For no particular reason, I seem to have developed a yearning for the old school rap of the 80s these days. So I went back to my extended record collection and picked up a few rap songs from the 80s that are way cooler than anything Kanye can come up with these days.
1. Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick – Ladi Dadi
Doug E. Fresh was pretty much among the first “human beatboxes”, and easily one of the best. Ladi Dadi is that quirky, funny rap song that was so typical of the 80’s. There’s perennial confusion if this song was named ‘Lodi Dodi’ or ‘La Di Da Di’, but I choose to go with ‘Ladi Dadi’. Remember that famous line from Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” – la di da da? I just can’t help but think of that movie when I hear this song…
2. Beastie Boys – (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (to Party)
I’ve always been amazed by the kind of longevity the Beastie Boys have had. Other rappers from the 80’s are either doing some ridiculous movies (LL Cool J in Deep Blue Sea, Ice Cube in pretty much everything, for instance), or have turned being an idiot into a full time business (I’m talking Flavor Flav). The Beastie Boys, though, are still making decent, if not awesome music.
This (along with ‘Sabotage’) is one of my favorite 80s rap song. Check out the video below and you’ll know why.
3. Run D.M.C. – King of Rock
Pretty much anything by the Run D.M.C. could’ve made this list. This rap supergroup had an awesome reputation for churning out hits after hits. ‘King of Rock’, which should ideally have been ‘King of Rap’, is a definite D.M.C. track.
4. Ice-T – Colors
Ice-T was instrumental in pioneering gangsta rap, and Colors is easily one of his best song. ‘Nuff said:
5. MC Hammer – You Can’t Touch This
I hate to say it, but this super idiotic song that ideally shouldn’t be here because it was released in 1990 (who cares..) was just too catchy to ignore. If I had a dollar for each time someone said to me ‘Stop! Hammertime!’, I should be a millionaire by now, but love it or hate it, ‘You Can’t Touch This’ is just too sticky to ignore.