WILD STYLE / VARIOUS - WILD STYLE / VARIOUS Vinyl LP
Animal Records - founded by Chris Stein of Blondie fame - only ever released one album in it's brief early-80s history, but what an album that was. Wild Style remains the most seminal soundtrack in hip-hop history, a snapshot of the scene as it evolved from the streets to the recording studio. But it's not just a vital document, it's also a damn good listen.
The line-up is a who's who of those who stood out from hip-hop's nascent block party days. The Double Trouble pairing of Rodney Cee and KK Rockwell, The Chief Rocker himself, Busy Bee, the mighty line-ups of both The Cold Crush Brothers and The Fantastic Freaks. The music captures the free-form, roaming nature of the film - it's rough at the edges, it's occasionally amateurish, but it's completely, utterly glorious. The original Animal tracklisting, of which this is a reissue, is full of recurring sounds and motifs, all of them co-produced by Chris Stein and Fab Five Freddy, stepping away from breakbeats to produce a sound that reminds you of them, while being totally unique. The epic drums are courtesy of Lenny 'Ferrari' Ferraro, a Vietnam vet and punk drummer whose career spanned stints backing Aretha Franklin and Lou Reed. Over time, those sounds - the Charlie Chase and Grand Wizard Theodore scratches, the indelible lyrics - have become hip-hop touchstones, endlessly sampled and referenced, the bedrock of so much music to follow. That's because the soundtrack perfectly encapsulated the essence of the film, the scene and hip-hop's emergence from The Bronx to the attention of the wider world. Presented in this reissue with the original artwork, it remains the blueprint.
1 Grand Master Caz & Chris Stein - Wild Style Theme Rap 1
2 The Chief Rocker Busy Bee Vs Lil Rodney Cee & D.J. Grand Wizard Theodore - M.C. Battle
3 The Cold Crush Bros Vs the Fantastic Freaks - Basketball Throwdown
4 Kevie Kev, Master Rob, Prince Whipper Whip, M.C., Rubie Dee, Dota Rock, D.J. Grand Wizard Theodore - Fantastic Freaks at the Dixie
5 Grand Wizard Theodore & D.J. Kevie Kev Rockwell - Military Cut-Scratch Mix
6 Grand Master Caz, JDL, Easy Ad, KG, D.J. Charlie Chase, D.J. Toney Tone - Cold Crush Bros. at the Dixie
7 Double Trouble, Rodney Cee, K. K. Rockwell - Stoop Rap
8 Rodney Cee, K. K. Rockwell, D.J. Stevie Steve - Double Trouble at the Amphitheatre
9 Grand Master Caz & Chris Stein - Wild Style Subway Rap 2
10 The Chief Rocker Busy Bee, DJ Aj - the Chief Rocker Busy Bee, D.J. Aj at the Amphitheatre