Various Artists

West Coast Rap: The First Dynasty, Vol. 1

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Although it contains too many obscurities and novelties to make it absolutely essential for casual listeners, West Coast Rap: The First Dynasty, Vol. 1 is an excellent compilation of early-'80s hip-hop from the likes of Ice-T ("The Coldest Rap"), Egyptian Lover ("Egypt, Egypt"), L.A. Dream Team ("Rockberry Jam"), World Class Wreckin' Cru ("Slice"), 2 Live Crew ("2 Live") and Bobby Jimmy & the Critters ("We Like Ugly Women"). Only Timex Social Club's "Rumors" stands out as a stone-cold classic, but the rest of the record is first-rate old-school rap, and worth the time of any serious hip-hop fan.

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