Hip House Playlist

What is Hip House and where did it come from? In regards to where it came from, I think the best thing would be to take a step back and let the people decide who were actually there in the clubs of Chicago, New York, Manchester and London circa 1987.

For me as a wee little girl, I do remember Bomb The Bass coming out of London with the track “Beat Dis” which changed everything about what I considered Hip Hop. The most important element being that there was no MC?! The track had a high energy funk break, scratched in samples (72 samples no less), and not just music samples but even random samples from TV shows such as Dragnet and The Thunderbirds, but what really caught me was the bassline.

To simply say Hip House is House music with rap over it just doesn’t cut it.

No for me, it’s all about the breaks and the samples which added the Hip Hop element and it was that deep heavy bassline which added the House element. The breaks just made you want to get out on that dancefloor and show off the dance steps you had been practicing with your mates in front of the telly, but it was that heavy bassline that just made you want to ‘get down’ and if that ain’t House, I don’t know what is.

Because Hip House was so much about dancing, the rhymes were just an added bonus which is why I think there isn’t any deeply profound lyricism to be found in Hip House and which is probably also why Hip House was often considered a joke both in the Hip Hop and House scene. But the one thing no one can deny, is that it was highly infectious on the dancefloor even till this day. Whenever a Hip House track is mixed in people just lose their shit. I mean try it, drop “I’ll House You” at any given moment and see what happens. And when you’re busy losing your shit on the floor, you really ain’t got time to be listening to no profound lyrics, right?

The whole Hip House style literally exploded onto the scene and for a minute everyone wanted a piece of it, even Mark Wahlberg felt the “Good Vibrations.” Alas, just as rapidly as Hip House appeared, just as quickly it was gone. Although I have seen new artists dabbling with the genre, Azealia Banks being a prime example, so I am intrigued to see if this could turn into real revival. I, for one, am all for it.

With it being Throwback Thursday, I had the pleasure of compiling a video playlist consisting of 25 classic Hip House music videos so be prepared to get smacked in the face with hi-top fades, polka dots, over-sized slacks, hooded t-shirts, biker shorts, crazy dance moves and basslines, oooh those basslines….

1. Bomb The Bass ‘Beat Dis’ 1987
Like I mentioned before, major game changer.

2. The Beatmasters feat. The Cookie Crew ‘Rok Da House’ 1987
Some claim the first Hip House track pressed on vinyl. Loving Clapham’s own Cookie Crew killing the vocals on this.

3. Wee Papa Girl Rappers ‘Heat It Up’ 1988
With me being a wee girl myself at the time, I really looked up to these girls, they were just too cool.

4. Fast Eddie ‘Yo Yo Get Funky’ 1988
The self-proclaimed creator of Hip House and a mean Acid House producer at that, reppin’ Chicago. Couldn’t find a music video for this track but found an amazing clip from Detroit’s local TV show ‘The New Dance Show’. I recommend you look up every clip of this show online. If you’d rather see the man himself check out his collabo with MC Sundance on ‘Git On Up’.

5. Rob Base & DJ EZ Rok ‘Get On The Dance Floor’ 1988
I guess you could say ‘It Takes Two’ was the Hip House hit that helped the genre cross-over to the more mainstream Hip Hop crowd, but for me this was the real dancefloor banger

6. Jungle Brothers ‘I’ll House You’ 1988
The Native Tongue’s Jungle Brothers rapping over Todd Terry’s Royal House beat, probably the quintessential Hip House track. The Native Tongue did love their Hip House; most of them released a Hip House track with both Monie Love and Queen Latifah in this playlist. Even De La Soul made ‘Kicked Out The House’ with a big fat wink. “House music all night long…!”

7. Tony Scott ‘That’s How I’m Living’ 1988
The Dutch Tony Scott blending the perfect bassline with the perfect piano riff, Hip House perfection. Fashionwise, this is what everyone wore in The Netherlands back then: black denim and Troop sneakers.

8. Raze feat. Doug Lazy ‘Let It Roll’ 1989
A deeper form of Hip House, works best in a small, dark club with low ceilings and a massive sound system. Note the music video has the same old school cartoon images used in The Beatmasters video. This was very common for House music videos at the time. Easy way for labels to avoid spending money on music videos.

9. Twin Hype ‘For Those Who Like To Groove’ 1989
One of my all time favourites. Fact magazine’s Alexander ‘Full Nelson’ Waldron summed it up perfectly when he said that ‘prowling’ bassline because it’s all about the bassline in this track and of course the line “Jack, ’89’s the year House music is in your ear..” says it all.

10. Farley Jackmaster Funk & The Hip House Syndicate ‘Free at Last’ 1989
In December of ’88 The Godfather of Soul, James Brown’ was sent to prison and many songs were made in his honour with this being one of them, free James Brown!

11. Mr Lee ‘Get Busy’ 1989
And boy did you get busy when this track, by another Chicago Hip House legend, was dropped. If you didn’t know how to get busy to this, you had no business being on the floor.

12. Kool Rock Steady ‘You Ain’t Nobody’ 1989
The only Hip House diss record I’m aware of, dissing the one and only KRS-One who apparently wasn’t feeling Hip House. Probably because he didn’t know how to dance to it.

13. 2 In a Room ‘Do What You Want’ 1989
Bassline, bassline, bassline, nuff said.

14. KC Flightt ‘Planet E’ 1989
New Jersey’s KC Flightt very early on the Hip House scene already in 1987 with ‘Let’s Get Jazzy’. ‘Planet E’ is a rare conscious Hip House track sampling the amazing Talking Heads’ ‘Once In a Lifetime’. Watch out for David Byrne who actually appears in the video.

15. Monie Love ‘Grandpa’s Party’ 1989
London’s own Monie Love who flew all the way to NYC and became part of the legendary Native Tongue collective who brought the Afrocentric to Hip House.

16. Kiss AMC ‘A Bit of…’ 1989
You know when a genre has become really big is when the genre gets an ‘alternative’ side and with Kiss AMC sampling U2’s ‘New Year’s Day’ it didn’t get more alternative than this.

17. Ezee Posse & MC Kinky ‘Everything Starts with an E’ 1989
Some may argue if you can consider this Hip House, but for me this is Hip House all day with the fabulous MC Kinky toasting some fierce rhymes celebrating ‘E’cstasy back when mdma was still just a pill and when no one was bothered with its purity. Hilarious lyrics, rock guitar riffs and Michael Jackson samples, you gotta love it.

18. Ruth Joy ‘Don’t You Push It’ 1989
Produced by none other than Mantronix proving that Hip House doesn’t necessarily need an MC, but works just as good with a singer, the singer being Ruth Joy who came on the scene with the number one hit ‘House Arrest’. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the video even though I know there is one and it is set in Jamaica, so if anyone finds it please send me the link.

19. King Bee ‘Back By Dope Demand’ 1990
Massive hit all over Europe by Dutch collective King Bee. This track was all about the ‘running man’, thinking back on the dance moves you had to do to this track makes me realize people nowadays have it easy on the floor.

20. Queen Latifah ‘Welcome Into My House’ 1990
“Give me body…” WERK Queen!

21. Nomad feat. MC Mikee Freedom ‘(I Wanna Give You) Devotion’ 1990
Hip House has evolved and the ‘whoo…yeah’s are starting to make way for big booming vocals and the funk breaks are making way for more straight forward 4/4 House beats, but the track would have never been the anthem it is without MC Mikee’s rhymes.

22. A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd ‘Total Confusion’ 1990
Had to go with a clip from BBC’s Dance Energy instead of the actual music video. This clip really gives you a feel of how people were dressed and how they danced to pretty much anything back then. The title already says it ‘Total Confusion’ because this is one crazy track with a mental break, sampling Chuck D, and an MC proclaiming “…cuz London’s here”, big.

23. Snap ‘Mary Had a Little Boy’ 1990
The German Snap really brought Hip House to the mainstream and when Snap happened you would catch your mum singing to Snap while washing up in the kitchen. Having said that this track does have that bassline and piano riff that just grabs you the right way.

24. KLF ‘3am Eternal’ 1990
Big budget Hip House, big production, big video, the beginning of the end.

25. One Tribe ‘Is This All’ 1991
The end of Hip House is nigh, so let’s go out with an absolute bang! The breaks have become significantly slower, extremely deep bassline, dramatic synth strings, desperate vocals and then the rap hits. Only one word can describe this, beautiful.


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  • chzwkbndk

    Ruth Joy – Don’t Push It