Established in 2010, Original Dope is committed to preserving the legacy of the best hip-hop music on the planet. With a strong emphasis on classic British Rap, if it bangs, we bring it! Curated by Andy Cowan, long-time editor of the world’s original rap magazine Hip-Hop Connection, special care is taken to ensure all Original Dope releases have the extra boom your buck deserves. Every CD is a digitally re-mastered, expanded edition, with lavish packaging, exclusive liner notes, original photography and super rare bonus beats.
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RUTHLESS RAP ASSASSINS
Ruthless Rap Assassins broke the mould. They shifted the nucleus of UK rap away from the capital to their native Manchester, offering a thinking man’s alternative to the indie-dance of Happy Mondays and Stone Roses. Their debut LP, KILLER ALBUM, reflected the black British experience in a unique, often poignant way. All the way live from the notorious North Hulme estate, the trio of Anderson, Carson and a pre- Black Grape Kermit eschewed the phony Brooklyn accents of many London contemporaries for a hard-bitten, sometimes bitter but always razor sharp trawl through the harsh realities of low-budget living packed with depth, humour and social comment. The 20th anniversary edition of KILLER ALBUM adds three rare remixes, extensive liner notes and previously unseen pics.
‘THE LION GOES FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH (NO COMPROMISE)’
Blade carved himself a career out of sheer will power. Eschewing the major label route he steadily built a committed fan base in tune with his no-nonsense approach, his precise lyrical monologues and self-produced beats mercifully free of the slick studio tactics that had become order of the day across the Atlantic. It culminated in 1993’s 26-track magnum opus THE LION GOES FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH (NO COMPROMISE) – hip-hop’s first double album and an extraordinary stand-alone release. Re-mastered by original engineer No Sleep Nigel and with self-penned liner notes by Blade, this double CD edition finally replicates the original vinyl, criminally out of print and hard to find since the mid-90s.
MC Duke has always been a top-ranker. The self-styled ‘English rasta’ was first spotted by UK original Derek B, destroying all challengers at a London open-mic contest. And even though the verbal whirlwind didn’t have the obligatory demo tape to his name, he was fast-tracked into the studio by Music Of Life producer Simon Harris – a prescient bit of business that quickly yielded British rap’s first essential long player. A funky time capsule of hip-hop circa 1989, this re-mastered and expanded edition of ORGANISED RHYME comes with no less than 7 bonus tracks, including a rare live freestyle and four brand spanking new tracks – ample proof that the fire still burns strongly in this irrepressible blue-blooded legend of British hip-hop.