November 29, 2013

Red Hot & Movin'

When this blog was set up it was always my intention to share much of my video collection as I have a lot of stuff that doesn't currently appear on YouTube etc.  I've had some limited success doing this over the years, but recently I've found some time to rip some of my old tapes and upload the clips to the YouTube channel.  And with my new PC being delivered soon, hopefully there'll be more of these rarities to come in the near future.

In early 1992, a group of mostly British hip hop acts came together to perform for one cause, to raise awareness of AIDS.  This resulted in a concert which was filmed and shown on Channel 4.

It features many of the biggest names in British hip hop at that time, Hijack, Caveman, Cookie Crew and the Rebel MC alongside the headliner, Master Ace (yep, before he switched up his name spelling).  The live performances are interspersed by interviews with the artists.  Given that 20+ years have passed, these are as entertaining as the performances.  Hearing K-Sly telling people to wear a condom is somewhat odd, although highly commendable.  Also featured are 11:59, Tenor Fly, Barrington Levy, Ragga Twins, Nefateri and Apache Indian.

November 20, 2013

Sublime Wizardry

These guys just hit me up with a link to their latest video, and its made me realise that I've been sleeping on them for months!  They originally hit me up back in the summer (when I was in the midst of a big DIY project and this blog was being neglected a little), so I never got around to checking them out.  But thankfully they nudged me again, and I'm damn glad they did.

To put things in context, it's fairly rare that I heap praise onto current UK hip hop.  I accept that I've got a lot more fussy in my old age, but I'm not alone in saying that most groups these days just can't cut it.  So it's great to be able to say that Sublime Wizardry are dispelling these theories and presenting the listener with fresh new music that's been crafted using the old traditions.  This really is hip hop that's been made for the veteran's that have stayed true to the culture and will appreciate it's authenticity.  They even put their DJ to good use at the end of the track, a feature that is sadly lacking in much of today's music.  I'm now hoping I can catch these guys performing live somewhere in the not too distant future.

Check out the video below, and if you're feeling it then head over to their website where you can hear more of their material including tracks of their recently released Best of the Bunch EP, or you can cop this track from:

November 14, 2013

Memories of Mr C.

A couple of years back I did a piece on Paul C using Dave Tompkins biography, Paul was one of the unsung elevators of early hip hop. To this day it still defies my belief that this guy rarely gets a mention, let alone enough credit for his contribution, despite there still being so many people still active within the world of hip hop that worked with the man.
So to my surprise, I then see two Paul C related articles pop up in the same month! And both are outstanding!!

The first offering is from film maker Pritt Kalsi, who has produced a 3 part documentary that in his own words is "not the definitive documentary or story of Paul C McKasty". But considering it runs for almost an hour and a half, contains interviews from friends, family and artists that he worked with, and given that there has been virtually nothing before it, its as good as we're ever likely to get and it goes way beyond my own expectations.

This is not your average film, it’s a little slower in pace when compared to most documentaries and it doesn’t contain any of the music that Paul C produced, but this provides space for the contributors to talk in more depth.

The personal reflections and stories from his collaborators - Pharoahe Monch, CJ Moore, Casanova Rud, O.C., Dr Butcher, Breakbeat Lou, Mikey D, Rakim and Ultramagnetic amongst others - really get into the history of that era, what it was like to work with Paul C and the way he influenced/mentored Large Professor. This film has clearly been a labour of love for Pritt Kalsi, and all credit goes to him for the hard work that has gone into making this documentary and for sharing his passion and work with us.

To watch the movie you’ll need to visit Kalsi’s own site:
Part 1 & 2 
Part 3

On the same day, the StrictlyBusinessHipHop blog published a compilation list of Paul C productions. Due to the lack of acknowledgement given to engineers and producers back then, it is probably impossible to pin down all of the productions he did, or had a hand in. So this list is a massive step towards a fairly definitive list.

So you've now got a list of Paul C productions to go and hunt down, but wait, the StrictlyBusiness boys went one better and have provided downloads for the majority of this list. I'm sure you’ll appreciate that a lot of work has gone into this and some of the tracks are hard to find, so this is a real gift.

Check it out here -

November 5, 2013

Hijack - Live at Montreux

One of my friends has been trying to get his hands on the full video footage of this concert for some years now, but without success.  It's definitely out there, but only clips of it ever seem to emerge.

But today Janka-Man over at the 1994HipHop blog has shared this 320kbps tape rip of the whole concert. You probably won't see this again, so if you're interested then head over and grab it before the links die.

There used to be a website that was dedicated to Hijack and held many video clips including some of this concert.  They were low quality uploads (probably uploaded via a dial-up connection), but a quick google search hasn't helped me to find it.  Mind you, its 2013 and using the search terms 'Hijack' and 'Terrorist Group' provides countless pages of other material, no doubt knocking what I'm looking for back onto page 243 of the search listing.  If anyone knows the site I'm thinking of, please drop the address into the comments section, cheers.

November 3, 2013

Rebel C & L.A. - Funky Music Is My Style

I heard this years ago but can't remember where and I had forgotten about it until I heard it again a couple of years ago, tracked one down for a very reasonable price and bought it. I really got in to UK hip hop fairly late due to the fact that I was a little prejudiced towards the British accent. Yes, I am British, English if you want, from the third best place in the world if you believe what you read in the paper but the accent still troubled me until Gunshot, Hijack, etc blasted on to the scene at 100mph and it was probably then that the interest / obsession really began. I had a few early electro 12"s like Hardrock Soul Movement, Mutant Rockers and so on but they were different. No lyrics. Still, let's not dwell on that now as this tune is a belter. You may have noticed that it's the B-side yest again that wins, hands down in my opinion. Good sample, boingy 808 bass, what more do you need? An interesting fact too is that it's on a US label which is unexplainable at this moment. The other side is decent also, JB sample, tough beats and worth anyone's money if you ask me but it's this one that I played the most. Disorda had one in a few weeks back which was the reminder I needed to go dig it out and do a fresh 320kbps rip for y'all. I didn't pay any where near that for mine, just in case you were wondering.

November 1, 2013

Looking for a style like mine, you can't find it!

Yet more nostalgia has been dug out of someones personal collection during October, this time from Kenny Parker, (will we ever lose the fascination with this stuff?), and more reflections on the golden era were born.  Either way, it all provides new material to satisfy our thirst for traditional hip hop.  Here's a few of the better items that turned up during October.

The Parker Boys

If you missed this release from Kenny Parker (bigger bro of KRS-1) then make sure you catch it now. Kenny holds many old recordings of KRS and this particular snippet is from a very young KRS spitting some classic rhymes over various breaks, beatboxes etc.  It's a poignant reminder of just how great KRS was in his prime.

Who Got The Props?

Black Moon's debut LP Enta Da Stage turns 20 years old this year and to mark the occasion Duck Down Music have produced this mini documentary that reflects on how the album came together.  There's some nice tid bits of history in this.

Cold Chillin Megamix

Cold Chillin Records Megamix (89 Track/40 Min Mix)  cover image

Tizwarz The Real has put together a 40 minute Cold Chillin megamix which includes 89 tracks.  Do the math, that's a lot of dope tracks in a short time, but it's good fun to stick it on (without checking the track listing) and see how many of them you can name before the next one comes on :)
It's also testament to just how much work Marley Marl was putting in and the number of classics that label produced.

The mix can be streamed or downloaded here -

Crate Diggers - DJ Scratch

EPMD's DJ gives us some insight into his record collection and obsession for red coloured vinyl.