Sunday, 17 June 2007

Respect Your Elders Continued...

The album that I've chosen to post today relates to the old school, or 'the elders'.

Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Message

About 5 years ago, when I got straight fed up of listening to the current hip hop albums of the day, I decided to take it back and start listening to pre-90's rap. There was no shortage of albums to listen to, such as Raising Hell, It Takes A Nation..., 3 Feet High & Rising, etc, but the first album that I picked was The Message by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. Like many people, I was only familiar with the track, 'The Message', as I had heard it on one of my older brother's old school compilation tapes ('The Greatest Songs...Ever' or something like that).
I would love to say that the song's lyrics about racial profiling and the such was what caught my attention, but I was only 14 and lyrics didn't mean shit to me. The thing that struck me about the tune was the strong bassline and electronica backings. It was nothing like the kind of hip hop music out at the time. I took a risk and got a copy of the entire album, and for about the next couple months I bumped this song continuously, at least twice a day.
This album was realeased in 1982, and looking back now, is not considered to be as revolutionary as those I had mentioned above. Obviously, 'The Message' was the lead single, and is easily the best song on the album. The rest of the consists of some R&B ('You Are'), extensive use of electronica ('Scorpio'), and even some homo-erotic content ('Dreamin'' is about Stevie homo?).
There are other good tracks on the album, such as 'It's A Shame', where the 5 rap about greed among blacks themselves. However 'The Message' is and will always be the stand out cut, on this 'forgotten' album.

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