The Tape That Tape Made

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

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

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

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

The Tape That Tape Made #2: Money Boss Players part 1

Money Boss Players sticker

As promised, The Tape That Tape Made will be a pretty regular thing, made somewhat easier by today’s post. The very latest in cassette technology from the Tiswas era has arrived, shunting my old deck into a retirement home.

I’m going to eke a couple of posts out of this particular tape, as it’s one of my better finds. Money Boss Players’ Ghetto Chronicle Daily is pretty much established as a minor classic EP/LP. Great Minnesota beats, a bunch of MC’s including the standout Lord Tariq, and a claustrophobic New York feel. Originals go for around £150 still, down from a peak of £300 or more. I managed to get my mitts on three sealed copies at one point, but they’ve long since found better homes. Continue reading →

Posted by drewhuge in Audio, The Tape That Tape Made

The Tape That Tape Made #1: KRS-One & Kid Capri: Stomp

A few years back, I was collaborating with my homies at Southern Hospitality – Superix and Rob Pursey – on a mixtape called Rappers Have Feelings Too (by the way, it’s great and you can check it out here). Leaving Superix’s spot, I found that their neighbour had left an unwanted tape deck outside his door in the communal hallway. It has a note on saying ‘free to a good home’. I scooped it up and took it for a ride on the tube home.

I hadn’t had a tape deck in 20 years. Not since I left behind the dark days of the teenage bedroom midi system. All of the separates systems I put together during my life in London never included one. It was a format I’d pretty much given up on, despite me carrying, from flat to flat and house to house, a box of vintage radio tapes and demos from my crew. I know for many people it had always been a favourite format. Cheaper than vinyl and CDs in the 80’s and 90’s, portable, compact, it was cherished by many loyalists. But I was a vinyl hoarder, and sometimes you have to draw a line. Continue reading →

Posted by drewhuge in Audio, The Tape That Tape Made