Godfather Of Hip Hop
label: Tuff City

production: Davy DMX, Pumpkin, Marley Marl, Teddy Riley, Aaron Fuchs.

year of release: 2004
Spoonin' Rap
Love Rap
The Big Beat
Street Girl
Get Off My Tip
Yum Yum
Take It Off
That's My Style
The Godfather
Did You Come To Party
Hit Man
12. You's An Old Fool

The Godfather

Not that you should know, but me - your host for today tadah - and Spoonie Gee go way back. Not that he knows me, but his song "The Godfather" pretty much made me fall in love with rap music. Yip. It was LL's "I Need Love" that showed me there was something called rap and it was that seminal and supremely funky Spoonie song that had me want more. Lots more. Back then, as a shorty with empty pockets, there was no way that I could go out and buy his album. And considering how hard it was to find certain rap albums a couple of years later, chances were that the search would have most likely been fruitless anyway.
But it still was that song on a tape (amongst house, hip house and rap songs) that eventually got me to here and now. It could have been worse a tune really. It could have been a song like "Me Myself And I" which was embraced by many non rap cats (although I do credit this as another one of my early favourites). But quite frankly it could only hardly been a better song. If you do listen to this best of compilation - and there's very few reasons why not to - the funkiness of the guitar and horns will get your head nodding. Actually up to this day I didn't know that Marley Marl actually produced "The Godfather" and you may consider it to be one of the shining stars in his discography. On top of that Spoonie rhymes with a flow much more mature for years where people still walked in baby shoes. So all in all this song is a proper classic, maybe not in your book, but definitely in mine.
If you really want to learn about Spoonie's history and on his impact, you may read the liner notes by Aaron Fuchs. There's a lot of information in there, certainly biased and generous, but who are we to disagree? Especially in the face of these twelve songs that span from 1979 to 1988. Sure that was a long time ago and sure the real golden years happened between after that and 1994. But that's all water under the bridge. This passes the real test of time, as even a purely basic and stereotypical old school song like "Spoonin' Rap" sounds right today and can entertain ears that are used to mulit-syllable and layered rhymes. The rhetoric is about parties and about females to party with on "Love Rap". There's disco on "The Big Beat," stuff that sounds rather crap today like "Get Off My Tip," you will crack a smile to "Yum Yum" and there's a little bit Washington Go Go about "Take It Off." There's another funky guitar on "Did You Come To Party," a slight influence of New Jack Swing on "Hit Man" and the compilation ends with the must-be-played-live (actually the liner notes inform us that this is based on "Impeach The President") and damn-that's-funky "You's An Old Fool."
Like Public Enemy said: there's no future without a past. Where's Spoonie now? I don't know. This is and sounds like music from the past. You can tell. And sure, "The Godfather" appears to be Spoonie's supreme achievement - nothing wrong with that. He at least had one. One that's still - up to this day - amongst the best rap songs that I've ever heard.
review: tadah
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