- but the majority of the disc is devoted to underappreciated artists like the Sequence, Spoonie Gee, "Love Bug" Starski, Davy DMX and Funky Four Plus One More, or unfamiliar songs by artsits like Afrika Bambaataa and the Treacherous Three. Unlike its predecessor, The Genesis, Vol. 2: The Birth of the Rap Record plays smoothly, making it a rare historical release that is as entertaining as it is educational.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine