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Our next three Hip-Hop Records of the Month — which you’ll receive if you sign up for VMP Hip-Hop in July, August and September 2022 — feature three landmark debut albums, including the origin story of a foundational hip-hop duo, a horrorcore classic and West Coast blockbuster. Read below to find out more.
July: Gang Starr’s No More Mr. Nice Guy
In July, VMP Hip-Hop members will receive the foundational debut from Gang Starr, 1989’s No More Mr. Nice Guy. The first official 2LP release of the record — including rare and previously unreleased bonus tracks — our exclusive edition comes on Red & White vinyl, with lacquers cut by Barry Grint at Alchemy Mastering at AIR and Listening Notes by Dean Van Nguyen.
VMP Hip-Hop Director Marcus J. Moore said of the record, “This album chronicles the beginning of one of rap’s most storied groups. Though Gang Starr’s future releases earned more critical acclaim, you can’t tell the full story of Guru and DJ Premier without shedding proper light on No More Mr. Nice Guy, a foundational mix of rhymes and beats that should be given its proper due.”
The second LP of our exclusive edition contains three bonus tracks previously released on CD but not vinyl (“Here’s The Proof,” “The Lesson” and “Dedication”) and two tracks that haven’t been reissued on vinyl since 1992 (remixes of “Positivity” and “Manifest”), along with four tracks that are released here for the first time — “Dedication (Dub Version),” “Gusto (Instrumental),” “So What (Dub Version)” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy (Return of the Bass Version).”
Sign up now to receive No More Mr. Nice Guy.
August: Gravediggaz’s 6 Feet Deep
Our August Hip-Hop Record of the Month is the bloodcurdling 1994 debut from Gravediggaz — the group formed by Prince Paul, RZA, Too Poetic and Frukwan, known here as The Undertaker, The RZArector, The Grym Reaper and The Gatekeeper. This exclusive reissue of 6 Feet Deep is pressed on 2LP Black & Silver Splatter vinyl, with lacquers cut by Cicely Balston at Alchemy Mastering at AIR and a Listening Notes booklet by Gary Suarez.
“By the mid-1990s, thanks to Southern groups like Three 6 Mafia, horrorcore had become a popular subgenre in rap music,” Moore said. “Released in 1994, shortly after the breakthrough success of Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), the RZA- and Prince Paul-led group came with an album so visceral that it’s still being felt today.”
Moore added, “Long requested by VMP listeners, this reissue of Gravediggaz’s 6 Feet Deep is a must-have for all hip-hop historians."
Our edition of 6 Feet Deep will be available for sign-ups starting July 21.
September: The Game’s The Documentary
In September, members of VMP Hip-Hop will receive The Documentary, the debut album from Jayceon Taylor, aka The Game — with beats and mentorship from his fellow Compton native and West Coast legend Dr. Dre. Our edition, pressed on exclusive 2LP Red vinyl, with lacquers cut by Barry Grint at Alchemy Mastering at AIR, also comes with new Listening Notes from Paul Thompson.
“The following question arises ever so often in West Coast hip-hop: ‘Who's the next King of the West Coast?’ The Documentary arrived at an LA scene that had been looking for the next big local star to put West Coast hip-hop back on the map,” Moore said. “And with its glossy groove and Dr. Dre-inspired G-funk ethos, The Documentary served as a beacon for his climate, offering a blueprint for future rap leaders like Nipsey Hussle and Kendrick Lamar to trek their own paths to greatness.”
You can get our edition of The Documentary starting August 18.