Aug 31, 2011
"...the optimum oxygen intake..."
(shout to DRS for the episode title!)
Crazy month, what with an outbreak of rioting in several UK cities, and in the US (at the time of writing) an earthquake and a tropical storm in roughly the same areas within about a week!
As I say in one of the links, I'm now on Twitter, just feeling out if it's something I need to stay with or not - follow me at airadam13, let's get some chatter going! But what are we going to talk about? Well, I reckon we should start with the tracks below...
Random Axe : Black Ops
Wais P : Pimp Ops
The eponymous Random Axe (Sean Price, Guilty Simpson, Black Milk) album was definitely one of the most anticipated releases of the year by the real heads, and it didn't disappoint - it wasn't overly long, but what you got was rawness. With any luck, there'll be more in the future - I think the combination works really well! Right here is probably the only time I'll play a track featuring Sean P but not include his verse - I just give you Guilty's verse on the original before switching into the second verse from Wais P's version from the "Random Pimp" mini-mixtape (so there's still some P in there...) Wais P was previously in a Roc-A-Fella-affiliated group called The Ranjahz but he's back now as a solo artist on the pimp tip and is definitely coming up and making some noise - keep a lookout! (even though he should have called his track "Mack Ops!")
Capone-N-Noreaga : Stay Tuned (Instrumental)
I love this beat, always have done since this album ("The War Report") first came out - I always thought it was a waste they just used it for an interlude instead of rhyming over it. Charlemagne, who did a lot of good stuff for Natural Elements, is on the boards for this one - props.
Roc Marciano w/ The Alchemist & Oh No : Jet Luggage
This is the kind of track to make you pull your collar up and your hat down! Not sure which of the three took the reigns on production here, but my betting is on The Alchemist - he's usually good for the 70s kind of feel. That crazy sound on the left took a few seconds to grow on me but then I saw the genius - wouldn't have been the same at all without it! This is taken from the excellent "Greneberg" EP; if you don't already know, Roc Marciano's album from this year was "Marcberg" and Oh No and Alchemist came together for an album as "Gangrene." All three of them get on the mic here and do the track justice!
Royal Flush ft. Khadeija Bass : Can't Help It (Remix)
I actually prefer the original but this is a version which will be new for more people, and it fits better in this slot too. Only available on the 12" of "Can't Help It" which I found by accident, didn't even realise that it had been released as a single. "Ghetto Millionaire" definitely had some gems on it, well worth having for some quality mid-90s vibes!
Simtraks ft. Kaze, Pierce Freelon & King Mez : Black Fantastic
I was searching for Camp Lo videos on Youtube and found a tune I'd never heard before called "Eternity Window" produced by someone called Simtraks. I liked it so followed the Bandcamp link in the video description and found his "Sputnik Sweetheart" album available for free download - definitely worth hearing! Not everything is up my street but there are some really good tunes on there, of which this is one, and "Eternity Window" is another. The MCs do their thing on here over the Stevie Wonder "You Will Know" sample (it's ok, Simtraks already revealed the sample!), and the producer wisely doesn't mess too much with a good loop!
Strategy : The Bleep Test
Now this is how you take a concept and execute! Broke 'n' English are definitely Manchester's best known Hip-Hop crew and have been putting it down for years as individuals and as a group. Fresh off the opening of their new studio space, frontman Strategy felt the creative fire and knocked out the smoking "Pre-Season Training" mixtape for free download and it's been blowing up all over the city and further afield. As good as this track is, it's probably not even my favourite on there (that would be "Kill 'Em") but this is one I really wanted to share - even though it brings back bad memories of high school PE lessons ;o) If this is anything to go by the upcoming Broke 'n' English album "Life On The Costa Del Salford" will be a classic!
Fakts One : One Time For Des
I plead innocence to the distortion - it's in the original beat :o) This is the kind of track that wants to bust out of the speakers and kick your TV in! This is the third track in a row to come from a freely-downloadable project - this time, it's "The Chop Shop" where Boston's Fakts One (of The Perceptionists) shows you how he gets down, generously sharing some quality material. If you're not already on the way to download it, fix that now :o)
Kid Capri w/ Cocoa Brovaz & Buckshot : Follow Me
Nothing fancy, just a good head-nodding tune! This is from Kid Capri's "Soundtrack To The Streets" compilation - not the most esoteric album title, granted, but sets his stall out clearly! Boot Camp combination on the mic bring the Brooklyn flavour to the vocal
Encore : Too Easy (Layover Outro)
I've had the album this is on ("Layover") for ages but don't know most of the tracks that well; I pulled this out while looking for some stuff new to me to include and it may just persuade me to give this LP another chance! Encore's from the Bay Area and has a lot of good co-signs on his LP, from Souls Of Mischief and Ladybug Mecca on the mic to Jake One on the beats - this beat though comes from Vitamin D, blending nicely with the previous track but having more of a jumpy, slightly unpredictable feel to it.
Mother Superia : Most Of All
Have you got this one? Now now, don't cry, it's ok. Seriously though, heard this on Westwood years ago when it came out, loved it but then heard it nowhere else - or any more from the artist for that matter! This turned up during a London digging mission, and seeing the credits confirmed that this is a Reggie Noble (Redman) production - I think it's definitely got his kind of sound. I could hear him ripping this but make no mistake - Mother Superia definitely comes off on the mic here. A bit of web searching reveals that she's from Miami (I'd assumed she was from Jersey) and is now known as Savana...still not heard any of her new stuff though!
D.I.T.C : Way Of Life
Some barely pre-millennial heat on this 12". This was a pretty big single on the scene if not for the wider public, so all the listeners who are heavily into their Hip-Hop will likely know this - for everyone else, hopefully it gives you the same kind of bounce! Show is on the beat, taking a sample that's been used before but tweaking it just right to bump the track along, and Fat Joe and the late Big L do their think mic-wise. I don't think it's unfair to say that Big L is definitely the star on this one!
[K-Murdock] & Mega Ran : Epoch (Instrumental)
Maryland definitely has some very serious beatmakers - a couple of episodes back I played some Kev Brown, and here you have another crazy talented producer, K-Murdock of Panacea & Neosonic. Is it something about the K? Anyway, I digress - this big, booming beat comes from the "Forever Famicom DLC" instrumental album of the "Forever Famicom" collaboration with Mega Ran, all based around Nintendo. If you play more games than me, you might recognise the sounds, but even if you don't, recognise the quality!
A.G. & Aloe Blacc : Hip-Hop Quotable
Dirty electronic business right here from A.G's "Get Dirty Radio" album. This Dilla beat was floating around for ages; I saw it labelled "Electronic Hum" on a beat tape, and it was later on "Jay Stay Paid" as "caDILLAc," but to me this track is the definitive appearance. Somehow when this was released on 12", it managed to be the B-side to "Frozen" - don't get me wrong, that's a dope track, but it's not seeing this. Anyone who has even half a Hip-Hop collection will find the lyrics to this one kind of familiar...hence the title. I actually remember a mate called Justin in high school who had this idea - he was going to call it "The Copy!"
Random (aka Mega Ran) : Shadowman
You only got an instrumental a couple of tracks up, but here you get to hear Mega Ran go in hard on the mic and on the boards too - Philly stand up! This killer tune comes from the "Mega Ran v1.3" album, which famously was all based around the Mega Man series of games - this track may be the least directly connected in terms of lyrics, but it's probably my favourite - getting all kinds of rewinds this month!
Ghostface Killah ft. Raekwon & Masta Killa : Black Jesus
Leading off the D-side of Ghost's "Ironman" album (which is probably still my favourite, and which everyone should own), RZA takes some sword-and-sandal-sounding sample and turns it into a basis for the two slangiest Wu members to batter the mic into submission alongside Masta Killa, whose unmistakable vocals close out proceedings. It took me a while to appreciate this track, but it's definitely one of the top cuts on what is definitely a classic album.
Tribeca, Masta Ace, Mr Complex & Lord Tariq : Get Large
The first time I heard this as an extra track on a Tribeca 12" I thought this track was brilliant, and I still do - it's just gor triumph all over it! The producers are two guys I've honestly never heard of - LeDamus and SLA - but they cook up a storming instrumental here and the MCs have to put in some serious work to balance out the largeness! I thought this was Tribeca's record with everyone guesting but I've since found it on this 12" and it looks like a producer-led project under the banner of Get Large Productions. Anyway, it's amazing what can be achieved when no-one cares who gets star billing :o) Winner.
Daft Punk : End Of Line (Photek Remix)
Truth be told, I'd never been a Daft Punk fan at all, but I made a rare trip to the cinema to see Tron : Legacy and was definitely impressed with their soundtrack. Turns out I wasn't the only one, and not only was the original soundtrack really popular but it also spawned a remix project, with all sorts of electronic artists getting in on the act. If this is at all your kind of thing, or if you're into the glitchy kind of sound, then it's one you should look to pick up.
Roughneck Jrs : Sound Of The Phuture
Included as an insert on the 1993 Breaking The Illusion "Lose Your Illusion" EP, I'm playing this as a tribute to Gavin, one of the MCs on the track who sadly died this month. None of the MCs were any older than 16 on this, and this was at a time when it wasn't common for young guys to really be doing stuff - there wasn't the access to technology etc that there is nowadays. RIP Gavin, just putting this energy out to spread a little further.
UGK : One Day
Opening track from the 1996 "Ridin' Dirty" LP; thought this would be a good one to play as a closer and a further tribute. The exact lyrics in the verses don't necessarily relate to this situation, but the sentiment and the feel I think are universal. UGK are from the town of Port Arthur, Texas and were made up of the late Pimp C and Bun B; these guys really did put their town on the map and turned out quality Hip-Hop for years before the rest of the country - or the world - took much notice. It took a long time for them to get their props, but it happened in the end. As it happens, just this year, August 30th was declared Bun B Day in Houston; an incredible honour, though I'm sure Bun would have loved his man to still be around to make it UGK Day.
If you do hear anything you especially like then do get in touch and let me know, and please support the artists - find more output of theirs on Spotify to get a feel for it, go to live shows if you can (that's where they really get paid) and buy the stuff you like the most!