REVIEW: Afrika Bambaataa – Looking For The Perfect Beat 1980-1985

Looking For The Perfect Beat 1980-1985

Artist: Afrika Bambaataa

Album: Looking For The Perfect Beat 1980-1985

Label: Tommy Boy

Rating: 9.5 / 10

Reviewer: A to the L

I think I have nearly every track on here spread out over a series of old tapes. ‘Planet Rock’ is on the tape that never moves out of my car, one of the throwdowns is on an old school tape I made around 15 years ago, and I still rock every couple of months. The list goes on… so its nice to see that Tommy Boy have continued their reissue series by putting all these gems onto one cd. Now anyone who has any inkling of what Hiphop is about, how it started, and what it means, KNOWS that Bambaataa IS Hiphop. It was Bam (along with Kool Herc) who was there at the very start. It was Bam who pushed the boundaries by fucking with electro beats. It was Bam who got down with James Brown – repping Hiphop at a time when the Godfather of Soul was flinging sampling lawsuits at rap artists left, right and centre.

Most of all Bambaataa did (and still does) represent the era when Hiphop was fun. When emcees weren’t talking about “nigga this, nigga that”, or guns and bitches. When a freestyle really did come “off the dome”. When rap songs were 7 and 8 minutes long. That whole attitude is so refreshing today, when so much of today’s Hiphop music is stale.

All the classics are here – the two ‘Zulu Nation Throwdowns’ that I remember – one with the Cosmic Force (doo-doo doo doo-doo!) and the Soulsonic Force, ‘Jazzy Sensation’ with Jazzy Jay, ‘Planet Rock’, ‘Looking For The Perfect Beat’, ‘Renegades of Funk’… its a role call of historic cuts, and one that really makes you appreciative of the hard road this pioneer walked to bring rap music to public attention in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

For those in the same boat as me – grab this – you’ll appreciate that all this shit is in one place. For those who weren’t there the first time around – grab this and get an education. Back to the old school…. and ya don’t stop!

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