Monday, December 19, 2011

12.19.11.....Zombie Rap

One year later.
Sorry, folks....time flies when shit gets heavy.
Now that it's cold and rainy in Emerald City, I think I may be able to get back to my initial intentions with this here site.

So, being that we're at Christmas time and shit (I decorated the inside of my apartment as if I was possessed by Clark W. Griswold), here's a few treats:

NOTE - I am not a fan of downloading a gazillion gigs of shit. Odds are, if you want a certain album from the golden era, there's a 75% chance you can find it for super cheap. However, there are quite a handful of releases from that era that are waaay out of print and impssible to afford on our low money income. I'm posting these sites because they have a bunch of records that are far gone to find. Plus, if it was on a major label, download the shit out of it, because they took advantage of quite a few of these MCs/DJs, ripped them off, made some money and then left them with contracts that wouldn't allow them to release any more music on other labels.
The dudes in the 90's got fucked over. Big time. A lot of them are still around and have found a way to release new music or still do shows. Support them.

Golden Age Hip-Hop Videos! - Not really anything to download, but some forgotten classics
Underground Hip-Hop - hands down, one of my favorites to find the long gone shit. Who else would have the Bustin' Melonz record? Sham & The Professor? The DJ Premier Golden Era revisited mixtapes?
The Hip-Hop Collection - Another completist's wet dream. Some pretty cool stuff, although I wish he didn't waste time posting stuff from dickheads like Kanye

There you's like a gift of thousands of hours of gold.

Oh, by the way....yesterday, sitting on a self in a local record store, I found an original CD pressing of C-BO's "Gas Chamber" record on AWOL Recs from 1994. For $8. If you know what I'm talking about, then you're saying to yourself, "Holy shit..." right now.

Last and's been a year in between posts. Here is the new and old that have soundtracked me through 2011.

I'll try to give a little detail, just in case you're bored and feel like killing time.

Big L "Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous" - Took me a while, but I've finally grown to appreciate this record. The beats were great, it was just something about his voice that didn't work for me. The guy was good, though. Unfortunately, he's another MC we won't have an opportunity to hear from ever again.

Boogiemonsters "Riders of the Storm" - I had bought the record back when it was released because of their affiliation with Digable Planets or something. Sooo good. "Honeydips in Gotham" is one of my favorite tracks from this era. I wish they had kept a good thing going. They released only one other album, 1997's "God Squad". Ugh. I've erased it from my memory and have continued to hold this gem close.

Boot Camp Clik - EVERYTHING. Black Moon and all associated acts. All of it. Sean Price's "Monkey Bars", Heltah Skeltah's "Nocturnal", Smif-N-Wessun's "Dah Shinin'" and "Reloaded" records....this was a crew that rarely disappointed.

Channel Live "Station Identification" - KRS-ONE's verse on "Mad Izm" is a perfect example of why the Golden Era rules supreme.

Cypress Hill "III:Temples of Boom" - The first three records are quite simply amazing, but this one....goddamn. "Black Sunday" bummed some people out, whining about catering their sound to the Lollapalooza generation. Fuck that. It was great. They got weird, and it worked. On "III...", they took it to a complete opposite end of the spectrum and made this bleak and dark, straight up hip-hop record. I listen to this record, and all I can visualize is black. "Throw Your Set in the Air"

De La Soul "Buhloone Mind State" - Totally forgot how fun this record is. I'm usually distracted with my iPod and go straight to "...Is Dead". Pressing play on this one and hearing the first couple seconds of "Eye Patch", I slapped myself for forgetting.

Diamond D "Stunts, Blunts and Hip-Hop" - Dude's lyrics are corny as shit, but his beats make up for it. This record's a good time.

DJ Premier - Too much to list. Golden age mxtapes 1-4, Salutes James Brown 2CD mixtape, Crooklyn Cuts tapes A-D

DJ Jazzy Jeff - Golden Age mixtapes vol. 1 + 2.....I wish this guy was still given more credit / attention

Fat Joe "Jealous One's Envy" - Pulled this out yesterday. Not a timeess classic, but a pretty solid record, nonetheless. He lost me after this record, becoming another victim to the whole "I'm the hip-hop Scarface kingpin" bullshit. He WAS on the remix of Raekwon's "Firewater" 12" with Big Pun and that track was badass.

GDP "Useless Eaters" - Yes, it's new....and it's golden. This guy gets better and better with every release. Someone hook this guy up with a deal that will give him the attention he should be receiving.

Goodie Mob "Soul Food" - This record is why I'm willing to let Cee-Lo slide for Gnarls Barkley's world takeover. I really wish I could get into them.

House of Pain "Back From the Dead" - Still a gritty as fuck record. The change in Everlast's voice from the debut to this one is legendary. Plus, they put "Who's the Man?" on here as a bonus track. Amazing song, amazing video.

M.O.P. - All the records from the 90's. These guys were insane. Saw them once in a 400 capacity club and it was chaos. "Buckwild" is the only term to describe how the crowd was, and when they did "Ante Up" it was like armaggeddon was unfolding.

Method Man "All I Need" remix - Goddammit, Mr. Combs....why couldn't you stick to your early 90's glory? You produced some great shit....including:

Notorious B.I.G. "Ready to Die" - Here's the deal....I never gave this record a chance at all. Never bothered. I knew it would be good, but I was always put off by the videos for "Juicy" and "Big Poppa". I have no problem admitting I slept on it for like 18 years or whatever, because now I have old shit that's new to me. There's still a select few tracks that I'm not into, but the majority of this record is rightfully the reason of classic status.

DJ Muggs "Dust" - It was out of left field, that was for sure. The guy who produced "How I Could Just Kill a Man", "Jump Around", "Dedicated" and slew of my other favorites, created this TRIP-HOP record that rules. It starts out with a distorted, feedback-drenched guitar, and morphs into this gloomy, brooding beast. I love it. It's in constant rotation for me.

Onyx "All We Got Iz Us" - The first one? Insane. The second one? Bitter, angrier, darker....better.

Pete Rock & CL Smooth remixes from "Mecca.." and "Main Ingredient" - I had no idea about this until six months ago. Oh, how I loved this duo. "Mecca.." is still a weekly part of my playlist. I can't decide on a favorite song by these guys. Every one holds a moment of brilliance.

Sham & The Professor "Split Personalities" - Woah. I remember the name, but never heard them or saw the record in stores. Found it in a dollar bin about six months ago. East coast early 90's hip-hop in all it's glory. Track it down. Love it.

Stezo "Crazy Noise" - Oh, thank you, world of re-issues. I didn't think I'd ever get a chance to hear this. It was worth the wait. Connecticut hip-hop should be proud of the groundwork this guy laid out.

Tricky vs. The Gravediggaz "Hell is Round the Corner EP" - Four creepy tracks. It's mosly a Tricky EP, but it's still awesome. See at the bottom of this entry to help me out with this one.

Ultramagnetic MCs "Critical Beatdown" - Shiiiit. Kool Keith was insane even back then.

3rd Bass "Derilicts of Dialect" - Pete Nice and MC Serch. Awesome white dudes. I don't care what anyone says, they won the battle with the Beasties.

Viewing Pleasure:

Onyx "15 Years of..." DVD - I wish every act from the 90's was able to release a comprehensive DVD like this. EVERY video. It's unreal. Live footage of their first show, interviews, etc. It's like 3 hours of bald headed madness. After I watched this, I went to their website. There's a free download section which offers every non-studio album track they've made! Remixes, instrumentals, rare b-sides and more. The site is extremely well done, with a ton of info.
Side note: I was on tour in Europe and at our show in Zurich, Switzerland, these guys were playing upstairs. I caught five songs. The Swiss crowd was in a frenzy. So crazy to watch.

Who's the Man? - Dubbed as"The First Hip-Hop Whodunit?". It's just a great time capsule of te early 90's. Dre and Ed Lover fun dudes. Dennis Leary's character is hysterical. The donut segments and the "did you just touch my badge?" freakout still make me laugh out loud. I hadn't seen it for a good 10 or 12 years before I said "screw it" and bought it online.

All the old standby's that I need to view on a monthly basis. All of them will be given proper treatment in their own posts.

Some questions to ponder until the next entry:

1- Where is Ego Trip's book on white rappers that they have been talking about for a few years?
2- When will "Juice" be given a special edition version on DVD? Mr. Epps...take a few hours from your acting job as a doctor and give me a commentary track. Bring the rest of the dudes...I KNOW they are't too busy.
3-Why won't VH1 release DVD box sets of the actually good hip-hop related shows they did?
4- When will the 33&1/3 book series show a little more love to hip-hop?

I'll be posting a list of things I have been looking a shithead out.


  1. I can't believe you just got into that Big L. Such a classic. My wife and I named one of our cats after him and went to visit 139/Lenox last time we were in NYC.

    And Diamond D's lyrics aren't all corny. I really like his second album "Hatred Passions & Infidelity." It's on that darker '90s tip.

    I was eying that Onyx DVD - might have to check it out! Don't forget their third album, Shut 'Em Down!

  2. "Shut em' Down" was awesome. It definitely had some lackluster moments, but they were few and far between. The track "Raze it Up" stole the show from the rest of the record. The title track even had DMX back when he was still getting gnar. I relly wish they had stopped after this record though. I remember getting so stoked when "Bacdafucup II" was announced and then the day it was released, I brought it home and totally bummed out after ten minutes. Maybe they should have recorded it like the first one and been on LSD the whole session.
    Dudes are still legends, though.
    Find that's cheap as fuck! And once you see the track listing on the back, your mind will be blown. I had no idea how many videos they made....between YO!, the Box, and those Rap Video Monthly VHS subscriptions I had, I had still only seen about 30% of what they did.
    No question, Diamond D was still better on the mic than most producers. He had his moments of great lines, but his downfall was trying to produce raps as good as his beats, which was going to be near impossible.
    Big L can be given some of my attention now. That was the simultaneous awesome and difficult thing about that many great artists, but there was such little time to hear all of them. That's the beauty of "eras"...once they're over, you have years upon years to track down everything and catch up. If I live until I'm 60, you'll probably find me still digging in the crates.