TROY L. SMITH: GODFATHER OF THE OLD SCHOOL TAPES

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.

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15 Comments

  1. Somebody needs to make a website documenting the tape era. We need a definitive list of all the tapes (or as close to definitive as possible) or else we risk losing this part of history. Sort of like a wikipedia or discogs.com for old school tapes.

  2. Sounds good a-one! Phil peace man. I was suprised with this myself and these are off his new collection I’m glad I waited I was just about to buy a few more from Troy not the one’s posted though!! Maybe the Treach jammie as I am a huge Treacherous Three fan for life! The tapes he posted were some nice shows, me coming up in this era can’t imagine any tape of a jam being dissapointing so of course I am truly grateful!!

  3. I think anyone who has been down with something longer than someone else has, tends to get that ‘coolest kid on the block’ feeling, but to say something like ‘Im more hip hop than you’ is mad petty. People on the internet seem to do it alot, if your gonna brag about something brag about your skills. Peace to Troy thanks for the shares!

  4. wow indeed, thanks a lot i shall definately check these out. as a uk based head & aside from the fact i would've been too young, i would have never been able to experience the proper essence of hip hop without the dedication of people like troy & philly most. i doth my hat to you sirs.

  5. Dope tapes and very much appreciate Troy and Phil sharing these files. I bought a handful of tapes from Troy a few years ago and was happy with what I bought. I will be calling the brotha soon to get up on some of those new joints, especially the pre '80 tapes and the L-Bros stuff.Keep it going brotha Troy and Phil and I hope many blessings come back your way. -Lost&Forgotten

  6. Thanks indeed to Troy for sharing these tapes (and Soulman for providing the platform). Much like listening to old boots of rock bands from the 60’s and 70’s, I was never there and could never appreciate what it was like to attend these shows; at least these recordings provide for me a slight glimpse. For that I am eternally grateful. They are amazing things to listen to.

  7. Wow and thanks Troy and Phil, sterling work, I look forward to giving them a listen

  8. The true G.O.A.T. of tapes are the original cats, so don’t get it twisted, a’ight? Bambaataa, Tapemaster, Brother Shabazz, Sean Foster and others like myself, that don’t care much for the recognition. Big up to the cats that brought these joints back out, along with myself in the early 90’s; Sean Foster, Brother Shabazz, Greg Moore and me, the motherf–king, Old Skool B-Boy from the Boogie-Down “Ran-Dee”!!!!

  9. Hey Ran-Dee… thanks for writing in. No disrespect intended at all to yourself or any of the many brothers that may have come before Troy in the old school tapes game. Of course people like Bam and Tapemaster etc. were the true OGs and probably to this day have joints that nobody else has. So if it came across like I was trying to rewrite Hip Hop history by calling my dude Troy the G.O.A.T. that definitely wasn’t my intention.. there’s enough of that going around so I wouldn’t want to be a part of that. Just wanted to give that brother his respect for putting in crazy work tracking down such a large amount of tapes from many different sources and covering not only the 70’s – early 80’s era but also joints from later in the 80’s and 90’s too. In my opinion it’s vitally important that this lost history is rediscovered and put out there for the world to see, because we’re at a point now where new generations are coming up and throwing the term “Hip Hop” around and have no clue what it really is. So although the “G.O.A.T.” label may be debatable (Troy may not even agree with that himself, I dunno), I gotta give my man a lot of credit for the way he’s helping to resurrect the interest in old school tapes in this era.
    BTW, I’ve gotten a lot of classic tapes from you over the years at Rocksteady, Zulu Anniversary, etc. (last time was Bronx River back in 2006 I think), so utmost respect to OLD SKOOL RAN-DEE and also to all the other brothers you mentioned… everybody’s contributions are important and highly appreciated here at THAT REAL SCHITT.

  10. troy is the best at selling the pioneers of the old school.he suprised me one time knowing a crew from the bronx called the serious five mcs,he thouhgt he had a tape on them but couldnt find it.i will be a purchaser of troy forever you know troy john 212-865-7863 and if i get anyone else who sell tapes ill let you know for probally trades

  11. Greetings, for the last couple of hours I've been searching about GODFATHER OF THE OLD SCHOOL TAPES and finally I stumble into your blog, it has great info on what I'm looking and is going to be quite useful on my paperwork for the university.
    BTW is amazing how many generic viagra blogs I manage to dodge in order to get the right site and the right information…lol
    Thanks for the post and have a nice day

  12. Peace Troy. Whats good? I'm still looking for the PAL BATTLE OF “GRAND MASTER FLASH AND THE FURIOUS 4 VS BREAKOUT AND BARON AND THE ORIGINAL FUNKY 4. HOLLA WHEN YOU GET IT.

  13. I'm up to 275 my brothers woh have love for the tapes but I have not ran into the battle between Funky Four and Furious Four yet, or The Serious Five. But I have some other great ones that I am sure you are going to like. peace

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