E-40, Young MC and Chief Keef Coming to VMP Hip-Hop

On December 16, 2021

If you sign up for VMP Hip-Hop for January, February and March 2022, you’ll experience rap picks from the West Coast to the Midwest, with Records of the Month from E-40, Young MC and Chief Keef.

January: E-40’s Tha Hall of Game

For the first VMP Hip-Hop release of 2022, members will receive E-40’s Tha Hall of Game. A contemporary of Tupac and Biggie, E-40 is a titan of West Coast rap from the Bay Area. His sophomore record, Tha Hall of Game, is what put him on the map as an artist to watch in the ’90s. The first explicit version of the record on vinyl, our edition is pressed on 2LP “Rapper’s Ball Red” Galaxy vinyl, with lacquers cut by Barry Grint at Alchemy Mastering at AIR, and comes with new Listening Notes written by David Ma.

About the selection of this record, VMP Classics & Country Director Andrew Winistorfer said, “E-40’s Tha Hall of Game is a seminal West Coast rap album, one that established E-40 as a King of Rap. We were shocked to find that it has never been released in its complete form on vinyl before, where you can hear E-40 morph from a Bay Area legend into a rap music legend before your ears.”

Winistorfer added, “E-40 is one of the most compelling rappers to ever live, someone who you could listen to rap the phone book and never grow tired of. We're honored to present his masterpiece here in our Hip-Hop subscription.”

Sign up now to receive Tha Hall of Game.

February: Young MC’s Stone Cold Rhymin’

Contrary to Tha Hall of Game, the February Record of the Month, Young MC’s Stone Cold Rhymin’, contains zero curse words — no edited version necessary. Notable for the smash hit “Bust A Move,” Stone Cold Rhymin’ was a landmark record for the NYC-born, LA-based rapper, who found a home in Delicious Vinyl. This exclusive edition comes on 180g “Stone Gold & Red” vinyl, with lacquers cut by Cicely Balston at Alchemy Mastering at AIR, and comes with Listening Notes from Peter Relic.

VMP Country & Classics Director Andrew Winistorfer said of the album, “Young MC’s Stone Cold Rhymin’ is like a big boom for the poppier end of rap, an album that showcases that rap music could be as catchy, danceable and fun as the R&B and New Jack Swing that was taking over the pop charts in the late ’80s. Produced by the same guys who produced Paul’s Boutique for the Beastie Boys and Odelay for Beck, it’s endlessly inventive and ahead of its time for its ‘everyone in the pool’ production style. This was an early aesthetic masterclass in rap production and party rhyming.”

He added, “We haven’t done many ’80s albums in the Hip-Hop subscription, but are glad to go back to this era for Young MC.”

Our edition of Stone Cold Rhymin’ will be available for sign-ups starting January 20.

March: Chief Keef’s Finally Rich

In March, members of the VMP Hip-Hop Track will receive Chief Keef’s debut album, Finally Rich. Like the title says, this record is about reaching luxury: success inseparable from the context of navigating violence on the South Side of Chicago. The first-ever vinyl release of Finally Rich, our edition is pressed on 2LP $ilver & Black Galaxy vinyl, with lacquers cut by Cicely Balston at Alchemy Mastering at AIR and new Listening Notes from Sheldon Pearce.

“Chief Keef was, briefly, the most notorious rapper on earth, as the Chicago teen took his Drill sound from the Windy City to the world in 2011 and 2012,” said VMP Country & Classics Director Andrew Winistorfer. He added, “It’s easy to look at the fallout — radio hits, Kanye collabs, drill somehow becoming the music of the U.K. rap scene, Chief Keef having to more or less flee Chicago when he couldn't perform or live his life to the fullest at home anymore — and forget the journey, which included Finally Rich, one of the most influential rap albums of the last decade. It’s possible to chart entire generations of rappers who have come and gone from this album, and nothing since has hit as hard as ‘Don't Like.’

“This is a record that belongs in every rap-lovers collection, and thanks to our Hip-Hop subscription, it now can, since it’s appearing on vinyl for the first time here,” Winistorfer said.

You can get our edition of Finally Rich starting February 17.

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