Category Archives: NY REALITY CHECK
The simplicity of an uptempo break over some quick wordplay. Spit Gemz always gets mad slept on. Had to post this. East NY muh!
I’m mad late on this but it’s great to such a stand up and humble dude like Delta documenting and sharing his experience of Hip-Hop culture in New York..Shit makes me wanna take the pilgrimage again. Hard out!
This 4 part series follows Australian Hip Hop artist Ben Delta as he journeys through boroughs of New York, in episode 1 Delta visits the Bronx.
A Visit to the TATS CRU studio in Hunts point is some fun viewing as Nicer ( one of the founders of the legendary Graffiti crew ) is in a mood to talk about the history of New York and how graffiti spread across the world.
The second part of the episode takes us to the home of Lord Finesse ( DITC ). Ness gives us an insight into what he looks for in records and how different sounds can be the basis of a production, he also discusses working with Delta ( which is explored in more detail in a upcoming episode).
This was made for the love of the music and culture, Delta has always carried the torch high for Australia so we thought it time we showed everyone what’s been going on.
– Luke Eblen
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!
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
You should know who Dave East is by now but if you don’t go do yourself a favour an download all his mixtapes, Black Rose especially..Dudes a beast! Best thing out of Harlem, NY since Big L in my opinion. His latest mixtape offering “Hate Me Now”, drops October 2. Decent guests and production on this.
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!
The legend Chill Rob is back with a new E.P entitled “Chilled Not Frozen” and here is the 1st single featuring R.A. in top notch form. Loving everything about this. The clip is a straight to camera piece, but when you have 2 M.C’s firing like this, keep it simple stupid. Straight up heat!!!!! Get at the release here…. http://www.nobodybuysrecords.bigcartel.com which by the way is a dope site with some crazy releases from Phill Most Chill, A.G. plus more…. Enjoy!
Stretch and Bobbito explores the social impact of what the Source Magazine in 1998 voted, “The Best Hip Hop Radio Show Of All-Time.” The documentary film is the story of quirky friends who became unlikely legends by engaging their listeners and breaking the biggest rap artists ever.
During the 1990s, Stretch and Bobbito introduced the world to an unsigned Nas, Biggie, Wu-Tang, and Big Pun, as well as an unknown Jay-Z, Eminem, Fat Joe, and the Fugees. The total record sales for all the artists that premiered on their show exceed 300 million. Stretch and Bobbito created a platform that changed music forever.
Stretch & Bobbito’s musical merits were only half of the story, though. Their show had a cult following in the art/fashion world and prison population. All would loyally tune in for the offbeat humor just as much for the exclusive music. Stretch and Bobbito brought a unique audience together, and inspired a movement.
Unfortunately, Stretch and Bobbito eventually parted ways, ending a landmark run that the NY Press once regarded as, “The Best Late Night Radio (All Genres).” In 2010, they reunited for a 20th anniversary broadcast, which rated as the #1 Twitter topic. Their impact is still felt today.
Summer 2015 release
The accompanying cassette
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.