B.Cox looks back at underground powerhouse label Rawkus Records and their first major compilation album Soundbombing, which turns 25. After releasing Company Flow's now legendary debut LP Funcrusher Plus earlier in the summer, the label released the compilation with previously released 12" singles in mixtape format. Mixed, scratched and hosted by DJ Evil Dee of Da Beatminerz and Black Moon, the album introduced us to future prominent emcees such as Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def),Talib Kweli and Shabaam Sahdeeq and producers such as Hi-Tek, Nick Wiz and Shawn J. Period. Sticking to their underground roots with he mixtape format, Rawkus sought to appeal to their underground base and wanted to capitalize on the success that Company Flow had with their debut that summer.
While the album did not chart commercially, it made its buzz in the underground with DJs and fans. Several songs are considered underground classics and the release started a run of compilation releases including the beginning of the Lyricist Lounge series and the continuation of Soundbombing series. It also led to the formation of two groups that would have great success: Black Star (Def and Kweli) and Reflection Eternal (Kweli and Hi-Tek); all which helped Rawkus to achieve rare success both in the underground and limited success commercially.
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The Hundreds: Counting Down Our 10 Favorite Rawkus Records Albums
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