Domingo – The Unkut Interview
Domingo‘s latest album, Same Game, New Rules dropped this week, featuring a mixture of veteran MC’s (AZ, Kool G Rap, KRS-One) and new jacks (Chris Rivers, Kon Boogie, Joey Fattz), so I took some time out to discuss some of the highs and lows of his long career in the music game, and found out some amusing trivia about some LL Cool J and G Rap songs in the process.
Robbie: What sparked you off to start making beats?
Domingo: My uncle used to go to radio personality college and he started deejaying for a radio station in Chicago as an intern and then became a radio personality there. He would send me cassettes back of him deejaying and I was always fascinated. When he finally came back home to Brooklyn, he threw his equipment in the basement of my grandma’s house where I was living and he would DJ down there and play the drums. My uncle was very multi-talented, I would just sit there and watch him. I always remember him playing “King Tim” and then he played “Rapper’s Delight” and Kurtis Blow. When “Rapper’s Delight” came out, that’s when I was hooked. One day I started deejaying and then it transcended into me wanting to do demos and write my little raps and do battles in the street. I did my demos with two tape decks, back and forth how it used to get done, then I went on to four tracks.
What was it like growing up in East New York back then?
East New York was homicide central, like Jeru said. I grew up with Jeru, Lil’ Dap – childhood friends. A good friend of mine, his nickname is Froggy, and he’s like family to me. We always say that we “graduated.” We were lucky to live to 21. I could take you to the cemetery and show you a row of all my friends who are dead. East New York was a very rough neighborhood, man. Early childhood memories is gunshots, trains running past my house – the L train, cos my house is right near the corner on Sheppard Avenue. Growing up with my friends – my friends are still my friends to this day! And the fact that one of my good friends named Edison, who I grew up with, if it wasn’t for him putting me in his father’s Chevy Caprice Classic and telling me, “Domingo – this is you all the way! Let’s go see Marley at ‘BLS, he’s looking for people.” If he didn’t drag me there, I would’ve never met Marley.
Download: Debonair P – Debonair Blends 11 [1990-1992 Megamix]
The eleventh volume of Debonair P‘s blend mixes has just dropped, this time covering the first two years of the 90′s. You can download or cop a bundle of CD’s from his Gentleman’s Relief site, which includes the exclusive Hydra Beats megamix.
Ten 90′s B-Side Deep Cuts
The good thing about actual singles was that it was possible to keep track of b-sides and such. These mp3 folders are far too confusing for old folks, so I’ve been told.
EPMD - “Brothers From Brentwood, L.I.”
Sermon’s rapping fell off seriously after the third album, but this beat and Greg Nice hook can’t be denied.
Spoonie Gee – The Unkut Interview
Thanks to Will and Aaron from Tuff City records, I had the chance to speak to pioneering Harlem rapper Spoonie Gee last week, who set the standard for street tales and slick talk on his earlier work for Enjoy and Sugarhill before he enjoyed a late 80′s comeback with Marley Marl and Teddy Riley providing the cutting edge beats. After enduring some rocky times for most of the 90′s, he’s currently in the process of recording one last project before he retires from music for good.
Robbie: Being from Harlem, in the early days before records, did you have to travel to see shows?
Spoonie Gee: I went to The Bronx, that’s the first place I saw Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five. First time I seen him, I think it was P.A.L on Webster Avenue. I used to go see the Funky 4 + 1, Fantastic Five.
How had you heard about them?
I heard a tape of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Four MC’s at the time, this was before Raheim joined them.
The Science: What Is The GOAT Rap Beer?
Ever wondered what the most popular beer in rap is? For scientific purposes, I assigned my crack team of weed carriers to compile the drinking habits of
76 78 rapper dudes based on lyrics from actual tracks (and ignoring the dozens of paid St. Ides advertisements) to establish which brand is the undisputed king of beers. While the result is certainly no surprise, you can examine the data below and enjoy the wonders of the Interactive GOAT Rap Beer Pie Chart (c) CRC. Next level, yo. Except if you’re on your celly, in which case you won’t see jack, Jack. The genius of the pie chart means that I can keep adding entries as they’re suggested, which automatically makes this whole thing a million times more useful than Rap Dummy.
Stream: Four Hours of Conservative Rap Coalition Radio
The good folks at PBS-FM in Melbourne gave me a Saturday night graveyard shift to spread the CRC gospel. You can hear the results below:
Stream: Four Hours of Conservative Rap Coalition Radio
CRC-Approved Rap: July 2014 Edition
Here’s that monthly round-up of six tracks that slipped through the cracks of getting posted this month but still delivered that non-progressive rap feel that we appreciate around these parts. Don’t miss out on the new CRC crew necks and tees either…
Download: Counterstrike 2 – A Decade of Unkut Mixtape
To celebrate ten years of cold gettin’ dumb on you crumbs, Unkut Dot Com is proud to present over 50 minutes of new, exclusive Conservative Rap Coalition approved rap, plus a few bonus snippets from some of my favourite interview moments. With contributions from veterans such as Grand Daddy IU, Chubb Rock and Craig G, as well as new favourites like Willie The Kid, Him-Lo and Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire. With original beats from producers such as K-Def, Ahmed, Marco Polo and Confidence, this mixtape also brings the first new material from K-Otix and Real Live (K-Def and Larry-O) in years. Counterstrike 2 has been mixed by Crate Cartel‘s Discourse, with the artwork designed by Flick of BURN Crew.
Download: Counterstrike 2 – A Decade of Unkut Mixtape
Free CD version now available with every purchase of our new range of t-shirts and crewneck sweaters.
You can still grab 2010′s Counterstrike from here, by the way,
Back cover/track listing:
DJ King Shameek – The Unkut Interview
Having returned to the music game five years ago after an extended hiatus, DJ King Shameek is back rocking clubs on a regular basis in New Jersey and beyond, but you most likely first saw him do his thing with Twin Hype for their dance floor classic “Do It To The Crowd.” Shameek took some time out of his schedule to talk about his roots as a DJ and early production techniques, King Sun vs. Ice Cube and his involvement with the mysterious diss record “The Truth” in 1999, which may have inspired 50 Cent‘s “How To Rob.”
Robbie: What made you want to take deejaying seriously?
DJ King Shameek: I was living in California at the time – I’m originally from New Jersey – but my uncle was at a legendary club in Newark, NJ called The Zanibar, so every time he used to come to California he would always bring a couple of records and give me some stuff, and I would see photographs of him deejaying. That’s when I really started trying to persue it a little more, get turntables and stuff like that. This is when they didn’t even have a mixer with a cross-fader yet. I was getting these microphone mixers that just had the faders up and down, so I would just sit there with a left and a right, putting one up and then putting the other one down! It was hilarious if you think about it now. I was always collecting records and I inherited records from my parents – they brought me up on a lotta Motown stuff and some Spanish stuff here and there. I was preparing myself in my adolescent years, toying around with my father’s record player, trying to scratch on them! [laughs] I would try to do that when he wasn’t watching. I ended up leaving California in ’87. Before that I was just doing a few gigs by being featured here and there, it wasn’t until I came here that I started producing and deejaying professionally.
Stream: Lord Finesse – The SP-1200 Project Samplers
For fans of 90′s era Lord Finesse beats (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) the Slice of Spice crew have compiled a vinyl package to “keep the crowd listening.”
Finesse dug deep into his floppy disk and DAT tape archives to help bring us a monster 25 tracks of unreleased and previously unavailable SP1200 heat. After Finesse hooked-up the E-mu Systems SP1200 and Akai S950 to transfer and sequence these tracks, we had Eddie Sancho mix then, and Tony Dawsey master them.
You can pre-order here.
Below are the samplers from the various volumes, plus three full-length tracks as downloads:
Mikey D and Devastating Tito – Got’m Say’n Hey [Produced by Large Professor]
Mikey D and Devastating Tito [Fearless Four] have just teamed-up over a catchy Large Pro production for some of that good old back-and-forth rhyme routine action.
Mikey D and Tito also kicked some rhymes for 45 King‘s Making The Beat show the other week:
Download: Fat Lace Show 009
Missed this when it dropped last month, but nevertheless this is an essential mix of obscure 80′s and 90′s rap courtesy of Drew Huge and Dan Large.
The Unkut Guide To The New Music Seminar Battle For World Supremacy
Tommy Boy Records founder Tom Silverman started the New Music Seminar in 1980 as a music industry networking event, and in 1985 introduced the MC and Beatbox Battle for World Supremacy (the beatboxing was replaced by DJ’s the following year), which would provide a fertile showcase for both new and established rappers and DJ’s to make a name for themselves. The following is a selection of memories from some of the rapper dudes who either competed or were in attendance.
A Tribute To Father Shaheed of PRT
DJ Father Shaheed of Poor Righteous Teachers was killed in an accident while riding his motorbike on 26 May, 2014. After releasing “Time To Say Peace” on the independent North Side Records in 1989, Wise Intelligent, Culture Freedom and Father Shaheed (who was going by the handle of Devine on the original pressing), they were picked up by Profile Records, who re-issued the single with a remix and followed up with the Holy Intellect LP the following year. This contained what turned-out to be their breakout single – “Rock This Funky Joint.” Offering perhaps the rawest 5% rhetoric of the era over addictive rhythms, PRT made quite an impression and quickly gained a loyal fanbase. Their manager at the time, Kevon Glickman, who I interviewed in 2007, had this to say:
Blondie – Heart of Glass [Chaze Remix]
Ever wondered what this Blondie classic would sound like with an 80′s synth feel? Salutes to the first white dame to ever have a rap record.
A Salute To James Brown – The Godfather of Hip-Hop
While the rap world falls over itself in the never-ending J. Dilla circle jerk, today would have marked James Brown’s 81st year if he was still with us. Considering just how hard he worked during his life, it’s amazing that he lived until 73 – a lesser man may have perished mid-splits. According to his long-suffering friend Bobby Byrd, JB and Tina Turner once shared a stage at the Five Four Ballroom in LA where they spent the entire night attempting to outdo each other by jumping off the piano into the splits and whatnot! Yet the only mention of JB I’ve seen on the rap internets has been egotripland posting couple of JB tribute mixes courtesy of DJ Scratch and J. Period. So let us take a minute to recognize and realize just why James Brown is the alpha and omega of this hip-hop shit….