I purposely waited for the album & mixtape to drop before putting this up, there were alot of tributes but NONE can ever compare to mines. Heres the 2hr Tribute I did, no Tracklisting, Enjoy the music for what it is. If you take this mix and try to sell it in any way shape or form, you will get sued! I miss you P. Love u brother
DJ M-Walk, who you may remember as Tone Loc’s DJ, produced a song for Romeo & Master Rhyme in 1987 which sampled ‘To Be Real.’ It was picked up by Delicious Vinyl and remixed by the Dust Brothers, and contained some lines which were seemingly aimed at another local LA crew:
M-Walk don’t dig dirty dudes dealing dope/so stop saying sess ’til the suckers say soap
Rhymes raps and riddles of rhymes he’s real raw/said seven sorry suckers saw [O’] Shay on the Shaw
And that’s no lie, and if you want to try/you can come and try and I won’t even ask you
Some of my favorite rap sprung from Houston’s Rap-A-Lot Records, as the label incorporated organs, harmonicas and funk guitar with traditional breakbeats, creating a unique blend of east coast and southern hip-hop before everyone jumped on The Chronic bandwagon and started playing everything from scratch. Here’s a selection of my favorite moments from the early days of the house that J. Prince built above his car lot.
Here’s the complete transcript of my talk with Tom Silverman, who created the Dance Music Report and Tommy Boy Records in addition to co-founding the New Music Seminar, home of the MC and DJ Battle for World Supremacy. There’s a lot that I couldn’t fit into the NMS oral history piece from last month, so I thought it was worth printing in full seeing as though it paints an interesting picture of the
Robbie: What was your first exposure to hip-hop?
Tom Silverman: I went to the T-Connection to hear Bambaataa thing after learning about breakbeats in 1980, healing about this whole breakbeat phenomenon/b-boy concept in 1980 and wanted to find out about it. I called up Bambaataa and went to see him at T-Connection in the Bronx, and that’s how I first heard him and Red Alert and Jazzy Jay spinning the most amazing variety of music in a way that I’d never heard before. I just asked him if he wanted to make a record and that was kind of the beginning of Tommy Boy, when he said yes. To hear Kraftwerk and Billy Squier and Bob James and Cerone and The Monkees mixed in with normal James Brown and Sly Stone and all of this funk music was the thing that was the real revelation. And then to see how they cut it up and extended beats and found breaks and turned them into something more was just crazy at the time. Imagine seeing that in 1980 when no one had ever experienced it before? It’s like fire! ‘We’ve never seen fire before. What is that?’
When did the NMS begin?
The commencement was 1980, it was a one day event that year. In 1981 we did it in a club venue and it became a two-day event. The place was called Privates, and for the first time we did an event, it was called ‘a DJ spinning exhibition’ where we showed people what was happening in 1981 with spinning. We had a guy called Jeff Broitman, who was a disco DJ, showing how DJ’s mix records in a normal club situation. Then we had a guy called Whiz Kid – who later made records for us at Tommy Boy – who was a quick-cut DJ from the Afrika Bambaataa school of the Zulu Nation. He was from the Bronx and he was one of the greatest masters of fast spinning. It was a DJ’s exhibition to show how they did it, and people were just blown away. Nobody had seen people cutting two bars back and forth between records before. Everybody started talking about it, the room was packed to the gills and people were so excited about seeing it. (more…)
According to his MySpace caption, those are not Street Life’s boots.
Method Man‘s loyal right-hand man and road dawg Street Life talked about growing up in Staten Island, makes it clear that he wasn’t feeling the last Wu-Tang album and hints that this might be the second last solo album from Tical. The Meth Lab is out 21 August.
Robbie: Did you grow up in Staten Island?
Street Life: Yeah I grew up in Staten Island, Park Hill and Stapleton.
How would you describe Stapleton when you were a kid?
There wasn’t that many guns out, it was just more fights and maybe a couple of stabbings. That was better than gunshots though. I was around twelve years old when I was in Stapleton, it was cool. Stapleton was my introduction into Staten Island, then I moved to Park Hill. I got most of my experience by growing-up in Park Hill versus Stapleton – Park Hill’s where all the drama unfolded at. That’s where the legend was born! (more…)
The qualification to make it onto this compilation requires that two or more of the rappers were never heard from again1. Let us sit back and bask in the fleeting glory that is getting to rap on your pal’s album on account of being a faithful weed carrier or always ensuring that the studio fridge is full of ice cold beers.
It’s great when rappers can maintain a high standard through out a long career with no noticeable decline in quality. It’s even better when they markedly improve as they get older, as demonstrated so brilliantly by the late, great Sean P.
I kicked it with Devin The Dude about how he came up in the rap game while somehow neglecting any direct questions about getting high. With a discography that stretches back to 1994 and a discography that features an impressive roster of big names including Dr. Dre, DJ Premier, Scarface and Nas, Devin has seen it all. We caught up over the phone to discuss his days as a breakdancer, the dangers of touring and his dream posse cut line-up.
Robbie: How did you first get into rap?
Devin The Dude: I was a breakdancer since the fifth grade. Towards the late 80’s, breakdancing was getting commercialised a little bit so we didn’t do that quite as much, but we would still be at the park where we used to breakdance. I used to collect a lotta music too, especially with the breakdancing and having a lotta routines and stuff, and I eventually bridged over to rapping at the park.
What was your crew called?
I was in a number of breakdancing crews as we moved around. I lived in Houston and I moved to East Texas in tenth through twelfth grade and then I moved back to Houston. The Rhythmic Rockers was my last breakdancing crew, but I had a crew with my brother and another guy – we called ourselves 3-D. (more…)
I always wondered why Detroit’s Awesome Dre had a song going at Kool Moe Dee on his highly enjoyable 1989 album, You Can’t Hold Me Back. Now that I’ve heard his second single, it makes a little more sense. It appears that Dre took it upon himself to fire shots at both LL Cool J and Moe Dee on separate songs. This mystery was finally solved when Werner interviewed Dre in 2009: (more…)
Sean Price exemplified everything that the Conservative Rap Coalition stands for. He was a fan of self-depricating humor, blocking people on Twitter for the slightest of infractions and refused to catch buses since they’re basically for old people. He was also one of the few MC’s who managed to improve with age. As much as I enjoyed the music of Heltah Skeltah, I can’t quote a line from either of their first two albums from memory. Sean P solo, however, was a cot-damn quotable machine. I saw him perform twice, and both times he delivered a strong, no gimmick display of great rapping. The first time in Melbourne, backed by PF Cuttin, and then at S.O.B.’s in 2013 for the Statik Selektah album launch. Later that evening Dallas Penn introduced me to Mr. Price, who appreciated my firm, man-style handshake and kept it moving, just as it’s supposed to be. (more…)
To compliment the Flavor Unit Oral History I did for RBMA, here are my sixteen favorite tracks from the first generation of Flavor Unit MC’s through to passing the torch to Naughty By Nature for the second installment. Before anyone asks, no that 900 Number album never actually got released but apparently featured new verses from Latee and Chill Rob.