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Back to the Old School

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Album Review

It's impossible to describe how fresh this album sounded when first released — producer Kurtis Mantronik utilizes the Roland 606 drum machine more potently than any producer before and as its huge beats kick holes beneath Just-Ice's gold-toothed mumble of rhymes, curses, boasts, and yelps, the party gets underway. Back in 1986, this album burned eardrums and if now it sounds less revolutionary it remains a classic early hip-hop album, one that appeared as radical back then as the RZA's production of Wu-Tang Clan did in the late '90s. Neither Mantronik nor Just-Ice were to match it in their subsequent and separate solo work — it's worth reflecting on what might have been created if their partnership had endured. Opening track "Cold Gettin' Dumb" remains one of the most exhilarating tracks from an era when hip-hop was inventing itself day by day. The chauvinistic "Latoya" booms with block-rockin' beats. "Gangster of Hip Hop" and "Little Bad Johnny" lay the seeds for many an ominous rapper to come.

Customer Reviews

It's about time....

It's about time! Finally we can find some real, old-school classics here on itunes! By the way, the artist's name is Just Ice,,, not "Justice". This album is the absolute best of all his works. If you are looking for real classic 80's hip-hop, this is it! We need to see more like this available from itunes, artists like NEWCLEUS, FAT BOYS, TREACHEROUS THREE, KOOL MOE DEE, G.L.O.B.E. & WHIZ KID, SCHOOLY D AND MORE! Keep 'm' coming itunes!


I've collected Real Old School Hip Hop since 1981. There isn't much out there that I do not have or don't remember. I haven't heard this record since I was a freshman in high school. I've looked for this record for approximately 18 years now. I'm glad someone finally put it out on iTunes. Thank you. Just-Ice "Turbo Charged" is one of my favorite songs.


Just-Ice’s genius first album from 1986 is FINALLY available digitally! See from whom Mannie Fresh stole all of his moves! Kurtis Mantronik’s beats are as ahead-of-their-time as the day he made ’em! GO GET IT! Peace.


Born: June 22, 1962 in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

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

A former bouncer at punk clubs, Joseph Williams, Jr. was the first of the New York rappers to embrace gangsta rap, and when he burst out of Ft. Greene, Brooklyn as Just-Ice, he gained instant notoriety. Muscle-bound, tattooed, aggressive -- he resembled Mike Tyson in more than just looks -- and with a mouthful of gold teeth, he certainly stood out. His debut album Back to the Old School proved he was more than just a pretty face. It came out on the independent New York label Sleeping Bag, and certainly...
Full Bio
Back to the Old School, Just-Ice
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