Various Artists

The Soul of Hip-Hop

by Andrew Martin

10 May 2009

cover art

Various Artists

The Soul of Hip-Hop

US: 28 Apr 2009
UK: Available as import

Hip-hop heads, whether they produce or just appreciate the music, are bound to get frustrated with a release like The Soul of Hip-Hop. Although it’s not exactly “snitching” on certain producers or anything of that nature, it still lessens an essential part of the culture: crate-digging. Now, some may argue that most of the Stax hits on here are well-known for breeding some of rap’s best tracks. For example, just listen to the first few seconds of Charmel’s “As Long As I’ve Got You” and you’ll get the point. Hint: RZA used the opening twinkling piano for Wu-Tang’s “C.R.E.A.M.”. And others can argue that most of the artists on here aren’t exactly unknown or hidden in a dusty crate of vinyl. But still, for the younger hip-hop fans who happen to stumble upon an old soul or funk track, the best part is hearing and then identifying a drum-break or horns sample. And compilations like this, even if it is filled to the brim with fantastic tracks, ruin that experience. For all those people just looking for a collection of some of Stax’s best, though, this will certain satisfy that craving.

The Soul of Hip-Hop


We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.

//Mixed media

Call for Music Writers... Hip-Hop, Soul, Electronic, Rock, Indie, Americana, Jazz, World and More

// Announcements

"PopMatters is looking for smart music writers. We're looking for talented writers with deep genre knowledge of music and its present and…

READ the article