This week’s auctions are going off– with rap LPs & 12″s both classic and obscure, five mic-ed and unknown random, there’s fire for everybody. You can check out the entire selection by following this link.
Let’s start with the (unsealed) random and rare rap 12″s, as the set goes deep. A rap “grail,” the OG test press for the Basquiat-produced Rammellzee vs. K-Rob “Beat Bop” is a landmark of rap and visual art history. Light-years ahead of its time, the track is long but never flags, and bears an incredibly abstract, nearly science fictional relation to ’80s NY street life. Ba Ba Kidz’s “Swing Kidz” sounds like a lost classic from Onyx or Young Black Teenagers, while Dynasty Crew’s “I’m Not The One” features some inspired drum-machine programming and some hard rhyming. NC’s Hip Hop Culture’s Waste Not, Want Not is incredibly rare (especially a test press like this one), incredibly varied stylistically, and incredibly great! G-Dane’s “Coolest of the Cool” is a real Bronx toughie, both in sonics and availability, so you might not see it again. Cage 1’s “Straight from the Cage” is a speedy electro romp featuring a breakneck flow, and Intellectuals of Rhyme’s “Just A Sample” mixes conscious lyrics with dirty production to winning effect. Da Funk’s “Money” kicks a laidback G-Funk vibe, while Double Duce’s “Comin In Fresh” features a sick, dancey electro bass backing track, and Too Hard Too Hype’s “New Born Leader” is a scarce golden age era track that would have rocked block parties. Other worthies not to be slept on are Gunrunners’s fiery gangsta assault “Gunrunners,” Izod & Bizzy Bee’s percussive concussion “I Ain’t Taking No Stuff,” Bang-Bang Poet 24/7’s jazzy “Unbelievable” out of FLA, and Mister Voodoo’s swaggering “Come Off Hard.” And that’s not to mention Legion of Doom’s two joints, “Puttin My Thang Down” and “Live Bait,” or Mood’s elegant Cincinnati tale “Hustle On The Side.”
If it’s late ’80s and ’90s classic rap you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. We have your De La (3 Feet High and Rising), Beastie Boys (including the less-frequently-seen-on-vinyl Paul’s Boutique and Hello Nasty), Tribe (Low End Theory, The 2xLP Anthology and People’s Instinctive Travels), 2Pac’s All Eyez on Me in rare VG+ shape, GZA (Liquid Swords), Ghostface (Supreme Clientele, Iron Man)… the list goes on. I mean this is a mainstream history of rap here, from Nas’s Illmatic, to Gang Starr’s Step In The Arena (w/the original sticker!), B.I.G.’s Ready to Die and Life After Death, a promo copy of Eazy E’s epochal “Boyz-N-The-Hood,” Mos Def’s Black on Both Sides and Ice Cube’s two best, Amerikkka’s Most Wanted and Death Certificate. Then there’s more out-of-the-way stuff like the rare 12″ vocal remix of Big Daddy Kane’s “Ain’t No Half-Steppin’,” G(h)etto Boys’s uncleared sample-bearing, deleted “Gangsters of Love” 12″ (plus We Can’t Be Stopped), and underground slammers from Organized Konfusion (Stress: The Extinction Agenda) and Souls of Mischief (93 ‘Til Infinity). More you say? How about Binary Star’s genius, slept-on album Masters of the Universe, two rare Pete Rock and CL test presses, The Main Ingredient and All Souled Out, and the single disc Tommy Boy TP of the aforementioned 3 Feet High and Rising? And you don’t see Little Brother’s Minstrel Show on vinyl all that often, let alone in VG++ shape.
Then there’s the sealed stuff, which includes both pristine random and classic LPs and 12″s: over 80 are up this week. This includes Ol’ Dirty’s Return to the 36 Chambers, the hard to find in any condition 360 Degrees’s “Years To Build” 12″, and Lyric Lords’s “Need I Say More” 12″. Looking to get sophisticated? Get with Guru’s heralded Jazzmatazz Vol. 1. Looking to go hard? Get Lyrical Underworld’s “Flatline,” Trauma Center’s “Thick Klick” or Ital tha Ruffian’s Workaholic EP. More sealed classics include EPMD’s Business As Usual, Eric B. and Rakim’s essential Follow The Leader, Ice-T’s Rhyme Pays (plus pink bullet/condom PMRC sticker) and many from N.W.A. (Efil4Zaggin, 2000 presses of Straight Out of Compton and Eazy-Duz-It). Bass Patrol’s Rock This Planet brings the low-end, and Gigolo Material’s “I Get Off, Yo” and Ghettolandz’s “Ginuwine Thoughtz” are random slammers few have.
Finally, let’s take a quick look at the outliers, the neo-soul and pop dancing on the margins of hip-hop. Everybody knows the ’90s were the first true moment of soul/hip hop collaboration: this trend bore fruits even on the pop charts. There’s Mariah’s rare-on-vinyl Rainbow and the 2xLP #1s, Janet Jackson’s double All For You, Mary J. Blige’s What’s The 411? & The Breakthrough, Fugees’s The Score, neo-soul from D’Angelo (the “Brown Sugar” remix), Donell Jones’s LaFace promo Where I Want To Be, and Outkast’s genre-benders like ATLiens, Aquemini, Stankonia and Speakerboxx/The Love Below (plus the rest of their catalogue if you need it).
Next week we’ll be back at it with soul LPs!