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 Not all of the beats on the album made the cut, but any omissions have been replaced by the remixes of the The Turnaround and Real Live Shit aswell as Get Down For Mine.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.

Monday 19 December 2016

DJ MK - Skool Dayz part 1 (2016)

Man like MK going in with 80s and 90s classics on Itch FM last week.

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Mr Thing on the Radio 1 Rap Show (1998)

I've had this on the hard drive for a while after someone (completely forget who  cheers Mat!) sent it to me a few years back. It was labelled as a Scratch Perverts mix but the intro makes it clear its Mr Thing on the set, although maybe another SP member joins in later. I have a feeling I was told it was recorded off Radio 1 but there's no talking or drops so I couldn't say for certain . Hopefully all will become clear now it's been shared. (Mat's confirmed it's off Westwood)
There's a couple of occasions on this mix where Thing does his 'switch into a track that references/samples the one that's playing' trick. On this occasion it's The Biznizz into Resurrection and Shadowboxing into You Know My Steez. Neither of these trump my personal favourite however, when he was playing KRS 'Outta Here', and when it got to 'Some years went by I signed myself into a group home' he dropped in Livin Proof. Simple but dope.

BONUS!  Nes over at Dirty Waters posted this Best of 1990 set Mr Thing performed on The Funhouse  from a couple of years ago. Check it.

Thursday 8 December 2016

Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince on the Capital Rap Show (1989)

Think this is something that I aquired way back from Dutch's site. Jeff & Will doing a 'Live At Union Square' type of thing for Tim Westwood back in his Capital Rap Show days. So that's something you don't get very often.
The full thing is 45 mins (this is the only part with Will on the mic) but I'm posting this at 7:30am and Jeff cutting up Rock The Bells into oblivion was too much to deal with. The file is really low bit rate as well so not sure how good it will sound played loud.
Couldn't have that El-P freestyle sitting at the top of the page for too long though or people might get the wrong idea.

Friday 2 December 2016

Company Flow freestyle (1997)

If you're an avid follower of this blog (there must be one or two) then you'll have noticed that this is the first Company Flow post I've made. I don't dislike them - I definitely like Juvenile Techniques, 8 Steps and End To End Burners but I've never heard Funcrusher Plus or really investigated the group, El-P or Def Jux in any great detail. Anyway, here's the ginger one freestyling on Westwood's show from 1997. As with the Big L & OC audio below, this was generously provided by The Expert.

There's no First Of The Month mix for December unfortunately. I'm working on a couple of things at the moment, both of which are shaping up nicely, but didn't have anything ready to drop yesterday. If you're in need of something else to listen to you might want to check the Hot 97/Def Jam Millenium Party. Thanks to Random Rap Radio for the heads up on that one.

Saturday 26 November 2016

Big L & OC on Westwood (1997)

Following on nicely from the last post, here's Big L and OC on the Radio 1 Rap Show from 1997. Only 17 minutes long but you get an interview and freestyle and Tim says 'younahmsayin' a helluva lot.
Thanks to The Expert for sending over the audio for this one. All donations are gratefully received!

Tim posted the freestyle on youtube a while back, which makes a change because in the last year he's been posting things I ripped myself and uploaded years ago, albeit in much better (ie straight from DAT) quality.

Sunday 20 November 2016

Big L, McGruff, I Born & CL Smooth - NY Freestyle (1999)

Picked this 12" up on the cheap the other day. Bit of a strange line up - CL Smooth had all but disappeared by 1999 and I've no idea who I-Born is. Also unusual for a record of this nature to come with a proper cover. I'm not sure if it was a legit freestyle session or copy and paste effort but its worth a listen anyway.

While we're on a freestyle tip, I zipped up 40+ of  'em for those who slept or suffered a hard drive crash. Most of them are my own rips that have appeared on the blog over the last 8 years but there's also a few others that I've found online over the years. Click HERE

Monday 14 November 2016

DJ Clue - Who Is Clue? (freestyle compilation)

First thing's first, I'm not sure this is the correct title for this mixtape, It was amongst the large batch of legit Clue and Juice tapes donated by Rich (thanks again!) but there's no artwork or labels. It just has 'Who Is Clue?' written on the inlay card. I'm pretty sure it's an unofficial tape - it's 60 minutes long for starters - that's essentially a 'Best Of Clue Freestyles' compilation. It includes the Sauce Money and Jay Z one over 'Benjamins' ("thought you was Chinese the way you duck Sauce"), Prodigy over You Ain't A Killer and McGruff and Big L on the You're A Customer beat. There's also Mase over Who Shot Ya and the classic Nas freestyle over Young Gifted & Black and Nobody Beats The Biz. Some of them I've posted on here in the past but it's always handy to have them all in one place.

Saturday 12 November 2016

I have some questions...

Did Dizzee Rascal jack the chorus for Dance Wiv Me from DJ Cam & Afu Ra's 'Voodoo Child' ? If so would that be the strangest example of pop sourcing inspiration from underground rap since Jamie Redknapp's missus went in over the Wu's Shame On A Nuh instrumental?

While we're on the subject of jackin for beats, has anyone mentioned the similarity between Blackstreet's 'No Diggity' beat (1996) and Smoothe Da Hustler's 'Broken Language' (1995) ? Specfically the 'dun-da-da-da-dun-dun'.

Why doesn't the normal album version of De La's 'Eye Know' exist on 12"?

Who is the English bloke sampled at the beginning of 'Skills' by Gang Starr ?

How badly was Donald Trump anticipating Method Man's second album and how did he think it compared to Tical? Personally I was a bit disappointed  at the time although listening back to it recently there's a handful of decent tracks.  Also, given how many times Raekwon had reference The Donald in his lyrics, do you think he was a bit put out Trump ended up on Meth's album instead?

Will the trend for rappers with whiny/high pitched voices ever go away?

At what point will people stop buying 7" vinyl versions of rap songs they already own?

Can anyone out there hook me up with copies (digital or otherwise) of the Rocafella Mixtape Volume 2  or Clark Kent's Lafayette 7th Anniversary mix ?

Finally why is it I haven't listened to the new Tribe album (or the De La one for that matter) but have played this 4 times today after having it stuck in my head for the last 24 hours?

Friday 4 November 2016

Funkmaster Flex - Radio 1 Rap Exchange (1995)

Lil' bit of Flex on the Radio 1 Rap Exchange from April 1995. A tad pause button'd here and there but flows well enough. Includes music by Mobb Deep, Redman, Miilkbone, DaBrat, Naughty By Nature and Keith Murray. If I can improve the quality of the other side of the tape I'll post that up some point.

As always, still after any donations so if you've got any old tapes lying around get in touch.

Tuesday 1 November 2016

DJ Step One - California Love

First of the month, so as is now tradition, here's a new mix. Strictly West Coast rap this time out. Mostly 90s with a few early 00s tracks, and not too heavy on the anthems...

Ice Cube - 24 With An L
2Pac - Definition Of A Thug Nigga
Domino - Long Beach Thang
Conscious Daughters - Somethin To Ride To
Snoop Dogg ft Kurupt & Daz - Doggy Dogg World
E 40 ft B Legit & Mac Shon - Sideways
WC, Tray Dee, Daz & CJ Mac - Gang Related
Kurupt ft Crooked I, Daz & Baby S - I Ain't Shit Without My Homeboyz
Suga Free ft Playa Hamm - If U Stay Ready
The Whoridaz - Talkin Bout Bank
Mista Grimm ft Nate Dogg - Indo Smoke
2Pac & Snoop Dogg - 2 Of America's Most Wanted
Knocturnal ft Xzibit, Warren G & Shade Shiest - Str8 West Coastin (remix)
Dr Dre ft King Tee, Xzibit, Knocturnal, Kokane, & Timebomb - Some LA Niggaz
Cypress Hill ft Kokane - Greed
MC Eiht - Nuthin But The Gangsta (solo version)
E 40 ft Suga T - Sprinkle Me
Warren G ft The Twinz - Recognize
WC ft Mack 10 & Ice Cube - West Up (Soul Focus remix)
Dr Dre ft Snoop Dogg & Daz - Let Me Ride (remix)
Declaime - Caliwayz (remix)

I was definitely more into the West Coast sound in my early days of listening to Hip Hop, and save for the obvious tracks I didn't really get into the Large Pro/DITC/Premier side of things until the mid 90s. This was partly to do with availablity as so many releases weren't given a domestic UK release back then and even if you could afford an import copy you had to find one first. No easy task in deepest Surrey. Anyway, once I was old enough to get into London and buy my music I was mostly buying East Coast stuff. London's record shops and radio was very NY-centric and once Dre and Snoop left Death Row and 2Pac died the West didn't really have anyone high profile enough to keep the momentum going. Basically I probably missed out on a lot of good music. I've trying to make up for lost time recently. Soundtracks seem to be a good source of deep cuts but if anyone can help me make sense of the numerous Dogg Pound releases, 2Pac bootlegs and which of the Spice 1 albums are any good that would be much appreciated. Enjoy the mix.

Saturday 29 October 2016

Its Overture - The Iron Age (2016)

It's Overture follow up their excellent Hot 97 Tapes mix with this celebration of the 20th anniversary of Ghostface's solo debut...


You'll notice this is a collaboration with Up North Trips, so big up to Ev Boogie, and make sure you check his recently published book 'No Sleep: NYC Nightlife Flyers 1988-1999' , put together in collaboration with Stretch Armstrong.

Personal Top 5 Wu Tang albums:
1 Only Built For Cuban Links
2 Supreme Clientele
3 Enter The Wu Tang: 36 Chambers
4 Ironman
5 Liquid Swords

Saturday 22 October 2016

AZ & Styles P 'The Hardest' (OB4ZL edit)

This is easily in my Top 10 favourite tracks of the last decade. There was 2 versions over the same Large Professor beat. One was on Styles' 'Phantom Gangster' album, and the other on AZ's 'Undeniable', and also on Large Professor's 'Main Source' album just for good measure. Obviously the only thing left to do - albeit a bit late - was to weld the two together into one continuous track.

Friday 21 October 2016

Mad Skillz vs Supernatural battle (1993)

Lots going on here: Puffy on the judging panel, Stretch Armstrong in the front row, first draft Loud Records logo in the background. 1993 flows and fashions are in full effect with Supernatural sounding like Sticky Fingaz and host Dr Dre rocking the XXXL Karl Kani. Make sure you read Skillz' breakdown of the video in the comments section (its the first one).

File under: when battling was how a rapper made a name for himself and got a deal rather than a bunch of dudes calling each other gay in a room comprised of 98 % men.

Dr Dre's current situation is really sad. Pretty much everyone I know who came up listening to rap in the 90s checked for Yo! MTV Raps and seeing him chilling behind the 1210s every week cracking jokes was definitely one of the things that made me want to get a set of decks.
I didn't have much opportunity to see people DJ back then so Dre, Delbert Wilkins and Christian Slater in Pump Up The Volume were my first sources of inspiration.

Saturday 15 October 2016

Positive K - Good Combination '95

I recently came up on a stack of decent mid 90s rap vinyl for £1 - £2 each in my local shop. This happens almost never so I took full advantage. Fortunately there were 3 obscure old school jungle 12"s in there which I was able to resell and cover my cost. This Positive K joint was one of the purchases that day.  Sometimes it's just nice to hear a rapper talkng shit over a breakbeat.

If you haven't heard it, I should warn you that the main track on this 12", 'Black Cinderella' is pretty weak. That said, you have to hand it to Pos for getting Teddy Riley to produce an indie rap release around the time he was blowing up with Blackstreet.

Thought I'd post this up because it occured to me the other day that it's crazy he only released one album and he should get a bit more shine than he does. He had a strange career arc, given that there was 6 years between his first appearance on vinyl, and his dope debut album. Then he blew up big time with I Got A Man in '93, but spent the rest of 90s dropping sporadic one-off singles. Slick Rick managed more than that and he was in prison. Dude was basically the 90s Jay Electronica.

Tuesday 11 October 2016

DJ Clue - ClueManatti (1997)

As promised, here's the full Clue tape that the Prodigy freestyle below came from. Alot of heat* on this one including AZ, Wu Tang, CNN, Sauce Money and that freestyle by DMX and The LOX that eventually became 'Get At Me Dog'

*'I'll Be Missing You' not withstanding of course

Sunday 9 October 2016

Prodigy - You Ain't A Killer freestyle (1997)

"you're frail fam anything your team wanna do, you and your mans are shook part 1 and 2"

More 90s QB freestyle action. Prodigy was an absolute monster around 96/97. Here he does his thing over Big Pun's 'You Ain't A Killer' instrumental and throws a few shots at Keith Murray along the way.

Taken from DJ Clue's 'ClueManatti' tape. I'll post the full thing soon.

Saturday 8 October 2016

Noreaga, Musaliny & Maze freestyle (1997)

Nore and his mans go in over Puffin On Blunts, Phone Tap and Nuthin But A G Thang and a couple of other beats. Taken from this rather nice promo doublepack, Shout out to J Preme on the TROY forum for hooking me up with this.

Sunday 2 October 2016

DJ Step One - Golden Era Rap Biz

First Of The Month mix for October. No real plan or theme for this, just a bunch of records I felt like playing this morning. It's just under an hour but I cut them up a bit quicker than I usually would so the track list is pretty long. This is how I used to do when I recorded mixes straight to tape...

A Tribe Called Quest - Footprints
UMCs - Any Way The Wind Blows
LL Cool J - Eat Em Up L Chill
Diamond D - I'm Outta Here
Cypress Hill - Hand On The Pump
D Nice - Time To Flow (12" mix)
Brand Nubian ft Diamond D - Punks Jump Up... (remix)
Black Moon - Act Like You Want It
FU2 - Boomin In Ya Jeep
Nas - Halftime (instrumental)
EPMD - Brothers From Brentwood, LI
Kenny Dope - Supa (Deep In Brooklyn mix)
Dr Dre ft Snoop, Daz & Nate Dogg - Deez Nuuuts (Benny B edit)
Scarface - Mr Scarface
Das EFX - Kaught In Da Ak (DJ Premier remix)
Zhigge - Toss It Up
Zhigge - Rakin In The Dough (Uptown Bounce beats)
Slick Rick - Mistakes Of A Woman... (Daily Diggers remix)
DJ Quik - Tonite
ESP - Give Me The Night
Funkdoobiest - Bow Wow Wow (instrumental)
Shante - Big Mama
Gang Starr - Who's Gonna Take The Weight
3rd Bass - Product Of The Environment (Marley Marl remix)
MC Serch ft Red Hot Lover Tone & Nas - Back To The Grill
Snoop Dogg - Aint No Fun (instrumental)
Souls Of Mischief - 93 Til Infinity (Step One & Jimmy Green's 93 Beats remix)

Saturday 17 September 2016

Skillz - Hot 97 freestyle (2003)

This is one of those things I played to death back in the day but had forgotten about it in recent years. (Mad) Skillz on Kay Slay's Drama Hour, going all out with the punchlines over 50's 'In Da Club' beat. There's a good chance you might have heard this before but its old enough and dope enough to warrant posting. Rap twitter would have gone nuts if it was around when this first dropped.

"I was sick when Jermaine was pop locking for Whodini"

He reworked some of the lyrics used on this into an actual track in 2010 but it's not anywhere near as good. As for In Da Club, it's strange to think that it was probably the last big selling rap 12". The first time I heard it was when Westwood played it in early 2003 (possibly the same show I first heard Dipset Anthem on aswell), and he followed it with Fabolous, Paul Cain & Joe Budden's take on the track, which I still enjoy. If anyone has an untagged CDQ of this get in touch. I need that.

Friday 9 September 2016

Black Rob & Lil Vicious 'Rippin MCs' (1998)

Since it's inception, this blog has dropped more than it's fair share of rare/unreleased Black Rob tracks and here's another one. I can't tell you too much about it other than it's taken from a  DJ Avalon (no, me neither) mixtape called Laugh Now Cry Later. BR was on Bad Boy at this point but Whoa was still a good year away. You can file this one under random unexpected collaborations as he teams up with mid 90s one hit wonder Lil Vicious...

Sounds kind of like a freestyle but it had a title so they were obviously going somewhere with it. Big up Steve for sending me this.

This is only 2 minutes long so here's some other things you might want to check:

Ed Lover on The Combat Jack Show - this is brilliant. Ed's got stories for days. Well worrth a listen. CJ's interviews with Masta Ace and AZ are good too if you're a fan and have got the time.

DJ JS-1 - Sure Shot mix

Mr Thing's Pete Rock & CL Smooth at 25 mix

If you're into old school (late 80s/early 90s) WWF then go here 

Friday 2 September 2016

DJ Step One - The Best Of Ice T

One day late but here's the First Of The Month mix for September and it's a good one (if I do say so myself). Ice T is one of my favourite rappers and as most DJs that post mixes online seem to be content with dropping the 39,873rd 'Best Of Premier/Pete Rock/Dilla' mix I'd thought it was about time someone paid tribute to rap's
original OG. Here's 1hr 10 mins of tracks covering Ice's peak period from 1986's '6 In The Morning' to the Home Invasion LP in 1993. There's a few blends, freestyles and live tracks in there too. Fortunately you can just stream/DL it so there's no danger of shooting anyone in an argument over the cassette...

Home Of The Bodybag
I Ain’t New Ta This
You Played Yourself
Mind Over Matter
Addicted To Danger (Beatnuts remix)
C4 News interview
6 In The Morning
Combat Jack Show acapella
Colors (YGB blend)
Ziplock / Ricochet (live in NY 1992)
High Rollers
I’m Your Pusher (AMW blend)
Last Wordz (w/ Ice Cube)
New Jack Hustler
Radio Suckers
Capital Rap Show freestyle 1989
That’s How I’m Living
Original Gangster
This One’s For Me
My Word Is Bond (w/ Donald D)
Evil E What About Sex?
99 Problems (w/ Brother Marquis)
Bitches 2
Peel Their Caps Back
Soul On Ice
Ain’t A Damn Thing Changed

A few things about this mix then:
 - There are some omissions. Due to time restraints and things not "fitting" I had to leave out Lethal Weapon, Somebody Gotta Do It, Fly By, Girls LGBNAF and several other classics from the man's catalogue. I enjoy pretty much everything on Power, Iceberg and OG so there always had to be some things that didn't make the cut.
 - Although I've never been a massive fan, I've become slightly more appreciative of Home Invasion after doing this mix. At the time it seemed like it should've been a lot better - particularly on the production side - but Ice's voice seems a bit off at times and he does a lot of  tracks in a whispery flow/lower register. It's a solid enough set though.
 - Although it's rarely mentioned, Ice is one of the genre's best storytellers. Up there with Slick Rick and better than Kool G Rap imo.
 - The acapella taken from his Combat Jack Show interview is fantastic, as is the interview itself.
 - Donald D's verse on My Word Is Bond >>>
 - Think I'm going to check his later albums from Return Of The Real onwards - there has to be a few gems on those, although the less said about this cover the better.

Wednesday 31 August 2016

Doo Wop & The Bounce Squad ft Sadat X
Spring #1 Freestyle (1994)

Shout out to Steve who recently sent me a bunch of goodies that I'm still going through. Doo Wop's 'Spring #1' tape was one of them so thought I'd liberate this one for you. I don't think I've ever heard an intro to a Bounce Squad tape that I didn't like. This one is no exception: Lord Tariq and Snagglepuss bring it as usual and it's always nice to hear Sadat X in his prime.

Saturday 27 August 2016

Busta Rhymes, Common & Rampage
Kiss FM freestyle (1997)

I've had a few people come through donations for the site recently. First up is this one from boom-bap champion Milkcrate Kid. A ten minute Busta Rhymes, Common & Rampage freestyle on Max & Dave's Kiss FM show from 1997

Always thought Rampage was pretty dope. Wild For The Night was a banger. Like the rest of the Flipmode he never really managed to escape Busta's shadow though.

*BONUS* - also courtesy of MCK, Chuck D & Hyenas From The Desert on Max & Dave's show from 1996 GO HERE

If you'e got any old tapes stashed away that you think will be of interest get in touch.

Thursday 25 August 2016

DJ Rhude - Nas: The Found Tapes Vol 2 (2016)

"It's been five years since I dropped the first Found Tapes and we still haven't gotten another The Lost Tapes album from Nasty Nas. I had no plans to follow up my first drop figuring by now we'd have that next Lost Tapes album but with it still nowhere on the horizon, I decided to put together another mixtape of unreleased Nas songs. 

So here it is Nas: The Found Tapes Vol. 2 a collection of unreleased songs properly labeled and in the CDQ form Nas fans deserve to hear them in"

Friday 19 August 2016

Its Overture presents The Hot 97 Tapes: Summer Of '96 Mix

Big up RiVerse of DJ duo Its Overture for giving me the heads up on their new mix. I don't sent too many things that are 100% appropriate for this blog but this one ticks all the boxes...

"An unauthorized fever dream remixing memories of Hot 97 in the summer of 1996." 


This is a really original and creative with its use of drops and recordings from Hot 97 as part of the mix. Highly recommended.If you enjoy it make sure you check their Large Professor tribute mix too.

Saturday 13 August 2016

DJ Clue - Clue For President part 3 (1998)

Still got a few Clue tapes to post up so here's some classic '98 biz. This is one featuring the infamous Chain Gang freestyle by Black Rob & The LOX along with all sorts of other treats...

Monday 8 August 2016

Action Pac - Die Hard Artillary: Year In Review

This another one passed to me by the ever generous Grime & Lime, after I posted up this Diehard Records release a few months ago. The tape (from 97 or 98 I think) is a Diehard label showcase put together by mixtape vet Action Pac, and includes a bunch of joints that despite some recognisable names - and even more recognisable samples - mostly stayed under the radar...

I'm only really familiar with a couple of the Genovese joints and the dope 'The Block Hot' featuring Lord Tariq. I haven't really given this a thorough listen yet but I'd been meaning to post it for ages and has already misplaced the file once so didn't want to delay it any longer.

Sunday 7 August 2016

some re-ups

When I set this blog up and started ripping my old tapes I wasn't clued up on the whole digital fidelity thing so most of the early posts are at 128 kbps. This morning I re-ripped 2 of my all time favourite tapes at 320 and added them to my mixcloud page. Go check 'em out...

Evil Dee on Hot 97 (1994)

Mastermind - Tape 36 (1997)

I still get asked about the Mastermind tapes a lot so I'll try and get the other 2 I have re posted at some point.

I also added DJ Semtex's 'Volume 6' tape the other day

Monday 1 August 2016

DJ Step One - Street Sweepers Vol 1

First of the month. New mix. This one takes it back to that early 00s mixtape era - Clue, Kay Slay (hence the title), Green Lantern, Custmaster C etc. There's no shouting, drops or distortion but hopefully you enjoy...

AZ 'Problems'
Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg 'The Wash'
G Dep 'Doe Fiend'
Mobb Deep ft Vita & Big Noyd 'Burn'
50 Cent ft Nas & Nature 'Too Hot'
Da Ranjahz 'Wear It Out'
Beanie Sigel 'Beanie (Mack Bitch)'
Eminem, Tony Yayo & Lloyd Banks 'Bump Heads'
The LOX 'Dirty Ryders'
Fat Joe ft Jadakiss 'My Lifestyle' remix
FT 'Stand Up'
Scarface 'Safe'
Big Pun ft MOP 'New York Giants'
The Game & Obie Trice 'Growin Up In The Hood'
RZA ft Method Man, Jayo Felony, WC, Crooked I & E40 'We Pop' remix
Ghostface Killah 'Good Times part 2'
Cam'ron ft Memphis Bleek & Beanie Sigel 'The Roc (Just Fire)'
Jay Z 'Show You'

Friday 29 July 2016

DMX freestyles tape (1996)

It's easy to forget that in the late 90s DMX was one of the biggest artists on the planet. Admittedly alot of people weren't keen on him and Swizz Beatz's production wasn't for everyone, especially if you were bumping Shawn J Period and Hi Tek at the time. Dude is a more than competent rapper though so if the keyboards and barking put you off back in the day I'd still suggest giving this a try. I don't think this has been online before, and it finds the Darkman in a considerably less amped mode than he was known for. You'd expect a rapper on the come up in '96 to be rhyming off things like Shook Ones and Who Shot Ya but Earl goes with a less predictable selection of instrumentals. Omniscence's 'Touch Yall', LL's 'Hey Lover' and the 'Wu Wear' beat all get laced, plus there's 3 takes over 'If I Ruled The World'. They vary slightly so I left them all in. The tape itself is fully no frills. Literally just someone playing the beat and DMX rapping over it. No multitracking or added adlibs etc...

I didn't have a cover or tracklist so I've just named the tracks after the instrumentals, apart from a few I couldn't recognise. Big up Grime & Lime for throwing this one my way. Go see him for mixtapes.

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.

Saturday 7 May 2016

Biggie & Mase freestyle (1997)

I liberated this from DJ Absolut's 'When Disaster Strikes' mixtape. Biggie and Mase rhyming over the 'Benjamins' beat at Angie Martinez's birthday party in 1997. Quality isn't flawless but I hadn't heard it before so here you go. Shout out to Grime & Lime.

Was 3 days into the month before I realised I forgot to upload May's First Of The Month mix. I had one ready aswell but as it was a mid 90s House mix you can probably live without it. Might throw something on here soon if I get time.

Saturday 30 April 2016

Don't Sleep #11
Lace Da Booms 'Cut That Weak Shit' (1996)

This came out as the first release on Guesswhyld, back in 1996 when indie rap wasn't an entire sub-genre in itself, and the records still looked 'indie' - no glossy covers or barcodes. If you were one of those people propping up the counter at the likes of Mr Bongo or Handspun (or in the US, Fat Beats) you'll probably be familiar with it, but for the uninitiated...

There's a few different mixes on the 12" but the go to one has to be the NYC mix. It uses the beat from Kane's 'Young Gifted And Black' and has an early guest appearance from Royal Flush, who drops a dope verse. It's some proper traditional mid-90s East Coast rap and should not be slept on.
If you still buy vinyl, this is represents pretty good value for money - L's version used the same Kane beat but has different lyrics and no Royal Flush, plus you get the instrumental. The b-side has the Buckwild mix which is in a similar style to his remixes of Mad Izm and Daaam. Not entirely my bag but alot of people seem to enjoy those beats. The Domingo produced 'Aint No Secret' ain't bad either.

Additional notes: If you check the label, you'll see this also features Quasi Modo, who is/was part of Flush's Wastelanz crew and nothing to do with Madlib.
Also, I've just spotted that the label says Guesswild and not Guesswhyld, which became the label name for future releases. Not really important but record nerds enjoy that kind of thing.

BONUS! I recently picked up a cheap copy of this Guesswhyld compilation as I wanted a CDQ of Cut That Weak Shit. Turned out it was the Buckwild mix so here it is if you want it.

Thursday 21 April 2016

DJ Clue - Cluemanatti part 2 (1997)

Some nice stuff on here, in particular the intro to side 2 which is some sort of special done for Steve Stoute's birthday by Nas, Mary J, Noreaga and Femme Fatale. There's also freestyles by Cam'ron & Cardin and Jay Z & Sauce Money aswell as joints by The LOX, Puffy, Foxy Brown, AZ, Mobb Deep and CNN.

Think the rip came out ok but there might be one or two parts where the sound jumps. Haven't played it back in full yet so if its unbearable let me know.

Sunday 17 April 2016

Moments In Love

Haven't had time to blog much recently but I've been wanting to do this post for a while, and seeing as I recently got engaged (to an actual real life female woman) I thought now would be appropriate!
I didn't know too much about The Art Of Noise until I checked their wikipedia page just now, but I did know that tha gawd Trevor Horn was involved and that in Moments In Love, they created one of Hip Hop's most enduring samples. The track as been used by everyone from King Sun and LL to Max B and Juicy J and pretty much always sounds great. If you want the full list you can go to Who Sampled but here's my picks of the bunch:

Didn't see that last one coming did you? The original stands up as a great track in it's own right, and is pretty much impossible to sound bad over (see also: Ike's Mood and Everybody Loves The Sunshine). I first discovered it when it was sampled by by Italian cut & paste outfit JT & The Big Family on their 'Moments In Soul' track which did good business in the UK in 1990, off the back of the whole Balearic/Summer Of Love thing. I couldn't find the right version of it on Youtube but I'm using it on a forthcoming mix. As you can see from the list, it's use has transcended Rap's regions and sub genres. In more recent times it's been predominantly enjoyed by the Southern states, probably due to the tempo. Those Dipset lads aren't shy of  using it either.
The track's impact is somewhat overlooked as its not the standard UBB fodder thats been rinsed to death by DJs and freestyle ciphers but maybe that's whats given it more longevity than Apache or The Big Beat, and for that we should be thankful.
If there's any decent songs I've missed feel free to link them in the comments section.

Wednesday 13 April 2016

Sparkle Motion - Make The Music (2016)

After a series of essential mixes, Sparkle Motion take it to the next level...

Known for their expertly-crafted mixes and deep knowledge and appreciation of 80’s and 90’s Hip Hop and R&B, SPARKLE MOTION take their first foray into the world of original production with the release of MAKE THE MUSIC, a dazzling exploration into a world of filtered R&B vocals, golden-era rap samples, masterful keyboard arrangements and bouncy 808 bass lines. 

This strictly all-instrumental beat tape draws on a variety of influences and artists, from BABYFACE to LEVEL 42 via CAM'RON and BOOGIE DOWN PRODUCTIONS. 

Armed with a magic bag of samples that might only be identified by the most seasoned crate-digger, this is essential for fans of KENNY DOPE, ARMAND VAN HELDEN, MARK RONSON, ONRA and DAFT PUNK, while also appealing to instrumental junkies and beat-heads alike. 

From the spaced out, intergalactic vibes of ASTRO BREEZE to the pounding, synth odyssey that is TECH NOIR, MAKE THE MUSIC is a full, electronic turbo-charge of sophisticated compositions and melodies, arranged to give a retro feel while keeping things fresh, modern and cohesive. 

CRUISE CONTROL finds us riding shotgun on a misty tropical highway among the stars; soothing chords and the perfect bass guitar lick make it sound like something you'd find on a modern day OUTRUN soundtrack, while the title track MAKE THE MUSIC - featuring whirling police sirens, firey synthesizers and the perfect old-school rap vocal - wouldn't sound out of place on the soundtrack to a remake of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. 

Another highlight is the uptempo, soulful disco thump found on INSPIRATION, which borrows the perfect vocal chop from one of pop music's all time greats - while also paying respects to the “French Touch” sound of the mid to late 90’s. 

Indeed, showing respect and appreciation is what MAKE THE MUSIC is all about - SPARKLE MOTION pay homage to the artists and sounds they obviously loved and listened to growing up, while creating something new and unique that sounds like little else right now. 

Friday 1 April 2016

DJ Step One - Serious Rap Shit

First of the month today so it's a new mix from me. Been listening to a fair bit of late 90s rap over the last few weeks, and picked up a few new records on a recent trip to London so I delved into that section...

Kasino ft The LOX - Men Of Respect
Mack 10 ft Fat Joe & Big Pun - Let The Games Begin
Nas - Hate Me Now (Power remix)
Phat Kat - Don't Nobody Care About Us
Mic Geronimo ft DMX & Black Rob - Nothin Move But The Money (remix)
Natural Elements - Live It Up
Ghostface ft Cappadonna, Masta Killa, Method Man & Redman - Buck 50
Sauce Money - Against The Grain
Luniz ft B Legit & E40 - The Highest Niggaz In The Industry
Black Rob - Life Story
Scarface ft 2Pac - Smile (MF Doom blend)
Common ft Sadat X - 1999
Missy Elliot ft Nas & Eve - Hot Boyz (Xxplosive blend)
Gang Starr ft Inspectah Deck - Above The Clouds
Wu All Stars - Soul In The Hole
Mobb Deep - The After Hours G.O.D pt III

A quick run down then. 'Men Of Respect' is one of my favourite LOX tracks (I think Kasino was originally a member of the group at one time but don't quote me). Also, I'm pretty sure its the song where Jadakiss coined the phrase "top 5 dead or alive". Mack 10 is distinctly average but had a good eye for a collaboration and has a few gems in his catalogue. The bootleg remix of 'Hate Me Now' is from a 12" I picked up last week and gives the song a more subtle vibe so it works quite well in a mix like this. Phat Kat's 'Don't Nobody Care About Us' is an awesome early Jay Dee production that I was after for years and finally got a few months ago. The Natural Elements joint is borderline jiggy and sounds slightly Neptunes-ish. Been enjoying that since hearing it on a J Grand tape I posted last year. The blend of Scarface & 2Pac over Doom's 'Red & Gold' instrumental works nicely (considering I hadn't done it before) although the chorus comes in mad loud and drifts off beat slightly. Might work on that and post it as a seperate track. Mighty Mi's remix of GOD Pt III using the Doug E Fresh sample is great and possibly better than the LP version. In hindsight I would probably have switched the sequencing round a bit and had the Luniz & Missy next to each other but the whole point of these mixes is that its a one take mix that serves as a playlist that might put you on to some music you might not know, rather than something I've agonised over for months.

I've had a few problems recording audio recently as the programme I use keeps buffering. As a result there's 3 or 4 glitches where the song skips slightly. Working on resolving the issue (think its to do with latency - any tips let me know) but didnt want to not post anything in the meantime. if you fund any tape rips  I've dropped in the past few weeks where its particularly bad then leave a comment in the relevant post.

Saturday 26 March 2016

KRS ONE 'Outta Here'
unreleased original version (1993)

I tend to assume that once some rap rarity has been uploaded to the net, everyone has heard it and saved it to their harddrive, but when I mentioned this version of Outta Here during a recent twitter convo, it turned out at least a handful of people - and so probably more in the wider world - had missed out when the tape rip of Westwood playing it was posted online a few years back (by Unkut if I remember right). This is basically the same track, with one of Primo's best beats in my opinion, until we get to 1.53 when Kris speaks on that infamous visit he paid Mr Magic...

We cant be sure what the exact reasons were for the lyrics being changed before the song was officially released. Maybe Jive didn't fancy Magic getting litigious over the coke head allegations or perhaps KRS just got cold feet and switched it up himself.
It begs the question of how many other tracks of this nature there sitting in the vaults? I've already covered Lil Kim's withdrawn 2Pac dis, and I recently saw an interview with Clark Kent speaking about a savage dis track Jay Z made (also about 2Pac). There's also the Swizz Beatz produced version of 'Ether' that Large Professor mentioned, and the numerous rumoured shelved/deleted shots between Kane and Rakim. All we have now is Drake vs Meek Mill.