Saturday, 26 December 2009
Random Nineties 12" number 5- Mike Zoot featuring Mos Def, Consequence and Talib KweliHigh Drama, Pt. 3: The Search For 2
Following on from last weeks High Drama remix (part 2 ? who knows maybe) this week we have the final part of the trilogy; High Drama Part 3: the Search for 2 (are they referring to the part 2 in that title ?). This came out in early 1998 if I remember right and it was released on Guesswhyld (GW 201) distributed by Fat beats, like the first two parts and like the first two parts this was purchased from Mr Bongos on Poland Street in London's West End. Of course like most of the decent Hip Hop record shops in London Mr Bongos has long since closed down which is a shame as I bought many dope tunes from there and even remember seeing a few good in store performances too. You can still check out the Mr Bongos website but its mainly focused on the rereleases put out on the Mr Bongos label and their mostly Latin, Jazz and Funk albums and compilations. Returning to the 12" at hand, the track is produced Shawn J Period who was at the time at the top of his game and not only did we have Mike and Mos returning for the final chapter but we also had Talib Kweli who was on fire on the at the time and Consequence who was clearly being prepped as Phife's replacement in Tribe. This record was destined to be a major underground hit; dope upbeat track with four sick underground Emcee dropping dope intelligent whilst funny rhymes.
I love this track, each lyricist drops a rhyme that makes fun of the stupid drug riddled rhymes of the late nineties. I'm not talking about the Biggie or Jay-Z because they were original and good at it I'm talking about the second rate rhymers who it seems were constantly escaping from Colombians they had recently 'copped a brick from in Bogota somewhere. Mike, Mos, Kweli and Consequence pointed out the stupidity of their mainstream counterpart's rhymes not to mention the fact that not every Colombian, Sicilian or whatever other ethnic minority was the flavour of the month were not necessarily members of some sort of criminal underclass. Shawn J out does himself with possibly one of his bounciest tracks ever with a mellow horn sample that drops in and out like Brad Pitt's accent in Snatch. Whilst converting this to MP3 from the original vinyl, yes I actually own the vinyl, I found another remix of this track in my iTunes Library as an added bonus I have included this along with the vinyl rip which can be found by following the link below. I have no idea who produces this and it was originally downloaded on some dodgy Mos Def compilation called We are Hip-Hop which I grabbed from the long since shut down Music download site Oink's Pink Palace. If anyone knows who produced this please let me know. Enjoy and please post in the comments if there is something you are looking for, next week looks like it will be some vintage Wu affiliates shit.
High Drama part 3 the search for 2
Sunday, 20 December 2009
After doing the original 'High Drama' last week it only seemed logical to put up the remix this week. The remix came out a couple of months after the original also on Guesswhyld (GW 201) in late 1997. This was a pretty big hit on the Indie scene and was featured on a lot of mixtapes at the time, my favourite being the Eddie Ill and DL tapes which featured so much dope indie music at the time.
This was another Mr Bongo's( a long since closed down Hip Hop record shop in London's West End) purchase and probably cost about £6.50, around this time I was spending at least £30 a week on vinyl and mixtapes, the good old days when buying music still held some excitement.
The 12" features the 'High Drama remix', 'Service remix' and the original 'Service' with instrumentals too. The best joint on the 12" is easily the 'High Drama remix' which is remixed by Shaun J Period. Shaun J Period always struck me as a bouncier version of Hi-Tek who had some seriously dope beats. He had produced for a number of well respected underground and indie artists up to this point (Heltah Skeltah, Mad Skillz & Mos Def had used him for his solo debut Universal Magnetic easily one of Mos's best songs ever)and would go onto produce Blackstar's Respiration & the fantastic Body Rock with Q-Tip, Mos Def and Tash from the Lyricist Lounge compilation on Rawkus (RWK 1129-2 released in1998). He also laced Coocoa Brovas's with a joint on the Rude Awakening album. But then Shawn just seemed to retire from the scene, but a couple of years ago I remember seeing a new project with his name on a few blogs and message boards although I never heard too much about it. Back to the 'High Drama remix' its a bouncy joint as you would expect laced with some nice piano stabs of a mid tempo drum break and some intermittent horns somewhere in the background. Its the same lyrics as the first so no need to comment on those.
The 'Service remix' is produced by Mr Mayhem, who only seems to have produced a few other joints the most notable being for Big Kwam back in 1996 on his track 'I don't give a whut' indeed I can't remember that either. However the beat he provides Mike with isn't too bad; nice strings, some horns and a Tribe vocal sample I think taken from the beginning of 'Check the Rhyme'. Theres no change on the lyrics like the 'High Drama remix' its only the beat which is remixed.
The B side contains the original version of 'Service' the clean and dirty versions and the instrumental. Seeing as they were on the 12" I upped last week I'm not gonna bother to up them now. I have always thought that the 'High Drama remix' was part 2 of the series and then part 3 was the joint with Consequence that had new lyrics and beat but someone mentioned to me that the real part 2 was never released. If anyone has any info on this or even a rip of part 2 I'd love to hear form you. Meanwhile check the link for the rip and next week its part 3's turn.
High Drama Remix
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
As some of you know I saw Mos Def live in London a couple of weeks ago and I was incredibly disappointed; he was late on stage, did barely an hour, did none of the tracks I wanted to hear, he did a mediocre drum solo (you are not Questlove) and bad Michael Jackson covers. I came away asking myself was I the only one there who thought he sucked ? but after speaking to some friends I came to the conclusion That the real hip hop heads were let down by this poor concert. Even the people who thought it was good could said the best thing about it was that Definition was fantastic and so were couple of other tunes. These guys seemed happy that he did three great songs, in all honesty I have to say three songs don't make a concert. So I went home and vowed not pay to see Mos Def again and that I would content myself by listening to some good old Mos Def before he became the pretentious artists that he now appears to be.
So I dug into my record collection and found one of my favourite indie joints of the late nineties; Mike Zoot featuring Ms Def 'High Drama'. Mike Zoot was one of those Indie rappers who seemed to be everywhere for a few years but then kind of faded into memory along with people like Mr Complex, L-Fudge, Problemz, Defari and Shabam Sadeeq all of whom were dope but I for one cannot remember the last time I heard them on a new track. It seemed at the time when this 12" dropped that every visit to shops like Deal real and Mr Bongo who lead to me buying a 12" by one of the above artists or someone similar one Rawkus, Guesswhyld, Stones Throw, Fondle 'Em or another one of the prolific labels of the time.
Getting back to this 12" 'High Drama' was an anti gangster rap track with a humorous tone to it. Instead of being preachy like the Jeru's of this world Mos and Mike decide to make fun of the gangster rappers. The beat is provided by Hi-Tek and is suitably bouncy with a nice strings sample over a mid tempo break simple enough but effective enough not to draw your attention away from the raps.
The B side (if it is indeed the B side as theres no indication on the label) features two tracks; Service produced by QB cohort EZ Elpee and Turn produced by Sha Self (aka Sha Money XL). The main track of the two is service and a clean, dirty and instrumental version are on the 12". 'Service' is a decent enough track nothing major compared to High drama but Mike Zoot's comic delivery place it a little higher than the usual Indie track. 'Turn' is cool enough and features a nice piano loop over a mid tempo beat. Theres a couple of skips on this 12" but their not too bad so hopefully they wont detract from your enjoyment.
There was of course follow ups to 'High Drama' and I will try and get these up in the next week or so. Please check the link below for the 12" rip.
Everybody love a good fight
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
For the second instalment of my Random nineties series I've stuck with the Non Phixion/Necro family and gone with Ill Bill's Gangsta Rap 12" which dropped in 1999 on Necro's second label Psycho-Logical label (PL2). The 12" features two tracks; Gangsta Rap and How to kill a cop both of which are produced by Necro.
Gansgta Rap features a lovely piano loop with a spiralling bass riff and a mellow trumpet sample that almost sounds out of place on this track but somehow Necro pulls it off to great effect creating an eerie track with a mellow vibe. DJ Eclipse provides some nice cutting and scratching of a dope ODB sample (You's a Gangsta?) and Ill Bill drops some funny tongue in cheek lyrics about being a thug;
"Aye yo I smoke dust and shoot cops,
Sold guns to Tupac, smoke blunts with Biggie Smalls and sold drugs on new lots,
I was too young,
couldn't get up in clubs in the old days,
we used rob and terrorise kids in front of home-base,
When Funkmaster Flex was inside rocking the whole place we was outside smacking kids and snatching gold chains"
The B Side features Ill Bill's homage to the classic Redman track "How to roll a blunt" however Bill is telling us how to Kill a cop. Obviously not being a rapper that really goes for radio play allows someone like Ill Bill to really cut lose on a track like this and he does. The beat is a very similar to the original Redman joint however Necro has roughed up some of the edges with some nice samples, cuts and scratches. Bill messes with Reggie's lyrics putting his own twist on them to create a funny albeit slightly sick few verses;
"Check out this new Ill Bill gimmick that's splendid
Since you're down with other shit let's see if you're down wit this
It's about strictly tryin to kill a cop
Once you get the hang of it, after you blast one you steal his glock
First of all you need a fat bag of dust plus the biscuit
Any local store sells the shit, friend
Purchase a milli', not that bitch Millie Jackson silly stunt
I'm talkin about the nine millimeter gun
Pick up the gat, scratch the serial numbers off
No fingerprints, surgical ones are my gloves of choice
All of these other cop killers be thinkin guns are toys
And when these cats get caught, they snitch on all they boys
I kill a cop on a solo mission; without a pair of gloves
Shot him in the face with a stolen biscuit
Then wiped my fingerprints off real careful
If you don't think you ready yet dog, just let the song prepare you
This 12" was bought from the now closed down Mr Bongo's which served up indie hip hop and breakz to London Hip Hop heads for many years. The A Side has a clean, dirty, instrumental and ac cappella version where as the B Side features an extended sample from a classic 90's film the of which escapes me before giving us a dirty, clean and instrumental version. Check the link below for the 12" rip.
Next week it will be an early Mos Def 12" to remind people how good he was before he started turning in performances like the one on Sunday the 29th in London which in my opinion was absolutely terrible and catered to a strictly trendy crowd.
For some DJ Eclipse dopeness check out DJ MK's blog where he has dope Eclipse mixtape from '98.
Friday, 20 November 2009
From now until the end of the year I will be upping a random nineties 12" each week. For the first instalment of this ongoing random nineties 12" series I have gone with a Non Phixion 12" from 1998. This was the third 12" from Non Phixion following on from the Legacy and 5 Boro's 12"s which were released on MC Serch's Serchlight indie label. This 12" however was released on Uncle Howie (UHR004) / Hebrew National (HN-777) and was recorded at Area 51 studio in Brooklyn and then later mixed at the famous D&D studios. It was distributed by Fat Beats. All the tracks in this are produced by Necro who handled a lot of the group's production and the label that this was on was on, Uncle Howie was Necro's own label and named after his own Uncle Howie who can be seen in the video for Necro's LL inspired I need drugs, check the link for one of the sickest videos ever!.
Getting back to the 12" at hand this is a fine example of Necro's morbidly upbeat production using a flute sample along with some nice strings, possibly guitar. The flute gives it a somewhat middle eastern flavour that works well with the upbeat drums and Gore Tex and Sabac's conspiracy laden lyrics. On the title track Necro also adds some of his usual lyrics which actually make Gore Tex and Sabac seem like the more level headed MCs on this track which is quite a feat considering their lyrical content. But the track works well and the beat coupled with the lyrics make up a dope little tune. They even throw in the instrumental too which is always nice.
The B-side features two tracks the first of which is the Chuck D Sampling Refuse to Lose. This is another guitar laden upbeat track with a dope Chuck D vocal sample and some nice horns that come is sporadically throughout the track. DJ Eclipse throws down some nice scratches in the chorus. The lyrics in my opinion are better than I shot Reagan and Sabac drops the dope line
"I hated Eddie Murphy used to wish that he would quit it
All that you ain't got no ice cream shit son, I lived it"
This track is again produced by Necro and it works real well in fact I may like this better than the A-Side. They throw in an instrumental for this one too. Finally theres This is not an exercise and although its not a bad tune it does'nt wokr too well ans sounds like it may have been recorded quite some time before the rest of the 12" It also is'nt as clear as the other two tracks and sounds like it could do with being remastered. The beat is as fats as the other two but the drums don't have the crispness of the other two tracks and even sound slightly muted. Check the link below for the rip.
I shot Reagan
Sunday, 18 October 2009
In the early nineties Diamond D released one of the best albums of the decade, Stunts, Blunts and Hip Hop. The album featured Diamond behind the boards with co production from Large Pro, Showbiz, Buckwild, Lakim Shabazz, Jazzy Jay, The 45 King and Q-Tip. Diamond was also on the mic alongside some of his D.I.T.C. friends including Big L, Fat Joe, Lord Finesse as well members of Brand Nubian. The album was incredible and featured amazing use of samples and loops from varying sources and genres. But then there was nothing heard from Diamond as an artist for a number of years although he kept his name in the game by doing production work for a number of artists including OC and House of Pain.
Then in 1997 Diamond D dropped his sophomore album, Hatred Passion and infidelity on Mercury. It was a strong album with good production although not as groundbreaking as his first it did feature additional production from Buckwild. The album featured a number of guests including; Pete Rock, Phife Dawg, AG, Big L, Fat Joe, Lord Finesse, Busta Rhymes and Sadat X. It never performed as well as his first and also never garnered as much praise. The first single off the album was called The Hiatus and was a decent enough track. Shortly after it dropped a remix popped up featuring the underrated Cru, who were kinda hot at the time mainly because of their Just anotha' case single featuring Slick Rick, although their whole album is dope.
Now we get to the main subject of this post the 12" that is the Haitus remix. Its a mellow track with lyrics from Diamond and Yogi & Chaddio from Cru. It has a decent enough chorus with a lil bit of scratching but nothing serious. The remix is produced by Diamond and the beat itself is totally different form the original which uses an Ahmad Jamal sample, "Swahililand" and was a darker sounding joint. The remix however uses the main strings from the classic David Axelrod song "The School Boy" taken from his 1969 album "Songs of Experience" which was released on Capital. I'm a big Axelrod fan, to me David Axelrod is a musical genius whose blending of psychedelic, jazz, funk, religious and soulful styles put him ahead of the crowd for years. He has been sampled by many artists across many genres but his own work with Lou Rawls, the Electric Prunes, Cannonball Aderley and as an artist in his own right places him alongside the likes of Bob James, Curtis Mayfield and Isaac Hayes in my opinion. So if you ever see "Songs of Experience" in some second hand record shop i'd advise you to pick that joint up as it contains a number of well known breaks and if its not one of the recent re issues it can fetch a decent price.
The 12" features the remix, radio version and the instrumental as well as another joint called MC2 featuring John Dough. This track is also produced by Diamond and isn't a bad track although it pales in comparison to the A-Side. John Dough seems a pretty generic rapper and Diamond drops his usual style of lyrics. The beat is cool enough with some nice piano stabs and its a pretty short joint with only one verse from each MC. Check the link below for the 12" rip and the sample.
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Saturday the 31st of October is the Halloween Gullyvers at Londons' Plastic People. MK and A-Cyde are joined by Thor on the decks playing the funkiest mix of Hip Hop, Soul, Funk, Dancehall and Breakz. From 10:30 until late. Full details on the flyer above.
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Russel Fong & DJ Matt Cali have compiled dope little four part mix of breaks and instrumental hip hop that is well worth checking out.. They represent CA and NY and have hooked up this dope little mix that I'm bumpin' as I write this and its a real nice mix. Theres some bits you'll recognise and some other bit you may not but its all good.
"This Dj concerto, in four parts, takes you on a journey into sound denoting the best part of hip hop, the soul of the music. "The Little Green Tape" is perfect to vibe out to. Repeat is a must." - L*Roneous
You need to download this, click here to check it out. Its seriously dope.
Saturday, 3 October 2009
Another true hip Hop DJ legend has died, Mr Magic aka John Rivas. It is impossible to list how important this man was to Hip Hop especially in the early days. may he rest in peace and his family is in my prayers. Too many Hip Hop legends have left us this year.
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
Queensbridge legend Cormega returns with a new album this October, Born and Raised. The album is set to drop on October the 20th and deserves a place in any self respecting real hip hop fan's collection. With production from Large Pro, Nottz, Havoc and two tracks from DJ Premier you know the beats will be dope. The album also features guest appearances from KRS ONE, Big Daddy Kane, PMD and Grand Puba on the track "Mega Fresh X" which has Red Alert on the cuts. Check the link below for one of the Premier tracks, "Make it clear"
Mega and Primo
Monday, 21 September 2009
Sunday, 20 September 2009
Early Saturday the 19th of September the hip hop world lost another one of its DJ legends, Roc Raida. Roc Raida was an amazingly innovative DJ who played a major part in the Excutioners, easily one of the best DJ crews ever. May he rest in peace and his family are in my prayers.
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
I've not heard of Mr Mecca before but I know that Skyzoo and Torae rip mics on the regular. This is a dope joint using the Flava in ya ear beat and with sick lyrics dropped by all MCs on the track in the style of the Mc who ripped the original Craig Mack classic. peep the video.
Thursday, 13 August 2009
I picked this bootleg EP up in the summer of 1997 from the legendary Deal Real record in London's West End. I remember paying about £8 for it and I think it was essentially a bootleg of four tracks from Loud artists; Xzibit, Tha Liks, Big Pu and The Dead Presidents (Dead Prez). My man Mr lawson tells me this was a bootleg of tracks featured on a Loud promo tape called Summer Heat. It has soome good tunes and I have always been a fan of tha Liks so I picked it up.
The first track on this is from Xzibit and is called L.A. Times and is produced by Mel-Man, someone who I heard often does Dre's work for him. This was released by Loud as an official promo 12" in '97 before being featured on Xzibit's second album 40 Dayz and 40 Nights in 1998. Its a decent enough track with an almost marching beat and Xzibit dropping his usual insights on life. Not bad, nothing amazing just a typical Xzibit album track really.
The second joint on the A-side is the Liks jojnt and its a typical Parliament funk Liks party joint. Not one of their best joints nor their most creative although J-Ro and Tash do drop their usual funny rhymes over a beat that is provided by T-Smoov, all I can say is where was E-swift. This track eventually appeared on the Liks's third album Lkwidation. This was a good album but by no mean near their first of second albums in terms of overall quality. I kinda got the feeling that by this point tha Liks were just going through the motions rather than really excelling like they did on the first two albums which were both classics in my opinion.
The third track is the classic I'm not a player by my favorite overweight Puerto Rican (sorry Noreaga)Big Pun. This track is a classic. From the O-Jays sample to Puns amazingly funny lyrics it just works on every level and every-time I hear it I'm reminded of what an amazing lyricist Pun was and what a loss to Hip Hop his death was. Rest in Peace Christopher Rios.
The last track on here was the first track I ever heard by Dead Prez. Although a version of this would later appear on their 2000 debut Lets Get Free I for one prefer this version, its more acoustic and the beat suits the subject matter better than the one on the album.
All in all this was a nice lil' purchase especially considering at the time some of these track didn't come out for another two years. Check the link below for a full rip.
I'm a diamond in the rough
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
I was never a big Lord Have Mercy fan, to me he was always a hype man for a rapper who didn't need a hype man. But when this bootleg 12" came out in 1998/99 I was a major M.O.P. and I still am to this day so I had to pick this because of the fact that it co stars lil' Fame and Billy Danzene. This bootleg was picked up in Uptown records in London's west end for about £8. It is produced by Nottz and it was originally recorded for Lord Have Mercy solo album 'Thee ungoldy hour', but that album never came out. However a track as dope as this rarely gets left on the cutting room floor and finally made it onto M.O.P.'s 2000 classic 'Warriorz'. Home Sweet Home could almost be a Premier, joint like the majority of the 'Warriorz' album was, but its Nottz who created this funky joint. Its made up of some nice horns as well as an off kilter piano loop with some humorous lines from Lord Have Mercy and those Brownsville boys. Of course Billy and Lil' Fame drop some of those signature gun sounds effects that we all love. I really like this joint its got a dope beat from a producer who almost always drops heat and three hyped up emcees.
The B side is a funky track called 'Paint ya Face' and is produced by Nottz again. The beat is a solid beat with some nice bongos and what sounds like a native american chant running through it with a nice bassline underneath it. Lord Have Mercy tells us all to paint our faces for some reason that I am unsure off. He also tells us that he dances like Indians, maybe he thinks that if he does the correct dance Busta will allow him to release his album although this strategy clearly didn't work back in 1999. As far as I know 'Thee Ungodly hour'r was scrapped when Lord left Flipmode. Also set for the album was Havoc.
Lord left Flipmode stating that he did not like the mainstream direction Flipmode was taking and also stating that Busta Rhymes had promised that Flipmode would be a launching pad for all of the members solo careers, which for Lord Have Mercy did not happen. He also blamed Busta for holding his record release back and relegating him to being a "backup singer. Fellow former Flipmode member Rah Digga, indirectly corroborated this when mentioning in an interview that Busta shelved Lord's album release (which was completed) for Digga's (which hadn't even started although it did end up containing tracks by both Premier and Pete Rock).
After leaving Flipmode, Lord recorded a three song single called The Come On Down EP which included songs "Charge", "We Will", and "Come On Down". Lord disappeared from the scene for a while before forming his own record label Sword and Shield and releasing the mixtape The Runaway Slave. The mixtape had many strong hits like "Until the Wheelz Fall Off", which is still available on iTunes in the US at least.
Lord has revealed that he is releasing another mixtape of old unreleased songs and has asked people on his myspace for the songs they would like to appear on the mixtape. I for one would like to get hold of a copy of 'Thee Ungodly hour'
I Lift Wallets, Notorious Like Christopher Wallace
Saturday, 1 August 2009
Rest in Peace to the very talented Baatin from Slum Village. His loved ones are in my Prayers. Baatin was a rapper who used his voice as some would use a musical instrument but could hold his own with thought provoking intelligent rhymes. I saw him live on two occasions and he had an energy unlike any other rapper.
Baatin, who turned 35 in March, left Slum Village in 2002. He continued to record and play occasional solo dates before returning to the Slum fold for the group's upcoming album, "Villa Manifesto," due Sept. 22.
He was with the group for its gig at June's Rock the Bells Tour stop at DTE Energy Music Theatre, and last week performed in a video shoot for Slum's new single, "Cloud 9."
"Baatin will be missed," Slum Village's T3 said in a statement. "I'm glad we got a chance to work together before he passed. We lost another Slum soldier, a dear friend and a brother. He touched many lives."
Fellow group founder James (J. Dilla) Yancey, Baatin's Pershing High School classmate, passed away in 2006.
"Deepest sympathy to the family friemds and fans of Slum Village on the passing of Baatin," Yancey's mother, Maureen Yancey, said in a statement. "We loved him and his kind heart and spirit will be forever be in our hearts."
"He was a very spiritual brother," said Detroiter Khalid el-Hakim, founder of the Black History 101 Mobile Museum. "He brought a spirituality to Detroit hip-hop that you didn't see with other artists. That's what he was known for."
Baatin is survived by his son, Michael Majesty Ellis, 9; his daughter, Aura Grace Glover, 1; his parents Howard and Grace Glover; and his sister, Tina Glover, all of Detroit.
He will be missed. Click below for an example of his lyrical dexterity over a Jay Dee Beat taken from the Jay Love Japan project.
First Time feat Baatin & The Ruckazoid by Jay Dee
Friday, 24 July 2009
Friday, 17 July 2009
"I'll Be Around" was record by The Spinners (known as "Detroit Spinners" in the UK) in 1972. The song was co-written by the legendary Thom Bell and Phil Hurtt and produced by Bell. The production of the song gives it a smooth, mid-tempo feel, with guitar at the forefront and punctuation from female background singers, horns, strings and congo-playing from Larry Washington. Bobbie Smith handles lead vocals on the song. The song was included on the group's 1972 self-titled album on Atlantic Records, their first album release for the label. It was initially released as the B-side of the group's first single on Atlantic, with "How Could I Let You Get Away" being the A-side. Radio deejays, however, soon opted for "I'll Be Around" which led to Atlantic flipping the single over and the song became an unexpected hit, eventually spending five weeks at number one on the U.S. R&B chart (the group's first number-one on the R&B chart) and reaching number three on the U.S. Pop chart in the fall of 1972. It also reached sales of over one million copies, The Spinners' first record ever to do so. The success of "I'll Be Around" would be the first in a series of chart successes The Spinners and Bell would have together during the 1970s.
Mid nineties, NY underground hero, gravel voiced Nine sampled the track on his 1995 track 'Any Emcee' using the opening guitar riff throughout the track. Nine spits his usual sandpaper toned rhymes over this sick beat which was produced by Rob Lewis. Rob Lewis produced a number of tracks for Nine on both his albums but rarely worked with other artists.
This 12" was Nine's second 12" from his debut album and is a dope up tempo track with the usual Braggadocio rhymes. This 12" was released on Profile and I picked it up in Handspun records (which alter went on to become Deal real for those London heads who remember) for about £6. Its a good 12" and I still listen to it regularly along with both of Nine's albums. Although Nine was a good lyricist, with his own style and pretty decent production he never quite made it as big as some of his other NY contemporaries and I think thats down to the fact that he never really had a crew and for a rapper to not have a crew in the mid nineties was a major set back. remember this was just before the real rise of the independents and majors was still the main way to make it. Check the link below for the sample and the 12".
Rowdy like Rowdy Roddy Piper
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
Just a brief update highlighting the first single from Rakim's long awaited new album,The Seventh Seal. The album is due by the end of the Summer and Rakim has yet to announce who will be behind the boards for this one. Its new, its Rakim follow the link below. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Full Breakz and Bootlegs update coming the next couple of days.
Rakim-Holy are you
Monday, 22 June 2009
Heres a couple of Nas Joints for you QB heads out there. The first is called 'Be Worried' and is produced by Swizz Beats, a producer I don't really check for to be honest but this track isn't too bad. He seems to have gone for an epic sounding beat but the chorus doesn't really work for me and it detracts from the tune and Nas's lyrics.
The second track is called 'Film' and I am told its produced by a young cat from Chicago called C-Sick. The beat sounds like its using a sample from that old House track by Ultra Nate but slowed down a lot. Its decent enough, Nas drops some nice lines and you'd expect. I prefer this one to the Swizz Beats joint and its good to see Nas using some new talent production wise. Check the link below for the zip file of both.
I speak to the streets like we executive chief types.
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
DJ MK and Harry Love killing it live from the Kitchen every week night from 10pm onwards with special Guest Pat Sharp dropping in the mix. Check the link below for 100% dopeness. Pat Sharp tends to play a bit to much backpack rap and Harry and MK tend to rip shit up on the decks.
Friday, 12 June 2009
Try as hard as I did I just couldn't get excited about that last Wu Tang album, it had a couple of dope tracks but was ultimately disappointing especially the weak ass Beatles cover. However these two tracks taken from the new Wu Tang album called Chamber Music sound dope. This claims to be an album of entirely new Rza produced material featuring live instruments with no B Sides, dodgy bootlegs or freestyles. Check the link below for a couple of tracks from its. The first is Harbor Masters which features Ghostface, Inspecta Deck and A.Z. and is dope track with tight drums and good verses from all three. The other track is called Ill Figures and features Raekwon, M.O.P. and Kool G Rap and is slower track with a nice organ sample. If these are a good indication of what the album holds then it should be worth checking out.
My staten Island homies lay you down on pieces of ice.
Sunday, 17 May 2009
Dodgy Bootlegs Number 13-Mobb Deep-Know the Game & Rampage, Heltah Skeltah and Doo Wop-Feel the vibe
It has been a little while since I dropped a Dodgy bootleg on y'all so heres a dope little mid nineties East Coast gem for you to savour. Back in 1996 the seminal DJ / Producer, Frankie Cutlass dropped a dope little compilation album called Politics and Bullshit. Frankie handled the production and had some dope emcees on board; Kool G Rap, Mobb Deep, M.O.P., Lost Boys, Heltah Skeltah, Craig G, Fat Joe, Busta, Sadat X and BIz Markie to name a few. A few months before the first single from this album dropped the phenomenal Mobb Deep, Kool G Rap and M.O.P. track Know the game started making noise on Mixtapes and getting play from people like Westwood and 279.
The track is a 100% classic that often gets overlooked when people mention Mobb Deep and Kool G Rap other duets. Not only does this track have Mobb Deep and Kool G Rap, both QB legends but it has Billy Danze and Lil' Fame on the hook, what more could you ask for? Well a dope beat would good and Frankie Cutlass does his best Havoc impression and serves up a nicely ominous beat that could of come straight off Hell on Earth. Its stripped beat with limited samples but it serves as the perfect backdrop to the crime laden rhymes of this QB trio and the over enthusiastic shouts from the Brownsville clapperz. As would be expected Kool G and the two lil trouble-starters drop typically threatening rhymes. Kool G drops the following verse which is just classic Kool G Rap;
Yo, I'll leave your whole body twisted when you get lifted
And police'll have to fist balistcs on a bisket,
I try to chill but you insisted coming all in my district
I don't know why the fuck you risk it
I be more deep, walking the streets, packing the heat
Bring the cowmeat, you'll get lifted off your feet
and leave you sleeping on the concrete
Get blown at home or whatever is on your bone
Get to flown to your dome, blow chromosones out your flesh and bones
Hitman for hire, who's the next one to expire
Shoot it up in black attire, hit you wit the rapid fire
The stainless bisket will leave your brain smoking
Your whole frame broken and clothes soaken, head blown the fuck open
Try to step inside my fort and get caught
Wit the trey pound shorter left on the sidewalks of New York
The decompose, blood flows are holes in your clothes, eyes closed
Body be frozed, posing for pictures with a rose
Head to your toes, look like you got wetted with a hose
The road you choose got your brain drain through your nose, nigga
So who be commiting crimes, dangerous minds, put two to your spine
Lay you behind enemy lines
When we cross it and leave you like a broken faucet
The underworld production family can reinforce it
I mean I like a nice bit of Mobb and I think that when it comes to threatening crime rhymes their pretty good but Kool G just steals the show here with a superb verse which is quite reminiscent of Big Pun's Deep Cover verse. I love this vwerse, classic Kool G Rap.
The B Side features Rampage the last Boy Scout, Doo Wop and Heltah Skeltah. Its a fun joint with all three dropping humorous rhymes over a a bouncy beat that at the time got a little club play. As expected Heltah Skeltah are the main event on this track. The album however when it dropped never got the recognition it deserved. The beats were stronger than a lot of other albums out at the time and it certainly featured talented lyricists but maybe for some reason the album never got the promotion it deserved, which is a shame because it was dope. Check the link below for the bootleg rip including instrumentals.
Times is hard, visons blurred kid, I can't see far
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
Its late 1995 and although the year clearly belonged to the East Coast in particular the Wu Tang Clan no one was ready for the lyrical and musical onslaught that two cousins from Staten Island was about to release on the hip-hop world. Not only had Rza shown us the grimy underbelly of Staten Island's sound with the original Wu Tang album but he had gone on to smack the hip hop world in the head with amazing albums by Method Man, Old Dirty and of course Raekwon. But so far nothing had prepared us the the lyrical genius that was Liquid Swords. Without a doubt my favorite Wu solo album. We had heard rumors and comments from various Clan members about Gza's complex lyrical skills but nothing could have prepared everyone for the immense and complex lyrics that we were to hear on the Liquid Swords LP. Not to mention the dark, sample heavy, intrictae production supplied by the Abbot, Rza.
The first 12" from the album was the title track Liquids swords with the double A side Labels. I remember hearing Liquid Swords on the radio, probably Westwoood or maybe 279 and thinking what the fuck is this. It struck me as something totally different and at first I found myself waiting for the rest of the beat to come in only to realize that this was the whole beat once Gza and Rza started to say the hook. Then Gza starts dropping his lyrics over this off key guitar loop, with dope lines like; Lyrics are weak like clock radio speakers, I'm low key like sea shells, wide entrance small exit like a funnel so deep its picked up on radios in tunnels. This was intricacy the like of which we had'nt heard before. Sure Nas had a great flow, Slick Rick could tell a dope story and Rakim dropped knowledge but these were metaphors and similes that you had to hear a number of times before they clicked and this combined with dope storytelling too.
I heard the 12" and bought just as soon as I could from the legendary Deal Real Records took it home and proceeded rinse the tune out for months. Until the album dropped and then that album pretty much stayed on my 1200s for months and the Mini Disc copy I made of it never left my MD player whenever I went out. Its an amazing album that has stood the test of time so much so in fact that when Gza toured a couple of years back he did it off the strength of that album. Performing the whole album from start to finish to sold out venues. I saw him in early 1995 and again in 2007 and the album sounded just as good live in 2007 as it did in 1996.
Moving over to the breaks side of things, Rza taps a Willie Mirchell song for Liquid Swords. The track is called Groovin' and is taken from the Solid Soul album released in 1969 on Willie's own Hi Records label. Willie Mitchell is a serious musician as who dropped numerous albums of funky soulful music. In addition to these albums he also produced music for Al Green, Syl Johnson, O.V. Wright and Ann Peebles (other people Rza often sampled). Willie Known at the recording studio as "Papa Willie," Mitchell earned his nickname by taking over the reins of Hi Records in 1970 and guiding it through its most successful period. Mitchell's productions have been much noted for featuring a hard-hitting kick drum sound (usually played by pioneering Memphis drummer Al Jackson, Jr. of Booker T. and the MG's). Rza chopped up the intro to the track Groovin' taking the guitar riff from about 5 seconds into the song and turning it into a tremendous track for Gza to drop his gems over.
But the track Groovin is in itself a damn funky joint featuring dope organ's, sick drums and wicked guitar riffs. However Willie is most well known for his work behind the boards, he produced Al Green's lets stay together, Ann Peebles' I Can't Stand The Rain, Syl Johnson's Diamond In The Rough and the underrated Stax released Jimmy McCracklin's Yesterday Is Gone. To call Willie Mitchell a musical genius would be an understatement. He gave Al Green the music to accompany Al's perfect voice.
Check the link below for the 12" rip and the sample. Support both Gza and Willie by buying their albums, any self respecting music fan should have at least one of each in their collection.
I'm low key like seashells
Monday, 27 April 2009
Low Key is one of the dopest UK MCs and following on from the G20 protests he decided the death of Ian Tomlinson needed to be highlighted. The death of Ian Tomlinson at the hands of police was bad enough but for them to go and choose a coroner with a history of bad verdicts almost always in the favor police was damn shameful. I understand that every society needs the police and that there is some police out there who take their jobs and power seriously but the police that are implicated in Ian Tomlinson's death are not those police. The attempts to disguise what has happened by using your own dodgy coroner only make the circumstances of the death even more suspicious. Its strange that with all of protestors about on that day that the police manage to kill the only man who had absolutely nothing to do with the protests. R.I.P. to Ian Tomlinson and sympathy to his loved ones.
Saturday, 11 April 2009
Back in 1997 Common dropped his third album, One day it will all make sense. This was Common's first album under the name Common following on from a law suit that prevented him from using his previous rap moniker, Common Sense. Some might say that this album was more accessible or perhaps even commercial as it featured a wider array of guests than Common had ever had before and it also featured some radio friendly RnB tracks. Although at the same time this was a more mature effort from Common and featured lyrical content beyond his earlier releases. For example the track featuring Lauren Hill has common rhyming about the decisions facing a young couple over whether or not to carry on with an unplanned pregnancy, the only other group I can think of who handles this subject with such maturity would be Digable Planets. The track I have decided to cover today was the first 12" from the album, Reminding me of Sef.
This tune was a little more soulful that the Common we had heard on the first two albums and his rhymes were backed up by well suited vocals from Chantay Savage. Let me just clarify something here, I don't go for tracks that just throw some half assed soul singer in an attempt to gain radio play. For a soul singer to be added to a track and it be successful that singer needs to add to the track and not detract from it, they don't have to be the best soul singer in the world but the need to bring something valid to the track other than their name. In my opinion Chantay Savage does that with this track. The beat is a Dug Infinyte produced dope up tempo joint that borrows heavily from the Patrice Rushen song "Remind me". Common flows over this track nicely reminiscing about his earlier years.
The track "Remind me" was on her 1982 album Straight from the Heart which she wrote and produced herself. The track has been sampled by numerous artists including; De la Soul - "Eye Know", Notorious BIG - "Unbelievable", Tragedy - "Grand Groove" and of course Brotha Lynch Hung - "Walkin 2 My Funeral". This song is from an album that is a perfect slice of early 80 soul and well worth picking up if you see it whilst out diggin.
The 12" includes the Roots remix and also the radio version of "!,2 Many" and as a bonus I've included both so check the link for the rip.
Unfamiliar faces got marked a lot.
Sunday, 22 March 2009
I bought this 12" in 1996 from Unity records near Carnaby Street in London's West end. This was mainly a drum and Bass shop but in the back they had a dope lil' Hip Hop section that always had the best promos and bootlegs. This 12" is labelled up as a Test pressing and is on green vinyl so I probably a bit over the odds for it but at the time was really getting into M.O.P. and I have always been a QB fan.
Side 1 features a track from Queensbridge Legend Tragedy joined by Mobb Deep. The track is called Judas Theory and is a diss to Capone N Noreaga. For some reason Tragedy was unhappy with them and decided to make this track. Its a pretty regular mid nineties QB joint probably produced by Havoc and it features a rather angry Tragedy calling out CNN as some sort of bitches or snakes as he actually calls them. Not really too sure why Trag wrote this or where Mobb Deep fit into the whole picture but I'm sure they weren't the voice of reason telling Tragedy to give CNN a call and squash the simmering beef. They're not exactly the people you would get in to mediate between two warring parties are they? (Anyone remember the original version of Drop a Gem on em? with the intro thatfeatured Mobb acting out a scene where they were torturing a Tupac Character).
The rest of this 12" is made up of a couple of M.O.P. remixes that would eventually show up on the fantastic Firing Squad album. Both are Premier produced; Raise Hell remix (and the radio version) and Downtown Swinga Part 2. Both are typical M.O.P. tracks and at the time Premier's production on them was very different to what he had been doing up until then especially Dowtown Swinga. Check the link below for the rip.
We be getting them open.
Saturday, 14 March 2009
While everyone is waiting for the Ghost and Doom LP (at one time rumored to be titled Swift and Changeable) to drop the two masked men have contributed a track to the Grand Theft Auto : Chinatown Wars Nintendo DS game. The game is already out and is the typical gang related violence we've come to expect from the GTA franchise and as usual they've gone and hooked up a dope lil' soundtrack. Not only do we have a Ghostface and Doom Collaboration produced by Oh No but we've also got a remix of it too. Both are dope and well worth checking as is the game if you're a DS fiend. Check the link below.
We Run these streets like a renegade
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Heres a little joint dropped by Raekwon as a tribute to the Late Great Notorious B.I.G.. Its a slow joint with Raekwon showing off his lyrical skills in the form of a letter to Biggie talking about their friendship, squashed beefs and dropping classic albums around the same time. Raekwon is popping up a lot right now as I said last month is Cuban Linx part 2 going to finally drop or am I being a too hopeful.
I shook your hand in Cali
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
dodgy Bootlegs Number 11-Trigger Tha Gambler, Smoothe DA Hustler and D.V. Alias Khrist The Hitman for Hire
Back in 1995 Smooth Da Hustler burst onto the scene with a track called Broken language with featured his brother Trigger the gambler. The track was a simple idea, have smooth and trigger going back and forth boasting about what they were over a steady beat that seemed to be building to a crescendo. The track was very popluar at the time although to be honest I found it a little boring and the novelty quickly wore off. What was good about the track was the great chemistry between Smooth and Trigger. Smooth went onto drop a fairly strong album although not groundbreaking. The album featured his brother and a sort of East Coast version of Nate Dogg, D.V. Alias Krist who specialized in singing some rather cheesy but likable hooks. The album dropped on Profile and shortly after Trigger got picked up by Def Jam who were obviously hoping to capitalize on the hype surrounding his brother.
However Tigger's Def Jam solo album, Life's a 50/50 gamble never made it to the record stores despite the positive response to his track on the Nutty Professor soundtrack, My Crew can't go for that. This track again featured Krist doing a nice Hall and Oates impression with Trigger dropping his usual rhymes. It was a fun track and it got a lot of airplay on MTV at the time. Soon after My Crew Can't go for that a track called Hitman for Hire started popping up on mixtapes. This featured Trigger and Smooth trading verses with Krist supplying the hook.
I bought a copy of this track for £6.50 from Uptown records in London's SoHo. It was a shop I would only go to after exhausting all the offer shops in the area as it was more of a dance and R&B shop than a Hip Hop shop. The was no instrumental on the 12" or a radio version. There was no info on the label so I am unsure who produced this track although I'd hazard a guess that it was DR Period as he handled most of Smooth's production. There are also similarities between the production style on Smooth's album and this track. Its a dope track with the two brothers doing their usual trick and Krist dropping a cheesy hook. I haven't seen this track anywhere else so this may be the only pressing that was made.Check the link below for the rip and also a bonus track too.
The Hitman For Hire
Monday, 2 March 2009
I picked this 12" up in January 1998 from the now defunct Mr Bongo's on Poland Street in London's SoHo. I am unsure if either of these tracks got a legitimate release but if they didn't t the time I'm sure that they will pop up sooner or later on one of the multitude of Beatnuts greatest hits of unreleased collections that seem to get a bi-annual release.
The Off the Books remix features an elctro-synth laden beat with Big Pun dropping a classic verse;
Hey yo it's all love, but love's got a thin line
and Pun's got a big nine, respect crime but not when it reflect mine
The shit I'm on is wrong but it lasts long
Pull a fast one, then Pun'll wake up, with the stash gone
I'm mad strong, and my cream is fast
Smoke the greenest grass, my bitch got the meanest ass
and a taste legit, I don't have to waste a whole case of Crist'
All it takes is my pretty face and my gangsta wit
Lace the click, cause we all share
It's all fair like love and war, thug galore with the long hair
Big Pun, Pun the name that makes the kids run
Like spelling murder reverse it deliver redrum
Come one, come all, if you wanna brawl
I'm the mighty Thor clotheslining motherfuckers like Steven Segall
Cause all you gonna get, is your ass kicked or up in a casket
That's it (that's it?) That's it
Its a dope up beat party track with Pun showing off his truly legendary skills on the Mic, Beatnuts dropping their usual thugged out alcoholic rhymes and Cuban Linx doing an admirable job of not looking weak on the mic next to these heavy weights.
The other track on this bootleg is labelled Dawn The Dead and is a slower track with a nice Cello sample running over a Jazz infused drum break. Dawn Of The Dead was on the Japanese version of their self-titled album. Its pretty much a standard Betanuts track although its clearly from the early days before they got just a little too jiggy for the fans of the early albums. Its still dope though and if you're Beatnuts fan you need it in your collection. Check the link below for the rip and leave a comment if ya like this sheet.
Pun's got a big Nine
Sunday, 22 February 2009
Heres a new MF Doom track for y'all. This is taken for his new album Born like that that is due next month. The track uses a dope violin sample over the usual Doom drums, its dope nonetheless.
The al;bum will be on Uk based LEX records and willbe released under his shortened moniker Doom. The album will feature Ghostface Killah, Raekwon the Chef, the late J DIlla and Kurious, Born Into This hits stores on the 23rd of March.
Give an mc a rectal historectomy
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
This week's dodgy bootleg is a 1997 released Jeru 12" featuring two post Gangstarr tracks. This was picked up from one of London's West End record shops, probabley Deal Real before it shut down or perhaps Mr Bongos and it probabley cost somewhere around £7. The A-side is called East NY Stalks and the B-side is Friend or Foe which is often referred to as Friends due to Jeru's interpolation of the chorus from the classic track Friends.
As mentioned this 12" dropped in 1997 only a year after the underated but incredible Wrath of the Math which was entirely produced by DJ Premier. But soon after this album dropped rumors started to circulate that there was beef between Jeru and the Gangstarr foundation in particular DJ Premier. Then in 1997 we get this bootleg/promo 12" showing up in record shops with the track 'Friend or Foe' on the B-side. This is supposedly a diss track aimed at Gangstarr and Premier in particular. There is a number of reasons for this beef but the one I remember hearing first was that Jeru was unhappy with the amount of money Premier was making from his superb production work on Jeru's first two albums. There were also rumors that Biggie was also involved in this beef as Jeru had clearly taken some shots at the Bad Boy Team on the track One Day. In addition to that the Ten Crack Commandments beat was originally used for a Hot 97 promo with Jeru spitting over it so maybe Jeru wasn't too happy with the fact that Biggie got that beat in the end. Whatever the reason for the beef it did Jeru far more harm than it did anybody else.
Back to the tracks on the 12". Both of the tracks sound like someone trying to recreate that Premier and Jeru sound that made the Sun rises and Wrath so amazing and although these tracks are clearly no Primo gems their not too bad either. East NY stalks is a mid tempo track featuring Jeru's disjointed rhyme style over a sparse beat with some funky strings in the background the track also has another MC on it but I have been unable to find out who this dude is. The apparent diss track features a nice bass guitar loop coupled with some snappy snares (I'm sure that Premier copyrighted them) over which Jeru airs his grievances making accusation of back stabbing to this unnamed assailant who has been spitting on his grave (?) and hanging with shady individuals. Obviously Jeru is quite unhappy and whatever it is that caused this beef has prevented him from hooking up with Premier again. If I were Jeru I would try and sort that shit out and get Premier producing for him again because as we all know Jeru sounds best with premier. Check the link below to download a rip of this 12"
Friend how many of us have them ?
Monday, 2 February 2009
So once again a few Raekwon joints are being leaked and we're all getting our hope us that Only Built 4 Cuban Linx part 2 may be finally ready to drop. Can this seriously be the case after at least four years of hype is Da Chef finally ready to unleash the sequal to one of the best albums of the 1990s. Last week we had the incredibly dope Criminolgy part 2 which had Rae and Ghost trading rhymes in a fashion similar to the early Wu-Gambinos tunes with Rza flipping the same Sweet inspirations joint, Why Marry albeit in a slightly different manner. Then today we had Wu-Ohh pop up online featuring Method Man and Ghostface and what sounds like vintage Rza again claiming to be from Cuban Linx 2.
Raekwon has also been doing the usual pre album guest spots hoping to drum up some anticipation for an album that should have been here 3 years ago. In the last three years I have picked up and downloaded about 13 tracks all claiming to be from this much anticipated album and I have collected these in one handy bunch for ya'll to check out. I'm sure that probably less than half of these will be on the final album and if thats the case then thats cool with me I just hope that it lives up to the hype. To begin with this album was supposed to be produced by Rza and Dre, then other names got mentioned that made it sound even more impressive. Producers like Premier and Pete Rock also got mentioned whether or not these will make the final version, who knows? The tracks in this little collection are listed below, check them out.
Criminology Part 2
Once In A Lifetime
State of Grace Remix
State Of Grace
Kids Thats Rich
Enemy featuring Ill Bill
No doubt I will get corrected about where these tracks do come from and please if you know let me know in the comments.
Lets take this on some fly shit