Author Archives: jakebiz
Large Professor’s shelved 1996 album The LP could arguably be considered the original Detox. Recorded back in the mid 90’s The LP was to be Large Pro’s highly anticipated solo debut following the break up of Main Source. Shelved by Geffen until a “promo only” release saw the light of day in 2002, it wasn’t until 2009 after Large had regained rights to The LP that we saw the official 18 track version.
Though being shelved, The LP did yield the amazing jump-off single The Mad Scientist. If you’re like me you probably love Extra P’s use of Galt MacDermot’s Space (later used more prominently for Busta Rhymes’ Woo-Haa) for an intro before sampling and filtering the bass line from David Matthews’ Dune Part II… All that aside, i always wondered why Large dropped his first verse twice on the same track and I was blessed to be enlightened courtesy of NPR’s Microphone Check podcast earlier this week.
In the interview with host Ali Shaheed Mohammed (Tribe’s DJ – obviously) The Live Guy With Glasses stated that it was his exclamation point. He spat the verse at the start of The Mad Scientist and again at the end to really get his point across, to add “that exclamation point” to the end of the song. Large was “feeling some kinda ways” about his then current situation which he’d briefly addressed around the same time on Tribe’s Keep It Rollin off Midnight Marauders… Point taken. I suppose.
Far be it from me to question the Live Guy’s motives. Click the link and check out Large Pro’s “exclamation point” for yourself. It’s a great song and so indicative of that 90’s sound.
The Great Dot X is never outshone by anyone but Shabaam and Thirstin Howl do their thing on this!
For the uninitiated Sauce Money was a childhood friend of Jay-Z and an early affiliate of Rocafella Records, appearing most notably on the DJ Premier produced Bring It On off Hov’s debut Reasonable Doubt. Sauce Money also appeared on Big Daddy Kane’s 1994 album Daddy’s Home, on the posse cut Show N Prove which also featured a young Jay-Z, Shyheim and Ol Dirty. He dropped a solo album in 2000 called Middle Finger U which wasn’t too bad, I remember the 12″ off it was produced by Preemo.
All of that aside, Sauce Money found his greatest success in the music industry as a pen-for-hire during the 90’s and early 2000’s. One of his most notable credits was penning for the artist and label head formerly known as Puff Daddy on his 1997 tribute to Biggie, The Police sampling, I’ll Be Missing You. Knowing that you required another MC to pen a tribute to a person you were supposedly close with (Puff and BIG) doesn’t sit well with me but then again Puffy’s never pretended or hid from the fact that he’s not the most adept rap writer on the planet, remember.. “Don’t worry if I write rhymes, I write checks..”
Regardless, Sauce scored a Grammy for penning Puff’s apparently heartfelt sentiment and – from all reports – continues to get paid well off of his work for Bad Boy and the Roc. As a side note, I’ll Be Missing You is ranked by Billboard as one the top 100 selling singles of all time with sales in excess of 8 million
It’s no secret that Mr. X to the Z has done some ghostwriting, most notably for the good doctor himself, Dre. It really then comes as no surprise then that he would’ve ghostwritten for Snoop also, but Snoop has never been a slouch on the mic and has written most of his own tracks over the course of his 20+ year career.
X’s ghostwriting was provided for Snoop on what would be his second last single for Master P’s No Limit Records, the Dr. Dre produced Lay low from 2000. Of course Snoop and X collaborated two years prior on the incredible Bitch Please – also produced by Dre and featuring Nate Dogg.
Snoop’s two album stay on No Limit was met with indifference but did yield this great single and listening back to it now I reckon you can pick that Xzibit penmanship.
Don’t for a second get it twisted, this album is a masterpiece of intricate sampling and layers the likes of which you’ll never see again in this day and age what with sample clearances and all. Pete Rock’s luscious use of multiple records per song is a masterclass for any person with a keen ear for beats and breaks, I just don’t quite get what C.L. Is rapping about on most of these songs, take album opener Return To Mecca for example;
Start Em in Harlem with the motto, the Apollo boogie to me, I’ll swallow hollow when ya follow. Stable like a turntable, lyrics I cradle, no fable, label or one, my tongue around your navel…
..Now I sink you to the link that’ll make you think, yous too large to shrink, I need a drink..
And he continues to continue on in much the same fashion over the rest of the album. Im not being picky here either, when C.L. puts it all together it sounds amazing over the top of what the Chocolate Boy Wonder has provided him but I’m just not getting it.
Even the magnificent They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) doesn’t really seem to be about what we’ve all thought it was about for all these years, the loss of Pete’s cousin and Heavy D backup dancer Trouble T-Roy. I’m of the opinion that when those horns come in you forget everything else and just fall into the feeling of the record.
I’m not dissing this album at all, I’m just trying to understand it, it’s incredible to the ear but when you start peeling away the lyrical layers it leaves me wondering and Grand Puba’s ghostwriting for Pete is obvious particularly on the freestyle that leads in to For Pete’s Sake. PR sounds almost like he’s doing a Grand Puba impersonation without the same vocal tone.
I’m probably looking to deep into it. All of the above aside, Mecca & The Soul Brother is an amazing listen and one well worth revisiting if you get a minute. Everything meshes together to create such a complete album that you get lost in its dense production… But, and it could be a big but for those that disagree, next time you’re listening to it listen to the lyrics and feel free to tell me I’m wrong.
I was recently given the opportunity to interview one of my favourite MC’s, Queensbridge veteran Cormega. In lead up to sending through the interview I built upon what I already knew of his career by reading and listening to a bunch of his interviews, I didn’t want to ask too many questions he’d been asked in the past, anything to do with Nas for example. Unfortunately a few questions weren’t answered. I was interested to know more about his history and early appearances with Poet and DJ Hotday (PHD), I was also interested to know more about his QB Crew The Goodfellaz which consisted – to my knowledge – of names like Lakey the Kid and Worm.. While also building upon where he’s at as an artist today. What came back is what was answered, maybe I caught him on a busy day but I’m grateful for the opportunity regardless.
Thanks heaps to Trav from OzhiphopShop for putting the connect together, be sure to support his movement as he’s helped support ours. The intro to the interview was written by a dude named Rips.
For what had started as a kid in the hallways of a Nas storyline, Cormega has grown a notoriety as one of the most-revered emcees out of 41st Side and Vernon of Queensbridge, New York. Despite his independent career having been met with great adversary, twenty years after Cormega’s release he has stayed true-to-form and triumphed along the way with some well-regarded records, The Realness and True Meaning. For a rapper Marley Marl had once referred to as the ‘original gangsta rapper of Queensbridge’, Cormega regards himself a veteran of hip-hop. After long-service leave, his 2015 album, Megaphilosphy marks a return to fold for the rapper and, for the first time, is bringing his steez to every capital city down-under which opens up in Melbourne, September 25.
Before the arrival of one of QB’s finest, a purist of the art of rap who has always upheld the traditions of a microphone fiend, we decided to let one of our own emcees, Jake-Biz from Bris-Bang’s Karsniogenics label and one of the formidable few of the 750 Rebels to ask Mega anything and everything about the what-could-have-beens and look-backs at the commercially-underrated career of an incredibly-talented MC. Never shy to tackle the business-side of his business, Mega chopping-up with Jake Biz resulted in a frank and concise exchange of realness between two true heads of hip-hop.
JAKE BIZ – Your first album The Testament was shelved by Def Jam in the 90’s and didn’t see a release until the early 2000’s. How was your experience as a signed artist on hip hop’s preeminent label?
CORMEGA – Being on DEF JAM was a learning experience and introduced me to the industry.
You predate 50 Cent as one of the early artists to use mixtapes as a promotional tool but you rarely receive the credit. Was that the early inspiration for Legal Hustle and your independent grind?
I was definitely the first to utilize mixtapes as marketing schemes and also as a determiner of where I stood with the public.
The Realness and True Meaning could almost be viewed as companion pieces and are both clear, fan-favourites. Do you ever feel the pressure from fans and the public to recreate that early success?
Realness and True Meaning are definitely albums I aspire to equal or exceed every time I make an album.
You’ve shown immeasurable growth over the course of your career and you’ve never hesitated to cite peers such as Chuck D, Slick Rick and the Juice Crew for that, how have you managed to stay a fan of the game and not seem as jaded as other MCs from your era?
I love what I do and understand it is a blessing to be in my position as an artist plus I respect the foundation.
The chemistry you share with Large Professor is unquestionable and your latest album Megaphilosophy is a testament to that and you’ve also worked together in the past. How did the process of making a whole project together differ from getting single tracks from individual producers?
Working with LP is a challenge but when challenges are met you find out who you really are.
‘Industry’ (and its subsequent remixes) is one of the most profound statements in hip-hop from the last five years! In a time where digital reigns supreme and CDs are essentially obsolete do you think the recording industry could ever regroup and see the immense profit it saw throughout the 90s?
The industry will always find a new way to return like a villain in a superhero movie.
You’re a known sneaker head, do you still get out and cop on release day or has hype-beasting seen your interest diminish?
I love sneakers but I’m not a hype-beast and luckily I have some cool friends at Puma and New Balance. I really don’t wear Nike anymore until I see them show more respect to the black consumer who, by-the-way, kept them from going out of business.
Can’t wait to see you here in Australia. Thanks for your time!
– Jake Biz(750 Rebels/Karsniogenics)
You can catch Cormega on his massive upcoming Australian tour that kicks off September 25th in Melbourne
I was listening to Mobb Deep’s The Infamous recently and thinking about the impact A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip had on it’s overall sound. While Havoc’s understated and minimalistic production was beginning to find it’s stride in 1995, i think it’s Tip’s contributions from production to mixing that are often overlooked.
This lecture with The RBMA in New York discusses all that and more. He speaks at length on Mobb, Nas, Tribe and his own solo work which I’ve recently started gaining a strong appreciation for – yeah, I’m a little late I know. His musicality is without question and listening to him break down his process in the studio is inspiring.
From playing the assembled crowd the original DJ Premier produced demo of Nas’ Memory Lane to working with Norah Jones and discussing everything from pause tapes to his own DJ career and NY club culture, this is well worth your time.
Tip’s fingerprint is no more evident on The Infamous than the incredible Drink Away The Pain, providing both production (a three bar loop?!) and a memorable guest spot.. This is still probably my favourite moment from the second Mobb album!
Without question 1997 was a busy year for Buckwild, seeing placements on albums by Jay-Z, Biggie, Diamond D, OC, Capone’N’Noreaga and Brand Nubian. What I’ve found most interesting though is that he appears to have sold the same beat twice in that same year, the Patrice Rushen sampling ‘Burn Me Slow’ or ‘I Been Gettin So Much $’ (depending on how you look at it) by OC and Royal Flush respectively.
I’m guessing OC got it first while recording Jewelz and it didn’t make the cut so Buck pushed it on to Flush for his Ghetto Millionaire album that dropped in early 98. Burn Me Slow, OC’s version (and in my opinion the superior use of the beat), showed up on Buck’s 4 track, Still Diggin Composition EP later on – that EP was also notable for containing the original version of Big Pun’s Dream Shatterer.
Either way I found it interesting and either way Buckwild wins.. Who uses it best? As I stated before, I’ll hand it to Omar Credle’s toast to getting toasted but Flush doesn’t slouch on it either.. Check below and you be the judge.
Burn Me Slow – OC
I Been Gettin’ So Much $ – Royal Flush
You’ve probably heard a slew of 90’s NY based rappers over this instro but i myself never knew it was the official Rainy Dayz remix from 96. credited to Mr. Dalvin with coproduction, programming and mixing handled by Diamond D.
Rae and Ghost spit hot bars over Diamond and Dalvin’s masterful use of Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes, You Know How To Make Me Feel So Good.
Well worth revisiting or hearing for the first time!
Has anyone else ever noticed how truly dope the late great Punisher’s collab’s with Noreaga were? Hip Hop has produced some amazing duos but while Pun has always been associated more with Fat Joe and Nore with Capone and Tragedy, it’s the collaboration’s between these two Puerto Rock hardbodies that’ve got me fuxin’ with the internets here tonight. These are a few i have in my own collection but a simple YouTube search will turn up even more. Walk with me now…
Big Punisher ft Noreaga – You Came Up
This Rockwilder produced gem was the third single from Pun’s 1998 debut album Capital Punishment. Pun reps the BX while Nore holds down Queens over some funky horns. There’s a video out there for this but i prefer the album version.
Noreaga & Big Pun – Thug Brothers
This is from Funk Flex’s 60 Minutes of Funk Volume 3. If you don’t have your own copy of it there exits a better version on YouTube that i couldn’t embed for some reason. Nore puts in a gold medal performance on this, at no point being outshone by Pun.
Royal Flush ft Big Pun & Noreaga – Clap Yo Hands
I own this 12″ and i fuckin love it, it’s also quiet a rare track from what i’m led to believe. The Punisher slaughters this joint sampled from The Metres Handclapping Song, it’s as simple as that. It rivals his appearance on Beatnuts’ Off The Books. Flush and Nore let ya know Queens is in the house also but they had to work for it after Pun.
Pete Rock ft Big Pun, Noreaga and Common – Verbal Murder
Pete Rock’s solo debut was packed with memorable guest-spots and this ranks among them highly. Why Common is on here i don’t know but it’s never been more evident that there will never be another Pun or Nore, both amazing characters in their own right. I never listen as far as Common because there’s no need.
Kid Capri ft Noreaga & Big Pun – Block Party
Mix-tape king Kid Capri put out an album at the end of the 90’s that featured just about every (living) major rapper of the era but it wasn’t really that good. This is an exception though. Nore’s flow is almost anti-pun’s in that he leaves so much breath in the beat while Pun fills every single measure of a bar with syllables, except for when he’s snorting the breath back into his lungs. I fuck with Nore on this though.
DJ Clue ft Cam’Ron, Big Pun, Noreaga, Canibus – Fantastic 4
It was the end of the 90’s on Clue’s The Professional and Pun and Nore were playing rap’s odd couple again. Book-ended by two impressive performances from Cam’ and Can’ it’s Pun and Nore (getting head in the whip in any street) for my money on this shit. The beat gets on my nerve after a while but the constant darts will keep you entertained.
Producer Oddisee provides the bed for the artist formely known as Freddie Foxxx and the King Asiatic to spit blackout darts on.
It’s been 20 years since the great Eric ‘Eazy-E’ Wright passed. If Eazy had’ve been gunned down in a flurry of shotgun blasts, or caught a blade in the jugular, we probably would’ve shown the man’s legacy a great deal more respect in the years that have passed since his untimely death. Pour yaself a little liquor and raise a toast to “the actual street n***a from Compton”… Turn this one up!
“…fee, fi, fo, fuck fum!”
E’ry day is MdotOdotPdot day around here… Mashout Monday, Warriors Wednesday, Fizzy Wo Fridays. We even do Bukka Bukka Blaow Sundays.
I’m pretty sure that when Ev and Al run out of ideas for video clips they simply take a camera down to the Venice Beach Boardwalk and film themselves doing not a whole lot, y’know, like just laying down and shit.
I somehow missed this late last year, taken from Diamond’s Diam Piece album. Evidence and Alchemist are without a doubt two of my favorite people making music right now… And you know Diamond D already been that!