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Giant Single: The Profile Records Rap Anthology

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13/1/2012

Review

Profile released a stack of R&B, freestyle, punk, rock, and reggae records, but scholars of '80s and '90s rap see Steve Plotnicki and Cory Robbins' venture as a crucial source with a rep as indisputable as that of any other rap label. For evidence, check Ego Trip's compulsory Book of Rap Lists, where roughly half of the 31 tracks compiled here made the authors' collaborative year-based charts. Giant Single is a long-overdue two-disc compilation that covers Profile's rap output, from Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde's "Genius Rap" (featuring future label executive Andre Harrell) to Camp Lo's "Luchini (aka This Is It)" -- two buoyant party anthems separated by 15 years. During that decade-and-a-half span, the label covered many of the styles and trends within hip-hop while developing an aesthetic that earned each release buy-on-sight or must-hear status from the likes of DJ Jazzy Jeff and heavyweight A&R man Dante Ross. The label's biggest act was easily Run-D.M.C. Two of the hardest tracks from Hollis' finest are here, along with "Walk This Way," their crossover-smash duel with Aerosmith. The only other artist with more than one track is Dana Dane, a humorous storyteller who adopted a fake English accent -- he had been a member of the Kangol Crew with British-American schoolmate Slick Rick -- and went gold. Even without the contributions of Run-D.M.C. and Dana Dane, the set would be essential. Any comp that boasts a varied range of classics like Rammellzee vs. K-Rob's "Beat Bop," Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock's platinum "It Takes Two," Special Ed's "I Got It Made," Poor Righteous Teachers' "Rock Dis Funky Joint," DJ Quik's "Born and Raised in Compton," and Smoothe da Hustler's "Broken Language" makes that grade. Not every track of creative and/or commercial significance is included; the Cold Crush Brothers' "Fresh, Fly, Wild, and Bold," Eric B. & Rakim's "Eric B. Is President" (issued on sublabel Zakia), and N2DEEP's "Back to the Hotel" do not appear, possibly due to licensing issues. Still, Giant Single is a crucial part of hip-hop history. Testimonials from 16 hip-hop figures, along with sharp liner notes from Dan Charnas (onetime Profile employee and author of The Big Payback), only add value. ~ Andy Kellman
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Genius Rap Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde 4:41
  3. 2 Whip Rap Disco Four 4:33
  4. 3 Beat Bop 6:9
  5. 4 Fresh Fresh 3 MC's 3:53
  6. 5 Here Comes That Beat! Pumpkin & The Profile All-Stars 6:48
  7. 6 King Kut Word of Mouth 4:27
  8. 7 Sucker M.C.'s (Krush-Groove 1) Run DMC 3:7
  9. 8 A Fly Guy Pebblee-Poo 7:16
  10. 9 Nightmares Dana Dane 5:17
  11. 10 Get Off My Tip! Masterdon Committee 5:18
  12. 11 Lies, Lies Rap-O-Matic Ltd. 4:38
  13. 12 I Can't Wait (To Rock the Mike) Spyder-D 4:4
  14. 13 Drag Rap Showboys 6:3
  15. 14 It's My Beat Sweet Tee & Jazzy Joyce 4:38
  16. 15 Ragamuffin Hip-Hop Asher D 5:31
  17. 1 Walk This Way Aerosmith 3:38
  18. 2 Cinderfella Dana Dane Dana Dane 5:23
  19. 3 It Takes Two Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock 4:59
  20. 4 Beats to the Rhyme Run DMC 2:41
  21. 5 Give 'Em a Sample Too Kool Posse 4:29
  22. 6 I Got It Made Special Ed 3:40
  23. 7 Do It to the Crowd Twin Hype 5:0
  24. 8 Hey Love King Sun 6:6
  25. 9 Ah, and We Do It Like This Onyx 5:8
  26. 10 Rock Dis Funky Joint Poor Righteous Teachers 5:11
  27. 11 Born and Raised in Compton DJ Quik 3:25
  28. 12 Be True to Yourself 2nd II None 2:45
  29. 13 Zulu War Chant Time Zone 5:8
  30. 14 Whutcha Want? Nine 4:51
  31. 15 Broken Language Smoothe Da Hustler 3:53
  32. 16 Luchini aka (This Is It) Camp Lo 3:59

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