For a list of participating U.S. stores where these exclusive items can first be purchased in-person-only on Saturday, April 22, visit http://www.recordstoreday.com/Venues
This year’s releases from Get On Down include:
SLICK RICK THE GREAT ADVENTURES OF… “CHILDREN’S BOOK”
18-page, puffy-cover children’s book with illustrations detailing Rick’s classic cops-and-robbers story single from 1988
Storytelling has been a part of the hip-hop lexicon since the artform’s earliest days. And in all the decades that have passed, there has never been a tale-weaver like Slick Rick. Even masters who came along in Rick’s wake – ranging from Will Smith to Ghostface Killah and Eminem – would admit that that, even though they blazed their own paths, they never did it better than MC Ricky D.
The British-born, Bronx-raised Slick Rick first came to the world’s attention in 1985, featured alongside Doug E. Fresh on the smash hit “La Di Da Di” (the flip side to the also wildly popular “The Show”). It was a tidal wave of a rap smash, inspiring stylistic and lyrical imitators around the world and cementing Rick’s lyrical flair and imagination at an early age. But, as we now know, he was just getting started.
By 1987, Rick headed out on a solo career, landing on Def Jam Records. Amongst fierce competition in 1988 – alongside labelmates Public Enemy and legends like Eric B. & Rakim, Boogie Down Productions, Ice-T and N.W.A. – Rick released arguably the most unique album of the year: The Great Adventures of Slick Rick.
Produced by Rick himself alongside proven NYC hitmakers like Jam Master Jay and The Bomb Squad, the album showed that Rick’s lyrical skills were only matched by his vivid imagination, as heard on singles like “Hey Young World” and “Teenage Love”; but even more so in deeper album cuts including “Mona Lisa,” “The Ruler’s Back” and “KIT (What’s The Scoop).”
When it comes to Rick and his tales, though, the smash single “Children’s Story” is perhaps his best, recited to this day by fans and MCs in training as a rite of passage. Just hearing the opening lines begins a sing-along that can quickly fill a room: “Once upon a time / Not long ago / When people wore pajamas / And lived life slow….” Rick’s lines from the song are re-created in visual form in an 18-page book with a puffy cover – presented like a legit children’s book, thick pages and all. From the little boy who was misled to the tense police chase, to the unsure children hearing the story from their “uncle Ricky,” this is the most unique way the story has ever been presented.
Of course there is music to match – for Record Store Day, the exclusive package includes a picture sleeve 45 with “Children’s Story” and “The Moment I Feared” (with artwork taken from the original “Children’s Story” 12-inch), and a CD of Great Adventures of Slick Rick.
UGK TOO HARD TO SWALLOW 2-LP Clear Vinyl, first time ever on wax
To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of UGK’s first album, Get On Down goes the extra mile, presenting it for the first time ever on vinyl. AND 2-LP clear vinyl at that, giving the strutting, funky grooves the chance to really stretch out on your system.
Back in 1992, Southern hip-hop was still proving to the world that it could sustain a fanbase that was chiefly raised on rap from New York and LA. The Geto Boys and 2 Live Crew had made strong cases by the earliest ‘90s, and Pimp C and Bun B were ready to make their own.
Most of the trunk-rattling bass comes from drum programs and basic sampling on these tunes – in later years they would build their sound into something even fuller and deeper. Self-produced with additional work from Houston locals Bernie Bismark and Shetoro Henderson, the tracks here are minimal, slow and menacing, which matched their lyrical approach quite nicely.
You can hear the beginnings of the group’s true greatness in these early lyrical workouts – several taken from the regional cassette-only EP The Southern Way that got them signed to Jive – with tales of street hustles, relationships and self-reliance in a world stacked against them. They may have been done early-on, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t crucial to UGK’s legacy – cases in point being the three singles: “Something Good”; a charismatic update to Bill Withers’ “Use Me Up”; and “Pocket Full Of Stones” (the latter featured on the Menace II Society soundtrack). Beyond the singles, deeper cuts like “I’m So Bad,” “Feels Like I’m The One Who’s Doin’ Dope” and “Cramping My Style” made it clear to the world that this crew had the attitude and charisma to make even bigger waves in the years to come.
U-ROY DREAD IN A BABYLON Single black vinyl LP, with poster of cover
U-Roy was a true reggae pioneer, dubbed The Originator for good reason. Bursting onto the Jamaican scene in the earliest 1970s, he pioneered the vocal approach called “toasting,” which in addition to branching out Jamaican music into a new era, was also heavily influential on an American genre in its infancy: rapping.
On Dread In A Babylon, his third full-length, he stretches out over traditional roots grooves provided by the Soul Syndicate and Skin, Flesh & Bones bands, riffing on topics including love (“Runaway Girl,” a 1975 single released in the UK on Virgin Records); the Bible (“The Great Psalms”); walking the straight and narrow (“Listen To The Teacher”); and even his take on governmental policy goals (“Chalice In The Palace”). The album finishes with an instrumental version of Bob Marley & The Wailers’ “Trench Town Rock,” for good measure.
U-Roy’s style and charisma are always on display, and – as with all of his classic records – the groove rules all. Presented on black vinyl with a poster of the glorious, ganja-drenched cover art, it’s the perfect chance to revisit one of the more underrated voices in Jamaican musical history.
Be sure to check the local shops in your area on April 22nd for these and other great Record Store Day exclusives. Visit www.RecordStoreDay.com to find all the participating stores in your area carrying Record Store Day product!