Def IV – Sample Pioneers?
Friday May 08th 2015,
Filed under: Features,Rap A Lot For Life,The 80's Files
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The Def IV Nice & Hard album was always something I went back to when it was released in 1988. As the fourth album released on the Rap-A-Lot label, this group of New York transplants, which consisted of two brothers – Vicious Lee and Jon B – beat maker and DJ Lonnie Mac and vocalist Prince E-Z-Cee (DJ Ready Red was apparently an early member before being recruited by the Ghetto Boys). Given that three quarters of the group were DJ’s, it’s no surprise that there is a lot going on musically, with many tracks delivering a layered, sophisticated sampling style, constant scratches and extra breaks thrown in all over the place to keep shit moving.

Akshun aka Scarface – Another Head Put To Rest [1989]
Tuesday May 05th 2015,
Filed under: Crates,Rap A Lot For Life,The 80's Files
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What with Brad Jordan releasing his biography, Diary of a Madman recently (which he discusses with ego trip’s Gabriel Alvarez here), it seemed like a good time to take another listen his first single, released on Lil’ Troy‘s Short Stop Records back when he was still calling himself DJ Akshun. The a-side would later be slightly reworked for the Grip It! On That Other Level album when Scarface became a Ghetto Boy, while ‘Put Another Head To rest’ was relegated to the crates of Houston locals and ebay borks until Lil’ Troy pissed off ‘Face by including the song on his Sittin’ Fat Down South CD and things degenerated from there.

Video: The Combat Jack TV Show – The Scarface Episodes

Here are all three episodes of the Combat Jack interview with the Greatest Southern Rapper of All Time, Brad “Mr. Scarface” Jordan. Part 2 and 3 below.

Weekend Throwback – Unkut Ignorance Mixtape

Re-up of the mixtape I posted in 2008:

This is a vinyl mix of great ignorant rap songs which I put together with DJ J-Red in 2002. Sure to upset anybody within earshot. Includes classics such as Willie D‘s ‘Baldhead Hoes’, Convict‘s ‘Wash Ya Ass’ and Bustdown‘s ‘Pissing Razor Blades’.

Video: Willie D Shuts Down A Disrespectful Rapper Dude In Cleveland
Wednesday October 17th 2012,
Filed under: Freestyles,Rap A Lot For Life,Video Clips
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When the Clean-Up Man let some local MC’s on stage in Ohio, a local upstart starts taking shots at the host. Guess he should consider himself lucky he didn’t have to ‘Read These Nikes’…

The Search For The Ultimate Kid Rapper – Round 1

Kiddie rap. Great idea, huh? Almost as interesting as kiddie rap records is the beef between kiddie rappers. Chi-Ali and Illegal hated each other. Everyone hated ABC and Kriss Kross. Bow Wow and Romeo….who the eff cares. On with the round-up!

2 Low

Mentor/Ghostwriter: Scarface.

Naughty By Nature Wannabe? Nah, he was from the South, fool.

Career Highlight: That shit he did on ‘Face’s second album.

Current Career Status: May be working at one of J-Prince’s car dealerships.

Six Songs For Ya Moms

Any cheeseball can make a song about how great their mother is, but why should we give a shit? Here are six songs that may make your old earth cry a river (or at least get off the pipe).

Audio Two – ‘Get Your Mother Off The Crack’

Milk D has been something of a role model to me as I’ve grown up. Thanks to his sage words, I try and eat cherries, drink milk and keep ma duke away from my stash of whoolas.

Did ‘The Chronic’ Ruin LA Rap?

Yeah, I copped The Chronic tape when it dropped and liked most of it. If I’d been old enough to drive around with a ridiculously loud system I’m sure I would have appreciated it even more, but even on a Sony Megabass it sounded pretty good. The problem was, once everyone on the West Coast heard Dr. Dre‘s opus, they decided to throw out all their P-Funk and Zapp records and buy keyboards. Hell, even the previously awesome Rap-A-Lot production crew in Houston abandoned their church organ and harmonica beats for synths and live bands. Sure it was more ‘creative’ but it sounded like crap compared to the old shit. LA Rap had a great period in the late 80’s once they got off that Egyptian Lover tip, with the Rhyme Syndicate, King T‘s crew, NWA and others who brought their own take on hard beats, but as soon as they figured out that a combination of a soft drums, whining keyboards and some random guitar licks could knock out a hit less than ten minutes, it was over. Not convinced? Does the name Warren G mean anything to you? If you answered yes, kill yourself.

The Tribute To Ignorance Blend Tape

Just dug-out this blend tape that I put together around 2002 with the help of a DJ friend of mine – a tribute to the most offensive ignorant rap ever pressed to vinyl. Sure to upset anybody within earshot.

Unkut Dot Com and DJ J-Red Present: The Tribute To Ignorance Blend Tape

My Remakes’s Playing Tricks On Me

It’s only right that in memory of Ike we take a look at two cover versions of the Geto Boys classic that flipped his track from the Tough Guys soundtrack. The Marxmen can do no wrong, as they ‘snatch it back’ in fine form here, while the Ghetto Girlz deliver some chick rap ignorance that makes me want to dig out some BWP records for some reason.

M.O.P – ‘Nine & Two Clips’

Ghetto Girlz – ‘My Man’s Playing Tricks On Me’

Geto Boys ‘My Minds Playing Tricks On Me’ video:

Rap-A-Lot School Days

During the prime years of the mighty Rap-A-Lot label, there were no less than five songs released that related to school. Was this part of some sort of community service agreement? It could be argued that the Geto Boy‘s song was nothing to do with school, but it includes Willie D‘s teacher Miss Elaine, so that’s close enough. It’s fair to say there are some mixed messages here – to hear Raheem and 2 Low (who was still in school when he made this) tell it, the school yard is nothing but good times and sex rhymes. But then Willie D admits that ‘School is a drag, and sometimes you’re teacher gets mad’, while he had previously ‘beat his teacher down with a gun’ on that Geto Boys shit. Big Mike and 3-2 of the Convicts cut straight to the chase and let us know what they think about getting a worthless ‘edumication’.

2 Low – ‘Class Clown’

Convicts – ‘Fuck School’

Geto Boys – ‘Assassins’

Raheem – ‘Schooldaze’

Willie D – ‘Go Back 2 School’

DJ Vicious Lee (Def IV) Interview

Even though Rap-A-Lot Records is closely associated with Houston’s 5th Ward, most of the groups on the early roster were originally from New Jersey or New York, which resulted in some interesting blends of styles. The Def IV’s Nice & Hard album is a perfect example, as it introduced an upbeat, sample-heavy sound that was light-years ahead of the usual Texas slow-flow of the era. DJ Vicious Lee breaks down his time with the crew and his later work with the Geto Boys and Gangster N-I-P.

Robbie: I had the Def IV record back in the day and then I found the CD the other day and it had two extra songs.

DJ Vicious Lee: Oh OK, so you had the wax version and then you got the CD? “Buggin’ Out Time” was a Lonnie Mack DJ record. The CD’s been in my car ever since I had it. Cee lives in Manhatten – The Prince EZ Cee, now he’s DJ Peter Parker. Him and Wiz live together. Now Wiz produced the music to “Get Busy”.

The credits said “Produced by Doug King and James Smith”, and then co-produced by you guys, but I know that the credits on records are not always a true representation of what happened.

Exactly. My name is nowhere on Geto Boys We Can’t Be Stopped album. They got me good on that one.

So what was your involvement with that?

I did the entire pre-production, in the beginning.

That was a great album.

Yeah. That was the first one that Rap-A-Lot had go platinum. The first platinum album they ever put out.