April 6, 2009


When you own one of the most heavily sampled catalogues in hip-hop history, it’s something of a no-brainer to streamline it into one easy-to-access anthology. Accordingly, Concord Music Group, who re-launched Stax in 2007, are attempting to cash-in with this very well-curated starter’s guide. If for some reason, you don’t know about Stax, Netflix Wattstax immediately.

In the meantime, this compilation gathers the usual suspects: The Emotions’ “Blind Alley” (“Ain’t No Half-Steppin”); Isaac Hayes’ “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic”(“Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos”) and “Hung Up On My Baby” (“Mind’s Playing Tricks on Me”); Wendy Rene’s “After the Laughter” (“Tearz”); The Charmels “As Long As I’ve Got You” (“C.R.E.A.M.”);  and The Sweet Inspirations “Why Marry” (“Criminology”), among others. Arguably the most interesting is David Porter’s “I’m Afraid the Masquerade is Over,” a song so sonically rich it provides the foundation for “Duel of the Iron Mic,” “Who Shot Ya,'” “Strawberry,” and LL Cool J’s woefully unsung, “Ill Bomb.”


MP3: David Porter-“I’m Afraid the Masquerade is Over”
MP3: The Notorious BIG-“Who Shot Ya”

MP3: Ghostface Killah ft. Killah Sin-“Strawberry”
MP3: LL Cool J-“Ill Bomb”

Amazon: V/A–Stax: Soul of Hip-Hop

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