Marco Polo produced this new cut from that Coney Island dude and Snowboard P.
Spotted at Ego Trip.
These aren’t one hit wonders, since none of these records were technically “hits” in the traditional sense. This is more of a collection of rappers who only got one chance to shine before they got a steady city job with a pension or dangled in record company hell for all eternity.
Raw Dope Posse - “Listen To My Turbo”
LL Cool J was heavily inspired by T La Rock, whereas these guys basically replicated his stuff right down to the Mantronik style beat. Not that it’s a bad thing, it sure beats trying to be another Run-DMC knock off.
Jaybok The City Ace - “Hip Hop Phenomenal”
The ever-reliable YouTube comment section tells us: “He goes by the name J-BOOM these dayz as a producer. He also did production for PRINCE MARKIE DEE (of the ‘FAT BOYS’).” I just remember how great DJ Doc’s horror-film inspired beat is on this. First DJ to cut up the sound of a burning forest? Might be.
Royal Ron - “Opsta Now (Stop Now)”
Pimp Pretty Royal Ron had a record the year before this, but “Rock The B-Boy Stance” was nowhere near as effective as this display of Pig Latin over a variation of producer Schoolly-D‘s “Housin’ The Joint” cowbells.
The Almighty El Cee - “We Have Risen”
El Cee raps his ass/arse off for five minutes over appropriately dramatic music.
Uptown - “Dope On Plastic”
Although Uptown would later re-emerge with Buckshot LeFonque, this has long been a favorite of those in the know.
Levi 167 - “Something Fresh To Swing To”
An early member of BDP who may or may not have been kicked out because he beamed up to Scotty a little too much, this record had it’s own dusted sound that still rocks just as hard to this day.
Seeborn and Puma - “They Call Me Puma”
Were these guys weed carriers for Howie Tee and Chubb Rock? Regardless, anyone who introduces a song with “I’m the ignorant rapper!” is OK in my book.
Jamose - The Rhymthologist
Lucky this dude didn’t drop after 1994, otherwise he might have been accused of sounding like Nas. It’s all about that horn break though…
Lazy Laz - “Mystery”
That Audio 2 goodness strikes again with this slice of “Nautilus” gold from the Bumrush label.
Lord Alibaski - “Top Gun”
Even though he had four tracks on the Flavor Unit album, this was his sole solo sojourn.
This is the definition of Conservative Rap Coalition-approved rap. All four of these gentlemen do themselves proud with their vocal performances here.
The Conservative Rap Coalition is proud to present the new Him Lo Da Inappropriate album, Complimentary Snacks, hitting you in the face with a broken beer bottle on some non-progressive, anti-social beats and raps type shit. You’re either with us or against us.
These are ten essential 80′s b-sides, from the time when the 12″ single truly reigned supreme. “La Di Da Di” isn’t included as it’s basically a double A-side single for all intents and purposes. Technically “Ego Trippin’” also started out as a b-side on the second pressing of “To Give You Love,” but those are so scarce it barely warrents a mention.
Public Enemy - “The B-Side Wins Again”
The version on Fear… lacked whatever it was that made the original version so great, as the Spectrum City crew took it back to that Long Island sound clash era.
Latee feat. 45 King - “Puttin’ On The Hits”
45 King is always welcome on the mic, while Latee delivers nothing short of gold as usual.
Big Daddy Kane - “Wrath of Kane”
A fine installment in the friendly rivalry between Kane and G Rap for verbal supremacy.
Divine Sounds - “Do Or Die Bed Stuy”
Memorable DJ on the mic moment from the mid 80′s.
Public Enemy - “Rebel Without A Pause”
Easily one of the most important rap records ever made.
MC Shan - “The Bridge”
The birth of Queensbridge rap as we know and love it.
Ultramagnetic MC’s - “A Chorus Line”
The debut of Timothy Blair and a triumphant showcase of Ultramagnetic’s dominance following their flawless first album.
LL Cool J - “Jack The Ripper”
The first memorable ethering on record.
Ultramagnetic MC’s - “Mentally Mad”
Another fine testament to Kool Keith, Ced Gee, Moe Love and TR in their prime.
Audio Two - “Top Billin’”
The hit that Milk and Giz continued to remind us of forever, thanks mainly to Daddy-O’s brilliant studio mess up when programming the drums.
Weighing in on the usual complaints about Action and Droog…
Timeless Truth go in over Pete Rock‘s “Strange Fruit” instrumental. Catch them at Webster Hall on 3 September with Your Old Droog and Rast RFC.
New Him Lo burner from his new ten track solo project, Complimentary Snacks, which is being premiered right here on Unkut Dot Com on 1 September. Produced by DJ Rocksteady, co-produced by Him Lo.
Perhaps best known for providing Melle Mel with the beat to “The Message” while working as a Sugarhill Records session player, Duke Bootee went on to unleash a series of DMX/Linn Drum driven speaker smashers for Profile and his own Beauty and the Beat imprint, as well as his own solo album. When combined with a great scratch DJ and some effective Shout Rap (Word of Mouth‘s “King Kut”) or the hardcore b-boy stance of one-time Rammellzee rhyme partner and a razor sharp Latin Rascals edit (K-Rob‘s “I’m A Homeboy”), the trademark Duke sound was unstoppable. Here’s a collection of his production and vocal work, including that time that Bootee was recruited to record a guest rap in Ewok…
1. K-Rob - ‘I’m A Homeboy‘
2. MC Crash - ‘Life On The Street‘
3. Word of Mouth feat. DJ Cheese - ‘King Kut‘
4. Point Blank MC’s - ‘Hard To The Body‘
5. Z-3 MC’s - ‘Triple Threat‘
6. Word of Mouth feat. DJ Cheese - ‘Coast To Coast‘
7. Melle Mel and Duke Bootee - ‘Message 2 (Survival)‘
8. Rap-O-Matic Ltd. - ‘Lies, Lies‘
9. Duke Bootee - ‘Broadway‘
10. Masterdon Committee - ‘Get Off My Tip‘
11, Point Blanks MC’s - ‘What The Party Needs‘
12. Melle Mel and Duke Bootee - ‘The Message‘
13. Duke Bootee - Live Wire(I Want A Girl That Sweats)
14. Gil Scott-Heron feat. Melle Mel, Duke Bootee and the Fat Boys - ‘Let Me See Your I.D.‘
15. Meco feat. Duke Bootee - ‘Ewok Celebration (Club Version)‘
Third single from the BBW – A Pornographic Opera album. Homeboy made songs about his favorite big gals on film, now he’s rolling with one in real life. Bless you, internets.
“This is my prized track, I actually got the woman to do the introduction for the song and be on my album cover. This picture for her single was taken right in front of me. Kacey catapulted herself to Greatest BBW Of all time when she agreed to collaborate for my album. I am forever in her debt, hopefully she takes travelers checks”
A selection of tracks worthy of twelve inch status on the grounds of how great they are. The fact that I don’t own proper instrumental versions of any of these kills me a little bit inside every day.
Mobb Deep - Apostle’s Warning
This is without a shadow of a doubt the finest performance that Prodigy ever recorded.
Black Sheep - Gotta Get Up
A highlight from an unfocused but unfairly maligned sophomore set.
Akinyele - Checkmate
Put “Exercise” on the b-side and you’d have one of the greatest singles of the decade.
The Beatnuts - Straight Jacket
Random running water sound effect? Check. Bizarre Ol’ Dirty Bastard hook? Check. Beatnuts forever, die-hard motherfuckers.
Diamond D - I Went For Mine
Even though they never really “added a flute,” this Jazzy Jay / D Squared combination is nothing short of Bronx rap perfection.
Lord Finesse - Hands In The Air, Mouth Shut
The best tape-only exclusive ever? Without a doubt.
Large Professor and Pete Rock - The Rap World
Somehow this soundtrack exclusive producer-on-the-mic combo never gets old. Must be the Average White Band sleigh bells.
Kool G Rap - “Executioner Style
Dr. Butcher is no joke when it comes to delivering that eerie backdrop to A-grade gun talk.
Showbiz & A.G. – Medicine
Worth it just to hear Showbiz almost rap again.
Brand Nubian - Straight Outta Now Rule
There were four classic tracks on the Brand Nu reunion album from 1998. This was one of them.
Hus‘ new tape with Rozenwood, 100$ Taper, is available now for 10% of the title.
“Black Columbo” video:
Killa Kidz graduate Challace enlists Bold-Faced James and Rapper Noyd for this cut from the forthcoming Paybakzdagetbak mixtape, produced by King Benny.
Heard this on the new Chopped Herring mix and thought it deserved it’s own post. Him Lo explains:
“I made it bout 8 yrz ago… Done alotta deep research n studying since then so some of my viewz have changed..”
Regardless, the flow on this is exceptional and I fux with it. It’s also a million times more listenable than Ras Kass‘ “Nature of A Threat.”
Domingo‘s latest album, Same Game, New Rules dropped this week, featuring a mixture of veteran MC’s (AZ, Kool G Rap, KRS-One) and new jacks (Chris Rivers, Kon Boogie, Joey Fattz), so I took some time out to discuss some of the highs and lows of his long career in the music game, and found out some amusing trivia about some LL Cool J and G Rap songs in the process.
Robbie: What sparked you off to start making beats?
Domingo: My uncle used to go to radio personality college and he started deejaying for a radio station in Chicago as an intern and then became a radio personality there. He would send me cassettes back of him deejaying and I was always fascinated. When he finally came back home to Brooklyn, he threw his equipment in the basement of my grandma’s house where I was living and he would DJ down there and play the drums. My uncle was very multi-talented, I would just sit there and watch him. I always remember him playing “King Tim” and then he played “Rapper’s Delight” and Kurtis Blow. When “Rapper’s Delight” came out, that’s when I was hooked. One day I started deejaying and then it transcended into me wanting to do demos and write my little raps and do battles in the street. I did my demos with two tape decks, back and forth how it used to get done, then I went on to four tracks.
What was it like growing up in East New York back then?
East New York was homicide central, like Jeru said. I grew up with Jeru, Lil’ Dap – childhood friends. A good friend of mine, his nickname is Froggy, and he’s like family to me. We always say that we “graduated.” We were lucky to live to 21. I could take you to the cemetery and show you a row of all my friends who are dead. East New York was a very rough neighborhood, man. Early childhood memories is gunshots, trains running past my house – the L train, cos my house is right near the corner on Sheppard Avenue. Growing up with my friends – my friends are still my friends to this day! And the fact that one of my good friends named Edison, who I grew up with, if it wasn’t for him putting me in his father’s Chevy Caprice Classic and telling me, “Domingo – this is you all the way! Let’s go see Marley at ‘BLS, he’s looking for people.” If he didn’t drag me there, I would’ve never met Marley.
So you showed up at the radio station with a demo tape?
Marley was looking for new artists for his In Control, Vol. 2 album, and he announced it on the radio and me and my friend Edison happened to be sitting on my block, drinking a 40 oz. and just talking. He was like, “Yo, you hear that? Marley is looking for new artists! That’s you! We gotta go!” He went and got his father’s keys and we drove up there and I passed Marley my tape. About three days later I got a phone call that Marley wanted to sign me.
And that changed your life.
Abso-friggin-lutely it changed my life. I respect anybody that’s got a nine to five job, cos you gotta feed your family, but since that day in 1987 I haven’t had a nine to five job since then. It’s been all music. There are times that I just want to walk away from the game, cos there’s too much politics in it, but when I look back – when you work a job for 28 years, how do you transition to a nine to five from that?
You haven’t been shy about talking about your ups and downs in the music industry in the past. Do you feel like things have improved?
[laughs] I’ve been doing it 28 years now, it is what it is. In any business you do you’re gonna have ups and downs, I decided to take control of my stuff cos I didn’t feel like splitting 50/50 with a record label.
The first record you produced was by a young rapper named Fonz. How did that come about?
Radio personality Star is a good friend of mine – Troi Torrain is his real name. He approached me about doing a record with his nephew. Fonz is actually a little kid. He put it out himself – Star’s been around for many, many years.
Sweet Tee is his cousin as well, which is pretty ill. What that your first thing on vinyl?
That was probably the first independent record I did, but it wasn’t the first record. I was working on Rakim at the same time. I got signed to Marley Marl in 1987 – ironically, for rapping! I would always show Marley my demos, and Marley would say, “Yo, those beats are hot.” But never mentioned the rapping, so I kinda got the hint and just went on to produce. I worked on Craig G’s whole second album with Marley, I’ve done a few things. Marley Marl – I’ll always hold high in my life, cos he didn’t have to do what he did. I was 16, 17 – signing me to his production team and all that – so I’ll always be grateful to him. If it wasn’t for Marley Marl, none of y’all would know who I am.
Was J-Force rolling with Marley at that same time?
J-Force is my dude! I got so much love for that pisan. He’s always shown me love and he’s very talented. He was around back then, he was that SP-1200 dude.
You’ve worked with some big names over the years. How was G Rap?
Me and G Rap bonded like brothers. I’ve been in sessions with G Rap where I always wonder what he’s gonna say on this record, because he just says shit that nobody says. He’s just witty like that. It was a blessing I did ‘Dream Shatterer’ for Big Pun, it was a blessing all the stuff I did with KRS. If I had to walk away from my career for any known reason, I could look back and say, “I had a great career.” I got to work with every legend you can think of except Jay-Z. Biggie I was supposed to work with on the second album, and then unfortunately he got killed. Tupac – I would have loved to work with – but he got killed. I worked with Big Daddy Kane, KRS, Rakim and Kool G Rap – the top four.
And Slick Rick.
You’re absolutely right! Then you add in the movies and the commercials that I’ve scored, I can’t complain, man.
What’s been your worst experience in the music game?
The worst situation is dealing with record companies that you’ve gotta chase to get paid, or that don’t give you your royalty statements when you ask for them, or just don’t give you your royalties – period. So in that case – all the record labels! [laughs] If you ain’t askin’, you ain’t getting – that’s the way it goes in the music industry. If you aren’t asking for your statement? You’re not getting it. If you don’t enquire about your sales? You’re not gonna know, unless you have Soundscan. And Soundscan is expensive like a motherfucker! It’s like $100,000 a year.
What was your best experience?
Big Pun, because I got to be on a classic album, went triple platinum, got my platinum plaque which I’ve always wanted, I was blessed to work with him. One of the most fun artists was Shaquelle O’Neil, because I got to hang at his house for two months, got to know him on a personal level. It wasn’t like working with someone who doesn’t know how to be an artist, because he does. That was interesting.
What can tell em about the God Sunz on Tru Criminal?
It was great working with them. Bacardi 151, the last record I did with him was called ‘Burn You,’ and that was probably my favorite thing I did with Tru Criminal cos it was so hard hard grimy.
You also did that compilation LP, Behind the 13th Door.
I was the only person, ever in hip-hop – to this day – to get KRS and MC Shan back-to-back on one record. Nobody’s ever done it. That’s that song on that album called ‘Line of Fire.’ How that went down was KRS laid his verse and I was in the studio and Shan was in the other room – KRS wasn’t there, KRS was living in California already – and Shan walked in and goes, “Yo! Let me get on there after Kris!” Eminem came to Queens to record that verse for ‘Hustlers and Hardcore’ and I didn’t know who Eminem was at that point. He was brought by Paul Rosenberg to the studio because of the man that gave me the deal, Steve Salem, who unfortunately passed away right before my album came out. I’d heard of Eminem as a battle rapper, but I’d never heard him on songs.
What was the story with you remaking ‘The Dream Shatterer’?
Buckwild – who’s my brother, I got a tremendous amount of love for him – did a version using a Barry White sample, but Black Rob had a record out with the same Barry White sample and Puffy paid Barry White not to clear it for nobody else. Pun had that beat – my beat – for about three years before he got a deal, and he always asked me, “Yo, please don’t sell this beat, I’m tellin’ you I’m gonna make something smashing out of it. Domingo, promise me you won’t sell it.” I was like, “I got you,” but I totally forgot about it and then he called me from Access Studios and was like, “Yo, you still got the beat? Come up here.” He played me ‘Dream Shatter’ and gave me the DAT of the master vocals and said, “See if it goes together.” The tempo matched and we went in the cutting room and Pun re-tracked his vocals and did it in one take.
What was the story with you connecting with Rakim?
When I got the call that Rakim wanted to work with me? That alone, I was like, “Get outta here!” When Rakim came into Power Play, he sat down, pulled out the spiral notebook and the rhymes were written in graffiti! He really does that! I recorded two songs with him, the third one never got finished. I did ‘Original Style’ and I did a song called ‘Bring It On’ which there’s a producer on the internet claiming he did it. I’m like, “Nah man,” cos I was the first person to work with Rakim on that album. Someone leaked two of the songs and Rakim just scrapped the whole album, but a lot of those songs have surfaced over the years.
You also worked on the second Fat Joe LP. which was my favorite record from him.
We were in Jazzy Jay’s studio in Queens, and Joe wanted to sound like Nas, the way Nas is flowing on records. Joe would go in the booth and Pun would tell him, “Nah man, you don’t sound right. You should say it like this.” Pun would tell him and Joe would do it. Joe gave me advice about the music industry, “Use your street mentality to do these deals, and watch how you win.” I listened to him and I started winning, as far as getting other deals. Joe gave me a little bit of a boost into the game too, “You’re gonna piggyback off of me and I’mma get you into the music industry and then you’re gonna run around and make all this money.” Sure as shit, it happened. He didn’t bullshit me.
What was it like working with KRS-One?
I worked on Sneak Attack with him. I did the majority of the album and I also executive produce that album, even though my name doesn’t appear on those credits. I witnessed an artist for a whole album in five hours, and that was Sneak Attack. KRS came into the studio with a stack of spiral books with rhymes written in ‘em, had all the beats ready to go and loaded up, and he was just laying one song after the other, non-stop. We finished that whole album that day – mixed and everything.
How was your experience working on the Kool G Rap album at Rawkus?
They definitely was tryin’ to make G something he wasn’t. Rawkus tried to boost themselves to the point where they could be with the in-crowd, and it just didn’t work out. The song ‘My Life,’ I did the original, Rawkus “claimed” they couldn’t clear the sample and then Mike Heron’s version was put on there. I love the song, and Mike Heron’s a good friend of mine. G was spitting fire on that album, and the sessions I was in were all New York shit, but they envisioned G Rap to be something that they wanted and G wasn’t having that shit. They tried their best to make G do shit outside of his comfort zone.
I’m assuming the original version of “Rising Up” was changed because of sample clearance?
Yeah. G loves that version the best out of all of ‘em, but of course we couldn’t use it.
What was the story with Hilary Duff’s sister being credited with doing the hook on that other single from that EP?
Premier did that one. Hilary Duff’s sister [Haylie] knew nothing about that, it was a cut! It wasn’t her live! The dude who put that out – Half A Klip – he’s just a con artist. He’s fulla shit. A couple of days ago there was a story in TMZ about Michael Lohan – Lindsay Lohan’s father – threatening a music executive, to beat his ass. Lo and behold, it’s the dude that put out Half A Klip! How ironic is that? This is the same dude, when Big Pun The Legacy DVD came out – I did that song ‘Bronx Niggas’ that’s in the DVD – and my lawyer approached the company that put it out with a cease and desist, cos I own the copyright to that. Some paperwork pops up, “You signed a licensing deal for this for $950.” This dude from Chinga Chang forged my signature on the paperwork and got the money!
What are some memorable sessions you sat in at with Marley Marl?
I was around for Mama Said Knock You Out. He would go the Tunnel nightclub with me and Marley, he would zone out to the music and go back to the studio. We recorded in Marley’s house in Spring Valley, New York. I was in Chung King with Marley when he did the ‘Jingling Baby’ remix. A lotta people don’t know this, but when it gets to the part with ‘Walking On Sunshine,’ if you pay close attention, Marley Marl left the metronome in on the record. You can hear the metronome blipping throughout the sample! This year I brought it up to Marley, cos I was in the studio when he mixed it. I said, “You did something on that record that I bet nobody knows you did.” He said, “Yeah I know, I did that on purpose to fuck with people, and you’re the only one who ever noticed.”
What was your involvement with Blahzay Blahzay’s “Danger”?
PF Cuttin’ came up to RUSH Management and he played a cassette of it. The minute he played it, I was like, “Yo! Who you putting this through?” And he said, “It’s just a demo.” I called up my friend Kenyatta Bell up at Mercury, played it for them and Blahzay had a record deal within the next few hours.
Was sample clearance the reason you have all those alternative versions of songs you’ve done?
The ‘Dream Shatterer’ remix, I actually did for Pun, cos he asked me, “What else can you do with this?” I did “1st of the Month” remix for Bone Thugs-N-Harmony that only came out in Europe. I’ve done remixes for Kid Frost, Dru Down.
Why do you think the art of the album has been lost to an extent?
You’ve got kids putting out ‘mixtapes’ everyday when they’re really albums. Mixtapes consist of songs from the artist, whether they’re jacked or original beats, a DJ would host it and cut it up. That’s a mixtape. A mixtape is not, ‘Here’s ten songs, that’s a mixtape!’ No DJ, no nothin.’ I hope that the hip-hop that I grew-up with and I’ve done can get up off it’s feet and rock again, but I highly doubt that’ll ever happen, because it’s such a lost artform. It’s sad, because it’s going the route of disco music. Disco was pumping, it was in every club – now where’s disco? It’s been dead for years. When Nas said, ‘Hip-hop Is Dead,’ that was a bold statement, but it was damn near correct.
Is there anything that can be done to revive it?
[laughs] It’s past that point, I don’t know if it can be revived 100% back to what it was. Fans need to be fans and let the rappers be the rappers, let the producers be the producers. Support your local artists and it can help hip-hop get back some it’s integrity.
You’re dropping a new album so you can’t have given up completely.
The album is the last album I’m ever doing for me, producer album. I did this because people hitting me on Facebook, ‘You should do an album, I’ll support it.’ My point of doing an album was, ‘OK, I’ll put out an album.’ At the end of the day it goes back the fans. Even if you don’t like my music, go and support Cormega. Cormega’s new album is album of the year in my book.
Fonz - “Cruisin’ In The Benz”
Rakim - “Original Style”
Fat Joe - “Success”
Kool G Rap - “Risin’ Up”
Big Punisher - “Dream Shatterer”
Masta Ace - “Dear Diary”
Slick Rick - “Trouble On The Westside Highway”