HIP HOP LESSONS 2007 PT. 2: THE XMAS MIRACLE EDITION

The THANKSTAKING DAY Hip Hop Lessons extravaganza last month was such a smash success that I had to give it to ya one more time. I’m just so pleased that here it is, just a few days away from 2008 and there are STILL a lot of cats, young and old, who care about the roots of Hip Hop music and want to learn or just hear more. We do this to pay homage to not only what was done in the past but also what is being done today and what will be done in the future (Hip Hop is NOT dead), and remember that there could be no now and tomorrow without yesterday. It’s a celebration, snitches!

This is an early Cold Crush tape with the brothers doing a lot of freestyling and some different routines that aren’t the same as the ones they did on almost every one of their tapes from later in the 80’s.


WHIPPER WHIP DOTA ROCK and EASY AD – freestyling live at South Bronx High School, 1980 RE-UPPED
This short clip is great to me because the mc’s are rhyming to the Norma Jean “High Society” record, which I never heard anybody rhyme to before and it sounds fr-fr-FRESH.

WORLD FAMOUS SUPREME TEAM featuring DR. ROCK & THE FORCE MC’s, June 1982 RE-UPPED
More def schitt from Se’ Devine The Mastermind and Just Allah The Superstar– for this show Staten Island’s Force MCs came through to bless the mic with their harmonic rap schitt. Be sure to check the callers, too… the people calling into the show were one of the best things about it IMO.


BOOGIE BOYS, BUSY BEE STARSKI & DJ AJ, 1981 RE-UPPED – The Boogie Boys, best known for their 80’s records like “Rappin’ Ain’t No Thing” and “A Fly Girl”, are a crew that you don’t hear a lot on the old live tapes (well I haven’t heard many of their tapes, anyway) but they definitely rock it well. Along with the Chief Rocker they get real busy on this one


BIZ MARKIE, BIG DADDY KANE & TJ SWANN at the Masonic Temple in Spring Valley NY, 1986 RE-UPPED
This clip has already been circulating around the ‘net so you may already have it, but if not you certainly need it. Biz & Kane do a pretty good take off on Doug E. Fresh & Slick Rick‘s routines and definitely rock the house for the jazzy young lay-tees.


LISA LEE, RAHIEM & POW WOW at an outdoor jam, 1979 (plus some FUNKY 4 as an extra bonus) RE-UPPED
It’s always great to hear Hip Hop that predates The Sugar Hill Gang‘s “Rapper’s Delight” and any other rap music on record- totally the definition of THAT REAL SCHITT. And it’s even greater to hear the queen of mc’s Lisa Lee get loose on the mic- when the female pioneers of rap are talked about her name is rarely mentioned but that’s a mistake because she was not only one of the first but also one of the nicest.


RAYVON & JOHNNY WA (and The Magnificent Seven) at Randy’s Place RE-UPPED
A lot of rappers today boast about being hustlers, but Rayvon was really doin’ it back before a lot of these current rap dudes were even born (and like most cats who really lived the life he’s quick to say that he’s not proud of any of that because those choices he made ultimately messed up his life). Both Rayvon and Johnny Wa went to prison before they had a chance to make any records or do anything big, but folks back in the days know how fly they were on the mic. You can read Rayvon’s story at my man Jayquan’s site The Foundation (required real schitt reading).

ZULU NATION 1980 RE-UPPED – This tape may not be the greatest you’ve ever heard, but it is a great example of how eclectic the musical selection of Afrika Bambaataa and his Zulu Nation dj’s was. Some of you may have seen the famous list of Bambaataa’s all time favorite records that came out in various publications back in the 80’s and said “no WAY was he actually playing some of this stuff at parties in the Bronx, was he?” Oh, yes he was! I won’t even tell you what you’re gonna hear, just bust it for yourself.


JAZZY 5 live RE-UPPED
another short but so-so fresh clip with the Jazzy 5 and DJ Jazzy Jay KILLIN’ IT.

KING BOYS- live in Greenwich Connecticut, 1983 RE-UPPED
Now I’m hittin’ y’all with some of that “third unheard” schitt… the King Boys were a crew that I went to high school with back in the town I grew up in, Norwalk, Connecticut. I designed party flyers for them as well as another local crew called THG (Town Heights Gangsters) and also a crew from out of nearby White Plains NY known as the Collins Brothers. Terry Tuff what up, b!

CRASH CREW the infamous shoot out on stage RE-UPPED
Schitt gets no realer than this, homepiss. Before the Crash can even get into their show real good the shots ring out and the mics get dropped! OHHHH SNAP!

AFRIKA ISLAM- Zulu Beats show on WHBI, 1983 RE-UPPED – Another one that’s been floating around for a minute, but if you don’t already own it you need to get it now.

MC RICKY D- practicing over CHILL WILL’s crib, 1984 RE-UPPED
A small clip of a young Slick Rick kickin’ that fly schitt as only he can do it back in his Kangol Crew days.

A-ight, that’s it… hope y’all appreciate all this dope schitt (FREE dope schitt at that!). I ain’t doin’ this again until next Thanksgiving (if I ever do it again at all), so enjoy it in the name of true school preservation. PEACE OUT.

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THE MUSIC BUSINESS HAS VERY LITTLE TO DO WITH MUSIC

There is so much written on the internet (and elsewhere) by people who pose as Hip Hop experts but really don’t know their azz from a bucket that it’s always great to see somebody who really gets it. So I gotta give a shout out to the world famous DJ Julian Bevan who dropped some truth nuggets in the bio on his site. His Wu-Tang in-the-studio story is a classic (I thought ODB pissed on the LL Cool J plaques, though, not spat on them). But I personally loved some of my man’s views on the music biz. A few of my favorite excerpts:

“Working at Chung King, I learned a great deal about the music industry. Most important of which was just how awful and ruthless it is. I watched group after group pour their hearts into their entire album, only to have it shelved, and their careers forever frozen in contract limbo. For so many of these kids, rapping or singing was pretty much their one shot at a a decent life. Their one ticket out of poverty. And to see their dreams built up so high and then smashed to bits, simply for some record label’s tax break, was really heartbreaking. This happened more times than I can count. It really made me realize that the record label career I had been considering for a moment was definitely the wrong path. The music business has very little to do with music, and everything to do with business.”

“Towards the end of the 90s, the music began to shift, at least from my perspective. Hip Hop, that was once something cool and underground and shunned by the big clubs, became WAY too popular. The parties that were once filled with people you’d actually want to hang out with were now getting over-run with outer-borough thugs, low-level gangsters, knucklehead bridge and tunnel types, fake-ass promoters, and cheesy fucking celebrities. I’ll never forget DJing at The Tunnel and watching some stupid suburban kid standing on a speaker, with his crew of Jersey white boys, miming the lyrics to Tupac‘s “Hail Mary” like he was some kind of gansta. It was embarrassing. The genie was definitely out of the bottle. Hip Hop was now main stream, and the new Hip Hop generation was pretty fucking scary from where I stood.”

“To add insult to injury, even the music started to suck. From the late 80s thru the mid-90s, being a Hip Hop DJ was great, because you never had to play a bad song. There was so much great music. And since Hip Hop was still not quite mainstream American pop culture, your crowd still had relatively good taste. They weren’t in to top 40, they were hip hop heads. Once Hip Hop became top 40, everything changed. Everything changed because the masses, in general, have lousy fucking taste. Yet it was the masses that were now dictating what hip hop song was popular, and you only have to tunr on the radio to see what kind of results that has yielded us. There was another factor worth mentioning, and that is the great schism between mainstream Hip Hop and indie Hip Hop, also known as “underground Hip Hop” or “backpacker Hip Hop”. Prior to the late 90s, indie Hip Hop was not really even a separate genre. Indie Hip Hop was simply Hip Hop on an independent label that hadn’t quite hit it big yet. Yet it always had that potential. And it had potential for club airplay because it was still dance music as Hip Hop had always been. Then along came Wu Tang Clan. I blame Wu Tang as the root cause of the great schism for two reasons: 1) They made totally weird, original music; with unorthodox flows that bordered on freeform conspiracy rants. 2) They really wore the term “underground” as a badge of honor. They bragged about it constantly. None of those things are a bad thing, mind you, but it was their legions of inspired white boy followers that took those two elements to heart, whilst disregarding one of the founding principles of Hip Hop: IT’S PARTY MUSIC. At least it used to be. Wu-Tang, however, struck the perfect balance. They made banging fucking tracks that were truly like nothing anyone had ever heard before. On the other hand, the kids that followed in their footsteps seemingly didn’t care if anyone ever danced again. It seemed like their successors just wanted to find the craziest sample they could, and cram as many fucking words in to a sentence as possible, while bragging about being underground. My #1 example of this would be Company Flow. Maybe the schism is really their fault. They made some interesting shit, no doubt, but did anyone want to hear that shit in a club? Hells no! And from there, it was all downhill. If you wanted to stay in the bigger clubs, where women actually danced and DJs made decent money, you left the indie shit at home and you put the top 40 shit in your crate and you called your cab. And thanks to Hip Hop now being top 40, what was left in your crate was Jermaine Dupri and Jay-Z and DMX and the sleeping giant known as “dirty south” music. It didn’t help that Swizz Beats and Master P were determined to bring the tempos back down to 72 bpm either. This is right about the time I said “Fuck this, I’m done”. I had a good run, but once I stopped enjoying the music and the people, I figured the writing was on the wall.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself, dun. You can read Bev’s full bio here… good schitt.
Oh, and PS: Hip Hop Lessons- The Xmas Miracle Edition is COMING.

BEWARE- INFINITE ‘MOUNT OF DARTS IS IN THE AIR

I am a big Wu head. Always have been, always will be (unlike a lot of the former zealots who dislocated their kneecaps jumping off the bandwagon once the iron flag of the Wu-Tang Clan started going limp in the late 90’s). Dudes brought a whole new steezo to the rap landscape while still upholding the basic sound of hip hop that was birthed in the BX eons ago. Gritty, grimey, gruff… ooo baby I like it raw. Yeah, some of the Wu-related efforts of later years have been uneven, but to me Wu-Tang ALWAYS had their hits and misses… even in their golden era some of that schitt that the zealots were lovin’ wasn’t 100% dopeness (case in point that first Method Man album… remember it fondly if you wish, but other than a few cuts it was pretty meh IMO). But they had so much CRAZY schitt that it more than made up for some of the less than stellar joints. Right up to this day the core members still living have been putting out some solid azz songs- maybe not whole albums that are dope from start to end, but still a LOT of good schitt. Both Masta Killa albums were surprising in their level of niceness. Of course you know Ghost has been doing his thing almost nonstop ever since the golden era. Even U-God‘s first album had a number of decent tunes. One of these days I’m gonna do a mix featuring nothing but the best of latter-day Wu music. Well… actually I’m too damn lazy to go through the trouble, but it would be cool if somebody else did it. I’d buy that schitt!
Until then, here are a few under-the-radar Wu joints from years ago-


METHOD MAN- Ice Cream Man (unreleased) RE-UPPED– I heard this one time on the radio here in Philly way back when Wu-Tang first came out… DJ Ran played it on Power 99 and I was in my car on my way to go record diggin’ in Jersey. I heard this schitt and was like whoooooaaaa! Why the f**k don’t they make car radios that can record schitt? I didn’t hear the song again until about a decade later when J-Love put it on one of his Best Of Wu-Tang mixtapes. If you’re not already up on this jam, RZA sampled Meth yelling “Ice Cream!!!!” and used it on Raekwon’s song of the same name from his “Only Built For Cuban Links” lp.


WU-TANG CLAN live RE-UPPED– I guess this is from around 1993 or 94… still early in the Wu era. At first I thought they were performing an unreleased song but I later surmised that they were just freestyling to an unreleased RZA beat. I GUESS that’s the deal, but I don’t really know. I just know that this schitt was always real hot to me.


WU-TANG CLAN- Put Your Hammer Down RE-UPPED– One of my all-time favorite Wu joints, taken straight off of one of those Funkmaster Flex albums. I rarely ever heard anybody play this back when it first came out, but IMO this is classic Wu schitt here. Everybody shines on this. And that BEAT…. ohhhh man. If anybody can place the sample, let me know what it is.

MARDI GRAS VERSION WITH NO BELLS, BUT I AIN’T NEVER SEEN THAT FOR SALE

I had to temporarily push back the new post featuring Wu-Tang scheduled for today to instead bring you a shocking development in the world of THAT REAL SCHITT… you heard it on the radio, you seen it on the tv show (well, I guess not really, but you musta heard about this schitt somewhere) and now here it is… Biz Markie‘s infamous MARDIS GRAS WITHOUT THE BELLS!!! Unleashed by living legend Jay Smooth on the Underground Railroad radio show (what up Monk) on WBAI in New York this past weekend, the world FINALLY gets to witness for themselves the beat digging world’s Nessie. But much like the Roger Patterson 1967 Bigfoot clip and the recent UFO sighting over O’Hare Airport, it seems like we still got some non-believers out here who ain’t buyin’ it. There was a lively debate about the authenticity of the bell-less Bob James break over at my Aunt Phoebe’s favorite site SOULSTRUT but it seems that real heads can’t decide if they know the deal or not. What sayeth YOU, real schitters? Peep it for yourselves down below. To be honest the whole thing don’t smell right to me, but f**k it… IN BIZ I TRUST. Schitt sounds dope to me regardless of it’s origin. I’m bussin’ some raps to this schitt, son!

UPDATE: actually, it was that man DJ 3D who did the unleashing and the editing of the Mardi Gras sans bells on WBAI, not Jay Smooth. My bad, and thanks for the clarification, 3D.

SOMA – DEGREE FROM REALITY U

I said it before about my dude Willie Ev and I gotta say it as well about in guy in the picture to the right…. there are just a few things that I regret about my years being involved in the Hip Hop world and one of them is not being able to get my homie Soma Splitfinger out there like I think he deserves to be out there (I got a post about Kiko The Toilet Rhyme Writer that needs to be written one of these days as well).
Unlike Willie Evans, me and Soma go back a fairly long ways… I’m trying to think now, was it ’93? ’94 maybe? (Help me out here, Carm… you know I’m old and forgetful as hell.) We did a 12″ on the indy Apex label back then called “Causin’ Mass Hysteria”… I’d done a beat for an unused Wu-Tang remix that everybody was lovin’ (Skull Snaps drums + Maynard Ferguson horns = pretty damn dope if I do say so myself), so Soma’s managers got him to spit on the track, we added some Rakim and KRS-One vocal samples, Apex pressed it up and there you have it. Essential early 90’s random rap, yo.
We teamed up again in ’95 for the sophomore Soma single, “You’re Not Ready”. I assisted on the production of the original version of this song (basically just provided the sampler and the records sampled), then did my thing for real on the remix. For those who are unaware (or should I say for the few people who give two schitts), I flipped that Tami Lynn “Light My Fire” schitt first, at least about a half a year before Dilated Peoples came out with “Triple Optics”. I’m sorry, but things like that matter to me. Anyway, for this remix we had to ditch the female vocals on the hook, and Soma was a few hundred miles away in Pittsburgh PA so he wasn’t available to do a new hook. Enter who else but yours truly to the rescue… I didn’t want to do the hook but it had to be done. So more random rap history was made.
Actually this record made some pretty damn decent east coast noise when it initially dropped… once again, just like when the Baritone Tiplove record came out earlier in the decade, I was getting calls from my New York peoples tellin’ me “Yo, they playin’ your record on the radio in the daytime, son!” I know myself that they were playing it in the daytime in Philly on Power 99. That’s a good feeling because we’re talking about getting major spins on big commercial stations strictly on the strength of deejays liking the wax- nobody involved with the making of this record had any real industry pull (or payola loot). Soma even got invited to the Stretch & Bobbito show on WKCR in NYC, which was like the mecca for unsigned hypees and real heads worldwide (anybody got a tape of that show holla atcha dude, I need that).
Of course I’m biased, but I put my dude’s poeticalness (damn, I had to check and make sure that’s really a word) up against pretty much any rapper dead or alive. REAL TALK. We’ll get into his G.U.N output in a future post, but before this starts sounding too much like an advertisement I’ll chill and just let y’all peep the realness…

SOMA – Broken Water RE-UPPED (the 2007 new schitt produced by AKSIM)

SOMA – You Ain’t Ready Remix RE-UPPED (the 1996 old schitt produced by Soulman)

A MESSAGE TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE

I love the young people. Oh, I know that some of you probably think I don’t like the young people and their chicken noodle soups and their supermanning of that ho. No, no… I LOVE the youth. As a matter of fact, I believe the children are the future. Teach them well and let THEM lead the way. Show them all the… well, you dig where I’m comin’ from. Just because I ride for THAT REAL SCHITT (a foreign concept to most youngins) doesn’t mean that I have anything against those that are not in my age bracket.
What I actually feel for the young is pity. I feel sorry for y’all, man! The powers that be are doing you so, so wrong in so, so many ways and I doubt that most of you even realize it. We could go in many different directions with this, but let’s just keep it in the realm of music. I know, I know… “Phill, you may be on THAT REAL SCHITT but to us your real schitt is just some old bullschitt. We’re quite happy with the new music we are receiving and you really just need to take your rheumatism medicine, grab your walker and GTFOOHWTBS.” I’ve heard it all before like Sunshine Anderson. Hey, feel however you want to feel about it, but I’m STILL gonna tell you what it really is- y’all are being had and you need to know it.

I was recently looking at this Youtube clip of Marvin Gaye flippin’ the National Anthem at the NBA All Star game back in 1983 and I couldn’t help but think… DAMN. When was the last time anybody gave a truly great performance like this? Who are the artists of this generation who are even CAPABLE of doing something as special as this? Where is this generation’s Marvin Gaye? Throw some names at me, dog. Ne-Yo? Chris Brown? Omarion? I’m not talking about underground dudes who have talent (and there definitely are some of those today), I’m talking dudes who are at the TOP of the game, who are on that ICON level. I guess the one name that will be put out there would be R. Kelly, and there’s no doubt that he is a twisted genius with all kinds of musical talent. But my question is what is he really doing with all that talent? And even if that question is disregarded, R. Kelly is like around 40, isn’t he? So he’s an old head anyway. But f**k it, I’ll GIVE y’all R. Kelly. Now… where’s your Stevie Wonder? Where’s your Al Green? Your Michael Jackson, your Prince…. we can go on and on with this, cousin. GREATNESS that’s gonna stand the test of time- not one hot album or a few undeniable club bangers- GREATNESS. That’s what we’re talking about here, and it is just missing.
I apologize, young people… I’m really not trying to debate with you or battle over which era had the better musical artists (it’s really not a contest, is it?). My only objective with today’s rant is to sympathize with y’all. Ya been done WRONG. It’s not your fault. Feel free to speak on it in the comments if you wish- I’ve said what I had to say.

PEACE… ALLAH… AND JUSSSTICE, AND JU-USTICE, JUSTICE

To all my real schitters out there, stand up and give yourselves an ovation- I asked for 20-30 comments on that Thankstaking Day post I dropped on your domes a couple of weeks ago and as of this moment I’ve received a hair short of 50 comments! All the regulars came through as did some big dudes. I even got a great comment from someone who was thinking about selling their p***y in celebration of my Hip Hop Lessons! You have truly outdone yourselves, my friends. I wasn’t sure if I was gonna do it again for X-mas / Kwanzaa / New Years, but it looks like I’m gonna have to now. Maybe some early EARLY MC Ricky D practicing over Chill Will‘s crib? Should I even drop the Biz Markie and Pop (aka Kid Wizard aka RAKIM) live at Wyandanch High School tape? Possibly the “Freestylin’ With Phill Most” acetate that I still haven’t put out in it’s entirety yet? Well, I can’t promise anything for certain but I WILL promise that I’ll drop something for y’all.
Between now and Santa Claus day, though, I’ll sprinkle a few other little things if I have the time. Today I’m gonna make up for an error in that Hip Hop Lessons post- when I originally put up the World Famous Supreme Team audio it was a bad clip, so I replaced it with another clip that did play properly- unfortunately it was the wrong clip. The MP3 I put up has already been floating pretty freely around the internets, so I wanted to hit y’all with a different World Famous show. Se’ Devine The Mastermind and Just Allah The Superstar (not “Just Alotta Superstar” as I’ve seen some people state it) were true originals and true innovators in Hip Hop, droppin’ that Five Percent science waaaaay before it became prominent in the rap world thanks to rappers like Rakim and Brand Nubian. And speaking of Brand Nubian, you will notice where they got one of their joints from when you listen to the clip I’m hittin’ you with here. Brings back great memories of me as a kid staying up into the wee hours of the morning trying to pick up WHBI on my little portable radio, antennae hanging out the window with aluminum foil on it (I lived in Connecticut so that schitt was hard to get). It was worth the trouble, though… there had never been anything on the airwaves like this before, and a young b-boy like myself was fiending to hear schitt like this on the radio.
And BTW, if anybody from back in the days can hip me on what was up with the “Na-na Na-na’s”- the people with the antennaes on their heads on Broadway- I sure would appreciate it.

WORLD FAMOUS SUPREME TEAM – June 1982