Classic Hip Hop On Spotify

Newcleus - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Song: Jam On Revenge (The Wikki- Wikki Song)

Artist: Newcleus

Album: Jam On Revenge (1983)

Genre: Hip Hop

Let me ask you guys something? How many of you lovers of old school freestyle/hip hop remember a group called “Newcleus.” I would bet not many (at least today’s generation who claim to know old school hip hop). Although Newcleus only had about 2 major hits, their unique sound put them on the same rank (in terms of popularity) as groups like the Sugar Hill Gang, and Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five.

Artists Back In The Day, Experimented With A Lot Of “Space Age Sounds.”




“Jam On Revenge,” represents the kind of fun music I always write about. The old mainstream hip hop artists loved to experiment with all kinds of sounds, that produced some of the most memorable raps in hip hop (in my generation). It is a stark contrast to what we hear today. I never owned the album, but I did purchase the 12 inch version. It has about 5 remixes on it. That’s the other good thing I missed about the 80s. Once a song becomes a huge hit, you’d also find single albums with several remixes that were only played on certain radio stations. Those became rare out-of-print collections.

Newcleus - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

There was so many remixes to this song it wasn’t funny. However, I believe this “Jam On It,” is the original hit. Now, this song only peaked at #56 in the Top 100 Chart in 1984. However, it peaked at #9 on the R&B Chart. Some how I feel that this song should ranked much higher than that. For you young guys reading my blog, while this song may perhaps sound corny to you, this was massively popular in the Black community. I remember a show called “Video Music Box,” that was hosted by a guy named Ralph McDaniels. I believe he was the executive producer of the show. I found an interview put together by VladTV. Very interesting you should watch it. Anyway, I remember Video Music Box playing this song a lot. At the time, Video Music Box was not only the hottest show, it was the first and only show promoting Hip Hop.

Song: Perfect Match

Artist: Lauryn Hill

Album: A Perfect Match (2019)

Genre: Hip Hop

Wow guys!! Maybe I was totally oblivious, but I don’t think I’ve heard anything new (or major) from Lauryn, since her iconic 1998 album called “The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill (1998)!” Ever since that scandal broke out, about her stealing music for “The Miseducation” album, if you haven’t heard about it, you can read it in this Rolling Stones article, despite albums released after that, it kind of felt she was missing in action. I was hoping her daughter wasn’t gonna follow her footsteps, but so far, so good (I guess). “A Perfect Match” is released as a single. She doesn’t come hard like she did on her first album, but the essence of what she represented back in the day, still there. It’s a sweet romantic love song, and I think it really works for her voice. All the tones, tempos, and inflections we heard on her first and only iconic album is undoubtedly present in this song. Only difference is that it’s more laid back.


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Heavy D. & The Boyz - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Song: We Got Our Own Thang

Artist: Heavy D. & The Boyz

Album: Big Tyme (1989)

Genre: Hip Hop

Yes.. I think even the biggest classic music fans has forgotten about Heavy D. & The Boyz. And I definitely have not heard their music on classic radio stations! Sad part is, they were one of the very few hip hop artists that produced music that appealed to a wider audience. A lot of people loved and admired this groups. In addition to my favorite “We Got Our Own Thang,” you should also check out my other favorites. ” Now That We’ve Found Love (1991),” and “Somebody For Me (1989).” Such a shame we lost Heavy D. so early in his career. Not only was he talented lyrically, he also could dance his ass off. Not many “overweight lovers” could dance the way he did.


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Will Smith on the set of “Wild Wild West (1999).”

No doubt! In my opinion, Will Smith is either “The King Of Bubblegum Rap,” (or at least one of). To my recollection, I don’t think I’ve heard the slightest bit of profanity in any of Will’s music. Will definitely had his own unique style, and he made his rap music fun to listen to. He was one of the few young rap artists that took control of the images he was projecting out in the media. Not too many rap artists cared, or even understood the long term impact of negative imagery within hip hop.

Gave Strong Positive Messages To Our Youth Without The Profanity!




As many of my long time readers my know already, when it comes to rap music, almost anything that was not considered bubblegum, and or anything past the 80’s time line was a no-go for me. I wasn’t really attracted to most rap music beyond that. However, as a kid I’ve listened to my fare share of late 70s and 80s rap. Having said that, when I look at rap documentaries, or read articles about rap’s GOATs, I don’t understand why Will Smith is never mentioned.

Will Smith - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Sometimes I think this is so because the younger generation doesn’t think rap is good unless there are at least 15 expletives in a single rap verse. To be honest, I’m really not sure what people use as a criteria to figure out who and what music are the “greatest of all time.” Once again, I’ll admit, this could be of my own ignorance of the scope of rap history. However, the fact remains, even his music that didn’t make the Top 200 Billboard Charts, such as “Ya’ll Know (1997),” was extremely popular on Black radio stations.

Will Smith - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Not only that, I don’t think there has been any other rap artist, turned actor, who has taken their acting career to the level he has. I know many rap fans consider LL Cool J as being a GOAT (in terms of rap to acting); however, Will Smith has been in pretty big budget films. From “Independence Day (1996),” to “I, Robot (2004),” to “Men In Black (1997).” Those films were nothing to sneeze at. Will has not done a rap album in about a decade and a half. Some of my favorites are, “Switch (2005),” “If U Can’t Dance (2005),” “Miami (1997),” and “Wild Wild West (1999).” You know, the beauty of watching Smith’s career is that, he was one of the few rapper turned actors that wasn’t typecasted. He can literally play any character. Both Hollywood and fans accepted Smith as a true actor, and didn’t pigeonhole him into one type of role, simply because he was a rapper.

 
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Ain’t No Joke by Eric B. & Rakim
Five Minutes Of Funk by Whodini
My Adidas by Run DMC
Got To Have Your Love by Mantronix
Games People Play by Sweet G
Hey DJ by Worlds Famous Supreme Team

This was very difficult for me to put together, because as I looked through my collection, the song list kept piling up. However, I was strict on myself, and narrowed them down to only six songs. In my opinion, my six picks are most likely considered obscure in the hip hop world. I’m pretty sure anyone under 20 years of age hasn’t heard any of them, or most of them. These are what I consider some of the best rap songs I heard growing up. Of course there are more, but for the purpose of keeping things simple, I chose these six extremely rare songs. Enjoy.

Montell Jordon - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Ladies, ladies!! If you did not think that Montell Jordon was one of the finest men of the 90s to ever grace hip hop with his presence, something is definitely wrong 👀 🤣. He had the looks and the talent! But, WTF happen to Montell? Once he was burning up the charts in the mid 90s, and now it seems as though he fell off the face of the earth! Well, not exactly, but it sure seems that way. While the music industry has forgotten about him, and just thrown his accomplishments aside like a piece of rag cloth, his fans still remember him.

Montell Jordon - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

In 1995, Montell ripped the Billboard charts to shreds, when he released his smash #1 hit, “This Is How We Do It.” In addition, it was #1 on the Canada Dance charts, and #1 in the UK. I need to try and give my readers some perspective as to how massively popular Montell was. First, the song was not only #1 on the Top 100 Charts, it stayed number one for 7 weeks! Some of today’s most memorable hits has NEVER been #1 for seven weeks consecutively! That’s jaw dropping!  Another example (just to give you an idea), music streaming wasn’t even a thing in the 90s. In fact, I’m not even sure if it had even started yet. But Spotify has calculated over 86M+ streams to-date. I could only imagine what the numbers are like on other streaming services.

Montell Jordon - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

But, Montell didn’t stop there! He had other massive hits as well. Such as his 1998 song “Let’s Ride,” Let’s Ride was one of my least favorites, but never the less, it reached #2 on the Top 100 Charts. In that same year, he released a song that I absolutely loved called “Get It On Tonight,” which reached #4 on the charts! I used to dance to that all the time, the music was so smooth, unique, and groove-able.

Montell Has Written a Book called “Becoming UNFamous.”




Now, albeit, I didn’t read his book, and I’m NOT judging Montell, but from the little I know about his book, it appears VERY typical. In it he talks about how he devoted himself to god and the church, blah blah. We’ve heard that same thing from people such as the late Vanity, of Vanity 6. We also heard the same story from the legendary Al Green. The story is either, they weren’t selling any records anymore, so they “turned their lives over to god;” or something life altering had happened to them, that literally scared them in to the church. I literally feel like I could predict most of the stuff in his book.

Like many other classic artists who moved from one genre to gospel, that magic they once had that gave them the hits we all know and love, usually gets left behind as well. The only thing we can do is reminisce on the oldies that made them great once upon a time. The last I checked, Montell is still married to his wife of 25 years, Kristin Hudson, and they’re both very happy. Good for him.


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The Freaks Come Out At Night! by Whoodini - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Wow! Look what I found in my magazine collection! Just been awhile since I’ve done a snapshot. So, let’s do this! When it comes to me listening to hip hop back in the day; Whodini’s music was the type of music you’d most likely witness me listening to. Yeah, young kids may laugh at rap groups like this now, calling it “bubble-gum music.” But back in the day, raps like these where considered serious music, especially when you looked at it from a sales standpoint. Didn’t matter if you personally hated this music, because the massive profits made these types of opinions irrelevant. This was an era where, rappers enunciated their lyrics, and we understood what they were rapping about. Not only was Whodini on top of the rap game, they were also very active in anti-drug campaigns, which included a collaboration with the late (then NYC governor) Mario Cuomo.

Casanova by Levert! SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Wow! Even as a kid, I rarely heard the name “Casanova.” Yes, you’ve read correctly. Casanova is both a noun (last name), and sometimes used as an adjective. In essence, it means a “lover/player.” It also meant “sweet talker.” These kinds of words were not used in everyday street language when I was growing up. In fact, I almost never heard it unless I was watching one of those old film noir movies on TV. The only other time I heard it (maybe once) was when a straight guy is talking to a girl he likes, and then gets cock blocked by another dude. 😂😂

These 3 Men Where Fine As Hell Back In The Day!




I don’t know about you guys, but I had a slight crush on Gerald LeVert. He was a nice looking, and always very well groomed bear. Everything from his hair down to his close was freshly cut. The man knew how to dress. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photo of him looking scruffy. Actually, all three of them were very good  looking. The three man group consisted of Marc Gordon; and now both deceased Gerald and Sean LeVert 😞.

LeVert SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Both Sean and Gerald LeVert were sons of Eddie LeVert, founder and lead singer of the legendary group, The O’Jays. Like their father Eddie, they were extremely talented; not just vocally, but physically as well. They were to big boys that could dance their asses off. I don’t care what anybody says! Although they sang different types of music,

Another Sad Story, Of An Outstanding Group!




We would never know what heights their careers could have reached, because after 12 years of being together, a megaton bomb hit. Gerald accidentally overdosed on prescription drugs in 2006. I am so stunned on how common drug overdose still is in this country. And a couple of years after Gerald’s death; Sean died while in jail for not paying child support. Marc Gordon, who’s now in his mid 50’s, was responsible for writing many of the groups hit songs. Shortly after the death of Gerald, he started a foundation to help bring awareness to prescription drug overdose.

Gerald LeVert, with Father Eddie LeVert
Gerald LeVert, pictured with Father Eddie LeVert

I think LeVert is probably most remembered for their massive 1987 hit “Casanova.” which reached #5 on the Top 100 Charts. Every single Black person was bobbing their head to this song. Straight women went crazy when you played this song at parties. Who knows? This could have been the start of “booty music.” 😂 Lastly, there is another favorite of mine, which peaked at #1 in 1989. The song featured Heavy D (I think The Boyz too), and it was called “Just Coolin’.

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