Big Coats We Inna

" the reparations for the damage I'm doin'."

- B-Luv

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

...something a little more my speed! One of the standouts from the "Marcberg" album - heavy drums with that dusty, detached vibe underneath. Also worth checking the remix with Sean Price.

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!

Direct download: Episode_43.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00pm EST

(22/52) Inside Game

"...the government lies..."


This was one of those months where I think I've really found some great blends with some very varied tunes - not an all Hip-Hop outing by any means, but stay with it :) Oh, and the episode title? Well, I may not have the biggest name, but those who know...know how I get down.


Ab-Soul ft. Danny Brown and Jhene Aiko : Terrorist Threats

That. Hook. That could be the 2012 version of the big speech by Cyrus in "The Warriors!" I listen to The Combat Jack Show mostly for the chat/interviews but it was also the first place I heard this track - didn't know who it was or what it was called so I had to look it up, and it was well worth a purchase. This definitely falls into the category of the new Hip-Hop I'm not totally up on, but Ab-Soul is a Californian MC and member of a group called Black Hippy - this is no flower-power business though. He and Danny Brown connect on this with high-energy rhyme styles over Dave Free's slow, half-haunting, half-club beat, topped with Jhene Aiko's vocals. I need to put the "Control System" album on my homework list to see if there's anything else close to this!

[Timbaland] Aaliyah : One In A Million (Instrumental)

A true landmark record. It might be hard to remember but when this came out there was nobody doing drum programming like this - Timbaland unquestionably changed the game with his work on the "One In A Million" album. As an aside, I remember being at a battle at Jazz Cafe once where a band were playing in between rounds or something. When the drummer started playing this pattern live, the crowd went absolutely nuts! Aaliyah was definitely more established than Timbaland when this came out, but after having showed some of his style with his production of Ginuwine, this was really the start of the big breakout. A choice pick from a must-hear album.

School Of Seven Bells : Show Me Love

This is one of those records that'll throw people a bit! I don't listen to much at all in the "indie" lane but I do check out Shell Zenner's radio shows and one week I heard her play this record and it grabbed me straight away - heavyweight sound! This particular track reminds me a little of "Mezzanine"-era Massive Attack but that's just an observation. School of Seven Bells - or SVIIB as they're sometimes known - are a duo (formerly trio) out of New York City who blend electronic sounds with electric guitar and a style of dreamlike vocal that ticks my boxes. If you've got a system that does really good sub-bass, check the little sneaky licks under the main groove. Niiice :) If you're open on this, try checking the rest of the Ghostory album, their third - it's not the same sound all the way through, but it's a solid album which I'm glad I picked up.

Smith & Mighty ft. Tammy Payne : Move You Run

Such a great tune - extra-heavy bass, those background dub echoes and a crystal-clear vocal from Tammy Payne. I learned a top fact about these guys this month - they produced Massive Attack's first single! Now that is a serious credit, before you even get onto their own records. You can find this on the "Big World Small World" album, which is definitrely worth having if you like the British, West Indian-influenced sound. 

Pete Rock ft. dead prez : Warzone

I don't think anyone would pick this up as a Pete Rock beat without being told beforehand, or even after - at the time this came out, it was an incredibly radical departure from anything he'd previously been known for. The second single from his second solo album ("Soul Survivor II"), it might at first sound like a common-or-garden club record but as it progresses you quickly realise it's something a lot more dystopian and political - Admiral Ackbar might describe it as a trap! dead prez get it dead on point with the lyrics, taking the surface sheen off the stereotypical club scene as portrayed on so many other records and exposing the dysfunction beneath. On the beat, Pete Rock gives it a sense of tension and urgency - and just check how those drums explode at 15:44. Man's a genius.

Hijack ft. Huntkillbury Finn, The Icepick, and Shaka Shazam : The Contract

If you don't know, Hijack are one of the most important groups in UK Hip-Hop history - founded as a DJ crew (Turntable Trixters), the addition of Kamanchi Sly on the mic and the further expansion of the crew created a monster. The monster was so powerful that Ice-T signed them to Rhyme Syndicate Records - a hugely significant deal. The "Horns Of Jericho" LP is a must-own in my opinion, and this was one of the closing tracks; all the speed of what some would call the "Britcore" era, but with a bit of refinement also. Classic!

Leftfield : Afro Ride

The opening sections of this track are just untouchable for me when it comes to this lane of music; the drum pattern, keyboard and African-sounding speech (it's nonsense, by the way) together are just super motivating :) Back in the mid 90s, when I was spurning anything I thought came under the banner "techno," I happened to get the chance to review "Wipeout," one of the first releases on a little something called the Sony Playstation. There was a marketing effort being made to move gaming from something for kids to something for young adults, maybe after a night at the club or whatever. In keeping with the strategy, the soundtrack to the game was made up of tracks licensed from different electronic acts, and this was one of them. After playing the game, I couldn't front on the flavour of Leftfield or Orbital, to name just two - who says video games don't teach you anything? Big B-side on the "Afro-Left" 12".

DJ Quik : Quik Is The Name

Taking it back to 1991, you can almost smell the jheri curl juice! Title track from DJ Quik's first album, and one of the more uptempo Hip-Hop records you'll hear (in keeping with the next two). When I think back to some of the press coverage of the time, I laugh at the ignoramuses who saw him as just a "Compton clone," a follower in the shadow of NWA - they evidently failed to spot the enormous talent. Hopefully they ate their words in time - he's clearly one of the best producers Hip-Hop history, and is pretty handy on the mic too!

Ellis Meade : Do Not Follow

Ellis aka L-Digz is one of the new generation of Mancunian artists coming up - doing his own style and making his own moves. I first heard this on NouGold but since then it's been released as part of the free "Conceptions" mixtape, which you should definitely check out! Rare to hear a modern track tear along at this kind of speed but this stripped down self-produced number does, and Ellis flows over it with confidence and clarity. Perfect length as well!

Leaders Of The New School : Transformers

Supreme Radio in Leeds back in the day is to be thanked for introducing me to this tune! For those who are older but not Hip-Hop savvy, or those who are pretty young, this is the group Busta Rhymes was in before he became a solo artist. This is from their debut "Future Without A Past," which everyone should at least hear! Dante Ross kills the production on this one, and the scratching tops it off - funnily enough though, not many transforms...

Louie Rankin : The Sting

A second straight pirate radio discovery for me - released back in 1992, someone played part of the track once and I flipped out over it! Despite that, I never quite managed to come up with the money for the "Typewriter" EP before it disappeared from the shops - and this is the pre-internet era, remember! A few years later when I came to Manchester in '96 I found it for a bargain price on vinyl and here it is for your enjoyment :) Louie Rankin doesn't have a huge discography - most of his stuff is in the 1991-1993 period though he does go back as far as 1983 - but he's been in at least one film, playing Teddy Bruk Shut in "Shottas" (not a great film, but some quality quotes!)

[Alchemist] Mobb Deep : Got It Twisted (Instrumental)

Has this Mobb single already been forgotten? I think I'm the only DJ who ever plays this out! Alchemist uses the Thomas Dolby single "She Blinded Me With Science" and made it evil. I approve.

James Brown : Funky President (People It's Bad)

Everyone should know this one. Not to say you already do, it's just that you should! Apparently this track was written about Gerald Ford, but I'm repurposing it on some President Obama business. Opening track on the "Reality" album, which came into my record collection via my father's record collection ;)

LL Cool J : Cheesy Rat Blues

I can't think of a song anywhere that better (or more humourously) describes how it goes when you've fallen off! Great album track from LL's "Mama Said Knock You Out" LP. I did wonder how based in reality it was, but LL says it wasn't autobiographical. I can't help but picture him though! On the music side, Marley Marl's on production rocking that same sample that you might know from the ATCQ "Scenario" remix, and this track also provides the hook sample for another track on this same LL album - "The Boomin' System." That's good recycling right there.

Chris Lowe : Round & Round

Not the one from the Pet Shop Boys :) This is a low-key man with an interesting story - a student of the late, great Paul C, he was most active in the late 80s/early 90s and produced classic tracks like Stezo's "It's My Turn" before largely dropping even further into the background, apart from the occasional release. The "Black Life" album this track is taken from was released in 2004 but I could have sworn I read somewhere it was recorded several years before. Anyway, if you like the no-nonsense classic production style, and good-time rhymes in the vein of Large Professor - get yourself a copy!

N.E.R.D. : Lazer Gun

(Yes, with a 'z.') We need to get rid of this "bonus track" business. To think that any number of people who bought the 2008 "Seeing Sounds" album might have missed out on this song makes me sad inside. 

Ski Beatz : Ticket For 2 (Instrumental)

This needs to be on an airline commercial! Super-smooth production from the man behind Camp Lo's biggest tracks and some of the best of Jay-Z's first album. Got this on a 12" single - the main mix of the track has Camp Lo on the mic. Allow this to float you beautifully into the closer for this month...

Jazzanova : Takes You Back (Unexpected Dub)

So fresh, so clean :) One of less than thirty "five star" tracks on my iPod, it could have earned them just for that "I don't wanna lose you..." section at the start of the second verse - don't know why, just does it for me! The crew out of Berlin smack it out of the park on the production of this track from their debut album "In Between," with Desney Bailey supplying the vocals. The magazines might call it "nu-jazz," but whatever the label, it's quality and still a great listen ten years after release.

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_42.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00am EST

Agent Orange

"Look behind the camera..."

- Songvibe

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 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 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!

Direct download: Episode_41.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm EST


"Loyalty's worth more than wealth."

- Cormega

Is is true that life begins at forty? If so, then there are a lot of good records still to come! Thanks for staying with me, and I hope you all find time to spread the word to other music fans. It's my birthday this month (not my fortieth, mind!), so I thought I'd start the episode by pulling out the kind of tunes that used to get me going in my younger days. Some of them may seem like odd choices, but without the podcast they'd be sitting lonely on the shelf...hope they make you smile at least!


K-Solo : Sneak Tip

This is exactly the kind of track I mentioned in my very first post on this site - I heard it at home on pirate radio but then didn't hear anywhere else, ever! If you're an 80s/90s fan you might remember K-Solo was a part of EPMD's Hit Squad collective and despite coming out with the style of spelling things on records once slipped up with the lyric "like a B-R-I-D in the S-K-Y." Oops! Anyway, let's not get too distracted - this is a beast of an album cut from the 1992 "Time's Up" LP, and Solo spins a tale somewhere between "The Wizard Of Oz," the story of Little Miss Bossy, and a copy of Sneaker Freaker magazine. The track is somewhere around 107bpm which is rare as hen's teeth twenty years down the line but he flows comfortably over the drum-heavy Sam Sneed beat. Remember him from the Death Row days?

Count Bass D : 118th St.

Word to Nashville! Nice little instrumental track tucked away at the end of the A-side of Count Bass D's "Internationally Known" 12” - good for breakers, perhaps? 

Jane Child : I Got News For You

Yeah, going left-field on you early! I always loved Jane Child's "Don't Wanna Fall In Love" but didn't get a copy of her self-titled debut album until this year, though it was released in 1990. Anyway, having got it I found some tracks on there I loved and this is one. Sonically, it is very much of its time and couldn't be confused with anything more recent, but I think that's part of the charm. The vocal delivery really does it for me on this, really cold in the verses. However, I suspect this is a bit of a Marmite track for my audience :)

Ultramagnetic MCs : Traveling At The Speed Of Thought

First heard this one on one of Morgan Khan's "Streetsounds" compilations borrowed from the library. When years later I got a copy of "Critical Beatdown," despite its quality I was quite disappointed to hear the album version! This was an early case of the remix being a drastic departure from the original track - if anything, this one sounds a little like a Beastie Boys record. As much as I love it, it doesn't reflect the complexity of what Ultra were doing lyrically at the time - worth hearing though!

Force 'n' K-Zee : Jam (Hip-Hop Jam)

In my early days of building a vinyl collection, it's fair to say my budget was pretty limited. If I saw something cheap (we're talking pennies), and it was Hip-Hop, I'd probably just buy it - especially if it had ever been mentioned in Hip-Hop Connection. This is very much a piece from that era - a 1992 UK release from a crew perhaps best known for recording a Hip-Hop version of "Lord Of The Dance" which showed up on a British Knights advert once upon a time! Although I didn't realise it at the time, I think both MCs were pretty young when they recorded this, but they do their thing. However, despite the heavy rolling drums, the star of this track is for me the vocal sampling of Guy's "Teddy's Jam 2" - one of the few New Jack Swing records I actually liked!

Professor Griff & The Last Asiatic Disciples : Last Asiatic Disciples

I'd be amazed if even 5% of listeners have even heard this track! During Professor Griff's suspension/expulsion from Public Enemy, he signed with Skyywalker Records (headed by Luke from the 2 Live Crew) and took to the mic in a way he hadn't with PE up to that point. His 1990 debut "Pawns In The Game" wasn't a huge record and isn't a "must own" but did have a few solid cuts and this might have been the pick of them. Co-produced by Clay Dixon and Griff, you can definitely hear that Miami influence in those bass drops, while Griff and the rest of the group go Afrocentric on the mic. Glad to get a chance to dust this one off.

Massive Attack : Unfinished Sympathy (Instrumental)

You already know - or you should, at least. This is a classic British record, the second single from the debut Massive Attack album "Blue Lines." They would still be talked about now if this has been the only record they'd ever done, but they've come through style and lineup changes over the years and are still active. Apparently this instrumental was played on the last lap of all the distance races at the recent Olympics, but I didn't realise that; it just made for an interesting blend!

Raekwon : Respect Power

One of those "lost" soundtrack records. Remember when so many films had Hip-Hop and/or R&B soundtracks with most of the tracks having nothing to do with the film whatsoever? Yeah, like that. This was from the soundtrack to a film called "Whiteboys" which I have never seen, or for that matter heard of anyone else seeing, but there we go. Rae is on the street tip with the lyrics, nothing mind-bending but pretty dope - there is actually a radio version of this track that I prefer, but didn't realise it until I picked up this album and found the lyrics were different than I'd heard on a download many moons ago. That beat is still the same though, Infinite Arkatechs coming with some seriously dark production, all echoes and swooping sounds - love it.

Mic Geronimo : Lifecheck

Somehow this one didn't make the full impact on me the first time I heard it but it fits in nicely here and on revisiting it for this podcast, I found a new appreciation for it. Coming out of Queens, Mic had this on his debut album "The Natural" back in 1995 and Da Beatminerz blessed him with a beat which is just pure mid-90s all the way. Very nice, and well engineered - those ringing sounds had me checking if a phone or something was going off in the room, even on a pretty basic system!

Kool Keith : Livin' Astro

Kool Keith can always be relied on to come with slightly bizarre lyrics, though this is relatively tame compared to some of his crazier output! I always found his stuff a bit up-and-down outside the Ultramagnetic MCs albums, but there would always be something good on every release. This cut is from the solid "Black Elvis/Lost In Space" album which had some good tracks on including some of the last work by the great Roger Troutman. Someone working under the name "Nightcrawler" produced this, presumably before jetting back off in the spaceship...

The Mouse Outfit ft. Dubble O and Sparkz : Children Of The Stars

Carrying on the space theme. Manchester's Mouse Outfit are killing it right now with some absolute gems - you heard one last month and here they come again! Sparkz is back on vocals and brings along another Mancunian up-and-comer in Dubble O of Mothership Connection to spit some quality lyrics - very refreshing to hear stuff like this from the younger generation. You can get a copy of this from iTunes - don't sleep!

Cormega : Take These Jewels

A record coming from street experience, but a message everyone can relate to I think. Deep album cut from Mega's "The True Meaning" album, which is excellent from start to finish and still gets plenty of play from me ten years after its first release. DJ Hi-Tek (who most will know from Reflection Eternal) is on production, with some interesting sonic things going on - the interplay between the repeated guitar licks and the swirling background sounds is a winner.

[D-Dot] Puff Daddy & The Family : All About The Benjamins (Instrumental)

One of the all-time great beats. A raw gem from the Bad Boy catalogue, D-Dot made sure Puffy didn't get to this to add any extra "shine" and the result is flawless. There's loads of good history and trivia on this track, and rather than repeat it all here I'll direct you to just one interesting link. The beat itself is based around a sample from Love Unlimited Orchestra's "I Did It For Love" and showcases Industry Rule #2021 - slowing anything down makes it better :)

Jean Grae : Kill Screen (aka Steve Wiebe)

Outrageous new release! Jean Grae has always been one of the best out there, but she really shines on this new cut. To quote the lady herself; "540 words. 683 syllables. 52.54 syllables per sentence. Rappity Rap." Weak MCs, step your games up. This is apparently a cut from her upcoming album "Gotham Down," but got a bit of an early leak. Not sure who produced it but they leave a lot of room for the lyrics to breathe, which is just what was needed. Ill. Oh, and if you don't know who Steve Wiebe is? Watch this film... (seriously, it's fantastic)

Kardinal Offishall : BaKardi Slang

I know a few people who'll be loving the fact I managed to include this one! It was a single (from the "Quest For Fire : Firestarter, Vol 1" LP), did have a video, but I'm not sure it was a huge hit - shame, as it's a quality record. In the tradition of tracks like "Ebonics" by Big L or Karl Hinds' "Don Gramma," Kardi breaks down some of the local (Toronto) slang for the outsiders; with a lot of West Indian migration to Canada (got family there myself) over the years, a lot of it is actually not too different to what you might hear in some parts of the UK! When it comes to beats, I'm always more of a sample than a keyboard fan but Solitair's production on this is serious, with some nicely done synth work over Al Green-ish drums. A banger.

Sean Price : Jamaican

Staying with the West Indian vibe for another track! I've only got the radio version of this one, too bad it needed so many cuts! Quality lyrics from Ruck though, just thugging it out on an ignorance excursion. Production is by Khrysis, using the classic Sister Nancy "Bam Bam" - and as my man Mathmatics noticed first, check how the tiny snatches of vocal sample leaking through sound a bit like "Sean P!" You can find a full version of this on the "Master P" mixtape, which I'll definitely be coming back to for a future selection.

Jay-Z : In My Lifetime (Remix)

Only heard this for the first time this month; grabbed the "Streets Is Watching" soundtrack in a sale at Chorlton's King Bee Records for half price and this sombre number was on the end of one of the sides. Historically interesting because while the original "In My Lifetime" was Jay-Z's debut single, this remix was done by his mentor - and later nemesis - Big Jaz aka Jaz-O. Best friends become strangers...

[Q-Tip] Mobb Deep : Temperature's Rising (Instrumental)

This might be my favourite track on "The Infamous," even ahead of "Shook Ones Pt II," which everyone likes! Just keeping it to Q-Tip's cracking intro drums here, but then finishing the show with a nice blend into...

Patrice Rushen : Where There Is Love

...which was sampled to give the Mobb track its beautiful melody and bassline. This is a classic from the ridiculously multi-talented singer, composer, producer, name it. Get yourself this and a bunch more great tracks on the 1982 "Straight From The Heart" 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!

Direct download: Episode_40.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:00pm EST

Olympic Records.

"Olympic torch flaming, we burn so sweet..."

- U-God

Been a big month - since the last show I've had an amazing trip to New York and also had the chance to see the Olympics in London! The idea for this month's cover art popped into my head while I was down there and I decided to put it together and see how it looked. Shout out to the man Node of The Charles Report for the loan of the blue and yellow records!

And to give you the links I promised;

More Bounce's events - "Trillmatic" ft. DJ Boogie Blind and Large Professor & Cormega - Queens classic!

In The Loop's 3rd birthday - will be recovered from two nights before ready for this one!

...and did you wonder who the "Bartendaz" I mentioned are? Trust, they don't serve alcohol, they serve this...serious!

Now let's talk about the month's tunes...


Call O' Da Wild : New York Undercover

I reckon 99% of people fall into two camps when it comes to this tune - those who've never heard it, and those who overlooked it! Tucked away towards the end of the DJ Muggs "Soul Assassins Chapter 1" producer project, it lacked star power on an album containing everyone from Dr.Dre to Mobb Deep to Wyclef, and I've never heard anyone else mention it, ever. I love that slow-burn feel to it though, almost completely without drums - a serious rarity on a Hip-Hop record!

[DJ Life] Quakes : Fat Track Format (Inst)

It can only be said that this record languished, utterly forgotten in my collection. I think I grabbed it in a selection of other vinyls because it was on Son Records, but then it just kind of got filed away. Pulled it out this month to have a quick listen and found this nice little beat on there. I do know this is a 1998 release, but that's the extent of my knowledge on this one!

Samantha James : Rain

I think I became aware of Samantha James' debut "Rise" album on Om Records after having it recommended to me by Amazon based on previous purchases - about 5 years after it was released though. When I saw it for a decent price I thought I'd take a chance on it and was very pleased with the decision! It's all very well-produced electronic stuff but with her quality singing and writing giving the album its soul. Almost to underscore that the quality of the actual song stands separately from the production, there's an acoustic version which is just as good if not better. I think it's beautiful!

Nas ft. Cocaine 80s : Where's The Love?

One of those bonus tracks that really is a good addition, this is on the deluxe version of the killer new album "Life Is Good." In keeping with one of the big themes of the album, Nas devotes a good chunk of the lyrics to talking about the decline of those once considered street big-shots in their day - and as one of the best writers of all time, he does it with skill. Chicago's No I.D. turns it out on the beat, rocking the same drums as 3rd Bass' "Brooklyn/Queens" and then going over that with the dark instrumentation. Cocaine 80s was a new name to me but is apparently a Chicago collective including No I.D, Common, and James Fauntleroy - I would have to guess it's him singing on the hook, and I love it, fits like a glove.

The Mouse Outfit ft. Dr.Syntax, Sparkz, and Kosyne : Escape Music

Great new UK track, from the first listen it stood out as one I thought more people should hear. Music is provided by the on-the-rise Manchester crew The Mouse Outfit, whose live Hip-Hop shows are not to be missed if you've not had the chance to see them yet! They've really been putting the work in and hopefully will get that break. Alongside them on here are a quality trio of MCs - Dr.Syntax and Sparkz from Manchester, and Birmingham's Kosyne - who are all names to be watched. They've done this track as a free release, so grab yourself a copy here. While you're at it, have a look at the video helmed by bass man Defty - nice work!

Slum Village : La La

There's a version of this on the 2002 "Trinity (Past, Present, and Future)" album, but I'm playing this from a 2001 12" which seems a little more stripped down. Waajeed on production here, very understated.

DJ Spinna : Verbz

Just a little something from the "Compositions 2" instrumental vinyl. It feels like I know it from somewhere else though...did anyone ever rhyme on this?

Erule : Worldwide (Domination)

Fire. What a record! First heard this on a compilation I downloaded of "Hip-Hop you may have missed" or similar and it was the standout for me by a mile. In true older generation/DJ style, I had to have it on vinyl, but it turned out to be pretty tough to get - long out of print, and probably not a big seller the first time round! After balking at the first few Discogs appearances it made, I finally got in there and got a good copy at a price that didn't need me to sell (m)any organs. The track is stripped-down genius - more bass pulse than bassline, a few guitar licks and busy, super-snappy drum programming from a producer going by the name of King, and Erule (sometimes written as E-Rule) just annihilates the track with his precise, rapid-fire rhymes. An unsung classic, released in 1998 on Kinetic Productions - if you find a copy, don't let it go!

Cocoa Brovaz : Won On Won

From the "Rude Awakening" album, this is a good tune to get amped up with, and seems somehow newer than it is - can't believe this is 1997! Tek and Steele sound ready to jump out there and fight all the way through, and Sean Cane keeps the track bumping along underneath. I should play this one out more! Like a broken fishing line, no hook - simply doesn't need one. Clever use of the "One, one, one" sample though, took me a while to fully appreciate that it was being used as a soundalike to "Won On Won!"

Royce Da 5'9" : Hit 'Em

Keeping the aggro level up after the last track! Detroit veteran Royce needed to bring the fire out on delivery to keep up with the instrumental and does so in spades. DJ Premier is smacking the hell out of that piano with some crazy harsh electric guitar and some other weirdness dropping in, not to mention one of his trademark cut-up hooks. I think Royce was always one of those underrated when it comes to his writing, but in recent times with Slaughterhouse he's probably appreciated a little more.

DJ Jazzy Jeff ft. Pos of De La Soul : Let Me Hear U Clap

Not only is this a great track, but the piano makes it blend really well with the Royce record too. Ill production from Jazzy Jeff, with some deep bass, skipping hits, and an unorthodox sampling of Don Blackman's "Holding You, Loving You" - not the piece that everyone else would have chosen, but if you really know the record you immediately recognise it (or at least I did)! Pos solos it on the mic with the skill you'd expect, as usual. If you want to hear more, you need DJ Jazzy Jeff's "Return Of The Magnificent" album, especially at the price I'm seeing it for right now!

[No I.D.] Nas : Loco-Motive (instrumental loop)

I just liked the vocals on the intro, and the loop itself is hard. Nothing else to be said, apart from "'Life Is Good' is an excellent album which everyone should be checking right now" :)

Wais P ft. Roc Marciano : Jewels On It

Brooklyn's pimp on the mic is back, swaggering all over this Statik Selektah beat alongside the gravelly, stream-of-crime-consciousness that is Roc Marciano! My understanding was that this was an "official leak" from an as-yet-unreleased album called "Pussy Rich," but last I heard the forthcoming album is to be titled "Pimpin' Saved My Life," so who knows? The beat may have a vaguely familiar feel, especially to UK listeners - same break as this big hit from a few years back, but seems a bit darker somehow. The seasoning is provided by the cutting up of Prodigy's vocal from "Keep It Thoro" on the hook - right on the money.

Fresh/High Society ft. Camp Lo : Solar Powered II

When I saw this online, I won't lie - it was the words "Camp Lo" that made me click on it. Didn't know about the Fresh/High Society, but the duo of AO and Balistik out of NY seem to be attracting attention in the right places! This remix of their original "Solar Powered" features the Lo on vocals and Ski Beatz on the track to conjour up some gorgeous summer vibes. Very welcome even when your city is suffering from permanent rainfall...

Saigon : Spit

One of two tracks that seemed to make my shortlist for the last few months but didn't quite fit - finally got it on! Low-bass, thumping track from the "All In A Day's Work" digital-only release with Statik Selektah, which as the name implies was apparently all completed in a single day. Worth checking if you're a Saigon fan but not a patch on the more recent "Greatest Story Never Told" LP which you should *all* already have bought!

Gappy Ranks : Stinkin Rich

Another oft-shortlisted track which just so happened to blend well with the Saigon, so made it in the end :) Heard this on Manchester's Peace FM one day driving back from work and quickly jumped online to try and find it for myself! I don't keep up with dancehall as much as I might, but I did find that Gappy is a UK artist from Harlesden signed to the famous Greensleeves label. As I bought this as a digital release, I'm finding it tough to find who did the riddim but appropriately it's very much on the digital end of the scale, right down to the vocals - I can forgive that, this time :) Autotune is virtually always overdone, but here it just kind of helps the vocal to slot in I think.

K-Murdock : Neo Geo

The Panacea producer and friend of the show is back with a new instrumental release "Beats From The East" which is available for...well, as much as you'd like to pay for it! This beat samples the Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and has just a hint of the video game about it with the digital textures that make it up. Quality as usual.

M.O.P. : New York Salute

As much as I love this track, I think it's reasonable to assume it won't be adopted as an anthem by the New York Tourist Board. All the same, a big favourite since it came out on the 1998 "First Family 4 Life" album, M.O.P's third. With a cool, reflective beat like this, the stage is set for maybe a song about how peaceful life was back in the day, or about burning incense and doing yoga...naaaah! M.O.P produced the track and so it's their prerogative to yell over it about robbery, guns, and other local delights. Who are we to tell them "no?"

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_39.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:00pm EST

tribute to the illustrator.

"To my peoples that I lost along the way..."

- Nicole

"To the G, still life is too quick..."


I was going in a completely different direction with the selection for this episode until I got the news that the MC KMG of Above The Law, one of my favourite groups, has suddenly passed away at the age of just 43. Once I processed the news, I knew I had to feature some of his classic rhymes on this episode, and so went about replanning the whole thing. I could have done a whole ATL episode but will hold that thought for the meantime, appreciate him on the tracks I drop this month.


Above The Law : Adventures Of...

I'd been thinking about this as an opening tune for a couple of months, and this turned out to be the time for it. I originally picked this up as a promo 12" before the release of the "Legends" LP when I was in the second year of university...blew me away from the first listen! Straight away I called my fellow ATL fan Nick L to let him know they were back with more top material, and I know he agreed when he heard it. KMG brings his trademark low-key style on the second verse, Cold 187um (Big Hutch) fits in with the half-whispery flow over his own brooding beat, and Nicole Hithe rounds it off with her silky vocals. This here is the keeping with several other tracks on "Legends" in particular, it speaks on the downside and the guilt of the street life, rather than the glorification some artists indulge in. I just found out this track was pretty much ripped wholesale on "Die Besten Tage Sind Gezählt" by Kool Savas and Lumidee, and let me say this - they weren't worthy. 

[Godfather Don] Cormega : You Don't Want It (Instrumental)

Wanted a kind of low-key instrumental that could bridge the tracks on either side and rediscovered this one, the vocal version of which is on Cormega's "The Realness" LP. Stripped of the lyrics it becomes a little quieter, a little more haunting. Nice work by the talented Godfather Don.

A Tribe Called Quest : The Chase, Pt. II

Overlooked track from the 100% classic 1993 "Midnight Marauders" LP; there's just nothing not to like! From the Biz Markie vocal sample to the back-and-forth on the mic to the Steve Arrington "Beddie Bye" main groove, the Tribe produce an absolute winner. Should have been a single!

Capital Tax : The Masha

One of those 12"s best known to either obsessive collectors or those who just happened to hear it when it came out (like me). Caught this one on pirate radio back in 93, taped it, and then never heard it anywhere else again, or for that much else by them! About four or five years later I found a copy in a Manchester record shop and snatched it up :) I for some reason assumed they were a New York group but they're a four-man crew out of Oakland with one album to their name, 1993's "The Swoll Package." Production is by DJ Smooth G, rocking the same sample as EPMD's "Please Listen To My Demo" - in fact, the record in question is on a back episode of the podcast, if you can find it...

Xzibit ft. Defari, Goldie Loc, & Kokane : Rimz & Tirez

Hip-Hop spelling FTW :) One of those tracks that makes you wish you were rolling a vintage Cadillac in the sunshine in Cali...instead of waiting for the bus! The conga drums in the background are the key to the whole sound I think, with enough space in the main drum pattern to bring them out; the bassline is just the finishing touch. Great production by Soopafly! When it comes to the rhymes, I think Xzibit's verse on here might be my least favourite - mostly because it just doesn't seem to fit! The closing verse is fresh though, taking on the persona of a car being passed from owner to owner. Definitely one of the top tracks on the "Restless" album.

Little Brother : Light It Up (Nicolay Remix)

I was never a huge fan of the first version of this track, which was originally an inclusion on the "Whatever You Say" single. The lyrics were cool, but for some reason I just couldn't get into the beat even though I'm usually a big fan of 9th Wonder - fortunately, Utrecht's finest Nicolay saw fit to give it a complete remix on his "Dutch Masters, Vol 1" project! I don't know how easy that one is to find but there are some nice tracks on the vinyl sampler so it looks well worth having the full release.

Taana Gardner : Heartbeat

Bit of a classic single here! This 1981 release on West End Records was a red-hot record at the time and has survived in the consciousness of people who never even knew it thanks to the many, many records that have sampled that bassline! When you listen to/mix with it, you realise the handclaps are wayyy behind the beat, but then this isn't one of your Ableton constructions...

Above The Law : Mee vs. My Ego

KMG leads things off on the mic here, on a real dark vibe - definitely the killer verse on this one. That said, it's interesting to hear Cold 187um go all the way from his usual animated style into dancehall mode - you can tell it's the early-ish 90s ;) I could be wrong, but for my money in 1993 there was no-one making tracks that sounded like this. Funky with that bassline but also so haunting and disturbed...absolutely in a lane of its own. There are so many different little pieces going on sonically that you have to remind yourself that this is the era before computer-based production became practical! A great piece, perfectly placed as the last full track on the "Black Mafia Life" LP. If you like your Hip-Hop, that's a must-own album, no question.

Real Live : Get Down For Mine

If you know, then you know! Larry-O and K-Def only came together for one album but it was very dope indeed - the somewhat hard to get "The Turnaround : A Long Awaited Drama." Outside that though, we did get this - a monster track from the "High School High" soundtrack which takes yet another sample EPMD used (coincidence!) but makes it its own. K-Def definitely doesn't have the kind of high profile as a producer that his skills merit! You can find this track, as I did, on the B-side of the "Wu Wear : The Garment Renaissance" 12".

Nas : Take It In Blood

One of those low-key Nas classics, taken from his pivotal second album "It Was Written." The lyrics have been commented on at length but what I didn't know until recently about this tune is that the beat was submitted by Stretch of the Live Squad who died before the record was completed. As such, they only had a cassette copy to work with, and no multitrack. Always thought it sounded a little grimy quality-wise, and that explains it all. What a track to be remembered for though.

Paris : Check It Out Ch'All

Taken from his second album, "Sleeping With The Enemy," which was the one that led to him being dropped from his record label. In the post "Cop Killer" era, they did not want the heat from someone who went at the president on his album! I always imagined this song being performed live on a soundsystem on an outdoor basketball court, it's got that kind of feel. Great self-produced, block-party styled tune from the San Francisco native mostly known for his ferociously political lyrics; even on this track where he's ostensibly just showing his flow, he gets a good amount in. A track that unfairly sunk into relative obscurity I think.

[7L] Outerspace : 151

One of the Philadelphia crews affiliated with Jedi Mind Tricks, I can't say I know Outerspace's whole catalogue but got a couple of copies of the "Divine Evils" 12" and found this killer on the B-side; beat from Boston's 7L, better known for his work with the MC Esoteric. Sonic drama, no doubt.

Apollo Brown & O.C. : Signs

One of the best new songs I've heard in ages - short but sweet, if that's the right word. Another insanely talented producer out of Detroit, Apollo Brown managed to somehow pass me by up to this point but my man Ro let me know about this album ("Trophies") and one listen (not even all the way through) on Spotify was enough to have me online ordering the CD! As for O.C., you should already know :) The DITC legend flows straight through here with some serious lyrics on the world today. Top rating.

Above The Law : Black Superman

Almost certainly ATL's best known track, this was the big single/video from the now out-of-print "Uncle Sam's Curse" LP; I remember that album took a while to really grow on me, but it's a definite classic. Of all the songs on the album, it's probably the closest to the "West Coast" sound most people would associate with the term (along with "Return Of The Real Shit"), and as such sounds very much of its time. Nice use of the talkbox too!

Sneaker Pimps : 6 Underground

I think I first heard this on some music TV channel in my parents' house - loved the lightness of the sound along with the Hip-Hop-styled drums (not to mention the De La sample)! A bigger hit in the UK than probably anywhere, but apparently it's been used in several films so they should be seeing some nice cheques (UK spelling) off the back of it :) This was the lead single from the "Becoming X" album, when Kelli Dayton was still in the group - it was a shame when she left, I thought her vocals really suited, but nothing lasts forever...

Nightmares On Wax ft. Sarah Winton : Finer

Late night Leeds coolness :) DJ Ease is a Leeds veteran and a huge influence on the music that would eventually be labelled "trip-hop." Primarily based around the low end, the production leaves lots of room for Sarah Winton's spacey, breathy vocal. Hands down my favourite cut on the "Carboot Soul" LP. 

Grand Puba, Sadat X, Sir Menelik : 7XL

This was a last minute inclusion - was going to stop the segment after the last track but the blend worked so well there's no way I wasn't keeping it! Two-thirds of the Brand Nubian MCs combine with underground lyric wizard Sir Menelik on a standardly amazing DJ Spinna production, making it a classic 12" from the golden era of late 90s underground releases. First person I heard play this was DJ Greenpeace on a mixtape, but it's probably best known for its inclusion on the Rawkus "Soundbombing II" mixtape/compilation - one you should definitely have. Ill tracks from top to bottom and the mixing handled by DJ Babu and J-Rocc, it was an essential for me in the walkman days and still is in the iPod era!

A Kid Called Roots : Mike Heron

Not to be confused with Twizted Rootz! Bit of a mystery record, just titled "A Kid Called Roots Volume XIII" on Hydrabeats that I grabbed up from somewhere; a compilation of instrumentals with each one named after a different record executive! I don't know if it was just a naming thing or if the beats were made specifically for them to hear though...

Homeboy Sandman : Look Out

A New York MC who found a home at Stones Throw Records, Homeboy Sandman was a gent and a great performer when he came to Manchester recently. He's confidently and ably doing his own thing and that definitely deserves props! I can't think of any tune that sounds quite like this one, the opener on his "Chimera" EP; that beat by Paul White sounds completely alien in the best possible way, and the mic work is the antithesis of the "party and guns" business that some people think sums up Hip-Hop. The man covers a lot of quality topics throughout his catalogue and is definitely worth checking out if you're even a little adventurous with your listening...

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_38.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:00pm EST

Hang The DJ / Sound Boy Killing

"The respect in my city reflects the gods with me..."

- Redlight

Third birthday episode! Really pleased to still be going after all this time - big thanks to you all for supporting! I've got some absolutely choice tunes for this episode, definitely looking forward to getting this one onto the iPod. This was one of those months where all the tracks just fell together at the right time, so spread the word and let everyone hear it! Without further ado, let's get into the notes...


Suga Free : I Wanna Go Home

Starting things off on an "improvised" vibe - a deep album cut from Suga Free ("The Pimp") coming from the debut album "Street Gospel." Drumming out a beat on the table in true jailhouse style, he showcases his signature smooth and yet animated flow on this tale of being caught up in the system. You might assume this was put together on multiple tracks in the studio, but I think the lyrics and the beat could well have been recorded at the same time;  DJ Quik (who produced the first album) once told a story of Free auditioning for him by drumming a beat with a pen while rhyming at the same time. Skills, no doubt.

[Kut Masta Kurt] Motion Man : C'mon Y'all (Instrumental)

Sounds like something from the late 80s, I could definitely hear Kane or Ultra all over this track!

Quincy Jones ft. The Human Bean Band : Wee B. Dooinit

This is one of those tunes that probably has you looking at me sideways right now! Taken from Quincy Jones' 1989 album "Back On The Block," the most notable thing about this track is the almost total lack of actual instruments on it! All the main sounds are from the body - chest slaps, hums, finger clicks, and so on. You don't believe me, go back and listen again :) Genius bit of engineering/production to make it all fit together as well, but would you expect anything less from the man who produced "Thriller?"

Roc Marciano ft. KA : We Do It

It seems like a long time ago since Roc Marciano was buried among the many artists in Busta Rhymes' Flipmode Squad - seems like a parallel universe in fact, with Roc Marc emerging as an underground star in his own right. He's got a very distinctive rhyme and vocal style that pretty much assures you'll never hear a "Starships" from him ;) and besides that he's actually got skills on the boards too - again, doing it his way. The "Marcberg" album this is taken from is mostly self-produced and has a consistent dusty, vintage kind of vibe. This track personifies it, and also makes me smile because the hook can't have taken more than 10 seconds to come up with (obviously spent the time writing the verses instead), but it works brilliantly - less is more and all that. Guesting on the mic is KA who was apparently in the first lineup of Natural Elements - didn't know that!

Outkast : Babylon

Looove this one. One of my favourite tracks from what to me is hands down the best OutKast album, their sophomore release "ATLiens." Everything about this is dope - the main lyrics, the gorgeous hook, the deep bass, the little wah-wah guitar licks...perfection. Close your eyes and listen to this one properly, it's absolutely worth it.

Bo$$ : Deeper (Instrumental/Original)

Here's someone who was building up a little momentum and then seemed to just disappear! Bo$$ came out from the West Coast in 1993 with the "Born Gangstaz" album which I don't think was an enormous seller but had a couple of hot singles (this was the better, easily). The story I heard was that Bo$$ disappeared because she got exposed as having a much easier background than she'd made out, but since then I've read that her actual background was common knowledge but that she'd had some hard times as an adult. Either way, the story shows how much you were expected to back up your words in that era - a long way from the reign of Officer Ricky... Anyway, back to the track - Def Jef produced a classic backing with a bit of Gwen McRae here and some Barry White there, and the early-mid 90s token dancehall injection comes from Papa Juggy. Remember those days?

Teflon : Get Mine

My understanding is that Teflon came out under the MOP banner and it took several years of me seeing his records in passing before I finally heard him properly on the amazing "Brooklyn Stompin'." Following that, I saw this old 12" while on a digging mission in London and thought it was worth a whirl. Sure enough, a good pick - musically, Nesto delivers a track very reminiscent of the kinds of stuff AZ or OC were rhyming over in the same kind of time period, and the lyrics are on that thematic mainstay of Hip-Hop - the come up. 

9th Wonder : Vol I, Beat VI

Just a little something from the man with two microwaves, from a compilation of unreleased beats. It fit, it's nice, it makes the cut :)

Redlight Boogie ft. Sean Price : Heat Rock

P! Ferocious track from Amsterdam but with the Brooklyn connection. Redlight Boogie is a Dutch MC who's been recording since the 90s but I don't think is much known outside his home country - should be obvious from this that he has serious mic skills though. Sean Price came to Amsterdam to link up to record this track and do the excellent video - I recall reading that the whole thing was written and completed in a couple of hours. Teemong directed the video and added the processing and graphics that give it a look quite unlike any other I can name off the top of my head! Killing Skills on the beat, an absolute killer - if you claim Hip-Hop but can't enjoy this, I'm looking at you funny ;)

Roscoe Umali ft. Raekwon & Smif 'n' Wessun : I Remember

One of those obscure tracks which I stumbled on during a Spotify browsing session! I'd never even heard of Roscoe Umali before but I understand he's a Filipino West Coast underground artist - on this 2007 track though, he calls in some serious East Coast reinforcements, with Raekwon and Smin 'n' Wessun laying down their signature styles. A note from your DJ - I bought this tracks as an MP3 download and found there were loads of digital clicks and glitches in it - I wanted to share it with you so badly that I opened the track up in a wave editor and manually removed them all, which took an age. All for you!

Shabaam Sahdeeq ft. Xzibit : Concrete

One of those 12"s you take a chance on, but not a huge gamble - The Alchemist is on production on both sides and Shabaam Sahdeeq I knew from his early Rawkus releases. Not a huge amount to say on this one but I think Xzibit complements him well; that's right youngsters, he was getting busy a long time before the "Pimp My Ride" days :) Other side is decent as well, not a "must own" for most but still a decent release.

Smoke DZA ft Dom Kennedy : Pow Wow

When the most modern era of Hip-Hop jumped off, with new free mixtape/album releases online pretty much every day and an explosion in the number of new artists, I have to admit that I pretty much lost touch. Where do you start? Luckily, due to factors like the NouGold podcast, well-informed friends and online streaming, I started to find the gems in the modern age. Until about two weeks ago I think I'd only seen the name Smoke DZA about and hadn't paid any attention, but then I found this collab with Leimert Park's Dom Kennedy and had to play it! It's from the 2011 "Rolling Stoned" album, the title of which pretty much gives the main subject matter away...worth a listen at least. Production is by the straightforwardly named Kenny Beats, and I've got to say it was the beat that pulled me in - this is the kind of modern stuff I can definitely vibe off.

[K-Murdock] Mega Ran : Drop The Load (Original Instrumental)

Serious 8-bit business from the inspired combination of K-Murdock and Mega Ran (although this is just the instrumental). Not sure how much is played vs samples - and if sampled, how much it was chopped) but I think this is a top-notch track that would have been a classic inclusion on many of the video games from my childhood. Get yourself a copy on the "Forever Famicom DLC" project!

Fly Guys : Fly Guys With Glasses

*airhorn* One of the best new tracks I've heard in a while - Kay and Donwill of Tanya Morgan come together as "The Fly Guys" to give props to all those like myself who rock the glasses. Not the fake lens-less NBA-fashion type, but the type needed so we can actually see. Original on the topic, done with flavour, and backed with a big-time beat from The ARE, who rocks the Donald Byrd "Wind Parade" sample to devastating effect. Five stars from me - check the rest of the very affordable Fly Guys album for more. 

Statik Selektah w/ Talib Kweli & REKS : My Favourite Song (Remix)

I *think* this is inspired by the same break as Pete Rock's "T.R.O.Y?" Certainly reminds me of it musically anyway, and it's a nice job by the man Statik Selektah. This is from a Grand Theft Auto-themed EP entitled "The Lost and Damned," but that's just a detail - it doesn't particularly make me think of the games. Statik goes to his fellow Boston native REKS to supply some of the vocals, but the other man on the mic is the Brooklynite Talib Kweli, and both of them do the beat some serious justice. As an aside, the title has the handy side effect of making it sound like you're giving the tune props every time someone asks you what it's called :)

The Brotherhood : Incredible

A little bit of UK for you! I think The Brotherhood (one Black, one White, one Jewish) only ever released the one full album ("Elementalz") but it did make a little noise at the time, and there were a few tunes that stood out for me - this was one, even though it was never a single. The beat by The Underdog is nice, the lyrics are no-fronting UK style all the way, but the thing that puts it over the top for me is the extra-dope cutting-up of the Buckshot Shorty line from "How Many Emcees" in the hook. Fire! 

Organized Konfusion : Thirteen

You know how we do on this podcast, always digging in for those overlooked album track gems! Thirteen is my favourite number and a recurring one, and Pharoahe Monch has a connection with it too - as such, he solos it on this Organized Konfusion track from the 1994 "Stress : The Extinction Agenda" album in fine style! The beat is just straight 90s style all the way, from DITC's Buckwild - you can keep your synths!

Hexsagon : Wichita Lineman

Another cracking head-nodder from Arizona! From Volume 4 of the "Beat Flip Tuesdays" beattape series, I think I wanted to play this a few months ago but found a better fit and decided to save it - glad I did as I think it's perfect for this spot :)

Jamie Lidell : A Little Bit More (Luke Vibert Remix)

I think I'd maybe only heard the name in passing when my mate Jonny started playing this remix when I'd see him playing at house parties; huge tune though! Had to do my research on this one - Jamie Lidell is a British singer who is apparently well-known for doing live multi-tracked beatbox tracks with a loop device, then singing over the top, something which is very difficult to do well! This track is from "Multiply Additions," a set of remixes based on his second album "Multiply" - well worth having! On the remix here we have Luke Vibert, a British legend in the electronic music scene, with a pretty much total replacement of the original sounds underlying the lead vocal - makes it a more conventional track in one way but the twisted beat really is its own animal. Deserved to be played right to the end.

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_37.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:55pm EST

Running, water

"Never a pretty boy, always a beautiful mind..."

- Malik

This month's title is kind of a nod to the ongoing NBA Playoffs as well as to trying to get through the struggles life can hit you with from time to time...all the same, back for another episode! Had a tough time picking tracks for this one but dug a few out I'd been saving for a while so hope they work for you!

RIP MCA, Chuck Brown, Donna Summer, & Robin Gibb...


Bumpy Knuckles : Mic & Gun

Big opening tune! This track is actually a few years old, but it seems to have had the vocals re-recorded - I prefer the changes, but also liked the original delivery just a touch more! Anyway, that's maybe nit-picking - another ill performance from the New York third-verse legend on the mic (bonus points for the 52 reference) and on the beat, DJ Premier with another under-the-radar banger. Your best place to get this one is the deluxe edition (digital only?) of the new Bumpy & Premo album "Kolexxxion" which is definitely worth checking out; a few of the tracks have already been out so the DJs might know them, but it's overall a solid set!

[DJ Spinna] Dynas : Game Huntin' (Instrumental)

Thought this beat just worked well here, but I'd recommend peeping the vocal with Masta Ace and Krym guesting on it - pretty heavy co-signs all round! 

Phat Kat ft. Elzhi : Cold Steel

Organised chaos all over this track! Gun talk from both sides of the equation in fine style on the first two verses by Detroit mainstays Phat Kat & Elzhi, with Kat coming back on the last verse to just go out battle style. Dilla comes through with an outrageously hard beat - not sure if he was alive when the lyrics were recorded but the two elements go together lovely :) Extra-gritty video too.

Mic Geronimo : Up Now

From the 2003 "Long Road Back" album (though I got this on a digital download), the Queens mic holder who brought us "Masta I.C" and "Shit's Real" resurfaced after a long absence on this gem, with production by another Queens stalwart, the legendary Large Professor. The flavour on the beat isn't the old-school Extra P but more of the sound from the "1st Class" album - not everyone's bag but in some places I think it can work, and I think this is definitely one of those places!

Samson & Sejour : Rock Rock Y'all

Is it the little tweaking electronic sound? Is it the constant back-and-forth style? Is it the nice little samples at the start? I don't know what it is, but there's something about this track I really like despite it not being anything crazy on the surface! I picked this 12" up a while ago mostly because it was on sale, which is fortunate because I've never seen or heard it anywhere else. In fact, I've not heard of this New York duo before or since, though the producer Mark Ronson has maintained a decent career. I expect some of you will really like this but a fair few others will be pretty nonplussed. Thought I'd put it out there anyway!

Al B. Sure! : Nite & Day (Onra Edit)

Ridiculously ill - first time I heard Agent J play this re-edit I stormed to the DJ booth to find out what it was! French producer and 80s soul fan Onra gives us a short and sweet bass-heavy re-edit of Al B. Sure's 1988 classic, which you can find on Episode 14 of the podcast as it happens! You can currently get this free on Bandcamp so run there now and treat yourself! Even though the original track is very much "of it's time," I think there's just something classic about it which means it'll always be being sampled, edited, or interpolated somewhere...I do still laugh at super-dramatic moves in the video though :)

Nu Vintage : Raw Essentials

The "Beats & Dreams" album was just one of those finds after an evening browsing Bandcamp, though as it happens I think I might have first heard a little something on NouGold. I thought I'd paid for this one but it seems to be a free download now so worth a listen. S/he is pretty sparse on details but I reckon I'll check back for more sometime!

Malik Yusef ft. Kanye West, Common, & JV : Wouldn't You Like To

"The most critically-acclaimed wordsmith in the game?" I think that might be stretching it a bit, but nonetheless a good track :) I heard this first on a compilation of Kanye tracks called "The High School Graduate" seemingly made up of tunes he did before he really blew up big [ Incidentally, watch this :) ]. The drums thump along in what was then quite a signature style, everything else floats around them nicely and then the lyrics take it from there! Great track that was on Chicago native and poet Malik Yusef's "The Great Chicago Fire" LP (which I haven't heard) and also the "Coach Carter" soundtrack LP (even though it wasn't in the film itself).

DJ Jazzy Jeff : Da Rebirth

A little non-album cut from the "The Magnificent" EP, this one showcases Cy Young on the mic reminiscing about the Golden Age of Hip-Hop and just bounces along nicely with the stuttering horn stabs and ill drums; thought this was an actual Jazzy Jeff beat but in fact Kev Brown produced it, little more of an upfront and aggressive sound than a lot of his other stuff (which I still love, let's not get confused here). As far as I know, Jazzy Jeff does come in with the ridiculously ill scratching to round off the package though - if you're in the know, you know how pioneering a DJ he was back in the day - peep him on this 1986 recording...

Casual : Chained Minds

Pretty poor vinyl pressing, Casual's "Fear Itself" (what a title) was a quality album! Coming out of Oakland, Casual's been a mainstay of the Hieroglyphics family from the start and is still roasting the mic right up to the current day. On this one he handles the (excellent) production himself and shares some of the lyrical shine with the man Phesto from Souls Of Mischief, speaking on survival in an aggressive world. Classic track, still a favourite after over 17 years!

Slick Rick : It's A Boy (Remix)

Extra Extra P! Another Large Professor production, with those heavy 90s SP-1200-style drums and the laid-back bass and vibes on top. Perfect backdrop for The Ruler's silky-smooth styles on the mic! The original version of this is on the "The Ruler's Back" album but I *think* this remix is only available on the 12" release of the single. An essential for the vinyl collectors!

Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers : Ashley's Roachclip

1974 tune, one of the classic Hip-Hop breaks! I can hardly imagine how many times this has been used, I know it's shown up in a couple of past podcast tracks though...I'll let you go and find them ;) If Chuck Brown had done nothing but this track, he would still be notable. but as one of the inventors of go-go music as immortal. 

Beastie Boys : Hey Ladies

Is it intellectually edifying? Nah! Would we expect anything less? For the younger listeners, "Paul's Boutique" isn't just a clothing line ;) The second Beasties album can only be described as sample overload and is definitely one of those projects that could never be produced and released in the modern era - the cost of clearing all the samples would be astronomical, even assuming you could do it! I have to smile when I hear the drums right at the end, which ended up being sampled by another legend - I've looped them up a bit here so see if you recognise them!

Fusion Unlimited ft. Big Tone : Up 2 U

The first time I read about Fusion Unlimited it was an interview by Soulman. They were getting deep into chatting digging and sampling so I was quite surprised when I eventually heard his production on this; I like it, just not what I expected! Big Tone I'd never heard of at all, but I think he carries this one well. As it happens, Discogs has him with two albums in his discography but they've never come to my notice. And on the B-side to this single? A little someone called Joell Ortiz...

Parliament : Flash Light

One of the standouts in the Parliafunkadelic canon, hands down! Release in 1977 (a great year), this came off the mighty "Funkentelechy vs The Placebo Syndrome" LP. The low-end is serious, with Bernie Worrell on the synthesizers - I've heard them claim this is the first song ever to use a synth bass, but someone else could probably confirm or refute that! Sampled countless times, it's just part of our fabric now...

Rodney O & Joe Cooley : U Don't Hear Me Tho

West coast attitude in spades! Coming out of LA loud and proud, Rodney O spits some serious venom on this track, taken from an album which in an inspired, low-key, subtle way was called "F__k New York." Musically, this plunders some of the biggest funk tunes ever, and topping it all off is Joe Cooley on the cuts - one of those DJs not much spoken of nowadays but definitely influential! Check him out on this old tape or battling DJ Cash Money at the 1987 New Music Seminar!

T La Rock : Breakdown Dub

Big up to my man Jerry Beeks for blessing me with this vinyl! A futurisic MC who was ahead of his time but still sounded somewhat of his time, T La Rock split production duties on this one with the man Special K. 80s drum machine business all the way! Check the vocal version if you don't know it, old gold :)

Jeep Beat Collective : Hip-Hop Love, Hate, & Hope

(or at least, that's how I've seen it labelled!) Picked up this vinyl not that long after arriving in Manchester, and from that day to this it sounds amazing. A piece in three movements masterminded by Manchester's own Dave The Ruf, it's a brilliant example of instrumental/DJ composition - glad to finally have chance to play it for people!

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_36.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

Prescription Strength

"My real name is Kunta Kinte"

- Keak

Despite being a little under the weather this month I feel great about the selection! I'm paying respect to the great Guru, dropping a couple of ill new releases, and of course dipping into the vaults for some too-often-overlooked gems - 58 mins of goodness. Enjoy listening, and do spread the word!

A few links to things I mentioned on the show;

The Combat Jack Show ft. Dallas Penn

Nook Friday Sessions with Neighbourhood

In The Loop

and this is a great book : Nothing To Envy

Anyway, let's dig into the tracklist for the month...


Lina : It's Alright (Gang Starr Remix)

Been sitting on this one for a while but this was the perfect month to bring it out. The original version is from Lina's 2000/2001 debut album "Stranger On Earth," but while looking up info on it, I found it doesn't even seem to be on all the releases! As far as this remix, it seems to be on just one of the vinyl releases, or on the 12" promo single that I'm playing from. Lina is a singer and songwriter with kind of a jazzy style, and three albums to her credit - probably worth searching out if you want that kind of old-school vocal with updated production!

DJ Premier : Waaaaaa

Premo twice in a row? Yeah, why not? This one's a slightly off-beat but extra-hard instrumental from the first volume of the "Beats That Collected Dust" series. How did no MC get on this one?

Tony Touch & Gang Starr : The Piece Maker

Premo three times in a row? Well, good things do come in threes! I'd forgotten all about this one, but found I had it on a compilation of Gang Starr B-sides and rarities. It's basically just a Gang Starr track since Guru is on the mic and DJ Premier is on production and even the cuts I think, but it's a special track done for the mixtape DJ legend Tony Touch for his compilation "The Piece Maker." If you don't know about Tony Touch...well, that's your homework assignment for the month! 

Keak Da Sneak ft. E-40 : T-Shirt, Blue Jeans, & Nikes

Big slapping Hyphy track! Can't even remember how I came up on this one for the first time, but I think it's one of those tracks that can't be denied. Bought the digital download of this on a "Greatest Hits" compilation but it was originally on the 2003 independently-released "Counting Other People's Money" album (love that title) - a track definitely worth chasing down for a party! Keak is a seasoned Bay Area veteran with 16 solo albums in his discography, not to mention his work with 3X Krazy and others. On top of that, he came up with the word hyphy in the first place! Definitely feeling the contrast between his low and gruff style and the legendary E-40's higher-register rhymes. : Sober Soldier

This could be my theme tune! Shout to the man Ro for being the first one to tell me about this album. "The Workout" is an LP based around the themes of exercise and healthy living; great gym motivation and also completely radio-friendly! If you didn't already know, is half of dead prez and he's taken a very interesting tack with the album and his RBG Fit Club movement - definitely worth a look, as so many of us could do to improve our health and fitness and then apply that same discipline to other parts of life.

Motion Man : Play Dough

Check KutMasta Kurt cutting up the ill Guru sample for the hook! Back to the Bay Area for this one from Motion Man's debut album "Clearing The Field," which is worth having - solid and on its own vibe! Motion was the MC on the well-regarded DJ Vadim cut "The Terrorist" and has worked alongside Kool Keith as well as putting out two solo albums. Not heard anything from him for a while, but I get the feeling he'll be back...

[Barbershop Kiz] Defari : Blast (Instrumental)

Just some low-key dopeness here, instrumental of a 12" release from the Tommy Boy Black Label "Hip-Hop 101" compilation (note: that link currently has copies going for a penny plus postage, so you can't say fairer). There are some gems on that so it's one worth picking up when the price is low!

Chamillionaire ft. Saigon : You Gon' Learn (Early Service)

The first of two tracks out of Houston this month, this is a hot-off-the-presses release from one of my favourite MCs, taken from his new "Ammunition" project; he's highly underrated in the actual Hip-Hop market but has great mic skills - check the Paul Wall & Chamillionaire "Get Ya Mind Correct" album or any number of his amazing mixtape flows for proof. Also one of the most tech- and business-savvy MCs around, his intelligence shows whenever he speaks or writes. Accompanying him is the man behind one of last year's best albums, "The Greatest Story Never Told" - always one to speak his mind and call out fakeness. Not a strikingly obvious pairing, but an excellent one! Love the heavy drums on this beat too, courtesy of the Atlanta-based Sweatbox Productions.

Funkadelic : I Bet You

Keeping the big thumping drums going for another track, I could have chosen another Hip-Hop record but instead reached back for a selection from Funkadelic's first LP, released all the way back in 1970! George Clinton's various musical projects have contributed a huge amount to the sonic fabric of Hip-Hop and this track is no exception...if you're of a certain listening age you should recognise that different parts of this track have been sampled by some of the greats!

Dilated Peoples : Heavy Lighting

Not 100% sure of the accurate history of this one. I first heard it on a download years ago on an album/compilation called "The Deta Lideracy Project," which nowadays seems to only come up on Google on dodgy-looking websites. I really wanted to play it on the podcast but only play stuff obtained the right way so did a search for this particular track and found it on an officially-released compilation of Dilated Peoples B-sides and rarities - sounds about right! Interesting track, which seems to sway topic-wise between environmental concern and taking out sucker MCs; I'm not sure who produced it, but I love what they've done with the samples in the hook, got a really eerie and dark feel.

Cormega : Therapy

One of the few 5-star tracks on my iPod, this has been a headphone staple for me since I first heard it almost ten years ago! All heads with refined taste should know about the Queensbridge legend Cormega, who not only writes great lyrics but also gives the impression in interviews of being a very sincere and straightforward person. In recent years he seems to have laid to rest a long-running dispute with Nas but the album this is taken from ("The True Meaning," which is definitely one for your collection) is from that era - doesn't show on this track though. Beat-wise, another Queensbridge foundation man (DJ Hot Day) cooks up a buttery-smooth track based on Chaka Khan's "Stronger Than Before" (that one's already out there, so I'm not blowing anyone up). Got to love this one.

Air Adam : Breezeblock

A little something from my beat archives, not given it a big mixdown or anything, just straight two-tracked out of the MPC and into the computer! Just replaced my whole pad set and as soon as all the tact switches have been replaced too I might jump back into the beat game...

Trae ft. Styles & Jadakiss : Smile

Not an MC with a high profile in the UK, Trae is one of my favourites out of Houston - not the super-technical type of rhymer but has a really cold feel to his style. Another non-obvious collaboration with two-thirds of The LOX/D-Block bringing their Yonkers style down south, but it definitely works! I didn't know at first but the beat is actually all taken from a record by San Quinn and Messy Marv also called "Smile" and produced by Sean-T - I can thank Youtube comments for that knowledge!

Strategy : Kill 'Em

This was the early favourite for me from the Broke 'n' English veteran's "Pre-Season Training" mixtape - "The Bleep Test" was a more popular track but I love the production on this one, and Strategy's from-the-heart lyrics can't be fronted on - if you're fortunate enough to know any of the context, then they have that added impact too. Always representing Salford & Manchester, he's been doing it for a long time now and I'm waiting for B'n'E to come out with their second album - with all the talent and a new studio up and running, expect good things!

Stalley : She Hates The Bass

He should have got himself a British girl.
Ok, I won't just stop writing there :) Stalley is quite a new MC to me - he first came out in 2008, but I only got up on any of his material last year. Coming out of Ohio, he's mostly been doing his thing independently (this is from the "Lincoln Way Nights" LP), but is now affiliated with the Maybach Music Group. Also definitely a member of #beardgang. Production on this is handled by Rashad, bringing that late night vibe to this track - and of course, the bass. Nice 80s sample and some other bits in there, skilfully blended together to give a great backdrop to the story of the girlfriend who just wishes he would turn the car stereo down :)

Zero 7 : Sleepr

This track manages the neat trick of sounding pretty uptempo despite only clocking in at around 80bpm! I'm just putting a dash of it in here for the flavour though - I absolutely love the breakdown that comes just before I mix out of the track. The rest of the tune is kind of angular and abstract, lots of effects and stuff so check it out if that's your bag. The album it's from ("Yeah Ghost") was pretty underrated I think - it's not another "Simple Things" by any means but at least it shows a willingness to experiment!

Gangrene : Due Work

The new Gangrene album "Vodka & Ayahuasca" is an absolute essential purchase for anyone who likes the real, and it was tough to even just choose a single track from it to play this month! This isn't totally typical of the sound of the rest of the album but fit nicely enough into the mix to make it my choice. Both Oh No and Alchemist are top producers and I'm not sure who gets the most credit for this but it pounds along and shows how to pull off the dark style with panache. Take notes!

[Kool Akiem Allah] Micranots : Glorious (Instrumental)

Dark tune from the Minneapolis-raised, Atlanta-based duo. Picked this up ages ago and it's just languished on the shelf for the most part so it's nice to dust it off! Extra-crunchy beat to say the least. You can find the vocal version of this on the A-Side of the "Welcome To The Empire" 12" (like I did) or on the "The Emperor & The Assassin" album.

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly : Look At California

Classic soul! My parents didn't have any Maze in their collection so I wasn't up on them as a kid, but heard them mentioned on boards and so on and that was when I started to discover the magic :) Coming out of San Francisco, they give us this great 1977 track to end the show, paying homage to their home state. Structure-wise, it's quite something - almost like four songs in one! You can find this on their debut, self-titled album, where it also plays the closer role.

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_35.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:45am EST

The Mayor Of St.James

"All we do is drink, f***, and drive."

- Raekwon

As for our elected politicians...they just seem to drink, fight, and lie...for some reason they expect better of the rest of us! Anyway, back for another month with a pretty varied selection, from the sublime to the hostile. There are a few tracks people will definitely know (or ought to!) but I've pulled some pretty obscure ones out this month too.

As promised in the show audio - here are the pics from the last "In The Loop," where we seemed to be invaded by superheroes!

RIP Biggie Smalls & Trayvon Martin...


Action Bronson : Muslim Wedding

I saw the title and wondered what it was about. As it turns out, not a thing to do with the title really :) Still, monster track with the Queens,NY chef/MC throwing down on a synth-heavy southern-flavoured track by Harry Fraud. Drive slow and swervy to this one...

Cliff Martinez : La Cagaste

Kind of ambient, awkward bar count and time signature...sounds like an excellent idea to put this into a mix! This is from the soundtrack to the excellent film "Traffic," and from the first time I saw the film I thought the music was amazing and so got the album. It's not one easy to get super-cheaply, and there are repeated motifs which Martinez keeps coming back to throughout so if you're looking for wild variation it might not be for you. I only knew of Cliff Martinez as a film composer but he was also the drummer for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers on their first album!

Skibeatz & Curren$y : Fly By

Ski/Skibeatz has featured on the podcast before mostly because of the brilliant production he's done for Camp Lo, and you may or may not know about how much he did on Jay-Z's "Reasonable Doubt." In the last few years he seems to have got a bit of a second wind and the album "Twilight" from which this is taken is the latest in the "24Hr Karate School" series (though the branding is low-key on this one). Nicely chilled track with New Orleans' Curren$y providing some laid-back braggadocio.

Super Cat ft. Biggie Smalls : Dolly My Baby (Extended Remix)

One of the early Biggie appearances - personally, I think he should have been on there longer than 3rd Eye (Jesse West) as he clearly had the better performance! Stars all over this one, with Mary J. Blige on the hook and of course the don dada Super Cat taking the lead. Hot 1993 single, essential pickup for all DJs - not a rare one, I've seen copies online for £4 or so - don't miss out!

Blue Raspberry : Outta Bounds

Easily my favourite of all the Wu singers, Blue Raspberry seemed to drop out of sight for the most part after Raekwon's "...Cuban Linx..." album, after bringing the house down on "Rainy Dayz" (one of my top songs of all time, any genre). I heard a snippet of a song by her ("It's Time," I think?) years ago in the RealAudio era, but never found a copy, or much else. It seems there was a 2005 album "Out Of The Blue" but I've never even seen a copy for sale! A while ago I thought I'd type her name into Spotify and it came back with this track, from a compliation called "Wu-nited States" :) - not sure how old it is, but she certainly lets those lungs blast on here! I hope to hear more...

Casual : Say That Then

A great and underrated MC from the Hieroglyphics camp, Casual has been doing his thing low-key for years. On this cut from the "Smash Rockwell" LP, he teamed with the ever-original New York producer J-Zone for the kind of sound that no-one else can pull off. I forgot all about this one until I was picking out records for an appearance on the C'mon Feet Elements show a while back - pulled it off the shelf and when I put it on I couldn't believe I hadn't been playing it more! Cross-country funk.

Hexsagon : Yesterday

Arizona stand up! Hexsagon's back with a new selection; the fourth volume of the "Beat Flip Tuesdays" collections has recently been released, and it's packed with quality sampler work! This one was perfect for setting off the next selection, so it got the nod, but if you get the whole set you'll find a lot of fresh beats besides! 

Innerzone Orchestra : People Make The World Go Round (J88 Remix)

Killer Dilla remix! The original track wasn't that different, but was pretty drum-deficient. Dilla fixes that and makes it a wicked track. Innerzone Orchestra is an alias of the techno producer Carl Craig, but he shows that he can get down on the soulful tip on this track; the 12" I have is pretty light on credits so I'm not sure who's on vocal. The song itself is a cover version of a track by The Stylistics, which was also famously covered by...

Michael Jackson : People Make The World Go Round

...the legend from Gary, Indiana! This version is from his solo/soundtrack album "Ben" and he puts in the kind of quality vocal performance you'd expect. Not an obvious track to sample, but just a snatch of it turns up on...

Mobb Deep : Apostle's Warning

...and that's why Havoc is Havoc. The prince of dark production out of Queensbridge takes just a tiny snatch of the MJ track to add some atmosphere at the start and end of the tune, but the rest of it is just the kind of crunchy, evil style that he made his mark with. He also starts off the lyrics nicely, but Prodigy...kills it. No hook, no hesitation, no heartbreak 808 business - just bar after bar of the rawness. If you want more, you need to check the rest of the "Hell On Earth" LP, a masterpiece of 90s street Hip-Hop.

Wu-Tang Clan : One Of These Days

Underrated track in my opinion, taken from the Wu's "Iron Flag" LP. As someone who was pretty lukewarm on "The W," I thought there were quite a few good tunes on this album! Production on this one is handled by Nick Fury, and the guitar/horn combo just works really well, very clean sonically but funky as hell. Everyone on the mic comes off too. If you'd pushed this album to the back of your racks, give it another chance!

Basement Khemist : Vibrate

Great cut - 1999 12" release on Beyond Real. I think Basement Khemist only ever put out two or three 12" singles, never an album, but at the end of the day, why force it? Anyway, I'm a big fan of this one - DJ Spinna brings the production, and while the beat is quality it's actually the cutting up of L'il Dap's rhymes from "Supa Star" in the hook which gets this one the rewind credentials. Dope.

[Alchemist] Capone-N-Noreaga ft. Foxy Brown : Bang Bang (Instrumental)

If it sounds like something from the score to a late 70s/early 80s crime flick, the odds are fairly good it's an Alchemist beat! This is from a limited 12" I got after entering a DMC heat (believe it or not!), but the original is from CNN's "The Reunion" album - it's not an album you have to have but it's not bad. 

The Notorious B.I.G. : Machine Gun Funk (Live)

Ok, he's rhyming over the vocal track which is never ideal but still, a live version of one of my favourite tracks from the first album. I got this on a white label 12" labelled "Live In London" - not sure exactly when it was recorded or how it found its way onto vinyl, but it's worth a pickup if you see it!

Mr. Khaliyl ft. Pharoahe Monch & DCQ : Street Team

I only realised recently that Mr.Khaliyl is actually Mister Man from Da Bush Babees - back to school for me! That's a good piece of 90s Hip-Hop trivia :) He comes out hard here both lyrically and on the boards on this 2001 Rawkus 12" (this is the B-side to "Wages [Of Sin]") with DCQ of Medina Green and Pharoahe Monch contributing guest verses. Predictable. Pharoahe melts the mic down to close the track. Was it really going to end any other way?

DJ JS-1 ft. Akrobatik, J-Live, Supastition & Pack FM : Too Easy

Dug this one up from a solid enough album which I actually wasn't as much into as I hoped I would be when I bought it. Still though, this is a wicked track - the MC lineup is quality, and while they all drop some serious lyrics I think J-Live's basketball-metaphor verse is the standout for me. Just slays it. 

Bumpy Knuckles : Inspired By Fire

Rugged but still clean enough for radio! Bumpy Knuckles drops some jewels for the kids on a short cut from the "StoodioTyme" digital-only EP, completely produced by DJ Premier and serving as a warm-up for the "Kolexxxion" album which is due to be released soon. If you like that real, no-nonsense boom-bap with tough lyrics, that might just be the release of the year!

Apple Juice Kid : Tears

Brand new, just released at the start of the month - Apple Juice Kid, who I first heard of doing production on Camp Lo's "Stone & Rob : Caught On Tape" was tapped to provide the score to "Poetic Portraits Of A Revolution," which explores the Arab Spring. The result worked well I think, a good listen and for a good price - if you like film scores, it's definitely worth giving this a check; as you'd expect, they're very much Hip-Hop beats with a strong Middle Eastern influence. I couldn't make my favourite fit into the selection this month...if you get the whole album, see if you can guess which one it might me!

Tanya Morgan : Stay Tuned (Sunset Version)

Phenomenal track. I admit I was late on the whole Tanya Morgan catalogue (only knew bits and pieces) but heard this tune this month and flipped out - brilliantly put together. Von Pea presents one of the cleverest sample uses I've heard in a while - after the verses finish, letting the original track just seamlessly play on at the repitched speed, then chops up the start of the second verse of the sample as it comes in, effectively creating a slightly-darker remix of the original. Just listen, that's all I can say...and I think this was on their very first EP!

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_34.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm EST


"I'm 'bout to call the CIA on myself..."

- Jasiri X

February, what a in which we mark the passings of Big Pun, Big L, J Dilla, and now Whitney Houston. There's some Dilla and Pun in this month's selection, alongside some political dubplate action, a touch of funk and one of those singles I had to close my eyes while paying for...

Big shouts to everyone who came to In The Loop/Family Gathering this month and the Manchester "J Dilla Changed My Life" tribute (pics here) - nights I'll always remember!


Natural Elements : Shine

That blues sample starts up and you just know it's going to be a good few minutes. I've definitely said before how much of a fan I am/was of this ridiculously-skilled crew of New York MCs who burned up some incredible underground tracks in the 90s. Most people who happen to know this one probably heard it on DJ Premier's "New York Reality Check 101" mixtape where it was somehow mislabelled as "Lyrical Tactics." Lyrics galore all the same, with Charlemagne on the production and an appearance by Essence (aka Ayana Soyini) who apparently was not a guest but an original member of the group - didn't know that!

[Ski] Camp Lo : Coolie High (Instrumental)

Bronx! Another group I have proclaimed my fandom of at least a couple of times on the podcast before :) This track is easily one of my favourite Hip-Hop singles of all time. DJ Greenpeace was the first person to play it for me and from that first listen I was sold. Of course here, there are no vocals, only the incredible beat from the man Ski, flipping a Janet Jackson sample heavily and adding the extra bump to put it in the pantheon of great singles. A monster.

Camp Lo : Coolie High (Paradise Remix)

...and then we have the little-known remix! I'd been looking for a copy of this for *years* since DJ Beware first picked it up before finding a copy on Discogs. This is a bit of a re-record - the lyrics are slightly different to the original, but it's the beat which is the huge change; while Ski sampled Janet Jackson on the original, he switches over to Michael on this version and it's just perfect. If you can find this on 12", hold onto it!

The Roots : I Remember

My favourite cut from the most recent Roots album, "Undun." Not the longest album in the world, but a top-quality release and definitely recommended (and not just by me)! As the album tells the story of the fall and death of a man in reverse, this track from near the end is from relatively early in the story. It's melancholy, and it's beautiful. Knocked the breath out of me the first time I heard it, hope it does the same for you!

Jewell : It's Not Deep Enough

Don't remember this? You probably weren't around during the monster Death Row Records run in the 90s. Ill track from the "Above The Rim" soundtrack, but very much to the back compared to joints like "Regulate" and "Afro Puffs." For me it was a favourite though, with the producer Mr.Dalvin (yes, of Jodeci) reaching into the jazz crates for the Donald Byrd "Wind Parade" sample which had been used in the surrounding period by Black Moon and 2Pac to name but two. Works here once again, with the slow neck-snapping drums. Jewell was a vocalist who as far as I know never put a full album out, but responsible for some of the hugest hooks of the era - "Let Me Ride" was her work, as was "Gin and Juice," and Snoop's "What's My Name?" too. Not quite the female Nate Dogg, but as good a comparison as any :) Love her vocals on this.

Mark B & Blade : Use Your Head

UK coming through with the heavy drums! As I recall, this was one of the first - if not the first - Mark B & Blade collaborations, on a two-disc EP called "Hitmen For Hire." Of the four tracks on there, this was the big standout for me, with those tough tough drums just smashing everything in sight - you can't give Blade a weak beat. The cuts are provided by the extra-ill, ex-Scratch Pervert Mr.Thing, one of the great all-rounders on the turntables, rounding off the whole package nicely!

Twizted Rootz : A Useful Waste Of Time

Rootz is a young producer coming out of Manchester getting play on the podcast for the second time - he got in contact to let me know he had some new stuff in a different style to some of his older beats, so you know I had to get that. Check him out on Soundcloud!

Jasiri X : Bushes

Huge tune on the ill political dubplate vibe! As with every big single, "Otis" ended up with all kinds of no-mark MCs chatting unpolished nonsense all over the Kanye-produced instrumental, but you can throw all those out of the window in favour of this one. In fact, I like this more than the original! Pittsburgh's Jasiri X, a fearlessly political MC, absolutely turns it out here by rhyming in the personas of George Bush and George W Bush - but taking the rhyme scheme from Jay and Kanye's original track. Brilliant piece of lyrical cleverness. Grabbed this as one of the tracks on the bargain-priced (edit: now *free*) "#thewholeworldiswatching" LP, which is definitely worth having!

Phat Kat ft. J Dilla & Black Milk : Door

AKA Subwoofer status check. Lows and more lows on the BR Gunna production. Drums are nice too, if you can hear them through all that! I've got this on a sampler 12" but it's probably most obtainable on Phat Kat's 2003 "The Undeniable" album. An all-Detroit affair, with the late great J Dilla and Black Milk giving nice turns on the mic alongside Phat Kat on a tune which just has the feel of Jason Voorhees on the MPC. 

Akrobatik ft. Talib Kweli : Put Ya Stamp On It

Dilla on the beat this time, sounds hectic as hell but only 93bpm. Nice bit of extra sub bass on those kicks at the end of each four-bar section! Boston's Akrobatik (who you may know from The Perceptionists) goes hard on the mic to do the late James Yancey proud (this was released after his passing, as you may spot from the lyrics), and Talib Kweli gives a good backup performance too. Got this as a 12" but you can find it on the 2008 "Absolute Value" LP, which I still need to get!

Big Punisher : The Dream Shatterer

RIP Pun, and Rest In Pieces to the wack emcees he slays on this track! The first time I heard the "Capital Punishment" LP I knew I liked it, but when this track rolled on, it was rewind time! "Ayo I shatter dreams, like Jordan assault & batter your team?" You know I was loving that. The big Boricua from the Bronx bodied this beat big-time ;) with a head-on attack flow. Amazingly, this wasn't even the first choice of beat! Buckwild from DITC produced the original version, but the sample couldn't be cleared and so Domingo stepped in with this ill, dramatic, rushed, tightrope-walking track you hear on the album. Phenomenal.

[Marky Mark] LL Cool J : How I'm Comin'

Anyone else remember when LL started coming out gangsta style? I think this was the lead single from his "14 Shots To The Dome" album, apparently a 1996 release - feels older to me somehow! No vocals on this version of course, but LL Cool J is one of the most remarkable MCs of all time, incredible longevity and someone who was counted out at least once, only to come back blazing! I don't have anything rare from him but will definitely play something from the catalogue in the future.
Oh, and the producer isn't that Marky Mark :)

Oddisee : Don Cornelius

There was no question - this had to be played this month, even though I played the previous track from the same album two months ago! DMV representing but bringing the West Coast flavour, giving me nice synths to blend into the next track with. Oh, and that vocal sample? One of my all-time favourite artists (you already know), the late great Roger Troutman! Here's a short (but good) article at NewsOne summarising some of the things Don Cornelius influenced, and a longer one on NPR. What a legacy.

Lord Jamar : Supreme Mathematics (Knowledge Mix)

First of two Brand Nubian-related tracks this episode; on this one, Lord Jamar gives a surprisingly catchy breakdown of the symbolic meanings of the numerals in the Supreme Mathematics, a number system making up part of the Nation of Gods and Earths' core concepts. It's the last track on Jamar's "The 5% Album" which is, as the title suggests, based around the nation's teachings - regardless of whether you believe or not, it's a solid album worth checking, especially if you like conscious lyrical content. It'd have been even better if they could have included "The Sun!" Anyway, Lord Jamar handles the production on here himself - I'm not going to name the sample as I don't know if it's been cleared but it's definitely got that b-boy vibe, far superior to the original mix.

Public Enemy : You're Gonna Get Yours

Good excuse to get this tune in position for a road test! Wicked but underrated PE tune which opened up the first album, "Yo! Bum Rush The Show" back in 87. It almost feels like some kind of reverse world where Public Enemy have a song about a car, but it works! I think Bill Stephney is credited with the production, though it wouldn't surprise me if everyone in the group had piled in on this at some point - I'm sure someone knows better than me though!

ADC Band : Baby Love

Not an obvious selection, but pulled the "Long Stroke" (!) album out to give it a listen and this sounded like sonically it'd go pretty will with the PE track! I don't know much about the ADC Band, so I'll just post a Discogs link which seems to have the most info of anywhere I managed to find...

Grand Puba ft. Q-Tip : Good To Go

Two big names, but not a well-known track! This is from Puba's 2009 "Retroactive" album which totally passed me by - only heard it for the first time last year! Truth be told, not an essential LP top to bottom but worth a listen at least. It's been a long time since that first Brand Nubian album in 1990 where most of us first heard him, but he's still here! Alongside him on this track is the man Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest, who also handles the production. Surprisingly awkward to mix with, but I like it!

[DJ Revolution] Mykill Myers : Killing Spree (Remix)

One of those 12"s that I don't expect is super-rare or anything, but that most DJs I know just wouldn't have bought! Mykill Myers is/was an MC out of Los Angeles who had a couple of albums out on Ill Boogie Records in 2000 & 2001, the first of which the original of this track was taken from. As for the producer, DJ Revolution - his beats are good, but he's more renowned for his ridiculous turntable skills...get to know!

GZA : Labels (Remix/Original?)

This was what I heard the first time I heard "Labels" on the radio, and when I bought "Liquid Swords" and got to that track I was gutted. Why? Totally different beat! It seems they couldn't get clearance for everything on here and had to go with a different version; in fact, if you listen right to the very end you can hear it! This for me is one of the hardest beats of an era that had a fair few of them - there was nothing else that sounded anything like it, which is just RZA all over. Lyrically though, you get the same incredible quality on both versions, with GZA weaving the names of 39 (by my count) record labels into a cohesive piece, just amazing. Not only did this probably send a ton of MCs back to school or into alternative employment, but also spawned more GZA tracks that used the same kind of idea with different contexts - I'll just give you one : "Fame..."

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_33.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:30am EST

"...saliva and hand gestures..."

- Big Dubez

Happy New Year! Hope you all have a great 2012. The first episode for the year is one of those where if anyone knows every single track, I'll be very surprised. Definitely had fun with this selection - grew from one blend that popped into my head and just grew outwards from there...

Shout out to Jay Subterranea aka Jim Underground for donating the fresh chopping board in the cover art! As a DJ I mix and cut on the turntables, now I can take that style to the kitchen ;)

Quite a few links to throw up - not a regular thing as such but there are a number of events I want to mention right now;

  • You can catch me DJing soon at the J Dilla Changed My Life tribute in Manchester on Feb 3rd, and then In The Loop/Family Gathering on Feb 17th, big tunes guaranteed both times!
  • Go Dumb are playing in between those dates, on Feb 10th
  • More Bounce are doing their thing every Saturday at Trof, Fallowfield
  • Taste The Diff'rence are bringing the mighty Souls Of Mischief to Manchester on March 7th, and I'll be there with camera in hand!


Yo-Yo : Mama Don't Take No Mess

Ladies first! A standout track from the "Boyz N The Hood" soundtrack, a compilation I'm definitely going to be revisiting in a future episode. Yo-Yo came out from under Ice Cube's wing on the track "It's A Man's World," going head-to-head with the west coast legend in a battle of the sexes on wax. She's from the era where skills were judged before appearance, definitely. I'm not going to front, I thought Yo-Yo was hot back then though - check the "Paint The White House Black" video. Ah, b-boy crushes... anyway, back to the present! Yo-Yo writes a great lyrical portrait of her strong mother and the upbringing she gave to her children, and production is by DJ Pooh and Rashad - funk-filled for real. 22 years old this cut...time flies! 

[Rockwilder] Busta Rhymes : Do It Like Never Before (Instrumental)

Kind of awkward, kind of off-beat...yeah, nice choice to try and blend with! Nice Rockwilder beat though, strictly B-Side from the flip-side of "Do The Bus-A-Bus;" that track was on the "E.L.E : Extinction Level Event" album.

Michael Jackson : Speed Demon

Well, why not? The blend between this and the next tune was the seed for this episode. This isn't the tune that people bring up when talking about the "Bad" album, but I always loved it - it also inspired a memorable sequence in the "Moonwalker" film!  Apparently this tune came about after MJ was stopped for speeding on the way to a studio session; Quincy Jones suggested he wrote down how he felt about it, and eventually it became the inspiration for the song. Nice bit of production there, Q :) 

Ice-T : Drama

I was put up on this tune back in high school by my man Justin, one of the vanishingly small number of heads I met in my time there! I knew about the "OG : Original Gangster" album which had just been released but he knew about all the older Ice-T and so I have to thank him for hooking me up back then. (Note to the artist : I have since bought all those albums, so it all worked out!) Hugely overlooked track from the "Power" LP, this was never a single and is rarely mentioned. It's classic Ice-T - the crime story on most of the track, and then the downfall/moral at the end; if you like, the sugar and the medicine together. I always thought the production was incredible too, with the drum machine programming over the 303-type melody/bassline. Appreciate this, and then go and get that second album if you haven't already!

Genaside II : Waistline Firecracker

I almost feel bad including this tune as the first track I've played from these guys as I like some of their other so much more, but on the other hand it's the first one I ever heard so maybe it's right! I can't tell you too much about the group other than these snippets; they were from London, almost certainly the first UK act to work with any Wu members, and in style covered the spectrum from rave & drum 'n' bass to Hip-Hop. Their "New Life IV The Hunted" album is very difficult to describe, especially without resorting to cliche, but let me just say that it's always got play from me from the time it was released in 1996 right up to now. If you can find it, get it. This track was one of the lead singles, and rightly so; unique production, and serious gun chat over the top with the right amount of theatre to match.

dead prez : I'm A African

When it comes to dead prez, I think I'll always look to their first album (from which this is taken) as the overall best summation of what they're about, despite most of it being quite a big change in production style from some of their earlier work. Unashamedly pro-Black and anti-capitalist, they shook things up with the "Let's Get Free" album and one of the standouts for me was this early cut; certainly one of the most forthright declarations of being African since the Afrocentric Hip-Hop era. Hedrush and dead prez soundtrack their message with a speaker-smacking track, with drums coming from just about everywhere. Winner.

Kev Brown : Multiply (Instrumental)

The kind of dopeness you expect coming from the low-key, Low Budget representative. Got this from his official Instrumentals LP on Bandcamp, where he shows once again that Maryland shouldn't just be thought of for the university and the cookies :) How can you hate on this beat? Can't be done.

Sporty Thievz : Street Cinema 2

Remember these guys? For 90% of you that have, that'll be due to "No Pigeons," this Yonkers group's response to TLC's "No Scrubs." Actually, it just popped into my head that strangely, both groups were trios who lost one member in tragic accidents; such a shame. This is a great tune from the Thievz, been getting a lot of play in my headphones over the last few months; heard it randomly on Spotify, then tried to find a copy I could play. Was it on the "Street Cinema" album? Nope. I got it on an unofficial-looking 12", with "Enemies Of Hate" on the flip. The beat is nuts, Pete Rock rocking the Mardi Gras bells in a major way with lots of dope bassline action, and just a great amount of space between all the elements. On the mic, Marlon Brando (RIP) and King Kirk come through with low-key but attitude-filled deliveries - just a really cold overlay - and Big Dubez amps up the energy on the last verse, with the first four bars making me laugh out loud for real! Shame this track is so little known, but at least it's here for you guys! 

NYGz : Policy

Premo beat. Straight away that should be enough to hook you in. Rugged tune which sounds slightly off-beat but all the better for it. Panch & Sha get busy on here, one of the early tracks from the Year Round Records "Get Used To Us" compilation. If you like this, you know you've got at least a little taste for that no-nonsense, meat & potatoes Hip-Hop :)

Skitz & Rootz Manuva : Blessed Be The Manner

Roots Manuva has really blossomed into a worldwide star for those that know, but this kind of style is always the version I enjoyed him rocking the most. Shout to Dave The Ruf - first heard this on one of his Radio Zero tapes! When it comes to the beef beat, the man Skitz, one of the UK's finest, gave him a track he could really shine on. Has Skitz ever made a bad beat, ever? Nice 12" on Ronin Records with "Where My Mind Is At" on the other side.

J-Live : How Real It Is

J-Live is one of the greatest all-around talents in Hip-Hop, with skills on the mic, the turntables and behind the boards - a true triple threat. All things considered, he may just be strongest on the lyrics, and this is just one of the many hot tracks he's laced over the years. J and Jay Money collaborate on the production, bringing in a small band to provide the instrumentation underlying this killer from the essential "All Of The Above" album. Do not sleep.

The Detroit Experiment : Vernors

The Detroit Experiment was a collaborative project between a number of notables - snuck up on me, I can't even remember where I heard this first, but it got a lot of play before I got a legit MP3 version. This isn't on Spotify unfortunately but if you get a chance to check the whole album, do. As far as this track, it's all about that beat switch halfway through...

J Dilla ft. Ta'Raach : Say It!

Great Dilla beat, light on the top but smacking it underneath! One from the "Jay Love Japan" release, or the version I have at least. I think going back-to-back Detroit here was a good move, hope you enjoy it also!

Freeway ft. Allen Anthony : Alright
Allen Anthony : Alright (Blackbeard Re-edit)

An entwined history for these two tracks! The original had the beat from the first tune, but the lyrics from the second - it was Allen Anthony's track. However, it became much better known after a different version was released with Freeway taking centre stage (and somewhat going off-topic with the lyrics, I might add) and Anthony sidelined to hook duty. Finally, the second track here was the A-side of two Blackbeard remixes/re-edits of these two tunes. Despite this, it was the first version I heard, on an MP3 from somewhere - absolutely loved it. I had no joy finding a vinyl until my man DJ A-Up found a copy for my birthday one year! Big props. Musically, Just Blaze (on the Freeway version) and Blackbeard (on the Allen Anthony track here) both catch wreck with their takes on the Ronnie Foster "Mystic Brew" sample, best known to the Hip-Hop nation for its use on A Tribe Called Quest's "Electric Relaxation." Struggle music. PS - check the video links above; both of them were great in my opinion.

Basic Vocab : Likeness

On the low, Miami has some guys who really do it, even though it's not thought of as a traditional Hip-Hop hotbed. (Someone's going to mention Rick Ross here, but I'm yet to be convinced). BV are a three-man crew with Mental Growth and JL Sorell on the mic and Tony Galvin on production, and I've got a few tunes of theirs on 12" which are nice to have. You can't front on solid beats and solid rhymes, and this tune has a classic east coast Hip-Hop sound, no question.

K-Def : Yeah Def

You should already know about K-Def, I told you months ago ;) One of the many dope tracks on the very little known but extremely good "Willie Boo Boo The Fool" instrumental LP. The real heads want to have that one in the collection, especially if you're into making beats; good source of inspiration!

Dean Atta : I Am Nobody's Nigger

Not Hip-Hop, but unquestionably one of the big noisemakers of the last month. After an 18-year wait, two people were finally convicted for their parts in the racist murder of Black teenager Stephen Lawrence in 1993. For those that doubted whether race was the motive, the attack was reportedly preceded by a challenge of "What, what, nigger?" from one of the killers. Taking inspiration from the fact that that hateful word was one of the last he ever heard (a though I've often had about other Black people), the London spoken word poet Dean Atta wrote a great piece blasting its casual use. He posted it on the Internet and it spread like wildfire, sparking discussion and prompting a number of people to try and set it to music. While I liked it in its raw form, this version constructed by Si Tew is one of Dean's favourites, so I've gone with it to close the show, and hopefully make people think. It's a word I never use - it'd be nice to think that this poem might just make other people check their speech in future.

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_32.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:49pm EST


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