#rewindreview: Kool G. Rap & D.J. Polo ‘Road To The Riches’ 1989

The debut album from Kool G. Rap & D.J. Polo is often forgotten when talking about the classic albums from the golden age of HOP music. Kool G. Rap has managed to stay relevant for almost 35 years among true HOP music fans and underground M.C.’s. That journey starts with the ‘Road To The Riches’ album. In a way Kool G. Rap was about six years ahead of the “pseudo-mafioso” era that ran HOP music from East to West Coast and all in between. On the only video single and title track for this album, we see “G. Rap” proclaiming street tales of a big time crime boss but at the end there is still repercussions of those actions. That song was clearly one of the later tracks recorded for this album as ‘Road To The Riches’ ironically can sound like “a demo.” The mix in quality of this album matches the time but the music on the majority of the songs are clearly before 1989 and match the mission of what producer Marley Marl has said for years. In an interview with QUANTUM LEAP RADIO in 2017 (https://www.mixcloud.com/QLRadio/quantum-leap-radio-leap-forty-two-wmarley-marl-grandmaster-dee-jun-24-2017/) “Marley” mentions how the early 80’s sounds of HOP music were not good to him and were going to phase out quickly. He in turn decided to use more sample based production for his artist and ‘Road To The Riches’ is an example of his transition in music. Kool G. Rap is the main star on this record and provides a lyrical painting of street knowledge, admiration for automobiles on ‘Cars,’ puppy love relationships and respecting the D.J. “The man with the cuts,” D.J. Polo accentuates the tracks on this album and makes songs like ‘It’s A Demo’ and ‘Poison’ stand the test of time. ‘Road To Riches’ also doesn’t get the credit it deserves for being such a hardcore record that didn’t lean on cursing to get its point across, as there are only two songs that contain vulgar words. An attribute usually awarded to only Rakim & Eric B.’s ‘Paid In Full.’ This was just the reality of rap music in it’s golden years, was to focus on a viable product that could always be one’s claim to fame when determining the acts worth. What did you think of the album? Singles include: ‘It’s A Demo,’ ‘Poison’ & Road To The Riches’ Listen to QUANTUM LEAP RADIO every Saturday from 4-6p.m. CST & Thursday from 3-5a.m. CST on 90.1 FM KPFT Houston in HD2 Worldwide @kpft.org/listen/ & TuneIn app (under “kpft in HD2”) Catch past episodes by searching and following @fanlink.to/QuantumLeapRadio

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