Category Archives: HISTORY (not his story)
Well here’s a little doco that slipped through my viewing crackholes about a song ya may have heard before called “Apache” by Michael Viner’s Incredible Bongo Band.
Cold lampin’ on the couch the other night I was scrolling through the endless amount of generally subpar shit on Aus Netflix looking for a new show or movie to replace the life changing experience of Stranger Things. Could anything compare or compete with the brilliance I had just witnessed over 8 episodes…probably not!
So anyway, I came across a new release called ” Sample This”. Great! New music doco. Well, kinda. It’s a 2012 doco, but either way I had never heard of it. The title seemed familiar, but then again it’s pretty stock.
So I sat down and began watching….and low and behold….I quickly realised I’m watching a doco about the Incredible Bongo Band’s seminal B-Boy record of choice,”Apache”.
An hour and 25 minutes of breaking down the track, the band members, Michael Viner’s life, politics and various interviews with original band members and Hip Hop Kings (I’m excluding Af Bam’s fuckin’ retarded glasses from this) and narration from Gene Simmons, I came to the conclusion that this is well worth a watch. I can listen to this track over and over everyday for the rest of my life, and it will never bore me.
That’s pretty much the premise of the doco. It’s a great watch but quite disjointed in it’s narrative at times and takes some strange paths. I learnt so much from it regardless, especially about who Michael Viner actually was. But the highlight for me, has to be the Grandmaster Caz interviews. What a legend and ultimate Hip Hop head. Scroll past the standard Bam shit, and look out for Caz! Genius! Plenty of great people interviewed. I’ll leave that for you to discover.
Anyways, “Sample This” is well worth checking out. There’s a lot of great moments and knowledge dropped. And yeah, Gene Simmons was actually a friend of MV’s, that’s why he’s narrating. Recommended.
On Netflix now.
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.
I recently caught this doc on Netflix during the week, and I must say, I can’t get it out of my head. It’s a monster. This has to be one of the most interesting films I have seen in a while and certainly one of the most unique approaches in capturing the evolution of the Hip Hop Culture.
It follows the beginnings of the infamous South Bronx gang “The Ghetto Brothers” and then proceeds to tell the story of rival gangs from the corners and boroughs of New York in the 1970’s. I’m not going to give too much away here so I’ll keep it brief…
The stock footage, interviews, narrative and love shown to this project are evident throughout. An amazing and educational watch so rare in our culture nowadays. Here lies the true story of “The Warriors”. Also, the “Ghetto Brothers” released an album in 1972. If you have a lazy $2000 laying around, jump on Discogs, there’s an OG there. Highly recommended.
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
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.
Keeping along the lines of last weeks post, giving it up to the ones that paved the way giving the locals an opportunity and outlet I must to give Dropzone a mention. I’m not exactly sure when it started but a few of us were hitting it up on the regular circa 2000-2001. Dropzone collective was, the Bourne brothers Ray (Rainman) and Steve (Steve B) and Two Dee from my hazy memory. Heavy funk grooves and Hip-Hop, open mics and guest MCs every Thursday night from 9pm up at the top level of the empire hotel, which was called the moon bar.
I have no idea what this venue looks like now but back then the 1st two levels were pretty well fit out with a fuck off bars, decks, plenty of seating, pool tables etc. The moon bar on the other hand, which was accessed through some hazardous internal stairs was a little different..It always had this dankness about it, a ‘sweatbox’ if you will, like the sweat from the fried speed patrons on levels one and two had wafted up to the top level. Dimly lit, regular trails of weed smoke wafting out of the back couch sections, it had a dope vibe too it. This was back when bouncers in the city would knock you back from clubs if you didn’t sport the leather or the collar and the valley was…just the valley, a little more relaxed on entry. Before it was a drink, chew and spew ‘Precinct’ that attracts 20k-40k plus per weekend and it gave a fuck about the music and where it was housed and crafted (fuck I sound like some old jaded cunt but it’s truth!). You sure as fuck didn’t pay upward of 10 bucks a throw for a rum either. Binge drinking was fucking encouraged!
The process for us was to head in early to the middle bar and hit up cheap drinks, play some pool, take drugs (if the mood was right), attempt to mac a bitch/s and stumble our way up for entry. Then, drink more, politic, harass women, harass the DJs to play something and let us up for the open mic (sorry Ray I was bad for that shit!). Rinse and repeat!
Dropzone introduced me to open mics, live hip-hop performance, good funk, hip-hop and most of all good people who I still have a lot of time for. The type of people you stay friends for life for because of that connection with the music/art and the community back then was so tight knit you could simply weed out the weak/toy cunts. Separate the real from fake so to speak. It birthed graff crews, rap crews, DJs who are still doing their thing for the culture today and I’m extremely grateful for this. Meeting our mentor, Ken Oath was something I also take away from this time and hold as a great moment. Putting us down with 750 Rebels I think corrupted us a little more than we already where but put us on the right path, at least in a musical sense haha.
Big up and repsect to Rainman and his brothers for getting the scene poppin’ back then and kicking off our Brisbane bullshit.
If anyone has any pics, flyers or tales please share.We were all rocking the dial up back then and time was money!
$2 pots and $3 shots made for some fucking good hip-hop nights put on by the babble-on boys. No to mention the club where they came up promoting their first shows backed on to a gash bar. You could sneak though the back door behind the adjoining bar for some mutton if you so obliged. Don’t worry I wont be dry snitchin’ any detail now or in future of finer details but fun was had and in big fucking spades!!! I Just wanted to post and pay homage to those that have helped along the way and deserve some recognition.
It blows me away to think these shows were over 10 years ago! For a bunch of low life, Southside drunks barely on the right path, we (Town Drunxxx) got a few supports circa 02-03. Babble-On kept the torch alight from the Ric’s café, max break & the alley bar shows, keeping the locals with a regular outlet and the punters happy with a good variety of local and interstate acts, not to mention that pussy actually turned up to hip hop shows back then and got turned out. You didn’t have to be p-noid you were chatting up a bitch some dude was cuffin. The sense of community was regained, the battle scene here in briz was alive, DJs actually had skills and selected records for the task at hand.
Things got bigger, the clubs got bigger, the acts booked were international, dudes bought pre sold tickets knowing that mother fucker would sell out. You would see flyers posted every suburb south to west, word of mouth got you there. I struggle now with some of these fuck arse cunts trying to promote a show with a facebook post and moshtix link. Where’s your gumption and passion? where did the punters go? Is no one of the younger generation a fan before an artist? Where the fuck is the culture ffs?
Enough of a rant. A big thank to the Babble-on boys, the OG 143 massive and everyone else involved back then. Some great memories. Also, big up and repect to the likes of the 469 boys for carrying the torch and bringing back that good old fashion Brisbane Bullshit. You cunts are doing it right! Thankyou!
LC – Murderous Metaphors Launch – The Rev, 2005
Tha Liks – Farewell Tour – The Arena, 2/9/06
In the late 2000’s Bias B approached Heata regarding an idea to make a local documentary about the release of his Beeswax LP from 1998. Together with Discourse they formed a film crew and began interviewing people regarding the early years and development of Australian Hip Hop pre the 2000’s.
As more people were interviewed, the team started to realise that the project was bigger than just the story of one album. And so, the film took a different direction.This here is a Trailer cut from their interviews over time with original stock footage.
We feel that “98:Foundation” is a very important story to tell, not just for those who were around in the early days, but also for future generations to understand and respect the architects. This project has not been completed, with ideas waiting to be developed and funded towards a full length Doco feature. The trailer is just an example of what it could be with many more people yet to be interviewed and filmed.
With the assistance and hard work of people such as B Wiv (Daniel Cowan), Josh Davis & Trem One, the “98” trailer stands ready for future development. The burning question is….”would any one want to see this made into a full length Film?” So where to from here……
Happy Friday to you all. I recently discovered this footage of the S-N double O-P (D-O double G-Y D-O double G ya see) performing Slick Rick and Doug E Fresh’s classic “Ladi Dadi” live with Doug E. Fresh himself. Check out Snoop breaking down what it is to be a fan of this here rap shit before inviting The Worlds Greatest Entertainer to the stage, it’s a great way to kick off a Friday!