Saturday 9 March 2019

The greatest blog of all time started on March 9th!

Only Built For zShare Links is now officially 10 years deep, deep like the mines of Minolta (is that even a place?) and I've satisfied my mild OCD by making the anniversary coincide with the 1000th post! Having been conceived as just a good name for a blog, when zShare was still a popular file hosting site, I then came up with the concept based around "what if Nah Right was around in the 90s?"

Ironically I've outlasted Nah Right and most other hip hop blogs and given it was old stuff to begin with, the posts from 10 years ago are (mostly) still as relevant now as they were at the time. Originally it was a case of finding the highlights on tapes of old rap radio and uploading freestyles and DJ mixes, which then evolved into posting full shows, as well as a load of mixtapes, obscure vinyl rips in the form of bootleg remixes and unreleased heat, plus my own mixes. I exhausted my own collection of tapes some time ago so big up to Tobes, Rio, Dise One, Diablo, MK, Richard, Cratedigga, Mr Lawson, Grime & Lime and anyone else who hooked me up with gems from their collection to share. Thanks to everyone that checks in regularly or contributed in some way and if you're one of those randoms that sends anonymous impolite emails that just say "ayo re-upload all your Clue and Kayslay shit" please stop. You ain't got no wins in mi casa. 

As I mentioned recently, I'm not sure if I'll continue on with the site at the moment. I've got another project that needs my attention as well as the small matter of a new born baby (Step 2?) to look after, although it turns out that waiting for him to go back to sleep at 4am is kind of an ideal time for blogging. I've not got too many tapes to post right now but do have a couple of connects waiting to hook me up. It's just a matter of having the time to meet up with them, and then getting a new cassette deck. In the meantime I'll still be posting things up on the Mixcloud page and adding to the Westwood Archives and the Hip Hop Radio Archive. If anyone knows a suitable alternative to Audiomack (ie one with a stream and download option) let me know. Alot of the links on the old posts are still good so if you're a late comer or fancy some nostalgia of nostalgia feel free to go back through it all.

Finally, as it's March 9th (one of the few rap anniversaries I acknowledge) here's a great mix of Biggie blends by J Period and G Brown...

I was planning to drop a Westwood show from '99 where Biggie's mum is the studio guest but the motor on the tape player had other ideas.

[NB: Before anyone checks, the first post was on March 8th but that's not a thing is it? Technically it started after that I guess but I didn't do the anniversary yesterday due to the aforementioned baby and also I was only at 998 posts.]

DJ Filthy Rich presents Hard To Earn (2019)

Filthy Rich continues to bring the heat with his themed mixes, this time dedicated to what is probably my favourite Gang Starr album, and definitely the one with the best singles. Check the technique...

DWYCK ft Nice & Smooth [Filthy blend]
Comin’ for Datazz [Filthy blend]
Mass Appeal (ft Quran, Lord Finesse) [Filthy blend]
Now You’re Mine (Chumps Get Beatdown) [Filthy blend]
Code of the Streets [Filthy blend]
Speak Ya Clout (ft Jeru, Nutcracker, Lil Dap) [ReFix]
Blowin’ up the Spot
Tonz ‘o’ Gunz (ft Lil Vicious) [Filthy ReFix]
The Question Remainz 
Borough Check (w/ Digable Planets)
F.A.L.A. (ft Big Shug)
Suckas Need Bodyguards
Mostly Tha Voice
Doe In Advance (OG Unreleased version)
Serious Rap Shit (w/ Group Home)
The Planet

Friday 8 March 2019

Pete Rock & CL Smooth and Leaders Of The New School on Kiss FM (1992)

Not one of my own tapes but I found it buried deep in the depths of Soundcloud and thought it deserved to be bought back to life, and this blog is the perfect home for such a thing.
LONS alongside Pete Rock and CL perform on Richie Rich's Rap Academy on London's Kiss FM back in May '92. If you want a good example of how record labels handled hip hop in the UK back then, Elektra had both groups performing at different venues in town on the same night. Top work there lads.

As you would expect from anything involving a young Busta Rhymes, this a lively affair with them hyping each other up and ad libbing all over the place. Classic material.

Thursday 7 March 2019

Don't Sleep #16
Ice Cube 'What Can I Do' remixes (1994)

2 remixes of a track that appeared on the often maligned Lethal Injection. The first thing to say is that these versions hit the target and both are significantly different and better, which is exactly what a remix should be (remixes that just consist of getting a bunch of guest rappers on the same beat are an entirely different thing and should be treated as such). I recently commented on another post that this might be the last great Ice Cube track. I know You Can Do It was a huge commercial success and Club Banger but I think we'd all prefer to hear pretty much anyone rap on it apart from Ice Cube. Fabolous, Nelly or Jadakiss would've been right at home on that. The guy that made Amerikkka's Most Wanted and Dead Homiez not so much. Anyway, both mixes of What Can I Do are dope depending on your mood...

First up is the slightly harder to find of the two. The Eastside remix is by Ali Shaheed Mohammed (weird choice right?) and got some spins by Flex back in the day. It has that stripped down beat you'd associate with a lot of ATCQ tracks from around that time and is a nice take on the original version, making it more palatable for the boom bap contingent but retaining the laid back feel of the original.

The Westside mix is by the somewhat underrated Lay Law of Above The Law. I say somewhat as he's widely credited with inspiring the sound Dre used on The Chronic and as a result inventing G Funk, but Above The Law are still kind of slept on. The beat is exactly what you'd expect a '94 West Coast track to sound like but it fits perfectly and brings more energy than the LP version, which might be why Cube decided to change tack at the end and instead of being resigned to his fate as an ex-con working at McDonalds, he adds some extra lyrics and ends up on the run after joining forces with the guy that robs the place. A nice touch, giving you some good value for money and that's all we wanted back in the day, before people started acting like music doesn't exist if it's not on a streaming service. Also, this version doesn't have the big rant at the end and is all the better for it.

As for Lethal Injection, it gets a bad time  and admittedly it's not amazing, but Cube had set the bar ridiculously high with a run of 3 classics in 3 years before this. If it was anpther artist's debut it could well be getting mentioned in discussions about slept on/underrated albums where people show off their knowledge of obscure regional shit and early 90s underground rap. Really Doe is a solid start, albeit not a strong lead single. You Know How We Do It is flawless and better than It Was A Good Day, which Cube was clearly trying to emulate. Ghetto Bird is tough, although once again maybe the remixes are better. The main fuck up is including the 11 minute version of Bop Gun in the middle, which was a nightmare for anyone rocking it on tape for one thing but it really slows the momentum down. Either throw it on at the end or use the edited single version (and it was a good single) and keep it moving. Cave Bitch is a bit shit but reps an era where rappers weren't trying to "build a brand" and it would be fantastic to watch the social media meltdown if it came out today. I think the main issue with the album overall is that Cube was generally known for aggressive, hyped up songs and the lyrical content people loved him for didn't always sit well on that post-Chronic production. Still, it's better than Home Invasion though, which came out in the same year, so there's always that.

Monday 4 March 2019

Radio 1 Rap Show with LL, Gang Starr, Nas & Noreaga (1997)

Hadn't heard this October '97 edition of the Rap Exchange before I found it on a Google deep dive over the weekend. In terms of guests this is up there with the best of them and whoever ripped it - shouts to you - was good enough to leave the interviews in there (most of us seem to have hit the pause button back in the day in order to fit a 2 hour show on a C90 and get maximum tunes). The playlist is decent too: alongside the big tracks of the time by DMX and Busta, there's EZD's Premo produced GunzIs4, plus Calm Down, Firm Biz remix, and the original version of Desperados. And that Nas and Noreaga freestyle I posted a few years ago. Even the songs off LL's Phenomenon LP are decent enough - is that slept on?

Tracklist is below, and it'll be on the Hip Hop Radio Archive in due course if you want the download

Sunday 3 March 2019

DJ MK - Adventures In Stereo (2019)

New breaks mix by MK, recorded for J Rocc's show on KPFK 90.7FM

Friday 1 March 2019

Capital Rap Show 17.07.92 with Super Cat

The Wild Apache in London and on Westwood's show back in '92 when Ghetto Red Hot was starting it's journey towards certified classic status. This is quite a rare radio outing for him as far as I'm aware so big up Mr Lawson for the tape of this one.

Thanks to Salaam Remi, Super Cat pulled off the reggae hip hop thing better than anyone, with only those anonymous white label remixes of Bounty Killer tracks that were around in the mid to late 90s offering anything in the way of competition. If you're into that kind of thing check out Filthy Rich's Hip Hop Reggae mixtapes.