Friday 6 February 2015

OB4ZL presents:
The Hot 97 Freestyles compilation

As Hip Hop's one time flagship radio station has been sacking and losing some key staff recently (amidst rumours that it might change up its format completely) lets reminisce over the station's good times with a compilation of some of the freestyle sessions that have taken place up at 395 Hudson Street over the years.
Like most UK rap listeners, I was first exposed to Hot 97 in the mid 90s by way of Funkmaster Flex's monthly 'Rap Exchange' radio shows with Tim Westwood. As mixtapes and the internet became more prominent, we had better access to all sorts of era defining freestyles, beefs, interviews and mixes. Spitting live on Flex's show became almost a rite of passage for rappers looking to establish a rep and make an impact on the game. Some of the sessions that have gone down reached legendary status. This comp includes some of those, a few lesser known ones and some particularly random collabos - Fat Joe, Charlie Brown and Red Hot Lover Tone anyone? How about MC Serch, Scarface and KRS One?

1 - Cold Crush Brothers - Hot 97 promo (1994)
2 - KRS One, MC Serch & Scarface (1994)
3 - Fat Joe, Charlie Brown & Red Hot Lover Tone (1994)
4 - Pete Rock & CL Smooth (1994)
5 - Ol Dirty Bastard (1995)
6 - A Tribe Called Quest (1996)
7 - Cormega (1997)
8 - Def Squad (1998)
9 - KRS One & Common (1998)
10 - Lord Finesse & Triple Seis (1998)
11 - Beanie Sigel & Freeway (2002)
12 - Jay Z (2005)
13 - The LOX (2007)
14 - Clipse / Re Up Gang (2008)

This post does have something of the 'sitcom clip show' about it and if you've been checking this blog regularly from day one (nearly 6 years ago!) you might have most of these but for those who slept, or who's hard drives crashed hopefully there's some stuff you'll be into. The Jay Z one is probably my favourite on here, partly because its one of the last things he did that I really liked but also because its over Black Rob's 'Can I Live' beat, which is infinitely better than the awful 'Dear Summer' which the verses in question eventually ended up being used for.

If you missed it last year, I did something similarly to this comp for Nah Right where I collated some classic moments from Westwood's shows:

10 Classic On Air Freestyles with Tim Westwood


  1. I definitely don't know some of these. Cheers.

  2. But these are not full freestyles. I've got the ATCQ freestyle and its 25min long. Let me know if you want it. peace