Video: Mantronix, T La Rock and Word of Mouth Live In The UK [1986]
Wednesday February 25th 2015,
Filed under: Great Moments In Rap,London Blokes,The 80's Files,Video Vault
Written by:

Thanks to Drew Huge for spotting this classic clip of Rock Around The Clock, a hip-hop event broadcast on UK TV in 1986 featuring performances from Word of Mouth and DJ Cheese, Mantronix, T La Rock and local lads Phaze One, with commentary from Morgan Khan, Dave Pierce and John Peel (who was able to squeeze in a quick appearance in-between bedding underage school girls). There’s also some break dancing and graffiti action going on, but I pity the fool who would rather watch someone doing a headspin on a chair than witness the microphone techniques of the great Terry La Rock backed-up by Kurtis on the decks!



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:

source-rap-rumors
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.



Remember that time that Brand Nubian brought Mount Rushmore to the projects?
Tuesday February 24th 2015,
Filed under: Features,Party and Bullshit,The 90's Files
Written by:

File under ‘Attempted Club Bangers That May Never Have Actually Been Played In A Club’, much like Rockwilder‘s remix of ‘Thick’ for D.I.T.C. It appears that Puba wasn’t trying to hear that rapping-on-top-of-a-building shit and filmed his part in a bar, although it’s more likely that he just slept-in on the day of the shoot. One can only imagine that Loon was contractually obliged to provide the hook due to the Arista connection, since I’m pretty sure he literally phoned in his contribution from a payphone.
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Rap Mysteries: The Lost Track From the Liquid Swords Advance Cassette
Monday February 23rd 2015,
Filed under: Rap Mysteries,The 90's Files,Wu-Tang Is For The Children
Written by:

gza promo tape

Just saw this advertised on Facebook. Does anybody know what the final track titled ‘Unexplained’ is? I’ve read elsewhere that this was the alternative name for ‘Swordsman,’ but since that’s listed as well it must be a totally different song…



Magazine Vaults: The Time I Accidently Annoyed Keith Shocklee
Monday February 23rd 2015,
Filed under: Features,Magazine Vaults,Print Work
Written by:

shocklee-letter
Click for full-size version

Quite possibly the highlight of my brief print magazine career was when Hip Hop Connection ran my interviews with DJ Johnny Juice/Son of Bazerk and Keith Shocklee side by side in issue #221. As you can read above, the Bomb Squad co-founder didn’t appreciate the presentation. The best thing about the incident was the fact that it helped bring the ‘Bite Back’ page out of retirement after years in the wilderness. Salad days, indeed.



Tape-Only Treats: 5ive-0 Posse – To The Max
Tuesday February 17th 2015,
Filed under: BK All Day,Features,Steady Bootleggin',Tape Vaults,The 80's Files
Written by:

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.”

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Eleven Years of Unkut Dot Com
Friday February 13th 2015,
Filed under: Conservative Rap Coalition,Features,Unkut Retrospective
Written by:

eleven

This week marked the eleventh year of this website/weblog/blog/web page/national treasure/institution/boom-bap graveyard. As is our want, rather than celebrate the achievements that Unkut Dot Com and the mighty Conservative Rap Coalition have achieved, I’d like to focus on pouring out a little liquor for all the great things that are no longer with us:
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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:

R-122630-1292013493.jpeg

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.
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Def Dames: Frick ‘N Frack
Tuesday February 10th 2015,
Filed under: Def Dames,Features,In Search Of...,Steady Bootleggin',The 80's Files
Written by:

frick n frack

If you were a rap fan outside of the USA in 1987, it was in your best interest to collect the Street Sounds Electro/Hip-Hop albums, which were compilations of an often eclectic mix of current singles, mixed together by a selection of UK DJ’s. The one that really stood out for me was Hip Hop 18, which was mixed by a fellow named R.J. Scratch [Roger Johnson] and was a particularly mixed bag of great, obscure and just plain weird rap tracks from New York. I was eventually able to find copies of ‘You Know How To Reach Us’ and ‘We Have Risin”, but the two Marley Marl produced tunes on this volume remained out of reach. As it turns out, what would have been Frick ‘N Frack’s second single was never actually released, only existing on a couple of acetates. This was annoying since it means there was no way to hear the complete, unmixed versions of these tracks – until now. Turns out that Frick ‘N Frack have uploaded some of their old songs to iTunes for those of us who have waited for 28 years to hear the last minute of ‘Who’s On Mine.’ From the preview it sounds like they’ve been dubbed off cassette from when they were played on WBLS, but for 99 cents each I guess it’s worth taking a gamble.

UPDATE: The iTunes version is just a recording of the version on the Street Sounds compilation that cuts off when the Kings Of Pressure comes in. Guess we’ll be waiting another 28 years until Marley presses it up on Hot Chillin’
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Puffy Dee Revealed?
Thursday February 05th 2015,
Filed under: Art of Facts,Def Dames,The 80's Files
Written by:

Puffy Dee

Another rap mystery case file can be closed, as we finally have photographic proof of what Puffy Dee looked like, courtesy of Fat Lace. In case you missed it, here’s her infamous Pumpkin produced b-side:



No Country For Old (Rap) Men: Nas – Live At The Forum, Melbourne

nasdamianhightimes

Last weekend I caught Nas rapping in front of an audience. Due to some kind of review embargo, this is only running now. *shrugs*

No Country For Old (Rap) Men: Nas – Live At The Forum, Melbourne



The Unkut Guide To Beeper Rap
Friday January 30th 2015,
Filed under: Features,Listicles,The Unkut Guide
Written by:

6a00e551a95fd088330168e777b5ec970c

Beeper’s seemed pretty great – although I never had cause to own one – what with the whole not having to speak to people until you can be bothered finding a phone booth thing. While there are dozens of songs that name check these trusty telecommunications devices, only a handful were savvy enough to actually utilize the distinctive sounds of the pager itself. Feel free to let us know if any other examples have been overlooked…

Update: Twelve new entries thanks to Rap Twitter and the comments section.

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

freddy-fresh

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.
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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:

krs_sftl2

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.



The Return of HHC’s Connections Page
Tuesday January 27th 2015,
Filed under: I Need Luh,London Blokes,Magazine Vaults,The 80's Files
Written by:

hhc-c5
Click for full-size

Are you an ill homeboy looking to find a funky fresh fly girl to chill with after school? Then step on up the Hip Hop Connection‘s cleverly titled ‘Connections’ page and find a pen pal today! Sure, these ads were placed on the late 80’s but there’s a decent chance that some of these fellas are still living with mum if you care to try sending them some snail mail, ladies!

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O.C. – The Unkut Interview
Thursday January 22nd 2015,
Filed under: BK All Day,Features,Interviews,Rap Veterans,Web Work
Written by:

O.C.

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’!?

O.C. – The Unkut Interview

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Ten Examples of Kid Rap That Aren’t Embarrassing
Tuesday January 20th 2015,
Filed under: Features,Listicles,Not Your Average,The Unkut Guide,Where Are They Now?
Written by:

CHI_EDIT

Kid Rap became a fad in the early 90’s, but youngsters rapping has been going on since the beginning of hip-hop. Matter of fact, some of them had more to offer than shaved heads and shouted choruses. Tragedy and LL were sonning their peers back when they were 14 and 16, respectively. Meanwhile, Jeff from the De La Soul skits never made an album while those Quo clowns got Redman and Aaron Hall features on their album. Where’s the justice?
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No Country For Old (Rap) Men – DJ Premier Closes The Doors of D&D Studios: An End Of An Era
Friday January 16th 2015,
Filed under: Features,No Country For Old (Rap) Men,The 90's Files,Web Work
Written by:

D&D Studios

Where I get all misty eyed for my long-forgotten youth…

No Country For Old (Rap) Men – DJ Premier Closes The Doors of D&D Studios: An End Of An Era



Ten Rap Remixes That Are Barely Remixes But Still Win

kdefmarley931

The following are a collection of remixes that where perhaps only an extra horn, new drums or a rearrangement of the samples differentiates them from the original version, but they’re still significantly better. You could add most of the 80’s Cold Chillin’ 12: mixes to this list, natch.

Brand Nubian - Slow Down [Pete Rock Remix]

Pete Rock & CL Smooth - ‘Straighten It Out’ [remix]

EPMD - ‘Crossover’ [Test Pressing Remix]

Stezo - ‘Freak The Funk’ [12″ Version]
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Tarrie B Had Great Taste In Rap
Tuesday January 13th 2015,
Filed under: Def Dames,Magazine Vaults,The 80's Files
Written by:

tarrieb

Tarrie B, who’s the missing link between Blondie‘s shirt-lived rap career, a Madonna impersonator and Iggy Azalia, wasn’t much of a rapper. She did, on the other hand, film an amusing segment with her boss Eazy-E for the Slammin’ Rap video series, got a beat from Schoolly-D and clearly listened to some great great rap records before she abandoned rap for ‘grindcore’ band Tura Satana in 1997. Sadly, she makes no mention of the late Eric Wright in this Metal Hammer interview either, which only adds fuel to my theory that she was somehow responsible for E getting ‘the bug.’ Maybe she introduced him to some of her scumbag metal buddies who tempted Compton’s little big man to try a shot of horse with a dirty needle?

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