Sep 29, 2017
"One hundred on the percentage, I don't talk split..."
Wow, what a milestone! In the early days of the show I didn't know we'd still be here after this long, but focusing on just producing one show at a time has paid off. Every month I feel like I must have run out of tunes, but one hundred months in....not quite yet ;)
Thanks so much to all of you for taking the time to listen. Please spread this one far and wide!
Twitter : @airadam13
For this month's charity draw (check the end of the show for details), the website to donate to is MSF, entries close on the 21/10/2017.
Air Adam & Mega Ran : Pacman
Hitting you with a special right out of the gate! This is one of my own beats, done many moons ago when my man Kev 80s asked if I could make something out of sounds from the "Pacman" arcade machine. I sampled some audio out of an arcade emulator into the MPC and got busy; when I played it for Kev over the phone, he went out of his mind! I knew I had something, and I got this beat pressed onto a dubplate which some of you will have heard me pull out and play occasionally over the years. I've always thought it deserved some lyrics, and I was honoured to have Mega Ran bless it for a 100th episode special. Not only is he an ill MC, but one who knows his video games and has been a real pioneer in flipping gaming sounds and themes to devastating effect! No hook, just straight bars for you - I really hope you enjoy this one as much as I do every time I hear it :)
Visioneers : Apache (Battle Dub)
My man Bane pointed me in the direction of the Hipology 7" set by Marc Mac's Visioneers, and it's a nice five-disc, ten-track set paying respect to Hip-Hop's influence in his life. There's a mixtape of it on Bandcamp, but it's worth getting the full release! To start off a mini-theme in this part of the show, we go with their take on the classic track "Apache", a true foundation break of Hip-Hop. If you want a bit more background on it, check the film "Sample This"!
Ilajide : Apache 2
This man is one of my favourite producers of the last few years, and here he kills it with a great flip of the Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five version of "Apache"(you can just hear him letting it play as I blend the track in). Slowed, chopped, and with some added ODB flavour, it's a monster that on its own makes a purchase of "Five Week Heet IV" worth it!
Nas : Made You Look
A lot of people like to talk down on Nas' beat selection, but in my opinion you have to give him this; whenever he needs to drop that one big street single, he can. "Nas Is Like"? "Get Down"? "The Don"? That's just three off the top of my head, and this one could well go ahead of all of them. Salaam Remi flips that "Apache" breakbeat but making it slower and more menacing and Nas is on top form setting out his stall on this first verse. When this track dropped it got everyone open for "God's Son", and you can guarantee crowd response in a Hip-Hop club when the hook hits. Just one verse here, then blending during the hook into a killer remix...
Nas ft. Styles P and Ludacris : Made You Look (Remix)
Eleven synonyms for "gun" in just the first three bars of his verse is what stands out for me on Nas' closer right here. You have to bring it when you get a verse like Ludacris' preceding lyrics, and while you don't hear it on this episode, Styles P also got it done. This remix was killing the net and mixtapes when it came out but to the best of my knowledge, it never got an official release - if you know otherwise, get at me!
Aim & QNC ft. Grand Puba and Sean Price : We Don't Play (Curt Cazal Remix)
A great union of Grand Central-connected acts, along with some big guests! The original from the "The Habit of a Lifetime (And How to Kick It)" LP with Aim's production is dark, but Curt Cazal takes the darkness in a completely different direction for this remix. Treat yourself with a bit of extra volume for this cut because even with just two bass notes every couple of bars, it definitely bumps! Lyrically, all the verses are solid but as usual, I think Sean P takes it. Also check the homage being paid to EPMD, first with the opening bars, and on the hook too!
Seanie T, Karl Hinds, Jeff3, and Skeme : Had E-Nuff
I can't count the times I wanted to play this on the show but just wasn't happy with the mix! From Seanie T's Western-themed "The Blacknificent 7" superteam (just four on this track) we have this thumping AA-side with all MCs sounding seriously vex over a Karl Hinds beat. The Guru sample for the hook is just the icing on the cake!
DJ Spinna : Fancy Pants
Always here for a DJ Spinna beat, and this is an old one which has only just become available. The "Unpicked Treats Volume 1" collection on Bandcamp is made up of unreleased beats from 2005 to the present, and if you're a fan it's definitely one to check. This track has that trademark squelchy keyboard low end he does so well.
Redman : Tonight's Da Night
From Red's debut "Whut? Thee Album", we take the start of the jazzy third single, which has a lyrical switchup after the first few bars, and then do a little switch of our own...
Royal Flush : Best Type Of Rapper
...into this - I did this transition once live and the crowd went mad calling for the rewind! Big tune from the 2005 "Street Boss" album by Queens' Royal Flush. I haven't been able to find a producer credit for this one, but it's an energetic, horn-laden track over a classic break with Flush's staple street braggadocio delivered with what is still a low-key flow.
Naughty By Nature : Craziest
In a time when Hip-Hop was much more localised (and NY-centric) than it is now, the all-area respect theme of this track was a rarity; the video does a great job conveying it too. A fantastic but in my opinion, under-appreciated single from the "Poverty's Paradise" LP. NBN self-produce the track, and the particular combination of sounds like little else while also being very comfortable/familiar somehow. Treach and Vinny then proceed to get amped on the verses (did Treach ever get his money from Jermaine?), and the hook is straight classic. I'd love to hear a Leeds, Manchester, or just a UK version of this one!
DJ Quik ft. B-Real : Fandango
I think this is an amazing tune, and I love to find opportunities to play it when I DJ. The first full track on the "Trauma" LP, it's just big sounding and driving, with the horns taking centre stage and reminding you of an HBCU marching band - if you can't get live to this one, you should seek medical attention!
DJ Quik ft. B-Real : Fandango (Live at the House of Blues)
There aren't that many live Hip-Hop albums so being able to do a mix like this is rare, but taking the opportunity to catch that crowd energy is a winner. This is from the "Greatest Hits : Live at the House of Blues" album, which was recorded in February 2006 and is a release absolutely worth having in your collection! B-Real's killer second verse gets the crowd hype here and Quik brings it home strong, while the band do an excellent rendition of Quik's original production.
Showbiz & A.G. : Silence Of The Lambs (Remix)
Claaassic Diggin In The Crates product right here. The original cut on "Runaway Slave" is dope, but this remix is just incredible. Those blaring, almost discordant horns scream to be heard over Showbiz' wicked drum sampler programming, before settling down into the groove of the verses. This is the time when both members were getting on the mic, before Showbiz (now just Show) decided to focus on his work behind the boards. He could easily have carried on, but given that he's responsible for beats like "Sound Of Da Police", he can be forgiven for rationing his time. One aside - check the low, distorted evil laugh during the hook!
Chemical Brothers : Chico's Groove
The Chemical Brothers' "Exit Planet Dust" was a huge debut release, which came to the attention of me and mine via the use of several tracks on Channel 4's NBA coverage back in the day :) While they're primarily a dance act, there were some more laid back cuts on the album, and this was a standout for me - the feel of the first part of the track before the bass section comes in is just gorgeous.
The Mouse Outfit ft. Black Josh and TrueMendous : It's Like That
New track from a Manchester crew who continue to go from strength to strength - if this is any indication of what their next album will sound like, they're onto another winner! Chini's beat is chilled but the drums snap, and as always the right MCs are drafted in to grace the track. Black Josh has been working with The Mouse Outfit for a while and delivers some solid lyrics, but is at least matched by the dextrous TrueMendous out of Birmingham, who shines on this one!
Camp Lo ft. Mecca : Sky Box
The closing track on Camp Lo's second album, the appropriately-named "Let's Do It Again", this gentle Jocko-produced track is a tribute to loved ones Sonny and Geechi have lost along the way. One of the rare five-star tracks on my iPods.
Tall Black Guy : Broken Lies
A little something from the "Mini Therapy Chops 3" single by TBG, laid back but very tech with the drum programming, throwing in some great rolls and cymbal work!
Raekwon ft. Ghostface Killah : Rainy Dayz
Ok - I don't know if this is definitely my favourite Hip-Hop song, but is absolutely my favourite song on my favourite Hip-Hop album, the mighty and must-own "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...". A beautiful, dark, twisted beat from RZA in his golden period is the perfect setting to hear Rae and Ghost talk about being stuck in the drug business, with Blue Raspberry killing the vocals as the woman left at home worrying about her man. RZA cites it as one of his favourites, and with good reason. As far as my own relationship with this track; a) I played this once a day minimum for at least six months after buying the album, and b) that part where the audio seems to disappear towards end is the cue burn I put on this vinyl learning how to rock doubles on some highly unsuitable turntables!
Jan Hammer : It's Over
A short instrumental from the "Cocaine Cowboys" soundtrack. An amusing story about that OST is that the producers of the film were nervous about asking Jan Hammer to do something in the vein of "Miami Vice", in case he took offence and declared he'd moved past all that; as it tuned out, he had all the old synths upstairs ready to get busy!
Rakim : Bring It On
Very little available info on this one. It appears to be a remix of a 1995 track produced by Dominic Owen, but neither version was ever released. The sound quality on the white label compilation I have is pretty awful, but I tried to add a little top end to the EQ to counteract the worst of the muddiness. Rakim is in aggressive mode over a hard beat that definitely could have gone down well at the time, when the rugged East Coast sound was popular. This is the kind of relative rarity I love to share with you all!
Please remember to support the artists you like! The purpose of putting the podcast out and providing the full tracklist is to try and give some light, so do use the songs on each episode as a starting point to search out more material. If you have Spotify in your country it's a great way to explore, but otherwise there's always Youtube and the like. Seeing your favourite artists live is the best way to put money in their pockets, and buy the vinyl/CDs/downloads of the stuff you like the most!