Various Artists

Sugar Hill Club Classics

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Sequel's impressive Sugar Hill Club Classics collection focuses less on the label as a hip-hop pioneer and more on how Sugar Hill fit into the fraternal, interconnected club culture around New York City during the early '80s. After the disco era lost steam amidst a wave of commercial imitations, the dance scene splintered and went underground. At the same time, hip-hop began moving downtown from the South Bronx and gradually assimilated into all the other dance styles then current, from go-go to electro to R&B to funk to the last remnants of disco. Even though Sugar Hill Club Classics includes all the obvious hip-hop must-hears -- "Rapper's Delight," "The Adventures of Grandmaster on the Wheels of Steel," "White Lines (Don't Do It)," "The Message," and "Monster Jam" -- it also features a raft of more obscure, club-oriented cuts like the bomb-dropping "Spoon'nin Rap" by Spoonie Gee, "Pump Me Up" and "Drop the Bomb" by Trouble Funk, "Mosquito (aka Hobo Scratch)" by West Street Mob, and "We Got the Funk" by Positive Force (none of which appear on Rhino's massive five-disc box The Sugar Hill Records Story).

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