Sunday, December 27, 2009

MEGAKUT RADIO #1

Here’s a non-progressive, retroactive, radio-style mix from our friends over at Megakut. What’s impressive is that it captures the vintage sound quality that was signature for the time period. When people, not directly involved in the scene that created it, first experienced this “electro-megamix-style-rap” music back in the late-80’s it was usually via some radio station that you could barely tune in or off a seventh-generation cassette of the same radio show. This is getting closer and closer to how it was. You just turned it up loud and listened to the bass! Sound like a weak excuse for having fucked up records? You may be right, Fletch. If you were born after ’79, it probably can’t help but sound fucked up. Not my problem, you need to obey the Mistress of Boom and just "Let It Go".

MEGAKUT RADIO #1: PLAY LOUD IN A RESIDENTIAL AREA

THE UNKNOWN DJ—“808 BEATS (club mix)”—Techno Hop—Produced by Andre Manuel

MCS OF RAP—“THIS IS THE JAM”—Rap Records—Produced by DJ Cox and Cool CP

YOLE BOYS—“SPREAD THOSE CHEEKS”—Megakut—Produced by Fatees

KYNA ANTEE (AKA THE MISTRESS)—“LET IT GO”—Techno Kut—Produced by Unknown DJ and Arabian Prince

DJ BATTERY BRAIN—“808 VOLT MIX”—Techno Hop—Produced by Unknown

DJ SLICE & KOOL ROCK JAY—“SLICE IT UP”—Dunk Yer Funk—Produced by L. Ramsey & M. Brown

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

BOOKER T. AND MUGGS VS. BOOKER T, ME AND SD50 (AND MUGGS)

Here’s some rap and break record nerd-ery that didn’t amount to much but was nevertheless entertaining and pays tribute to the cut-up some how I'm sure, rearranging audio recordings in an effort to decode the material's implicit content, hypothesizing that such a technique could be used to discover the true meaning of a given composition. William S. Burroughs also suggested cut-ups may be effective as a form of divination saying, "When you cut into the present the future leaks out."
It all started when I was listening to “Lickshot” produced by the SD50s on the b-side of Grand Puba’s “Ya Know How It Goes” 12” from 1993. I misinterpreted the main loop as a chop of Booker T and the MGs “No Matter What Shape” off their 1966 Stax album “And Now!” When I got out my Booker T record and rocked it, I realized that “Lickshot” must’ve have been made with a different record because it sounded only slightly like “No Matter What Shape.”


Then I remembered that Grandmixer Muggs had used “No Matter What Shape” for his Main Mix on House of Pain’s “Shamrocks and Shenanigans” remix 12” with that Butch Vig monstrosity on it. Upon listening to the HOP plate, I was reminded that Muggs had been lazy and simply snatched the first bar of the groove after the vamped intro and then let it loop (the most obvious use of the break—the Main Mix and the Booker T song are the exact same bpm an’ e’rythang). Muggs definitely didn’t chop it and speed it up like I thought the SD50s had done for “Lickshot” even though as it turns out I'm pretty sure*** they didn’t do anything of the sort, though my stoned curiosity remained undaunted. So I decided to use GarageBand and my below rudimentary knowledge of breakbeat editing to chop the Booker T break to resemble what I wrongly thought the SD50s did on “Lickshot.” I stole Muggs' drum loop from a breakdown in his Main Mix to expedite the process, and what resulted sounded nothing like “Lickshot,” but perhaps you can tell how I tried to rearrange Muggs' straight forward Booker T loop in an attempt to make it sound stimulated dummie-esque by jankily incorporating the snare in the intro just before the one of the groove drops instead of letting the guitar stab double up in the second half of the measure. No great feat, I know, just a noteworthy subtle nuance. A waste of time? Perhaps. Muggs’ production is vastly superior to mine, and I never should’ve thought him lazy (his loop is flawless and those horns that come in on the chorus make it deluxe). Yes, perhaps it does sound like a waste of time to some, but I’m addicted and for me it beat the shit out of updating my Disgracebook status so my cyber “friends” could be informed as to the consistency of my last bowel movement or some other banal tid-bit concerning my worthless existence. Listen in order and literally time travel at the speed of implicit thought… decoded.

Booker T and the MG’s “No Matter What Shape”

Grand Puba “Lickshot” LP version

House of Pain “Shamrocks and Shenanigans (Muggs Main Mix Instrumental)”

Here Comes the Break (No Matter What Sham-Lick Death Edit)

***= if I'm wrong and the SDs did use parts of "No Matter What Shape" for "Lickshot," please correct me... but maybe you should just whisper it to me, 'cause it's not listed as a cleared sample in the liner notes and we don't want to snitch on anyone and get them busted now do we? Shit, now I gotta go back and make sure I didn't just snitch on Muggs... in the modern world where music is essentially free these sampling laws seem stupider and stupider don't you think?... praise the edit, cut shit up and reuse it, to hell with the man and his law, it's the only way we'll get to the future.

Monday, November 30, 2009

DEEP LIKE A SOCRATES, FOUL LIKE ATROCITIES

At the urging of Smooth Triumph, I've vowed to only post 12" rips till 2010. Let's go back to 1997 with one of my all time favorite MC's: the God, Percy Chapman aka Tragedy Khadafi. The Iron Sheiks 12" served both as vehicle to get some Noreaga disses into the hands of mixtape djs as well as an introduction to Trag's next QB protege, Imam T.H.U.G. "Allumaniti" is pure grimey 90's perfection, just listen to that fucking snare! Could it get anymore desparate? Imam comes nice with his on what I believe is his vinyl debut. But it's a pissed off and mad hungry Foul Mahdi who devours the beat, giving a diamond encrusted, J.G. Ballard style glimpse into the future as only Khadafi could. "True Confessions" brightens things up about .2% with it's r&b hook, but it's still winter 365 as far as the Iron Sheiks are concerned. Imam disses the shit out of Noreaga while Tragedy kicks more of his illuminati hologram shit with a fiery helping of religious imagery. I'm gonna guess Tragedy produced both of these. The flipside has a bunch of mixtape stuff: Tony Touch, 25 and Bad Boy on a DJ Clue freestyle, but the real winner is the gutter as fuck 914 freestyle that sounds like it was recorded on a 4 track that had been left out in the snow for a week straight. I think MC Stinkweed put this track on every mix he made at my house for a couple years straight. "That track with all the barking, kid!"

>>>>

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

EASY RIDER/ 01: A CLASSY UNDERGROUND BAY AREA RAP 7" FROM 2002


You might not have this one. In fact, I think it's kinda rare. I know it's dope. Executive produced and manufactured by the great Johnny LeMasters, who used to go under the moniker Sarge Shitface and once rode along with Joe Dub and Sacred Hoop to a legendary show in Chico that involved mushrooms and aluminum foil made jewlery, this piece of wax defines cutty. Around this time Mr. LeMasters (who culled his name from the hot-and-cold 80s Giants infielder) was also posing as a reverend and marrying unsuspecting couples in Golden Gate Park for cash. You hear him referred to as the "Rev" on Joe Dub's track, "95." Joey's self-produced track is best described by his a.k.a. Seabreeze, and I think the artistic vision of the record sleeve represents his migration from the San Francisco streets to the islands of Hawaii, but that's pure conjecture. I love how the back of the record gives the equipment used to make and record the songs and the locations where they were recorded in the liner notes.

The legend of low-fi greatness behind the Eddie K and DJ Marz track, "So Much Drama In The Industry" as I remember goes something like this: Marz was staying with this girl in Oakland, referred to as "Bubbles" in the liner notes. Marz made the beat on his MPC 2000, then plugged both it and a mic thru his regular DJ mixer, a Vestax, Rane or something of the like, with the "out" going into his Sony mini-disc player/recorder (remember those little pieces of digital heaven?). Marz played the beat out the MPC and Ed rapped along at the same time down to basically a stereo one-track all in one take. Straight Schooly D "PSK" styleee, fool! Legend has it they did it in one single take (that's why the liner notes say, "One Take Jake) and then Marz ejected the mini-disc, handed it to Johnny LeMasters and said, "Press dem plates, Sarge!" Okay, Marz probably didn't say that and LeMasters probably wasn't even there, but talk about on the spot talent, Bulletproof Space Travelers come thru everytime. If there's 300 of these out there I'd be hella surprised. See if you can find it. And was there ever an Easy Rider/02?

Look closely on the righthand edge of the back cover. Morgan Smail is listed as the Spiritual Advisor. Caddyshack heads know that's the kid that asked to eat his sister's steak fat, sucked down dead soldiers with cigarettes extinguished in them and puked thru the open sunroof of a Porsche. No wait, that kid's name is Spaulding! Who is Morgan Smail?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I KNOW I WON'T SUCCEED, BORN A BAD BREED

Alright kids, here's another Phil Blunts banger. This time around he goes under the Philly Bathgate alias. One of only 2 releases on the short lived Harvey Records label manned by one Harvey L. Frierson Jr. aka Harvey Jr who seems to have had his hands all over construction of the infamous 360° 12"! And to get even more gully on your ass, this 12" was recorded at Keith Shocklee's crib!! This record is all about the L's as both beats are minimal loops with a bit of added percussion. "Trapped In The Game" has Phil lamenting the ups and dows of the crack game while "2 Minutes" is a quick lil freestyle drop (that doesn't even hit the 2 minute mark). It's not a mind blowing 12" by any means, but Phil is nice with his on the mic and the ill legacy of all involved in this 12" cannot be denied. Which leads us to the almighty question, whatever happened to Phil Blunts?

>>>>

Thursday, October 29, 2009

DJ QUEST NEW VIDEO "WHO!WHAT!" FEAT. BAS1

Fresh off the hella fresh Questolous cd:



DJ Quest is the dopest hip-hop DJ ever born. I saw him two Saturdays ago on Oct. 17th DJing for TopR, proving that he is the last master of the scratch showcase routine right in the middle of TopR's set (props to Topski for givin' my man the much deserved light!). Why'd the rest of you scratch DJs stop doing that shit? Got tired of practicing for DMCs and started playing dubstep, huh? Y'all should take some advice from Gingerbread Man's record company and: Don't Fall Off! Long Live Bulletproof Scratch!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

THE DRUM: KZSU NINETEEN NINETY SIX

Here's another rip of a tape of a Drum show from sometime in 1996. Not sure on the month, but Mad Skillz was playing Club Deco in SF, anyone remember that show? Kevvy Kev goes for delf for a bulk of the tape playing lots of the hot 12"'s of the time. Dan Charnas strikes through with Chino XL who drops a bit about his forthcoming solo joint and plays what sounds like a cassette copy of "Waiting To Exhale". Whatever happened to the other MC's in Gravitation? I always thought the B side won on that 12". This all leads up to a freestyle session with Chino and Saafir which our homeboy Kurlee Daddee threw up on his blog here. Redwood tape heads in the house!

>>>>

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Q-BERT’S CRIB DECEMBER 26th, 1994 3/3: SAAFIR IN THE CHAOS

Outside takin’ a smoke break and… Next thing you know, up walks a West Oakland soldier in a burgundy lumberjack and beanie; it’s fuckin’ Saafir!, just 4 months into the release of his debut, “Boxcar Sessions” and fresh off the battlefield from picking Casual’s pocket at Crash Palace and cutting heads against Hiero with his crew on the radio, like an ancient warrior still bloody and fuming from the carnage. Had ‘Menace’ come out yet? Hell yeah, it had. Hobo Junction was so dangerous back then, cockiness and bravado with all the skill and innovation to back it up, Fondouglas just had to grab him for an impromptu and totally chaotic interview, and he was more than willing to oblige, jumping right into it with all the disrespectful vigor and arrogance required of a hungry MC on the come up in the grimey 90s. He speaks on all sorts of topics, with a ferocity and velocity that has to been seen and heard for itself, from doing time for poisoning his group home leader as an adolescent to explaining that his concept of respect hinges on who will fight next to him. I really like what he says about, “fuck fame; it’s all about skills,” and I think it’s hilarious when he says, “And Domino rolled up under a car,” and Kwanz chimes in “my boy did a rap about that.” Dang, Bay hip-hop was such a small world back then. I had to break it into two parts and sorry for the shitty quality, but the only person I could find to convert it from vhs for me was ThuggyFresh from SF’s booze-cartel Gurp City, and he was black-out drunk from beerandrap.com's Pork In The Park and forcing me to shoot Jameson the whole time and blabbing on and on about how he wanted to go to the Mission Hill Saloon to beat up the bartender chick’s boyfriend. Yeah, right. To make up for that genius, I’m also upping my advance promo copy of “Battle Drill” b/w “Rock The Show (I Wanna Know)”-- the first Hobo Junction posse-cut on wax-- to remind everybody how raw the saucee general stepped on the scene and left everything in his wake demolished. Fuck it, I’m also throwin’ on the “Just Riden’” 12” (with the end-to-end DreamTDK freight on the back cover dedicated to HJ founder Plan B) and the bonus “Pull Ya Card” and album version of “Hype Shit” on the B, because this interview is just that… hype shit. Check it when Saafir explains why his style was too futuristic and over-the-head of the average rap listener back then, because everybody’s so “saturated with dank.” Now ask yourself: as we move full-fledged into the legal dispensary era, can we ever hope to be blessed with an original, and downright mean talent like Saafir again? I suggest you get stoned, listen to Saafir, and contemplate that shit, homey. You gotta love the chaos. BTW- My intention for posting this is NOT to rekindle any bad feelings for Saafir or between him and any of the people he talks about (it can come down just as fast as it went up if that's the case), but rather to document a primary source of Bay Area hip-hop history. Personally, I don't think Saafir should be held accountable, in retrospect, for any of these statements he made almost 15 years ago when he was young and making a name for himself, that's just how it was. I doubt Tyrell Biggs is still mad at Mike Tyson for saying he screamed like a woman, so I think we as well can all be for-the-moment-grown-ups here and take the highground (link will only make sense to FTA heads who were major HJ fans) and just enjoy this for what it is: a cool slice of the chaos that was our past and that hardcore attitude before anybody let themselves get called some lameshit like a 'backpacker' or worse yet a 'fashion-savvy, swag-havin' hipster.' And while we're on the positive tip, here's a bonus in-depth story of Saafir's career and life that was posted in 2006, proving a soldier's been tested in the flame (from jailtime for mobbing a stolen rental to fucking spinal cancer) and stepped from the ashes healthy, relaxed, and enlightened. Well worth the read right down to the part where an older, wiser, self-disciplined Saafir offers the interviewer lady (who naively compares the rapper's look to that of Morpheus in the Matrix and says in her article: "Listen to the first verse of 'Worship the Dick' and you'll feel as if you've choked on young Saafir's favorite appendage.") a Kleenex and says, "You got lipstick on your teeth." You gotta love the chaos.








12" tracks

Friday, October 9, 2009

Q-BERT’S CRIB DECEMBER 26th, 1994 2/3: BORED STIFF MEETS TMC

A bevy of all kinds of hip-hoppers (not just DJs) came thru to represent in Q-bert’s catacombs of records that day. Here Kwanz (aka Dubstar now known as Rick Flare) an original member of the legendary Bored Stiff rap crew from the Lower Haight fresh off mentioning that he drops tons of acid on the song "Therapy" off the Bomb Hip Hop Compilation came thru to bust a freestyle with MC Chill (I think, please correct me if you know his real codename??) from the equally legendary TMC crew (rulers of Mission District bombing all thru the early-nineties and beyond; peep “Piece-By-Piece” for the full history lesson). The two street rappers had never met before that day, and I don’t know if I’m being a race-obsessed whiteprick for pointing this out, but I think Kwanz’s seemingly unconscious and casual tolerance of the Filipino dude’s liberal use of the N-word let’s you know it’s a ‘Sco thang, SF b-boys of all races (Bored Stiff itself is a good example of the Filipino, Asian, South American, Caribbean, Black, White, etc. melting pot the SF hip-hop scene was and still is) rarely tripped on that shit back in the nine-quad when real recognized real from 50 blocks away (folkers from other parts of the country used to trip hard on that shit when they visited back then, unless of course they were from NY). I'm not saying that's a good or bad thing, I'm just saying that's how it was. But hey now, you Menlo Park breads don’t go gettin’ all loose-lipped with the racial epithets in your freestyle ciphers just ‘cause I said that, ‘cause these days most people assume yer fake from jump and you’d get snuffed on GP, besides drunk ass peninsula whiteboys never really got a pass anyway (firsthand experience speaking, ain’t that right Z-Man?). For writer heads: you might be able to do a “Where’s Waldo?” on other members from TMC [like Spie, who was also a member of TDK and did cover art for Q-bert's Dirtstyle records as well as various Hobo Junction releases along with MikeDreamTDK before he passed R.I.P.-- hint: this is foreshadowing for round 3 y'all!] and DJ MykeOne maybe?) poking into the frame for cameos, but I ain’t saying what’s what, those dudes still got burners running, and I don’t wanna get my ass kicked. That crew had a reputation ya know. Their name: TOO MUCH CRUSHIN’ didn’t just apply to “gettin’ up," you smell me?


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Q-BERT’S CRIB DECEMBER 26th, 1994 1/3: BIONIC BOOGERS

DJ Fondouglas (formerly of Sacred Hoop) and good friend Todd Hurvitz (aka Hurb, recently a co-producer for the show Punk’d) shot this footage for a long defunct documentary project that never got off the ground way back in the hoodies and Tims days. Q-bert’s stoner jean jacket with the sheep wool lining means absolute business and nothin’ else. Also peep how DJ Disk has his old real-as-fuck, dirtstyle Gemini-mixer turned sideways so he can bust his line-switch in an up-and-down fashion. Watch the residue from Disk’s white tallcan of contact spray fly (remember that shit !?!?! fully bonk! I love fast as all hell, glitchy overused line-switch scratching, bring it back!!). Watch till the end, ‘cause shit gets faster than bathtub crank!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

FOUR OF US MADE THE PAPERS AIN’T NONE OF US SEEN THE GRAVE YET…

We'll get back to the old Bay Area content in-a-minute, but right now I gotta take a station break to shine light on a raw talent from the Bronx.

Bounce yer fists together and then cross your arms up. BX all day. Money Boss don’t play. I don’t know how old this is, but I can’t stop bumpin’ it. When Cheeba points out his drinkin’ buddy I crack up. Just had to give it some shine, shit is too dope, right down to the handmade khaki posse shirt. Ill! This is my current definition of great rapping, look no further.


For this next joint, just jet to the 2:40 mark and peep E.C.'s verse, not that the stuff that comes before it isn't dope, but these two performances by this almost totally overlooked emcee really beg the question: Why isn't a dude with this much skills and personality getting more recognition? Eddie Cheeba from Money Boss for president, I don't give a fuck. And for the record: Drinkin' Hen in the street outta see-thru plastic cups is the shit.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

THIRD SIGHT “MURDER DEATH KILL” LIVE VIDEO

To further honor Spiderman, here’s a clip of one of his favorite local rap groups, Third Sight, performing their anti-social 12” single “Murder Death Kill” for the Fuck Pop Convention at Maritime Hall sometime between 2001 and 2002 (I forget when exactly). Third Sight’s onstage line-up at that point consisted of Jihad (lead emcee), Sir Limpdic (aka Fat Flash) and Palo Alto’s own Insomniac (as the back-up emcees), DuFunk (on production), and the prince of darkness himself D-Styles (from ISP/Beat Junkies/Gunkhole) on the 1s and 2s. Ken and Juan (Jihad the Roughneck) were good friends, and for a while Jihad (when between brief moments of actual employment) was somewhat of a fixture on the Monday Beatdown and always ready with a grimey 15 min.+ freestyle whenever Ken gave him the cue (anybody got tapes of that?). This performance is deadly and the 12” is even better. These long-dreaded brothers used to stalk Bay Area stages like ring-wraiths with lyrics culled from the minds of serial killers, and cheesy kool-aid-smiling, and all that jokey-smurf shit, was NOT part of the program. Watch how fast Jihad puts all that party-good-time shit to a cease when he steps on the set. Ken wasn’t around to see this performance in person, but his spirit is right there in the front row yokin’ up posers and punchin’ ‘em in the face.



murderdeathkill

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

SCAMS, SCANS & GRAMS

I admit, I fell behind with working on the blog the past couple weeks. Tomorrow is the two year anniversary of ROBME and it kinda snuck up on us. I had an idea for a special megapost, but it became somewhat of a larger project than I anticipated so it will not see the light of day for a minute. BUT we do have some DOPE exclusive shit that will be dropping later this week. Just need to hook up the RCA's and clean the tape heads. STAY TUNED!! So in the meantime and inbetween time, I figured I'd drop some recent discoveries I made in the mess that is the ROBME archives.

First off is a an old flier from an Rob One appearance at Cat's Alley which was put together by the legendary DJ Stef and her Vinyl Exchange. Next we got a short interview with Kool Keith, TR Love and Kutmasta Kurt circa 1994 from a SF graffiti mag called Hole In The Ozone:
In that same issue of Hole In The Ozone there was this cool stream of conscious page put together by DJ Sake 1: "Anyone who has the original colored sleeve Super Disco Breaks (Winley) is like my older brother." Amen to that.
Then we have an issue of the Bay Area Hip Hop Coalition newsletter from September 1998. The BAHHC was a group radio DJ's united together to promote hip hop in the Bay. Check the calendar page to see just how poppin shit was back in 98. Damn...









Saturday, September 5, 2009

SPIDERMAN: THE MONDAY BEATDOWN, WINTER 98

Our good friend the Black Stamp has blessed us with another tape from his mysterious shed of analog treats. This time it's a 60 minute tape with 2 excerpts from a late 1998 episode of Spiderman's Monday Beatdown radio show which was on 89.7FM KFJC. For us heads in the Bay, the Monday Beatdown started your week off on right foot and I was a loyal listener. Spiderman aka Ken Hamilton's knowledge of music was deep and far beyond the typical college radio hip hop DJ of the time. Just check out this playlist that has Albert Ayler going into Boogiemonsters and Mystik Journeymen followed by Crass. Robert Goulet? It was Ken who first turned me onto the madness of Christian Marclay. Ken also worked at Cue's and other local record spots further casting out his net for the dopest cuts. Ken was killed in a car accident in 2000 and the airwaves have never been the same since.
RIP Ken Hamilton aka the Spiderman, May 14, 1973 - December 22, 2000.

>>>>

Thursday, August 27, 2009

SNAFU!: RANDOM BAG CHECK - CHARLOTTE, COMPTON

I found this one while digging in San Diego with the Funeral Shock guys. The store (the name escapes right now) had a bunch of hip hop 12"s priced at .50 and dude was saying all hip hop was half price. Shit. For .25 I couldn't pass up a private press looking joint from Compton with a song called "Blunt Smokers". What I heard when the needle hit the wax had me bugged though. Rugged East Coast hip hop with mad cuts and samples. The stoned as fuck horn in "Blunt Smokers" is on the same vibe JVC Force was when they chopped Freda Payne till she sounded like a psych-fuzz guitar guru straight whylin'. PLUS you get a remixed version that's basically whole different track and no clean versions! This is programmed for the late night, incense and weed radio show crowd. The B side "Light It Up" continues down a hazy path of 8 bit chops. "Light it up and drink a brew with Snafu!" AND they hit you with a remix of this one too, damn. Why waste the space with radio edits? These guys knew their shit was in that piffed out, late night college radio zone.

Since I couldn't find it on Discogs (or anywhere really), I took to googling everyone listed on the label. First thing I found was I found was rapper S.C. Miles giving producer Ron B. a shout out on a page on his website. Well, I started this post about a year ago and I just checked the bookmark for S.C. Miles' website and the site no longer exists! Eventually I found Ron B.'s Myspace page and sent him a message to see if he would be down to enlighten me on the creation of this 12". In spite of not having logged into that page for months, I eventually did receive a response:

Sorry to just get back to you but I have been really busy workin and trying to make beats and be a dad but, YEAH!! thas sounds good to me!!! hit me with the questions and we can go from there....SNAFU is not together anymore but we still talk on the regular...just hit me up!!
Ron B: Ghost in the Machine

I sent some questions and to this day have not received a reply. This was in January so I'm assuming Ron either forgot or is just too damn busy. He did up some new tracks on his page since I last checked it so at least he's still making beats. My main question was how did a rap group from NC drop a 12" on a Compton, CA label in 1995, on the cusp the full blown East vs. West era.

Further searching revealed the Compton connection: co-executive producer Scotty Spencer (aka Scotty D) is a LA hip hop LEGEND who apparently was the first person ever to play a young King Tee tracks by the likes of Mixmaster Spade and Uncle Jamm's Army. Damn, shit is all coming together! King Tee would later give Scotty a shout out on his Mixmaster Spade collab "Ya Better Bring a Gun". Scotty says he was the equivalent of Dapper Dan on the West Coast making custom sweatsuits for OG LA hip hop crews. Unfortunately there isn't a whole lot of info on the web regarding Scotty D, however that may all be changing with the release of the forthcoming documentary (put together by Lemonlime from the OG West Coast Crew) "How the West Was 1". Check the trailer:



So how did LA's Scotty D link up with North Cackalack's Snafu? Apparently that is a story for another time and place. It's good to know Ron B. is still making beats and Scotty D is still out there reppin' real hip hop.

>>>>

Sunday, August 23, 2009

JUNKIN' WIT JERRY PART 3: JUNKER'S HIGHWAY

Here's the final installment of our 3 part series presented by our ace in Chico, Heathakilla, aka Hardcore 'Miah. We recommend that you crack a bottle of Racer 5 and click the title link before you start reading and let Jerry's own mixed sounds of the excavations mentioned below enhance the experience, ya junky!

The end of Highway 99
The end of last week I was housesitting. I decided to use it as an opportunity to get away from the computer. I've found just not using a computer for a few days can be pretty therapeutic for me. The problem was the house I was at didn't have cable. I brought over a few magazines, but after a while I didn't know what to do with myself. So I started looking at the books at the house. Big mistake.

I revisited the re/search books, Incredibly Strange Music vol. 1 and 2. It's been a long time since I thumbed through those books and I realized they still influence the aesthetic of what I am looking for in a record. The 2 interviews that kind of blew me away were Jello Biafra and the Cramps. A lot of the music Biafra mentions is just now getting reissued and despite the rise of the internet a lot of it seems just as obscure as when the book came out. The Cramps blew me away because they were in Sacramento the same time my folks got together. I wonder if my dad knew them/of them. The story of them driving from Sac to Memphis for the Sun going out of business sale blows me away. Here I am thinking it's a big deal to drive 45 minutes to look at some records.

Next up, the re/search books on zines. I read the interview with the girl who did thrift score and instantly wanted to move to Pittsburgh. There was another interview that compared Kent State university in the late 70's to Chico State though and that made me want to move back home.
After reading all of this I was fiending to look at some records. I broke down and turned on the computer and located some yard sales in Chico and thrift stores in Red Bluff.
Saturday, I got up early, grabbed an instrumental Brian Eno cd (bad choice), and cut. First was a yard sale in Durham with “hundreds” of records. False. Not to mention I was there last week. Lame. I did a drive-by. I wish I had a better memory. Next yard sale advertising records had about 10. I got the Crimson and Clover lp and took off to a nearby parking lot sale. It was pretty sketch. Just me and the seller. He kept trying to talk me into getting my friends to come and buy his 4 foot by 3 foot display tables that were one step up from the scrap wood work bench in the shop at my work. He also had packaged plastic sandals for sale, sizes 3-8, for 99 cents. A bunch of other weird stuff too. Rest assured, if I had friends, they wouldn't want to buy this junk. I asked him if he had records and he showed me about a dozen in a corner, mostly without covers. There was a Pentagle with cover in decent shape. They are one of my favorite folk bands, but I couldn't bring myself to make the transaction. I think I have it anyway. Damn memory.
The last yard sale in town was pretty good. Two older gay guys with about 5 crates of records. The sale started on Friday but didn't look very picked over. Mostly thrift staples like Babs and Bette Midler, but a decent amount of disco 12 inches too. I don't know much about disco so I just got the ones with sexiest song titles.

Then it was off to Red Bluff. This is the town where highway 99 turns into I-5. The end of the road. I guess around here it's best known for having redneck events like speedboat racing, monster trucks, and rodeos. That and for some reason Bob Dylan plays there every few years.
I was thinking I might find some decent country albums. Driving, listening to Eno, trying not to fall asleep, I discovered something. The road to Red Bluff is paved with junk. Well junk and fruit. It seemed every mile was a new gift shop/fruit stand/junk barn. Every crossroad had a yard sale sign. Unfortunately, it was already getting late in the morning and I was running out of gas. I tried to stay focused. I couldn't help stopping at what I can only describe as a junk compound. Several small rundown houses surrounding a huge makeshift flea market style maze of tables, clothing racks, bookshelves, boxes, and tarpaulins. I half expected Red Foxx or Lamont to come out to greet me. Unfortunately, there was no greeting committee because according to the signage this place was both “closed” and private property. They were however “accepting donations”. Wow, I've got to figure out when this place is “open.”
Red Bluff was hard to figure out. I already knew where the Salvation Army was so I went there first.

In Butte County, all the Salvation Armies suck. I don't know why. I suspect there are antiquers making backdoor deals to get all the good stuff before it makes it onto the floor. The Red Bluff Salvation Army was a whole different beast. Don't get me wrong, I didn't see anything outstanding, but I think this had more to do with the ecomony of the Red Bluff rather then somebody making off with all the good stuff. The shoppers were all retired and working class regulars. It's refreshing to see this in small towns. None of the opportunist hipsters. Except for me of course.
There were a lot of records for a Salvation Army. They were positioned in a way that was really hard to browse but I trudged through. I was pretty excited to find a Kak s/t even though it didn't have a cover. I have been wanting to hear that record for a while. Other then that, I found some (I suspect) turkish 7 inches. Not at all what I was expecting. I saw one cool looking mexican 7 inch that had a song with the word space and the word disco in the title, but while I was going through lp's, a retired looking white gentleman started flipping through the 7 inches. I was afraid he was going to pick up “my” Kak record which was alongside the seven inches so in an obsessive panic I grabbed it and moved away from him. He left and so did the 45. I guess I should have put it in my pile. Now I'm totally curious about that record and that guy.
I couldn't find any of the other thrift stores that google told me were in Red Bluff. I also couldn't find the flea market. I saw a couple of antique shops, but from the outside they didn't look junky enough, so I just decide to head home. On my way out of town I saw this cool storage place where they let people sell things out of there storage units. There were about 5 people set up to sell stuff. Most had a handful of records. I found a clean mono pet sounds in one. I was scared the people were going to charge me a collectors price on it, so I grabbed a monkees album too. She asked me what I got and I told them beach boys and the monkees. The sellers all had a nostalgic laugh about those bands and charged me 2 bucks. Then they went on to tell me about how I missed the Micheal Jackson record that sold first thing.From there I stopped by the place I saw on the way into town that had homemade jerky. It turned out to be a restaurant. Two Buds Beans and BBQ. Four slow cook bbq's and smokers going in the parking lot. I got lunch. They served tea out of a pickle jar, which already had me sold on the place. UFC fighting on the big screen. Animal heads on the wall. Pulled pork sandwiches with mayonnaise. Red Bluff is alright. I just wish I gone last weekend so I could have seen the 4th of July riding lawnmower races.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

RIPPED OPEN RADIO #3, PART 2

Finally ripped the 2nd half of the show. I gotta say, we pulled out some great records for this one. The "rave cave" Luke referred to was a massive DJ set up some norms were erecting in the studio next to ours. They had it jacked into a live PA system inside the radio station and were BLASTING techno beats while we were live on the air. We had the door closed and the speakers cranked trying to hold onto our grimey mindstate. Jackie "No, I will not shake your hand" O. kept trying to throw us for a loop, but we pressed on. And on and on because those jokers couldn't get their show together to start on time so we got a few extra records in. Unfortunately the tape ran out, but you can peep the entire playlist here and you can recreate the missing audio if you are so inclined.

>>>>

Friday, August 7, 2009

NITROUS OX TAPE FOUND! FOR MY HOSTILES WIT BLOODY NOSTRILS!

Here's four of the better tracks off it. Peace to Ajent Orange, Pokerface, Messy Flesh, Kiilani, Jazz-E, Mr. Ooh, and Angela Bautista. The heavy "Remain Anonymous" era Ras Kass influence here makes this pretty backpacker, but what do you expect from the Bay in '97. And is more of that nasty style necessarily a bad thing? No, it is not. Further proof that even Bay-bred backpackers were generally up on some classic breakbeat NY-centric shit, the first track, "Paydert," incorporates Bob James' banger "Nautilus" to stony success. The third track, "Triple Orgasm" is the one that Jayswift's engineer/producer Mark Jarvis helped co-produce.

Eons' 2¢: I was the assistant engineer on the Freak Brothers sessions in 2000. Brain and Extrakd came into the studio I worked at to lay down the basic tracks on 2" tape for their Ghost Dog inspired rap record. Brain was an old friend of the studio owner and she gave them a few days to do whatever the fuck they wanted. They repaid her by bringing in great found and triple digit bottles of wine. One night they had some rappers strike through: MD (aka Def Emcee X), Trunks and some other guy who's name I didn't catch when they all rolled in. Oh yeah and Smooth Triumph flaked! Haha! Anyway, it was late, I'd probably been at the studio for 12 hours at this point, taking notes on the track sheets, switching reels, patching, etc. The unnamed MC gets his turn and rips it. When I ask his name for the track sheet he says, "Messy Flesh". I was still asking myself "Did that guy really say his name was Messy Flesh?" while cleaning up after everyone had left. Glad Luke dug this one up because I had never heard it before.

The songs:

1. Paydert
2. Tekillya Sunrize
3. Triple Orgasm

4. Agunys Anthum

>>>>

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

ON THAT JUNK PART 2

Once again our man in the field, Hardcore Jerry a.k.a. Heathkilla, breaks you off something proper, and Eons and I put in our two cents. This post is true to the lifestyle. In this junkin' life we must cherish the adventures as well as the treasures they bring, because a digger spends 99% of his time looking and about 1% finding, and how depressed would we be if we viewed that 99% as wasted, unnecessary-to-mention, time. Sometimes the true treasure is found in simply looking; seckle, it's just fuckin' junk. And sorry about the formatting issues here; it was a lot of cut and paste from emails & message boards as well as that fucked up Mac-to-PC cross-mojo shit. Take it away, Jerry:

this weekend was pretty bad. i was on call at work and since i don't have any type of cell phone or morse code or cb radio device, i figured i shouldn't venture too far in case there was a emergency i had to tend to. chico junking sucks. sometimes yard sales are good, but the thrifts are pretty dismal. also all the decent "tweeker warehouses" seem to have gone under or turned into antique malls. i hit most of the spots by my house on friday (because everything was closed saturday) and went of a couple of yard sales. i found a pretty cool looking surfer record with a stock cover and some good liner notes and i got a really cheap tape deck which enabled me to bump public enemy and licensed to ill on the 4th. how come cassettes sound better then my ipod? i must be nuts.

also i picked up this promising looking tape which didn't end up doing much for me.
here is the songs from this tape. Another rare demo from a forgotten Bay Area hip hop pioneer! The first song on side B wins for Smooth Triumph here, because it has traces of a Paris, the Black Panther of Hip Hop, influence, and I can never be mad at that. But be warned, Jerry has this to say about it:

Jerry: the lines "like a salad menu you'll get tossed" and "it's time to bring back the track and act like a bozack" in the first song [on side 1]... it's really not a good look.

Eons:
damn is jayswift rocking pajama pants ala mc stinkweed? shout out to wee wee.


Hardcore Jerry responds: damn, you've got good eyes. i'd like to think he picked the pj pants for the photo cause they are good for crouching and would blend nice with the brick backdrop. this tape is signed (again!) by jayswift and money mike on the other side of the j-card. there is no contact info whatsoever. i can't figure out if that is a sign of lack of hustle or some sort of superhustle where dudes could just be "found."

smooth triumph's two cents:
I have a Jayswift 12" from '93 put out by Nu Deal Records. It's the second of the two that Jay and Nu Deal put out. Jay probably got signed to Nu Deal on the strength of that demo tape that Jerry found. Oh shit! I guess the label pressured him into dropping DJ Pep from the moniker, 'cause it didn't fit in with their LL Cool J marketing scheme. Ha! But that's pure conjecture. This 12" is called "What'cha Gonna Do" but the b-side, "Street Life," wins every time, so that's the only one I had Eons rip for y'all. Jayswift's from San Mateo right here on the West Bay Peninsula! And this is actually some pretty rare shit. The guy definitely gets props for getting two 12"s released out of San Mateo way back in the early nines; I'm sure shit was a bitch to pull off. I think this is the first rap 12" to come out of San Mateo ever, KegsOne at San Mateo Zoo could probably clear that up for me. Also makes me wonder if Jayswift and DJ Pep were at that contest at San Mateo City College I first saw Troop 187 (aka Cult of Isis) at. To reiterate Jerry's point though, one has to wonder about "Matty-Oh!'s" understanding of the slang term "bozack" back then. At the start of "Street Life" Jayswift says, "Pay attention while Jayswift drops the bozack," and then at the end of the track he says again, "pay attention when the niggas drop the bozack and I'm out, uh!" Which wouldn't be that necessarily off if it was a sex rhyme, but this rap is about "drug money and ridin' on gold ones." He shouts out DJ Pep at the end too to show that he's still down, and he also shouts out: "MJ behind the set, gettin' busy on the motherfuckin' tracks." MJ is none other than Mark Jarvis, the producer of these beats. If you are a serious Bay Area demo freak you know of Mark Jarvis' sound from when he co-produced the song "Triple Orgasm" with Ajent Orange and Kiilani for the Nitrous Ox demo recorded at the B-Street Recordings studio in San Mateo, I think. I am currently looking for that demo, if anybody has that shit, please upload it right here. That would be dope! Soon as I find that shit in the shed, y'all gotta hear it! Those dudes were from Pacifica, I think; I used to rock that tape a lot; "Tekillya Sunrize" was my gettin' fucked up soundtrack for many months during one of those years I can't remember. There was an emcee on there named Messy Flesh who Z-Man mentions as being "nice as hell" to this day. Ajent Orange, a dope emcee in his own right, is also an old friend of Z and me. His real name is Matt Chang, but he later morphed into the moniker Matth and did some of Anticon's iller shit, beatwise. I'mma call Z and find out what Matt's up to these days, haven't talked to him (Matt) in ages, but I bet he's still concocting dusted shit. And Jerry you're right, being able to just be "found" does = superhustle.

Jayswift "Street Life" (Street Mix) Nu Deal Records, 1993

So see: going junking and buying what you think is bullshit, reminds your friend of some similar bullshit which he re-examines and re-labels "rare" bullshit, and then he connects that rare bullshit to some nostalgia that inspires him to track down a long lost acquaintance to reveal yet another lost-in-obscurity dope as fuck Bay Area demo tape whose local roots trace back to the rare bullshit and original bullshit aforementioned. Kinda makes you rethink what you originally thought was bullshit, huh? And you're not the only one that thinks so...

Look what Jayswift's debut 12" from '92 is going for in euros at the record inspector. (Is that euros? What monetary symbol is that? What's that in dollars? I'm unworldly, help.)

And look at the this weird fucking place that'll sell you the record and a burned cdr of it for quite a pretty penny.

I think Matt Chang would agree with me on this one: Respect out to Jayswift a Bay Area trailblazer for the in the independent rap 12" frontier. We have to respect our predecessors no matter their EPMD-vernacular shortcomings, because we don't exist without guys like this. And big up to San Mateo for producing an intrepid soul such as his. The risk was his to take and he faced it like a G. Part of the forgotten impetus, our forefather.

But kids don't be fooled by those added expenses for easy access. Go junking and see what 50 cents gets you. It's hardly a risk; 50 cents isn't exactly putting your neck on the line. You can do it!

Eons says: Getting home and playing a record and finding out it's dope is the shit I live for, but sometimes you can find an almost equal exhilaration in staring stoned at the sleeves and labels of your finds on the car ride home, trying to find some hint of their dopeness or wackness, because the mystery is still there at that point and that's when my hopes are at their highest.

And our story today proves that even if you are disappointed at first: Disappointments can easily become gems, simply by what they lead you to. Well, sheeeeee-it! If junking isn't the only religion that continually pays off directly and increases your appreciation for the stuff you already have at the same time, I don't know what is. Like my sister always says, "What you appreciate appreciates." She's right y'all. You gotta believe.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

RIPPED OPEN RADIO #3 - PART 1

My old school homie Arthur Groom hit me about some open KZSU spots a couple months ago and I managed to get two Sunday slots. I did a metal show for one (archive here) and Smooth Triumph and I did the 3rd installment of Ripped Open Radio for the other one. Outside of the danked confines of 66.6FM KOLD's studios, we were forced to play it cool, PSA's and all. The sound of rugged drums and street raps will always draw the most scrutiny from radio station personnel and this day was no exception. Once again we were, as Prodigy put it, "too hoodied to conform to the program." Squares just can't hang. I was also nursing one of my worst hangovers in recent memory. The last thing I remember from the night before was filling up keg cups and throwing them at The Feldmans while they were playing at Leech's wedding. This is Part 1 of the show. Sound quality here is pretty rough, but it ends up working in our favor. Even though we recorded this a month ago, it sounds like it's a 3rd generation dub from the 90's. Part 2 (aka side 2) and full playlist up next.

>>>>

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

JUNKIN' WITH JERRY...

This is a guest post from our cohort out in Chico, CA, Hardcore Jerry (AKA Heathakilla)... the man is simply an excavator extrordinaire! Reap the junk whirlwind! Oh, yeah and this is one in a series of three, so be checkin' for the next two, yo...

i went to oroville today and bought some records. i did better then last time, which was the time i copped the kimmy fresh and the people cassette that white$auce was rolling with at the farewell to the ranch party, and the sound effects record that steel pole bath tub ripped off (or was it a tribute) the cover for a miracle of sound in motion. the best part of oroville though was stopping by a yard sale in the historic looking part near downtown and looking at some of the remarkable things that were for sale. including a amateur's framed "painting"(one or two colors, maybe pen, i was embarrassed to look too close) of a girl in a bustier with her nipples exposed. likely a vehicle to get the "model" undressed. and a a-frame bar sidewalk chalk board sign that still had st. patrick's day drink specials chalked on it. i was told the good stuff is up in the yard, where a teenager was selling off some of his bebee guns, baseball cards, and knives. the topic of conversation in the yard was how good something he was selling, that i couldn't see, would be to beat somebody up with. as i left empty handed i noticed two large ladies in a nearby apartment chatting, observing the yard sale, and keeping watch over there young kids. it looked like they were about ready for refills on their quarts of miller high-life. it was about nine in the morning. oroville is pretty fucking real. i haven't checked many of the records yet but i got: -i'm ready by kano for about 40 cents (and some other promising looking disco)-lyn christopher for a dollar at thrift mart. that place is fucking raw...thrift store slash food that fell off trucks market. i wanted to go to the soul food place across the street but was scared by the proximity and the 99 cent special advertised in the window. -and a hopefully better copy of the willis alan ramsey lp i already have and like-no rap, but a couple of things that look really good even though i haven't listened yet. i'll try to get a couple of mp3's up of some of the highlightsnext week....red bluff(?)

here are a couple of disco mixes i couldn't find anything out about on google. there is quite a bit of surface noise on each of them which just makes me think about how ugly a oroville disco party could get. one is labeled fusion disco. i'm not sure if it is related to the fusion record label in sf because i also found the menergy 12 inch on that label.

http://www.zshare.net/audio/61967792d3f90137/


the other is labeled hollywood disco sound and is mixed by ben and benny.



i think these are kind of cool just to hear what the pre rap dj's were doing. other then that though disco isn't really my thing.

there is some info about these on discogs, but it won't tell you about the sweet grandma who sold them to me in the shop where "we like loitering" and encouraged it by offering cold water to drink and a thomas kinkade puzzle to work on.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"I'LL BE THE ONE TO SMOKE THE COPS IN THE COURTS"

First time I recall hearing Black Mafia was deep in the not so dark basement of 90.1FM KZSU. My grindcore homies Noisear were in town to play a couple shows and work on a recording with Portland's Superbad. I caught wind that Big Chief was attempting to have both bands perform live during during a shorter than usual time slot. Seeing that they would need all the help they could get, I extended my engineering services. Both bands wanted to use their own drums which meant remic'ing and soundchecking the second drumset inbetween performances. It was war.

Sometime during chaos of that night, Noisear bassist Joe mentioned he had a mix cd of some obscure rap 12"s he wanted to see if I knew. Now, those who have been around Joe and I when we're getting drunk can attest to the fact that we can argue over some rap shit! You name it, we disagree: who produced the track (it's a Madlib beat!), what crew that mc rolls with, what record came first...you get the picture. But we do it old school, no iphone, no laptop google shit - just dank singed memories of Rap Pages writeups and hissin-ass TDK pause mixes.

So we hit the listening station tucked in the corner of KZSU's library and Joe busted out the CDr. The sound was distorted beyond belief. "I like it all distorted and fucked up. It sounds better," Joe said. What I could hear through all the noise was a few tracks I didn't know. Namely a Phil Blunts track and a track from Black Mafia. Joe said he'd make me a CD and we exchanged mailing addresses. Joe is from the old school tape trading days. He doesn't have a facebook page let alone an email address I know of. Folks like us correspond with packages of the dopest shit. Either way, that night at KZSU ended up coming out pretty flawless with super engineer Josh at the helm. But I never did get a CD from Joe!

So I was on the hunt. Phil Blunts was easy, but Black Mafia was a bit tougher. There's all these Black Mafias and this Black Mafia and Above The Law's classic "Black Mafia Life", I kept fishing off the dock of the 'bay (wastin' time). I wasn't even sure what the record was really called. One day I stumble across this cassingle and fucking EUREKA! Of course, I find the 12" version a few weeks later. When it rains it pours. The tape version has a sick, felt tip marker rendition of some sort of stick up swamp zombie, looking more like private press metal release than a hardcore rap tape.

The casual listener will sit befuddled by the fact that the first version of "Gotta Get Paid" is the instrumental. College radio DJ's likely lost it in they're shorts seeing how the instrumental is immediately followed by the radio version. Mic break city, duke! But jus wait a sec here, we gotta go back to the beat. Raw as shit drum loop, bass line, horn squeal, a twinkle in Showbiz's eye. Oh shit, he drops the sax stab. Proof right there that producer/MC The Driva had been listening to quite a few D.I.T.C. platters prior to this session at Tommy Boy OG Fresh Gordon's Brooklyn studio. Driva is one cutty producer, I dug six feet and came up with nothing. The radio version switches it up adding a hi hat and a familiar piano stab to the mix. The street version obviously wins, adding a nice holdup skit. Driva, Shank, and Mr. Hood kick some straight forward 9-4 Brooklyn street shit.

"Revenge on F--k N.Y." is a more keyboard driven production based around John Bonham's famous breakbeat. Here we find The Driva on the synth, controls set to B3, replaying Pete Rock's sampling of some sublime Tom Scott horns from his "Shut Em Down" remix. Driva's production makes this record more of a homage to classic hip hop than the gangster rap record it was striving to be. The subject matter here is pretty simple, talk shit on NY and Black Mafia will body you.

Gary Williams wrote both these songs even though 3 different MC's spit the lyrics. This is actually Black Mafia's 3rd record. The first being a 1992 release on DNA International that was produced by Gary and (his brother?) Derrick Williams (who's engineered for everyone from the Alkaholiks to Outkast). Gary recorded a second Black Mafia 12" called "Ghankstazwhalk" for Crimewave Records in 1993. The label on the record says "From the upcoming album 'From Brooklyn With Love'." I wonder if that was ever finished? "Gotta Get Paid" was released by Mascot Records who also released Wu affiliates K.G.B. who had 4th Disciple on the boards early on. Mascot was owned by dance label C&S Records. Unlike Derrick, Gary stayed true to the underground and produced a 12" for Ilfunction in 1998. Anyone got that? Also, if anyone out there has any of these other Black Mafia records, please share!

At the request of Smooth Triumph, y'all get the tape rip.
>>>>

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

BAY AREA DEMO PARADE TRILOGY 3/3: NEXT OF KIN

Copped this demo same time I got Charizma and PB Wolf's black and yellow demo with "Red light, Green Light" and all that shit on it (the one with the now famous black-n-white photo on the inside with Charizma holding up a picture of PB Wolf from grade school, they put actual developed copies of the photgraph in every tape case they distributed, I lost mine, I'm pissed that I just remembered that). Charizma was a regular guest on KSCU's Thursday Night Hype Show back then. Charizma was a cool dude. I remember them ripping a dope set at Longshoremen's Hall in SF for a Gavin Showcase that the Hype and the rest of the Bay Area College Radio Hip Hop Coalition had put together. He was hella mad after he got off stage, because someone had stolen the folding lawn chairs that him and the crew had brought on stage during their famous "Apple Juice Break" skit. He was like, "Damn, those are my dad's, he's gonna be mad as hell." I thought that was funny. I was really bummed when I found out he died. I always thought he was like the Bay's Lord Finesse. And we desperately needed one. I often ponder how different the Bay underground would sound if he was still around. I bet a lot more people than just me would still be Tim-booted up.

And yet few people know that Charizma made beats too.

Next Of Kin, consisting of rappers Hocus Pocus and Mojo Risin', and production crew the Harvest Children were Charizma's fellow skinz hittin' homies from Milpitas, the "suburban ghetto" that Matt Dillion's first movie, "Over The Edge," was based on, NetFlix that bitch, it's fully worth it. Milpitas means "little cornfield" in Ingles, therefore "Harvest" Children. I like to refer to Next Of Kin and Harvest Children as Charizma's DITC, so to speak. OK maybe that's stretchin' it, but I like this shit. Charizma's stand up bassline on the track he produced, "Home Away From Home" got some early-Show to it, and the horns that blast their way in follow suit. This can't not make you smile.

1993
Artist: Next Of Kin
Title: Tha Tricks and Tha Trade
One side:
1. Screw Yourself
2. Where the Buck Stops
3. Home Away from Home
4. Brothers Keeper

all songs produced by the HARVEST CHILDREN except "Home Away from Home" produced by CHARIZMA

Bless the dead.

Hope you enjoyed the trilogy, beg for more, I'll bring them out.

Friday, June 26, 2009

BAY AREA DEMO PARADE TRILOGY 2/3: BAZOOKA JOE GOTTI

Welcome back to the obscurity, where shit's the best! This time we time travel forward to the mid-90s: 1996.

This time I present the SF MC I mentioned in the Cult of Isis post: Bazooka Joe Gotti.
I met Joe thru Jason Slater as well, around the same time he introduced me to Adisa. I always thought he had natural mic skills (no matter what coastal perspective you choose to take) with that wonderful "turf"-ism (for lack of a better term) that stamps it officially as: BAY SHIT, straight up.

Title: Traps of Babylon
Bomb Side:
1. Traps of Babylon
2. Crackhouse
Bay Side
3. Rollin' Psycho
4. Killed From Within

The tape's title song is evidence of Joe's friendship with the Bishop rubbing off. Not to mention Nas' "each block is like a maze" scratched at the end as further proof that SF turf cats have always stayed up on some New York shit. It's a smooth track with a sampled singing chorus where Joe pledges to do better for his son: "So he can grow up, get props and travel on, while I get caught up in the traps of babylon." "Crackhouse" pays homage to the SF turf practice of selling crack and rap tapes out the same location. But, it's not till the Bay Side of the tape that I really start geekin'. "Rollin' Psycho" is certified raw ("Stripes" sample for the win!) and "Killed From Within" gets even more tragic as Joe explores the pitfalls in the game when you got snakes on your team.
I hope the exposure of obscure tapes like this can begin to open the rest of the world's eyes and ears to the fact that Bay Area backpacker underground in the 90s wasn't just the normal five or so mostly East Bay crews (Hiero, Hobo Junction, Sole Sides, Living Legends, PB Wolf [South Bay], etc.) you always hear about. Though I agree they're great, there was a whole lot more shit (especially out of Frisco), that was equally hardcore, NY-influenced and/or break record-based, but still, like I said, "turf-ish" and politically militant (which are the Bay's signatures), without necessarily crossing into the genre that included artists from the heavy-hitting (stereotypically labeled "gangsta" or "mob" music) indy record companys like Sic-Wid-It, In-A-Minute, Dog Day, Young Black Brotha, etc that had already begun to veer more towards keyboard-created funk and R&B-style beats by the time this tape came out. Does that horrible run-on sentence even make sense? It's all dope music; I don't know why I'm trying to categorize. It's actually a testament to just how thick and diverse our scene was back then, and I haven't even mentioned the DJs yet, shit. Me slapping myself: "Stupid human, always trying to break one thing into many parts!"
I think what I'm trying to say is that my favorite mid-to-late-90s underground MCs from the Bay used to bump their hometown Totally Insane "Direct From The Backstreet" tape back-to-back with their Biggie tapes because they pretty much used the same style loops, if not the exact same loops (this is actually a theory of Thuggy Fresh's that has never been explained and proven to me entirely nor soberly), and then kinda became an amalgamation of both styles of rapping, with all the battle shit thrown in too, of course. Aww fuck it, I don't know why I try to explain it, just press play on the dope jams and zone out, that's obviously what I need to do.

P.S. to my Gurp City Rellies: check Joe's use of the term "gurp," way back in '96, yo!

Next up in part 3 of the Trilogy: 1993 Demo with Charizma on production!?!?!? Oh, the obscurity!