1986 Speaker Smashers – Rip The Cut
Monday August 15th 2005,
Filed under: Speaker Smashers,Steady Bootleggin'
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In many ways, hardcore rap peaked in 1986. Despite lacking the lyrically complexity of 1988’s finest and the depth of production found in 1994’s best releases, hip-hop records from ’86-’87 took the abrasive, hard rock aesthetic championed by Run-DMC and pushed it to it’s ear-splitting, speaker-melting limits.

Much of this quality is obviously the result of the combination of the drum machine and guitar scratch formula that ruled in the days before samplers were affordable, but at the time it was just the sound of the hard shit. It’s all well and good to have some songs that the broads can dance to at the club, but the soundtrack for walkman-sporting troopers stomping around the city racking vinyl, markers and paint had to be the echo-soaked universe of Schooly D, Z-3 MC‘s and K-Rob.

Despite originating as an “answer group” to the Fat Boys, the Skinny Boys‘ first album was far more hardcore that anything the Disco 3 ever made in terms of beats. Super Jay, Shockin’ Shaun and Jockbox were appropriately skinny, and with song titles such as “Feed Us The Beat” and “Weightless” (not to mention the matching t-shirts), they had all the makings of a fly-by-night novalty act. As it turns out, Weightless was a great album, and they soon landed a contract with Jive, where they would release two more albums. While Skinny and Proud had it’s moments, it also contained the awful heavy metal stylings of “Cries of the City”, while 1988’s Skinny (They Can’t Get Enough) found them reduced to making tracks with UK abomination The Wee Papa Girl Rappers.

“Rip The Cut” features the familiar guitar scratch component, only it sounds like they’ve just smashed through a brick wall with a wrecking ball and ground gravel into the record before Jay started to cut it, giving it extra superduty tuff appeal. Throw the drums of death into the mix with Shock and Jock’s spirited Shout Rap vocals, and you’re ready to strike a classic b-boy stance with arms folded and head nodding in a smug manner, safe with the knowledge that you’re ears are being assulted by the rawest of rap while the rest of the toys are listening to some variation of elevator muzak indy hip-hop or today’s version of Miami Bass.

The days of listening to rap that your girl and your parents hated is an increasingly distant memory in these Pop Life times, but for those of you who grew-up on hip-hop that you can break windows to, this is just what you need.

Skinny Boys – Rip The Cut (Weightless, Warlock, 1986)

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24 Comments so far
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“…while the rest of the toys are listening to some variation of elevator muzak indy hip-hop…”

I definitely feel you on that one. Nice cut, too. I never checked for the Skinny Boys, but I will do now.

Comment by Stephan 08.15.05 @

I mainly remember Skinny Boys for the beatboxing.


Unfortunately they didn’t survive the next step into sample based HipHop.

Comment by Lotuz 08.15.05 @

John Peel used to cane that album when it came out, loved it ever since…

Comment by Grinshaw 08.15.05 @

The Skinny Boys “feed us the beat” has always been a favourite of mine. I won’t even pretend to have listened to “weightless” for quite a few years though ,but I’m gonna throw it on tomorrow. Skinny Boys did shine when “skinny (can’t get enough) was used in the DREXL scene in “True Romance” Another one to consider alongside the groups you’ve already mentioned would be “Tuff Crew”,well at least “Dangerzone” & “Back to wreck shop”

Comment by DrOp OnE 08.15.05 @

“hip hop that you can break windows to”

Comment by thesurgeongeneral 08.15.05 @

Tuff ’83-’86 rap is what’s up.

I’m glad that era is slept on, though. Means you can pick up records from that era you’ve missed out on or records you’d like to replace with a new copy for cheap while all the hipster douchebags are busy hunting down lost ’88 12″s that they heard on yet another sub-“hear no evil” style compilation.

Comment by Brian Beck From Wisconsin 08.16.05 @

The Human Jock Box was a favorite of mine back in the day. If anyone has an mp3 of that Z-3 MC’s track “Triple Threat” shoot me an email. Thanks.

Comment by burger 08.16.05 @

Brian, that’s why you can pick up copies of “Do Or Die Bedstuy” for $2 while kids are paying $100 for the Bizzie Boyz album.

Burger, look out for “Triple Threat” on here soon.

Comment by Robbie 08.16.05 @

I wanted to write up a post including “Triple Threat” in the near future too. But if you come out first with that joint, I’ll just leave it like that. I won’t start trying to outblog other people.

God, that track is so good.

Comment by Stephan 08.17.05 @

yo. you see those shirt they are wearing in the pic?

I want one. anybody help on that?

Comment by m 08.17.05 @

I used to love Biz. Check out this rare Shante and Biz Markie freestyle. The intro was crazy, and Shante disses Steady B on it. This is not ‘Def Fresh Crew’!

Shante – Freestyle

Comment by Brock 08.19.05 @

“Fuck this shit. Who am I? The dope man!”

Comment by Lotuz 08.19.05 @

dope cut.

I had just snatched up the 12″ earlier this year.

Comment by Rey 08.26.05 @

All of the Beauty and the Beat stuff from those years was loud and snare happy

Comment by PlanB 08.26.05 @

I knew the skinny boys and I remember them as Twice as nice, then superior crush mc’s then the skinny boys. Superman j, shockin shaun, sweet d, white flash, O.J. , cool rap and Boogie man,
Now thats Way back like 82,83 Boogie Down Bridgeport…..

Comment by Mr.MEllow 09.21.05 @

My Bad ELD not Sweet D.. Sorry peet

Comment by Mr.MEllow 09.21.05 @

This cut is hard as hell

Comment by Dookie 10.08.05 @

You like that K-Rob , Triple Threat etc……..check out all of Duke Bootee production – super big beats!

Comment by HARKET 10.21.05 @

I remember hearing “Jock Box” for the first time. We were on a band bus trip to Atlanta from FL and it came on the radio (SPring 86). Someone recorded it on the bus and rocked it the whole trip! Piper Piper was out then too! Great memories!

Comment by Elphonics 12.04.05 @

“The days of listening to rap that your girl and your parents hated is an increasingly distant memory”

beautiful words …….

been on this website for hours today !


Iain / TapeKingz

Comment by Iain 01.03.06 @

Yes yall..it’s me (superman j) of the skinny boys with (shockin shaun) and (jockbox) by my side at this moment…and we’d like to say “what’s good” and give a special thanks to all of our fans..without u all there would be no us…we became stars in large part because of u the fans..as we speak we are back in the lab putting together something real special for the 06..and if you would like to show love directly..hit us up at (jay63@tmail.com)

Comment by skinny boys 01.17.06 @

The Skinny Boys – Weightless was just released on iTunes. If I remember correctly, some lady wrote their lyrics.

Comment by Timothy 05.12.06 @

im From the Town the skinny boyz r from:Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Comment by Mike 08.10.06 @

Man i still listen to the skinny boyz…there are none betta…lol..my sister heard me listenin to the human jock box…i had the whole house bumpin…everybody was up and jumpin……see brings back memories…i miss u guys…

Comment by Sin 09.23.06 @

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