The late, great Sha Lumi over an Xtra-P production, taken the forthcoming Killa Sha & Large Professor project. Also be on the look-out for Killa Sha’s The Shepard to drop in January 2011 to mark the first anniversary of his passing.
Trying to pick the best Paul Mitchell remix is like trying to pick your favorite type of booze – they all work in the real situation. But since I’m restricting each round to eight selections, stuff like the “Resurrection’ remixes just missed out on making the cut. (more…)
The topic of the seemingly endless stream of remakes of ‘The Bridge’ has already been well covered here and here. But there are also a lot of songs about the borough of Queens. Here are six of the best:
Run-DMC feat. Nas & Prodigy - ‘Queens Day’ (more…)
You might recall this from my interview with the artist once known as Paul Juice recently:
Robbie: Is ‘Queens Lounge’ from The LP ever going to see a proper release?
Large Professor: I’ll go back through the archives and try to dig that up and dust that off and get it right, man. I wanna finally put that stuff out there the right way – how it was supposed to originally be put out there. I might have to dust some of them tracks off, man, and get ‘em right. That album, The LP, was so muddy and dirty. The people [at Geffen] they wanted to pull outta the deal and everything, it was like, ‘Yo, I gotta go back to the drawing board and get something fresh and new to work with, so I’m not just sittin’ here with the 12-bit sampler – about to go to the grave with a SP-1200 and some floppy discs!’.
Turns out he was good to his word, with both CD and double vinyl versions of The LP shipping at the end of this month. This is good news for fans of Flushing’s Finest, for although this album isn’t Breaking Atoms 2, it doesn’t need to be. This is the musical document of a troubled man trying to make sense of the music industry, a solo career and growing-up, and as such presents a stripped-down, back-to-the-basics sound while still mining previously unheard samples. His DJ at the time, Dr. Butcher, explains in more detail last year: (more…)
DX: Do you remember your initial reaction when you first heard “Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down” and “Pass The Gat”?
Grand Puba: That’s the thing that kinda messed me up [after leaving the group to go solo], ‘cause I wish I was on “Punks,” I woulda murdered that shit. I was like, “Damn!” It’s like I know [Sadat] X wish he was on “360,” and Jamar wish he was on “Soul Controller.” I had that [moment after “Punks”] like, “Damn, man.” That shit, and the “Pass The Gat” shit. Those are my regrets, man. I wish I was on them joints right there
The Live Guy With Glasses is one of hip-hop’s top shelf legends, and having worked on some of rap’s greatest ever albums – in addition to his own stand-out work as the front man for Main Source and as a soloist – he refuses to kick back and relax, continuing to bang out beats and rhymes like only he can. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation from late last year. And yes, I know I forgot to ask him about Vagina Diner…
Robbie: Were you rhyming first or making beats?
Large Pro: It was all kinda simultaneous, but the first time I went in the studio was to rhyme. It was three dudes – it was my dude Tony Rome, it was me – I think I was called K.G. back then – and it was my dude J-Wrath…he was JY, and we would go in the studio and just rhyme and shit. As a matter of fact, Wrath is the manager for Lost Boys now, Cheeks and ‘em. I guess everybody kinda stuck with it, they just went down their own little paths and shit.
So you were just making demos back then?
Yeah, demos. Tony Arfi from Power Play took an interest in us and he decided to invest some studio time in us. We were just puttin’ some demos together, and Karmel was our DJ. He was real nice and just getting’ busy.
So what happened between then and meeting the McKenzie brothers?
After a while I started getting in trouble for writing on walls, writing on trains and everything. They had put me in a group home and everything, and then when I came back out got really serious about tryin’ to do my tapes and do my demos, ‘cos in the group home dudes would be rhyming, bangin’ on the damn dressers and allathat. So I got outta there, came back and I had a little Division for Youth job, a little summer youth job and shit, and I’d blow my whole check goin’ in the studio and shit, tryin’ to make a demo. Then after a while I met the McKenzie brothers, and their moms started investing in us and we took it from there. (more…)
Thought I’d try the track by track style on this one….
Straight out the gate, LP starts things off with a bang as he hits the track with an energetic flow over a swift, noisy track.
‘Hot: Sizzling, Scorching, Torching, Blazing’
This sounds like one of the songs that got cut off of First Class – that ‘modern’ style beat with a flow that sounds 99% like ‘Blaze Rhymes’. May also be the most awkwardly titled song since ‘Go Gadget Flow’. Next!
‘Maica Living’ Feat. Killa Sha And Guardian Leep
This is more like it – classic Xtra P material, with Killa Sha delivering as always with his Paypal reference.
‘Pump Ya Fist’ Feat. Mikey D & Lotto
Teaming-up with Mikey is a nice touch considering the whole Fuck What You Think situation. Good shit.
The second worst name for a Large Paul song after ‘Have Fun’. Sorta a ‘Just Hangin’ Out 2008′ vibe, only not as good. (more…)
For the final part of our interview, Dr. Butcher offers a behind-the-scenes look in the creation of the first Main Source album and Large Pro’s The LP. Now based in Texas, Butcher just released new music with an artist called Understanding on the vocals, and is working on an album of instrumentals for the Vintage Vaults series for Domination Recordings. He also works with Rob Swift on jingles, TV commercials and video games such as NFL Street.
Robbie: So you just did a new 12 inch?
Dr. Butcher: They just did a digital release while I’m putting together my instrumental album. I don’t want to do just a straight-forward, ‘One beat, two beat, three beats’ – just instrumentals, and I think every producer does that and that’s boring. I’mma try to do something a little different and piece it all together. It’s vintage old tracks, and I want to find a way to introduce that to the world where it’s not sounding like I’m some 90’s producer living off the nineties sound. I’mma mix it in with 2008 Dr. Butcher, kinda like telling a story using old tracks and stuff. It should be interesting.
Is that you rapping at the end of [G Rap’s] ‘Jive Talk’?
[bursts out laughing] Yep. That was us clowning around in the studio one day. We were sitting in the vocal room – Large had just put the beat down, G started rhyming and Large was sitting on a chair with a pair of drumsticks, and then he started tapping the drumsticks and we were just acting stupid, acting like old school rappers, making all these grunts in the background. We were just joking around and I was like, ‘Alright, let me just say some old rhymes and stuff’ and then I just started rhyming. And they kept it on the song! I rhymed a lot longer, but they kept the first maybe eight bars or something and faded the song out. It was the funniest thing ‘cos Stretch Armstrong would hold these contests, ‘Can anyone guess who that is? The ghost rapper at the end of the G Rap song?’ G told me that one day Biz Mark said, ‘Who’s that dude on the end of the song? I wanna sign that guy!’ Everybody was asking G who I was…even Eric B! But at the time I was more into the deejaying and then the producing, so it never went anywhere. (more…)
This arrived in the snail-mail box today. Lot of good stuff but I couldn’t go past this line-up. Both versions win in their own way. From the album State of the Art, which also features spots from Blu and CL Smooth.
Presto feat. Sadat X, OC and Large Pro - “Conquer Mentally (Large Pro Remix)”
Presto feat. Sadat X, OC and Large Pro - “Conquer Mentally (Original Mix)”
It could be argued that AZ has even worse taste in beats than Mr. Kelis, but when he gets a decent track it’s worth the effort. Undeniable is no A.W.O.L. – it’s not even as good as The Format – with it’s smooved-out the wrong way production, but these two tracks stand-out. “A-Game” gets raw in the right way, let-down only by the weak-at-the-knees chorus. The hidden bonus track is also more of the winning formula, while “The Hardest” with Styles P and Xtra-P is the standout by a mile (but wasn’t this on The Ghost Sessions already?).
AZ - “A.Game”
AZ - Hidden Track
AZ feat. Styles P & Large Pro - “The Hardest” video: (more…)