Various Artists

Hip Hop Greats: Classic Raps

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Although it's far from perfect, the ten-track Hip Hop Greats: Classic Raps offers a good overview of the first national rap hits. Since it contains the majority of hip-hop's early classics -- Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight," and UTFO's "Roxanne, Roxanne," Kurtis Blow's "The Breaks," Run-D.M.C.'s "It's Like That," and both "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)" and "The Message" from Grandmaster Flash -- it's an excellent primer and introduction, even though it's a bit too brief to be a definitive overview.

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