Monday, January 11, 2010

Sport "G" & Mastermind's Addictive Vinyl

Vinyl Addicts isn't just a site for dope reviews, interviews and such on dope, rare hip-hop... it's also a kick-ass little record label specializing in digging up unreleased gems and giving them the first class vinyl treatment. They put out Lord Finesse's demos, and more recently a pair of records by the indie NJ duo Sons of Sam. But to me, this is their crowning achievement (to date).

You probably know Sport "G" & Mastermind for their pair of highly sought-after 12"'s "Live" and "Louder." If you're not familiar, I'll summarize: Long Island, stupid fresh, late 80's, Paul C.-related, big bucks on EBay. Dig? Well, VA has put out a 6-song EP of vintage, unreleased tracks by them, called Let the Rhythm Roll. It's all produced between 1985 and 1988, songs that got shelved when their label, Streetwalk Records, went under.

And did I mention "First class" vinyl treatment? Yes sir. This here is a hand-numbered, limited release (mine is #205 out of a total 250 pressed). As you can see in the pic above, it comes in a nice sticker cover, with a 2-sided press sheet - including notes on each song by Sport "G," a glossy 8x10 press photo, and another glossy full-color photo of the group (if you're wondering who the third guy is in pictures, that's Dramatic A), in a plastic sleeve. Oh, and 50 copies of these were signed by Sport "G" himself! And my photo doesn't really do it justice, but VA has some of the best looking labels in the limited game, hands down. Like I said, first class.

So ok, the presentation's nice, but how's the actual music? More good news! Shit is super fresh, and definitely one of those releases you'll want to revisit over and over again. Sport "G" has a dope, somewhat deep voice, clear delivery and a penchant for fast-paced battle rhymes (though he switches up the subject matter for "I Used To Be a Hustler" and "Don't Do It To Yourself"). And Mastermind keeps dropping classic breaks. Now, it's a common misconception that Paul C produced the duo's classic 12"s, but actually he just mixed them. Mastermind produced those tracks, and the same is true of all six songs here. But once you know he produced their earlier singles, then you already realize he's a master behind the boards (and has some nice cuts as well). All six tracks are instant head-nodders; but the last two especially, the title track (my personal favorite) and "Don't Do It To Yourself" (which flips a classic KMD sample years before they got to it) are a little denser and more impressive.

If you haven't already gotten this, I think a few copies may still be available ...if you're lucky, so head on over to and ask nice; you definitely won't regret it. Seriously, I'm lovin' it. And of course this just leaves one final question: what will they come out with in 2010?

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