Today in Hip-Hop: Kool G Rap and DJ Polo Drop ‘Road to the Riches’ Album
On this day, March 14, in hip-hop history...
1989: Hip-hop duo and Juice Crew members Kool G Rap & DJ Polo dropped their debut album, Road to the Riches on March 14, 1989. The Cold Chillin' Records release, produced entirely by Marley Marl, ushered in a new era of mafioso rap for the then-fledging genre. The lead single "Road to the Riches" featured an infectious piano beat while it depicted the everyday struggle of the Black man forced into drug life.
Kool G Rap's vivid street tales were on full display on "Road to the Riches." "I used to stand on the block selling cooked up rock/Money busting out my sock," he rapped. "'Cause I really would clock/They were for kind of fiends bringing jackets and jeans/Magazines, anything, just to hustle up beans."
The single got heavy rotation on Yo! MTV Raps and was the clear standout of the the album, although other fan favorites include "It's a Demo" and "Men at Work." Kool G Rap's storytelling on wax is why he is revered as one of the pioneers of mafioso rap and an influence for Notorious B.I.G, Jay Z, Nas, Eminem and many more. The album was re-released in 2006 for a special 2-disc collector's edition. "Road to the Riches" would later be used as a sample in other famous hip-hop tracks like Nas' "Disciple," Bel Biv Devoe's "Poison" and MF Doom's "Go With The Flow."
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