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Air Adam Podcast

May 31, 2024

Couldn't decide to go with a music or basketball theme on the cover art...the title goes both ways!

"Slashed all four tyres on the bandwagon..."

- Pos

The end of the fourteenth year of the show is here, with the numerically-satisfying number 180! It's been a good month for shows, with a highlight being seeing Edo G live for the first time, so I've included a couple of his tracks alongside some recent releases, a rarity or two, and some bonafide old classics. The show is a touch longer than usual, running a little over an hour, but hopefully it still flies by for you!

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Edo G, DJ Yoda, and Brad Baloo : Talk About It

Coming off the back of seeing a great performance by Edo G and DJ Yoda at The Hip-Hop Chip Shop in Manchester this month, I thought we'd start the episode with a smooth selection from their new "Hometown Heroes" EP. Edo G is in his grown man rap bag on a Brad Baloo beat, with Yoda on the cut - and if the record he's cutting is what I think it is, then that's an A1 selection.

Visoneers : Swahililand

I finally got round to digitising the "Hipology" 7" box set, a 2012 release by Marc Mac's Visioneers project that features tributes to the Hip-Hop side of his influences, and notably contains several cover versions of famously-sampled tracks, of which this is one. This is a beautiful version of a track originally by the late great jazz pianist and composed Ahmad Jamal, which eventually breaks out into the part most people will recognise - the mighty chords sampled from the Jamal version by J Dilla for De La Soul's "Stakes Is High".

DJ Spinna ft. Dynas : More

Grab the "Sonic Smash" album by Spinna if you see it - it's no longer on streaming services and with it also not being available on Bandcamp, picking up a physical copy is the only way to secure yourself a copy of this really high-quality album. In the meantime, take this slice, with Spinna coming with his trademark synth bass as the centre of the instrumental, and Miami's Dynas, a longtime collaborator, spitting a positive message on the mic.

Buscrates ft. Soraya Watti : On My Way

It was great to hear Buscrates play this track during a DJ set on Twitch recently while Soraya Watti was actually in the chat - the love she was getting was beautiful. This warm, bassy, soulful cut is the closer on last year's "Control Center" LP, a triumph from the Pittsburgh synth maestro.

Curren$y ft. Freddie Gibbs : Stash House

Eighties vibes here on the production, with 808-Ray going vaporwave style on the main sample and then adding his drum track to it. Curren$y fills this lane extremely well, as he uses his trademark relaxed flow to liken the dope stuff being exported out of his studio to...well, actual dope...while guest Freddie Gibbs just jumps straight out of the analogies and into the street for real. This is from the "Andretti 12/30", which was one of twelve (!) monthly releases Curren$y did back in 2016 - he might sound relaxed enough to be able to fall off the floor, but he's one of the most prolific MCs of his generation.

Fat Pat : Tops Drop

RIP Fat Pat, the creator of a true Southern classic that just overflows with good vibes! J Slash on production brings in the bassline groove from an 80s soul classic on this track from Pat's debut "Ghetto Dreams", and the lyrics are just about the joys of stunting in a nice convertible. This still gets plenty of play to this day on its home turf, and the youngsters at University of Houston basketball games hear it as the team's theme music - even though it was released before they were born!

Ilajide : Number One

The exact flavour of banging beat we've come to expect from Detroit's Ilajide, with the drums smacking, the main sample stuttering and the bass coming in strong to undergird it all. I might need to go and find/buy the original sample, which plays for a few seconds quietly at the very end, but you can find this track and some other excellent work on the "3" album.

Declaime : Exclaim The Name

A track with a bump so urgent it almost feels like it's tripping over itself (courtesy of Kankick), this is quality turn of the century underground business out of Oxnard, California from the  2001 "Andsoitisaid" LP. Declaime is perhaps better known to many as Dudley Perkins - especially if you follow the Stones Throw label - and while he can sing, don't get confused and think his bars aren't tough.

Semi Six : 24K Rap

One thing about a Semi Six record is that you rarely get a long and clear intro, which might not be ideal for us DJs but shows how eager he is to get on and demolish the track! It's fitting that he mentions Raekwon here, as the track draws its title from a track that Rae and Havoc did with J Dilla that came out on the 2009 posthumous LP "Jay Stay Paid". AntBell! produces this new single, while Semi delivers, as promised, the golden era rhymes he mentions in the hook.

Edo G ft. Krumb Snatcha and Jaysaun : Stop Dat

Pure Boston on the mic here, with the message from all the MCs being an emphatic recommendation to stay true to yourself rather than putting out a false image - one that at best is an embarrassment, and at worst a safety risk. Pete Rock's beat smacks without overly dominating, leaving space for you to understand every single word. The place to find this is the "My Own Worst Enemy" album, which has been re-released digitally in recent years with the instrumentals for every track bundled in, making it a true Hip-Hop DJ jewel.

De La Soul : Big Mouf

A bit of an obscurity for you! "Are You In?: Nike+ Original Run" was a collaboration between De La and Nike (yes, the shoe company) that was intended to be part of a series of albums as soundtracks for runners. The whole thing is a largely continuous mix, and has some really good tracks that even dedicated De La fans might not know! This particular track is a heavy Dave West production with an incredibly long intro before the lyrics properly kick in - that isn't me cutting it back and forth or extending it, the original sounds like that. You might struggle to find this one - I don't think it's on any of the streaming services or download stores, and the 2009 vinyl that I got at the time only pops up for sale occasionally.

DJ Nu-Mark ft. Full Crate : Pass The Courvoisier

Another cover version, this time of a Pharrell-produced Busta Rhymes club banger, which was a highlight of the 2021 "Run For Cover" album - a full version excursion from a DJ known best as part of Jurassic 5. Nu-Mark links up with Full Crate, a producer from Armenia via the Netherlands, for a horn-laden track that could almost make you believe that it's an old original that the Busta record was reworking!

James Brown : Don't Tell A Lie About Me And I Won't Tell The Truth On You

Topical 😆 A slice of funk from "Hell", The Godfather's thirty-eighth studio album, released back in 1974. You may well recognise this title as it was borrowed almost word-for-word for a recent lyric!

[Easy Mo Bee] Termanology : It's Time

This is the tasty, but extremely short, beat that opens up Term's "Politics As Usual" LP, produced by the great Easy Mo Bee. I'd almost forgotten about it, but it provides a nice bridge into the next cut...

Portishead : Strangers

There's not much I can say about the brilliant Portishead debut album "Dummy" that hasn't been said by full-time writers, so just take it from me - it's a must-listen. Beth Gibbons' voice is processed here as though it's coming from a recording decades older, and the union of that and that heavy production was highly innovative at the time. 

Chalk : Stay With Me

This month we were treated to a new release by Manchester artist Chalk that has been four years in the making, a real labour of love. His new LP "Death Knocks And He Shall Die" is a film noir-influenced instrumental album, a soundtrack to a film that doesn't exist - think of a darker, more vintage take on Prince Paul's "A Prince Among Thieves" without any MCs. It's best appreciated over the full length of its sixteen tracks, but this is a nice sample of what you can expect. When I played this track on a recent Twitch stream, at least a couple of people immediately said that it reminded them of DJ Shadow's "Endtroducing" - high praise indeed.

Planet Asia : Place Of Birth

I can't remember where I first heard this, but it was probably an underground mixtape somewhere, and it reminds me of the kind of thing I often used to end up buying when I was supposed to be shopping for tracks for a club night! Planet Asia is a veteran MC out of Fresno, California, and this 1999 single was a fine one as just the second release in his career. He gets a big assist here from two-thirds of Cali compatriots Dilated Peoples - Evidence's beat is dark and fairly sparse, with Babu's cuts adding extra texture in the hooks, intro, and outro.

Evil Needle ft. Venuz Beats : Dive

Evil Needle is becoming a favorite instrumental producer of mine, and together with Venuz Beats he brings us a heavy-bottomed yet floaty head-nodder which you can find on the "Sound Escapes" EP - well worth picking up just for this one.

UGK : Ridin' Dirty

Finishing up with another Southern classic, another car themed track, but a world away from the celebratory air of "Tops Drop". As funky and mellow as the late Pimp C's production is, this is lyrically dark and paranoid - but as a wise man once said, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. The "they" in this case are the police and their informants, the natural enemies of anyone riding in a car carrying something that they legally shouldn't be... This is the title track from UGK's third LP, and a perfect example of what Pimp C's stepfather meant when advised his son to "put some music into" his Hip-Hop - the multi-instrumentalist was a master at bringing that live feel to his work in a way that ensures it hasn't dated a day.

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!