Tommy Boy Presents Hip Hop Essentials

Tom Silverman, founder and CEO of Tommy Boy, is kicking off his legendary label’s 25th anniversary a few months earlier than 2006 with the release of the first four volumes of HIP HOP ESSENTIALS 1979 – 1991, a foundational 12 volume CD collection featuring 144 extremely diverse tracks which have contributed to the groundwork of classic Hip Hop music.

HIP HOP ESSENTIALS 1979 – 1991 was expertly compiled by executive producers Tom Silverman (Tommy Boy) and Stu Fine (Wild Pitch Records). With an introduction to the entire collection by Nelson George, each volume features a set of liner notes from a noted journalist such as Jeff Chang, Dan Charnas, Raquel Cepeda, Bill Adler, Brian Coleman, Toure, Harry Allen or Davey D. The cover art for each volume features a classic image from the collection of Martha Cooper, legendary Hip Hop photographer.

HIP HOP ESSENTIALS 1979 – 1991 encompasses a magical era when party dances were practically made up daily, shouting out your zodiac sign was flavor and Afrika Bambaataa was pushing his message of “peace, love, unity and having fun” to the universe. Some tracks may also re- educate young and old alike to the dangers of cocaine, unprotected sex, racism, skeezer women, tramp men or police brutality. The collection will take you back to a time when Hip Hop was not mainstream and wasn’t always easy to find outside of NYC. HIP HOP ESSENTIALS 1979 – 1991 clocks out just before the era of Gangsta Rap explodes and just touches on its beginnings with Schoolly D, Ice- T, N.W.A. and just a few others.

Digging into the HIP HOP ESSENTIALS 1979 – 1991 crates could reveal wonderful and oft forgotten secrets for today’s industry and commercial artists to discover about true Hip Hop success:

1. There’s no biting in Hip Hop.
2. You must have a DJ and sometimes he is leader of your crew!
3. Everything can be turned into Hip Hop if you sample it right.
4. Rap is just one element of the culture not the whole culture!
5. Being experimental and unique is best.
6. Dancers provide good hype and don’t have to be strippers.
7. It’s OK to have a message, be educational and/or take a stand.

Look for Volumes 1 through 4 to debut in stores in November, 2005. Volumes 5 through 8 will be on the shelves by the end of January, 2006 and remaining Volumes 9 through 12 will complete the set in March of next year.

Join us in 2006 to celebrate Tommy Boy’s 25th Anniversary and its significant contributions to the history of Hip Hop.

Tom Silverman, CEO and founder of Tommy Boy, on HIP HOP ESSENTIALS 1979-1991:

“.During these years, there were no rules and there were very few Hip Hop ‘producers’. New records were written and produced by the Hip Hop group’s own DJ for the most part. As time moved forward toward the 90s, producers evolved and the radical differences from one act to another began to wane…Many of the tracks are my favorites but we wanted to represent the evolution of Hip Hop from the Bronx and Harlem to Miami, LA, San Fran, Philly, and the rest of the country. We also wanted to represent the many faces of Hip Hop from party to political from glitter to gangsta. If you were around in those days, this series is guaranteed to bring back life changing memories. If you weren’t born yet, this set provides an essential base of knowledge. The roots of today’s massive Hip Hop industry are preserved perfectly in this 12 volume set. If you don’t know these songs and you love Hip Hop, take it from KRS One, ‘You Must Learn!'”

From Nelson George’s Intro to HIP HOP ESSENTIALS 1979 – 1991:

“The engine for pushing Hip Hop’s agenda throughout its long rise to prominence were feisty little independent labels, most of them based in New York and run by aggressive young businesspeople. Tommy Boy was one of the crucial record companies. Founded by Tom Silverman (aka Tommy Boy) and run out of a series of Manhattan offices, Tommy Boy became home base for an extraordinary roster of artists. Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force, Stetsasonic, Naughty By Nature, De La Soul, Queen Latifah and Coolio are among the acts on a line up as deep and influential as any in the genre’s history… Tommy Boy was at the core of the Golden Age of Hip Hop, a time of fun, innovation and cutting edge music. [This] collection of tracks…is one great artifact of that vibrant, enduring era.”

From Harry Allen’s liner notes for HIP HOP ESSENTIALS 1979 – 1991 Volume 7:

“Whether you know these records inside-out, or are hearing them for the first time, you should consider the chance to listen to them now, all in one place, a great and rare gift. These tracks, and all the cuts of this set, are the bricks that built the home we call hip-hop. We should thank those that laid the edifice with care, and unfailingly respect the house in which we live.”

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