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)

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.

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).

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.
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.

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.

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.

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?