Oct 31, 2019
"In the land of the free, the slaves are still here."
- Jerry Beeks
The grind continues, and as the autumn starts to really draw in, the selection gets you prepared for full hoodie and boot season with some rugged sounds from the old to the new!
A couple of events for you...
The Flyest @ Klondyke Club, Manchester, November 15th - guest starring me on the turntables!
Twitter : @airadam13
Royal Flush : Life Is Hard
Royal Flush is known to most for his debut "Ghetto Millionaire" album, but he definitely has had some other solid tracks over the years. While this is on the 2019 release "The Governor", it was first heard on the 2005 "Street Boss" album. The production (don't have credits for this one) is top-notch, with the eerie and dramatic instrumental sounding very noir - a perfect backdrop for Flush's grim Queens thug braggadocio. Note: Flush claims to be "50% straight crook", which the late great Prodigy told us is not a thing ;)
[Maxmillion] Panda One : Elaborate (Touch You) (Instrumental)
There's another track on this 2002 12" that has been the favourite for me for a long time, but on a re-visit this month I had to give this beat a little bit of light! The sample it's based around has been used before, but not quite like this - good job by Maxmillion.
Phi Life Cypher : Earth Rulers
One of my favourite rhyme duos with a killer single! DJ Beware put me up on this one back in the day, but I only recently got my own vinyl copy. Si Phili and Life just firehose lyrics right down the DJ Nappa-produced track, in a way any fan of bars has to appreciate. The finishing touches are provided by the dancehall samples, which I think come from recordings of the veteran Earth Ruler sound system - the little one-bar sample that drops in in place of a hook is absolute fire!
Redlight Boogie ft. DJ Chainsaw : Hands Down
Amsterdam's Redlight Boogie yells, snarls, and spits his way through this cut from the "Dirty Money, Clean Hands" album - abrasive like a sack of Brillo pads. DJ Chainsaw drops in for some cuts at the close, which end up blending over the scratches from...
Gang Starr : Bad Name
Huge new single which the heavy Hip-Hop listeners will surely have had on repeat the last few weeks! Easily the biggest musical surprise of the last few years has been the news that a new Gang Starr album release is imminent, and that there have been unreleased Guru vocals in the vault all these years. The "Family & Loyalty" single stunned everyone, and this follow-up will keep the buzz going until the LP drops. DJ Premier on production, the late great Guru on the mic - it's what we've been missing.
Bronx Slang : More Grief
It's been great to see Bronx Slang getting momentum up this year off the back of their excellent debut album, and it just so happens that this track that I was planning to play anyway turns out to be their new single! Jerry Beeks gets busy on the mic with the kind of consciousness that a lot of people swear doesn't exist in music these days, while Jadell packs in the funk to complete the soulful stew. Don't sleep!
Jay Dee : Jay Dee #17
Big shout to Iain and Teresa for hooking up a release I needed in my collection - "King of the Beats" by J Dilla! Lots of unreleased beats on this one, as well as a few the hardcore listeners might know. This particular beat bounces along with that characteristic Dilla swing, focusing on the low end for a pleasing groove.
Skyzoo & Pete Rock : Ten Days
If you like Pete Rock beats, you
want to get the new "Retropolitan"
album - 100% Soul Brother #1, with Brooklyn's Skyzoo helming mic
proceedings throughout. This isn't the kind of beat that you
automatically associate with Rock, but it just goes to show he can
be versatile with it. Skyzoo is on that "get money" talk here, with
a hook that conjures up this scene from
"Paid In Full".
As an aside - I totally forgot that the closing track on this album shares the podcast title, which I've wanted to use with the cover photo for a while!
Black Moon : A Haaa
My goodness, what a wait - sixteen years since the "Total Eclipse" album (2006's "Alter the Chemistry" was dope, but essentially a remix project), but at last Black Moon are back in full effect on "Rise of da Moon"! One of the original Timbs and hoodies crews, this episode wouldn't have been right without them. This tune is short but a banger, with a heavy digital bassline anchoring things while Buckshot showcases the flow and flavour that made him famous. Also check that heavy boom that kicks in between the 1 and 2 beats of each bar!
Black Thought ft. Styles P : Making A Murderer
Devastation from last year's "Streams of Thought, Volume 1" EP. More bars than HMP, more bars than Temple Bar. Black Thought is one of the world's best MCs, who needs no hook and offers no reprieve on his fire first verse. It's a brave man who would get on the mic after him, but Styles P takes the challenge and does himself proud - rising to the occasion. 9th Wonder's instrumental beats you into submission in the best way with the heaviness of the drum track, but it's Thought that holds the murder weapon here.
Children of Zeus : Ghost
CoZ maintained their hot streak of great music with "The Winter Tape", and it's just about the season for those tunes to get a re-airing. Tyler Daly takes sole charge of the vocals for this haunting tale of lost love.
Vanilla : Sweet Talk
The title track from the last of the soul-inspired beat tape trilogy by this UK producer is a smooth one. Vanilla works a melancholy 70s soul sample, and the drums are suitably subtle so as not to overpower it.
Professor Griff and the Last Asiatic Disciples : The Verdict
This is the first of two tracks from albums that opened up the nineties, just as we start to look towards a new decade. Professor Griff's solo debut album "Pawns in the Game" came during his initial suspension/expulsion, and found him on unfamiliar ground as he was not a rhyme writer by trade. Still, he delivered the rhymes with conviction (no pun intended) on a song that opens with a take on Louis Farrakhan's short play "The Trial", and the rest of the L.A.D come through too. Beat Master Clay D provides the beat, based on a familiar break that never gets old but packed with other samples in a way that is unaffordable in terms of clearance fees these days...
Master Ace : I Got Ta
When the Juice Crew veteran's name was still spelled this way, the year was 1990, haircuts were angular, and Ace was making his solo debut on the highly regarded "Take A Look Around", from which this track is taken! Mister Cee takes a classic James Brown sample and keeps the Godfather's voice in for Master Ace to work around lyrically as he states his intentions.
Joell Ortiz ft. Jadakiss, Sheek Louch, and Styles P : Put Some Money On It
Second straight tune working a vocal sample into the lyrics - this time, from the 2011 "Free Agent" mixtape with The LOX making a great guest appearance. Straight street bars all the way through, and Sean C and LV with the uptempo soul/funk production for a big win.
Sampa The Great ft. Krown : Time's Up
Massive thanks to Agent J for gifting me this LP! From Zambia via Botswana and Australia comes Sampa, whose new LP "The Return" jumps around stylistically but never lets you forget that this is an MC of quality. She and the featured guest Krown take the machinations of the record industry to task on this one and announce that the clock has run out on their BS. Silentjay's beat starts off centred around those stick hits to remind you of a clock, then brings those lows in to drive it forward. Definitely an album worth a listen!
Boogie Down Productions : Duck Down (Instrumental)
Early 90s ruggedness on this 12" release from the "Sex & Violence" LP. KRS and Pal Joey smack the beat into the drum sampler here, and right at the end you hear the sound effect that plays under one of Hip-Hop's best-remembered calls for a rewind!
Edgar Allen Floe : Arrest The President (Cypher God)
We played the original version of this track to open episode 90, almost three years ago, but I only recently learned that there was a remake! Edgar Allen Floe of the Justus League does a solid job with this, covering similar themes as the original and even borrowing some of the rhyme scheme while switching up the words themselves. The dope beat is pretty much the exact same as the Marley Marl-produced original, bringing that hectic 80s urgency and just begging to be cut up every time. Check out more of Floe's work on the rest of the album, "The Streetwise LP".
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!