Our next three Hip-Hop Records of the Month — which you’ll receive if you sign up for VMP Hip-Hop in April, May and June 2022 — feature an explosive mixtape from the 2010s and two rap classics from the ’90s, including the major-label debut of a legendary Southern rap duo. Read below to find out more.
April: Lil Uzi Vert’s Lil Uzi vs. The World
In April, VMP Hip-Hop members will receive Lil Uzi Vert’s explosive 2016 record, Lil Uzi Vert vs. The World. His third mixtape and second commercial release with Atlantic Records, Lil Uzi Vert vs. The World was a certified-Platinum success. This exclusive edition comes on 1LP Neon Green vinyl, with lacquers cut by Barry Grint at Alchemy Mastering at AIR, and comes with Listening Notes by Briana Younger.
“We’re so delighted to be bringing you Lil Uzi’s third mixtape on vinyl,” said VMP Head of Editorial Amileah Sutliff. “This record marks such a special, explosive moment in time and in Uzi’s career, so it’s a treat to get to really celebrate it with a feature in our Hip-Hop Track. It feels like a no-brainer: Not only would you have to be some kind of grinch not to love Lil Uzi and love this record, but it’s been a tough album for fans to get their hands on in a vinyl format.”
“Like a lot of people out there, I’ve personally been wanting to add it to my collection,” Sutliff said, “So to see it get a reissue and to get the quality VMP treatment — we couldn’t be more excited about it.”
Sign up now to receive Lil Uzi vs. The World.
May: UGK’s Too Hard to Swallow
Three decades ago, UGK released Too Hard to Swallow, their first major-label album. To celebrate, the hard-hitting debut from the Southern rap legends is our VMP Hip-Hop Record of the Month in May. Our 30th-anniversary exclusive edition comes on 2LP Neon Yellow vinyl, with lacquers cut by Barry Grint at Alchemy Mastering at AIR, and a Listening Notes booklet by Brandon Caldwell.
About the selection of this record, VMP Classics & Country Director Andrew Winistorfer said, “UGK, in 1992, were fighting an uphill battle against rap’s coastal supremacy, and in trying to get their music heard outside of Texas. That they succeeded in becoming quietly the most influential rap group of all time (don't @ me) was not preordained when they were recording what would become Too Hard to Swallow, an uncompromising, deeply soulful LP that established southern gangster rap, UGK and the sounds of Texas more broadly.”
“It has to be the only album to sample Bill Withers and also invent an entirely new vernacular for selling drugs (‘Pocket Full of Stones’),” Winistorfer added, “It’s our third project with UGK and won’t be the last.”
Our edition of Too Hard to Swallow will be available for sign-ups starting April 21.
June: The Pharcyde’s Labcabincalifornia
In June, members of the VMP Hip-Hop Track will receive The Pharcyde’s Labcabincalifornia, the 1995 follow-up to their debut, Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, and the last record with Fatlip as a member of the group (alongside Imani, Slimkid3 and Bootie Brown). Labcabincalifornia was underrated at the time of its release, but has stood the test of time — and featured production from J Dilla, early in his career and going by Jay Dee at the time. This exclusive edition comes on 2LP Yellow & Red vinyl, with lacquers cut by Barry Grint at Alchemy Mastering at AIR, and new Listening Notes from David Ma.
“When listeners think of The Pharcyde, they might think of Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde, the band’s debut album,” VMP Hip-Hop Director Marcus J. Moore said. “But that’s not to discount the follow-up Labcabincalifornia. On it was a young, unknown producer named Jay Dee, later known as J Dilla, who'd go on to become arguably the most influential beatmaker of all-time. Labcab... is where The Pharcyde’s artistry ascended to new heights, where songs like ‘Drop’ and ‘Runnin’’ became cornerstone tracks in ’90s rap canon.”
Moore added, “Labcabincalifornia was a magnificent album that’s only gotten better with time.”
You can get our edition of Labcabincalifornia starting May 19.