Various Artists

Sexy: Rap

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Part of the Party Animal label's Sexy series of compilations, Sexy: Rap collects a dozen old school rap songs, including a couple classics. Contrary to what the album's title may lead you to presume, these songs aren't actually "sexy" -- as difficult as that may be for contemporary rap listeners to imagine given the style's predominant emphasis on sex. There are a few bona fide classics here, most notably the Sugarhill Gang's "Rappers Delight" (widely considered to be the first rap song) and Grandmaster Flash's "The Message" (the first rap song to be taken seriously by critics because of its socially conscious lyrics). The other ten songs -- by Grand Wizard Theodore, Whistle, the Real Roxanne, Chubb Rock, Heavy Load, Brick, Spoonie Gee, and the 45 King -- aren't nearly as significant yet are still substantial entries in the old school rap canon. Though Sexy: Rap -- much like the other Sexy compilations -- isn't a definitive collection by any means, it showcases plenty of excellent old school rap, certainly enough to give you an accurate sample of the style. Most importantly, however, it features "Rappers Delight" and "The Message," two of the most important songs in the development of rap music.

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