Saturday, July 19, 2008

One Book To Unite Them All

The 2nd edition of Freddy Fresh's epic reference tome, The Rap Records, is now out. And the first thing you will notice is that it is literally twice as thick as the 1st edition from 2004 (wow - was it that long ago?).
Freddy Fresh's book is the definition of definitive. It's a massive, massive effort to catalog rap like no other book has even thought about scratching the surface of. If you don't know, this is (to quote the back cover), "the one and only guide on rap 12" singles and the labels that released them." It certainly blows away my humble, little hip-hop site.

Where the first edition covered all titles from 1979-1988, this edition has been expanded to include into the mid-1990's. It also has listings missing from the first edition (go ahead and delete that addendum you downloaded off of Freddy's site after the first edition came out - it's all in here now), heaps more photos, and an updated section on British and foreign labels (which is a bit like overkill, because really who cares about all that European rap, amirite? hehe). There are also some other neat bits, like a guide to spotting represses/bootlegs, and a fantastic by-artist index.
Now, I'm hanging onto my 1st edition because it's signed to me (for that matter, so is my 2nd); but it's also worth hanging onto for some of the "extras" in the back, which have been replaced with new stuff in the 2nd. Where the 1st one had all these neat top ten lists or favorite moments from all sorts of hip-hop artists and producers, the 2nd has a bunch of neat interviews with big-time collectors (I really want to visit these guys' houses!). But where it counts, of course, it's all about the 2nd edition - craptons more listings!
If you're the sort of person who reads this site (and apparently you are; there's no use denying it this far into my article), then you need this book. Need. Fortunately, a lot of places carry it, so get it from wherever you feel most comfortable (maybe while you're placing a record order from UGHH), or just go ahead and get it direct from the man himself at I'm also tradition-bound to link you to his myspace. ;)

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