20 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

If you need just one album to sum up everything that was happening in hip-hop in the pivotal year of 1988, you can do no better than Stetsasonic’s second album, In Full Gear. All the disparate ideas converge here: the heavy rhythms of Run-DMC, the impending jazz styles of Native Tongues, the fusion of rap and R&B, even Miami Bass. The album functions as both a time capsule and a compendium of ideas. Because the group could never be identified with a single style, one might argue that their sonic diversity hindered their success—but taken as individual songs, any of these works are masterful. “We’re the Band,” “Pen and Paper,” and of course, “Talkin’ All That Jazz” all but invented the jazz-rap blueprint that would become hip-hop’s dominant paradigm in the years to follow. Frukwan and Daddy-O were masterful rappers in the classic role, while Wise, DBC, and drummer Bobby Simmons made the group’s sound distinctly dense. In the end, though, it's producer Prince Paul who deserves the most credit. He presided over the album like a film director and singlehandedly elevated the role of producer in hip-hop.

EDITORS’ NOTES

If you need just one album to sum up everything that was happening in hip-hop in the pivotal year of 1988, you can do no better than Stetsasonic’s second album, In Full Gear. All the disparate ideas converge here: the heavy rhythms of Run-DMC, the impending jazz styles of Native Tongues, the fusion of rap and R&B, even Miami Bass. The album functions as both a time capsule and a compendium of ideas. Because the group could never be identified with a single style, one might argue that their sonic diversity hindered their success—but taken as individual songs, any of these works are masterful. “We’re the Band,” “Pen and Paper,” and of course, “Talkin’ All That Jazz” all but invented the jazz-rap blueprint that would become hip-hop’s dominant paradigm in the years to follow. Frukwan and Daddy-O were masterful rappers in the classic role, while Wise, DBC, and drummer Bobby Simmons made the group’s sound distinctly dense. In the end, though, it's producer Prince Paul who deserves the most credit. He presided over the album like a film director and singlehandedly elevated the role of producer in hip-hop.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

36 Ratings

Classic Album

Slice Joyner,

Great tracks! A must buy for pure hip hop fans... but can Itunes please include the other albums from these talented brothas!!! I gotta hear "Go Stetsa - Remix"

IN FULL GEAR!

Udreher,

I've been searching for this album for years. People need to hear when rap was true and energetic. Stetsa is right up there with the greatest! Itunes needs to get the rest of their albums and some Doug E. Fresh.Prince Paul is one of the greatest producers ever Wise, Daddy-O, Fruitkwan,DBC, MC Delite thanks for real music when rap was at its prime. Too bad no one mentions Stet with the other old school crews.

About Stetsasonic

One of the first rap groups to use a live band, Brooklyn's Stetsasonic formed in 1981 and were also among the first to promote a positive black consciousness that found its ultimate expression in the so-called "daisy age" sounds of De La Soul and the Jungle Brothers. The group consisted of DJs "Prince Paul" Huston and Leonard "Wise" Roman, keyboardist/drummer/DJ Marvin "DBC" Nemley, and rappers Glenn "Daddy O" Bolton, Martin "Delite" Wright, and Bobby "Frukwan" Simmons. Daddy O and Delite founded the group as the Stetson Brothers, after the hat company, and began performing in New York hip-hop clubs, picking up other members along the way. Their debut, On Fire, was released in 1986, but it was the follow-up, In Full Gear, that brought them critical acclaim and an R&B hit, "Sally." 1991's Blood, Sweat & No Tears was considered by many to be their best and most diverse album, but Daddy O decided that they had run out of ideas and broke up the band. He went on to work with Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, Big Daddy Kane, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers as a producer and remixer. In 1993, he released a solo album You Can Be a Daddy, But Never Daddy-O. Meanwhile, Prince Paul had already established himself as a producer for his work with De La Soul and Fine Young Cannibals, and later worked with Frukwan in the Gravediggaz, co-founded the Handsome Boy Modeling School and released a string of solo albums. ~ Steve Huey

  • ORIGIN
    Brooklyn, NY
  • FORMED
    1981

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