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'Rubble Kings: The Mixtape' Charts The Birth Of Hip-Hop

Travel Back To The Birth Of Hip-Hop With The New 'Rubble Kings' Mixtape

Rubble Kings mixtape cover art

If you haven’t been keeping up on your hip-hop filmography, your first order of business is to check out Rubble Kings, the in-depth new documentary directed by Shan Nicholson takes us back to some of New York City’s worst days, when young gang wars riddled the Bronx until, somehow, a shaky peace was struck. That pact of non-violence meant that thousands of city-dwellers needed a new form of (nonviolent) recreation, and with all those turntables and records lying around…you know that the rest is history.

You can reread some of Okayplayer‘s past coverage on Rubble Kings and watch an exclusive clip from the film, but today we’re very pleased to put you on to the new Rubble Kings mixtape, a labor of love commissioned by Nicholson and constructed by himself, DJ Tahleim, Sammy Needlz and Rok One. It features not only some of hip-hop earliest classics but its “foundational texts”–the soul, funk, jazz and rock that was spilling out of living room windows and into the alleyways on which wars were fought and, later, dance battles commenced. Here’s how Shan himself puts it:

Rubble Kings is set in the war-torn Bronx of the 1970’s, where an unlikely group of youngsters did the impossible by setting aside their differences, refocusing their anger, and bringing peace to their gang-ridden streets, through the birth of a highly innovative, dynamic, and unstoppable new culture called Hip Hop.

The initial Rubble Kings soundtrack contained a large portion of the music featured on this mixtape. For various legal and budgetary reasons, all but one of these songs were omitted from the final cut of the film. Now, for the first time ever, you can hear what was previously intended (but what would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in sample clearances) for the affordable price of $FREE.99

This mix was compiled and assembled by DJ Tahleim, Sammy Needlz, Rok One and the film’s director Shan Nicholson (all incredible selectors and musical encyclopedias in their own right). Much like New York City itself, it is divided into five sections (based on the musical genres that influenced these notorious gangs). From the anthemic soul and funk of the Black struggle, to the salsa and Boogaloo of the Latin Barrios, to the gritty and abrasive psychedelic rock of White gangland. A true epic tale of war and peace, “Rubble Kings: The Mixtape” serves as a direct sonic glimpse into the heart and soul of this pivotal moment in the city’s history.

Listen to the mix below, and read an in-depth interview about both the film and sonic set over at Noisey. If you’re looking to cop this one for keeps (and who wouldn’t?) you can download the entire mixtape for free over at the Rubble Kings website.



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