Harlem World Order (HWO)

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In the late 1970s and early '80s, hip-hop was dominated by Harlem and the South Bronx. But by 1983, Queens and Brooklyn were becoming major players in hip-hop -- and it was only a matter of time before cities ranging from Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Oakland to Miami and Atlanta became major players as well. Further, major rap scenes would thrive all over Europe, although few European rappers had as much commercial success in the U.S. as they did in their own countries. In the late '90s, DJ S&S was among those who was striving to re-focus attention on Harlem, and he celebrates his Harlem upbringing with Harlem World Order. The mixmaster's most well-known guest on this generally decent, if uneven, CD is DJ Red Alert, a veteran hip-hopper who gives a history lesson on hip-hop deejaying with "The Book (History of Hip-Hop)." S&S' main focus, however, isn't featuring well-known artists -- most of the album finds him featuring undiscovered hardcore rappers. Some of the more noteworthy MCs he spotlights include female rapper China White (who shouldn't be confused with the early-'80s punk band China White), Fats the Governor, Skipp Wize, and the quirky Knowledge the Pirate. Some of the tracks are forgettable, but for the most part, S&S' ears serve him fairly well on Harlem World Order.

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