The first rap record, Sugarhill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight, was released thirty years ago, which means that, roughly speaking, hip-hop is as old as rock music was in 1985.Dismayingly, for a genre that’s at its best when its futuristic, hip-hop has already developed an unhealthy reverence for its roots, a problem best illustrated by the number of well-past-it ‘heritage rap acts’ still doing the rounds on the live circuit.
To recreate rap’s golden age avoid inconsistent live performances by has-beens and invest instead in this superb mix CD, from highly respected Californian DJ Peanut Butter Wolf. A collection of classic cuts taken from hip-hop’s first decade the standout tracks include Rockin’ It, by Fearless Four, It’s Yours by T La Rock, Strong Island by JVC Force and It’s My Turn by Stezo. Don’t worry if these names mean nothing, anyone with even a passing interest in rap music will find a lot to like here.
45 Live: A Classic Rap Mix by Peanut Butter Wolf (Five Day Weekend records); www.rapandsoulmailorder.com