Friday 19 June 2015

Rap songs that aren't on YouTube but really should be #10

Back in 2007 a compilation of mysterious origin appeared claiming to be a gaggle of lost rap songs by various golden-era big hitters, all recorded in 1988 at some Manhattan studio which had been looted during the Tompkins Square Park riots and then closed down shortly thereafter. Top Shelf 8/8/88's backstory turned out to be a complete crock of hokum cooked up by Fab Five Freddy & Benjy Grinberg AKA the CEO of Wiz Khalifa's record label, but you had to applaud the pair of them for dreaming up such an audacious piece of backpacker-bait and then having the cojones to make it happen.

The compilation itself was a surprisingly good mixture of tracks recorded specifically as if they were from 1988 like Grand Puba's Let's Go and Black Sneep's I'm The One, and previously unreleased cuts obtained by possibly underhanded methods like Melle Mel & Grandmaster Caz's The Battle Is On and Special Ed's This Mic. Smooth B's I Want My Money sounds like it was recorded a good few years prior to his 2005 single Game Over, so whilst the song definitely doesn't date back to 1988 you can still pretend it's some mythical double A side to Greg Nice's 1994 minor-classic party anthem Set It Off.

Smooth B - I Want My Money Back
(From Top Shelf 8/8/88 compilation; 2007)


yeldarb said...

some real crackers on this comp

Unknown said...

Most of these tracks it's pretty obvious they weren't recorded in 1988 but Let's Go almost sounds like it could have been but what gives it away is Puba's flow sounds more Brand Nubian and less Masters of Ceremony.

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

The one song on there that might date back to the late 80s is The Battle Is On because it really does sound like an outtake from Melle Mel's Piano. If you've ever had the misfortune to hear anything Mel recorded in the '90s or beyond then you'll know his whole voice/flow deteriorated after Piano.

Apparently the Special Ed song is some unreleased track recorded around the time of his 3rd album in 1995 that got stolen. Benjy Grinberg & Fab 5 Freddy speeded it up to make it sound a bit more authentically golden-era.