August 05, 2020

Kenny Dope "Nervous Hip-Hop" + Billboard Magazine (1995)

Nervous backs such artists as Black Moon, a Brooklyn, NY, collective that came out before hard-edged heroes the Notorious B.I.G. and the Wu-Tang Clan. Its album "Enta Da Stage," sold 225,000 units, according to Soundscan, and stomped mudholes in the comeback trail for East Coast rap... The label also has Mad Lion, whose rap single, "Take It Easy" (205,000 copies sold), pre-dated the current trend toward dancehall over hip-hop beats.... Other acts on the Nervous roster with developing singles are... Funkmaster Flex ("Safe Sex, No Freaks"), ...  Kaotic Style ("Get In Where You Fit In") and Broadway ("Brothers Dyin' Everyday"). Viewing itself as a cutting-edge independent, Nervous runs on simple street knowledge... Sam Weiss, who owns the label with his son, Michael, started in the business "many years ago" and has functioned as a distributor, manufacturer and publisher... Besides having Flex on the label, Nervous regularly uses such studio deities as Beatminerz, the team responsible for Black Moon and Smif-N-Wessun, another best-selling rap act; KRS-One, who supervised Mad Lion's "Real Ting" album; Kenny "Dope" Gonzaels [and more] ... Nervous is actually an umbrella company for several specialty imprints... Weeded handles reggae. Wreck manages hip-hop. Strapped deals in break beats... All are represented by logos featuring variations of a lively cartoon figure, which are marketed on promotional t-shirts." - Billboard (8/26/95).

That same year, to promote the label and its various imprints, Kenny Dope blended sixteen of the hottest tracks to ever come from the Nervous Records sub-labels Wreck, Weeded, and Strapped - back when Black Moon, Smif-N-Wessun, and Mad Lion were all signed and dropping the most memorable records of their careers. Along with the classics like “I Gotcha Opin,” “Bucktown,” “How Many Emcees,” and “Who Got Da Props” are some rare break records by Funkmaster Flex, The Groove Asylum, and Wreck All-Stars. The retail mixtape/compilation was called Nervous Hip-Hop (A Continuous Mix by Kenny Dope). I cop'd this mix-CD at Tower Records in the Village in '95 & still listen to it today. You can stream the project above or officially via Spotify. Below is an original sticker and examples of their official logos. One of my prized possessions from that time were their logo-designed slipmats. Everyone DJ/fan had them on their tables at the time! Who got da props?