Download: Delta – Diggin’ For A Livin’ Mix
Artwork by Hams.
This dropped last month but what can you do. Delta has assembled an impressive collection of Australian funk, soul and jazz tracks for this mix, including the original loop from Kool G Rap & DJ Polo‘s ‘Butcher’s Shop.’ Please enjoy and accept this offering as part of Australia’s ‘Sorry ‘Bout Iggy’ initiative.
Video: Positive K Performing Stand-Up Comedy
I was directed to this in the comment section of my Pos K interview last year by hotbox but forgot to post it. Take my wife…please!
Al’ Tariq aka Fashion – The Unkut Interview, Part One
The artist formerly known as Fashion aka Kool-Ass Fash took some time out to discuss the ups and downs of his career as both a soloist and as a member of The Beatnuts. This first part focuses on his early days, revealing that the Intoxicated Demons EP could have been completely different had fate not intervened, his thorny relationship with Juju, subliminal rhyme jabs between the Native Tongues and how recording the Street Level album was absolute hell.
Robbie: What made you want to rap?
Al’ Tariq: I wanted to rap at an early age, growing up in The Bronx. The first time I heard Spoonie Gee [starts reciting ‘Spoonin’ Rap’] I wanted to do it bad. I always sang and act and wrote plays and movies at a young age, but what made me think it could be real was I went to school with a young gentleman named James Todd Smith. We attended this school called Christopher Robbins Academy, we were both in ninth grade together. I had gone down to North Carolina to live for two years with my family and sister. I was down there in the fall, my brother came to see me, he was like, ‘Look at this record that Jay made.’ I couldn’t believe it. That was the moment. ‘He did it? I could do it!’ When I heard ‘I Need A Beat’ it was the fall of 1984. At them times, I was rhyming but I wasn’t out there rhyming with everybody. It was something I did on the low. Basketball and girls was all I thought about. I wanted to be an entertainer anyway, but rhyming was probably the fourth or fifth thing on that list. I had other pictures for what I thought I was gonna be at the end of the day.
Video: Your Old Droog – Nutty Bars
If you need me, I’ll be hanging around the comment section of this video until that crab who insists that Droog is ‘miming’ his rhymes turns up.
Spotted at ego trip.
Tragedy Khadafi – Running
New Tragedy Khadafi, from the Pre-Magnum Opus LP, due December 16th.
Download: Grandmaster Caz – The Grandest Of Them All LP [Ced-Gee Version]
Photo: Joe Conzo
Back before rap magazines and the internet, I heard a rumor that Grandmaster Caz and Ced-Gee were working on an album together. Needless to say, my young mind was blown at the possibility of these two rap geniuses teaming-up. While we only got a couple of Tuff City singles from this meeting of minds, it turns out that they did in fact record an entire album of material together in 1992 before Aaron Fuch‘s decided that the material ‘wasn’t commercial enough,’ according to a piece that Dave Tompkins did on the ‘You Need Stitches’ single. Tuff City eventually released the vaulted material on a couple of compilations, so I thought I’d assemble it all together to paint a picture of how Caz’s 1992 LP, The Grandest Of Them All was originally intended to sound before The Mighty Maestro was recruited to remake it. ‘I’m Gonna Freak You’ deserves a special mention as being one of the most amusing sex raps ever recorded, while ‘I’m Rich’ is flossing at it’s finest. I’ve also included the earlier records they did together, just on the general principle that everything Ced touched during that period was amazing and Caz still had some gas in the tank despite being part of the old guard by this point. Bronx brilliance at it’s finest, albeit in poorly mixed, unpolished form.
Download: Grandmaster Caz – The Grandest Of Them All [Ced-Gee Version]
Video: Diamond D feat. Pete Rock – Only Way 2 Go
Two ‘Best Producer’s On The Mic’ connect, politic, ditto.
Sugar Bear & Stezo – Capital Rap Sessions 
Sugar Bear The Powerful Powerlord was responsible for the highly enjoyable 1988 single, ‘Don’t Scandalize Mine’ / ‘Ready To Penetrate’, and was also no slouch when it came to freestyling, as he demonstrated with this amusing Tim Westwood guest spot.
DJ Skizz feat. Your Old Droog, Sean Price, Lil’ Fame and Milano Constantine
DJ Skizz cooks up a marvelous track for Lil’ Fame to threaten that he’ll ‘put a hole in your chest bigger than sleeves on a wizard,’ which is a nice variation of the old saying used to describe the size of a particularly well-worn skeezer’s cooch.
New Vinyl Round-Up
There are a few new vinyl releases that are well worth keeping an eye out for if you still care about such things…
Chopped Herring have recently dropped vinyl for originally digital-only releases from Willie The Kid, Your Old Droog and $amhill, with Fat Beats supplying 2LP versions of Roc Marciano‘s Pimpire Strikes Back and Marci Beaucoup. Tuff City have issued a 7″ version of Davy DMX’s seminal ‘One For The Treble’ paired with ‘Davy DMX Will Rock,’ complete with pint-sized cardboard sleeves. Get On Down has followed-up recent 2LP editions of Big L and Black Sheep with re-issues of Diamond D’s debut and the mighty Hell On Earth album from Mobb Deep, while The Doppelgangaz will issue their 2008 EP The Ghastly Duo on record next month. Perhaps the most anticipated of all is the release of the lost J.B.’s album, These Are The J.B.’s on Now Again.
Video: Food Warriors – 59th Street, Columbus Circle
Has Midtown got any got spots to chow down? Will the IC’s dine on swine or take the ‘healthy option’?
The Mighty V.I.C. – The Unkut Interview
Photo: Alexander Richter
Not sure how my extended interview with The Mighty V.I.C. from 2008 slipped through the cracks, but after using a couple of parts of it I never got around to transcribing the entire three hours that we spoke over a couple of days while Vic ran errands. As before, the full version will be in the Unkut book, but here’s an edited version which covers the major points in his career. V.I.C. discusses how he began interning as a recording engineer at Power Play in the late 80’s, before joining The Beatnuts and working with Godfather Don under the Groove Merchantz banner and later recruiting Mike Heron to create the Ghetto Pros.
Robbie: How did you get started in music?
V.I.C: I started deejaying when I was fifteen years old. I was at the local bagel shop and one of the local kids who worked at the bagel shop showed me a mixer. I was in the tenth grade and I remember being home, sick at the time, and the guy came over after school – and after he was done at the bagel shop – and showed me how to DJ. From there, I found out you can actually go to school for engineering. I was like, ‘You can go to school to edit?’ So I did that a short time after. I went to an engineering school in the city, which I learned zero from, and I started interning at Power Play. That’s where I met Ivan ‘Doc’ Rodriguez, I met Norty Cotto, Patrick Adams – the guy that used to play on all those Eric B. & Rakim albums. At that time there were guys like Just-Ice recording there, you had KRS-One, you had EPMD. Hurby Luvbug used to record there too, Salt ‘N Pepa, Dana Dane, Kid ‘N Play.
Great Moments In Cracka-Ass Cracka Rap: Paleface
Click for full-size version.
After being reminded of this misguided attempt at Saltine Rap pride from 1993, it’s only right to give Paleface his second 15 seconds in the spotlight. It’s safe to assume that this guy was ignored by Ice Cube and therefore nobody outside of the Vibe magazine office ever heard this ‘industrial rock/rap’ track aimed at O’Shea. Shout-outs to Caesar for finding the scan and saving me having to dig through the torn-up magazine crates.
Video: Food Warriors – 125th Street
Shout out to your boy with the parrot on his shoulder as the IC’s continue to explore Harlem spots to grab grub from.
The Source Scans: The Great White Hoax
Classic material from The Source as Reginald C. Dennis breaks down the 1991 White Rap Invasion. Please note that Lavar kid is a Conservative Rap Coalition pioneer with his sensible haircut and crisp polo shirt.
Ghostface Killah feat. Kool G Rap, AZ & Tre Williams – The Battlefield
The second single from 36 Seasons, featuring two CRC-approved veterans of rap.
Pre-Order: Cole James Cash – Street Champion album
The newest project from Cole James Cash is the Street Champion album, which is themed around a certain iconic video game series. CJC has decided to go all out and plans to release this on CD and limited edition vinyl, so if you want to get a piece of the action check out his Kickstarter campaign and get yourself a copy locked in.
Pre-Order: Cole James Cash – Street Champion album
So far the album tracklist, features and themes are: