Rubble Kings: The Mixtape Features The Sounds That Laid the Foundation for Hip-Hop (Audio)
This Summer, the documentary Rubble Kings took audiences deep inside the world of the gangs that ruled New York City from the late 1960s to the mid-70s. The film follows the story of Ghetto Brothers gang leader Benjy Melendez, and the critical role he played in negotiating a truce that would eliminate gang violence and bring a peace to NYC that has endured. It was a raw depiction of a city in chaos, as shown in fictionalized movies like The Warriors, as well as the socio-economic and cultural conditions that led to the birth of Hip-Hop.
Now, DJs Sammy Needlz, Rok One, Tahleim and Shan Nicholson have released the audio companion Rubble Kings: The Mixtape. The mix is an amazing amalgamation of the music that was emanating from the streets of New York during those turbulent times in the late 60s and 70s. It’s a diverse collection of songs and break beats, from artists like Jimmy Castor Bunch, Donald Byrd, Black Sabbath, The Doors, James Brown and many more, that either influenced Hip-Hop directly through samples, or indirectly by shaping the ears of pioneers like Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa. Hip-Hop listeners will recognize songs sampled by Pete Rock, Dr. Dre, Diamond D, DJ Premier, Kanye West and many more of the culture’s most influential beat makers.
Here’s the official statement that accompanies the mix:
“This mix was compiled and assembled by Sammy Needlz, Rok One, DJ Tahleim, and the film’s director Shan Nicholson (all incredible selectors and musical encyclopedias in their own right). Much like New York City itself, it is divided into five sections (based on the musical genres that influenced these notorious gangs). From the anthemic soul and funk of the Black struggle, to the salsa and Boogaloo of the Latin Barrios, to the gritty and abrasive psychedelic rock of White gangland. A true epic tale of war and peace, “Rubble Kings: The Mixtape” serves as a direct sonic glimpse into the heart and soul of this pivotal moment in the city’s history.”
Take a listen to this slice of New York City and Hip-Hop history.