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.
Tape Box: Grand Master Flash and the Furious 5 Live At T- Connection, 1979
Yet another sure shot from Troy Smith‘s old school tape collection, this excerpt captures Melle Mel, Cowboy and ‘em ripping over the “7 Minutes of Funk” break.
Unkut TV: Episode 23 – AG Live In Melbourne, 2014
The Giant performs “Soul Clap,” “Next Level,” “You Know Now,” “Spit,” “Full Scale” and an accapella before an enthusiastic Australian crowd.
Download: AG feat. Ghetto Dwellas – Return To 1999 LP
Just got off the phone with Andre The Giant from D.I.T.C. after what is easily a top five Unkut interview, where he mentioned that he’s just emancipated the vaulted Ghetto Dwellas LP from 1999 for free download over at his new site.
*Updated with new link to full-length version of the album courtesy of OnkelMichael via FreezyPazzy*
Download: AG feat. Ghetto Dwellas – Return To 1999 LP
Five Minutes With Pete Rock In An Airport
Pete Rock loves his food. So much so that he’s never let a pesky phone interview get in the way of his looking after the needs of his stomach. Back in 2008, while I attempted to extract some slivers of information from him for a cover feature for Hip Hop Connection magazine, the Soul Brother # 1 proceeded to chow down on an entire order of Chinese take-out while he fielded questions, noisily chewing into the mouthpiece like a bored boom-bap bovine. Six years later, I catch him between flights en route to Australia to play a series of club dates with DJ Premier, and the lure of the airport food lounge proved too much before he’d even made it halfway through my allotted ten minutes. Nevertheless, he did share a couple of interesting tidbits about his early days, which is what we’re here for anyway.
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.
Showbiz & AG feat. Diamond D and Lord Finesse – Diggin’ In the Crates [DJ Premier Remix]
Here’s the CDQ of the latest leak from the DITC Remix Project, due 7 May via Slice of Spice. Shouts to the official DITC site for the audio.
Pharoahe Monch feat. DJ Revolution – Get Down
Here’s a Monch/M-Phazes/DJ Revolution cut from the tenth anniversary Coalmine Records Unearthed LP, due 13 May, which is better than 85% of the new Pharoahe LP.
Video: The Legion – Stereo
Chucky Smash, Cee-Low and Molecules keep it moving with this Buckwild produced single from their The Lost Tapes LP due 20 May on Ill Adrenaline.
Raekwon – The Living Room
Chef cooking up marvelous treats as per usual.
Video: The 45 King – Making The Beat with Chill Rob G and Lakim Shabazz, Pt. 3
I can’t enough of this stuff, as Lakim and The Chill One kick more quality rhymes for Flavor Unit aficionados.
Pharoahe Monch feat. Black Thought – Rapid Eye Movement
Monch and Thought get their rappity rap on over a Marco Polo beat. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is out on 15 April.
The Unkut Guide To Nas Singing
Nas luhs to rap. But he also luhs to sing hooks. Having declared that he was the “first nigga to sing a hook on some TJ Swan shit” on “Nastradumus”, it’s only right that his crooning efforts are rated using the Unkut TJ Swan Rating System (c) during this scientific study of his efforts to make like the rap game Keith Sweat over the years.
Video: Diamond D feat. Pharoahe Monch – Rap Life
First single from Diamond D‘s The Diam Piece LP finds Monch kicking that good old rappity rap shit.
Photo: Showbiz Lamping, Before Rap
So much greatness going on in this pic. Discuss amongst yourselves.
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.
Should Lord Jamar Be Elected To The Conservative Rap Coalition Board?
The New Yorker has just published a piece on Lord Jamar titled ‘Hip-Hop’s Alpha Conservative’, where he is quoted the following: “I think I represent the hip-hop conservatives. And I use the word ‘conservative’ in the sense of conservation: I’m trying to conserve hip-hop and its essence.” With his recent fine work shitting on white rappers, MC’s wearing skirts and the general influx of overly emotion Wimp Rap, is Jamar the guy that the Conservative Rap Coalition needs to take the organization to the next level, by being elected as the Minister of Information? Providing he doesn’t start upsetting the Jewish Defence League with any ill-advised Professor Griff-style rants against Eminem‘s manager, he could be the last piece of the CRC puzzle as we continue our mission to civilize the uncivilized progressive rap fans of the world…
Royal Flush – Autobiography
This is the standout track from the new Royal Flush album, produced by Grand Papa Tra from Switzerland.
Ten Early Cormega Appearances
Just after I put this together I recalled I’d already done a similar post back in 2009. Regardless, here’s a new improved look back at Cormega’s early raps from 1989 to 1997.