Tag Archives: Hip Hop

Mr. Scruff X DJ Dick

Back behind the Ones & Twos with the lovely Mr. Scruff…

scruffbrum

You’ll most likely here this..

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On The One’s & Two’s

Tonight!…
KennyDope2

Kenny Dope. Rainbow. Leftfoot

Re-Record Not Fade Away

A great album from my pal Rhys Adams

When the weather warms up, ya gonna hear this album a lot, blaring out of car windows. Soundtrack of the summer! Mark my words!

Yesking

Production heavyweight Rhys Adams returns with his second LP under the ‘YesKing’ moniker and his debut for the BBE label. Produced entirely by Adams, ‘Re-Record Not Fade Away’, marks a coming of age for the seasoned studio head and a sonic departure from the outfit’s 2008 debut ‘Rock This World’ (co-produced by Mark Rae of Rae & Christian fame).

Borrowing it’s name from the strap line appearing in Scotch Video Tape’s 1980s TV adverts, ‘Re-Record Not Fade Away’ is both a metaphorical reference to the longevity of music produced with passion and a literal reference to Adams’ studio techniques – in particular his preference for recording live to a 1960s 1/4 inch ferrograph tape machine, a process which Adams describes as ‘integral’ to the album’s sound providing a ‘unique and authentic’ feel with a firm nod to the Dub and Reggae traditions which permeate the album.

Featured artists provide a wealth of variety to the album’s underlying themes: Guitarist for The Soothsayers and Jerry Dammers’ Spatial aka Orchestra, Patrick Hatchett plays on much of the album also co-writing several tracks becoming, in Adams’ words, ‘central to the Yesking sound’. Togo born singer Kodjovi Kush adds afrobeat flavour to ‘One More Time’ with a vocal performance which displays his musical journey to East London via Ghana, Israel and ‘90s Central London cultural hotspot, the Africa Centre. ‘Rock This World’ collaborators make a welcome return in the form of Kenny Knotts, a UK dancehall vocalist with a string of top ten hits to his name and rapper Mystro, a seasoned veteran with a list of collaborations under his belt that reads like a who’s who of the UK scene. Representing the new generation of UK dancehall artists is Toddla T and Sticky collaborator Lady Chann providing unique sound system swag on ‘Secret King’. Decca signing Annie Bea adds a sweet summer feel to ‘Just Like Me’ and new voices Mel Uye Parker, Rioghnach Connolly offer accomplished vocals to lead single ‘Hardground’, a track which Adams is happy to describe as one of his proudest productions. All in all a rich mix thrown in to the sonic melting pot via that all important tape machine mixdown!

[The very tape machine to which the album owes so much is central to the album’s cover art produced by Adams together with artist Paul Curtis.]

In the days of Different Drummer, I had a lot of fun working with Rhys. I also learnt a lot from this talented dude. Respec Rhysy Bwoy!

Album available now from BBE

Craftsman #8 (Again)

Great film on J. Dilla‘s record collection.

Posted on this genius before.

R.I.P. Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch

The Beastie Boys were a big part of my DJ career through the late 80s. Three cool dudes who not only made music…

Adam Yauch, a rapper and founder of the pioneering and multimillion-selling hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, died on Friday in Manhattan. He was 47.

His mother, Frances Yauch, confirmed his death. He had been treated for cancer of the salivary gland for the last three years.

With a scratchy voice that grew scratchier through the years, Mr. Yauch rapped as MCA in the Beastie Boys, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. They offered many listeners in the 1980s their first exposure to hip-hop. They were vanguard white rappers who helped extend the art of sampling and gained the respect of their African-American peers.

While many hip-hop careers are brief, the Beastie Boys appealed not only to the fans they reached in the 1980s but to successive generations, making million-selling albums into the 2000s. They grew up without losing their sense of humor or their ear for a party beat.

Mr. Yauch (pronounced yowk) was a major factor in the Beastie Boys’ evolution from their early incarnation, as testosterone-driven pranksters, to their later years as sonic experimenters, as socially conscious rappers — championing the cause of freedom in Tibet — and as keepers of old-school hip-hop memories. The Beastie Boys became an institution — one that could have arisen only amid the artistic, social and accidental connections of New York City.

In the history of hip-hop, the Beastie Boys were both improbable and perhaps inevitable: appreciators, popularizers and extrapolators of a culture they weren’t born into.

“The Beasties opened hip-hop music up to the suburbs,” said Rick Rubin, who produced the group’s 1986 debut album, in a recent interview with The Plain Dealer of Cleveland. “As crazy as they were, they seemed safe to Middle America, in a way black artists hadn’t been up to that time.”

The rapper Eminem said in a statement, “I think it’s obvious to anyone how big of an influence the Beastie Boys were on me and so many others.”

The Beastie Boys started their major-label career with two pivotal albums: “Licensed to Ill” (1986), a cornerstone of rap-rock that became the first hip-hop album to top the Billboard chart, and “Paul’s Boutique” (1989), a wildly eclectic, sample-based production that became a template for experimental hip-hop.

The Beasties brand expanded well beyond music: with their own magazine and record label, Grand Royal; with the social activism of Mr. Yauch’s Milarepa Foundation, which produced an international series of Tibetan Freedom Concerts; and with work in film, as Mr. Yauch (calling himself Nathanial Hörnblowér) directed Beastie Boys videos and went on to start Oscilloscope Laboratories, an independent film production and distribution company.

The Beastie Boys’ appeal endured. Into the 2000s they could headline large events like theCoachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Each of their albums up to “To the Five Boroughs” in 2004 has sold at least a million copies, and many of them have sold in the multimillions, in the United States alone.

“I burn the competition like a flame thrower/My rhymes they age like wine as I get older,” Mr. Yauch rapped on the Beastie Boys’ 2011 album, “Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.”

When they started rapping in 1983, the Beastie Boys — Mr. Yauch, Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) and Mike Diamond (Mike D) — were greeted by some hip-hop purists as a novelty act. They were Jewish bohemians, not ghetto survivors; they were jokers, not battlers. Yet the Beastie Boys recorded for a label that was a bastion of New York hip-hop, Def Jam, and they toured alongside Run-D.M.C. and LL Cool J.

They went on to garner admiration and influence with productions that kept coming up with surprises — including, eventually, the rappers’ playing instruments again — and with rhymes that would mingle humor, boasting and an increasing idealism. Even when the Beastie Boys were treated as a joke, it was a joke they would be in on for decades to come.

Adam Nathaniel Yauch was born on Aug. 5, 1964, in Brooklyn. Playing bass, he and Mr. Diamond started the Beastie Boys in 1981 as a hard-core punk band. The group’s original drummer, Kate Schellenbach, has said, “Whereas other bands, just as awful as the Beastie Boys, would actually believe they were good, for Mike and Adam the whole point was to be terrible and admit it.”

That group broke up after releasing an eight-song, seven-inch EP, “Polly Wog Stew.” The Beastie Boys reappeared in 1983 with Mr. Horovitz on guitar, and made “Cooky Puss,” a 12-inch single of prank phone call recordings over a rock guitar riff and hip-hop scratching. The group had been listening to New York hip-hop since the late 1970s.

Mr. Yauch once said that the Beasties had started rapping as a joke, but found that audiences liked it better than their punk-rock. Mr. Rubin, then a student at New York University, joined the group as a disc jockey. He also brought them to the attention of Russell Simmons, the manager of Run-D.M.C. and other leading hip-hop acts of the era. He added the Beasties to his roster.

When Mr. Rubin and Mr. Simmons started Def Jam, the Beastie Boys were one of the label’s first signings: catalog number DJ 002, in 1984, was the Beastie Boys’ single “Rock Hard.” The Beastie Boys toured with Madonna in 1985, to the confusion of pop audiences.

But with the 1986 release of “Licensed To Ill,” hip-hop pushed its way onto rock radio. The songs blasted rock guitar riffs from bands like AC/DC and Led Zeppelin behind the Beastie Boys’ cartoon-voiced rhymes about girls, drunken escapades, vandalism and guns. “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)” became a Top 10 single, and “Licensed to Ill” went on to sell more than nine million copies in the United States. The group toured with a stage set including caged go-go dancers and a 20-foot hydraulic penis.

The Beasties parted ways with Mr. Rubin and Def Jam amid a lawsuit over royalties. On “Paul’s Boutique,” their first album for Capitol, they worked with the Dust Brothers production team. The results were innovative, densely packed tracks that quick-cut amid rock, funk, jazz and more; meanwhile, the rappers shared the lyrics so thoroughly that all three might rap a word or two in a single line. The album went on to sell two million copies, and musicians inside and outside hip-hop have praised it as a landmark.

In 1992, the Beastie Boys expanded their ambitions as tastemakers by starting a label, Grand Royal, in association with Capitol. The label released music by, among others, At the Drive-In, Sean Lennon, Atari Teenage Riot and Jimmy Eat World. They also started Grand Royal magazine, which delved into fashion and movies as well as music. But those efforts lost money, and shut down in 2001.

With their album “Check Your Head” in 1992, the Beastie Boys began featuring their own instruments. They would go on to make an instrumental album, “The Mix-Up,” in 2007, which won a Grammy Award.

While the Beastie Boys’ music continued to offer a crunching, squealing good time during the 1990s, the rhymes it carried grew more mature. Vandalism was replaced by constructive thoughts, and offhand sexism was replaced by explicit respect for women. After travels in Tibet and Nepal, Mr. Yauch became a practicing Tibetan Buddhist. On the Beastie Boys’ 1994 album, “Ill Communication,” he rapped “Bodhisattva Vow,” a version of a pledge taken by devout Buddhists, over a hip-hop drumbeat mixed with the deep chanting of Buddhist monks. The Beasties also brought Buddhist monks to perform ceremonies at the 1994 Lollapalooza Festival.

In 1994 Mr. Yauch started the nonprofit Milarepa Fund, which presented the Tibetan Freedom Concert series to raise awareness of Chinese control of Tibet. The first one, in 1996, drew more than 100,000 people to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco; concerts followed in New York, Washington, Tokyo, Sydney, Amsterdam, Taipei and elsewhere. After Sept. 11, 2001, Milarepa organized New Yorkers Against Violence, offering relief efforts for victims of violence.

In 1998 he married Dechen Wangdu, who survives him along with their daughter, Tenzin Losel; and his parents, Frances and Noel Yauch.

Yet onstage and on albums, the Beastie Boys never grew overly serious. Mr. Yauch directed Beastie Boys videos, including “So Whatcha Want,” “Intergalactic,” “Body Movin’ ” and “Ch-Check It Out,” with a deft touch for slapstick and retro references. He also directed a 2006 documentary made from footage shot by Beasties fans, and a 2008 basketball documentary, “Gunnin’ for That No. 1 Spot.”

Mr. Yauch moved into film distribution and production with Oscilloscope Laboratories, operating it like an independent record label where everything was done in-house. Oscilloscope’s first releases, small indie films and documentaries, were modest in critical reception and box office, but the company quickly scaled up.

In 2009 Oscilloscope drew recognition for Oren Moverman’s military drama “The Messenger,” including Oscar nominations for best original screenplay and best supporting actor (Woody Harrelson). Another Oscar nomination, for the documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” followed.

Oscilloscope has continued to release films that often do not shy away from difficult topics, like a Columbine-style killing in “We Need to Talk About Kevin” and the documentary “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front.” It also kept a hand in music with documentaries like “Shut Up and Play the Hits,” about the band LCD Soundsystem. In his brief film career, Mr. Yauch had the respect of many veteran industry players, earning a reputation for nurturing films and filmmakers that others wouldn’t touch.

After his cancer diagnosis in 2009, Mr. Yauch went under extensive treatment. But he was eventually able to participate in the recording of “Hot Sauce Committee Part Two,” which is full of songs celebrating the sound and bygone figures of the 1980s New York City — uptown and downtown — that had nurtured the Beastie Boys.

© The New York Times

Son of Neckbone by Beastie Boys from the album The In Sound From Way Out! (Capitol Records 1996)

Download Son Of Neckbone (for a limited period only)

I used to look forward to receiving their magazine, Grand Royal, too…

With articles like this…

Marie Curie a great organisation

Random Selection #4

Whilst diggin’ through the crates I found this David Porter album, and there’s a little story behind how I discovered it.

I bought a lot of Hip Hop records throughout the 80’s and most of the 90’s – most of it from New York, (I was starting to feel the West Coast sound by the end of the 80’s, to the horror of my fellow DJ Ian ‘Bad Boy Bill’ Reaney). One particular East Coast producer that appealed to my ears at the time was Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs (although, in my opinion, his sound became more West Coast). Anyway, one particular 12″ single, Big Poppa by The Notorious B.I.G., included the track Who Shot Ya?, which sampled I’m Afraid The Masquerade Is Over by David Porter. I remember myself and Bill lovin’ this track, in particular the sample used. So, the hunt was on to find the original source material, which I tracked down at the good old Diskery…

Image

I’m Afraid The Masquerade Is Over by David Porter from the album Victim Of The Joke? An Opera (Stax 1974)

Download I’m Afraid The Masquerade Is Over. (for a limited period only)

I was going to include the Biggie Smalls track in this post too, but I really don’t like the subject matter, or all the profanities (how things change!), which are almost every other word…

…I Ain’t Into That…

I Ain’t Into That by The Rappin’ Reverend Dr. C. Dexter Wise, III (Cooltempo 1987)

Download Here. (for a limited period only)

A website worth checkin’ if you’re a trainspotter:-  http://www.whosampled.com/

Merry Christmas One and All!

Ghetto Santa by Spyder-D (Profile Records 1987)

Download Here (for a limited time only)

Happy Cycling

The Holidays start here….

Happy Cycling

You’re gonna hear a broad selection of music  tonight, and I’m sure this one will have the ladies dancing in the aisles….

Sound Boy Killing by Mega Banton (Black Scorpio 1994)

Download Sound Boy Killing (for a limited period only)

This track was remixed by Salaam Remi of Amy Winehouse fame.

Ice Cube X Eames

R.I.P. Sylvia Robinson

“Sylvia Robinson, who has died aged 75, made an indelible mark on African-American music as a singer, producer and record company owner. She sang on hit records from the 1950s to the 1970s, and then became known as “the mother of hip-hop” after she was among the first to recognise the potential of the nascent rap scene in the streets and clubs of New York.”

Full Obituary

I was a confused 12 year old, trying to find a musical direction when this record hit the charts,  and if I’m honest, I wasn’t a fan, but with her Sugar Hill label, which she launched with her husband, Joe, I soon caught up.

Pillow Talk by Sylvia (London 1973)

Download Here (for a limited period only)

And yes, I quite like this track now. In fact, it was a contender for my 7″s of Love mix, but didn’t make the final selection.