various artists :: The Source Presents Hits From the Vault Vol. 1 :: Polygram
as reviewed by NyceStylez

THE SOURCE?!? Yep, The Source, you know the magazine, you either love it or you hate it. The self-proclaimed Hip-Hop Bible/Koran. When I saw the CD version of The Source Presents Hits From the Vault Vol. 1: The Pioneers on the rack, I rolled my eyes and thought that it was going to be some wack compilation.

But upon closer inspection, I noticed that it had some pretty good tracks on the CD. Seventeen whole tracks from classic artists such as the Sugar Hill Gang, Kurtis Blow, Boogie Down Productions, and Slick Rick Plus, the shot of all those Adidas shoes on the back made me smile.

After buying it and driving home, I popped The Source into my CD deck and listened. Meeting my eager ears was a mini-lesson of Hip-Hop Old School. The pictures in the jacket were very interesting. They'd make people reminisce, but to a new-schooler like myself, it made me wonder what the hell they were thinking to be wearing clothes like that. Hah, but hey, I can't front, that was the style back then, and I know my kids will wonder what crack I was smoking when they see old pictures of me in baggy jeans and such. Adidas shoes are on just about everyone featured in the pictures, which gave me a tickle.

But, back to the music, like I said, it's a lesson in Hip-Hop. For those of you looking for your joint from the last decade, try finding it in here. And for individuals such as myself, this is a great album to either get started or further your education on Hip-Hop's past. A few of these songs are older than I am, but that doesn't take away from their dopeness. The original "Rapper's Delight" from the Sugar Hill Gang kicks it all off. Eric B & Rakim's "Eric B is President" is also featured, as well as classics from Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel, Whodini, Salt-N-Pepa, and more. Of course, no Hip-Hop compilation of Old School could possibly have a complete listing of all the classics, but The Source makes a surprisingly good effort, a lot better than what I expected from an album that received "The Source seal of approval!" Oh brother. If you see it being advertised on TV, though, don't call the number, you can find it in stores for a lot cheaper. All in all, though, The Source provides a good musical time warp for those in search of the oldies but goodies. Maybe MTV will put out a good Hip-Hop compilation too.

Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8 of 10

Originally posted: November 1998