"It Takes Two" came as the debut release from the Harlem, New York Hip Hop duo of Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock in 1988 and finds them coming to bring an album that uses its lead, and most well-known single as the title to it. Although the drop another two albums after, this was their most successful, and left them, essentially, as a one-hit-wonder act.
1. "It Takes Two"
They get things going with the heavy joint that all know them for as they go off on the Lyn Collins "Think" break and go hard with it. It is a classic Hip Hop track and one that really sets things off well as you see that they get down to some material that can' really be matched when it comes to Pop Rap (Hip Pop) material as they go off with backing from the kind of material that seeped into Hip Hop through the New Jack Swing movement in R&B.
2. "Joy And Pain"
They keep the flow going with another heavy joint as you see that here Rob Base keeps the flow going with his rhymes as he appears to be able to effectively match the sort of hype that came of the track prior to this one to effectively create one that makes full use of the popular style of this Golden Age for Hip Hop (also the time when the watered-down stuff such as these, MC hammer, Vanilla Ice and Sir Mix-A-Lot became extremely prominent).
3. "Don't Sleep On It"
As they keep the flow coming you see that they are able to come up with the goods by taking it right back to where things began by sampling some early eighties Hip Hop material to connect with those who preferred the years before Run-D.M.C. changed the game (although Rob base is seen to represent these updated years). The quality of the flows isn't particularly high, but it is still enough to support it.
4. "Check This Out"
Using even more classic samples from the world of Funk and Old School Hip Hop (a bit early to really be bringing it back) you find that they perform a track that is clearly designed for the mainstream as they drop a cut that gets them using some House backing and I felt that it really prevented me from engaging me from the way that they took things here (even though DJ E-Z Rock does well as he cuts things up).
This one just wasn't happening at all, I can't see what they were doing recording a track such as this one (even though the LL Cool J influence is obvious) but this "i Need Love"-styled work just can't ever come back around as they do Love Rap and a rap in ballad format is just not worth any sort of a listen.
6. "Get On The Dance Floor"
As they attempt to recover it all you see that here you get Rob base going off on The Jacksons' "Dance And Shout" I felt that it was unfair too get them doing things on such a fly groove, but I felt that as they seemed to flop from this point, it seemed that the use of such a killer sample when on to show how incapable they were of taking it any further as you get very simplistic rhymes and more House coming through.
7. "Times Are Gettin' Ill"
You get even more of the desperate use of popular samples coming through with this one, and you see that it makes no effect upon the music whatsoever as not even the Funk behind it is enough to make any sort of impression as you get even more of the wack material coming from them here as they attempt to try out the sort of N.W.A-styled Gangsta Rap, but fail terribly as they keep changing the subject.
8. "Keep It Going Now"
Here you see that they do even more to show that they are able to fit in with the new trends and so here get on top of some Breakbeats in the way that was seen from many of the East Coast underground Hip Hop acts at the time, but, of course, it doesn't appear to go their way as Rob base makes no changes whatsoever to the style of his rhymes and doesn't even seem to up the pace to match the raw beats.
9. "Make It Hot"
On the final track (before an E-Z Rock cutting session) here you see that you get a track that really supports the East Coast style of the time and I felt that it led to a slight improvement in the music as you find that you get them doing something that does actually suit their style and isn't in any style that essentially jacks from people who they simply can't reach the levels of as they get down to a fly New York joint to get the listeners hyped once again, but still nowhere near where things should have been when compared to others in the game at this time.
10. "Creativity" (Outro)
This album is pretty wack and supports the fact that they are a one-hit-wonder act and just can't top what came of their lead single as they came up with a range tunes that work off the recent trends, but with a poor lyricist and sampling from obvious places for a weak record that doesn't do much for them at all.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 It Takes Two
2 Joy and Pain
3 Don't Sleep on It
4 Check This Out
6 Get on the Dance Floor
7 Times Are Gettin' Ill
8 Keep It Going Now
9 Make It Hot