This is a little somethin’ somethin’ I was asked to write for another media organization that ended up on the cutting room floor. The basic premise is “The Most Offensive Lyrics From Conscious MC’s”, but the definition of “conscious” rappers is so vague that it’s pointless. It’s also the reason why stuff like “Black Korea” and “lllegal Aliens” isn’t included. In the plus side, you only have to click this post once! (more…)
Having come-up as T La Rock‘s Human Beat-Box and graduated to be half of Nice & Smooth, one of hip-hop’s greatest duos, the mighty Greg N-I-C-E has also put together some great music on the solo tip, as both a producer and an MC. Here are ten of his finest efforts: (more…)
Having cut his teeth working with the Diggin’ In The Crates crew at the beginning of his career, Milano Constantine went on to sign a deal with Warner Bros. but was let go before the project was released. Thanks to a handful of independent singles, four mixtapes and notable guest spots with The Beatnuts and the P Brothers, Milano has continued to rep that classic Uptown style with his witty wordplay and vocabulary spill. Following an extended leave of absence, ‘Lano is set to return the rap game with three new projects. He took a little time out to speak about how he came up, working with Big Pun, Showbiz and T-Ray and how the late Party Arty taught him his most valuable lesson as an MC.
Robbie: What are you working on at the moment?
Milano Constantine: I’ve got the Alfa Romeo mixtape. It’s a vintage feel, I’ve got some unreleased, uncut raw stuff from the lab on there, and some new stuff that I’ve been working on. I had to take time off, but I feel very blessed, and now is time for me to go back into it with full force. Now I’m just feeling more comfortable with everything, you can’t put forth any good material if you have to get your life situated, everything has to go in line correctly. This is a great time in my life, I just had a daughter. My mother is in good health – she was really sick. You’ve gotta take care of your family first and music will come secondary. I wanted to reach out to y’all guys for always keeping that platform for me. God bless you guys always keeping me alive. I thank you guys for that. (more…)
Ever since I returned to Mom’s Basement seven months ago, I’ve been concentrating on delivering a new interview every week and going all out to provide a voice to the rappers, DJ’s and producers that the rest of the world has forgotten about, plus talk a little shit along the way. The time has come, however, for me to leave the basement for a minute and return to the streets of New York IRL (In Real Life) to hunt down some leads and shoot some video.
That means that it’s time for all of you Conservative Rap Coalition members reach deep into your Carhartt pockets and contribute to the cause. I’m been able to get my plane ticket money together after picking-up an extra paper route, but that’s not going to cover my Metro Card’s money, hot dogs, Swedish Fish or 40 Oz’s of Ballentine beer. Your hard-earned dollars will be put towards funding one or more of the following projects: (more…)
Following on from Part 1, Pudgee explains his involvement with Main Source‘s “Live At The BBQ”, his shelved second solo LP, the importance of The Bronx and dealing with the deaths of Tupac, Biggie and Left Eye.
Robbie: On the intro to your album, the Trackmasterz seemed to include a larger crew than just Poke and Tone. What happened there?
Pudgee The Phat Bastard: In all these years, no one’s ever asked that question. That’s dope. Alex Richberg kinda handles all of the business. It was Alex, Poke and Tone, and Frank Nitty. Musically, they were connected, but as people? There was always a separation. Alex Richberg was more of a family man, he had his wife and kids, he wasn’t really a hang out in the club kinda person. Frankie was really into making his tracks and being in the lab and not running around doing too much of anything else. Poke and Tone were more of the playboy/front men. I don’t think they ended up hating each other. Oddly enough, Frank Nitty, who did my album, his cousin is now my mailman! Tone was responsible for finding Foxy Brown, she lived right next to him, she was like a little sister to all of us. She was in the studio sessions for the Give ‘Em The Finger album as a 12 year-old girl.
Did they introduce you to Kool G Rap?
No. At a party for Salt ‘N Pepa that they had downtown at this billiard room, Tragedy was there and his DJ. I became real close with Tragedy and his DJ. (more…)
Concluding my discussion with Lakim Shabazz, he talks about leaving Tuff City, remembering his friend Apache, Queen Latifah incorporating the Flavor Unit name and plans for his final album.
Robbie: So how long after the second album did you get off Tuff City?
Lakim Shabazz: I was being managed by Dave Funkenklein. At one point in time, if you wasn’t managed by Red Alert or somebody like that, then you was under Dave Funkenklein. He had me, he had Ultramagnetic – he took us to Paris. I went to Japan through Funkenklein – me, Latifah, Chill Rob G and Latee. Other companies were interested in me, they had tried to buy my contract from Tuff City. The first offer that was presented to Aaron Fuchs was $150,000. You’re talking 1990, ‘91. I think Epic Records had offered him $300,000 to let me up outta my contract, and he just would not do it. So part of me recording all of those extra little songs on those breakbeat albums 45 King was putting out was to fulfill obligatory responsibilities I had on the contract. I did that for two or three years and eventually got smart and got my own entertainment lawyer and managed to get off Tuff City without having to pay no funds or anything, and at this point we’re fighting to get back money from them, so actually it worked in my favor. I don’t have any sour taste in my mouth toward Aaron Fuchs. I was a young guy, I wanted to hear myself on the radio and I was able to achieve that. (more…)
With the exception of Queen Latifah, Lakim Shabazz proved to be the most prolific of the original Flavor Unit line-up, releasing two albums and a long list of guest spots on 45 King projects during his time at Tuff City. Despite his diminutive frame, Lakim wielded “the voice of power” with authority, as he combined the teaching of the Five Percent Nation of Gods and Earths with Brag Rap with a previously unseen finesse over some of the best beats of the era.
Robbie: Where did it all start for you?
Lakim Shabazz: I was always interested in music since I was a little kid. I used to always listen to my mother’s albums and things of that nature. I’m from Newark, New Jersey, and out here spinning club music was a big thing as I was growing up. I started out deejaying, spinning club music, and that’s how I got introduced to hip hop. I met a couple a few DJ’s, and when I first saw somebody spinning the wax back and forth, scratching records, that intrigued me.
When did you start writing rhymes?
I met my DJ, Cee Just, when I was in ninth grade. I was still deejaying, and he convinced me to write my first rhyme. There were a couple of other guys that used to come over to his house and they’d be rhyming. I never even thought about picking up a mic, and he asked me to write a rhyme. I credit my man Cee Just and my brother Lamel Born for that. They inspired me to write my first rhyme and I’ve been rhyming ever since. (more…)
Concluding my talk with Freshco, he details what went down in the New Music Seminar in 1990, teaming up with DJ Miz, the mutual respect he shared with other top-tier lyricists and why his career as an MC didn’t turn out the way he’d hoped.
Robbie: How did you get involved with the NMS?
Freshco: DJ Clark Kent said, “Fresh, you need to join the New Music Seminar”, and that sent chills down my spine. Everyone that knew me knew how good I was, but the world didn’t know. I think Clark Kent was trying to say, “There’s a way to do this. Go into the Seminar and show everybody”. And that’s what I did. In July, 1989 I won the New Music Seminar, and people were like, “Oh my god, we didn’t know!”. Everybody was there, it was the perfect platform. Diddy, Just-Ice, Ice-T. It ended up being a really nice thing for me. (more…)
Freshco is best remembered as the being the winner of the 1990 New Music SeminarBattle For World Supremacy MC Battle who teamed up with the winner of the DJ Battle from that same year, DJ Miz. That story was covered in detail in the documentary World Supreme Hip-Hop, but there is a lot more to his story, as I discovered when I caught up with him recently. In the first part of this interview, we discuss his early days as an accomplished train bomber, skater and popper.
Robbie: What made you want to rhyme?
Freshco: Back in high school, in the lunchroom, people would bang beats on the table and dudes would just start rhyming, so I’d join in. A friend of mine told me about his rhyme book, which I thought was brilliant. I didn’t have a rhyme book, and his rhyme book was full. That was one of my initial goals, to have a rhyme book that was that was more than five pages. After that, a cousin of mine gave me one of his tapes with somebody rhyming, and I learned that rhyme and started saying it in my neighborhood, and people were like, “Hey, you’re good!”. So that was the beginning. (more…)
Stretch, Majesty, K-Lowe and Biggy Smallz of the Live Squad ensured that no shorts for this outstanding VHS exclusive which features random shootings, babies getting thrown out of windows, contact killings and hooker executions. Poor old Stretch also took the fall for Tupac getting shot and robbed in New York, which allegedly resulted in his execution exactly twelve months later.
Got a major Flavor Unit interview ready to drop soon, so I’m going in extra deep (pause) on their extensive catalog. Here are ten of sure shots from the greatest collection of MC’s that New Jersey ever produced.
Since their debut EP, The Ghastly Duo, in 2008, Matter Ov Fact and EP have gone from strength to strength, having released four full-length projects and a couple of free beat tapes. With Hark out next week, it’s the prefect time to take a look back at some of their finest work from the past five years. (more…)
Continuing my talk with Spyder-D, we discuss his relationship with Sparky-D, the saga of Kool Moe Dee ripping-off his song, record label headaches and why Run won’t talk to him anymore.
Robbie: Was the Tuff City compilation of your early work an authorized release?
Spyder-D: I wouldn’t be surprised if Tuff City didn’t have something to do with the bootlegging of “Big Apple Rappin’”, ‘cos I didn’t technically give the right to do “Big Apple Rappin’”, before I found out they were already planning on doing it, so I believe they’d been in contact with the dude. It was somewhat authorized. Aaron Fuchs – ha and I have had a love/hate relationship for a long time. Aaron is a guy who’s love for hip-hop and his understanding of it, I recognized early on. He was a pioneer in that sense. He understood where hip-hop was going and that it was here to stay a long time before a lot of other people did, and I always loved that about him. But he’s as crooked as lightening bolt! (more…)