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Chapter 145: The Breaks

Seminal hip-hop hits

From the vantage point of 2020, long after rap took over the world, listening back to hip-hop’s first breakthrough singles can be disconcerting at first. This is pure party music, irresistibly fun but 100% dedicated to the groove. “The Message” was the first rap song that didn’t feel like disco with rapping on top, the first with a true head-nodding hip-hop beat, and the first to display the unfakeable spark of personal truth that made rap appeal to more than just nightclubbers. Still, the ecstatic sampling and vocal interplay of tracks like “That’s The Joint” will make you long for the Sugarhill days.
1. Funky 4 + 1

That's the Joint

2. Salt-N-Pepa

Push It

3. Run DMC

It's Like That (Jason Nevins Remix)

4. Afrika Bambaataa

Planet Rock

5. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

The Message (ft. Melle Mel)

6. Audio Two

Top Billin'

7. Kurtis Blow

The Breaks

8. Trouble Funk

Pump Me Up

9. Run DMC

It's Tricky

10. Time Zone

World Destruction (ft. John Lydon)