A Tribe Called Quest • Beastie Boys • De La Soul • Eric B. & Rakim • The Fugees • KRS-One • Pete Rock & CL Smooth • Public Enemy • The Roots • Run-DMC • Wu-Tang Clan • and twenty-five more hip-hop immortals
It’s a sad fact: hip-hop album liners have always been reduced to a list of producer and sample credits, a publicity photo or two, and some hastily composed shout-outs. That’s a damn shame, because few outside the game know about the true creative forces behind influential masterpieces like PE’s It Takes a Nation of Millions. . ., De La’s 3 Feet High and Rising, and Wu-Tang’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). A longtime scribe for the hip-hop nation, Brian Coleman fills this void, and delivers a thrilling, knockout oral history of the albums that define this dynamic and iconoclastic art form.
The format: One chapter, one artist, one album, blow-by-blow and track-by-track, delivered straight from the original sources. Performers, producers, DJs, and b-boys–including Big Daddy Kane, Muggs and B-Real, Biz Markie, RZA, Ice-T, and Wyclef–step to the mic to talk about the influences, environment, equipment, samples, beats, beefs, and surprises that went into making each classic record. Studio craft and street smarts, sonic inspiration and skate ramps, triumph, tragedy, and take-out food–all played their part in creating these essential albums of the hip-hop canon.
Insightful, raucous, and addictive, Check the Technique transports you back to hip-hop’s golden age with the greatest artists of the ’80s and ’90s. This is the book that belongs on the stacks next to your wax.
“Brian Coleman’s writing is a lot like the albums he covers: direct, uproarious, and more than six-fifths genius.”
–Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop
“All producers and hip-hop fans must read this book. It really shows how these albums were made and touches the music fiend in everyone.”
–DJ Evil Dee of Black Moon and Da Beatminerz
“A rarity in mainstream publishing: a truly essential rap history.”
–Ronin Ro, author of Have Gun Will Travel
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Check the Technique|
|Release Date: 03-12-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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Check the Technique
ERIC B. & RAKIM
Paid in Full
(4th & Bway/Island, 1987)
“I came in the door, I said it before/I never let the mic magnetize me no more.”
When you hear those first lines, your whole body starts to shiver. You’re instantly transported to New York, 1986. The verses are so ill that your mom could say them and they’d still move a crowd. And they don’t stop for the duration of Eric B. & Rakim’s unsinkable classic, “Eric B. Is President.” A song like that only comes along maybe twice a decade, and few of them stay with you like the duo’s master tome. Eric B. and Rakim set off a lot of things in 1986–an onslaught of raids on the James Brown sampling archive; a rebirth of anti-party, pro-scientific lyricism; and a 500 percent rise in purchases of dinosaur-choking gold medallions from Bushwick to Bangkok.
Interestingly, William Griffin Jr.–the youngest of three Griffin brothers and better known to hip-hop as Rakim–didn’t figure their booming single (first released on Zakia Records, B-sided with the also mind-blowing “My Melody”) would change hip-hop the way it did. “I had no idea it would impact like that, but maybe that’s because I’m my own worst critic,” Rakim Allah says, adding, “I had already been rhyming for so long at that point that I wasn’t looking to pursue a recording career. To be honest, at the time I was hoping to play football at Stony Brook [University, in Long Island], since my cousin had a scholarship there. I played quarterback and had met with the coach there. He told me to get my grades up and we could talk.” Luckil