Perhaps no genre is as underrepresented in the catalogue world as modern hip-hop. Remastered and expanded editions are hard to come by, for whatever reason – be it sample clearance, market demand and the like. Universal Music Enterprises is doing their best to change that this year with a new wave of multi-format reissues called “Respect the Classics.”
“Respect the Classics” draws from critically-acclaimed titles in the Def Jam, Interscope, Priority, and Virgin Records discographies and represses them on CD or vinyl. Thus far, UMe’s reissued N.W.A.’s 1987 debut N.W.A. and The Posse on CD and their seminal Straight Outta Compton (1988) on 180-gram vinyl. They’ve also re-released two N.W.A. solo albums: Eazy-E’s Eazy-Duz-It (1988) gets the CD and LP treatment, while Ice Cube’s 1990 debut AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted is reissued on vinyl.
Most exciting for expanded reissue fans is a 25th anniversary edition of EPMD’s Strictly Business on CD. It’s appended with five bonus tracks, including remixes of “I’m Housin’,” “You Gots to Chill,” “You’re a Customer” and “It’s My Thing.” Eazy-Duz-It also features two bonus 12″ mixes on CD.
Three more waves of “Respect the Classics” reissues are planned for 2013, with eight more titles announced, as well:
- October 22: DMX’s It’s Dark and Hell is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, both released in 1998, will get double-vinyl reissues on gold and blood-splatter colored vinyl, respectively.
- November 12: Two Def Jam classics from 1988, Slick Rick’s The Great Adventures of Slick Rick and Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, will be reissued on vinyl. Additionally, 50 Cent’s 2003 debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ will receive a double-vinyl reissue.
- December 13: Gang Starr’s seminal Step in the Arena (1991) gets a vinyl reissue, while hardcore group Onyx’s debut Bacdafucup (1993) is reissued on CD.
- 2014: a host of vinyl reissues for modern hip-hop classics from the late ’90s and 2000s, including Tupac Shakur’s Greatest Hits (1998), Eminem’s major-label debut The Slim Shady LP (1999), Common’s acclaimed Like Water for Chocolate (2000), N.E.R.D.’s In Search of… (2001 – UMe indicates this will be a double-vinyl title, likely based on the 2002 rock-oriented mix/pressing), both albums by Eminem side-project D12 (Devil’s Night (2001) and D12 World (2004)), Lil Wayne’s The Carter (2004), and Kanye West’s polarizing electronic venture 808s & Heartbreak (2008).
In the meantime, keep checking UMe’s official Respect the Classics page for updates and trivia, and hit the jump for all the available titles.
N.W.A., N.W.A. and The Posse (CD) (released as Macola/Ruthless MRCLP 1057, 1987 – reissued Priority/UMe B001905xx-02, 2013)
- Boyz-N-the Hood
- 8 Ball
- Dunk the Funk
- A Bitch Iz a Bitch
- Drink It Up
- Panic Zone
- L.A. is the Place
- Tuffest Man Alive
- Fat Girl
- 3 the Hard Way
- Still Talkin’
- Nobody Move
- 2 Hard Mutha’s
- Boyz-N-the Hood (Remix)
- We Want Eazy
- Eazy-Er Said Than Dunn
- No More ?’s
- I’mma Break It Down
- Eazy Chapter 8 Verse 10
- We Want Eazy (12″ Remix) (12″ A-side – Ruthless/Priority VL 57110, 1988)
- Still Talkin’ (12″ Remix) (12″ B-side – Ruthless/Priority VL 57110, 1988)
N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton (LP) (originally released as Ruthless/Priority SL57102, 1988 – reissued Priority/UMe B0019004-01, 2013)
- Straight Outta Compton
- Fuck Tha Police
- Gangsta Gangsta
- If It Ain’t Ruff
- Parental Discretion Iz Advised
- Express Yourself
- Compton’s N the House (Remix)
- I Ain’t Tha 1
- Dopeman (Remix)
- Quiet on tha Set
EPMD, Strictly Business: 25th Anniversary Edition (CD) (originally released as Fresh Records LPRE-82006, 1988 – reissued Priority/UMe B0019008-02, 2013)
- Strictly Business
- I’m Housin’
- Let the Funk Flow
- You Gots to Chill
- It’s My Thing
- You’re a Customer
- The Steve Martin
- Get Off the Bandwagon
- D.J. K La Boss
- I’m Housin’ (U.K. Mix) (12″ B-side – Fresh Records FRE-80127, 1988)
- You Gots to Chill (Dub Version) (12″ B-side – Fresh Records FRE-80118, 1988)
- You Gots to Chill (Rapapella) (12″ B-side – Fresh Records FRE-80118, 1988)
- You’re a Customer (Dub Version) (12″ B-side – Fresh Records FRE-0014, 1987)
- It’s My Thing (Dub Version) (12″ B-side – Fresh Records FRE-0014, 1987)
Ice Cube, AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted (LP) (originally released as Priority SL57120, 1990 – reissued Priority/UMe B0019052-01, 2013)
- Better Off Dead
- The N***a Ya Love to Hate
- AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted
- What They Hittin’ Foe?
- You Can’t Fade Me (5 1/2. JD’s Gaffilin’)
- Once Upon a Time in the Projects
- Turn Off the Radio
- Endangered Species (Tales from the Darkside)
- A Gangsta’s Fairytale
- I’m Only Out for One Thang
- Get Off My D**k and Tell Yo B***h to Come Here
- The Drive-By
- Rollin’ Wit the Lench Mob
- Who’s the Mack?
- It’s a Man’s World
- The Bomb