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Air Adam Podcast

Mar 25, 2012

The Mayor Of St.James

"All we do is drink, f***, and drive."

- Raekwon

As for our elected politicians...they just seem to drink, fight, and lie...for some reason they expect better of the rest of us! Anyway, back for another month with a pretty varied selection, from the sublime to the hostile. There are a few tracks people will definitely know (or ought to!) but I've pulled some pretty obscure ones out this month too.

As promised in the show audio - here are the pics from the last "In The Loop," where we seemed to be invaded by superheroes!

RIP Biggie Smalls & Trayvon Martin...


Action Bronson : Muslim Wedding

I saw the title and wondered what it was about. As it turns out, not a thing to do with the title really :) Still, monster track with the Queens,NY chef/MC throwing down on a synth-heavy southern-flavoured track by Harry Fraud. Drive slow and swervy to this one...

Cliff Martinez : La Cagaste

Kind of ambient, awkward bar count and time signature...sounds like an excellent idea to put this into a mix! This is from the soundtrack to the excellent film "Traffic," and from the first time I saw the film I thought the music was amazing and so got the album. It's not one easy to get super-cheaply, and there are repeated motifs which Martinez keeps coming back to throughout so if you're looking for wild variation it might not be for you. I only knew of Cliff Martinez as a film composer but he was also the drummer for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers on their first album!

Skibeatz & Curren$y : Fly By

Ski/Skibeatz has featured on the podcast before mostly because of the brilliant production he's done for Camp Lo, and you may or may not know about how much he did on Jay-Z's "Reasonable Doubt." In the last few years he seems to have got a bit of a second wind and the album "Twilight" from which this is taken is the latest in the "24Hr Karate School" series (though the branding is low-key on this one). Nicely chilled track with New Orleans' Curren$y providing some laid-back braggadocio.

Super Cat ft. Biggie Smalls : Dolly My Baby (Extended Remix)

One of the early Biggie appearances - personally, I think he should have been on there longer than 3rd Eye (Jesse West) as he clearly had the better performance! Stars all over this one, with Mary J. Blige on the hook and of course the don dada Super Cat taking the lead. Hot 1993 single, essential pickup for all DJs - not a rare one, I've seen copies online for £4 or so - don't miss out!

Blue Raspberry : Outta Bounds

Easily my favourite of all the Wu singers, Blue Raspberry seemed to drop out of sight for the most part after Raekwon's "...Cuban Linx..." album, after bringing the house down on "Rainy Dayz" (one of my top songs of all time, any genre). I heard a snippet of a song by her ("It's Time," I think?) years ago in the RealAudio era, but never found a copy, or much else. It seems there was a 2005 album "Out Of The Blue" but I've never even seen a copy for sale! A while ago I thought I'd type her name into Spotify and it came back with this track, from a compliation called "Wu-nited States" :) - not sure how old it is, but she certainly lets those lungs blast on here! I hope to hear more...

Casual : Say That Then

A great and underrated MC from the Hieroglyphics camp, Casual has been doing his thing low-key for years. On this cut from the "Smash Rockwell" LP, he teamed with the ever-original New York producer J-Zone for the kind of sound that no-one else can pull off. I forgot all about this one until I was picking out records for an appearance on the C'mon Feet Elements show a while back - pulled it off the shelf and when I put it on I couldn't believe I hadn't been playing it more! Cross-country funk.

Hexsagon : Yesterday

Arizona stand up! Hexsagon's back with a new selection; the fourth volume of the "Beat Flip Tuesdays" collections has recently been released, and it's packed with quality sampler work! This one was perfect for setting off the next selection, so it got the nod, but if you get the whole set you'll find a lot of fresh beats besides! 

Innerzone Orchestra : People Make The World Go Round (J88 Remix)

Killer Dilla remix! The original track wasn't that different, but was pretty drum-deficient. Dilla fixes that and makes it a wicked track. Innerzone Orchestra is an alias of the techno producer Carl Craig, but he shows that he can get down on the soulful tip on this track; the 12" I have is pretty light on credits so I'm not sure who's on vocal. The song itself is a cover version of a track by The Stylistics, which was also famously covered by...

Michael Jackson : People Make The World Go Round

...the legend from Gary, Indiana! This version is from his solo/soundtrack album "Ben" and he puts in the kind of quality vocal performance you'd expect. Not an obvious track to sample, but just a snatch of it turns up on...

Mobb Deep : Apostle's Warning

...and that's why Havoc is Havoc. The prince of dark production out of Queensbridge takes just a tiny snatch of the MJ track to add some atmosphere at the start and end of the tune, but the rest of it is just the kind of crunchy, evil style that he made his mark with. He also starts off the lyrics nicely, but Prodigy...kills it. No hook, no hesitation, no heartbreak 808 business - just bar after bar of the rawness. If you want more, you need to check the rest of the "Hell On Earth" LP, a masterpiece of 90s street Hip-Hop.

Wu-Tang Clan : One Of These Days

Underrated track in my opinion, taken from the Wu's "Iron Flag" LP. As someone who was pretty lukewarm on "The W," I thought there were quite a few good tunes on this album! Production on this one is handled by Nick Fury, and the guitar/horn combo just works really well, very clean sonically but funky as hell. Everyone on the mic comes off too. If you'd pushed this album to the back of your racks, give it another chance!

Basement Khemist : Vibrate

Great cut - 1999 12" release on Beyond Real. I think Basement Khemist only ever put out two or three 12" singles, never an album, but at the end of the day, why force it? Anyway, I'm a big fan of this one - DJ Spinna brings the production, and while the beat is quality it's actually the cutting up of L'il Dap's rhymes from "Supa Star" in the hook which gets this one the rewind credentials. Dope.

[Alchemist] Capone-N-Noreaga ft. Foxy Brown : Bang Bang (Instrumental)

If it sounds like something from the score to a late 70s/early 80s crime flick, the odds are fairly good it's an Alchemist beat! This is from a limited 12" I got after entering a DMC heat (believe it or not!), but the original is from CNN's "The Reunion" album - it's not an album you have to have but it's not bad. 

The Notorious B.I.G. : Machine Gun Funk (Live)

Ok, he's rhyming over the vocal track which is never ideal but still, a live version of one of my favourite tracks from the first album. I got this on a white label 12" labelled "Live In London" - not sure exactly when it was recorded or how it found its way onto vinyl, but it's worth a pickup if you see it!

Mr. Khaliyl ft. Pharoahe Monch & DCQ : Street Team

I only realised recently that Mr.Khaliyl is actually Mister Man from Da Bush Babees - back to school for me! That's a good piece of 90s Hip-Hop trivia :) He comes out hard here both lyrically and on the boards on this 2001 Rawkus 12" (this is the B-side to "Wages [Of Sin]") with DCQ of Medina Green and Pharoahe Monch contributing guest verses. Predictable. Pharoahe melts the mic down to close the track. Was it really going to end any other way?

DJ JS-1 ft. Akrobatik, J-Live, Supastition & Pack FM : Too Easy

Dug this one up from a solid enough album which I actually wasn't as much into as I hoped I would be when I bought it. Still though, this is a wicked track - the MC lineup is quality, and while they all drop some serious lyrics I think J-Live's basketball-metaphor verse is the standout for me. Just slays it. 

Bumpy Knuckles : Inspired By Fire

Rugged but still clean enough for radio! Bumpy Knuckles drops some jewels for the kids on a short cut from the "StoodioTyme" digital-only EP, completely produced by DJ Premier and serving as a warm-up for the "Kolexxxion" album which is due to be released soon. If you like that real, no-nonsense boom-bap with tough lyrics, that might just be the release of the year!

Apple Juice Kid : Tears

Brand new, just released at the start of the month - Apple Juice Kid, who I first heard of doing production on Camp Lo's "Stone & Rob : Caught On Tape" was tapped to provide the score to "Poetic Portraits Of A Revolution," which explores the Arab Spring. The result worked well I think, a good listen and for a good price - if you like film scores, it's definitely worth giving this a check; as you'd expect, they're very much Hip-Hop beats with a strong Middle Eastern influence. I couldn't make my favourite fit into the selection this month...if you get the whole album, see if you can guess which one it might me!

Tanya Morgan : Stay Tuned (Sunset Version)

Phenomenal track. I admit I was late on the whole Tanya Morgan catalogue (only knew bits and pieces) but heard this tune this month and flipped out - brilliantly put together. Von Pea presents one of the cleverest sample uses I've heard in a while - after the verses finish, letting the original track just seamlessly play on at the repitched speed, then chops up the start of the second verse of the sample as it comes in, effectively creating a slightly-darker remix of the original. Just listen, that's all I can say...and I think this was on their very first EP!

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!