AZ is a great rapper who also made his mark as a Conservative Rap Coalition style icon thanks to his affinity for sweater vests, polos and sensible shirts. While he had to work a little harder than most to escape Nas’ shadow (I’ve deliberately excluded anything involving him here), when he has the right beat behind him there is no stopping The Visualiza absolutely annihilating the track.
The career of The Jaz aka Big Jaz aka Jaz-O is tricky to summarize. On one hand, he had to deal with being eclipsed by his young protege, which is always going to be a blow to the ego. On the other hand, Jay-Z did seem to attempt to repay the favor by offering to put him on at Roc-A-Fella, even though Jaz turned down the deal and decided to air-out his former student and effectively get himself black-balled from the industry as a result. If you notice, his discography of production work stops at exactly the time that he fell out with Mr. Carter. And if this detailed account of his handling of Council’s Tommy Boy deal (found in the comments section), he was also doing some bad business.
Nevertheless, as a rapper we saw Jaz evolve from the Brag Rap era through to the Conscious Rap era before eventually adopting the Street Hustler style. As a producer, he made more of a lasting impression, proving to be equally adept at delivering laid-back, moody joints as he was hyped-up sonic aggression. Special mention goes out to besting AZ at his own game on the 80’s R&B flip for ‘Waitin” and delivering Brooklyn’s answer to the Money Boss Player‘s ‘Killed in The Crap Game’ on the incredible ‘Council Era.’
What do you get when you combine Babe Ruth, the Olympic Runners and Stetsasonic? This demo track, which the YouTube poster guesses to be from ’86/’87, but considering how rough it sounds in comparison to their 1986 album On Fire I’d venture that it’s from 1985. Thanks to noz for putting me onto this, you can go and buy some rap from his Park Blvd Records and Tapes shop in Oakland as thanks.
I purposely waited for the album & mixtape to drop before putting this up, there were alot of tributes but NONE can ever compare to mines. Heres the 2hr Tribute I did, no Tracklisting, Enjoy the music for what it is. If you take this mix and try to sell it in any way shape or form, you will get sued! I miss you P. Love u brother
Sean Price exemplified everything that the Conservative Rap Coalition stands for. He was a fan of self-depricating humor, blocking people on Twitter for the slightest of infractions and refused to catch buses since they’re basically for old people. He was also one of the few MC’s who managed to improve with age. As much as I enjoyed the music of Heltah Skeltah, I can’t quote a line from either of their first two albums from memory. Sean P solo, however, was a cot-damn quotable machine. I saw him perform twice, and both times he delivered a strong, no gimmick display of great rapping. The first time in Melbourne, backed by PF Cuttin, and then at S.O.B.’s in 2013 for the Statik Selektah album launch. Later that evening Dallas Penn introduced me to Mr. Price, who appreciated my firm, man-style handshake and kept it moving, just as it’s supposed to be. (more…)
Hitman Howie Tee got his start as part of CD III, before laying down the demo version of ‘Roxanne Roxanne’ for UTFO and helping out Full Force with some material, before lending his talents to Whistle, Chubb Rock, Special Ed, the Real Roxanne and Little Shawn. Later in his career he branched out into reggae (Vicious, Patra) and created pop (Color Me Badd, Madonna, EMF). Here are some of his more memorable moments when he was in hardcore rap mode.
DJ Spinna and Kriminal provided the 1996 indy stand-out single, ‘Beyond Real’/’Dead Man Walking,’ which proved to be the one of the highlights of an extensive discography over the next six years. Spinna was in high demand during this period for his signature lush production style which combined restrained sampling and original riffs for an atmospheric canvas of sounds, while Krim provided the most compelling verbal contributions from a wide range of vocalists who utilized the Beyond Real catalog. Ignoring the hackneyed ‘conscious’/’underground’ cliches that came to sully much of the ‘independent as fuck’ mantra of the day, Kriminal maintained a refreshingly honest style of Brooklyn brag rap that wasn’t afraid to boast of of ‘putting a dick in your girl’ during a time of tiresome politically correct posturing and underground flag-waving. (more…)
I didn’t get hip to Stetsasonic‘s brand of BK brilliance until I heard KRS-One shout them out and tracked down their In Full Gear album, but On Fire is worth your time for the classic ‘Go Stetsa’ and ‘My Rhyme.’ Here’s the stripped down demo version of their debut single, ‘Just Say Stet,’ which eagle-eyed Unkut reader P_gotsachill just put me up on. Now with added Human Mix Machine Wise!
The Original Gangster of Hip-Hop remade his classic ode to rap history for the Deadly Dragon Sound System last December. I wonder if he’d do a version for the Conservative Rap Coalition if we asked very nicely?
The original 5ive-0 Posse, not to be confused with the weak 5ive-0 crew from 1994, dropped an entertaining LP in 1989 on Sue Records which dealt with the concerns of a rapper and a DJ who just happened to work for the New York City Police Department. Making it clear that they weren’t soft just because they were the fuzz (cutting in the Jungle Brothers ‘Shot and killed by an off duty jake’ line as a warning to anyone who stepped to them), while boasting of being able to ‘carry all the guns that I want and be legal.’ In case you were concerned that the duo were walking around like a couple of cowboys, we’re reminded that they never ever got a civilian complaint. Prince Rashaad and DJ Brother Lee-Luv broke down their statement of intent on the back cover:
“During the day to protect and serve, during the night to create and project an image that Police Officers are human and can be down to earth like anybody else.”
Working through my list of D.I.T.C. members to interview (only Fat Joe, Buckwild and O.Gee remaining), I got to talk shop with O.C. recently to ask the question that’s been burning my soul slow since 1994 – why didn’t he use that Rakim sample on ‘Time’s Up’!?
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.
Once again I found myself subjected to indignities of a press day, where you have ten or fifteen minutes allotted to talk to a rapper who has already bored themselves to death speaking to the twenty other jerks before you and some herb always messes up the schedule and as a result that fifteen minutes turns into less than ten. Just for laughs, I decided to stay on the line and laugh at the other shitty questions from the amateur journalists who followed me, while witnessing Buckshot get progressively more confusing the more he drank and/or smoked to make the whole process slightly less tedious for himself. Nevertheless, I still managed to get a couple of interesting jewels from the former Black Moon front man.
Robbie: What inspired you start making music?
Buckshot: My uncle David was a dancer, he was an entertainer and he made dancing a big influence on my life when I was a youngster. He was a dancer for a group called Mtume, they made a record called ‘Juicy.’ I saw him on TV and I felt like he achieved the ultimate impossible and one day I was going to do that and I would achieve the same impossible. I kept going and kept going and I kept dancing. I stopped dancing in 1990 and I became an MC at that point. I always wanted to be an MC but never thought that that was my path. I always thought that dancing was gonna be the way for me. When my MC got locked-up I felt like I had no choice but to continue what we started. When he got locked-up he was like, ‘Yo, keep it going!’ I was like, ‘How am I gonna keep it going? You know what? I’mma just start emceeing myself.’ That’s how I became an MC. (more…)