Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Paul Nice Breaks For Days 2 - The Rise & Fall Via Social Media

Yeah, well. This is a bit embarrassing.

Up until a week ago my estimation of Paul Nice was that he thoroughly deserved his moniker what with being such a great beatsmith and all. However it's come to light (via Facebook) that he is actually duping a lot of people by promising to sell them his products and then stopping any communication with them. Or if he does then it's then accompanied by tales of woe and broken promises.

Basically he's pocketing all their hard-earned cash.
All I can do is shake my head.

Remember life before social media? Didn't that thin veil of mystique that enshrouded your favourite artist used to be so welcome - at least now in hindsight? Did you, like me, feel that the solid line of separation between artist and fan mean that you looked up to them that much more?
Nowadays with everything seemingly on a flat surface, a ground zero if you will where the playing field is almost wide open there seems to exist a blurring of lines and DJ Supa-Beatmaker is now your virtual BFF because he 'liked' one of your Twitter or Instagram posts.

The rise of social media, at least in my eyes, has been a double-edged sword and has shone a spotlight - either good or bad - on everyone in the public eye, magnifying their everyday behaviour.
Someone who behaves like a nob probably WAS a nob back in 1992 but it's only now that because celebrity invites Joe Public into their lives through the medium of their smartphone that everything is up for discussion and there isn't really room for secrets any more.

There's a whole other related topic I could get into about social media and how it is very good for spreading music to thousands of pairs of ears in an instant. It's just that another thousand pair of ears then want to share their music to even more ears. The rise of social media means the lowering of quality control and proliferation of average songs that are pushed to seemingly sky-high levels because of the almost now-meaningless and redundant 'Like' button. A barometer of mediocrity.

Anyway, that said, enjoy this mix from half of of The Fabreze Brothers - who's album of the same name is still one of my absolute favourites from the past few years - which features some great breaks that even though you know well do still love.

Breaks for Days 2 - Mixed by DJ Paul Nice


Big shout to Pipomixes for the heads-up.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Haynesy - Hip Hop Advocate Album Sneak Preview Review

We at ABU were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of HAYNESY's upcoming album, Hip Hop Advocate.
For the uninitiated, Haynesy was half of the DJ Cue Tips & MC Dashy D partnership (responsible for the classic, 'Control' as featured on the Hard Core One album from 1988) as well as the SLR Crew (South London Renegades) so he has a good pedigree.
Tired of not hearing the sort of stuff he likes he decided to go one step ahead and simply make his own stuff instead. The result of this decision is what eventually became Hip Hop Advocate.
Entirely self-produced, Haynesy has employed the talents of two talented wordsmiths; Scorzayzee and Dweller who proceed to float over the tracks as smoothly as a pint of Guinness and give the set a glaze of lyrical perfection.

There is already a huge buzz about some of the tracks that have already been heard on the radio and no diggidy, you will certainly agree when you hear them.
The album is just going through it's final mastering stages then will be available through the usual audio platforms (Spotify/Apple etc..).
More details when we get them.

Here's a track-by-track run-thru.

1. 1995 ft. Scorzayzee (95 bpm)
An homage to hip-hop five years before the Millennium took place with many namechecks of artists, albums and events of the era. This is a mid-tempo plodder with a Rockit stab which acts as a sealant to keep the funk flowing throughout.

2. Jewels ft. Scorzayzee (93 bpm)
Some nicely-furious rhythmic scratch in the chorus really does propel a song along and this is a oft-repeated tactic here on H.H.A. With Scorzayzee's effortless rhymes acting like a lyrical cosy pillow, DJ Cue Tips' turntable trix act as that early morning alarm bell to wake you from your slumber, albeit in a good way.

3. On & On ft. Scorzayzee (93 bpm)
A great groove on this with some dirty funk guitar licks and brass as Scorzayzee drops his flow.

4 Love 'Em All ft. Scorzayzee (96 bpm)
Dope sparse break punctuated by a Bouncy stab giving way to plucky guitar and snazzy hi-hats on this one.

5. B-Boy Showdown (110 bpm)
A seriously scorching instrumental which as the title suggests is aimed primarily at the dancefloor. With it's uptempo bpm this cut bounces along with some fine production and unloads breaks and stabs at an alarming rate which is destined to provide a highlight to any forward-thinking club night with open-minded dancers.

6. Dusty Vinyl (90 bpm) ft. Dweller
DWELLER is on the mic for this moody "old school banger". Initially punctuated by some sly Meters drums it quickly drops into a mid-tempo, thematic groove.

7. The Limits (82 bpm) ft. Dweller
This first 'slow' track of the album utilises the En Vogue Hold On bassline to tremendous effect here. And if you're after a mic-drop moment, then ,"I took hip-hop and restored it to it's Factory Settings" is certainly it.

8. Portraits (94 bpm) ft. Scorzayzee
Guitar licks pepper the dreamy groove with Scorzayzee's rhymes of how he is perceived by others ("I am whoever made me…however you wanna paint me"). Strictly 4 the head-nodding crew.

9. Brain Tour (96 bpm) ft. Scorzayzee
The brass on this lends the feel of a big band on production - it seems larger than it is and fills any blank spaces in the track with horns, flute and scratch. If your cranium is peckish this a feast for the ears.

10. Bonestash (92 bpm) ft. Scorzayzee
As we reach the end of the session one thing becomes clear - there have not been any rap cliches throughout. The breaks mostly sound as if Haynesy has invited a live funk band into his front room, given then a fresh brew, couple of Hob-Nobs and pressed 'play+record'. Double naughty.

Overall this album is excellently produced and the tracks - although not dirtily-raw - are clean which allow the vocals to shine through without getting muffled in the mix. The choruses all feature a sadly-lost motif from hip-hop of yesteryear and that is, quite simply, the scratch.
Every chorus has a scratch running through it either subtly (The Limits) or more frenetically (Jewels) which automatically gets the ABU thumbs pointing sky-high.
Also what compels me to grin like a loon about this album is that it utilises that not-oft practice in which just one producer gets to layout his sound throughout. This is the opposite of the usual 'too many cooks' approach in which the average album can get lost in the many examples of different sounds trying to be heard from start to finish.
Haynesy, with his unique stamp driven into this project, adds a notable calibre to this UK rap album making it an easy contender for any punter's top 5 long-players of 2018.

And with this in mind, we're giving Haynesy's Hip Hop Advocate album a rating of 4.5 LEEs out of 5.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Digging 4 Victory Podcast 34 – June 2018

Just a quick heads-up to let you know that the latest Digging 4 Victory podcast is now up and ready.
Two hours of the classiest tunes around all put together by LG (ex-Style Warrior) and there are some absolute crackers this month.
Laid back jazz-funk, retro synthwave, freshly-made funk covers of classic hip-hop plus....classic hip-hop.
With the weather being so bloomin' good to us recently (have we beaten 1976 yet?) D4V is the perfect accompaniment to this heatwave.

ALSO... incoming review of LG's sister project DIG magazine very soon.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Don't Sweat The Technics - Vol 1

Here's a mix I did the other day live on the wheels of steel featuring some Golden Era classics.
I've added a smidge of post-production bits and doo-dads but it's mostly 'as-is' from the session.

Jebus, I dunno... sometimes when I'm on the decks and the music is banging in my headphones it just all feels so good, y'know? We'll never get those days back but the sounds will always be there of a more innocent time.

Have a listen and feel free to share. If you don't then I might have to pay you a visit while you're eating your dinner and knee you in the 'nads.
Sorry, I don't make the rules. Hate the game, not the playa.

Pip pip!
Senor Repo

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Mike Allen Capital Radio Show Friday Feb 1986

Here is a FULL Mike Allen show from the Capital days courtesy of FeverPitch who shared this on his Twitter recently (big up!).
Some great tracks with many being Egyptian Lover is still in there.
I'd love to know more info on the later song (#23) as Mike was being ultra cagey and keeping his card very close to his chest about the details to it. The emcees sound sort of English as well. Intriguing...

Mike Allen
Capital Radio
Friday 21/02/1986

01 Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force - Who Do You Think You're Funkin With?
02  Artists United Against Apartheid - Let Me See Your ID
03 Capt Rock - You Stink

Ads - Penguin Passnotes / Tower Records / Daily Star / Stuart Clean

04 Tablet The Second
05 Pretty Ricky & Booski - It's Mine

Ads - Agnes of God trailer / Penguin Passnotes / Network Chart / Supercall

06 Goon Squad - Powerdrill
07 LL Cool J - Rock The Bells

Ads - 19 Magazine / Pan Am / Commando trailer / Harvey Nicholls

08 Disco 3 - Get Busy
09 DBC Is In The Place?
10 Janet Jackson - Nasty Boys

Ads - Sealink / Mr Love trailer / Feargal Sharkey gig trailer
followed by Weather ("that's not cold, that's antisocial")

11 Just Ice - Put That Record Back On
12 Glamour Girls - Oh Veronica
13 Afrika Bambaataa, Afrika Islam and Jazzy Jay - Fusion Beats (Bozo Meko)
14 MC New York - I Am New York

Ads - Supercall / Pan Am / Feargal Sharkey gig trailer / Harvey Nicholls

15 Super Kids - The Tragedy
16 Egyptian Lover - These Are My Beats

Ads - Penguin Passnotes / Lambeth Recruitment / Supercall / Women's Weekly

The Groove Hip Hop Sales Chart

17 Stetsasonic - Just Say Stet
18 Byron Davies & The Fresh Crew - My Hands Are Quicker Than The Eye
19 Hashim - Primrose Path

Ads - Melody Maker / Video Cafe / Penguin Passnotes / The GLC Black Experience

20 The Incredible Ray (?) A mysterious song that Mike wouldn't speak much on. Wasn't even played from vinyl.
21 The 2 Live Crew - What I Like (Scratch Mix)
22 Lovebug Starski - Saturday Night
23 Davy DMX - The DMX Will Rock

Ads - Agnes of God trailer / 19 Magazine / Holiday Ad


Friday, 8 June 2018

Promo Only: A Visual History of Hip-Hop Memorabilia

Those lovely chaps who used to run Fat Lace mag but now are far too busy with many different fingers in many different pies have a great new book they dearly want you to read.

The book details all the free stuff that record labels would send to shops and journalists in the hope of sealing the deal and perhaps making a certain product more likely to stick out. Memorabilia from the hip hop world is always sought after but when you factor in rare stuff that Joe Public may never have even seen back in the day then this book suddenly becomes super interesting.

The trouble is it hasn't been published yet.
The prototype looks amazing and the authors have content for days. Andrew Emery used to write off to rap labels and received promo stuff then joined HHC mag and got more promo shizz. This then is the journey through his (and Dan 'DJ' Greenpeace) world as his collection continued to grow and grow.

Annoyingly, a project like this needs a hefty injection of financial love if they want to present it as intended so that it doesn't feel like some sad, flimsy, DIY, knock it out yerself collection of pages barely stuck together. And this is where you come in.
Visit the crowd-funding page here and you'll find different ways to help and become an official backer of the project. The more you contribute the more you get.
For instance, £15 gets you an "Ebook and name in back of book" while the "Limited Janette Beckman Print Package" will see you receiving a wealth of fun gifts including "a private game of the Beat Street board game with the authors" for a mere £5k.

All details can be found here. Show your support as this is a very worthwhile project.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Hip Hop Connection Magazine - Issues 7 & 8

Issue #7, August 1989 (LL Cool J front cover)

This issue came with a free flexidisc. However let's not get too excited. The song, Change Your Ways, was taken from the just-released Walking With A Panther album. And even then it was only available on the cassette and CD versions rather than the record.
In summary, it's his not best work from his not best album.

The magazine is here.
The song is here.


Issue #8, September 1989 (EPMD front cover)

More hip-hop goodness including the adorable fresh-faced mugshots in the Connections section.

The magazine is here.

N.b. Sorry for the huge gaps in between each uploading of these HHC mags but the response from the blog readership to keep putting them up here digitally is just so ear-shatteringly deafening.
Whoops, I meant of course, non-existent.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Beat Street Japan - New LOVEGROVE Design

Here is the newest design by LOVEGROVE designs. It's a great play on the classic Beat Street logo from the legendary 1984 b-boy film.
Fans of Style Warrior may remember the excellent Beat Street tee they put out a few years ago and this version is seemingly going down the same route as the recent Kold Sweat Records tee with it's LOVEGROVE-remixed Japanese slant.

It's available as a tee or hoodie in two colours (hoodie only in one).
For more info go here:

But as always, it's an order first, product soon-come affair as the design is strictly a one-off. Miss out and you will forever lose out.

Friday, 20 April 2018

ABU Is 10 Years Old!

Today - 20th April 2018 - marks ten years since the Ageing B-Boys Unite! blog came into existence. Nope, I can't believe it either (I actually thought is was 11 years...).

Why did I start it?
Well, at the time there were a fair few hip-hop blogs around and after a few months of reading them I thought it was time to do one from a UK perspective. Also I had let my creative writing passion continue its' long-term hiatus ever since the days of Juice Fanzine in the 90s.
After seeing the banner written on an early Fat Lace Magazine which stated, "the magazine for ageing b-boys..." I reckoned I could use that. Well, c'mon, hip-hop is built on biting!

The links to every music file I ever uploaded are most likely all dead - mostly because I used the once-great file-sharing platform, Rapidshare which sadly became defunct in 2012. Many of the blogs I used to visit also relied on Rapidshare, too, which meant that all their content went the same way.

What's the future?
Who knows? Anyone who's been a regular over the years will know how quiet ABU! has been of late. Last year I even thought it was all over but, like the great Pete Tong says, we continue. We're not quite done and we limp awkwardly around here in 2018 not quite knowing what we're doing like a senile uncle. If it's okay with you we'll just put our collective feet up on this stool and sit quietly in the corner of the room sipping tea and dunking biscuits until the nurse comes over to administer the medication.
Will we be celebrating in another 10 years? I don't really want to have to think about that as I'll be heading towards a rather large milestone in my life.
But chances are, no.

I made some useful acquaintances over the years through the blog and I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there and I'll tell you that a guy named Supreme was a direct influence because of his blog. This now sounds completely lame because I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the blog he used to run. It did disappear a few years back in my defence.
I remember he once posted links to grab a tonne of (digital) Battle Breaks on one blog post years back which I thought was odd as the concept of digital DJing was still quite a new thing and I didn't rally understand how it worked. How times have changed?

Waxer and Disco Scratch came along pretty early on and we became a worthwhile alliance. This was early social networking.

Another blogger, Warlord seemed to be the epitome of that (awful) 'Tubthumping' song in that every time his blog got busted he came back again and refused to stay down. Although he has not been active for a while now.

And lastly, Ramses has been a long-time follower and I can remember knocking around with him in the golden days of the forum. I would say 'R.I.P.' but the board is still going although not like the heady heights of the old days.

The reason for all of life's back luck and anger can be laid at the feet of one thing: Facebook.
Many people jumped ship and now use social media for their everyday news and music links - me included, so I can't complain. I just wish that Blogger  had incorporated Facebook into it's design a bit more then it may have given it a longer shelf life.

Anyhoo, this is me, Repo, wearing a party hat, blowing a plastic horn and about to cut a slice of birthday cake. Want some?

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Roxanne, Roxanne Movie Review

Why'd'ya Have To Make A Movie 'Bout Me...?!

There was talk of a Roxanne Shante screen adaptation some years ago and here it finally is.
This mid/low budget drama tells the story of Lolita Shante Gooden as she tries to make her way through life in early 1980s NYC, specifically the projects in Queensbridge.

It all looks rather clean for 1984, no filthy streets, clothes all immaculate; I imagined a totally different place back then.
Thirteen year-old Roxanne is constantly heralded as the Queen emcee, especially by her best friend who insists of announcing her presence wherever she goes, ("the champ is here, the champ is here"). Sadly though we don't get to actually see much battling as the story is more concerned in showing you Shante's personal battles than those out in the parks and basketball courts.

The REAL Roxanne (left) / TV Roxanne (right)

This is evident early on and we learn how much of a struggle she had with looking after her younger sisters and trying to keep her head up in the Projects. However we do eventually get to see Roxanne's first glimmer of fame as she records that answer record about UTFO up in Marley Marl's crib. The actor playing Marley has a slight resemblance to him and that works in his favour. Actually the actress playing Roxanne not only looks alike at times but has a similar name in real life - Chanté Adams.

We don't get to see a whole deal of the concerts and life in music as I explained earlier which may frustrate some because of course that is pretty much why many wanted this film to be made in the first place. Nevertheless it's a good insight into what made her the feisty young lady she became.

There is some A-list talent roped in to this project such as Forest Whitaker and Pharrell Williams who were two of the many producers, The RZA on scoring duties as well as the 1990s-honey dip, Nia Long (Boyz n the Hood, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) and 1/3 Beastie Boy, Adam Horovitz in a short cameo.
However for me though I feel it could've gone a bit deeper into the music as some of the Juice Crew were featured (albeit by actors) and I couldn't help thinking that we could've got some good stories out of them.

Oh, and the less said about the shoe-horned Nas scenes, the better.

Roxanne, Roxanne is available to watch on Netflix here.

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The links to MP3 files provided in these posts are to be used for previewing only. AGEING B-BOYS UNITE ™ does not keep the files here, this Blog is merely a gateway, an Information Desk if you will, to point you in the right direction. Once downloaded, all files should be destroyed within 7 days.