Producers include: Da Mic Profesah, Toney El, Mike "Da Lotus" Lowe, Hollywood Impact, Afrika Bambaataa.
Engineers include: Allen Title, Jason Vogel, Jason Vogel.
Includes liner notes by Tina Clark.
Recording information: MCA Studios, New York, NY; Paramount Studios, Holl; Quad Recording, New York, NY; Unique Recording, New York, NY.
A few old-school crews reunited in the '90s, but virtually nothing was worth hearing, especially compared to their often-revelatory work a decade earlier. Raiders of the Lost Art is a big exception, including many of the top crews that made old-school what it was: Treacherous Three, Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow, Whodini, a Grandmaster Flash-less Furious Five, and more. Overseen by Treacherous Three's DJ Easylee, it updated the old school for the early '90s, with rugged beats and less of a party atmosphere. Like Run-D.M.C.'s Down With the King, the revamping paid surprising dividends: Treacherous Three open up with a pressing track that gave the title to the album, and the Melle Mel-led Furious Five contribute an interesting update to the original message track ("The Message") with "Sun Don't Shine in the Hood." Whodini gets in the best of all, a hip-hop history lesson called "Do It Again" that doesn't require a working knowledge of old school to enjoy thoroughly. Fearless Four, Kurtis Blow, and Busy Bee all add solid cuts, and Afrika Bambaataa comes through with a big beat bass party jam called "The Cooley (Do the Cooley)." Unlike most every other '80s-scene reunion record (Jesse Saunders' Chicago house jam Chicago Reunion comes to mind), Raiders of the Lost Art is a solid effort no matter whether these legendary names mean anything to you or not. ~ John Bush