Michael Webster's Vinyl Collection

Explore classic hip hop and vinyl in The Michael Webster Collection. Acquired by Four Four Beat Labs, the collection is cross-genre between the late 70s and early 2000s. A substantial body of records played by DJ Web, an Atlanta DJ whose career as a party rocker spans 40 years.

By HipHop2020 Innovation Archive

Michael Webster Acquisition PhotosHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

Below are some of the classic 12" singles and full-length albums that emerged from the Michael Webster Collection. Many are tagged with its unique BPM (beats per minute) and others cross various genres of popular music that continue to impact the sound of the culture.

The Message (1982-10-01/1982-10-01) by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious FiveHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

The Significance of 1982

"The Message" was released in October 1982, and hailed as classic hip hop. It is  one of the most significant rap singles because it forced a shift from boastin' in the emergent rap genre to schooling on  social issues in the commentary and performance of hip hip/rap.

"The Message" is tagged with his signature "W" to identify the record as his own authentic copy.

Ladies First!

Off the heels of Roxanne Shante's "Roxanne's Revenge" (1984), “It’s My Beat”  was released in 1986 and is the first single from woman-rapper Sweet Tee featuring DJ Jazzy Joyce, who opened doors for women producers and DJs in hip hop and radio. Webster marked it with a BPM of 92.

 The song came out during a time when women rappers were starting to make a name for themselves amongst the likes of The Sequence, Salt-N-Pepa, Queen Latifah, and MC Lyte. Ulimately, making a way for contemporaries like Lauryn Hill, Eve, Missy Elliot, Nicki Minaj, and Cardi B.

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A Staple in the Crates

"Rockit", by Herbie Hancockwas a track driven by its DJ scratch style and later won a Grammy for Best R&B Instrumental Performance in 1983 and 5 MTV Video Music Awards in 1984.

D'Ya Like Scratchin (1982-04-12/1982-04-12) by Malcom McLaren and the World Famous Supreme TeamHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

"All that scratchin' is makin' me itch!"

"d'ya like Scratchin" by Malcolm McLaren. Fun fact: the EP also has "Buffalo Gals" and "She's Lookin Like a Hobo", a popular double dutch jam! Both songs have similar beats, but different scratches. It includes many samples that DJs like to cut up in their mixes. The BPM is 118.

Mothership Connetion (1975-12-15/1975-12-15) by ParliamentHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

To the Land of Funk!

Mothership Connection is often rated among the best Parliament releases and became Parliament's first album to be certified gold and later platinum. In 2011, the Library of Congress added the album to the National Recording Registry as it has major cross-genre influence. 

Purple Rain (1984-06-25/1984-06-25) by Prince and the RevolutionHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

The Purple One

Webster has a remarkable collection of Prince albums and singles, including Purple Rain, which is musically dense with a wide variety of full band performances and multiple layers of various instruments.  The album also introduced bandmates Wendy & Lisa.

A: "Man In The Mirror" (Single Mix) B: "Man In The Mirror" (Album Mix) (1988-01-09/1988-01-09) by Michael JacksonHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

The King of Pop

"Man in the Mirror" topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks becoming Michael Jackson's 10th single to top the chart and became 3x platinum. The music video strayed from Jackson's normal concepts and instead is a montage of footage depicting major news events and people.

Whitney Houston (1985-02-14/1985-02-14) by Whitney HoustonHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

One of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Whitney Houston was the first debut album and first album by a solo female artist to produce three number-one singles: "Saving All My Love for You", "How Will I Know" and "Greatest Love of All". The album is certified diamond as well as 13x platinum. A go-to album for DJs.

A: "Angel" Side B: "Into The Groove" (1985-04-10/1985-04-10) by MadonnaHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

Like A Virgin (1984)

"Into the Groove" was released in 1985 on the B-side of Madonna's single for "Angel". At the time, hip hop was bumrushing pop culture, and she had to keep up. Often used in DJ sets, Billboard magazine recognized it as the Dance Single of the Decade by the end of the 1980s.

A: "King Holiday" (Short Version), (Dub Version) B: "King Holiday" (Long Version) (1986-01-01/1986-01-01) by Various ArtistsHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

I've Been to the Mountaintop!

"King Holiday" was released on January 13, 1986 in honor of the first celebration of Dr. MLK, Jr Day on January 20, 1986. The project was run by Dexter Scott King, who is also the song's executive producer. Check the liner notes! So many people contributed. Including Prince! 

A: "Funky Beat" (Extended Version), (Instrumental Version) B: "Whodini Megamix (Five Minutes of Funk, Friends, Freaks Come Out At Night, Nasty Lady, Big Mouth, Magic's Wand & Haunted House of Rock)" (1905-06-08/1905-06-08) by WhodiniHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

"98 WEB"

"Funky Beat" was released in 1986 and peaked at #19 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop and #30 on Dance Club Songs. 

Fun facts: It is the first song that Grandmaster Dee rapped on. The B-side has the "Whodini Megamix" that went on to be included in a routine by DJ Steve Dee, the founder of the beat juggling technique, the art of manipulating two copies of a record to create a new beat.

Krush Groove (1985-10-24/1985-10-24) by Various ArtistsHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

Krush Groove: A Musical Comedy About Def Jam Recordings

Krush Groove is a soundtrack album containing various artists released by Warner Bro. Records in 1985. Only 1,000 copies were pressed on a CD. The film was also nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song for the song "All You Can Eat" by The Fat Boys.

Bigger and Deffer (BAD) (1987-06-02/1987-06-02) by L.L. Cool JHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

I'm BAD!

Bigger and Deffer (abbreviated BAD) released in 1987 features the first commercially successful rap ballad, "I Need Love". The album spent eleven weeks at #1 in the summer of 1987. Also, the cover photo was taken in front of Andrew Jackson High School in Queens. 

Paid In Full (1987-07-07/1987-07-07) by Eric B. & RakimHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

Cuz I don't like to dream about gettin' paid!

Paid in Full is the debut album for this iconic hip hop duo released in 1987 and is credited as a benchmark album of the golden age of hip hop. Rakim pioneered the use of internal rhymes setting a higher standard of lyricism in rap creating the template for future rappers.

"Shake It" and "It's Just My Caddy" (1988/1988) by MC Shy DHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

One of Atlanta's first popular rap songs

"Shake It" by MC Shy D is a classic Atlanta rap song that continues to get airplay. It was released in 1988 by Luke Skyywalker Records, and includes signature southern sounds of electronic and bass music, making it a great play at parties.

A: "C'Mon Babe" (Radio Mix), "C'Mon Babe" (X-Tended Bass Mix) B: "C'Mon Babe" (Doodoo Brown Mix), "If You Believe In Having Sex" (1989) by The 2 Live CrewHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

The 2 Live Crew

Staples of both Miami and Atlanta rap"C'mon Babe" is featured on the album As Nasty As They Wanna Be, was released in 1989 on Luke Skyywalker Records, later named Luke Records. "C;mon Babe" was also source material for Frank Ski's "Doo Doo Brown", and has been heavily sampled.

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Public Enemy #1!

"Rebel Without a Pause" is reference to the 1955 movie Rebel Without a Cause and was deemed an instant classic with its speedy BPM of 101. Because it was so popular, PE included it on their 1988 album It Take a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.  

A: "Self Destruction" (Extended, Special Mix) B: "Self Destruction" (Single Edit), (Instrumental) (1989) by Various ArtistsHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

The Stop the Violence Movement

"Self Destruction" was recorded as a single in response to the violence in hip hop and African American communities after a young fan was killed at a show in 1988. It debuted at #1 and held the spot for 10 consecutive weeks and all proceeds went to the National Urban League.

"Ya headed for self-destruction!"

Performed by The Stop the Violence Movement, the song included MC Lyte, Stetsasonic, Ms. Melodie, KRS-One, D-Nice, Chuck D and Flavor Flav of Public Enemy, Just-Ice, and others. The album cover was damaged by water intrusion in Webster's basement but the vinyl was unharmed.

"Gyrlz, They Love Me" (1990/1990) by Heavy D. & The BoysHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

Teach Love!

"Love's Gonna Get'cha (Material Love)" is featured on the album Edutainment released in 1990 which centered on  afrocentricity and socio-political knowledge. 

A: "So Wat Cha Sayin'" (Club Version) B: "So Wat Cha Sayin" (Dub Version), (Radio Version) (1905-06-11/1905-06-11) by EPMDHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

Erick and Parrish Making Dollars = EPMD

"So Wat Cha Sayin" is the only single from EPMD's second album to be released and was produced with scratches from DJ Scratch. It peaked at #5 on Hot Rap Singles. Webster calculated its BPM at 104.

A: "Mary, Mary" B: "Mary, Mary" (Instrumental), "Rock Box" (1905-06-10/1905-06-10) by Run-D.M.C.HipHop2020 Innovation Archive

"Together Forever, Forever Together!"

RIP Jam Master Jay (in the middle). Run (right) and DMC (left)

"RUN D.M.C. and we're tougher than leather!"

Originally recorded by The Butterfield Blues Band in 1966 and later The Monkees, "Mary, Mary" had a revival in the late 1980s as a hip hop cover by  Run-DMC. It was the group's most successful single on Tougher Than Leather and the only one to make it to the Billboard Hot 100. 

Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989-09-19/1989-09-19) by Janet JacksonHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

"Pushing towards a world rid of color lines!"

Rhythm Nation 1814 by Janet Jackson explores racism, poverty, and substance abuse. It was the best-selling album of 1990 in the US had 7 singles peak in the top 5 positions. Webster marked it with two BPMs: 112 and 108, the vinyl remaining untouched by the room's water damage.

A: "Just A Friend" (LP Version) B: "Just A Friend" (Instrumental) (1989-10-10/1989-10-10) by Biz MarkieHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

Cold Chillin'

"Just a Friend" is Biz Markie's most successful single peaking at #9 on Billboard Hot 100 and certified platinum in 1990. The song uses the melody of the 1968 song "(You) Got What I Need", and has been sampled over 30 times in various genres. 

People's Instinctive Travels and The Paths of Rhythm (1990-04-17/1990-04-17) by A Tribe Called QuestHipHop2020 Innovation Archive

"Bonita Applebum, you gotta put me on!"

People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm is the debut album from A Tribe Called Quest released in 1990, and remains in the Collection in its original plastic wrapping. The album is an eclectic representation of the Native Tongues collective.

It is widely recognized as a central album in alternative hip hop and jazz, opening the flood gates for using uncommon production and lyricism in hip hop performance.

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