Thursday, 16 January 2020
A big ass Wake Up Show freestyle cipher (1997)
Freestyles were a regular part of rap radio by 1997 but this is like a Mr Bongo regular's wet dream. It's a 37 minute freestyle session on Sway & Tech's Wake Up Show from late 1997 and the line up is immense. Kool G Rap, Craig G, Juice, Shorty Wreck, Eminem, Kwest Tha Madd Lad, Thirstin Howl, Wordsworth & Mos Def and Talib Kweli all step up and do their thing. A lot of those names were new on the scene at the time so there's definitely an element of hungry MCs with something to prove when their time on the mic comes around.
As far as I can tell, this is a simultaneous broadcast with Marley Marl who's on the radio in NYC with G Rap and the lads. At one point you'll hear Eminem (of all people) get told to hold off rhyming so they can switch over for some rhymes from the east coast.
The full tape (with the 50 mins of the show before the freestyle) is available on the Hip Hop Radio Archive
There's a snippet of this on YouTube but I don't think the whole thing has been online before
Thanks to Random Rap Radio for supplying the tape of this (and a few others soon to come). He's about to drop a very dope limited edition cassette mix of super rare live 80s Hip Hop with the latest issue of Dig Mag, so get that.