First rap album to be ever released on CD
(Credit: Bobby)


First rap album to be ever released on CD

To take a look at music and the history of the CD we need to go back a bit. Since the turn of the millennium, technology has been moving at such a rapid pace that sometimes it is even hard for consumers to keep up with. The same can be said for consumers with their music consumption. Before, a phone was a device that could store and play all the music available to man, including music videos in full-colour things were a little different.

Taking it back to the year 2002 in our journey back in time, phones had more than some restrictions. You could not play music on your phone as the phone would not be capable of holding a file of that size. With a phone, you could send and receive texts, emails and calls, all in no colour, and the screen’s function was to monitor to who and what you were writing. Yes, the phone could not take a video or a picture, hold music or access any applications except the text, call and email functions.

In the year 2002, music was consumed via CDs and CD players. The only way you could listen to the CD was by buying a computer or a portable cd player known colloquially as a ‘walkman’. Furthermore, this was the expensive option, so if you did not have the funds, the alternative was to consume your music via a cassette tape. Tape players were included on all standard radio players and readily available like CDs.

Prior to the 80s, music was consumed on vinyl, played on record players or heard on the radio, these were the only sources. After the vinyl era of the 70s and 80s, tapes became the norm. However, these were used mostly for hip hop mixes, hence the term ‘mix-tape’. Albums were still primarily on vinyl in the early 80s, but there was a definitive shift.

In 1985, hip hop went digital. Possibly because of the huge impact and success of the first album, Run-DMC were able to press King of Rock on CD. King Rock became the first ever rap album to be sold commercially on CD. However, don’t be fooled, only artists with megastar status had the privilege of getting their music pressed onto CDs, and only the wealthy could afford them. The fairly new and expensive process wasn’t common, and the format really did not take off until the mid-1990s. Even in the late 1990s and early 2000s, underground music in the UK and US, such as Crunk, Jersey Club Music, Grime and Jungle, spread via tape packs.

You can listen to King Rock below.