HIP-HOP The Golden Era’ features 72 of the most seminal hip-hop tracks ever put on record. And they sound as potent as ever. The greatest MC and broadcaster of the hip-hop generation officially describes the selection as: “The most important hip-hop records ever made. From the OGs of the late-70s to the masters of the artform; these are the architects that built the foundations of what hip-hop is.” – Chuck D, Public Enemy [April 2018]
The set kicks off with Chuck’s masterpiece; Public Enemy ‘Fight The Power’. One of the most influential hip-hop cuts of all time, it broke new ground both lyrically and in its musical construction, with twenty different samples from artists including James Brown, Bobby Byrd, Sly Stone, The Isley Brothers and even Bob Marley, packed into just 4mins and 43 seconds.
Chuck D’s unforgettable, powerful and commanding vocal delivery still resonates, nearly 30 years on: in September 2011 it topped Time Out’s list of the ‘100 Songs That Changed History’. Furthermore it was voted No.1 in VH1’s 2008 poll of the ‘Greatest hip-hop Songs’. It has also received accolades from Rolling Stone, the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, the Recording Industry Association Of America and many others.
Chuck D himself has described the song as “the most important record that Public Enemy have done.” And that’s just the first track!
Other Rap Royalty on the set includes N.W.A., Sugarhill Gang, Kurtis Blow, Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Eric B & Rakim, Grandmaster Flash, Black Moon, Gang Starr, Cypress Hill, Das EFX, Ice Cube, Funky 4 +1 More, The Pharcyde, EPMD, Snoop Dogg, Redman, T La Rock, Beastie Boys, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Busta Rhymes and De La Soul (featured here alongside the Jungle Brothers on ‘Doin Our Own Dang’).
There’s the original version of ‘99 Problems’ from West Coast trailblazer Ice-T, the first ever single from the infamous Mobb Deep released way back in 1992, and many of the greatest DJ Premier-produced beats of all time – from ‘Livin Proof’ and ‘Come Clean’ to ‘Unbelievable’ and ‘Full Clip’. Not to mention numerous rare gems that still sound truly incredible today. And the vibe lived on into the late-90s with acts including Dilated Peoples, The Roots, Jurassic 5 and Mos Def all regularly paying homage to the artform’s heritage.