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Air Adam Podcast

Mar 29, 2024

Home, street home.

"...just to show how many come to the funeral."

- Tee

There's some very serious Hip-Hop in this month's selection - from the rugged to the smooth, and from some old and even unreleased material to brand new releases! Of course we pay tribute to Biggie, Phife, and Nate Dogg, with some music that may have passed you by previously.

RIP Bo$$...I make a point of not repeating tracks on the podcast, but her classic single "Deeper" is in the mix on episode 37 if you fancy going back nearly twelve years into the archives. Her run may have been short, but the talent was there.

Oh yes - the Hieroglyphics gig in Manchester this June still has some tickets available!

Mastodon :

Twitch : @airadam13

Event/stream schedule :


The Notorious B.I.G and 2Pac : Where Brooklyn At? (Freestyle)

Starting off raw, but also very much a selection that makes you sad when you consider what was lost - first a friendship, then two lives. Biggie and 2Pac took the stage together in 1993 at Madison Square Garden for this memorable freestyle performance (with some of the lyrics later turning up on other tracks), and DJ Mister Cee had the presence of mind to record it to cassette. The sound quality might be rough, but it's history. RIP to Biggie and 2Pac.

[Oh No] Grand Agent : After

This track is a shockingly short fifty-two seconds long, so I had to loop it up here to give a long enough instrumental bed for the voiceover - and it's a shame because it's easily one of the best beat on the "Under The Circumstances" project that Oh No produced for Grand Agent back in 2005. This was another bit of wax that I rediscovered during The Great Digitisation, and I'm glad I did - for everyone who missed it the first time round, there's a very affordable digital release!

The Eastsidaz ft. Butch Cassidy, Nate Dogg, and Kokane : Cool

We start the first mix over on the West Coast, Long Beach to be precise, with The Eastsidaz, a group made up of Snoop, Big Tray Deee, and Goldie Loc, and essentially a reprise of a previous group The Eastsiders that had Snoop, Crooked I, and Li'l C-Style as members. While the original group only released one song officially, the later lineup is much better-known, and their second LP "Duces 'n Trayz: The Old Fashioned Way" is a well-regarded album for those who appreciate the style. The late great Nate Dogg blesses them with some vocals on the hook here, alongside the multi-talented but oft-overlooked Butch Cassidy who is actually the lead singer here, and another connoisseur's choice in Pomona's Kokane. The producer isn't one that you might immediately expect, but in fact Hi-Tek working with MCs who are spitting material far from the Reflection Eternal sphere! 

Tyler Daley : Never Look Down

The first of a run of three Manchester tracks, this is a brand new single from half of Children of Zeus, taken from his aptly-named "Son of Zeus" EP. Thematically this could have been part of Zeus' "Balance" album, with Tyler both rhyming and singing about the challenges and pressures of balancing family life and a music career, over the kind of modern soul production that is a crew trademark. Definitely get yourself a copy of this new release.

Berry Blacc, Dubbul O, & Jointhedots : The Rain

Possibly the most appropriately-named record that could come from Manchester, Jointhedots are back with their second release of the year, with longtime collaborators Dubbul O and Berry Blacc on the mic. The jazzy, chilled vibe of the instrumental is a trademark of the crew, and both MCs settle into it perfectly - not trying to dominate it, not running wild, just fitting in as two more instruments, lyrical ones of course. Grab this single and keep an eye out for future releases...🤞🏿

KinKai & Mecca:83 : Safe Don't Say

Short, but one where they leave us wanting more! A third straight local selection, this was on the mammoth "Manchester With Love" compilation that raised money after the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing. With over 200 tracks, it was easy for any individual track to slip under the radar, and somehow this gem did for me! Mecca:83 supplies a piano-led track with a little acoustic guitar in the back, and KinKai displays a preview of the quality he delivered on his debut LP three years later.

[DJ Quik] Suga Free : On My Way (Inst)

Playing instrumentals allows me to feature some songs which might be lyrically a bit...much - and plenty of Suga Free's material fits into that category! The vocal version is on his debut LP "Street Gospel", which is entirely produced by the man behind the boards here, Compton's own DJ Quik.

Math Hoffa : Comeback

Absolute fire - this was being trailed at the start of Math's "My Expert Opinion" podcast videos on Youtube before the full video surfaced. Still, as I said in the comments, I wasn't counting it as a release until the audio was out to stream or buy, and now it is! Wordplay and punchlines are the name of the game here, as the renowned battle rapper and podcast host starts off talking about his iced-out watch and takes it from there. GQ Beatz does a stellar job on production, taking a well-known Janet Jackson sample as the basis and filling out beautifully around it. I'm a huge fan of this single.

Paul Wall & Termanology ft. CL Smooth : It's Magic

The sound of this track is so chunky I wondered for a sec if Statik Selektah had sampled the Alex Isley cover version of Patrice Rushen's "Remind Me", but it's the original, expertly augmented. Taken from last year's "Start, Finish, Repeat" album, this may have been an autumn release but it's got summer anthem (for the heads) written all over it. CL Smooth is the perfect guest star, Paul Wall is spitting heavy too, and Termanology brings it home with his rapid-fire flow. Expect to hear this on my Twitch streams and mixes this year!

Large Professor : The LP (For My People)

Classic boom-bap - which was, with a different sentiment, the feeling of Geffen Records, who didn't know what to do with "The LP" when it was completed in 1996 as they felt it was too retro. Well, it's still getting play nowadays while many of the records they expected the Queens legend to ape have long since been forgotten. Bass is thick, drums are too, and it's just that straight-up 90s Hip-Hop. 

Phife ft. Dwele : God Send

While I could have played something from Tribe, I decided that the Phife tune this month would be something from his final solo LP, "Forever", which was released posthumously. Despite everything he was going through at the time, some of which he speaks of on the track, Phife is philosophical and even a touch optimistic, which says a lot about his spirit. Dwele provides some great added vocals, and the whole thing is undergirded by production from G Koop & Bobby Ozuna. RIP Mutty Ranks.

Ge-Ology : Q-Boro Bonus Break 1 (Inst)

Bonus is right - a cheeky extra beat on the 12" of Apani B-Fly Emcee's "Estragen" courtesy of Ge-Ology - a producer maybe not known to everyone, but peep this interview!

Defcee and BoatHouse ft. greenSLLIME : Close The Curtain

This has been getting an awful lot of headphone time for me this month, and I can already see it making my Spotify Wrapped come the end of the year. You need to pick up the Import Edition version of the "For All Debts Public And Private" album to get this - worth supporting as there a good number of extra tracks on top of what was already a very solid album. BoatHouse's dark beat is perfect for a weights workout, and both MCs go back and forth in classic duo fasion with skill, but the absolute highlight for me here is Defcee taking Jadakiss' famous boasts from "We Gonna Make It" and adding clever asides for an everyman, self-deprecating take! It's a really nice bit of borrowing that I like to think would make the man from The LOX smile if he hears it 🙂

Curren$y & Statik Selektah ft. Termanology : Gran Turismo

Statik and Termanology together again (as 1982), but this time supporting the New Orleans legend Curren$y on the title track from a very enjoyable, if short release from 2019. Laidback and kind of gentle, despite the solidity of the bassline and the crisp drums, it's less of a racing soundtrack and more of a sunset crusing accompaniment.

X-Ecutioners ft. Anikke and Taboo : The Turntablist Anthem

You might have missed this one, which was a smooth track from the 1997 "X-Pressions" LP. The album wasn't what I was expecting from this legendary turntablist crew, being much more expansive - with scratch tracks and routines rubbing shoulders with spoken word, straight instrumentals, and tracks like this one! With the hook inspired by "Hey DJ" by The World's Famous Supreme Team, this has an unusual structure - on top of the beat you have mostly scratching courtesy of Rob Swift, the hook coming in periodically, and then a single rhymed verse to close out. The album might not have been a big seller, but is definitely worth your time for a listen.

Terrace Martin ft. Arin Ray & Smino : This Morning

I wasn't aware of Arin Ray or Smino (MC on the second verse) until I heard this, likely as a lot of R&B and the like passes me by, but together with Terrace Martin they're a fire combination! This was on the 2021 "Drones" album and it's a sonic treat - those rolling drums, deep sub-bass lurking, and plenty of keys courtesy of Mr Martin put the pressure on the vocalists to come correct, and thy do.

The Alchemist : Break The Bank

A steady, melancholy beat that almost sounds like time counting down. Who'd have thought that half of The Whooliganz would eventually master this kind of vibe? This instrumental is on the "Rapper's Best Friend 3" compilation, but you can hear it with lyrics thanks to Schoolboy Q, on the ten year-old (already?) LP "Oxymoron".

Ice Cube ft. Deadly Threat, J Dee, Kam, King Tee, and The Maad Circle : Color Blind

Wow. I was maybe fifteen when I first heard this towards the end of Ice Cube's "Death Certificate" album, and this collection of testimonies to the realities of Los Angeles' gang violence hits me even harder all these years later. The production draws you in without demanding the spotlight, which is rightly on the MCs. Every single verse has at least one starkly memorable line, even the closing two half-length verses by King Tee and J-Dee. I wanted to play this one in full, with nothing following it, so that you can take it all in in its entirety and hear every single bar clearly. A masterpiece, in my humble opinion.

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!