Various Ego Trip's The Big Playback

Billed as an accompaniment to the essential irreverent tome, The Ego Trip Book of Rap Lists, The Big Playback adopts the book and the defunct magazine's overall goal of B.S. free coverage of the culture, minus the belly-busting acidic wit. Focusing on the callow days of hip-hop when classic hip-hop singles abounded, the compilers take an edutainment approach, shirking the obvious old-school tracks for relatively unsung mic controllers going for theirs over morbidly funky beats. Grandmaster Caz's "Get Down Grandmaster" sheds light on the man whose rhymes were swiped on the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" and MC EZ & Troup's "Get Retarded" features Craig Mack on the mic before he put flava in ya ear. While those featured on the compilation were popular among heads when they were released, the growth and rapid turnover rate of hip-hop music has led to these recordings being rarely acknowledged today. Undeniably dope throughout, The Big Playback most importantly helps to keep these rare and contributions from fading into unjust obscurity. (Rawkus)