DJ MATTHEW AFRICA

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stay Hatin' x J-Zone


Last week J-Zone was in town to play DJ Platurn's 45 Sessions party and me and the Stay Hatin' gang were lucky enough to lure him into the studio to tape an episode of the podcast with us. It seemed like a natural fit-- we're all fans of his work (and, to my surprise, had all read his book!) and we knew that he's drawn to a lot of the same ridiculous, over-the-top rap we are. (You can download the episode here and see a playlist and links here.)

I spoke with Jay in advance and he warned me he doesn't follow current rap that closely but I reassured him we'd work it out. Initially, we toyed with changing up the format to make him feel a little more at home, perhaps by devoting the entire show to weird '80s and '90s era raps. Ultimately we decided not to because J-Zone is just so damn good at selecting and showcasing that stuff all by himself.

I follow his eogtrip blog pretty closely, where he regularly compiles tributes to overlooked, flagrantly offensive raps, and was a huge fan of his Ign'ant mix CD, which I will forever love for introducing me to the Poison Clan. Until recently, though, I had never heard any of his Gator$-N-Fur$ mixshows.

There are 17 (and counting, hopefully) Gator$-N-Fur$ mixes, all of which are available free here. J-Zone describes the premise thus: "Each month, the show's music is centered around a different theme (police brutality, relationships, politics, sex, jail, kids, mothers, drugs, school, etc.) The theme approach allowed Chief and I to somehow fit everyone from Kool and the Gang to Gangksta Nip; Paris to Kwame; Steely Dan to Intelligent Hoodlum; Paula Abdul to St. Ides commercials; Tim Dog, Tweedy Bird Loc, Guns 'N' Roses, Suga Free, James Brown, Poison Clan - all in the same play list. Additionally, there's a shit load of comedic debauchery, political incorrectness, and balls-to-the-wall insanity in each show."

His most recent is a show devoted to safe and unsafe sex songs. Like the others I've heard in the series, it seems like it must have taken a crazy amount of work, from selections to mixing to the vocal interludes between him and Chief Chinchilla (pictured above).

Here's one track I wish he'd included. It's one of the silliest rap records I know but also a reminder that the Fat Boys weren't just the corny novelty act they're mostly remembered as. (For a nice antidote, see Dave Tompkins's recent affectionate story about them for Slate. Also see this great interview with Fat Boys svengali Charlie Stettler from the Village Voice.)



The Fat Boys: "Protect Yourself/My Nuts" (Tin Pan Apple, 1987)

All the recent press around the Fat Boys relates to a new pizza box-encased reissue of their debut album. If you've never heard it, it's a classic that never, ever went out of style in the Bay judging from the requests I've gotten over the years and the many rap remakes.

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