Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blow your head

This kind of amelodic but totally in the pocket b-boy noise is just about my favorite thing ever:

Compton's Most Wanted: "Rhymes Too Funky" feat. Old Man Conway (Kru-Cut, 1989)

This track is from a compilation called The Compton Compilation: Sound Control Mob "Under Investigation". I don't know which came first, this or their Techno-Hop 12", but it's one of CMW's first appearances on wax. A much shorter version of the track later appeared on CMW's first full-length, It's a Compton Thang.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Seattle math

I just got around to reading the great Cocaine Blunts feature on the history of the Seattle rap scene, in which Mike Clark and the homie Jake One talk about formative local records and share some reminiscences.

It prompted me to dig out and rip the Tribal Music Do the Math compilation:

Back in the mid-90s, my homeboy Beni B networked with super-digger DJ Supreme, who put him down with a lot of the other folks on the Seattle indie rap scene. I think one of them must have hand-to-handed me this home-dubbed D-90 cassette. I used to play the tape a lot and even wrote it up for DJ Stef's Vinyl Exchange fanzine. It's one of the few tapes from that era that survived my car's tape deck and that I bothered to hang onto.

The Cocaine Blunts piece features a couple of tracks from the Ghetto Children, who Jake says are his all-time favorite Seattle group; here are a couple more:

Ghetto Children: "Who's Listening" (Tribal Music, 1996)

Ghetto Children: "Equilibrium" (Tribal Music, 1996)

Narcotik: "Game of Checkers" (Tribal Music, 1996)

"Equilibrium" appeared on 12" and the whole sampler was eventually issued on a long out-of-print CD.

Jake One's next CD is apparently a full-length collaboration with Freeway, a prospect that excites me.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Grandmaster Roc Raida, R.I.P.

I was really sad to read that Grandmaster Roc Raida passed away, especially so soon after the death of DJ AM. I only met Raida once but he seemed like a really genuine and humble guy.

There's no question he was one of the greatest scratch/battle DJs who ever did it, but when I think of him the first thing that comes to mind is always this, which he and Knobody produced:

The X-Ecutioners: "Let It Bang" feat. M.O.P. (Loud, 2001)

I can't think of any other song that gets me charged like this does. It's also about the only time M.O.P.'s rap/metal fuckery has fully clicked for me, aside from maybe "Cold World". (I love M.O.P. but dudes, please, less Mash Out Posse, more First Family 4 Life.)

The sample always cracks me up because it starts off sounding like Devendra Banhart covering the intro to Arrested Development and then goes from soft-hands to max power out of nowhere.

Toe Fat: "Stick Heat" (Regal Zenophone, 1971)

"Stick Heat" was produced by the great Jon Peel.

p.s.: M.O.P.'s new album is pretty good.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mellow soul mix with DJ Anonymous


My man DJ Anonymous from Helsinki passed through town last week and I persuaded him to drop a live set for 2 Busy Saying Yeah. I hadn't planned on making another soul mix so soon after the Soulful Disco one, but his set inspired me to dig out some more mellow soul gems.

Several of Anonymous's selections have previously been featured on his excellent blog, DJ's Delight, which features a ton of great dance music of every stripe and is among the blogs that inspired me to do it. If it's not in your bookmarks already, jump on it.

New Yorkers can catch Anonymous tonight with the #1 homie DJ Eleven at Fam at Von Kellar or on Saturday with Chairman Mao at Grand Groove at APT. I had the pleasure of rocking with him, B.Cause and Vinnie Esparza last Friday and can tell you he really puts it down.

1. The Commodores: Oh Yeah
2. Brenda Lee Eager: When I'm With You
3. Pure Gold: I Miss You
4. The Bar-Kays: Feels Like I'm Falling in Love
5. Sylvia: Sweet Stuff
6. Harry Ray: The Next Time I See Your Face
7. Wyndchymes: Unconditional Love
8. Arawak: Acaddi A Bali
9. Isaac Hayes: Vykki
10. Dave Grusin: Either Or
11. James Ingram: Ooo
12. Ronnie McNeir: Sexy Mama
13. Tony Silvester: Verry White
14. Benny Golson: I'm Always Dancing to the Music
15. Quincy Jones: 100 Ways
16. Heatwave: Mind Blowing Decisions
17. Jimmy Sabater: Mind Blowing Decisions
18. The Gimmicks: You Can't Hide Love
19. Leroy Hutson: Never Know What You Can Do (Give It a Try)
20. Eddie Fisher: It's That Music
21. The Inner Drive: Party Man
22. Wee: Find Me, Love Me
23. Deliverance: Loving You
24. Jorge Dalto: I've Got You On My Mind
25. Vytas Brenner: Avila
26. Twilight: You Know It's Me
27. Leo's Sunshipp: Madame Butterfly INST
28. West Wing: I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby
29. Mighty Ryeders: Lovely
30. Willie Tee: Get Up
31. The 3 Pieces: Backed Up Against the Wall
32. Sunni Nash: The 3rd Movement
33. Trilogy: (K.C.) In the Ghetto
34. Side Effect: Private World
35. Willie Hutch: Love Me Back
36. Brenton Wood: All That Jazz
37. The McCrarys: On the Other Side
38. Barry White: You're the One I Need
39. Joe Thomas: Mr. Mumbles
40. Frank Walton: Safari
41. Sylvia Striplin: You Can't Turn Me Away
42. Funk Factory: Rien Ne Va Plus
43. The Nights: Hangin' Tough

As always, you can subscribe to 2 Busy Saying Yeah via iTunes or readers like Google and Yahoo.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Be a believer

If I cared about baseball, I'd be an A's fan.

Still, a lot of my friends are rooting for the Giants to make the playoffs right about now, so this is for them:

The Paid Attendance: "Be a Believer in Giant Fever" (Homerun 500, 1978)

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Monday, September 14, 2009

What kind of world

I spent most of the day ripping vinyl and looking at news and quasi-news, including some video of teabagger protests and Harry Allen's exposé of post-VMA twitter lunacy. I was feeling really dismayed at how shrill, irrational and intolerant a lot of the public discourse is when I got to recording this:

21st Century Ltd.: "What Kind of World Would This Be (If Ev'rybody in It Were Just Like Me)" (Beegee, 1972)

The 21st Century Ltd. had a pretty limited discography; after this single got picked up by Atco they appeared on the Blacula soundtrack and I think dropped the "Ltd." and recorded an album for RCA. This track's melody and vocal sound a lot like Sly Stone's "Somebody's Watching You". Speaking of which, I'd forgotten how good this cover is, especially the intro:

Wayne Davis: "Somebody's Watching You" (Atlantic, 1973)

Davis was a DC-area pianist and singer with a great voice-- he sounds uncannily like Ray Charles on some of his slower numbers. He later cut an LP on Black Fire.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jerk mix

Here's a live, 2-hour mix of jerk songs I did for 2 Busy Saying Yeah last week:


These are the songs I featured:

1. Cold Flamez: Miss Me, Kiss Me
2. Jaye Cooley: Drippin Wet
3. YT: Call Me Daddy feat. New Era & TayF3rd
4. Dizzy: Swagg It Out
5. YG: AIM Me
6. Looney Toonz: Cock A Doodle Doo
7. Swagg City: That Hoe Crazy
8. Asia Lynn: Bad Bitch
9. Vixen Ent: Toot My Shit
10. Clothes Off Movement: Better Than You
11. J.R.: Inhale It feat. TayF3rd & Ashlii
12. NHT Boyz: Introduction
13. Dinoo Supreemo: Dirty Ass Vans
14. Rude Boyz: Go Hard
15. Go Go Power Rangers: Tippin on My Dick
16. New Boyz: You're a Jerk
17. Rude Boyz: Tight Jeanz
18. Fresh Boyz: I Rock Skinnies feat. New Era
19. YT: Skinny Ass Nigga
20. Pink Dollaz: I'm Tasty
21. Camille Tianna: Hot Commodity
22. TayF3rd: Heard About Me feat. Project & New Era
23. Turfeazy: In a Tree
24. Vixen Ent: Bust Me a Nut
25. The Lowz: She Poppin' feat. Nie'Starr
26. Julian: Jerkin Song
27. L7: Knock Knock
28. YB: 2 Step
29. Ro2co: Toot It Up Done
30. Dinoo Supreemo: Step To
31. Aeiress Ent: Billy
32. Wes Nyle: Dougie
33. Nokio: Hi I'm a Jerk feat. YT
34. YB: I'm a Jerk
35. Jayy Starr: Where the Functions
36. New Boyz: Cricketz feat. Tyga
37. YG: I'm Still Poppin
38. Young Sam: I Do My Thang feat. Asia Lynn
39. Payso: Beat That Pussy feat. Cold Flamez
40. New Era: Dumb Bitch
41. Draft Pick: Get It Jerkin
42. Julian: Do It Don't Stop
43. The Bangz: Get It Girl feat. Pink Dollaz
44. Asia Lynn: Tip Toe feat. Aaliyah D
45. Fly Guys: We Jerkin
46. Ro2co: Shooting Dice
47. TayF3rd: Conceited

As always, you can subscribe to 2 Busy Saying Yeah via iTunes or readers like Google and Yahoo.

In the last jerk-related post, I referred to this Bay goofball classic:

Mac Mill: "Arabian Hump" (In-A-Minute, 1995)

Mac Mill was a Berkeley/Oakland rapper who put out a couple of singles and one EP, 1995's One Mill-Yon. When "Arabian Hump" came out I have a distinct recollection of a local TV news story about the controversy the song was generating and Mill offering some hilariously unconvincing rationalization about building cross-cultural understanding through imitating the speech of dudes who ran the liquor stores where he shopped. I"m pretty sure he knew "sand ni**er" was a slur, though.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ask me 'bout nothing

I was listening to Bobby Bland's The Voice (Duke Recordings 1959-69) anthology the other day and this knocked me out:

Bobby "Blue" Bland: "Ask Me 'bout Nothing But the Blues" (Duke, 1969)

Although Bland is primarily known as a blues singer, he cut some great soul sides (and even some funk) during his years with Duke. I don't think I'd ever homed in on "Ask Me 'bout Nothing" before but it's my new favorite.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Jerk songs 2

I've been loading up on jerk songs in preparation for an all-jerk mix on 2 Busy Saying Yeah tonight.

Jerk music seems to be really polarizing. A lot of the "good music" folks I know are dismissing it out of hand as annoying, juvenile, repetitive, derivative or whatever-- and they're not totally wrong, but I like a lot of the music and find the aesthetic fascinating.

Jerk music is like a Bizarro-world version of rap, where women rap better than men and a lot of the traditional rules about sex and race get gleefully mauled-- dudes wear fluorescent nut-huggers, dance and brag about giving head and dressing like white boys. There's a dissertation waiting to write itself.

Anyhow, here's a bunch of stuff I grabbed from Digitaldripped. Recently I figured out that the most efficient way to wade through stuff posted there is by skimming Digitaldripped's Youtube channel; the videos only represent a fraction of what gets posted there (which is good and bad) but they load quickly and you can do things like sort by most viewed.

Dinoo Supreemo: "Step To"

"Hey Ladies" all day. His "Dirty Ass Vans" is great, too.

Asia Lynn: "Tip Toe" feat. Aaliyah D 3 (2009)

The nonsense syllables and delivery in Aaliyah D 3's verse reminded me of Mac Mill's "Arabian Hump", which was the most welcome flashback in months.

Aeiress Ent.: "Billy" (2009)

You can't feel your face? Are you sure? Drug education is failing our youth.

NHT Boyz: "Introduction" (2009)

Best intro line in all rap music: "my name is Knowledge, bitch!" Oakland, yee!

Looney Toonz: "Cock a Doodle Doo" feat. City & Flapjack (2009)

Funniest jerk beat yet. There are too many crews on Myspace named "Looney Toonz" for me to figure out who these guys are.

Vixen Ent: "Bust Me a Nut" (2009)

"Look Back at Me" FTW.

DnC: "Bust Nuts" (2009)

The most pause-worthy of all jerk songs, which is really saying something.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Soulful disco mix

After years and years of doing a relatively freeform college radio show, I've been wrestling with how to adapt it to internet radio with my new show, 2 Busy Saying Yeah.

My sense is that you can't really grow an internet audience through serendipity like you can with broadcast radio-- people who happen to be switching the dial, get seduced by a song and stick around to see what else you have. Instead, I think you have to offer something really identifiable and desirable to get them to go out of their way to check you out in the first place and then, if the quality's good, maybe they'll be impressed enough to keep coming back, subscribe, etc.

Last Friday's show is a step in that direction. I wanted to create a mixtape-quality set that would merit repeated listens and hopefully some word-of-mouth. It's a live, two-hour mix of late 70s/early 80s soul music with no back-announcing and minimal talking. The selections are drawn from a bunch of sub-genres-- boogie, modern soul, disco, jazz-funk, etc. Some are obvious, some rare, others just neglected, but it's all great music.

Listen and if you enjoy it, please spread the word.

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1. Brief Encounter: Human
2. The Jones Girls: When I'm Gone
3. Jean Terrell: Rising Cost of Love
4. Cream De Coco: Disco Strut
5. Donna McGhee: It Ain't No Big Thing
6. Quietfire: Makes Me Wanna Shout
7. Bill Cosby: You're Driving Me Crazy
8. Breakwater: Work It Out
9. The Sugarhill Gang: Passion Play
10. Carly Simon: Why
11. Sister Sledge: Reach Your Peak
12. Rick James: Moonchild
13. Flowers: For Real
14. Rance Allen Group: Reason to Survive
15. Raw Soul Express: The Way We Live
16. Chocolate Clay: Free (I'll Always Be)
17. Heaven & Earth: Let's Get It Together
18. James Bradley: I Can't Get Enough of Your Love
19. Hunt's Determination Band: No. 1 Lady
20. Stevo: Pay the Price
21. Leon Ware: Can I Touch You There
22. Roy Ayers: Love Will Bring Us Back Together
23. Don Blackman: Heart's Desire
24. Azymuth: Dear Limmertz
25. Junior: I Can't Help It
26. Karin Jones: Here I Go Again
27. Linda Clifford: Runaway Love
28. One Way: Hold It
29. Hipnotic: Are You Lonely?
30. The Strikers: Hold On to This Feeling

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