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….
Memories of Big L
Just read this wonderfully comprehensive feature on Big L over at Complex, titled Casualty of the Game: The Big L Story, and was inspired to collate a few stories of my own from past interviews. T-Ray, Peter Oasis, Milano and AG all share some memories involving The Devil’s Son…
CRC-Approved Rap: May 2014 Edition
The latest rap-up of rap that didn’t get posted here this month because I’m too effin’ lazy but was still approved by Conservative Rap Coalition standards.
Him-Lo – The Unkut Interview
Him-Lo has been dropping music on these here internets for the past couple of years, but it wasn’t until his Horsepower mixtape that I really paid attention. Turns out this Philly Lo-Lifer has been deep in this here shit since the golden era of Philadelphia hip-hop, and his brand of non-progressive, anti-social rap is just what the city needs right now.
Robbie: How did you get started?
Him-Lo: We’ve been rhyming for a long time, ever since we were teenagers. We were part of a few different crews before we cut it down to just me and Clever One – The Buze Bruvaz. We were also in a group called Bermuda Triangle at one point with a few other members, we grew up with them also. Clever One, that’s my brother, and those other dudes we were at grammar school with, so we’ve been rhyming for a long time. Matter of fact, when we started rhyming the game was completely different. Now everybody’s rhyming. We would go somewhere and when people found out we were doing this they were excited, “Oh, you rap? Kick a rap for us!” It was so different at the time. So we were doing it at a young age, and I’m 40 now. We were so heavy into hip-hop at such an early age – not just the rapping, all aspects of it – we grew up as graffiti writers, battling people and breakdancing, deejaying, doing everything. That’s why even at this age now we still do it, just for fun. It’s what we do, we can’t really shake it!
Five Great Rap Rip-Offs
Here are a few examples of not-so-subtle examples of rappers wearing their influences on their sleeves. $20 says the first comment reads: “YOU FORGOT ACTION BRONSON / GHOSTFACE!”
You Must Learn, Episode 1: Jeru The Damaja – The Sun Rises In The East
New series of specialized podcasts, produced and edited by Peter Oasis, written by Dharmic X, and executive produced by Evan Auerbach (UpNorthTrips), with narration from Soul Khan.
A Tribe Called Quest – Future Flavas Exclusive 
M.Will just threw this my way:
“So I was LEFT ALONE IN THE FUTURE FLAVAS CONTROL ROOM.. And I found this, among others. I HOPE MY DAD DOESN’T GET MAD lol.
Check out this exclusive HOT 97 Future Flavas edition with special Guests ATCQ promoting their last album “THE LOVE MOVEMENT” 1998!
Features QTip, Phife, Jarobi, Ali Shaheed, Marley Marl and Pete Rock blessing some cuts off the album as well as mixing some J DILLA! And an EXCLUSIVE freestyle by QTIP!”
The Legion Drop A New Album, Video and Remix
Bronx trio The Legion have just dropped The Lost Tapes LP, which is a mixture of new and unreleased material, as well as a few b-sides (such as the incredible “Freestyle Demolition”) and remixes. Here’s the Confidence remix of “Stero” and the video for the new single, “For New.”
“For You” Video and track listing:
AG – The Unkut Interview
Andre The Giant has been holding down Bronx tradition ever since he first got his starting shot on Lord Finesse’s “Back To Back Rhyming” and “Keep It Flowin’” from the Funky Technician LP. From there he formed Showbiz & AG and ushered in the birth of the Diggin’ In The Crates crew. Twenty four years later he continues to rep the crew, as he and Show complete work on a new album. AG took some time out while touring to speak on his connection to The Bronx, inspiration, winning recognition from his peers and the memory of Party Arty in this refreshingly honest conversation.
Robbie: Do you remember the moment you decided you wanted to pursue rap seriously?
AG: I remember exactly when! I always played around with it, because my older brother LB was always into the culture. He’s a clothes designer now, and a great graffiti artist. He used to MC too, so I used to have to do what he did. He cultivated me – he kinda forced it on me at first – but I took to it cos I was pretty good at it. I just would play around, but the moment I heard “My Melody” the first time in a park jam it was in 23 Park, in Forest projects in The Bronx. It was right before the summer of me going to high school, and the Five Percenters – the Nation of the Gods and the Earths – were in the same park, away from the crowd cos it was a big park jam, on the other side of the gate in a huge cipher. I didn’t know what it was, but I was attracted to the cipher at the time. I was just trying to figure out what they were doing. It looked so on point, they were disciplined, you could tell they knew what they were talking about.
An Oral History of New York’s Early Hip-Hop Clubs
Phade, Gizmo and Milk at the Latin Quarters, 1987
During the formative days of the mid 80’s, when Run-DMC, Kurtis Blow and the Fat Boys were the biggest names in rap, the New York club scene was a vital part of the hip-hop food chain, providing both essential networking opportunities and the chance for new acts to get on, provided they could win over the often unforgiving crowds. Let’s take a step back into time as some 80’s hip-hop artists recount the good, the bad and the ugly of the club scene back then.
Read: Elbow To Elbow – Tales From the Roosevelt Hotel Record Convention
Remember my Pete Rock interview where he complained about Prince Be reserving all the good records?
Record dealer John Carraro reflects on introducing old music to the likes of Pete Rock, Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, Large Professor, Buckwild, Diamond D, Prince Be, Mr. Walt, and DJ Clark Kent, among others.
Read: Elbow To Elbow – Tales From the Roosevelt Hotel Record Convention
via Wax Poetics.
Tape Box: Grand Master Flash and the Furious 5 Live At T- Connection, 1979
Yet another sure shot from Troy Smith‘s old school tape collection, this excerpt captures Melle Mel, Cowboy and ‘em ripping over the “7 Minutes of Funk” break.
Dino Brave [The UN] – The Unkut Interview
As a founding member of The UN with Roc Marciano, Dino Brave has experienced a lot of Long Island rap history first hand. Inspired by the Spectrum City crew coming up (which would later evolve into Public Enemy), Brave had his time in the spotlight cut short thanks to bad timing in the crumbling music industry. But with the recent re-release of UN Or U Out, a new generation of rap fanatics are getting the chance to hear Brave, Laku, Mike Raw and Roc Marciano in action once again.
Robbie: How did everything start for you?
Dino Brave: It was kinda handed down to me, man. A lotta people in the family did music. My older brothers played instruments – they played guitar, they played the drums, made beats, keyboard players – all sorts of things. I grew-up with production studios in my house! I got into deejaying, it was the cheapest equipment I could get my hands on, putting two record players together and a mixer. I started deejaying around seven, touching official turntables. I was doing pretty everything that I wanted to do with the turntable, that I seen the great’s doing – it was boring for me at that point. So I decided to pick up the mic at thirteen. I heard “My Melody” and that made me want to write my first rap. I went to school with it, dude’s used to bang beats on the table and stuff like that. I kicked the rhyme, and my cousin who I was in school with loved it. He was like, “Run with it,” so I ran with it. I kept writing, did talent shows coming up and just start making tapes after school. I went to school with dude’s from The UN, so they were those guys at the lunch table, beating on the tables and making rhymes.
This Is What Roc Marciano’s Debut LP Originally Looked Like
Schott Free just blessed his Instagram with the track listing for an early version of Roc Marciano’s debut solo project, back when it was intended to drop on SRC Records. As you can see, only a portion of these tracks made the final version (albeit with some changes to the names and spellings). Here’s what Schott had to say about it:
CRC-Approved Rap: April 2014 Edition
So April is over and done with, which means it’s time to look back at some of the Conservative Rap Coalition Approved raps that weren’t posted this month for whatever reason. Here are eight tracks from last month that won…
Five Minutes With Pete Rock In An Airport
Pete Rock loves his food. So much so that he’s never let a pesky phone interview get in the way of his looking after the needs of his stomach. Back in 2008, while I attempted to extract some slivers of information from him for a cover feature for Hip Hop Connection magazine, the Soul Brother # 1 proceeded to chow down on an entire order of Chinese take-out while he fielded questions, noisily chewing into the mouthpiece like a bored boom-bap bovine. Six years later, I catch him between flights en route to Australia to play a series of club dates with DJ Premier, and the lure of the airport food lounge proved too much before he’d even made it halfway through my allotted ten minutes. Nevertheless, he did share a couple of interesting tidbits about his early days, which is what we’re here for anyway.
Non-Rapper Dudes Series: Matt Fingaz Interview [Guesswhyld Records]
Matt Fingaz is living proof that unpaid internships can be more than just slave labor for record companies, as he was able to parlay his connections into an independent record label with Guesswhyld Records before he made the move into project co-ordination with the B.O.C (Business of Coordination) management company with Stat Quo, which handles with music, sport and fashion. Matt took some time out to kick it about those idealistic days when making an underground rap record was as simple as knowing the right guys in the neighborhood, as he helped everyone from Mos Def and Talib Kweli to Sha Money XL get their feet in the door of the music game.
Robbie: What led to you getting involved with starting a label?
Matt Fingaz: In 1994 I was a DJ for college radio and I interned for Blunt Records – Mic Geronimo, Royal Flush and Cash Money Click – Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and Tuesday and Thursday I was interning at Relativity, when Common and the Beatnuts and Fat Joe and Bone Thugs was popular. I just loved vinyl, I loved collecting records – I didn’t even want to be in the music business! One day my friend Brandon put out this record called The Derelicts, and I said, “Wow! You put out your own record?!” He said, “Yeah, and I put it out in Japan!” He had this check and it said “$1,000”. I was like, “Oh, you’re rich!” Cos we were just kids. I was nineteen years old and I was really good with the college promotions and marketing, but I was terrible in the mail room. Basically I didn’t know how to tape up packages, and they hated me so they complained. I used to work under Irv Gotti – he was DJ Irv at the time – and I worked under this guy Chappy. Chappy was like, “I’m sorry but we can’t use your services anymore.” I’m like, “You’re firing me? I’m working for free!”