Stax Records has released a new album, made up of their original hits of the ’60s and ’70s, some of which have gone on to be sampled by contemporary hip-hop artists.
Every creative act, no matter how edgy and forward thinking, has some precedent. Even the most progressive artist, no matter how groundbreaking, cannot deny a connection to an earlier era of genius. In few places is this link more evident than in hip-hop, an art form built on musical artifacts and hooks from decades past, reconfigured and reinterpreted via contemporary recording and sampling technology.
From this, Stax has compiled a fourteen-track collection titled The Soul of Hip Hop, Volume I, including such artists as Isaac Hayes, Booker T & The MGs, The Emotions, William Bell, David Porter, The Bar-Kays, The Dramatics, Rufus Thomas, Little Milton and many more.
The compilation is a testament to the enormous influence of the Stax sound, energy and attitude on the entire hip-hop generation.
Since the ’80s, the aforementioned artists and their classic recordings featured on the new album have become source material for artists and producers like Rakim, DJ Hi-Tek, Cypress Hill, DJ Muggs, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, DJ Quik, Ice Cube, Notorious B.I.G., Wu-Tang Clan, RZA and so many more.
Apart from its undeniable influence on the hip-hop generation, Stax Records holds a pivotal place in American music history, as one of the most popular soul music record labels of all time — second only to Motown in sales and influence, but first in gritty, raw, Southern-steeped soul music.
In its heyday — throughout the ’60s and early ’70s — Stax placed more than 167 hit songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop charts as well as a staggering 243 hits on the R&B charts.
With The Soul of Hip Hop, Volume I, Stax hopes to offer a glimpse of hip-hop’s roots, or in other words the originals of some of the genre’s most sampled tracks.
The album is in stores now. It is available at Amazon.com for $10.99.
The tracklist is as follows:
1. 24-CARAT BLACK – “Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth”
2. THE EMOTIONS – “Blind Alley”
3. BOOKER T. & THE MGs – “Melting Pot”
4. THE BAR-KAYS – “Humpin'”
5. THE DRAMATICS – “Get Up and Get Down”
6. ISAAC HAYES – “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic”
7. ISAAC HAYES – “Hung Up On My Baby”
8. DAVID PORTER – “I’m Afraid the Masquerade Is Over”
9. WENDY RENE – “After the Laughter (Comes Tears)”
10. CHARMELS – “As Long As I’ve Got You”
11. THE SWEET INSPIRATIONS – “Why Marry”
12. RUFUS THOMAS – “Do the Funky Penguin (Part 1)”
13. LITTLE MILTON – “Packed Up and Took My Mind”
14. WILLIAM BELL – “I Forgot To Be Your Lover”