Him-Lo – The Unkut Interview
Him-Lo has been dropping music on these here internets for the past couple of years, but it wasn’t until his Horsepower mixtape that I really paid attention. Turns out this Philly Lo-Lifer has been deep in this here shit since the golden era of Philadelphia hip-hop, and his brand of non-progressive, anti-social rap is just what the city needs right now.
Robbie: How did you get started?
Him-Lo: We’ve been rhyming for a long time, ever since we were teenagers. We were part of a few different crews before we cut it down to just me and Clever One – The Buze Bruvaz. We were also in a group called Bermuda Triangle at one point with a few other members, we grew up with them also. Clever One, that’s my brother, and those other dudes we were at grammar school with, so we’ve been rhyming for a long time. Matter of fact, when we started rhyming the game was completely different. Now everybody’s rhyming. We would go somewhere and when people found out we were doing this they were excited, “Oh, you rap? Kick a rap for us!” It was so different at the time. So we were doing it at a young age, and I’m 40 now. We were so heavy into hip-hop at such an early age – not just the rapping, all aspects of it – we grew up as graffiti writers, battling people and breakdancing, deejaying, doing everything. That’s why even at this age now we still do it, just for fun. It’s what we do, we can’t really shake it!
Five Great Rap Rip-Offs
Here are a few examples of not-so-subtle examples of rappers wearing their influences on their sleeves. $20 says the first comment reads: “YOU FORGOT ACTION BRONSON / GHOSTFACE!”
Stream: Cole James Cash – Saigon LP
Cole James Cash has just dropped a new instrumental project themed around all Vietnamese-based musical samples. He also provided a detailed explanation of each track exclusively for Unkut below the break…
Track by track breakdown:
AG – The Unkut Interview
Andre The Giant has been holding down Bronx tradition ever since he first got his starting shot on Lord Finesse’s “Back To Back Rhyming” and “Keep It Flowin'” from the Funky Technician LP. From there he formed Showbiz & AG and ushered in the birth of the Diggin’ In The Crates crew. Twenty four years later he continues to rep the crew, as he and Show complete work on a new album. AG took some time out while touring to speak on his connection to The Bronx, inspiration, winning recognition from his peers and the memory of Party Arty in this refreshingly honest conversation.
Robbie: Do you remember the moment you decided you wanted to pursue rap seriously?
AG: I remember exactly when! I always played around with it, because my older brother LB was always into the culture. He’s a clothes designer now, and a great graffiti artist. He used to MC too, so I used to have to do what he did. He cultivated me – he kinda forced it on me at first – but I took to it cos I was pretty good at it. I just would play around, but the moment I heard “My Melody” the first time in a park jam it was in 23 Park, in Forest projects in The Bronx. It was right before the summer of me going to high school, and the Five Percenters – the Nation of the Gods and the Earths – were in the same park, away from the crowd cos it was a big park jam, on the other side of the gate in a huge cipher. I didn’t know what it was, but I was attracted to the cipher at the time. I was just trying to figure out what they were doing. It looked so on point, they were disciplined, you could tell they knew what they were talking about.
Download: Big Twins and DJ Woool – TG1 Mixtape
New Big Twins tape with a couple of Sid Roams contributions. Check out the third track for Twins’ honest assesment of the recent turmoils in the Mobb family.
Download: Big Twins and DJ Woool – TG1 Mixtape
This Is What Roc Marciano’s Debut LP Originally Looked Like
Schott Free just blessed his Instagram with the track listing for an early version of Roc Marciano’s debut solo project, back when it was intended to drop on SRC Records. As you can see, only a portion of these tracks made the final version (albeit with some changes to the names and spellings). Here’s what Schott had to say about it:
Killa Sha – My Environment
This is the second release from The Shepard LP, produced by Ju Ju of The Beatnuts. Grab it over at iTunes if you want that official tissue.
The UMC’s – Tried To Tell Ya
Kool Kim aka NYOIL has reunited with Haas G aka Fantom to deliver the first UMC’s track in over twenty years.
The 45 King feat. Supreme – Go Head Up 
Some hidden New Jersey rap gold, taken from The 45 King‘s The Lost Breakbeats – Test Press LP. Don’t call it Fast Rap though, that’s not a valid genre.
CRC-Approved Rap: March 2014 Edition
Had a request the other day for a weekly round-up of Unkut rap recommendations, but since I’m lucky if there’s one good new song every seven days, it makes more sense to turn it into a monthly round-up of Conservative Rap Coalition approved tunes.
Sean Price & Illa Ghee – Dave Winfield
New Sean P and Illa Ghee, from the MM. Rick Sorry I’m Late mixtape, hosted by Redman and available here.
Big Noyd – The Unkut Interview
The longest serving member of the Mobb Deep crew not named Havoc or Prodigy is Big Noyd, who was along for the ride through all of the highs and lows that the music industry had to throw at them, as well as surviving his fair share of challenging experiences as a soloist. Currently living in North Carolina, Rapper Noyd is currently working on his fourth official solo album with his old QB buddy Ron Artest aka Metta World Peace, and he took some time out to speak in detail about his long career in the rap game.
Robbie: How did it all start for you?
Big Noyd: We all were friends first, before rap. I used to be up in Queensbridge, then I moved to Brooklyn to stay with my aunts for a couple of years. Before I left, we used to listen to rap but we wasn’t really doing it. When I came back to visit on the weekend, Scarface Twin [Gambino] was like, “Yo, Havoc and Prodigy are in the studio. They signed with 4th & Broadway and they working on a rap album.” I was like, “Get the fuck outta here! Wow…cool.” I went there just to hang out in the studio and they were working on “Stomp ‘Em Out” and I was rhyming in there, I liked the beat. I was just doing what I liked to do, my own little rhyme, and then they heard it and they were like, “Yo, repeat that rhyme again! That’s perfect for this song we working on.” I was like, “Well if anything I’ll write a new verse.” Cos this verse was on something I was working on just for myself at the time – no record companies or anything like that – I had to be about fourteen years old. They were like, “Can you write another one? It won’t take that much time?” I write faster now, but back then it took me about an hour. I laid down the sixteen bars and it was perfect – history begin.
Vote Or Die: Who Flipped The Payback The Nicest?
James Brown, for all intents and purposes, created rap. It’s therefore no surprise that he’s also supplied some of the most enduring breaks and loops of all time, my personal favorite being “The Payback.” Of the hundreds of uses of this super tight testament to revenge, here are nine that really stood out for me, plus a wildcard pick from Miami just to keep things interesting. This also marks the return of the ‘Vote Or Die’ section of Unkut, in dedication to the time that Puffy called future presidential hopeful Barack Obama “kid” during his MTV coverage of the 2004 elections.
These Professional Rap Ghostwriters Will Destroy Us All, Or So They Claim
It’s recently come to my attention that a new thirst bucket company by the name of Precision Writtens is outchea harassing every second rapper on the internets to employ their services to create the ultimate rapper dude by committee. Here’s the approach they took when they pitched their “services” to $amhill:
PW Talent Agent, Tyrone Bowman: “Ive been listening to a few of your tracks and think you got a tight sound. I’m with Precision Writtens and we write very intricate rap verses for artists. You can listen to some sample verses on our website to get a sense of what we mean by intricate. I know we can help you blow up big, easy. Take a look and let us know what you think fam. Peace”
MF Doom on The Stretch Armstrong Show, April 24, 1997
As is usually the way, it appears that MF Doom was inspired by Stretch Armstrong‘s beat selection for this 1997 rhyme session to go home and chop-up Kool G Rap‘s “Truly Yours” drums for the recorded version of “Go With The Flow.” Peace to Megalon, who may now actually be homeless after dedicating a song to said dude’s without a permanent address.
Thanks to Dirty Waters.
No Country For Old (Rap) Men: Old To The New
The Mobb and Nas look back at their glory days, but what lies ahead for these QB legends?
No Country For Old (Rap) Men: Old To The New
What To Expect From Mobb Deep’s 1994 Infamous Sessions CD
Mobb Deep are dropping a new album on 1 April, and as a bonus are including a CD called The 1994 Infamous Sessions, which will finally bless Thun Rap aficionados with high quality versions of the numerous 8th generation tape dubs floating around the internets. Until the real thing drops, I’ve pieced together a preview of the majority of the songs to whet your appetites, plus a few of the lost demo cuts that didn’t make it.
Lushlife – The Unkut Interview
Philidelphia’s own Lushlife caught my ear in 2012 with his Plateau Vision album, which saw him realize the potential heard on Cassette City and match the quality of his production with his rhymes. Currently working on a new album with producers CSLSX, I caught-up with Lushlife over the phone while he was midway through attempting to enjoy pizza and beer at a local bar to find out what inspired him to channel “Broken Language,” his appreciation for The LOX and why drinks cost so much in London.
Robbie: Did you start out as a producer or a rapper?
Lushlife: It didn’t even occur to me that I would rap. I had been making beats and doing production for many years, and I didn’t even want to go into the world of trying to find people to rhyme over my instrumentals. The moment that I got a mic at 20 – after a lifetime of listening and memorising rap songs – something just came out. As a hip-hop fan, I was like, “This is worthwhile shit!” So I just ran with that. The MC side of it came way second.
Video: Boldy James – What’s The Word
New video from the mighty My 1st Chemistry Set LP, which I’m still hoping gets a vinyl release one day.
via Mass Appeal.