Thursday, May 28, 2020

Top 20 Greatest Hip-Hop Samples Of All-Time (Playlist)

WhoSampled has put together many Top 10 Most Sampled lists over the years, but here they've shifted the focus slightly for their G.O.A.T list and just 10 selections didn't quite seem to do the list justice, so they've expanded the run down to 20 titles - The 20 Greatest Hip Hop Samples of All Time. 'Greatest' is of course a subjective measure, so rather than select our personal favorites, they've deferred to the opinions of the WhoSampled community. The following list runs through the 20 Top Rated Samples on the site, that is to say the sample listings with the highest number of 5 Star community ratings. Check out their playlist of all the featured tracks and their samples on Mixcloud below or read HERE for the complete run down. I'd agree on some of these, listen below...

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Underground Airplay, Vol. 1-6 (Mixtapes, 1993-1997)

One of the original series of mix tapes to represent hip-hop culture and fashion, curated by Echo Unlimited and Lyricist Lounge's Danny Castro and Anthony Marshall. From the years 1993 to 1997, 6 tapes were released, along with a 7th that I can never seem to get my hands on, as well as 2001's DJ Spinbad-mixed Version 1.0 on CD, and Peter Rosenberg's 2013 "The New York Renaissance," which was a reboot of the classic series when Joey Bada$$ was named the creative director and helped curate the mix along with his Pro Era squad. These complimentary mix tapes were seen as a form of promotion and branding for Mark Ecko's fashion company. He initially pressed 10,000 of the 44-minute promotional tapes which were distributed with each purchased T-shirt and featured some of the best of hip-hop's underground scene. Both signed and independent artists were included from Cella Dwellas, Problemz, Mad Skillz, Ran Reed, Natural Elements, Shabaam Sahdeeq and more. With the release of its 6th volume in 1997, the production totaled over 250,000 copies. '97 is also the year that they were legally forced to change the company's original "Echo" name to its current "Ecko" (via Free Stylin'). Lyricist Lounge was a perfect fit for these tapes as they were establishing themselves as the premiere platform for underground artists to showcase their skills. While some of the artists never became household names, these tapes still represent a great time in underground music and all the tapes remain highly sought after to this day. Enjoy Volumes 1-6 down below, much respect to the Lyricist Lounge. Be patient if the page is slow to load with all the audio embedded.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Happy Born Day, Jadakiss! (Playlist)

“I don’t compromise; straight bars and no cutting corners,” says Jada. “I’m painting pictures that make you feel like you’re there. Real life realities brought to you in music where I make you feel like you were there when you listen to me.” One to be reckoned with for over two decades, his ability to mature with the times and maintain his integrity has been Jadakiss’ key to becoming one of Hip Hop’s greats. “Those who make a career out of it are the ones you should stick and gravitate to,” he says. “I’m defiantly one of those and should be here for a long fucking time.” Well said and reflective of the career he's made since entering the game with a feature on Main Source's "Set It Off," and the early group demos as the Bomb Squad and The Warlocks as "Big Jay." Jadakiss remains one of the most skilled emcees still in the game... his flow and raspy voice put him near the top of the list. To celebrate his birthday today, I made a quick playlist of tracks - 30 in total - to give a brief overview of some of my favorites from his extensive catalog. It's unfortunate that D-Block's mixtape run can't be properly reflected on most streaming platforms, but for those that were there, it was one of the best and most impactful for music coming out of New York (along with G-Unit and Dipset). If you disagree, go ahead and knock yourself out! Happy 45th Birthday, Raspy! 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

J​.​PERIOD Presents The Live Mixtape (Ms. Lauryn Hill Edition)

Here is the latest installment in J.Period's The Live Mixtape series, which debuted last night and is now available for download in its entirety today, in celebration of Ms. Lauryn Hill's birthday! This former Fugee had the world in the palm of her slender brown hand with the release of her solo debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, never letting anyone forget: This is Hip-Hop. The formidable lyricist with the raspy voice of an angel delicately fused R&B, reggae, and hip hop into one powerful, cohesive piece of work. (Vibe, 2003) There's so much I could say, but nothing speaks to her talent better than the music itself, so please sit back, relax, and enjoy this great mix by J.Period and wish a very Happy Born Day to one of the greatest artists in Hip-Hop history, Ms. Lauryn Hill!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Take It Personal Podcast "The Remix Episode"

The Take It Personal podcast is back with Episode 65, where they ask: "Remember the remix? Remember buying that cassette single because you needed that b-side featuring that new remix? Remember the remix that breathed new life into a track you had just starting grown tired of? Remember hearing the debut of a new rapper on a remix? Remember splurging and buying that maxi-single because it had not just 1 remix, but 2? And don't get me started on the unreleased b-side gems. That's a whole nother episode." Amen, I remember those days! The site is built around many of those memories. They continue, "The remix is a lost art today, but in the 90s it meant something. Some remixes had different vocals, and some different beats. Some remixes were just flat-out better than the originals. Some remixes started and even saved careers for many rappers and producers. Remember the first time you heard On The Run? What about the incredible Stress remix? Remember hearing Mos Def on the Stakes Is High Remix? Episode 65 is our first installment of our Remix series. Thanks to guys like Pete Rock, Marley Marl, DJ Premier, DJ Muggs, Salaam Remi, Large Pro, Da Beatminerz, Diamond D and Buckwild to name a few, the remix became a staple in 90s hip-hop. We got 68+ remixes on Episode 65 and we're just getting warmed-up, too! At the break, the gang discusses the beauty of the remix. We pick our favorites in each set (3) and take you down music memory lane with stories mixed-in with some unexpected hilarity. This is easily one of our best episodes, ever!" All that said, you have about 4 and a half hours of music to digest below...

Monday, May 25, 2020

Slick Rick "The Art of Storytelling" (May 25, 1999)

Slick Rick was 32 years old when he made his fourth studio album The Art of Storytelling. ⁣According to Def Jam,⁣ Slick Rick and Lyor Cohen set up a house in Bearsville, New York and made this album in 2-3 weeks. In a Complex feature, Clark Kent spoke on the studio in Bearsville, saying "They were in barns, and it had the ill loft. Me and my two homies, basically my nephews, we went up there, and I just made beats all day. And there was this cabin next door where him and his wife stayed." He also said the Trackmasters were there with 50 Cent who was recording at the same time. The Art of Storytelling was instantly a success - selling over a 100k in just a few days and certified Gold within a month of its release. ⁣The album featured production from Clark Kent, Jazze Pha, Trackmasters, Ty Fyffe, DJ S&S, Dame Grease and among others, Kid Capri. It also featured vocals from Nas, Big Boi, Canibus, Raekwon, Snoop Dogg and skits with Ed Lover, Redman, Rev Run, Q-Tip and Peter Gunz. After his classic The Great Adventures of Slick Rick in 1988, I'd agree with Spin Magazine when they said Slick Rick's "Two subsequent LPs, 1991's The Ruler's Back and '94's Behind Bars were piecemealed by his record label while the patch-eyed kid was one the other side of the wall." In his own words, "To me, this is my real second album. The other 2 - the second and third album - I didn't like them. I thought they were rushed - it wasn't my full potential." Quite the comeback, however short-lived it may have been. While early adverts estimated the release to be in January 1999, The Art of Storytelling was officially released on May 25, 1999. Watch the video to "Street Talkin" with OutKast from the LP below: "Since I came out of jail, it's like the planet gone bananas..."

Monday, May 25, 2020

In Remembrance of Camu Tao (June 26, 1977 – May 25, 2008)

Tero Smith, aka Columbus, Ohio MC and producer Camu Tao, passed away on this day in 2008 at the age of 30. As a member of the Definitive Jux family, Camu Tao worked with RJD2 and Copywrite in MHz, with Cage in Nighthawks, and Metro in S.A. Smash. He collaborated frequently with El-P, both on solo projects and in their groups Central Services and The Weathermen (which also included Cage, Yak Ballz, Tame One, and Breeze Brewin). El-P shared the following message back in 2008: "Today, at around 2 p.m., our dear friend, family member, and musical collaborator Tero 'Camu Tao' Smith passed away in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio. Tero had been quietly fighting for his life for the last year and a half after being diagnosed with lung cancer. To those who knew Tero, he was an almost uncategorizable force of nature. Wild, hilarious, proud, loving, tough, outspoken, spontaneous and brilliant. He wore his heart on his sleeve, and he dripped creativity, leaving inspiration and awe in the hearts and minds of anyone who was fortunate enough to see him work. We, his friends and family, have truly had our collective hearts broken by his passing. Not only because of the loss of our friend, but because of the loss of his contribution to those who never knew what we knew about his talent and his potential. He was the secret that no one wanted to keep, and we always knew that one day his vision and his heart could change music forever the way he changed all of our lives. His departure from us all one month away from his 31st birthday is nothing less than a tragedy...nothing less than a crime. He was a gift to us all, and he is irreplaceable. Rest in peace, Mu. We will love you forever. May god bless you and your family." Camu Tao, June 26, 1977 – May 25, 2008. Rest In Peace, DJ Przm, as well, who passed away in 2007 from a heart condition. Below is Copywrite's tribute "Forever And A Day" (2010) and Camu's "Hold the Floor" (2002). Thanks Pitchfork.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Jeru The Damaja "The Sun Rises In The East" (May 24, 1994)

Jeru The Damaja is an MC, Producer, and Photographer that has been an essential part of Hip-Hop culture for over twenty-five years, from his early collaborations with the legendary Gang Starr to the present day. ​Born (Kendrick Jeru Davis) in the East New York section of Brooklyn, Jeru honed his skill as an MC while navigating the often-deadly streets of his notorious Brooklyn neighborhood. In The late 80s, Jeru was fortunate enough to be introduced to Guru of Gang Starr by a childhood friend. Gang Starr first introduced Jeru The Damaja to the world on a track entitled “I'm the man,” from their 1992 Daily Operation album. Jeru's first two albums The Sun Rises in The East and Wrath Of The Math were produced entirely by DJ Premier and are hailed as Hip-Hop classics. In fact, The Sun Rises In The East was released on this day in 1994, and Chuck D's This Day in Rap and Hip-Hop History says: With masterful production by Gang Starr's DJ Premier, the acclaimed debut from Jeru combined Five-Percent and Rasta doctrine with witty rhymes, reached #36 on the Billboard 200 and #5 on the R&B chart. The Sun Rises In The East produced the classic hits "Come Clean," and "You Can't Stop The Prophet." Fellow Gang Starr Foundation member Afu-Ra guested on the track "Mental Stamina," where Jeru was awarded The Dopest Rhyme of the Year in The Source for 1994. If you dig into my archives HERE, you'll find album reviews, original promo, publicity photos, sure shot singles, videos and lots more, so please use the search and tags to learn more about the album and his follow-up releases! For the last few years, Jeru has lived in Berlin, Germany, and is planning to release a new album in 2020, so stay tuned for more! Danny Hastings did the original art below.