Various Big Apple Rappin'v

Oh, the feel good days in New York when hip-hop was just beginning to blossom and cats were rapping about moving your feet to the disco beat. Big Apple Rappin’ is a nice double CD package of party jams from the birthplace of hip-hop focusing on the years of 1979 to 1982, when the flows were extremely basic but the dedication couldn’t be slept on. This was a time when the genre had no support from the radio and had yet to blow up and be mass-produced, so you can’t help but shuffle your body to these pure grooves, even though the "well my name is so-and-so and I’d like to say” style does grow a little tiresome once you get to the second disc — especially when joints back then were clocking in at eight minutes in length. There’s some definite classics to be heard though, including Brother D & the Collective Effort’s urge for MCs to "educate, educate, organise” with their politically-charged "How We Going to Make the Black Nation Rise,” and Spoonie Gee’s opening "Spoonin’ Rap.” The second disc is identical to the first in its approach but doesn’t contain questionable dub numbers from General Echo, instead opting for higher quality dance tracks from Super 3 and Nice and Nasty 3, which also sound better on the production tip. Big Apple Rappin’ serves well as a history lesson and one or two of these jams will get the crowd bugging out on the dance floor, but the repetitiveness and long-windedness might make it a hard pill to swallow all at once. (Soul Jazz)