It’s A Demo Pt. 1
Tuesday May 06th 2008,
Filed under: Crates,Demo Week,Features,Promos & Exclusives,Steady Bootleggin'
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Gotta love demo tapes. Once sought-after trophies of music critics and studio interns, you can now find all sorts of demo tape gold all over the shop. This week I’ll be looking at some of my favorite demo moments, as we catch some future greats in their formative years. Since I couldn’t pick which to rock with first, this shit is running down in alphabetical order.1

The Artifacts feat. Brand Nubian – “Check Da Fine Print”

Readers of The Source may recall the songs reviewed for Tame and El‘s ‘Unsigned Hype’ appearance. Lord Jamar handled the beats and contributes a verse with an ill-advised shot at Rakim.

The Artifacts – ‘Wrong Side of the Tracks’ (demo)

Good thing T-Ray remade this track for the album. That ‘Summer Madness’ hook isn’t a patch on that 9th Creation joint.

Biggie Smalls – ‘Another Rough One’

More ‘Unsigned Hype’ action, and a reminded of how raw Biggie was before Puff got involved. That main loop is ill.

Biggie Smalls feat. Sadat X – ‘Come On’ (original)

Just imagine if B.I.G. had stayed gutter and made a whole album with D.I.T.C. beats like this?

(E)PMD feat. LL Cool J – ‘Rampage’ (demo)

Remember who LL jerked the brothers from Brentwood by not bothering to show up for the video? That shadow shit was type corny.

Godfather Don – ‘Slave of New York” (DWG Remastering)’

Thanks to the DWG crew, I finally have a listenable version of this song (on vinyl too). The beat is ‘bonkers’, as the British would say. Don’s production skills are serious.

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  1. 1. If I stole this from your site, dry your eyes and rack something back.[back]

29 Comments so far
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If Puffy never got involved he wouldn’t have got shot . . .

Comment by haroon 05.06.08 @

thats not summer madness. thats the theme to ironside by quincy jones….just a freebie for all u wannabe record collectors and producers…pos k used it too on step up front. SOUTH ORANGE AVE ALL DAY. ARTIFACTS were my local heroes groing up. 1

Comment by mercilesz 05.06.08 @

I’m british and I say ‘bonkers’ alla-time.

BONKERS! ( that just slipped out )

Comment by ED209˚ 05.06.08 @

This is pretty sick!!!! Good shit!!! Thanks

Comment by beatjunkie299 05.06.08 @

If Puff hadn’t gotten involved, we likely wouldn’t have even heard Big in the first place, seeing as how he’s the guy that signed him. Also, I might be in the minority here, but I think Puff’s influence helped B.I.G. in a way. It might not have made him the most ‘gutter’ MC in the world, but I think it helped BIG spread his wings outside of being a strictly ‘hardcore’ rapper. To this day, I think B.I.G.’s the best all-around MC who could come from every angle and do it better than most. That to me isn’t really a bad thing. Puff was kind of like a necessary evil, so to speak.

Comment by DANJAMANIA 05.06.08 @

I dunno, if Puff hadn’t grabbed him someone else would have.

Biggie always tells the story of him about to make a trip down south and Puff stopping him from doing it though, so maybe there’s some substance to what you’re saying.

Comment by haroon 05.06.08 @

BTW, why did a demo have to be done for Rampage? Did they shop this to Def Jam before they moved from Sleeping Bag? I thought Def Jam just sort of inherited them and Nice and Smooth since they were both with Rush?

Comment by haroon 05.06.08 @

Speaking of bonkers, that’s what that Rampage demo is.

Comment by turtle 05.06.08 @

That”Check the fine print”joint has the verse from Sadat X”dissing”Puba,he spit that verse on MTV back when they split and were beefing.As for B.I.G.,I agree with Danjamania,I read an article back when B.I.G. first died,and BONZ Malone(ex writer for the Source)was A&R at Island records and had a dice game with B.I.G for a contract,(this was of course pre-Puff),now Bonz definitely knows HipHop but it was Puff marketing B.I.G.’s-Pop appeal that created this legend,while I don’t think B.I.G.was”the greatest ever,I do think he was”the best of his generation”.

Comment by Roger Jones 05.06.08 @

Oh,by the way B.I.G. was suppose to have the same line up of producers that NAS had on”illmatic”,according to the interview he gave Rappages back in ’94.But Puff..of course had other plans.

Comment by Roger Jones 05.06.08 @

he at least had pete and prim…they just jerked pete…baaaaaad booooooyyyy…

Comment by mercilesz 05.06.08 @

Easy Mo B is no slouch.

Comment by turtle 05.06.08 @

I dunno, I just think that had Big been signed by say a Big Beat Records or a Profile or Wild Pitch, he might be some dude that we remember for a couple cool records from back in the day, and not the guy who made the impact that he made. I don’t know that some other label would’ve been able to do as much with him as Puff did. He could’ve gotten signed to Payday or some shit, dropped a straight-up underground album that went nowhere, and ended up another guy on the milk carton. I don’t see the Puff move as such a bad thing as others might, because it’s not like he turned into PM Dawn or some sh*t- even some of his ‘soft’ records are better and had a more lasting impact than a lotta dudes’ hard/gutter records.

Comment by DANJAMANIA 05.06.08 @

good looking on that rampage demo. one of my all time favorites. it took P a minute to get his verse right huh?

who you think wrote that?

Comment by DP 05.07.08 @

I’m not mad at Puff, him and Biggie were a good team. I just would have liked to hear more of the raw side before he “spread his wings”.

You think Uncle L penned Parrish’s lines on that one Dallas?

Comment by Robbie 05.07.08 @

Even though Come On is “dirty”, “gutta” and “hard” it’s not actually that good and, like Party & Bullshit, it didn’t really stand out when it leaked in ’93. It pales into near-insignificance when compared to tracks like Ready To Die, Warning, Gimme The Loot, Thing’s Done Changed, Unbeliavable etc.

Thank fuck Biggie got with Puffy and did tracks like Juicy and One More Chance remix and had the Bad Boy staff to guide him on Ready To Die or else he’d have probably been just another mediocre timbz ‘n’ bluntz Brooklyn rapper with generic shouted hooks and shitty sub-Enta Da Stage beats.

Comment by brian beck from wisconsin 05.07.08 @

pete rock did juicy….they jerked him…puff had nothing to do with that.u can ask him

Comment by mercilesz 05.07.08 @

thanks for posting these. at liest “come on” in a proper quality since i didn’t get a chance to buy that 12″. no matter what would have had happened to big if he wouldn’t have run with puff, to hear rhymes like the ones on “another rough one” just reminds me how fresh some things used to sound around that time. you can hear how eager he was to make it big tyme.

i gave the artifacts/brand nubian tune some treatment to make it sound a little better.

off the topic. does anybody know where i can find a good quality version of extra p’s queens lounge?

Comment by asiko 05.07.08 @

You got the right idea mercilesz,but that info is a bit off,actually Pete had that”Mtume”sample for another project,his version was harder than the version we were blessed to hear,when Puff decided not to use[Pete’s version]he tapped Easymobee to loop the same sample,Mo said in”Unbelievable”Cheo Hodari Coker’s book he was offended that Puff would even have him do such a basic sample.If any of y’all are really interested in what B.I.G.’s-original Ready to Die album would have sounded like if(all) Pete,Premier,and Lord Finesse’s tracks had remained on the final version,pick up a copy of(Doowop’s&DJ Mikenice-Last King of New York)10th year tribute to B.I.G.,it’s worth the bucks.

Comment by Roger Jones 05.07.08 @

And you know what Mercilesz,it’s messed up then Puff went and included a”Juicy”remix(or possibly a version with the original sample by Pete Rock)on “12”‘s and maxi-cassette singles,I have to agree with Brian and Danjamania,look at all the hot groups that got over looked during that period in the mid-late ’90’s.B.I.G.’s pop shit was an umbrella that kept that kid from falling into obscurity.Just think about it,groups like”10 thieves”,my man Akinelye,Quest tha madd lad,trendz of culture,Ground Floor etc.,man the list is endless.But I love,respect.

Comment by Roger Jones 05.07.08 @

You’ve gotta be kidding me to say that ‘Party & Bullshit’ and ‘Come On MF’s’ aren’t good. All the shit on ‘Ready To Die’ is classic but it would have been good to hear more of his ‘Gimme The Loot’ shit before he went into ‘Big Poppa’ mode.

It’s true that Puff made the superstar he became but I’m sure he would’ve been anything but mediocre even without him.

Comment by Robbie 05.08.08 @

This is one of the best posts yet! Good looking on the demos…The Biggie tracks further staple GOAT status in my book.

Comment by Jerry Nice 05.08.08 @

well pete said puff heard his version and then asked easy mo b to redo it for big and im quite familiar with the story of him being offended that he had to do such an easy loop. puff felt bad and thats y he had pete do the remix on the b side of juicy. not the 1st time pete got jerked. tip heard the jazz at his house and asked him if cl was usin it but pete was just makin it…lke the record was still on the turntable…so tip remembered it and went home and did it himself and made “the jazz”. thats y he says pete rock for the beat yea don’t stop at the end.pete is one of the greatest man 4 real….

Comment by mercilesz 05.08.08 @

I agree Mercilesz,Pete Rock is one of HipHop’s greatest producer’s,I heard that story too,about that”We got the jazz” in Waxpoetics magazine.Pete said,he was playing Q-tip some of his beat tapes,when his phone rang,he went to answer it came back after a while and Tip had jetted withit,Pete sounded heated in Waxpoetics,and said even though Q-tip dropped his name in that”Jazz” track,he never got permission.I love this site.

Comment by Roger Jones 05.08.08 @

I agree with Robbie. In a perfect world, Ready to Die would have been Biggie’s 2nd album and his first would be chock full of 92 beats and flows. Same with Nas.

Comment by turtle 05.09.08 @

“thats how i took the weed spot,shot dread in the head/
took the bread and the lamb’s bread”

haha, the biggie and sadat is dope. thx robbie.

Comment by KQ 05.10.08 @

I don’tknow what you listen Brian Beck, but I’d rather play Enta Da Stage than songs like “Big Poppa” and “One More Chance” to this day….

Comment by ceedub 05.13.08 @

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