Lord Shafiyq – My Mike is on Fire [Unreleased Remix]
Tuesday October 20th 2015,
Filed under: Crates,Remixes,The 80's Files
Written by:

You Toober Umberto -Fab- Lampasona loves himself some test pressings, and this one is a doozy – a vaulted 1988 remix of Lord Shafiq’s debut single from the year before. We only get the first three and a half minutes, but it’s an interesting revision of the classic ‘Nautilus’ loop of the original regardless.

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.

D.I.Y. Vinyl EP – What Would You Pick?
Friday September 25th 2015,
Filed under: Crates,Feedback
Written by:


What with recent technological advancements where you can now cut one-off vinyl records in real time at places that make personalized t-shirts, it got me to thinking what songs I would throw on if I was to make a bootleg of CD and digital only rap songs from recent years. My first one would probably look something like this:

A1. Roc Marciano – ‘Jaws’
A2. Boldy James – ‘You Know’
A3. Prodigy and Alchemist – ‘IMDKV’
B1. Psycho Les feat. Royal Flush, Tragedy Khadafi and Illa Ghee – ‘Thunder Bells’
B2. Illa Ghee – ’90’
B3. Mobb Deep – ‘ Lifetime’

What six tracks would you press-up for ‘promotional use only’?

Introducing The 90’s Rapper Where Are They Now Detective Agency
Wednesday July 29th 2015,
Filed under: Crates,Features,Not Your Average,The 90's Files,Where Are They Now?
Written by:


Do you ever sit around and wonder ‘What the hell happened to that marginally talented rap crew who released an album in the early nineties?’ If so, I’m here to help. It turns out that some of your old favorites didn’t all go back to working ‘civilian’ jobs after the roller coaster ride that is a recording contract. Some of them kept keeping on for another shot at fame, and a few are still releasing music this decade, believe it or not. I’ve previously posted modern efforts from The Legion and Freestyle Professors, but after donning my grey trenchcoat and developing a Columbo style wonky eye I was able to dig up the following:

Download: A Salute To Howie Tee


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.

Download: A Salute To Howie Tee

Track listing:

Download: A Salute To Noise


There was a brilliant period in hip-hop and electro records where the engineers seemed determined to warp and distort the original track to near unrecognizable forms, splattering echo and gated snares on the walls of some long-forgotten underground cavern. Let’s call it the Spelunker Period. The labels often provided not so subtle clues about what we could expect, announcing ‘Zootie,’ ‘Stubb,’ ‘Burnt’ and ‘Psycho Dust’ versions of their vocal counterparts. The following are selection of abrasive, dusted drum machine and scratch experiences that demonstrate the beauty of that thing sometimes referred to as The Dope Noise.

Download: A Salute To Noise

Track listing:

The One That Got Away
Wednesday May 27th 2015,
Filed under: Crates,Feedback
Written by:


Every music nut has a tale of the time they found some crazy shit at a record shop, for some reason didn’t cop it, and the memory remains the ether that burns their soul slow to this very day. For me, it was seeing what I recall to be a copy of Big Daddy Kane‘s ‘Wrath of Kane [Live]’ on a Cold Chillin’ twelve inch but not having the money to get it. Apparently the record doesn’t actually exist on vinyl outside of this bootlegs which I eventually grabbed. Has my memory failed me? Did I just imagine a record that never existed, or get mixed-up with the ‘I’ll Take You There’/’Wrath of Kane’ single?

Regardless, what has been the record, CD or whatever that you held in your hands for a moment but failed to bring home with you?

Stetsasonic – Just Say Stet [Demo version]
Tuesday May 26th 2015,
Filed under: BK All Day,Crates,Demo Week,Steady Bootleggin',The 80's Files
Written by:

Scan courtesy of Press Rewind

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 Avengers’ Age of Analog: The Power Records Story
Friday May 15th 2015,
Filed under: Crates,Features,Web Work
Written by:


If you’re nerdy enough to collect records and comics, then the Power Records catalog would be your holy grail. In my newest Cuepoint article, I’ve researched the label responsible for some classic childhood memories and some great samples for rap records.

The Avengers’ Age of Analog: The Power Records Story


Akshun aka Scarface – Another Head Put To Rest [1989]
Tuesday May 05th 2015,
Filed under: Crates,Rap A Lot For Life,The 80's Files
Written by:


What with Brad Jordan releasing his biography, Diary of a Madman recently (which he discusses with ego trip’s Gabriel Alvarez here), it seemed like a good time to take another listen his first single, released on Lil’ Troy‘s Short Stop Records back when he was still calling himself DJ Akshun. The a-side would later be slightly reworked for the Grip It! On That Other Level album when Scarface became a Ghetto Boy, while ‘Put Another Head To rest’ was relegated to the crates of Houston locals and ebay borks until Lil’ Troy pissed off ‘Face by including the song on his Sittin’ Fat Down South CD and things degenerated from there.

Juggaknots – Ol Faithful [1993 Demo]
Wednesday April 22nd 2015,
Filed under: Crates,Demo Week,EP's,Steady Bootleggin'
Written by:


Some vintage Breeze Brewin’, taken from the Baby Pictures EP, available from Chopped Herring.

Cosmic Force – Cosmic Punk Jam [unreleased 1981 acetate]
Tuesday April 07th 2015,
Filed under: Crates,Steady Bootleggin',Tape Vaults,The 80's Files
Written by:

Unlike Cold Crush Brother‘s ‘Punk Rock Rap,’ this vaulted Cosmic Force entry into the ‘punk rap’ canon is redeemed by a lack of fake cockney accents, the always reliable vocoder and the fact that it interpolates Michael McDonalds’I Keep Forgetting‘ 13 years before Dr. Dre’s stepbrother Warren G enlisted Nate Dogg to give it that extra ‘G’ quality.

Ultimate Breaks and Beats: An Oral History

Photo: K-Prince.

This one has been cooking up for long time now, but it’s finally out of the oven and ready to throw on your plate with a side of mash – the history of the Ultimate Breaks and Beats series told by the people who put them together and some of the DJ’s and producers they went on to influence:

Ultimate Breaks and Beats: An Oral History

Shout out to Shecky Green and the design team at Cuepoint for turning it into a multimedia masterpiece and whatnot.

Phill Most Chill aka Soulman – The Unkut Interview
Thursday March 12th 2015,
Filed under: Crates,Features,Interviews
Written by:

phil most chill tapes

Phill Most Chill came up drawing flyers for local crews before dropping his own independent record in 1988, moving into some production work and eventually landing a regular spot at Rap Sheet. From there he became a record dealer and collector, released over 100 mixtapes and eventually returned to the microphone in 2005, and has since released a number of new projects. I caught up with Soulman to talk records, journalism and more records…

Robbie: How did you first get exposed to hip-hop?

Phill Most Chill: I go back as a little kid, cos I grew up right outside of New York, like a half an hour away from the Bronx in Connecticut. I go back to before when hip-hop was even on record yet, it was just parties. I’d see all the classic crews from back in the days – the Furious Five, Cold Crush Brothers – all of ’em, they would rock at the community center or roller skating rink or high schools in my neighborhood. I started out as a fan but also I used to do flyers for some of the hip-hop pioneers back in those days. From there I went to making records myself – little, small indy records – and that led to the thing with Rap Sheet. During that time I also got into production and I went all out with collecting breaks and digging for records to the point where I would consider myself one of the leading people as far as digging in the crates. I used to also sell breaks and records to all the top producers in New York City. They used to have the Roosevelt Hotel record conventions. That came from me doing the ‘World of Beats’ column – at that point I felt I needed to really up my game and go all-out with the records. That led to me becoming a dealer as well, because a lot of the breaks people were looking for? I had ’em and I knew how to get ’em. Pretty much every great producer in the New York area back then? I sold records to. The only dude I didn’t see at the shows was Preemo.

Magazine Vaults: 1991 Rap Rumor Round-Up
Tuesday February 24th 2015,
Filed under: Crates,Jokes On You,Magazine Vaults,The 90's Files
Written by:

Click image for larger version.

Prior to his reign as The Rap Bandit, Danny Ozark went by the pen name Pistol Pete. For this column in the January 1991 issue of The Source, Pete invents ten rap rumors as an excuse to drop some hip-hop punchlines. Just think, before Twitter rappers had to listen to dumb myths about themselves for months and months! Progress.

Cassette Culture with Stretch Armstrong: The Latin Rascals, Dec. 1985, Kiss-FM NYC
Thursday February 12th 2015,
Filed under: Crates,DJ Mixes,Radio...Suckas Never Play Me,Tape Vaults
Written by:


Stretch Armstrong recently dropped the latest article in his always enjoyable Cassette Culture series over at Cuepoint, providing an essential retrospective of the art of tape editing, while also providing a recording of a classic Latin Rascals mix from 1985. The shit these dudes were doing with reels of tape and a razor blade was incredible.

Cassette Culture with Stretch Armstrong: The Latin Rascals, Dec. 1985, Kiss-FM NYC

Grand Daddy I.U. feat. Biz Markie – I Ain’t Got No Money [1992]
Wednesday February 04th 2015,
Filed under: Crates,Rap Veterans,Strong Island
Written by:


A few years back Grand Daddy I.U. released an EP of his early work (this time with the right production credits) on the appropriately titled Cold Stealin’ label. As a bonus, he included this shelved track he recorded in 1992 with Biz Markie on the hook, which contains gems such as “For that you get a smack, while I’m sticking my one-eyed jack in your ass crack.” The perfect compliment to I.U.’s classic ‘Girl In The Mall.’

Non-Rapper Dudes Series: Freddy Fresh Interview
Thursday January 29th 2015,
Filed under: Crates,Features,Non-Rapper Dudes,Not Your Average
Written by:


This morning I had a quick chat with DJ, producer and record collector Freddy Fresh about B-Boy Records, Breakbeat Lenny, The Rap Records book and the correct storage of 45’s. Freddy’s latest album, Play The Music, is out this March.

Robbie: How did you get involved in remixing a track for BDP’s Man and His Music album?

Freddy Fresh: That was ‘88. My first recorded work was that remix with one button pause switching and broken turntables. That was me hanging out at the offices in the South Bronx of B-Boy Records. The plaque on the Criminal Minded album – there’s a plaque between Kris and Scott – I made that plaque. If you look at the back of the album it says, ‘Freddy Fresh, thanks for the plaque.’ I got name-checked on a lot of those albums – Public Enemy thanked me, MC Lyte, Audio Two – all those guys said ‘thanks Freddy Fresh’ on their album, because I was engraving name plates and sending them out to my favorite hip-hop artists in the Bronx and Brooklyn and stuff in 1985, 6 and 7.

Download: Ultramagnetic MC’s – Destroying All Germs LP [Unkut Bootleg]


This is the ultimate rap addict dedication – the fantasy league lost Ultramagnetic album that we might have enjoyed if they’d released a follow-up to Critical Beatdown in 1990. Sure, it’s a collection of b-sides and vaulted tracks from between 1987 and 1990, but this sums up everything that makes Ultramagnetic MC’s the greatest rap crew of all time. All praise due to Ced-Gee, Kool Keith, Moe Love and TR Love – the best to ever do it. Shout out to James aka BadNewz of 100X Posse for dropping that ‘MC Champion’ verse.

Download: Ultramagnetic MC’s – Destroying All Germs LP [Unkut Bootleg]

Download: Delta – Diggin’ For A Livin’ Mix
Friday November 28th 2014,
Filed under: Crates,DJ Mixes,Steady Bootleggin'
Written by:

Artwork by Hams.

This dropped last month but what can you do. Delta has assembled an impressive collection of Australian funk, soul and jazz tracks for this mix, including the original loop from Kool G Rap & DJ Polo‘s ‘Butcher’s Shop.’ Please enjoy and accept this offering as part of Australia’s ‘Sorry ‘Bout Iggy’ initiative.

LL Cool J – Soul Survivor [Unreleased Original Version]


After speaking to Dr. Butcher again the other week, he revealed that he’d located a copy of the song he produced for LL Cool J in 1993, which went on to be remixed by QDIII and included on his fifth album, and generously agreed to allow me to share it with the world.

Dr. Butcher: I produced a song called ‘The Soul Survivor’ for him on the 14 Shots To The Dome album, with C4. Me and C4 – the guy who did [Akinyele’s] ‘Put It In Your Mouth’ – were production partners. I was going to C4’s house one day to work on some music, and LL was shooting his first video from that album on Farmer’s Boulevard, and C4 lived on Farmers Boulevard at the time. I got off the bus and saw him and I was like, ‘Yo! What’s up!’ We was always real cool, whenever he had time he would always come see me, but he had been so busy we hadn’t seen each other in a while. So he’s asking, ‘Where you going?’ and I’m like ‘To my production partner’s house right down the street’. When we originally did the track, we sampled JDL from the Cold Crush Brothers saying, ‘The L baby, baby, the L baby, baby!’That was the first song I ever produced, I didn’t know how to use machines at the time. We had just got an Ensoniq and was learning what to do. It was rough around the edges. As soon as he heard the track he just sat down, got a pen and pad and wrote the song right on the spot. He was like, ‘Yo, we’re goin’ to the studio tomorrow, gimme your information.’ So I had to go get attorney’s and set-up publishing companies and we were in the studio the next day, recording. It happened that fast.

Cold Crush 4 and Treacherous 3 at Harlem World, 1981
Thursday November 06th 2014,
Filed under: Crates,Harlem Nights,Is It Live Or Is It Memorex?,Tape Vaults,The 80's Files
Written by:

Cold Crush 4

Every now and then it’s good to throw on a tape of rap of old school rap at it’s finest, and without a doubt two of the sharpest crews to ever do it where those led by Grandmaster Caz and Kool Moe Dee. These four snippets from Troy L. Smith‘s crates are a fine reminder of just how advanced KMD was in his prime (check for shots fired at Melle Mel) and the amusing banter of weary performers after a long night celebrating Easy-AD‘s birthday.

Positive K – Supreme Alphabet [2001]
Wednesday October 29th 2014,
Filed under: BK All Day,Crates,Not Your Average,Steady Bootleggin'
Written by:

positive k

Here’s a late entry into Pos K‘s discography where he calls in a solid from Jesse West to freak a trusted Bob James break and get belligerent on all the herbs, suckers and chumps out there on the alphabetical slaughter tip.

Puffy Dee = The OG Iggy Azalea?
Monday October 20th 2014,
Filed under: Crates,Def Dames,Steady Bootleggin'
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When the Tuff City head honcho mentioned that this was the most slept-on release from the label I had to track down a copy. Having previously explained to Fat Lace that “she was white girl living uptown. I thought her rhymes were brilliant but she predated video unfortunately,” Mr. Fuch’s expanded on the topic when I interviewed him in 2013.

Aaron Fuchs: The most overlooked record in my catalogue is this record called Joe Blow by Puffy Dee. She was really difficult to work with and she had a real mousy voice – until somebody tells me that that record isnt good Ill think its brilliant. It was a real beats and rhymes record – Pumpkin on drum machine. It came out around the same time as the Disco Four School Days when he went through a very spare period.

I haven’t seen a photo of Puffy Dunster, but based on the comment about her not benefiting from having a video, it’s safe to assume she was a bit of a looker. ‘Joe Blow’ is certainly an amusing curio over a quality Pumpkin track, while the a-side ‘Young, Single and Free’ is a literally unlistenable attempt at the rap game Minnie Mouse to croon.


Stream: Cut Chemist – Mix By Jimmy
Monday September 29th 2014,
Filed under: Crates,DJ Mixes,Steady Bootleggin',The 80's Files
Written by:


This shit is incredible.

Cut Chemist sez:

“Take a peak into the exclusive material from hip hop pioneer DJ Afrika Bambaataa. ‘Mix By Jimmy’ features recordings Bambaataa had pressed to acetate for spinning live at shows in the late 70’s and early 80’s. This mix includes entirely unreleased material along with demo versions of hits like ‘Looking For The Perfect Beat,’ ‘Renegades of Funk’ and ‘Planet Rock.’ Listen and take a trip through the deepest part of the most important music collection of our time.”

Thanks to egotripland for the tip.