SummaryEvery creative act, no matter how edgy and forward thinking, has some precedent. Even the most progressive artist, no matter how groundbreaking, cannot deny a connection to an earlier era of genius. In few places is this link more evident than in hip-hop, an art form built on musical artifacts and hooks from decades past, reconfigured and reinterpreted via contemporary recording and sampling technology.
And judging from the sounds of modern-day hip-hop, artists from Stax Records were prominent figures in those record collections. Stax, re-launched in 2007 as a division of Concord Music Group, offers a glimpse of hip-hop's roots with the release of The Soul of Hip Hop, Volume I, a collection of classic tracks from the '60s and '70s. The 14 songs featured in this first volume are just a few of the Stax gems that have since become sampling mainstays for some of the most prominent hip-hop artists of the past two decades - all of whom owe an incalculable debt to the label's rich legacy of soul, R&B and funk.
The compilation is a testament to the enormous influence of the Stax sound, energy and attitude on the entire hip-hop generation. The Soul of Hip Hop, Volume I features hits from Stax luminaries like Isaac Hayes, Booker T. & The MGs, The Emotions, The Bar-Kays, The Dramatics, Rufus Thomas, William Bell, David Porter and Little Milton. Since the '80s, these artists and their classic recordings featured here have become source material for rap and hip-hop artists and producers like Rakim, DJ HiTek, Cypress Hill, DJ Muggs, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, DJ Quik, Ice Cube, Notorious B.I.G., Wu-Tang Clan, RZA and so many more.
Apart from its undeniable influence on the hip-hop generation, Stax Records holds a pivotal place in American music history as one of the most popular soul music record labels of all time - second only to Motown in sales and influence, but first in gritty, raw, Southern-steeped soul music. In its heyday throughout the '60s and early '70s, Stax placed more than 167 hit songs on Billboard's Hot 100 pop charts as well as a staggering 243 hits on the R&B charts.
Stax Records continues to define the sound of beats in the world of hip-hop and popular music. No one could have ever predicted that decades after they closed their doors in Memphis, Stax Records would be opening the consciousness of an entirely new generation. The vintage tracks featured here truly represent The Soul of Hip-Hop.
All-Star Set Includes Isaac Hayes, Booker T & The MGs, The Emotions, William Bell, David Porter, The Bar-Kays, The Dramatics, Rufus Thomas, Little Milton and many more