Playmobil DJ

"Give me a minute, I'll give you my spirit."

- Konny Kon

Another month, another mix to keep your ears nourished! Listen out for Juice Crew appearances and connections throughout the selection, after Manchester witnessed them tear up the stage this month. We've got some soulful numbers, turntable wizardry, and quotables for days. Let's get it started...

Twitter : @airadam13


Playlist/Notes

Cesar Comanche : A-Game

With the intro and all that, this is a track that needs to be at the start of a mix, and as such I've been saving it for quite a long time. One of my favourites from the original days of the Justus League, this track is from Cesar's second album "Paper Gods", and is a great ode to working hard in music and not being a hanger-on or a daydreamer; as the title suggests, bring your A-game. 9th Wonder is on the beat, slapping that snare as always!

Kev Brown : The Beat Tape (Instro)

One of the instrumentals from the "Selective Hearing" LP; nothing super complex, just a good example of doing something funky with a handful of elements. The insertion of that "yeah" sample is worth the price of admission!

Kool G Rap & DJ Polo : Letters

Another one I've had in the "to play" list for ages, it's a straight mic workout for G Rap taken from his final album in collaboration with DJ Polo, "Live and Let Die". As an aside, I didn't realise that the album was shelved some time after initial release because of the controversial cover art! Luckily, it got a re-release so you should be able to find it - there are some excellent tracks on there. As with most of the rest of the album, Sir Jinx, best known for his work with Ice Cube, handles the production; a nice funky soul sample forms the basis of the track.

Wordsworth : Feel Me

Hadn't given "The Picture Album" a listen in a long time and had totally forgotten about this Ill Poetic-produced track - I was looking to include something featuring Masta Ace but this got the nod instead, as it were. "Feel me internally"? Hold that thought, we're coming back to it later in the show...

Bumpy Knuckles : Lazy

One of those tunes you can drop on a mixtape or in a club night full of real heads. DJ Premier on the beat with a meat-and-potatoes drum pattern underpinning a disjointed string sample, and Bumpy going in on the mic straight line style. Bonus points for him impression of crying MCs in the intro :) We will definitely return to the "Konexion" album again!

Big Daddy Kane, Jay-Z, ODB : Show & Prove

The full version of this tune from the 1994 "Daddy's Home" album is long! Coming off a loop of the DJ Premier beat, I actually missed off the first three verses (Scoob, Sauce Money, and Shyheim) and jumped in at Kane's appearance. A then mostly-unknown Jay-Z can be heard here with his old style, and ODB shuts it down on the final verse, overwhelming the track with sheer force of personality! Three Brooklyn kings, no question. The sharp-eared amongst you will find the last word on the tune very familiar...

[Pete Rock] All City : Priceless (Instrumental)

I played the vocal version of this many moons ago on episode 12, and Pete Rock's beat fits brilliantly here - a bridge between the explosion that ends the previous cut, and the tempo of the one that follows...

Top Rawmen : Symphony 3000

I'm amongst friends here, so I can admit it - at least partly due to cultural differences, I didn't realise for years that this turntablist crew's name is a pun! Yeroc, Nando, Nomad, Mike c, and Jay Slim brilliantly execute the concept of a turntable version of the Juice Crew classic "The Symphony" on this selection from "Return of the DJ, Volume IV". The beats are sampled/cut/reworked from that 1988 record, and several quotes from the track get sliced and diced here too.

Camp Lo : Cookers

This Ski-produced B-side (you know the deal) from the "Trouble Man" single bangs hard in a specific way that often makes it tough to fit into mixes, but I think this is a good spot for it! There's a detail worth noting on this one - check how Sonny and Geechi start each two-bar phrase of the first verse with their syllables landing dead on each hit of the kick drum. 

Diamond D ft. Kurupt and The Alkaholiks : We Are The People Of The World

Diamond just keeps on going - with a record collection and a mind like his, the beats will hopefully keep on coming for a long time yet! His 2014 album "The Diam Piece" is a producer-centred project where he brings in a star-studded roster of guests to bless his beats; on this cut, we get veteran West Coast lyricism from the 'Liks and Kurupt, keeping it positive. I do need to stop giving myself these awkward bar counts to mix with though...

J-Zone ft. Has-Lo : Caddy Coupe

I love seeing people win, so this track works on two levels; firstly, it comes from "Fish 'n' Grits", an excellent album from the latter phase of J-Zone's musical career, and secondly because of the story. I can totally get behind a real-life tale of a man treating himself to a bit of luxury after a hard working life; it's just a genuinely nice story. Philadephia's Has-Lo takes the second verse to expand the theme a little more, and Zone's production (in all senses of the word) is excellent and inventive as always.

Trifeckta : First Time (Janet Jackson Flip)

I wanted to bridge here with something having a bit of 80s style and also some soul, and finally found the right beat on the Producers I Know compilation "The 80s Beat Tape" - which I'm sure we'll visit again. St.Louis'/NYC's Trifeckta dices up some Janet Jackson and tops it off with some skilled drum machine work.

John Legend and The Roots : Hang On In There

Somehow the "Wake Up!" collaborative project slipped by me until recently, despite being years old! It's mostly made up of covers of old soul records, and they're done well. Here's one example, their take on the low-key 1972 classic "Hang On In There" by Mike James Kirkland, with a beautiful groove and a solid message.

Children of Zeus : Rock You Internally

Yet another great cut from Konny Kon and Tyler Daly, both of whom are in fine rhyming style right here - classic tag team vocal styles. No slouches on the boards either, they cook up a quality beat from a classic soul sample. "The Story So Far..." is an essential purchase...and that's just a collection of their past work. The album, when it comes, is really going to be something.

Ill Camille : Take A Ride

Ill Camille is an artist coming out of Los Angeles who gets much respect from those in the know. While her latest LP "Heirloom" is getting rave reviews, here we go all the way back to 2011's "The Pre-Write" for a track which I think features the sadly late Alori Joh ; they collaborated on a version of this track I've seen titled as "Take That Ride". Camille handles her business here lyrically, and the hook is very nicely done as a bonus. I've not got any credits indicating who produced it, but I do like the beat - incidentally, all that EQ/filtering going on towards the end is part of the track itself!

KING : The Greatest

I don't know how many times I've played this track this year, but it's a lot. Paris Strother kills it on this production (as she does on the whole "We Are KING" album), and on the mic along with the other two members for this ethereal and grooving tribute to the great Muhammad Ali. If you're hearing it for the first time, it deserves an immediate rewind - alternatively, watch the excellent 8-bit-styled video :)

Tall Black Guy : Sade's Taboo (Sweetest Taboo Blap-Up)

The brother from another mother (and father) once again shows you how he flips well-known samples into his own head-nodding, shoulder-slumping style!

Craig G : W.F.W.T (What's Fuckin With That)

Ending things on an up note, we take a track from the amazingly titled "I Rap and Go Home" album. The Juice Crew veteran gives you a small window into his life as a live performer..and he loves it! Again, I like to see people win and so it's nice to know that Craig's working life is pretty awesome. Vaporworldz isn't an artist I've heard of before, but this beat is on-point; a light, cheerful head-nodder with a little reggae seasoning in there. I hope Craig G and the rest of the crew left Manchester with happy memories - although we couldn't help much with the weather, sadly.


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_102.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:50pm EST

Shelltoes

"Gotta risk a life just in order to make a living."

- Le$

This month, we keep things at a moderate-to-low tempo, allowing you to conserve some energy as autumn draws in; all you need to do is keep that head bobbing! 

If you're anywhere near Manchester, don't miss out on the Juice Crew on November 13th.

Twitter: @airadam13


Playlist/Notes

Redman : The Saga Continues (Da Countdown)

Apologies for the sound quality - the vinyl I have sounds pretty grungy to begin with! This (from "Ill At Will Vol.1") was the first track I think I heard Redman talking about his Gilla House label on, and he is seriously hyped up! Killer beat too, and great use of the Dre sample for the opening and the hook.

Alchemist : Stuck To You

A nice beat from Alchemist's "Rapper's Best Friend" beat compilation, later used on the similarly named "Stuck On You" by Prodigy on his excellent "Return Of The Mac" mixtape.

Natural Elements : DroNEs

A new release from one of my favourite crews! Natural Elements spit lyrics about government surveillance over the beat from the classic "Clones" by The Roots. The call-and-response motif on the piano is a killer, and the beat as a whole is spare enough to avoid overpowering any MCs - as though that would ever be a concern with these three...

Raekwon : Nothing

One of those tracks where the radio version definitely has the edge over the uncensored album one! Raekwon stays bringing that low-key gangster talk on this cut from his latest LP, "The Wild". Production is by Frank G, who cooks up a nasty beat - slowing down a classic soul drum break and topping it all off with that vocal sample that forms the foundation of the hook.

Jay-Z ft. Frank Ocean : Caught Their Eyes

The vibe on this selection from "4:44" fits in pretty well here I think. Jay is in scalding form, talking about surviving the world around him on the first verse and then talking raw about the administrators of Prince's estate on the second. Production is by No I.D, who also gets points for finishing the track with the sample of Joseph Welch asking of Senator McCarthy "at long last, have you left no sense of decency?" - I wonder if we'll reach a political moment like that in the near future...

Count Bass D ft. Snoop Dogg : Too Much Pressure

Brand new 2017 release from two veterans in the art. Count Bass D comes through with some low-speed synth funk that perfectly suits the mellow Snoop vocals.

Terrace Martin presents The Pollyseeds : Chef Dubble E

The Pollyseeds are Terrace Martin's band, and they are seriously skilled musicians - those who caught them at Band on the Wall will have experienced that first-hand. Their new album "Sounds of Crenshaw Vol.1" is kind of jazzy, kind of groovy, definitely genuine and absolutely worth your time for a listen. I just love the low end on this one, bending along with the motif set by the rest of the musicians and forcing you to feel it as you turn the volume up!

Scram Jones ft. Saigon : No Surprise

Nice little track from the "Dead Giveaway" free EP - released exactly four years ago on Halloween 2013. Scram and Saigon tell their own stories of their introductions to Hip-Hop and how they came to work together on a chilled, guitar-led instrumental.

M-Dot ft. Method Man and Dominique Larue : Shine

I've only just found out that this record was released as a single, and that was all the way back in 2014! My first hearing of this was as part of the new "Ego And The Enemy" LP from Boston's M-Dot. If you think you hear an Eminem-ish tone on the closing verse, you're not the only one - I had to double-check the credits! Columbus MC Dominique Larue of the group Heresy is someone I hadn't heard before but will definitely be checking based on her bars here, and a feature from Meth just puts the icing on things. Soulplusmind provides the production - the change-up for the hook is what does it for me on this beat.

Dubbul O x Clay : Commence

Quality from the Room 2 camp out of Manchester. Dubbul O always heats up the mic and Clay gives him a solid beat to get busy on. Available as a "name your price" release on Bandcamp and once again...this B-side wins.

Ras Kass : Eyes Don't Lie

This is one of my headphone regulars finally finding its way onto the podcast! It's slightly awkward to mix with the "eyes don't lie" refrain being three bars rather than an even number, but that's just a concern for us DJs :) Ski produces this tune from Ras' "Institutionalized Vol. 2" mixtape, and Ras is excellent on the mic as per usual.

Pete Rock & CL Smooth : Get On The Mic (Instrumental)

Both of the Pete & CL albums are 100% must-owns for any Hip-Hop fan, and when I saw an instrumental version of "The Main Ingredient" on vinyl a while back, it had to be grabbed. Just enjoy Pete Rock's SP-1200 mastery on this one.

Dilated Peoples : Let Your Thoughts Fly Away

Big shout out to my man Gez, who bought me the excellent "Directors of Photography" album for my birthday a few years back! This is my favourite track on there, but at around 73bpm, a tough one to find other records to go with; I'd been saving it and found a great spot for it here. Diamond D kills it with this beat, another one with a slightly unusual bar count, putting some bump on a wicked jazz-rock sample. Rakaa Iriscience and Evidence go back and forth with short six-bar verses, coming through crystal clear at this laid-back speed.

Hus Kingpin ft. Milano Constantine and DJ Q-Bert : Serotonin High

When I heard that Big Ghost Ltd had produced an album, I had to get it - someone with such a well-documented high bar for what he considers to be hard enough (and a relentless disregard for the weak) would surely come through with the goods. He takes the helm for the "Cocaine Beach" project by NY-raised, L.A-resident MC Hus Kingpin (aka Lord Wavy), which is on that experimental street vibe that fans of someone like Roc Marciano will appreciate. This cut bangs along with the gravelly vibes of Hus and guest Milano Constantine of DITC painting street brushstroke over the top. The absolute capper, though, is the appearance of legendary turntablist DJ Q-Bert, who shows stunning control on his patterns here. Definitely an album to check - though a short one, at around 38 minutes.

Ken Dawg : Playa In Me

I picked up the "Mo Thugs Family Scriptures" album way back in 1996 for one reason - it was a bargain. I wasn't even into the Bone Thugs sound, but found a few gems on there that I enjoyed, and this was one of them. This was Ken Dawg's first release, and he was featured on projects as late as 2003. He may not have a deep catalogue or the most dazzling wordplay, but all the same he made a good record here!

Children Of Zeus : I Can't Wait

Konny Kon and Tyler Daly are continuing to build momentum towards the completion and release of their debut album, but for now they're feeding the people something to hold us over. The "The Story So Far..." compilation brings together all the tracks they've had out on Soundcloud and Bandcamp up to now (some of which you'll have heard on the podcast), and is an absolutely essential purchase. Soulful as always, this track is one of their latest releases, still bringing some sunshine as we approach the winter months!

The Cool Kids : Popcorn (Instrumental)

Found this one on the "Gone Fishing : Instrumentals" collection - truthfully, not even my favourite beat on there, but not only does the speed come in right where I need it to, but the vocal samples form a counterpoint to the Children of Zeus track that comes before!

Le$ : 45 South

I think Spotify Radio brought this one to my attention after a playlist of mine ran out, but it grabbed me on the first listen. Le$ is an MC out of Houston (but born in New Orleans) who's been associated with the Boss Hogg Outlawz and Curren$y's Jet Life click, and really seems to represent a new wave of talent coming from the city. He gives you some of what you might expect lyrically but definitely drops some other gems in amongst it all, weaving politics and street/industry politics into the mix. On the beat here is DJ Mr Rogers, with a slow track very much in the Houston tradition and perfect for a SLAB. I definitely need to sit down with the "Midnight Club" album off the back of this one!


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_101.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:13pm EST

Air Adam mosaic

"One hundred on the percentage, I don't talk split..."

- Q-Ball

Wow, what a milestone! In the early days of the show I didn't know we'd still be here after this long, but focusing on just producing one show at a time has paid off. Every month I feel like I must have run out of tunes, but one hundred months in....not quite yet ;)

Thanks so much to all of you for taking the time to listen. Please spread this one far and wide!

Twitter : @airadam13

For this month's charity draw (check the end of the show for details), the website to donate to is MSF, entries close on the 21/10/2017. 


Playlist/Notes

Air Adam & Mega Ran : Pacman

Hitting you with a special right out of the gate! This is one of my own beats, done many moons ago when my man Kev 80s asked if I could make something out of sounds from the "Pacman" arcade machine. I sampled some audio out of an arcade emulator into the MPC and got busy; when I played it for Kev over the phone, he went out of his mind! I knew I had something, and I got this beat pressed onto a dubplate which some of you will have heard me pull out and play occasionally over the years. I've always thought it deserved some lyrics, and I was honoured to have Mega Ran bless it for a 100th episode special. Not only is he an ill MC, but one who knows his video games and has been a real pioneer in flipping gaming sounds and themes to devastating effect! No hook, just straight bars for you - I really hope you enjoy this one as much as I do every time I hear it :)

Visioneers : Apache (Battle Dub)

My man Bane pointed me in the direction of the Hipology 7" set by Marc Mac's Visioneers, and it's a nice five-disc, ten-track set paying respect to Hip-Hop's influence in his life. There's a mixtape of it on Bandcamp, but it's worth getting the full release! To start off a mini-theme in this part of the show, we go with their take on the classic track "Apache", a true foundation break of Hip-Hop. If you want a bit more background on it, check the film "Sample This"!

Ilajide : Apache 2

This man is one of my favourite producers of the last few years, and here he kills it with a great flip of the Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five version of "Apache"(you can just hear him letting it play as I blend the track in). Slowed, chopped, and with some added ODB flavour, it's a monster that on its own makes a purchase of "Five Week Heet IV" worth it!

Nas : Made You Look

A lot of people like to talk down on Nas' beat selection, but in my opinion you have to give him this; whenever he needs to drop that one big street single, he can. "Nas Is Like"? "Get Down"? "The Don"? That's just three off the top of my head, and this one could well go ahead of all of them. Salaam Remi flips that "Apache" breakbeat but making it slower and more menacing and Nas is on top form setting out his stall on this first verse. When this track dropped it got everyone open for "God's Son", and you can guarantee crowd response in a Hip-Hop club when the hook hits. Just one verse here, then blending during the hook into a killer remix...

Nas ft. Styles P and Ludacris : Made You Look (Remix)

Eleven synonyms for "gun" in just the first three bars of his verse is what stands out for me on Nas' closer right here. You have to bring it when you get a verse like Ludacris' preceding lyrics, and while you don't hear it on this episode, Styles P also got it done. This remix was killing the net and mixtapes when it came out but to the best of my knowledge, it never got an official release - if you know otherwise, get at me!

Aim & QNC ft. Grand Puba and Sean Price : We Don't Play (Curt Cazal Remix)

A great union of Grand Central-connected acts, along with some big guests! The original from the "The Habit of a Lifetime (And How to Kick It)" LP with Aim's production is dark, but Curt Cazal takes the darkness in a completely different direction for this remix. Treat yourself with a bit of extra volume for this cut because even with just two bass notes every couple of bars, it definitely bumps! Lyrically, all the verses are solid but as usual, I think Sean P takes it. Also check the homage being paid to EPMD, first with the opening bars, and on the hook too!

Seanie T, Karl Hinds, Jeff3, and Skeme : Had E-Nuff

I can't count the times I wanted to play this on the show but just wasn't happy with the mix! From Seanie T's Western-themed "The Blacknificent 7" superteam (just four on this track) we have this thumping AA-side with all MCs sounding seriously vex over a Karl Hinds beat. The Guru sample for the hook is just the icing on the cake!

DJ Spinna : Fancy Pants

Always here for a DJ Spinna beat, and this is an old one which has only just become available. The "Unpicked Treats Volume 1" collection on Bandcamp is made up of unreleased beats from 2005 to the present, and if you're a fan it's definitely one to check. This track has that trademark squelchy keyboard low end he does so well.

Redman : Tonight's Da Night

From Red's debut "Whut? Thee Album", we take the start of the jazzy third single, which has a lyrical switchup after the first few bars, and then do a little switch of our own...

Royal Flush : Best Type Of Rapper

...into this - I did this transition once live and the crowd went mad calling for the rewind! Big tune from the 2005 "Street Boss" album by Queens' Royal Flush. I haven't been able to find a producer credit for this one, but it's an energetic, horn-laden track over a classic break with Flush's staple street braggadocio delivered with what is still a low-key flow.

Naughty By Nature : Craziest

In a time when Hip-Hop was much more localised (and NY-centric) than it is now, the all-area respect theme of this track was a rarity; the video does a great job conveying it too. A fantastic but in my opinion, under-appreciated single from the "Poverty's Paradise" LP. NBN self-produce the track, and the particular combination of sounds like little else while also being very comfortable/familiar somehow. Treach and Vinny then proceed to get amped on the verses (did Treach ever get his money from Jermaine?), and the hook is straight classic. I'd love to hear a Leeds, Manchester, or just a UK version of this one!

DJ Quik ft. B-Real : Fandango

I think this is an amazing tune, and I love to find opportunities to play it when I DJ. The first full track on the "Trauma" LP, it's just big sounding and driving, with the horns taking centre stage and reminding you of an HBCU marching band - if you can't get live to this one, you should seek medical attention!

DJ Quik ft. B-Real : Fandango (Live at the House of Blues)

There aren't that many live Hip-Hop albums so being able to do a mix like this is rare, but taking the opportunity to catch that crowd energy is a winner. This is from the "Greatest Hits : Live at the House of Blues" album, which was recorded in February 2006 and is a release absolutely worth having in your collection! B-Real's killer second verse gets the crowd hype here and Quik brings it home strong, while the band do an excellent rendition of Quik's original production.

Showbiz & A.G. : Silence Of The Lambs (Remix)

Claaassic Diggin In The Crates product right here. The original cut on "Runaway Slave" is dope, but this remix is just incredible. Those blaring, almost discordant horns scream to be heard over Showbiz' wicked drum sampler programming, before settling down into the groove of the verses. This is the time when both members were getting on the mic, before Showbiz (now just Show) decided to focus on his work behind the boards. He could easily have carried on, but given that he's responsible for beats like "Sound Of Da Police", he can be forgiven for rationing his time. One aside - check the low, distorted evil laugh during the hook!

Chemical Brothers : Chico's Groove

The Chemical Brothers' "Exit Planet Dust" was a huge debut release, which came to the attention of me and mine via the use of several tracks on Channel 4's NBA coverage back in the day :) While they're primarily a dance act, there were some more laid back cuts on the album, and this was a standout for me - the feel of the first part of the track before the bass section comes in is just gorgeous.

The Mouse Outfit ft. Black Josh and TrueMendous : It's Like That

New track from a Manchester crew who continue to go from strength to strength - if this is any indication of what their next album will sound like, they're onto another winner! Chini's beat is chilled but the drums snap, and as always the right MCs are drafted in to grace the track. Black Josh has been working with The Mouse Outfit for a while and delivers some solid lyrics, but is at least matched by the dextrous TrueMendous out of Birmingham, who shines on this one!

Camp Lo ft. Mecca : Sky Box

The closing track on Camp Lo's second album, the appropriately-named "Let's Do It Again", this gentle Jocko-produced track is a tribute to loved ones Sonny and Geechi have lost along the way. One of the rare five-star tracks on my iPods.

Tall Black Guy : Broken Lies

A little something from the "Mini Therapy Chops 3" single by TBG, laid back but very tech with the drum programming, throwing in some great rolls and cymbal work!

Raekwon ft. Ghostface Killah : Rainy Dayz

Ok - I don't know if this is definitely my favourite Hip-Hop song, but is absolutely my favourite song on my favourite Hip-Hop album, the mighty and must-own "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...". A beautiful, dark, twisted beat from RZA in his golden period is the perfect setting to hear Rae and Ghost talk about being stuck in the drug business, with Blue Raspberry killing the vocals as the woman left at home worrying about her man. RZA cites it as one of his favourites, and with good reason. As far as my own relationship with this track; a) I played this once a day minimum for at least six months after buying the album, and b) that part where the audio seems to disappear towards end is the cue burn I put on this vinyl learning how to rock doubles on some highly unsuitable turntables!

Jan Hammer : It's Over

A short instrumental from the "Cocaine Cowboys" soundtrack. An amusing story about that OST is that the producers of the film were nervous about asking Jan Hammer to do something in the vein of "Miami Vice", in case he took offence and declared he'd moved past all that; as it tuned out, he had all the old synths upstairs ready to get busy!

Rakim : Bring It On

Very little available info on this one. It appears to be a remix of a 1995 track produced by Dominic Owen, but neither version was ever released. The sound quality on the white label compilation I have is pretty awful, but I tried to add a little top end to the EQ to counteract the worst of the muddiness. Rakim is in aggressive mode over a hard beat that definitely could have gone down well at the time, when the rugged East Coast sound was popular. This is the kind of relative rarity I love to share with you all!


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_100.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:55pm EST

Makeshift recording!

"Acknowledge the scholarship."

- Sean Price

One of the more challenging episodes I've released in the history of the show, thanks to an unexpected illness and subsequent surgery. I'm out now and on the mend, but the sound quality of the voiceover I recorded while in the hospital is somewhat rough, so apologies; will be back at podcast HQ for the 100th show!

PS - it seriously was the sixth ward...

Twitter : @airadam13


Playlist/Notes

Sean Price ft. Illa Ghee and Head I.C.E. : Go Rambo

I don't know what that sample is, but I like it! I've been saving this track for this episode, one that Roc Marciano produced (got this wrong on the voiceover) for the "Songs In The Key Of Price" mixtape, but also put out on PF Cuttin's own Soundcloud. Unsurprisingly, Sean drops the best verse of the three!

Apollo Brown : The Answer

For a relatively low-key opening to the show, I needed an instrumental which achieved quality without being too bombastic - mission accomplished by this piece from Apollo's "Thirty Eight" album.

Ka : I'm Ready

I might have to experiment trying to put together the kind of beat that Brownsville's Ka can take to this kind of level. As it is though, he does a fantastic job self-producing with skill and subtlety. Barely any drums there, just enough to to keep a rhythm under the atmospheric backing. One of my favourite wordsmiths, Ka is the thinking person's MC and his clear, steady delivery allows you to catch every word. "The Night's Gambit", his third solo LP, was another triumph.

Roc Marciano : Better Know

A great artist to play next to Ka - both men have a very distinct aesthetic and a mutual respect that has led them to work together to great effect. It's been a bit of a wait for Roc's "Rosebudd's Revenge" LP, but we finally have it and it has that vintage crime feel we know him for in spades, not least on this track. 

Boldy James ft. Vince Staples : Give Me A Reason

Nothing uplifting and edifying here, just unrelenting darkness from the two MCs on this pick from the "My First Chemistry Set" album. Alchemist's beat sounds halfway between crime thriller and 70s prog-rock, and fits perfectly.

Beres Hammond : No Disturb Sign (SD50s Remix)

Going with a reggae flex going into the break, we have an artist who specialises in the Lover's Rock subgenre, which will be especially familiar to my Black British listeners of a certain age :) Beres started his career in the seventies, but this cut is a remix of a track from his 1994 album "In Control". The SD50s come through with a relaxed boom-bap backing for this tune about staying in bed for some romantic time!

Apple Juice Kid : Sacrifice

Once more, we return to the "Beats of a Revolution" instrumental album for this gentle but percussive number, which is just the right pace to transition into the next section.

Hannah Williams & The Affirmations : Late Nights & Heartbreak

This may sound familiar to many of you, thanks to No I.D. sampling it as the musical basis for Jay-Z's "4:44" - given the lyrical themes of each track, it's a very appropriate usage. Lovely bit of soul from Winchester's Hannah Williams and her band, which is the title track from their 2016 LP. The production on the Jay-Z record makes use of the actual session recordings as well as some custom re-records, but you can hear the foundations right here.

Facemob : The Other Side

Facemob was a multi-regional group assembled by Scarface of the Geto Boys, made up of 350 (Ohio), DMG (Minnesota), Devin (Florida), Chi-Ray (Illinois), and Smit-D (Texas), at a time when many of those regions weren't getting the respect. This is essentially the title track from their 1996 debut "The Other Side Of The Law". Scarface produced most of the album, but on this particular track Michael Poye and Uncle Eddie lay down some slow funk. It's not a powerhouse of a cut lyrically, but I would say Devin had the best verse.

Bronx Slang : Well, Well, Well

The bluesy-soul of this cut blends really well into this spot, courtesy of friend of the show Jerry Beeks and rhyme partner Ollie Miggs! Both MCs go back and forth dreaming of various superlatives over a beat from East London's Jadell.

MC Eiht ft. The Lady Of Rage : Heart Cold

Welcome back Lady of Rage! If you were around in the era of "The Chronic", you thought Rage was going to blow up huge after "Afro Puffs", but it didn't quite turn out that way. Nonetheless, she carried on working both on the mic and in front of the cameras as an actress, and it's great to hear her here alongside fellow West Coast legend MC Eiht on the DJ Premier-executive produced LP "Which Way Iz West". Austria's Brenk Sinatra is on the dark and dramatic beat, with fitting scratch work over the top.

Ulrich Schnauss : Thoughtless Motion

I was going to save this for a future selection I'm curating, but it was just a little too slow and so I thought I'd bring it here. The London-based, German-born Schnauss has a nice catalogue of synth-based music, and this track from "No Further Ahead Than Today" has a feel reminiscent of an 80s thriller soundtrack.

The Doppelgangaz ft. Tnava : Roll Flee

The "Dopp Hopp" LP is likely well worth checking if this big tune is anything to go by. The cloak-wearing duo out of Orange County (New York) harness something of a West Coast sound on this one, with bonus points for the vocoder! 

Soopafly : I Feel

Trivia note: Soopafly played keyboards on "Natural Born Killaz" - I only just learned that this week! He's a West Coast veteran who has been putting in work behind the boards and on the mic since the mid-nineties, and we go here to his third album, the 2011 release "Best Kept Secret". This song reminds me very much of Common's "I Used To Love H.E.R", with Soopafly speaking about music in general and Hip-Hop in particular as though it were a woman, and describing a relationship. Excellent track with great production.

Oh No (ft. Roc C and Aloe Blacc) : Keep Tryin'

One of those tracks I do rather like but had forgotten about for a long while. Oh No's "Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms" LP was an album completely built around samples from Galt MacDermot - a concept which is exceedingly rare, since it generally requires the green light to go through the archives of the sampled artist! Definitely worth a listen, and then heading back to find some of the original sources.

Sean Price : Rap Professor

This was first released a few months ago, but is most readily available on the posthumous Sean Price album "Imperius Rex". A compact two bars of boastful, humourous, disrespectful rhyming from a real specialist over a DJ Skizz beat. By the way, do try mofongo if you get the chance, recommended.

Soul Supreme : Beat 16

Dug this up off the hard drive from Soul Supreme's "Instrumentals 4 the Mind, Body, and Soul" collection. Sadly, this looks to have been deleted but will hopefully show up as a digital release at some point. 

Invisible Circle : Crazy In Leeds

The 12" I got this on doesn't have as much credit information as I might like, but this killer B-side is a huge Leeds posse cut over the then-current "Crazy In Love" beat. Unapologetic Yorkshire Hip-Hop heads throwing down in fine style to close this month's show!


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_99.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:30pm EST

"I'm at the back of the wake, fe' re', selling my tape"

- Rodney P

Managed to pull myself through a busy, somewhat trying month to bring you another selection! We have one new release, some 80s soul picks, a Mobb Deep feature, and a bunch more - I'd be surprised if anyone, even the DJs, knew every single record. Let's get into it...

Twitter : @airadam13


Playlist/Notes

Skitz ft. Rodney P and Supanatchlus : The Killing

A very downbeat few bars to begin the episode, with Skitz basing this track from "Countryman" around what sounds like a version of Chopin's famous "Funeral March". Rodney P was settling into his solo career right around this time and he gives us some of his trademark style here, mixing the London with the Caribbean, elevated even further with Supanatchlus on the intro and hook. As far as I can tell, this is Supanatchlus' only credited recording, but it's a good one!

Hexsagon : La Buena Memoria

Big shout out to Hexsagon, friend of the show, for giving us gems like this beat from the "Beat Flip Tuesdays Volume 4" tape!

Rah Digga ft. Mobb Deep : High Speed Chasin'

Super dark cut from Dirty Harriet herself, which I got on a white label 12" but is now available through the magic of digital distribution, on the formerly unreleased album "Everything Is A Story". Tone Mason's crackly, low, insistent beat is actually very reminiscent of something Havoc might have done, but here he stays on mic duty for the closing verse. Rah slays the second verse, and of course, the familiar voice of the late Prodigy opens proceedings.

Above The Law : L.A. Vibe

Love this, a personal favourite from the "Legends" album. It's a very minimal beat from Cold 187um, but not as minimal as you think at first. Listen carefully and hear a number of different keyboard and pad touches come in over that spare, gritty bass and unpretentious drum pattern. It's always nice to hear the voice of the late KMG, and his low-key style as displayed on the first verse suits the track down to the ground.

Kankick : Say

Another one of those respected producers out of Oxnard, California (think Madlib and Oh No), Kankick has been quietly working away for years. This is an all too short track from his second LP, "Acid Massive Musical" which can't help to hook you in with the backwards lead sounds and neck snapping drum and bass combination. 

Ty : Knock Knock (DJ Spinna Remix)

Great combination. On the third release in Ty's "Kick Snare And An Idea" series, he spits with his usual clarity and intelligence and this track is no exception. DJ Spinna remixes the cut with some classic Beyond Real flourishes, bringing synths and keys in from all angles underneath a solid kick-snare foundation. Appropriately. 

Fat Jack : Try Ta Test

Dug this one out this month, going back to the "Beatology Vol. 2" compilation; Fat Jack is a producer from the underground Los Angeles scene who you might have heard working with heads like Volume 10, Aceyalone, and Abstract Rude, and getting respect across the board. This cut has a nice little wobble in the bottom end, nothing drastic, just enough to add that extra something.

Kev Brown & LMNO : The Cause

I've only just discovered this 2008 track this month, which speaks to how much material gets released nowadays and how easy it is to miss quality needles in the musical haystack. Kev Brown always brings the funk, and this is no exception - classic boom-bap with his own particular aura. It's easy to forget he's an MC too, and his more natural tone is my preference over LMNO's flow - but they both get it done. This is from the "Selective Hearing" album, which also has a follow-up which I'll have to check too!

Method Man & Redman : 1, 2, 1, 2

One of those combinations that seems obvious in retrospect but seismic when it happened, Method Man and Redman's coming together has been a source of joy in the artform. Their debut "Blackout!" had a number of big tunes, but this is probably one of the less-played ones. DJ Scratch gives the MCs a nice funky beat with some bounce for them to swap bars over. There's always room for a track like this.

7L & Esoteric ft. Inspektah Deck : Speaking Real Words

I wigged out the first time I heard this, and it's one of those tracks I have two copies of on vinyl - in fact, that's why you may just detect a dip in volume near the start, it's that dreaded cue burn! Big tune out of Boston from that late 90s independent scene, with Deck from the Wu of course stealing the show lyrically. 7L is usually responsible for their production but on this track he hands the reins to fellow Bostonians Vinyl Reanimators, who do a bang-up job. The horns make me think of a choppy, Hip-Hop version of "Sledgehammer"!

Rakim : When I B On Tha Mic

Apologies for the audio glitch in this one! While "The Master" LP might not have made as much noise as other Rakim releases, this single was pretty universally lauded. A trademark DJ Premier beat right here! It's not Rakim's most complex writing, but still a cut above most and for a track like this, pitched just right. I do love his tribute to the DJ in the second verse, along with matching turntable manipulation - an inspired bit of post-production.

[Madlib] Madlib & Freddie Gibbs : Real (Instrumental)

I'm not actually much of a Madlib fan but he turns it out on both parts of this beat from the "Piñata" LP!

Geechi Suede : Mahogany Mami

Clearly on a burst of creativity right now, Geechi Suede follows "Fishnet Skyscrapers" with the "Purple Suede" mixtape, made up of tracks sampling Prince. The groove for "Kiss", as used here, is always one to give you that energy.

Steve Arrington's Hall Of Fame : 15 Rounds

Very much of its time, we have here a track from the former Slave frontman's 1984 "Positive Power" LP. Not especially subtle lyrically, but not putting it all the way out there either! The growling, stereo-spread keyboard bass on this is a beast.

Midnight Express : Danger Zone (Extended Version)

Apparently this style is now referred to as "boogie" - for me, this is just what soul records sounded like when I was a kid :) This is an absolute bomb out of Rock Island, Illinois, originally released in 1983. The video very much gives the impression of the guys in the edit suite just pressing every button available, which makes it worth the watch at least once :)

Ronnie Hudson : West Coast Pop Lockin'

Rounding out the run of 80s heat, we have a 100% classic that is likely to give some of you a sudden gasp of recognition! Yes, this 1982 track is the origin of the hook of 2Pac & Dre's "California Love", which came out fourteen years later. It also incorporates musical and lyrical elements from Zapp's "So Ruff, So Tuff", which was a big record at the time. (Actually, it is easily one of the greatest records of all time). Ronnie Hudson was a singer and bassist out of Washington D.C. who moved to Los Angeles and met some pretty rugged characters while doing the research for this track! This is a real California anthem.

Miguel Migs : Do It For You (Bump The Tech Dub)

Hip-Hop is rarely up around this speed, so I had a dig into my house crate to come up with this remix. The original vocal version of this cut, featuring Li'Sha (aka Lisa Shaw) is well worth picking up if this is a style you enjoy!

Little Shawn : That Girl

I got "The Voice In The Mirror" a year or so back purely to get this song, which up to that point I'd heard only once - when I was about 14. It didn't sound quite like I remembered, but that Madonna sample being played up and down the keyboard (I thought they were pitch-bending it somehow) had stuck in my head for all those years! Little Shawn (later Shawn Pen) is on that light flow here as he is on most of the album, which is interesting because for those that know...nothing lightweight about him! Hitman Howie Tee is on production and it sounds very much like something targeted toward the radio of the time. It's not like this is my favourite record or anything, but it is one I was glad to find and am happy to share.


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_98.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00am EST

"Permanent. Physical. Suffering."

- Prodigy

The eighth birthday of the podcast, but a rough month in the world. A last-minute change to the selection for this episode opened up the inclusion of some verses by Prodigy of Mobb Deep, who passed away just a few days ago. On top of the musical tribute, the title and artwork of this episode are inspired by Prodigy quotes from two different cuts - "G.O.D Pt. III" and "Mac 10 Handle" respectively. As always with a birthday episode, I like to break some favourites out, and I think that there are some classic mixes to be heard this month. Let me know what you think! 

PS - If you got a copy of the podcast last month (ep.96) with the repeated "pull it up selector" sample before the first voiceover, it got fixed within the first few hours, so if you re-download it's gone. Maybe the broken version is a virtual collector's item? ;)


Playlist/Notes

Nas : The World Is Yours (Tip Mix)

One of the all-time great remixes, and one of a track which was a classic to begin with! Q-Tip comes through with a stripped down beat headlined by absolutely perfect boom-bap drums, and Nas slightly changes the lyrics from the original version heard on "Illmatic". While we're here - everyone who listens to this podcast should have heard "Illmatic" at least once. It's an unmissable landmark.

Non Phixion : 5 Boros (Remix 'Instrumental')

Ok, let me get this out of the way - we DJs don't want your "TV Track". Just give us a plain instrumental, without adlibs and hooks, and we're good. This beat is a prime example of one I'd like a clean copy of - DR Period with an absolute monster which is streets ahead of the Necro-produced original. The vocal version appeared on the show all the way back on episode 13, and it's well worth going back for a listen!

IAM ft. Sunz of Man : La Saga

I think this is one that most people won't know, and understandably so. I came across this on "Yo! MTV Raps" many moons ago and was surprised by two things; firstly, that this French crew had got a Wu-Fam feature at a time when that was a rare thing, and secondly - how amazingly extravagant the video production was! The episode 68 notes alluded to this one, which I was saving for a special occasion. I got this on the "Le Flow" compilation of French Hip-Hop, but it's originally from the album "L'ecole Du Micro L'argent".

Group Home : Up Against The Wall (Getaway Car Mix)

Another classic 90s remix, appearing on one of DJ Premier's finest projects, the debut Group Home album "Livin' Proof". Those drums, that piano - perfection. Group Home might not have been the greatest MCs in the world (although I do think Lil' Dap is generally underrated), this album got the most out of them.

Royal Flush : Can't Help It

A great tune from the "Ghetto Millionaire" album. Prince Kaysaan on the beat bringing some 80s soul flavour to the beat, filtering down to the bassline during the verses in that early-mid 90s style with the slapping drums to match! On the mic, Royal Flush is kind of laid back in the style of a Mic Geronimo, and Khadejia reworks Michael Jackson on the hook. Here for it.

Prodigy : You Can Never Feel My Pain

I almost played this on the show a couple of times this year, but it just didn't fit the mixes. With the passing of Prodigy this month, I asked a few people if they thought it'd be appropriate to include it this episode, and everyone agreed. A great closer to P's first solo album, "H.N.I.C", this is an extraordinary track where he goes in depth about his lifelong battle with Sickle-Cell Anaemia, a blood disease primarily found in Black and other tropic-originating people. The lyrics feature what could be regarded as some shots at 2Pac, which likely stemmed from Pac's entirely unwarranted mocking of Prodigy's illness on "Hit 'Em Up". Ric Rude's production is a great backdrop for an intensely personal song.

Mobb Deep : Temperature's Rising

For most people, it's "Shook Ones, Pt. 2", but this is my personal favourite track on the second (yes, second) Mobb Deep album "The Infamous". Lyrically it's as dark as you'd expect from the Queensbridge duo - based on the true story of Havoc's now late brother, who had been on the run for murder - but musically, it's so smooth. This was Q-Tip at  for me, the height of his producing powers, alongside the Mobb. The drums bang hard and then the beautiful Patrice Rushen sample comes in, and Crystal Johnson's hook tops it all off. Prodigy, Havoc, Q-Tip and Crystal created a classic.

Yadava : For Peace

Time to chill things out for a little while! Yadava, resident and co-founder of the Manchester night "So Flute" cooks up something fresh and clean for the "Manchester With Love" compilation, a mammoth gathering of music from the city which is raising money for the Red Cross "We Love Manchester" emergency fund. With a cause like that, and a package of 226 tracks for a minimum donation of £10, I can't recommend highly enough that you get a copy!

Chaka Khan : I Feel For You

Trivia for you - the repeated triggering of Melle Mel saying "Chaka Khan" at the start was a mistake that sounded good, so they stayed with it! This is an absolute monster of a record, with star quality at every turn. For one, Chaka Khan was already a legendary singer at this point, primarily for fronting the funk group Rufus. Featuring in the band, you had some guy called Stevie playing the harmonica (you may have heard of him), and David Frank of The System on the synths. That's not even counting Melle Mel's opening bars. Finally, this song was written by Prince, and actually recorded by him on his second album. Rebbie Jackson and The Pointer Sisters also recorded versions, but which is the one that gets the play? This. Fire.

Suga Free : Hello, Hello, Hello

Sorry Lionel and Adele, but this is in fact the best song with only the word "Hello" in the title ;) "Hello, hello, hello" could easily have been the epigraph for an episode just because of how fly Free's delivery is! Typically outrageous in both ways on the mic, he just slays this old-school flavoured beat from Casino on the "Sunday School" LP.

Clipse ft. Keri Hilson : All Eyes On Me

I cannot work out why this song from "Til The Casket Drops" never got a single release with a video. The Neptunes on production cooked up a beat here which could easily have done well in the clubs, and has been used on many a dance routine! One of the high points of this track is the first line of the hook; I'm not sure if it's intentional, but Keri Hilson delivers it kind of void of emotion - and it works. Maybe it's just me?

Run The Jewels : Call Ticketron

This cut from "RTJ3" has been powering me through skipping (or "jump rope", as some call it) workouts at the gym over the last few months. Crazy hectic, full of energy - if they ever did play at MSG, the place would go nuts over this one!

Miguel Migs ft. Aya : The Distance (Balcazar & Sordo Remix)

The original version of "The Distance" from "Outside The Skyline" is a beauty, and almost got included here, but when I remembered this remix and tried the blend out...it had to be the choice. I do wish they'd used "into the distance" from the original hook here, but that's my only complaint. Aya's vocals are always smooth as silk, and is a great accompaniment to the cold (in a good way), electronic instrumental. Definitely worth checking the remixes release if this kind of thing is your bag!

Trae The Truth : Open Up Tha Trunk

Slow, dark, unnecessarily menacing? Sign me up! Freestyle from the "Another 48 Hours" project by Trae which, as the title suggests, was apparently completed in just two days. Moxiii and Watson The Great come through with an insanely gloomy beat, with the slowed vocal sample for the hook making it sound even more claustrophobic. Teenage me had never heard beats like this, but was trying to make them - would have loved this! 

Curren$y : Take You Higher

Cool & Dre go to town with the sample warping and filter tricks right here for the opener of the "Andretti 11/30" mixtape! Curren$y goes with a common theme of his - smoking up and getting lifted. Nothing complicated lyrically, and he cedes control of the track after just one verse to let the producers show off, which is a smart decision. When you've said all there is to say, why not step back?

Corinne Bailey Rae : Taken By Dreams

Leeds! It's been special to see Corinne Bailey Rae's career continue to build, and her latest album, "The Heart Speaks In Whispers" is a worthy addition to her catalogue. I love the way this track opens as a quite acoustic number, then brings in a wave of other elements before settling back into stillness at the end; great production by Corinne and Steven Brown. And if you ever get chance to see her perform live, do.

Wretch 32 ft.Varren Wade, Bobii Lewis & Avelino : Open Conversation & Mark Duggan

The man Mr Mari put me up on Wretch 32 a few months back and after doing a little listening, this went into headphone rotation and I was searching for a way to work it into the show. Wretch 32 started his career in the grime scene before transitioning over to more of a Hip-Hop sensibility, and his "Growing Over Life" album is a considered piece of work. This track, as he describes it, starts as very much like pages from his diary, with feelings and details that many will be able to relate to. When he starts talking about Mark Duggan, bear in mind that this is someone from his area, someone he actually went to school with - not just a person on the news. The track runs slightly short here, but it's definitely worth hearing the whole thing.

Beyoncé : Sorry (Instrumental)

Had to do a little looping and chopping to get enough of an instrumental bed to fit here, just using the intro which I think is killer. Wynter Gordon, Melo-X, Beyonce, Hit-Boy, and Stuart White are all credited with the production of this cut from the "Lemonade" album.

Oddisee : Like Really

Sometimes, you look at the madness out here, that's your reaction. Taken from Oddisee's latest album "The Iceberg", this was a track I first heard live and very much benefits from the input of live instrumentalists. Oddisee has always been a quality artist since his days working with people like DJ Jazzy Jeff and Foreign Exchange, but I never saw him expanding as much as he has done; it's a testament to hard work and commitment to the art, not the 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_97.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:00pm EST

"It's not the world, it's the people in it..."

- LaPeace

What a month it has ended up being. Manchester suffered a terrible blow, and the figurative reverberations will be felt for a long time to come. It has been something to see how people have come together in the wake of the attack, and hopefully that spirit is something that can be carried forward.

While I wasn't able to completely re-do this month's show, I hope it's a pleasant listen for anyone who has the time to give it an ear. Amongst this episode's tracks we have a couple of Manchester tunes, some beautiful instrumentals, and an uplifting ending. Enjoy.

Twitter: @airadam13


Playlist/Notes

Kendrick Lamar : DNA

"I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA". Absolute fire. The Mike Will Made-It beat is dark and banging and from the very first line, Kendrick is on point. A beast of a track from the new, appropriately-titled album "DAMN." Definitely worth checking the video starring Don Cheadle too!

[Lex Luger] Kid Ink : Blackout (Instrumental)

I was struggling to find an instrumental in my library to fit in here but then thought about which producers might have something to fit, and Lex Luger, Mr."Hard In Da Paint", was my first idea. To be honest, I went to go and have a listen to the Kid Ink track and...I didn't rate it. All about the beat here, thanks to a mixtape of instrumentals on Datpiff!

Devin The Dude : Acoustic Levitation

Devin is a bit of a southern legend, starting off with Odd Squad and Facemob before commencing a long solo career. He's noted for bringing his sense of humour to his music, but that's not the vibe on this cut, the title track from his ninth solo LP. It's a fairly serious number with Devin in reflective mood about the world over a beat produced by his old Odd Squad running mate Rob Quest, who cooks up a solid 808 groove.

Children of Zeus : I Want You

The first time I heard this, I stomped over to DJ Chris E and demanded (ok, not like that ;) ) he tell me what it was immediately! It had only just been released on the CoZ Soundcloud account, and I got my download as soon as I got back home. This is a bodywork-rattling, baby-making slow jam out of Manchester that deserves all the listens. Vocally, it's a Tyler Daly solo, and as much as I love the lead vocal I think his backing styles on the hook put this one over the top. 

Dr Dre ft. Jill Scott, Jon Connor, and Anderson .Paak : For The Love Of Money

One of my highlights from Dr Dre's "Compton" LP, a piece inspired by "Foe Tha Love Of Money" by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. This has some of the foremost soul vocalists of recent-ish times taking a starring role, with Jill Scott bringing the gentleness and Anderson contributing a rougher tone. The origins of the track are that it was the first beat made by New Jersey native Cardiak when he moved to Los Angeles, and Jon Connor heard it and wrote his lyrics to it - it was only after that that it found its way to Dre for it to become what you hear now. 

MC Eiht : Just Lean

This Compton veteran has carved out a long career, and it's amazing to think that "Affiliated" is his eleventh solo album. Add that to the Compton's Most Wanted LPs, and you have someone who deserves a ton of respect. He's not talking about anything super complex on this weed anthem, but he does definitely slip in some clever references - Ice Cube and UGK, to name but two. The longtime CMW producer Tha Chill collaborates with the D&B producer DJ Subflo for an eerie, creeping track with those echoing snares adding to the dissociative feel.

UNKLE : 24 Frames (Redux)

I can't remember how I exactly found this one - I hadn't been up-to-date with UNKLE's output after the "Psyence Fiction" album, but heard this orchestral killer on Spotify and have been dying to find a place to slot it into the show for months!

Count Bass D : Subwoofer (Dumile)

Somewhere right now, Count Bass D is making a beat. Crafting. Refining. He's sixteen solo albums in, not to mention EPs and compilations, but right here were back to his third, 2002's "Dwight Spitz", now available via Bandcamp. A tribute to the fallen DJ Subroc of KMD and also paying homage to Hip-Hop luminaries of times past, this is almost certainly my favourite tune on the LP. For a little listening detail, check how the drum pattern changes up on the approach to the hook, doubling up on the kicks and snares - very nicely done.

Mothership Connection : Space Junkin'

Manchester's Mothership Connection have been doing a stack of live appearances over the past few years, but as they're a collective of solo artists and member of other groups, it's taken a while for them to release their own product. we finally have their debut EP, "This Train Goes To Junkleberry Junction". All tracks are produced by Mankub, and this one is on a bit of an Apollo 13 vibe while the crew of MCs spill lyrics all over the equipment!

Ilajide ft. Propaine : In The House

The man behind the beats for Clear Soul Forces stays producing quality material. This particular piece is on the "Five Week Heet III" Bandcamp release, and after the quiet intro groove (hard to hear on the mix in/out, actually) it just thumps along. I definitely need to hear this man doing extra work outside the camp. Actually, how about Ilajide and Camp Lo...?

J Dilla ft. LaPeace, Moe Dirdee, & Seven The General : Say My Name

One of those songs that pops into my head fairly regularly but which I don't play even for myself as much as it deserves. Nothing esoteric here, just dope rhymes over an old Dilla beat - that's enough. Catch this on the "Rebirth Of Detroit" album.

The ARE : Midnight (Instrumental)

It's been a while since our last visit, but we return to The ARE's reworking of samples used by A Tribe Called Quest on the "Midnight Marauders" LP. This one is a re-imagining of one of my favourites, but crashing along with a vibe of its own :)

Ka : Up Against Goliath

I was having a listen to Ka's brilliant "Grief Pedigree" this month and found myself rewinding this track. It may at one level be a song about the street game, it could be an anthem for anyone up against the odds. DJs, for full thematic effect you could follow this with UGK's "Pocket Full Of Stones", which is also pretty close speed wise too. #yourewelcome

Damian Marley & Nas : Friends

It's been a while since "Distant Relatives" was released, and every so often a song gets shortlisted for the podcast before getting dropped at the last minute. This time though, it makes the cut. It's not often that Nas doesn't put in the best lyrical performance of all the vocalists on a track he appears on, but I think Damian's performance is superior here! Damian also handles the production, which is well-done, except that the periodic sloppiness on the two and four beats makes it sound like yours truly is making mixing mistakes :)

Yusef Rumperfield : Sparklin

From the Tall Black Guy Productions label come the instrumental stylings of Yusef Rumperfield on his "Jazz In Motion" album. I picked this chilled-out number because sometimes, there's no room for words.

Portishead : It Could Be Sweet

An old favourite from Portishead's debut "Dummy". Beth Gibbons' heartfelt scratchy-throated vocals go nicely on top of the drum machine beat and some subtle keyboards.

Air : High Point

The B-side to the "Once Upon A Time" single, and once again proving Chuck D right about the flip side, this is a beautiful instrumental.

Thundercat ft. Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald : Show You The Way

A great song to end on, and one I've been playing over and over since I bought Thundercat's "Drunk" album. This bassist, producer, and singer is a really unique gem, and as is somehow befitting of a man who's worked with artists as different as Suicidal Tendencies and Kendrick Lamar, he's a lover of the R&B-infused jazz fusion styles of the 70s and 80s. When Kenny Loggins called him up to say that he and Michael McDonald would be interested in collaborating, he rightly flipped out! The combination on this uplifting cut is a straight classic to me, and I think with the pain of the last month, this is a fitting place to close the episode.


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_96.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

"Studying my sickness like the Tuskegee Experiment."

- Ilajide

In a world with all kinds of options for DJs, there's a lot to be said for just two turntables, a mixer, and some crates!

This month's show has more new releases than the average episode, including some local heat. We also have a track from the late Guru (RIP always), and one or two of my headphone favourites finally coming out into the light!

Upcoming Manchester shows mentioned;

London Posse @ Rebellion, May 23rd

Kool G Rap @ Sound Control, June 21st

Twitter: @airadam13


Playlist/Notes

Sean Price : Definition Of God

It's a shame to think that all the Sean Price tracks we'll ever hear are already out in the world somewhere. On this posthumously-released single from this March, Sean blasts the Stu Bangas instrumental with his trademark mixture of rapping dexterity and casual, disrespectful brutality. I know I'm not alone in looking forward to the "Imperius Rex" LP - this is is right up my alley!

Ilajide : Dance Of The Psudo

Ilajide is the man behind the boards for the brilliant Clear Soul Forces, but he's also putting out some very good solo material that's definitely worth your attention! This is a burner from "Five Week Heet III", one of the lead-ups to the "Heet Tape" album release.

Tribeca : Wheel Of Fortune

A favourite of mine for years which I finally got a legit copy of (from the "Subway Series Vol.1" compilation) thanks to the modern convenience of digital purchase! Self-produced as always, the Bronx MC and MPC-batterer tells a tale of a dice game gone very wrong over a fitting 70s sample and some punching drums & bass. I won't give the sample away - to be fair, it's not a hard one to discern - but I do like the way it's been used. Using a three-bar segment for the title breakdown is awkward for a DJ, but it does sound good :)

Rapsody : Kingship

Making a return visit to Rapsody's "She Got Game" mixtape for a short and sweet cut with the legendary DJ Premier. Rapsody has one of those bell-clear voices that works so well for an MC, and lyrics to go along with it. Apparently Premo once tried to give this beat to Ludacris, but it was a little too experimental for him to do anything with!

KING : Red Eye (DJ Spinna Blissed-Out Remix)

My man Agent J from Groovement was up on this three-woman group out of Los Angeles very early, but I'm just getting up to speed on their 2016 debut "We Are King" now. It's a high-quality, ambient-flavoured R&B album with its own kind of flavour, and hopefully it's just a taste of the things yet to come! The great DJ Spinna is on the remix here and gives them some extra bass and head-nod drums to take the original "Red Eye" to new heights.

A.D. Carson : Dissertation (Part I The Introduction)

This project has something of a unique origin, which alone was enough to catch my interest. A.D. Carson was a Ph.D candidate at Clemson University who turned in his dissertation for the Rhetoric, Communication, and Information Design program in an unusual form - a full album. "Owning My Masters : The Rhetoric of Rhymes and Revolutions" is worth a listen on both its musical and academic merits, especially as a "name your price" Bandcamp release. Give a student a few dollars though! This track is a solid opener from the album, and A.D. makes excellent and appropriate use of a sample from "Malcolm X" after the hook. 

Pro P : Concrete Jungle

Almost pure drums here from one of Manchester's busiest beatmakers, on this track from the first "Concrete Jungle" beat tape.

Ran Reed ft. Sadat X : The God's Power

Hailing from New Jersey, Ran Reed was one of those guys who put in mad independent work in the mid-90s, with underground 12" releases, guest appearances, and mixtape cuts. Only this year has he finally released his debut album, and while longtime collaborator Nick Wiz contributed several beats, Ran also self-produces many, including this one. A Sadat X guest appearance is always a win, and he provides a nicely contrasting vocal tone.

Children of Zeus : Don't Say A Word

They just keep on killing it. This is the B-side of the "I Can't Wait" 7" and it knocks! Konny Kon and Tyler have a great album in them, and I am 100% here for it whenever it arrives; in the meantime, just follow them and be ahead of the curve.

Raekwon : This Is What It Comes Too (sic)

I couldn't have you thinking that I didn't know which "to" to use :) This is the lead single from Rae's new album "The Wild" (big up Dan Lish on the cover art), the first to have no features from any Wu members whatsoever! Xtreme on the beat, working a classic old-school drum break, and the rhyming is prototypical Raekwon street talk.

Guru ft. Branford Marsalis : Transit Ride

RIP Guru! I definitely wanted to play some Guru this month and was pleased to find a track of his with the same drum break as the preceding cut. He was a pioneer in making links between the Hip-Hop nation and the world of jazz, and the first "Jazzmatazz" was a landmark. Here's another link - Guru and Premier actually lived in Branford Marsalis' house for a while back in the day! That sounds like it could have made for an amazing TV programme :)

Focus : (Entry no.3) CisumovneZ

Georgia's Focus is a beast on the boards. I could happily have played any number of tracks from the "aNALOG iN a dIGITAL wORLD 2" album, but went for this one. I love the manipulation and warping of the beat as the track progresses, with all kinds of stutters and stops - almost like a modern-day, digital version of the Latin Rascals.

Geechi Suede : London Luton

A number clearly inspired by the globetrotting adventures of Camp Lo's Geechi Suede, from the "Fishnet Skyscrapers" mixtape. This one was so long in coming after the release of the single "Ask About Me", I figured it had been shelved altogether - but it finally came out this month. This actual track was recorded/released in 2016 via the Brapp TV platform, and features the production of NYTELIFE, Rexx, and SaL GuoD (all the casing styles there). It's a suitably spacey background for Geechi's abstract freestyling!

Clear Soul Forces : Fan-Ta-Sa-Ro

So talented, it's a bit ridiculous. Detroit's Clear Soul Forces channel the spirit of their hometown heroes Slum Village on this track, as Slum listeners will recognise from the title and the hook. Ilajide supplies the beat, and this tune from their debut "Detroit Revolution(s)" gave just a taste of the great work to come.

J Chambers : Thought From New Mount Street 2

A brand new freestyle from a Manchester artist on the rise as he prepares to release his "Moment of Silence II : The Road to Perdition" mini-album. Gorgeous beat, dope rhymes - what more do you need? 

Robert Glasper Experiment ft. Ledisi : Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.)

Needed something with a certain kind of flavour to follow up the J Chambers cut and I think I found it with this beautiful piece from Robert Glasper's first "Black Radio" album. Top-notch instrumentation as you might have expected, undergirding the vocals of the exceptionally talented singer/songwriter Ledisi. Oh yeah, she acts too :) This track got a Grammy nomination, and rightly so. The meaning of "F.T.B." is "off the record", according to Glasper, so take your own guess - but it was also the title of the song this is based on, from The Robert Glasper Trio's "In My Element" album.

Beatnuts : Gonna Fly  (Inst)

From the old "Hydra Beats 5" collection of instrumentals (one of fourteen), just a head-nodder courtesy of Queens' own Beatnuts, some of the most dedicated diggers in the game.

Nas & DJ Shadow : Systematic

I did not see this collaboration coming! One of the greatest ever to pick up a mic, in combination with a legendary producer...on the soundtrack to the "Silicon Valley" TV series? You could have got great odds on that. The beat is funky at the core with the odd glitchy interjection and some synth bass and FX giving it a contemporary feel. Nas can be counted on to come through with the lyrics, and this track is no exception.


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_95.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:00am EST

"...yo' ass lie like the president!"

- Ice Cube

This month marks twenty years since the death of Biggie Smalls - and yet it somehow doesn't feel like that long ago. The B.I.G man's influence still looms large over the culture and this show is no exception. Several Biggie tracks and others inspired by him dot the episode, alongside choices from the discographies of the late Phife and Nate Dogg. Besides those, a few classics and some fairly modern gems you may have missed!

Catch me DJing at Eastern Bloc Records on April 22nd for Record Store Day and then stay out for their big party in the evening! Just over a week later, check DJ Andy Smith at Whiskey Jar for a Sunday night session :)

Twitter : @airadam13


Playlist/Notes

Ice Cube ft. Chris Rock : You Ain't Gotta Lie (Ta Kick It)

The way things are right now, I should do a whole mixtape strictly on the subject of lying! Chris Rock was an inspired choice to guest on this track from "War & Peace Vol.2 (The Peace Disc)" for the adlibs, while Cube just goes in with venom on an assortment of unnamed dishonest people. Production comes from Chucky Thompson of The Hitmen, and it does have a little of that Bad Boy flavour - you could imagine someone like The Lox on this beat back in the day.

Da Beatminerz : Bentleys & Bitches (Instrumental)

Tough beat right here from instrumental version the "Brace 4 Impak" LP (can't believe it's 16 years old this year!) - definitely an album to have in the collection if the ruggedness is what you seek. 

ODB : Hippa To Da Hoppa

Two short verses of battle rhymes in Dirty's own truly inimitable style :) I don't play much ODB here somehow, but he was an MC unlike any other. This isn't one of the most often heard tracks from "Return To The 36 Chambers : The Dirty Version", but it popped into my head as one to bring out this month. The beat was one that RZA had in his archives and that Dirty had mentally bookmarked for himself when the time was right. 

Lords Of The Underground : Chief Rocka

I was well pleased to be able to cut this in and have it rhyme with the hook of the preceding track! A classic Hip-Hop single out of Newark, New Jersey, with K-Def on production. This is the video version, taken from the 12" single, with the original of course being available on the "Here Come The Lords" LP. This tune is quality all the way through, but we don't quite make it to the end of the third verse, because it made sense to loop up a notable Mr.Funkee line and then come in with...

The Notorious B.I.G. : Machine Gun Funk

...a track which happens to use it as a hook! The 1-2-3 combo on "Ready To Die" of "Things Done Changed", "Gimme The Loot", and "Machine Gun Funk" is phenomenal, but this is still an underrated cut in my opinion. Easy Mo Bee contributed an absolutely cracking beat, and Biggie's rhymes are enough for his son to rate this as maybe his favourite from the catalogue. Pure fire.

Mary J. Blige ft. The Notorious B.I.G. : Real Love (Remix)

If you weren't around at the time, it's hard to communicate how revolutionary this was. Hip-Hop and R&B were very separate things back then, and it was people like the Harlem DJ Ron G with his innovative and influential blend tapes who showed the possibilities of combining the two. When Puff Daddy (now P.Diddy) went to Uptown Records, he masterminded producing that kind of combination to the studio, and the "What's The 411? (Remix)" album is one of the most well-known examples. Ron G is actually on the intro to this track (just before the part I start playing from), but Puffy and Daddy-O (of Stetsasonic) are credited with the Hip-Hop-heavy production, blending several classic samples together to give Mary a fitting backing - which also works brilliantly for Biggie, when he comes in.

[Buckwild] Sadat X : The Lump Lump (Instrumental)

Classic boom-bap from 1996, Buckwild's bumping instrumental for the Sadat X track discussing... adventures about town. This was a quality single from the "Wild Cowboys" LP - remember when a tune like this could be a club banger?

Curren$y ft. Nate Dogg & Nijay Sincere : Let's Get It Crackin'

This has one of those hooks that just sticks in your head - Nate Dogg can do that to you. Just know that you cannot sing like him :) Anyway, this is kind of an interesting one; you may be familiar with Curren$y's recent career, the "lifestyle rap" and the sonic flavours that come with it, but this 2010 single sounds more like a move for the clubs and the radio - not necessarily a bad thing at all. He's firmly midtempo here over the DJ Taylormade beat with Nate supplying a hook that may not be catchy, but one that works for sure.

A Tribe Called Quest : The Donald

RIP Phife Dawg...aka Don Juice, apparently! Dancehall-accented tune with some nice turntable work (courtesy of DJ Scratch) for the sureshot combination of Tribe and Busta Rhymes on this closer from "We got it from Here...Thank You 4 Your Service", the final ATCQ LP. One of the only things I've heard in months that involves the name "Donald" and doesn't make me want to be sick!

Lexxus : Stress

I'm kind of mad I had to buy the "Mr.Lex" album a second time (on CD) because so many tracks aren't on the vinyl. Still, big tune here with Bobby Konders on the digital production! Lexxus only has two albums, but his singles discography is deep if you like what you hear.

Large Pro : Off Yo Azz On Yo Feet

(Note: I've just realised that this was also included on episode 76. First repeated track in the history of the show! #oops)

The live guy with glasses just keeps on going. His latest LP, 2015's "Re:Living" was a concise eleven tracks, with this being one that just stuck in my head. Self-produced, of course, with the snare smacking away relentlessly in the mix. Lyrically - I guess it's motivational music, after a fashion? The hook certainly leaves no doubt about the message :)

The Alchemist : The Thirst

Thinking about it recently, I realised that in this post-anthem world with an explosion of music availability, Alchemist has quietly worked his way into the pantheon of greatest all-time producers. A nice dark beat from the first "Rapper's Best Friend" beat compilation. 

Mega Ran : 10 Gamer Commandments

Random aka Mega Ran is best known for his skill at blending of video game culture and Hip-Hop, and he gives just a piece of it on this cut from his "Notorious R.A.N - Ready To Live" tribute album. Twenty years after the passing of Biggie, Mega Ran reworks some of his tracks in tribute, and this bonus track is of course his flip of "Ten Crack Commandments"; a step-by-step booklet on how to conduct yourself in the gaming world ;)

Kaytranada ft. Craig David : Got It Good

A year ago we heard a Ras Kass track based on this instrumental, but I thought it was worth giving you the original! Coming strong for the crown of best producer to come out of Haiti, the Canadian-raised Kaytranada made some serious noise among those who know last year with the "99.9%" album, and this was a standout cut for me. The highly underrated Craig David supplies a smooth vocal performance at the high end while the beat bumps along at the bottom - great blend.

Omniscence : Golden

North Carolina coming through! The likes of Bandcamp is a godsend for allowing independent releases to be easily obtainable by the fans, and after putting out stuff like the previously-unreleased "The Raw Factor" digitally, Omniscence then moved on to bringing new material onto the platform. This piece from "The God Hour" has some bump but the gentle keyboard work is a fitting backing to Omni's two contemplative verses.

Geto Boys : Leanin' On You

A group often missed when we discuss Hip-Hop legends, Houston's Geto Boys went through lineup changes early in their life, then settled for a while before changing again, and finally coming back together with what most consider the canonical MC lineup - Scarface, Willie D, and Bushwick Bill. Here, we take a reflective track from their seventh LP, "The Foundation", with each MC taking a turn to describe a missed person or a struggle in their own lives. The production comes from someone you may not associate with this style, and also may not have thought about in a while - Mr.Mixx of 2 Live Crew, a pioneer of the Miami Bass sound. This certainly has some heft in the mix but rather than the accelerated beats that he made his name with, this sample re-work is slow and somewhat solemn, perfectly matching the lyrics. 

Oddisee : Brixton

A bit of an old one (2010) from Oddisee's "Traveling Man" instrumental album; I don't know if he made this beat in Brixton or just took inspiration from there, but it's quality as usual. I'll likely play you something from his new album "The Iceberg" in the coming months.

Willie Evans Jr. : Nerd English

Finally, we come all the way back to the theme from the episode opener! A very amusing but sincere track about keeping it all the way real, staying in your lane...however you want to put it :) It reminds us that trying to be something we're not is stressful, hard work, potentially trouble, and just generally undignified. A solid tune from the "Introducin'" LP that always makes me smile.


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_94.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:55pm EST

"All that happy, 'let's be friends' shit? Yo, this is the opposite."

- Konny Kon

As usual, we pay tribute to J Dilla, Big L, and Big Pun this month, but also two giants from a previous generation who both made a massive impact on Hip-Hop; Clyde Stubblefield and David Axelrod, who both passed in the last few weeks. Besides that, we have some great recent tracks from Manchester, some US classics and a few tracks that may have passed you by! Let's get it going...

Twitter : @airadam13


Playlist/Notes

D.I.T.C. : Best Behavior (Showbiz Remix #2)

From "The Remix Project", we go heavy in multiple ways right from the jump. Big Pun may not have been a charter member of D.I.T.C, but Fat Joe certainly is, and it's via Joe that we end up with this connection to one of the fiercest MCs of all time. One verse each over this Showbiz beat which somehow manages to be even darker than the excellent Amed-produced original

David McCallum : The Edge

I'd imagine a good number of you thought this was about to be an entirely different record :) This track from the "Music: A Bit More Of Me" album is definitely the most famous track by the actor/musician David McCallum, and one of the most well-recognised by the producer, the brilliant David Axelrod, who passed away this month. That intro is just a monster.

Big L & Jay-Z : Freestyle

Given the origin and the content, I hope you can excuse the sound quality! This is one of the great freestyle sessions of all time, with the then-rising Big L and Jay-Z trading serious bars over the beat for Miilkbone's "Keep It Real"; as it turns out, they'd already battled off-mic earlier the same night! While that clash is lost to folklore, it's good to have this back-and-forth preserved for posterity, thanks to Stretch & Bobbito.

Ras Kass : Soul On Ice (Remix)

Diamond D remixes the title track from Ras' debut, blessing Ras with a David Axelrod-sampling instrumental that is probably better known than the original. Ras is in the political lyrical mode many people would associate him with here, but as always managed to blend that with just vicious battle lines. "The waterproof MC, you ain't wettin' me/You need to stop rapping and start robbing banks like Steady B"? *Ouch*...

SoundSci : The Remedy (Jonny Cuba Remix)

This one has just missed the cut a few times but it fit nicely here! Super relaxed vibe all the way through on this closing track from the "Dig For Victory" EP.

James Brown : Funky Drummer (Parts 1 & 2)

We join this track about a minute and a half in - the full track is seven minutes long. At 19:25 though, one of the most famous, sampled, re-used, re-formulated pieces of audio of all time appears to grace our eardrums. Clyde Stubblefield claimed to not particularly like this song as a whole all that much, but these few seconds of solo drumming when he was given his shine have immortalised it - and him. 

[Jay Dee] Slum Village : Climax (Instrumental)

Easily one of my favourite Dilla beats, from the "Fantastic, Vol.2" album - a fantastic blend of samples and that clap on the two and four are perfectly crisp and clean.

Busta Rhymes : Genesis

Busta was one of those MCs who caught on to J Dilla relatively early and the two artists combined for some excellent tracks over the years. On "Genesis", Busta's fifth album, Dilla contributed this title track and "Make It Hurt", which sounds like it was done by a completely different producer, which just goes to show his versatility. 

Gang Starr : Mass Appeal

It just seemed to go well with the Busta record, and it's a great single, taken from the "Hard To Earn" LP. What you might not know about it is that DJ Premier essentially put the beat together as a bit of a mickey take! The track is supposed to sound like catchy elevator music, in keeping with the lyrical theme of rappers simplifying their material for a popular audience - but it just sounds so good! 

Souls of Mischief : 93 Til Infinity (Remix)

Do I prefer this to the original? Absolutely not - however, that doesn't mean it's not a quality track in its own right. If you listen carefully, you'll hear that it's an actual re-record, with the lyrics being very slighly different and the delivery also tweaked to better fit this alternative beat by A-Plus. The easiest place to find this is on the original 12" single, though it has been released by itself as well.

Masta Ace Incorporated : Saturday Night Live (L.A. Jay Remix)

Staying in '93 for a remix of a track from the "SlaughtaHouse" album - an LP notable for largely being a parody which a lot of people either took literally or assumed wasn't about them! This particular track has its own dark humour, showing about how live a Saturday night can actually get, and feaures Uneek, Eyce, and Lord Digga on the mic. L.A. Jay from the Pharcyde crew rocks the same sample heard on Gang Starr's "Jazz Music" for a beat that manages to surpass the album version!

Pete Rock : Dilla Bounce (R.I.P)

A fitting instrumental to include this month. Dilla came up idolising the work of Pete Rock, so it's poetic that after his passing (as in life), Pete pays respect to him in return. I feel that "Petestrumentals 2" may follow the same path as its predecessor - underrated on release, and retrospectively hailed as a classic.

Run The Jewels ft. Joi : Down

The "RTJ3" album came out on Christmas Day and ensured that we all got at least one present :) This was the opener and a worthy one - a look back at Killer Mike and El-P's pasts, and a look forward to where they plan to go. There's a kind of warmness to the beat which isn't a word I'd usually use to describe an El-P track, but it envelops your ears and draws you in to focus on the lyrics.

Ellis Meade : Kings & Queens

Ellis was kind enough to send me a copy of this a few months back and I finally found a good place to showcase it in a mix. The flow is crazy over a double-timed, almost southern-style Pro P beat. Another win for the Room 2 Records crew!

Chamillionaire : You Gotta Love Me

"Mayn, let the truth free". That shout-out to the then-incarcerated Pimp C firmly dates this one, a longtime headphone favourite for me finally making it onto the show! From the DJ Whoo Kid (hence the annoying adlibs) collaboration mixtape "The Truth", Cham focuses his anger on Mike Jones ("who?", you may now ask?) - that beef lasted for several years. I haven't been able to find out who produced this but that sped-up vocal sample is a serious earworm!

Don Jagwarr : The Cure

I've had this one hanging around for a long while, not sure it's everyone's speed but it fit tempo-wise into this selection and I think was a reasonable follow-up to the soul sample in the previous track. Don Jagwarr is almost certainly best known to most as the guest on Ice Cube's "Wicked", but he did have his old LP, "Faded", from which this track is drawn. The beat and hook are based around a replay of Diana Ross' "Love Hangover", which is a chilled backing for Jagwarr to spin his tale over.

Jake One : Oh Lord

We go back to the gospel-themed "#PrayerHandsEmoji" beat tape for this instrumental, a perfect warm-up for this month's closer...

Children of Zeus : Crown

An anthem already (wow, alliteration)! Tyler Daly goes straight rhymes alongside the always-ready Konny Kon over a no-drums track based around a stirring gospel sample; both MCs turn it out in fine style! Absolutely huge track from the "Two Syllables, Volume Thirteen" compilation and one that deserves as much shine as possible - on top of everything else, it also has one of the best videos I've seen in ages, so no excuse not to share and share again!


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_93.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:38pm EST

"...make you feel as if the Bill of Rights was counterfeit."

- Cuban Link

This month has just been hitting us over the head with "WTF?" moments on a daily basis, but in between I managed to put the show together - as you can tell, the finishing touches only made it in close to the end-of-month buzzer! While this is an all-Hip-Hop episode, I feel fairly confident that there won't be many people who know every track, so there'll be at least one new gem here for everyone. Let's run down this month's crate excavations...

Twitter: @airadam13


Playlist/Notes

Fat Joe ft. The Terror Squad : The Hidden Hand

It's bleak, but it's life. The whole Terror Squad weigh in on this cinematic cut (produced by Spunk Bigga) from the "Don Cartagena" album. Packed with cautionary tales, observations on the state of society, and ending with a touch of advice, this very much has the air of the person that's been through a lot trying to stop someone else going down the same road. In my opinion, this is a very much underrated deep album cut.

Oddisee : No Rules For Kings (Inst)

From the "The Beauty In All" album we get this lovely instrumental, heavy on the cymbals and drum fills.

3rd Bass : Gladiator

I've just realised that I've only played 3rd Bass once before on the podcast, so there are some great tracks in their small catalogue still for me to share with you. Here's one I think you probably won't know - their contribution to the soundtrack of the 1992 boxing-themed film "Gladiator". DJ Daddy Rich makes the beat boom, and whoever it is on the hook is battling me in the low voice stakes :)

J-Live : Worlds Apart

"The white man's burden still the brown man's backache"? That's just fire. The amount of clever, insightful quotes on this track is just unbelievable. It's well worth sitting and listening carefully to this one a few times - nothing but facts right here from J-Live on this Oddisee-produced piece from his "Around The Sun" album. 

Melanin 9 ft. Roc Marciano : White Russian

Melanin 9 is a UK MC who had somehow escaped my notice up to now but I stumbled upon this track with Long Island's street rhyme specialist Roc Marciano and knew I had to include it! The production by Anatomy channels the feel of the SP1200/S950 90s golden age; I love it, apart from the awkward 5-bar intro ;) Melanin and Roc go stream-of-consciousness in fine style on this one, taken from the "Magna Carta" LP.

Apollo Brown & Skyzoo ft. Joell Ortiz : A Couple Dollars

"The Easy Truth" was one of the picks of 2016 and the combination of Skyzoo, a real lyric fan's choice, and Apollo Brown's soulful production is a match made in Hip-Hop heaven. Adding Joell Ortiz to this story of the lure of money when you start off broke just takes the track over the top. The album is definitely worth checking!

Kappah : Supafly

Kappah from the Beatfonics crew flips some Curtis Mayfield inside out right here and adds some solid bass underneath for a highlight from the "Beatxploitation" beat tape. Heavy business as usual coming out of Italy.

Nas : Thief's Theme

A dark favourite, and an appropriate one as we see the dawn of a new kleptocracy! This was a great single from the "Street's Disciple" album - there might have been a radio mix, but you couldn't call this a radio record. Salaam Remi harnesses the "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" sample (as played by the Incredible Bongo Band) while Nas goes full crime rhyme for three verses - and on the hook, re-using some of his own famous lines from "The World Is Yours". The video for this one is well worth a watch too!

Camp Lo : A Piece Of The Action

The recently released "On The Way Uptown" is the demo album Camp Lo recorded that got them their record deal and paved the way for the classic "Uptown Saturday Night". Well worth picking up if you're a fan, as you can hear early versions of some tracks that made the official album as well as others that were borrowed from or reworked. There's also a scattering of "lost tracks", and what later became B-sides. This tune, I believe, has been out on white label but is a tough one to get so I was very happy to find it included. Geechi and Sonny Cheeba showcase their back-and-forth skills on a great foreshadowing of killer records to come, while Ski gives us some boom-bap drums over a cleverly-chopped, sneaky sampling of a jazz classic. Heavyweight.

Talib Kweli : Gutter Rainbows

I think the world "lush" would fit this one when it comes to the production! M-Phazes brings a dramatic 70s flair to the title track to Talib's 2011 album, and Talib sounds thoroughly amped to be on it. You've all seen a gutter rainbow in the literal sense - the colours formed when oil spills onto the street, and while Kweli does point to that in the lyrics he also gives a more poetic alternative definition.

Pete Rock ft. Little Brother and Joe Scudda : Bring Y'all Back

"...catch a fist and a elbow"...Richard Spencer, come on down! Three very dope verses from LB and Joe Scudda over a Pete Rock beat; I think Phonte's is my favourite, but you can't go wrong with any of the three. Check this one on Pete Rock's third producer-driven compilation, "NY's Finest".

[Context] Maylay Sparks : Legacy (Inst)

One of those random independent 12"s that makes a DJs vinyl collection individual, rather than just an "essential hits" compilation! Context of the Danish crew "Nobody Beats The Beats" provides a quintessentially early-2000s instrumental.

WC & The MAAD Circle : Ghetto Serenade

RIP DJ Crazy Toones. This is a beat I've always loved since I heard it on MTV back in the day, and as Toones had his hands in the production (alongside Sir Jinx and Chilly Chill), I thought this was a good time to play the track. This is played from the 12" single which is itself taken from the 1991 "Ain't A Damn Thang Changed" album. You may not find the story as told by WC to your taste, but you can't deny that funk!

Main Source : Atom

Taking it back to '89, we have one of the first recordings from the Main Source crew. This is the B-side of the "Think" single and for me, a perfect case of "B Side Wins Again"! The mixing and engineering was done by the legendary Paul C, who sadly would be killed before Main Source released their debut "Breaking Atoms" album; his influence lived on, and not just in the name of Large Professor's publishing company

Mega Ran & Storyville ft. Wise Intelligent : I Know Who I Am

It's been great over the last couple of years to see Mega Ran's profile climbing. He's an extremely talented artist and on the "Soul Veggies" album he reunited with long-time friend Storyville, who both took the mic and produced on the project. For this knowledge-packed track, it was only right that both of them connected with Wise Intelligent of the Poor Righteous Teachers; in fact, it was actually him who got on the DJ Seedless track first and then brought them in! The production is funky, jazzy, African...the whole pot, a perfect home for some excellent rhymes.

DJ Quik ft. Mausberg and James DeBarge : Change Da Game

The "Balance & Options" album from the legendary Compton DJ/MC is a must-own for me, with some absolute killers on it - this one being the opening, a statement of intent from Quik and the late Mausberg. The timing and dynamics on the rhythm part of the track gives it a certain bounce that is harder to duplicate than your average beatmaker might think, and as always with Quik, the musicianship is right there for you to appreciate.

[DJ Premier] Gang Starr : Skills (Instrumental)

You could do a mix of just DJ Premier instrumentals and it'd be a satisfying hour! This is from the 12", one of the four singles from "The Ownerz", the final Gang Starr album. Check the full version if you don't already know it - personally, I'm really missing that trademark Guru monotone style.

Heltah Skeltah ft. Starang Wondah & Doc Holiday : I Ain't Havin' That

I decided to finish the episode on a seriously energetic note, with this banging track getting a well-deserved outing. The Boot Camp crew rip the beat from A Tribe Called Quest's "Hot Sex" and you can almost hear them falling all over each other to get their rhymes in - the session in D&D Studios must have been insane! Topping it off with the Redman sample from "Pick It Up" just seals the deal. This is a 12" well worth having but you can also find the track on the "Magnum Force" 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_92.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST



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