Hip-hop’s growth spurt in the early ’90s left many behind, though there would be no Kanye or Jay-Z without the efforts of these early trailblazers. It wasn’t that they fell off; the fashion simply changed. Listen to an old Big Daddy Kane or Slick Rick track; you’ll realize the level of their confidence. Indeed B.D.K. is one of the Golden Age of hip-hop’s finest lyricists with battle-rap chops and swaggering sexual assurance. Kane and his Brooklyn buddy, beatboxing hip-hop humorist Biz Markie, joined the Juice Crew in the mid ’80s, helping make it rap’s first powerhouse posse. Markie’s goofy, fun-loving style reached its commercial apogee with “Just a Friend,” a song that’s proven to be nearly as timeless as the source sentiment. Slick Rick is the John Gielgud of early hip-hop. His accent (he’s Jamaican), presentation (eyepatch and gold jewelry), and dramatic flair made him one of the era’s most singular characters. His inner-city crime lullaby “Children’s Story” still conjures a smile. Whodini fills out the lineup. All of the artists on the Hip-Hop Royalty bill created a funk/R&B undercurrent that served as a template for hip-hop’s subsequent occupation of dance-pop. While they may not be new, if you’ve never heard them before they might sound fresh to you.