Sunday, October 16, 2011

[dancehall joints] DJ Excel - Dancehall/hip-hop bomb joints Volume 5

File this under 'dj tools' -- specifically, the dancehall accapella/90's hip-hop production pairing that blew up mid-90's.  This selection put together by DJ Excel is firmly rooted in that era, and includes a couple of Lady Lee accapellas with slightly reworked versions of the instrumentals for "Mad Izm," "The Bridge Is Over," and "Danger":

The standout track here is probably Lady Lee's "Situation," featuring a slightly bouncier version of the "Mad Izm" instrumental. DJ Excel wisely includes this instrumental on the flip-side, as the re-worked percussion leads to a nice alternate version of the classic instrumental.

In addition to the three dancehall tracks, there's a Crooklyn Clan-style mashup fueled primarily by the break popularized by "Eric B Is President" and a Black Sheep vocal sample.

Friday, May 13, 2011

[MIXTAPE] dj espionage - Chronic Coadunation (1998)

'98 hip-hop -- majors, but mostly indies. Two live blend tapes covering 100 cuts from the era, as well as a short mix of early-90's classics:

Full playlist is here. Including classic indie records by Fierce, Choclair, Mass Influence, Dilated, Rascalz, Atmosphere, Boo Brown, All Natural, Frankenstein, etc.

Here are links to 12's from this mix already posted on this site, complete with re-ups where necessary:

J-Live, "Sheisty"
Fierce, "Crab"
Choclair, "What It Takes (rmx)"
Blade, "The Way It Has To Be"
Mike Zoot, etc, "High Drama Pt. 3"
Atmosphere, "Primer"
Foot Soljaz, "If You Ain't Got Flowz"
Diamond D, "With the Dope Sound"
Show & AG, "I'm Not the One (original)"
Mental Giants, "Hustler's Hymn"
No False Lyricists, "Funk the Radio"

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

[MIXTAPE] dj espionage - Notes from Underground (1997)

At this point in 1997, it was clear where mainstream hip-hop was heading, and the vitality of the indie movement (with Rawkus most successfully commodifying it) was what I attempted to pay homage to here, in Notes from Underground:

48 fresh cuts from the indie movement from '95-'97 round out this mix (playlist here). Classics from J-Live, Mike Zoot, Saukrates, Juggaknots, Ras Kass, Cage, Dilated, Company Flow, Natural Resources, Mass Influence, Rhymefest, Frankenstein, Encore, Blackalicious, Arsonists, Unspoken Heard...probably my favorite overview of the indie joints of the era.

[MIXTAPE] dj espionage - Assiduous Amalgamations (1997)

The next mix in the series, extending the approach of continuous, live blending. '97 was probably the apex of the indie vinyl movement of the 90's, if not in terms of quality, definitely quantity; this mix packs some 65 cuts into 120 minutes:

Grab the full playlist here.

[MIXTAPE] dj espionage - Hip-Hop #11 (1996)

Hip-hop from Fall '96, marked by major label releases by KRS, Tribe, De La, Xzibit, and the Roots. Indie releases remained strong, with material by Mister Voodoo, Percee P, J-Live, Mountain Brothers, Redfoo & Dre Kroon, & Royal Flush. This blend tape again focused on smooth, live transitions, with an A-side sliding through 32 cuts in 45 minutes; the flip moves through a mix of 29 strong cuts from the era:

Check the playlist first here.

Monday, May 09, 2011

[MIXTAPE] dj espionage - Spring '96 (1996)

Ah, Spring 1996. The indie hip-hop scene was starting to head towards its peak (Blackalicious' "Melodica"), major labels were still releasing projects by random crews (Ill Biscuits on Atlantic?), and college radio was live. Here's a rip of a pure blend-tape from this era:

The playlist is too long to list here (27 cuts on a 45-min side A, 21 on side B), but check the playlist here. A mix of live major-label joints (Pharcyde, KRS, Das EFX, Mobb Deep) and heavy balance of indie joints (J-Live, Tony Da Skitzo, E.C., Rubberoom).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Almighty & K.D. Ranks "Trenton Where We Live" 12" (1991)

An early-90's regional classic; if you were in Philly/Central Jersey in '91-'92 you had to have come across this joint. I wasn't, but benefited from the tapes a friend would bring back to suburban Chicago from trips back to his hometown of Philly. Keep in mind this was when Poor Righteous Teachers and Tony D had shit locked down, and you've got an obvious anthem that has been largely forgotten:

If you're impatient (and why shouldn't you be?), the mix to check is the Project Mix. The initial horn stabs may sound a bit '88, but the drum break and bassline are most definitely '91. The cut pairs up an MC (verses) with ragga chanting (chorus) effectively; it's simultaneously celebratory and go-for-mine aggressive:

It's time to pick up the tempo, start to let my rhymes flow
Show & prove, as we let the gods know
We stay strapped, and my posse is phat
Almighty & K.D Ranks -- we're puttin' Trenton right on the map

The b-side cut "Lyrics In A This" uses a similar format but can't compete with the love everyone clearly shows Trenton on the title cut. Bump this shit on your next drive through central jersey...includes "Trenton Where We Live" (original, Project mix & instrumental) and "Lyrics In A This" (original & instrumental).

Monday, March 30, 2009

Emanon "Acid Nine" EP (1998)

Emanon's EP is an example of late-90's indie hip-hop that worked -- three of four cuts (not counting the instrumentals) are worthy of rotation over a decade later. This record has enough support that you can find it posted (Grant P ripped the cassette last month), but for those that are still sleeping on Aloe Blacc & Exile's early effort, here's a high-quality vinyl rip:

Another record that is more hippie than hard-rock, you've got Exile's well-chosen, oddly familiar (but not played) samples paired with Aloe Blacc's literate wordplay. It's not hard to see why this played the back in an era when Busta's cartoonishness was at its peak; the gem here ("Personification") is Aloe's meditation on existing as a tree, soil, the ocean, the wind...yeah.

A lot of mc's will rhyme about climbing through the depths of their mind, but you have to respect Aloe & Exile for pulling this off. Exile's flute loop (I'm giving Exile the credit here but DJ Cheapshot was also on the beats) perfectly sets the mood, and the chill break gives it the right lift to ensure head-nodding. Aloe's thesis expands on a familiar theme:

I am a rock, I am an island, I am the wind, I am a moon
I am a drum, I am a violin, I am the sound, I am a tune

That might not hit you as crazy wordplay, but the flow here is about the larger conceptual piece which is worth the effort to digest. The track itself isn't too densely packed with lyrics, and manages to roll through a few sax interludes while clocking in at 5 1/2 minutes.

"Acid-9" (the remix of the title track, "Asinine") is worth checking for one of the more abstract 'fuck wack mc's' cuts you'll hear, over a tightly constructed track; "Path of the Divine" is more abstractness at a quicker pace.

Includes "Asinine", "Acid-9", "Path of the Divine", and "Personification" as well as instrumentals for the latter three -- really, the ones you want.

Friday, October 24, 2008

looking back: re-ups

This blog has obviously lost any consistency in posting (uh, quantity not quality) -- but since it's been a long-ass time since i've done re-ups, i'll hit a dozen or so requests if anyone has 'em. I don't have time to go through and check old links and/or comments (and apologies if I haven't responded to an email), but drop a request in the comments or c-box and I'll update the old post and drop the updated link here as well.

Oh, and this blog isn't dead (in the sense that there will be more sporadic posting)...but check the 2006 archives, they're thick.

Double XX Posse "Not Gonna Be Able To Do It" 12"
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Jodeci "Come and Talk to Me" 12"
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Brooklyn Zoo "Masters of Zooniverse" 12"

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Ruthless Bastards "Murder We Wrote" 12"

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World Renown "How Nice I Am" 12"
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