December 22, 2011

Have you got your Xmas rap?

Despite the popular belief of some that Christmas is actually a religious festival, most people seem to view it as a time for going overboard, displaying distasteful decorations, and making everything cheesy. 

Well, hip hop has sometimes gone along with this theme and there are plenty of Christmas rap songs to prove it.  But this one has got to be one of the best as it went the whole hog and even had Jingle Bells sung for the chorus.

If I recall it correctly, this was released around 1987.  The track is Chillin' With Santa by Derek B (R.I.P.)

Merry Christmas to all of our readers, see you in the New Year.

Mike Check & Randy Mack.

December 19, 2011

You can't beat free!


That's it. Elzhi's unexpected release of the free to download Elmatic, has seen my plans to release ''Asthmatic' shelved indefinitely. It's my own fault, i shouldn't have booked a recording studio at the top of a steep hill.

Remixing Nas Illmatic with the help of a live band was probably a much better project than my own anyway. If i am honest the intensity of Numb Nuttz's practice sessions has certainly dropped since our drummer 'Unpredictable Alan', not a reference to his propensity to miss rehearsals, more his efforts at rhythmic accuracy when he was ensconced at his stupid plastic camping seat tapping away, fell asleep during a live performance at the local community centre. No manners, but what a critic.

Thankfully back to Elzhi, I certainly prefer his present output to when he was a microphone exponent attached to Slum Village. He seems to be giving it full tilt on the cordless wand. I often felt he was a touch reserved when rolling with his previous bandmates, and as a consequence i find his rhymes a lot more involving. It is perhaps quite a brave and commendable move. Taking on a classic, and a truly revered one at that, will certainly have many waiting to watch you fall over your own ambition. However for what it is worth, and i think we all know the answer to that, i feel he provides a very interesting twist to an album most heads would agree is a top ten of all time certainty.

See what you think?


His own website is quite an interesting read also - Elzhi's Website, please stop by to support a talented artist.

December 17, 2011

Silver Anniversary Series - 1986 - The Wrap Up (Part III)


To end this 3 part edition of the Silver Anniversary Series wrap up for 1986, wouldn’t it be nice to provide you all with a superb mix of records that were all released that year?

Well, DJ K-Delight took the time and trouble to do just this, and it’s a cracking job he’s done too! Here’s what his own web page has to say about how the tape came about:

The 5 month labour of love that is 'Fresh For 86' by turntable scratch assassin and UK producer K-Delight. This mix has been recorded using all original 80's Electro vinyl. K-Delight has kept this mix as authentic as possible by recording the whole mix onto an old Yamaha multi track tape machine!!!!!!!! Yes that’s right, we said tape! Hell yeah.

K-Delight made his name on the UK hip hop scene in the early nineties with his dope 4 track mix tapes. Now with the UK Fresh 86 reunion happening this year, what better time to create a pure old school mix not only in sound but in the recording method too. Once 'Fresh For 86' was mixed it was then cut the hell up using Cubase to give some extra edit power paying tribute to edit king Chep Nunez and of course the man Mantronik. 

Throughout the mix there are cuts and samples from classic Mike Allen radio shows, audio from the original UK Fresh 86 event as well as sneaky snippets of Morgan Khan’s vocals and words of wisdom from Arthur Baker!

It’s clear that an immense amount of time, thought, preparation and love went into this mix, and I really respect K-Delight's dedication to it. It’s a fitting tribute to what has to be one of the most influential, innovative, creative and enjoyable years from hip hop’s great history.

And the best part is yet to come! You can either listen to the mix through the embedded SoundCloud player below, or better still you can download it for free to bump in your car, or to play at that retro New Year party that you’ve been planning.  The full track list is after the jump.

A big thank you to K-Delight for providing the icing on my 1986 cake! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Download here: http://soundcloud.com/k-delight/fresh-for-86-by-k-delight/download


FRESH FOR 86 by K-DELIGHT by K-DELIGHT


Tracklist
1. K-Delight - Fresh For 86
2. The World Class Wreckin Crew - World Class
3. Pumpkin - King Of The Beat.
4. Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde - Fast Life
5. 2 Live Crew - What I Like
6. The B Boys - Two Three Break
7. Davy DMX - One For The Treble
8. UTFO - Roxanne, Roxanne
9. Rapologists - Hip Hop Beat (Street Mix)
10. Man Parrish - Hip Hop Be Bop (Dont Stop)
11. B.O.S.E - Bass Overdrive
12. High Fidelity Three - B Boys Breakdance
13. Freestyle - Don't Stop The Rock
14. Sparky D v's The Play Girls - The Battle
15. Rock Master Scott & The Dynamic Three - The Roof Is On Fire
16. Hashim - Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)
17. Fresh 3 M.C.'s - Fresh
18. Kid Frost - Terminator
19. Mixmaster Gee & The Turntable Orchestra - The Manipulator
20. LA Dream Team - RockBerry Jam
21. Captain Rock - Return Of Captain Rock
22. Twilight 22 - Electric Kingdom
23. Real Roxanne & Howie Tee - Lets Go Go Go
24. Marley Marl feat. MC Shan - Marley Marl Scratch
25. Mantronix - Needle To The Groove
26. Word Of Mouth & DJ Cheese - King Kut
27. Aleem - Release Yourself

December 14, 2011

Silver Anniversary Series - 1986 - The Wrap Up (Part II)

Ok, here is part two of the 'Wrap Up' to the 1986 edition of this series.  My final selection of artists might surprise some of you, and I make no apologies for missing out some of the more obvious contributors from this era.  It was always my intention to give focus to some of the lesser known or often overlooked, under rated and forgotten stars of their time. 

Too frequently when artists are asked who is their favourite, or top 10 rapper/DJ/producer etc the same 20-30 names repeatedly come up.  That's fine, but during this process a number of excellent contributors to the history of our culture are overlooked and forgotten.  As time goes by, their names become more and more distant in our memories and their significance is lost.  And for the younger generation that weren't lucky enough to live through this era, they need to know that it extended way beyond Run DMC, LL Cool J, PE, Rakim etc.

MC Boob

Now many of you are probably thinking, who the hell is MC Boob and what a weird choice of name, but actually his name is somewhat prophetic as it perfectly summarises the event that saw his demise, read on!

MC Boob changed his name in ’86 and is better known as

December 11, 2011

Silver Anniversary Series - 1986 - The Wrap Up (Part I)

As 2011 draws to a close, so does my series of reviews focusing on records and artists from 1986.  Instead, I'll soon be focusing on 1987, which was another hugely important year in hip hop's evolution.  Anyway, let's get back to 1986 whilst there is still time to review it.

When I came up with the concept for this series, I did some homework to make sure that there was plenty of significant and meaningful material to review, and I was surprised by just how much history there was that was either being forgotten or had passed many of us by (myself included).  I drew up a hit list of the main artists I thought should be mentioned, and I'd hoped to do many more articles in this series than my time has permitted me to do (but that's the life of an ageing b-boy juggling work, family, blogging etc). 

One of the biggest difficulties has been verifying my facts.  I've got a pretty good memory and my knowledge of the old school and golden era is pretty good, but being certain that something was released in a particular year, or on a certain label all needs verifying when 25 years have passed me by.  It's surprising just how many records were released in one year, and then rereleased on a different label the following year (maybe only a couple of months apart), especially when comparing US and European releases.  Many of the artists from this era don't appear on wikipedia, there aren't any Amazon reviews etc, so it's taken some considerable time to pull this stuff together. 

So here I am at the end of the year with a short list of artists that I'd hoped to shine a spotlight on, but never got the time to.  It seems a shame to let them fall by the wayside, so what I'm going to do is give a brief summary of each of these as they all deserve recognition for their work and contribution to the evolution of hip hop music and culture.

As there's so much to cover, I've decide to split this edition into 3 parts.  The first two will focus on the artists and the music, and part 3 will be a little Christmas bonus (download) for you in keeping with this series. 

Ice-T

First up is the Ice Man.  1986 was a key year in Ice-T's career, it's when everything started to take shape and ultimately in 1987 he would sign with Sire records who he would release his debut album with.  But in '86, it was his 12" single Dog N The Wax that was

December 7, 2011

For your listening pleasure...

Here are some more blistering sounds that will leave you scrambling for the rewind button.  Ok, so finding a rewind button nowadays is like finding rocking horse doo doo, but a quick mouse click at the start of the embedded music player and you can be pleasured two or three time over, for free!

Up first, Chi towns finest....

DJ Soul x Okayplayer - Time Travelin (Best Of Common)

A few years ago, Okayplayer asked DJ Soul to do a Common mix which fans would receive (as a bonus cd) if they purchased Finding Forever on their site. With the buzz starting to build for Common's upcoming album The Dreamer, The Believer, now is the perfect time to

December 3, 2011

Blogwatch - November 2011

Mike Allen interviewing Run DMC 22nd May 1987

Here's a nice little piece of radio history.  The great Mike Allen interviewing Run DMC in 1987 on Capital Radio whilst they were on their European tour with the Beastie Boys. 
http://old-school-hiphop-tapes.blogspot.com/2011/11/mike-allen-interviewing-run-dmc-and.html


MF Doom breaks down his early catalogue
Egotripland have uploaded another lecture from the recent Red Bull Music Academy events in Spain.  In their own words:
Bear witness as Doom discusses the early ’80s episodes of Afrika Islam’s “Zulu Beats” radio shows on WHBI, which would provide the inspiration for his signature audio collages. Listen as he explains the defining characteristics of his plethora of performance personas (Zev Love X, Doom, Viktor Vaughn, King Ghidra). Marvel as he dissects the makings of classic recordings such as KMD’s Mr. Hood and Black Bastards, Operation: Doomsday, and his essential collab with



November 30, 2011

Free Downloads

[Note to readers using RSS etc - You may need to come to the site to see the embeded music players etc]

There's a ton of free music out there, but finding the good stuff that is worth listening to can feel like a full time skilled profession.  Well hopefully we can help out a little by providing you with some great new tunes to bump in your iPod.

Has-Lo
First up is a new joint from Has-Lo.  Hot on the heels of his highly rated LP In Case I Don’t Make It released earlier this year, he now releases the follow up Conversation B. 
This free promotional track Light Years has been remixed by J-Zone.  It's not quite the usual style of J-Zone production that we're used to (although it still has his trade mark sound to it), but it's just as distinct and inventive.  It's also great to heat that J-Zone has returned to the production boards, as the news that he'd retired was almost like a bereavement. 

November 29, 2011

Clean that sampler please Mr. Polo.


Our contemporary Mr. Polo shares many a trait with his famous namesake. They both liked to discover and explore new lands, be it musical or actual physical land lands. Undoubtedly a shared interest in the arts is also present; early Polo was very keen on a bit of prose, later Polo a purveyor of fine Hip Hop. Fashion wise i am reliably assured that neither Polo was afraid of a hair enhanced chin, nor cutting edge hoodie.

However where the analogy departs violently is the state of their respective ships. Early Polo realised that clean equipment was going to be a must if they were to reach their targets of Asia and South America. Later Polo doesn't seem to object to people randomly scribing on his walls. Although this isn't quite true as the our 12th Century explorer was known to cheekily adorn local merchants dining room tables with a chiseled "Marco woz ere" whilst they were tying up his boat. Leading to some excruciating post lunch exchanges, which usually ended with Marco having sandpaper glued to his forehead, reluctantly assuming a 90 degree angle from the waist up and being pulled back and forth quite rapidly. A scene sadly replicated in many a prison shower, sans abrasives obviously.

Enough of my crushingly unfunny, and eventually homophobic, drivel.

I thought this was a fascinating clip that first and foremost demonstrated our protagonists incredible talent. I truly wish i had the ability to conjure magic from nothing in this manner. Later Polo carefully explains his philosophy, and some of the finer intracacies of his beat making. Detailing how he will often chop up several different drum samples to form a rhythm pattern that is to his taste, before intertwining a number of further elements, from again, a number of different records to establish a sound that is recognisably his, but innovative nonetheless.

As far as i am aware this track has not made it to a general release anywhere, please feel to correct me if i am wrong, it really deserves being riden by a talented MC!

Do check the link and i hope you enjoy.



November 26, 2011

Gravediggaz - Demo


Prince Paul recently posted this unreleased Gravediggaz demo from 1992 on his Soundcloud page.  The track is called The House That Hatred Built.

In his own words, Prince Paul says "This is the First song we recorded as the Gravediggaz in 92" . It was the intro to our demo and it was actually recorded the day I introduced these guys to each other at my house . This track never made the album but It was one of my favorite productions. This was the track that started it all .. RIP Poetic . Enjoy"

What a great piece of history to share with us, and quite timely as the Gravediggaz approach their 20th anniversary. 

The house that hatred built ( Unreleased Gravediggaz demo 92 ) by DJ Prince Paul

November 24, 2011

Yo!


In case you haven't picked this up else where on the web or in the twittersphere, MTV have announced that they will be resurrecting Yo! MTV Raps for one night on the 4th Dec. The show will air on MTV2 at midnight (presumably that's US time?).

The show will be called Yo! MTV Raps Classic Cuts and will last 30 minutes. The original hosts (Dr Dre, Ed Lover and Fab 5 Freddy) will return as the shows presenters. Featured in the episode will be A Tribe Called Quest, Geto Boys and Ice Cube as the show looks back at a significant video from each artist during the golden era. There are a host of other artists from today's era also tipped to be making an appearance to.

Now when I first heard this news I was kind of excited at the prospect. It’s been so long since we’ve had a respectable TV series dedicated to hip hop that it’s long overdue. Then it dawned on me, not only is it a one-off episode, but it only lasts 30 minutes!!! In MTV terms, this equates to about 20 minutes (at the very most) of actual program as the station is always bloated with adverts.

Divide that 20 minutes between introductions, a couple of videos, (very) brief discussions with the artists and you’re done, episode over. Ed and Dre must be doing this purely for the love and nostalgia, because it sure isn’t going to make them much money.

20 mins!!!! C’mon MTV, if you’re making the effort to reunite the stars of the show and film another episode, then please make it worth it and at least make an hour long episode, or do a week long series. Ted Demme must be turning in his grave at this token gesture.

Oh well, I’ll reserve any further judgement until after the show. I had hoped the viewing figures would be high and MTV would see the sense in reviving one of its most significant achievements in the last 20 years. But then again, it wouldn’t work as a up to date version of the show would be littered with the Wayne’s, Jeezy’s and Drake’s of this world. So my proposal is for MTV to start re-running the old shows.

Mike Check

November 23, 2011

Queensbridge History



In my recent Silver Anniversary review of one of Tragedy Khadafi's earliest singles, I promised to share the links to the documentary on his life called Tragedy: The Story of Queensbridge.

This documentary lasts approx 1 hour and was filmed in the Queensbridge projects across a two year period.  It attempts to capture the essential parts of his life that have ultimately shaped him to the be the man that he is, and it does this relatively well. 
Whilst following Tragedy on his journey, we are given a rare and honest insight into what Queensbridge was like in the 1980's when some of the biggest names in hip hop were exploding onto the scene.  Trag himself wears his heart on his sleeve and gives frank and open accounts of his past, each one helping to put pieces of the jigsaw into place.

There are plenty of fascinating bits of information, history, interviews etc that help to make this documentary a little different to most others.  Even those who may not be fans of Tragedy or QB hip hop will no doubt appreciate this documentary for the historical perspective it portrays.
There are appearances and commentary from Marley Marl, Mobb Deep, Capone & Noreaga amongst others.

You can either watch this documentary on YouTube (in 7 parts) or download a copy to view in a single part.  Either way it's the same version. 

November 20, 2011

Silver Anniversary Series - An Intelligent Tragedy?


In this edition of the series, I’m going to shine the spotlight on an emcee who has been in the game for so long, has done so much, but seen so little success when compared to his peers, partners and accomplices.  I'm talking about Intelligent Hoodlum aka Tragedy Khadafi aka Jayski!!!!

We all know that Tragedy Khadafi originally went under the name Intelligent Hoodlum when his debut album (of the same name) dropped in 1990.  But not so many know that 5 years before this, he went under the name Jayski and was one half of a duo who called themselves the Super Kids?  The other half of Super Kids was DJ Hot Day.

Super kids dropped several 12”s in 1985 and 1986 when Tragedy was only 14 years old (although when listening to these tracks now, you would be forgiven for thinking that he was a bit younger)! Still, these early self releases on the classic Nia record label caught the attention of Marley Marl.  Marley recruited Tragedy as a junior member of the Juice Crew and then featured him on several of the tracks on his 1988 In Control – Vol 1 album and again on the follow up album (In Control – Vol 2) released in 1991.


Unfortunately, the name Tragedy was an unintentionally prophetic one, as it seems that his life was to be full of turmoil and misfortune.  Before Marley’s first album was released, Tragedy was convicted of robbery and sent to jail for 3 years, so he never got to enjoy his success.  This probably also explains why he never blew up like all the other members of the Juice Crew, their prime years were mainly 1988 to 1990.  By 1990, hip hop had moved on dramatically and he was effectively starting from scratch (again).

November 15, 2011

Who's The Martyr?


Immortal Technique has just released this free LP entitled The Martyr to accompany his tour of the same name. The album contains previously unreleased tracks and features major artists including Chuck D, Vinnie Paz, Dead Prez and Brother Ali. 
It's a generous, and well planned, offer from Immortal Technique to give us this album for free. It's another stab in the eye of corporate America and their attempts to own, control and contain hip hop culture. I know some people find him irritable, but I admire anyone who is prepared to head butt the system and deal with the consequences, especially when it leads to self sacrifice. So why not show your appreciation by downloading and supporting this album?
In its first 3 days this album had more than 250,000 downloads!!!  So who needs a major label to move units?

http://www.mediafire.com/?bm0wfu4wk8l9zzk

Also, check out the US tour dates and catch him in a town near you.


Mike Check

November 6, 2011

Blogwatch - October 2011


Damn, what a blistering month its been.  The summer hiatus is over and now I feel like I'm getting high on all of the dope content that is circulating around the web.  There's been so many great finds this month we've been spoilt for choice, so I hope you agree with my selection.  Here's the cream of the crop (incl. a free download!):

MC Lyte & Positive K
Ever wondered what happened to MC Lyte?  Well, like many of the artists from her era she's still going strong, just not on everybody's radar.  She recently hooked up with Positive K for this collaboration:




And if this is a bit too soft for you, then have a listen to this one where Lyte shows that she can still kick it hardcore.



MC Lyte has a host of other tunes that can be found on her website: http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/10434598.  She also has a free app that you can download for exclusive pictures, content etc.  It's so good to see one of the greatest female emcee's still in the game and still going strong. 


Jedi Mind Tricks Interview
On the eve of their new album Violence Begets Violence, Viinie Paz and Jus Allah talk about JMT's current sound and direction and the absence of Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind from the production boards.  They also reflect on nearly two decades in the game and a return to their earlier sound.

http://respect-mag.com/masters-of-lyricism-an-interview-with-jedi-mind-tricks/


Red Bull Music Academy - Slick RickComScore
Old School legend Slick Rick attends the Red Bull Music Academy's World Tour at the Bronx Paradise Theatre where he discusses his early hip hop influences, the development of his unique storytelling style and then revisits his classic debut album The Great Adventures of Slick Rick for a track by track breakdown, giving insightful recollections of their history.
The session lasts around an hour and a half and contains plenty of interesting history pertaining to Rick and some of his early associates.  Check the video out here:

http://www.egotripland.com/slick-rick-red-bull-music-academy-lecture/

Also, there are four more lectures like this from the Wu Tang Clan, Black Moon, Mobb Deep & Dipset.  Head over to Egotripland.com to see each video, although you might need some spare time as they're each an hour or more in length.

Murs Interview
Murs has got to be the most underrated and under recognised emcee from the west coast (feel free to disagree or suggest an alternative name).  Having just released his latest album Love & Rockets Volume 1, Murs takes time out to discuss this and previous releases as well as his attempts to have a greater understanding of homosexuality, working with O.C., family life and plenty more. 

http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/interviews/id.1781/murs-reveals-why-he-left-la-bluroc-family-life-and-explains-kinship-to-black-hippy/


Lord Finesse Breakbeat Mix
The microphone master takes to the decks for a mix of break beats and hip hop classics.  As one of the golden era's finest producers, Finesse has an ear for excellent beats and demonstrates that in this nice little mix.

  Lord Finesse - WFMU Mix 6 October 2011


New Masta Ace LP
Last month I gave you the heads up on the new Masta Ace and MF Doom (MA Doom) collaboration LP that's due for release real soon.  Well, to give you a taster of the new LP, Ace has released a free promo single on his website to get us all in the mood.  This single is an exclusive that won't be on released LP, so go grab it whilst you can.
When I first heard this track, I really wasn't too sure about it.  It felt a bit like a DJ mashup, but trust me, it's a real grower when you give it a couple of listens, and I'm now even more excited about the new project.

http://www.4shared.com/audio/sCSONcBH/MA_Doom-PBS.html

Peace out,
Mike Check.

October 30, 2011

D-Nice TV



This is one channel on YouTube that you've got to check out.  It's hosted by D-Nice (from Boogie Down Productions) who is now a photographer and film maker as well as a DJ. 

D-Nice has come correct with a great little series of short documentaries with old skool artists, such as Big Daddy Kane, Buckshot, Sadat X, Masta Ace, Dana Dane, Kwame, Lords of the Underground and many more.  But what makes these videos different is that each interview starts with the artist recalling a classic, well known and well recited  rhyme from their back catalogue which they then break down and explain. 
Each lyric is carefully chosen to give the viewer an insightful, and generally unheard, history lesson from their early days of Hip Hop.  You'll find Monie Love talking about Kane hitting on her, Ace talking about how he was never meant to be on The Symphony and Sadat breaks down his classic verse from Punks Jump Up.  I'll let you discover the rest.... although I've embeded a small selection below :)

http://www.youtube.com/user/dnicetv

It's also worth taking a look at his website too.  He's got some brilliant photos of some of Hip Hop's greatest artists (old and new) that have been taken in modern times, but done in a contempory style and much removed from the usual publicity shots we're used to seeing.  It's great to see D-Nice is still a player in the game with a positive contribution, peace to D-Nice.

http://d-nice.com/





October 18, 2011

Our 1st Milestone


Who's birthday is it, I hear you asking.... well, its ours!!!!  We launched Fear of a Wack Planet last October and to be honest, we didn't think very much would happen in the first year, but how wrong we were!!!  Visitors have been steadily growing each month as our readers spread the word, and we've far exceeded our early expectations.  We've also received direct praise and thanks from some of the artists and bloggers that we've shone a spotlight on, which is also great news.

Now that things have truly taken off, we can hopefully focus on bringing you lots more gems over the next 12 months to keep you coming back for more and more of that fresh, but retro, hip hop flavour.  We have a number of ideas and plans (although I'm not going to expand on them just yet), but it's safe to say that providing you with insightful reviews of rarer material is high on our agenda.

Speaking of which, if anybody knows a decent video hosting site that will allow us to upload an hour or more of footage in one go then please let me know asap.  I really don't want to have to carve up some of our material into bitesize chunks just because Poo Tube can't handle anything longer than 15 minutes, grrr.

Anyway, we'd like to say A BIG THANK YOU to all of our visitors from all over the world who continue to show an interest in this blog and support what we do.  One love.

Mike Check & Randy Mack

October 14, 2011

Roxy Interview


Any serious b-boy or b-girl in the UK will know that this weekend (Oct 15th & 16th) is the UK B-Boy Championships 2011 at Brixton Academy in London.  Last year, the UK crew Soul Mavericks represented hard for the UK and reached the semi finals, and anyone who was there or saw the DVD will know that their b-girl Roxy was not to be taken for granted. 

The Soul Mavericks are representing us again this year and will be hoping to improve on last year's commendable performance.  But in the meantime, you might want to check out this short interview with Roxy, the UK's premier b-girl.

http://toomuchflavour.co.uk/site2/uk-bboy-championships-2011-interview-with-b-girl-roxy-soul-mavericks-plague/

October 11, 2011

Enter The Battle


For all of our UK readers, you need to be aware of this event next weekend (22nd Oct).  Enter the Battle is the UK's premier mixed discipline urban sports event featuring breaking, street dance, graffiti and an outdoor hip hop sound system with performances from Elements, Critical Beatdown & Suspekt.  Alongside these events are Extreme Martial Arts, BMX, Slackline, Freestyle Football and much, much more.

Following on from last years huge event at the O2 in London which was broadcast on Sky TV, this year see's the event move to a new venue in the Midlands.

For more information, check out http://www.enterthebattle.co.uk/ or check out their Facebook page for clips of the special guests and footage of last years show.

October 9, 2011

Darwin Vs. Redman


I chanced across this interesting individual during a late night browse, (yes i know there's porn out there), and thought he had a very interesting take on how the decaying urban environment, anthropology and evolution affected hip hop in particular. Leading many unfamiliar with the genre to remark only on the overt aggression, missing perhaps a more subtle phenomena at hand.

His name is Baba Brinkman (presumably not his birth name) and this performance was taken from the Edinburgh Fringe this year. Now providing the words decaying, urban environment, anthropology and evolution placed proximately together haven't seen you surf over to Babes in Boots, then you may be intrigued to view the following:

Canadian Academia in the house!!!!

October 4, 2011

Blogwatch - September 2011


Chris Marco - Dubplates
September got off to a great start with Chris Marco releasing his Dubplates - Volume 3.  For anyone who isn't familiar with these, they're a mashup of reggae instrumentals and hip hop accapella's, all mixed exceptionally well by Chris Marco.  And what makes this even better is, it's a free download! 
I'm not normally a fan of this type of mix (mostly because they're not usually executed particularly well), but this stuff is top notch and could easily be legitimate, alternative, remixes from the original 12".  Featuring classic tunes from Masta Ace, Special Ed & Buckshot, MC Lyte, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Mos Def and plenty more.

And if you like this, then check out volumes 1 and 2 that are still available for download.  Volume 1 is a King Tubby vs Wu-Tang mashup, and Volume 2 is a Bob Marley vs Jay-Z mashup.

http://chrismacro.com/vol3-available-now


Kool Keith Interview

Yup, the legend that is Kool Keith gives an insightful interview into how it all began for him, starting out with Ultramagnetic and he also breaks down many of his solo albums since. Check out the full interview along with a Flac download of the The Four Horsemen album over at Olas Un Bekons blog:

http://www.olasunbekons.com/2011/09/ultramagnetic-mcs-four-horsemen-1993.html


6th Annual Zulu Nation anniversary mixtape
I don't know what year this is from, but it's certainly going to take you a long way back in time. It features Cosmic Force, Sha Rock, Lisa Lee and the L-Brothers and lasts for about 30 minutes. It's a rip from an old tape, but for me that just adds to the authenticity of the sound, it sounds just like it used to when I was a kid!

http://old-school-hiphop-tapes.blogspot.com/2011/08/6th-annual-zulu-nation-anniversary-with.html


N.W.A. - Live from 1989
My boy Jsta has just uploaded a nice little rarity on his West Coast/Ruthless Records blog. Jsta is proving that he is still the king of the G Funk by uploading this rare concert recorded in 1989. He rightly points out that N.W.A. were banned from performing in most places, so any live recordings of their early material are very rare.

Even if N.W.A. isn't your thing, it's worth checking out his blog as you won't find a better source for old skool West Coast hip hop. He's also extremely picky (in a nice way!) about audio quality, so his rips are always top notch.

http://phuk-tha-muthaphukkin-police.blogspot.com/2008/11/nwa-live-in-anaheim-california-live.html


New Masta Ace LP
Masta Ace has announced that he's completed his collaboration album with MF Doom and it's set for a November release date. The project is titled MA Doom: Son of Yvonne (which unsurprisingly follows in the same naming style as MF Doom's previous collaboration titles). The format of the album will be MF Doom on production using beats that he previously released on his Special Herbs series, and Masta Ace providing vocals. This raises an eyebrow as to what Doom's involvement has actually been? Is this more of a mixtape or mash up than a true collaboration? I don't know, but I'm always happy to hear new material from Ace, so let's hope this doesn't disappoint.

When asked whether there will be any guest appearances on the album, Ace replied "only one, Big Daddy Kane, that's it". Is this a sign that Kane is upping his profile in preparation for a release date for his new album The Last Supper (his first album in 13 years!)?



Artful Dodger Presents - Get The Message
Style Warrior has shared this great little graffiti documentary from one of the UK's graffiti legends, Artful Dodger (aka A. DEE).  What makes this documentary a little different, is that it's not about showcasing Dodger's artwork, or a range of different pieces from around the UK.  Instead, Dodger explores graffiti culture as a whole.
The documentary lasts about 2 hours and contains many memorable clips from the past, such as appearances on Hart Beat, newspaper clippings, interviews etc.  I'm not sure when this film was produced, but I'd make an educated  guess at around 1995-1996.

http://stylewarrioruk.wordpress.com/2011/09/30/artful-dodger-presents-get-the-message/

September 30, 2011

Rare Demon Boyz Video

In case anyone hasn't come across Style Warrior, he runs a nice little site selling extremely limited runs of t-shirts featuring UK artists of the golden era.  If you haven't checked him out, I recommend that you do.

He also shares some interesting videos and this particular clip is no exception.  According to his website, it's an exclusive and unreleased video from the Demon Boyz for the track No Hocus Pocus.  Check out his site for more details on how this video came about: http://stylewarrioruk.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/demon-boyz-no-hocus-pocus-video-exclusive/

September 26, 2011

Hard as Chinese arithmetic.



Once more we revisit our Brooklyn dwelling pioneers; this time for some Wordz of Wisdom. This has to be one of my favourites from the Bassers, 7 minutes of rhyme fuelled mayhem over a driving rhythm track that sounds as fresh today as it did in 1989.

The video itself is something of a frustration however, only released, as far as I am aware, on a VHS compilation, it would appear that it was cut to a tantalising two minute snippet for continuity purposes. Or more likely Serch and Pete Nice started fighting and the director’s panicked shouts of ‘cut’ simply saw them unsheathe their respective knives.

Speaking of the video director, I’m not sure he was their biggest fan. How else do you explain his remarkable decision to site the shoot in the middle of road you would have to describe as busy. Then placing the Prime Minister on a precarious looking chair, that certainly wouldn’t have withstood the impact of a Serch kick, never mind a 69 Impaler or whatever they’re called. He, and surely it is a he, then suggested, to our presumably incredulous duo, that we finish this bitch on a construction site! Where far larger vehicles roam unchecked, kicking up rapper obscuring amounts of dust, what could possibly go wrong! Despite this clear recipe for disaster the shoot went ahead; presumably our wordsmiths concerns were sated, when once more they were informed that the chair, undoubtedly now retired from a BBC King Arthur period drama, would be present.

I should also add that admirers of fierce crotch gyrating should certainly have their notebooks ready at 28 seconds in. For it is here that we witness an oscillation of such pelvis shattering proportions that you have to assume Serch has become accidentally entangled with a local fishermans hook, and an inadvertent, yet rhythmic fight, for genital survival briefly ensued. Thank goodness they managed a satisfactory take first time round. A second attempt may well have killed him, or at the very least separated him from his indispensible spine.

There is of course a third member of the group, who rarely seems to warrant much attention, DJ Daddy Rich. A trawl through Google reveals nothing of note, which is a shame as I would certainly loved his take on the politics of the group. He seemed happy though, always smilling. However this is perhaps best attributed to the fact that he knew that Serch and Nice were always only ever a misplaced glance away from staging their own unscripted version of ultimate fighting champion in the recording studio. An event that would appear to have ended, judging by the Serches hairdo, with him being chased down an alley that was significantly narrower than he had initially estimated.


Enjoy downloader, enjoy!

September 19, 2011

Silver Anniversary Series - DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince


For my latest instalment in the Silver Anniversary Series, I'm kind of passing the buck!  It's not that I don't want to do this instalment, it's that someone has pretty much done it already and I'm not one for reinventing the wheel or biting others work. 
Many people don't know that DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince were around as early as 1986, two years before their major releases on Jive Records, so I think it's important to cover them within this series, and when you've read this article you'll understand why a bubble gum pop act is being featured on this site (hint - it wasn't always like that!).

Now, Werner Von Wallenrod did an excellent narrative earlier this year on his blog about the 'original' version of DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince's Girl's ain't nothing but trouble.  I say 'original' because as Werner rightly points out in his review, the original 12" (released in 1986) existed two years before the more commonly known version and the differences are pretty significant and intriguing.


I'm not going to go into the differences here as Werner will give you the low down, but let's just say that once you've read his review you'll be wondering whether Jeff and Will could possibly have been a more credible group with much more underground success.  I'm not suggesting they would ever have been 'street', but they could have been something more akin to Biz Markie's style of credible comedy hip hop. 

Anyway, head over to Werner's review and see for yourself what I'm waffling on about.

http://wernervonwallenrod.blogspot.com/2011/01/dj-jazzy-jeff-fresh-prince-uncensored.html

Once I'd read Werner's review, it made me wonder about the other version of this single, Guy's ain't nothing but trouble.  Did this undergo the same revamp?  Unfortunately I can't find a copy to listen to, but if anyone else knows the answer then please let us know or leave a comment.
I also wanted to provide you with an audio clip of the original 12" so that you could hear the difference for yourself, but no matter how much I dig, I've not managed to dig up a copy (yet!).  If anyone knows of a blog that has this, please let me know and I'll add it here.

Mike Check.

September 10, 2011

Before I Wake



The 13th of September is the 15th anniversary of Tupac Shakur's death.  So it seems like a good time to share this DVD with you all and reminisce on the brilliance that was Tupac.  I know that many people have allowed time, the media and some of the posthumous (and thugged out) releases to taint their memories of Tupac, but let's not forget that before all the hype and the demise, he was a brilliant revolutionary with pioneering lyrics and concepts.

In the wake of both Tupac and Biggie's death's, I took the time to watch many of the video releases that the market was flooded with.  Unfortunately, most of these were torturous as they contained very little in the way of interesting footage or new information.  Mostly, they were interviews with a bunch of wannabe gang-bangers with tenuous links to Tupac (like they once bumped into Tupac in a liquor store, or they lived on the same road as him when he was growing up etc).

As a result of these diabolical releases, I didn't explore any of the later material that was published, until much more recently.  So when I stumbled across this DVD, I didn't hold out much hope, but I was wrong.  This particular documentary has an interesting twist, it's Tupac's story told by one of his long time personal body guards Frank Alexander (Tupac had 5 bodyguards).  It also contains genuine unseen and rare footage that really adds to the overall presentation.  And I'm not talking about the usual scam of including a 30 second clip of Tupac on stage, recorded on a mobile phone that allows the DVD to be labelled with 'Exclusive footage', uh uh, this is proper stuff.

Some of the footage is from Frank Alexander's own personal library, other clips appear to be the edited out sections from the interviews that we've all seen previously.  These additional/extended clips add interesting new insights into Tupac's life and character.  But the bulk of the footage in this documentary is the compelling interview with Frank Alexander, supported by reconstructions, a visit to the crime scene and accounts from one of the investigating homicide detectives and a reporter who was at the scene. 

Frank Alexander comes across as a very sincere person without any ulterior motives.  He was clearly a friend of Tupac's as well as his bodyguard and he, like the rest of us, could sense that something didn't add up about the whole event.  Frank gives his own detailed account of the day leading up to the shooting, he was in the car behind Suge Knight's and saw the shooting take place, and then most interestingly he details the events that unfolded over the next few days before Tupac died almost a week later.  This is a first hand, eye witness account which I've not previously seen anywhere else.

For conspiracy theorists, Frank's account might leave you with more questions than answers.  Why was security so lax that evening?  Why did Suge drive the particular route that he did?  Why was the crime not secured by the police?  Why were eyewitnesses not identified and questoned?  Why did it take so long for detectives to interview anyone?  The list goes on. 
This information really starts to help the viewer understand why nobody was ever charged or named as a suspect and why there is such a lack of meaningful evidence.

However, what Frank's account does give, is a believable insight into aspects of the incident that haven't (to my knowledge) been previously discussed or explored.  He appears to stick to the facts and avoids filling in the gaps or speculating on what might have happened.  This helps to give credence to his version of events.

Overall, it's an interesting documentary and Frank Alexander is a decent orator.  Lasting just over an hour and half, it doesn't feel padded out and neither does it drag.  So if you're only going to pick one posthumous  Tupac video to watch, I'd strongly recommend this one over the many others that are out there.

RIP - Tupac Shakur (13th Sept 1996)

Download 700mb

Mike Check

September 4, 2011

Blogwatch - August 2011


Well, August has been a quiet month across many blogs and there's not been a great deal that I'd shout about (or take the time to share with you), but hopefully these two little gems will prove that quality is better then quantity.  I doubt many can argue that these two pieces of news are music to most people's ears.


Masta Ace Documentary
Yep, you did just read the title correctly.  What makes this good news even better, is that DJ Premier is producing the soundtrack for it.  Check out more details over at the DJ Premier blog.
http://www.djpremierblog.com/2011/08/11/dj-premier-producing-the-soundtrack-for-upcoming-masta-ace-documentary/

Premo Produced Rakim LP!
The second great piece of news coming from the DJ Premier blog this month is that Rakim is working on a new album and Premo is producing it.  Now, this collaboration is probably around 15 years over due and most people probably can't understand why this project hasn't already happened as it's a no brainer for both artists.  Check the video for more details:


August 31, 2011

Grantwood Grain Grippin'




Not the usual choice of material here on Fear of. Most notably because it's good!!! As opposed, obviously, to our usual straight up, microphone smoking, gang banging (as in were all in the same gang, not we're all in the same vagina) turning dueces into marks and previously respectable females into shoplifters, or at the very least of interest to Police in their ongoing enquiries into a spate of recent identity frauds, awesomeness!!

I don't know why i like this tune as it represents much of what i find disagreeable about rhyming with timing, but it has a superb hook and three very different styles on display. This seemed to be enough to catalyse me to place aside my long standing principles and nod my head like i had under developed neck muscles and was attempting to circumnavigate a cattlegrid on a Raleigh Chopper whilst wearing a particularly heavy helmet. The fact that, sadly, they chose to film the final two minutes in a strip club in no way detracts from proceedings; though the objectification of women is something i strongly object to, and quite loudly when i'm in the presence of other ladies. So imagine the volume i reached when Slim Thug (it's a literal nickname because he's slim, but also a thug) allows himself to be fellated whilst driving a carbon monster. DANGER!!!! Now i've tried this also, as the receiver i homophobically add, and it is a recipe for an unwelcome insurance renewal rise. Close observers will note that Mr. Thug looks neither left nor right when Escalading across a junction, and he has my sympathies as i couldn't concentrate either. This changed dramatically though when i stalled the car at traffic lights and my beloved souped down Renault Clio lept forward and the young ladies dental work left an indelible mark on my fun zone. I'll let you make your own biting point joke.

Enjoy the video!! Though not if you are under 18, have nay sense of morality, decency or are vaguely concerned that they played 'I'm In Love With A Stripper' during the Superbowl. Save the kids? It's too late.



August 30, 2011

Make Smart Cool

This video has to be seen to be fully appreciated.   It's such a great concept, I just wish he'd done a second verse as it ends too quickly for my liking.   I won't tell you any more as it will spoil it, just hit play and watch it until the end. 

August 23, 2011

Digital Underground - Underwater Rimes


I don't know about you, but if a few years ago someone had asked me the question "What was Digital Underground's debut single?" I would have responded with 1989's Doowutchyalike.  Well, despite owning most of Digital Underground's early material, and considering myself a fan of their early work, I'd have been completely wrong because it was actually a 12" called Underwater Rimes that was released in 1988.  The b-side is a track called Your life's a cartoon.
This 12" was actually pretty big in Europe and hit the #1 spot in Holland, but here in the UK it seemed to pass us by, which might explain my ignorance to it's existence!

Now with hindsight I should have known better.  If I'd checked the cover of their debut LP Sex Packets I would have noticed that track 5 is shown as Underwater Rimes (Remix).  Well you can't have a remix if you don't have an original to remix, so I should have known that an original mix existed somewhere.  If I'd had the internet in 1990 I would have been digging around to find this, but instead it had to wait until much more recently.  Still, that's the beauty of the internet, nothing is beyond our reach and many old gems can be uncovered if you dig for long enough.

Now, the thing that really stands out with this 12" is the style in which they rap when it's compared to the production.  Production wise it's exactly what you'd expect from early Digital Underground and sits perfectly before their follow up single Doowutchyalike which was released a year later on Tommy Boy once they'd been signed.  But the vocals are a different matter, because despite the fact that this 12" was released only a year before Doowutchyalike, the rhyme styles certainly sound much earlier and similar to what other west coast groups were doing around 1988. 

There was clearly a lot of evolution in those 12 months, but what I find most interesting is how far ahead of the game Shock G's production was at that time, whereas their rhyme style needed to catch up in order to properly compliment it.  Thank god it did, as in 1989 I don't think there wasn't anything else as creative and innovative coming from the west coast.
Keep in mind that in 1988 most people were listening to PE, NWA, Rakim, Kool G Rap, Kane (add on), none of whom had a sound anything like Digital Underground.

Like most of Digital Underground's early material, Shock G illustrated the cover under his graffiti pseudonym 'Rackadelic'.  To this day, Shock's artwork for their early releases is still very distinctive and has stood the test of time, it doesn't look dated and it's instantly recognisable.

Now here's a bit of nerdology for you.  This Underwater Rimes single later spawned a character called MC Blowfish (aka Shock G, aka Humpty Hump).  There is a video for a track by MC Blowfish that was done in a cartoon style identical to the 12" cover (MC Blowfish is the one on the right).  It's not available on PooTube and I only have a 30 second clip of it (which I may upload to our YouTube channel if I ever get time).  But like I said earlier, anything is available if you dig around the net long enough, so its probably out there already just waiting to be found.

Download the full 12" (Hotfile 30mb)
http://hotfile.com/dl/120619736/7e0be68/Digital_Underground_-_Underwater_Rimes.rar.html

August 12, 2011

Blogwatch - July 2011

Apologies for the brief hiatus, it's that time of the year where holidays get in the way of blogging :)  Still, it's better get something late than not at all, so here goes.

July was yet another month of blogging goodness, with lots of rare rap vitamins and golden era minerals for your consumption.  As usual, I've scoured the blogging fields to find the best organic produce and then I freshly picked it for that perfect flavour.  Enjoy!

Rare Mixtapes
DJ Manifest has recently started a blog to share his vast collection of mixtapes.  There's some pretty rare, and old, stuff on there (Kid Capri, Ron G, Lord Finesse etc) and a promise of plenty more to come, so instead of me listing it here, why not go and check him out for yourself. 
http://onestopmusicplace.blogspot.com/

From Mambo to Hip Hop
My man Battlechasers has found a copy of the film "From Mambo to Hip Hop" which in his own words is a "Documentary on the creative adoption of Cuban rhythms to create the New York salsa sound, which laid the foundations for Funk and Hip-Hop."  Its directed by Henry Chalfont (Style Wars & Spray Can Art).
http://pieandears.blogspot.com/2011/07/from-mambo-to-hip-hop-documentary-film.html

Pacewon & Mr Green
It's always nice to discover new releases that are worth sharing with others, and this new video from Pacewon is no exception.  Props again to Battlechasers for digging this one up.
http://pieandears.blogspot.com/2011/07/pacewon-and-mr-green-ever-since-2011.html
Also, if you didn't catch Pacewon's last single Can you hear me (A tribute to the people of Tunisia) then you need to catch that too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYGfxOP9dQs

Non Phixion Promo Tape
Philaflava over at T.R.O.Y Blog has shared this Non Phixion sampler tape.  It is essentially their debut album that they produced for Geffen but was never released.  The track listing is kind of strange as it contains old tracks like legacy (their debut 12", see my earlier post) and then Black Helicopters which didn't come out until their 2nd LP.  It's also got gems like 14 Years of Rap feat. The Arsonists and They Got which weren't on either of the albums.
http://www.thetroyblog.com/2011/07/06/non-phixion-the-past-the-present-and-the-future-is-now/

Fat Boys Documentary
This is a great watch for any old skool fan.  A 40 minute documentary on the Fat Boys that charts their beginnings, their rise and ultimately their
Commentary comes from many legends including their producer Kurtis Blow and band members Prince Markie D and (a very slim!) Kool Rock Ski.
http://pieandears.blogspot.com/2011/07/fat-boysthe-true-story-great-watch.html

The Conspiracy is back!
If you weren't a listener previously, then I strongly recommend you check out Mr Montana's show on Conspiracy Worldwide Radio.  The latest episode has interviews with: DJ premier talking about the early Gang Starr days, Canibus talking about his new album Lyrical Law, MOP, and much more. 
Conspiracy Worldwide Radio is dedicated to conscious underground artists with a so you won't find any of that mainstream bullshit we all run a mile from!  And the best bit.... if you can't check the show when it's live, the podcasts can be downloaded from the site or via iTunes.  So, what's your excuse for not checking them out?
www.conspiracyworldwide.podomatic.com

July 29, 2011

Metal Advocates - Graffiti DVD


Many graffiti writers would say that if you haven't bombed a train then you're not really a writer.  Well, I'm not sure about that, but I understand their sentiments.  Like much of hip hop's history, the cultures and trends that were set in the early days have become the benchmark for what hip hop culture is about today, and back in the 1970's, trains were THE thing to paint, and that belief has never really died.

Which leads us to this DVD.  It's an Australian film which focuses purely on trains, most of which is filmed in Australia although there is the odd bit of European footage from France and Germany too.  Like most graffiti DVD's, the footage is a mix of day and night scenes.
It includes live actions with nice panels and some wholecars too.  The backing track is a nice blend of electro and hip hop that's been mixed by DJ Keen.

Download (Hotfile: 2 x 350mb)
http://hotfile.com/dl/121200491/f5b965a/Metal.Advocates.2008.DVDRip.XviD-AEROHOLiCS.part1.rar.html
http://hotfile.com/dl/121200393/1c4e909/Metal.Advocates.2008.DVDRip.XviD-AEROHOLiCS.part2.rar.html

July 24, 2011

Humanity's on the brink of insanity.


Not a reference to a Geography Department in absolute chaos, but a clear nod to the 30% of people recently surveyed who believe George Osborne is making a good Chancellor. We'd be better off with Ozzy Osborne at the helm. Don't let the fact that he was born twenty years before George was given the keys to the country's stationary cupboard, ruin a rubbish attempt at a joke.

Worries about NHS funding aside, this particular duo released, in my opinion, a hip hop classic that didn't come close to receiving the props its innovations deserved. Signed to the now defunked. Sorry. Wlyd Pitch imprint, they seemed to be caught in the maelstrom of politics enveloping the label at that time, and went under with the ship, never to be sighted again. Not even by their families.

This has been a particularly difficult post to write; not because we all shared a night of passion and to reminisce is to cry, more that there is simply no information on our capeless crusaders around. I cannot recall the name of the DJ, so we'll call him Clive, but i do remember the microphone operative worked under the name of Hardhead, perhaps assumed after he had bravely sheltered the Coney Island seals from the inevitable, and together they, (as in Clive, not the grateful mallet tempters), fashioned an album that shone light into the darker corners of life. Hardheads considered lyrics tackled subjects as diverse as male rape, the likely fate of runaways and working for a racist employer. Meanwhile Clive manufactured an assortment of appropriate tones to solidify the image our lyrismith had skillfully conjured.

This album is now available on Amazon as a reissue and i strongly recommend a purchase. Please don't be put off by the cover, which appears to see our heroes candidly captured, blissfully unaware that someone has brazenly pinched their classroom with the inevitable repercussions for winter learning. It is fantastic album, a rare outing in which both musically and lyrically, consistent highs are simultaneously reached.


July 23, 2011

MC Serch Interview


In my previous post I looked back at Non Phixion's Legacy 12" and I referenced an interview that the P Brothers did with MC Serch back in 2003 and I promised to share it with you. 

Now this interview is a real banger, it's like no other interview that you've read before.  Normally an interview is conducted for a specific purpose, usually to promote an artists new album, to clear up some pointless beef, or to drum up interest in their new protege blah, blah, blah.  There is almost always a motive for the artist to do the interview.
What makes this different, is that Serch pretty much did the interview to satisfy the persistant requests of the P Brothers, who are hip hop purists and whose only interest is to better understand Serch, some of his history and to get to the truth behind all of the gossip and rumours.

Serch said it himself, that this would be the last interview he does of this kind, and I can see why.  He bares his soul here and openly and honestly answers all of the questions put to him.  You really get the feeling as you read through it that he's laying some demons to rest.  He talks in detail about the formation of 3rd Bass, their success and their later demise, and what the real issues were.  He explains the trip to LA where he and Pete were nearly killed by gang members over the MC Hammer diss, and then his behind the scenes work executive producing Nas' first two albums and O.C.s classic, Word, Life.  Oh, and he clears up some of the Non Phixion story too!

It's a two part interview, and it's quite long, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  The depth and scope of this interview is what makes it so brilliant.  I hope you appreciate this as much as I did.

Shout out to the P Brothers too, I love you guys.

PART 1 - http://pressrewind.wordpress.com/2007/06/01/def-jam-3rd-bass-hammers-gas-face-mc-serch-in-grandslam-part-1-2003/
PART 2 - http://pressrewind.wordpress.com/2007/06/05/3rd-bass-split-nas-oc-non-phixion-mc-serch-interview-part-2-in-grandslam-2003/

July 17, 2011

Paul C Biography


Today marks the anniversary of the death of Paul C in 1989 (it also would have been Guru's 50th Birthday!).
Any respectable hip hop head who was 'living hip hop' in the late 80's and very early 90's will now know who Paul C was (if ya don't know, then this is a must read).  I say 'now know' because at that time he wasn't a big name commercially.  He was the guy behind the scenes, the man behind the desk, the dude whose name appeared in the small footnotes in the bottom corner on the back of the album cover.  He was largely unknown.
How someone who was so instrumental in progressing the art of production and taking things to that next level could be so overlooked is beyond comprehension.

It was only later on, after his murder, that ordinary folk really started to understand just how talented and influential Paul C was.  He was completely ahead of his time, he was an innovator and creator, and he fully deserves his place in hip hop history alongside Herc, Bambaataa, Flash, Marley Marl etc.  Many of the artists he worked with at that time knew of his skills and recognised that he was a pioneer, but this respect and recognition didn't really extend to the record buying public.  Mainly because his name wasn't always shown in the credits. 

Fortunately, in 2001 Dave Tompkins spent 3 months researching the story of Paul C and put together this fascinating, absorbing and compelling narrative.  This has got to be the most concise collection of facts and recollections about someone who is largely undocumented.
With contributions from Ultramagnetic, Rahzel, Large Professor, Pharoah Monch, Prince Po and many more, this is about as close to a biography or written documentary as we're ever likely to get.

I'm not going to dwell on this any further as Tompkins' article tells you everything you need to know and a lot more besides.  He sets the scene, he takes you right back to that time and he puts you in the mindset of those who were there.  It's not a quick read, so grab a drink and a snack and absorb yourself in some classic hip hop history.  You're hip hop knowledge will be expanded by the end of it!

http://crunkster.abstractdynamics.org/archives/003807.html

July 11, 2011

Non Phixion - Legacy 12" (1996)


It still amazes me to this day that Non Phixion ever managed to get their material published.  They had significant interest being shown from several major labels, were then signed to Geffen, then signed to Matador, Matador then committed to producing an album and yet 5 years later they had virtually nothing to show for it! 

To the groups members, it must have seemed like the whole industry was against them.  Despite them having the backing of some industry heavyweights like MC Serch and Rick Rubin along with proven sales from their early single releases, it just didn't seem like it was ever going to happen for them.
Still, perseverance pays off, and so does setting up your own label (Uncle Howie Records) as this was the eventual remedy to the Non Phixion headache.


Going back to 1996 before most of their troubles started, when MC Serch was helping to get Non Phixion a major signing.  Their debut 12" entitled Legacy was released independently on the Fat Beats label and sold around 20,000 copies. 

It's an interesting release, because as it was 6 years before their debut  LP was released, it understandably has a completely different sound.  It was produced by Serch under his Serchlite Music company, whereas their later productions would come from either Necro or Non Phixion themselves.  However, it still maintains that trademark Non Phixion style.
MC Serch makes an unexpected appearance too, and somehow manages to sound a bit different without completely flipping his style, but it works quite well.

The B side is a different matter though.  The track is called No Tomorrow and is produced by Necro.  It's not the usual Necro style that we've become familiar with, instead this sounds much like most of the mainstream NY productions of that time.  The style of the chorus is also very typical of that era and overall the track reminds me of numerous east coast melodies from the mid 90's. 

It's definitely worth checking this out  If nothing else, it's good to feel some more of that mid 90's east coast flavour.

For those historians out there who like to know all the minuscule details of an artist or their history etc, you'll be pleased to know that the P Brothers conducted an explicit, honest and unique interview with MC Serch back in 2003 which he claimed would be his last interview of that kind.  He really went to town on setting the record straight. 
During the 2nd part of the interview, Serch explains much of the background to setting up Non Phixion and openly discusses the later fallout between him and Ill Bill.  It's a riveting read as it also uncovers lots of great history that hasn't previously been told about 3rd Bass, Nas, OC, Wild Pitch records etc.  But it's too much to cover here, so I'll get it uploaded in the next week or two!

Download The Full 12" (Hotfile 32mb)
http://hotfile.com/dl/120619834/015aabb/Non_Phixion_-_Legacy.rar.html