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:


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. 


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.

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