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


  1. Not a cut and paste from what I know. Recorded late '98, maybe early '99, I used to know the exact date.

    I remember hearin' that Premier made the beat "NY Freestyle" exclusively for this freestyle record. (Think I also remember hearing Preem confirm that years later and even talked about it a bit in some interview a while back, but I just as easily could be crazy and it's either the opposite of whatever I'm trying to say, or maybe none of that ever happened.)

    I-Born was a Wu-Tang / Wu-Fam affiliate (somehow, never really knew exactly), appeared on a track off McGruff's Destined to Be album as well, and he also recorded his debut album about a year after that, at the end of the nineties. It was the only album he's made as far as I know, it got shelved and I believe remains unreleased, though of course at least a few promos exist and so it is being sold / floating around online. Pretty sure I have it somewhere, it's decent from what little I remember.

    Think it was pretty much just who was around the studio at the time of the session. But yeah, still a weird line up for sure.

    " know ya mack slow. Bitches act though, bigga niggas, call me fatso..."

  2. Thanks for the info BS! didn't think that was Premier beat at all.

  3. It says something about this persistent rumor that all I can find to corroborate this story, at least via Google, is stuff like these very assumedly janky bootlegs:

    Maybe if Primo talked about this record at all he actually said he didn't have a part in it, I honestly can't recall either way. He was certainly alleged to be involved by somebody at some point, as that white label shows. But I thought I remember him addressing it at least, and now even that I'm unsure about.

    I've always wondered about this release myself and if it was supposed to be part of some larger compilation project or what the plan was there. Would be nice to have more of a definitive answer, I agree.

  4. Listening again I'm pretty sure this isn't Premier. The sample (?) on top of the beat isn't really the sort of thing he uses, certainly not back then when he'd done Moment Of Truth, Nas Is Like, So Ghetto etc