Cold Chillin' - Often imitated - Never Intimidated
Alongside Def jam, Tommy Boy and Death Row, Cold Chillin' stands as one of the most important hip hop labels of all time. That such an array of charismatic talent all came together under the Cold Chillin' flag to produce some of the finest raps ever made is one thing. The fact that the label changed the face of, not only rap, but the whole music industry is another.
There is no better example of this then the track record of Kool G Rap & DJ Polo. Their hit record 'Poison' not only spawned a number of imitators within its own genre but broke the mould further when it came to rappers using R&B as their covert influence. Prior to New Edition offshoot trio Bell Biv, DeVoe reworking the cut, it was a rare occurrence that an R&B act would cover a rap record.
Cold Chillin' arrived at that point when ol' skool gave way to new skool. This (post Fairlight sampler) new dawn gave light to new ideas, new forms of expression and a whole new direction. From Craig G's phenomenal 'Droppin' Science' tot the aforementioned Kool G Rap & DJ Polo cut 'It's a demo', the Cold Chillin' Catalogue showcases the production talents of Queensbridge's finest Marley Marl - a man who with a little help from his friends shaped hip hop's destiny once and for all.
Master Ace's 'Me and The Bis' is most notable for Ace's briljant take on Biz's tongue-in-cheek drunken slur of a rap style. Talking of the ubiquitous Biz Markie, the Long Island man (who now concentrates on Djing) weighs in with his own slice of hip hop comedy entitled 'The Doo Doo'.
The tough, gritty gem that is MC Shan's 'Te Bridge', was initially revealed to park party jammers at the Queensbridge annual parade. I a short space of time it went from a quick interlude to a hot bootie, finally becoming one of the most respected hip hop jams of the all.
Arguably the most prodigiously of all the Cold Chillin' posse, Big Daddy Kane wrote much of Roxanne Shante's material as well as supplying Biz Markie with his ammo. The Brooklyn born MC was discovered by Marley when he warmed up for the Biz with a rather natty rap about his 'Sexploits' whose time of the month had arrived in earnest. On an eminently more serious note the 1988 album 'Long live the Kane' spawned hip hop anthems of the calibre of the enthralling 'Raw' - resplendent with mutated Lyn Collins Style horn wails. Not forgetting the R&B (rhyme & beats) version of Heatwave's 'Ain't No Half Steppin'' - an R&B top ten in the States.
The feisty, sassy Roxanne Shante pre-empted by a whole decade the supa dupa bitch Mcing of Missy, Lil' Kim and Foxxy Brown. Her fights with the Real Roxanne are legendary in hip hop circles and the particular classic 'Have A Nice Day' is yet another answer record. This time aimed at KRS One and his Boogie Down Productions unit who had delivered a broadside to the Queensbridge area with their own 'Bridge is over' record. Delivered in yo face with no messin' about, the tragedy of this record is that it refers to Scott La Rock who was fatally shot shortly after in an unconnected event. In the light of recent events in the hip hop world, the track acts as evidence of the fine line between hip hop skillz battles and gang conflict.
Add a number of radical raps such as the inventive 'I got ta' produced by Master Ace from his own 'Take A Look Around' album and 'The Symphony' which features Kane, Kool G Rap, Craig G, Master Ace, Shante and of course Marley Marl himself. The man currently shares his time co-presenting the legendary Radio One rap show with Westwood on Friday nights (live from hi home) and it's equally lauded New York vounterpart - the Hot 97 show with none other then Pete Rock. Marley Marl is often imitated, - never intimidated!
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