Friday, March 24, 2006

Bring em out, bring em out.....

A roundup of the news to save you lazy fuckers a trip around cyberspace:

R.I.P Dj Swing, who died from Bone Marrow cancer this week. It's safe to say that Swing is a legend in these parts and our thoughts go to his family and friends.

Sohh.com has their weekly pulse report out which features the possibility of Jacko working with Fiddy, and Jin stirring up some hype.

David Mays and Benzino's inevitble downfall continues after a court decided that the new owners can sell Mays' shares.

Suge Knight is close to having his assets siezed as he's in the hole for a cool $107m from apparently swindling half of Death Row from Lydia Harris.

Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff is close to the last mile it seems. Looks like Fiddy will be able to walk the streets soon again.

Little Brother don't want no beef...in a literal sense.

The Black Eyed Peas give a little bit back to hip-hop heads by recruiting Pete Rock, Jazzy Jeff, Large Pro and a Mr. Premier for their upcoming remix EP. I have to admit, this could be fucking dope.

Peace.



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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Blog roundup...

Peep what some of our fellow bloggers are up to, shit has gone Wu crazy:

It's a bit late but check out Joey's dope as hell Wu Tang concert review.

Keeping on the Wu theme; Unkut brings you Rza's Rap Pages interview where he kicks it about his production techniques. Check for it here; Page 1, Page 2.

No day can be complete without another piece on our man Starks.

Last but not least, Half Time have a dope Ali Shaheed Muhammad interview that is worth peeping.

Peace.


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You can bet they know Preem...

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This might sound strange coming from a hardcore hip-hop head, but the news that Dj Premier is working with Christina Aguilera doesn't make me want to hurl furniture at the walls.

All I can say is props to Primo. After so many years of being the dopest producer hip-hop has seen (according to me), he deserves to ride the proverbial cash cow that is pop music.

I can only hope that it gets him his form back in terms of hip-hop as it's been a minute since I heard something by Primo that made me hit the rewind button.

Now that Gangstarr have parted ways I was hoping the sort of beats Guru would normally get to rhyme over would be passed to Nas, Jigga, AZ, Cormega, Ghost etc. No such luck.


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Monday, March 20, 2006

So just clean out your ears and just check the word...

Just some audio treats:

T.I - King Back (Prod Just Blaze)
I'm an on/off T.I fan, but I'm a huge Just Blaze jocker and he doesn't disappoint. Shit is funky as hell.

Busta Rhymes - I Know Y'All Mad (Ft Mike Jones)
Damn everything I've heard Busta on for the last few months he's sounded fucking dope. Despite my words on busta, I still have ad respect for him as an artist. He sounds dope as hell on this. Shit, I'm still bumping the "State of Grace" remix.

Kanye West - Impossible (Ft Twista & Keyshia Cole)
Not feeling it at all. Not because I happen to think Kanye West is a wack mc (he is), just doesn't do it for me (no homo). From the Mission Impossible III soundtrack.


Diplo - Gold Digger Remix
Give this man a fucking record deal. There is no way you can't be feeling this; check the dudes site to see what he's up to.

The Fugees - Foxy
Better than "Take it Easy" but hardly matches anything from "The Score", or even "Blunted on Reality". If ever we needed proof that reunions rarely work. Not horrible but not great either.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Reunited, double LP, we're all excited...

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So much of the year in hip-hop is taken up by speculation on who should/could/would reunite for another album. In the last few years I've read stories and heard rumours about Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Arrested Development, Snoop/Dre, Fugees, EPMD, Ultramagnetic MC's and many many more getting together to do an album. Now while some of these are true, the others are just wishful thinking. Now where am I going with this, well I'm here to question why the hell we want so badly for artists to reunite.

To cover this point properly I've taken two examples; ATCQ and Wu Tang. Arguably the two bands that every hip-hop fan has wet dreams about reuniting. Now I'm a huge fan of both Tribe and Wu, to the point where I would quite comfortably say they are two of my all time favourite. However, that is precisely the reason that I don't think I want them to reunite.

For the last few years I've gone on about (to anyone who would listen) how dope it would be if Tribe reunited. The glaring problem with this is; "The Love Movement" was shit. It seriously was. Everyone has assumed that if Tribe do reunite then they'll knock out another Low End Theory or Midnight Marauders which is highly unlikely. It's more likely that they will produce another "The Love Movement", which will be worse in relative terms than their last album due to the serious amount of hype it would get.

The same can be said of the Wu, although their musical downfall was maybe less dramatic than Tribe, it was still fairly evident that the chemistry was gone. "The W" had about two or three heaters at best and "Iron Flag", despite being better, was still a far cry from "36 Chambers" or even "Forever". If they were to reunite, I would be more hopeful than if Tribe did simply because the Wu mc's never went away, they just didn't work as a group anymore.

I guess the point of this is to give some perspective. All artists have a shelf life, whether it's one album or ten albums. Prolonging that shelf life may end up ruining the legacy that they left behind, and in the case of these two bands in particular, that would be fucking criminal.

So the problem is, enough time has passed for us to forget that there was a reason why they went their separate ways in the first place. For as long as this genre thrives, it will be rife with talk of artists of yesteryear making a spectacular comeback (S.Carter anyone?). Despite everything I've just said though, I for one will carry on praying for a Tribe and Wu reunion even if the results might make me wish they didn't bother.

Peace.

Now you know how we roll:

ATCQ - ICU (Doin It)
This was the big 'reunion' track that did the rounds a couple of years ago. Unfortunately it is average at best. There are rumours that it was recorded for "The Love Movement" but who knows. Either way it wouldn't have made it on LET or MM.


ATCQ, The Fugees & Busta Rhymes - Rumble In The Jungle

Now this is more like it, from the "When We Were Kings" OST. Dope shit.

Wu Tang Clan - Shoalin Worldwide

Another one that might have slipped your radar, from the "Next Friday" OST. Deck and Meth kill it.


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Saturday, March 18, 2006

R.I.P. Professor X


According to AllHipHop.com meningitis was the cause of his death.

He was one of the truely unique individuals of Hip-Hop years gone past (although there is a new X-Clan album scheduled for release on 27th June '06.)

Anybody who doesn't know the X-Clan's music then you need to go and educate yourselves, we're talking classic material.

You Sisseeeeeeeeeeee's!!!

***Edit***

Required reading; XXL's excellent feature on Professor X.




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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Save yo' children, investigative reports!

Alright people it's time to trawl through the garbage and give you a round up of today's Hip Hop news so you don't have to bother...

After having a little spat with KRS One, Davey D has now weighed into the 'No Snitchin' debate that's currently going on...

Although he manages to sit firmly on the fence.
'The stop-snitching movement, publicized on DVD's and T-shirts, has become a thorn in the side of police coast to coast. They say too many crimes can't be solved because witnesses have clammed up. Since Scarface recorded ``G-Code,'' calling for people not to snitch, hip-hop has borne the blame.

However, it can be argued that such behavior was adopted after rappers saw it displayed by the authorities, including the Los Angeles Police Department.'
Fair enough Davey... Just don't Snitch.

SOHH are reporting that Charlize Theron has produced a documentary about some Cuban Hip Hop artists.

Sadly that's about as much information as they give about the film, they do however give a full profile of Charlize's career... Cheers fellas.

Next week expect the exciting news that Sandra Bullock has heard a Hip Hop track, complimented with all her achievements.

The film has been premiered at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.

Also there were the Beastie Boys, who gave a Q&A session for fans.

Billboard reports that 'Mike D professed his love for the Prince film "Purple Rain," MCA talked about drinking with hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons and Ad Rock dished on his favorite books'.

Which sounds extremely exciting but wait it gets better... MCA didn't want to talk about Buddhism!

Calm yourselves down and click the link to read more exciting revelations.

Young MC has decided to sue for royalties from Tone Loc's 'Wild Thing' and 'Funky Cold Medina'.
Young MC wrote the lyrics for “Wild Thing,” a No. 2 hit for Delicious Vinyl labelmate Tone Loc, in about 35 minutes. But his work on “Funky Cold Medina” was subject to some dispute, with Delicious Vinyl principal Matt Dike telling Rolling Stone in 1990 that Young MC “only wrote three lines.”
Good luck to him in his case but the most interesting bit of information I found in the whole article is that he's apparently British. Can anyone confirm this?

I doubt we'll try to claim him as a shining example of the UK's influence on Hip Hop, like Slick Rick, but still... He wrote 'Bust A Move', that appears in 'Dude Where's My Car?' and I like that film.

'Eurweb' have written a small piece (more like an advert/copy of the presskit) about a new book, Hip-Hop Inc., which 'examines the rise of the rap music industry from obscurity in the South Bronx to a worldwide sales phenomenon.'

The book sounds quiet a good read until you see '(i)t is a story being told for the first time from a strictly business perspective.' Which to me means it'll be full of management speak and would bore the pants off me but if you're into that sort of thing check out Hip-Hop Inc.

Australia proves not to be Hip Hop by banning 'Marc Ecko's Getting Up'.
"The Review Board determined, in the majority, that the theme of graffiti as depicted and detailed in the game was beyond that of fantastical game play and provided elements of promotion of the crime of graffiti,"

...

In a 3-2 decision, the board notes that the game uses methods of teaching that include guided learning, expert advice and a system of rewards that can develop an expertise which can then be used outside this virtual world.

Furthermore, because there is not enough fantasy in simulated urban environment where the Getting Up is played, there is a likelihood that this "game-world knowledge" can be transferred to the real world.

"… whilst the game contained some fantastical elements, much of the game was based in current experience," the report said, noting that building, cars an trains etc all looked like those found in any modern city.
Now if that's not a good enough reason for people to go buy the game then I don't know what is. (It's actually supposed to be quite a good game as well.)

Never let it be said that Kanye West is an arrogant twat... He's much more annoying than that...

Not content with thinking his music is worthy of winning every award in existance and that we should all bow at his feet for creating 'Late Registration', he now seems so keen to prove to us just how important he and his music are by turning some of his tracks into a film.

Yes the prospect of him bitching about not winning Oscars has me reaching for the shotgun as well.

Richard Brown, one of the films producers, says "This project will synthesise Kanye's vision with a fantastic group of film-makers and create what will be a one-of-a-kind film experience."

He's got the Kanye babble down perfect, although he didn't mention that it would be the most important film to be made in the history of cinema, which will no doubt lead to Mr West being upset. Expect another producer to be announced soon...

eighteen18 have finally released 'Body Armour'. Wasteland Drifter say's "this album will probably be ‘loved by crusty students like (their) name was Herbalizer’ but should also be given a listen by anyone who enjoys the (roll out the cliché) ‘diversity’ that Hip Hop from the UK provides."

Yeah I know, shameless self-promotion of my review, but the album is more than worth a listen and is available from their website.

So buy it.

We're currently in the process of getting some posts together about Hip-Hop from the UK.

If there's any UK heads reading this who are making music and want a little bit of exposure, use the 'contact us' link at the side and we'll see what we can do.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Yesteryears Producers: Kay gee




East Orange NJ native, Kier Gist (Kay Gee) was known most notably as one third of Naughty By Nature, entirely producing the first four albums. While in high-school he also produced the groups pre-TommyBoy release, as they were then named, The New Style. The track 'Scuffin' Those Knees', off their New Style album 'Independent Leaders', received reasonable airplay.

The group later meet Queen Latifah, who signed them to flavor Unit Management (whose artist Kay Gee would later produce extensively for). The group changed their image and their accordingly their name, re-branding themselves Naughty By Nature before signing a new record deal with Tommy Boy. Kay Gee's production on NBN's first two albums, quickly cemented him as one of the most successful and sought after producers of the early to mid-90's. His production on the first Naughty by Nature album generated major hits, 'O.P.P.' and 'Ghetto Bastard (Everything's Gonna Be Alright)'...although arguably, his production on 'O.P.P.' was jacked from fellow Jerseyite Tony D's 1988 track 'Music Makes You Move'. The beats on the two singles are pretty much identical IMHO...Tony D obviously thought so too and sued ; with the case being settled out of court.

Kay Gee's production can be best described as heavily sample-driven with infectious drum loops and synths, as evidenced by early production on The New Style's 'Smooth Mood'. His catchy production style guaranteed Naughty had "two anthems per album", for each of their first four albums. Kay Gee interestingly, often produced some of Naughty's most successful tracks in between albums, for example 'Uptown Anthem', 'Poor Man's Poetry' and 'Connections' from the Juice, Poetic Justice and New Jersey Drive soundtrack respectively.

In the early days, Kay Gee produced extensively for flavor-Unit artists. His production credits from that time include D-Nice ('Time to Flow' , a single which continues exactly where Naughty's first album left off) and Queen Latifah (he produced the Grammy Award winning single 'U.N.I.T.Y'), in addition to producing for his own Illtown Record artists including The Rottin Razkals (the group released one album had minor hits with 'Hey Alright' and 'Oh Yeah') and The Road Dawgs. Outside of working for friends and associates, he also produced notable tracks for Eazy-E (the addictive 'Hit the...') and for Run DMC on their 'Down With The King' album ('Hit Em Hard').

Kay Gee production has been equally as successful in RB. He gained early success producing Aaliyah's now haunting 'Are You Ready' and Zhane's hit 'Hey Mr DJ' . However, Kay Gee's most successful RB production was created for a group named Next, for which he produced the chart topping 'Too Close' (US#2) - a song that imaginatively reused a sample from Kurtis Blow's 1982 single 'Christmas Rappin''. He would later produce another hit for Next titled 'Wifey', which appears on their second album.

In 1996, Kay Gee's production helped win the group a Grammy for Rap Album of the Year (Poverty's Paradise). However, an ongoing dispute between Kaygee and Treach on group royalties, saw him leave Naughty By Nature in late 2000 to concentrate on his Divine Mill label. They later settled the dispute through an organized prizefight (seriously) although Kay Gee never officially rejoined the group. Since then, he has been relatively quiet - although a recycled Rottin Razkals beat appeared in 2003 on 'Lovely Day Pt 2' for Luther Vandross' Grammy winning 'Walk With My Father' album.

Kay Gee is best remembered for his imaginative use of samples, that generated a catalogue of memorable crossover tracks.

Other Notable 12" Singles:

Naughty By Nature - Uptown Anthem 1991

Run DMC - Hit 'Em Hard 1993

Naughty By Nature -
Poor Man's Poetry 1993

Eazy E -
Hit The Hooker 1995

Naughty By Nature - Hang Out and Hustle 1995

Eazy E - Nutz on Ya Chin
1995

Aaliyah -
Are You Ready 1996

Notorious BIG
-
Miss U 1996

Naughty By Nature Feat. Rottin Razkals
-
It's Workin 1997

Naughty By Nature
- Mourn You Till I Join You
1997

Rottin Razkals
- Hey, Alright
1998

Deborah Cox
- It's Over Now 1999

Most Recent Production Credits:

Koffee Brown - Weekend Thing
2001

Shade Sheist
- Where I Wanna Be
2001

Luther Vandross feat. Busta Rhymes
- Lovely Day Pt. 2 2004

Artists Produced For


Naughty By Nature, D-Nice, Queen Latifah, Rottin Razkals, Run DMC, Road Dawgs, Jahiem, Zhane, Next, Eazy E, Deborah Cox, Krayzie Bone, Luther Vandross, Calvin Richardson, Allure, Aaliyah, The Transitions, RL, Syleena Johnson, Shade Sheist, M.A.G, Midwikid, Mystic, Notorious BIG, Tracey Lee


Shoot outs to Mattmatical from canibringmygat for the NS and TD tracks.


An earlier version of this article was posted on: http://themongoslade.modblog.com

Tags: Kay Gee, Naughty By Nature, 90's, Rottin Razkals, Hip-Hop


Thursday, March 09, 2006

R.I.P. B.I.G. - 9 Years

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Hold me down, hand me my cake, dusty, bake, activate, Fuck your corny debates

Just a little something different in order to get you more hyped about one of the albums everyone should be checking for this year...

J Love & Ghostface - Hidden Darts III

01 - Intro
02 - Hidden Darts
03 - Family Affair Feat. Raekwon, Trife, Cappadonna And Sungod
04 - The Champ
05 - Charlie Brown
06 - Starks & Chef Feat. Raekwon
07 - Be Easy
08 - Like That Rmx Feat. Ne-Yo
09 - Back In The Air Feat Ol Dirty Bastard
10 - Kilo Feat. Raekwon
11 - Struggle
12 - Hidden Darts Rmx
13 - Fire Rmx Feat. Trife And J-Love
14 - Come On Feat. Cormega
15 - Late Night Arrival Feat. Trife & Wigs
16 - Going Strong Feat. Trife
17 - 3 Bricks Feat. Raekwon And Notorious B.I.G.
18 - Black Cream
19 - Hot 97
20 - Cocaine Trafficking Feat. Trife
21 - Pass The Mic Feat. Trife, Cappadonna And Wigs
22 - Run 4 Cover Feat. Method Man, Redman And Street Life
23 - Missing Watch Feat. Raekwon
24 - Abduction Feat. Rza, Gza, Inspectah Deck And Masta Killa
25 - Out The Way Feat. Wigs
26 - Strawberries And Cream Feat. Inspectah Deck And Rza
27 - Babies Feat. Gza And Raekwon
28 - Lost Chamber feat. Method Man

This isn't really a mixtape... Although in the modern sense it probably is. The mixing is at a bare minimum and there's plenty of shouty bits to make sure you know J-Love is involved, let's just put it that way.

Despite that this is one to pop in your portable media device (no corporate branding) and just bask in the Wu/Starks goodness that's expelled from your headphones.

DJ Green Lantern & Ghostface - Internet Invasion

01 - DJ Green Lantern & Ghostface - Internet Invasion (Intro)
02 - Ghostface - Survivor Freestyle
03 - Ghostface feat. Busta Rhymes - Blow His Head Off
04 - Ghostface - Bounce 2 Tha Projects
05 - Ghostface feat. Raekwon - Kilo
06 - Ghostface - Theodore Unit (Green Lantern Mix)
07 - Ghostface - Catch A Body
08 - Ne-Yo feat. Ghostface - Get Down Like That
09 - Ghostface feat. Keyshia Cole - Walk Away
10 - Ghostface feat. Ne-Yo - Back Like That
11 - DJ Green Lantern & Ghostface - Internet Invasion (Outro)

OK this starts with Ghost freestyling over the 'Deep Cover' beat... You can't ask for much more than that can you?

This is an official promo tool for 'Fishscale' so you know it's only the good shit.

Ghost shows and proves why he's considered one of the greatest MC's in Hip-Hop but sadly this also has Green Lantern making sure everyone knows he has something to do with it (i.e. he's on the "I'm an annoying DJ who feels the need to shout all over tracks in an act of shameless self-promotion" tip.)

The 'Theodore Unit' remix is a blend over 'Touch The Sky' which despite it's brevity makes you wonder why Just Blaze let Big Head have that beat because a decent MC really could have done it more justice.

Add this to the same playlist as the 'Hidden Darts III' and the wait for 'Fishscale' will seem shorter...

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