Best of Old Skool Hip Hop

Best of Old Skool Hip Hop is a little imposing at first, with its six discs, but a closer look reveals it to be a bit less intimidating that initially thought. First off, two of the discs are 45-minute DJ mixes, and the other four have only 11 songs each, which means that when you take away tracks like Stereo MC's' "Connection" (great song, but not hip-hop) and obscure pieces like Black Bean Sauce's (who?) "Sneakers" and Zaki's "The Sequel," the remains are a lot more negotiable. Despite the fact that Best of Old Skool Hip Hop is a budget compilation, which oftentimes means shoddy versions or seldom-heard tracks by big-name artists, a lot of what's included here is in fact the best of '90s rap. Tribe, De La Soul, Eric B. & Rakim, Run-D.M.C., KRS-One, and Public Enemy all have songs on one or more of the discs, and though it's true that occasionally they're in remix form, which is annoying and means that sometimes things verge on clubby, there's still a lot of good music. There's a lot of filler in there, a lot of exclusions, too, of course (true old-school rap would need to have some Grandmaster Flash in there, and even Native Tongues or golden age era, which seems to be more or less what the compilation means by "old skool," would include material by Brand Nubian, Juice Crew, or Big Daddy Kane), but in general Best of Old Skool Hip Hop doesn't do a bad job of giving a overview of some of rap's older stars. ~ Marisa Brown

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.