June 06, 2021

De La Soul "De La Soul Is Dead" (30th Ann. Mix by Filthy Rich)

Toronto's DJ Filthy Rich is back with another fine tribute mix! This time around, he pays tribute to De La Soul's 30th anniversary of De La Soul Is Dead. The album was originally released in 1991 (on that label ya'know) and featured tracks like "A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays," "Millie Pulled A Pistol on Santa," "Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)" and "Keepin' The Faith," among others. Filthy Rich's mix touches on the original samples, blends, remixes and more, which elevates the album from what might've been top 3 (or 4) to a nostalgia-filled trip down memory lane that makes it feel even higher on their best-list. When you've had as storied a career as De La Soul has, you can throw a dart and land on something phenomenal. All that said, click play below and enjoy this 30th anniversary mix...

May 27, 2021

DeJoe "In The Mix" (Presented by 90's Tapes)

Berlin-based hip-hop record label and imprint of HHV, 90's Tapes is introducing a new mix series titlted, In The Mix. In their own words, "We want to present more and more DJs from our community and crew to show support.... The first participant is Berlin's finest and legendary graffiti artist DeJoe from SOS / TDS / SBB / N3M. He lives the hip-hop culture 100% and has been kicking walls, trains and the ones and twos since the 80s. Play loud and feel the vibe!" Their mix features tracks from Godfather Don, Adagio!, Boogiemonsters, Mathematik, Baltimore's K-Mack, The B.L.U.N.T.E.D. Crew, Originoo Gun Clappaz, Science of Sound, Lost Boyz, The Nonce, Hi-Tech, Keith Murray, Da Bush Babees, Kool G Rap, Cella Dwellas, and more! Peep the mix from 90's Tapes below...

May 13, 2021

Chris Read "Nineties Dancehall Hip-Hop" (Bonus Mix)

The Classic Material ‘bonus’ mixes fill the gaps in the original Classic Material Hip Hop History mixtape series, exploring specific sub genres or spin off genres not covered in the main series. #6 delves into Mid 90s Dancehall Hip Hop, the pairing of Ragga/Dancehall vocals with classic Hip Hop production. "The mix features artists who hung their hat on that particular fusion (Mad Lion, Bobby Konders), Hip Hop styled remixes of Dancehall cuts (see DJ Muggs’ remix of Danny Red), Dancehall artists who vocalled Hip Hop beats (Mega Banton, Lady Apache), pairings of Dancehall Acapellas with Hip Hop production from the era exclusive to this mix and similar pairings put together by others (thanks Matt Nelkin). The date range of ’91-99 is slightly misleading – most of the action really occurs around ’92-95 and the tracks all boast the classic Early to Mid 90s production sound. Tracks from either end of the decade are really outliers (there’s only one track from ’91 or ’99 and none at all from ’98 for example). As with previous editions, the artwork is a pastiche of a popular sleeve from the era, in this case Nervous/Wreck‘s ‘Weeded‘ sub-label, responsible for the imprint’s more Reggae influenced output and several of the tracks on this mix." Another fire mix, listen to it below...

April 26, 2021

Beneficence & Confidence "Stellar Mind" (Album Stream)

Brick City native and close Artifacts affiliate Beneficence drops his seventh album entitled "Stellar Mind", entirely produced by longtime collaborator and Boston producer Confidence (of Rashad & Confidence). Benef’s & Conf’s latest installment is a mastery of beats, rhymes, jazz loops, and soul at its apex. With slick vocals and blue-collar aesthetics, it gives the listener head-nodding street anthems and stays true to its roots. Beneficence & Confidence is a dream team that boom-bap connoisseurs have been patiently eager to hear. Along with slick intelligent rhymes, thought-provoking concepts, and sharp and precise cuts handled by 12 Finger Dan, DJ Grazzhoppa, and DJ Kaos (RIP), the LP comes equipped with an impressive guest list of rhyme slingers to deliver a long-awaited gem for underground hip-hop fans around the globe. Features include Masta Ace, Keith Murray, Ras Kass, AG (of D.I.T.C.), Chubb Rock, Lord Tariq, Craig G, El Da Sensei (of The Artifacts), Phantasm (of Cella Dwellas), Ali Vegas, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Wordsworth, Queen Herawin (of Jugganots), Truth Enola, and soul singer Melinda Camille. This is a solid album via Ill Adrenaline Records. Listen...

April 23, 2021

Rest In Peace, Shock G!

The 27-year old Humpty started his semi-legendary musical voyage a full 180 degrees from his current style. Then known as "Smooth Eddie Humphrey," he specialized in packing lovestruck ladies into nightclubs around his Tampa, Florida home with his suave ballads and charismatic performance. Things were set to blow up for Eddie, who had placed in the finals of a talent search that promised a recording contract to the winner, but just days before his big night, fate dealt him a hand that would force most folks to fold. On September 15, 1987, Eddie was pulling a night shift at the diner where he worked part-time. Suddenly, there was an explosion, and before he could move out of the way, he was struck full-force in the head by a water main-which drove his face into the kitchen's deep fryer. While just a few seconds elapsed before coworkers freed him, Eddie suffered first-degree burns to his nose, requiring thousands of dollars worth of reconstructive surgery. Even more hurtful to the young singer was the damage done to his throat. Gone was the Smokey Robinson-esque tenor, replaced by the distinctive nasal twang he deploys today. Cont'd below...

It wasn't easy for him, but Humphrey overcame the odds (and a period of depression) and turned from singing to rapping. In order to cover his damaged nose, he donned the mask that's since become his trademark. Inviting audiences to poke fun at his appearance was all the therapy he needed. Humpty-Hump was born, and before long Shock G (a frequent visitor to Humpty's South Florida turf) caught wind of this fresh new act and recruited him for Digital Underground. While "The Humpty Dance" (born, to hear Hump tell it, when the big earthquake hit their Bay Area studio in mid-rehearsal) was Humpty's largest moment, he's been lurking around all the Digital Underground releases, mostly going with a comical flow, but mostly on Sons of the P - giving a glimpse of what lurks behind the nose. "He went on this bad-boy tangent, doin' all sorts of crazy shit," recalls Shock G. "That's why he did that song "Good Thing We're Rappin" (off Sons of the P). He thought he had a lot of people's attention and he wanted to make some statements. That's when he came out with "No Nose Job," which was all about inner beauty and love of self. Now that he knows he's gonna be around for another album, he can relax and continue to do his thing." - "The Humpty Hump Story".  

The news of the passing of Shock G is tragic and I'd like to send my condolences to Money B; his friends, family and all the fans across the world. According to TMZ, "The rap legend was found dead Thursday in a hotel room in Tampa ... according to his father, Edward Racker." This has been another sad and tragic year ... so, honestly, I'm at a loss for words to continue to pay tribute and honor all the legends we've lost and continue to lose. Like many of you, I grew up on this music and when you truly dig through Shock G's production catalog, too ... I guarantee you'll be surprised at how many great records he'd touched in the course of his career. May he Rest in Eternal Peace! R.I.P. Shock G aka Humpty Hump aka MC Blowfish aka Piano Man aka Rackadelic aka Gregory Racker aka Icey Mike aka Peanut Hakeem and other aliases, known and unknown. Shock G was only 57 years young!

April 19, 2021

Nas "Illmatic" (Daily News, 5/1/94)

"Little gets in the way of the words on the debut album from Nas. In an age when hip hop regularly distracts listeners from the rhymes with pop melodies, pungent horns and conventional R&B beats, New York rapper Nas strips this form back to its verbal roots. 'I make music for the crowd that keeps rap alive, not people who just found out about it yesterday,' he says. Small wonder the 20-year-old mike master from Queens has earned such juice in the rap underground. Among the jeep-and-beeper set, the anticipation surrounding the release of Nas' first album rivals the treatment the mainstream media built around Snoop Doggy Dogg before his debut. Which explains why Nas' "Illmatic" album is the highest-ranking debut on this week's Billboard Top 200 charts, arriving at No. 12 after moving nearly 60,000 copies in the last seven days. Not bad for a guy virtually unknown to the pop audience. Arch hip-hop fans first clued into the performer after he put in a guest rap on the track "Live at the BBQ" on the respected Main Source LP "Breaking Atoms." Nas, who says he has been writing raps since he was 9, got his break by tracking down Source member the Large Professor at his studio in Queens. The exposure earned him an audience with MC Serch (late of 3rd Bass), who cleared a spot on the "Zebrahead" soundtrack for the Nas track "Half Time." Nas' connections helped with his debut album. At the Large Professor's urging, some of hip-hop's hottest producers oversaw various tracks, including Q-Tip (from A Tribe Called Quest) and DJ Premier (from Gang Starr). 'They put me with the right [musical] material,' says the wordsmith. 'I found out you can't just rhyme to any beat.' As insistent as the album's beats may be, it's the words that make the record move. The album basically tells Nas' life story growing up in the Queensbridge Houses filled with journalistic detail and cinematic plots." Revisit Nas classic, Illmatic, cont'd below...

'In the projects we always say, 'I wished they made a movie here 'cuz they wouldn't need no story line, just show what happens,'' Nas explains. 'My album is like a movie. I just made my s--- verbal instead of visual.' His descriptions can be ugly and blood-soaked, but Nas avoids cheap shocks by always giving the violence human consequence. Whether writing a letter to a friend in prison ("One Love") or explaining why he likes to get high ("Life's A Bitch"), Nas has a knack for fleshing out his grit with wit and pathos. The sheer credibility of his writing could help swing some attention back on East Coast rap after years of media focus on West Coast gangstas like Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. In contrast to the pop-funk-driven sound of those performers, Nas aims for a more spacey, jazzy feel. Combined with his harsh words, that may keep him off radio, but Nas doesn't mind. 'I never made a record for radio,' he says. 'I rap to brighten my mind.'" - Daily News, 5/1/94.

April 13, 2021

Kurious "Built To Last" (Mix)

Back with another mix from France's Built To Last radio show, this time paying tribute to Kurious Jorge. The Puerto Rican and Cuban MC released a gem of an album in 1994 entitled A Constipated Monkey. Signed to Columbia Records via Pete Nice and Bobbito's Hoppoh Records imprint, the album is celebrated by underground heads and influenced many artists that came after him. Since the passing of MF Doom, I have noticed a lot more love being shown to Kurious - which is great - as he appeared on 1999's Operation Doomsday. On the label at the same time as Nas was set to drop his debut opus, Illmatic, and The Fugees were touring for Blunted On Reality, maybe Kurious didn't garner that same level of stardom, but no doubt his debut album was an impactful record stylistically, certainly to me. Good peoples, too! Props to Corrado and the whole Built to Last crew for this tribute, dig into the mix and hit the archives below for a lot more of their dope tributes...

April 11, 2021

The Foundation "Large Professor Tribute" (Mix)

The Foundation, a musical journey into the origins of some of our most powerful and popular music today, is designed to educate the listener on the jazz, funk, soul, and disco artists mostly from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, whose voices and instruments were sampled directly to help make some of the most creative hip-hop beats ever heard. For this episode, they pay tribute to the legendary Xtra P, Large Professor. In the mix, you'll hear all Xtra P production, rhymes, remixes and original samples. As they say, "listen to some Queens soundscapes as we pay respect to a legend!" Dig into it below...