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 “$1,000”. I was like, “Oh, you’re rich!” Cos we were just kids. I was nineteen years old and I was really good with the college promotions and marketing, but I was terrible in the mail room. Basically I didn’t know how to tape up packages, and they hated me so they complained. I used to work under Irv Gotti – he was DJ Irv at the time – and I worked under this guy Chappy. Chappy was like, “I’m sorry but we can’t use your services anymore.” I’m like, “You’re firing me? I’m working for free!”
What Old Rap Albums Need To Be Re-Issued And Forced Down The Throats Of The Young Peoples?
While we recover from the collective circle jerk that has been celebrating Nas’ first album, let us consider some long forgotten rap essentials that should be mandatory listening to any music fans under 25 in order that they don’t repeat the same mistakes from the past and understand what good rap music should sound like.
I’ll set it off and suggest Akinyele‘s Vagina Diner for starters…
The UMC’s – Tried To Tell Ya
Kool Kim aka NYOIL has reunited with Haas G aka Fantom to deliver the first UMC’s track in over twenty years.
The 45 King feat. Supreme – Go Head Up 
Some hidden New Jersey rap gold, taken from The 45 King‘s The Lost Breakbeats – Test Press LP. Don’t call it Fast Rap though, that’s not a valid genre.
The Unkut Guide To Nas Singing
Nas luhs to rap. But he also luhs to sing hooks. Having declared that he was the “first nigga to sing a hook on some TJ Swan shit” on “Nastradumus”, it’s only right that his crooning efforts are rated using the Unkut TJ Swan Rating System (c) during this scientific study of his efforts to make like the rap game Keith Sweat over the years.
ASAP Ferg Live Show Review – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Photo: Michelle Grace Hunder
Following the always entertaining festivities surrounding the Carbon festival (which I’m under strict orders never to speak of publicly), heading to the A$AP Ferg show at the Corner Hotel seemed like the perfect way to cap off a week-long bender. The venue was filled with excitable kids eagerly throwing-up ‘bows to the sounds of the local androgynous “It’s a Trap” Lady known as Mafia, before the curtains were drawn to prepare for the main event.
CRC-Approved Rap: March 2014 Edition
Had a request the other day for a weekly round-up of Unkut rap recommendations, but since I’m lucky if there’s one good new song every seven days, it makes more sense to turn it into a monthly round-up of Conservative Rap Coalition approved tunes.
In Memory of Killa Sha, Four Years On
Today would have been Sha Lumi The Great‘s birthday, if he hadn’t been taken from the physical in January 2010. I’ll be premiering the first release from his second album, The Shepard, later today, but in the meantime let’s take a minute to reminisce about his time on this small planet…
Killa Sha – The Unkut Interview
Remembering Killa Sha, Part 1
Remembering Killa Sha, Part 2
DJ Phantom Discusses Killa Sha’s Career
Ten Classic Killa Sha Solo Shots
McGruff feat. Mob Style, Loon and Meebo – Bow Down
Following the mixed blessings that were McGruff‘s deal with Uptown, where Heavy D tried to Sean “Puffy” Combs’ Herb’s sound for something smoother, with decidedly mixed results, the Crime Dog took it back the gutter with this self-released 1998 single featuring the mighty Mob Style, Loon and Meebo over a gritty piano loop. “They thought it was over? Own label!”