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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Planet Rock: The Album

Afrika Bambaataa

The Soulsonic Force

1986

Planet Rock: The Album
Album Summary

Planet Rock: The Album is an old school hip hop album by Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force, released in 1986 as a collection of previous singles. The song "Planet Rock" was one of the earliest hits of the hip hop music genre and remains one of its pioneering recordings. The single's liner notes include members of Kraftwerk with the songwriting credits. In creating the track, portions of Kraftwerk's "Numbers" and "Trans-Europe Express" were interpolated (re-recorded in the studio, rather than through the use of a digital sampler), along with portions of songs by Captain Sky and Ennio Morricone.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.8

Votes

9113
Genres
Hip Hop

Reviews

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Wed Jun 08 2022
3

I've noticed that the 1001 albums list seems to comprise of two different types of albums. The first type are those that are those that are timeless, regardless of when they were released and can be enjoyed by multiple generations of music listeners. The other type are those that are historically significant but may not stand the test of time. I feel like this album is in the second category. It might be important to the development of hip-hop and I'm sure that if I grew up with it, the album would hold a special place for me. Listening to it the first time decades after it was released, it only sounds dated. There are some decent ideas on here and it's a pretty upbeat album from start to finish but there's other 80s rap that is far stronger.

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Wed Jan 04 2023
1

Wow. That's legitimately bad. I get that they were going for a "ground-breaking" and "genre-defining" album experience and maybe they achieved it for the time. But it aged very poorly. To a modern listener it just sounds like amateur hour at the college radio station. None of the songs go anywhere or say anything of note. It's an exceptionally empty and repetitive album.

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Fri Mar 25 2022
1

-Renegades of Funk is a banger, but RATM did a better version -Turns out this guy has been accused of sexually assaulting a bunch of boys, so 0/5, I guess.

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Wed Aug 10 2022
4

This stuff has been sampled and mapped over so many times, it's hard to think of what this must've felt like, hearing it for the first time. Great party energy, though it did fall into the background. Thought that's probably because of repetition - it alll already sounds so familiar. I'll give it an extra star since, when I was a kid, I thought Afrika Bambaataa and Mr. T were the same person and that seems wrong.

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Sun Mar 06 2022
2

I don't want to live on this planet any more.

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Wed May 04 2022
5

Honestly if I were rating purely off enjoyment I might not give it 5 stars, but it's impossible to separate this music from how hugely important and influential it was to the early years of hip hop.

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Thu Dec 16 2021
4

Cool to see the proto-Chicago house AND proto-hip hop here all mixed together. This album rules. Definitely a bit dated feeling but in a "Seinfeld is unfunny" way to a degree.

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Fri Mar 11 2022
4

Even if I heard this album many years ago, listening to it today was a total discovery. As I checked the site and was about to play it I was readying myself for an old school rap record. To my surprise I was met by something much more rewarding.  First of, all the songs here kind of sound like Rockit by Herbie Hancock, which is not a bad thing at all. They also have a lively feeling to them, as if they were actually played and not sampled. Further research revealed that indeed, many parts were re-recorded rather than sampled from the original recordings Then I am reading that this is the first electro album ever made, a genre I am not really familiar with and that I will explore in the next few days.  And that's exactly what is interesting in this process: either you get a chance to discover something that you had never heard about, or you get a chance to listen again to some classics you hadn't heard in a while. And then there is the possibility of experiencing an album you already knew as if it were your first time ever, rediscovering aspects that weren't there before. Because we too are like musical instruments: the more you listen, with curiosity and open mind, the more you are fine tuned into a better understanding. 

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Sun Mar 20 2022
2

In historical context this album is very important for electro and hip-hop, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's still interesting to actually listen to today. One of the problems of being the genre-definer is that once everything you do has been imitated, you end up looking pretty generic. A higher rating for significance, but for my personal enjoyment I can't go above a 2.

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Wed Jun 01 2022
5

Intergalactic paedo-ing. Hyperspace kiddy fiddling. Absolute nonce-sense.

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Fri Feb 10 2023
5

The album name and cover had me real worried, not gunna lie. I had a HUGE gut reaction assumption that this record was going to be a major pile of crap. But it's actually FUCKING AMAZING!! I love it. Socially conscious, inspired, unabashedly oddball and cool at the same time; all the elements I like blended up into one funky non-stop party groove. And Renegades of Funk... omg that has been one of my favourite RATM songs for decades!! I love hearing the original track, it's so good too! I'm so happy my extremely unfair bias has been proven resoundingly wrong this morning. Zulu nation!!!

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Fri Sep 23 2022
4

The keys on the opening tracks are immaculate; Could have been recorded today; Give me Sun Ra via funk. There's less musical material in the songs here, so it's a listen best left in context: Hip-hop has other realms to explore nowadays. The rest of the scratching and posse-cutting is about what one would expect, adding up to an essential listen with a little filler.

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Sun Dec 17 2023
4

Delicious Afro-synth music from the 80s.

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Thu Mar 17 2022
3

I enjoyed this one. The hip hop and electronica fusion works. Of interest is that I'm not sure I would have enjoyed it in 1986. I'll say my music taste has progressed although some might say the opposite.

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Fri Jun 03 2022
3

Genre: Electro 3/5 An interesting exploration in electro instrumentals with the addition of hip hop vocals, with the song Planet Rock being one of the first singles to truly synthesize the two sounds, this compilation based around that single is a time capsule, showcasing some of the earliest rap singles around. The unfortunate context behind this album, that Afrika Bambaataa (Lance Taylor) is an all-but-jailed, quite prolific sexual offender, does sour some of what's going on. It's always difficult to look beyond sex crimes in art, especially when it deals with minors, so unfortunately this project is stained. However, the music that lies within is some of the most influential and important hip hop music ever produced, and is an essential listen in that regard. Planet Rock, the aforementioned, very important song, is now viewed and listened to as an "old-school hip hop" track, but that does it a disservice. It's essentially one of the earliest songs that set the instrumental template for what would be a whole decade's worth of rap music. The rest of the songs play out pretty much as you'd expect, break beats with the occasional verse and hook, with nothing from the back half sounding particularly exciting. What was exciting, though, was listening to the OG Renegades of Funk, and becoming more and more impressed with Rage Against the Machine's near perfect cover of it. Other than those two big tracks, this album is rather forgettable, unfortunately tainted with nonce behavior, but it's not offensive sonically. This will probably do wonders for those who truly love instrumental hip hop and are interested in its earliest fossils.

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Thu Jan 18 2024
1

Dudes talking over lame instrumentals. I had to do push-ups to keep myself invested.

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Wed Jun 01 2022
5

This record will make your dick bleed so much, that it will force you to tear it off and feed it to a baby chimpanzee for supper.

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Sun Mar 19 2023
5

Absolute genius. One of the best to ever do it, and also one of the first. Anyone who claims to love hip-hop, but doesn't know of the founders, is missing out massively. This album in particular makes me want to set up a class teaching the youngsters about the early days and the golden age!

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Wed Mar 29 2023
5

I rather enjoyed listening to this. Clearly a source of a lot of beats and samples.

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Sun Apr 09 2023
5

Last year I bought a cheap Sanyo music centre, and unexpectedly it came with a few recorded cassettes. One of the cassettes was a recording of a radio show from 1984. It was an interesting blast from the past, especially some of the news reports throughout the radio show. One of the things I thought interesting was a claim from some scientist about how breakdancing could contribute to hair loss. Yeah honestly, if this was the sort of thing that people were breakdancing to back in the mid 80s, I can see it. I thought this was a really fun album, and judging by when it came out I can imagine this had an influence on both hip hop and house music going into the late 80s and 90s, while interpolating and drawing influence from Kraftwerk. It's undeniably aged, but I don't care. This was just a really fun and groovy album. Favourite: Planet Rock

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Thu Jun 29 2023
5

One of the originals and one of the best

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Wed Aug 16 2023
5

HAIKU REVIEW Old school MCs serve Kraftwerk and break beats making Something much bigger

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Fri Sep 15 2023
5

This is where it all began. Prior to listening I had not realised how ingrained in our collective consciousness, this album was. You may not know or like that genre but the chances are you are already familiar with the work.

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Mon Nov 06 2023
5

A retro futuristic concept of a Zulu Nation out in space with an avant garde sound that is both funky and techno, with some of the most memorable early hip hop tunes to booth? This album is a masterpiece and it’s also super fun.

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Wed Dec 06 2023
5

FUCK YES!!!!!!!! The sound of my childhood. 10000 stars!

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Thu Dec 21 2023
5

Absolutely world class hip hop. So much going on! There isn’t a single weak track on the album 4.6

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Tue Dec 28 2021
4

A really fun album. It is old school hip hop so it's great.

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Sun Jan 02 2022
4

Bizarrely, I was listening to the Swordfish soundtrack earlier today for the first time in absolute years - it has a version of Planet Rock on it, a song I am very familiar with. I was not however, familiar with any of the other songs on this album and it turned out to be startingly inventive, groovy and totally rocking in parts. Wish I could have gotten hold of this way back when I discovered electro for the first time.

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Sun Jan 16 2022
4

Very spacy, not my cup of tea though

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Fri Mar 11 2022
4

-4 might be a bit high, probably a low 4, but it's been my favorite hip hop album so far, I think -Pretty cool instrumentals overall I like the use of stereo in quite a few of the tracks -Fun fast rhyme on "Renegades of Funk - The Latin Remix" -Great bass lines in "Who You Funkin' With?" and "They made A Mistake"

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Fri Mar 25 2022
4

Didn't Mr. Bambaataa get Me-Too'd? Not that it would matter too much- Michael will never be dropped from GOAT status, so why not keep this on? This is pretty fun, but like a lot of early hip-hop, it doesn't have a whole lot of shelf life for me. I appreciate the beats and some of the production choices, but it's not one that I'll ever put on regularly. Still, when I do, it's terrific background noise. B-

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Fri Apr 22 2022
4

This was old school, break dancing cool. I really enjoyed the beats they were putting down. Very enjoyable and I say I was initially put off but the album cover.

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Fri May 27 2022
4

I'm sorry, but an average of below 3 stars is criminal here. I'm not even a hip-hop fan!

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Sun Aug 14 2022
4

Another album that you can see throughout music and culture.

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Thu Aug 25 2022
4

Very cool album. Enjoy every track. Wasn’t blown away or truly invested tho.

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Mon Sep 05 2022
4

It’s definitely a fun part album. I don’t know if I’d listen to it regularly but I can see myself coming back to it occasionally. I like how different their sound is. It can be a bit cheesy but I like that

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Fri Sep 23 2022
4

7/10. Funky fun, with occasional annoying electronic distortion.

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Wed Sep 28 2022
4

Grab your Kangol, your shell toes and get ready to bust some moves.

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Fri Oct 07 2022
4

Wasn't expecting a rap album tbh

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Wed Oct 26 2022
4

after the 12” songs > before the 12” songs

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Fri Nov 04 2022
4

I haven't been up to date with all the things happening around Afrika Bambaataa so I'll ignore that and just focus on the album and not the person. Legendary old school hip-hop. Afrika Bambaataa delivers splendid beats and the level of production is hard to find in todays mainstream hip-hop with some exceptions like Run the Jewels. This is definitely worth a listen if you're interested in hip-hop. A fun fact is that Rage Against the Machine got a cover for Renegades of Funk that's even better than the original.

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Fri Nov 11 2022
4

I don't know if this formally could be called go go but it's adjacent and I have gotten a lot of exposure and respect for that genre in the last few years.

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Thu Jan 12 2023
4

1. Hip-hop isn't a favourite of mine. 2. Electronica isn't a favourite of mine. 3. It's dated. 4. Despite the three strikes I like this. It just sounds like they're having a whole bunch of fun and that means that the listener is having fun too. Who You Funkin' With has the funkiest bass and some of the funniest raps. I'm in the uncomfortable position of debating between 4 and 5 stars.

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Thu Jan 19 2023
4

An electronic funk spin on what feels like east coast rap to me

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Wed Jan 25 2023
4

Somehow simultaneously laid back and ready for a party

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Thu Jan 26 2023
4

Peace, Unity, Love and Having Fun: the motto of the Universal Zulu Nation. Fun album, I can picture kids breakin' in Harlem project common areas to the new electronic and rap sounds of Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force circa 1979. Planet Rock and Looking for a Beat are great jams. A party album through and through.

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Sun Jan 29 2023
4

nice блин я их откуда-то знаю, но откуда не могу вспомнить...

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Sun Feb 12 2023
4

Me ha gustado más de lo que esperaba. Como hip hop rap africano, pero guay.

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Fri Feb 17 2023
4

It's interesting to consider how this is pretty much contemporary with the Run D.M.C. album from a few days ago, but seems like an entirely different era. I guess the progression of the "schools" of rap and hip-hop is pretty damn compressed. Still liked this a lot, crazy glam space flare and all. Very funky.

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Wed Mar 08 2023
4

Fun album. Lots of these songs I recognize as samples from a lot of hip hop I’ve heard through the years. Fun, upbeat, good beats, solid 4!

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Fri Mar 17 2023
4

When I first heard the ‘Planet Rock’ single, in 1982 or ‘83, I couldn’t believe my ears. I was a proper post-punk, futurist kid. My modern world revolved around the synthesiser’s song, to quote Ultravox, and Kraftwerk were the Godfathers of this sound. Then I heard this… hey, this is Kraftwerk’s ‘Trans Europe Express’ with people talking over it? Talking in a ridiculous rhythmic and rhyming fashion, with more drums and bass added?! What the fuck, how DARE they!? Hang on…..it’s…..quite good….it’s actually brilliant!! ‘Planet Rock’ led me down a new path. Hip-hop, or ‘Electro’, as we knew it back then, opened up a new world of music for me; funk, go-go, techno, and house. Music in technicolour! Returning to this album; released in ‘86, it was four years after the original release of the ‘Planet Rock’ single, and it’s a bit of a catch-up. Still fabulous though.

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Wed Mar 29 2023
4

The production on the album doesn’t exactly hold up. I would have picked something more recent if there’s only one Afrika Bambaataa album listed. Putting that aside, there’s a lot here to enjoy.

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Sun Apr 16 2023
4

Classic album, highly influential and the beats are still great.

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Thu Apr 20 2023
4

As I expected from the cover, funky groovy and a bit wacky.

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Thu Apr 20 2023
4

Interesting and enjoyable throwback.

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Thu Apr 20 2023
4

Some old school hip-hop...awesome! Well, at least I thought that it would be and then the thrill kind of died as it started to sound a bit stale to me.

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Thu Apr 20 2023
4

Although this was new music to me, it was a very nostalgic listen. Record scratches! Simple lyrics! Quite a lot of fun!

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Sat May 27 2023
4

Well this is nothing but entertaining

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Tue Jun 06 2023
4

I enjoyed it a lot, but it lacks something (I can't identify precisely what) to be a perfect 5-star record. Classical albums are defined as it, usually, for fair reasons and this is not different, even with this lack of some spicy that I expect in this kind of music. So I hope to have more Afrika Bambaataa on the 1001 list to try again and ensure that the problem was me or my mood and not the album.

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Fri Jun 09 2023
4

Funky as hell. I loved the rhythms and beats of the record throughout. I was unprepared for how much I enjoyed this one.

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Sun Jun 11 2023
4

Highly influential early hip-hop.

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Tue Jun 20 2023
4

8/10 such a fun, groovy, funky album it has a lot going for it, and while it might be a little rough in some parts, they had a great vision and stuck with it very well

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Wed Jun 21 2023
4

A classic, but of course a little bit dated. I would say a high 4 though.

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Wed Jun 21 2023
4

This was exactly as good of a time as the album cover promised me. It's a shame the dude is a pest.

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Thu Jun 29 2023
4

Uh oh another fun early rap album what are we to do? Uh oh more bitching cover art what are we to do?

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Fri Jul 14 2023
4

funky funk that gets extra funky

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Thu Jul 20 2023
4

Here we come to yet another album with a complicated history. In terms of legacy, this album is titanic in hip-hop history, collecting a set of singles that were massively influential in developing the sound profile of early hip-hop and the electro subgenre. Afrika Bambaataa was huge in early hip-hop. Unfortunately, he was also a huge child molester, which is a sentiment that I wish I didn't have to express about so many artists on this list (seriously, what the fuck was wrong with rock stars in the 70s?). The music on the album is actually really cool given the technology that they were working with. For as much as 808s are discussed lovingly today, they often sound a bit thin on the track, but they fit in really well here, especially on Looking For the Perfect Beat. The synthesizers are similarly really cool, and the mix is really powerful. The rapping is...well it's early rap. Luckily, groups like Run DMC were about to come along and teach folks how to rap with style. Luckily, they tend to employ a lot of repetition and call and response, so the rapping generally doesn't weigh down the songs too much 4/5

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Wed Jul 26 2023
4

The funky beginning to many great records

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Wed Aug 02 2023
4

Me ha gustado más de lo que esperaba. Como hip hop rap africano, pero guay.

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Thu Aug 10 2023
4

interesting early hi-hop record. advanced for its period. 8/10.

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Sun Aug 27 2023
4

Opener is an all time great. rest of the album doesn't hold that standard but some great musical journeys which have been so influential bringing genres together and still sounds fresh and modern despite being sampled to death. 3.9

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Thu Sep 07 2023
4

Absolutely love the title track -- big fan -- was absolutely huge when I was a VJ back in the mid 1980s. Didn't find the "album" was really worthwhile, though. It's just an assemblage of singles in varying quality, none of them as good as Planet Rock.

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Wed Sep 27 2023
4

Hip, elevating and totally DIY, with the bleeping Euro-Kraut-y action adding considerably to the pleasing vibes. Seems the genuine article and an authentic record of being present at the creation. The influence could not be more obvious; “Who You Funkin With?” makes Run DMC sound like an AB tribute act. They get plenty of mileage out of a pretty spare palette and toolset. See “Go Go Pop,” which grooves refreshingly and jazzily, and pleases fully, within a quite limited range, both sonically and lyrically. “They Made a Mistake” wins through some surprising hooks, bells and whistles.

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Wed Oct 25 2023
4

Afrika Bambaataa Oke, dit is even heel iets anders, hoor ik daar nu hiphop op elektrobeats? Uit welk jaar komt dit? 1986?! Dit kan ik zeker waarderen, al komt het nu wel licht gedateerd over. Een ervaring is het zeker. Het zijn niet de allerbeste bars (Zih Zih Zih Zih Zih), maar het werkt wel voor mij. De raps zijn bijna aandoenlijk, alsof het babys first rhymes zijn haha. Maar ooh jee, wat zijn sommige van die beats lekker zeg. Waar het in Planet Rock allemaal een beetje stereotiep en bijna als parodie voelt, zijn de andere nummers stukken beter. They Made a Mistake heeft wel de meest standaard beat, jammer, maar nog steeds erg funky Oh wacht, er zitten toch nog wat vreemde, spacende stukjes in, loev het Sommige nummers duren net wat lang, anders had dit zomaar 5 sterren kunnen zijn. Favo's: Looking for the Perfect Beat, Renegades of Funk, Who You Funkin' With?

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Fri Oct 27 2023
4

This album was a lot of fun, some nice 80s electro hip-hop

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Thu Nov 09 2023
4

This is an interesting band. Super funky and the album art is hilarious. Yo what the fuck they have a track on here called Renegades of Funk. Did Beastie Boys cover this track?? I thought that was their own original song. Well half way through that track now and I don't think it's anything like the beastie boys song. HAHAHA I'm retarded I meant Rage Against the Machine this whole time. lol Who You Funkin With. I like that title.

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Tue Dec 19 2023
4

never ask a woman her age, a man his salary, Wikipedia why we don't hear about Afrika Bambaataa anymore If I'm going to be honest, this is pretty enjoyable 80's hip-hop for me (though I'd rank Paul's Boutique, It Takes A Nation of Millions, 3 Feet High & Rising, etc. all higher) Maybe it's just been a good day for me, or maybe it's the blend of rap, funk & electronica doing something to transcend its 80's-ness HL: title track, "Renegades of Funk", "Looking for the Perfect Beat", "Go Go Pop" December 18, 2023

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Sun Dec 31 2023
4

Second time I listened to it and now I actually liked it. Don’t know what changed but I I had fun listening to it

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