Just-Ice – Going Way Back Dub Plate
Friday February 20th 2015,
Filed under: BK All Day,Rap Veterans
Written by:

The Original Gangster of Hip-Hop remade his classic ode to rap history for the Deadly Dragon Sound System last December. I wonder if he’d do a version for the Conservative Rap Coalition if we asked very nicely?



The Booze Hound Files: Grand Daddy I.U.
Wednesday February 04th 2015,
Filed under: Art of Facts,In The Trenches,Rap Veterans,Strong Island,The Booze Hound Files
Written by:

bacardi_rum_black

Here’s a heart-warming tale of drinking too much from Grand Daddy I.U. from the interview I conducted with him in the carpark of a bar in Long Island, circa 2013. Living proof that doctor’s don’t know shit a lot of the time, and that drinking non-alcoholic beer really is a fate worse than death itself.

Robbie: Any good drinking stories?

Grand Daddy I.U.: Back in the days I used to drink Bacardi Dark. I must’ve been an alcoholic, cos I would go to sleep drinking that shit and wake up drinking that shit. One day my stomach was feeling so fuckin’ crazy I thought I had to shit or something. I’m sitting on the toilet and ain’t shit coming out – I start throwing up, throwing up – the shit started becoming yellow! I didn’t eat no shit that was yellow! Come to find out it was my stomach lining. This shit became so painful I called my moms, ‘I don’t know what this shit is, but you gotta come get me!’ She came and got me, the whole time I keep throwing up.
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Grand Daddy I.U. feat. Biz Markie – I Ain’t Got No Money [1992]
Wednesday February 04th 2015,
Filed under: Crates,Rap Veterans,Strong Island
Written by:

photo_1

A few years back Grand Daddy I.U. released an EP of his early work (this time with the right production credits) on the appropriately titled Cold Stealin’ label. As a bonus, he included this shelved track he recorded in 1992 with Biz Markie on the hook, which contains gems such as “For that you get a smack, while I’m sticking my one-eyed jack in your ass crack.” The perfect compliment to I.U.’s classic ‘Girl In The Mall.’
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Video: Diamond D feat. Grand Daddy I.U. – The Game
Monday January 26th 2015,
Filed under: Rap Veterans,Strong Island,Video Clips
Written by:

One of the best tracks from The Diam Piece gets a video, directed by Pritt Kalsi.



O.C. – The Unkut Interview
Thursday January 22nd 2015,
Filed under: BK All Day,Features,Interviews,Rap Veterans,Web Work
Written by:

O.C.

Working through my list of D.I.T.C. members to interview (only Fat Joe, Buckwild and O.Gee remaining), I got to talk shop with O.C. recently to ask the question that’s been burning my soul slow since 1994 – why didn’t he use that Rakim sample on ‘Time’s Up’!?

O.C. – The Unkut Interview

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Grand Puba – The More Things Change
Monday January 12th 2015,
Filed under: Rap Veterans,Steady Bootleggin'
Written by:

grandpuba

For anyone who has missed Puba‘s off-key warbling in recent years, you’re in for a treat. I’m just glad he ditched that shitty keyboard he used for Understand This.



The Awful Truth About Rap Shelf Life
Thursday January 08th 2015,
Filed under: Features,Rap Veterans,The 80's Files,The 90's Files,The Unkut Opinion
Written by:

cereal boxes on shelf LA SM_0

The limited shelf life of most rap groups is a an unfortunate reality. For some MC’s, the window of opportunity is so small that getting stuck in record label limbo for two or three years can spell career ruin, while even some of the genre’s greatest groups such as Run-DMC and Public Enemy suffered album release delays which saw them slip from cutting-edge to being eclipsed by the new kids on the block (with the exception of Donny Walberg’s ‘posse’).
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Video: Psycho Les – Show Me Thoze!
Monday December 29th 2014,
Filed under: Killa Queens,Newest Latest,Rap Veterans,Video Clips
Written by:

Psycho Les carries on Beatnuts tradition with this dedication to racks.



CJ Moore [Black By Demand] – The Unkut Interview, Part Two
Tuesday December 16th 2014,
Filed under: Features,Interviews,Not Your Average,Rap Veterans
Written by:

150763412328

Engineer all-star CJ Moore delves into the behind the scenes events of Kool G Rap‘s Roots of Evil and the infamous Rawkus album, heading out west, working with the Live Squad and much more in the second part of this interview trilogy.

Robbie: What happened after the Akinyele sessions finished?

CJ Moore: When money started coming into play between Dr. Butcher and myself, things started getting funny. I went out to California and I teamed-up with Ed Strickland again and we was with a guy doing a project called The Reality Check – a guy named Michael HarrisHarry O. He’s the guy who funded Death Row Records. Ice Cube, Ice-T, Dub C, all those guys were involved. I produced a couple of records with Ice-T with me and him rapping back and forth. I was doing the east coast stuff, Battlecat was doing the west coast stuff. I went to Big Daddy Kane, talked to him on the phone, I said, ‘I need you to be out in California. I’m doing this project, it’s kinda merging the east coast with the west coast. Let’s talk about what it’s gonna take to get you on the project.’ He asked me who was on the project, and I explained to him. There was guy named Black Ceasar on the project, he was from Pittsburgh, real talented guy, but Kane had a problem because his name was Black Ceasar. I said, ‘But your name is Big Daddy Kane!’ ‘Yeah, aka Black Ceasar.’ I said, ‘What kind of bullshit is that?’ He couldn’t do the project because of that. I stepped to Method Man and I was trying to get to Redman and everyone was kinda busy, so the east coast/west coast thing never did the proper merge. There was so much money on the table, more than these guys have ever made. For some reason it just backed-out. I guess the whole Harry O thing might have scared people to a degree, if you know the homework on the whole Death Row situation. But we can’t get into that.

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Al’ Tariq aka Fashion – The Unkut Interview, Part Two

al tariq

Continuing my interview with Kool-Ass Fash, we discuss him leaving The Beatnuts, meeting Kanye West, forming Missin’ Linx, getting beat-jacked by Dr. Dre and his ill-fated experience signing with Dante Ross.

Robbie: At what stage did you decide to do a solo album?

Al’ Tariq: While we were out on tour doing The Beatnuts joint, we were doing a show close to home at a school, maybe in Long Island or some shit, being on stage and then somebody started heckling us. Talking shit, ‘Yo, you fuckin’ aargh!’ I finally look and it’s Juju. Then he comes and hops on stage and joins in on one of our songs and shit. I was so mad, and I could never understand why Les and Peter Kang didn’t get mad with this dude. I had a few serious run-ins with him.
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Video: Positive K Performing Stand-Up Comedy
Friday November 28th 2014,
Filed under: Jokes On You,Old Moufs,Rap Veterans,Video Clips
Written by:

I was directed to this in the comment section of my Pos K interview last year by hotbox but forgot to post it. Take my wife…please!



Video: Bars in the Booth, Session 6 – Bumpy Knuckles
Wednesday November 26th 2014,
Filed under: Rap Veterans,Strong Island,Tough Guys,Video Clips
Written by:

Freddie Foxxx over a quality DJ Premier track.



Al’ Tariq aka Fashion – The Unkut Interview, Part One
Wednesday November 26th 2014,
Filed under: Features,Interviews,Rap Veterans
Written by:

Beatnuts promo photo

The artist formerly known as Fashion aka Kool-Ass Fash took some time out to discuss the ups and downs of his career as both a soloist and as a member of The Beatnuts. This first part focuses on his early days, revealing that the Intoxicated Demons EP could have been completely different had fate not intervened, his thorny relationship with Juju, subliminal rhyme jabs between the Native Tongues and how recording the Street Level album was absolute hell.

Robbie: What made you want to rap?

Al’ Tariq: I wanted to rap at an early age, growing up in The Bronx. The first time I heard Spoonie Gee [starts reciting ‘Spoonin’ Rap’] I wanted to do it bad. I always sang and act and wrote plays and movies at a young age, but what made me think it could be real was I went to school with a young gentleman named James Todd Smith. We attended this school called Christopher Robbins Academy, we were both in ninth grade together. I had gone down to North Carolina to live for two years with my family and sister. I was down there in the fall, my brother came to see me, he was like, ‘Look at this record that Jay made.’ I couldn’t believe it. That was the moment. ‘He did it? I could do it!’ When I heard ‘I Need A Beat’ it was the fall of 1984. At them times, I was rhyming but I wasn’t out there rhyming with everybody. It was something I did on the low. Basketball and girls was all I thought about. I wanted to be an entertainer anyway, but rhyming was probably the fourth or fifth thing on that list. I had other pictures for what I thought I was gonna be at the end of the day.

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Download: Grandmaster Caz – The Grandest Of Them All LP [Ced-Gee Version]
Tuesday November 25th 2014,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Ced Gee Special,Compilations,Rap Veterans,Steady Bootleggin'
Written by:

Grandmaster-Caz
Photo: Joe Conzo

Back before rap magazines and the internet, I heard a rumor that Grandmaster Caz and Ced-Gee were working on an album together. Needless to say, my young mind was blown at the possibility of these two rap geniuses teaming-up. While we only got a couple of Tuff City singles from this meeting of minds, it turns out that they did in fact record an entire album of material together in 1992 before Aaron Fuch‘s decided that the material ‘wasn’t commercial enough,’ according to a piece that Dave Tompkins did on the ‘You Need Stitches’ single. Tuff City eventually released the vaulted material on a couple of compilations, so I thought I’d assemble it all together to paint a picture of how Caz’s 1992 LP, The Grandest Of Them All was originally intended to sound before The Mighty Maestro was recruited to remake it. ‘I’m Gonna Freak You’ deserves a special mention as being one of the most amusing sex raps ever recorded, while ‘I’m Rich’ is flossing at it’s finest. I’ve also included the earlier records they did together, just on the general principle that everything Ced touched during that period was amazing and Caz still had some gas in the tank despite being part of the old guard by this point. Bronx brilliance at it’s finest, albeit in poorly mixed, unpolished form.

Download: Grandmaster Caz – The Grandest Of Them All [Ced-Gee Version]



Ghostface Killah feat. Kool G Rap, AZ & Tre Williams – The Battlefield
Monday November 17th 2014,
Filed under: Newest Latest,Rap Veterans,Staten aka Shaolin,Steady Bootleggin'
Written by:

The second single from 36 Seasons, featuring two CRC-approved veterans of rap.



Lord Finesse – The Unkut Interview
Wednesday November 12th 2014,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Features,Interviews,Not Your Average,Rap Veterans
Written by:

At long last, I got around to interviewing the great Lord Finesse officially. I’m also deep into completing the first proper book of Unkut interviews, so I’m saving the second half of this piece for print, along with a whole bunch of recent follow-up interviews that I’ve been doing. That being said, I didn’t want to hold back everything, so I had to drop a chunk this discussion with the Funkyman to keep your ears ringing until the print edition is released in early 2015. Lord Finesse needs no introduction, as he’s the man who built on the punchline foundations laid down by Big Daddy Kane and paved the way for the next generation of MC’s. We kicked it about his experiences with record labels, his love of the SP-1200, plans for the future and the and the infamously misunderstood Mac Miller lawsuit.

Robbie: Did you feel like you were prepared when you started making Funky Technician?

Lord Finesse: C’mon man, you can listen to that first album and it was dope, there was structure, but nobody was telling me, ‘You should do sixteen bars here, you should do sixteen bars there!’ I was rhyming forever on some of those records.

Nothing wrong with that!

[laughs] Most of that album was written while I was going to the studio or the day before. Some of it was freestyle stuff, but connecting it and doing it all together I had to write rhymes around some of the stuff and make ‘em songs. If you listen to the battle with me and Perc you’re hearing a nice amount of Funky Technician in that ‘89 battle.

So they were your stock battle rhymes?

When it’s time to make records you take ‘em and you re-craft them for the record.

Did any labels try to make you compromise your sound or image?

I didn’t even get that far. I went from Wild Pitch, which was a label with really no money and no promotion to take artists to the next level at the time, to being at a label with a lotta money. They got everything to take me to the next level, but they don’t understand who Finesse is as an artist! It’s like the popular gun that everybody’s talking about, you’ve gotta have the gun, not because you’re a shooter or you go to the gun range. You just want the gun because everybody else got the gun. Then when you get the gun, you don’t know nothing about the gun, you don’t know how to shoot it! You don’t know the mechanism’s of the gun so you kinda toss the gun to the side cos you don’t what you purchased! That’s how I feel when it comes to Giant. I’m there, but they don’t really know what they got! ‘This is the dude everybody was talking about! OK, we got him! Now what do we do with him?’
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Buckshot – The Unkut Mini Interview
Wednesday November 05th 2014,
Filed under: BK All Day,Features,Interviews,Rap Veterans,The 90's Files
Written by:

black-moon-who-got-the-props

Once again I found myself subjected to indignities of a press day, where you have ten or fifteen minutes allotted to talk to a rapper who has already bored themselves to death speaking to the twenty other jerks before you and some herb always messes up the schedule and as a result that fifteen minutes turns into less than ten. Just for laughs, I decided to stay on the line and laugh at the other shitty questions from the amateur journalists who followed me, while witnessing Buckshot get progressively more confusing the more he drank and/or smoked to make the whole process slightly less tedious for himself. Nevertheless, I still managed to get a couple of interesting jewels from the former Black Moon front man.

Robbie: What inspired you start making music?

Buckshot: My uncle David was a dancer, he was an entertainer and he made dancing a big influence on my life when I was a youngster. He was a dancer for a group called Mtume, they made a record called ‘Juicy.’ I saw him on TV and I felt like he achieved the ultimate impossible and one day I was going to do that and I would achieve the same impossible. I kept going and kept going and I kept dancing. I stopped dancing in 1990 and I became an MC at that point. I always wanted to be an MC but never thought that that was my path. I always thought that dancing was gonna be the way for me. When my MC got locked-up I felt like I had no choice but to continue what we started. When he got locked-up he was like, ‘Yo, keep it going!’ I was like, ‘How am I gonna keep it going? You know what? I’mma just start emceeing myself.’ That’s how I became an MC.
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Tragedy Khadafi – Free Thinkers 2
Thursday October 23rd 2014,
Filed under: Killa Queens,Rap Veterans,Steady Bootleggin',Tragedy Special
Written by:

New Trag track, taken from off Pre-Magnum Opus dropping Nov 24th. Produced by Audible Doctor.



Great Moments In Rap: LL Cool J Sons Run At The Roxy
Wednesday October 15th 2014,
Filed under: Features,Great Moments In Rap,Hollis Crew,Rap Veterans,The 80's Files
Written by:

A great moment in rap – the time that LL Cool J went at Run at The Roxy:

Dr. Butcher: That was not Jam-Master Jay, that was [Jay] Philpot [the second Cut Creator] his DJ on the turntables when he was rhyming. Run-DMC was performing after him, so when he’s freestyling he’s talking about Run in that rhyme. They were walking in and that’s why he wouldn’t let go the mic – he had something to say to Run because they weren’t getting along. Then they took the mic from him and pushed him off stage so Run-DMC could perform.



Stream: Diamond D – The Diam Piece Album

Empire Music have posted the new Diamond album on their YouTube channel for your enjoyment. Here’s a re-up of D-Squizzy’s track-by-track breakdown of the album here while you listen. Available now on CD and digital.

Diamond D: It’s more or less a production LP, about two and a half years it took. A lot of tracks I didn’t even use. I had about 27 tracks but I only used 18. Some of the artists I was in the studio with, and others – because of their touring schedule and my touring schedule – I just sent them music and they sent me the session back. If the track that I give them has a sample in it that’s giving it direction then they’ll follow that. If there is no sample or concept at the beginning I just let the MC’s paint their own pictures and try to figure out how can make it connect. I use a lot more live instrumentation now. I still chop and manipulate samples, but my sound just sounds bigger now. Just using better equipment so the sample frequencies are better.

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