For those who may have missed it from the fall of 2013, me and my guy the omnipotent DJ Format did a nice little mix / battle for Ninja Tune‘s Solid Steel Radio Show pitting some of the UK’s illest random rap selections from the late 80’s – early 90’s era against a similar collection of gems originating from good ol’ Philly PA here in the U.S. of A. With Format repping the UK and me standing up for my city of brotherly love, natch. Although it was my job to make Britain look not so Great, I gotta admit Format pulled some serious heat out of those UK Hip Hop crates. I think I repped Philly pretty nicely with the obscure facemelters, though. You be the judge, who won the battle? Either way, when good rap schitt is dropped it’s a victory all the way around, and that’s what really counts.
Hip City Swingers _ I’m the Man _ B-Brothers Platinum Records
DJ Todd 1 _ The Jam _ Cut Up!
IBM Nation _ Brainiac _ Inner City Records
B-Fresh _ Watch My DJ Get Busy _ Raw Records
Courageous Chief _ Verbal Surgery _ Tirade
Phill Most Chill _ On The Hype Tip _ DWG
Plush Bros _ Back To The Lab _ Plush Records
MC Prelitique _ No More Lies _ Maine Records
Heavy Action _ He’s Treacherous _ Rough Cut Productions
Robbie B & Jazzy Jay _ Boogie Down _ R.B.A. Records
Legion Of Doom _ Live Bait _ Bill Collectors Inc.
Three Times Dope _ Improvin’ The Groovin’ _ Arista
Danger Zone Mobb Sqwad _ T.L. Back To Yell _ Sure Shot Records
AKR _ AKR Made It _ Park Place Records
Demon Boyz _ Lyrical Culture _ Music Of Life
Powercut Crew (feat. Mistri-D) _ God Made Me Funky _ Vinyl Lab Records
MC Mell ‘O’ _ Talk Dem Way _ Funki Dred
Gutter Snypes _ Flatline _ Liberty Grooves
Hijack _ I Had To Serve You _ Warner Bros
Krispy 3 _ Back It Up _ Kold Sweat
Unanimous Decision _ Simply Dope _ Kold Sweat
Son Of Noise _ Ill Justice _ Music Of Life
Bushkiller _ 92 Salute _ Danger Records
K.C.F Productions (feat. C-Madd E) _ Words ‘N’ Musik _ GTI Records
Dominant Force _ Criminals _ Gangster Records
MC’s Logik _ We’re On A Mission _ Submission Records
Shogun MC _ The Struggle Continues _ Blue Chip Records
Sunshine Power _ It’s Too Late _ Sing A Song Records
I do a lot of driving all around Philly, and whenever I come across a fly piece of wall art I pull out my trusty iPhone and get a snapshot. Here are some of my faves, from 5th & Cecil B to the world famous wall at 49th & Westminster (I’m on record that the 5th & Cecil B spot is iller… shame that the “Badlands” joint had to come down). Peace to all the artists who created these hood masterpieces… more to come. And any Philly graf heads out there, put me up on some other spots. I’m hittin’ the whole city hard but I know I’m missin’ out on some dope stuff.
Hey y’all… still chillin’ on the THAT REAL SCHITT content for now, but looks like I’m about to get snowed in yet again here in Philly (we just got hit with 29 inches on white flakes last weekend, now Mama Nature’s about to dump another foot and a half on us tonight and all day tomorrow… yikes) so maybe while I’m stuck in the house for a day or two I’ll come up with some new schitt for the site. Meanwhile, here are a couple of Youtube vids that have been making the rounds already all over the internet, but if you haven’t already seen ’em you really need to get a load of these. My homie Jake One and one of my favorite rappers, Philly homeboy Freeway, are prepared to drop an album that’s gonna bring the rap world to a halt just like this cotdamned snow is about to stop everything from moving here in Philly. Not trying to make this into a commercial, but as crazy as any Jake Wizzle / Philly Freezer fan knows the music is gonna be…. well, just check out the packaging. INSANE. I just ordered seven copies, no lie (and will probably cop another five or so… even if this album sells a million, sealed minty copies are probably gonna be worth some dough one day… real collectors know the deal). Check out both the cd and the LP and tell me what’s f***in’ with this. WOWWWW.
Now that my tweeting career is in hiatus status (I’d say permanently, except for the fact that I never say never- unless it’s to tell you that i never say never), I can get back to what I’m almost famous for- THAT REAL SCHITT. It’s about time for some more Philly random rap up in this piece, so here’s a little known gem courtesy of some cats that go by the name of 24-7. Early 90’s schitt, kind of a proto-Roots flavor going on here. I can’t even tell you any more about this record because I sold it on Ebay a few years ago- I scanned the labels but lost ’em when my external hard drive went on the fritz. So if anybody has any info on these cats let me know- this was a real nice record IMO. BTW, I don’t know if 24-7 were actually from Richard Allen projects in Philly (they name check Richard Allen but also seem to be claiming West Oak Lane, which is a whole different neck of the North Philly hoods), but lemme tell ya… back in the days before it got imploded and replaced with pretty new houses, Richard Allen was one of the most feared landscapes in the city. Seriously. Home of the Ram Squad (another legendary local rap crew, known for giving studio engineers unaccustomed with dealing with real live street folks a bad case of the pissy pants), Richard Allen used to be one of those places that outsiders did NOT want to be anywhere near after dark… boy, some of the stories I have heard. My mom actually lived there way back in the days, around the time that one of the most famous Philadelphian’s of them all, Bill Cosby, supposedly grew up there as well. Yet neither Mom or any of my uncles or my aunt ever recalled anybody named Bill Cosby living in Richard Allen- as my Uncle Wendall used to say, “We knew EVERYBODY in Richard Allen, I don’t remember no Bill Cosby… unless he was some little punk who stayed in the house all the time.” Yeah, my uncle was kinda gangsta… maybe Bill was a shook one, I dunno. Or maybe he was just always chillin’ in the junkyard with Mushmouth and Rudy and them- I’m not gonna deny the Cos his street cred.
I honestly wasn’t feelin’ much rap that was coming out on wax in the mid 80’s- oh, I liked a few things fa sho, but the overall drum machine sound was not doing it for a octopus break-lovin’ dude such as myself. For some reason I did kinda like this “Brooklyn Style” record by Choice MC (really the Choice MC’s… somebody at Rocky Records didn’t spellcheck, unfortunately). Kinda sparse, not a lot of musicality going on until Fresh Gordon starts noodling around on his keyboard at the end… could be why I didn’t hate this joint. Stuff like this does make me kinda nostalgic, though, I must admit. Not so much about Hip Hop music but just stuff that was going on in my own life around the time that this dropped. Sitting up in my crib in my new environment of North Philly listening to Lady B on WHAT (that real schitt on AM radio!) while it rains in my bedroom and I’m emptying out pots and buckets of rainwater. Yeah, I’m doin’ pretty decent right now but your boy Phill DEFINITELY got the tales of abject poverty too. Any way, I digress- go ahead and download this slice of Hip Hop circa 1985 or so if you can use it. I added the dub version as well.
Sorry, Giants fans, but the NFC divisional playoffs are over and the Eagles just kicked your azzes. Arizona is next (Arizona? Arizona??? Oh, hell to tha naw, the Cardinals ain’t got a chance of stopping us from going to Tampa). I’ll get into this more after Kurt Warner gets sent fishin’, I just wanted to do a little bit of gloating at Giants fans’ expense. Now, I’m sure many if not most of you who are coming to this site have no interest in good ol’ American NFL football and have no idea what I am talking about. That’s okay- for you I will just drop a rare classic old school Philly Hip Hop record, this one being the first Schoolly D record, “Gangster Boogie” b/w “Maniac” from 1984. This is the ORIGINAL original pressing, not the reissue 12″ with the yellow label that somebody pressed up after Schoolly School made it with “P.S.K.” and all that (if I remember right that re had all kinds of synths and keys and schitt dubbed on top… not THAT REAL SCHITT). I did have a scan of the OG 12″ label but, alas, it was one of the many casualties of the infamous external hard drive disaster that went down ’bout a year ago. Couldn’t find a scan online (EDIT: actually I did find it courtesy of one of the great people over at the DWG forum and you can now see it here as was my original intention), so instead just look at the above picture of living legend BrianDawkins, hear his words echo in your head (DOMINATION! SNOT BUBBLES! CRAZY EYES!), and, if you’re a Giants’ fan, begin to weep.
I think I want to be a photographer. Yep, I definitely want to be a photographer. I don’t know schitt about photography, but whenever I’m out and about I see pictures all around me. You know, like “damn, that schitt right over there would be a ill flick”. Been snapping stuff out in the streets with my little camera phone cameras for a minute now, which is cool but i think it’s time to graduate. Get a real camera with real filters and flashes, start learning about apertures and IS and the rule of thirds. I’m thinking like this: I’ll cop a decent camera that’s on the low end of the pro level joints and start reading up, learn all the basic ins and outs of photography. Then if I’m still into it after a minute then I’ll go ahead and drop the BIG dollars on some top-of-the-line equipment. Sounds like a plan, right? If anybody out there knows a thing or two about photography please feel free to leave me some advice on how to get started in the comments section. In the meantime, here are some of my little iPhone and Motorola Razr flicks. I like taking pictures.