Review: Hip Hop Family Tree Volume 4

I remember the first time I heard Eric B & Rakim, his voice was not like anything else in hip-hop at the time. The first song from the duo that captivated my ears, was “Let the Rhythm Hit Em”, a sonic tour de force that would have been pedestrian in lesser hands. In Rakim’s calming baritone and, and elusive wordplay, it became juggernaut, which in my mind, made rhyming, a skill. Rakim, was the one emcee, who became the standard for all other rappers to compare themselves to, and although the music’s standards have changed, he is still a revered figure.

I remember my friends talking about rappers Like Schooly D and Doug E Fresh. This was when rappers had to be clever and have a message.  In this fourth volume of Hip Hop Family Tree, it delves into those two epic years, 1984-1985. The reader finds out How not only Rakim but Biz Markie became superstars and changed the musical landscape forever.

The reader is introduced to Egyptian Lover at the height of the infamous “pause tapes”. Creator Ed Piskor also gets into the influence of funk music had on early Hip Hop especially the Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown. The reader is also taken to the West Coast, where a local LA radio station, KDAY, becomes the first of its kind, a radio station to play hip hop 24/7/365. Lastly, the reader is introduced to epic battle between the rappers from the Bronx i.e. KRS One and BDP and the rappers from Queens i.e. MC Shan.

Overall, an excellent volume in this epic series, which is to say the very least, magnificent. The story by Piskor, always well researched and contains as much as any soap opera. The art by Piskor, gives the reader, more than serves the subject matter. Altogether, a superior installment

Story: Ed Piskor Art: Ed Piskor
Story:10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy