Tag Archive | hip-hop

Tanya Morgan – Rock The Bells

Just encountered the new track from these guys. I think the production (handled by god-knows-who) is kind of so-so. Sort of generic and with the heavy handprint of an someone banging away on an MPC. However, I’m going to go out on a limb and say Von Pea (on the first verse) is my favourite post-2000 rapper full stop. Donwill (second verse) ain’t far behind.


My Happy Hop mix completed – hip hop with a smile

We did it ma!

Finally after months of on-again-off-again mixing, recording, weeping, deleting, re-recording, wiping and finally remembering to press “save”, this mix is done and dusted like rhubarb and custard.

The tracks contained within are:
1. Intro
2. Large Professor – Ijustwannachill
3. UTFO – Split Personality
4. Fat Boys – All You Can Eat
5. Double Dee & Steinski – We’ll Be Right Back
6. De La Soul – Buddy
7. Nice and Smooth – Hip Hop Junkies
8. Grand Puba – 360 (What Goes Around)
9. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince – Girl Ain’t Nothing But Trouble
10. Ice Cream Tee – Guys Ain’t Nothing But Trouble
11. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince – Parents Just Don’t Understand
12. Afroman vs. Too Short – Freaky Rap (Mike’s crowbar)
13. Biz Markie – The Dragon
14. Beastie Boys – Boomin’ Granny
15. Doug E. Fresh – Nuthin’
16. Doug E. Fresh – All The Way to Heaven
17. Masters of Ceremony – Sexy
18. Dana Dane – We Wanna Party
19. The Jaz ft. Jay Z – Hawaiian Sophie
20. Kwame – U Gotz 2 Get Down (Mad Bone Age remix)
21. The dance lesson, featuring:

  • Chemical Brothers ft. Fatlip – The Salmon Dance
  • Disco Twins & Starchild – Do the Whop
  • Joeski Love – Pee-Wee’s Dance
  • World Class Wreckin’ Crew – Cabbage Patch
  • Gucci Crew II – The Cabbage Patch
  • EPMD – The Steve Martin
  • Digital Underground – The Humpty Dance
  • Kid and Play – The Kid and Play Kickstep
  • Freak Nasty – Da Dip
  • Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince – Dumb Dancin’

22. Public Enemy – Cold Lampin’ With Flava
23. UMCs – Blue Cheese
24. CB4 – Sweat from my Balls

I hope you enjoy it. It’s meant to be an antidote to the overly earnest rapping that is too-often heard. It’s supposed to be fun!

Next on the list, a nice little summer funk and soul affair. Keep those ears peeled.

Slow down: moving towards a new method of assessing 90s hip-hop tracks that used downpitched mid-to-late 80s commercial R&B hooks

So catchy titles aren’t my strong point.

I’m not sure if anybody else follows Ego Trip’s frankly amazing “Producer X’s favourite sample flips” series. Essentially every few weeks a new producer runs down his (for is is always a he) favourite sample flips. So far we’ve seen A-Trak, DJ Spinna, Lord Finesse, Large Professor, J.Rocc, Prince Paul and loads more.

This week sees Easy Mo Bee tell it like it is.

At his number five is Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless by Lost Boyz which samples Jealousy by Club Nouveau. He says:

Timex Social Club made “Rumors.” One of their follow up singles [as Club Nouveau] was this record called “Jealousy.” It’s the same dudes that produced En Vogue, Thomas McElroy and Denzel Foster – way before they did En Vogue. “Jealousy” was obviously meant to sound a lot like “Rumors.” Really commercial sounding record. Drum machine type record, keyboards, everything. I slowed it down. I took this really, really commercial R&B sounding record and was like, I wanna make this dirty, gritty, funky. “Lifestyles” was like ’94-’95. “Jealousy” – somewhere around ’85, ’86. Now back then in that era it was kinda taboo to be using samples that recent. I mean, if you was supposed to be a “real hip-hop producer.” I liked those little keyboard hits [from “Jealousy”]. But my drums on top – they gotta overpower the sound of the drums that they had in there. I’m gonna smother that record so much till you’re not gonna hear nothing else going on really in that sample except for that [keyboard].

Funkmaster Flex used to love the beginning of that. I had an intro where I doubled up in the beginning [sings beat] and he used to cut up that part of the song. And I’m looking in the club, people dancing, I’m like, yo you did it, man. If any of them sat back and listened to the original record that it came from – the original speed, the original pitch of the record and everything – they woulda had a totally different [reaction]. They wouldn’t get it.

What he says about using “recent” samples piques my interest. Here are the two tracks:

So he’s taken a pretty cheesy 80s R&B tune and just downpitched it to make it a  bit more rugged and raw. Reminded me straight away of KMD’s What a Nigga Know off the Bl_ck B_st_rds album.

Which samples Jody Watley’s Looking for a New Love.

again, using a similar technique.

I guess it’s true that most of the sample sources for 90s hip hop came from the more “respectable” areas of 60s and 70s soul, funk and other dusty-finger-inducing genres. Sure, we’d had Spyder D sampling Nu Shooz I Can’t Wait (actually an interpolation if my sources are correct) and Biggy’s Juicy but it wouldn’t be until the later 90s with Bad Boy sampling Diana Ross’s gay anthem I’m Coming Out before this kind of think took off, and it was never really slowed down to the same extent.

And so, as this poorly researched post fizzles out, can any readers think of other tunes where this technique has been used?

Action Bronson London matinée gig and new mixtape

So Bam Bam Bronson is rolling into town in two weeks and I left it too late to get my ticket for the evening show. “But Mike?” you ask. “Why don’t you use your list of extensive contacts in The Industry™ to score a VIP pass?”. Here’s why. I got me a ticket to the 4pm show. Yeah that’s right. The hip hop matinée.

To prep me for this My Bronson has been kind enough to plop out a mixtape. In my day we called them EPs (shit, I already made that joke) but it’s pretty good and funded by Bolton’s own Reebok. You can download it here. Or peep my favourite track NOW!

Action Bronson – Tan Leather

Rick Rubin’s groovy image

Hi I’m Rick Rubin. You might remember me from such photos as “fourth camp, stone-faced, sci-fi/skiing/breakdancing beastie boy”

“drugged kidnap victim”

“chillin in the studio with Jam Master Jay and Russel Simmons to wind up the folks at Profile and directly inspire Andrew WK’s look”

“promotional still from mine and Jigga’s never-screened detective show, ‘Hove and the Cowpoke'”

“me, Shavo Odadjian and Serj Tankian auditioning for BGT as a glass-eating act”

“showing Tom Petty and Johnny Cash my Brian Blessed impression”

“beachfront cycle cruise in crocs with Ant”

Thanks for looking. Bye!


Brick – Dazz: variations on a theme

I picked up this classic funk joint this week to play out at the weekend (more of which tomorrow, or check my Tweeder feed!).

I just love that three-hit drum intro. D-d-dum. I like to cut that in a bit using my entry level scratch skills. This has been sampled a fair bit in hip hop, including in two of my alltymefaves. Cinderfella Dana Dane

This one slows down the sample quite a lot and treats it somehow to boost and cut certain parts. I’ve also heard it’s a straight interpolation.

The second flip is from No Vaseline by O’Shea Jackson Icebert Cubington. Ah how I long for hard hitting battle records. And how much of a killer opening line is this? I think Cube is one of the best at delivering an opening line.

“It was once said by a man who couldn’t quit…”

“Here’s a little something ’bout a n!gg@ like me/Never should have been let out the penetentiary.”

“I heard payback’s a mutherfuck!ng n!gg@…”

Any other favourite Brick flips?

Jamaican MCs: a better class of rapper?

What a natural-sounding pun. Sorry for the lack of updates over the past week. I’m sitting on pure posts but what with one thing and another I ain’t had time to put into words the genius thoughts in my head.

Thought for the day number one: are those ashtrays the most tacky things ever made? Thought for the day two: are MCs of Jamaican heritage automatically awesome rappers? The case for:

Chubb Rock. Born in Kingston, one of my favourite ever rappers. Sometimes drops into a little ragga flow like on this freestyle verse on the last ever Yo! MTV Raps. In at 2:52.

You may have noticed KRS-One on that clip as well if you rewind a tad. He’s well known for dropping bits of patois into his raps. Let’s pick one at random, errr…GO!

Another one is Heavy D who tells us that he was “born in Jamaica, Mt. Vernon I grew”

Busta Rhymes has two Jamaican parents and rips it up in a pretty unique way

That video used to get heavy rotation on MTV Base back in the day.
Finally, perhaps only a Jamaican MC such as the master Douglas E. Frehsington could come up with lyrics like this. Yeah it’s a duet piece, wannafightaboudit?

Woman: ‘scuse me Doug E. Fresh some one to see you named Bob

Doug: Bob?

Woman: Yes, Bob.

Doug: Who drives that old white Saab? Tell him to wait I’m eating lunch I’m having corn on the cob.

[sarcastic trumpet riff]