Tuesday, July 28, 2009


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


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.


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


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


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.

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.