Thursday, April 29, 2010

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

2 Busy Saying Yeah - Substitution

Melvin Bliss's "Synthetic Substitution" is my favorite break of all time.

I love drum breaks and could go on for days about the greatest ones, but "Substitution" stands out. Those drums sound so immense, hit so hard and are so funky-- there's just nothing close.

On this week's 2 Busy Saying Yeah show, I mix and talk about 47 of my favorite songs that sample "Substitution", plus play the song itself.

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1. Ultramagnetic MCs: Ego Tripping
2. Xperado: Watch Your Step feat. O.C.
3. Divine Force: Holy War
4. Ghostface Killah: Mighty Healthy
5. N.W.A.: Real Zaggin Don’t Die
6. Too Poetic: God Made Me Funky
7. Onyx: Throw Ya Gunz
8. Pharcyde: Ya Mama
9. Pete Rock & CL Smooth: For Pete’s Sake
10. Public Enemy: Don’t Believe the Hype
11. Willie D: Put the Fuckin’ Gun Away
12. MC Jr. Cas: Walk On the Wild Side [Club mix]
13. Almighty RSO: One in the Chamba feat. M.O.P.
14. Group Home: So Called Friends
15. T-Wiz: Good Thing Goin’
16. Knowledge: Put On Your X
17. Def Jef: Black to the Future RMX
18. Top Choice Clique: Peace of Mind
19. Biz Markie: Cool V’s Tribute to Scratching
20. Supreme Nyborn: Versatile Extension
21. Ultramagnetic MCs: Pluckin’ Cards
22. Freddie Foxxx: Crazy Like a Foxxx
23. Percee P & Ekim: Now They Wanna See Me
24. Robbie B & DJ Jazz: Comin’ Correct
25. AMG: Trunk of Funk
26. Zhigge: Toss It Up
27. Public Enemy: Brothers Gonna Work It Out RMX
28. Public Enemy: Brothers Gonna Work It Out
29. Von Love: This Is How It Should Be Done
30. Choice M.C.: This Is the B-Side feat. Chill Phill & MC Sergio
31. Ol Dirty Bastard: Cuttin’ Headz feat. the RZA
32. Wu-Tang Clan: Clan In Da Front
33. Naughty by Nature: Yoke the Joker
34. Ghostface Killah: The Champ
35. Funk Lab All-Stars: La Da Da
36. Digital Underground: Tie the Knot
37. Too $hort: Hoes
38. EPMD: Mr. Bozack
39. De La Soul: Stone Age
40. Coolio: I Remember feat. J-Ro & Billy Boy
41. Method Man: All I Need
42. Scarface: Murder by Reason of Insanity
43. Eazy E: Eazy Street
44. Gang Starr: Code of the Streets
45. New Style: Drop the Bomb
46. C.E.B.: Get the Point
47. Brotha Lynch Hung: 24 Deep
48. Melvin Bliss: Synthetic Substitution

I'm currently working on turning this sprawling podcast into a streamlined, hard-hitting mixtape. When I get around to that, I'll share what I know about "Synthetic Substitution" itself and about Melvin McClellan, p/k/a Melvin Bliss.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Guru, R.I.P.

This morning I woke up to the news that Guru of Gang Starr had passed away.

Since word of his illness first spread last month, I've been going back and listening a lot to their catalog, which is one of the strongest in rap. Here is a mix of many of my favorite Gang Starr songs that I made a few weeks ago:

To stream the mix, click here.

To download the mix as a single, continuous track, click here.

To download the mix broken into individual tracks, click here.

1. Intro
2. You Know My Steez
3. Just to Get a Rep
4. Mass Appeal
5. Step in the Arena
6. Now You're Mine
7. The Militia feat. Freddie Foxxx
8. B.Y.S.
9. Take It Personal
10. The ? Remainz
11. Full Clip
12. DWYCK feat. Nice & Smooth
13. Who's Gonna Take the Weight?
14. Jazz Thing
15. Soliloquy of Chaos
16. Check the Technique
17. Credit Is Due
18. Speak Ya Clout feat. Jeru the Damaja & Lil Dap
19. It'z a Setup feat. Hannibal
20. Words I Manifest (Remix)
21. 2 Deep
22. The Place Where We Dwell
23. Suckas Need Bodyguards
24. Flip the Script
25. What You Want This Time?
26. Love Sick
27. Ex Girl to Next Girl
28. The Planet
29. Make 'em Pay
30. Execution of a Chump
31. DJ Premier Is In Deep Concentration
32. Take Two & Pass
33. Gotta Get Over (Taking Loot)
34. Rite Where You Stand feat. Jadakiss
35. I'm the Man feat. Lil Dap & Jeru the Damaja
36. Code of the Streets
37. Tonz 'o' Gunz
38. Next Time

I'm sad.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I don't want to be right

Mill Street Depo: "I May Be Right, I May Be Wrong" (Stang, 1976)

I love the feel of this song and wish I knew a lot more disco in this vein-- warm, melodic, totally spaced out. Harry Ray and Al Goodman, both of the Moments and later Ray, Goodman & Brown, are all over the credits and I'm guessing the backing track is from Wood, Brass & Steel.

Since I see Jimmy Mayes's name in the credits on the (nice) ballad on the flip side, I'm pretty sure Mill Street Depo is the same group who cut this rare slice of Chicago funk a few years earlier:

Jimmy Mayes & the Mill Street Depot" "Monkey Shine" (De Caballero, 19??)

I like just about any riff on "Monkey Time". This one is definitely the rawest I've heard. According to his not-logged-into-in-the-last-2-years Myspace page, Jimmy Mayes is performing.

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Northern Cali king of slap

I've only made it part of the way through E-40s two new Revenue Retrievin' CDs because I keep getting bogged down by the gratuitous cameos, which long ago superseded skits as the #1 totally superfluous cause of shitty rap albums. (By "superfluous cause", I mean other than intrinsic stuff like shitty rhyming, beats, lack of originality, etc.)

It took about 15 years for rappers to stop putting skits on albums; here's hoping they wise up about guest appearances sooner.

If there's a saving grace to the Revenue Retrievin' CDs (other than intrinsic stuff like E-40's slang and rhyme style supremacy) it's that he brought Rick Rock back on board to produce eight tracks, five more than on that career-worst turd from 2008.

For those unfamiliar with Rick Rock, he's the Bay producer who was the main architect of hyphy music-- just about every major hyphy record was either produced by him or really imitative of his style (e.g., "Tell Me When to Go", "Get On My Hype"). But Rick Rock's career is more than just hyphy music-- it stretches as far back as mobb music from the mid-90s and as far afield as major radio hits for the likes of Fabolous and Xzibit.

Last month, my London homie Rob Breezy assembled a really cool overview of Rick Rock's career, a mix entitled Rick Rock... Make the Beat Knock that I'm way late in recommending. It's got most of Rick's radio hits, some significant hyphy records as well as some classics I hear far too seldom (Ray Cash's "Bumpin' My Music"!!!!!!!).

You can grab the mix here.

The site that Rob runs (along with partners Davey Boy Smith & Superix), Southern Hospitality, is a great source for the latest regional American rap. They've also been cranking out quality artist- or scene-specific mixes and compilations at a crazy clip lately (Huntsville! The-Dream! Mr. Lee! Hypnotized Minds! Ryan Leslie! Livewire Records! etc., etc.). They keep those free mixes and compilations here.

I thought I'd round this out with a couple Rick Rock treats. The first is a video from a few years back in which you get to see Rick Rock slap a beat together in a few minutes. Watching it, it's obvious how well he knows his craft:

The second is a slept-on single from Rick Rock's short-lived Southwest Federation label:

Kinsmoke: "Do the On One" feat. Rick Rock (Southwest Federation, 2005)

This beat is maybe the most frantic hyphy record Rick Rock ever produced. And that's saying a lot.

The 12" also contains a pretty good remix featuring verses from the Federation and Battle Loc and a longer verse from Rick Rock himself (he actually raps pretty well!), but that version is missing the spoken introduction, which is a highlight for me.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Honor rolling

The homeboys Trackademicks & Tap.10 just dropped the third volume of their [Re]Mixtape series, which features Tap mixing a lot of Trackademicks's recent remixes, both official and unofficial.

Trackademicks is one of my favorite current Bay producers and though I haven't had time to check out the whole release yet, it features a bunch of things that have been out for a while that I like. You can grab the latest [Re]Mixtape free here.

Here's one of my favorites from the previous volume:

Ready for the World: "Oh Sheila" (Trackademicks RMX) (2006)

Speaking of Trackademicks, Teedra Moses's recent street album, Royal Patience, features three collaborations with him and is also worth your time. Her Complex Simplicity, from 2005, was to me one of the best R&B albums of the last decade and her new music is strong, too. You can download the whole album free from her site.

Here are two of my favorite tracks from it:

Teedra Moses: "Kisses Never Tasted So Sweet" (S/R, 2010)

Teedra Moses: "R U 4 Real (Freestyle)" (S/R, 2010)

"Kisses" was produced by Trackademicks. I think the other track was produced by "Wow Jones" (!) but I can't really read the credits.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010


The horn part from this has been stuck in my head since I heard it sampled in the trailer for Kick-Ass:

Trifle: "One Way Glass" (Dawn, 1970)

The album this is from, First Meeting, is a great record. Like their more heavily sweated label-mates Demon Fuzz, Trifle are kinda hard to pin down: sort of jazzy, sort of psych-y, sort of funky-- basically, prog but not annoying. There's a Japanese reissue of First Meeting that's pricey but worth it.

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