New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
This summer, Craft Recordings is set to relaunch a legendary group of hip-hop titles originally released between 1989 and 1995 on Delicious Vinyl, the Los Angeles-based classic label whose catalog of West Coast party rock and conscious rap still gets play on radio and at functions worldwide. Featuring audio remastered by Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters, these LPs represent some of the most lasting music of the genre.
The reissues include smash hits "Wild Thing" (on Tone-Lōc's Lōc-ed After Dark) and "Bust A Move" (on Young MC's Stone Cold Rhymin'), as well as groundbreaking albums by Masta Ace Incorporated, which married West Coast and East Coast sensibilities, and the sensational second album from the Pharcyde, Labcabincalifornia, which was responsible for launching the career of producer extraordinaire J Dilla, who contributed to six songs including the immortal "Runnin'
This essential music paved the way for modern hip-hop. All five albums will be out on vinyl worldwide, with faithful replica packaging, on July 20 via Craft Recordings/Concord/Universal Music
Canada, the country's leading music company.
Tone-Lōc, born Anthony Smith, rose from relative obscurity to pop superstardom in 1989 when his collaboration with Young MC
(Marvin Young), "Wild Thing", borrowed a hook from Van Halen's "Jamie's Cryin'" and caught fire. It was the first Top 10 pop hit for a black rapper. With his hoarse delivery and unmistakable gift for storytelling, Tone-Lōc followed up the No. 1 smash with another Top 5 hit, "Funky Cold Medina". Riding the popularity of these tunes, Lōc-ed After Dark
would hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts and receive a double-platinum certification by the RIAA.
Lōc-ed After Dark
was only the second rap album to top the pop charts—the Beastie Boys' Licensed to Ill was the first—and while the hits have been practically ingrained in American culture over time (thanks to being featured in movies, TV shows, and at generations of parties), the album still holds up as a whole. Other than Tone-Lōc's voice, the calling card is a funky, sample-heavy production by Delicious co-founders, Matt Dike and Mike Ross, and the Dust Brothers, the team behind the Beasties' Paul's Boutique. Later in 1989, the practice of sampling came under legal fire and eventually mostly tapered off. Lōc-ed After Dark
is one of the last true examples of the art form that was allowed to flourish commercially.
Tone-Lōc - Lōc-ed After Dark:
A1. On Fire (Remix)
A2. Wild Thing
A3. Lōc-ed After Dark
A4. I Got It Goin' On
A5. Cutting Rhythms
B1. Funky Cold Medina
B2. Next Episode
B3. Cheeba Cheeba
B4. Don't Get Close
B5. Lōc'in On The Shaw
B6. The Homies
Earning his stripes as a collaborator with Tone-Lōc on the hit "Wild Thing" and the follow-up smash "Funky Cold Medina", Young MC
was on a roll when he stepped out on his own later in 1989. The young star released a solo Top 10 single, "Bust A Move", which won him a Grammy® Award for Best Rap Performance and helped his debut album, Stone Cold Rhymin', achieve platinum status.
In many ways, Stone Cold Rhymin' is a sister album to Lōc-ed After Dark. Both feature Delicious co-founders Matt Dike and Mike Ross producing with the Dust Brothers, chopping and arranging samples. And both were engineered by Mario
Caldato, Jr.—"Mario C" as he is known to fans of the Beastie Boys, whose music he also recorded.
"Bust A Move" is still ubiquitous wherever people congregate and have a good time, and the song "Know How" was featured prominently in the recent hit film Baby Driver. Stone Cold Rhymin' remains a prime example of funky, sample-based hip-hop as the genre began to modernize. Fun fact: Flea of the Red Hot Chili
Peppers plays bass on "Principal's Office" and "Bust A Move."
- Stone Cold Rhymin':
A1. I Come Off
A2. Principal's Office
A3. Bust A Move
A4. Non Stop
A5. Fastest Rhyme
A6. My Name Is Young
B1. Know How
B2. Roll With The Punches
B3. I Let 'Em Know
B4. Pick Up The Pace
B5. Got More Rhymes
B6. Stone Cold Buggin'
B7. Just Say No
Formed by the famed lyricist and rapper Masta Ace—a key influence on Eminem—the group Masta Ace Incorporated, also known as the I.N.C., teamed up with Delicious to concoct a special mix of California-influenced funk beats and East Coast lyricism. It was a reverse version of what Ice Cube
did a few years prior on AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted: Cali raps over East Coast beats. This time, the vibe was West Coast, but the whole group had a strong East Coast pedigree and was entirely based in Brooklyn: Masta Ace, Lord Digga, Paula Perry, R&B vocalist Leschea, and Eyceurokk (Eyce, Uneek, and Rokkdiesel).
Masta Ace was already hip-hop famous as part of New York's legendary Juice Crew, with his claim to fame being the first verse on Marley Marl's classic posse cut "The Symphony". After he released a solo album in 1990 (Take A Look Around), which featured a guest spot by Eyceurokk, Ace expanded the collaboration in 1992 by forming Masta Ace Incorporated (the I.N.C.), and he began to build his career as a frontman and bandleader.
The group's debut album, SlaughtaHouse, released in 1993, zeroed in on the idea of the fake gangsta. It was the beginning of the G-funk era and everyone was switching their style all of a sudden. But where did all these supposed tough guys come from? Masta Ace had questions about who was really authentic and also about what gangsta rap meant for hip-hop as a whole. One year later, the rapper Common
would pick up Masta Ace's themes and voice similar concerns on his song "I Used To Love H.E.R".
Following Eyceurokk's departure, the remaining four members of Masta Ace Incorporated released their second album, Sittin' On Chrome, in 1995. The album included "Born To Roll", a hit that broke the Top 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, as well as two more Hot 100 singles: "The I.N.C. Ride" and the album's title track. Ace has continued to release critically acclaimed work, make even more conceptual albums, and receive recognition from his peers as a "rapper's rapper."
Masta Ace Incorporated - SLAUGHTAHOUSE:
A1. A Walk Through The Valley
A3. Late Model Sedan
A4. Jeep Ass Niguh
B1. The Big East
B2. Jack B Nimble
B3. Boom Bashin
C1. Mad Wunz
C3. Who U Jackin (featuring Paula Perry)
C4. Rollin Wit UmDada
D1. Aint U Da Masta
D2. Crazy Drunken Style
D3. Saturday Nite Live
Masta Ace Incorporated - SITTIN' ON CHROME:
A2. The I.N.C. Ride
A4. What's Going On!
B1. The B-Side
B2. Sittin' On Chrome
B3. People In My Hood
B4. Turn It Up
C1. U Can't Find Me
C2. Ain't No Game
D1. Da Answer
D2. 4 Da Mind
D3. Born To Roll
D4. The Phat Kat Ride
Composed of Trevant "Slimkid3" Hardson, Derrick "Fatlip" Stewart, Emandu "Imani" Wilcox, and Romye "Bootie Brown" Robinson, the Pharcyde were a group of true originals from South Central Los Angeles. Hardson, Wilcox, and Robinson were all dancers and choreographers who met on the L.A. underground club circuit in the late '80s, worked together for a while, and served a stint as dancers on the hit TV show In Living Color. Stewart, meanwhile, performed at local clubs and eventually hooked up with the others in 1990. Under the tutelage of Reggie Andrews, a local high-school music teacher who has guided the careers of talents ranging from Patrice
Rushen to Thundercat, the group learned about the music industry and the process of recording an album. They eventually landed a deal with Delicious Vinyl in 1991 and a year later released their eccentric debut album, Bizarre
Ride II The Pharcyde, which went gold. Opening slots ensued for acts like De La Soul
and A Tribe Called Quest, and appearances at Lollapalooza earned them fans outside of hip-hop. The single "Passin' Me By" landed in the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Hot Rap Singles chart and remains a hip-hop anthem and radio staple.
The follow-up album, Labcabincalifornia, was a sleeper classic that showcased the production talents of a then virtually unknown J Dilla. The first single from the album, the Dilla-produced "Drop", was a hit, and the accompanying music video, performed backward and then played in reverse by director Spike Jonze, reinforced the group's wildly creative reputation. The album would go on to produce two more successful singles: "Runnin
", which peaked at No. 55, and "She Said
The Pharcyde - Labcabincalifornia:
A3. Groupie Therapy
B2. She Said
B4. Somethin' That Means Somethin'
C2. Hey You
C4. It's All Good!
D1. Moment In Time
D2. The Hustle
D4. Devil Music
D5. The E.N.D.