After spending an Internet-less afternoon pontificating about the contrived weirdness that now passes for originality in rap, I’m cleansing my palate by returning to the old school. Don’t think I’m dating myself. Marley Marl was mostly before my time, save for that first Lords of the Underground album, which is a minor masterpiece in its own right.
But even if you think Marley is some movie about a Dog, you’d be well-served to spend some time with these old school radio dubs of Marley Marl’s old shows on New York’s WBLS. In Control Friday and Saturday. Tapes from 85-89. I’ll spare you any invocations about a Golden Age. My platonic ideal lines up closer to the 92-96 era, but this is some elemental material: rap styles that became standard in their infancy, virtuoso scratching and mixing. Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Special Ed. To paraphrase Xzibit: it’s the foundation.