Groove Attack, behind the curtain of sounds produced in between the EU and the US.
If there is a phenomenon of considerable interest and, above all, profitable, that is characterizing the Hip Hop of our time, it is that of the increasingly frequent connection between European labels and producers with American emcees.
It is enough to name people like Kyo Itachi, Jason Dean, Grand Papa Tra or labels like Effiscienz, to get a picture of the extent, even qualitative, of the phenomenon, wanting to mention only the most established names, because of connections born through the network between unknown European producers and equally unknown American mc’s there are in even more surprising quantities.
Today it is easier, 15 years ago it was not at all.
Both for objective factors, and for a fact of credibility: the Americans really thought they were the only ones able to do this thing, let’s face it. And only today, perhaps, someone begins to think differently, after American rap has partially collapsed on its sadder pop image.
But just between 1999 and 2000, a label destined to build the watershed piece by piece appeared on the scene: the Groove Attack.
And it does so in a double way: releasing first a compilation album remained in history, aptly titled Superrappin, which already saw some European producers collaborate with aggressive emcees (without forgetting a strong and interesting Canadian presence), and then the album of Phife Dawg, which for all of them meant a part of the very idea of Hip Hop in group form, the A Tribe Called Quest.
The perspective changed. And it is precisely this change of perspective, from the single radiation centre to polycentrism, that is celebrated here, as one of those things that happen in the background, which you barely notice, but which define a boundary between “before” and “after”.
Germany was seeing its best years at the level of the Hip Hop scene, especially of rap music, even if the rest of the world noticed little of it. This was due to the overwhelming weight of French influence and visibility, with the release of fundamental records and an excellent production level, which in fact already allowed frequent contacts with American emcees and producers.
It was the right time and, luckily for us, someone took the opportunity in the best way: focusing on the quality of the names and products and on a specific idea of this music, which instead of America would have been extensively overwhelmed by changes of taste and fashion.
The Groove Attack opened a path whose fruits we are still enjoying 15 years later.
The new episode of the Blast Podcast, born in chat shortly after Phife’s death from an idea of mine and of the landlord, is a virtual mixtape in two parts, which form the two sides of an imaginary tape. For many of us, after all, it all started with tapes… Damn, those tapes!
The cool cats from strettoblaster and Concrete Jungle Trieste unite strength, in a selection of the best of that wonderful adventure that was this small European label.
Today you have before you the first half of that cassette, selected by yours truly and cleverly mixed by Jr Mastro and Dee Jay Park: for those who were there and for those who come now, like me while I was building it. These sounds are enjoyable as if they were made today.
It happens, with good music.
Enjoy the tracklist and best regards y’all!
1 Audio/Visual – Bravo & Sandman
2 Betterthanbefore – Edo G. & Vinyl Reanimators
3 Reachin’ (For My People…) – Walkin’ Large
4 Dimmin’ The Life – L-Fudge
5 Dynomite – Lone Catalysts feat. J-Live
6 Nobody – Consequence, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Mike Zoot, F.T.
7 Grand Right Now (Paul Nice Rmx) – Grand Agent
8 Don’t Trip – Declaime feat. Quasimoto
9 Birds Of A Feather – J. Rawls feat. Top Emcees
10 Spread Love (Rmx) – Mike Zoot feat. Labba