If you caught my footage of the Kool G Rap and DJ Polo show in Philly last year, you would have noticed that huge dude standing on stage next to G, chomping on a cigar. Turns out he’s a fellow by the name of Big Nawz, who is not only KGR’s road manager but also been known to drop a rhyme from time to time, as he’s done for this guest spot with Da Inappropriate.
With their loyalty to Ballentine 40 Oz and Polo rugbys, Da Buze Brovaz are certified CRC representatives. Here’s a new Clever One solo for all you fans of man-style drinking and the after-effects of an evening on that hard liquor.
Fresh off lacing the Counterstrike 2 tape with an exclusive burner, Him-Lo has thrown me a new track with his brother Clever One and The Great Dot X, aka three seasoned gentlemen who will drink you under the table without a second thought.
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! (more…)
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. (more…)
Turns out Philly can still churn-out some quality, CRC-approved rap, as this mixtape from Him-Lo demonstrates. The homie Dallas Penn holds it down on hosting duties, and there’s a song which uses “Nautilus,” which is always a good sign. Also, “On A String” just might be the best previously unused 80’s R&B flip in a long time.
MarQ Spekt reps that Polo Rugby lifestyle with some Illedelph Lo-Lifers over a Blackhead beat. Clip could have done with some gals in an ideal world, but I guess it was a little cold for hot pants outchea.
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”. (more…)
More Philly action, this time with a three part feature on the local scene that ran on local TV, featuring Schoolly D in his prime, sporting a fresh Fila jumpsuit and block haircut, DJ Code Money, radio legend Lady B, Yvette Money, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Price and more. Continues below… (more…)
Just found this after he mentioned that Jive Records made a video for this after he signed with them in The Adventures of Schoolly D: Snowboarder, an extra on the King of New York DVD which feature a super wired interview with the great man. Easily the most bizarre music video I’ve seen in recent memory. Pause in advance.
Philly’s Tuff Crew were the result of throwing Public Enemy, Ultramgnetic and Schoolly-D into a blender. Hard rhymes and abrasive beats left no doubt that these northside b-boys were repping their town to the fullest. Best known for the catchy “My Part of Town”, their second and third albums still hold up today as a fine representation of the just how well Philadelphia was able to translate the sound of New York hip-hop into it’s own unique sound, while also giving a nod towards the Bass scene of Miami. I caught up with DJ Too Tuff a couple of weeks back while he was in prime form, and he spoke fondly of the formative years of the inner city rap scene before the familiar creep of gentrification and new money “cleaned up” the streets of the area that was once referred to as the “Dangerzone”.
Robbie: What set you off to become a DJ?
DJ Too Tuff: My inspirations as a DJ was definitely Jazzy Jeff, Cash Money, Lightnin’ Rich – these were all Philly DJ’s who paved the way as far as the cuttin’ scene. Also my mom used to take me down to the record store when I was little, and I would buy one or two Sugarhill Gang records or Treacherous Three, Funky Four Plus One More, maybe The Sequence. That’s how I was first introduced to the Philly hip-hop scene at Funk-O-Mart, which was a store which used to specialize in DJ equipment and records. There were two record stores in Philly, the other one was Armand’s. (more…)
Black Thought continues his conversation with Combat Jack (aka Ben Grimm Esq.) and and Dallas Penn (aka Advanced Scarf Technologies) and talks about battling, hearing Illmatic and meeting Supernatural.