Harlem Nights

"Old school, new school need to learn though."

- Biggie

I recorded this on a brand new PC setup, been a bit fiddly but got it done! March is here again, so of course there's some Biggie Smalls in the selection. Besides that, got a couple of great Camp Lo tracks (saw them live this month), a new tune out of Manchester, and plenty more - enjoy this while you eat your Easter eggs :) 

In other news; check out some of my nicest Hip-Hop photography at [Ex]hibition #1, opening on April 11th at 2022NQ Manchester, and follow it up with a night at More Bounce with Maseo (De La Soul) and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest) on the wheels!


Playlist/Notes

Camp Lo : Lumdi (Remix)

Pretty much every time I hear these guys on the mic, I know I'm going to enjoy it :) This one could do with being a bit longer, and being on vinyl! This has a little bit more boom to it than the original (which I think I heard after this) but doesn't change it too much. Both versions take the same classic soul sample but this remix made me think it was a Bollywood sample at first! I think Pete Rock might have produced this version...heavy either way.

Camp Lo : Krystal Karrington

Most people associate Camp Lo with that smoothed-out sound, and justifiably so, but this opener on "Uptown Saturday Night" is just hard as nails sonically. Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede just weave in and out with their legendary slang style all over this menacing Ski-produced banger. As an aside, with a bit of pitch-slider trickery on the turntable you make the sound at the start sound like "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" :)

[Q-Tip] A Tribe Called Quest : Butter (Instrumental)

One of my favourite Tribe beats from "The Low End Theory" - light and crunchy at the same time. There's probably an advertising slogan that would fit here. Several great samples blended into this beat, but I don't know if they're all cleared so you're going to have to do your own detective work on this one...

The Mouse Outfit ft. Black Josh : Air Max

Breezy and easy with a collaboration between one of the hottest crews coming out of Manchester and one of the MCs from the Ape Cult, another local crew who are coming up and making some noise. I don't know what the songwriting process is with these guys, who incorporate live instruments but also MPC work and of course MCs, but it is definitely working...single is available free here, but let's hear an album!

David Porter : I'm Afraid The Masquerade Is Over

Bit of a soul classic! David Porter used to write and produce alongside Isaac Hayes at Stax but also had a recording career himself, and this 1972 number is a fantastic record. It's mostly here because it was the source material for the track that follows, but the eagle-eared (?) will spot at least one more sample here...

The Notorious B.I.G : Who Shot Ya?

Always feels a bit weird playing this given that Biggie was shot and killed, but it was one of his hardest tracks so it's a shame not to! 2Pac thought this was aimed at him (so to speak), but this was always denied. In fact, this song seems to have a fairly complicated history on other fronts; it wasn't on "Ready To Die" but I have a version of the album with this as a bonus track, and I think it was originally supposed to have Keith Murray on - I've got an MP3 of an early version that indicates such. The beat seems to be the only constant, a classic from Nashiem Myrick and Puffy (or P Diddy, for the youngsters). You should be able to find this on the B-side of the "Big Poppa" 12". 

Kid Tsunami ft. Sean Price and Chuck Chilla : Bang Exclusive

I'd never heard of Kid Tsunami until I saw this track posted. He's a producer from way down south in Perth, Australia, but signed to a US label (Headbop) and works the Brooklyn connection by pulling in Sean Price on the mic to body this one. Very nice, and the whole single is available on Bandcamp.

Tall Black Guy : Make Life Better

Detroit business! If I remember correctly, it was a tweet by Phonte of Little Brother that put me up on this track. Absolutely brilliant piece, his own take on the Jones Girls' "Nights Over Egypt" with a stack of electronic bounce. This apparently didn't make the cut for the "Hollyweird 2.0" EP, so you know the rest has to be fire! I will definitely be checking for this man in the future...

Marco Polo w/ Big Daddy Kane : Nite & Day

An early leak from the upcoming Marco Polo production project "Newport Authority 2," this is easily one of the best new tracks I've heard this year. Once again a piece of the classic Al B. Sure! "Nite & Day" makes its way into a Hip-Hop track, but this use is centred around the vocal rather than the familiar groove. The resulting beat sounds to me just a little like Gang Starr's "Royalty," or would blend well with it at least! Based on this, that album/mixtape is going to be a must-own on release. 

Ahmad : If You Want It

You may or may not recognise the name - LA artist, got a little shine with an early single "Back In The Day" in 1994. He released one eponymous album which I bought on the strength of the great Roger Troutman being featured on a couple of tracks. I looked Ahmad up and apparently he has really done well for himself - Sociology degree from Stanford, and still writing and producing to this day. Salute! Anyway, this particular track is from the 1995 "Pump Ya Fist (Hip-Hop Inspired By The Black Panthers)" compilation, worth getting if you see it cheap. The funked-out production here is by Big Dave, which would have been a great name for a UK artist...

E-40 & Ice Cube : Behind Gates

It's that "down" sample all the way through this Rick Rock beat that grabs me - your mileage may vary. Picked this 12" up cheap without hearing, just on the strength of the MCs on the track. It might not feature their best verses of all time by any stretch, but it's still pretty good! Nice to see two giants of the west (Vallejo and Los Angeles respectively) come together on this single from the "Loyalty & Betrayal" album.

Heltah Skeltah ft. Vinia Mojica : Therapy

Part of that first Boot Camp Clik wave; a single and a great cut from the debut "Nocturnal" album, but not even the best! If you like that heavy mid-90s sound, you should definitely pick up the whole LP. In the meantime, here's just a taste, with the head nod style of Baby Paul providing the base for them to talk about how life out there affects mental health. 

The ARE : Keep On Trying (Instrumental)

I thought The ARE was a collective but Twitter tells me it's just one man, who has turned out some killer beats! He had a project "Dem Damb Jacksons" which was all based around Jacksons samples, and this is from the instrumental version. Definitely worth checking just for the cleverness!

The Notorious B.I.G ft. Diana King : Respect

Biggie running down his life story up to that point. I've had the impression from more than one person that they regard this song as a weak inclusion on "Ready To Die." Wrong :) This was one of my favourites early, that beat (by Poke of the Trackmasters) is extra-crunchy, slowing down the KC and the Sunshine Band version of George McRae's "I Get Lifted" and putting some extra weight on it. Diana King just broke through to the mainstream with "Shy Guy" after this appearance, where she brings some extra flavour on the hook with her take on Pan Head's "Gun Man Tune." Don't hate.

DJ Vadim ft. Motion Man : Till Sun's In Your Eyes

Nice UK track I'd been thinking about including for a few months, finally found a good place to blend it in; I've had it on 12" for a long while, a single from the "USSR : The Art Of Listening" album. This kind of heavy beat with the semi-wobbly bass is the kind of thing that definitely works for Manchester crowds, but the one thing everyone remembers about this track is the awkward silences in the hook - nice touch!

Clipse ft. Pharrell : Young Boy

Catchy (well, the hook anyway), bouncy, and amazingly dysfunctional! The super Thornton brothers come through with a track from their 2002 debut "Lord Willin'" describing how their family life lead them into the drug business. Great tune, but a pretty awful story if you think about it...

Fat Joe ft. Big Pun : My World

This one is being included in large part because the bit in the hook about Prince always makes me laugh :) The beat takes just a tiny snatch from Luther Vandross' "Don't You Know That?" and uses it well - a second Baby Paul track for this month. No other hidden gems to impart on this one, but you can get it on the "Don Cartagena." Probably a few missteps on there reaching for commercial appeal but where it hits, it hits hard!

pH7 : New York (Instrumental)

Sometimes you just pick up one of those really miscellaneous records when shopping, and this was one! Instrumental of the last track on the "Blazing Heat" 12" on Groove Attack records, which I didn't give much play to but dusted off to find the beat I needed for this spot. pH7 is from Cologne and I've just seen a recent interview with him and his production partner JR - if you like the track, then it's worth a read!

Public Enemy : Long & Whining Road

Great closer in my opinion - I'd recommend seeing the excellent video for this one too. Chuck D, a man too rarely mentioned in the discussion of greatest MCs of all time, gives a full career retrospective of himself and Public Enemy. Get that back catalogue if you haven't already! You could do worse than grab the album this features on, "How Do You Sell Soul To A Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul?," which also contains the track "Harder Than You Think" which was heavily used on the UK Paralympics coverage.


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!

Direct download: Episode_46.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EDT



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