Sep 28, 2023
"Do you wanna be dope, or do you wanna deal it?"
All Hip-Hop at a nice steady pace - but a varied platter of vibes - for this episode, as I celebrate my birth month!
Great personal news : I'm very proud to be included in the new "Hidden Histories : Black in Manchester" resource by Parise Carmichael-Murphy - have a read!
Twitter : @airadam13
Twitch : @airadam13
Meyhem Lauren & DJ Muggs : GT3
From the car-themed "Members Only" 2019 collaboration between Meyhem and Cypress Hill DJ/producer DJ Muggs, this track integrates the sound of some very angry engines as an additional instrument/element of what is otherwise an extremely sparse bit of production - drums and bass only. Meyhem is laid-back and comfortable at this pace, crafting a track that even those of us without a Porsche on the driveway can appreciate - well, as long as our speakers or headphones deliver the goods!
[RZA] Raekwon : Can It All Be So Simple (Remix Instrumental)
You might detect a little sonic garbling where I was using Serato's "stems" feature to try and remove the vocal samples in the hook, but other than that here's the glorious sound of a hard-to-come-by RZA instrumental of a track from the monumental "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..." LP. Rae, Ghost, and RZA took their track from the Wu-Tang debut LP which was already a classic and subtly made it a little darker, a touch rougher and a little less nostalgic. A masterful remix and rewrite.
Roc Marciano : Ridin' Around
A very different kind of rider music to the opening track, but still with an ominous bassline which helps carry the vintage crime vibes perfectly. This is a deep cut from Roc Marciano's seminal solo debut "Marcberg" album, with his gangster wordplay on full display atop a track with more drum action than on much of his later work.
Showbiz & AG : Trapped
This is one of those records which, despite being by a highly respected group, has likely slipped under your radar. The DITC production legend Showbiz is here under his original name (you can find much of his other work credited as simply "Show") alongside his day one MC AG on this late-night creep number from the 2012 "Mugshot Music" album.
Planet Asia ft. Prodigy : Stick & Move
If you love your dark, underground NYC Hip-Hop, you might have heard this sample used elsewhere, but for the current episode this is the slow, menacing, bi-coastal track that gets the nod. Fresno and Queensbridge in combination as Planet Asia and Prodigy (RIP) go back and forth over an Evidence beat on this 2005 release. Not even a hint of going for the pop audience here, just gutter from start to end. Got to respect it.
Mud Family : Itchy Town
I've been holding onto this one for absolutely years! I first heard this on a "Radio Zero" show courtesy of Dave The Ruf, and it's a dark, brooding piece of UK boom-bap from this highly-regarded north London crew. Centred around the MCs Chester P, Skinnyman, and Mongo, they released their core work in the late 90s and early 00s, with this absolute beast being on their very first wax release, 1997s "The Mud Files, Vol. 1". Production on the EP as a whole is credited to Deckwrecka, Firebomb Fritz, and Mad Money Wah - not sure who did what on this cut, but I applaud them for cooking up a track that still bangs after over twenty-five years!
DJ Premier : Dee Ell P
It's been over a decade since DJ Premier gave us a "Beats That Collected Dust" collection, but there's a good reason for that...as he correctly points out, the beats that end up included have to be given time to collect that dust! With that said, the third edition is out now, and is a good digital pickup while the (likely pricey) vinyl works it's way through distribution to the shops. As for the title of this selection from the new release, I haven't deciphered it yet. "The LP"? Was it a track meant for Large Professor, perhaps? Probably overthinking it - just enjoy the master of the MPC 60 going back into his vaults.
Mabanua ft. Kev Brown : Holdin' It Down
I had completely missed this but was introduced to it by none other than Kev Brown himself when he played it on one of his "Beats 'n' Stuff" shows on Twitch! While he drops plenty of unreleased material, he'll throw in overlooked gems from his discography like this one, a collaboration with Japanese beatmaker Mabanua. Given that Kev is on the mic all the way through, I can only assume that Mabanua did the production here - even though it has that Kev Brown feel in spades!
De La Soul ft. Common : The Bizness
An old classic from some of the greats. If you don't already have De La Soul's "Stakes Is High" album, you can now easily buy digitally or stream it, so get on that! This track has, apart from one regrettable homophobic reference from Common which the label partly censored, bars upon bars of heat on a self-produced track that you can't help but nod your head to. I can also think of at least three Hip-Hop tracks that sampled/scratched lines from this one, which is a sure sign of a piece of work that has your peers paying attention!
Blu & Exile : Berries and Juices
You can't help but bop to this, Exile's beat has an undeniable bounce and while Blu does say "beat so sweet that I ain't even gotta do s--t", he unquestionably lifts it to that next level with a couple of chilled verses. Bonus points for the "Coming To America" reference 🙂 Take heed to the title of the album this is drawn from - "Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them" - and apply that sentiment to not only this duo but all the artists you enjoy!
pH7 ft. Access Immortal and DJ Roger Rekless : New York
A long-lost track that only resurfaced for me during the Great Digitisation of 2020-2023! A trans-Atlantic collaboration with German artists pH7 (Cologne) and DJ Roger Rekless (Munich) coming together with Bed-Stuy MC Access Immortal for a jazzy number with solid boom-bap underpinnings, tight cuts, and an overall clean and refreshing sound. You can find this on the somewhat obscure "Blazing Heat" EP,
Ilajide : Ayerloom
Taking it back (ok, not that far back) to 2015 for a beat from "Latex", the first solo LP by one of my favourites, Ilajide of Clear Soul Forces. That drum beat could have come from an 80s Hip-Hop classic, as could the rest of the sounds on the track - and yet, as a whole it doesn't seem of that era. This Detroit beatsmith isn't afraid to go after a certain sonic hardness that other producers might shy away from in the modern era, and it's that banging aggression that helps set him apart.
Kuartz : Glitch In The Ghost
Local beat legend Kuartz released his new LP "Hybrid Dialects" this month, and it's a collection of bassy, techy, angular production that is well worth spending your hard-earned cash on! This was the first track I heard from it, which he debuted earlier in the year at Manchester's WORKINONIT beatmakers event - it was so raw that I had to ask him for an advance copy 😁 I've played it on Twitch a couple of times but now here it is as a taster for the album.
Grand Agent ft. Liv L'Raynge : Ooh-La-Lah
I hadn't heard this for absolutely ages until pulling it out earlier this month, which is a sign that no-one I've been listening to has been playing it either! Grand Agent collaborated with Oxnard production wizard Oh No on the "Under The Circumstances" LP which this track is drawn from, and the album has the husky-voiced MC Liv L'Raynge as the featured guest - with this track being her standout performance. She burns it down on the opening verse over Oh No's heavy beat, and really steals the whole show to be honest!
Coyote ft. Shaquille O'Neal : 3 Lokos
I first heard an excerpt of this on Instagram - not sure it was on Shaq's page, but either way it sent me to go ahead and find the full version of this new single! Coyote is the pairing of Ladies Love Guapo and Ricky Blanco, neither of whom I know already but they both spit rugged on this track, which they produced alongside Brian Lee and on which they were specifically going for a hardcore 90s feel. I know, I know...you want to know about Shaq. Well...he kills his verse. The doctorate-holding four-time NBA champion has been recording since 1993's guest appearance on "What's Up Doc?" by the Fu-Schnickens and his "Shaq Diesel" LP, and despite a long break he comes out spitting with that hunger!
K-Otix : World Renown
Classic underground Hip-Hop right here from 2000, and now available along with the rest of the "Universal" LP on Bandcamp, so no reason not to put some dough in the artists' pockets! You might hear this record and think NYC, but nope - this is a Houston record! It might have been releaed on Bronx Science record, but the skills are all Texas-raised. The incredibly memorable beat comes from the man known as The ARE, who has also done some amazing work outside the crew, and Damien and Micah take the vocal reins. Big record.
DJ Spinna : Surely (Instrumental)
As we move with the wind-down, here's a beautiful track from the studio of DJ Spinna, taken from the instrumental release of his solo debut on BBE, "Here To There". With Ovasoul7's vocals gone, the guitar of the late UK jazz guitar legend Ronny Jordan and the programming work of DJ Spinna get to take centre stage, giving the track a different dimension.
Method Man ft. Ghostface Killah : Afterparty
An appropriate record to end the show with! A dope sing-songy exchange between Meth and Ghost starts the track off, and the melodic approach pops up throughout the track in between straight up bars over a smooth beat from a producer credited simply as "Q", but better known to most as Qur'an from Da Youngstas (sorry, can't bring myself to put the incorrect apostrophe in!) Still my favourite track on "Tical 0 : The Prequel", just as it was on first listen.
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!