“Rock this at the drop of a dime baby…” It only seems fitting that the man who pioneered the use of sampling in Hip Hop, solidifying himself as a legend early on with such a gigantic innovation in recorded music, would also become the first producer in rap to have a successful album showcasing his ability behind the boards, putting the role of Hip Hop producer in a spotlight it had never received previously.
In the early 1980s at the beginning of his career, Marley Marl was taken under the wing of original Juice Crew members, Mr. Magic and Fly Ty, and given a life changing opportunity to replace the deceased DJ Junebug as the official DJ for the legendary New York City rap show “Mr. Magic’s Rap Attack.” This experience, coupled with his internship at Unique Studios under the likes of another iconic producer in his own right, Arthur Baker, were the seeds that not only helped Marley understand how a record was produced, but also served as a launch pad for him to develop his own recording techniques and earn his own credits on early Hip Hop and electro classics.
By 1988, Marley Marl was the man. His production and connections had catapulted him to being the “in-house” producer for the second coming of the Juice Crew, earning him undeniable Hip Hop classic hits like MC Shan’s “The Bridge,” Big Daddy Kane’s “Aint No Half Steppin’,” Kool G Rap and DJ Polo’s “It’s A Demo,” and Biz Markie’s “Nobody Beats The Biz,” among many others. In Control: Volume 1 came together with ease, as Marley had some of the greatest rappers in the world to contribute to his stellar production. A complete album billed to a producer, as opposed to a rapper, was a new concept at the time, and Cold Chillin’ was all for it and eager to make it happen.
With it’s impeccable balance of having the hottest rappers out at the time on his side (MC Shan, Biz Markie, Heavy D, Roxanne Shante, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane), juxtaposed with featuring the newest talent on the rise in the Juice Crew (Craig G, Masta Ace, Tragedy [Intelligient Hoodlum]), In Control easily can be identified now as a truly classic Hip Hop record. From it’s iconic cover, it’s unbelievable production, and it’s wonderful timing to capture the Juice Crew, perhaps the most prolific rap super groups of all time, in their prime in the golden age of 1988, the album is an accomplishment that simply can never be matched in Hip Hop again by ANY collective. And who can forget “The Symphony,” a true classic. Featuring Masta Ace, Craig G, Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane, the song embodies all a posse record and classic single should be. The type of track that is revisited still to this day, as people love to hear each member’s accounts of its origin and recording.
Fully re-mastered, restored and expanded beautifully for the first time since it’s original release, we’re honored to present Marley Marl’s In Control: Volume 1, the deluxe edition.