Sun, 30 December 2012
"...pay the reparations for the damage I'm doin'."
The British winter hasn't properly kicked in, but we stay prepared. For some reason it was a tough task getting the selection ready this month, but there's a good scattering of different stuff and I can almost guarantee there'll be something on here you don't know! Let's get into it...
Jim Jones ft. Noe and Tom Gist : Christmas Eve
Not exactly the most festive song, but then when else am I going to play it? Lyrically maybe a glimmer of a jewel buried somewhere in the second verse but overall, a healthy dose of ignorance I think it's fair to say! I never quite worked out how Jim Jones came out of the Dipset camp to become large as a rapper, but I guess I'm not the target market. This is from the Jim Jones/Skull Gang "A Tribute To Bad Santa" project...sounds about right! I do love the sound of the hook though...
Patrick O'Hearn : So Flows The Current
Serious left turn. I only learned who Patrick O'Hearn is this year (thanks to Peaceful Moments Radio!) but he's made his way onto my relaxation listening playlists. A composer who also plays a string of instruments, he was schooled in the jazz tradition before going on to do a couple of years in Frank Zappa's band, then branching out to play in the bands Group 87 and Missing Persons, finally ending up as a solo artist. This is the title track from his eighth solo album, and hopefully it might pique the interest of some of you. Going New Age on this one!
Saigon : Rap Vs. Real
Big early track on the new Saigon album "The Greatest Story Never Told 2 : Bread & Circuses" and it's a killer; I definitely respect what Saigon's been trying to do as far as bringing some conscience to the rugged side of the music. Strong message here, basically calling out everyone who trots out the usual stereotypical subject matter - or tries to live that life - without considering the other side. Just Blaze and Clev Trev bring out a suitably haunting soundtrack to back the words.
Mad Skillz : Inherit The World
Long before he started doing a "Rap Up" of every year, Skillz had a "Mad" at the front and this was one of the final tracks on the Virginia MC's "From Where???" album. Nice combination on the musical side - Shawn J Period on the beat, and DJ Riz on the cuts, killing it with that sample from Onyx's "Shiftee." The album is worth checking - apparently but unsurprisingly it was out of print for years but is available now; notably, J Dilla is now the top-billed producer on the packaging, when he was just at the start of his career when this was originally released!
G-Dep ft. Faith Evans : Everyday (Remix)
2002 Bad Boy release - this is the remix but I think the original is pretty similar. Can't remember how I came up on this one, given that I never really followed his career at the time. It's odd listening to his records now knowing that he was holding onto such a heavy secret the whole time...
Dean Martin : Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
Too! Many! Exclamation! Marks! I actually hate this song, but after hearing it at a Xmas house party, I got the idea of just playing a snatch of it before fading into...
Roc Marciano : Snow
Pariah : Detroit Falls
Either Andy Peek or Agent J put me up on this tune originally, and despite my general dislike of anything leaning towards the so-called "future beats" style, this one can't be denied! I like the way it deceptively starts with the old soul sample before breaking it down like an organic compound (© Keith Murray) and drowning it in a sea of effects and bass - and yet somehow manages to keep the flavour. As far as I can tell online, Pariah is coming out of London but the exact identity of who's involved is a bit murky - the name Arthur Kayzer has come up more than once. Big props, whoever you are!
Mad Rapper ft. Desert Roze : Surviving The Game
Strangely, The Madd Rapper doesn't actually rhyme on this song from the "Tell Em Why U Madd" LP at all! However, under his real identity (Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie, responsible for a good chunk of big tunes), he does produce it - nothing groundbreaking but it works for me. MC-wise, I've never heard of Desert Roze before or since (and she seems to ignore that name in favour of "Mae West" in this track), but she sounds very influenced by the Lil Kim rhyme style of that era - in fact, I half expect someone to tweet me and tell me it actually is her!
MF DOOM : Deep Fried Frenz
I must confess, I'm not the biggest DOOM fan - I mean, I liked KMD and thought "Operation : Doomsday" was very dope, but most stuff since then has been very hit and miss for me - and that's even before the pretty grubby history of live no-shows... Anyway, at least this track from" Mm...Food" is a heater! Bitter perhaps, but quality - and very appropriately uses a vocal sample from Whodini's big hit "Friends" and music from Ronnie Laws' "Friends and Strangers" - this info is already out there, I'm not trying to get anyone in trouble!
Raekwon ft. Altrina Renee : 86
That clean 80s R&B sound on production, but enough low end on it to make it...right. This is an early leak from an upcoming free EP Raekwon is recording, don't know if it'll be all this kind of stuff or if the rest will be a bit more rugged but I'm good with it. Now, where did I put my curl activator...?
Mica Paris : I Should've Known Better
Straight classic! British soul legend and Band On The Wall patron Mica Paris with easily my favourite track from her, a living testament to Chuck D's assertion that the "B-Side Wins Again!" This was on the flip of "South Of The River" and again on "I Never Felt Like This Before" (which is where I got it) - always a bridesmaid, so to speak. Mica and Omar collaborated on the production side...flawless victory.
Blahzay Blahzay : Federal Reserve Notez (FRN'Z) (Instrumental)
They may never again have reached the heights of "Danger," but they didn't stop putting out records after that first album! This was a self-produced 12" that came out on Game Recordings, not san essential on its own but one to look at if you're trying to complete a Blahzay or Game collection.
Red Cloud : In My Hands
Can't see many people outside some of the DJs having this one! Produced by the UK's own Nextmen and released on Bad Magic, this is the first of the only two Red Cloud 12" singles I can find any reference to. I remember reading he's a Native American MC (which rings true when you hear the name), making him a representative for a minority marginalised as a whole - even in Hip-Hop.
People Under The Stairs : The Cat
This is a 12" I think the vinyl collectors should be trying to get! The A-side is this cool-sounding piece which I instantly liked, but the B-side ("Live At The Fishbucket Pt 2") is a more uptempo workout - I can't even find a Youtube link to it, but trust me, it's fire! Anyway, Thes One is credited with the production on here but he brings a few live instrumentalists in on this one to add to his flavour and it's a winner. Big Los Angeles business.
PRO ERA : Wrecord Out
This was just released a couple of days ago, on the free new "PEEP The aPROcalypse" mixtape. PRO ERA is a pretty large crew of young MCs consisting of Joey Bada$$, CJ FLY, Kirk Knight, Chuck Strangers, and Capital STEEZ (RIP), and it definitely sounds like there's some promise there. This isn't my absolute favourite track on there (that honour goes to "Run Or Fly"), but it fit well here! Chuck Strangers on the beat, using the same Biz Markie sample that Tribe used on "The Chase, Part II" - sounds good again!
JVC Force : Keep A Handle
Ok, this is your second warning. Eventually you're going to listen to me when I tell you that you need the "Force Field" album in your collection. I've been listening from 1990 to now, and it still sounds quality -not necessarily current, but quality. This is a track towards the end, based on a sample from one of those undeniable 80s soul classics, "Don't Look Any Further" by Dennis Edwards and Siedah Garrett. (Watch the video. They don't make them like that anymore. Some would say "with good reason.")
[Hypno] IMC : IMC Freakstyles (Instrumental)
This could almost be the poster child for the anonymous 12" that sinks without trace! 2001 release on Thoroughbred Entertainment/MyMan Recordings, it looks like it's out of California somewhere. This is the instrumental of the B-side, which is a freestyle. Is it a "must own?" No, not to me. However, at least you get a chance to hear it now rather than it shrivelling away on the shelf - which is part of what this is all about!
The Brand New Heavies : Day By Day
Gorgeous uplifting tune to end the episode, from the 1997 "Shelter" album, with Siedah Garrett coming in as the lead vocalist. One of the great British bands in my opinion, and they've been doing it a long time without sounding "old" if you get my meaning - and having seen their live show for the first time recently (with N'Dea back on vocals), I hope they keep going for a long while yet!
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!