When I was growing up in the antediluvian epoch, all rap made before ’92 was essentially worthless to me. That was my 11th year — when grainy Yo! MTV Rap clips of Guerillas in tha Mist, Reggie Noble, Pharcyde, and Masta Ace murdered all previous musical preconceptions. That was also the year of The Chronic. I grew up in Los Angeles. You can figure out the rest.

My interaction with the old school has always been vaguely archeological. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the classic cuts from Kane, Rakim, Run-DMC. And there were always those whose ancestral influences were salient in my favorite artists (Slick Rick, Kool G Rap, Ultramagnetic). But music listening really only holds one absolute truism: what you hear during your teenage years will always be the best shit ever. And when I was 13, someone left the Purple Tape in my beat-up 50 buck boombox.  I was lucky.

A Guy Called Gerald would agree. That’s why he took time out to craft this two hour mix of 80s hip-hop, and put it up on his Soundcloud. The note next to it read: “the music from my teens.”

Below, he elaborated that it was a “tribute to DJ Kool Herc. He was a young Jamaican American and he just wanted to throw a party. His uncle had given him the best sound system in the neighborhood, yet he had no venue to play at and he was broke. What Kool Herc chose to do could have been done anywhere, but because it happened in New York, he forever changed the world. Kool Herc brought the party to the people and set up his sound in the streets.”

A Guy Called Gerald was 13 in 1980, living in Manchester, a town not exactly known for its thriving rap scene. Instead, he went on to become a progenitor of acid house, drum and bass, and techno. If you like Burial, listening to Gerald is like being a Pun fan and discovering Kool G Rap. The lineage is that direct and the original holds up in full effect. There’s no track listing for this mix, but it’s what you’d expect: early Def Jam, “Roxanne Roxanne,” Whodini, the Wild Style before everything became codified.  Everything but the track suits and Adidas. In hindsight, they were pretty lucky too.

A Guy Called Gerald Bboy 80’s hip hop by A Guy Called Gerald

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