Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hip Hop Nostalgia 101, Session 19: Marley Marl - In Control Vol. 1 (1988)

Marley Marl was the man behind the sound of The Juice Crew, which included MCs such as Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Masta Ace, MC Shan, Biz Markie, etc. This album/compilation showcases the best of the crew, on a lyrical and production end, and that's what we'll take a look at in today's session.

Release date- September 1, 1988

All songs produced by Marley Marl

1. Craig G - Droppin Science
Craig G drops lyrical science, solo style. Nice way to open this album.


2. Heavy D & Biz Markie - We Write The Songs
Heavy D and Biz Markie are not only having fun on this one, but they rode this dope beat very well. 

Grade- B

3. Percy Tragedy - The Rebel
Tragedy did a good job with his solo spot. It also  sounded like he was abruptly cut it at the end of his verse.
Grade- B-

4. Masta Ace & Action - Keep Your Eye On The Prize

"To get where you wanna be,you have to set a goal and keep your eyes on the prize"

The above line is the theme of this song, and who better to perform it than Ace.
Grade- B+

5. Masta Ace, Craig G, Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane - The Symphony

"I don't care who's first or who last, but I know that y'all just betta rock this at the drop of a dime baby!" -Marley Marl

Oh man, this is the blueprint for posse cuts as far as I'm concerned and it's my favorite posse cut of all time (and that makes it the best too, lol)! Ace, G Rap, Kane and Craig G deliver memorable verses over one of Marley's finest beats. No amount of praise from me can justify just how GREAT this damn song is!!

Grade- A+

6. Percy Tragedy - Live Motivator
More of the same from Tragedy on this solo cut. Not better than "The Rebel", but it's still good.

Grade- B

7. Craig G - Duck Alert
More dopeness from Craig G, almost on par with "Droppin Science".
Grade- B

8. Masta Ace & Action - Simon Says
Don't let the title of this song fool you, lol. It's good overall.

Grade- B

9. MC Shan - Freedom
Shan didn't appreciate those who either bit or jocked his style and he lashes out at those on this apply titled song.
Grade- B

10. Roxanne Shante - Wack Itt
Smh, why waste mine and everyone else's time by making a song you clearly know is wack?? Doesn't make any sense to me and this was not the way to close this album.
Grade- D+

Aside from the closer, everything on this album showcased the best of the Juice Crew, lyrically and on the production side. The highlight here is clearly "The Symphony" and respectively everything else pales in comparison. Overall, this was very good in 88.

Final grade- B+


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