Mar 24, 2019
"Burning it to the ground, from the ashes see what might rise..."
- Dubbul O
It's been a while, but with a reworked studio setup we welcome the second-ever guest to the show - the syllable-spraying Dubbul O! You'll certainly have heard him on here before, whether it's been with The Mouse Outfit, Voodoo Black, Mothership Connection, or one of his other projects. This month, he came through for a chat about his approach to MCing and with a bunch of tracks for us to hear (including an exclusive), which the selection for the episode is centered around. With it being March, we also include some Phife and Biggie in the mix, and it's Brooklyn's Finest who kicks things off...
Twitter : @airadam13
The Notorious B.I.G. : Playa Hater
Funnily enough, I know a lot of people hate this song, but for some reason it just tickles me! Biggie and Puffy give their armed robbery rewrite of an old Delfonics number on this album track from "Life After Death". B.I.G's love of old soul and a dark sense of humour combine for what is definitely a Marmite track from his catalogue!
$lowbeats. : Madness
Out of Guadalajara, Mexico, comes an artist whose name simply describes what s/he does! This booming, ominous beat comes from the "Burn Slow" beat tape, the only release from this producer, and fit in really nicely to allow us to keep a continuous groove going.
dead prez : W-4
Double-time drums but with a counter of acoustic guitar and bass, stic crafts a great track on which dead prez lament the stress of the poor working life. For the non-US listeners, the W-4 form referenced is the form workers submit to their employers detailing their tax situation, which then tells them how much tax to withhold from pay. This track from the "RBG" LP is as relevant now as it ever was - in fact, in an era when mentions of the "working class" often implicitly ignore Black people, maybe more pertinent in the present day.
Voodoo Black : Gettin' Dum
The latest single from this Room 2 crew reps Manchester proudly - this month's guest leads off, then passes the ball to Sparkz, and finally Ellis Meade takes it all the way to the end. This track has the kind of pace and space that enables all the MCs to play around with their patterns; even without actually hearing the words, there's flavour in the flows. DJ Cutterz with the production on this one.
Swell ft. Shiloh Dynasty : I'm Sorry
Swell is an Australian producer who isn't even twenty years old yet but clearly has talent to keep an eye on, and Shiloh Dynasty is such a mysterious vocalist that I don't have the first clue which pronoun to use! At such a slow tempo, I don't know if "head nodder" is the right phrase to use, but I love this beat from the "There's Still Us" EP.
Dubbul O : Smoka-Motive
The title track from Dubbul O's most recent EP, with Mankub bringing some Yard flavour into proceedings, along with eerie strings, guitar, and vocal samples, a real low-tempo soup over which Dubbul O speed-races with his double-time flow.
Jake One : Eli
Heading back to the "#PrayerHandsEmoji" beat tape, which has been a great source of quality low-tempo instrumentals. Production fans should definitely grab this one.
Tobe Nwigwe : HËÂT RŌČK.
I first heard Tobe mentioned by Bomani Jones, and his gushing praise let me know that this was an MC I needed to check out - and I was not disappointed! Coming out of Houston, he's got a unique combination of flow and voice, and packs substance into his bars while being absolutely crystal-clear the whole time. You owe it to yourself to check out the "The Originals" collection, and there are videos for many of the tracks on Youtube!
Voodoo Black : Run Along
Solid single from the start of last year, with the DJ Cutterz-produced beat cockily ambling down the street while the crew dismiss weak challengers with a wave of the hand. This track is just one example of Dubbul O killing the final verse in that Busta/Freddie Foxxx tradition of flawless clean-up men :)
Polyrhythm Addicts : Motion 2000
One of those classic independent records - very well known to those into the scene at the time, but one I have to remind myself isn't universally known even among dedicated heads. Polyrhythm Addicts was something of an underground supergroup, comprising DJ Spinna, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Mr Complex, and Apani B (later replaced by Tiye Phoenix), and their debut "Rhyme Related" featured this Spinna-produced single. That bassline is immediately distinctive, and with just the drums added to it (and a little guitar in the hook), there's plenty of space for all the MCs to get busy.
Bronx Slang : Married To The Game
Jerry Beeks is a friend and big supporter of what I'm doing over here, and the feeling is mutual. It's great to see the release of the new "Bronx Slang" LP, where he and Ollie Miggs show over the twelve tracks that contrary to popular opinion, real Hip-Hop never went anywhere! Beeks kills the mic over this piano-driven beat, and needs no hook to pull you in.
Dubbul O freestyle / [J-Zone] : As It Ever Was (Instrumental)
Dubbul O was up for giving us some lyrics from his rhyme book that haven't been heard before, and so we went through some instrumentals - didn't get far before he picked this one out. This is just raw MC business, straight through with no edits, no punching-in, exactly how it should be done.
The Quarter Inch Kings : I'm No Comeback
Decided to slide another instrumental in here, and went to The Beat Tape Project's "The AZ Beat Tape" for this track from a Toronto-based production unit who bring a soulful vibe. Got to love the humming woman sample that would have fit right in around 1996 - right around the time AZ's debut LP came out!
Dubbul O : Mussbemental
Vintage double-time syllable distribution here from Dubbul O on another Mankub-produced tune from "Smoka-Motive"! Dubbul O has talked about how he tries to become another instrument on the track, and he jumps all over the place like a jazz saxophonist on a solo here.
Natural Elements : For The Culture
Natural Elements are back with another three-song selection in their #DeathComesIn3s series, the "3 Kings" EP, and this was the tune that jumped out for me on the first listen. Great bars as always with this crew, and GxBxT provides the beat.
Pitch 92 ft. The Four Owls and DJ Jazz T : Swoop
I've been following Pitch from his first days and he's one of those people where the talent was immediately evident. His skills were a huge contribution to The Mouse Outfit during his time with them, and now we have his first full producer solo album to hear his latest work. The "3rd Culture" LP is one of those producer-helmed projects with a host of artists coming in to help realise the vision, and there are plenty of heavyweights - on this track, the respected High Focus crew The Four Owls and battle champion DJ Jazz T on the cuts. For the bargain price being charged on Bandcamp, this is a no-brainer purchase!
Phife Dawg ft. Rodney Hampton : Game Day
The "NFL Jams" compilation was, in 90s soundtrack-era weird idea style, a combination of NFL players and established Hip-Hop performers on each track on the album. Results were...mixed. The late great Phife Dawg certainly holds down his end of the deal on this early Jay Dee-produced cut, but Rodney Hampton really just gets credit for trying!
Damu The Fudgemunk : Randi
Dubbul O : Step Into The Circle
An exclusive to close out the show! Dubbul O brought this track for a first airing, previewing the EP he's got coming later this year with Clay of Room 2 Records. Dubbul O's flow is as laid-back as it goes, matching the vibe of Clay's clean and breezy, crisply-drummed track.
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!