Throwback: Awesome Dre And The Hardcore Committee-You Can’t Hold Me Back

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Awesome Dre and The Hardcore Committee were the first Detroit rap group to sign to a major label. Their Can’t Hold Me Back debut on the Priority label staked out Detroit’s first real attempt at a national rap identity because no other rapper had gotten as far. Dre challenged New York’s universal hip-hop authority by pulling a gun on Kool Moe Dee and LL Cool J on the album cover and in the video for “Can’t Hold Me Back.” It was 1989 and there was no such thing as a Midwest rapper as far as the media was concerned let alone one bold enough to challenge a New York rapper. Esham came out at this time with his horrorcore/acid rap to become an indie underground legend but it was still a few years before the emergence of MC Breed. The video for “Frankly Speaking” is an artifact of a pre-gentrified Downtown Detroit and the premier Detroit rap video to appear on Yo! MTV Raps. A.D.’s Revenge was released in 1995 and then Awesome Dre disappeared from the music world. He never became a certified rap star but he paved the way for Detroit’s emerging rap scene. In 2013 Awesome Dre toured with Public Enemy, X-Clan, Monie Love, Schoolly D, Wise Intelligent and Leaders of the New School on The Hip Hop Gods Tour.