As Rakim tells it in the above video with RA The Rugged Man (who looks ‘like a teenage girl on her first date’ according to the YouTube comments ), he agreed to remove his four lines aimed at Big Daddy Kane from the first version of ‘Let The Rhythm Hit ‘Em’ after Ant Live played like Sir IBU on some ‘I’m The Peacemaker’ shit.
Rakim, from what I understand – I didn’t hear it – but I know he had made a record called ‘Cut The Kane In Half’, and it was gonna be a diss record for Big Daddy Kane but he didn’t put it out. But if you listen to his rhymes, he says little slick stuff on the Follow The Leader album that was directed at Kane. Because there was a lot of stuff goin’ on about how was better and who was the best. Rakim was pretty quiet, he never talked about. Kane was a little more verbal about it. They never really made it publicly known, but he definitely was gonna do something.
Towards the end of 1987 I had amassed a decent collection of rap albums dubbed TDK’s, which was all well and good but hardly official since I didn’t actually own any records. My birthday was coming up and ‘my old Earth’ somehow managed to figure out that what I really needed was a 12″ single of the new Public Enemy. She handed me a gift-wrapped copy of ‘You’re Gonna Get Yours’, and I spent the rest of the day trying to find how many guns I could spot on the front cover and listening to the ‘Terminator X Gettaway Version’ over and over. I already had the album on tape, and it took me a while to realise that the song on the B-side was some Newest Latest material.
Eventually I threw it on the family record player, and once that series of opening horn hits unleashed the ear-splitting drone of ‘Rebel Without A Pause’ I stood there in awe… My mother was less enthusiastic: ‘It’s a bit repetitive, isn’t it?’. I ignored her, transfixed by the voice of power and the drums of death. This was like nothing I’d ever heard before. The next week I took the record over to play to the dudes who had first started dubbing me tapes on the other side of town. The record had the same effect on them, and some of the older kids asked if they could borrow it to tape that week. Not even a teenager at the time, having high school kids want to borrow my record seemed like an esteemed badge of honor, and I was more than happy to oblige.
Amazingly, they actually returned the record to me a few weeks later…
Over 200 tracks have plundered the bounty of the tripped-out musical voyage that the Scroggins sisters took way back in 1981, so I’ve chosen the 24 finest uses of the ‘UFO’ break for this compilation. (more…)
The crew over at Acclaim magazine (who I have been writing for since 2007) have just given me a weekly spot at their new site. To start things off, I offered my take on the Lord Finesse lawsuit against Teen Wolf:
Mix tapes can be a whole lot more than a bunch of songs you record for a chick you’re trying to impress by revealing your “sensitive side”. In the world of hip-hop, they have proven to be one of the most important tools in spreading the sound of a native New York subculture into a worldwide phenomenon. Allow me to break it down for you, decade by decade. (more…)
As Unkut Dot Com returns from hiatus, what better way to set things off than the first installment of a new series of regular features written by QB Rap pioneer Tragedy Khadafi…
Rising above form and into substance…that’s what this is primarily about. Learning to think outside of the box and for some…outside of the block – as it relates to hip hop and life in general. We are officially in ‘that’ era where virtually anything is possible when applying the right information and utilizing the right kind of power…the people of Egypt manifested an aspect of that raw power in recent times by alleviating what they deemed as their ‘oppressor’, ultimately by acting upon knowledge. Does knowledge equate to power? Not exactly. Sure a lot of us have heard the cliché ‘knowledge is power’…but it’s a lot more to it than that…knowledge is nothing if not properly utilized or put into ACTIVATION. Just how the majority of hip hop is straight ‘zombie-music’ with no life in it because most of the vital information that has been released and or developed over the years is no longer being infused in the music we’re being fed, therefore the only thing where acting upon is MISINFORMATION. This basically means that the misinformation isn’t developing real knowledge for anyone to act upon which will produce real wealth and power in the lives/minds of the listener. And this produces no growth. Growth isn’t or shouldn’t just be equated to what an artist or entertainer in the industry is making dollar wise or generates based on sales. Because that isn’t really a sign of TRUE GROWTH. Just as a person’s wealth can’t be defined by the cars, jewelry, and or clothing they possess. But as stupid as it is, that’s exactly how a lot of us define wealth and growth. (more…)
The awful truth is that rap bloggers are essentially glorified publicists. You can pick and choose who you ‘support’ or ‘expose’ but essentially all you’re doing is selecting which angle you want to roll with. Even if your blog focuses on old records, you’re essentially just promoting some European kid’s next Random Rap ebay auction. Writing reviews is basically an exercise in vanity, since 90% of the people reading the review already have the album anyway, and the only thing you might possibly achieve is ruffling the feathers of the over-sensitive artists who sent you the stuff in the first place. The idea that rap blogs are dictating radio or sales in any major way is laughable, and the theory that anyone actually values the opinion of anyone on the Rap Internets is even more of a joke. The only reason anyone visits one hip-hop site over the other is that it happens to be slightly less annoying than the other ones, or maybe doesn’t post as much crap that you hate. (more…)
Having recently scraped myself off the floor, with a barely functioning liver and severely depleted bank account after a two-and-half week birthday/Christmas bender, I thought I should perhaps make a half-assed attempt to assemble 40 rap songs that didn’t induce nausea or feature any of Lil Wayne’s weed carriers. Basically just a lot of stuff that I posted over the year and a few things that slipped under the radar. Complaints to the usual address…
Thought that Bushwick Bill was the only player in the Short Rap game? You thought wrong. Actually, you’re pretty much correct, but there have been a couple of other minor contenders that you may have forgotten… (more…)
Rock is one of the foundations of this great music we call hip-hop, having provided so many of the founding break beats that we all know like the back of our hands. At some point in the early 90’s, however, some evil genius figured out that really shitty rock and metal groups should get on the rap bandwagon, having been mortal enemies for years before that. The end result was of course Fred Durst, who’s only notable achievement was banging a bunch of girls who were way out of his league. Here are some of the Rap Rock collaborations that will make you want to take to your ears with a rusty razor… (more…)
This is the album Nasty Nas would have made after Illmatic if I was his A&R in some kind of alternative universe where sample clearance didn’t exist. Alternative title: The Second Time Nas Didn’t Lose.
Respect to the great Diamond D, but he has to shoulder some of the responsibility for the glut of Producer On The Mic artists that seem to be clogging up the game. Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop worked because because the beats were incredible and the lyrics were straight-forward and amusing, but it also seems to have given every second beat-maker having trouble finding a great MC the idea that they can – and should – rap. Actually, let’s keep it 100 – Kanye West is the guy who really blew-up the whole idea. Now we have talented producers like Nottz, Black Milk, 88-Keys and Timbaland dropping bars all over the place, which is fine for a verse or two but it’s gotten outta control. (more…)
No leaks, no bullshit. Just 51 minutes of Bronx-bred hardcore rap from Smiley The Ghetto Child over beats from Chaze, DJ Premier, Ski Beatz, E-Blaze and more. Hosted by DJ Doo Wop, where else but Unkut Dot Com are you going to catch this first?
There are several things that can be expected when reading an interview with an established rapper or producer. Other than the obligatory wholesale abuse of the phrase, “you know what I’m sayin?’, approximately one in every three question and answer sessions will feature some kind of outlandish claim involving either innovations they haven’t been given credit for, or unique techniques that have been shamelessly plundered by their peers. Here are some of my favorites: (more…)
When Rick Rubin is written about in the media, he is either portrayed as “the most important producer of the last 20 years” or as the shaggy ‘Wolfboy’ guru who carries lapis lazuli Buddhist prayer beads and dislikes footwear. While many of the startlingly broad range of musicians that have worked with Rick gush his praises, there seem to be just as many who were left disappointed by the experience. For every successful creative rebirth that Rubin has been involved in – such as reviving the careers of Metallica, Johnny Cash and The Dixie Chicks – there are also the aborted projects with groups like U2 and Muse. (more…)
If you’d told me that I’d be dropping a tape with DJ Doo Wop that featured exclusive tracks from some of New York’s finest back when I started Unkut Dot Com six years ago, I would have told you to stop smoking that shit. I’ve been through some ups and downs over that time, but Unkut has always held me down regardless. This is a small token of my appreciation to everyone who has supported and stuck by the site and kept things moving.
Shouts to everyone who came through and contributed to this project on the strength. Thanks to Ironlak for the support, eskay and Legend for helping to spread the word and of course the one and only Doo Wop who really knocked it out the park.
Still cold gettin’ dumb on you crumbs after six years…let’s go!
Featuring new and exclusive tracks from Smiley The Ghetto Child, Willie The Kid, Prospect, Kamakazee, F.T. aka Fuc That, Capone, Lord Nez, Killa Sha, Mayhem Lauren, Roc Marciano, Hard White, Milano, The Closers, Kool G Rap, Godchild, Copywrite, Nut-Rageous, Craig G, Tribeca, $amhill and The Doppelgangaz….
Just for shits ‘n gigs I thought I’d look back at the most viewed articles I dropped last year, according to WordPress Site Stats. Interesting that only one interview cracked the top ten, despite most readers telling me that the Q & A’s are the highlight of this spot and the fact that they take about ten times more work than the rest of the content on here. Shit happens I guess. (more…)
1. Less Red Tape – You wanna know what the one upside of nobody selling records is? No one is going to sue you for uncleared samples if your album only sells 7,000 copies! More sampling = better beats. (more…)
Most Mobb Deep fans would generally agree that The Infamous… and Hell On Earth represented Hav and P at the peak of their abilities. As luck would have it, a never-before heard track recorded for the Hell On Earth sessions has made it’s way into my possession, courtesy of the ever-vigilant GT CREW.
Dwindling CD sales getting you down? Wondering why the rap game can’t buy you a pack of gum? Then take a leaf out of the video game industry’s book of rip-off’s tricks – the Collector’s Edition. Why settle for selling your new album for $15 when you can make a $150 version? Here are some suggested ‘Limited Edition’ sets for soon to be released rap albums:
Raekwon The Chef –Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II – 38th Chamber Collector’s Set
Not only do you get the long-awaited sequel to one of rap’s greatest albums in a hand-engraved metal CD tin, this essential package also includes purple triple-vinyl, a purple cassette, a mini version of Ghostface‘s Gold Eagle bracelet, a razor and a DVD with exclusive footage of Joe Budden getting punched in his eye. (more…)