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The Lafayette Afro-Rock Band Darkest Light

Even in the chock-full annals of rare-groove samples, The Lafayette Afro-Rock Band looms large. You don’t have to be a hip-hop head to recognize the opening sax on “Darkest Light,” made into a cultural milestone by Public Enemy and a thousand followers. But there’s a reason crate-diggers latched onto Lafayette albums—these 1970s U.S.-to-Paris transplants were churning out some of the funkiest records in the Western world. Influenced by their North African-immigrant neighborhood, Lafayette helped spawn an entire industry of neo-Afro beats for everyone from Chuck D to Wu-Tang. Darkest Light puts all of Lafayette’s best-known (and best) tracks on one CD, which should delight those unwilling to shell out $100 for an original LP.

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