May 31, 2018
"Leave the pills alone, realise you a drug yo'self"
The end of the ninth year of the podcast is upon us, along with a rebuild of the website (podcast.airadam.com) - hope you enjoy it. This month's selection starts off slow in pace, and picks up as we go until we reach full-on dancefloor funk! Tunes are new and old and come from Manchester, Houston, NYC, and points in-between. Let's get to it...
One more thing - Beatnuts tickets for the September 19th show in Manchester!
Twitter : @airadam13
Z-Ro : From The Other Side
We start the episode with a pick from "No Love Boulevard", a low-slung banger from one of the more underrated artists in Hip-Hop (he claims to now be retired, but hopefully not). Z-Ro has never been one to suffer fools lightly, or even to be much enamoured of people in general, and here he's expressing his frustration with hangers-on who want to be spoon-fed instead of taking initiative. His sometimes sung, sometimes rapped style reminds me a little of Nate Dogg with a little 2Pac mixed in. He'll never have the mainstream popularity as either - he's far too raw for many - but he's certainly put himself and Mo City on the map over the years.
Luxury Elite : Cool
A little vaporwave flavour from the "World Class" album by Kentucky's Luxury Elite. Taking an old 80s sample, looping and editing it, and applying some effects sounds simple enough but I've been checking out quite a bit and it's easy to do badly! No such problems here, and I'll definitely keep an ear out for more from Luxury.
Children of Zeus : Slow Down
It's hopefully not too long until CoZ release their debut album, but we have this single to hold us over for a bit. It was almost a guarantee that I was going to play "All Night", the other side of the single, here (I love that "You're A Customer" break), but this one finally got the nod. The track lives up to the title, a nice relaxed piece with plenty of room for Konny and Tyler to shine. Tyler opens up with the singing voice he's known for, before he and Konny both spit raw bars after the drums come in.
Ilajide : Ten Fo
Rapidly becoming one of my favourite producers and MCs, Clear Soul Forces' Ilajide returns this month with the "#0414917" LP. The theme of the release is past issues with the law, and the sonics are absolutely thumping. This particular track sounds somewhat chaotic, with the beat elements and his vocals all tumbling after one another, but when you break it down it's more organised than it first appears!
The Mouse Outfit ft. Ellis Meade and Dubbul O : Trigger The Wave
The "Jagged Tooth Crook" LP is with us and it's another quality outing for the Outfit. Metrodome, a talented producer and DJ from Manchester worked heavily with them on this album, and he takes the reins here alongside core member and keyboardist Chini for a clean, spacey number. On the mic, we have two longtime members of the Mouse Outfit fam who are also busy artists in their own right, Ellis Meade and Dubbul O, demonstrating yet another beat style they can handle with aplomb.
Michael Trapson : Neverland Dungeon
Maybe not everyone's cup of tea but I find this guy immensely entertaining! I was giving this plenty of play even before the "This Is Lit" album was released, so no reason to stop now :) One piece of trivia for this track - the "brrrr-rat-tat-tat" in the hook isn't just a reference to gunfire, but in fact to a very specific ad-lib in Michael Jackson's "Remember The Time"! There are a ton of MJ references and dead-on vocal stylings in this tune, but even if you don't know enough to pick up on them I still think it's heavy.
The Alchemist : G-Type
DJ Premier ft. A$AP Ferg : Our Streets
Premo keeps on turning out those tracks in his signature style, and on this meeting of the generations, A$AP Ferg is the beneficiary of his drum machine generosity. This is a top single that marks the relaunch of the Payday Records label; they're certainly starting off strong.
Bumpy Knuckles : Flow Temperament
The king of the third verse (and a strong contender on any others) is back with a new project, "Pop Duke, Volume 1", entirely produced by Nottz. Great to hear Bumpy back with new material, and if this is anything to go by, we need to hope for more volumes in this series! Gutter beat and hard rhymes, one for the real heads.
Pusha T : Infrared
I decided to play this track from the "Daytona" (named after the watch, not the racetrack!) album on the day it came out, before the whole beef with Drake fully ignited! The mostly snareless beat from Kanye (who at least managed to get this right) provides ample space for Pusha to throw shade on Drake and his ghostwriters, Trump and the election conspiracy, and plenty more. That line about "I don't tap dance for the crackers and sing 'Mammy'" has a truckload of context now...
TRIBECA-GRAND : Take A Knee
With the NFL's new national anthem rules being introduced recently to polarising effect, this seemed like a good time to pull out this single. Tribeca and Grand Agent come out strongly in favour of the right to protest and in opposition to police violence over a Tribeca-produced beat that once again sounds like he beat the MPC into submission :) This single came out a while back, but now the "Sport Of The Gods" LP, including this song, is available too.
[The Alchemist] Mr. Voodoo : Lyrical Tactics Pt.II (Instrumental)
Total coincidence to go with another Alchemist beat, but he's just got so many good ones! This is from relatively early in his career, with Natural Elements' Mr. Voodoo (aka Agu) clearly one with an ear for talent.
Public Enemy : Cold Lampin' With Flavor
Arguably the breakout Flavor Flav solo joint (eclipsing "Too Much Posse" from "Yo! Bum Rush The Show"), this is one of my favourites from the monumental "It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back". Starting off with a sample of Mr.Magic (RIP) dissing PE on his radio show, this is just a hectic track with Flav going free-association from start to finish.
Ultramagnetic MCs : Feelin' It (Remix)
Classic 80s flavour, heavy Bronx as The P Brothers would say! From the must-hear "Critical Beatdown" album, Kool Keith and Ced Gee are on the mic with styles that, while bearing traces of the old school, clearly shows signs of the MCs yet to come. The beats on the LP were done by Ced Gee, Moe Love, and the late great Paul C, and this is a signature example.
Brand Nubian : Dedication
A deep album cut from Brand Nubian's debut "One For All", with Grand Puba going solo on the mic and showing some love to those who paved the way.
Parliament : The Big Bang Theory
This huge funk track is long enough that I picked it to be the fourth song in this mix and then realised I may as well keep it running as the instrumental bed for the last voiceover! This is one of the best-known tracks by George Clinton and the crew, and as well as on many compilations, you can get this on the "Gloryhallastoopid" album.
Gap Band : Disrespect
The last song of the episode is one of my favourite Gap Band tracks but maybe not one of their best known. The synth bass, the double handclaps, the bell ringing, and the fire hook come together to make this diss track to Prince (!) a funk monster. Do yourself a favour and get yourself a copy of "Gap Band VI" if you see one at a reasonable price! You do get three different versions of "The Sun Don't Shine Everyday", but there are enough other things included for it to be worth having in your collection.
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!