'WTNC' Tuesday: Bobby Robinson's Enjoy Records

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by Oliver Wang

"WTNC": Tuesday

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five: Superrappin'
Spoonie Gee and the Treacherous Three: New Rap Language
The Fearless Four: Rockin' It
All available on The Best of Enjoy Records.

Instead of posting up a bunch of YouTube videos for the musical half of my guesting week, I decided to fire up the home recording set-up instead[1]. I put together five short—but hopefully sweet—podcasts, recorded under the invented "WTNC" radio call letters. Each day, I talk about and play three songs tied together by a theme. For Day One, I assembled a brief tribute to Enjoy Records in honor of the late Bobby Robinson who just passed the other week. As I discuss in the podcast, Enjoy was one of the more important of the old school rap labels even if they—like their main competitor Sugar Hill Records—never quite had the foresight to take it the distance it could have gone. Still made some damn great singles though. Word to hip-hop's original funky drummer, Pumpkin.

Here's more on Robinson.

And here's the newly launched website of the notorious ego trip and their rundown of their favorite 10 Enjoy titles.


Notes:

[1] For gear geeks: I have a fairly basic (though alas, not cheap) recording chain: Shure SM7B --> Apogee Duet ---> Macbook Pro --> Reaper. I was once worried the SM7B would be a bit too low for the Duet but Apogee's pre-amp works awesome. I also use the Duet for digitizing my vinyl (though you'll need a separate phonograph pre-amp) and it's the best analog-digital converter I know out there for under $300 used. Reaper is an insanely powerful—yet inexpensive—digital multitrack program. The learning curve for it can seem a bit intimidating but it's otherwise completely kick ass.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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