Adam Slater is one half of Appomattox Traphouse. His laid back, old skool flow is a perfect compliment to bandmate Gideon Resnick’s intense delivery. During the recording of their most recent album, Potluck, we talked about Adam’s relationship with early hip-hop and he graciously volunteered this playlist:
This list of ten hip-hop throwbacks are by no means the essential list of classic hip hop tunes, it is just an assemblage of great tracks from artists whose importance in hip-hop is often understated. We all know what Biggie, 2pac, and Jay mean to hip-hop, but these guys are legends that are equal in their own right. And thus I present the list…
Kurtis Blow is the OG hip-hop star. He was the first rapper to be signed by a major label, the first rapper to go on a major tour, and the first rapper to have a gold record. Thanks to this cultural figure, artists such as Run DMC and golden-age MCs had an inspirational individual to listen to and further develop the hip-hop culture. You can thank this man for establishing hip-hop as a national phenomenon. You can also thank him for this sensational funkadelic track.
Hip-hop’s west coast staple Too $hort is too large a figure to ignore. As the first west coast hip-hop artist, Too $hort helped establish a lot of the g-funk sounds that are associated with west coast gangster rap. This track in particular demonstrates both how incredible g-funk was, and how dope it was to talk about your sexual pursuits, which Too $hort does with expertise.
You want to get a crowd up? Play this shit. Nobody has been more of an outspoken advocate for hip-hop culture than KRS has been. Starting his career in the 80s with the group Boogie Down Productions, KRS went on to be an underground hip-hop hero, calling out the imitators in tracks like this and clearly stating the cultural importance of hip-hop. Thanks to him, the UN recognizes hip-hop as a religion, which KRS has written the bible for! (Don’t believe me? Check Amazon.com) Furthermore, he may be the greatest live MC ever. You’d have to be crazy to try to battle this guy with a microphone.