Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A To Z: W - Wanted: Dead Or Alive by Kool G Rap & DJ Polo

This is one of the first "classic" hip hop albums I ever got really into. Something about Kool G Rap's lightning quick delivery has always struck me as awesome, mainly because it just is. One of the best flows in all of hip hop history. And his lyrics are usually pretty classic to. A storyteller, a shit talker and just overall great and painting images. Love this classic east coast shit. If you're not familiar and want to see where some of those modern rappers get their fast raps from, G Rap was one of the first to do it like this.

Marley Marl remained on board, and Large Professor and Eric B. also hopped on to help produce Kool G Rap & DJ Polo's second album. With a wider range of sounds and the expansion of G Rap's lyrical range, Wanted: Dead or Alive is wholly deserving of classic status. The opening "Streets of New York" remains one of the most thrilling and unique rap singles released; the sparse rhythm, adorned with assured piano runs that complement the song to the point of almost making the song, falls somewhere between a gallop and a strut, and G RapKool G Rap's talent as an adept storyteller like nothing before or since. Likewise, "Talk Like Sex" is the nastiest, raunchiest thing he ever recorded, with "I'm pounding you down until your eyeballs pop out" acting as an exemplary claim -- as well as one of the few that is printable -- made in the song. The boasts, as ever, are in no short supply, but "Erase Racism" takes a break from the normal proceedings with guest spots from Big Daddy Kane and Biz Markie. It's both funny and sobering, with Biz Markie's Three Dog Night chorus providing comic relief after each verse. Adding yet another dimension to the album, DJ Polo throws in a hip-house instrumental that avoids coming off like a throwaway. This album is only part of a major swarm of brilliant rap records from 1990, but it will never be lost in it outlines more vivid scenes than one film could possibly contain. The track cemented Kool G Rap & DJ Polo's role as East Coast legends and showed .

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