Wednesday, 23 June 2010
I remember buying this record in Deal Real Record in London's West End, just off Oxford Street. They played the track for me and I immediately had to buy it. It was so refreshing and new, the beat was reminiscent of Tribe and the lyrics reminded me of De La Soul in that they were light hearted and humorous. This was my first introduction to Mos Def and I was very impressed. I went on to follow Mos's career closely and just months after buying this 12" I saw him do a live in store with Kweli at Deal Real and he was dope but more importantly a regular nice guy. A year or so later I saw him perform with Kweli and Co Flow at Subterania and his freestyle skills were very impressive. Mos was at the time so innovative and charismatic whilst not taking the whole indie backpack scene to serious, I have to say that I don't feel the direction he's taken of late is'nt my kinda thing but this is about 1997 not 2010.
The A-Side is produced by Sean J Period and uses the drums from Dennis Coffey's Scorpio and bits & pieces from Planet rock. sean J chops them up nicely and Mos's lyrics work well over the bouncy beat. This track was one of the most important tracks of the mid nineties indie movement along with Co Flow's Vital Nerve,Street Smarts's Metal Thangz, Rasco's Unassisted and Dilated's Work the Angles. It is a great track that along with the tracks mentioned about and a whole lot of others it showed the wider hip hop audience that there was dope shit coming out without major label backing. Most of the real headz already knew this but with tracks like this we started to see this sort of hip hop in the HMV's and Virgin Megastores.
The B-Side is the fantastic If You Can Huh You Can Hear which again is produced by Sean J Period and this time he samples a Roy Ayers track called Maiden Voyage but played by Brian Auger's Oblivion Express from the album Live Oblivion Vol. 2. Its another dope track with a mellow Tribe like beat with Mos spitting some atypical Mos Def lyrics. It was perfect for the summer it came out and fitted nicely alongside the Reflection eternal debut 12" Fortified Live which I'll be covering next week.
Check the Link below for the rip.
I grab the Microphone and emcee
Sunday, 20 June 2010
For the 9th part of my random 90s 12" series I have chosen an often overlooked Method Man 12" from 1995. This is a pretty dope 12" featuring Mr Meth over a couple of disjointed Rza beats but more importantly this 12" marks a turning point in Method Man's lyrical style. Prior to the release of this 12" Method Man's flow was more fluent and of a higher tempo. You could often hear Meth on 36 Chambers and Tical having to take breathes in between hectic bars. It was almost as if he had too much too say and was struggling to take breathes in between these lines. He sounded hungry, trying to prove himself over the other members of the crowd. Remember for a lot of people Meth was the first member of the Clan they ever heard. An example of this style can be found on the original version of Meth Vs chef where Meth wrecks the track "for Dolo", check the link below.
However on the Riddler 12" Meth debuted the style that he would utilise for his career going forward and has rarely deviated from it since then. The style he used and went on to used almost exclusively is a lot slower than his original style and also has a very disjointed flow with a stuttering use of word play. Linking words almost too similar in short sentences, for example;
Observe if you will,
I'm in my hide-out in the back of the hill,
I crack a wall then I caught about a mil,
Co-defendant Johnny Blaze and Bobby Steel (pronounced Still)
This was a nice change at the time because we had been flooded with Meth and the whole Wu for 18months to two years prior to this. But as the years and the albums went on this style, to me at least became somewhat boring compared to the charismatic hungry flow of his early work. It was almost as though a conscious decision was made to relax the flow, that they had made it and an element of the hunger was gone. Don't get me wrong Meth is still an emcee I enjoy a great deal and like more than most rappers he has a charismatic character that draws you into a song. However I remember what the old, or should I say young Meth rapped like and it would be good to hear that again. For the record this 12" was bought in the Legendary Deal real probably form my man MK or Pete for the pricey sum of £6.00. Check the link for the vinyl rip including the instrumental and also the original version of Meth Vs Chef.
Saturday, 19 June 2010
This album appears to have come out of nowhere, in fact I wasn't even aware that legendary UK producer/rapper Lewis Parker was working with MF Doom cohort John Robinson. To be honest until 2008's album with MF Doom I had never even heard of John Robinson however when I heard 'Who is this man ?' I began to instantly dig his style and choice of beats. 'Who is this man ?' was entirely produced by Doom and featured well written, interesting and mature lyrics from Joh Robinson. When I saw that Lewis Parker, one of my favourite UK hip hop heads and the man behind the fantastic Masquerades & Silhouettes (1998), was handling the beats on this new JR project I knew I had to listen to it. Apparently these two worked on a limited edition 10" earlier this year called 'The Unseen Trap' which I haven't heard but will no doubt track down soon.
This LP is 13 tracks long and features production entirely by Lewis Parker and John Robinson handling the emcee duties with guests from mainly the UK appearing on 5 of the tracks. Lewis Parker handling the production skill fully using crisp drums, nice basslines and some truly beautiful jazz samples. He knows exactly when to leave that horns loop to play out and when to cut it short with some sick scratches. John Robinson's lyrics are clear and concise making them easy to understand and filled with good stories and slick metaphors. As mentioned before we have a number of guests on this album and they represent well adding something of a UK flavour to the rhymes. The whole album flows well with each track fitting into the album nicely. Another nice side to the album is some of the cutting and scratching on the album especially on the transatlantic posse cut Godz Illa. The album has too many stand out tracks to single out any particular, they're all dope. This album deserves to be bought by any hip hop head looking for string beats and dope lyrics. If this isn't a contender for album of the year its certainly in my top five. You need to buy this, check the album sample below and then order it.
International Summers album sampler
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
The Extended Players are Shortee Blitz, Dj Mk, Harry Love and Mr Thing, the finest collection of Hip Hop DJs the UK has to offer!! Between them they've won countless DJ titles, toured the world over, produced hip hop classics of their own, won MOBO awards and so much more, not to mention Mk & Harry Love’s online stream show the Funhouse the latest hit to come out of the Extended Players camp! So join us as these turntable masters show you exactly how to rock a party playing the best hip hop related music in the finest way possible. This will be a sick jam not to be missed and will bring back memories of other London Hip Hop nights like; Gullyvers, The Hop, Kung Fu and the like. If you are in London on this night you need to be there. 8pm – 3am // FREE before 10pm, £5 after.
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
Sunday, 6 June 2010
MF Grimm is back with a new album, You only live twice: The Audio Graphic Novel. This album is his first since 2007's The Hunt For The Gingerbread Man and is entirely produced by Twiz the Beat Pro who is on the same label as Grimm, Day by Day Entertainment. The artwork for this album was done by artist Jim Mahfood who is also doing a 13-page comic book based on the album. You can check out a track from the album which is due to be released on the 8th of June and is well worth picking up. Support some real hip hop and grab this album.
Angel's without Wings
Saturday, 5 June 2010
Technically this isn't really a random nineties 12" as it came out in 2000 but I was going through my record collection and realised that I had yet to convert this to MP3 and I figured there may be some people who check out this blog who may apprecaite this dope 12". DJ Cam is a dope DJ and Producer from France known mainly for his instrumental hip hop albums which heavily sample traditional Jazz. By the time I picked this 12" up in 2000 I had been listening to DJ Cam since his second studio album Substances in 1996. Substances could easily sit in the same category as Shadow's Endtroducing using dark jazz loops and break alongside strong hip hop samples creating a melancholic but enjoyable soundtrack.
DJ Cam has steadily produced albums since the early nineties with his last release being 2007's Lost and Found. This 12" features a fantastic DJ Premier remix of a track from a strange enhanced CD project called the Loa Project volume 1 which only had the one track on it although it did have an interactive program however I'm not too sure what that allowed you to do with this track. Its pretty impossible to find a copy of it and probably wouldn't work on any of today's PCs or Macs. The Premier remix however could only be found on this 12" at the time, although its probably been on some compilation or another since.
The Cam side features a decent enough track with Afu Ra dropping his pretty much run of the mill raps over track that features a nice horns loop but lacks the dark intricacies of Cam's earlier productions. Although enjoyable enough Afu Ra sounds a little out of place especially over the chorus. The Cam side also features an instrumental of his version which works a bit better than the vocal version.
The Premier side is certainly the main reason I had for buying this 12" and I guess it would be safe to say that applied to most people who bought this 12". Its a typically dope Premier late 90's joint ; upbeat kick and snare with a nice loop which sounds like some sort of organ and then some sort of Dr Who sound effect. Whatever it is its some dope Premier shit and needs to be in any Premier fans collection. Follow the link for the rip and if you like leave a comment. Also leave a comment if theres something you're looking for from the 90s or breakz wise.
A chance with me ?