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….
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.