Audio

The Tape That Tape Made #7: Crack Hill Players

Crack Hill Players cassette cover

There’s no doubt that this cassette-only release out of Texas has a large debt to pay to the Soul Assassins sound. In fact, on the standout ‘Flow Like Rain’ on this EP, they even refer to Funkdoobiest in the first line. Still, repeating the same production formula time and again didn’t hurt Muggs when he was overseeing Cypress Hill, House of Pain and Funkdoobiest, so the more the merrier. As far as I know, this is their only release, and as well as being perfectly decent hip-hop – although not typical for Texas in ’93 – they’ve got a good name. Of course, if I was viewing houses in Texas I’d definitely avoid buying one on ‘Crack Hill’. This is the same reason I don’t own any property on ‘Gun Hill’ or ‘Big fucking AIDS, Ebola and knife crime Terrace’.

Crack Hill Players – ‘Flow Like Rain’

Crack Hill Players – ‘CHP in the House’.

Posted by drewhuge in Audio, The Tape That Tape Made

Crusaders for Real Hip-Hop – Strictly 609 rare & unreleased EP

Not everyone knows the Crusaders for Real Hip-Hop. While Tony D was an underground hero for many of us, he never broke the mainstream, and this posse album dropped with little fanfare. I remember copping it based on the cover and group name, before I even realised it was a Tony D project. It remains a pretty obscure piece, albeit with some absolute gems on it. I was wearing my OG Crusaders promo T-shirt out in Dubai last year and Stretch Armstrong, seeing the Profile Records logo on it, told me he’d never heard of them.

Now is a good time to get familiar. Our man PQuest, who did the recent OPP was Adam’s Nightmare T-shirt we repped here and has put out some great reissues from the likes of Blaque Spurm and Funk Family – you can cop what remains of the goodness here – has been working behind the scenes to source some unreleased Crusaders material, and is about to drop a two volume vinyl project, all produced by Tony D. You can pre-order the first part now, and the first 70 orders get a free postcard. Strictly limited, cop before it’s too late.

Posted by drewhuge in Audio, General, Rest In Peace

Progressive Agenda – As the Diction Flows audio

PA Posse - As the Diction flows floppy disc

I’m not one for bold claims, but I reckon this is the only 90’s Leeds hip-hop demo to sample Capital Tax and Taking Your Business (plus Brand Nubian, Blade and Just Ice). Hey, I’m happy to be proved wrong.*

‘As the Diction Flows’ was for our 1993 Headnods & Broomsticks EP that never was, along with other unforgettable slammo hits such as ‘Drinking Tea with the Lads’ and ‘Time to Start Peeping’. It’s a duet between Dan and myself, with Dan also providing the scratching (damn, we missed Countdown on this one!).

Whisper it, but I’m quietly proud of this one. I can’t place the central sample, but that and the beat are a good marriage, and we both get some decent shots off.

“Choicest cuts like meat dripping with blood / Footwear is always worn unlike Zola Budd.”

“Peace to the homeless and Mr. Wendal / Living the good life [like Pete Rock?] No, like Felicity Kendal.”

Mate, you can’t teach that stuff.

*In the unlikely event of me being proved wrong, it’s probably the only 90’s Leeds rap demo to feature all those samples, plus references to Marti Caine, Wee Willie Winkie and Bell Biv Devoe.

Posted by drewhuge in Audio, Wiggaz: The Book

The Tape That Tape Made #6: BO$$

 

Unreleased BOSS tape

I was a bit late on old Boss. I think song titles like ‘Recipe of a hoe’, ‘Diary of a mad bitch’, ‘I don’t give a fuck’ and ‘Mai sista izza bitch’ put me off – a combination of gangsta rap bingo mainstays and vexing spelling. Born Gangstaz dropped in 1993 and I heard the singles then, but didn’t spend any time with the album until maybe 20 years later. Now I love it.

This Def Jam West sampler tape contains a couple of gems. MC Sug’s ‘Makin that sex’ isn’t very good – and they never got round to releasing it. Mel Low’s ‘Home of the Cavi’ is much better, and was part of his unreleased, promo only 1993 album Return of the Player. I think some young entrepreneur has just dropped an unofficial CD release of that – well worth copping.

It’s hard to know if ‘Gangsters Groove’ was a track that didn’t make Born Gangstaz, or was supposed to be part of a follow up – all I know is that it’s pretty damn hot, and it never saw the light of day*. Don’t be a dummy like me and wait 20 years to listen to it.

*If it turns out it did come out, but with a different title, consider me schooled.

Posted by drewhuge in Audio, The Tape That Tape Made

PA Posse feat. DJ Countdown, SADE & New Flesh 4 Old – Drinking Tea with the Lads

Drinking tea recording session

As those of you who’ve read my book will know (and if you haven’t copped it, you can get it here. And if you have copped it and haven’t read it, sorry for the spoilers. And if you have copped it and it hasn’t arrived yet, that’s because the printers screwed up a whole batch and the replacements only arrived today – apologies), my favourite time as a fledgling rapper was recording the posse cut ‘Drinking Tea with the Lads’.

It was after Countdown had left ‘Prehistoric Ages Posse’ and Dan and I had morphed into ‘Progressive Agenda’. But obviously we were still all friends, as he’s in full effect on our Headnods & Broomsticks EP. We hired studio time, spent days recording a whole EP, and planned a posse cut that would be distinctively Yorkshire in flavour Continue reading →

Posted by drewhuge in Audio, Self-Publishing, Wiggaz: The Book

The Regulator Show with Rob Pursey & Superix… and me

I had a fantastic time dropping down to London last week to make an appearance on Soho Radio’s excellent The Regulator Show. Basically, I could talk about hip-hop for about 17 years straight with Rob Pursey and DJ Superix without getting bored.

We kept it strictly 80s – Peso, Just-Ice, Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince, King Tee, Disco Four, Fresh 3 MC’s, Jamose, Afrocentric classics and more – while talking about my book, experiencing hip-hop in the north in the 80s and how we fiended for rap radio. Yep, this is some foundational business, so we tipped our hat to some UK classics as well.

Peep the show, and follow those dudes over here. Basically, it doesn’t matter what genre or era they cover, they’re authorities on it.

Posted by drewhuge in Audio, Interviews, Wiggaz: The Book

The Tape That Tape Made #5: The Chosen Ones

Lord Shafiyq - My Mic is on Fire flyer

I speak for everyone in the known universe when I say that Enter the Lord by The Chosen Ones is a desert island album. If you’re ever planning my funeral, just put ‘Robodoc’ on loop. Before it dropped, Shafiyq had his solo moment with the excellent ‘My Mic is on Fire’ and ‘Kool Kat’ 12″s (which I love, but The Chosen Ones stuff is better) and three of his solo tracks make it onto the cassette version of Enter The Lord. But not in their original form.

There are four bonus tracks on the cassette, making this a version to track down in addition to the vinyl. One is a completely new track, ‘Make It Better’. The other three are remixes of ‘My Mic is on Fire’, ‘Kool Kat’ and ‘Rhymes on my Mind’. To add more value, this isn’t same remix of ‘Mic’ that is on acetate, and it’s not the same ‘Kool Kat’ remix that is on the 12″. You have to applaud DJ Doc’s work ethic here – brand new remixes just for the cassette. I can only apologise for the quality, especially on ‘Rhymes on my Mind’ – my old tape deck was just about shuffle off to the graveyard at that point. Before it went, however, it did ask for ‘Robodoc’ to be played on loop at its funeral.

The Chosen Ones – Make It Better (cassette only exclusive)

The Chosen Ones – My Mic is on Fire (cassette only exclusive remix)

The Chosen Ones – Kool Kat (cassette only exclusive remix)

The Chosen Ones – Rhymes on my mind (cassette only exclusive)

Posted by drewhuge in Audio, The Tape That Tape Made

Who Rocked it Best?* P.A. Posse Vs. Brothers G.R.Y.M.

Christmas tree made of guns

So, the first bit of audio I dropped from the PA Posse days wasn’t actually too bad. This, however is.

A couple of people who’ve read the advance copy of my book singled out the bit about this particular song as one of their favourites, probably because they were dumbfounded that I said these words into a microphone. It’s basically the most naive lyrics I ever penned, delivered clunkily, albeit with a killer KRS sample on the chorus. It’s one of those tracks you record because you love the vocal sample so much you build an entire, stupid-headed idea around it.

I love to hear other artists use samples that we ourselves rocked. Just before I joined the PA Posse, Countdown and Greenpeace gave me a beat tape full of loops they were toying with. At the same time, Special Ed dropped his second album and the track ‘Ready to Attack’ used the exact same combo of two samples they’d put together for one track.

I never heard anybody else use the sample we grabbed for ‘Under the Christmas Tree’, until the always brilliant Chopped Herring label dropped the Ghetto Repaired Young Minds EP by Brothers G.R.Y.M this year. It went straight into my top 5 Herrings, not least because the track ‘Circle Circle Dot Dot’ uses the same backdrop as we did. Happily for them, they used it for a lost banger that the world can now hear. Unhappily for us, we used it for an embarrassing lecture about the perils of buying toy guns for kids during the Yuletide season. My voice sounds like it breaks about sixteen times during this track, and I’m only occasionally on beat. Good grief.

Brothers G.R.Y.M – ‘Circle Circle Dot Dot’

 

The P.A. Posse – ‘Under The Christmas Tree (Unfinished Demo)’

*Don’t answer. We know.

Posted by drewhuge in Audio, Wiggaz: The Book

The Tape That Tape Made #4: Tribe From the Northside

I’m keeping it Trenton this week, with a tape I picked up online a few years ago. I already knew what I was buying, but even if I hadn’t I’d be lured in by the cover, the group’s name, and tracks with names like ‘Knowledge is Power’ and ‘Asalamalakum’.

Tribe from the Northside tape cover Continue reading →

Posted by drewhuge in Audio, The Tape That Tape Made

The Tape That Tape Made #3: Double Dip – Marchitect & 2 of a Kind

Let’s nerd out on some uncheap stuff here. Marchitect’s ‘Dead in Your Tracks’ is a dope 1994 indie staple, beloved of the people who think the mid 90’s rap records that sold 11 copies are the golden age. Regardless, this is still a nice, rarely seen killer. Even rarerererer is the cassingle, which has a hitherto unshared, unposted tape-only track called ‘Corners of the mind’. I mean, it’s only okay, isn’t it? But someone out there will love this, and perhaps also the unflattering picture of Marchitect on the tape cover. Continue reading →

Posted by drewhuge in Audio, The Tape That Tape Made