Before this thing called hip hop had a name, DJs such as Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash mixed songs from all genres. The only criterion was that they had to have a funky beat. Rock, reggae, disco and even classical music were all fair game. Often, the DJs would mix only the instrumental parts of a song, which were commonly called the breaks. The people who followed these DJs from party to party became known as breakdancers, a term that later evolved into the terms b-boys and b-girls. This 15-track release attempts to document a piece of musical history by bringing together one of the most diverse hip-hop compilations in recent memory. The majority of these songs were released in the early 80s, the peak of breakdancings popularity. Of course, some of the typical cuts are here, including Nucleus "Jam On It" and James Browns "Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved." Less expected, though, are tracks by New Order, Gary Numan and even Davy DMX.
For some, the range of musical styles on this CD may be a bit unsettling, but its probably a more accurate depiction of what hip hop was all about than is often remembered.
Sweet memories, indeed.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.