Friday, 20 January 2017

Don't Sleep #13
Lil Cease 'More Dangerous' (1999)

You have to wonder how Lil Cease must’ve felt when pitched up to the annual Weed Carrier Convention in 1999. He’s on a table with Memphis Bleek, Streetlife and Cuban Link. All of them were granted some time to shine on their respective bosses albums. Cease had never got on Life After Death, despite doing a sterling job of holding BIG's weed and making sure there was plenty of paprika Pringles on the tour bus. All Bleek had to do was memorise a verse and he not only got on Reasonable Doubt but ended up doing the fucking intro to Volume 2 over one of Premier’s best beats. Life was not fair. Still, now that he’d finally had the green light for his own album everything would be lovely. The budget was huge because it was nearly impossible for a rap album not to go gold, and he’d got a bunch of beats that Mase had turned down, which not only saved him a bit of money but also dispensed with the issue of finding his own sound. Redman, Jay Z and Puffy had all recorded verses for it so all he needed was a dope cover and he was good to go.

As it turned out, the hilariously bad cover was not the only problem with Cease’s album but it probably didn’t help matters. I purchased it recently - not for any significant amount of money obviously – on the strength of the fact that I really liked ‘More Dangerous’ and thought that maybe there’d be a few other similar tracks on there worth having. There was not.
Cease isn’t a great rapper. Not that that’s ever got in the way of success but he obviously saw Mase’s success as his blueprint and plays up the ladies man angle while throwing in a few tougher tunes for the fellas. The thing was we already had Mase. As a result, the highlights on the album tend to be the guest spots. Future Sport would’ve made a great solo track for Redman. 4 My Niggaz is worth a listen just for the sake of hearing a Jay Z verse from the late 90s that hasn’t been played to death. That’s pretty much it. The rest of the songs probably wouldn’t bother you too much on their own in the context of say, a DJ Clue tape, but digesting the whole thing in one go is a big ask.

As a result it definitely qualifies for a ‘weak albums with 1 or 2 good songs’ list. Nashiem Myrick’s piano led beat for More Dangerous wouldn’t have sounded out of place on The War Report and as it sounds different to pretty much everything else on ‘The Wonderful World..’ it seems strange that it’s the opening track. Busta Rhymes is restricted to chorus duties, reciting a line from Biggie’s ‘Warning’ and Mr Bristal and G Dep put in a decent shift with the verses. So Dont' Sleep.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Lord Finesse at The New Over (2017)

Straight party set from the brother with a fade, half moon and long sideburns. Lord Finesse rocks the Do-Over in LA on New Years Day.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Camp Lo - Coolie High (Sugarhill blend)

Quick ting here. As you might be aware, Camp Lo recently released an album's worth of 95/96 material in the form of On The Way Uptown. As I'm currently sitting on a few blends I'd made I thought I'd let this one go (there was going to be a whole mix of blends but I ended up doing the Real Live project instead). The acapella of the Paradise mix of  'Coolie High' over AZ's 'Sugarhill' instrumental. A Camp Lo - AZ collaboration over some Ski or Harry Fraud '88 Coupes' type production would be immense.

Other things that might be relevant to your interests:

Lord Finesse mixing golden era classics on The Underground Railroad show on WBAI (2006)

100% Ruff Ryders Special on Radar Radio

The Oral History of 'Bling Bling'

Monday, 9 January 2017

"fool I got them bomb ass tapes..."

RIP Crazy Toones. Ice Cube and WC's tour DJ and general West Coast OG. Thought I'd throw this one up in his memory as I still play it from time to time and I think it probably went under alot of people's radar...

Sunday, 8 January 2017

TDK presents Westwood #TBT Freestyles Mixtape (2017)

As you might be aware, Westwood has been posting freestyles from his old shows on Youtube and Soundcloud. Some of them have already appeared on this blog before but obviously he's got them straight from DAT so the quality is significantly better than my rips. TDK has taken it upon himself to collate a load of them together into an hour long mix. Go here and check it out.

Shame Tim has been binning the DATs of any shows that weren't labelled with a guest's name. All the more reason to salvage what's not already online though, so get in the shed/loft/spare room, find the shoebox you haven't touched since '99 and send me the tapes/files so I can get them out there!

Related - Radio Days: 10 Classic On-Air Freestyles with Tim Westwood

Friday, 30 December 2016

DJ Step One & DJ Filthy Rich present:
The Turnaround - The Long Awaited Blends

Hyped to be dropping this as the last post of the year as it's something myself and Filthy Rich have been putting together for a while. We've taken the instrumentals from Real Live's 1996 underground classic The Turnaround and got our blend on with some acapellas to give the album a new lease of life. As dope as the original album is (and Money & Shows is probably one of my most played mid-90s songs of the last few years), Larry O wasn't quite at the top level of New York rappers back then but now you can hear the likes of Biggie, Kool G Rap, AZ, Raekwon, OC, Camp Lo and Lord Finesse do their thing over K-Def's beats.


We tried to use a few less obvious acapellas alongside some tried and tested classics. Not all of the beats on the album made the cut, but any omissions have been replaced by the remixes of the The Turnaround and Real Live Shit aswell as Get Down For Mine.
Have to give an extra big up to Rich for editing some of the adlibs out of the original instrumentals and tweaking a few things here and there to make the tracks sound more on point.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

DJ Clue - Platinum Plus (1997)

No cover for this but you can get the tracklist here. The last 4 tracks are missing off my copy which makes me think it might've been a CD version dubbed to tape (a lesser spotted 110 minute tape no less). Notable tracks include the Mary J remix over Call Me D-Nice, which I hadn't heard before, the So So Def remix of Hey AZ, and what I think is an unreleased Cam'ron collab with Charli Baltimore and Lil Cease. My favourite Mariah Carey track is on there too.

Got some good things on the way in the next few weeks and months. Have a good Christmas and New Year.