Oct 27, 2010
"Took 'til now to understand it."
- Lisa Shaw
Fairly low-key month for me, but I'm pleased with the way this episode came together - finding the right tunes just seemed to come easily! Still not liking the upfaders on my old mixer, but I digress. Hope you like this month's collection!
RIP Gregory Isaacs and Eyedea...
Kurupt : Yessir
Heard this ages ago on the Spine Magazine blog and glad it eventually got a proper release. This was something like the fourth single off Kurupt's "Streetlights," which is insane as it's better than any of the others! Pete Rock is on the beat and it's a low-bubbling gem...the only thing I could say is some of the cuts aren't great and maybe a little too loud! Solid track all the same though.
Black Moon : Murder MCs (Instrumental)
On the B-side of the "Buck 'em Down" remix 12" single, this was one of the lesser-known gems from the Boot Camp Clik; DJ Evil Dee on production, bringing plenty of darkness with a side order of threat! Ok, I'm hungry now :o) This 12" has an awesome 1-2 punch, should definitely be in your collection.
KRS-ONE : Kill A Rapper
In a sense, staying with the theme from the last track...I only heard this for the first time this month when KRS performed it live in Leeds; grabbed me straight away and it stuck out as a good one for the podcast as most people won't know it. I don't know if this was at all inspired by the Chris Rock sketch that preceded it, but as it popped into my head as I was listening I thought I'd play them both together.
Group Home : Express (as labelled on 12" single, album names this "A Train X-Press")
From the beginning of what can only be called their "Post-Primo" period! The 12" I have this on is a little light on credits but I believe Li'l Dap produced this one himself and the eerie feel is bang on, as is his opening verse. Let me also say that he has one of the best voices in Hip-Hop, he could read my shopping list and it would sound ill :o) Melachi's verse isn't quite as good, but I think it's reasonable to say it's a step above his writing on the (still classic) "Livin' Proof" LP!
Nonchalant : 5 O'Clock (B.L.A.K Remix)
They don't make 'em like this anymore! Nonchalant was something of a one-hit wonder on the scene but this tune is just as relevant as when it was released 15 years ago. This particular version is taken from a 12" of remixes I found on a bargain bin shopping mission; lucky pickup!
Big Pun ft. dead prez & Prospect : The Rain And The Sun
This interlude is one of my favourite tracks on Big Pun's "Capital Punishment" LP despite the fact he doesn't rhyme on it! Featuring and produced by dead prez, after having heard this and "Selling D.O.P.E" frm the "Slam" soundtrack, I was pretty disappointed to find that their debut album sounded not much like either! Anyway, back to Pun - the late great Punisher came out in the late 90s absolutely melting down mics and while this track doesn't show his rhyme skills, I've got some things in my list of stuff to play for you in future months...for now just take this one and this too :o)
Lisa Shaw : Dim Light
Another great interlude, maybe not to everyone's taste but along with "The Rain And The Sun" it's one of the few 5-star tracks on my iPod. This is from her debut album "Cherry" and aside from being absolutely beautiful, is very fitting given the change in seasons we're going through here right now...
Air Adam : Reflex
Another beat from my archives, one of my favourites in terms of the vibe and manipulating the sample; really good for a listen I think but not one MCs were breaking their necks to jump on; a few too many changes in it perhaps.
Jay-Z : Friend Or Foe 98
Short, but not exactly sweet...killer tune though. Jay goes to his mental notebook for a grimy drug story, and DJ Premier smacks this beat crazy! I won't give away the original sample, but it's been worked just enough here to combine with the tough drums and become a monster...
Marley Marl & Craig G : Not A Word
Get 'em Craig! From the "Operation : Take Back Hip-Hop" album comes this banger; Marley Marl (one of the pioneers of sampling) with as vicious a beat as an MC could ever want, and Craig G in full-on smackdown mode against loudmouth rappers - fiiire!
Rasco : Back On The Scene
This just sprung to mind as having the right kind of sound to hold down this spot. The San Francisco native (maybe better known to some as half of Cali Agents) is just one of those solid MCs who's been putting in work for a long time. If you don't already know it, check "The Unassisted" too.
Freddie Foxxx : 8 Bars To Catch A Body
If you know Hip-Hop, that beat sounds familiar to you, doesn't it? You're saying to yourself "why is Foxxx rhyming over the 'Sound Of Da Police' instrumental?" Well I don't know all the facts but this could be an interesting story for the Hip-Hop history/trivia lovers! This track is from the original demo version of the "Crazy Like A Foxxx" album, produced by DITC - however, this version of the album was rejected and it was re-recorded with different production and the tracklist changed. Showbiz produced this and of course also "Sound Of Da Police" so what I think happened is that with the original Foxxx album shelved, the beat was re-used for what went on to be regarded as a Hip-Hop classic! Foxxx is one of the most relentlessly aggressive MCs in Hip-Hop, you won't hear him going through the motions on a verse - he's definitely not for the faint hearted!
Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek : Move Something (Instrumental)
From the era when Rawkus Records was making a lot of noise as the dominating force in the independent scene (on the East Coast, at least), and there was plenty of buzz around the label's artists as they prepared to burst out! This is one of the big tracks from that time that made some impact above ground a little bit - though I only just saw the video for the first time this month!
Onra : My Comet
First off, "Onra" sounds like the name of an Egyptian god :o) Anyway, he's actually a Vietnamese-Parisian producer who ,while often grouped under the so-called "future beats" umbrella, comes out with tracks actually containing rhythm, melody, and that certain "je ne sais quoi" ;o) This track is basically just bult around slowing and looping an old 80s R&B number and adding some effects and damn it sounds good! Shout out to Danny Drive Thru for putting me up on this one originally!
Intro : Funny How Time Flies
One of those tunes that even in my "I hate R&B" years I still had to love; mostly because it uses the same break as Mobb Deep's "Temperature's Rising!" DJ Clark Kent is on the remix production here, and if I'd have played it a little longer you'd have heard a verse from Li'l Kim - but I know some people are already listening with screwed up faces, so we keep it moving swiftly to...
O.C. : Can't Go Wrong
Underappreciated dopeness! Taken from O.C's second album "Jewelz" which wasn't entirely warmly received when it was released but which seems to have picked up a bit of a following in retrospect, and rightfully so. As far as this track, it's nice to have a love story now and again, and a real one at that! DJ Ogee, who I must say I know little about, provides the dark, swirling production which somehow fits just right.
Common & Sadat X : One-Nine-Nine-Nine
Another Rawkus Records entry, notable for being part of the fantastic Soundbombing 2 compilation; in fact, I might have attempted to have a big of a cut/juggle with this if J-Rocc & Babu hadn't pre-emptively made anything I might do pale in comparison! Great bit of Hi-Tek production with the Chicago/Bronx connection doing the business on the mic.
J-Zone : Finale, Movement A (Instrumental)
Had to loop this to play a second time to make it long enough to use! Dope beat with serious bass from J-Zone's instrumental soundtrack (for a non-existing film) "To Love A Hooker" - worth picking up for something a little different! Zone is one of the most creative producers out and this is a better conceived and executed piece of than a lot of actual so-called soundtracks - which have the additional advantage of having a real film to follow!
Richard Ace : Stayin' Alive
You've heard this song many times, but not like this! I got this on a compilation called "Reggae Round The Clock" which I liberated from my parents' collection, but doing some looking around it seems that this was released in 1978 on 7". Couldn't believe this when I first heard it, and I've never seemed to have the opportunity to play it for anyone - until now :o)
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!