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The Collection

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Album Review

Jive Collection, Vol. 1 collects Whodini's greatest hits, as well as some lesser-known tracks and a few remixes. The groundbreaking group's synthesis of soul grooves and hip-hop texture is on display in the original recordings of hits like "Freaks Come Out at Night," "Five Minutes of Funk," and the poignant "Friends." "Haunted House of Rock" is corny yet appealing, an early example of humor's prominent role in hip-hop. The album cuts included here are drawn mainly from 1986's Back in Black, the follow-up to Escape. "Funky Beat"'s production is amazing, with a beat of its own that, while oddly unfunky, is nevertheless successful when matched with Jalil Hutchins and Ecstacy's earnest rhyming. "I'm a Ho" is at first off-putting, but eventually seems like an elaborate condemnation of other MCs' bravado. Jive Collection would already be a great purchase as an introduction to Whodini, but the inclusion of "Fugitive" makes acquiring the album crucial. A memorable mixture of enormous rock guitar with the group's synth-heavy sound, the song embodies the promise and pure potential that permeated the early days of hip-hop. The album's bonus tracks include a cool beatbox remix of "Big Mouth," as well as the seven-minute "Whodini Friends Mastermix."

Biography

Formed: 1981 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Coming out of the fertile early-'80s New York rap scene, Whodini were one of the first rap groups to add a straight R&B twist to their music, thus laying the groundwork for the new jack swing movement. The group consisted of rappers Jalil Hutchins and John "Ecstasy" Fletcher, adding legendary DJ Drew "Grandmaster Dee" Carter, known for being able to scratch records with nearly every part of his body, in 1986. Whodini made its name with good-humored songs like "Magic's Wand" (the first rap song...
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