Top 100 Album Review: #60 – Greatest Hits, Sly and the Family Stone (1970)

Every Rap Artists’ Favorite Sample.

I used to like rap until I realized their contribution is so shockingly little. Bands like Sly deserve all the credit. 

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Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #60/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586

Rap music is a sham — a few lyrics over hooks, lines, and beats from the actually great musicians of the 60s and 70s. It doesn’t deserve the accolades it receives. I realize everything is inspired by what came before in the long lineage of artistic output. The difference with hip-hop/rap is that there is no attempt to build on that inspiration; it’s blatant theft that’s out in the open for all to see.

Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise is really Stevie Wonder’s Pastime Paradise. Warren G’s I Want it All is really Debarge’s I Like It. Cardi B’s I Like It is really an old-time hit from Rodriguez’s I Like it Like That. Let’s be honest about the format: producers pay a price for a sample because it’s cheaper and easier than actually going through the artistic process. Then, they introduce the song to audiences young enough they don’t know the song is an imitation. This slight of hand perpetuates the fake talent of the artist.

If you add up all the samples used from songs from The Greatest Hits by Sly and the Family Stone, it totals to 697. So much for the trailblazing Dr. Dre, Tupac, Digital Underground, Biggie, Jungle Brothers, or anybody else you can think from the rap industry.

It’s time to give the true artists of creation credit: welcome to one of the best albums of all-time by Sly and the Family Stone!

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Top 100 Album Review: #99 – There’s a Riot Goin’ On (1971)

Funk Muzak.

Perfect background music for shopping at the Dollar General, awful for everything else.

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Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #99/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star

The joy of the “Top 100 Albums” of all time is that you are going to find hidden gems. If you like music, you already know some Sly and the Family Stone, but you probably don’t know the whole catalogue. This gives you an opportunity to find good music from their best work. Think about all the hits they had; they probably had some killer tracks that didn’t receive airtime!

“There’s a Riot Goin’ On” doesn’t have a single hit. Worse, the album is an overdose of NyQuil: you get 47 minutes of repetitive base lines and nondescript music that never arrises to any occasion.

Continue reading “Top 100 Album Review: #99 – There’s a Riot Goin’ On (1971)”