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UMe Says “Respect the Classics” with Hip-Hop Reissue Series

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Respect the ClassicsPerhaps no genre is as underrepresented in the catalogue world as modern hip-hop. Remastered and expanded editions are hard to come by, for whatever reason – be it sample clearance, market demand and the like. Universal Music Enterprises is doing their best to change that this year with a new wave of multi-format reissues called “Respect the Classics.”

“Respect the Classics” draws from critically-acclaimed titles in the Def Jam, Interscope, Priority, and Virgin Records discographies and represses them on CD or vinyl. Thus far, UMe’s reissued N.W.A.’s 1987 debut N.W.A. and The Posse on CD and their seminal Straight Outta Compton (1988) on 180-gram vinyl. They’ve also re-released two N.W.A. solo albums: Eazy-E’s Eazy-Duz-It (1988) gets the CD and LP treatment, while Ice Cube’s 1990 debut AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted is reissued on vinyl.

Most exciting for expanded reissue fans is a 25th anniversary edition of EPMD’s Strictly Business on CD. It’s appended with five bonus tracks, including remixes of “I’m Housin’,” “You Gots to Chill,” “You’re a Customer” and “It’s My Thing.” Eazy-Duz-It also features two bonus 12″ mixes on CD.

Three more waves of “Respect the Classics” reissues are planned for 2013, with eight more titles announced, as well:

  • October 22: DMX’s It’s Dark and Hell is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, both released in 1998, will get double-vinyl reissues on gold and blood-splatter colored vinyl, respectively.
  • November 12: Two Def Jam classics from 1988, Slick Rick’s The Great Adventures of Slick Rick and Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, will be reissued on vinyl. Additionally, 50 Cent’s 2003 debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ will receive a double-vinyl reissue.
  • December 13: Gang Starr’s seminal Step in the Arena (1991) gets a vinyl reissue, while hardcore group Onyx’s debut Bacdafucup (1993) is reissued on CD.
  • 2014: a host of vinyl reissues for modern hip-hop classics from the late ’90s and 2000s, including Tupac Shakur’s Greatest Hits (1998), Eminem’s major-label debut The Slim Shady LP (1999), Common’s acclaimed Like Water for Chocolate (2000), N.E.R.D.’s In Search of… (2001 – UMe indicates this will be a double-vinyl title, likely based on the 2002 rock-oriented mix/pressing), both albums by Eminem side-project D12 (Devil’s Night (2001) and D12 World (2004)), Lil Wayne’s The Carter (2004), and Kanye West’s polarizing electronic venture 808s & Heartbreak (2008).

In the meantime, keep checking UMe’s official Respect the Classics page for updates and trivia, and hit the jump for all the available titles. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

September 18, 2013 at 10:03

All Eyez on Him: Tupac Catalogue Gets Digital Reissue for Rapper’s 40th Birthday

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He would have turned 40 this year – as of last week, in fact. His death nearly 15 years ago is still one of rap’s greatest unsolved murders (and is still a hot topic). Now, Universal is digitally releasing five albums by Tupac Shakur this summer – their debuts in the digital realm.

2Pacalypse Now (1991), Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. (1993), his sole, self-titled album with the Thug Life collective (1994), Me Against the World (1995) and the posthumous R U Still Down? (Remember Me) (1997) will each get straight digital reissues next month. It’s uncertain whether there’s any more catalogue action to be had from the Tupac camp; the artist has had six posthumous compilations to his name, as many albums as he worked on in his lifetime (the sixth album, Don Kiluminati: The 7 Day Theory – attributed to the pseudonym “Makaveli” – was completed by Shakur but not released until months after his death). But the news release conspicuously notes the 20th anniversary of debut 2Pacalypse Now, so it’s not outside the realm of possiblity.

In the meantime, each album after the jump will be available from all digital providers on July 5. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 20, 2011 at 14:55

Posted in 2Pac, Digital, News, Reissues