August 27, 2013

That's Slammin'

I've recently started getting on top of ripping some of the many old videos I have and getting them up on the YouTube channel, but there's still a long way to go!  One of the rarities I was going to rip was the 4 part collection of Slammin' Rap Video Magazine, but YouTube user MusicMan1470 has just saved me a job and ripped the first 3 editions.

These VHS videos are extremely hard to come by and I've never seen them on the web until now, so don't sleep on them.  Originally released in 1990 and 1991, each video was around an hour long and filled with numerous short interviews, videos and clips from the biggest artists at the time.  The first edition was hosted by Alex Winter (the dude who played Bill in the Bill & Ted movies) which was an odd choice, but one that thankfully didn't last into the subsequent editions.

At times it tried to be cutting edge and jump on the latest big signing (like Tarrie B, Smooth Ice), only to find that by the time the video was released, they weren't as big as their labels expected or hoped they'd be, or by including artists on the edge of the genre like Daddy Freddy or the Urban Dance Squad.  But at the same time there was also many little gems to be found, like an interview with a very young Dave Mays and Jon Shecter (co-founders of The Source magazine), a rare Schoolly D interview, MC Ren with CPO etc etc.

I've uploaded the video covers for each volume to show the featured artist on each (click on the image for full size version), but each volume is worth skipping through for some full on early 90's nostalgia.  I've also uploaded the cover for volume 4 and if a few people leave comments requesting it then it might just motivate me to get it uploaded sooner rather than later :)  It'd also be good to have all 4 volumes on YouTube.

Volume 1:

Volume 2:

Volume 3:

Volume 4:

August 14, 2013

Game of Survival

The Live Squad are best remembered for their outstanding track Heartless and their early association with Tupac.  Unfortunately the group were deemed 'too violent' by their label Tommy Boy Records and their LP never saw the light of day.  Lead vocalist Stretch was later murdered in what is widely believed to be connected to the shooting of Tupac in NYC the year before. 

But before all the problems and tragedy, they made this home movie to accompany their album.  This was released officially, but it seems that many people missed it as it was never properly promoted.  It's essentially the three videos for their early singles, loosely held together by some 'hood' acting (you know what I mean!).  It's maybe not the greatest of these promo videos, but it's a classic bit of early 90's hip hop that's rarely seen, and a great introduction to the Live Squad's all too short catalogue of music.

August 8, 2013

Fresh Footage?

This is a great bit of nostalgia that has turned up on YouTube, 20 minutes of good quality footage from UK Fresh 86 [Update - it may not be UK Fresh, see the comments Section.  If you can shed any light on it then please leave a comment].  It's taken from a TV show broadcast at the time and it occasionally cuts to hosts Andy Kershaw and Janice Long interviewing the organiser (and Street Sounds founder), Morgan Khan.  Andy and Janice were both BBC radio DJs so Id hazard a guess this was shown on BBC2.

The footage includes performances from DJ Cheese (the world DMC champion in 1986) alongside Word of Mouth, as well as Mantronik performing with both T La Rock and then MC Tee and then lastly some footage of Faze One.  Some of the best highlights come from Morgan Khan with his misguided analysis of hip hop no longer being political, claims that Faze One would sell lots of records in America and his casual gum chewing that made me want to knock it right out of his mouth!

August 1, 2013

History Continues To Be Uncovered

It feels like the resurgence of interest in pre 2000 hip hop just keeps growing and growing, as this months round up will testify.  Once upon a time we waited for what seemed like an eternity just to see something hip hop related grace our TV screens.  Now it feels like every month there is a new project that is turning out a new insight on a part of our culture.
I'm all for it, so long as we don't get saturated with recycled clips and retold stories, but so far, it seems like most of what is being produced is a fresh perspective.  And long may that continue!


First up in the latest documentary-that's-soon-to-be-released category is Unstoppable  which looks at the evolution of London's hip hop scene.  I normally reserve judgement until the final film is released, but this looks quite promising as they're focusing on all elements of hip hop, have unearthed unseen footage and UK hip hop history that hasn't been properly documented yet.  

PTC Mix - Naughty By Nature


Zulu Nation's DJ Lord Ron keeps preserving the culture (PTC) with his latest mix.  This time he's done a special mix dedicated to Naughty By Nature.  It's a nice little blend covering Naughty's best tracks, and it's available for download too, enjoy.

Much more after the jump