Jun 30, 2010
"If I die, my seed'll be ill like me..."
First birthday, yay! It's encouraging to look back on the back catalogue of episodes and see all the tracks I've been putting people up on...every time someone tells me they've chased up some stuff based on something from the podcast it's a great feeling.
I started this month in New York - fantastic trip, so many memories I'll carry with me. Shout outs to Pami, Jerry Beeks, Black Robb, Selina, everyone at Tools Of War, David, and both Crumbs Bakery and the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory for causing me to owe a lot of pull-ups and rowing machine time...
Mantronix : Needle To The Groove
An 80s classic given to me by the man Jerry Beeks on wax, so only right that I open up this month's show with it! Serious vocoder-type action on the outro, so just had to play the whole thing :o)
Brand Nubian : Don't Let It Go To Your Head (Remix Instrumental)
Not a typical Brand Nubian track but certainly sounds like the Neptunes production it is - never heard this outside my house, I don't know if that's because no-one knows it or everyone else hates it?
Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz : Deja Vu (Uptown Baby) (Pro-Black Mix)
Not a well-known remix - I've lost the info sheet I had with the record but I've heard Ayatollah produced this one; I like it just as much as the original, but in a different way. Trivia: I heard that Steely Dan took 100% of the publishing on the original for the uncleared "Black Cow" sample - once it blew up. One note though; "N****s in the Bronx call me Lex, 'cos I push a Lex, and I rock a Rolex, and I lounge on Lex', and I love sex?" No they don't. I bet if Peter Gunz dropped his wallet walking down the street, and someone picked it up and shouted after him "Hey Lex!" that he wouldn't turn round :o)
Gang Starr : The Place Where We Dwell
So many Brooklyn tunes I could have gone for (Biggie and Jay-Z's "Brooklyn's Finest" sprang to mind) but I settled on this short and sweet dedication to the borough from one of Hip-Hop's greatest duos; it was good enough to be sampled on "Crooklyn," so who am I to rate anything above it?
Onyx : Shiftee
The funniest thing I heard about these guys when they came out was from a Hip-Hop Connection reviewer who said their voices sounds like they had been "gargling with peanut butter!" The "Bacdafucup" album is definitely worth searching out for a listen if you don't know it and aren't easily offended, but it certainly won't get any play on Smooth FM...
Wu-Tang Clan : 7th Chamber Part II
Monster track at the end of the first Wu-Tang album - loved this from the first listen, RZA with the vicious bassline going through the ASR-10 Van Der Pol filter and guitar amp, the dirty drums...perfect base for the Wu MCs to get busy. They don't make 'em like this anymore...well, at least not with rhyming and the drums in time!
Cocoa Brovaz ft. Tony Touch & Hurricane G : Spanish Harlem
Low-key headnodder from the period when Smif-n-Wessun had to change their name due to a trademark complaint from Smith & Wesson. To be fair, I wouldn't want any legal trouble with a gun company myself... Hurricane G always seemed to be shouted out loads by EPMD but was rarely heard, and Tony Touch does some moonlighting here from his usual DJing and sounds better than 90% of the rappers I see on TV right now!
DJ Cam : Voodoo Child (Instrumental)
Non Phixion ft. DV Alias Khrist : 5 Boros (Remix)
That's DV Alias Khrist on two straight episodes now. Best name in Hip-Hop perhaps? The funniest thing about it is that I've never heard anyone call him just "DV" or "Khrist" - you have to say the whole thing :o) Anyway, I'm getting distracted - love this tune, the pianos make it sound grand, drums are banging, the vocal sample is appropriately dark and while the verses are very decent, I can't get enough of that hook!
Mega Banton : Sound Boy Killing (Smoothed Out Remix/Original Dancehall Mix)
One of those tracks from the 90s when it looked like dancehall was trying to stage an invasion into the US - didn't blow up huge but it was good to see some impact, and back then I loved the combination of dancehall vocals with Hip-Hop beats. Thank you Salaam Remi for the remix, but I just had to sneak a little of the original in there too.
Al Johnson & Jean Carn : Back For More
1980 track, but not an overpowering synth anywhere in earshot. Classy soul number, a really nice duet - someone must have sampled that intro, it's crying out for it!
Mary J. Blige : Be Happy
Even back in the day when I had little time for R&B, this track just could not be denied - 1994 soul flavour here from the Yonkers legend, with a Curtis Mayfield sample just riding nicely underneath. Hotness.
GZA : Fame (Instrumental)
Not 100% sure who produced this - for some reason the vinyl of the single I have doesn't have any credits on it at all! Anyone know?
Nicholas R. Flawless ft. Camp Lo : Cheetah
This seems to never have had an official release, and I've seen different credits in different places for it - the vinyl has this as strictly a Camp Lo track but I think that's wrong. Anyway, I paid some horrible amount to get this on wax, and the sound quality isn't the greatest but that's always the chance you take with unofficial pressings - I think the track shines through all that though!
Braintax : Rational Geographics
Regardless of where he's based now, I always like to let it be known that Braintax started in Leeds! This is taken from "The Travel Show" EP, from the solo incarnation of Braintax, after the departure of DJ T.E.S.T, and a record which has been sitting undisturbed in my collection too long! A nice airy tune longing for a simpler, freer lifestyle, and maybe a bit of sun!
Pete Rock & CL Smooth : Sun Won't Come Out
...better not come here then! As an aside, this track gives us the second mention of Castro on the podcast, purely by accident! Hard-drummed, big-bassed trunk rattler from Pete Rock with CL Smooth doing what he does best - rhyming on a Pete Rock beat. Sadly, we've probably had as much of that as we're going to get...do yourself a favour and run to buy "Mecca & The Soul Brother" and "The Main Ingredient" if you don't already have them - thank me later.
K-Def : The Magnum
One of the great underrated (if not completely unmentioned) producers/beatmakers, K-Def was half of Real Live and has done tracks for the likes of Ghostface/Theodore Unit ("Paychecks," biiiig!), Lords Of The Underground, ODB, and more. This is taken from an instrumental-only release, "Beats From The 90s Vol.2" - one for the Hip-Hop DJs to own!
Donnie : People Person
Amazing modern soul - the production/instrumentation works well with a singer who's got a fantastic voice, great lyrics, and doesn't fit the MTV mould. Thank goodness for that!
Please support the artists if you hear anything on here you like! Check stuff out on Spotify, and of course do buy the vinyl/CD/downloads, and go to see live performances whenever you can!