There’s nothing asshole label heads love more than reissuing old albums they somehow scored the rights to, forcing you to dig deep into your pockets for a Jackson just to hear an “alternative mix” with a different snare. How exciting!
It’s true, reissues generally add nothing to classics (Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On) at best, and corrupt masterpieces at worst (Michael Jackson, Thriller: 25th Anniversary Edition). But I’m confident that this could be rectified by sitting these label execs the fuck down and schooling them on what albums they actually need to be reissuing, instead of just dragging out the 15th Thriller reissue.
What follows is a list that does just such a thing. Now get on it!
Schoolly D Schoolly D / Saturday Night! The Album
What, the founder of gangsta rap don’t get no love? Both of these albums are out-of-print and impossible to find unless you get a bootleg or drop 100 big ones on eBay for some old-ass, beat up copies.
It’s ridiculous that young heads can’t get a legit copy of the album with “PSK What Does It Mean?” and “Gucci Time” on it. I hear shifty-ass Jive Records may have reissued them a while back, but without all of Schoolly D‘s tracks, and with the two albums all mixed together out of order.
Fuck that, release a 2 disc set, make the first disc Saturday Night! and the second disc Schoolly D. Or, if you can’t afford to press that up, do like the Amerikkka’s Most Wanted /Kill At Will reissue and just put the two albums on the same disc, but in the right order.
Come on, this is a hip hop legend, sampled by the likes of the Beastie Boys, The Notorious BIG, and Jim Jones.
He’s relevant, he’s talented. Reissue these.
Ice-T is a beast, and this is far and away his strongest effort. However, it has a huge, gaping hole right in the middle of it. Colors, Ice-T’s best song aside from 6 N The Morning, doesn’t appear on any of his studio albums, just his greatest hits collection and the Colors soundtrack (good luck finding that). There isn’t a better album to put it on than Power – they have the same punchy, funkadelic synths and smoothed-out Ice-T flow.
Sure, it’s only one bonus track, but if you’ve heard Colors, you know that that the addition of that one track would elevate Power from classic to masterpiece.
One thing, though: you can’t just tack it on at the end of the album, that would fuck up the story told in the intro and outro. Put it between “Girls LGBNAF” and “High Rollers,” maybe?
Snoop Doggy Dogg Doggystyle / Over the Counter
Death Row’s dropped two Doggystyle reissues already, but they didn’t do it proper. All of the skits are mixed into the songs (incredibly frustrating, trust me), and Gz Up, Hoes Down is nowhere to be found (actually, it was nowhere to be found after early pressings). It’s sort of nice to know that I own the best version of Doggystyle around (purhcased on eBay), but at the same time, it sucks that the world can’t enjoy this classic like it should.
And I’m sure I’m not the only Snoop fan fiending for his unreleased debut album, Over the Counter. All we got is a 5-track bootleg of it. Give us the full thing on a second disc, maybe tack on all those Doggystyle outtakes floating around YouTube, too.
Whoever it is bought (buys?) the rights to Death Row’s catalogue owes it to hip hop to make this happen.
It’s already been reissued, but after hearing the recently leaked OG Edition, I’m sold on the idea of another go at it. I’m sure Puff would be up for it, since money’s involved. Maybe he could buy his jet back.
What else deserves a proper reissue? Talk on it.
Dear “The Source” Magazine,
I apologize for the tardiness of my response to your most recent issue – I would have written you sooner, but could not find the address for reader’s letters anywhere in your magazine and didn’t care enough to further investigate.
Now that you’ve “re-launched” and are “new and improved” after providing us with years of stunningly bad journalism, you seem to be on some sort of strange, afrocentric, faux-intellectual trip, a la Nas (although the new issues are new and improved, I’ll give you that).
I noticed this mostly in your piece about how Black people are almost never on TV shows. You listed Black America’s great hope, a motherfucking cartoon, and then made a list of 10 TV shows to check out if you want to see “us” on TV, as if your readership isn’t 90% white.
I found it beyond hilarious that you put a show like BET’s “American Gangster” on that list.
Come on, is that really what cats like MLK Jr. were out there marching for? “Oh, I have a dream… that some day my children will grow up to on a show called ‘American Gangster’ and that it will be the best portrayal of Black people on TV…”
I can’t help but wonder how you put a show called “American Gangster” on your list of “empowering” shows but neglected to mention the shows that have been “empowering” Black America in a a similar fashion for decades, like “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted.”
On a slightly unrelated note, what’s the deal with that official relaunching issue with mediocre has beens like Nas and LL Cool J on the front re-reviewing a gang of old CDs? That’s bullshit. It would have been far more interesting if you had just reprinted how you originally reviewed the CDs (well, except maybe for the Marshall Mathers LP). I say this as a head who has spent hours on your POS website searching for some classic reviews. I really don’t care to read a dozen reviews that all say the same things (anyone else noticed that stanning reviews like your new batch aren’t half as interesting as negative ones?).
Also, how in the fuck is Get Rich or Die Tryin’ one of the best albums of all time? Give me a fucking break.
So, in summary, welcome back, Source.
But fuck you, too.
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