Thursday, 11 November 2010

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Celph-Titled + Buckwild



Man, as I've been laid up in bed for the last four days (including today), I downloaded the new Celph-Titled + Buckwild album "Nineteen Ninety Now". MAN. That shit is SICK.
If you don't know the background to it, then basically somehow Celph-Titled has gotten hold of a load of Buckwild beats from the 90s, and recorded a solo album using them. POW. Dope idea. Here's a couple of the tracks to give you a flavour:

Mad Ammo (ft RA The Rugged Man + FT)



Swashbuckling (ft Apathy, Ryu + Esoteric)



^ AMAZING posse cut.

So, let's break it down.

1. The Deal Maker
Classic smokey blunted DITC horn loop, tight skull-snap drums. great abstract one liners...
"This is my movie in 3D, slice your neck with a Fugees CD / and stick Lauryn Hill with the coroner's bill"

2. Out To Lunch ft Treach (Naughty By Nature)
Nice dancehall-flavoured loop to start with, echoey atmosphere, sounds like a damp basement. Drums stuttering away and a confused, atonal series of samples overlaid on top with a sort of echo from . Treach kills it in an understated way - I've not heard a decent verse from him for years.

3. Eraserheads ft Vinnie Paz
Massive sounding beat... really warm sounding, harps all over the place. Classic 90s sound. Nice 8 bar alternating from Celph + Vinnie (who I don't normally rate that much).
"And when we're holding a tech, we'll put a hole in your neck, leaving you with a permanent T-Pain vocal effect"

4. F__kmaster Sex
Starts off with a Funkmaster Flex sample... hahaha. DOPE loop, I can't understand why this wouldn't have been used back in the 90s... anyway. Sex rhymes. If that's your thing then you'll love it.

5. Swashbuckling ft Apathy, Ryu + Esoteric
The first bit of pull-back scratching on this is weak.... but apart from this, this is AMAZING. Beat is absolutely SICK. It's like an old Gang Starr posse cut - four MCs, four beats. And check out Apathy's double-time Big L style flow about 50 seconds in. Amazing. Apathy steals it.

6. I Could Write A Rhyme
Now THIS sounds like a beat that could have come off the first Big L album. Beautiful swirly sample that comes in during the verse, and a really introspective and nostalgic opening verse that I think would benefit from being partially reprinted here.
"Booty shake bass music, I was into that / Poison Clan, 2 Live Crew, that's what got me into rap / Looping tracks with fast hi-hats and 808s / Four track machine with the high speed cassette tape / Now keep in mind that I was a fan, but as MCs we all are, and very few of us become stars / Went from blasting Magic Mike to grabbing the mic / Tried to sound like Spice-1, and not Rapper's Delight / E-40 to Ice Cube, the West Coast had a lot to do with the type of beats I'd write to / but still the Juice Crew was one of my favs / never discriminated whether New York or LA..."

7. Hardcore Data
Nice DITC horn stab in this, almost Bob James style keys on it too. Laid back track, but battle lyrics delivered in a mellow but menacing tone. Nicely done.

8. Mad Ammo ft RA The Rugged Man + FT
Well, Jones family favourite RA THe Rugged Man crops up, which means I would have copped this track eventually anyway... Beat is sick with a Lauryn Hill sample anchoring the chorus. The real suprise is that RA flows a bit off-time. Doesn't sound as precise as usual, but then RA was recording with Buckwild back in the 90s for real, so I shouldn't criticise. Even so, this isn't the greatest track on the album lyrically or thematically. Still a good'un though.
(Note: The skit beat at the end of this track is worthy of a track of its own.)

9. Tingin
Whoah.... menacing! It's got that creeping down a dark alley feel, claustrophobic keyboards and string stabs, with horns floating in and out. Very threatening.

10. There Will Be Blood ft Sadat X, Grand Puba, AG, OC + Diamond D
Awwwwww yeeeeeeaaaaahhhhh... it's that classic 90s stab sound. Heavy drums, one stab, crowd sounds making up the rest of the track. Great stuff. Add what basically amounts to DITC and Brand Nubian, this is a KILLER.

11. Miss Those Days
Well, we've heard this sample before, but it's still SICK. (NY Salute - MOP, and the Beatminerz remix of D'Angelo's Brown Sugar.) One of those nostalgic tracks that kills it, not unlike Luda's Growing Pains. You get the general idea. Dope.

12. Step Correctly
Nice sample and heavy drums again (how many times have I written that in this review?). Trippy sped up sounding 60s sample.... sounds like it could have been from Edan's second album. Good random punchlines again - Celph killing it.
"I was a stick up kid, it was fucked up but fun / (why?) Cos I used a Nintendo duck hunt gun"

13. Wack Juice
Wow. This is a proper attack on wack rappers. Almost on a par with Kool Keith at his late 90s best. No-one specific mentioned (that I could tell), but hard-hitting nonetheless. I'm liking the beat switchups on this one. Niiiiiiiiiice.

14. Styles Ain't Raw ft Apathy + Chino XL
Back to the classic DITC sound for this one - very clean sample, tight drums (with a subdued sleigh bell, obviously). Chino comes HARD on this one.
"I pray for your death and I pray that I'm the cause of it / Idiot, killing a blind man with his own walking stick"
(Note 2: again, the beat skit at the end is great... very much like a Pete Rock interlude.)

15. Where I Are
Interesting beat, chorus isn't overgreat but the verse loop is nice (very smooth sounding vibe sample). Chorus IS weak though. Shame.

16. Time Travels ft Majik Most + Dutchmassive
Perfect ending track - mellow, a great "time travels on" theme. Leaves the album on a great note.

Overall? The Jones opinion is...
5/5 album. Amazing - a couple of less-than-perfect moments, but very few and far between. A proper 90s hip hop classic.

As a special treat for you if you're still not convinced, here's a quick promo track Celph-Titled leaked using 4 Buckwild beats (including Big L's Put It On). Enjoy!

Buck's Four Course Meal

I'm back? Oh yeah, I'm back.



Heyaaaaaaa

First up, loyal readers, I'd like to apologise for the MASSIVE lack of updates over the last few months. Life has a habit of catching up with you and basically taking over from anything else.
For my part, I'm no longer living in my house, I've split with my ex (now been six months), been living in a flat, started back at work and it's that time of year where school stuff takes over with new groups and all that, so I've been a bit pre-occupied. Hopefully things are settling now though... and for the record, I hope you're all doing well :)

Anyways. Bring on the updates.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Monday, 6 September 2010

New Mystro - FYAAAHHHHHHHHHH

Mystro is a good dude, and he's dropped a new EP called "Digmund Freud", which you should cop legally so he gets his dues (you can get it on Amazon)!

Here's a dope track off it, called "Around My Way".



Props Mys!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

One Of My Favourite Stories

I can't remember for the life of me where I first heard this, or where it's supposed to be from, but I think it's worth repeating. I've repeated it to friends to try and buck their spirits up - hopefully it's worked!

Anyway.

There was this King, who had a massive palace. He wanted a mural to put in his special thinking room, so he called in the three most reputable artist-designers in the Kingdom, and told them what he wanted. His brief was: "it needs to be something that makes me happy when I'm sad, but when I'm happy, it will remind me that happiness won't last forever and therefore I should cherish it while it lasts."

So, the three artists go off, and then come back just before the midday deadline, a week later.

The first artist pulls forth his easel and stands in front of the King, who tells him to take the cloth off the canvas so that he can see the artists' design. So, the artist pulls the cloth back, and there's a picture of two dogs, one standing looking left, and the other standing looking right.

The King looks at this, a bit puzzled, and says "what's this?"

The first artist says "Well, you see.... umm.... THIS dog is looking left, which signifies happiness, and THIS dog is looking right, which signifies..."

"GET OUT!" shouts the King. "THIS is what I paid you for? NEVER come back here, you useless artist. NEXT!"

The second artist comes forward with his easel, and pulls the cloth off his canvas with a little flourish, and reveals a painting of five rings (not unlike the olympic logo).

The King looks puzzled, and then frowns at artist number two, who starts shaking a bit, and then haltingly says to the King "uuummmm..... well, your majesty.... these rings represent the different facets of happiness, as represented by their different colours.... you see.... the green one represents...."

"GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT!" screams the King, face red, jabbing his finger towards the door, looking a bit like Tasmanian Devil. The second artist scurries away, leaving his easel. The King gets off his throne and kicks the easel over for good measure.

The third artist steps forward, looking nonchalant. The King's eyes start squinting. The third artist walks forward, bringing his easel, and whips off the cloth covering his design.

The King looks at it for a moment, frowns, then looks again, then a smile breaks onto his face and he leaps forward and smothers the third artist in a bear hug, saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you! That is PERFECT!"

And on the third artist's canvas, there is no painting, no real design to speak of, just four words, in remarkably neat text.

The words are: "THIS TOO SHALL PASS."

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Antoine Dodson

OK, so I'm late on this, but it's hilarious. Not the fact that the woman was attacked. That wasn't funny at all. But the brother is absolutely hilarious. How was this aired?
Watch the first clip. The second clip just KILLS it. Amazing.



Big L... Lifestylez Ov Da Poor And Dangerous

Note: this is an edited down version taken from here. Check the full article out.



Lifestylez Ov Da Poor And Dangerous.... with a track by track breakdown after each video by Lord Finesse. (Read the full article here.)

Background:

Devil's Son (L's first 12")



Finesse: At the time it was somebody by the name of David Kahne [working as L’s A&R at Columbia]. He was like the person who was responsible for getting L signed, and he loved all that devil’s son shit. [Says in nasally white-guy voice] “Oh wow, this is great!” It’s like, “Are you serious?” Because we had to make [L] change a line in “Devil’s Son” because it was [like], “You’re too out-of-order.” What was the line… “I’m killin’ chumps for the cheapest price / I’m rollin’ with Satan,” [and instead of then saying “not Jesus Christ”] it was “F Jesus Christ.” But we made him change it to “Not Jesus Christ.” [We were] like, “Yo, what the fuck are you doing?!”

Horror-core was out [at the time], [and so] with the Gravediggaz, and Nas saying what he said on [Main Source’s] “Live At The Barbeque,” [L was] like, “Oh, y’all think that’s ill? Oh okay, alright.” That was his attitude… [Like at the end of “Devil’s Son” when he says] “I’d like to give a shout-out to all the thieves, murderers, robbers, rapists, and a special, special shout-out to everybody that got AIDS. Peace.” How the fuck do you say that at the end of a fuckin’ song, man?

The Album:

Lifestylez Ov Da Poor And Dangerous

01. Put It On ft Kid Capri (prod: Buckwild)



Finesse: [Columbia Records] wanted something with a hook that would be kinda catchy, and something they could get radio play with. Like, everything [L] did was dark, and it was gangsta, and it was…what was the [popular style at the time]? Horror-core. So they needed something bright, something friendly. And “Put It On” just matched everything perfect.

I don’t think that was the last song [recorded for the album]. I think the last two songs actually were “Street Struck” and “M.V.P.”

“Put it on,” the slang…was like… “do your thing.” “Put it on Big L, put it on…” [meaning] you gotta do your thing, you gotta represent.

Kid Capri is like really somewhat an honorary member of D.I.T.C....because Capri has been there for damn-near all the members since the beginning. Whether it was [my] Funky Technician LP – that’s where I first met Kid Capri at, was The Castle [nightclub in the Bronx]. Me, Show and all of us used to hang in The Castle. [So] we used to see him on a weekly basis, and he would break [our] records [for us]. If he liked it he played it… And that’s how Funky Technician – him and Brucie B broke [that], just like [he broke Showbiz & A.G.’s] “Soul Clap,” and [Kid Capri was responsible for] how Show got the hook for “Party Groove”: “Do the bend, and stretch.” We was Kid Capri junkies with [his mixtapes]. So he’s always been like an honorary member of D.I.T.C. And [so] L wanted him to do the hook because of his pizzaz, because of his style, ‘cause of his character and because of his voice. [He was like], “Damn, if I get Kid Capri on a hook, this gon’ be the shit.”

02. M.V.P. (album version prod: Lord Finesse; video version prod: Salah)



Finesse: [Notorious B.I.G.] got the idea [for his remix single version of “One More Chance”] from [the original version of “M.V.P.”] ‘Cause L was opening up for Biggie, [before Ready To Die was released and long], before that remix [for “One More Chance”] came out, and L was [already performing] “M.V.P.” They just took that [DeBarge “Stay With Me”] loop and stripped it down… But I know they heard that from [L], ‘cause that remix was no way done before “M.V.P.” was done. [And I know] because I was there during the making of the Ready To Die album ‘cause I did “Suicidal Thoughts.” So, if I woulda heard they used it before L used it I woulda never used it.

That song came about because L wanted a commercial, R&B loop that everybody could recognize. And me remembering that [DeBarge] record, and also remembering how Kid Capri used it way back when he did – I forgot which record he did, but he had that [song], and I’m like, “Damn, well maybe we could reinvent that right there.” And L heard the loop and was like, “Yeah, that’s it!” But, [with] Diggin’, we had to have the right drums, the right everything [to go with a sample], and we dressed it up in a way where we tried to keep it Hip Hop. [But] then [Diddy], he would take just everything off of something and just use it straight naked.

I don’t know who did that [“Summer Smooth Mix”]. Like, after we came with the album, Sony would hire different people to remix – you know, put they spin on the record. [The L.G. remix of “Put It On”], I liked that one actually. It was mellow, it was dark…I liked that one. [Columbia Records was] gonna do what they wanna do at the end of the day, because they the label. Regardless what we liked; fuck what we like. [Laughs] If they [felt] they liked something they went with it. All L had to do was approve it – he did have to do that, you ain’t gonna just have somebody remix his shit and he don’t like it. And he did like [the “Summer Smooth Mix”]. And he liked it to the point where he wanted that to be his [official] remix…[and then] his video [for the single].

(Note: you can check the official video here.)

03. No Endz, No Skinz (prod: Showbiz)



Finesse: [I didn’t try to coax him into writing more female-friendly lyrics] ‘cause L had a sick sense of humor. That’s why the rhymes were the way they were, because his sense of humor was just retarded. And what he thought was funny you might not think is funny. [Laughs] And the more you appalled at it, the more he thinks it’s even more funny. ‘Cause the shit he was [spittin’], some of the rhymes he was saying, we looking at him like, “Man, you so offensive,” and that would make him write more offensive shit. It wouldn’t deter him. [He was thinking] like, I got the response I wanted to get from you, so now I’ma write something even worse than that shit.

04. 8 Iz Enuff ft Terra, Herb McGruff, Buddah Bless, Big Twan, Killa Cam, Trooper J, and Mike Boogie (prod: Buckwild)



Finesse: With that [song] L just thought he had to do a track with the rappers from his hood. And he definitely wanted to put on [those particular emcees]… We looking like, “How you gonna put eight niggas on one track?” [And he was like], “Don’t worry, I got this.”

[His] N.F.L. [crew stood for] “Niggas For Life,” and Children Of The Corn was another crew [consisting of L, Mase, McGruff, Bloodshed and Cam’ron], but he was clearly cool with both of ‘em and he just thought these are the up and coming rappers I think is nice and I wanna start my own movement with the crew here…

The funny thing is I asked L [sometime in the late ‘90s], “Why didn’t you put Mase on that?” ‘Cause Mase, [then known as Murda Mase], was hanging around at the time. And L said, “Mase wasn’t rhyming nothing like how he rhymes now. That was a different Mase [back in ‘92].” As time went on, Mase style grew and developed. Because I always [used to] say [to L], “Yo, y’all crew, why didn’t [you] ever put him on?” And that was the story that he gave me. [But L] thought Cam was ready. He thought everybody on that track was ready. [D.I.T.C.] knew a little ‘bout Cam, but we were sold on Herb McGruff. We knew that was [L’s] partner-in-crime. We was definitely sold on McGruff.

05. All Black (prod: Lord Finesse)



Finesse: I love that [track]. [At] that time I was doing real tremendously dark, soundtrack, gutter, gangster-ish type music… And I always wanted them sinister-type, cut-through horns. I don’t even know where I got those horns from, but I know most of the stuff that I did at that time was real Jazz-related, dark Jazz-related, like Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, soundtrack dark [sounding]. And with the sinister piano glare [underlying those horns].

I wouldn’t say that’s the illest [track on the album but] some of the rhymes he’s saying is just the illest. He went off. “I’m known to extort guys / This ain’t Cali, this is Harlem nigga we do walk-by’s!” It was like, “Oooh.” But is it the best? Nah, I like “Danger Zone,” [all] the dark shit. We loved the dark shit… And I like “Street Struck,” [which] was maybe the last song we did, with the last amount of time we had in the studio. And he came with that story.

And me and [Buckwild] was kinda like biased towards the whole project, because as we went on and on with the project the songs got doper and doper to the [point] where we didn’t wanna stop. We thought after “M.V.P.” and “Street Struck” – ‘cause they was both done in the same session – we was thinking like, “Damn, you could still do some more.” But we had to turn [the album] in.

06. Danger Zone (prod: Buckwild)



Finesse: He was a dark comedian. Sinister, man. It’s like how Richard Pryor was saying to Eddie Murphy, “If people gonna laugh at the shit you say, say that shit!” [Laughs] It’s like with L, if you gon’ get that response that you want when you say that rhyme, nigga say that shit! And that was his motto… [Like], “If [I] get a response from what I’m saying I’m doing something right.”

When he was saying [“I never wear rubbers, bitch if I get AIDS fuck it!”] it wasn’t nothing to do with Eazy-E. That just happened to be a real unfortunate coincidence [that L’s album dropped the same month Eazy passed].

He was smarter than what he would lead you to believe on that album. But, it’s like, [for] Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous, I’m portraying this character, and this character I’m portraying has to be believable. The stuff he has to do has to be so over-the-top. And that’s a lot of the characters he was portraying on that album. It was a mixture between what was going on in Harlem and fiction. Some of it was real, some of it was fiction. [So] when he wanted to go over-the-top with some shit he went over the top with it!

He wanted to let people know you come through this zone right here and if you not related to anybody and nobody knows you, you will get robbed. And people got robbed! That’s why they called it the “Danger Zone.” It used to be a little chicken spot, [and] if you go through there flossin’ or looking a certain way I think to this day you’ll still get robbed.

07. Street Struck (prod: Lord Finesse)



Finesse: That was Sony [that wanted him to make something more positive]. [They were like], “You so dark on this album, we need something positive we can push. This album is too dark: you got ‘All Black,’ you got ‘Danger Zone,’ you done came out with ‘Devil’s Son.’ We really don’t wanna push that as your image. You have to do something that’s gonna balance it.” And that’s [when] we started doing more conceptual, conscious songs like “Fed Up Wit The Bullshit,” “Street Struck,” and “M.V.P.” and “Put It On.” The album needed a balance…“I Don’t Understand It” [was another one]. The album needed a balance [‘cause Columbia was like], “We’re not gonna let you kick all this gangsta shit.” [But L], I think he wanted his album at one point to be called Murder Incorporated or something [like that]. And this was before Murder Inc. [the record label].

[The darker content on the album] was definitely a little part of his life, because when he was raised in Harlem he seen a lot of things and he witnessed a lot of things and he wanted to put it on wax. But at the same time, Sony made him come with something that can also leave a message to young kids that are listening to your music, and that’s what he came up with, “Street Struck.”

That line ["Stay off them corners, that might be ya best plan / Before you catch a bullet that was meant for the next man."]…it’s crazy [considering the circumstances of L’s murder]. It’s like foreseeing something that you don’t even know is gonna happen.

08. Da Graveyard ft Lord Finesse, Microphone Nut, Jay-Z, Party Arty, and Grand Daddy I.U. (prod: Buckwild)



Finesse: [Big L] wanted to go first [on these posse songs]. [And] man, you had to step your game up. And I think he was responsible for making Diggin’ step [our] game up, because if we doing a song together…pshew, you better be ready, dog.

I heard all L’s rhymes before [I recorded mine]. I was arrogant [though], I ain’t give a fuck about [going right after Big L]. I was like, “I’m just on it. You want me on it, I’m here.” It’s like, I can’t stop this dude from writing what he gonna write. He was phenomenal with the penmanship, man.

People don’t know [Jay-Z and Big L] actually battled each other in Harlem. And I wish somebody videotaped that, because that woulda been a classic to this day. I think battling each other they got admiration for one another, and that’s where – ‘Cause I can tell you L was a Jay-Z fan, just like Jay-Z was a L fan. [L] was [also] a DMX fan. He loved DMX… And I think [after] that battle [between Jay and Big L], [Big L] was like, yo, I wanna put Hov on [a song]. And we’re not talking about the Reasonable Doubt Hov, we’re talking about the Hov fresh off the “Can I Get Open” [single from] Original Flavor [in 1993]. That’s the Hov we’re talking about. And we thought he was slick with the pen, but it wasn’t until later that we could truly honestly appreciate the Hov we know as of now… Jay was running around battling people [back then], and somebody set them up to battle each other and…I really know [Jay-Z] didn’t know what he was getting into battling this dude. I don’t [remember the exact date of their battle], I just remember L telling me about it. He was sitting on the stoop getting his hair braided, and [according to L] they set up this battle and he went to battle this dude. [Big L] was also there when Jay-Z battled DMX. L was heavy into the battling thing.

I think it was different [times that we each recorded our verses]. Either it was the same day at actually different times…’cause I don’t know if Grand Daddy I.U. was there when I recorded my verse, I don’t remember that. I definitely ain’t see Jay, so it was definitely at different times.

The voice, the presence, the character, [Party] Arty, his vocal presence was monsterous. DMX had a voice [like that], but we always thought Arty’s voice came across just rougher.

09. Lifestylez Ov Da Poor And Dangerous (prod: Lord Finesse)



Finesse: I mean, like I said, phenomenal penmanship. All this built-up anger and tension being released on these tracks is just timeless, to the [point] that if you ain’t know L existed, right, and you was to learn this whole album, and you go in the street right now and start kickin’ those rhymes people’ll be looking at you like you was the greatest dude ever. And that album was done like eons ago. “Breakin’ in cribs with a crowbar / I wasn’t poor, I was po’, I couldn’t afford the o-r.” Like…you know!

I just think it was a combination of what he was seeing in his neighborhood and forming it into a character. It’s so many rhymes that L would say, and I know for a fact that he’s a comedian, so if y’all sitting there and y’all joking and you say something slick he’s gonna put it in a rhyme. “I wouldn’t give a chick 10 cent to put cheese on a Whopper.” [Laughs] It’s crazy.

10. I Don't Understand It (prod: Showbiz)



Finesse: I think that song was a song kinda relating to where he wanted to get on in the game. ‘Cause, I discovered L back in ’90, ’91, [but] he ain’t get on until a couple of years later, and what he had to go through to get on - how many different A&R offices we went into and how many different meetings we took, and with the demos and everything – he went through it to get on, man. I had him in countless Rap battles. Anything he could do to get attention, [my] “Yes You May” remix [in 1992]. And [so] that was a subject based on what he went through to get on, especially looking at all these cornball niggas [that was] getting on: “I don’t understand it.”

The stuff we created in that era was timeless, man. And I’m not saying this because I’m who I am, it’s just because you can apply [the quotable above] to [the Rap game] now!

11. Fed Up With The Bullshit (prod: Lord Finesse)



Finesse: [The beat] was an interpretation of [The Isley Brothers’] “Between The Sheets.” I took the melodic pattern [of that song and] I had the bassline played over, and put hard drums to it and the classic Lord Finesse echo horns.

[Big L] wanted to be hardcore to the third power. And he wanted to be noticed as one of the top rappers. But at the time of course people was like, “Yo, you sound just like Finesse.” And I would just tell him keep doing what you doing, fuck that. Like, if I’m not saying nothing – They telling you you sound like me and I don’t give a fuck, [then] nigga do that shit, man! ‘Cause I’m looking at him like I wish I had somebody behind me how I was behind him when I was coming up in my career. And that was the whole [motivation for] just really being behind him and putting him on these different records.

One label made me pull [Big L] off certain shit, because they didn’t want his light on my airtime. I did a record for the Trespass soundtrack [in 1992] called “You Know What I’m About,” [and] the first version got L on it. It was for a Warner Brothers soundtrack and they made me go back in and change it, and that’s when I came with the version with the Scooby-Doo beat. They didn’t like the fact that I was presenting him on this track [from] a soundtrack and he wasn’t a Warner Brothers artist [like I was at the time]. Same thing for “Set It Off Troop” [from the Class Act soundtrack]. It was a couple of songs we did [together] where [the label] said, “No.” They didn’t like the fact that I was using their channel to expose him.

12. Let Em Have It L (prod: Craig Boogie)



Finesse: Craig Boogie was somebody that was around us, that was coming up in the game and doing beats. And…this actual track [he did] happened to stick out. We all thought it was a dope track, and we thought it’d make a nice combination on this project.

L just wanted a braggadocios song. He wanted something that he could get his rocks off on. I mean, with L, as much as it was braggadocios, we loved it because [he] was just phenomenal with it. He was extraordinarily talented, so we got a kick out of those braggadocios rhymes with all them crazy lines in [them].

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Beats

Finesse: [Big L’s beats were all done by] people who was around us, and at the time it was me, Buck and Show. That was the main people that was around during the making of L’s album. And L was happy with the group of people that was around him. So he ain’t figure that I have to go and get this extraordinary production, like, “I got the team of niggas that helped me get on and I’m running with this team.” Diamond [D] I think was probably in Orange, New Jersey at that time, he wasn’t [really] around us.

It wasn’t the plan [to have Buckwild and myself produce the majority of the album], it’s just like L would go to Buck's house, [or] he would come around me [and] he’d hear something he’d like [and be like], “I need that. You gotta let me get that.” And it’s other songs we did that didn’t make the album. I mean, they leaked out later on. Like “School Dayz” was maybe one of the first songs he did. That was crazy! “School Dayz,” and “Timez Iz Hard On The Boulevard,” “Unexpected Flava” – it’s actually a beat that Large Professor did for me, but I never used it so I gave it to L.

The Lyrics

Lyrically, we thought he was just phenomenal. I looked at him like – I was arrogant as a muthafucka during my era of doing what I did, but it was like this dude would just put the battery in my back half the time with the shit he said like, “Pshh, okay I gotta write even harder now.” It’s like, he just added to a blueprint that I started, and he really took off with it. He formatted the blueprint to where I was like, “Wow.” The way he put the words together, the way he expressed himself, I was truly impressed. And it was never a real competition between us, because he knew I had his back. I’m doing everything in my power to try to get [him] on, I never shunned him, never tried to put him under my wing, I never held him back, I pushed him forward as hard as I could to make sure he got that light. So, it was never like no competition where [I’m] not trying to let [L] shine, [or I’m] telling [him he] ain’t ready yet. It was like, “No, you’re ready” [Laughs]. If I’m performing he had five to ten minutes on my show easy. “What’chu wanna do? I’m at the Apollo, I’m opening up for muthafuckin’ Treach and [Queen] Latifah, [so] yo, you need to have a mean 16 for me.” That’s how it was with me and him.

No DITC Cameos?

I don’t know [why there were no A.G., O.C. or Fat Joe guest spots on Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous]. That’s a definite L question. Because, we wasn’t opposed to none of these people. He ain’t say “Well, I wanna do a song with O.C.” and we said “No, you can’t do no song with O.C.” “I wanna do a song with A.” “Nah, you don’t…” We wasn’t opposed to it, I just think it just never happened until later on in [their] careers. See, what people fail to recognize is when Diggin’ In The Crates was created it was created as solo individual artists creating a crew, it wasn’t formed as a crew breaking into solo [careers]. Everybody was used [to] and accustomed to doing their own thing… [And so] if people wasn’t there, nobody was waiting for somebody to come in the studio to do no vocals, we just gon’ rock out [with who we got].

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Label Politics

It was rough [in terms of the commercial response to "Put It On" - the first single from the album at the time]. It was rough on the whole D.I.T.C. [commercially], but it was really rough I’d say on L. Because, you had “Put It On,” which was a great record, and Columbia did push it – to a certain extent, but I don’t think they really put the full blast on it. You know when a label put the machine, put the power behind something. I think they gave him a push, like a nudge, but they ain’t really give him that push you over the roof push. And I think it was hard on him because they had such a unpolished gem there.

And I think what took away from the luster of Big L’s album was when [Columbia] finished up the Nas album, Illmatic, and he had [production from] Pete [Rock] and Large Professor and [DJ] Premier and Q-Tip. They had some of the top producers in the game on his album… So they felt [like], “Okay, we gonna go with this now!” And [Columbia] kinda liked slept on [Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous]. This is what I personally feel anyway.

[D.I.T.C.] brought him in the game, [and so L was loyal to us for his production]. And at the time Diggin’ was Diggin’. We went though high and low for this dude: from me discovering him, from me trying to do beats for him at the time [in 1991] when we was first getting his demo together. And it wasn’t until L and Show did “Devil’s Son,” [which was released as L’s first 12” in 1993], that [L] got that attention from Columbia. But, if you go further back, L was with me everywhere… It was like, “Wherever I can get you to shine – you just hang on to me, just stick with me and I’ma get you as much exposure as I can get you.” It wasn’t no I had him under contract, [so] I’ma pimp this young artist [kind of thing], it was just like, “Stick with me [and] you gonna get on.”

L’s LP was before Nas’… Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous was [recorded between 1991 and 1993], before Nas’ [Illmatic]. And then Nas started getting a buzz [after “Halftime” and MC Serch’s “Back To The Grill” dropped in ‘92], [so] then [Columbia] started pushing Nas over L. And then [in the months after Big L’s album was released] The Fugees came [with “Fu-Gee-La”], and once The Fugees [started making noise] L got lost in the mix up in the Sony machine.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Lost Tracks







Don't Flop

Well, this has been doing the rounds since I saw it up on UKHH a few days back. Good Lord. For those not sure about what it is, it's an appallingly shit battle video.
Warning: NSFW language... and jiggling about by the little fella.



Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Update!

It's been a very long time since my last post, sorry about that....
To cut a long story short, my life has completely changed, Jones Towers has had to move, and everything is different. Now I'm back on the net again, with a completely different set of circumstances, and hopefully I'll be back on here again, satisfying the needs of YOU, the loyal readers of my blog! hahahaha.

Anyways, later on I'll stick something up about Big L, and I'll pop some other stuff up as well in the next couple of days. Got to be careful, birthday's coming up, can't promise the earth!

But in the meantime, here's my favourite drink of the minute.... seriously, this is like crack to me. If you can find it, try it, I bought up the entire stock of this at Tescos, so good luck finding it if you live anywhere near me. Mwahahahaha!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

My Favourite Cartoon Ever



...cuts out before the end, but still classic

Saturday, 10 July 2010

New Pharoahe

Pharoahe Monch - one of the finest MCs to ever spit. Recently he's been more singing that anything else, or doing hooks for other artists, but this is off his new WAR (We Are Renegades) album. Produced by Diamond D. SICK.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

RA The Rugged Man - History Of Boxing

Anyone who knows the Jones family will know that we've been bought up around boxing since day dot. Both Grandads were mad about it, and it's always been part of the family makeup. (Not literally, we don't knock the shit out of each other on a regular basis.)

So, with that in mind, and in order to appease Ciaran the all-seeing land-baron, here's RA The Rugged Man's "History Of Boxing" freestyle.



Big up to Junior Pepa Seed for posting the link up on his blog which you can find here.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Grandmaster Flash Breaks Video

So, ex-Geto Boys DJ and all-round good dude DJ Ready Red posted THIS up, I thought I'd share. Good looking out, Red!



Red says:

"My boy told me about this 27 years ago he had cable I didn't and man I was very upset for awhile about missing it. Anyway here it is!
Yall know I'm crazy about Grandmaster Flash from back in the day til now Grandmaster Flash is my hero period."

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

A Load Of England Flag Twaddle

Well, there's a big furore about England flags and the rest of it as all-bloody-ways. All part of a new style of life in England... namely, a culture of complaining about stuff that really doesn't matter (because you can't change the bigger things), and blaming the next man when you feel threatened by something.

Aaaaaaaanyway, long story short, here's an absolute pile of old shit that was published in the Worksop Guardian on May 21st.

'Take down your flags'
Outraged England World Cup fans are told they are 'causing offence'


By Sam Chetwynd

OUTRAGED football fans say police are telling them to take down their patriotic England flags ahead of the World Cup – because they are causing offence to foreign immigrants.
The Worksop Guardian has received calls from people claiming that police officers have asked them to take St George's flags down because of complaints.

"This is absolutely ridiculous and completely over the top," said one furious Worksop woman, who did not want her name or address published.
"I've had a couple of England flags outside my flat since St George's Day... but suddenly, this week I had a visit from two police officers who told me to take them down because they were upsetting foreign members of the community."
"I've never heard anything like it and I am not taking them down. I'm a big England football fan and this is my way of showing support for my team and my country."

Meanwhile Chris Gregory, 40, also from Worksop, said his friend was stopped in Lincoln by police and told to remove England flags draped across the back seat of the car.
He said: "It's absolutely ridiculous. It's not right that we aren't allowed any England flags."
"I've also heard that pubs and bars aren't allowing people in with football shirts on. Surely you should be allowed to wear what you want."

But police deny that they have asked anyone to remove flags in Worksop.
However they added that if they received a complaint from a member of the public "it would be dealt with on its own merit".
They said they could find no record of officers visiting the unnamed woman.
But the woman was adamant that the visit had taken place.

Ian Kettlewell, of Bull Dog Barbers on Gateford Road has flags, balloons and bunting in his shop.
He said: "It's nothing to do with racism or anything like that. We are supporting the England football team that hopefully is going to bring the World Cup home. It is as simple as that."
"As soon as the World Cup is over all the flags will be taken down. If the police or anybody else asked me to take them down before then, I will not do it."
"I've got some stuff up now and I'm going to put the rest up. My shop will be kitted out. It doesn't bother me, it's just for the football."

Sgt Gail Hart, from Worksop Neighbourhood Policing Team, said that officers "have not been directed to ask people to take their England flags down."
She added: "However, if we receive a complaint from a member of the public, we will treat each case individually on its own merit."
Lincolnshire Police said they had "no policy" about the display of England flags – as did Bassetlaw Council, who added they had not received any complaints.

This week Nottingham City Council leader Jon Collins was forced to apologise to a pensioner after England flags strung across her street were cut down.
Doreen Carnelley, 74, said she had put the flags across Sturgeon Avenue, Nottingham, to mark the World Cup.
Officers said it was illegal to attach items to street lights and complaints were made. Mr Collins has since said it was an "error of judgement" and the flags will be put back up.

Are you kitting out your house, property or business for the World Cup?

Click here to tell us what you think

Or call Sam Chetwynd on 01909 543011.

Now.... I don't want to pick holes in this reeeeaaaally.... oh, who am I kidding, of course I do. This reads like a fucking Phoenix Nights outtake. I mean HONESTLY. What actual proof is there in ANY of that utter twaddle you've just read that indicates that even a shred of it is true?

Let's look at the evidence:

1. The Worksop Guardian has received calls from people about something or other.

2. A mystery "woman" who does not want her name or address published is "adamant" that she was visited by the police and told to take her flag down, even though the police have no record of this and have no idea what she's talking about.

3. "Chris Gregory" from Worksop says that "his friend" somewhere else (Lincoln) was asked to remove a flag from the back of his car.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I'm not sure that actually happened.

4. "Chris" says "I've also heard that pubs and bars aren't allowing people in with football shirts on."
Again, not a strong element of proof there. "I've heard..." really? REALLY, Chris?

5. "Ian Kettlewell" has "flags, balloons and bunting" in his shop although has not been asked to take them down.
Oooookaaaaaaayyyyyy.... and so what?

6. "Nottingham City Council leader Jon Collins was forced to apologise to a pensioner after England flags strung across her street were cut down."
...but not because they were England flags, because it's actually illegal to attach items to street lamps. Now they're back up again. Again... so what?

A very inflammatory article from the Worksop Guardian, in my opinion, filled with stupidity and no evidence of anything at all.

Read the article at the Worksop Guardian (source) here.

Monday, 31 May 2010

New ScorZayZee... FIRE

So, Scorzilla has got a new mixtape out - "Raging Bull".
You can cop it here.

In case you're not sure.... which would mean that you haven't heard any of Scorz's previous stuff (cos if you had you'd cop it straight away), here's one of the tracks off it....

GORGEOUS



Props. Can't wait for Piece Of The Puzzle to drop, that's oging to be BIIIIIIIIG.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Rest In Peace Dennis Hopper....

Well, yet ANOTHER icon dead this year. What's going on? The last 12 months have been horrendous for this.

Dennis Hopper, one of the finest actors of the last 50 years, died yesterday after a long battle with cancer. He was 74.

In case people have forgotten what he did in his lifetime, here's some of the more noteworthy films he was in... some of which have been personal favourites of mine over the years.
Rebel Without A Cause, Giant, Gunfight At The OK Corral, Cool Hand Luke, Hang Em High, Easy Rider, True Grit, The Last Movie, Apocalypse Now, Out Of The Blue, Rumble Fish, The Osterman Weekend, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, River's Edge, Blue Velvet, Straight To Hell, Paris Trout, Red Rock West, True Romance, Speed, and Land Of The Dead.

He's worked with Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, Francis Ford Coppola, George Romero, Sam Peckinpah, Paul Newman, James Dean (who he was close friends with), Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Peter Fonda, Martin Sheen, Crispin Glover, Kyle McLachlan, Dean Stockwell, Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Isabella Rosellini, Mickey Rourke, Matt Dillon and hundreds of others.

Here's a clip of him on The Johnny Cash Show in the 70s, reciting a slightly paraphrased version of "If" by Rudyard Kipling. My grandad used to have that poem on his wall, so that - coupled with the fact that Johnny Cash and Dennis Hopper are both heroes of mine - makes this particularly resonant.



And here is a much more NSFW clip from the classic Blue Velvet... watch with caution. Absolutely terrifying, and one of the most skilful pieces of acting I've ever seen.
Seriously, WATCH WITH CAUTION. Not suitable for kids. AT ALL.



This, along with the AMAZING True Romance scene with Christopher Walken, are two of the most startling scenes in modern day cinema, to my mind.

Rest In Peace man, your work will be truly missed and there'll never be another actor like you.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Sample Blowup Friday

So, as I've been walking around like a fucking mental patient for the last two weeks or so, I figured this was quite a fitting sample.

It's Time To Break Down - The Supremes (post-Diana Ross... The Supremes at this point were Mary Wilson, Cindy Birdsong and Jean Tyrell)



I'm at the crossroads of my life
And I don't know if I should go left or right
My mind is confused, my heart is too
while your voice is ringing, ringing in my ear
It's time to break down
Time to say yeah
Time to take time
Give my heart a chance to breathe, free this fire inside of me

I'll never be free of wanting you
My heart is your prisoner, yeah
You're like the light in my pathway
You're like the burning flames higher day after day
I pretend I don't see the spell you cast over me
But the truth is, you see all into my face

Time to break down
Time to say yeah, oh baby
Time to take time...

I'll never be free from wanting you
My heart is your prisoner

It's time to break down
Say yeah
when you touch me baby
all your loving
oh yeah....


JFK 2 LAX - Gang Starr



Yo they got me handcuffed, I'm down in central booking
Things are fucked up, the way my future's looking
But I'm too fly, I'ma change this scenario
Make some power moves and tighten up my bankroll
Chumps are leary though, they see me as a threat
I'm like the black Dutch Schultz when you get me upset
Five-oh makes me wanna flip, Larry Davis style
Got a nigga depressed, while he's awaitin trial
It's OK though, cause from grey skies comes blue
Through darkness comes light and I be known as the Guru
And this I certify we all should be alerted by
the traps within the system, our youth is gettin murdered by
the D.A. says they got me on a felony
I'm tryin to live my life, so what the fuck is you tellin me?
The streets are war, that's what brothers carry weapons for
And I take the weight as I did before
The next thing you know, they got me on the radio
A rapper arrested, suckers showin me on video
Of course I know, that I'm a role model
But yo this rap life is real life sometimes it's full throttle
Right now I gotta think about me fuck the industry
You gets no love, except those who support me
What's the story, what happened when I went to L.A.?
Mixin shit up, no not there I got family
Nothin happened, mind your business yo step
You know we connect, JFK 2 LAX

They wanna lock us all up, and throw away the key
Don't wanna see us come up, don't wanna see us makin G's
Long as we know this is the key to our destruction
Let's make moves no discussion

Peace to my man Hass, and Orange Man payin the cost
All the twenty-five to lifers all my brothers gettin tossed
into the system, supposed to rehabilitate
It's why you gotta regulate your own mindstate
Read, study lessons and build your inner power
The next level, doesn't tolerate cowards
For example, I know this rich Nigerian
Powerful American that's proud to be an African
He asked me why do all us brothers be gettin trapped
I told him I'd explain it, broke it down in a rap
Whether you got naps, braids waves or no hair
Without esteem for yourself nigga, you goin nowhere
And you can swagger like you rule this; Josey Wales
unorganized revolt almost always mostly fails
Give up the savage ways, be effective soldiers
To elevate the mental is to be poor no more
There's war in the streets, prepared men know best
Our rhyme as live as it gets, JFK 2 LAX
They're always makin trouble yo, against the righteous
Killin us in cold blood, those beats those vipers
And as I sit feelin the pain in my wrist
I vow to myself that I'ma change this shit
Or at least I gotta try, or part of me will die
And only by action will any ideas solidify
So I inhale, exhale as I ponder
This grown man will make mistakes no longer
I've been there, I've seen how they make us fall victim
to their tricknowledgy, with no apology I diss em
And so I rip facts to dope tracks I caress
You're gonna hear about it, from JFK 2 LAX



RIP Guru.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The Most Dangerous Bear In The World

Courtesy of close Jones family relative Ben Askew, here we present....
The Most Dangerous Bear In The World.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

The Best Hip Hop Tracks In The World (part 1)

So, my favourite hip hop tracks of all time. Sounds like an impossible task, right? Well, I'm deliberately going to put down what *I* think are the best hip hop tracks ever. If they're on this list, then I love them unconditionally. There's no order to this, it's just going to be track after track, possibly vaguely chronologically but I dunno. Depends.

Here's part one. If you haven't heard some of these, then edumacate yourself!

The Old School Picks:

1. The Message - Grandmaster Flash + The Furious Five



2. Feel The Heartbeat - Treacherous Three



3. Planet Rock - Afrika Bambaataa + The Soul Sonic Force



4. Sucker MCs - Run DMC



5. Step Off - Grandmaster Melle Mel + The Furious Five



6. I Can't Live Without My Radio - LL Cool J



7. Slow And Low - Beastie Boys (not the OG Run DMC one)



And now a quick note......

These next three (six?) selections represent, to me, the moment where hip hop suddenly started releasing classic double sided singles. The following two classic 12"s are era defining.

Doug E Fresh ft MC Ricky D (pka Slick Rick) - The Show B/W La Di Da Di
and
Run DMC - Peter Piper B/W My Adidas
and
Eric B + Rakim - Eric B Is President B/W My Melody

Here you go....

8a. The Show - Doug E Fresh ft MC Ricky D



8b. La Di Da Di - Doug E Fresh ft MC Ricky D



9a. Peter Piper - Run DMC



9b. My Adidas - Run DMC



10a. Eric B Is President (original 12" version) - Eric B + Rakim



10b. My Melody - Eric B + Rakim



More to come.....

Lack Of Updates

Hey there folks....

I know this blog isn't the centre of your world, but you may have noticed a distinct lack of updates recently. Well, things this end have been remarkably up in the air for various reasons (home, work, money) and as a consequence I've let this blog slip. Sorry bout that.

There'll be more posts from now on, I promise, mainly because at the end of next week my workload will dwindle to half of its current amount, and also because my personal life will involve more time for me to do stuff as well.

Anyway, stay tuned.

Peace out.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Sample Blowup Sunday

The Cyrkle - The Visit



She was here with me today, walking softly, holding hands
And I thought I heard her say she loved me
As we walked I felt her eyes
Reaching deeply into mine
And I thought I heard her sigh she loved me

And along the way we shared a thought or two
It seemed as if I knew her well
Then she leaned to me and as we gently kissed
I knew that moment my heart fell
She was here

Now I'm lost and wondering, as if waking suddenly
Was it real or just a dream? Where is she?
Was she really here today? Or was I just drifting back
To the times I heard her say she loved me?

Was she really here today?



A Tribe Called Quest - Get A Hold (prod: Dilla)



The deadly venom, let me start from the beginning
We always hittin, so yo, there'll be no extra innings
As I send the mic out the park like Reggie Jackson
You be the minor leaguer who sees no action
The coming attraction (what!) The main feature
And I'ma greet ya, like a rhymin ass creature
Lurking all up in the dark, unknown parts
The brotha well prepared is the brotha who will start
And that's me Akki, as long as the ladies move they bodies
We'll have a four-on-two stand
Cuz that happens to be the nature of man
Sexuality, it is the format baby
Ain't no ifs, no buts, no ands, or maybes
But I praise Lord in the worlds that's unseen
Respect me for that and let me do my thing (just)
I said, respect me for that and let me do my thing

You know we gotta get a hold... Over the illest drum rolls

Yo, how you doin? Let me give you an intro
My name's the Abstract, now let me give you some info
Got the diamond in the back, and the sunroof shit
That makes the hardcore MC's resort to being bitch
And I don't give a shit about being wild rich
Just make me comfortable and I'll deal with it
Your lust for the riches make a nigga feel sick
Down to his zealots, upchuck and then spit
Denouncin my beliefs, well then your wig get split
Lay your ego on the ground so that you'll benefit
You can take these words and relay it to your click
Take some time for your mind and get off them head trips
Don't try to play me, see my name's not Dick
The Tribe is the crew that makes your mics get lit
Like the Fourth of July on some firework shit
My record company be on some true jerk shit
But that's i-ight, now, I'm on some true work shit
And I'ma make it happen for my whole outfit

You know we got to get control... Over the illest drum rolls

A-yo, we just gettin started
Got to redirect this vision
Got the beauty of a flower
Plus dimensions like a prism
Your minds are locked down like prison
Y'all really need to go lay down
Cuz positivity has risen
We hittin
Yo bust how we too strong to be broken
Occasional malfunction pressure time
We ain't jokin
For security we on this run like Logan
Kamaal's doin the hustle
And you backstage voguin
We all got flaws
Don't ever try to think that you perfect
We all are human beings
There's bullshit at the surface
Sometimes, I mean we rhyme
Damn, we ain't prophets
And if you think so, you need to stop it
So jump back inside your shell
Let your million dollar thoughts propel
But next man don't get jel
Playa hate that all carries weight
That we don't need
We slim with disabilities and
Thick with possibilities
Cuz then you can't move with fertility
Navigatin with good visibility
We put these tunes out in record shop facilities
Let's strive to get this constant money activity
We try to stay on the scene like Fidel
So if you get enraged with these names it still rebels
There ain't no plan B's
Yo watch, we movin through with plan A
Money market doin things the right way

You know we got to get control... Over the illest drum roll

.........man, the way Dilla chopped that Cyrkle track is NICE. POW.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Exhibit Driis - now with youtube!

Yeah, I posted this before. Never mind. I put it up on youtube as well, cos I don't think enough people have heard this. It's amazing. Probably the second best version after the Electronica one.



Blaze... Electronica... large mate!
a large portion of fish and chips and a large plate
a large thank fuck for you for fuck's sakes
and I know it ain't your birthday but a large frickin cake
with the candle that you're holding on for who the fuck is great
now enough fuckin fucks but I have to frickin say
that you are number one of my list of MCs
and I diss them MCs who ain't got nothin to say... no doubt bwoy...
cos this way lies the truth and the truth will hurt
and this way lies the booth where the lies won't work
I'm a 10, I think forward check the name on the shirt
I'm just an actor, don't make me embarass ya
I write a ghost verse for my rapping character
have you call your mum and dad asking for ya barrister
so calm, so cool, collected
future breaks on repeat, bruv you can't eject it, nah
I heard your freestyle, I didn't respect it, brah
I heard your album, that's what I expected, huh
a pile of shit, a pile of words on a beat
if I saw you on the street I'd punch you straight off your feet
call my Camden Town mans and rob the gold from your teeth
rob you in the library, ask my neezy Big Neef (true stories!)
...now you can call me Steve
the way I'm giving out Jobs to those who like to rob
It Takes Two minutes like EZ and Rob
but with one black face like the Princess and the Frog
uhh... now I'm a dutty nig-nog
and I come from an area where they call me a wog
but now, and I quote man, they call me a god
but the girls got it backwards calling me a fucking dog
a pedigree, not a chump
keep my eyes wide open and my mouth tight shut
keep my finger on my trigger of my ten minus one
the small of my back sees my 140... am to pm...

Verse Of The Week: Joe Scudda

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Rapsploitation - Saturday 8th May 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen... I cordially invite you to the biggest Rapsploitation Sessions to date...
Foreign Beggars
Kyza
Dr Syntax
Millionaires By Morning
Pikey Esquire
Leon Rhymes
Nee-Hi
Rapsploitation / Low Pass / Hush House DJs



This is going to be at Fire + Ice on Saturday... a collab between Low Pass (dubstep night) and the mighty Rapsploitation Sessions.

The big change? Well, aside from the fact that it's going to be half hip hop (first half up until Forgeign Beggars) and half dubstep (second half after Foreign Beggars), it starts at 8pm and finishes at 3am. THREE AM PEOPLE! THREE! And all this for the bargain price of £7 ticket in advance, or £9 on the door.
BUT!
I would personally jump in there early simply because it will sell out. Oh yes, it will.

So (although I've got a prior engagement so I won't be there), you should head yourselves down there, it's going to be a big un. POW!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Uncommon Valor

One of the best verses of all time, no contest. NO CONTEST.



True story
Call me Thorburn, John H., staff sergeant
Marksman, skill in killin', illin', I'm able and willin'
Kill a village elephant, rapin' and pillage a village
Illegitimate killers, US Military guerrillas
This ain't no real war, Vietnam shit
World War II, that's a war, this is just a military conflict
Soothin' drug abusin', Vietnamese women screwin'
Sex, gambling and boozin', all this shit is amusin'
Bitches and guns, this is every man's dream
I don't wanna go home where I'm just an ordinary human being
Special Op, Huey chopper gun ship run shit
Gook run when the minigun spit, won't miss
Kill shit, spit four-thousand bullets a minute
Vic the Charlie, hit trigger, hit it, I'm in it to win it
Get it, the lieutenant hinted, the villain, I been it
The killing, I did it, cripple, did it, pictures I painted is vivid, live it
A wizard with weapons, the secret mission, we 'bout to begin it
Government funded, behind enemy lines
Bullets is sprayin', it's heatin' up a hundred degrees
The enemies the North Vietnamese, bitch please
Ain't no sweat, I'm told, "Be at ease"
Until I see the pilot got hit, and we 'bout to hit some trees
Nail the road, it broke, crash land
American man in Cambodia, right in the enemy hand
Take a swig of the Whiskey to calm us
Them yellow men wearin' black pajamas, they wanna harm us
They all up on us, bang, bang, bullet hit my chest, feel no pain
To my left, the captain caught a bullet right in his brain
Body parts flyin', loss of limbs, explosions
Bad intentions, I see my best friend's intestines
Pray to the one above, it's raining, I'm covered in mud
I think I'm dyin', I feel dizzy, I'm losin' blood
I see my childhood, I'm back in the arms of my mother
I see my whole life, I see Christ, I see bright lights
I see Israelites, Muslims and Christians at peace, no fights
Black, Whites, Asians, people of all types
I must've died, then I woke up, surprised I'm alive
I'm in a hospital bed, they rescued me, I survived
I escaped the war, came back, but ain't escape Agent Orange
Two of my kids born handicapped
Spastic, quadriplegia, micro cephalic
Cerebral palsy, cortical blindness, name it, they had it
My son died, he ain't live, but I still try to think positive
'Cause in life, God take, God give

Saturday, 24 April 2010

DJ Premier - Guru Tribute

All you need to know about the Guru situation is here, pretty much. Highly recommended. Massive, MASSIVE props to the (fan-run) DJ Premier blog for the link.



DJ Premier's Guru Tribute.

Rest In Peace Guru.

Keep fighting the good fight, Premo.

Fuck Solar. He ain't keeping it real, he's "keeping it WRONG." I'm waiting for the moment of truth.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Solar

Read the full article over at MTV, if you can be bothered. Fuck Solar. I include a picture of him only because you shoukd all know your enemy.



Solar says: "The friendship got close fairly rapidly... I think the reason why it got close is that I wasn't interested in a record deal. I wasn't interested in him as Guru. Me and him just hit it off as men. I got to know him as a man, he got to know me as a man. We were both going through tricky periods in our lives. I was working with homeless children at the time. It's a heavy problem ... Guru was dealing with certain situations. We started hanging out, hitting the clubs in New York. We needed to lighten it up a little bit. Once that trust developed, he was able to tell me about certain things within his life and career that was leading him to feel extremely frustrated that I believe contributed to his problems with substance abuse.

Anybody who knows him knows that it was a very serious situation at the time. I wasn't judgmental. I just listened and became a friend...

Once 7 Grand was started, certain aspects of Gang Starr kept holding onto him and he felt that it was dragging him down or holding him from getting to where he wanted to get... It was influences around the industry that he felt was contributing to that. It was a source of frustration for him and also for myself."

Guru maintained a consistent touring schedule around the world. According to Solar, in early 2009, he started to experience pain in his back, which he at first attributed to vigorous gym workouts. After the pain carried on for a couple of months, Guru sought medical attention, which resulted in an MRI and a cancer diagnosis. "He was upset and distraught," Solar added.

Guru went in for further testing and it was confirmed that he suffered from myeloma, a cancer that affects the white blood cells. He had an operation in July 2009 that was unfortunately unsuccessful.

"It wasn't long before we realized the operation wasn't a success — by the end of the summer we knew the cancer was spreading." Still, Guru and Solar continued to tour around the world — Guru was able to get onstage and perform as long as he took his medicine.

However, despite the setbacks, Solar insisted Guru didn't want to tell his family about his situation, as he was still optimistic that he could overcome the diagnosis.

"When I met Guru, his situation with his family was somewhat of an estrangement," Solar explained. "I was an advocate of meeting his mom, meeting his dad — developing a strong, good relationship with them."

Solar said that Guru and his parents eventually became close again and he got back in contact with his brother as well, however he still wasn't close with his sister Trish and her children. In March, Trish's son Justin said that Solar — who had become Guru's medical proxy — was keeping info from the family about Guru's condition.

"My family has no way of knowing what is going on with Guru's situation," Justin said via his YouTube vlog. "[Solar] also has primary control over the decisions made for Guru's health in the hospital. Solar has complete control of the flow of information. I know that Solar has been his right-hand man, day-in and day-out for the last six years, but that does not give him the right to make decisions about whether his family is to see Guru or learn about his status. The fact that he is acting like this lets me know that he does not have Guru's best interests in mind."

Solar denied that he took advantage of Guru while he was in a weakened mental state. "He doesn't fit the profile of someone that is mentally unstable," Solar said calmly. " ... He knew exactly what he wanted to do, not only his business but his personal life."

He also denied rumors that he used to physically abuse Guru while he was sick. "Me and Guru, we used to play fight," Solar answered. "Roughhouse. Not only with him, but other members of the band. These are all accusations without Guru being here to look you in the eye and saying that's just ridiculous. That's just idiotic."

Solar also denied widespread rumors that he was involved in a romantic relationship with the MC. "That's untrue, completely unfounded," he said. "Guru is a family man, I'm a family man. I don't want to say anything against anybody living a certain type of lifestyle — everybody is free to live their life how they choose to live it — but that's not my lifestyle or Guru's lifestyle. We're straight men. He dealt with women and family. I dealt with women and family. There's never been any blurring of the lines whatsoever."

Between last summer and February 2010, Guru's focus shifted to his health, and his condition worsened to the point where Solar had to temporarily move into Guru's New Jersey residence to help the rap legend with daily activities.

"It was getting bad," Solar said. "His mobility was starting to worsen. I was staying in his home with him to help him with his day to day. I did it as a brother — I looked at him as a brother. I did that to preserve his dignity, even in those times."

I call BULLSHIT.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Premo Speaks

This just in oourtesy of Escobar, who found it over at XXL.

“It was a sad day for me to get confirmation on the death of a man who I will continue to call my brother,” Preemo said.

“From 1988-2004 we experienced so much success together that we were able to expand our business independently and give each other what Guru called ‘creative space,’ before planning to reunite for our seventh LP when the time time was right,” he continued. “Tragically, we will never reach that day.

“I’ve been asked to comment on a letter speaking ill of me which was supposedly written by Guru in his dying days,” he added, addressing a press release delivered by Guru’s business partner Solar. “All I will say about it is our time together was beautiful, we built a hip-hop legacy together, and no one can re-write history or take away my love for him. One thing I would never do is play around with the truth about his life.”

“I will celebrate Guru’s life…I will honor his memory…I will grieve with the Elam family over his untimely death…I will remember the Gang Starr foundation and all of the original members of the Gang Starr who came before me…mostly, I will cherish everything we created together as Gang Starr, forever,” he concluded. “I’m gonna miss hearing his signature monotone voice when he walks in the room, but the songs will always bring it back to me…his rhyme flows were insane, and I will never remove him from my heart and soul…rest in peace to the man who felt ‘satisfaction from the street crowd reaction’…I love you Goo.”

Statement from Guru's Family

PRESS RELEASE

The Elam family wishes to thank the fans of our son/brother/father uncle/nephew/cousin Keith aka GURU for the outpouring of love, concern and support.

Our hearts are broken by the loss of someone we loved so much. GURU was devoted to his young son, who will most keenly feel his absence.

GURU suffered from multiple myeloma for over a year. Accrued complications from this illness led to respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. As a result, GURU was in a coma from mid February until his death and never regained consciousness. Early on the morning of April 19th, he became hypertensive due to low blood pressure. He again went into cardiac arrest and slipped away from us.

GURU died far too young but he was, and we are, proud of all his many legendary musical contributions.

The family is not aware of any foundations established by GURU. We know and understand that countless fans want to express their condolences and love and, to that end, we are planning a memorial event in the near future that will be all-inclusive. Please look for further details from the family as they become available.

from The Elam Family



EDIT:

For what THIS is worth, Solar has spoken to MTV News in the US.

"I mean, it's ridiculous, Guru knew this time would come. The great artist he is, us being intelligent people, we knew there was going to have to be a statement relating to this... Unfortunately, there are those who have the wicked agenda, and just can't accept that Guru and I have handled this thing as men and not children, and this is how men of honor handle their business. He arranged his press release.
I'm the repository of Guru's life story. I recorded his life story for book and for movies. We're not foolish. He was diagnosed with cancer well over a year ago. It's been operations and so forth. It would be ridiculous for him to not be prepared.”

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Gang Starr has gots to be the sure shot

Moment Of Truth

Actions have reactions, don't be quick to judge
You may not know the hardships people don't speak of
It's best to step back, and observe with couth
For we all must meet our moment of truth

Sometimes you gotta dig deep, when problems come near
Don't fear, things get severe for everybody everywhere
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Seems that life is just a constant war between good and evil
The situation that I'm facin is mad amazin
to think such problems can arise from minor confrontations
Now I'm contemplatin in my bedroom pacin
Dark clouds over my head, my heart's racin
Suicide? Nah, I'm not a foolish guy
Don't even feel like drinking, or even gettin high
Cause all that's gonna do really is accelerate
the anxieties that I wish I could alleviate
But wait, I've been through a whole lot of other shit before
So I oughta be able to withstand some more
But I'm sweatin though, my eyes are turnin red and yo
I'm ready to lose my mind but instead I use my mind
I put down the knife and take the bullets out my nine
My only crime was that I'm too damn kind
And now some scandalous motherfuckers wanna take what's mine
But they can't take the respect that I've earned in my lifetime
And you know they'll never stop the furious force of my rhymes
So like they say, every dog has it's day
And like they say, God works in a mysterious way
So I pray, remembering the days of my youth
As I prepare to meet my moment of truth



.......there's not often been truer words spoken in hip hop.

RIP.