Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Early 1990's Record Label Promo Postcards [Outkast, Artifacts, Willie D, Insane Poetry, The Legion]

Posted by Billyjam, September 22, 2015 08:16pm | Post a Comment

Above and below are the two sides of the promo postcard from Big Beat Records from 1994 that was part of the Atlantic Records distributed label's big promotional push for The Artifacts' 12" single/maxi-cassette/CD release "Wrong Side Of The Tracks." That five star track was released in advance of and taken off the NJ duo's act's album, that was reissued on vinyl two years ago by Fat Beats, Between A Rock And A Hard Place. The postcard is one of several 1990's promo postcards featured in this Hip-Hop History Amoeblog that includes postcards from two decades ago from the first half of the nineties - the
golden era of rap/hip-hop label promotions. While indeed in the 1980's, record labels were releasing a good deal hip-hop singles (and to a lesser extent hip-hop albums) publicity and promotional departments had not yet been fully developed at most labels. The promotional push for '80's hip-hop, while certainly in existence, was sparse and limited to the select few major labels with rap acts and the larger majority of the field filled with smaller indie record labels. These small often regionalized rap labels typically released 12" singles only and as their respective promo pushes typically targeted retail outlets or their distributors, or the record pools that DJs were members of. The promo/publicity was usually advertisements in select trade publications while their promotional pushes would be aimed at DJs via record pools or sometimes radio stations. By the time 80's ended and 1990's decade began, the marketplace had changed dramatically with promo campaigns directed at retail, radio, and other media (print, video) becoming more commonplace. 

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 10:29:10: Lyrics Born, Von Pea, 2Mex, Skillz, Ninja Tune XX, C-Bo + Yukmouth, Casual, Souls of Mischief, Halloween, Geto Boys, DJ Apollo, Mochipet

Posted by Billyjam, October 29, 2010 04:13pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 10:29:10

Lyrics Born As U Were
1) Lyrics Born As U Were (Decon)

2) Von Pea Pea's Gotta Have It (Interdependent Media)

3) Skillz The World Needs More (Big Kids Music)

4) 2Mex My Fanbase Will Destroy You (Strange Famous Records)

5) Cunninlynguists Presents: Kno-Death is Silent (A Piece of Strange Music)

Lyrics Born's newest studio album, As U Were on Decon, arrived at Amoeba Music on Tuesday (Oct 26) and within three days shot to number one on this week's hip-hop chart for the San Francisco store. With a diverse and accessible sound that ranges from old school disco beats ("Coulda Woulda Shoulda") & old school electro (think Bambaataa) to post-hyphy Bay rap ("Black Bots"), alternative grooves and more, the album features guest spots from Lyrics Born's long time Solesides/Quannum rhyme buddies The Gift of Gab from Blackalicious and Lateef (who joins him on both "I Wanna B W/U" & "Pushed Aside / Pulled Apart"). Other contributors include Sam Sparro, Trackademics, and Francis and the Lights. The low points on the 15 track As U Were CD are the three unnecessary & not-funny skits, while the high points include the sharp critical commentary on prescription drugs, "Pillz (feat. The Gift of Gab)" and the mad raw & fast breakbeat driven "Oh, Baby!" To coincide with the new album, Lyrics Born's Auto Reverse tour is currently underway along with fellow Decon artists Rakaa and Chali 2na. There is one week left of the tour that stops in Victor, ID tonight at Knotty Pine and finishes next Friday (11/05) at Dante's in Portland, OR. Meanwhile, to peep pics of Lyrics Born doing an instore at Amoeba San Francisco back in '03 click here.

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Posted by Billyjam, January 30, 2010 08:00pm | Post a Comment
Black Moon
The following Top 30 Hip-Hop Singles chart from February/March 1993, which was originally compiled and published by long defunct East Coast hip-hop zine One Nut Network, was put together based on rap singles' airplay on both college hip-hop radio shows and commercial radio mix shows at the time. The time was early 1993, considered by most as the tail end of hip-hop's much celebrated and oft lamented so-called "golden age" or "golden era," when, it seemed, every new hip-hop release was a noteworthy (and worth owning) release. And while that belief may not be 100% correct, it is, as the following chart indicates, pretty darn close to the truth.

By just eye-balling the 30 singles on the Feb/March 1993 chart below, many of which, including Black Moon, Dr Dre, Young Black Teenagers, and Ice Cube, got released towards the end of 1992 but still had airplay into the first quarter of 1993, you can tell a lot about the status of hip-hop at the time and where it stood in its historical development. For example, many of the acts most associated with the aforementioned "golden age" of hip-hop were represented here, including Kool G Rap ("Ill Street Blues"), Gang Starr ["Gotta Get Over (Taking Loot)"], Brand Nubian ("Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down"), Diamond D ("Sally Got A One Track Mind"), Naughty By Nature ("Hip Hop Hooray"), and Lords of the Underground ("Funky Child") -- each of which happened to be East Coast (NY or NJ) acts.

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