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Back In The Day: Sit Back and Unwind

There’s an amusing scene in the Sandra Bullock rom-com, The Proposal, where Bullock’s character and her fiancé (played by Ryan Reynolds) are trying to get to know each other better. She casually mentions that her first concert was Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock. Reynolds feigns ignorance, pretending not to know who they are, before admitting that he actually does and just wanted to hear her sing the lyrics. Both break into the 1988 hip-hop gem, “It Takes Two.”

Speaking of rocking the microphone: our first hip-hop compilation comes out July 20. Entitled Back in the Day: A Summertime Hip-Hop Mix, it’s a compilation of songs from what’s known as “the golden age of hip-hop” (c. 1988-1996), and it plays like the same Bullock/Reynolds shared joy of singing along to a hip-hop classic.

Put together by my colleague Holly H., it’s an addictive mixture of beats and rhymes meant for top-down car bumpin’ in the long, hot summer. From DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, the Beastie Boys and the Pharcyde to De La Soul, Queen Latifah and A Tribe Called Quest, it’s a joint guaranteed to bring back a few memories and create some new ones. Check these vintage clips from J.J. Fad and Gang Starr.

The CD cover comes courtesy Seattle graffiti art legend Sneke One. In a special one-day creation, he mesmerized an audience of videographers, Starbucks people and hip-hop fans, taking his “style writing” to a new level with a case of aerosol cans and a huge blank canvas that quickly became a colorful burst of abstract magnificence. It was later photographed and sized to fit the cover.

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