- Courtesy the artist
On Facebook, underground hip-hop hero Kool G Rap calls himself “Your Favorite Rapper’s Favorite Rapper,” and that’s no hyperbole. Now 46 years old, he came up in Queens in the mid-80s (an era when it wasn’t yet entirely gratuitous for a rapper to have a stage name with “rap” in it) as part of Marley Marl’s Juice Crew, alongside the likes of Big Daddy Kane, Masta Ace, Biz Markie, and his longtime musical partner DJ Polo. Before long he’d prove to be a formative influence on the Notorious B.I.G., Nas, and Jay Z, among others.
G Rap and DJ Polo released their first single together in 1986 and collaborated steadily till the early 90s. G Rap’s output has slowed a bit since then, but it’s never stopped: Once Upon a Crime, a duo with Necro, came out last year, and the solo album Riches, Royalty, Respect dropped in 2011. He also makes multiple appearances on the new Ghostface Killah album, 36 Seasons.
G Rap’s show at the Shrine on Fri 12/19 celebrates the 25th anniversary of his first full-length with DJ Polo, Road to the Riches, which is often credited with popularizing “mafioso rap.” But for today’s 12 O’Clock Track, I felt like posting something posi, so here’s “Erase Racism,” a cut featuring Kane and Markie from G Rap and Polo’s subsequent record, 1990’s Wanted: Dead or Alive.