Fat Joe – Part Deux [Original Version]
Friday October 16th 2015,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Crates,Steady Bootleggin',The 90's Files
Written by:

Fat Joe KRS-One

Here’s the original version of ‘Part Deux’ from Fat Joe‘s Jealous One’s Envy LP, produced by Domingo and available on his Sessions and Lessons album.

Afrika Islam – The Unkut Interview

afrika islam

Rising up through the ranks from the ‘Son of Bambattaa’ to the DJ at The Roxy and launching the Zulu Beat radio show on WHBI, Afrika Islam went on to release the very fist cut and paste record, help found the Rhyme Syndicate and produce the majority of Ice-T’s first four albums after moving to LA in what has certainly been an action-packed career. He took a little time out to reminisce before he headed over to Ice’s house to watch the latest episode of SVU.

Robbie: How did you first get exposed to the culture?

Afrika Islam: I was a member of the Zulu King b-boys, under Afrika Bambaataa. That’s how I came into the culture, from the floor up. Being a member of the Zulu Kings I went out to battle other b-boy crews across the city, representing the Zulu Nation. From there, my second step was becoming a Zulu Nation DJ – the first line – which would have been myself and Jazzy Jay and Red Alert and DXT. I was under Afrika Bambaataa – we all were – but I was very close to Afrika Bambaataa. Then I got named ‘The Son of Bambaataa’ because I was always under him and his teachings and what was going on in the Zulu Nation at the same time in hip-hop. That’s my roots of hip-hop – I was there as a DJ.

There must have been a lot of competition to make it into that first line of Zulu DJs?

My technique I took from those that were creating the techniques – Grandmaster Flash and Grand Wizard Theodore. That’s primarily where the technique we used came from, but being that I was with Afrika Bambaataa the main thing was learning all those records, because he was definitely the ‘Master of Records.’ Learning all those records was honestly what everything was about. Having all those records, the repertoire, most of these other DJs only had the ability to….even though they were technically incredible and the pioneers of what modern-day DJing is – Flash and Theodore – the repertoire of the records was the soundtrack to New York City. That was the soundtrack to hip-hop.

Donald D – The Unkut Interview
Tuesday October 06th 2015,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Features,Interviews,Rap Veterans,The 80's Files
Written by:

Donald D

Microphone King Donald D has had a long and varied career, spanning back to the park jam era, onto the downtown club scene, radio and then records, both as a member of The B-Boys and as a soloist with the Rhyme Syndicate. Now residing in Italy, Donald took some time out to detail some of his experiences during the formative days of the culture.

Robbie: How were you first introduced to hip-hop?

Donald D: Going to the parties, watching Kool Herc in the parks and Afrika Bambaataa in the parks. That was my first experience seeing these DJs out in the park.

You were living in the Bronx at the time?

Kool Herc used to play at a park called 129, which is not far from where I lived. Then I would go to Bronx River Center and watch Afrika Bambaataa throw down outside. All of this took place in the South Bronx, where it all started.

How old were you at that time?

You’re talking about junior high school when I was seeing these guys play. At the time we was going to a local place all the kids would call The Boy’s Club. We would go there basically to play basketball, swim. I had other friends who would become hip-hop legends and superstars, so you’re talking about at that time Easy AD, who became a member of the Cold Crush Brothers; you had Lil’ Rodney Cee and Jazzy Jeff who were part of the Funky Four; you had Master Rob and Waterbed Kev who became part of the Fantastic Five. There were a lot of these guys who were at the time unknown who became legends in hip-hop. We all would be playing basketball together as kids [chuckles].

A.G. – B.L.O.W
Wednesday September 30th 2015,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Newest Latest,Steady Bootleggin'
Written by:


New Andre The Giant, produced by The Last Genus. From the forthcoming LP, The Taste of Ambrosia.

Download: A Salute To Showbiz Remixes

Photo: richdirection

Remember that time that A.G. fired shots at Arrested Development in The Source for not mentioning Show when they won the Grammy for ‘Tennesee’? Here’s the remix in question, alongside fifteen other examples of Show’s production magic, ranging from his early big band horn-stab style through to his incredibly sparse, stripped down period and his more recent cinematic sound.

Download: A Salute To Showbiz Remixes

Track listing:

Doo Wop – Shadows of 1995
Wednesday August 26th 2015,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,New Rap That Doesn't Suck,Newest Latest,Steady Bootleggin'
Written by:


Wop takes a trip down memory lane over a Statik Selektah track.

Stream: Lord Tariq – Uptown Suite Tape


New Ray West/LUVNY tape with the two tracks featuring Lord Tariq. Available digitally from Bandcamp or on blue plastic.

Ced-Gee Details His Work On Criminal Minded
Wednesday July 15th 2015,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Ced Gee Special,Great Moments In Rap,The 80's Files
Written by:


Stumbled onto this piece of gold the other night thanks to TR Love – Angus Batey’s interview with Kool Keith and Ced-Gee for the liner notes of the Roadrunner edition of Critical Beatdown! Of particular interest was Ced’s breaking down his involvement with Criminal Minded:

Ced-Gee: Me and Scott [La Rock] grew up together. I knew Scott’s whole family. With BDP’s Criminal Minded, my input was more of showing Scott how to use the sampler. When the SP-12 came out, a lot of engineers just looped. But I would take sounds and chop ’em up – even if it wasn’t a full sound I’d make it sound full. I was the first person to chop samples on the SP-12. Soon everyone was doing it. [KRS-ONE] would bring the record, I would take it, chop it, rearrange it. I did the whole album, apart from four songs. I didn’t do ‘Criminal Minded,’ ‘South Bronx,’ ‘My 9mm’ and ‘Elementary,’ but I did the rest. But I got jerked on the credit. Scott kept telling me to stay on the back of the guy who ran the label. ‘I’m telling you,’ he said, ‘he’s sheisty’. I’m like, ‘Nah, he said he got me’. And when it came out, it didn’t say ‘Produced by Ced-Gee and Boogie Down’, it said ‘Produced by Boogie Down, special thanks to Ced-Gee’. Me and Scott didn’t fall out, but it cost me money.


Video: Diamond D feat. Scram Jones – I Ain’t The One To Fuc Wit
Thursday July 09th 2015,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Rap Veterans,Video Clips
Written by:

Video number nine from The Diam Piece.

Download: A Salute To Nice & Smooth


If you don’t enjoy the bombastic nonsense that is Greg Nice combined with the ultra relaxed musings of Smooth B then there isn’t much hope for you in life. I recommend drinking bleach, playing chicken with freight trains or challenging Just-Ice to a fist fight in order to hasten your ascent to the pearly gates/pits of hell/endless grey void that awaits you. For all the rest of you, please enjoy my favorite Nice & Smooth songs – in particular the unreleased ‘Turn It Out,’ which features the best use of Babe Ruth‘s ‘Keep Your Distance’ in some time and was re-recorded with a different beat for the Blazin’ Hot LP.

Download: A Salute To Nice & Smooth

Track listing:

Video: TheBeeShine Cypher #6 – T La Rock, Silver Fox and Kool DJ Red Alert
Thursday May 28th 2015,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Harlem Nights,Old Moufs,Rap Veterans,Video Clips
Written by:

Great to see Terry and Fox in action again with Uncle Red on the decks.

Download: A Salute To The Blackwatch Movement


I had the good fortune of connecting with Paradise The Architect from X-Clan on the phone last week for an interview, which gave me cause to revisit the Blackwatch discography, since he was heavily involved of producing everything under the banner until Brother J started Dark Sun Riders in the mid 90’s. For extra good times, try and play a drinking game where you have to go a shot every time you hear the word ‘sissy’ or any variation thereof.

Download: A Salute To The Blackwatch Movement [Zippyshare Records and Tapes]

Track listing:

Download: A Salute To Greg Nice Solo Guest Shots

Chiara Clemente, Greg Nice

Eff a Fatman Scoop, the only old guy you need yelling on your records is Greg N-I-C-E. While recent years have seen king of the human echo chamber reduced to consorting with the likes of Jason Nevins and Talib Kweli, there was a time when having this man on your hook was money in the bank. Just ask The Beatnuts, who enlisted his help on no less than four album cuts and two outside projects.

Download: A Salute To Greg Nice Solo Guest Shots [Zippyshare Records and Tapes]

Track listing:

Pre-Order: Tim Dog Demos 45
Friday April 17th 2015,
Filed under: Announcements,Bronx Bombers,Collectables,Vinyl Singles
Written by:


TR Love is releasing a 7″ with two early Tim Dog demos through Black Pegasus. There’s a snippet at the end of the video. Pre-orders will begin at 10am UK time today.

Download: Doo Wop and Lord Tariq – The Lost Tapes
Friday March 27th 2015,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Mix Tapes,Steady Bootleggin'
Written by:


Before the official album drops later this year, here’s a collection of some Wop and Tariq loosies from the past.

Download: Doo Wop and Lord Tariq – The Lost Tapes


How might rap have evolved without the record business?
Thursday March 26th 2015,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Features,Not Your Average,The 80's Files
Written by:


After transcribing my video interview with Tuff City founder Aaron Fuchs recently, I came across this intriguing quote:

Aaron Fuchs: The Bronx and Harlem were worlds apart cultural by the time the 70’s happened, because Harlem’s a community and The Bronx was burnt-out, but they were geographically very close to each other. You had hip-hop evolve like a weed, like top seed and bang! The Harlem record guys take over. You had Spoonie Gee, who was really an R&B guy who was rapping instead of singing. You had this truncating of what hip-hop was into the constraints of the Harlem record business. These couple of [Cold Crush Brothers] records actually reflect what hip-hop was before it was a record business. This crazy, formless, sprawling kind of music. You wonder sometimes would would have happened to hip-hop had The Bronx had not been so close to Harlem and was so quickly engulfed by the vastly deeper traditions of Harlem.


Strong City Released Four Videos?
Wednesday March 11th 2015,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,The 80's Files,Video Clips,Video Vault
Written by:

Four of Jazzy Jay‘s Strong City groups released an album during the Uni Records distribution deal – Ice Cream Tee, Busy Bee, Don Baron and Nu Sounds. I vaguely remember owning the Mackin’ album at some stage but not really enjoying anything off it, and listening back now it’s clear that these guys were totally run-of-the-mill. Still, considering their modest talents they did well to have two videos shot, get Afrika Bambaataa to chant the hook, rent some colorful suits and still have enough left over to hire some hawt cheerleaders and video skeezers. ‘Condition Red’ is a slightly better track if you enjoy distorted phone crank callers, otherwise notable for being Skeff Anslem‘s first production credit.

Video: Diamond D – Superman
Friday March 06th 2015,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,New Rap That Doesn't Suck,Video Clips
Written by:

Salutes to DJ Scratch for keeping those drums loud.

The Unkut Guide To Greg Nice’s Human Beatbox Career
Thursday February 12th 2015,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Features,The 80's Files,The Unkut Guide
Written by:


There once was a time when the human beatbox was an entertaining addition to 80’s rap songs, rather than something that you could do on into an iPad on your late night talk show. One of the unsung practitioners of this humble talent was Greg Nice, who lent his vocal percussive skills to no less than three crews before he teamed-up with Smooth B to make history. As revealed in my interview with CJ Moore, Greg Nice was down with the Nasty Comedians crew, which was originally Greg and Cool Nate-T. Their first single was released on Home Boys Only Records in 1985, the same label that CJ’s Small’s Chosen Few 12″ appeared on. As it turns out, the guy who owned HBO Records was Larry Davis, who would later rise to worldwide fame after he shot six cops in self-defense when they raided his sisters apartment in the Bronx.

KRS-One – Late Night [Unreleased 1993 Practice Session]
Wednesday January 28th 2015,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Freestyles,Steady Bootleggin',Tape Vaults,The 90's Files
Written by:


DJ Kenny Parker sez:

Off the Practice Tapes album. Krs-One free styling & practicing an early draft of a song meant for the Return Of The Boom Bap LP.

Stream: Boogie Down Productions – Live In London [1990]

BDP Live 1990

DJ Kenny Parker has shared this recording of a Boogie Down Productions show at Brixton Academy, 1990. Highlights include the freestyle session where KRS kicks some rhymes that would appear on later albums. Also, it’s my birthday today so I’m off to drink some RAER whiskey and whatnot.

Download: Grandmaster Caz – The Grandest Of Them All LP [Ced-Gee Version]
Tuesday November 25th 2014,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Ced Gee Special,Compilations,Rap Veterans,Steady Bootleggin'
Written by:

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
Tuesday November 25th 2014,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Video Clips
Written by:

Two ‘Best Producer’s On The Mic’ connect, politic, ditto.

Stream: Diamond D – The Diam Piece Album

Empire Music have posted the new Diamond album on their YouTube channel for your enjoyment. Here’s a re-up of D-Squizzy’s track-by-track breakdown of the album here while you listen. Available now on CD and digital.

Diamond D: It’s more or less a production LP, about two and a half years it took. A lot of tracks I didn’t even use. I had about 27 tracks but I only used 18. Some of the artists I was in the studio with, and others – because of their touring schedule and my touring schedule – I just sent them music and they sent me the session back. If the track that I give them has a sample in it that’s giving it direction then they’ll follow that. If there is no sample or concept at the beginning I just let the MC’s paint their own pictures and try to figure out how can make it connect. I use a lot more live instrumentation now. I still chop and manipulate samples, but my sound just sounds bigger now. Just using better equipment so the sample frequencies are better.


Eddie Cheeba – Swim In A Drought
Tuesday September 30th 2014,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Hoody Rap Ain't Dead,Steady Bootleggin'
Written by:


A P Brothers sure shot featuring Eddie Cheeba from the BX. This isn’t the full version but it’ll do for now.