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    Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo – Road To The Riches

    Year: 1989

    Before there was the Notorious B.I.G., Nas or Jay Z, there was the original king of New York, Kool G. Rap, the illest member of the Juice Crew. Dude rapped with a lisp and was lyrically hard enough no one really noticed. On this, his 1989 debut album, G. Rap has all angles covered. He wasn’t going to get rich or die trying (or declare bankruptcy); he’s audibly confident he’s on his way (see the title track).

    “It’s A Demo” rides the “Funky Drummer” sample as hard as it can be rode, while “Men At Work” stomps all over the Incredible Bongo Band—basically every essential hip-hop sample is going to get aired out and spat all over. But G. Rap laid down some sampled material himself; his exclamation of “Poison” was rewired to explosive effect on Bell Biv DeVoe’s debut album Poison and accompanying hit single “Poison” the following year (an accident at the time—these days such a thing would have been mapped out and cross-promoted months in advance).

    The best, perhaps, is “Truly Yours,” on which, over a blend of samples of Timmy Thomas and Kool and the Gang, G. Rap tells off various types beneath his contempt. It’s endlessly quotable, but perhaps best is that he declares that, because his label is distributed by Warner Bros., he’s “gettin’ Bugs Bunny money.” So, like, carrots and dynamite?