Jadakiss, Styles P and Sheek Louch did some rapping in honor of DJ Doo Wop‘s 20th year in the game at Stage 48 in NYC 5/7/13.
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Jadakiss, Styles P and Sheek Louch did some rapping in honor of DJ Doo Wop‘s 20th year in the game at Stage 48 in NYC 5/7/13.
The post Video: THE LOX performing at DJ Doo Wop’s 20th Anniversary Concert appeared first on unkut.com - A Tribute To Ignorance (Remix).
Can’t stop, don’t stop, rocking with that Doppz shit. Latest from the Hark LP.
In news that shouldn’t be particularly surprising to anybody who watched the extensive Dateline report on Tim Dog‘s numerous “bad business deals” with a series of lonely ladies he met through internets dating, one of his “rubes” is so thirsty to get her $100 a month repayment plan continued by Timothy that she’s hired a private investigator to prove if the Dog actually died earlier this year. The story has even been picked-up by a local news show, despite the fact there is no actual proof that he’s still alive.
After being informed by a longtime Bronx resident that, “most Webster Ave niggas are con artist”, I think I may have a lead. Over at Discogs, a lone seller is offering a copy of Tim Dog’s final album, BX Warrior, on CD for $91. Since I’m pretty sure nobody actually bought that album, or even knew it existed, there’s a good chance that this is Tim’s latest hustle. I put to you that he left Atlanta with a briefcase full of BX Warrior CD’s, hopped the red-eye to Germany and is currently living with his latest online dating conquest in Berlin, who is helping him prepare the next Tim Dog Greatest Hits box set/all-black strip revue/movie project with Denzel Washington.
However, if it turns out that Esther Pilgrim is completely wrong about this crackpot theory, I hope she gets hit by a bus for continuing to drag the great man’s name through the mud. I mean she did get to experience a romantic night in Atlanta with the guy who made “Fuck Compton”, after all. You can’t put a price-tag on that kind of experience!
White Rap has officially left the “gimmick” category. Or has it?
Here are all three episodes of the Combat Jack interview with the Greatest Southern Rapper of All Time, Brad “Mr. Scarface” Jordan. Part 2 and 3 below.
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A list of great violent rap, including everything from broad beating anthems to gun clapping to cannibalism. Good times for all.
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The most important thing you can do on the internets this decade is vote in the 2nd Annual Weed Carrier Awards, now expanded to cover sports, film, TV and comic books.
Having come-up as T La Rock‘s Human Beat-Box and graduated to be half of Nice & Smooth, one of hip-hop’s greatest duos, the mighty Greg N-I-C-E has also put together some great music on the solo tip, as both a producer and an MC. Here are ten of his finest efforts:
Greg Nice – “Work It Out”
Proving that he hasn’t missed a step, Greg dropped this 2006 single which sounded like it was made ten years earlier, in the best way possible. The beat goes extra hard, too.
Greg Nice – “Set It Off”
Who knew this song had a video? Classic echo-chamber rhyme style and a hard snare make this a winner. As pointed out in the comments, Salaam Remi produced this one but it still counts on GP.
Lazy Laz – “Smooth”
Co-Production for this late 80′s First Priority Music offshoot label gem.
Mellow-T – “Keep It Real”
Greg wasn’t afraid to re-flip popular breaks and make them rock even harder. This time around, “I Know You Got Soul” gets a re-up for this Columbia records one-shot single.
Preacher Earl and The Ministry – “The Return of the Body Snatcha”
Preacher Earl somehow managed to balance his love of handguns with his responsibilities as a man of the cloth. Bless you, sir.
Phat Doug feat. Preacher Earl & Greg Nillz – “Hands Up High”
Earl explains why he took a year off rapping, in case anyone was concerned. Great horns, drums and bassline on this one.
Phat Doug Feat. Greg Nice, Preacher Earl & LS – “Don’t Talk Me To Death”
I’m pretty sure they’re making it rain with Monopoly money in this video.
Red Hot Lover Tone Feat. Greg Nice – “Wanna Make Moves”
Gary Colemen-sploitation was a big problem in mid-90′s rap videos, as were lyrics that were based entirely on refernceing other rappers.
Greg Nice feat. Verbal Kent – “Water”
Greg’s appetite for folk music comes into play once again with that guitar loop. Loud drums as always seal the deal.
New Kids On The Block – “Dirty Dawg” [Greg Nice Remix]
Get that Boy Band dough, son!
Bonus Related Non-Greg Nice Productions:
Phat Doug – “Here We Go”
Greg didn’t make this one but Phat Doug seems to be enjoying himself, so that’s the main thing.
“Blessed With My Daughter”
Preacher Earl announces that he’s put his gun down since the birth of his daughter. Considering his only video featured him waving a gat around and featured a b-side called “Gunz”, this doesn’t leave him a lot of room to do his thing in the rap game.
Never before have so many shots been fired on a podcast in the space of two hours as Premium Pete and Toure face-off once again. Essential listening.
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Tragedy has teamed up with Tragic Allies (Purpose, Estee Nack and Code Nine) to form 7 G.E.M.S. The Golden Era Music Sciences album is out now through Ill Adrenaline Records with vinyl due next month.
The post 7 G.E.M.S. (Tragic Allies & Tragedy Khadafi) – Dem Get Murda appeared first on unkut.com - A Tribute To Ignorance (Remix).
When I caught-up with DJ Moe Love in 2010, he sounded as if he was two-sheets to the wind as he explained why he and TR Love hadn’t been involved in the Best Kept Secret LP, and why they decided to release their own Ultramagnetic Foundation project. We also talked about the early days of the legendary crew, the story behind “Ego Trippin’” and the Ultra Lab, and their mixed experiences with different record labels over the years.
Robbie: What age did you get into music?
DJ Moe Love: As far as deejaying and all that stuff? I started at a young age. Probably around ten years-old. I was brought up into music, my father had mad records. Music was in my blood. Before I started with Ultramagnetic I was in a group called People’s Choice Crew. We were from Brooklyn, Fort Greene. I’m originally from Brooklyn. Dana Dane was a part of that crew. People’s Choice Crew was just friends, neighborhood DJ’s and MC’s. We used to do it for the fun. Just-Ice is from my neighborhood also.
What were you calling yourself back then?
I used to call myself Master Mel! Master Mel on the 1’s and 2’s. [Kool] Keith used to breakdance also.
What brought Ultra together originally?
Ced Gee’s my cousin, and Ced Gee and Kool Keith went to school together up in The Bronx. Roonie Roon was the guy who put the group together. He was the guy who got Keith to meet Ced Gee, they had formed a group together. I got involved, ‘cos Ced was like, “We need a DJ in the group”. I was a DJ and I had records, I was a big record collector. I used to dig in the crates and look for all types of records – Isaac Hayes, Barry White, Bob James, “Apache” – I used look for all types of records.
What was the next step for the group?
Red Alert had interest in us. Him and Keith was real tight from back in the days. Red Alert was the one who got us the deal on Next Plateau Records. A lotta people don’t know that. We had a record out before that, on Diamond International. “Give Me Love”. That was with a guy named DNA, he ain’t know how to promote it.
What do you remember about the recording of “Ego Trippin’”?
MC Ultra? That was a song that we did, it was me, TR Love, Kool Keith, Keyboard Money Mike and Ced Gee. Keyboard Money Mike helped produce “Ego Trippin”. There was another in the group named Roonie Roon, also. He got locked-up during that time. TR Love actually took his place, that’s how TR got in the group.
How did you meet TR?
I met TR Love at a store called Rock and Soul on 34th Street. That’s where he worked at.
What can you tell me about Keyboard Money Mike?
Keyboard Money Mike did a lot of stuff for Ultra. The record called “MC Ultra/Ego Trippin”, Keyboard Money Mike did a lot on there and never got the right credit, and I’ll vouch for that. He’s the also doing the hook, “MC Ultra!” He added all the sounds, the bassline, everything. He did a lot for the record. Once he didn’t get the right credit, he left us alone after that. He ended-up going with KRS.
What was the initial response to “Ego Trippin”?
People went crazy for it! That was the number one record in New York. You’d hear that everywhere, that was one our biggest records in the streets. It was summer, 1986. You had “Eric B. For President”, that was one of the hottest records. You had “The Bridge” by MC Shan, Run-DMC “Peter Piper”.
The “Travelling At The Speed of Thought” video was pretty out there. Who’s idea was that?
That’s our first video, that was something that Next Plateau wanted us to do. Honestly, I didn’t want to do a video for that song, that was the label’s suggestion. “Give The Drummer Some” – we should’ve done a video for that. Or “Chorus Line”.
I’ve heard that Ced Gee was the only guy in THe Bronx with an SP-12. Is that true?
He was the only guy in The Bronx with the SP-12. KRS and Scott La Rock used to come to the crib, they did the records together.
Would you bring a lot of the samples to Ced?
Me and TR Love used to always go out and look for records. We’d be in the streets, we’d go anywhere to find records. There was a record store called Music Factory, up in Manhattan, over in Times Square area, on 42nd street. We used to go over there looking for breakbeats and all that stuff. We used to always look for rare records – it could be rock records, R&B records – we used to dig into the 70’s and early 80’s.
Why did you leave Next Plateau?
We had a little issue with Next Plateau because of the contract. We felt that their focus was on Salt ‘N Pepa, so it was time to make a change.
When you moved to Polygram, did they pressure you make some smoother stuff?
When we did the Funk Your Head Up album, there were a lot of people involved with that album. There was us and it was these guys from Germany that were doing music on that album too. That was the labels idea, I guess they were the hottest producers out in Germany. They did some nice beats for NWA.
Was it their idea for the R&B stuff such as “I Like Your Style”?
That was something Ced did, that was a commercial song. During that time, everyone was into that New Jack Swing era. The label wanted us to do something like that, but it was understandable. You wanna get on regular rotation, you gotta do one of those type of songs. But we had hard songs on that album, we had songs like “Plucking Everyone’s Card”, that was hard. “You Ain’t Real”.
Was Tim Dog ever officially Ultramagnetic or part of the extended crew?
He was extended crew. He was one of the guys that just hung around with us and shit. He wasn’t a member of Ultra but he was down with the crew.
Did “Fuck Compton” cause you guys any problems?
Nah, it didn’t cause no conflict or anything. He was just dissing NWA. It wasn’t a diss to go out and kill anyone, it was just making records.
But a lot of LA rappers got offended.
They got offended, but no violence got involved with it. NWA had a song called “Straight Outta Compton”, he had a song called “Fuck Compton”. [laughs]
What can you tell me about The Four Horsemen album?
The Four Horsemen was a good album, we had more control on that album. We did what we feel at the time. When we signed to Wild Pitch, MC Serch was working at the label. We knew Stu Fine for years. Godfather Don also did tracks on the album, that’s a cool dude.
How long did your scratch records usually take to put together?
When I did “Moe Love On The 1’s and 2’s”, I took my time doing that. When I did this one [“Inside Herman’s Head”], they rushed me, and I don’t like to be rushed. That’s why it’s real short.
What happened after that album?
Kool Keith been wanting to do his solo album since we did Critical Beatdown. Everyone branched out and did their own little thing. Everyone was still doing music. I had a group called Slaughterhouse Cartel, and TR Love had a group called Raw Breed with Marc Live.
What are your feelings about the Tuff City release of old Ultra songs?
Ced had put out a couple of ‘em, so me and the road manager, JC, we put out one. These were just songs that we did and were just sitting around. The reason we put them out was just to keep the name going, like a mixtape.
There must have been hundreds of songs recorded when Ultra was together, based on all those Tuff City compilations.
Back in the days when we was doing Ultra, we lived in the studio. Everyday we would record like five songs! That was something in the blood. Get up in the morning and record. It was like a nine to five job! Our ears was always focused what was going on on the radio, and record.
Is that what made Critical Beatdown so great? The fact that you had so much material to choose from?
It wasn’t a rushed album. It took us about a month to complete the whole album.
Can you describing a typical Ultra show from that era?
We used to rock Latin Quarters like every week! We’d do a show at Union Square, we’d do a show in Harlem – The Rooftop. We would do our record, and then eventually we would do a freestyle off a breakbeat. Off of James Brown “Funky Drummer”. I’d just cut it up on the turntables. We had a good response. It was cool back then.
What was the wildest thing that ever happened on stage?
We were out in London when Keith had the straight-jacket on, when we performed at The Fridge. That was one of our biggest shows out there. We wanted to have him hanging [upside-down] at first, but he wouldn’t do it.
Can you describe a typical Moe Love DJ set?
I play old rap records from the early 80’s, I throw in a couple of break-beats and shit. I just play the hardcore street, I’m against the commercial hip-hop. When I do these parties I play cats like Freddie Foxxx, Mobb Deep, Kool G Rap, Eric B. & Rakim, Public Enemy – all the classics and the hard stuff. Even 50. What kinda music are they listening to in Europe right now?
I’m in Australia, actually.
Oh, I thought you lived in London! Australia made one of my favorite movies – Mad Max. I watched that movie over a hundred times! That’s my movie right there! I was amazed at the highways. I have a picture of the car on my Facebook page.
Do you think Europe appreciates hardcore rap more than back home?
Hell yeah, America’s all fucked-up now. They don’t like hardcore music here, they like Lil’ Wayne and Drake out here. The guys dominate the airwaves and they say that’s hardcore hip-hop. I respect what they do, but it’s not hardcore. That’s pop music right there. New York radio is fucked-up, they play ten records on rotation, all day! We don’t even have underground radio in New York no more. The last underground show we had was Bobbito and Stretch Armstrong.
What was the legendary Ultra Lab like?
It got burnt down and shit! Nah, he just moved. He was living in the projects on 169th in The Bronx, and he had the silver wallpapers and stuff. Actually, his brother put that together. Rest in peace, Patrick Miller. It was Patrick Miller and Keyboard Money Mike that put that all together. They had a four-track, it was called Mastermind Productions, and then they changed it to the Ultra Lab. That’s where KRS used to record at, he had a group called The Celebrity 3. Him and Jerry Lee [Levi 167] and this guy named Cav. They had a little group and they used to come up to the house and record. We’re talking about 1982-3, going way back then.
Did you record any of Beatdown there?
We recorded some in the house, but most of it was recorded at Studio 1212 in Queens, with a guy called Paul C. Real cool guy, he got killed. He did “Give The Drummer Some” and “Travelling At The Speed of Thought”, and he also did two songs on Eric B. & Rakim album.
What do you remember about Paul C?
He was the engineer, but he had beats. This guy had like a million records, a lotta old stuff, very rare records that you could never find nowhere. He knew our sound. When he did “Give The Drummer Some”. He was like, “Listen, I got a beat for y’all niggas”. He played the beat and we were like, “Oh shit!” He’s like, “This is something for y’all, right here. Y’all should name it ‘Give The Drummer Some”. He thought of the hook and everything. Keith and Ced just went in the booth and rhymed and the song was complete. He played us a couple of beats that he had for Rakim for us. Unfortunately, he passed away. It’s sad.
Ultramagnetic MCs – “Moe Love’s Theme”
Ultramagnetic MC’s – “Moe Love On The 1 and 2″
Ultramagnetic MC’s – “Adventure’s Of Herman’s Lust (Moe Love III)”
Ultramagnetic MC’s – “Poppa Large” [Moe Love´s Original]
Ultramagnetic MC’s – “MC’s Ultra [Part 2]“
The post DJ Moe Love [Ultramagnetic MC's] – The Unkut Interview appeared first on unkut.com - A Tribute To Ignorance (Remix).
The Curse Of The Shirtless Rapper is very, very real. Also, pause at the artwork that accompanies this week’s column.
As KRS-One once said: “We’re not done…we’re not done”. After Paypal tried to hate on the Conservative Rap Coalition movement by freezing our account on the grounds that we’re not a “registered charity”, I had to flip the script on the whole operation. Never fear valued members, everything is back on track and we are well on the way to hitting our target in terms of new recruits. If you’ve been a long time reader of the site, it’s time to pony up before I start posting pictures of Kanye and Kim shopping for baby leather kilts.
In the meantime, I’ve also been working on lining-up some big projects for the trip. I won’t reveal the exact nature of these just yet, but rest assured it’s a lot better than watching me tongue kiss Shante. That being said, the CRC still needs your support to take this site to the next level and deliver original video content for those times that you’re too drunk or blazed to read properly. Do the right thing and I won’t need to make anymore annoying posts like this and can return to our regularly scheduled programming.
You can contribute as a $10 “Well-Wisher”, a $20 “Supporter” or get a 1-year membership for $50, which entitles you to an official, personalized Conservative Rap Coalition membership card (to be produced later this year) and a permanent credit on the site as a recognized CRC member.
The post The Conservative Rap Coalition Membership Drive, Round 2 appeared first on unkut.com - A Tribute To Ignorance (Remix).
Back in 2010 I received a recording of a TJ Swan demo recorded from Tim Westwood‘s show in 1988 titled “Mellow Love”, although someone claiming to be affiliated with Swan then contacted me and demand that I remove the track on the grounds that: “This was a practice session. Swan wrote and sang the song to get a feel for it”. He also claimed that a bunch of TJ Swan music was about to drop, but three years later we’re still waiting.
In the meantime, Rap Blog Godd noz recently blessed me with a few more cuts which may have been intended for Have No Fear Swan Is Here. or are simply more “practice sessions”. The first track, “Sensitive Love” features Swan flexing his microphone techniques and busting some rhymes, while “Love Is Blind” is more of an uptempo number on the Al. B Sure tip. Was Marley Marl involved with these tracks? Are they finished LP cuts or just demos? Sadly, there’s also no sign of the lost Big Daddy Kane/MC Shan cameos that I hoped for…
Having cut his teeth working with the Diggin’ In The Crates crew at the beginning of his career, Milano Constantine went on to sign a deal with Warner Bros. but was let go before the project was released. Thanks to a handful of independent singles, four mixtapes and notable guest spots with The Beatnuts and the P Brothers, Milano has continued to rep that classic Uptown style with his witty wordplay and vocabulary spill. Following an extended leave of absence, ‘Lano is set to return the rap game with three new projects. He took a little time out to speak about how he came up, working with Big Pun, Showbiz and T-Ray and how the late Party Arty taught him his most valuable lesson as an MC.
Robbie: What are you working on at the moment?
Milano Constantine: I’ve got the Alfa Romeo mixtape. It’s a vintage feel, I’ve got some unreleased, uncut raw stuff from the lab on there, and some new stuff that I’ve been working on. I had to take time off, but I feel very blessed, and now is time for me to go back into it with full force. Now I’m just feeling more comfortable with everything, you can’t put forth any good material if you have to get your life situated, everything has to go in line correctly. This is a great time in my life, I just had a daughter. My mother is in good health – she was really sick. You’ve gotta take care of your family first and music will come secondary. I wanted to reach out to y’all guys for always keeping that platform for me. God bless you guys always keeping me alive. I thank you guys for that.
No problem. Are you still working with the P Brothers?
I’m doing an EP with them gentlemen. With The Gas album, we only came with vintage. With that being said, we just want to continue in that whole realm of things. They just sent me twelve joints that are crazy, so I’m about to zone out to those and get it done. Then after that an EP with Gem Crates. We just moving forward, that’s all we can do. Ain’t no moon walking over here.
What sparked off your appetite to start rhyming?
It was ill – my mom’s is Puerto-Rican, my father’s in African-American and Native American, so my father had the jazz, my mom’s had the Latin, and my brother at the time – he was older than me – he was coming up with the hip-hop. I remember hearing “Super Rhymes”, I was just like, “Wow! That’s fresh!” As rap progressed, I progressed. I remember listening to Nas, Raekwon, Kool G Rap, Rakim – the list goes on. Me getting captivated by the way they expressed themselves. I really wasn’t able to run around and do a lot of sports, I gravitated to reading and writing a lot. I was able to graft and put words so that people could envision it. If you was a blind person, you could still see what I was talking about.
Where did you grow up?
I actually grew-up in Manhattan. Harlem starts on 110th and I lived on 107th, Central Park West. Living in that environment, growing-up 80’s, 90’s, the crack epidemic – going through the plight of poverty and things of that nature you’re able to intake the things I was born around. You either become a negative or positive out of it. Thank God I became positive out of it through my environment. That’s how I’m able to keep up with the times, because you have to be a voice for the hood and have people relate to you, like an orator. Boulevard author.
Speaking of which, whatever happened to your ‘Boulevard Author’ album?
That’s with the P Brothers. When me and the P Brothers get together it becomes real visionary. I’ve always had the title and I’ve had songs to go, but it never quite met until the P Brothers started giving me this new material. I just knew that was gonna be the forum for it, the whole complete package.
Did you used to rap with a crew as a kid?
I kept it really secretive for a minute, and then when I got to Junior High I started getting a little into the bullshit ciphers. Then in high school I was in Graphic Arts, that was the home of a lot of individuals – Steele and Tek went here, Onyx went there. I’m cut from that cloth. From there, that’s how I met up with Showbiz through mutual friends and started getting me D.I.T.C. name up.
Where you always called Milano Constantine?
It was bugged out, because I was called Ambush. I felt like I was ambushing guys at that time when I would rhyme, ‘cos I was really, really young and would just shut-down the cipher. Ambush The One Man Assault Team. No one else knows that, so that’s some real insider shit! [laughs] Then I came up with Mullato from reading poetry, because that’s a mixture of things, and I felt like me coming into the game hard was a mixture to come, but I felt like after you say it so much it becomes Milano. I’m like, “Wow, Milano is fresh”. Because that’s Milan, Italy, and I’mma come with the fresh styles, I’mma come with the fresh wears. Always in style, always up in the illest fashion. So I came up with it like that.
What was your favorite gear coming up?
I was fuckin’ with Nautica, I was a Nautica guy. I had pieces of ‘Lo. Definitely always had the clean Fila’s on the feet, I always had the fitteds. I always try to keep it fresh, you just gotta keep it authentic like that. Belt buckles, all the Air Force, we was rocking all the color Up’s [Nike Uptowns], the Bo Jackson’s in orange. Killin’ ‘em, you know? Give an assortment – a bunch of flavors.
How did you meet Show?
That was a mutual friend, through my mom’s. It was like. “That’s Showbiz! Oh, shit! ‘Soul Clap’, that’s wild!” I ain’t wanna run up on him and tell him I could I rhyme. I finally did, and I blew his mind. He wa slike, “Yo, you sound like Nas or somebody”. I think I was like twelve or thirteen. It’s wild, I’ve known Show for a long time. When I got outta high school, that’s when I really set forth. Showbiz was like, “Come to D&D, we’re gonna do a cipher”. When I got there it was Big Pun and fifteen other dudes. I think Sunkist [aka Deshaun] was there, O.C. I set it off, I look at Pun and I’m all nervous, jittery and shit, and I just went for mines, like the old Diamond D joint. I just started going off, then he went, I went, the other guys went and me and lo and behold, me and him was the last people in the cipher. He spit some artillery shit, and I just bow-out gracefully and start laughing, and he start laughing with me. At the end of the session he said, “Yo, I love your shit. I would like to do a song with you”. I’m like, “You would like to do a song with me? How the fuck is that possible?” That’s how we did “Where You At”. I met him on a Wednesday and went to the studio on Friday. It was amazing, I couldn’t believe it.
Was that your first time in a studio?
I was recording in make-shift joints, but that was the first time me going into a studio and really laying it down.
What about demos?
I still have demos that’s under Ambush, right now. If you hear ‘em, you’ll bug out. If I was to kick those rhymes now it would sound prevalent. I think they like ‘91. ‘92. I still got ‘em on tape. I’ve still got all my shit – everything.
Can you tell me some of the titles of those demos?
I had some shit called “Jungle Life” and “New York Got A Nigga Depressed”, sampling Prodigy. It was fresh. I been at it, brother. I been gettin’ it done.
What happened after the song with Pun?
I did “Rep For The Slums”, I did the “Hey Luv” with Cuban Linx on the D.I.T.C. joint. From there I branched off. I did some shit on the Milk Me album with The Beatnuts, called “Down”, and dropping classics everywhere.
What happened with the Beat Down situation with T-Ray?
We actually got signed through Warner Bros., and that was a beautiful situation. Me, Showbiz and Lord Finesse. Unfortunately that whole situation went sour and we actually got dropped from the label. That album is so epic, it’s called The Believers. I actually still have it in my possession and one day I’mma just drop the shit. It’s unbelievable. I’ve got some shit on there called “Warrior’s Drum”, I’ve got some shit called “Harlem”. That didn’t pan out, but that was a great situation. God bless T-Ray, it’s just how the chips fall.
Were you, Show and Finesse signed as a group?
It was a production deal. They wanted me as an artist and they was the production team. It was fresh, I was able to go to Cali and that opened up new sights and sounds that I’ve never seen before. That opened up another channel of my mind. I started expanding a lot, on the beach in Malibu, drinking Momosas at 7 in the morning with slippers on. The sky lookin’ like a bag of Skittles, I’m like, “Wow”. We from New York so it’s smog and smoldery. The sky is dismal some days. For me to go out there was eye-opening and I wrote a lot of shit out there. I was happy with that, it was a great time in my life. My father said when I went out there I was a boy, and when I came back I was a man.
A change of environment is always good.
It was a lighter side. There are other places you have to connect with and be able to adapt with them. Don’t be afraid to switch up your style or switch up your music. You’re staying relevant to your sound, but don’t be afraid to switch up shit. That’s what I learned. You’ve gotta understand how to give the mixture of the two, like Pun. People will love you that way. You go too much on this side, they’re not fucking with you. You gotta give them the straight in the middle, give ‘em that blend. So I’ve been doing it like that.
Did losing that deal damage your relationship with Showbiz at all?
It was more a “just not speaking” type of fall-out. Personal issues had came up in his life and at the same time personal issues had come up in our life, and I felt that it was a bonding period. But at the end of the day you’ve got to put all that aside and just rock out. It’s about family and just keeping civility. You ain’t gonna be able to move forward if you keep malice in your heart. If it was in me, then we had got all of that out and we reconciled everything. We’ve done quite a few things, we’re fuckin’ with the Barbarian project. Puttin’ that out.
What’s the Barbarian project?
They’re a subsidiary group. I have them on a couple of joints on the Alfa Romeo mixtape. Me from Manhattan and the other two individuals from The Bronx, it gives a nice blend. We mesh well. Beats by Showbiz and I got some of my production.
You do beats too?
I used to bring beats to Showbiz and T-Ray to chop-up, like “You should chop this up, I love this”. They’d be like, “Yo, where’d you find this at? This is crazy!” So I just started fuckin’ with it myself. If you’re gonna be in the industry you gotta be a jack of all trades, an octopus. You gotta have your hands on everything.
T-Ray has a TV show now about his Freak Show.
[laughs] Yeah, I don’t really fuck with all that shit.
What are some of your best memories of Big Pun?
I would say his spirit, the glow that he had. He was just a beautiful person. Me being in the studio with him and him having a notebook. The notebook is junk-stained, soda-stained, cake stains and all that, but in the book you know is masterpieces of verses. He always would be like, “Let me hear something”. You always needed to have a verse, ready to go! “Let me hear something” and you would have to go against him. He was really on it. He told me, “Let’s say you in the booth and the engineer is there. I don’t give a fuck if you fuck up 150 times – the engineer is there for you. Don’t ever feel insecure. Don’t rush for nobody”. The way that he laid his vocals, I’m looking at it like, “Wow, this is some other shit!” I’m witnessing this all in front of my eyes, and I’m absorbing it all. Jewels that I would never tell anybody, some real intense shit.
He was like Pac or Biggie to Latin music. He was the king of all kings when it came to shit. His wordplay. Pun took G Rap and meshed it all together. I wasn’t around [Big] L as frequent, but the times I was I seen him do a verse in five minutes. I’m like,’ That’s impossible”. I was actually in D&D, and we were upstairs. He come in and he was like, “Yo! I gotta do a verse!” We were like, “We’re leaving”, and he was like, “I’ll be out in five minutes”. He comes down in five minutes, and I’m like, “Did you do the verse?” and he’s like, “Yeah, ad-libs and everything”. I heard the song the next day and I was like, “He did that? He’s a fuckin’ beats!” Just beong around people like that, you’ve gotta keep your sword so very sharp.
You can’t slack for a minute.
No, it would be embarrassing, ‘cos O.C. would come and smack you something. A.G. would definitely hit you with a whip. You really had to be on point with everything. Party Arty was a great mentor. When I met him, I didn’t even know what the fuck a bar was! He was like, “How are you writing the verse?” I was like, “I’m just writing all the way down to the end of the page and that’s the verse”. He’s like, “Nah! You gotta separate it into two sentences! That’s how you count out a sixteen”. I was like, “You’re right!” So God bless the dead, God bless Party Arty. He left a legacy and he left with me with some jewels that I would keep on giving people.
I have four of your mixtapes, what can you tell me about them?
‘Classic Edition’ was the first one that I put together. When I came back from California, that’s when I dropped ‘Spanish Harlem’. ‘Sidewalk Stories’ was experimenting with different styles and drum patterns, broaden your mind type of shit. Then I dropped the ‘Hurt Locker’ mixtape, I wanted to go back to the dirt, the essence of everything. I really liked the movie, so I thought that was a great adaption of that. ‘Alfa Romeo’ mixtape is basically that fast life, vintage feel, fresh appeal, like you’re going to Italy shit, Milan shit.
You did a song with Nate Dogg and Black Rob too, right?
That was with T-Ray, too. That was at the invention of Pro-Tools, so I wasn’t there for that situation. It never came out, but it was a fuckin’ fire song though.
Why did you start digging for breaks?
I’m a thrift shop kinda guy. Real antique stuff, vintage beer signs, nic-naks and do-dads. I really think that’s kinda fly. Or if you see a shitload of records in a dumpster, you pick all of them shits up and take ‘em home. I finally convinced my mom to give me all of her records so I could put ‘em in the room and put ‘em in the different colored crates all nice and it’d be all decorative. I gave her that bullshit story, I just wanted to keep the records. My father had the mean Thelonius Monk albums, Miles Davis, Sergio Mendes and Coltrane. It was opening up different doors in my young mind. I went to public school and started to learn how to play the piano and read music. I started seeing all these record stores everywhere and spending my little allowance on records. Just be at my house and I used to play the samples and put ‘em on tape, one after the other. I’d be like, “If I ever have an album, I would use this sample and this sample”. I remember listening to Original Flavor and they had all of the George Benson samples. “Oh, I got that! It’s not for nothing”. It creates a warm feeling in your heart when you go through the dusty crates, get your fingers dirty and come up with that shit that no one’s heard, or flip it in different ways. You’re putting the puzzle together in another way.
Where did that Lilo and Stitch reference come from? I think you’re the only rapper to ever mentioned them.
I’m really an artsy guy, I went to the Art and Design High School. I really know how to draw Japanese animation, I have a whole folio, I can really paint. I’m multi-faceted, I’m a cartoon kid at heart. I went and bought all the old figures, I got Anthro and Lion-O big-ass toys. I’ll buy a set for my son and one for me and leave it in the box. I’m a collecting kinda guy. That’s why I may make an oddball reference but if you know it, it will make you chuckle. Just using metaphors in a wild why. You’re blessed by even knowing how to use words – some people are mute and can’t even speak.
What are some of the best live shows you’ve seen?
I remember seeing Nas in The Fever, that fucked my head up. That was fuckin’ crazy. He had some crazy Nikes on that I’ve never seen in my whole life, and he had a gigantic sized magnum of Moet on stage. It had to be around Illmatic.
What makes Uptown stand out from everywhere else?
Harlem was already Black upper-echelon, Harlem Renaissance. It was already at the pinnacle of Black success, so I think we’ve always kept that tradition at it’s highest fashion. When I was in high school I has leathers in fourteen different colors – white, blue, purple, orange – but i had the sneakers to go with it, and the hat to go with it, and the shirt to go with it. We were coordinated. The whole Alpo, Rich Porter – around my way it was Y.T.C – the whole hustling atmosphere, the whole spirit of it. Manhattan – what is it called? It’s called Mecca. You have to come to Manhattan if you want to party. When you wanna go clubbing? You go to Manhattan. That’s how it’s kept the position of that. We got the glow on us. Money Makin’ Manhattan.
Big Pun and Milano - “Where You At”
“Deal With A Feeling”
“Done In Vain”
“Got It On Me”
New album cut from Hannibal Stax and Marco Polo‘s Seize The Day album, which dropped today and is an excellent example on Non-Progressive Rap done right. File under the ever-expanding Brooklyn Anthem category.
Here’s the video for the new Grand Daddy I.U. song with Sadat X. Rap veterans stand up.
Posting this just because Havoc used a loop instead of those keyboard beats he was stuck on for a while, not to mention it fills the Hoody Rap quota for the month with the Raekwon and Styles P spots. Hav’s new solo LP, 13, is out tomorrow on Nature Sounds.
The post Havoc feat. Styles P & Raekwon – Favorite Rap Stars appeared first on unkut.com - A Tribute To Ignorance (Remix).
Combat Jack and Dallas Penn talk to Killer Mike about the making of his R.A.P. Music album with El-P…
The post Video: The Combat Jack TV Show – Killer Mike and El-P, Episode 1 appeared first on unkut.com - A Tribute To Ignorance (Remix).