Jun 26, 2011
"Days come and go, but..."
- Jane Child
Second birthday for the podcast! Nice little back catalogue building up now :o) To celebrate the occasion, here's another show crafted to caress your eardrums - I've got some old classics, unrecognised gems, and just a little new heat to add the spice! It also seems to be remix city this month...
Natural Elements : Freestyle
I think I've declared my Natural E fan-dom in the past, and I could listen to them rhyme all day. Probably have done at least once. Anyway, this is a nice no-hook track featuring them flowing over the Neptunes-produced beat from Nas' "The Flyest (Nas' Angels)" - not sure if it's a real off-the-dome freestyle, but knowing these guys it wouldn't be surprising! Sorry about the stereo dropouts near the start; don't know what happened there! Also check the beat juggle at the start - sound familiar?
[Butterfly] Digable Planets : Nickel Bags (Instrumental)
Super cooled-out instrumental for this break, should have the air of familiarity for anyone who heard Episode 24...this was my favourite Digable single I think.
The Pharcyde : Passing Me By / Passing By Me (DJ Jazzy Jeff Remix)
One of the classic Hip-Hop singles, a collection of tales of unrequited love, it would have been too basic just to play the original version so I switch it up after the first verse in favour of DJ Jazzy Jeff's remixed version "Passing By Me" which you can find on his free compilation "My Faves : Volume 1." That's your cue to get over there for the download. It's based around a gorgeous sample which then leads us nicely into...
Intelligent Hoodlum : Grand Groove (Bonus Mix)
I didn't realise for ages that this isn't the original version of this track - first time I heard it was on "Yo! MTV Raps" and this is the version on the video. K-Def and Marley Marl are responsible for the beat I believe, and Tragedy (side note: hope he drops the "Khadafi" from his current pen name) comes with some heartfelt lyrics. You can find this on the "Tragedy : Saga Of A Hoodlum" album, a nice hard-edged 90s release.
Kool G Rap ft. Nas : Fast Life (Norfside Remix)
Sound quality on this pressing is a little rough, so apologies for that, but you either fondly remember this remix if you were clued-up back when it first came out or this is new to you and should be knocking you sideways! The original "Fast Life" was on Kool G. Rap's "4, 5, 6" album but I'm not sure exactly where this remix first emerged. I got my copy on a little 12" from Pop Art in Manchester (RIP) while digging through the bins, but it's only in the last couple of weeks I found out who did the remix - Salaam Remi. Good work that man.
No I.D. : Sky's The Limit
Looove this...ever since my man DJ Beware introduced me to this track something like 10 years ago I've been enjoying it but now it's time to share! No I.D was the original producer for Common (when he was still Common Sense) and both of them come out of Chicago, a city which for a long time was far more associated with House than Hip-Hop. As it happens, you can tell on here that not only is he an ill producer but can do his thing on the mic too with some thought-provoking lyrics. More quality material can be found on his "Accept Your Own And Be Yourself" LP.
[Pete Rock] Phife Dawg : Lemme Find Out
I'd pretty much ignored this B-side (on the flip of "Flawless," which is a heavy tune) up to now; for whatever reason the vocal version doesn't do it for me, but when you strip the words away and just leave the beat it turns out to be an interesting number indeed. What else would you expect from Pete Rock?
The U.N. : Avenue
Pete Rock on the beat again, with an initially simple sounding but deeply hypnotic track which forms a great basis for the UN MCs to shine. It starts slowly I think but then picks up nicely and stays strong right through to the end. Not sure if the group is still together now but the "UN or U Out" album is just some straight-up Hip-Hop which is a great purchase for fnas of the gritty SP1200 & S950 aesthetic. No pretensions.
Sean Price, Meyhem Lauren & Roc Marciano : How The Gods Chill (Remix)
It's just some real Hip-Hop. Hard drums, nice cuts, and MCs getting busy. This here is why you don't let Sean Price get on the track first - Meyhem and Roc Marciano are both dope but my goodness...he comes out swinging! I want to hear Sean Price and Bumpy Knuckles do a joint album. Please? The original version of this track was headed up by the Hardcore group Cold World, but I don't know who's responsible for this remix - such are the downsides of digital releases :o(
Snowgoons w/ Skyzoo & Torae : Can't Go On Like That
Germany stand up! The Snowgoons are a pair of producers who have carved out a nice lane making beats for US underground MCs, often dramatic and virtually always banging and aggressive. This time out it's Brooklyn's Skyzoo and Torae who bless the beat with some New York straight talk. I found this on Spotify the other day and quickly realised I needed a copy of it to play this month! The *only* bad thing - the title doesn't quite match the words in the vocal sample in the hook...
Dilated Peoples : Triple Optics
Probably my favourite track from their debut "The Platform," this was the 3rd track on the "Work The Angles" 12" single. Evidence is on the production and Rakaa Iriscience takes the vocal lead, strongly representing the underground Los Angeles sound. Five albums deep, they've got quiet for the moment but will quite possible return with an independent release - stay tuned...
Stanley Clarke & George Duke : Quiet Time
Cooling things right down with a very short piano piece from the third "Clarke/Duke Project" collaborative album from two legends of the jazz fusion sphere. It's not as though I'm going to get chance to play this on a Friday night, so here it is :o)
[Ant] MF DOOM : Hoe Cakes (Remix Instrumental)
*This* is the tune I was referring to back in Episode 2 when I talk about referring to Anita Baker and someone had no clue who I was talking about! This remix takes the classic "Sweet Love" intro and layers it with a beatboxed drum pattern - not the most obvious move but it does work. The vocal version's worth hearing, though I have to say I'm not the biggest DOOM fan - "Operation Doomsday" is still the peak for me!
O.C. : Emotions (Album Version / JFish Remix)
Deep track from one of the more underrated members of the DITC crew, from his Mike Loe produced album "Smoke & Mirrors," which was released on the Hieroglyphics label. The album had mixed reviews, but personally I thought it was dope and I'm glad to have a vinyl copy. It might not have the classic DITC sound but who am I to say not to experiment?The remix comes courtesy of JFish of Soul Vibe Productions - they did a fully-remixed version of the album which was available on the net for free download a while ago; you may have to do some e-digging (e-xcavation?) to find it now!
Kev Brown ft. Grap Luva : Struggla's Theme
Nice. Very nice. Landover, Maryland's Kev Brown is a producer/MC with an emphasis on the former. He's best known for coming out of Jazzy Jeff's Touch Of Jazz camp and is something of a ninja when it comes to the basslines! This track has a lovely, smooth but active bassline under an understated drum track and a little keyboard accent and is so good that if your head's not bobbing at all...you may require medical attention. Lyrically, Kev comes in on the subject of trying to make an honest living, with Grap Luva of InI contributing a great second verse. Really hope you like this one!
AZ : Gimme Yours (Remix)
Queensbriiidge! Big big favourite of mine, Erick Sermon on the remix bringing a nice 80s soul sample and replacing Nas on the hook with Miss Jones, which is a huge upgrade. This is probably the only time in history that could be said of replacing Nas with anybody! The original version is on AZ's debut "Do Or Die," and it was fresh - but this is even better :o)
Jane Child : Words I Know (Album Version / Word Mix)
I would imagine the majority of listeners to the show don't know who Jane Child is; she had a hit in 1990 with "Don't Wanna Fall In Love" from her self-titled, self-produced debut, an album so great it had no less a man than Prince singing her praises! Her second album went straight under the radar for most and her third album ("Surge") was released on her own label. If that was under the radar, then the release this is taken from ("Surge Remixed") is under the whole plane but was an EP with a few select tracks from the original album redone. I thought the original album version might be too slow and all that for a lot of people so I only gave you a taste at the end, but I love it myself - reminiscent of Stevie Wonder on the keyboards!
Air Adam : Maria
I finally found a place to put a 66bpm instrumental and make it blend :o) This is something I knocked up on the MPC a couple of years ago on a quiet afternoon up in Leeds - couldn't see any MCs doing anything with it so it ended up just being left on the hard drive. At least a few people get to hear it now!
Spearhead : Hole In The Bucket
Special request for my man Eli - not a big Spearhead fan myself but I saw this video on MTV years ago and thought it was a great song. Michael Franti isn't tearing it down with super-complex lyrical schemes or rhyme flows but he crafts his story well, and it's a situation which pretty much anyone frequenting a big city can relate to. I must say though that the hook is a 100% winner; just nicely put together!
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!