If you were a rap fan outside of the USA in 1987, it was in your best interest to collect the Street SoundsElectro/Hip-Hop albums, which were compilations of an often eclectic mix of current singles, mixed together by a selection of UK DJ’s. The one that really stood out for me was Hip Hop 18, which was mixed by a fellow named R.J. Scratch [Roger Johnson] and was a particularly mixed bag of great, obscure and just plain weird rap tracks from New York. I was eventually able to find copies of ‘You Know How To Reach Us’ and ‘We Have Risin”, but the two Marley Marl produced tunes on this volume remained out of reach. As it turns out, what would have been Frick ‘N Frack’s second single was never actually released, only existing on a couple of acetates. This was annoying since it means there was no way to hear the complete, unmixed versions of these tracks – until now. Turns out that Frick ‘N Frack have uploaded some of their old songs to iTunes for those of us who have waited for 28 years to hear the last minute of ‘Who’s On Mine.’ From the preview it sounds like they’ve been dubbed off cassette from when they were played on WBLS, but for 99 cents each I guess it’s worth taking a gamble.
UPDATE: The iTunes version is just a recording of the version on the Street Sounds compilation that cuts off when the Kings Of Pressure comes in. Guess we’ll be waiting another 28 years until Marley presses it up on Hot Chillin’… (more…)
The new album from Grand Daddy I.U., P.I.M.P. Paper Is My Priority, drops on 17 February, with the cover dedicated to his late street mentor, Easy Rick, who passed away in 2010. Not sure if this is a bonus track since it doesn’t appear on the track listing below, but enjoy regardless.
Another rap mystery case file can be closed, as we finally have photographic proof of what Puffy Dee looked like, courtesy of Fat Lace. In case you missed it, here’s her infamous Pumpkin produced b-side:
Adding gunshots, sirens and rewinds to remove swears from rap records is all well and good, but you’ve got to respect the effort made by certain rappers who went to the trouble of re-writing and re-recording their lyrics in order to cater to radio guidelines. Some of my personal favorites include Tim Dog‘s ‘Forget Compton,’ (not re-recorded but hilariously re-edited) Willie Dee‘s ‘Bald Head Gals’ and King Tee‘s ‘Played Like A Piano’ (which sports a remixed beat and numerous mentions of the fact that it’s a clean radio version), while who can forget Showbiz switching up “Hoes give me head on the escalator” for “Girls smile at me on an escalator”? Hold ya head everyone who was gifted the first Wu-Tang tape clean version with three songs removed.
Finally, we have an entry into the Gentrification Rap genre! Interesting to note that Droog seems to share the same singing voice as the little homey as well. Produced by DJ Skizz, from the Kinison EP.
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. (more…)
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.’ (more…)
Crate Cartel member and CRC sympathizer Phil Gektor (aka GX) released this enjoyable remix of AZ’s A.W.O.L. LP last month. There’s no such thing as too much AZ, plus this version of ‘City of Gods’ is particularly enjoyable.
AJ Rok and B-Luv perform their most requested record in front of their dancers and some kind of green screen backdrop on a mystery TV broadcast. Is it public access television? Did Kool DJ Red Alert have a TV show at some stage that time has forgotten? Regardless, AJ reps the CRC with his sensible cableknit
Beeper’s seemed pretty great – although I never had cause to own one – what with the whole not having to speak to people until you can be bothered finding a phone booth thing. While there are dozens of songs that name check these trusty telecommunications devices, only a handful were savvy enough to actually utilize the distinctive sounds of the pager itself. Feel free to let us know if any other examples have been overlooked…
Update: Twelve new entries thanks to Rap Twitter and the comments section.
This morning I had a quick chat with DJ, producer and record collector Freddy Fresh about B-Boy Records, Breakbeat Lenny, The Rap Records book and the correct storage of 45’s. Freddy’s latest album, Play The Music, is out this March.
Robbie: How did you get involved in remixing a track for BDP’s Man and His Music album?
Freddy Fresh: That was ‘88. My first recorded work was that remix with one button pause switching and broken turntables. That was me hanging out at the offices in the South Bronx of B-Boy Records. The plaque on the Criminal Minded album – there’s a plaque between Kris and Scott – I made that plaque. If you look at the back of the album it says, ‘Freddy Fresh, thanks for the plaque.’ I got name-checked on a lot of those albums – Public Enemy thanked me, MC Lyte, Audio Two – all those guys said ‘thanks Freddy Fresh’ on their album, because I was engraving name plates and sending them out to my favorite hip-hop artists in the Bronx and Brooklyn and stuff in 1985, 6 and 7. (more…)