Essential reissues from Original Dope

I think we copped our first vinyl copy of Blade’s ‘The Lion Goes From Strength to Strength’ from Dave the Ruf’s shop in Manchester. In a spirited piece of entrepreneurialism he was selling the bonus 12″ some lucky people got with their copy for 50 sheets. We demurred, but still went home with what felt like one of the first proper artistic statements over full length from a UK rapper. While some might argue the relative merits of the Demon Boyz debut, or Hijack’s one stab at glory – and no-one will argue the merits of Three Wize Men, obviously – the strength of this album is that Blade maintains his anger, insight and quality over four sides of vinyl (hip-hop’s first double album, don’t you know) and twenty-something tracks. The undiluted, unfiltered passion of the early 12″s that made his name is still present and correct here. Original Dope, a reissues label masterminded by ex-HHC head honcho Andy Cowan (also overseer of the underworld of cats) has chosen wisely with its first release, Blade’s masterpiece sounding crisper but still fiery on 2 CD’s. Remastered by No Sleep Nigel and with Blade providing liner notes about the record, it’s pretty much essential. Unless you’re some kind of twat, obviously. Cop it HERE

Blade – Gripper The Pitbull (The Approach)

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More of a curio is Ruthless Rap Assassins ‘Killer Album’. The Hulme crew are often overlooked in the history of UK rap – the price of being Northern. But this John Peel favourite stands the test of time, especially as its an openly political piece that emerged at the same time as the vapid Madchester scene. Kermit and crew deal with being black in the UK with a light touch – except on the brooding but exceptional ‘Justice (Just Us)’, a track that pulls no punches – and plenty of humour, which stops this feeling like a lecture. We’d forgotten all about ‘And it Wasn’t A Dream’. Refresh your memory with the video below, and keep your eyes on Original Dope’s forthcoming releases. Maybe we can persuade them to put our shitty demos…

12 Responses to "Essential reissues from Original Dope"
  1. Reply Toilet October 11, 2010 16:31 pm

    There was a half decent documentary with the Ruthless Rap Assassins on Channel 4 when the Killer Album came out. I think I bought the single Just Mellow off the back of watching that.

  2. Reply billy brown from buffalo October 12, 2010 06:28 am

    I’m the guy who’d take Justice (Just Us), And It Wasn’t A Dream and Crew From The North over Blade’s entire career.

    * Ducks *

  3. Reply 106 names October 12, 2010 14:21 pm

    Defo Brian.

    Killer album is one one of my fave rap LP’s ever, still enjoy playing that a lot. Sleeve was killer too. Wasn’t it produced the guy who did the bulk of the ‘UK Electro’ album too?

    I remember I sold most of my blade stuff a few years ago, haven’t really missed it although ‘mind of an ordinary citizen’ 12″ is a classic.

  4. Reply dave the ruff's mum. October 12, 2010 14:23 pm

    why isn’t ‘westwood is a twat’ on youtube?

  5. Reply dave the ruff's gran. October 12, 2010 14:24 pm

    Funky Banana records. Manchester Corn exhange. Over priced second hand wax and Dave jumping around the shop to endless spins of ‘mello gone crazy’. Those were the days.

  6. Reply billy brown from buffalo October 12, 2010 17:01 pm

    Cool story, bro : I used to play various games online against No Sleep Nigel via Sega’s Dreamcast back in 2000/2001 and he taught me a trick which enabled you to be able to get online for free with its internet connection.

  7. Reply extra October 13, 2010 17:33 pm

    Is this really “hip-hop’s first double album”? – Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince “He’s the DJ I’m the Rapper” was double vinyl in 1988

  8. Reply 107 names October 14, 2010 06:18 am

    maybe first UK rap double?

  9. Reply repo136 October 14, 2010 09:07 am

    Dave The Ruf – someone MUST know where he is these days….?? Funky Banana Endeavours…. Boom Tunes….. oh yes.
    “And It Wasn’t A Dream” still rinses most of UK stuff from dahn Sarf anyway.

  10. Reply dave the ruff's goldfish October 17, 2010 03:38 am

    dave’s performance on the UK Fresh 97 dvd could be the most cringeworthy thing I’ve ever seen, apart from his performance after Flash at the Hacienda when he came on after Flash and claimed that his DJ was going to show us what a DJ should really sound like and launched into a rap over a sample of The Professionals theme tune. Truly embarrassing.

  11. Reply Craig October 17, 2010 06:45 am

    Thanks for the info Sir Huge – This was a great alblum at the time, powerful and as stated, long. VFM never came with such interesting sleeve-notes

    I recall havin to speak to Blade about my copy of the LP, I had to ring to give him my address, problem being that I dont think he’d EVER met anyone Northern Irish before, he didnt understand a bloody word I was sayin…

    All the George Best

  12. Reply Mr Bozack October 24, 2010 07:23 am

    katch 22, mell’o’ and london posse did better albums.

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