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Priority Records: 25 Years Later

by Sam Frank

Snoop DoggRap music in the late 80's and early 90's was raw, violent, and eye opening to listeners around the world. Artists like EPMD, Ice Cube, N.W.A., and Snoop Dogg were at the forefront of a music revolution now known as "Gangsta Rap", and the record label that gave their voices a mainstream audience was Priority Records. 25 years later Priority is back with Snoop Dee Oh Double Gee as the revamped label's creative chairman, and to start shit off with a gangsta twist he decided to go old school with the release of Snoop Dogg Presents: My #1 Priority, a mixtape which showcases the hottest talent from Priority's heyday. My #1 Priority features classic tracks from west coast rap legends, including N.W.A., Eazy-E, Mack 10, and Ice Cube, as well as crucial but more under the radar artists such as Mia X and Young Bleed. On top of handpicking all 17 of the mixtape's head ringing tracks Snoop Dogg throws in a newly recorded cover of Low Profile's classic, "Pay Ya Dues," the sole single from the group that featured W.C (later of Westside Connection) and DJ Aladdin. Some of the other bangers that Snoop hits you upside the head with include EPMD's "So Wat Cha Sayin'" from the 1989 seminal classic Unfinished Business, N.W.A.'s "8 Ball" from 1987's N.W.A. And The Posse, Westside Connection's "The Gangsta, The Killa, and The Dope Dealer" from 1996's Bow Down, and Ice Cube's power to the people anthem "The Nigga You Love To Hate" from his original solo record, AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted.

This mixtape will definitely take you back to an era of music that seems far removed from the bland crap most rappers put out today and deem Hip Hop. Snoop Dogg, being the creative genius that he is, also recognized this and decided to help Priority Records commemorate its 25th Anniversary by handpicking a slew of albums that certainly deserves to be re-issued for the next generation of b-boys and b-girls to bump with. Some of these U.S.D.A. (Uncut Snoop Dogg Approved) albums include Ice Cube's 1991 classic Death Certificate which debuted at #1 on Billboard's Hip Hop Albums chart and reached #2 on The Billboard 200, Snoop Dogg's 2000 album, Tha Last Meal, his last release under the No Limit banner, and TRU's fifth studio album, Da Crime Family, which peaked at #2 on Billboard's R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart and featured two singles, "Tru Homies" and "Hoody Hooo." For 25 years Priority Records has been the backbone of Rap's most influential artists, and now with Snoop Dogg at the helm it's time this new generation of rappers gets familiar with what made this music last long enough for them to base a career on it. For more information about Priority Records' 25th Anniversary celebrations go to http://www.priorityrecords.com.