Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ultramagnetic MC's - Critical Beatdown (1988)

Kool Keith is the shit.

So is DJ Moe Love and fellow Ultramagnetic MC's Ced Gee (who actually did most of the producing here) and TR Love (who appears on the album's cover, but strangely contributed nothing to this record). This album was one of my favorites as a kid, it never really fell out of favor with me- another cassette I think I straight up melted from over-listening. I can remember hearing other hip-hop albums that came after this and being all, "Yo, they totally stole this beat from the UMC's!" before the word "sampling" snaked its way into out collective lexicon. But these beats were relatively new; I was like 12 when this record came out and what did I know (everything I learned about hip-hop back then was from Fab Five Freddy).

The more reading I've done about this record (and Ced Gee's production), the more I realize that it's one of the most important in the history of hip-hop and sampling in general. Gee did most of the work on Boogie Down Production's Criminal Minded, so taken along with this record there's two huge landmarks in the genre; sampling a bunch of James Brown and old soul, funk and jazz records gave poetic license and the impetus to help kick-start the careers of literally hundreds of DJs and producers.

This is the 2004 re-mastered re-issue, complete with remixes, b-sides and bonus tracks...


Edward said...

This album is so boss. Thanks.

Dick Sweat said...

Thanks for this. I've been on a Kool Keith kick lately, and I'm betting this disc is crucial.

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