v/a - Wildstyle (Yellow) LP
Animal Records – founded by Chris Stein of Blondie fame – only ever released two albums in its brief early-80s history. 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.
A1. Grand Master Caz & Chris Stein - Wild Style Theme Rap 1.
A2: The Chief Rocker Busy Bee vs Lil Rodney Cee & D.J. Grand Wizard Theodore - M.C. Battle.
A3: The Cold Crush Bros vs The Fantastic Freaks - Basketball Throwdown.
A4: Kevie Kev, Master Rob, Prince Whipper Whip, M.C., Rubie Dee, Dota Rock, D.J. Grand Wizard Theodore - Fantastic Freaks At The Dixie.
A5: Grand Wizard Theodore & D.J. Kevie Kev Rockwell - Military Cut-Scratch Mix.
A6: Grand Master Caz, JDL, Easy AD, KG, D.J. Charlie Chase, D.J. Toney Tone - Cold Crush Bros. at The Dixie.
B1: Double Trouble, Rodney Cee, K. K. Rockwell - Stoop Rap.
B2: Rodney Cee, K. K. Rockwell, D.J. Stevie Steve - Double Trouble At The Amphitheatre.
B3: Grand Master Caz & Chris Stein - Wild Style Subway Rap 2.
B4: The Chief Rocker Busy Bee, DJ AJ - The Chief Rocker Busy Bee, D.J. AJ At The Amphitheatre.
B5: D.J. Grand Wizard Theodore & Kevie Kev Rockwell - Gangbusters Scratch Mix.
B6: Rammellzee & Shock Dell & The Grand Mixer DST - Rammellzee And Shock Dell At The Amphitheatre.