The Combat Jack Show: The Russell Simmons Episode

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From slinging dust to banging Australian soap stars, this is the ultimate American success story. The vintage stories start around the 30 minute mark.



Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick – La Di Da Di [Live At The Polo Grounds]

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Now that my entire vinyl collection has been reunited at the CRC HQ, I can get back to the time-honored tradition of ripping vinyl again. To set it off, here’s a live recording of the “La Di Da Di” from the Polo Grounds at some time in the 80′s. It cuts off before the big payoff but it’s worth a spin just to hear the reaction of the crowd, who proceed to loose their shit at various points.



Is Aaron Fuchs Really The Ultimate Bloodsucker of Hip-Hop?
Thursday February 20th 2014,
Filed under: Features,Non-Rapper Dudes,Not Your Average,The 80's Files
Written by:

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The wolves are out. Irate rap fans everyone are calling for Aaron Fuchs‘ head on a pike following with the recent news that his publishing company Tuf America was suing singer Frank Ocean for unauthorized use of Mary J. Blige‘s “Real Love,” which he sung a portion of in the track “Super Rich Kids.” Predictably, this resulted in responses such as ?uestlove‘s tweet: “when i speak and reference the bloodsuckers of hip hop only ONE person comes to mind” despite the fact that Frank Ocean is technically an R&B singer. Aaron Fuchs seems to have provided a convenient scapegoat as the stereotypical “evil Jewish record label owner” who’s only purpose in life is to exploit black musicians in order to fill his own coffers. Based on the testimonies of some former Tuff City artists and a peanut gallery of online writers, this may seem to be the case. But things are never that cut and dried, so I thought it was time to investigate a little deeper than the first page of results from a Google search.
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Timeless Classics Or Only Classics For Their Time?
Monday February 03rd 2014,
Filed under: Albums,Crates,Face Off,Features,Listicles,The 80's Files,The Unkut Opinion
Written by:

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Every now and then, one of these rap websites puts together a list along the lines of “The 30 Greatest Hip-Hop Albums of 1993″ and such, which in theory isn’t something I should have an issue with. The reason I mention it is that a decent proportion of these albums – most of which are widely regarded as “classic” and important records – don’t exactly inspire me to dig them out of the shelves and throw them onto the turntable (or, if I’m feeling lazy, navigate to the folder on my hard drive). Is this simply due to the fact that I played that shit to death back when it was released? Or is it more of a case that some music outlives its usefulness?

Take De La Soul’s much discussed 3 Feet High And Rising, for example. While there’s no doubting the impact and originality that Prince Paul and Plugs 1, 2 and 3 brought to the table, I can confidently state that I have no intention to ever listen to that record in it’s entirety in the foreseeable future. That’s likely more of a reflection of my preference for anti-social rap with loud drums than anything else, but it’s an issue worth considering. Let’s take a look at the 1989′s greatest hip-hop albums according to ego trip‘s Book of Rap Lists for example:
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DJ Cash Money – Echo Scratch

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One of Philly’s favorite sons unleashing four minutes of fury on Lady B‘s The Street Beat radio show. Stuff like this reminds me of why I became hopelessly addicted to this here rap music.

Bonus echo:
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Sir Ibu – The Unkut Interview

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Born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant/Crown Heights, Sir Ibu cemented a place in rap folklore with a record called “Holy War (Live)”, which still stands as one of the rawest examples of beats and rhymes ever recorded, so much so that Ghostface recreated a portion of it on his own modern-day remake named “Mighty Healthy”. Beyond being an influential microphone god, it turns out that Ibu may also have been the first ever Conservative Rap Coalition member, as well as having an obscure connection to Australian culture. Salutes to BK Thoroughbred for connecting me with Brooklyn rap royalty and helping this interview happen…

Robbie: What sparked your interest in rhyming initially?

Sir Ibu: It was my cousin – I think it was back in ‘79. I heard him rapping, and I was like, “Wow! What is that?” So he told me what it was and then let me hear this record. I think it was by Spoonie Gee? I kinda liked that, so ever since then I just started writing. I just used to write about girls – all my raps were about girls. Girls this, girls that, just bragging about how I am with the girls. So then when I ran into Supreme – I would say was about ‘83, ‘84 – he told me, “Listen, you’re good. But you could be better if you changed your subject matter. Instead of talking about how good you are with girls, talk about how good you are on the microphone. How good you are with your lyrics and your music and your rhymes and your vocabulary. Just anything but girls!” I’m like, “Alright.” So I did it and I came back to him and I said, “How ‘bout this?” And he said, “That’s perfect! Do you wanna be part of my group?” I’m like, “Alright, let’s do it.” And that’s how I got with him and his sister. It’s interesting, ‘cos his sister – her name was Ice-T originally when we started – but Ice-T from the west coast started making a name for himself, so it was like, “Listen, you’ve gotta change your name.” So she changed it to Nefertiti.
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Hear A Legendary Brooklyn MC Attempt To Rap With An Australian Accent

Remember how you used to hang out with your pals, wondering outloud when somebody would make a rap record where the MC would promise, “I’m going to come Australian, then I’m going to come Reggae, and then I’m going to come Hip Hop”? Turns out that Sir Ibu did that in 1987 on the b-side to Divine Force‘s “Holy War (Live)”. Admittedly, it sounds more like Dick Van Dyke‘s portrayal of a cockney chimney sweep in Mary Poppins, but as he says, it’s definitely “very unusual”. Come to think of it, his “reggae” style isn’t that hot either.



Big Daddy Kane, Sir Ibu and Kings of Swing – Radio Freestyle

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This has been floating around for a few years but I only just caught it now. Sir IBU is currently on my Top 5 most-wanted interviews list.

dirty waters sez:

“This is pretty rare material here, a freestyle session featuring Big Daddy Kane, Sir Ibu (of the Divine Force), and the Kings of Swing (a group featuring Suga K, Mike Master and DJ Cocoa Chanelle). They all go verse for verse while DJ Kevvy Kev is cutting up the instrumental for Ultramagnetic MC’s ‘Give the Drummer Some’ and Marley Marl calls the shots. Not sure what radio show this was originally from, I pulled this off a Stretch Armstrong Show. Bobbito thanks Madame Superior, a long time WKCR listener, for sending the freestyle to play over the air.”



Troy Ave feat. Styles P – Do It

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Troy Ave and Styles P rock over a horn break originally used on Superlover Cee and Casanova Rudd‘s “Girls I Got ‘Em Locked”.

“Girls I Got ‘Em Locked” video:
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Video: The Tuff City Records Story, Episode Three
Wednesday December 04th 2013,
Filed under: Features,Interviews,Non-Rapper Dudes,Not Your Average,The 80's Files,Unkut TV
Written by:

Aaron Fuchs discusses working with Pumpkin, addresses the Ultramagnetic Basement Tapes controvery, names his three favorite Tuff City records and reflects and how the music histroy books will view his legacy.



Video: Mantronix On Kids TV Show In 1986 UK
Thursday November 28th 2013,
Filed under: London Blokes,The 80's Files,TV,VHS Vaults
Written by:

All praise due to grandgood for unearthing this piece of YouTube gold. As you see, I learned everything I know about interviewing rapper dudes from the host of Lift Off.



Video: The Tuff City Records Story, Episode Two
Tuesday November 26th 2013,
Filed under: Features,In The Trenches,Interviews,Live From NY,The 80's Files,Unkut TV
Written by:

Aaron Fuchs continues discussing key moments in Tuff City history, including working with Teddy Riley, Spoonie Gee, Marley Marl, DJ Hot Day and the Cold Crush Brothers.



Video: The Tuff City Records Story, Episode One
Thursday November 21st 2013,
Filed under: Features,Interviews,Live From NY,Non-Rapper Dudes,The 80's Files,Unkut TV
Written by:

Tuff City Records founder Aaron Fuchs discusses starting the label in the early 80′s, his history as a music critic and the story behind some of the first records he released in the first part of this in-depth interview.



KRS-One – Criminal Minded Practice Sessions

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Holy shit…Kenny Parker finally got around to ripping some of those old tapes of KRS-One rapping over breakbeats courtesy of DJ Scott La Rock and Kool DJ Red Alert , as he told us about back in 2006. While there was no sign of the one with the dog barking over Kris’ verse, there’s an incredible ‘La Di Da Di’ style track which I’ve never heard before that will make your year. Shouts out to the Frozen Files crew over at East Village Radio for making this happen.



Video: Memories of Paul McKasty

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The first two parts of Pritt Kalasi‘s Memories of Paul McKasty are available to watch over at his site:

“This is by all means not the definitive documentary or story of Paul C McKasty. The Legendary producer from Queens NYC who had his life cut short aged only 24 years old. This is a film put together from a footage I had accumulated from 2000 to April 2013.”

Video: Memories of Paul McKasty