The Vault: Classic Music Reviews Podcast

The Vault: Classic Music Reviews Podcast

The Vault: Classic Music Reviews Podcast is a show hosted by 'Xennial' music fans that grew up during hip-hop's golden era of 1990s and the boom of the early 2000s. We review classic hip-hop, R&B and reggae albums 20, 25 and 30 years after their release to give our reflections and to see if they still stand the test of time. It's a personal perspective on classics from a fresh point of view. Also includes: Bonus segments guest interviews with artists, critics, fellow creators & influencers. Round table discussions around classic music topics. Head-to-Head artists catalog debates.

Episodes

March 13, 2023 23 min

In a bonus episode, B. Cox sorts through some of his favorite and memorable hip-hop posse cuts of the 1990s.

*We did not include Wu-Tang Clan and its individual members' albums that could have memorable posse cuts as we determined that they could warrant a standalone bonus episode in the future. Stay tuned!*

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B. Cox is joined by Chris Mitchell (Kinetik) of the Breaking Atoms Podcast to review Little Brother's classic debut studio album The Listening as it turns 20. The group, which was formerly made up of the trio of emcees Phonte and Big Pooh and producer 9th Wonder, met as students on the campus of North Carolina Central University. They bonded over their shared love and passion of hip-hop and formed a collective with other North ...

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B. Cox looks back at hip-hop trio Digable Planet's debut album Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space) as it turns 30. The Brooklyn-based group made up of emcees Ishmael "Butterfly" Butler, Mariana "Ladybug Mecca" Vieira and Craig "Doodlebug" Irving met through what seemed to be fate in the late 80s. After signing to Pendulum Records in 1992, they began crafting their debut album under the prod...

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B. Cox & J. Owe review 50 Cent's explosive debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin' as it turns 20. After a successful run as a protege of Run DMC's Jam Master Jay, the Queens youth turned drug dealer turned emcee was set to make his mark after series of setbacks including being shot multiple times, being dropped by his label while having his debut album scrapped and being blacklisted from the industry. After getting back...

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In a special bonus edition of Pop Culture Corner, B.Cox explores the dynamics of the many layers and styles of hip-hop and urban fashion in the 90s. After experiencing a very colorful and avant garde fashion sense in the 80s, the hip-hop and urban music scene in the 1990s was defined by three segments: (1) The elite and luxury fashion brands that dominated the fashion world whose status symbols found its niche among artists and the...

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January 16, 2023 23 min

B. Cox reflects on the year that was 2003. In a year that saw Western Powers kick their war against dictatorships in the Middle East into full gear and saw the U.S. biggest state in political turmoil, the music scene was successfully and commercially thriving.

It was highlighted by the emergence of the unlikeliest of superstars in 50 Cent, who served as triumphant comeback story: from underground sensation to on his death bed to glo...

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January 9, 2023 26 min

B. Cox looks back at the year that was 1998. As the United States and the world had the new millennium within eye sight, there were uncertain times in the world politically and socially. Admist all the turmoil and uncertainty, the year delivered one of the best combined critical and commercial years for both hip-hop and R&B.

Musically, the year succeed on many fronts as far as radio hits and explosive sales numbers as well as un...

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January 2, 2023 20 min

B. Cox reflects on the year that was 1993; a year that saw the election of a generational U.S. president, two sports dynasties repeating their excellence, a unthinkable terrorist attack that shook the nation as well as a monumental year in hip-hop and R&B with a number of classics that would leave their marks on not just music, but pop culture overall.

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In the last episode of the year, B. Cox gives The Vault's rankings for the top hip-hop & R&B albums reviewed from 1992, 1997 and 2002 to put a bow on what has been another busy and memorable year for the podcast.

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B. Cox and J. Owe look back at Dr. Dre's transcendent debut album The Chronic as it turns 30. After spending half a decade as the architect and chief producer for both NWA and Ruthless Records, Dr. Dre split in 1991 to help co-found Death Row Records with Marion "Suge" Knight with the backing of Interscope Records. As their prime producer and executive, the record label would become a symbol of power and success in the ...

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B. Cox reviews Nas' sixth studio album God's Son as it turns 20. Capping off a productive year, the Queens emcee released his third project in 12 months following up the classic album Stillmatic and the compilation of unreleased tracks The Lost Tapes. It was seen as a continuation of his "comeback". He dealt with problems and distractions during the recording of the album, including his continued beef with Jay-Z and...

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B. Cox looks back at The Pharcyde's debut classic album Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde as it turns 30. In the midst of a genre shift of power over their home base of California, the former dancers turns emcees and producers released their debut album to little fanfare, but would become recognized in the industry for their easy going and humorous style.

Produced entirely by group member J-Swift, the group (also made up of members S...

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B. Cox reviews Ice Cube's third album The Predator as it turns 30. In the midst of the one most prolific and successful runs in hip-hop history stretching back his days as with NWA, the soon-to-be West Coast icon created and released his album in the time of transition of turmoil. Hip-Hop acclaim and recognition was beginning to spread its sphere of influence out to the West Coast. to mirror this rise in the commercial success ...

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B. Cox and J. Owe review reggae superstar Sean Paul's classic sophomore album Dutty Rock as it turns 20. After a fairly successful debut album Stage One two years prior, Paul sought to capitalize on what was a burgeoning and receptive dancehall market in the United States since the turn of the new millennium. Working with an all-star cast of producers including legendary duos in Steely & Clevie and the Neptunes, Sly Dunbar,...

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B. Cox looks back at Jay-Z's second studio album In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 as it turns 25. After a critical, yet not lucratively commercially, success of his classic debut Reasonable Doubt the previous year, the Brooklyn emcee looked to elevate his game and take the spot as the "King of New York" after the death of his fellow Brooklyn emcee and friend the Notorious B.I.G. that March.

While sticking with previous collaborato...

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B. Cox is joined by NaturallyAlise and JR of the R&B Representers to review SWV's debut classic album It's About Time as it turns 30. The crew is also joined with a very special guest appearance by Brian Alexander Morgan, one of the album's principal producers and co-writers.

As R&B continued its evolution in the early 90s, the trio from NYC burst onto the scene with a jam packed album of hits and a long list of ...

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In this bonus segment of Pop Culture Corner, B. Cox looks back at that the black romantic comedy that was Brown Sugar as it turns 20. The film, which co-starred Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs, as lifelong friends who fell in love with hip-hop (and each other) as kids, now complicated by their careers and current choice in romantic partners. As hip-hop once intercepts in their lives and brings them closer together, it also brings their...

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B.Cox looks back at underground powerhouse label Rawkus Records and their first major compilation album Soundbombing, which turns 25. After releasing Company Flow's now legendary debut LP Funcrusher Plus earlier in the summer, the label released the compilation with previously released 12" singles in mixtape format. Mixed, scratched and hosted by DJ Evil Dee of Da Beatminerz and Black Moon, the album introduced us to future...

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B. Cox reviews Redman's debut album Whut? Thee Album as it turns 30. After starting his career as a DJ for DoItAll For Lords of the Underground, a chance encounter withe EPMD, led the young Newark emcee on a path that would make him one of the best and most respected emcees of all-time. After appearing at shows with EPMD as a member of their clique The Hit Squad, Redman featured on three tracks on their fourth and fifth albums....

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B. Cox takes a look at R&B and pop icon Janet Jackson's sixth studio album The Velvet Rope, as it turns 25. On the heels of negotiating and signing the biggest record label contract in history and her successful album tour from her fifth album Janet, the superstar suffered a nervous breakdown. Plagued depression driven by childhood issues, body dysmorphia, eating disorders and troubles in her not-yet-public marriage, she to...

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