Memories of Big L

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Just read this wonderfully comprehensive feature on Big L over at Complex, titled Casualty of the Game: The Big L Story, and was inspired to collate a few stories of my own from past interviews. T-Ray, Peter Oasis, Milano and AG all share some memories involving The Devil’s Son…
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An Oral History of New York’s Early Hip-Hop Clubs

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Phade, Gizmo and Milk at the Latin Quarters, 1987

During the formative days of the mid 80’s, when Run-DMC, Kurtis Blow and the Fat Boys were the biggest names in rap, the New York club scene was a vital part of the hip-hop food chain, providing both essential networking opportunities and the chance for new acts to get on, provided they could win over the often unforgiving crowds. Let’s take a step back into time as some 80’s hip-hop artists recount the good, the bad and the ugly of the club scene back then.
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Unkut On Conspiracy Worldwide Radio

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“Unkut.com is a unique and more importantly necessary platform. Much like Conspiracy Worldwide Radio its visitors are devoted Rap nerds whom are passionate about preserving Hip Hop’s historical and traditional values, so it was our pleasure to invite its mastermind Robbie Ettelson on the show. We talk his role as contributing editor to Hip Hop Connection Magazine, interviewing legends, the Conservative Rap Coalition and so much more.”

You can hear me mumbling about the site and the mighty CRC at the 1 hour mark. Shout-out to Menace and Mista Montana for giving the site some shine. Other guests included Cage, Mighty Mi, Troy Ave, NORE, Krumbsnatcha and more.

Part One:
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Back In Mom’s Basement – The Year In Review

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This was meant to run last week the Acclaim crew may have only had a 14 year-old intern holding down the fort over the festive season so what can you do?

Back In Mom’s Basement – The Year In Review



2012: The Year In Unkut Interview Quotes
Thursday January 03rd 2013,
Filed under: Features,Interviews,Rap Veterans,Unkut Retrospective
Written by:

In_the_dark_basement_III_by_zsofantasztikum

One final look-back at 2012, but this time from the only aspect that mattered – the Unkut Interviews! Here are some of the highlights…

Lil Fame spoke of plans to drop a mixtape of unreleased beats:

“I gotta lotta joints. I wanna put out a mixtape soon, called 15 Minutes of Fame. I did a lotta production up at KOCH Records, I’ve got a lotta music that they didn’t use. I’m gonna put that out soon. It was used, but they didn’t represent it right or they didn’t push it correctly. So I did joints for Foxy Brown, I did joints for Wu-Tang, Dipset…what do they call those dudes? The Clipse, Ray-J – all type of people. I got a lotta music though. Serani, he’s a reggae artist.”

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What Was The First Rap Record You Ever Copped?
Thursday August 23rd 2012,
Filed under: Unkut Originals,Unkut Retrospective
Written by:

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…



40 Years of Hip-Hop Tape Culture
Tuesday July 17th 2012,
Filed under: Features,Mix Tapes,Print Work,Unkut Originals,Unkut Retrospective
Written by:


^ Pic stolen from here.

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.
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2010: Some Stuff Happened
Monday January 03rd 2011,
Filed under: Announcements,Not Your Average,The Unkut Opinion,Unkut Retrospective
Written by:

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So yeah, shit kinda fell-off around here in the last couple months, but in the immortal words of the BDP crew: “We ain’t done!”. Even the greats go through slow patches, and as we celebrated six years of east-coast rap elitism with the Counterstrike mixtape in February, I began cooking-up bigger and better projects for the future. Sure, none of them are finished yet, but I blame that on my discovering more and more reasons to sneak out of my parents basement…until I realised that my parents never actually had a basement, which raised a whole other range of difficult questions, one of which being the fact that I clearly don’t live with my parents…
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Six Years of Dope – The Unkut Retrospective: 2005
Tuesday February 16th 2010,
Filed under: Announcements,Classic Ignorance,Not Your Average,Unkut Retrospective
Written by:

At the beginning of 2005, for reasons that now escape me, I decided to begin another blog called Steady Bootleggin’ (named after the Brand Nubian track from their first Puba-free project). I guess I wanted to keep A Tribute To Ignorance semi-legitimate by not posting any mp3′s or some shit…the contents are hardly worth reminiscing over, other than the ‘Great Soundtracks To Awful Movies’ series and the first five parts of my ‘Ced Gee Special’, but that sort of explains why I was only doing three or four posts a drops over here.
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Six Years Of Dope – The Unkut Retrospective: 2004
Friday February 12th 2010,
Filed under: Announcements,Classic Ignorance,Not Your Average,Unkut Retrospective
Written by:

Yesterday marked the official 6th birthday of Unkut Dot Com. Let’s take a look back at the very first post:

Nice interview at Tha Formula with Ayatollah and Cormega.
For some reason there’s no mention of Ayatollah’s outstanding work on the last Screwball album, which is strange since “When The Sun Goes Down” is amazing.

That reminds me….Godfather Don, where you at?

While on the topic on Queensbridge Ignorance, please note that Flushing resident Neek The Exotic’s Exotic’s Raw is required listening. Neek kicks the dumb shit in all senses of the word over some bangin’ beats and never fails to entertain. It’s been out a while on record but the CD’s out now so grab it on all formats.

I’m still confused over Blaq Poet releasing “Poet Is Here” as his Year Round debut instead of the far superior “Poet’s Comin”? If you heard that Future Flavas mix CD you know what I’m on about.

*blank stare*
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