This is probably something that I’ve said before (maybe even tens of times before), but f— it, I’m gonna say it again- most people who use the term “Hip Hop” don’t really know what it means. Even dudes who think they are the most hardcore real Hip Hop characters who keep a Jansport perched on their shoulder blades 24-7 and the Raekwon purple tape pumpin’ in their Sony Walkman on the reg.
Now please, don’t get all aggy with me over that statement- I’m not trying to pull a more-Hip Hop-than-thou move on y’all (although maybe I am, but that’s not my point). I’m not the leading authority on all things Hip Hop, not by a longshot. Somebody like a Li’l Rodney C might tell me that I don’t really know what Hip Hop means, either! It’s all about perspective.
But my whole point is that those old school live jam tapes from the 70’s into the early 80’s are the TRUEST definition of what Hip Hop is. That era is where the term originated and EVERYTHING that has come after is the offspring of those rough, raw cassette tapes that captured the pioneers rocking parties in the playgrounds, skating rinks, high schools, community centers etc. of NYC, sometimes doing it for no more than a love of the art, neighborhood fame and “pizza money”. (I could go on and on to the break of dawn on this subject, but I’ll control myself).
I had a handful of these tapes since way back in the early 80’s (and coulda had many more if I’d have known at the time that they would be such important pieces of history- of course I was thinking of no such schitt back then), then copped a lot more during the 90’s and early 2000’s thanks to people like Gregory Moore, Ran-Dee, Kev-Ski, Grandmaster Caz and others. But with all due respect going out to those folks, my dude Troy L. Smith from Harlem is the undisputed G.O.A.T. when it comes to the old school tapes. Right now the brother owns well over 200 joints and the collection is steadily growing thanks to what has to be a relentless effort to obtain these diamonds (if you know like I know, it is NOT easy getting these tapes some 30 or so years after the fact).
Not only that, but Troy is killin’ ’em with his many interviews with sooooo many cats that time has unfortunately forgotten, like the Master Ice of the Jazzy 5, Coke La Rock and Barry B-Stro of the Crash Crew just to name a few (if you have never experienced Jay-Quan‘s Foundation site, featuring a plethora of incredibly illuminating interviews conducted by both Jay and Troy, you are truly sleeping so wake up and get over there as soon as you’re done over here if you have any interest at all about the real origins of Hip Hop music). I’m just gonna cut to the chase and say it like this- Troy, your contributions to preserving the history of Hip Hop are much appreciated here at THAT REAL SCHITT.
BTW, Troy has been dropping tons of his latest tapes free of charge over at the Old School Hip Hop forum (I told you about that a couple of posts ago) and he’s been so kind as to allow THAT REAL SCHITT to carry the links as well. So download to your heart’s content and do the cool thing by saying thanks to Troy in the comments for sharing these gifts with the world. A shout also goes out to Peace Won over at OSHH for taking the time to up all these joints for Troy. The meaning of Hip Hop… congratulations, you now have it.
177 – AFRIKA ISLAM, JAZZY JAY, RED ALERT, COSMIC FORCE, KID VICIOUS & SOULSONIC 1977
192 – SIDE A – DJ ROCKIN’ ROB’S BIRTHDAY
192 – SIDE B – DJ ROCKIN’ ROB’S BIRTHDAY
221 – GRANDMASTER FLASH & THE FURIOUS 4 – BRONX SCIENCE, 1978
222 – FUNK MACHINE 1979
223 – GRANDMASTER FLASH & THE FURIOUS 5, MERCEDES LADIES, FANTASTIC 5, FUNKY 4 – T-CONNECTION
224 – SIDE A – GRANDMASTER CAZ
224 – SIDE B – SOULSONIC FORCE 1979
226 – JDL HOMECOMING 2004
228 – ZULU NATION ANNIVERSARY FEATURING BIZ MARKIE & KRS-ONE 1991
In a word… wow. Don’t forget to thank Troy in the comments for this one, my people.