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  • Writer's pictureMartin van Zeelandt / TCD

Turn Up The Bass - Rap - Volume 3 (1992)

My dad is going to hate me. Well, hate is a strong word. But he might dislike the following review. Why is that? Well, it's one of his albums that my mum bought him back in 1992/1993, and I stole it. Yes, I singlehandedly STOLE this album from him. Yes, I do admit, but he already knows, because from 1993 until 2019 I was in possession of this album. In the end I returned the album, but it was so damaged, there was no point anymore in saving it. I played this so much over the years, scratches took over and demolished the actual physical disc. Sorry dad, I do apologise. But, in the end, it's all your fault. You introduced me to the wonderful world of Rap music, and I got hooked.

I was only 10 years old when this album came out. Too young to understand the importance of Rap music. And I was too young to grasp the impact it had on the world in general. I grew up listening to the beats and basses, melodies, yes, but never the lyrics. I am that silly to never listen to song lyrics. I only discovered last year that a Spice Girls song was about having sex. The same applied for many Hip Hop/Rap/R&B records. I always tried to sing along, but always, because I never know the words. Or the meaning of those words.

Rap was an important style when I grew up. My dad had been to the US multiple times for his work, and during his visits, he would buy some Rap albums, and bring them back home. I don't know why Rap music was his thing back in the day, but I guess I'll never find out. And yes, I stole those albums too. Sorry pops.

During the 80s, my favourite music was pop music. Like everyone else on this planet. But toward the end of the 80s you noticed a change in the music. It was to become a different landscape for the whole world. New styles emerged, and those that were already big in the underground, came out of the woodworks, and started to push pop music to the side. Rap music wasn't new, but it wasn't as big as it was to be, around the late 80s/early 90s. Before it was all smooth and very commercially friendly, but artists stood up, and had their voices heard. No more mister sweet guy or miss sweet lady, but messages coming from the street. Talking about problematic issues, things people would suffer with on a daily basis. No more romance. And the audience stood behind the messages.

I do understand that music always has an important message hidden in each song. Some could be about racial issues, domestic violence, abuse, difference in gender, inequality, hatred, anger, love, and a plethora of other messages. Some were more obvious than others.

Hip Hop was a new thing to tap into, and back in 1991, Arcade decided to release a new compilation series called 'Turn Up The Bass Rap'. It only spanned a year and four volumes, and then it died, like many of the other series created by Arcade. And to this day, the only one in this series ever listened to by yours truly, was the third one.

But what songs were on this album?

  1. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - The Things That You Do

  2. Tony Scott - The Greenhouse Effect

  3. Digital Underground - No Nose Job

  4. Public Enemy - Fight The Power

  5. 2 Hyped Brothers & A Dog - Doo Doo Brown

  6. A Tribe Called Quest - Check The Rhime

  7. Big Daddy Kane - The Lover In You

  8. De La Soul - A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays

  9. Jungle Brothers - Doin' Our Own Dang

  10. King Bee - Must Be The Music

  11. Chubb Rock - The Chubbster

  12. Queen Latifah - Fly Girl

  13. The Real Roxanne - (Bang Zoom) Let's Go Go

  14. Paris - Break The Grip Of Shame

  15. Fu-Schnickens - Ring The Alarm

  16. Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock - Get On The Dance Floor

  17. Fast Eddie - Git On Up

These are oldskool anthems. Really and truly oldskool anthems. And the second you start listening to each song, you are teleported back in time. Back to the late 80s/early 90s. And they have stood the test of time, but unfortunately they haven't gained a massive audience in the current climate we live in.

It is a shame NOT to hear these songs on the radio anymore. It's like they were forgotten completely. Maybe some are too direct, maybe they are outdated, or maybe not suitable for the radio, but they deserve more credit for what they were. These artists broke many boundaries, and took Hip Hop music to the next level.

You cannot underestimate the importance of a record like 'Fight The Power'. Hard hitting lyrics, and they were to move a generation towards a world where equality is a normal thing, and colour of someone's skin is an irrelevant thing. But unfortunately, back then, and sadly even in the present day, our fellow human being isn't treated equally. But these songs were made to address the issues that people were facing, and to have their voices heard. Otherwise no one would hear them, and acknowledge them.

I do recognise the importance of these songs. But what also needs to be discussed is the importance of Arcade. This label was an important label in the Benelux, and they released thousands of CDs, and many series were created, including this one. They lost the plot further down the 90s, but during the early 90s they were ground breaking too. Probably more capitalism driven. a.k.a. money. The label died down completely, which is a shame. To me they were important, and I purchased everything Arcade related.

This album wasn't the finest Hip Hop/Rap I have ever listened to, but it is still an important album to me. Especially because it was one of my dad's albums. And the music was great too. Some were rougher and tougher, and some were happier. Some were more grimier and darker, some were a bit house-focussed. Maybe if I had the first two albums and the fourth, I might have a different opinion, but yeah, this third one is OK.

To me it's a valuable album because of the memories. Maybe to others this album means more due to the importance of the songs.

I cannot find the album anywhere, only the video. The advert. Which makes it immediately outdated. So 90s. So old. But nostalgic to me.

Artist: Various Artists

Genre/Style: House, Hip Hop

CD Info: Turn Up The Bass - Rap - Volume 3

Length CD: +/- 1 Hour

Tracks: 17 (seventeen)

Release Year: 1992

Label: Arcade

Product Number: 01 6931 61

More Information: -------

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