AFRIKA BAMBAATAA + GRANDMASTER FLASH: RESPECT THE ARCHITECTS


Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five: Superappin’
From 12″ (Enjoy, 1979). Also on The Best of Enjoy.

Afrika Bambaataa and the Jazzy 5: Jazzy Sensation (Bronx Mix)
From 12″ (Tommy Boy, 1981). Also on Tommy Boy’s Greatest Beats Vol. 2.

Both songs taken from Genius of Rap (Island UK, 1982)

I came upon Genius of Rap, an early hip-hop compilation (reviewed back in ’82 by Robert Christgau), at the Groove Merchant. Besides including two of my favorite old school rap songs (above), it also comes with a “do it yourself” second disc of instrumental beats (alas, not particularly good ones) for you to channel your inner DJ Hollywood over.

When I was still in my old school infancy, coming upon a song like “Superappin'” was a small revelation, especially compared to something like “Rapper’s Delight.” Seriously, if your world view of what old school sounds like is filtered through Chic’s “Good Times” and a bunch of random Jersey dudes that Sylvia Robinson threw together, then something like “Superappin'” or Spoonie Gee’s “Spoonin’ Rap” or the Treacherous Three’s “New Rap Language” (not coincidentally, all on Enjoy) were far more compelling.

As for “Jazzy Sensation:” hands-down, one of the best songs of its era with Arthur Baker’s funkalicious track which also doubled as Tina B’s “Jazzy Sensation” (Manhattan Mix) which graced the other side of this early, orange-label Tommy Boy 12″. This was, if I have it right, Afrika Bambaataa’s first credited appearance on wax though it’d be upstaged a year later when Baker and Bam collaborated again to cut “Planet Rock.” Regardless, as a party jam track, it’s hard to beat “Jazzy Sensation”? Can you feel it?

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