Sound — 10
You ought to know, really, but Grandmaster Flash is a pioneer of the turntables. But why review hip-hop on a guitar website? Well, there are some very funky and elaborate bass lines - ideal for those who slap or pop. Also, many of the synthesized sounds can be re-produced on a guitar. His sound is very old skool, funky, techno, garage all blended into one. It's 100 times better than any of the new rappers or R'n'B you hear. The three cds have cuts from different times - i.e. the first cd is the truly old stuff and the later are more techno than funk. You can definitely play along to many of the songs and work out some subtle solos and bass lines.
Lyrics — 10
Flash worked with a group known famously as the furious five and the lyrics are hard to follow as its rapping rather than singing. However on songs such as 'the Message' the lyrics highlight many of the hardships people living downtown face. That being said, many of the lyrics on the old stuff are quite cheerful, 'Showdown', for example, is about the rap war between the Furious Five and the Sugarhill Gang. The song Birthday Party is quite self explanatory. Lot's of variation.
Overall Impression — 10
I got this for 16.99 which is great value for three cd's and 34 tracks in total. It's really a matter of personal taste as to what songs are best. The most appealing to the ear are probably 'The Wheels Of Steel', 'The Message', 'Pump Me Up' and 'Step Off'. These can also be played along to as well as many others. If it were stolen, I would definetely buy it again in a hunch. It is hip-hop, old school - not some Eminem or 50 Cent crap.