Rawkus Records: Best of Decade I 1995-2005 [Explicit Lyrics]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Birchmeier
Rawkus Records -- the little hip-hop indie label that could -- went through various major-label dealings over the years, eventually falling under the Geffen Records banner in 2005, in theory an unseemly partnership that did have one immediately positive outcome: a long-overdue best-of collection, Rawkus Records: Best of Decade I 1995-2005. If you're relatively familiar with Rawkus, you might find the title curious -- the "1995-2005" part, that is -- because for all means and purposes, the label became inactive once the '90s came to a close. Without a doubt, the glory years of Rawkus were the late '90s, back when the Soundbombing and Lyricist Lounge series were a ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Birchmeier
Rawkus Records -- the little hip-hop indie label that could -- went through various major-label dealings over the years, eventually falling under the Geffen Records banner in 2005, in theory an unseemly partnership that did have one immediately positive outcome: a long-overdue best-of collection, Rawkus Records: Best of Decade I 1995-2005. If you're relatively familiar with Rawkus, you might find the title curious -- the "1995-2005" part, that is -- because for all means and purposes, the label became inactive once the '90s came to a close. Without a doubt, the glory years of Rawkus were the late '90s, back when the Soundbombing and Lyricist Lounge series were a cultural touchstone, back when Mos Def and Talib Kweli were considered a duo rather than solo acts, and back when New York was still the undisputed epicenter of rap music. By the end of the decade, something happened -- something abrupt. Rawkus still championed the occasional Talib releases, but everything else noteworthy about the label was history: the Soundbombing and Lyricist Lounge series lost significance, as did Mos Def and, to an extent, New York City. The South became the new epicenter of rap, and with that power shift came a major cultural shift as well enter "bling-bling," "crunk," "trill," "grillz," "syrup sippin'," and the Ying Yang Twins. Those who lament the demise of everything Rawkus upheld in the late '90s a freestyle rapping aesthetic, a hip-hop mindset, a positive outlook, a crass-less appeal, an independent approach, real talent, etc. will celebrate this retrospective collection. It plays like a time capsule, resurrecting many of the label's late-'90s highlights and, indeed, the couple post-millennial ones it did have. The 15 inclusions are heavy on Mos Def features -- nine of the 15 tracks, to be precise -- and just about as many come from the assorted Soundbombing and Lyricist Lounge compilations. While it would have been nice to have a broader range of performers -- in addition to the ubiquitous Mos, there are multiple features for Talib, Pharoahe Monch, Common, and producers Ayatolla and Hi-Tek -- the emphasis understandably is on the cream of the crop. This makes Best of Decade I a great introduction to the late-'90s Rawkus movement for anyone who missed it at the time. If that means you, you're recommended to start here and then branch off, moving on to the Black Star, Black on Both Sides, Soundbombing, Vol. 2, and Lyricist Lounge, Vol. 1 albums. Do that and you too might lament the subsequent crunkization of rap.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/13/2005
  • Label: Geffen Records
  • UPC: 602498872932
  • Catalog Number: 000579802
  • Sales rank: 148,859

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Get By (3:47)
  2. 2 Ms. Fat Booty (4:04)
  3. 3 Respiration - Black Star (5:46)
  4. 4 The Life (3:40)
  5. 5 Oh No (3:43)
  6. 6 The Blast (3:44)
  7. 7 Definition - Black Star (3:26)
  8. 8 Beef (2:13)
  9. 9 Flamboyant (3:06)
  10. 10 Universal Magnetic (4:24)
  11. 11 Umi Says (5:04)
  12. 12 1999 - Common (4:16)
  13. 13 The Sun God - Common (4:33)
  14. 14 Body Rock - Tash (5:11)
  15. 15 B-Boy Document '99 - Skillz (3:53)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Weldon Irvine Hammond Organ
Vere Isaacs Bass
Dechown Jenkens Guitar
will.i.am fender rhodes
Duane Eubanks Trumpet
Kendra Ross Background Vocals
Vernetta Bobien Background Vocals
Abby Dobson Background Vocals
Chinua Hawk Background Vocals
Shirley Saloman Background Vocals
Penny Wrenn Background Vocals
William Taylor Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Mike Heron Producer
DJ Hi-Tek Producer, Cut
Geoff Allen Engineer
Jim Godsey Engineer
Troy Hightower Engineer
David Kennedy Producer, Engineer
Guy Snider Engineer
Kieran Walsh Engineer
Steve Souder Engineer
Max Vargas Engineer
Minnesota Producer
D. Stinson Composer
Brian Brater Liner Notes, Executive Producer
Jarret Myer Liner Notes, Executive Producer
Tom Chianti Engineer
Rockwilder Producer
E. Snyder Composer
Steve Mandel Engineer
Kanye West Producer
Pat Viola Engineer
Shawn J. Period Producer
L. Coleman Composer
N. Hale Composer
Ayatollah Producer
S.T. Jones Composer
D. Richard Lewis Composer
Dave Dar Engineer
Joe Nardone Engineer
Mark Barnes Marketing Coordinator
Ernesto Santana Engineer
Dante Smith Composer
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