Aug 31, 2019
"...we see people as numbers and we make 'em check a box."
I couldn't not acknowledge the numerical sequence in this month's episode number! The episode title ties into that, but also the consistency I pride myself on when it comes to getting the show completed; on time, every time. As far as the tunes this time out, there are a few that play on the theme, plus we remember the great Sean Price on the 4th anniversary of his passing, as well as a bunch of other interesting tracks both old and new. 1, 2, 3, let's go!
Twitter : @airadam13
Geto Boys : 1, 2, the 3
I'm opening with this track just on principle, but only including Scarface's opening verse - if you want the whole thing, look up "The Foundation" album. That Tone Capone (who gave us the classic "I Got 5 On It") groove is wicked though...
[Pete Rock] Ed O.G. : Right Now! (Instrumental)
It's always good to hear a Pete Rock beat, and the re-issue of "My Own Worst Enemy", his album with Boston legend Edo G, has a full set of instrumentals 👍
Sean Price ft. St.Maffew : Weed & Hoes
Disrespectful on multiple levels - but so good. Not sure who produced this, but that's a brilliant bit of sample manipulation to turn gospel vocals into the hook for this thugged-out track. Sean's verse is definitely the one, but Maffew Ragazino (performing under an (in)appropriate alias) does his thing here too. If you can find it, this track is on the "Kimbo Price" mixtape. I can't believe this is ten years old already!
Heather B : All Glocks Down
A classic anti-gun record from the mid-90s, with this BDP affiliate taking no kinds of shorts on the mic at all! In fact, she would say she was "Takin' Mine", as her debut LP was titled. Kenny Parker works an old soul classic for the beat.
Termanology ft. Bun B : How We Rock
I don't know why I haven't played this one until now - it's been a headphone favourite for a long time, as you can tell by the reference to "Obama '08"! Lawrence, MA and Port Arthur, TX in combination here as Termanology brings in the legend Bun B of UGK to add his gravitas and gravelly flow to this DJ Premier-produced track. "Politics As Usual" is definitely worth a listen if you don't know it, and a re-listen if you do - there are a good number of quality tracks on it.
Papoose : Numerical Slaughter
Every time I think of Papoose, I now think of the late Combat Jack (RIP) - that said, I'd like to think even he couldn't deny this one! In a thematic blend between "Alphabetical Slaughter" and something like Emanon's "Count Your Blessings", 2019 Papoose runs through the numbers one to nine over a dramatic DJ Premier beat. Bars like this show that the title of his new LP ("Underrated") is an accurate one.
Jel : Loop/Truncate
We take a break from the rhymes to hear some pure SP1200 wizardry from Anticon's Jel, taken from the appropriately-titled "10 Seconds" album. That drum programming clearly took some serious work - those who've ever tried it will understand the difficulty level of some of those fills!
Bumpy Knuckles ft. Big Gov, V Stylez, and Kuye Mason : In Love With The Game
The "Pop Duke, Vol.1" LP is a heavy collaboration with the producer Nottz which is a recommended pickup if you love that boom-bap sound. While there are some big guests on the album, this track features some less well-known artists - Big Gov and V Stylez from Detroit, plus NYC's Kuye Mason on the hook. The beat grinds along like a drunk and grimier version of EPMD's "Headbanger", and after all the guests have eaten, Bumpy Knuckles comes in at the end to do what he does best - clean up like a pro.
Freddie Gibbs : Fuckin' Up The Count
Dark drug business from Gangsta Gibbs' "Shadow of a Doubt" LP. If you were a fan of "The Wire", you might recognise the intro voiceover, bridge, and the outro (if you can hear it) from some classic scenes taken from that monumental series. Speakerbomb, Frank Dukes, and Boi-1da merge some melancholy piano and bass which match the theme with some clean trap drums for that speaker shake.
Portishead : Numb
The classic "Dummy" album, Portishead's debut, is twenty-five years old this month! This was the lead single, and one hell of an introduction to this Bristol trio. Hip-Hop heads would immediately be able to detect the presence of kindred spirits in method and influence, if not direct style. A track like this wouldn't be the same without Geoff Barrow's scratching filling in the breaks between Beth Gibbons' killer vocals. If you don't know this album, sit in on an evening and give it a front-to-back listen.
Marco Polo ft. Sean P & Rock : I'm So High (Remix)
It was completely coincidental I ended up choosing two weed-themed Sean P tracks this month! This one is new to me, but is a winner - reuniting Heltah Skeltah on a fire Marco Polo beat. The original version of this track, minus Rock, is at least seven years old, so it's not a posthumous piece as such - Marco and Sean definitely worked together on this. "The Green" mini-album compilation is a whole project of ganja business, which I can at least appreciate on a music level even if it's not my experience :)
MFSB : Something For Nothing
Even if you don't know this song, it'll be familiar to quite a number of you because it's been sampled so many times! I'm playing this from an old dusty 7", but that's just a single release from the 1973 self-titled debut album from the house band of the mighty Philadelphia International Records.
The Left ft. Invincible : Statistics
I believe it was Vicky T's "Rhyme & Reason" show that introduced me to this track. The Left is a Detroit crew made up of Journalist 103 on the mic, Apollo Brown on production, and DJ Soko with the cuts. Local mic flamethrower Invincible is the featured artist on this selection from the 2010 "Gas Mask" album, and both MCs paint pictures (one first-person, one not) of hard lives in the face of an uncaring, bureaucratic system.
Rapsody ft. GZA and D'Angelo : Ibtihaj
Now this is what you call a big co-sign - Rapsody rhyming over a tweaked version of the "Liquid Swords" beat, and getting GZA himself to contribute a guest verse! If that wasn't enough, the notoriously reclusive D'Angelo comes in to perform the hook. That kind of weight lets you know that this MC is the truth. She commands the mic with strength and confidence, and it feels like the start of a coming-out party. The new "Eve" album is a sixteen-song collection where every track is names after a woman Rapsody admires - in this case, the American Muslim hijabi fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. Enjoy listening here, but the striking video is definitely worth a watch too!
Camp Lo : Superfly
This Camp Lo demo is dope as-is, but one that I wouldn't have minded hearing done again for the "Uptown Saturday Night" LP. As it is, this is a track that was unknown to most of us until the release of "On The Way Uptown", which collected together a lot of the demos and sketches from that era. Boom-bap, sparkle, and slang in abundance.
DRS ft. Enei : Count To Ten
Last episode you heard DRS in Hip-Hop mode from his most recent LP, but here we go D&B as we wind it all the way back to his debut LP, "I Don't Usually Like MCs But..." DRS delivers his lines with a measured aggression and is never hurried by the track - like an MC version of the T-101. For the instrumental, Russian producer Enei keeps things stark and dark.
Kev Brown : Victorious
Beat-heads will enjoy Kev Brown's short concept beat tape "Delve Into Classical Moog" from which this is taken; not only does he make heavy use of the sounds of the synth of the same name, but also samples the words of the great Robert Moog himself. I've extended this track a bit to make it more suitable for the show outro voiceover, and it was one well worth playing right to the end.
Redman : Da Countdown (Saga Continues)
This might have been a more appropriate pick for episode 321, but if I'm lucky and energetic enough to get that far, that's over sixteen years away - which would make this track officially an oldie! As it is, this is the highlight of the 2004 "Ill At Will" mixtape by Redman, coming out on his then-new label, Gilla House. The beat is bombastic, and Red is not coming meek and mild with it either! The sample on the hook should sound familiar to those who've been listening since the 90s - it's from the final NWA album. Ironic that the saga did not continue in the way they might have expected...
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!