Monday, January 30, 2012

2 Busy Saying Yeah - 2011 Reissues

Last week I played and talked about some of my favorite reissues from 2011.

To keep things varied, I tried to limit my selections to one song per release but I still played a frightening number of things reissued by the Numero Group. The talking was a little disjointed and rambling to my taste but otherwise I was really happy with what I played and how it flowed.

Subscribe: RSS iTunes Google Yahoo

1. Bob & Gene – It’s Not What You Know... It's Who You Know (Ever-Soul 7")
2. Dave Hamilton – Soul Suite (V/A – Dave Hamilton's Detroit Soul)
3. Darondo – Gimme Some (Listen to My Song: The Music City Sessions)
4. Chucky Thurmon – Just a Man (V/A – Street Sounds From the Bay Area: Music City Funk & Soul Grooves 1971-75)
5. Aged In Harmony – You’re a Melody (Extended Disco) (V/A – Under the Influence Vol.1 Compiled By DJ Red Greg
6. Le'Chance – Get Down (V/A – True Soul: Deep Sounds From the Left of Stax Vol. 2)
7. Hot Pepper – Cancion Ritual (V/A – Real Sound of Chicago and Beyond)
8. Soki Ohale's Uzzi – Bisi’s Beat (V/A – Nigeria 70: Sweet Times - Afro-Funk, Highlife & Juju From 1970s Lagos)
9. Sroeng Santi – Kuen Kuen Lueng Lueng (V/A – Thai? Dai!: The Heavier Side of the Luk Thung Underground)
10. Little Ed & the Soundmasters – It’s a Dream (Numero Group 7” box)
11. Neighb'rhood Childr'n – Long Years In Space (Long Years In Space)
12. Golden Grapes – Please Don't Bother Me Anymore (V/A – Beautiful Rivers and Mountains: The Psychedelic Rock Sound of South Korea's Shin Joong Hyun 1958-1974)
13. Oscar Hamod & the Majestics – No Chance Baby (No Chance Baby)
14. Index – Shock Wave (Black Album + Red Album + Yesterday & Today)
15. The Halleleuiah Chorus – I’ve Got to Find a Way (V/A – Eccentric Soul: The Nickel & Penny Labels)
16. Thomas East – Slipping Around (V/A - True Soul: Deep Sounds from the Left of Stax Volume 1)
17. The Four Mints – Endlessly (Numero Group 7”)
18. The Defaulters feat. Charles Hancock – Gentle Man (V/A – Pressed at Boddie)
19. Father's Children – Linda Movement (Who's Gonna Save the World)
20. Stone Coal White – You Know (S/T)
21. The Two Things In One – Walk On By (Together Forever: The Music City Sessions)
22. Kool and Together – Reaching Out (Original Recordings 1970-77)
23. Rob – Forgive Us All (Funky Rob Way)
24. The King James Version featuring King Solomon & Moses – He’s Forever (Amen) (V/A – Boddie Recording Company: Cleveland, Ohio)
25. The Soul Sensations - A Man That Is Not Free (V/A – The Music City Story)
26. Mike & the Censations – You’re Living a Lie (Don't Sell Your Soul)
27. El Rego – Ke Amon-Gbetchea (S/T)
28. O. C. Tolbert – All I Want Is You (Black Diamond)
29. Lloyd McNeill – Home Rule (Washington Suite)
30. Tino Contreras – Orfeon En Los Tambores (El Jazz Mexicano De Tino Contreras)
31. Jef Gilson Nonet feat. Jean-Louis Chautemps – Suite Pour San Remo: Ouverture (S/T)
32. Jef Gilson – Un Pas, Deux Pas, Cent Pas (S/T)

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Clare Fischer, R.I.P.

I was sad to see that Clare Fischer passed away last week. I knew of him mainly from his work with Cal Tjader. Only after reading a few obituaries did I realize he had also done arrangements on my two favorite Prince albums, Parade and Sign 'O' the Times, among many other things.

By coincidence, Cal Tjader's version of this Clare Fischer tune had been in my head for a week or so:

Cal Tjader: "Morning" (Fantasy, 1971)

I think I was reminded of it because I'd been listening to this, which is way more energetic but sort of has the same melodic feel to me:

Freddie Waters: "Groovin' On My Baby's Love" (Stax, 1975)

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Rap-A-Lot has come out with or is coming out with* some kind of 25th Year Anniversary box set, so lately label founder James "J.Prince" Smith has been giving a bunch of interviews that I'd recommend to anyone who is a fan of rap. In the early 1990s Rap-A-Lot radically altered people's expectations about what rap songs could be about, what parts of the country they could come from and how they could be marketed and distributed. Along the way, J.Prince released some incredible music by the likes of the Geto Boys, Scarface, Devin the Dude, Z-Ro and others.

Over on NPR's The Record blog, Noz talks with J.Prince about the label's history. Predictably, a bunch of people in the comments section are outraged that NPR is covering something that they don't approve of.

Complex also recently featured two scattered but often fascinating interviews by Rob Kenner: one in which J.Prince talks about the origins of the label, the government's conspiracy to kill him and owning an island and one in which he talks about the 25th anniversary and signing Drake. (Choice quote: "So I asked my son, I said, 'Man, do you really like this? Cause I ain’t really feeling this too much.'") It's a pity that Kenner wasn't able to get J.Prince to speak more directly; several times in the former interview he goes from vague to completely impenetrable.

A few other things that have had me thinking about Rap-A-Lot recently:

Willie D of the Geto Boys' Formspring account. In most people's hands, Formspring is an abomination-- I can't tell you how much eyerolling and unfollowing I was doing when that brief link-your-twitter-account-to-Formspring craze was going on. But Willie D is as funny, smart, ignorant and informed as you would hope, and when he gets good questions his Formspring is outstanding.

Rapper/producer/author/wiseass J-Zone recently did an interview where he talked about his five favorite Rap-A-Lot albums from the 1990s. As usual, his taste is great and he's funny and perceptive. (For what it's worth, J-Zone is directly responsible for turning me on to Rap-A-Lot's The Convicts; I first heard them on his Ignant mix many years ago.)

I'm not totally sure what I'd pick if I were asked to name my favorite Rap-A-Lot LPs from that era, but lately I've been listening to Big Mello's Wegonefunkwichamind album a lot. Big Mello was a member of DJ Screw's Screwed Up Click who cut two records for Rap-A-Lot and three for other labels before dying in a car crash in 2002. Most people seem to focus on his first LP, 1992's Bone Hard Zaggin', the ultra-pauseworthy title of which was repurposed by Girl Talk a few years ago.

I prefer Wegonefunkwichamind by a long ways. It's from two year later but feels ages more mature. It's definitely a post-The Chronic album; at times, it feels like producers Big Mello and Crazy C are trying to maintain the smooth, mid-tempo slump of Dr. Dre's "Let Me Ride" for the length of a whole album. But they do so interesting ways, sampling "Trans-Europe Express" multiple times, replaying "Back Together Again", "Lowdown" and "Slide" at Screw tempos, and coming up with some grooves that feel as unique and soulful as anything Organized Noize were doing at the time:

Big Mello: "Back Do Akshun" (Rap-a-Lot, 1994)

Rap-A-Lot reissued and remastered Wegonefunkwichamind a couple years ago, so once again it's easy to find.

* Hard to say which; the release date was supposed to be last year but it's not available digitally and no one seems to be carrying it.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Bet I got some

I was listening to Schoolboy Q's new album, which caused me to listen to Schoolboy Q's old album, which caused me to pull this because it was sampled for "#BETiGOTSUMWEED", which is a lot better than its title suggests and which has a beat I love:

The Earth Disciples: "Spirit of the Bells" (Solid State, 1970)

The Earth Disciples were a four-piece jazz band that cut one LP. I'm guessing they were from L.A., although the liner notes don't yield any clues other than a grainy photo of them playing a concert at UCLA.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Etta James, R.I.P.

On a lot of days I think this is the best soul song there is:

Etta James: "I'd Rather Go Blind" (Chess, 1968)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

This isn't the year

I'm told that the 49ers prevailed in some kind of athletic contest Saturday, so I can now post this without having to do a lot of explaining to my San Francisco friends.

Skrap: "The Bum Rap" (Escapade, 1983)

I have zero interest in football but I do enjoy faulty predictions, absurd nicknames (the crawfish sack! the crunch bunch!) and sports novelty records with drum breaks and pseudo-rap interludes.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, January 13, 2012

2 Busy Saying Yeah - Last year's raps

To recap 2011, I made a mix of my favorite rap songs from last year.

I hadn't made a mix of new raps in about a year and a half, although for much of the last year I've been steadily playing and talking about new raps through the Stay Hatin' podcast I do with my friends Serg Dun and Soft Money. People who follow that podcast closely will have heard about half of these songs there; a few even ended up in our year-end spectacular that featured homeboy Noz. Doing the podcast has pushed me to listen to a lot more rap than I might otherwise do; I'm always afraid of showing up and being the guy with all of the shitty or obvious songs. I try to listen as widely as I can, but honestly whenever it begins to feel like work I usually hang it up and go listen to some old records.

There's no overriding theme to the songs in the mix, just a lot of raps I like in a lot of different styles and from a lot of different places. I limited the selections to one song per artist, otherwise there would have been a lot more E-40, Kendrick Lamar and Starlito. (As it is, a couple of those guys snuck in twice.)

I broke the mix into two parts to make it more manageable. If there's interest, I may bounce it out as individual tracks and upload a .zip. I will not upload a double cup, however nicely or persistently you ask.

Download pt. 1
Download pt. 2
Subscribe: RSS iTunes Google Yahoo

1. Mr. Collipark – Let’s Have Some Fun (Intro)
2. Travis Porter – Bring It Back
3. Swizz Beatz – Everyday (Coolin’) feat. Eve
4. iamsu! – Swaggin’ feat. Loverance, Skipper & Kool John
5. Lil Phat & Mannie Fresh – Talk Some Mo Shit
6. Killer Mike – Ready Set Go Remix feat. T.I. & Big Boi
7. Dorrough Music – Blake Griffin
8. Stevie Joe – Raccoons
9. Meek Mill – House Party feat. Young Chris
10. B.o.B – Epic feat. Playboy Tre & Meek Mill
11. Tyler, The Creator – Yonkers
12. ADd+/Picnictyme – Likeamug feat. Sore Losers
13. STS – Bullshit feat. Kyle Lucas
14. LoLo C-4 – Poor Ppl Smiles feat. MondreM.A.N
15. Willie Joe – Blown Away feat. Aftah Sum & A Money
16. Curren$y – Scottie Pippens feat. Freddie Gibbs
17. Lil B – Motivation
18. Jay-Z & Kanye West – New Day
19. Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire – Build-a-Bitch
20. 50 Cent – Sunday Morning
21. Black Milk & Danny Brown – LOL
22. Hail Mary Mallon – Grubstake
23. Willie Evans Jr. – Dumbtron
24. Nas – Nasty
25. NhT Boyz – Chee$e
26. Roach Gigz – Gina
27. DJ Quik – Nobody feat. Suga Free
28. E-40 – Serious feat. T-Pain
29. Husalah – Da Mob
30. Lil Ill & Dashdcadet – I Just Wanna Smoke

1. Juicy J – A Zip & a Double Cup (Remix) feat. Tity Boi
2. Gucci Mane & Future – Stevie Wonder
3. Webbie – Trilla Than a Bitch feat. Lil Phat
4. Big K.R.I.T – Money On the Floor feat. 2 Chainz, 8Ball & MJG
5. Starlito & Don Trip – L Word
6. Sir Kashflow – Eat a Dick feat. Kamonster
7. Zilla – Bitch Dawg feat. Monster & Junebug
8. Bo Deal – Safe Sex feat. Mello & G Blanca
9. Shady Nate – Baby Sit Part 2
10. Fam-Lay – Money Makin’ Trick feat. Project Pat
11. A$AP Rocky – Trilla feat. ASAP Twelvy & ASAP Nast
12. Corner Boy P – Lala Pt. 2 feat. Smoke DZA, Fiend & Killa Kyleon
13. Starlito – Thinking of You
14. Young Jeezy – I Do feat. Jay-Z & Andre 3000
15. Waka Flocka – Round of Applause
16. Main Attrakionz – Chuch
17. Schoolboy Q – Birds & the Beez feat. Kendrick Lamar
18. Danny Brown – 30
19. Kendrick Lamar – The Spiteful Chant
20. Kristmas – I Need a Drink feat. Codie G & Joi Tiffany
21. G-Side – Gettin It feat. Stalley & Joi Tiffany

Some statistics:

Songs by artists from the Bay: 13
Songs by artists from California: 18
Songs by artists from Atlanta: 7
Songs by artists from New York: 6
Songs by artists from Tennessee: 4
Songs by artists from Louisiana: 4
Songs by artists from Alabama: 3
Songs by artists from Texas: 2
Songs by artists from Pennsylvania: 2

Songs featuring artists who were popular in the 1980s: 0
Songs featuring artists who were popular in the 1990s: 11
Songs featuring artists who were popular in the 2000s: 13
Songs by artists who spell their names with non-standard spellings or messed-up typography: 22

Songs that refer to Scottie Pippen: 2
Songs that refer to Stewie: 2
Songs that refer to Quagmire: 1
Songs that refer to Peter, Lois, Meg, Chris, Brian or Cleveland: 0

Artists that appear in the mix twice: 9
Songs produced by Lex Luger: 2
Songs that Lex Luger productions: 3
Songs that previously appeared on Stay Hatin': 25
Songs I've heard on the local Clear Channel affiliate: 3

Labels: , ,