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Darren Ratner

Darren is a Bronx-born writer/reporter who's dabbled in entertainment journalism for over a decade. Bylines have appeared in/on Maxim and Maxim online, AOL's The Boombox, Alternative Press, Popmatters, Star, Blender and others. His CD reviews have been published in the All-Music Guides to Rock and Hip-Hop.
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Biz Markie, ‘Goin’ Off’ – Legendary Rap Albums of the 1980s

Born Marcel Hall in Harlem, N.Y., Biz Markie strived to be hip-hop's fourth Stooge, that goofball kid in the classroom who just had to hog the attention; he eventually found it with 1988's 'Goin' Off,' his independent debut and proof that rap didn't always have to take itself seriously...

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Public Enemy, ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back’ – Legendary Rap Albums of the 1980s

"Our attitude by the second album was to destroy music," said Public Enemy vocalist Chuck D in an interview. That about sums up the direction of 1989's 'It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back,' an album so filled with political indignation and brilliance it nearly re-invented the rap game...

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Jason Kempin, Getty Images
Jason Kempin, Getty Images
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Big Daddy Kane, ‘Long Live the Kane’ – Legendary Rap Albums of the 1980s

Big Daddy Kane was always more of an iconic rapper in his Brooklyn neighborhood than on the Billboard charts. But 1988's 'Long Live the Kane' LP still made a distinct imprint on hip-hop with brawny, Casanova-like attitudes, gold chains and serious braggadocio...

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