Filed under: Magazine Vaults,Not Your Average
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
Who’d of thunk it? Two posts in two days? Due to some family dramas, I’ve been out of action for a minute, but things should be back on track from now on. Now all I’ve gotta do is catch up on two weeks of emails…..
Here’s a new category that I’m adding to the Tribute – the Magazine Vault. I’ve been a rap magazine junkie since the days of NME, Hip Hop Connection and even Rap Masters. When I bought my first copy of The Source (The “1980-1990: Decade of Hip Hop” issue), it was a wrap. Plus I can’t forget about Blaze from Mental Combat, who was cranking out Vapours magazine on the first Mac computer and reviewing every hip-hop release during the late 80’s. Over the years, On The Go, Stress, Ego Trip, Represent, RapPages and many more all did their thing, and I copped just about all of them in an attempt to quench my never-ending thirst for rap trivia and actual facts.
Most of these publications have survived my escapades over the years, although most of them are missing their covers, posters and everything in-between, not to mention that many are creased and torn to shit, so their not about to fetch me any coin, so I may as well share them up in this piece.
To set things off, I’ve found an example of Reviews That Lose. Taken from Vibe magazine, circa 1994, we find Cheo H. Coker (the guy who followed Luke around Japan and got snuffed by Masta Killa) shitting on an advance copy of KMD‘s Black Bastards, the album that almost never was. I guess his crystal ball was cracked, judging by his closing remark. Talking about missing the point.
Following on from my 2005 Awards, I finally managed to “preview” the latest albums from Black Rob and AZ, thanks to dope blog called The Smoking Section. These guys have all kinds of old and new albums on there, and recently pointed me in the direction of digital copies of well-worn vinyl favourites like Criminal Minded, Back To The Old School and Road To The Riches. For more special request action, be sure to register with the forums at Phila Flava and Cocaine Blunts, where Jaz and co are serving-up a nice selection of oldies.
But back to Rob and AZ…..A.W.O.L. has some good shit, despite the fact that Sosa starts rocking lines from Rakim‘s “Know The Ledge” right after his superior cover of Milk D‘s anthem. I actually grabbed some home-made remix version of the album by mistake, and I was relieved when I figured out that it wasn’t the real album since most of the remixes were trash (although the “Still Alive” remake was a big improvement over the annoying beat of the original). One Stop Beats did a nice feature on some of the producers on the album.
As for B.R., a lot of the leaked/mixtape tracks were better than the final retail version. Some of the beats sounded like stuff which didn’t make Life Story, with that polished Bad Boy sound which was big around 2000. Still, there are some great songs like “Warrior”, and despite the fact that Babs and Chopper from Da Band feature, Rob is a rapper and a pretty darn good one (thanks Finesse!). Plus, anyone who destroys their liver from too much booze and E is OK in my book. He also screams on a kid interviewing him over at SOHH Teh Ghey, after he makes the mistake of implying that Rob doesn’t rep Harlem enough. Bad move.
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