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Paul Nice: Fresh to Def

Paul Nice: Fresh to Def

Label:All Access
Release Date:2006
Genre:Club Music

By Laurence Bass | Posted 3/15/2006

In the early 1980s, not yet accepted on MTV or even in heavy rotation on most mainstream radio stations, hip-hop was searching for its place on the charts and in the wider culture. DJ Paul Nice’s Fresh To Def, the latest adventure from the creator of two volumes of classic old-soul mix tapes Soul on the Grill, offers a glimpse into the early days of hip-hop, prior to the mass-marketing of the sound, lifestyle, and image, blending both well-known and obscure songs. Classic cuts by Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force, the Art of Noise, and even Malcolm McLaren represent the well-known side, with party-rocking tracks such as “Looking for the Perfect Beat” that even the most casual hip-hop fan knows. But the collection’s true essence is found in the rare cuts, often commercially unavailable otherwise, whether it’s the Cold Crush Brothers’ four MCs trading rhymes across DJ scratch routines or Man Parrish’s pioneering electro beatbox constructions. The only knock on Fresh to Def is that mixing renders some of the songs too short; it’s hard to start a pop-and-lock or six-step routine when the beat suddenly cuts out. But, regardless of length, Fresh to Def is still a must for those who participated in fat-laced break battles in their youth, or those who just love the sound of hip-hop’s yesteryears.

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