LL Cool J – Soul Survivor [Unreleased Original Version]
After speaking to Dr. Butcher again the other week, he revealed that he’d located a copy of the song he produced for LL Cool J in 1993, which went on to be remixed by QDIII and included on his fifth album, and generously agreed to allow me to share it with the world.
Dr. Butcher: I produced a song called ‘The Soul Survivor’ for him on the 14 Shots To The Dome album, with C4. Me and C4 – the guy who did [Akinyele’s] ‘Put It In Your Mouth’ – were production partners. I was going to C4’s house one day to work on some music, and LL was shooting his first video from that album on Farmer’s Boulevard, and C4 lived on Farmers Boulevard at the time. I got off the bus and saw him and I was like, ‘Yo! What’s up!’ We was always real cool, whenever he had time he would always come see me, but he had been so busy we hadn’t seen each other in a while. So he’s asking, ‘Where you going?’ and I’m like ‘To my production partner’s house right down the street’. When we originally did the track, we sampled JDL from the Cold Crush Brothers saying, ‘The L baby, baby, the L baby, baby!’That was the first song I ever produced, I didn’t know how to use machines at the time. We had just got an Ensoniq and was learning what to do. It was rough around the edges. As soon as he heard the track he just sat down, got a pen and pad and wrote the song right on the spot. He was like, ‘Yo, we’re goin’ to the studio tomorrow, gimme your information.’ So I had to go get attorney’s and set-up publishing companies and we were in the studio the next day, recording. It happened that fast.
Cold Crush 4 and Treacherous 3 at Harlem World, 1981
Every now and then it’s good to throw on a tape of rap of old school rap at it’s finest, and without a doubt two of the sharpest crews to ever do it where those led by Grandmaster Caz and Kool Moe Dee. These four snippets from Troy L. Smith‘s crates are a fine reminder of just how advanced KMD was in his prime (check for shots fired at Melle Mel) and the amusing banter of weary performers after a long night celebrating Easy-AD‘s birthday.
Video: Food Warriors – 145th Street
Dallas drops bars while Rafi keeps it CRC all day with his tucked shirt steez as the IC’s investigate grub up in Harlem.
Buckshot – The Unkut Mini Interview
Once again I found myself subjected to indignities of a press day, where you have ten or fifteen minutes allotted to talk to a rapper who has already bored themselves to death speaking to the twenty other jerks before you and some herb always messes up the schedule and as a result that fifteen minutes turns into less than ten. Just for laughs, I decided to stay on the line and laugh at the other shitty questions from the amateur journalists who followed me, while witnessing Buckshot get progressively more confusing the more he drank and/or smoked to make the whole process slightly less tedious for himself. Nevertheless, I still managed to get a couple of interesting jewels from the former Black Moon front man.
Robbie: What inspired you start making music?
Buckshot: My uncle David was a dancer, he was an entertainer and he made dancing a big influence on my life when I was a youngster. He was a dancer for a group called Mtume, they made a record called ‘Juicy.’ I saw him on TV and I felt like he achieved the ultimate impossible and one day I was going to do that and I would achieve the same impossible. I kept going and kept going and I kept dancing. I stopped dancing in 1990 and I became an MC at that point. I always wanted to be an MC but never thought that that was my path. I always thought that dancing was gonna be the way for me. When my MC got locked-up I felt like I had no choice but to continue what we started. When he got locked-up he was like, ‘Yo, keep it going!’ I was like, ‘How am I gonna keep it going? You know what? I’mma just start emceeing myself.’ That’s how I became an MC.
Record Labels Are Stupid
Remember how the music industry decided that vinyl was more trouble than it was worth and that the profit margins on tapes and CD’s were far more lucrative so they began cramming 70 minute albums onto one LP? The thing that really grinds my gears is that even when they did bother to press double vinyl, they would often neglect to include the best songs. Here are some notable examples:
Download: Clever 1 – The Dirty Dozen Album
Halloween is here, and so is another Conservative Rap Coalition Records sure-shot! This time the other half of Da Buze Brovaz, Clever 1, delivers twelve slabs of Philly heat produced by DJ Rocksteady. Throw your L’s up and don’t turn nothing down but the collar.
Download: Clever 1 – The Dirty Dozen
Rap Sequels That Win
In response to this Work of Mart, here are some more follow-ups that are worthy of the originals. Please send all complaints to the usual address.
Download: Milano – The Believers Album 
Milano is finally releasing his vaulted 2002 album The Believers on CD and iTunes, featuring an impressive production team consisting of DJ Premier, Showbiz, Lord Finesse, Buckwild, Emile, Ahmed, T-Ray and Molecules from The Legion. For those who can’t wait for the official tissue, Milano has blessed me with a copy to share with the loyal Unkut Dot Com readers. Tell ‘em!
*Update: The album is getting an official release so Milano requested that I remove the link. Please cop the official version when it drops.*
DJ JS-1 feat. AG, Sadat X & Neek the Exotic – Sample Abusers
Here’s the premiere of the new DJ JS-1 track which makes clever use of a Larry David quote to form the hook. Why has it taken this long to incorporate the genius of Curb into rap songs? Talk about a sure-fire way to gain instant Conservative Rap Coalition approval! Taken from JS-1’s latest LP, It Is What It Isn’t, which is now available from UGHH.
Positive K – Supreme Alphabet 
Here’s a late entry into Pos K‘s discography where he calls in a solid from Jesse West to freak a trusted Bob James break and get belligerent on all the herbs, suckers and chumps out there on the alphabetical slaughter tip.
The Influence of X-Clan on West Coast Rap
While EPMD and Heavy D had already scored hits by looping ‘More Bounce To The Ounce,’ the sound of the first X-Clan album really brought the most out of the whole Parliament Funkadelic movement in terms of flipping it into a entirely new context. Their combination of jazz and soul samples with the heavy funk sound created a sound that was far ‘heavier’ than anything we’d heard from New York, soaked in a cosmic slop that no doubt made an impression on the ears of LA rap producers. Clearly the popularity of Zapp and P-Funk on the West Coast meant that it was always going to play a major role in the pre-synth era (or Before Chronic as I like to call it), but when I had the chance to speak to Brother J back in 2007 leading up to the release of the his new X-Clan project, he confirmed this theory for me:
Robbie: X-Clan was one of the first groups to get deep into the P-Funk samples. Do you think that West Coast artists were influenced by that?
Brother J: I don’t think they took it and ran with it, it’s always been here. I think what X-Clan did was we took music that we love. I never sample ‘More Bounce…’ because I wanted West Coast artists to pick-up on my music, I sampled it because in my basement that’s what we deejayed. You go to the parties, that’s what we put on. I’m from Flatbush, Brooklyn, I wasn’t traveling worldwide when I was making this album. I was 17, 18 years old writing To The East, Blackwards. I wasn’t world orientated, I just knew when we go to the block parties, when they put on that Zapp ‘More Bounce…’ the crowd was crazy! When adults hear ‘Knee Deep’? My father and mother listened to records. I dig in their crates and make my album! I knew what was moving the crowd I wanted to serve. It’s beautiful to see that a lotta producers out here in the west coast say, ‘Man, you inspired me. We used to play your album up on the big speakers when we was making Ice Cube’s album and making this dude’s album and this cat’s album.’ I’ve met a lot of legendary west coast cats that gave me a salute, and I’m saluting them cos they’ve got crystal clean sound. I’m from New York where sampling was king, and these cats are playing stuff over and got the mean band on it and the good engineer on it and their sound was just so much more cracking than what we were getting in New York. I admire Dre’s production, he had the best EQ’s.
Tragedy Khadafi – Free Thinkers 2
New Trag track, taken from off Pre-Magnum Opus dropping Nov 24th. Produced by Audible Doctor.
Angie Stone aka Angie B [The Sequence] – The Unkut Interview
It’s taken me ten years to interview a female rapper on these pages, which either means this marks the onset of ‘progressive’ thinking in my old age or I’m a natural born rap misogynist. Either way, during the limited window of time I had to talk with Angie we kicked it about her days in The Sequence and she shared an eye-opening story about her involvement with The Roxy.
Angie Stone – The Unkut Interview
Video of The Sequence performing ‘Simon Says’ on the Job Man Caravan show:
Puffy Dee = The OG Iggy Azalea?
When the Tuff City head honcho mentioned that this was the most slept-on release from the label I had to track down a copy. Having previously explained to Fat Lace that “she was white girl living uptown. I thought her rhymes were brilliant but she predated video unfortunately,” Mr. Fuch’s expanded on the topic when I interviewed him in 2013.
Aaron Fuchs: The most overlooked record in my catalogue is this record called ‘Joe Blow’ by Puffy Dee. She was really difficult to work with and she had a real mousy voice – until somebody tells me that that record isn’t good I’ll think it’s brilliant. It was a real beats and rhymes record – Pumpkin on drum machine. It came out around the same time as the Disco Four ‘School Days’ when he went through a very spare period.
I haven’t seen a photo of Puffy Dunster, but based on the comment about her not benefiting from having a video, it’s safe to assume she was a bit of a looker. ‘Joe Blow’ is certainly an amusing curio over a quality Pumpkin track, while the a-side ‘Young, Single and Free’ is a literally unlistenable attempt at the rap game Minnie Mouse to croon.
Pre-Order: Omniscence – The Raw Factor Album 
Gentlemen’s Relief are rescuing the first Omniscence album from the vaults…
Originally scheduled for release way back in March 1996, The Raw Factor by North Carolina native Omniscence is one of the last of the unreleased mid-90’s albums to see the light of day. Despite being awarded The Source’s coveted ‘Hip Hop Quotable’ and dropping two well-received singles (’Amazin’ and ‘Touch Y’all’), record label politics meant the full-length Raw Factor album was never released and fans were left wondering what might have been.
More than eighteen years later, The Raw Factor is finally being released on CD, cassette and digital formats. Featuring punchline-driven lyrics from Omniscence delivered in his unmistakable cadence, and backed by head-nodding production from Fanatic, the album is a must-own for fans of 90’s hip hop. The 18-track long-player comes with liner notes about the recording of the album, and also includes all 4 songs from Omniscence’s 1993 random rap grail The Funky One Liner EP, available digitally for the first time.
Pre-Order the CD and Tape from UGHH
RSVP: ’88 Breakbeats CMJ Show
RSVP here if you want to find out the location of this CMJ show.
Video: Royal Flush – Autobiography
Flush and Grand Papa Tra provide a clip for this stand-out from the Grand Capo LP.
You Must Learn, Episode 2: Smif N Wessun – Dah Shinin’
Tek and Steele kick it with the You Must Learn crew and talk about the creation of their debut.
The Triumphs and Tragedies of Larry Smith
Please head over to Medium where you can read my first piece for Cue Point, a collection of long-form music features curated by Jonathon Shecter aka Shecky Green.
The Triumphs and Tragedies of Larry Smith
‘Best of Larry Smith’ playlist: