Aug 27, 2017
"Acknowledge the scholarship."
- Sean Price
One of the more challenging episodes I've released in the history of the show, thanks to an unexpected illness and subsequent surgery. I'm out now and on the mend, but the sound quality of the voiceover I recorded while in the hospital is somewhat rough, so apologies; will be back at podcast HQ for the 100th show!
PS - it seriously was the sixth ward...
Twitter : @airadam13
Sean Price ft. Illa Ghee and Head I.C.E. : Go Rambo
I don't know what that sample is, but I like it! I've been saving this track for this episode, one that Roc Marciano produced (got this wrong on the voiceover) for the "Songs In The Key Of Price" mixtape, but also put out on PF Cuttin's own Soundcloud. Unsurprisingly, Sean drops the best verse of the three!
Apollo Brown : The Answer
For a relatively low-key opening to the show, I needed an instrumental which achieved quality without being too bombastic - mission accomplished by this piece from Apollo's "Thirty Eight" album.
Ka : I'm Ready
I might have to experiment trying to put together the kind of beat that Brownsville's Ka can take to this kind of level. As it is though, he does a fantastic job self-producing with skill and subtlety. Barely any drums there, just enough to to keep a rhythm under the atmospheric backing. One of my favourite wordsmiths, Ka is the thinking person's MC and his clear, steady delivery allows you to catch every word. "The Night's Gambit", his third solo LP, was another triumph.
Roc Marciano : Better Know
A great artist to play next to Ka - both men have a very distinct aesthetic and a mutual respect that has led them to work together to great effect. It's been a bit of a wait for Roc's "Rosebudd's Revenge" LP, but we finally have it and it has that vintage crime feel we know him for in spades, not least on this track.
Boldy James ft. Vince Staples : Give Me A Reason
Nothing uplifting and edifying here, just unrelenting darkness from the two MCs on this pick from the "My First Chemistry Set" album. Alchemist's beat sounds halfway between crime thriller and 70s prog-rock, and fits perfectly.
Beres Hammond : No Disturb Sign (SD50s Remix)
Going with a reggae flex going into the break, we have an artist who specialises in the Lover's Rock subgenre, which will be especially familiar to my Black British listeners of a certain age :) Beres started his career in the seventies, but this cut is a remix of a track from his 1994 album "In Control". The SD50s come through with a relaxed boom-bap backing for this tune about staying in bed for some romantic time!
Apple Juice Kid : Sacrifice
Once more, we return to the "Beats of a Revolution" instrumental album for this gentle but percussive number, which is just the right pace to transition into the next section.
Hannah Williams & The Affirmations : Late Nights & Heartbreak
This may sound familiar to many of you, thanks to No I.D. sampling it as the musical basis for Jay-Z's "4:44" - given the lyrical themes of each track, it's a very appropriate usage. Lovely bit of soul from Winchester's Hannah Williams and her band, which is the title track from their 2016 LP. The production on the Jay-Z record makes use of the actual session recordings as well as some custom re-records, but you can hear the foundations right here.
Facemob : The Other Side
Facemob was a multi-regional group assembled by Scarface of the Geto Boys, made up of 350 (Ohio), DMG (Minnesota), Devin (Florida), Chi-Ray (Illinois), and Smit-D (Texas), at a time when many of those regions weren't getting the respect. This is essentially the title track from their 1996 debut "The Other Side Of The Law". Scarface produced most of the album, but on this particular track Michael Poye and Uncle Eddie lay down some slow funk. It's not a powerhouse of a cut lyrically, but I would say Devin had the best verse.
Bronx Slang : Well, Well, Well
The bluesy-soul of this cut blends really well into this spot, courtesy of friend of the show Jerry Beeks and rhyme partner Ollie Miggs! Both MCs go back and forth dreaming of various superlatives over a beat from East London's Jadell.
MC Eiht ft. The Lady Of Rage : Heart Cold
Welcome back Lady of Rage! If you were around in the era of "The Chronic", you thought Rage was going to blow up huge after "Afro Puffs", but it didn't quite turn out that way. Nonetheless, she carried on working both on the mic and in front of the cameras as an actress, and it's great to hear her here alongside fellow West Coast legend MC Eiht on the DJ Premier-executive produced LP "Which Way Iz West". Austria's Brenk Sinatra is on the dark and dramatic beat, with fitting scratch work over the top.
Ulrich Schnauss : Thoughtless Motion
I was going to save this for a future selection I'm curating, but it was just a little too slow and so I thought I'd bring it here. The London-based, German-born Schnauss has a nice catalogue of synth-based music, and this track from "No Further Ahead Than Today" has a feel reminiscent of an 80s thriller soundtrack.
The Doppelgangaz ft. Tnava : Roll Flee
The "Dopp Hopp" LP is likely well worth checking if this big tune is anything to go by. The cloak-wearing duo out of Orange County (New York) harness something of a West Coast sound on this one, with bonus points for the vocoder!
Soopafly : I Feel
Trivia note: Soopafly played keyboards on "Natural Born Killaz" - I only just learned that this week! He's a West Coast veteran who has been putting in work behind the boards and on the mic since the mid-nineties, and we go here to his third album, the 2011 release "Best Kept Secret". This song reminds me very much of Common's "I Used To Love H.E.R", with Soopafly speaking about music in general and Hip-Hop in particular as though it were a woman, and describing a relationship. Excellent track with great production.
Oh No (ft. Roc C and Aloe Blacc) : Keep Tryin'
One of those tracks I do rather like but had forgotten about for a long while. Oh No's "Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms" LP was an album completely built around samples from Galt MacDermot - a concept which is exceedingly rare, since it generally requires the green light to go through the archives of the sampled artist! Definitely worth a listen, and then heading back to find some of the original sources.
Sean Price : Rap Professor
This was first released a few months ago, but is most readily available on the posthumous Sean Price album "Imperius Rex". A compact two bars of boastful, humourous, disrespectful rhyming from a real specialist over a DJ Skizz beat. By the way, do try mofongo if you get the chance, recommended.
Soul Supreme : Beat 16
Dug this up off the hard drive from Soul Supreme's "Instrumentals 4 the Mind, Body, and Soul" collection. Sadly, this looks to have been deleted but will hopefully show up as a digital release at some point.
Invisible Circle : Crazy In Leeds
The 12" I got this on doesn't have as much credit information as I might like, but this killer B-side is a huge Leeds posse cut over the then-current "Crazy In Love" beat. Unapologetic Yorkshire Hip-Hop heads throwing down in fine style to close this month's show!
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!