Oct 29, 2020
"I'm like when we turn the clocks back in October..."
The autumn is here, but given that we're still mostly shut up in the house, it's a pretty academic point. Still, it means that musically we start looking in the hoodies and Timbs direction, and some of that cold weather flavour makes its way into this month's selection...
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Curren$y & Harry Fraud : 1 Luv (Roll The Credits)
Curren$y is so prolific, it feels like every time I log onto Spotify he's got something new out. This is the outro for the 2020 "The Director's Cut" mixtape, but works just as well as a low-key intro. I'd definitely recommend giving the whole release a spin.
Bagnon Titi : Love And Time
We've been to the "Smooth Grooves Beat Tape" a few times, but inexplicably not for this track until now! I personally might have preferred the mix/EQ to be a bit different on this one (more prominence to the bassline maybe), but the flipping of this well-known sample is excellent.
Nas : N.Y. State Of Mind Pt. II
"Mama should have cuffed me to the radiator" is one of the starkest, rawest lines ever, and the sad story of nine friends reduced to three is told with more efficiency than you could imagine possible. Sequels often disappoint compared to the originals, but this is a worthy successor to the first "NY State Of Mind", with Nas and DJ Premier coming back together on "I Am..." for an underrated classic.
Shyne : More Or Less
Shyne was well into his prison term for the 1999 Club New York shooting incident when "Godfather Buried Alive", his second album, was released in 2004 - understandably not on Bad Boy, but by Def Jam. The vocals were mostly pre-prison recordings with a few things recorded over the phone, and as such, it's not as coherent as you might like - but this was a great cut. A quality bit of sampling from the early days of Kanye West drives this one along, and Shyne comes with the rawness on the mic. "Hip-Hop's not responsible for violence in America / America's responsible for violence in America"? Can't argue with that.
Chemical Brothers ft. Beth Orton : Alive Alone
I remember playing this one in the headphones on many a dark, rainy night after "Exit Planet Dust" was released, so I thought it'd be a good one to include this month. Dark, slow, moody, with Beth Orton's gentle vocals over the top - perfection.
Mayhem Lauren : Peace Dad
Back over to Queens for some flavour (pun partially intended) from one of the biggest culinary fans in the Hip-Hop game. A short and sweet two verses over Tommy Mas production from the "Respect The Fly Shit" mixtape.
[Pete Rock] Edo G : Just Call My Name (Instrumental)
It was great that the most recent release of the "My Own Worst Enemy" LP by Edo G and Pete Rock contained instrumentals of all the tracks - really makes it an essential purchase for fans of these two legendary veterans. I don't know if the bass and horn samples come from the same place, but the interplay is expertly done!
Nas, Remy Ma, Ghostface Killah, Dave East, Styles P, RadhaMUS Prime : The Mecca
Brand new heat! From the soundtrack to the new film "The 40-Year-Old Version" comes a wicked NYC collaboration that features contributions from all the five boroughs (with Brooklyn represented by Da Beatminerz on production). This one should earn a few rewinds, as all the veterans get busy.
Shabaam Sahdeeq : Pendilum
We take it back to the heyday of the underground 12s for this A3-side - it may not be an example of Chuck's Law (the main track is a killer), but it's still quality. Shabaam is all Brooklyn lyricism on the mic and Dr.Sato (on what looks to be his only production credit) uses what sounds like a sitar sample as the centre of the beat.
LMNO & Kev Brown : Who's That?
LMNO is one of the least subtle MCs I can think of, but he does his job well enough here alongside the bassline king Kev Brown on the "Selective Hearing" LP. That said, the bass is pretty sparse outside of the hook and leaves plenty of space for LMNO to take centre stage.
Torae ft. Sha Stimuli and Kel Spencer : Save The Day
I've been waiting to play this song specifically in October just for the line that I used for this month's epigram :) Khrysis is on the boards with the heat, and the trio of MCs coming with the goods on this cut from the 2008 "Daily Conversation" LP. If you haven't heard it, it's a solid release, definitely worth checking out.
Da Beatminerz : Take That (Instrumental)
This beat may be almost 20 years old (originally from 2001's "Brace 4 Impak"), but it smacks strongly even today - a testament to the quality of the production and the engineering.
Oh No ft. Buckshot : Gets Mine
"Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms" is one of the first LPs I can think of that was based around samples from one artist only - in this case, the late multi-talented composer Galt McDermot. This track has a cross between that midnight creep sound and some majestic piano business, and while Oh No has a quality verse, bringing in Buckshot as the feature was inspired - perfect choice.
Timeless Truth : What A Life
Straight no chaser from the 2013 debut by TT, "Rock-It Science" (great title). R.Thentic chops the pianos in a serious fashion over a boom-bap beat, and despite this being on a group LP, Solace goes solo end-to-end on the mic.
Rapsody ft. King Mez and Laws : Top Five
I can't quite believe that "Thank H.E.R. Now" is almost ten years old already, but it's an entry in Rapsody's catalogue that is definitely worth going back to explore if you missed it the first time round. "Top Five" is a nice all-southern mic workout with Rapsody and Mez repping North Carolina, and Laws coming out of Florida. Production comes from Amp of The Soul Council, and if I dare say it, sounds reminiscent of mid-2000s Preemo style.
Redman ft. E3 : Ride
This track is the month's rediscovery thanks to my vinyl digitisation project - I hadn't dug it out for years! It's drawn from the soundtrack of a 2003 film called "Biker Boyz" which, from the critical reception, I probably won't ever get around to watching, but I got this on a promo 12". Production and vocal duties are both shared between Redman and E3, and it's really well-executed within the style frame it inhabits - polished, nicely engineered, but with the funk on the low end.
Ilajide : Number One
To my ears, this man is lining himself up as ones of the kings of the bassline - not when it comes to complexity, but just the sheer sonic impact. This instrumental from "3" bangs along with a low end that will give any system a workout.
Boot Camp Clik : And So
When it comes to hoodie and boot weather, you have to include the Boot Camp Clik in any musical discussion. You'd also usually be talking about Da Beatminerz in the same breath, but this cut from 2002's "The Chosen Few" was produced by Curt Cazal, best known for his work as part of JVC Force. On the mic, the late Sean Price, Tek and Steele, Top Dog, and Buckshot of Black Moon kick it straight Brooklyn style, and it sounds very much like they may have had an issue with a certain mixtape DJ...
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!