Kool G Rap & DJ Polo – Road to the Riches

Kool G Rap & DJ Polo released their first studio album “Road to the Riches” on March 14 1989.  The album was produced by Marley Marl and of course they are all part of the Juice Crew from Queens NY. This is one of the most revered Hip Hop album due to its lyrical prowess and beats to par!


The album starts with the title cut and it is the most memorable cut in this legendary LP.  Any Hip Hop head can recite this song from memory.  Question is…How many times did you rewind the cassette to listen to this track over and over again?

“When I was five years old I realized there was a road
At the end I will win lots of pots of gold
Never took a break, never made a mistake
Took time to create cos there’s money to make
To be a billionaire takes hard work for years
Some nights I shedded tears while I sent up prayers
Been through hard times, even worked part time
In a seafood store sweepin floors for dimes”

Kool G Rap & DJ Polo “Road To The Riches” (Video)

The second track is the track that put them on the map.  Just like old school artists, he gave props to his DJ.  “It’s A Demo” is more than just a track, it’s the beginning one of the greatest lyricist in Hip Hop history.

“I supply the data, he’s the wheel operator
We’re walking tall and we’re called the terminators
I’m Kool G Rap, and he’s Polo
He cuts like a pro when I go solo
He’s a record spinner winner, that you can bet
Eats DJ’s for dinner on his table set
With cuts he concocts and the party rocks
DJ’s want to Xerox it out the box
A professional performer, wheels of steel trainer
One hundred percent excellent entertainer”

Men At Works” Kool G raps like he’s going explode at any minute.  The lyrics are sharper than machetes with rhymes like these,

“Deadly rhymes, here’s the solution
Smoking so bad, I’mma cause a pollution
With satisfaction, bad assassin, fatal attraction
Drop you to an improper fraction
Ill insanity, kill like Amity-
Ville horror, as I wipe out humanity
Won’t leave a path, a track, a trail to trace
But when you’re staring inside a mirror, you see my face
And I’ll terrify, so don’t ever try
To shake or bake or flake cause I never fry
Letters together sly as a fox clever than ever
Silly ducks write rhymes with feathers”

Love raps have always been part of Hip Hop, but on “Truly Yours” he talks some taboo subjects like “homosexuality”.  As we know, rappers have never talked kindly of the subject and on this track KGR spits lyrics no one would be able to say today!

“Listen up money, or should I say honey?
You’re looking more sweeter than a Playboy bunny
Fingernails filed, your hair is styled
And the gear that you wear looks hot and wild
Everybody says is he, some kind of sissy?
Your name was “Moose” but now they call you “Missy”
Night or day lights, you fall for the gay rights
I thought you would stay bright, but now you wanna play fight”

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not” is another dope fly love song about getting your heart broken.  The last 2 tracks bring this classic to a close, yet we want it to go on and on like KGR’s flow!  On “Poison” (same track BBD sampled) Kool G Rap flows,

“This is poison so be alert and cautious
Those who act courageous you will get nauseous
Infected or contaminated
Turn on your stereo never come radio-activated
Deadly and fatal, poison the title
My recital hits the parts that are vital
So tune in the tone of beats and poems
Polo’s headphones becomes a skull and crossbones
Pull out your Q-tips, clean out the earwax
If you’re still hard of hearing
I’mma scrub them with Ajax”

On “Butcher Shop” Marley Marl slows it down and so does Kool G Rap.  But that doesn’t mean the track doesn’t bang!  Again, he salutes his DJ with,

“DJ’s he’s disputed you should be saluted
The man gives a cut with scratches included
I’m Kool G Rap, he’s my DJ
This is a mortal combat of the Polo play
Cuts like a scissor, rips like a razor
The sound penetrates elements like a laser
The beat connects to my dialect
New Technic turntables, the party I wreck
Motivation to blend, the rotation begins
They reported his fins on 1010 West
And his name is Polo the phonograph is for bolo
I go solo, to battle Kool G Rap is no-no, bozo
Your style is so-so, equal to disco
Swing and some go-go, and on to calypso”

This verse has to be heard to enjoy fully!  This album has to be one of the greatest Cold Chillin album releases, no less of the the greatest Hip Hop albums of all times.  Almost 30 years later and it’s still a banger!  As for Kool G Rap, he’s on many and my Top 10 MC list.  No question about that!


-Al E.


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