Kings of Swing: Nod Your Head To This + Go Cocoa
From 12″ (Virgin, 1990)

Doo Wop and Da Bounce Squad: Da Bounce Master
From Noo Trybe Bootleg Summer Sampler EP (Noo Trybe, 1993)

Most Wanted: Calm Down
From 12″ (Fever, 1990)

Spike VST: Shut Up and Dance
From 12″ (Street Art, 1988)

I don’t know what it was about today but I was feeling slightly melancholy and decided to start, finally, pulling out some older hip-hop 12″s to digitize.

The first two songs were pieces I had been meaning to post up a while back, after hearing Funkmaster Flex play them on his now infamous July 4, 2007 show. The Kings of Swing is one of those 12″s I’ve had so long…I forgot I even owned it and hell if I can even remember when I actually copped it. What can I say? Great use of the “Sexy Coffee Pot” bassline even if it’s not as grimy as when Cypress flipped it. I had to throw on “Go Cocoa” too – it’s not too often you hear 1) cuts devoted to DJs and 2) female DJs at that (I can only think of two others, off the top of my head, from Salt N Pepa and The Coup) and c’mon, how you gonna pass up any song dedicated to a DJ named “Cocoa Channelle”? I didn’t realize they were down with First Priority but I guess that makes sense since Audio Two remixed “Nod Your Head” on the 12″.

The Doo Wop/Bounce Squad joint was something I don’t think I ever remember hearing back in the day, likely because it was a rather mega-local 12″ (first released independently) before coming out on a promo-only Noo Trybe 12″. Two things you can say about this tune: 1) nice use of Allen Toussaint’s “Louie” and 2) Da Bounce Squad wasn’t boasting the illest line-up of MCs – vaguely competent, sure, but not really memorable (except for maybe Snaggle Puss, who was memorable for arguably the wrong reasons). That said, this is a fun track to, er, bounce to.

The next two singles are probably tracks either my friend Hua or Dave put me up on (their random rap collection >>>>>> mine). “Calm Down” is a fiery fast rap number – four sets of verses, barely much of a song structure, but one hot beat (dig those 808 booms) and a few hungry MCs. Strangely, I can’t seem to find much info on the group though I’m assuming they’re out of NY.

Similar, I’m not sure if Spike VST hail from Florida (where their label is based) or Philly (where the song was actually recorded). Regardless, what struck me about this single is that I’m assuming there’s a live drummer working the sticks on here and maybe even a bassist, interpolating Cymande’s “Bra” though it could also be a sample. Nothing spectacular but certainly a good representation of hip-hop in that moment.