Friday, April 25, 2008

Come And Celebrate A Milestone In Hip Hop Culture!

Video Music Box 25th Anniversary Concert
Friday, July 18, 2008
From 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Admission: FREE
Central Park SummerStage

Hip Hop's Dick Clark: Ralph McDaniels

The influence of "Video Music Box" stretches far and wide, as the show is one of the first and longest running outlets for Hip-Hop since the genre’s inception. Twenty-five years after its debut, Ralph McDaniels hosts a celebration concert featuring performances by a who's who of hip-hop icons from the series’ illustrious history.

Friday, April 11, 2008

I AIn't Dead Yet...


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Proud To Be Black...The "Movement"

Remember when Hip-Hop was proud to be something? Proud to be strong men? Proud to be beautiful women? Proud to be black? Now I like a fat, brown or beige gelatenous ass bouncing ass much as the next guy but when did it just become that?

Back in 1990 when my flat top was bangin, we were all concerned about dancing and "mackin' honeys" (not "ho's" because they weren't really ho's till Snoop told us he didn't love them in '93). With your Kane's, Heavy D's, Kwame's and Kid n' Play, the good times were in full effect but we wanted more. PE reminded us It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and it resonated through the "community" but when Brother J, Professor X The Overseer, Sugar Shaft and to a lesser extent Isis came along and said "You're black and you came here from Africa, did you know that?", it set off a short lived "afro-centric" movement.

When To the East, Blackwards dropped, it was a breath of fresh air to rap. We always had "message rhymes" from Just-Ice, KRS and PE to balance out the comedy, lover men and thugs but this was "African History 101 Rap". Dressed in tribal garb and leather medallions (which some genius made a mint from off me and my friends alone by mass producing them), they inspired a trend ridden by Tragedy, Poor Righteous Teachers, Lakim Shabazz and others. With in-house production on the entire album, the Clan relayed their message over familiar, yet hard hitting samples (Verbal Milk, Grand Verbalizer What Time Is It?, Heed The Word Of The Brother) and outright jacks (In The Ways Of The Scales which is basically Tom Tom Club's Genius of Love and M's Pop Muzik). While the music wasn't necessarily ground breaking or innovative, it was jarring and dealt with timely subject matter and as a teen, it did instill some pride in me.

Two years later they returned with Xodus with a little more fanfare but still less than stellar results (both albums peaked at #11 on the Billboard R&B charts but Xodus surpassed "East" on the Billboard Top 200 by peaking at #31 to its predecessors #97). The group disbanded after that with J forming Dark Sun Riders and X seriously taking up community activism. Sadly Professor X died in 2006 from complications from meningitis. A new Clan album was released in '07 with nary a blip on the radar.

In these days of jingle singing, buck dancing Youtube rappers (yes, YOU Soulja Boy), I often get nostalgic for the "afro-centric 90's. The listening public wouldn't get behind something like that today. We can slap an ass, "body" an adversary, make up a dance that sets the race back 100 years, we can even promote being addled to the point of being near death but...not too many people proud to be black anymore.

Oh well... "Whooo, Crank dat Soulja Boy! *vomiting*

Take some time to listen to a great album:

X Clan-To The East, Blackwards

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Be Back Soon...

Technorati Profile

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Back In The Day...Downtown Science Room To Breathe

Can I tell y'all that to this day there is no show like Video Music Box! Ralph McDaniels and The Vid Kid didn't just show the mainstream cats like Tribe, Leaders, Kane...whoever was big when I was watching it but they also gave lesser known indie and even poorly pushed big label acts some spins. One of those acts was Downtown Science.

In 1991, 3rd Bass boardsmith Sam Sever and his producing partner/MC Bosco Money put out a self titled debut album on Def Jam records. Room To Breathe was the first single and it was a smooth banga. Over a futuristic sounding loop, Bosco states pretty much what DTS is about: Sam's sick samples and his own positive rhymes. Bosco's style and cadence evokes a less political Chuck D, whom I honestly thought may have had a hand in writing this back then but I have to chalk that up to my youth. When I was younger I would break on his hat but now I appreciate the dudes lyrics and the decision to kick positive, clean rhymes.

The song was a minor hit in wide release but was pretty dope with DJ's and "headz" alike. The loop was resurrected three years later by Redman on "Bobyahed2dis" off the Dare Iz a Darkside album.

Check the leadoff single from the group and if you like it, it's available at:

Downtown Science-Downtown Science (Def Jam Records 1991)

Room To Breathe-Downtown Science

1. Room To Breathe (Radio Mix)
2. Room To Boom (Dub)
3. Room To Breathe (Instrumental)
4.Out There But In There (Main Mix)
5. Out There But In There (Instrumental)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

DJ's: Rescue Your Vinyl!

Break out your old 12"'s and get busy. Rescue your vinyl with this simple device. As a former DJ who no longer has his 1200's, this is a godsend!


The ION TTUSB05 is the perfect turntable for archiving and digitizing your vinyl music collection. USB connectivity simplifies conversion directly into your computer and with the included software for recording your music, you can now listen to your favorite music on CDs or portable media players. The ION TTUSB05 even features a standard, RCA line output for connecting to your home stereo or home theater system with no hassles.EZ Vinyl Converter by MixMeister is included free with the ION TTUSB05 and provides the easiest way to convert your records to your computer's digital music library. Simply plug in your ION TTUSB05 turntable, specify track information and in a few mouse clicks you're done!

EZ Vinyl Converter automatically imports your songs directly into your iTunes library. Once digitally converted, you can sort your music, make custom playlists, and easily take songs with you on an iPod or play them directly from your computer. Finally your record collection can be available wherever you are.In addition, the ION TTUSB05 comes with free Audacity software for editing your recorded tracks. Audacity helps remove clicks, pops and other noises from your recordings to restore the full quality of your vinyl.

It even enables you to convert 78 RPM records.
At $99.00 USD, the ION TTUSB05 is afordable for what it can do. Imagine saving hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of records on this thing. OK, maybe I'm late and all of y'all are laughing at me right now but I don't give a shit. I'll have this soon and that means more remixes and good shit for you all.
You can purchase it here:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Better Than The Original: Remix-A-Palooza II: Mix Harder

re·mix (rē-mĭks') tr.v., -mixed, -mix·ing, -mix·es.To recombine (audio tracks or channels from a recording) to produce a new or modified audio recording: remixed a popular ballad and turned it into a dance hit.n. (rē'mĭks')

re·mix·a·pa·looza (rē-mĭks'-a-pa-loosa') tr.v., -mixed, -mix·ing, -mix·es.To take dope shit you heard in your youth (audio tracks or channels from a recording) and put them together into a compilation to share with other headz, leaches and blog raiding sons of bitchez: when Animal Mother goes through his mp3's and picks out unique shit he loves.n. (rē'mĭks'-a-pa-loosa')

Yup...I'm back. It's that time again. I went to the vault(hard drive) and picked out some more of my favorite remixes and compiled them in a little collection for you. More big names! More "Oh yeah...I remember them cats."! It's all here. I usually like a uniqueness to my remixes so if they kick new lyrics, it's always a plus. I'm also particular to certain producers (Pete Rock, Beatnuts, Showbiz, Diamond D, Salaam, etc.) so there is alot of their work here. Let's get to it shall we?:

You Must Learn (Live From The Caucus Mountains Remix)-Boogie Down Productions: Leave it to the Teacha to get you out of your seat while diggin in your brain. With the assistance of hypeman Willie D, KRS takes the serious tone of the album version and gives it an almost block party-like feel. He's still teaching you about Benjamin Bannicker but he's also making you clap ya hands on this lively remix complete with mic checks, call and response with the crowd throughout the song and false stops. "We're not done...we're not done...CHECK THIS OUT!"

Toss It Up (The After Party)-Zhigge: Remix? Remake? Whore. Chick who bones after dinner on the first date. It's all the same man. I found the first Toss It Up a little too busy for me. "The After Party" sounds just like that, after the party when everyone is blunted out. The refrain is even changed to a laid back : "Toss it up. Toss it up, yeaaaaahh." Salaam Remi took a fiddle-driven sample(how often do you hear THAT in Hip-Hop?), added some horns and a nice snare and made a mellow, jazzy 90's type groove. Zhigge was an OK group for their time wonder how they'd rhyme today?

Silence Of The Lambs (Remix)-Showbiz & A.G.: I loved the original down to the happy flute that played in the background. On the remix however , Show went back to the lab and came out with a banger. This version was definitely made for the radio as all the profanity from the original is gone. The beat however is alot more sinister and the horns are more prominent. The interlude at the beginning with Kid Capri is one of my favorite beats that I used to go back to back on regularly. BX classic!

Case Of The P.T.A. (Remix)-Leaders Of The New School: You had to wait for the Sobb Story 12" to get this version. With in house production by Cut Monitor Milo, L.O.N.S. revisit the hallways of their first single and rip it with all new verses. Still makes you wanna East Coast Stomp. (Remember that?)

Yes You May (Remix) (feat. Big L)-Lord Finesse: This is kind of a two pronged attack. You have The Funky Technician who with the assistance of producer T-Ray took a minimalist approach to this remix. Standard early 90's jazzy type break with punchlines like: I'm spinnin' the action like a whirlpool/get wilder than a rapist in a catholic all-girls school Nothin' special right? Oh, did I mention that it's the first professional appearance on wax by an MC the name of Lamont Coleman? Listen to one of Hip-Hop's most underrated rhymers and a fallen great on this D.I.T.C. gem.

Oh My God (UK Flavor Remix)-A Tribe Called Quest: What's an Animal Mother comp without Native Tongues Posse representation? Not much of one if you ask me. Producer Tosh supplied Quest with a straight up outer space type sounding beat. It's more uptempo than the album version and I noticed that Phife's "Anti-batty boi big up is who I be" line wasn't cut. I suspect this was around the time of the Boom Bye-Bye hysteria. Dope track nonetheless. If anyone has the No Naim Remix with the vocals, holla at a brother. I wanted to add that one.

The World is Yours (Q-Tip Remix)-Nas: Esco got back in the studio with Tip behind the boards and blessed this jazzy remix with a few new lyrics and the Abstract chanting the chorus. The Pete Rock original stands on its own but this is a job well done by Q-Tip.

Flow On (Pete Rock Remix) (feat. Dai One & Sah-B)-Lords Of The Underground: Did somebody say Chocolate Boy Wonder? Had to get him in here! I didn't care much for the album version. The beat was nothing special and the upbeat tempo and grating chorus annoyed me. Pete who's half man/half SP, slowed the tempo down and gave it a much better baseline and the somewhat off key singing in the chorus worked. Funky and Doitall have always been underrated lyricists and they both turned in solid verses. A definite upgrade from the original.

Return Of The Crazy One (Lean Butter Bean Remix)-Digital Underground: The original "Crazy" was hot! The beat was thumpin' reminiscent of "Humpty Dance" minus the killer bassline (has there ever been a more identifiable bassline than "A-doooo-re-doooo-re"?) and Shock/Hump's vocals were sick as ever. I like this version however because it sounds like they were having FUN! From the nonsensical lyrics, to the slicked out R&B pace and the butchering of Bobby Caldwell with Hump wailing a digitally altered "I guess you wondered where I been", I'm all for it. Great f'in song!

Ego Trippin Part (Part Three) (Egoristic Mix)-De La Soul: De La done did it again! This was a bonus track featured on the Ego Trippin' (Part Two) 12". It's an entirley different song with a new beat that evokes thoughts of a carnival atmosphere and all new lyrics. Pos' "Johnny Feva..." verse may be one of my favorite verses of all time. He absoultely rips it, intentionally flubbing the line and starting over twice until he kills it! I was all smiles when I finally hunted this down on MP3(Thanks, Trav!)

It's On (Beatnuts Remix)-Naughty By Nature: The bassline at the beginning surges as if something's about to happen, and it does. Les and Ju put out another track that eclipses the original. The funky organs, 90's horns and Biz Mark "On and on..." sample are all keepers!

Letterman (Pete Rock Remix)-K-Solo: P to tha R gives his own spin on the Atomic Dog sample as Kevin Madison kicks one of my favorite rhymes of his. Always tight production from one of the best in the game and a solid lyrical effort by the former Hit Squad member.

The Shit Is Real (DJ Premier Remix)-Fat Joe: Primo laced Don Cartagena with his siganture sounds and scratches to make this probably one of the best songs Joe has ever done. Lean Back? Nah, I don't think so!

Searchin' (Remix)-Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth: A perfect way to end this comp! This is a great remix of the original Searchin'(which was a hell of a song) off the much over looked The Main Ingredient LP. Once again, Pete and C.L. shun the acapella over a new beat approach and have the Mecca Don lace the track with new vocals. A catchy hook and a sample of the original turn it into a great new interpretation. Overall, another Pete Rock banga.

If y'all like this, let me know. Part III is being worked on as you read this.

Animal Mother's Remix-A-Palooza II: MIX HARDER-Various Artists