Various Artists

Hip-Ol' Skool

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In the Hip-O compilation tradition, this is a trawl through a musical genre (old-school rap) without much rhyme, reason, or liner notes, although the music isn't bad. Stretching from 1980 to 1992, this includes the truly old old-school rap of Kurtis Blow's "The Breaks," and Grandmaster Flash's "The Message," and Whodini's "Five Minutes of Funk," but generally concentrates much more on late-'80s cuts from Roxanne, Biz Markie, Debbie Deb, DJ Mark, and others, as well as a couple of early-'90s tracks from Brotherhood Creed and Eric B. & Rakim. Even given the fact that there weren't many vintage rap compilations on the market at the time of this release, there are much better overviews of the style's first decade.

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