February 8, 2009



1980s, 808s, vocoders, robo-speech, and crazy, stilted, high-wire beats. Is it any wonder this was too good to last?

1) Jam On It! by Newcleus. Chipmunk vocals, rapid-fire synth, and one of the best bass lines this side of 1975. And just wait for the break at 1:50! You will like it.

2) Hip Hop, Be Bop, by Man Parrish. Wikipedia says:
When Parrish was first breaking, hip-hop was still dominated by African Americans and white performers were often considered interlopers. Whether because of this fact or his preference for theatricality, when Parrish appeared onstage he was often heavily made up and wore fanciful outfits that made it impossible to determine his ancestry at a glance. That Parrish was not black often came as a surprise to his fans. At one memorable performance at Studio 54, in a pause in Hip Hop, Be Bop, a young African American audience member close to the stage shouted out in amazement, "Holy s**t, Man Parrish is a White Boy!"
3) 19, by Paul Hardcastle. Perhaps the best known song of the genre. Hardcastle cut up clips of newsanchor Peter Thomas' reports on Vietnam, and, in an insane stroke of genius, placed it over a madcap dance beat. Thomas was initially unhappy about the sampling, but eventually let the song come out. Today, we are the better for it.

Newcleus – Jam On It [Jam-On Revenge, 1984]
Man Parrish – Hip Hop, Be Bop [Man Parrish, 1982]
Paul Hardcastle – 19 [Paul Hardcastle, 1985]

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