A couple of tracks from the new double album from J-Love and Meyhem. The line-up of guests is crazy – basically all of NY’s finest drop by to kick it on this shit. Look out for my interview with J in the next week or so. As a bonus, I’ve thrown in a Raekwon cut produced by Lil’ Fame from the final tape in the Street Savior series.
A few recent G Rap cuts, a couple of which are due to feature on the new album. Plus a nice feature with M.O.P and Mobb Deep from the old Frankie Cutlass LP and one of the better songs from the Click Of Respect project.
Flavor Unit fanatics – stay tuned for my interview with Ali Ba-Ski (aka Lord Alibaski) later this week. (more…)
It’s not all “classic rap” around the Unkut Dot Com offices. Between reviewing CD’s for magazines and getting sent free shit, I have to listen to pretty much everything that comes out, and it’s no picnic. let me tell you. I only really bothered putting Rugged Intellect‘s album on to hear the G Rap feature, but it turns out this Canadian actually has more than a nice guest list to offer.
Robbie: When I first saw the track listing to the album, I thought to myself “Either this guy’s forked-out a lotta cake to these dude’s to get ’em on his album, or he’s actually dope enough for these dude’s to do tracks with.” I was glad that it was the latter.
Rugged Intellect: [laughs] Yeah, definitely man.
So how did you connect with all these legends?
When I was first putting together this album, I hooked-up with Domingo, who I’m sure you’re familiar with. After the situation with the label that I was signed with kinda disintegrated, me and Domingo hooked-up. He really believed in my talents and we came to a decision that we were gonna work on this album, and him being in the industry for so many years, he had a lotta relationships with a lotta of these artists. He facilitated some of these artists getting on the records, like Kool G Rap for example. That’s why he was co-Executive Producer of the album, coz he was instrumental in helping me do a lotta things.
Being from Montreal, how did you get your foot in the door in the US?
Even before I started rhyming, I told myself “If I was ever to rap, I would definitely want to make it in New York”, because if you can’t make it New York, then there’s no purpose in you even rhyming. That was always my focus. Even when I was over here and didn’t know anybody, that was always my motivation. So when that dude got at me with the deal up in California, that’s why I took it so quickly. I was like “Bam! This is my shot! I’mma take it. Boom!” Shit didn’t work out the way it was supposed to, but it definitely led to a lot of those opportunities, like working with Domingo and a lotta other people. (more…)
Unkut Dot Com regular silent minority sent this piece through for all you video junkies:
From the age of nine till I was about seventeen I always had a blank VHS handy to record any music videos that unexpectedly popped up on whatever channel I was watching. Not just hip-hop videos, any genre where I liked the song or the artist. My collection kept growing and growing. The best moments were catching that rare shit at 3 am, knowing the network would never ever show that particular clip again.
When I got the broadband hook up, I started searching for music videos. Luckily people and groups like Dread In NY, Jediz, DJ Nero, HHV and others had catered to heads like me, taking the time and effort to capture and share classic videos. With the advent of YouTube a lot of videos are available for easy viewing without having to do a mad search for them. However, if you are anything like me you will want them on your hard-drive or maybe to burn them to DVD. Hopefully MTV will eventually release Yo! MTV Raps on DVD, but I’m not holding my breath. I hope Ralph McDaniels sorts out some licensing and teaches MTV a lesson. There’s a market for the videos, I would pay good money for DVD’s with classic hip-hop clips, as long as there are more than 10-15 on each disc and they get the right artists involved. (more…)
It’s times like this I can’t but wonder “What would EST do?”
Gone are the days of wondering “What ever happened to…?” or shelling out a week’s pay on some test-press vinyl action. Chances are, the folks over at Traffic are putting it out on CD right now. By the time you’ve read this, five more albums from the vaults will have been re-issued, and by days end, a further twenty. But for now, I’ll attempt to tackle three recent re-releases: (more…)
It ain’t no mystery that keyboard beats are pretty much the worst development in rap music in recent times, and even the great KGR has found some of his verbal gems wasted on inferior productions. Here’s a look at the worst six offenders:
“General Statis” – Tragedy Khadafi feat. Styles P, Scram Jones & Kool G Rap
This is borderline, but that annoying fairground loop and weak-ass drum track aren’t built for Trag and G’s bars. (more…)
Taken from this recent post that Stretch dropped, I’ve grabbed the section where the Kool Genius drops by the station with MF Grimm at 3 in the morning. What follows is 45 minutes of lives raps, snaps and the funniest call-in sessions ever. No shit – I almost drove off the road I was laughing so hard at some of Sear‘s put-downs. I’m still trying to comprehend what would possess someone to try and rap over the phone using his or Nas’ style when G’s siting there?
Pudgee is better known for being one of the prime suspects in the “Gay Rapper” hoopla of the mid-90’s and for doing a white label with Biggie than anything else, but his first album was notable for the simple fact that it featured pre-Pop Life production from the Trackmasterz – filtered basslines, echo-heavy horns and hard snares all over the shop. Pudgee was also capable of delivering some decent punchline rap, but when paired up with G Rap he sounds pretty average. It doesn’t help that G is on fire for this feature either – his rapid-fire display is capped off nicely with a timely nod to Columbo. (more…)
All due respect to the gals of the world, but even more respect to Kool G Rap‘s ability to make ignorant records about dames. As great as “Talk Like Sex” (and, to a lesser extent, “Fuck You Man”) may have been, there’s little doubt that G’s finest post-“Men At Work” output was his Bitch Haters Club period. As any serious student of KGR is aware, duke was making a nice chunk of bread from the skin trade in his younger days, so the content of these songs is hardly science fiction. How many rappers from New York were talking this grimy in the nineties? “Break A Bitch Neck” is some ill test-pressing only material that showcases G and Akinyele dumbing-out in a manner that would have made JT Money and DJ Drugz proud-as punch. “I Ain’t Trickin'” covers the standard anti-gold digger message, but in the hands of the Kool Genius it goes far beyond the call of duty, while “Check The Bitch” addresses important issues of the day, such as so-called “sophisticated women” and “bitches from the other races”. (more…)
This deserves inclusion simply because it was the only thing from G’s ill-fated Rawkus album that really made some noise. It’s not like G ever needed to justify his status, but this is still one of the stronger songs from his post 2000 discography.1 (more…)
1.Although I doubt dude really gave a fuck considering they gave him a million dollar advance.[back]
Once Kool G Rap moved on from his contract with Cold Chillin’, they employed their standard “squeeze the Juice” tactics and released a flawed greatest hits (Killer Kuts) LP and then the Rated XXX album, which was a collection of twelve inches, sex raps and some remixes of old demos. One of the highlights was “Enter The Dragon”, which had previously been leaked on radio years earlier and now appeared with a new beat. While I recall the original track being a lot better, the verbal display found here is classic Kool Genius wordplay. (more…)
It’s no secret that G Rap isn’t shy to drop a guest spot here and there, but even at his prime, it seems that Giancana wasted some bars on records with jerk-off’s like Ali Dee and Pudgee The “Fudge Packing” Phat Bastard. On those occasions when he’s selected a worthy tag-team partner though, the results have been top notch. (more…)
Several weeks after the start of “G Rap Week” (which should really be “Month” but who’s counting) I’ve been able to dig up what I still consider to be the definitive Kool G Rap interview, thanks to Cheo H. Coker, B+ and RapPages. Pretty much everything you’d want to know about the early years is covered here, as well as the precise sequence of “competitive” joints where G and Big Daddy Kane tussled for the spot of top dog at the House that Marley built. Based on the poll from the last G Rap post, 52% of you think that Kane might’ve been a little shark-like in terms of imitating G‘s style from the radio session they did over the “Raw” beat. 16% declared BDK a straight-up biter, while 32% of Big Daddy loyalists refused to hear any talk of a rip-off.
But the real question is – based on the songs G Rap mentions in the interview, who was the supreme lyricists of the J-U Ice?
Forget all that talk about Kane and Rakim going at each other, this was the real war for rap supremacy right here. While they may have been connected through the Juice Crew, there was no shortage of “friendly competition” between G and BDK, as they tried to outdo one another with each new record. The official version of “Raw” set the tone “Set It Off” kicked proceedings into gear, but G Rap hit back hard with “Men At Work”, which forced Kane to bring it twice as hard on “Wrath of Kane”…which in turn resulted in Kool G striking back with “Poison”. Some straight “striving for perfection” shit.
G Rap later explained that he felt Kane pretty much chomped his whole “creature, feature, rapture, reacher” technique, which you can hear him unleashing on this alternative recording of “Raw”. Whether or not this is the case, this track is undoubtably one of the finest demonstrations of vocal prowess ever recorded. This ain’t “fast rap”, “Random” or “Golden Era throwback” – just hardcore “Project Sounds” shit at it’s finest.
Another Bbatson Shazam hook-up – the Kool Genius shreads the PA with a live spot from 1992, featuring the “Herman Munster” of UK Rap Radio – Timmy Westwood. After doing some Live & Let Die material over “Peter Piper”, he jets for a minute while some other kid (one of G’s TCF dancers?) attempts to get on and freestyle – the crowds response is priceless. Eventually, G returns over “Do The James” for some classic anti-social vocals. There’s also an entertaining (although predictably renamed) remake of “Men At Work” with Cormega, snatched off J-Love‘s Mega mix which I think he lifted from a Future Flavas broadcast anyway… I might have to fuck around and make this “G Rap Week” at Unkut.com just for the hell of it.
Meanwhile, it seems that the “Beat Biter” post from October is still going strong, as El Da Sensai and Just Blaze have recently chimed-in on the debate, while the original NYOIL post recently cracked the 400 comments mark (which is around 380 more than average!). Only a hundred to go to get that Gold certification I guess.