What Does It All Mean? 1983-2006 Retrospective

It’s nearly impossible to overstate the importance of Steinski, along with his early partner in crime, Double Dee, on the development of hip-hop, particularly the subgenre of turntablism. Chances are you may have heard the first three tracks on this career retrospective, a series of pastiches known as “The Lessons.” If not, you’ll certainly recognize some of the most famous breaks and samples in history, recombined into an irresistible old-school megamix. Due to the sheer number of uncleared samples, these tracks were never legally released, and were instead passed along through generations of bootlegs. The tracks were a huge influence on artists such as Cut Chemist, De La Soul and DJ Shadow, many of whom went on to compose their own “Lessons” in homage. Another standout track is “The Television Sped On,” a haunting meditation of the JFK assassination. The only real dud on this two-disc retrospective is the decidedly unfunky “Number Three On Flight Eleven,” a 9/11 pastiche.