Sunday, October 21, 2007


I used to play in a hardcore band called Spazz. We were around from 1993-2000 and put out a ton of records and played a bunch of shows. We recorded our 2nd album, "La Revancha", in 1997 which had a drop by Kool Keith on it. It totally bugged everyone out at the time (including myself) and I'm constantly asked to tell the story how it all came about so I figured I'd write it up here and give you all the real deal.

Spazz was heavily inspired by the underground hip hop explosion of the 90's. Hirax Max (drums) and I were avid listeners of college radio mix shows and I was DJing and collecting hip hop 12 inches and making beats much to the chagrin of some die hard punks. If you check out our lyrics there's tons of references to old hip hop tracks and we even named our 3rd album "Crush Kill Destroy" as an homage to Organized Konfusion homaging the MC's Ultra. I can safely say I was listening to a lot more hip hop than hardcore while we were doing the band.
Our friend Neil was a childhood friend of Dan The Automator and had met Keith with took a trip with Dan out to NY. Neil told of Keith's infamous peep show and video arcade route and told us Keith's pockets were bulging with change ready to begin the trek. He even brought Max back a signed promo poster for the "Four Horsemen" LP. I was jealous. One night, Max calls me up and says Neil had just called him to see if we wanted to meet Kool Keith up in SF. Max had school or something so he called me and said I should call Neil back ASAP. I called Neil, got directions and in my haste grabbed my recently purchased "Basement Tapes" LP that happened to be sitting out Keith was in town recording the Dr. Octagon LP at Dan's parent's house. I drove up to SF, met Neil in front of the house and we ended up chillin' in Dan's room while they were working on "Girl Let Me Touch You", waiting for them to take a break. The finished their take and emerged Keith emerged from the makeshift vocal booth. We chopped it up a bit and I showed him the "Basement Tapes" LP and he got pretty bummed. He asked where I got it and he said Ced was doing all sorts of shit with their material and he had no say in any of it. I told him where I picked it up and he asked Dan if they could go there tomorrow so he could buy one. Then he reached down beside Dan's bed and pulled out this huge blue duffle bag. "Do you like Max Hardcore?" he asked as he unzipped the bag which was stuffed full of VHS porno tapes. He started pulling out different tapes and talking about him. We talked porn for a minute. Somehow we started talking about metal bands (I think Neil told Keith he should check out Spazz or something). "Do you like Gorefest?" he asked. I told him they were alright "Do you like Autopsy?" I told him of course and that I knew one of those dudes. Keith was pumped. I told him I had a tape of the record we were working on and The Automator threw it in so we could check it out. Keith was bugging out on it. He asked if I could do that same guitar sound on the record they were working on. I said no problem and told him I would get in touch with them tomorrow. I asked Keith if he could do a shout out for us and we would put it on the record. Automator flipped the tape over and recorded Keith's drop that you hear on "La Revancha".

The next day I called the phone number Automator had given me to figure out if and when I could go back up to the studio and do some guitar. I never got through and they never called me back. "Andy Boy" is credited as playing guitar on the track and while I cannot confirm or deny it, Neil told me it was Andy from Attitude Adjustment. I was happy enough to chill with Keith and get that drop. To this day, it has to be one of the most bonkers hardcore / hip hop crossovers in the history of music. The Judgement Night soundtrack has nothin' on this!
A few days later Neil called and told us that Keith had mentioned Spazz in one of his new rhymes. What the fuck??? We never thought it would see the light of day until we heard "I'm Destructive". Holy shit! The line taken almost word for word from the conversation Keith and I had that night. And then Dr. Octagon drops and completely blows up, etc, etc. I'm not sure how many people who were listening to Spazz were also listening to Ultramagnetic at the time. but it seemed that EVERYONE was listening to the Dr. Octagon LP. A lot of people were catching the Spazz reference and asking us about it. I'm not sure if Keith ever got a copy of "La Revancha" (I'm still holding one for you, man), but I hope someone has played it for him at some point. It's one of my favorite records we recorded and I'm stoked to have a hip hop legend on it. Yeah, I know that this post is on some fanboy ish, but it's Poppa Large; the one, Rhythm X; KOOL MOTHERFUCKIN' KEITH!!

Dr. Octagon - I'm Destructive (Dreamworks, 1996)

Kool Keith - I'm Fuckin' Flippin' (Tuff City,1994)

Kool Keith & TR Love - Live at the 1990 Zulu Nation Anniversary (taken from Edan's Sound of the Funky Drummer mix)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Rob One was one the tightest mixtape crafters from the left coast until his untimely death from Leukemia in 2000 at only 27 years young. Back when mixtapes were really on tape and were actually mixed, Rob was relentlessly rocking the set. You may be able to catch downloads of a few of them floating around on the web, but it's a shame whoever inherited his master tape legacy didn't keep them in print. This promo record he put together for EMI in 1996 may even be rarer than some of his original tapes. The only time I've ever seen it is when I picked up this copy. While the mixes are done in the unmistakable style of Rob's tapes, the track selection is what keeps them from really standing out since they were all new EMI joints they were promoting at the time.

The real gem here is Rob's "Bring It Back To Philly B-Boy Mix" of Bahamadia's "Uknowhowwedu". Rob basically gives her track a Double Dee & Steinski style makeover, giving us all a history of Philly hip hop and a panic sweat inducing display of just how deep his crates went. It's a shame this track is practically unknown in comparison to both Shadow's and Cut Chemist's versions of "Lesson 4" as it definitely can hold it's own right along with these cut n' paste hip hop classics. Listen and learn!

Bahamadia - Uknowhowwedu (Rob One's Bring It Back To Philly B-Boy Mix)

Mix One

Mix Two

Bahamadia - Uknowhowwedu (Kool DJ EQ Remix)

Friday, October 5, 2007


A guest post by Luke Sick

The sweaty, baby-oil "Belly" effect on their faces aside, just look at the dispositions expressed on these fools mugs! A soldier was walkin' thru hell in '96! The paranoid wastedness of angel dust fry. But then peep the back cover, even more decadent, look at homey with the wet ass bag lunch joint, he's too took! And remember homey is not just showing off his 5th Ward Boyz tattoo, 'cause he's also showing off an awesome farmer's tan. Even Larry the Cable Guy would have to admit that that is pretty damn redneck!! 5th Ward Boyz is the truth!! Real playaz from the ward puttin' it down for the ward-- no frills, that's a good example for anybody who considers themselves a low budget soldier. One homie is wearing a grey p.e. shirt for chrissakes. I don't have to mention the lack of jewlery, I'm just sayin' sweaty, scummy, and paranoid is back for '08!!! Check it: One dude is praying they won't get caught, one guy is so paranoid he knows they're gonna get caught and he ain't goin' back to jail, and one guy is so burnt that he doesn't even give a fuck:

Check out the janky Underground Records logo, I don't think there is anything in the world that says "front for a drug cartel" next stop the liner notes, where I will prove that 5th Ward Boyz predicted Tupac's death... stay tuned:

If you will direct your attention to E-Rock's section you will notice how he says peace to Eazy E and 2-Pac right after he mentions the Luniz... Now peep game: Eazy E died on March 26, 1995, Rated G by 5th Ward Boyz was released on Nov. 14, 1995, but 2-pac didn't die until Sept. 13th, 1996!!!! And homie E-Rock puts them together to say peace knowing Eazy was already dead as in "rest in peace," so why does he put Pac's name there next to Eazy's when Pac isn't even dead yet? He is obviously relating the two somehow and Pac was never really down with E cuz he had beef with Deathrow. I think I've stumbled onto something here like the Da Vinci code, the 5th Ward Code... anyway besides all that pay close to what E-Rock says from then on out, hardness like that shit is sorely-missed in these days of sissy-collared sweater-shit... threatening the lives of potentially pregnant women? Classick!!! And it's always cool to big up your weed smokin' boys, hell ya! Not to mention "Fuck Peace we all gone burn in hell" and "This world ain't got no love why should I!" Man I love that mid-nineties "it's all fucking over, so fuck it" shit!!
5th Ward Boyz - Rated G CD (Rap-A-Lot Records, 1995)

Concrete Hell

Death Is Calling