^ I was far better dressed than Chris Brown, natch.
While I was in NY, I snuck into the Hot 97 studios and caught-up with Peter Rosenberg for his Juan Epstein podcast. We talked about classic Unkut interviews, the Conservative Rap Coalition, the importance of Lord Finesse and much more.
Back in 2010 I received a recording of a TJ Swan demo recorded from Tim Westwood‘s show in 1988 titled “Mellow Love”, although someone claiming to be affiliated with Swan then contacted me and demand that I remove the track on the grounds that: “This was a practice session. Swan wrote and sang the song to get a feel for it”. He also claimed that a bunch of TJ Swan music was about to drop, but three years later we’re still waiting.
In the meantime, Rap Blog Godd noz recently blessed me with a few more cuts which may have been intended for Have No Fear Swan Is Here. or are simply more “practice sessions”. The first track, “Sensitive Love” features Swan flexing his microphone techniques and busting some rhymes, while “Love Is Blind” is more of an uptempo number on the Al. B Sure tip. Was Marley Marl involved with these tracks? Are they finished LP cuts or just demos? Sadly, there’s also no sign of the lost Big Daddy Kane/MC Shan cameos that I hoped for…
Here’s some Rap Radio gold courtesy of my man’s Will C:
“Tragedy the Intelligent Hoodlum back to back with Craig G live on arguably the greatest rap radio show of all time. This is the Marley Marl In Control Rap Show on 107.5 WBLS from what appears to be April or May 1989. Seeing as Trag Invasion is one of my favorite songs off of Tragedy’s debut LP, it’s cool to hear him kicking those rhymes over Craig’s Take The Bait beat. Another lost slice of the good stuff!”
The clear highlight of the reunion show was this timeless interaction between Bobbito Garcia and Rickey Powell during a 1993 episode of The Stretch Armstrong Show. I couldn’t resist but upload it to YouTube for prosperity posterity.
The greatest rap radio show of the 90′s had one more go-around at 89 tech 9 the other night as Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito shared some classic tapes of the show from 1993. While the live stream was straining under the weight of all the old heads trying to tune in across the globe, I was able to catch the authentic 90′s flashback of using Real Player for the first time in fifteen years. Be on the look-out for the priceless ethering that Ricky Powell caught when he called into the show way back when.
In a move that should interest those of us who grew-up with a SonyMegabass Walkman, “New York’s Inmate Superstore” Send A Packageare now stocking new rap and R&B tapes, as well as two models of portable tape players (I’d go for the one with “Bass Boost”). This means that Nas’Life Is Good, Cam’Ron‘s Purple Haze and most of Jay-Z‘s discography can be ordered for $12.99 a pop. So far, Jadakiss’The Last Kiss is the best selling tape over there. Before you get too excited about the prospect of playing Lil’ Wayne‘s The Carter III at your next hipster douchebag party, you should note that you can only ship orders to their list of approved prisons, so unless you have some pals in the bing who can forward a package back to you, this isn’t a lot of use. But since Universal Records are having these tapes made, will they be available through Amazon and the like for those of us who haven’t been caught yet? While we’re on the topic, what recent rap album would you be willing to pay $13 to own on tape?
“Uncle” Ralph McDaniels is an institution in New York hip-hop. Creating the city’s first music video show – Video Music Box – in 1983, he delivered rap videos, concert footage and interviews years before Yo! MTV Raps and Rap City hit the airwaves. He was also involved on the other side of the camera, producing and directing music videos for the Juice Crew, Nas and Wu-Tang Clan amongst others. Celebrating thirty years on the air this month, Uncle Ralph took some time out to discuss how he started off his career as a DJ, the birth of music videos and the impact of filming Fresh Fest 2 in the first part of our interview.
Robbie: Where did you grow-up?
Ralph McDaniels: I grew-up in Brooklyn and then I moved to Queens as a teenager, and that’s where my music really took off. In Brooklyn I was young, but I was influenced by my family, they’re Caribbean and American, so we listened to all types of music in the house. We listened to soca, we listened to reggae, we listened to R&B, we listened to soul music. By the time I got to Queens and started getting some type of DJ set-up in my house, then I could play new music that I listened to and that’s how that whole thing jumped off. When I went to college, I moved back to Brooklyn.
How did you get your start in music?
It was me and my partner, Lionel Martin. Back then, he was called DJ Trip. We had a crew we used to call The Brothership – don’t ask, it’s a crazy name. We started doing clubs, and my first gig in a club was a place called The Blue Ice. People used to pack it in, 300-400 people. That was a lot to me. Back in the days when DJ’s would play, there would be a band, and the band would be the headliner. The DJ was secondary, and then after a while the DJ became the headliner because the promoters didn’t want to pay for a band. Around that time I met Russell Simmons, he lived in our neighborhood and he was a party promoter. They were called Rush parties. Somehow he started working with these record companies and he started becoming a record promoter. (more…)
To compliment the interview with Jonathan Shecter, here’s a classic episode of Shecky Green (aka The Sultan of Rap) and David Mays (aka Go-Go Dave) old radio show, which started The Source newsletter, on 95.3FM WHRB. Featuring Almighty R.S.O.‘s DJ Deff Jeff. Thanks to DJ 7L for passing this on.
Amazing footage of Ladies Love Cool James rocking a school gym. “Mommy, what’s a super sperm?”
Youtube user Kodiak Starr writes: “LL Cool J at age 17 and DJ Cut Creator perform live. 1985, Colby College, Waterville Maine. 5 months before Radio was released. My dad tried to get RUN DMC, but could not afford them, so Def Jam told him he should bring up LL Cool J”.
You can also catch a painful rendition of “Memories” at the 19 minute mark.
We need to Kickstarter this joint so that P.A.P.I. will release this documentary. Here’s how he described it to Life Sucks Die magazine years ago:
NORE: It’s nothing to say I’m doing my own movie. What! What! The Movie. You know why? When I came in and got involved with hip-hop, a lot of people was fake. But now, as we keep doing this music, there’s a lot of real individuals that’s ex-crackheads, ex-cokeheads, ex-robbers and ex-murderers and ex-hustlers that’s doing rap right now. This game has gotten a lot realer. That’s why you see people having cases and having shootouts. So I felt like I should be the one to express it because I’m the one that’s seen it. So again, that’s What!What! The Ghetto Documentary. I got Chris Lighty spazzing on Foxy Brown, talking about he bought her a Benz. I got Nas Escobar talking about The Roots is faggots. I got Snoop Dogg talking about Kurupt was wrong for making that record calling out names. I got Puff Daddy talking about the Ruff Ryders. I got The Lox dissing Puff Daddy. It’s all beef, that’s all I’m about, baby. I got a whole bunch of good shit. I got Jay-Z in Jamaica…
“There’s been an out-break of bad cocaine. If anybody in the house got any cocaine, bring it up. We got a lab downtown”. This sounded like an old party tape until they started rapping over Black Rob’s “Woah” beat. Still great. Another sure-shot from Troy L Smith’s YouTube account.