Yo! Boombox is the new instalment of Soul Jazz Records’ Boombox series on the early days of hip-hop on vinyl and features some of the many innovative underground first-wave of early rap and disco rap records made in the USA in the period 1979-83.
The album includes the first releases of seminal groups such as Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five and The Funky Four Plus One through to a host of rarities and little-known obscurities such as the Carver Area High School band’s ‘Get Live 83’, an awesome record made at a Chicago high school.
The album is released as a deluxe triple LP complete with 3x full inner sleeves of extensive sleeve notes, exclusive photography and original label artwork. There is also a very-limited one-pressing indies-only special deluxe version that comes with an extra bonus super-rare 7” single of ‘Magic’s Rap’ by Magic’s Trick, aka ex-marine Magic Fraga, a record that was only ever available on US military bases! The album also comes as a deluxe double CD pack with 30-page booklet and slipcase.
Yo! Boombox also features the stunning photography of Sophie Bramly one of a very select group of photographers (alongside Henry Chalfant, Martha Cooper, and Joe Conzo) who were allowed full access to document the exciting early days of hip-hop in New York.
These first exuberant wave of innocent, upbeat, party-on-the-block rap records were the first to try and create the sounds heard in community centres, block parties and street jams that first took place in the Bronx in the mid-1970s. Where the first DJs – Flash, Kool Herc and Bambaataa – were back-spinning, mixing and scratching together now classic breakbeat records like The Incredible Bongo Band’s Apache or Babe Ruth’s The Mexican, these first pre-sampling rap records were all made using live bands, often replaying then current disco tunes.
As Chic’s ‘Good Times’ was to ‘Rappers’ Delight’, the songs here feature then-current dancefloor hits such as the Tom Tom Club’s ‘Genius of Love’, Cheryl Lynn’s ‘To Be Real’, MFSB’s ‘Love Is the Message’ while MCs rapped over the top, creating a unique new sound. In fact, the links between disco and rap date back earlier to the ‘party style’ MCing of figures such as the legendary DJ Hollywood or radio DJs like Frankie Crocker.
This new Soul Jazz Records collection celebrates these first old-school rap records, bringing together rare, classic, and obscure tracks released in the early days of rap.