Thursday, March 31, 2005

Stop Looking At Every Sports Station

Some great comments of late. Please keep 'em coming. I can really talk about rap all day.

Beez: "You Made Me" is that joint. I have some pain from the album though as my Mom is actually named Ucla.
JCruelty: Thanks for that info. Some may know that I was once a member of Radio's finest Caucasian/Indian radio hosting team. The info was passed along to the proper folks.
Jaybles: Thanks for clearing that up. Ben informed me that they once tried to use the name Dust Brothers UK when confronted by the originals. That, to me, is riduculous.

Part IV from Ben's fine Beatles retrospective. I have heard Phife's album and it's not good. I actually interviewed him when that came out via phone. It was very odd to be speaking to someone who's albums you've worn out. He did not speak highly of Tip. I really wish I could find that Minidisc.

Being bigger then Jesus eventually takes it's toll on almost anyone. [Kevduce excluded] After an amazing 8 year run, the Beatles as a group ceased to exist in 1970. Unlike other great groups who can never recapture the magic [Did anyone ever actually hear the entire Phife Dog album?] each of the Beatles went on to achieve an amount of success ranging from fair to tremendous with their solo projects. Ringo put out numerous albums, with notable contributions from the other three bandmates [go find Lennon's tongue-in-cheek 'I'm the Greatest'] as well as working with other heavyweight greats; Quincy Jones, Eric Clapton [In the running as honorary 5th Beatle, more on that tomorrow], Bob Dylan, and Elton John. He also was the original Conductor on the hit kids show Shining Time Station. A role later taken over by George Carlin (ed: Rufus from Bill N Ted!). [wtf?!] George Harrison finally garnered some well deserved credit for his song writing abilities, and delving ever deeper into his spiritual/karmic side, organized the first major benefit concert, 1971's Concert for Bangladesh at MSG, the precursor to such mega events as Live Aid and We are the World.

Predictably though it was John and Paul who found the biggest success after the group. Aside from putting out great music including amazing songs like 'Jealous Guy' and 'Instant Karma,' Lennon's assassination in 1980 solidified his position as spiritual icon, even having a song which may or may not have been blacklisted after 9/11. Paul went on to form the band Wings with his
wife [Who the hell takes their wife on a rock and roll tour?], provided a great theme song to a 007 movie and gave us 80's duets with Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. To top it all off, the fab Three who managed to make it to the 1990's received possibly the highest honor available in post-modern pop culture, a guest spot on The Simpsons. Today we've highlighted a few
tracks that take their cues from the post-Beatles catalogue of Lennon and McCartney.

In what may or may not be a duet created with some studio magic, Nas appears with Florida MC Pitbull on an introspective track that popped up last summer on the mixtape circuit. With rhymes that seem to fall in around the time of Stillmatic, Mr. Jones returns to his utopia, continuing to paint the picture he left us on It Was Written's ‘If I Ruled the World.’ Pitbull admirably holds his own. While the same Lennon track has been covered numerous times
by other artists, we here at The Rap Nerd give you a jazzed up instrumental version courtesy of DJ Nu-Mark & Pomo (the former of Jurassic fame) off of their instrumental disc 'Blend Crafters.'

Diggin into the Wings catalogue, specifically 1980's 'Back to the Egg,' Dr. Dre protégé Knoc'turnal's 'Muzik' has the distinction of containing the only Beatle sample ever to officially receive clearance (although technically it is a McCartney/Wings sample.) Not one's to shy away from the sample, Stay Wile'n Long Island's own De La Soul tapped another McCartney song released as a holiday single to support 'Back to the Egg.' [Good call, Matt]

Nas & Pitbull: Imagine (MP3)
DJ Numark & Pomo (Blend Crafters): Imagine (MP3)
(Buy It)
Knoc'turnal: Musik (MP3) (Buy It)
De La Soul: Simply Havin (MP3) (Buy It)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Chase Bitches, Cut Class, Got High, Stayed Broke


Ben returns with Part III of Beatlemania. In honor of this week, I'm sporting a mop top the kid from Chappelle's Trading Spouses would be proud of. Really. Leonard Washington would not be proud. Is any coincidence, then, that two of today's three featured artists have appeared on Chappelle? Probably.

G-G-G-G-Get downloading!

Introduced to America as four lovable mop-tops, the Beatles originally were
packaged as a pop act, with an undeniable talent for catchy tunes capable of driving blossoming baby-boomers crazy. Their early albums were basically collections of fluffy radio friendly singles. All of that changed with the release of 1965’s ‘Rubber Soul’ (Made in only two weeks!) With no singles
released in the US, the LP itself was meant to be viewed as a whole, a new concept in pop music. The Beatles introduction to Bob Dylan and his subsequent introduction of the sticky-icky to them, opened up new avenues of thought and sound, evident in the lyrics and production on the album. The followup album ‘Revolver’ (labled by many, their best) saw them under the
influence of even stronger drugs, and once again the results were mindbendingly evident.

Fast forward to the early 90’s, Miami’s Poison Clan rhymes over a playful guitar riff and chopped up melody from the early Beatles release ‘Please, Please, Me’ to produce a booty shaking ode to everyones favorite activated hairstyle, the jeri curl. By 2K4, going in a completely different direction, RZA reworked the intro to the very same ‘Please, Please, Me’ cut on his ‘Birth of a Prince’ album, turning the once syruppy track into something more sinister, filled with smoked out digi slang.

Today’s final feature is from BK MC Talib Kweli who plumbs the acidic depths of the Beatles ‘Revolver’ to deliver a damning critique on the club culture present in hip-hop today. The track was scheduled to appear on his 'The Beautiful Struggle' CD, but once again the clearence man cometh to shut that sh!t down. Thankfully the bootleggers leaked this one out early and Talib
was forced to release it to the streets on his pre-album mix CD.

Two very different Beatles songs, yield three divergent hip hop cuts. Enjoy.

Poison Clan: Jeri Curl
(MP3) (Buy It)
RZA: You'll Never Know (MP3) (Buy It)
Talib Kweli: Lonely People (MP3)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Shea Stadium The Radium, EMD Squared

Another fine post from Ben regarding not the beatless, but the Beatles. How is that the Chemical Brothers were once called the Dust Brothers? Did both teams (them and the actual Dust Brothers) both come up with the name independently?And, alliteration doesn't come much better than 'authentic Anglo-accented.'

By the late 80's vocal interpolations of the Beatles had appeared in some classic old school tracks, [see Slick Rick's authentic Anglo-accented version of 'Michelle' during 'The Show' or KRS reworking 'Hey Jude' at the begining of Criminal Minded] but perhaps the grandaddy of Beatle biting comes from the Beastie Boys' classic, Dust Brothers' produced, sophomore sampalooza Paul’s Boutique. ‘Sounds of Science’ features audio from no less then five separate Beatles tracks; Three off Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, one from the The Beatles (aka The White Album) and one funky riff at the end of Abbey Road.

Although released before Let It Be, Abbey Road was the grand finale for the Fab Four as a unit, and they certainly went out in style. From begining to end the album was designed as a masterpiece to catalog an awesome career, and it succeeded. While the Beastie's tapped the end of the album for 'Sounds of Science', Organized Konfusion utilized the opening bluesy bassline for the title track on their Stress: The Extinction Agenda album. Rumor is they still can't catch a cab.

[The exact Beatles tracks used by the Beastie's will be revealed at the end of the week. Bengo Starr]

Beastie Boys: The Sound of Science (MP3) (Buy It for $7.99!)
Organized Konfusion: Stress (MP3) (Buy It)

Monday, March 28, 2005

If I Run Outta Shots I'm Going Out Poking


Rap and The Beatles combine like Kahlua and milk (w/o Vodka, it's called a "sombrero"). Ask Dangermouse. So when my compadre Ben aka Beng Bentley suggested I pen a Beatles themed week, I did him one better. I suggested he pen it and learn me something. So if the word is weird from here on out, blame Ben and spare me. If it is fine wine, praise him and I'll take my 15%. This week, my thoughts come in Bold typeface.

And shouts to the fantastic Steady Bootleggin' for the link. Can't wait for Part 10.

The year: 1998. The location: Seton Hall University, located on the border of South Orange & Newark, New Jersey. [Big-ups L-Boogie] Killing time on a Saturday afternoon in my cinderblock, communist-style dormitory, probably high, I'm knocked out of my malaise by a wicked piano riff eminating from tinny TV speakers. 'Damn that’s a hard break' I think to myself. Spinning around, I see the four familiar faces of everyone’s favorite Scousers.
[Brit-slang, look it up] Not exactly being the Beatles' freak that I’ve evolved into, I’d never heard the song before. The video [one of many industry innovations they pioneered] featured studio footage, and had a little animated dog running rampant. Turns out this was the last of the
legendary Lennon/McCartney collaborations, recorded after the White Album but before the disastrous Let It Be sessions and was released on the Yellow Submarine Soundtrack though never included in the film. For years it was a little known gem amongst Beatlemaniacs. I shook my head at the ferocity of the track and thought 'If I ever make a rap song, I’m using that break.' (ed: Thankfully, Ben did not.)

Fast forward to late 2001 and wouldn't’t you know, Philly’s own musical geniuses's The Roots beat me to it, adding some classic b-boy bongos to make a certified banger. Originally slated for release on Black Thought’s shelved solo album Masterpiece Theater, 'Thought at Work' eventually surfaced on Phrenology along with a number of other reworked BT solo tracks
sans the Beatles break in favor of a baritone saxophone [D'oh! EMI clears no-one.] Thankfully The Roots have kept the original track in their performance arsenal, giving Thought another chance to absolutely rip the stage. [Dude does not get the MC credit he deserves.]

Included below are the original, the album version and a live version recorded at the Bonaroo Music Festival in Tennessee, June 14, 2003. Pull it out your pocket, pull it out your pocket, pull it out your pocket......

The Roots: Thought At Work (Original Version) (MP3) (Buy It)
The Roots: Thought At Work (Album Version) (MP3)
The Roots: Thought At Work (Live Version) (MP3)

Friday, March 25, 2005

Making Funky Tracks With The Dew Doo Man

If you've read Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists (by far the best piece of hip-hop literature...and can be had for under $14!!!!!!,) you know the story about Prince Paul's Dew Doo Man Records and Resident Alien. For those that haven't, a summary: Paul was granted a boutique imprint to be distributed by Def Jam. The planned debut release was Resident Alien's "It Takes A Nation of Suckas To Let Us In," a theme album describing the times of three recent West Indian immigrants in Long Island. Def Jam did not like it. Nor did they like anything else Paul brought to the table. Dew Doo Man's only release ever was the Resident Alien 12" "Mr. Boops" b/w "Shakey Ground" and "Ooh The Dew Doo Man." And despite being Paul's biggest fan, the album outside of those three tracks was not up to Paul's usual quality. Today, those three standout tracks are featured. But first, some random Paul thoughts:

1. Paul's discography is as diverse and creative as any artists'. Think: Stetasonic, De La Soul, Gravediggaz, Psychoanalysis, Prince Among Thieves, Politics, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Chris Rock's Bigger and Blacker, and his outside production work for 3rd Bass, Kane, and even Paul Barman. A wild career.

2. Those who haven't heard Psychoanalysis need to do so. I hear so many raves about the quality and creativity of Prince Among Thieves and I feel that Psychoanalysis betters it in each category. Production is stellar and moving.

3. As a giveaway with the purchase of Politics Of The Business, some retailers gave away a DVD featuring a mock MTV Diary of Prince Paul. Get your hands on this! It tends to go for $2 on ebay and is hilarious. Mr. Dead, starring as both choreographer Creeqo Valencio and his cousin Maxwell Valencio, steals the show.

4. "The Other Line" from A Prince Among Thieves, featuring Breezly Bruin and his sister Heroine, is easily a Top 10 Male Vs. Female rap song.

5. I saw someone on a message board once say that when De La and Paul amicably split, De La should have been forced to change their name. It may be a bit extreme but De La is definitely a different group without Plug 4. Not bad, but definitely different.

6. While doing college radio in Chicago, I had been desperately trying to get the Resident Alien 12". It popped onto ebay every couple of months and tended to fetch $50 or so. JP Chill, a Chicago radio legend who ran the rap format I worked at, went to 2nd Hand Tunes, a store I visited nearly daily, and found "Boops" in the $1 bin. He showed it to me. Shocked, I asked him "How much do you want for this?" Kindly, he said in the way only JP could "Well I got it for a dollar so I'd say just give me a dollar for it." I offered more but, in the end, I had it for the bargain price of a buck.

7. A good Paul interview.

Resident Alien f/ Maceo (De La Soul) and Dres (Black Sheep): Shakey Ground
Resident Alien: Mr. Boops
Resident Alien: Ooh The Dew Doo Man

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Order A Small Bowl Of Chicken Broth, Water and Napkin

Some more Kool Keith for your enjoyment.

Kool Keith: Bow To The Masta (MP3) (Celebrity Deathmatch, 1999, Interscope) (Buy It)
Dr. Dooom: Leave Me Alone (Peanut Butter Wolf Remix) (MP3) (Leave Me Alone Peanut Butter Remix 12", 1999, Funky Ass Records)
Kool Keith: Yo Black (Buckwild Remix) (MP3)
(Truck Jewls' Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, 2003, White Label) (Buy It)

Aurich: According to Keith's site, Dr. Octagon II is a bootleg. Click here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Stretch, Where's Uncle Gretch?

I once had a discussion with someone whose rap opinion I value greatly. He wondered how I could love the works of non-traditional (in his opinion) artists like MF Doom, Prince Paul, and Quasimoto while not getting too deep into lyrically gifted but somewhat one dimension emcees like Cormega or Jadakiss. Even wwhen comparing two amazing groups, the edgier group tends to prevail. I prefer De La to PE, i.e. I explained to my friend that I preferred artists who were both talented and interesting. With all respect, I can't get into artist whose main function is pushing boundries, be it musically like Anti-Pop or lyrically like Paul Barman. But, for reasons I can't explain, rap that is either weird or funny, truly compels me.

No emcee better embodies skill and an odd sense of humor than Kool Keith. Keith, has a reputation for being crazy. I briefly saw him hours before a concert a year back and he seemed sane. I have always wondered if his craziness was a sort of WWF act. It is actually quite effective marketing for everyone to think you're nuts.

Some of my favorite Keith moments:

1. After RZA creates Bobby Digital persona with mask similar to Keith's on Sex Style, Keith features an ad in his Dr. Dooom album for a persona named Robbie Analog. And because Keith will take a joke to total completion, he actually forms The Analog Brothers with Ice-T and othes, and releases Pimp To Eat.

2. Kool Keith can't stop talking about his new cereal. "I'm coming out with a new cereal, Black Elvis cereal, distributed by Kelloggs," Kool Keith said on the phone from an undisclosed location (when asked, laughing, he said "Tennessee tuxedos" (?)). "It's little Elvis wigs with milk. It's crunchy. And the cereal changes different colors - orange, green, red, and light purple - it'll be in the variety packs with Cocoa Krispies, Sugar Smacks, all the top cereals. You get a pair of Elvis glasses with it, and the wig comes in the box sometimes. And the CD is taped on the back of the box. It's gonna hit the market September 20."

3. Seeing him enter a show in Philly with Jacky Jasper while rocking a checkerboard suit.

4. The fact that according to his website, he has 35 albums. He has released efforts as Kool Keith, Black Elvis, Dr. Dooom, Dr. Octagon and as a part of the Ultramagnetic MCs, Ultra, The Cenobites, Masters of Illusion, Analog Brothers, Diesel Truckers, KHM, Undatakerz, Clayborne Family, and Da Beat Terrorists. His next project is called Siamese Sex Show and features a member named Political Indian Dude (V?). I really can't make this stuff up.

5. The skits on Dr. Octagon. "You're gonna need a bad operation."

6. The Blaze Magazine article that I can't find online for the life of me. He was photographed wearing the space helmet and Black Elvis wig. The writer asked about people thinking he was crazy and he changed the subject and said something along the lines of "I like to collect guns."

7. The ad libs and skits on Dr. Dooom. "You're that Dr. Octog0n-ass motherfucker." "Jackie, you look good with them rollers up in your hair." And the lyrics to "You Live At Home With Your Mom," complete with Kutmasta Kurt's vox box.

8. This post from his website: (Scroll to the bottom)

Kool Keith called me the other day, to discuss yet another FRAUD in the Kool Keith world. The picture to the left is of Derrick Roberts aka Money D aka Funeral Director of Thee Undatakerz (the man behind the mask). Until now, an official picture of him has not been released. He is the one selling Kool Keith's clothes, shoes, and other personal items on EBay. Personal Albums were also sold for outstanding prices, when all Kool Keith is asking is 50 or 60 dollars. According to Keith, he has recently taken money fraudulently, setting up Kool Keith projects and disappearing. Now he is missing in action. Keith just wanted to get his picture out, so nobody would trust him. This man is not affiliated with Kool Keith.

(More info could be added, once I talk to Keith again)

9. The fact that he not only made "I Don't Believe You," but had it pressed to wax as a single. To those not in the know, he doesn't exactly rap on this track. It's more of a rant.

10. THE freestyle.

THE freestyle is Keith, Xzibit, and The Liks' E-Swift on the much renowned Stretch and Bobbito show. I don't need to say much here. Just peep the twenty-five count. Also peep the wonderful "Object Unknown."

Kool Keith, Xzibit, E-Swift: Stretch and Bobbito Freestyle (MP3)
DJ Spooky f/ Kool Keith: Object Unknown Funky Redneck Mix (MP3) (Laid In Full, 1999, Ill Boogie) (Buy It)

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

You Lack The Minerals and Vitamins, Irons and the Niacins

Part 2 of OC:

OC f/ Jay-Z: Bonafied (MP3) (12", 1999, Magnum Records)* (Buy It)
OC f/ Organized Konfusion: You Won't Go Far (MP3) (New Jersey Drive Vol. 2, 1995, Tommy Boy) (Buy It)
OC and Big L: DJ 279 Freestyle (MP3)

* I believe that on some pressings of OC's disappointing third album Bon Appetit, "Bonafied" is included as a bonus track. I really enjoy the track although it seems that at least some portion his fanbase disagrees with me.

Regarding yesterday's comments, Buckwild produced "Burn Me Slow" and V Funk, you lost the way.

Monday, March 21, 2005

The More Emotion I Put Into It

Almost inexplicably, solo rappers rarely release great back-to-back albums. Nas kicked off his career with a certified classic and a very solid It Was Written. Every other act with 4.5 to 5 star efforts in succession tend to be of the group variety: ATCQ, De La, Mobb Deep, BDP, PE. While we all got stomach punched by Raekwon and Snoop, others have not disappointed. Amerikka's Most Wanted and Death Certificate. Ready To Die and Life After Death. And the most overlooked in my opinion, Word...Life and Jewelz. While I would not argue either OC album to be the wartless five mic-er, both were soild, deep, refreshing, and important. How many choruses sampled "Time's Up?" Today and tomorrow, some OC tracks you may have missed:

Buckwild f/ OC: Burn Me Slow MP3 (Still Diggin EP, 1999, Kurrup Money) (Buy It)
OC and Ras Kass: Action Guaranteed MP3 (Lyricist Lounge, Vol. 1, 1999, Rawkus) (Buy It)
OC: O-Zone MP3 (unreleased demo version)

Friday, March 18, 2005

Get My Drink On And My Smoke On...

Rap producers really love "The Edge" by David McCallum. Really love it. In three years, four well-respected producers (Dr. Dre, Rockwilder, VIC, Godfather Don) sampled "The Edge" in a near identical manner.

The biggest hit of the four was, of course, Dr. Dre's "The Next Episode." Since I lost Dre's number, I can't confirm the accuracy of this but claims that Dre sampled "The Edge" after hearing Missin Linx's "M.I.A." On M.I.A., Black Attack, Problems, and Al' Tariq (f/k/a Fashion from The Beatnuts) grime it up with one of the finer choruses in recent memory. Right around the same time the "M.I.A." twelve dropped, Scaramanga (aka Sir Menelik or Cyclops 4000) dropped Seven Eyes, Seven Horns featuring the Godfather Don laced "Death Letter Remix."

In 1998, on his solo effort Rap Life, Tash's "Fallin On" nicked the "The Edge." As much as I love Tash and Da Rockwilder, who produced the track, I don't care much for "Fallin On" and did not include the audio. If you're dying to hear it, hit up the comments section and I'll make it happen.

Missin Linx: M.I.A. (mp3)
Scaramanga f/ Scholarwise: Death Letter Remix (mp3)
Dr. Dre f/ Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg: The Next Episode (mp3)

Shout to Adam Wise for the hosting. Yousendit is right for the price but a hassle regardless.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Treacherous Like Naughty By Nature and Kool Mo Dee

When Artifacts' Between A Rock And A Hard Place dropped, I was a high school freshman. Back then, living where I was, the only way to hear records long before release date was on the mixtapes of DJ Madsol, who later when on to produce some fantastic tracks for The Last Emperor, Laster, Talib Kweli, and many more. On one tape, he dropped 2 bars at most of the "Wrong Side of the Tracks" instrumental. Those listening, three friends and myself, all looked at each other amazed, thinking 'What was that and where can I buy that?" We thought that, without even being introduced to the fine stylings of Tame One and El Da Sensai. BRHP did not disappoint. It also featured the fine track "C'Mon Wit Da Git Down."

Another artist that baffled and amazed me upon first listen was the entertaining and independent Thirstin Howl III. It's not a leap to say that the Brownsville based Unsigned Hype alumni has his own style. Thirstin freaked the same sample as "C'Mon" on the fantastic "Brookyln Hard Rock," which made its way onto Rawkus' Soundbombing 2, which may damn well be rap's best compilation ever.

"Coulda rocked the bells but I was more comfortable in straight legs!"

Artifacts: C'Mon Wit Da Git Down (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (buy it!)
Thirstin Howl III f/ Unique London: Brooklyn Hard Rock (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (buy it!)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Fresh Off Work Release, Hercules

"Without the theme music and action it would be a run of the mill police show." I can't confess to ever seeing the TV show S.W.A.T., so I'll take the word of IMDB's helpful users. S.W.A.T.'s legacy in the rap world is significant. Its theme was sampled for two pretty damn good rap songs.

Charlemagne offered his version on The War Report's "Stay Tuned," which was titled as "Thug Paradise" on the Nothing To Lose Soundtrack. Capone N Noreaga, and Tragedy handle mic duties nicely. I think the most notable lyric tidbit about this song is that both Nore and Trag work the City of Poughkeepsie into their verses. Some thoughts from friend Ben, arguably the biggest fan of QB rap ever:

'War Report' is/was one of the best albums of 1997 (as hip-hop began it's downward spiral) maybe even knocking off 'Stakes is High' for the album of the yerr spot (honorable mention to funcrusher). stellar debut. imagine if thug paradise and calm down had been included! i had a buddy who said thug paradise was included on his retail CD! nothing of the sort on my cassette or copied cd. funk flex used to give it crazy burn on hot 97, but never played the nore verse. 'round my way lil punks on dirt bikes used to ride through the hood echoing the 'hey-ya, hey-ya.... hey yaaah' chant. very eery in the suburban dusk.

It's been a long time since we've heard from K-Solo. He traded bars with Redman on 1996's "It's Like That (My Big Brother,)" which got much love on Rap City during the Joe Clair era. If you've heard something from K since then, let me know. In 1990, Solo dropped "Real Solo Please Stand Up" on his Tell The World My Name album. To give some perspective on the times, I think this was a cassette/album only release. Has this ever made it onto CD? If not, someone needs to re-release it!

Capone N Noreaga f/ Tragedy: Stay Tuned aka Thug Paradise (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (buy it!) (Penalty, 1997)
K-Solo: Real Solo Please Stand Up (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (buy it!) (Atlantic, 1990)

PS: On a total random thought, Ghostface Killah's "Beat The Clock" is just an amazing song. Additionally, the unintentional comedy factor is great. He refers to his Supreme Clientele single as "Cherchez La Me." Brilliant.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Even As A Kid, People Used To Say 'Look At Shorty'

No need for too much background today. If you're familiar with Lord Finesse, you know what he is capable of. Astounding emcee, especially with the punchlines. He has conjured up some stellar tracks including OC's "Jewelz," Big L's "MVP," "All Black" and "The Graveyard." If you are not familiar, you'll probably learn as much as you can after checking 1990's "Bad Mutha." For those lost, Finesse's home page is quite functional and should serve as a good start.

"Bad Mutha" might sound familiar to you new jacks too. Nas used a very similar beat for God Son's "Get Down." In my humble opinion, both tracks are worthy of a spot in your IPOD.

Lord Finesse & DJ Mike Smooth: Bad Mutha (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (buy it!) (1990, Wild Pitch)
Nas: Get Down (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (buy it!) (2002, Columbia)

PS: I should have hosting very soon. Much thanks to Adam W. A Rhymefest 'Bounce' re-up was requested. Enjoy here.

Monday, March 14, 2005

I Just Left Like A Real Man Should

As more and more rap is released, it is going to be inevitable that multiple songs will sample the same originals. This week, I'll exclusively feature these fraternal twin pairs.

Before producing hits for Madonna, TLC, Boyz II Men, and The King of Pop, Dallas Austin collaborated with a Brooklyn duo called Da King & I. Featuring emcee Izzy and DJ Majesty, their Contemporary Jeep Music did not make much of an impact during rap's heyday. One track did, though, got some traction during 1993's solid campaign. For your listening pleasure, Da King & I's "Tearz," borrowing nicely from the Ohio Players.

Also fond of the Players, is the very talented and sometimes unfairly maligned Minneapolis outfit Atmosphere. Industrial Warfare, the sixth of the seven Rhymesayers Headshots compilations, featured a fine remix to the Lucy Ford's "Travel." The remix was a very loose interpretation of the original "Travel," featuring the same lyrics in the chorus but different verses altogether. Additionally, ANT's fine original production was replaced with a nice sampling of the Players. While, Industrial Warfare is out of print, "Travel (Rmx)" is featured on The Best of Headshots 1-6, which is included free with the reissue of Headshots: Se7en.

Da King & I: Tears (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (buy it!) (1993, Rowdy)
Atmosphere: Travel (Remix) (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (buy it) (1997, Rhymesayers)

Friday, March 11, 2005

They Don't Go Platinum, They Go Aluminum

The title line wouldn't work very well in England. I believe our UK allies call it aluminium.

Who Am I? I have been nominated for 76 Grammy's, winning 26 times. I've won an Emmy and have received 7 Oscar nominations. I have written music for many, notably Ray Charles, Cannonball Adderly, and Duke Ellington. I penned the theme songs for Sanford and Son as well as The Cosby Show. I co-produced The Color Purple and produced The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I created VIBE magazine. I am probably most famous for producing Michael Jackson's Off The Wall and Thriller. If you guessed Quincy Jones, you are correct.

Just about every person with any interest into original samples, knows that the Pharcyde's wonderful "Passin Me By" sampled Q's "Summer In The City." I find it odd that most don't mention that the same song was sampled by The Roots for "Clones" and El Da Sensai for "Where Ya At (Dirty Summer Mix." Listen for yourself (at roughly 1:58 for Clones and 3:02 for Where?).

Quincy Jones: Summer In The City (link 1) (link 2)
The Roots: Clones (link 1) (link 2)
El Da Sensai: Where Ya At? (Dirty Summer Mix) (link 1) (link 2)

PS: Thanks to all alerting me to the comments problems. It seems to work at times and not at others. The blogger FAQ said: Users are currently getting "Blog not found" errors when accessing comment pages. We are working on getting this resolved ASAP. If you ever want to email me, hit up

Go To Your Room

After Shabaam Sahdeeq collaborated with the likes of Eminem, Pharoahe Monch, Method Man, Redman, Xzibit, Alchemist, and others, he was nice enough to craft an intro for The Hip Hop Romper Room. Over a fine O-Negative Beat, he created this:

Shabaam Sahdeeq: Hip Hop Romper Room Intro (link 1) (link 2)

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Y'All Can't See Me Like Ma$e's Eyebrows

Before They Were Famous Pt. I

Hip-hop fans take much pride in having been a fan of an artist before they "blow." Cheaters try to buy the rare, out-of print, early releases on certain auction sites to appear to have been down since day one. This leads to quite alot of foolishness.

Even worse is having to listen to someone talk not about the fine music of Doomsday, Headshots: Seven, or early groups like Masters of Ceremony (f/ Grand Puba) and Ultimate Force (Diamond D), but instead about how on top of things they are.

In my perfect world, anyone with the desire to consume hip-hop, would have access to it and some background.

One artist whose early years get alot of shine is Eminem. Much is made in hip-hop circles of his Infinite EP and his times on the battle circuit. And clearly, 8 Mile didn't reduce that shine. Two songs that don't seem to get mentioned too too mucn but feature a young, hungry Marshall are featured today.

Before donning shower caps and evening gowns and giving me nightmares, Bizarre was a member of The Dirty Dozen (now D12 of course.) In 1998, he dropped an EP entitled Attack Of The Weirdos. Em and Fuzz guested on Trife Theives.

Also in 1998, Marshall was featured on the Rawkus 12" of NJ emcee Shabaam Sahdeeq. The record's B-Side "5 Star General" featured Shabaam, Eminem, Kwest The Madd Ladd, Skam, and AL over a fine DJ Spinna track. I can't confirm but I have been told that this was Eminem's first appearance on vinyl.

Bizarre f/ Fuzz and Eminem: Trife Thieves (link 1) (link 2) (Federation, 1999)

Shabaam Sahdeeq f/ Eminem, Skam, AL, and Kwest: 5 Star Generals (link1) (link 2) (Rawkus, 1998)

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

I Keep A Flick Of You With The Machete Sword In Your Hand

While some people know him only as Chef from the brilliant South Park, Isaac Hayes has contributed quite alot to the vaults of hip-hop. His classic "Walk On By" alone has been sampled by Notorious B.I.G. (Warning), Foxy Brown, Cypress Hill, and about a dozen more. Numerous classics sample Isaac including but not limited to Gangstarr's "Friends Vs. BI," OC's "Born2Live," Mobb Deep's "Back At You," and Biz Markie's "Make The Music." Two of my favorite tracks that sample Chef and his chocolate salty balls are the Geto Boys "My Mind Is Playing Tricks On Me" and MF Doom's heartfelt "?" Featured below are "?" along with the songs sampled by the Geto Boys and the artist formerly know as Zev.

MF Doom f/ Kurious- ? (link 1) (link 2) (buy it if you're crazy) (1999 Fondle 'Em, 2001 Subverse)
Isaac Hayes- Vykkii (link 1) (link 2) (1976, ABC)
Issac Hayes- Hung Up On My Baby (link1) (link2) (buy it!) (1974, Enterprise)

Audio is available through Left click one of the two links for each song. Each will eventually give you the same MP3. Hopefully, my hosting will be ironed out soon and things will be easier.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Your Performance Is Mop The Stage

The creation of the hip-hop skit maybe a more delicate art than the creation of a cohesive album. Some of the most gifted artists have created the most inane, unnecessary skits. Even worse, the hiphop skit is too often offensive or self stroking like College Dropout. Some are just confusing. Not mentioning names, but your initials are MM...Food.

The Native Tongues did skits well. Especially gifted were Prince Paul, De La, and Dres of Black Sheep. This made the dialogue of De La Soul Is Dead the beautiful wrapping paper covering the perfect gift that was the album's actual music. The Wu had some heat: 'They probably took the tape" alongside Liquid Swords' samurai story and ODB's "Remember when we used too...."

The only cat makin' skits of late that get me chucklin' is a Jamaica, Queens, Unsigned Hype winner. In addition to making some mean hip-hop, Mr. Complex writes a mean skit.

Plex Goes Hollywood f/ Will Ferrell (link 1) (line 2) (Buy it!) (2005, Raptivism)
Being Mr. Complex (link1) (link 2) (Buy It!) (2005, Raptivism)
Do You Kno My Mans An Em (link1) (link 2) (Buy it!) (2001, 7 Heads)

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Comin' Thru With That Vibe That Picks You Up

Most rapnerds like myself have one album in their Top 10 that people scoff at. Mine has always been Quasimoto's The Unseen. I've felt somewhat vindicated of late by Madlib's steadily rising star and his incessant dropping of gem after gem. Even his brother, Oh No (Government Name: Michael Jackson), seems to becoming a well above average beat conductor. I was pleased to hear this week that Quasimoto's long awaited follow-up, The Further Adventures of Lord Quas, has a release date of May 2nd. To celebrate, please enjoy "Green Power," likely my favorite Unseen track, and Mandrill's "Khidja," which Madlib cleverly samples and chops.

A quick note on the sampled: Mandrill, founded by four Panamanian brothers from Bed-Stuy, won two Grammys for their very unique music. Kanye West's "Two Words," one of this past year's finest beats, also sampled Mandrill. With any luck, I can track down this audio as well and post it.

Quasimoto: Green Power (link1) (link2) (buy it!)
Mandrill: Khidja (link1) (link2) (buy it!)

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

I'm Not Q-Tip But I'll Make Your Breathin Stop

Circa 2000, I was hosting college radio at Chicago’s WHPK with the notorious V Funk. Back then, not too many local artists were professionally recording music, but those who were doing so were surprisingly gracious, accommodating, and available. The Molemen and All Natural’s Family Tree had great relations with the show, often either stopping by the station or performing at our limited number of events. Hell, even Twista’s C Wal Ballaz agreed to stop by the show once before cancelling. The one Chicago artist that V Funk and I could never seem to cross paths with was a frequent Molemen collaborator named Rhymefest. Eventually, toward the twilite of our appropriately named Hip Hop Romper Room, Fest stopped by. His self-pressed Raw Dog EP was a treat. You might notice a familiar line or two on "Bounce. " It probably helped make him a Grammy winner. "Good Ass Job" and "Fight With The Best" are produced by Fest's writing partner Kanye West. You may have heard of him.

Audio is available through Left click one of the two links for each song. Each will eventually give you the same MP3. Hopefully, my hosting will be ironed out soon and things will be easier.

Rhymefest: Bounce MP3 (link 1) (link 2)
Rhymefest f/ Kanye West and Mikkey: Good Ass Job (link 1) (link 2)
Rhymefest f/ Kanye West and Mikkey: Fight With The Best (link 1) (link 2)