Kool G Rap and DJ Polo
Road to the Riches


4.0
excellent

Review

by somberlain USER (64 Reviews)
January 4th, 2010 | 19 replies


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Great start to the career of one of the best, most underappreciated rappers ever.

The Juice Crew was a collection of rappers founded by legendary hip hop producer Marley Marl in the late 80's and although a flashier Big Daddy Kane along with the Clown Prince of Hip Hop Biz Markie gained most of the attention, Kool G. Rap would prove to have the most longevity and was probably the most influential rapper of the crew. Kool G. Rap is also recognized as the originator of the Mafioso Rap and hardcore style, later saying the the G in his name was for Giancana as in mobster Sam Giancana although originally it was for "Genious."

The duo of Kool G. Rap and DJ Polo first came together in 1986 to record the single "It's a Demo," this caught the ear of Marley Marl who produced their debut in it's entirety. On the title track Kool G. raps about what else? Making money, as much a topic twenty years ago as it is today over some powerful keyboard stabs. "Truly Yours" is reminiscent of fellow Juice Crew member Biz Markie's "Vapors" but much harsher, about a girl who left him before he blew up, so now that he made it he disses her starting off with "This I dedicate to the girl I hate" and "You look slick, but you know every Tom and Dick you're more quick than a chick from a porno flick" but he also saves some for her new man "The only picture you got is his mug shot." Over some well placed saxophone notes he talks about this man being in jail and of course being gay "With men, and Len, your real close friend but you wouldn't be his friend if his knees didn't bend" keep in mind that this was done twenty years ago and hip hop has come a long way, you won’t hear this kind of blatant homophobia anymore right? Okay maybe hip hop hasn’t progressed much in that respect.

For "Rhymes I Express," Marley Marl cleverly flips a sample of Kratfwerk's "Trans-Europe Express," the hook being "I'll leave you in a [trans] with the rhymes that I [express]" giving it a bit of an electronic sound. Although he was dissing a girl with "Truly Yours," he shows some genuine emotion and sadness on "She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not" about how much he misses a certain lady that left, a song about love from one of the most hardcore rappers ever! "Trilogy of Terror" contains a harmonica sample and an upbeat tempo where G Rap rips some great multi-syllabic lyrics, this track is a great showcase for both him and Marley Marl who was already one of the top producers in the game. "Cars" is G Rap's take on Gary Numan's song of the same name, seems like a horrible idea but it works with lines like "And you know you get respect cause they’re breaking their necks to see your car" just rapping about driving dope cars and it's a fun, lighthearted moment. Like most albums of the time, this one includes the obligatory DJ showcase "Cold Cuts" although there is some rapping here, it's mostly Polo's track.

Kool G. Rap shines throughout with his rough rhymes and smooth flow, whether it’s a slower track like “Truly Yours” or the faster “Men At Work” where G. Rap drops some great rhymes at a furious pace. DJ Polo’s contribution here is also not to be overlooked, though “Cold Cuts” and “Butcher Shop” are where he really shines, he blends in well timed scratches throughout he doesn’t seem to do it just for the sake of scratching.

Although when discussing MC/DJ duos Eric B. & Rakim are the first that come to mind, Kool G. Rap and Polo, while not having the same popularity, are comparable and G Rap is right up there with Rakim but because there were so many great MCs at the time, unfortunately for Kool G. Rap he was lost in the shuffle among Big Daddy Kane, LL Cool J and the aforementioned Rakim. Even though this duo would put out better albums, they were off to a great start with this album and showed the tremendous potential that would be fulfilled over the course of their next two albums.

Recommended Tracks:
Truly Yours
Road to the Riches
Men at Work



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user ratings (43)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
thecreative0ne (5)
With this album, you could tell that Kool G Rap was on the "Road" to being one of the best emcees of...


Comments:Add a Comment 
hydeyomoney
January 4th 2010


934 Comments


Kool G Rap goes so hard and is elite.

Nice review.

somberlain
January 4th 2010


2121 Comments


His next 2 albums are even better than this. Overlooked classics

hydeyomoney
January 4th 2010


934 Comments


His solo albums are pretty okay except for the new EP, which is about a 2.5.

somberlain
January 4th 2010


2121 Comments


have you heard 4,5,6,? I love it

hydeyomoney
January 4th 2010


934 Comments


4,5,6 is my favorite of his solo releases and it is quite awesome.

somberlain
January 4th 2010


2121 Comments


it sure is awesome but so are "Wanted: Dead or Alive" and "Live and Let Die"

illmitch
January 4th 2010


5429 Comments


this is the only Kool G Rap & DJ Polo album i dont have, ill look it up. live and let die is amazing, wanted: dead or alive great but less so

somberlain
January 4th 2010


2121 Comments


This being their 1st, it's not as great as their next 2 but still good

FistfulOfSteel
January 4th 2010


894 Comments


what ill mitch said exactly. don't have this album yet but will soon.

somberlain
January 4th 2010


2121 Comments


If I could only get the damn artwork up :[

Bulldog
January 6th 2010


3796 Comments


Nice review dawgie.

somberlain
January 6th 2010


2121 Comments


Thx Bulldog check some Kool G Rap bro he was one of the greats

Mista666
June 25th 2010


41 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

deserves way more than 4/5 ffs ! listen to it once again , see where alotta mc's got their style and rhymes from.

somberlain
June 25th 2010


2121 Comments


@ Mista
well their next 2 albums are better than this, 'Live and Let Die' is their best

BigPoppaDiesel
January 29th 2011


150 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Slick review. "Poison" & "Butcher Shop" were the beasts of the day.

Urinetrouble
February 13th 2011


5764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

fav kool g rap and dj polo album

Pharoh
December 9th 2011


3326 Comments


me too

demigod!
March 16th 2013


44978 Comments


this funks

Digging: Autechre - LP5

hikingmetalpunk
July 31st 2014


1097 Comments


og

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RVQeJPAW2U



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