Various Artists

Street Jams: Hip-Hop from the Top, Vol. 3

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As rap became more of a commercial property in the '80s, the artists' major lyrical intention often seemed to be staking out territorial rights and proclaiming their superiority at the mic. Doug E. Fresh & the Get Fresh Crew, the Furious Five, the Boogie Boys, Kurtis Blow and Marley Marl featuring MC Shan all do some variation on these themes on this 12-song anthology. "Romeo (Part 1)" by the Real Roxanne featuring Howie Tee is a put-down of the male romantic predator, while Whodini's "Freaks Come out at Night" was one of the prime pop-rap hits of its day. While most of these cuts now sound simplistic and old, they were quite influential in helping cement rap's popularity, and Run-D.M.C.'s "Here We Go (The Funhouse)" remains a favorite among hip-hop historians.

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