Opening The Vaults

Not only is every single 80’s and 90’s rapper attempting a “comeback” these days, but we’re also witnessing all kinds of re-issues of vinyl only material and studio outtakes, which could be interpreted as an admission that “OK, maybe our new stuff ain’t so hot – but check this old shit out!” Not that I’m complaining. First off, J-Love’s Streetcore label compiles some quality Mobb Deep winners from the vaults, which comprises of unreleased heaters from all the way back to The Infamous era up until the G-Unit stage. While we don’t get blessed with “Bridge ’94” or “Avirex”, “Everyday Gunplay” and the Tragedy combo on “First Day of Spring” are two prime examples of the supremacy of anti-social QBC ignorance. What’s fucking with this caliber of material right now? Throw these two tracks on, followed by The War Report and some Trag and IMAN Thug team-ups, and you’ve got yourself all you need for an evening of gun-clap rap excellence. Some of the more recent stuff also hits home, as the Alchemist‘s “Backwards” still appeals after numerous appearances as the backing track on various mixtapes.

O.C. is another Queens’ resident who’s recent output has been less enthralling, so it’s only right that he’s released his own Hidden Gems CD, which includes a couple of his early demos and alternative versions of older songs. “Snakes” is a dope demonstration of the O-Zone’s “vocabulary expert” technique, which is top shelf material to even the most mean-spirited rap critic. Frequent collaborator Buckwild has also got a double CD of his many vinyl remixes and whites labels called Diggin’ In The Crates: Rare Studio Masters 1993-1997, showcasing his trademark moody keys, muted horn stabs and sharp snares. His promo-only remix of “You Know Now” flipped the popular Johnny Pate vibes, but Buck’s flip is still the best out of the lot, plus the extra Andre The Giant verse makes this a keeper.

To round things off, a couple of solid “from the vaults” songs from mixtapes are also worth a mention – another selection from the seemingly endless supply of unheard M.O.P smashers, sounding as though it was put together between the To The Death and the Firing Squad sessions, while Nas‘ “Death Anniversary” is entertaining for a number of reasons, some of which are detailed by this noted Nasir stalker. Plus the beat is good.

Mobb Deep – Everyday Gun Play [The Infamous Archives, Streetcore, 2007]

Mobb Deep featuring Tragedy – First Day of Spring [The Infamous Archives, Streetcore, 2007]

Alchemist featuring Mobb Deep – Backwards [The Infamous Archives, Streetcore, 2007]

O.C. – Snakes [Hidden Gems, Next Mill, 2007]

Show & AG – You Know Now (Remix) [Diggin’ In The Crates: Rare Studio Masters 1993-1997, Ground Floor, 2007]

M.O.P – Bang Strong [J-Love‘s M.O.P: The Underground Legends, mixtape, 2007]

Nas – Death Anniversary [The Prophecy 2 – The Beginning of the N, mixtape, 2006]

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20 Comments so far
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Just got the Buckwild double CD and I love it. Never been a vinyl guy, so most of these songs I never had myself, only on tape recorded from the radio. Hopefully Premier and Pete Rock will follow…

Comment by Lotuz 04.01.07 @

Dope post Robbie and I too enjoy all of these collections, that Buckwild one is insane…I had all of those Mobb Deep one’s at one stage but the quality was pretty poor.

I am looking forward to more from Jazzy Jay’s vaults.

Comment by Jaz 04.01.07 @

that’s the way!! i thank god 4 all that,because we all know the new music(i called it “modern hip hop”)…is pure G-A-R-B-A-G-E!!!

i hope in more and more of that stuff,like the 1989 ULTIMATE FORCE,MC SERCH’S 1994 “M.Y.L.A” etc.etc.

and really looking forward for DJ TOO TUFF’S archives!!

Comment by mario 04.01.07 @

can’t forget about K-DEF unreleased stuff.


Comment by mario 04.01.07 @

nice drops robbie. puttin em on the ipod as we speak.

Comment by vik 04.01.07 @

Illmatic shit and what have you..

The break on that Buckwild remix got used on the track “Love What I Feel” by April on the Loud Story compilation.. still ill, mind.

I’ve got that ‘Backwards’ joint on the bonus cd that came with the otherwise pretty awful Mobb album Free Agents.. I think I read in an interview that the Alchemist was pretty pissed it didn’t get more attention.

Definitely going to get that Buckwild album..

Comment by Eyeman 04.01.07 @

The break on that Buckwild remix got used on the track “Love What I Feel” by April on the Loud Story compilation.. still ill, mind.

Don’t forget Heltah Skeltah.

Comment by Lotuz 04.01.07 @

Reminds me to pick up all the OC stuff–he’s got another “Hidden Gems” or something disc due out next week. Jewelz has been re-released with new tracks too.

Comment by Finally 04.01.07 @

hate to be a dunce, and maybe this is bad form, but, if someone wanted to get these onto their harddrive…

that mobb song makes me feel 15.

Comment by frank 04.01.07 @

you can right click the title of the song and select “save target as” and then save it to your audio/mp3 folder on your comp and you’re ready to go.

Comment by Kin Corn Karn 04.02.07 @

Thanks for these Robbie, I’m loving that O.C. & that Show and AG. Hopefully, Traffic and other labels continue to bring back these type of reissues at these reasonable prices. I’ve passed up on too many double vinyl $20-$25 euro/japan bootlegs of classics like Long Live The Kane, Let The Rhythm Hit Em, etc. to never see them again.

Comment by Kin Corn Karn 04.02.07 @

I’m gonna have to hijack this thread for some selfish needs, but desperate measures are needed. I’m trying to find a track released in 92/93 pretty sure it made a lot of noise in the underground for a while but got lost amongst the likes of Wu & Biggie and other east coast artists blowing up. Bouncing rhythm built around a couple of low piano keys and then a trumpet break. I can remember it being on a Ron G tape mixed with Pudgee’s ‘Think Big’, and I’m sure I’ve got a white label with Raggedy Man freesytling over it and a Method Man freestyle on the flip if these ring any bells? I appreciate this is as vague as possible, but there are a lot of knowledgable people on here so thought I’d try my luck. Thanks in advance.

Comment by mister_t 04.03.07 @

Great post, but just to clarify, O.C. is from Brooklyn, not Queens.

Comment by R.H.S. 04.04.07 @

O was born in BK but moved to Queens when he was a kid.

Comment by Robbie 04.05.07 @

Speaking of opening the vaults, I’m gonna plead this, if any old skool heads has got or has access to any audio or video recordings of any live battles & freestyle/cypher sessions pre 1997, should put it out to be heard and shared, because not a day goes by that I fear day by day, the history of HipHop it’s legacy of battling is not only getting lost, erased but also rewritten

Comment by Kevin 04.05.07 @

Speaking of OC, I decided to remix Born 2 Live a couple weeks ago:

After a 10 year hiatus from these types of things . . .

Comment by bedouin 04.05.07 @

just shows oc can make classics over the right beats

Comment by john idem 04.06.07 @

@bedouin, nice remix!

Comment by Kin Corn Karn 04.06.07 @

The sample sure is nice, but I guess Da Beatminerz showed it can be taken to a higher level with the right drums.

Comment by Lotuz 04.06.07 @

that show & ag track is thrown back like a tray sack…thanks again Robbie….

Comment by alphastart 04.08.07 @

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