I USED TO MAKE…MIXTAPES

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Back around 1994, I got a Tascam 4-track recorder and started to make mixtapes. At a later point, I upgraded to a digital multitrack (Roland SP-808) but the sensibility was the same on all the tapes I made from 1994 through 2001: pick a selection of indie and major label singles and try to creatively mix them together.

It finally took until today but I now have all of them online via my Mixcloud account. Here’s a mini-history:

Vol. 1
Vol. 2
Vol. 3
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RECORD WHEEL #9: WEST COAST HIP-HOP

Rw9

Back to hip-hop but this time with a Cali focus.

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Playlist:

Sanuhtayshun Duhpartment Muzik: Never Changing (SDM, 1999) RhythmX feat. Grump and Simba: Subliminal Criminals (Sick Kid It, 1993) The Poetess: Making Some Change (Buddha Baker Boyz Mix) (Interscope, 1992) MC Red: I Smoke Mics For a Livin’ (Vibe Time, 1992) Ahmad, Ras Kass and Saafir: Come Widdit (Joe Quixx Remix) (Priority, 1995) Da Lench Mob: Ain’t Got No Class (T-Bone Remix) (Eastwest, 1992) Droop-E feat. Kendrick Lamar: Rossi Wine (Sick Kid It, […]

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RECORD WHEEL #2 – AIN’T NO HALF SLIPPIN’

Just uploaded my latest episode of the Record Wheel; thanks for the positive feedback! I’m serious: I don’t do this stuff to hear myself talk so as long as folks out there enjoy it, I’m happy to do it.

I put up a poll on the Facebook group and folks wanted hip-hop, so that’s what I served up.

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EXTRA P’S METHOD

For my latest BeatTips piece, I delved into “Looking At the Front Door” and why Large Professor’s production was so next level in regards to song structure. When I get the time, I might take the song and give it the Sliced treatment.

FOR THE BLOG FAITHFUL

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I’m not making mention of this one on social media. It’s just for you, the actual blog reader, for a limited time.

Slum Village’s original A&M advance of what eventually became Fantastic Vol. 2 #digginginthetapes

TRIBE’S GOT IT FROM HERE

I reviewed A Tribe Called Quest’s surprise last album this past week. I also had a few bonus thoughts about it:

First: “The Space Program” is ATCQ’s best lead song since “Steve Biko.”

Best ATCQ lead songs

1. Excursions
2. Steve Biko
3. Push It Along
4. Space Program
5. Phony Rappers[1. ATCQ should have opened Beats, Rhymes and Life with “The Pressure” and closed it with either “Mind Power” or “The Hop.”
6. (ironically) Start It Up

Second: “The Donald” is ATCQ’s best closing song since “God Lives Through.”

[…]

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HOBO JUNCTION AND SHIGGER FRAGGER SHOW

By 1996, Hobo Junction was dirt hustlin’ their music on Bay Area street corners, part of the broader move towards independence that so many Bay artists were at the forefront of. At its heart, dirt hustlin’ was a profound rejection of the standard hip-hop narrative where groups just try to get signed and roll the dice from there. Hobo Junction had that moment already, back when Southpaw put out “Shot Callin’ and Big Ballin’” but now they joined alongside members of Hiero, Mystik Journeymen/Living Legends and you’d have to also think, in a broader sense, E-40, Master P […]

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ILL BROTHERS AND ORIGIN

One of the cooler items I came across in whilst #digginginthetapes is a demo tape I received from Ill Brothers circa 1994.

This was a Southern California crew, lead by Ill Bro Chat and Snizake. They hit my radar in ’94 with “Mescaline” and it’s possible that they sent me both the single and demo at the same time. The demo tape does feature one song that made the vinyl 12″ – “Valley of Broken Necks” but as far as I know, everything else on the tape only exists in that format.

My favorite song off […]

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O’S DUB VOL. 2 + THE KILLER B’S (1994)

The #digginginthetapes adventures continue. Since I already have Vol. 1 and Vol. 3 up, why not Vol. 2 too? Of the three, I spent the least effort on pitching this one around so even people who’ve heard my 1 or 2 probably haven’t heard this before.

On the other side of the tape, I created an early attempt at a “semi-obscure hip-hop b-sides and remixes” mix that, a few years later, would take fuller form as Incognitos Vol 1. (four songs are included on both).

O’S DUBS VOL. 3 (1995)

I recently picked up one of these USB cassette players because I wanted a cheap solution to digitizing my old tapes (let’s just say this thing is cheap in all senses of the term). One of the first things I digitized with it was my third mixtape, made back in *gulp* 1995.1 This was perhaps my most “experimental” mixtape insofar as many of the songs were dubbed onto here from tape advances and demos and I also included some parts from the infamous KMEL Hiero vs. Hobo battle plus opened with a freestyle the Roots delivered on my […]

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