Delicious Vinyl was one of the great independent labels of the late '80s, cultivating a roster of quirky rap, hip-hop, and urban soul artists who proudly operated outside of the mainstream. That doesn't mean that they didn't hit the mainstream, of course, since their two biggest artists, Tone-Loc and Young MC, provided the label with not just their biggest hits ("Wild Thing," "Funky Cold Medina," and "Bust a Move," respectively), but helped break down the doors to the pop charts for hip-hop. Still, those were quirky, clever songs, given productions so funky and hooks so catchy that they couldn't help but be big hits. The rest of Delicious Vinyl was comprised of artists equally off-kilter, and they ranged from the smooth acid jazz of the Brand New Heavies to the Latin-rap of Masta Ace Incorporated and the Whoridas, to Born Jamericans and the incomparable delightful bizarreness of Pharcyde and Fatlip. Though Rhino's 15-track Waxing Off: Delicious Vinyl's Greatest Hits doesn't contain all of the label's biggest hits (Young MC's "Principal's Office" is conspicuously missing, for instance), it does provide an excellent overview of the label's peak years of the late '80s/early '90s, while touching often enough on highlights from the late '90s to illustrate that the label hadn't lost its touch -- times simply had changed, and Delicious Vinyl's deliberately, cheerfully quirky vibe had seemed more underground than ever. This collection captures all of that, and while it's not perfect, its songs have more character and personality than much of the hip-hop of the '90s -- just like the label itself.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine