While I have always loved and will always love just about every type of music in existence, I will always have a soft spot for hip-hop; specifically the hip-hop of my youth. For my money, nothing beats the “golden age” (roughly 1987-1993), a period when the creativity in the genre was limitless (plus, you didn’t have to worry about sample clearances).
Downtown Science was a duo that released one album on Def Jam back in 1991. They were notable from a pretty major perspective-they were an interracial hip-hop group, something virtually unheard of back then. I mean, the Beastie Boys don’t count because DJ Hurricane was never an official member of the group, so the only interracial rap groups up until that point were Digital Underground and 3rd Bass. Incidentally-Downtown Science’s Sam Sever (the white guy) was an associate of Serch and Pete (and Rich)-he produced quite a bit of that group’s 1989 debut “The Cactus Album”.
Sam and his rhyming partner Bosco Money (what a regrettable stage name) released two singles that I’m aware of. There was “Radioactive”, which was OK, and “Room to Breathe”, a track which I always loved. Bosco wasn’t the greatest emcee, but I loved the vibe of the track. I literally didn’t realize until about a week ago that the main sample on the record was from Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds’ 1976 hit “Fallin’ in Love”, which was about as Lite as Lite-FM got back in the day.
I got the album through half.com a couple of years back. It’s fairly unimpressive. It certainly didn’t sell much, but there’s the definite possibility that at least one hip-hop legend was listening. The Lady of Rage made her first appearance rhyming on this album. A year later, she was part of Dr. Dre’s Death Row camp.
Here’s the video for “Room to Breathe”.