Marley Marl

In Control, Vol. 1

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

In Control, Vol. 1 is a greatest-hits package (of a sort) featuring singles Marley Marl produced for his stable of artists on the Cold Chillin' label. Mostly though, the album serves to show exactly how important Marley Marl was to the advancement of hip-hop. Before him, hip-hop relied mostly on primitive, artificial sounding 808 drum machine beats. He transformed the genre completely with his stock of drum loops, most lifted from James Brown records. His crisp beats enlivened hip-hop and set the tone for the sample madness that would eventually consume producers. In Control, Vol. 1 includes some of the best moments from the producer's hip-hop revolution. Rap heavyweights Biz Markie and Heavy D try their hands at a Barry Manilow impression on their transformation of "We Write the Songs." Master Ace and Action attempt some hip-hop upliftment on "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize," and Master Ace, Craig G., Kool G Rap, and Big Daddy Kane join forces for one of the best posse cuts in hip-hop history, "The Symphony." While some of these rappers, most notably Heavy D and Big Daddy Kane, would go on to further success, none ever would sound this tight again. Marley Marl's groundbreaking production and the strength of the various MCs showcased on In Control, Vol. 1 make the album a must for anyone even remotely interested in hip-hop's history.

blue highlight denotes track pick