Best/Worst Live Rap Show?
Tuesday October 13th 2015,
Filed under: Is It Live Or Is It Memorex?,Vote Or Die
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I’ve been fairly vocal in complaining about shitty, boring rap shows I’ve attended in the past. While the infamous Ultramagnetic show of 2013 rates as perhaps the most soul-crushing disappointment of my adult life, picking the best one I’ve attended is a little trickier. It would have to be a toss-up between Public Enemy‘s 1989 Melbourne show – where Flavor Flav was driven onto the stage in ambulance before he leaped off a giant speaker stack while me and my friends stood with our arms crossed in the appropriate b-boy stance while the rest of the crowd danced around like rabid meerkats; Lord Finesse and the late DJ Roc Raida in 2006 – simple yet effective; or Big Daddy Kane live in Herbert Von Park in Brooklyn, New York in 2013, where he tore up the stage and even managed to bust out some synchronized steps with his dancers.

What are your best and worst live rap show experiences?

Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow – Renegades of Rhythm Show Review


The prospect of getting a guided audio tour through Afrika Bambaataa‘s record collection by two lifelong music geeks is appealing to even the most cursory of music fans, if the jam-packed crowd that squeezed into Melbourne’s Forum Theater on Friday night is anything to go by. It certainly didn’t hurt that it was helmed by music festival darlings Shadow and Cut Chemist, which made the whole thing easier to digest for those in the audience who haven’t memorised Bam’s original Blues and Soul list of his favorite breaks.

Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew – La Di Da Di [Live from the Funhouse, 1986]

From the collection of J – Blast, Operator Emz edit.

Great trolling from Doug at the start of this.

Spotted at ego trip.

No Country For Old (Rap) Men: Nas – Live At The Forum, Melbourne


Last weekend I caught Nas rapping in front of an audience. Due to some kind of review embargo, this is only running now. *shrugs*

No Country For Old (Rap) Men: Nas – Live At The Forum, Melbourne

Stream: Boogie Down Productions – Live In London [1990]

BDP Live 1990

DJ Kenny Parker has shared this recording of a Boogie Down Productions show at Brixton Academy, 1990. Highlights include the freestyle session where KRS kicks some rhymes that would appear on later albums. Also, it’s my birthday today so I’m off to drink some RAER whiskey and whatnot.

Cold Crush 4 and Treacherous 3 at Harlem World, 1981
Thursday November 06th 2014,
Filed under: Crates,Harlem Nights,Is It Live Or Is It Memorex?,Tape Vaults,The 80's Files
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Cold Crush 4

Every now and then it’s good to throw on a tape of rap of old school rap at it’s finest, and without a doubt two of the sharpest crews to ever do it where those led by Grandmaster Caz and Kool Moe Dee. These four snippets from Troy L. Smith‘s crates are a fine reminder of just how advanced KMD was in his prime (check for shots fired at Melle Mel) and the amusing banter of weary performers after a long night celebrating Easy-AD‘s birthday.

Video: Tragedy, Cormega and Royal Flush Live At Webster Hall

Lat night’s Saigon and Illa Ghee show was apparently this is the first time that ‘They Forced My Hand’ has been performed live.

No Country For Old (Rap) Men: Why Is Live Rap Such A Let-Down?
Tuesday September 30th 2014,
Filed under: Is It Live Or Is It Memorex?,No Country For Old (Rap) Men,Web Work
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Another mystery solved.

No Country For Old (Rap) Men: Why Is Live Rap Such A Let-Down?

Rob Unkut discussing Nas’ Illmatic at the Melbourne International Film Festival

I repped the Conservative Rap Coalition position on the importance of the Illmatic album in front of an audience at The Forum yesterday. Stream below.

Unkut speaks about Nas’ Illmatic at the Melbourne International Film Festival

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.

Unkut TV: Episode 23 – AG Live In Melbourne, 2014

The Giant performs “Soul Clap,” “Next Level,” “You Know Now,” “Spit,” “Full Scale” and an accapella before an enthusiastic Australian crowd.

ASAP Ferg Live Show Review – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Monday April 07th 2014,
Filed under: Features,Harlem Nights,In The Trenches,Is It Live Or Is It Memorex?
Written by:

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.

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


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.

Live Review: Run The Jewels, Danny Brown and Earl Sweatshirt @ The Palace, Melbourne

Clearly not a picture of last night’s show.

In the interest of “music journalism” I forced myself to attend a rap show last night featuring rappers I don’t really listen to on a regular basis, but don’t really have any huge level of hate for either, which is about as good as it’s going to get until Nice & Smooth decide to tour these shores. After enjoying a few rounds of boilermakers and weed with some associates, we wandered into the venue the very moment that El-P and Killer Mike hit the stage.

Event: Acclaim Issue #31 Launch Party feat. The Underachievers
Wednesday December 04th 2013,
Filed under: Announcements,Booze!,Down Under Blunders,Is It Live Or Is It Memorex?
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If you’re in Melbourne on 14 December, swing past the laucnh party for the new issue of Acclaim mag where I’ll be stunting in a CRC polo, creeping out interns and aiming for my usual “World’s Drunkest Man” award, while checking out if these Underachievers characters qualify for New Rap That Doesn’t Suck status. RSVP here.

Video: Joe Fatal Live at CBGB’s, 1992
Friday October 25th 2013,
Filed under: Crates,Is It Live Or Is It Memorex?,The 90's Files,VHS Vaults,Video Vault
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Some rare footage of Joe Fatal’s brief rapping career, at a showcase that also included Artifacts, YAGGFU Front, Total Pack, Hard 2 Obtain and Legion of D.U.M.E. I had to emancipate this from the original account since they deaded embedding. You can catch footage of the other performances over there.

KRS-One – Criminal Minded Practice Sessions


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.

Unkut TV: Episode 21 – DJ Quik and Kurupt Live At The Laundry, 2013

DJ Quik and Kurupt came into town, so I wandered past to relive some 90’s LA rap action. The highlight of course was Quik beatboxing “New York, New York” for Kurupt, and his generous dispensing of booze to the front row while performing “Tonite”.

Unkut TV: Episode 19 – The Doppelgangaz Live At S.O.B.’s

The Doppelgangaz brought some Shark Life to S.O.B.’s on Monday 24 June, 2013 as part of a showcase that included Fred The Godson show. Features a cameo from DJ Kay Slay aka DEZ and his Straight Stuntin‘ girls, as well as the ever-lovely Bambie-Rose. Songs performed include “Sun Shine”, “Like What Like Me” and “Oh Well”.

Unkut TV: Episode 17 – Masta Ace, Live In Boston
Friday August 23rd 2013,
Filed under: Beantown,BK All Day,Is It Live Or Is It Memorex?,Unkut TV
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Highlights of Masta Ace, Stricklin and Marco Polo performing at the Middle East in Boston on 22 June 2013, featuring “Crooklyn”, “The Symphony”, “Lil’ Young” with Ed OG, “Nostalgia” and “Born To Roll/Jeep-Ass Niguh”.

Video: Brand Nubian – Live In 1990
Tuesday August 20th 2013,
Filed under: Is It Live Or Is It Memorex?,Live From NY,The 90's Files,Video Vault
Written by:

Apparently this Elektra Records showcase was filmed by Video Music Box (which I posted some of back when it dropped in 2012), and is notable for a number of reasons, not least a live performance of Brand Nubian‘s “The Devil”, which eventually appeared on one of those limited-edition vinyl releases from One Leg-Up, and make no bones in ice cream about calling out cracker-ass crackers. Also appreciated is the “I ain’t white” chant and the general disinterest of the knuckleheads at the front of the crowd who are either working as security or just stunting too hard to actually face the performance.

Kool Keith Fires Back At Unkut?


Just noticed this comment from Lair dating back to February, where he points out, “I think Keith recorded a diss track just for you off of this article”, linking to a song that dropped a mere 12 days after I expressed my bitter disappointment at Ultramagnetic MC’s Critical Beatdown tour.

While the cover image bares a striking resemblance to the venue I attended, the rhymes don’t really confirm that it has anything to do with my review, unless you consider “You heard the track accurate, that’s what I’m about” to be a rationale for his lip-syncing during the show in question, and “Laugh online…LOL…they stuck!” to be a subliminal aimed at Unkut HQ.

Hold up! On closer inspection, “Caught up in the zone like people with long cords on they phone/they can’t think out the box, so they won’t stay in the box” pretty much sums up everything that the Conservative Rap Coalition is about. Did Poppa Large (pause) just ether me?

Video: 3rd Bass Reunion Show

I’ve never been a huge fan of these guys, but they did help KMD get on so I’m willing to cut them some slack. This recent reunion show certainly doesn’t seem to do them any favors, basically resembling what would happen if a guy who owned the local pizza store and his accountant decided to put on a rap show.

Unkut TV: Episode 7 – Kool G Rap and DJ Polo Live In Philly, 2013

Photo: richdirection

When I heard that Kool G Rap was performing in Philadelphia last Saturday night, you know I was getting there no matter what, especially considering how often I’ve argued that he’s the greatest MC of all-time. Just so happens that this performance was also the first time that G had performed with DJ Polo in seventeen years, and I got to capture it all on camera. Here’s footage of KGR performing “The Realest”, “Take ‘Em To War”, “Road To The Riches”, “Ill Street Blues”, “Fast Life” and “The Symphony”.

Unkut TV: Episode 6 – Statik Selektah Album Launch At S.O.B.’s

Highlights from the S.O.B.’s Extended Play launch, featuring Sean Price, Buckshot, Black Thought and Bun B. Sorry Pro Era crew and Termanology, you guys didn’t make the final cut.