Rawkus Records Best of Decade I (1995-2005) In Stores Now!

Rawkus Records Best of Decade I (1995-2005) In Stores Now!

Today’s Pop Rap Stars Were Yesterday’s Underground Kings

December 14th

Hip-Hop always had an underground, a minor league,
if you will. It was a place that artists kicked around,
cutting their teeth, sharpening their lyrical swords
while they awaited their chance to shine. But in the
mid-‘90s, as mainstream Hip-Hop embraced its pop
potential, the nature of the underground changed.
Rather than serve as batters box, it became a
movement unto itself. Subterranean rappers no
longer pleaded for love from the majors, instead,
stridently moving against the grain in a form of non-
violent protest to what they saw as the exploitation
of their art. As a result, mainstream Hip- Hop had
become refined and slick, the underground became
abrasive and militant.

Thankfully, while the rest of the industry looked on in
disgust at this new development, Jarret Myer and
Brian Brater, the minds behind Rawkus Records had
the vision to see the rebellious brilliance of the
counter-culture. Born in 1996, just before Hip-Hop
reached its crossover crest, Rawkus harnessed the
underground’s unbridled enthusiasm and angst and
offered a 12 ” megaphone for artists otherwise
overlooked by the industry, like Company
, Mos Def and Talib Kweli.
Starting strictly on vinyl the company was able to
foster a true community, forcing kids to return to Hip-
Hop’s roots and collect records rather than CDs. In
doing so, Rawkus fans became more than just
passive listeners, but active participants, not unlike
what indie label Sub-Pop had been able to do in
Seattle during the late ‘80s.

Building off their success with singles the label
worked its way up to full-lengths and scored off the
bat with Company Flow‘s Funcrusher Plus
LP. But its true coup was its second LP release,
Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star, which
would set the tone for everything that followed.
Replete with brilliant production from soon-to-be

Dr. Dre collaborator Hi-Tek, the LP
captured the spirit of the early ‘90s Native Tongue
movement and subtly blended it with a sound more
appropriate for then-contemporary Hip-Hop and
yielded massive hits like “Definition ” and “Brown Skin
Lady. “

Over the course of the next couple of years the label
would go on to score back-to-back gold plaques with
a slew of now classic releases. By fighting the
formula, they were able to create an entirely new
market, and break artists like Mos Def and
Talib, along with Big L and a slew of
other once fringe MCs, like Eminem. Album’s
like Black On Both Sides, Reflection
, Quality and the Soundbombing
mixtape series broke all expectations for the label
and it’s artists and positioned both as major players
in hip hop’s scene.

Now nearly 10 years after the labels inception is
Rawkus’s Greatest Hits, a bold repackaging of the
rebel franchise’s peaks, finds it way to shelves as its
stars truly have become the brightest in the
industry. Mos Def has become a star of
screen and stage, as well as a musical pioneer whose
pinnacle is yet to even be reached. Talib Kweli
is widely recognized by everyone from Jay-
to 50 Cent as one of Hip-Hop’s most
passionate and most articulate voice. So enjoy this
collection of hits from Hip-Hop’s last moment of
genuine innocence, and look at where the stars of
tomorrow came from.

Rawkus Best of Decade I (1995-2005)
Track Listing:

1- “Get By “¬Ç√Ñ√ÆTalib Kweli

2- “Ms. Fat Booty “¬Ç√Ñ√ÆMos Def

3- “Respiration “¬Ç√Ñ√ÆBlack Star featuring Common

4-The Life “¬Ç√Ñ√ÆStyles P & Pharoahe Monch
5- “Oh No “¬Ç√Ñ√ÆMos Def & Pharoahe Monch

6-The Blast “¬Ç√Ñ√ÆTalib Kweli featuring Vinia Mojica

7- “Definition “¬Ç√Ñ√ÆBlack Star

8- “Beef “¬Ç√Ñ√ÆMos Def

9- “Flamboyant “¬Ç√Ñ√ÆBig L

10- “Universal Magnetic “¬Ç√Ñ√ÆMos Def

11- “Umi Says “¬Ç√Ñ√ÆMos Def

12- “1999 ” -Common featuring Sadat X

13- “The Sun God “¬Ç√Ñ√ÆHi-Tek featuring Common & Vinia

14- “Body Rock “¬Ç√Ñ√ÆMos Def featuring Q-Tip & Tash

15- “B-Boy Document ¬Ç√Ñ√≤99 “¬Ç√Ñ√ÆThe High & Mighty
featuring Mos Def & Skillz

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