Wed, 31 October 2012
"Look behind the camera..."
Tough selection this month - decided I wanted to try and keep the same tempo through the whole episode only to find lots of tunes I quite fancied playing were 5 or 6 BPM slower! Still, the restriction made me dig a little harder and I think it's another good set. We start off in face-smashing mode and go from there...
Hostyle : Guilty
No flash, no glamour - just a rugged street record! You can't expect anything less from a member of the ferocious Screwball. Hostyle attacks Godfather Don's beat not with any particular complexity but just a straight blast of aggression. You know what? Sometimes that's just what has to be done. This is the A-side of a great 2002 12" which I'll definitely be revisiting in a future episode...
donwill + suhBURB : Guilty
I was flicking through a few things when I realised I had this - no way was I passing up the opportunity to blend it in here. Same sample, not a massively different usage but the drum/percussion change definitely gives it a different feel. This is the second time I've dipped into the "Suburban Sprawl" album (last time was way back on episode 18!), and it's another winner. Short but sweet!
[Salaam Remi] Nas : Made You Look (Instrumental)
One of those classic Hip-Hop 12"s that Nas always has always had the ability to drop throughout his career. Of course here, we go without the vocals and just run with Salaam Remi's fierce beat, slowing down the classic Incredible Bongo Band "Apache" break (one of the foundation breaks of Hip-Hop, if you didn't know) and morphing it just slightly into something to get the guns out to!
Bekay ft. Canibus, Shuko, Heltah Skeltah, Chino XL, DJ Revolution : Do This
First heard just the Canibus verse on a promo mix for Coalmine Records a few years ago and thought it was incredible, but didn't know where to actually get the track! Ran into it while flicking through Spotify though and snatched up a digital copy. I can't say I know much about Bekay other than that he's from Brooklyn (BK!), but it's a solid enough track - I think he gets outshone by the guests though. That said, you want to put together a hot product at the end of the day so why go for people you can easily beat just to satisfy vanity?
DJ Premier & Bumpy Knuckles : More Levels
Definitely one of my favourites from the "Kolexxxion" album (which I was lucky enough to get signed this month, thanks guys!) Reminds me a little of the Jackson 5 "Walk On By" version with the organ sounds and drumming but I don't think that it's necessarily sampled from there. The switch-up for the hook is ridiculously ill though, the guitars make it and the cut-ins add that extra flavour to blast it over the top.
Dynas ft. Skam : Dime Out
Apologies for the sound quality - I think it's the original recording itself. Heavy tune though, coming from the "Beyond Real Experience Vol.2" album, which I should note is available as a download for only a fiver right now! This is an example of something Dynas has wisely done all over his catalogue - get on a DJ Spinna beat :) Can't say fairer than that!
The Away Team ft. Billionz : Awesome
Bit of a funny one from the North Carolina group's "Training Day" album. I have half a feeling the main keyboard line may put some people off, and the lyrics aren't absolutely slaying it, but the drums are cracking and when the bass comes in during the hook...it comes in like an air raid siren on the low! Khrysis definitely snuck that little move in there to great effect. Even if you don't like this one as much as I do, I think it's fair to say the full album is worth having at the right price.
[J Dilla] Slum Village : Fall In Love (Chopped)
I thought the drums in "Awesome" were strikingly similar to the ones here (if not identical), so I thought it would be a good blend - however, as I don't have an instrumental of this Slum track I decided to do a little chopping up on Serato to create a little instrumental bed. Could probably have gone and done lots of edits to make it flawless but thought I'd keep the rawness :) Just to speak a little on the track itself - I got this on the vinyl of the classic "Fantastic, Vol 2" album and only found out much later that there were some issues with the sample clearance once it had been released and so a re-release had to be done, replacing this track with a remix. As such, a lot of people don't actually have the version you hear here but it's well worth seeking out as it's a gem.
Suga Free, Pimpin' Young : Succa Repellent
Decided to have a quick Spotify search to see if there was anything new from Suga Free and stumbled on an album called "Thunder & Lightning" alongside a guy called Pimpin' Young I hadn't heard of previously. Can't get enough of that hook and the beat - though due to the fact I bought this as a digital release, I'm not sure who produced it. I'd definitely like to see a consistent effort industry-wide to have credits included with digital music purchases...as a member of the liner note generation!
Dogg Pound : A Good Day
Took a chance on this one when Rap & Soul Mail Order were clearing out all kinds of stock just on the strength of the Dogg Pound name and I was rewarded; great summery BBQ tune, which is of course why I'm playing it in the damp and cold of the British autumn. Daz is on the production and gives it a classic West Coast sound. The 12" I have it on is titled as above, but a bit of searching around suggests this is also on the "Dogg Chit" album as "Itz A Good Azz Day" - might be worth checking out that album to see if there's anything else good on there.
Lyricalligraphy ft. Truthos Mufasa : David's Slingshot
When I first heard Lyricalligraphy rhyme he must have been somewhere around 14, as part of a whole bunch of guys on the mic at Manchester's Contact Theatre. In the cities, a lot of young guys try to rhyme and never improve, but I can say in the years that followed that he's continued to work at his craft and takes it seriously. Right now he's part of the new Manchester crew Ape Cult (who tore down In The Loop this month), and this track is from his debut EP "Lyricalligraphy Vol.1" which you can get on Bandcamp at a price of your choosing - worth checking out! Production is from Jus-Ru on this one, working a classic jazz sample but importantly not doing too much to it - nice.
Platinum Pied Pipers ft. Tiombe Lockhart : I Got You
The right kind of jazzy feel to follow up the last song I think! A beautiful wind-down track from the 2005 "Triple P" album, with Waajeed and Saadiq putting that Detroit shuffle into it and Tiombe hitting just the right tone on the vocals. The album is excellent and well worth having if you like an ever-so-slightly jazzy, left-field aspect to your Hip-Hop!
Kuartz : Back About
Another track from the North West, this time from Oldham - just a few miles around the M60. You've probably heard his beats here before and this is one I managed to miss the first time around. He's not got much up on Soundcloud right now but keep an eye on it, and if you're looking for beats, you know where to go!
Public Enemy ft. KRS-ONE : Unstoppable
Not your normal Public Enemy sound! I personally think this is a great record; an album cut from the "He Got Game" soundtrack (an excellent LP), with what I believe is the first collaboration between these two giants. Funnily enough, it's one of the few tracks on the album without an obvious connection to the film, so you just have to appreciate it for the quality. Gary G-Wiz is on the very low-key beat, and his cutting in of the woman humming in the hook is genius - the perfect seasoning on top. Now that we've seen KRS collab on albums with Buckshot and Bumpy Knuckles, reckon there's any chance of getting a full project with Chuck D?
Common ft. Chantay Savage : Reminding Me (Of Sef) (Roots Remix)
Common reminising on the old days, with a lot of detail I'd imagine you'd really appreciate if you're from Chicago and remember the places and the styles. I don't think this is a remix by The Roots - I thought from the sleeve notes that this was just the name of the remix! I think that Ynot produces this version which was on the flip of the "Reminding Me..." 12", which in turn was a release from the "One Day It'll All Make Sense" album. If you know better, please correct me!
M-1 ft. K'naan & Stori James : Til We Get There
I'd never given this a proper listen through until I was selecting tunes for this month, so was pleased to find it was just the right song for this space. Despite the fact it slipped under my radar, apparently this was a relatively successful tune that was even getting some radio rotation! A strong, positive track from half of dead prez alongside the Somali MC K'naan, who is very much about message music himself. This version comes from a promo 12" - if you like it, then you'll probably want to explore M-1's "Confidential" album.
Pete Rock : For The People
Nice head-nodding beat with the right feel for the autumn. One of the many dope beats on the man from Mount Vernon's "Petestrumentals" album from the BBE "The Beat Generation" series. If you like Pete Rock, you should definitely have this one!
Slaughterhouse : The Other Side
I was looking for tracks produced by Florida's J.U.S.T.I.C.E League (not to be confused with the North Carolina Justus League) largely because I can't stand listening to Rick Ross and when I saw they'd done something for the MC supergroup Slaughterhouse, I knew it was going to be worth a listen. Wasn't disappointed! The production almost sounds like a Hip-Hop take on indie, but in a good way, and the singer on the hook makes it work brilliantly. In fact, it reminds me a little of "Wonderwall" musically, except I actually like this record :) The lyrics on this were what really made me stop and listen though; Royce, Joell Ortiz, and Joe Budden going introspective with stories of the struggles of life. Crooked I wasn't on this one, but he is on an unreleased extended version I just stumbled on! This track is on the deluxe version of the "Welcome To: Our House" LP...why can't we just have one version of each album?
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!