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The History of Hip-Hop: 3CD Box Set

Review: Jack Foley

HIP-hop has given us some of the coolest artists and coolest tracks of recent years - we're thinking Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, OutKast et all.

Hence, The History of Hip-Hop, a definitive collection of all things good, should provide the ultimate collection of the genre at its most mainstream and cool.

And it pretty much does - even though the purists might argue that to glean a proper history of the medium, a few less obvious choices might not be a bad idea.

Certainly, all the usual suspects are present and correct, from Jay-Z's Hard Knock Life (covered, so brilliantly, by Austin Powers and co), through to Afrika Bambaataa's Planet Rock and Missy Elliott's Get Ur Freak On.

If anything, the album does highlight how much the genre has changed, with modern artists such as Nelly (Hot In Here) and Twista (Sunshine) lacking the fresh-faced enjoyment factor supplied by the likes of Grandmaster Flash and co.

It's no surprise, then, to find the best moments on the album come from the earlier artists.

We're talking the much-sampled Rapper's Delight, from The Sugarhill Gang, White Lines, from Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel, Express Yourself, from NWA, Wild Thing, from Tone Loc, and Jump Around, from House of Pain, to name but a few.

Hip-hop luminaries such as De La Soul get a look in, with The Magic Number (pure class), while The Fugees contribute Fu-Gee La to the mix.

Yet, for all of its quality (and there are some fine cuts dropped throughout), there is the odd glaring omission, most notably in The Beastie Boys, whose absence is sorely missed.

That said, for the less discerning among you - or for anyone who fancies dabbling in the genre, without buying an album from a specific artist - this probably offers everything you need.

As for my favourite track? It's a tough choice - but Jurassic 5's Concrete Schoolyard and A Tribe Called Quest's Can I Kick It? never fail to put a smile on my face.

Their quality is timeless and it's great to have them on the one album.

Track listing:
Disc: 1
1. Jay Z - Hard Knock Life
2. RUN–DMC - Walk This Way (Feat. Aerosmith)
3. Dr. Dre - Nuthin’ But A G Thang
4. N.W.A. - Express Yourself
5. Outkast - Ms. Jackson
6. 2Pac, Dr. Dre & Roger Troutman - California Love (Remix)
7. Nate Dogg & Warren G - Regulate
8. Ice Cube - It Was A Good Day
9. Boogie Down Productions - My Philosophy
10. Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel - White Lines
11. The Sugarhill Gang - Rappers Delight
12. Pete Rock & CL Smooth - They Reminisce Over You
13. Snoop Doggy Dogg - Who Am I (What’s My Name?)
14. Ice T - You Played Yourself
15. Missy Elliott - Gossip Folks (Feat. Ludacris)
16. Young MC - Know How
17. Tone Loc - Wild Thing

Disc: 2
1. Afrika Bambaataa - Planet Rock
2. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Message
3. De La Soul - The Magic Number
4. Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock - It Takes Two
5. Bid Daddy Kane - Warm It Up, Kane
6. Digital Underground - The Humpty Dance
7. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien - Mistadobalina
8. Stetsasonic - Talkin’ All That Jazz
9. Brand Nubian - All For One
10. Erik B & Rakim - I Know You Got Soul
11. Kurtis Blow - The Breaks
12. King Bee - Back By Dope Demand
13. Davy DMX - One For The Treble
14. Sugarhill Gang - Eigth Wonder
15. Das EFX - They Want EFX
16. The 45 King - The 900 Number
17. Mantronix - King Of The Beats

Disc: 3
1. Missy Elliott - Get Ur Freak On
2. Wu-Tang Clan - Gravel Pit
3. Nelly - Hot In Herre
4. Junior Mafia - Get Money
5. Twista - Sunshine (Feat. Anthony Hamilton)
6. Nas - Nas Is Like
7. Ol’Dirty Bastard - Got Your Money (Feat. Kelis)
8. Busta Rhymes Feat. Rampage & The Last Boy Scout - Woo Hah!! Got You All In Check
9. Cypress Hill - Insane In The Brain
10. The Fugees - Fu-Gee-La
11. Coolio Feat. L.V. - Gangsta’s Paradise
12. House Of Pain - Jump Around
13. A Tribe Called Quest - Can I Kick It?
14. Naughty By Nature - O.P.P
15. Jurassic 5 - Concrete Schoolyard
16. Noreaga - N.O.R.E.

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