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.
The Greatest Man Alive, Da Wizzard of Odds and V-Born kicking rhymes over finger snaps for the Krush Rap show. Larry Larr gets a quick jab in at Cool C, while EST buries his old crew and his former manager in typically acknickulous fashion. Hopefuly footage of the time that one of the Hilltop threw a quarter at EST at the basketball court and the resulting brawl will turn up one day.
Check this hour-long 2010 documentary about Freshco & Miz, the winners of the MC and DJ divisions of the 1990 NMS Battle For World Supremacy. Featuring appearances by Ice T, Ice Cube, DJ Enuff, MC Lyte, Treach, Kool DJ Red Alert, Monie Love, Dres, Phife, Yo-Yo, D Nice, MC Serch, Ed Lover & Dr. Dre, Guru, and DJ Wiz of Kid N Play.
Jedi Mind Tricks front man Vinnie Paz drops his second solo LP, God of the Serengeti, on 22 October, featuring production from DJ Premier, Marco Polo, Havoc, Psycho Les and more. I caught-up with him recently to discuss growing-up in Philly, his early days as an MC and his involvement in one of the best selling independent rap albums of all time.
Robbie: Is it true your brother used to work on Cool C’s car in Philly?
Vinnie Paz: Yeah, he used to detail his car. He was always real cool to my brother. My business partner to this day, Yan, worked at the sneaker store where all the Hilltop dudes would buy all their sneakers. He would tell me they would come through and each drop a couple of thousand in cash on Jordans and Air Max and shit like that.
What are some of your memories of growing-up in Philly?
Hilltop Hustlers and Tuff Crew – my perception of it – those guys were as big as it gets to me. Now that I’m grown, I realize how regional they were. They weren’t household names, but to me they were superstars. Maybe I should be more aware of it when it comes to the fans of mine today… (more…)
I caught a proper screening of the Big Fun In The Big Town documentary the other week (which you might remember I posted back in 2009), and got to chop it up with the director, Bram Van Splunteren, who shot the film in a week in 1986 and was able to capture an impressive selection of big names of the era. He’s currently planning a follow-up now that this joint now that it’s finally available on DVD. Schoolly School is right on the money, as always.
This is verging dangerously close to ‘new’ rap but I have to admit I don’t hate it at all. It might have been those echoing horn stabs that got me… taken from the album Plateau Vision, which has some good stuff on it despite featuring song title such as ‘She’s a Buddhist, I’m A Cubist’ and a horrible Styles P track.
One of the reasons you persevere with this rap shit just might be those increasingly rare moments when the flow, cadence and wordplay combine into a moment of pure rap supremacy. Back in Feb 2010, Black Thought had one of these moments when he unleashed two non-stop verbal tidal waves as he proceeded to demonstrate what might commonly be referred to as ‘blacking out’. Even though he was suffering from strep throat or whatever happens from too much cot-damn rappin’, it served as a refresher to – those of us who have become too accustomed to associating him with ‘sophisticated’ Roots songs – just how raw he can get.
It also got me thinking – what is your favorite moment of an MC absolutely slaughtering a beat or ‘blacking out’?