Ken Tucker
February 07, 1997 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Sugar Hill Records Story

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
genre
Reissues, Hip-Hop/Rap

We gave it an A-

The Sugar Hill Records Story is a five-disc retrospective of the origins of rap. Listening to cuts like the Sugarhill Gang’s ”Rapper’s Delight” or the Funky 4 + 1’s ”That’s the Joint,” you’re reminded of something gangsta rap’s current dourness may have led you to forget: how open to possibility, how fun, how jaunty this music is. Even Grandmaster Flash’s ”White Lines,” the 1983 anti-cocaine screed, has the barreling pace of an action film. Too long by at least one disc, this is nonetheless an invaluable gathering of singles that spawned a genre.

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