Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Rocking The City

I just want to spread the news of a website I've been scouring extensively recently by the name of It's a British site full of articles, stories, and rare photos of the London graffiti scene from the mid 80's and beyond.

Anyone with a even a passing interest in graf should have a look. I've been enjoying reading the stories from many of the original UK writers of a time when the scene was in it's infancy. And the photos are possibly the only artifacts you'll see of a long-gone age of creative UK writing energy.

The only downside is that due to the sheer amount of pictures, Rocking The City warn "Don't try looking at these pages without broadband coz it'll take you ages".

Monday, 28 July 2008

Simon Harris - Bass How Low Can You Go (1988)

So who remembers this little beauty, then? Showing yer age, you are!
As you may know I am a fan of the cut-n-paste hip hop genre so this ditty from Music Of Life's big cheese was a no-brainer when it came out twenty years ago.

However there was a remix which kicked Simon's rear all over the place and that was the "Bass Below Zero Mix" by DJ Streetsahead. Check it out if you can.

And talking of DJ Streetsahead, his remix ("The Final Mixdown") for James Brown's Payback 12" from the same year is a monster. I need to find that again.

Anyway check the vid below and play spot-the-hip-hop-celeb. Even Westwood shows his mug! Actually, is that Dave Pearce in the baseball jacket just before the Big Dog at 2min:55s?

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Thought Of The Day # 1 - Sam Cooke

Now that Summer has suddenly turned up on our doorstep, puffing and panting spouting feeble excuses of, "sorry I'm late", I've been taking the opportunity to listen to a few sunny tunes.
One in particular was the great Sam Cooke's What A Wonderful World.
Now I don't know about you but I can't help wondering if Sammy could have spent just a little more time in class listening to his teachers instead of chasing skirt.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Phat Friday (25 July)

It's Saturday here but somewhere in the world its still Friday......... so here's my three Phat Friday songs for you to mull over, wherever you be.


- Naughty By Nature - "'Hip Hop Hooray'" - A sure party-rocker if ever there was one.


- Tommy Tee -"'Aerosoul'" - Tucked away on Volume 2 of the Return Of The DJ series, this tune just stood out to me mainly due to the wicked use of 'Style Wars' dialogue and great scratching.


- The 9th Creation - 'Rule Of Mind' - You'll recognise the first few bars from that 3rd Bass track off the second album. The other 9th Creation song you're thinking of is 'Bubblegum'!

SeeqPod - Playable Search

Friday, 25 July 2008

Chevy Chase - graffiti artist?

I'm currently reading Chevy Chase's biography and it mentions some highly interesting facts concerning the early 1970's graffiti art scene.
Did you know that his half-brother, John Cederquist, used to belong in two major crews; RTW (Rolling Thunder Writers) along with (Eric)HAZE, MIN ONE, REVOLT & ZEPHYR; and The Soul Artists.
He used to write CRUNCH - and here's a factoid for y'all, go and check your copy of SUBWAY ART, flip to the back cover and there it is, second one down, in the middle.

Tickled me, anyway.

Mike Allen Special on 1Xtra (2005)

This a bit of a special one here. Way back in one of my earlier posts I mentioned that I'd love to hear again the one-off show that Mike Allen did for the BBC's 1 Extra digital radio station in October 2005. The other day my prayers were answered as I was sent the whole 2 hour show.
A massive, massive shout goes to FatLaces71 who provided me with this.

If you haven't heard it before, you're in for a real treat as The Boss waxes lyrical about how he actually got involved in the Capital show in the first place. There's also a smattering of anecdotes as Mike name-drops and forgets key facts but its just so good to hear him again after all these years. He plays some tracks but unfortunately no real obscure cuts, rather just big, more well-known ones. But that's a minor quibble.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Hardnoise Interview & Live Jam (1991)

Hardnoise were a UK rap act that became legendary on the underground by their first 12" entitled "Untitled" in 1990.

Released on Simon Harris's (-ex UK Yo-Yo champion, I kid you not) Music Of Life label, this record tore up, and continues to today, jams everywhere with its mixture of TLP1's fast lyrical style, DJ's Son, Nyce 'D', Mada & AJ's furious scratching and Gemini's wicked mic technique.

The next 12" was just as good but continually overshadowed by their debut. Mice In The Presence Of The Lion b/w Serve Tea Then Murder is absolutely solid and gave their labelmates, Hijack cause for concern, I reckon.

Hardnoise were just as elusive as the aforementioned Hijack and I have for you a rare interview I recorded off Kiss FM's Max LX & Dave VJ from 1991.

Also for your downloading delight I have a short set from the group appearing at London's Dingwalls nightclub. This was originally broadcast on Richie Rich's The Rap Academy in 1990.

And lastly, if you don't have UNTITLED on vinyl then the least you can do is treat your mp3 player to it. There's a d/l to an .mp3 below.

Also, TLP1 is still about. Check his Myspace page. And DJ Mada ain't sitting around with his hands in his pockets either, check his out here.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Coldcut's In The Mix (1990)

This is a Steinski-esque mix from the Coldcut crew called 'Once Upon A Time'. I taped this from London's Kiss FM (Sept 12th 1990) when the station was still newly legalised. The actual mix was made earlier back when it was still a pirate.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Phat Friday (18 July)

It's Friday so here's three songs for you to mull over, wherever you be.


- Word Of Mouth feat DJ Cheese - "King Kut" - Originally released on the Beauty & The Beat label and subsequently on Profile. Cheese borrows heavily from Run DMC's "Jam Master Jay.


- Beastie Boys -"Scenario" - This song was supposed to be on the Licensed To Ill album but never made it. Heavy use of reverb all over the track and not dissimilar to Schoolly D's "P.S.K." Anyone who's seen the film, 'Pump Up The Volume' with Christian Slater (1990) may remember him playing this as his role of the pirate dj.


- The Winstons - "Amen, Brother" - Arguably the second most sampled funk break in history (Funky Drummer being #1) and found on the flip to "Color Him Father" on the original 7". A whole genre of music was created on the strength of its 4-bar break. Think about that for a moment. A whole new genre of music was created on the strength of 6 seconds of music!

SeeqPod - Playable Search

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Steinski Press Release - We'll Be Right Back (1986)

This is the press release given to the media by Steinski's then record label, Island Records back in 1986. And a pretty rare photo of the man, too.

Monday, 14 July 2008

What Would Dondi Say?

I won't bias this post by giving you my view......yet. But what do you think of these, I use the term cautiously, 'writers', expressing themselves?
I'd like to know your take on this. Do you agree? Are you a writer (or -ex) yourself?

Sunday, 13 July 2008

D.E.F. Momentum & Old Skool Jointz

I have to give a shout out to two blogs that are worth spending some serious time on.

First up is Def D's D.E.F. Momentum which since I discovered it has enriched my hard drive no end.

What D.E.F. Momentum provides is all the lost and many obscure 12"s in mp3 form that you just don't and can't find any where else on the web. You should appreciate that by their existence, 12" singles are going to be more plentiful than their album counterparts so there are a lot more 12"s than albums to be ripped.

Also if you're a cinematic b-boy, check out the blog where you can find Style Wars, Who's The Man, Krush Groove, Wild Style and many others for your downloading pleasure.

And anyone who can name their blog after one of my favourite electro singles of all time must have good taste, right?

Next up is a blog which has been really busy as of late. Produced by a guy by the name of Warlord, Old Skool Jointz is a blog featuring oodles and oodles of hip hop albums that you just know you wished you should've bought at the time.

For a taste of what to expect just check out this little list:

Has that whetted your appetite?

Both of these Blogs are doing some serious business and they should have your full support. Your mp3 player will be very proud of you.

I'm not here to make friends

This is the real reason I began writing this Blog. Straight up. It's a tough game.
Seriously though, not that I'm one for reality tv shows but this line is straight out of the Reality Show Cliché Rulebook™.
Just Ice said it best, "Frontin' like you're hard, rugged and rough / Soft like butter, creamy like a puff".

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Freddy Fresh The Rap Records: 2nd Edition Book (2008)

If you're the sort of person that bores your mates to death with old school hip hop trivia down the pub then you should get yourself a copy of his latest book, The Rap Records: 2nd Edition. This edition has all the same as previously but now has doubled in size (743 pages!) and now includes a further time-range (now stomping into the Nineties) as well as including a load of UK 12"s - about time!

In a nutshell it is a kind of database for damn near EVERY rap record that has been released up until the mid-Nineties. And that's no mean feat. When I say database I mean he has catalogued everything including issue numbers, whether they were originals or reissues, information on the run-out groove, the whole darn shizzle. As well as pics of a load of record labels.

There is also a rating system of sorts that Freddy has provided based on a maximum of 5 stars awarded to either rarity (according to eBay bids) or just a damn good record (in Fred's opinion). These stars aren't handed out willy-nilly and I was particularly pleased to see that I have a few rare pieces of vinyl myself; Coldcut "Say Kids What Time Is It?" (4 stars) and Dr Funnkenstein (aka DJ Ca$h Money) "Scratchin To The Funk" (also 4 stars).

I bought mine from the man himself via eBay and got him to sign it, too.

Also worth a mention are two other books that look good, too. The first being The Sampling Dictionary which is a 241-page dictionary of hip hop artists, organised alphabetically by name, track name and the songs sampled for the track. Does this sound good??

The other one is entitled The Re:Sampling Dictionary. Now this is similar to the above book but this time you search under the sampled artist's name rather than the hip hop artist's name. You dig? Again, pure fried gold for the OCD hip hopper.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Little Logo_test post

Phat Phridays

I going to start dropping 3 tracks each and every Friday. These will be songs which I like very much and hopefully you will, too. The format will be; one classic song you should know; one you may not; and one b-boy break.

To kick things off the songs today break down like this:

1991 - Pete Rock & CL Smooth - "They Reminisce Over You" - This unfortunately didn't make it to the All Souled Out EP (see below) but is arguably the duo's best recording. Available on the album Mecca & The Soul Brother.

1997 - KRS ONE - "Step Into A World (Rapture)" - A single from his I Got Next album, this shows KRS ripping up The Champ break and adding a smidge of Blondie's Rapture on top.

1972 - The Jimmy Castor Bunch - "It's Just Begun" - A b-boy classic in the true sense of the word. Legendary breakdown.

SeeqPod - Playable Search

Monday, 7 July 2008

Bad Meaning Good (1987)

I've managed to get the whole 31 minutes of the classic Tim Westwood-produced Bad Meaning Good from that ugly step-child that is Google Video.
Now it's been a (bad meaning) good 16 or so years since I last saw this programme and whilst watching it again I was amazed at how much I could remember, word for word.
The scene (02:07) when the camera not-very-Steadi-cam's its way in the biblical Groove Records a tear was shed from Mr Benzini's eyes. And I think I got a boner.

Also look out for:

02:39.....Woah, Darryl McDaniels, you've let yourself go a bit!

05:43.....Rev Run Forgets Own Lyrics Shocker! Err, taxi cab? No, it's 'car' you fool. You know it. You wrote it. Holy Jebus.

05:52.....This is THE scene for me. DJ Fingers cutting up Isaac Hayes is the one bit I have been looking forward to seeing again. But why 'It's Not Unusual', Fingers? Why? Did Tim make you?

15:08.....The start of the Graf section. Rebel Without A Pause, here we go.

22:28.....Westwood at LWR. And a pre-pubescent Trevor Nelson, too. Note the shot of the Big Mac casually lying amongst the studio equipment. Yeah, they know it, it's anti-establishment, it's edgy, it might raise a few eyebrows, even rustle a few feathers. Radio 1 couldn't get away with that type of behaviour. They're pirates. And they damn well know it.

25:16.....Sipho freestyle. Sadly no longer with us, but who remembers him back in Electro Rock? And what about that rumour about him and Bambaataa?

And looking at the end credits I see a Richard Reyes as Stills Photographer. I'm sure I used to see his name in HHC in the early 1990's.

This is I think, the UK's best hip hop documentary and like Style Wars, was made in a time that seemed so full of excitement, potential and rawness in hip hop's formative years.

*** There appears to be a problem viewing embedded Google Videos at the moment so click here to see it directly from source ***

Friday, 4 July 2008

Happy 4th July!

I just want to wish a Happy Fourth of July to all my US readers.

I joined in myself, albeit in a small way. I had a burger.

Pete Rock & CL Smooth - All Souled Out (EP) (1991)

Harking back to the Golden Age ™, when every other record had a Pete Rock remix, I present to you the first sightings of the man.

Each track is a nice big ole fat slab of Mr Rock at his best and together with CL Smooth (the 'C' stands for Corey but what about the 'L'?) in the mic it's a solid partnership. Any 12" from the first album is worth picking up.
With so much good stuff just oozing out of each track they are one of my happiest memories of this era.


A1 Good Life (3:53)

A2 Mecca & The Soul Brother (5:59)

A3 Go With The Flow (4:55)

B1 The Creator (4:43)

B2 All Souled Out (5:27)

B3 Good Life (Group Home Mix) (3:55)
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