Thursday, 21 July 2016

The Firm - La Familia (1996)

As you might already be aware, a recent collaborative effort on the Philaflava forum resulted in a reconstruction of The Firm album, re-imagining the track selection as it should've been. It's one of those releases thats generally considered a bit underwhelming, mostly due to it being less than the sum of its parts. The highs are high but the lows aren't really what the people involved should have put their names to in 1996. During the course of the discussion, the subject of 'La Familia' was raised. This was a song I'd kind of forgotten about since having it on a Future Flavas tape back in the day, but it turns out it's only official release was as a clean version on Foxy Brown's 'I'll Be' single, and Cormega's verse had been replaced by one from Nature after the group's line up changed. Save for a couple of mixtapes and poor quality youtube rips, the original was nowhere to be found. You can probably see where this post is going.
A quick check on my shelves turned up this bootleg 12" with the uncensored version featuring Cormega. So here it is. Shout out to DJ Filthy Rich for cleaning up the pops and crackles for me.

The Firm: How It Should've Been

The 12" is well worth picking up if you see it, as it also includes the original version of 'Benjamins' without Biggie and 'You'll See' (another promo only Bad Boy track). The Tracey Lee/Canibus/McGruff joint is also unreleased.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Don't Sleep #12
FT 'Stand Up' (2000)

If you have an interest in late 90s/early 00s indie rap you're probably familiar with FT from his Tru Criminal/Street Smartz releases. I've selected the lesser known 'Stand Up' for this installment of Don't Sleep as it's kind of different to a lot of what his peers were doing at the time, especially with the high hats + double time flow combo at 2:42 as NY was still a way off adopting the dirty south style at this point. Dipset's JR Writer used pretty much the same beat about 8 years later and you can't say that about too many indie joints from the turn of the century...

Turns out that this is produced by a dude called Rodney Hunter who might not be a big name in rap circles but he did produce the dope 'Boundaries' by Leena Conquest which I used at the start of my recent Technics & Chill mix.
'Stand Up' was recorded for Stretch Armstrong's 'Spit' compilation, although I discovered it by way of what was possibly the best cover mounted freebie CD of all time, given away with HHC back in the day. I know everyone brings up the Soundbombing, New York Reality Check and Lyricist Lounge CDs as the era defining compilations of the independent Hip Hop boom but that Landspeed compilation bodies them all in my opinion.

Unkut: The 90s Files - FT of Street Smartz

Friday, 1 July 2016

DJ Step One - So 90s Volume 3

First of the month so here's the mix for July. Back firmly in my comfort zone for this one. Chucked in a few treats like the original version of Ghostface's 'Box In Hand' and Pac's 'Got My Mind Made Up' with the full Inspectah Deck verse.

The Alkaholiks ft Q Tip – All The Way Live
Mad Skillz – The Nod Factor
LL Cool J – No Airplay (bootleg version)
Kenny Dope – Get On Down
Ten Thieves – Black Reign
Beatnuts – Get Funky
E Rule – Listen Up
Gang Starr ft Jeru The Damaja – Speak Ya Clout
Group Home – Suspended In Time
Kool G Rap – Blowin Up In The World
Extra Prolific – Go Back To School
OC – What I Represent
Big Jaz ft Sauce Money & Jay Z – Foundation
Mobb Deep ft Raekwon – Nightime Vultures
Tragedy – The Judas Theory
Dobie – The B Boy Anthem
Erick Sermon ft Keith Murray – Hostile
Goodie Mob – Dirty South (West Up blend)
Mic Geronimo – Hemmin Heads
Heltah Skeltah – Operation Lockdown
Notorious BIG ft Sadat X – Come On
Ghostface Killah ft Streetlife & Method Man – Box In Hand (original version)
2Pac ft Dogg Pound, Redman, Method Man & Inspectah Deck – Got My Mind Made Up (full unreleased version)

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

It was a wednesday afternoon in the middle of June...

It's actually an evening at the end of June but whatevs. Been slacking on my blogging due to exams, there not being enough hours in the day, and more recently, the country collapsing and everyone generally losing their shit. Here's some stuff to keep you entertained 'til I get back on it...

DJ Snips '45 Live - Classic Hip Hop 7"s' mix

DJ Cable is going to be giving away a few remixes and re-edits. Here's his mash up of Missy's 'Work It' over the '93 Til Infinity' instrumental

DJ Filthy Rich has blended Biggie's Party & Bullshit acapella with Lil Shawn's 'Dom Perrignon' instrumental (which samples Biggie) Go here for that one.

I recently re-upped a couple of old Westwood shows onto the mixcloud page: Check this Radio 1 Rap Show from March 1996  and a Capital Rap Show from June 1994

The good dude at the Simply Dope soundcloud page recently posted a 1 track version of DJ Rectangle's excellent 'OG Style' mixtape from 1994. Probably deserves a post of its own but it's not my rip so I'll leave it here.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The LOX 'Kiss Of Death' (unreleased)

Inadvertantly came up on this the other day after adding it to a Discogs order without really knowing what it was. Turns out its not Kiss Of Death off the first Ruff Ryders album (which is what I was hoping for) or the track of the same name off the second Jadakiss album. What we have here is an apparently unreleased LOX track which I'm guessing is from sometime in the late 90s...

(for some reason the audiomack embed isn't showing up so go here if you can't see it)

I'm guessing its from that era mostly due to the design of the label which is similar to a few other unofficial released from that period. Also, the fact its under the name 'Goodfellaz' makes me think it might be something the group put out while they were still under contract with Bad Boy, during the well documented Let The Lox Go campaign when they trying to move over to Ruff Ryders. It's definitely the sort of grimey mixtape joint they'd have gone for when they were trying to get away from the whole shiny suit image. It sounds as though it might not have been mastered propely thats all part of the deal with these things.
If anyone has got any info on it drop knowledge in the comments. Also, if anyone can confirm that a 12" of Kiss Of Death from Ruff Ryders Vol 1 definitely exists that would be splendid. I've heard the instrumental at the beginning of this Cipha Sounds mix on Westwood so it must be out there in some format. The fact there's 2 songs (and an album, plus the track above) with the same name makes searching for it a bit awkward.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

DJ Step One - Technics & Chill

Back with a new mix for the first of the month, bit of everything on here really, just pulling some records that sounded good in the sunshine over the weekend. I didn't want to label it a 'BBQ mix' because thats what every other DJ on the internet is going to do over the next couple of months (and they will all inevitably be a mix of 90s R&B standards and a couple of G Funk tracks with some Roy Ayers and 'Summer Madness' chucked in). This would please the same demographic those mixes are intended for though, perhaps more so. Basically, you can put it on and enjoy some Herb McGruff and Slick Rick without it bothering your missus too much.

Leena Conquest - Boundaries
Armand Van Helden - Hot Butter
Taana Gardner - Heartbeat
McGruff ft Mase - Harlem World
Sade - Paradise
Troubleneck Brothers - Back To The Hip Hop (Summertime blend)
East Side Hoods - Funky Smile
Keni Burke - Keep Rising To The Top
Leon Haywood - I Wanna Do Something Freaky To You
Masta Ace - Born To Roll (instrumental)
Notorious BIG - Juicy
Mtume - Juicy
Soul II Soul - Keep On Movin
Slick Rick ft Doug E Fresh - Sittin In My Car
Skeme ft Rodney P - UK Bubblers
2Pac & Alton Ellis - Nothin Like Rocksteady (Phatmix bootleg)
Mariah Carey ft The LOX & Mase - Honey (Bad Boy mix)
Change - Lets Go Together
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Back On The Block
Amerie - 1 Thing (Boom blend)
R Kelly ft Jay Z - Fiesta (remix)
Martine Girault - Revival

The inclusion of Martine Girault at the end serves as a reminder that although she only had that one significant hit (and it wasn't that big a hit really), Revival is a better than anything you'll find in the combined catalogues of Beyonce, Adele and Rihanna. Its flawless and undoubtedly in the OB4ZL non-rap top 5.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Souls Of Mischief '93 Til Infinity'
Jimmy Green & Step One's 93 Beats remix

I've been sitting on the 93 Til Infinity acapella for a while without finding any beats that really suited it. As with the TROY acapella, its hard to find something that will actually improve the track. Eventually, following a flash of inspiration I put a request out on the DWG boards for some technical assistance, as I've got the ideas but not the studio know-how. Jimmy Green - the man behind those rather popular Beastie Boys and Marvin Gaye mixes - duly stepped up and has come through with something rather dope. A different instrumental drops each time the MC changes and, by no coincidence, all the beats used were big tracks in 1993. Do you see what we did there?

The more astute amongst you will spot that this is inspired by Spinbad's remix of Hip Hop vs Rap and those Stretch Armstrong and Mighty Mi remixes of 1,2 Pass It, Crooklyn etc. Big fan of those Jackin For Beats tracks and Jimmy definitely took my idea and made it reality with awesome results.

Spread it around and tell the people where you got it from.