Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Gravediggaz '6 Feet Deep' (August 9, 1994)

Gravediggaz Publicity Photo RZA Prince Paul
Gravediggaz '6 Feet Deep' (August 9, 1994)

Gravediggaz's debut album '6 Feet Deep' was released on this day in 1994. An early example of what they considered 'Horrorcore' at the time. The real gems are found in Prince Paul and RZA's production on the album. The lead single 'Diary of a Madman' will remain a classic, as are both versions of 1-800-SUICIDE, Constant Elevation, Nowhere to Run, and more. With the group's core members being Frukwan (The Gatekeeper), Poetic (The Grym Reaper), RZA, and Prince Paul, there were also features from Shabazz The Disciple, Killah Priest, and a brief appearance from Masta Ace (uncredited). I remember first seeing the music video for 'Diary of a Madman' at my man Petey Cologne's crib in the early 90s back home in Queens; that eery soundscape immediately caught our attention. "Because we'd all been buried as far as the music industry is concerned," says Paul, "we chose the name Gravediggaz." RZA adds "Music can change the way people think. The Gravediggaz are here to dig up the graves of the mentally dead, not bury people in them. People are just walking around out there mentally dead." Hence the line, "Now I fight a holy war in the mental." Unfortunately, Poetic passed away some years back from cancer, although his music continues to be celebrated via a Chopped Herring Records release called "Ghetto Repaired Young Minds" as Brothers G.R.Y.M., with his two younger brothers Brainstorm and E Sharp. Definitely, give that a listen and your support. More below.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

N.W.A. "Straight Outta Compton" (August 8, 1988)

N.W.A. Letter from FBI to NWA
N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton 1988

"A song recorded by the rap group N.W.A. on their album entitled "Straight Outta Compton" encourages violence against and disrespect for the law enforcement officer and has been brought to my attention. I understand your company recorded and distributed this album, and I am writing to share my thoughts and concerns with you. Advocating violence and assault is wrong, and we in the law enforcement community take exception to such action. Violent crime, a major problem in our country, reached an unprecedented high in 1988. Seventy-eight law enforcement officers were feloniously slain in the line of duty during 1988, four more than in 1987. Law enforcement officers dedicate their lives to the protection of our citizens, and recordings such as the one from N.W.A. are both discouraging and degrading to these brave, dedicated officers. Music plays a significant role in society, and I wanted you to be aware of the FBI's position relative to this song and its message. I believe my views reflect the opinion of the entire law enforcement community." 

The letter was signed by Milt Ahlerich (Office of Public Affairs) to Gui Manganiello (Priority Records). N.W.A.'s album "Straight Outta Compton" was released on August 8, 1988 - 29 years ago today. The letter above was dated a year later, August 1, 1989. The World's Most Dangerous Crew ... this was the only release with Ice Cube, who departed the group in '89. Production was handled by DJ Yella and Dr. Dre. If I remember correctly, the album has gone Triple platinum, without radio play.

N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton CD Longbox 1988

Monday, August 07, 2017

Crimeapple "Turner & Hooch" (prod. by Billy Loman)

Crimeapple "Turner & Hooch" (prod. by Billy Loman)

Salute to my OG, DJ Eclipse, who put me on to this track by Crimeapple called 'Turner & Hooch,' produced by Billy Loman from Boston. I don't have any background info on Crimeapple, but I think he may be in New Jersey; definitely going to keep him on my radar. Let me also take this opportunity to update you that DJ Eclipse's radio show 'Rap Is Outta Control' will be moving to Monday nights (8pm-10pm EST) and relaunches on Monday, August 21st with Eclipse and DJ Riz. Keep it locked.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Raekwon 'Only Built 4 Cuban Linx' 22nd Anniversary

Raekwon Ghostface Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 22nd anniverary

2017 marks the 22nd year in the celebration of Raekwon's solo debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. While fans of the Wu argue which was the best solo release: OB4CL or Liquid Swords, I say the fans won with both albums. Others too. Instant classics. Rae, Ghost, and RZA delivered such quality with this album, it's hard to say anything I haven't already said 10x over in the past. This post is simply to continue to salute and honor the album with each year that passes and hopefully I'll continue to add new pieces to my collection like I did with the 7" for 'Incarcerated Scarfaces' on Record Store Day. That reminds me, I need the WU box set with all the 7" from Enter the 36 Chambers. Dig through the archives from this site and those that followed past sites, you probably already have the rare vinyl pieces and remixes I've posted over the years. Go get 'The Wild,' which was Raekwon's release earlier this year - I think it's one of the best records in his catalog, front to back. Salute the Chef.