Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Give The Man Behind The Wheels Some Credit: DJ Audio 1

"Nowadays cuz rap pays you got a million rappers and a thousand DJ's..." so said Tha Baby Face K-OS on We Run Things(It's Like Dat). He's right. From your Whoo-Kid's to your Clue's to your Mick Boogies. There are a lot of turntablists and they've all carved their niche from the old school on. Quite a few have put out old school comps but I'm gonna speak on my favorite.

I've heard alot of mixtapes with old jams but I happened upon this gem about 2 and a half years ago and I still bump it today. DJ Audio 1's High Skool Classiks 2.0 is an awesome collection of hip-hop that interestingly enough is actually from about the time I was there (High School, that is.). Why is it my favorite? One big reason: HE SHUTS THE FUCK UP! The man doesn't utter a word on this mix. Sometimes I just want beats and rhymes. I don't care about your crew, your block or the label that's sponsoring you. Shut up and mix.

Mix is something the Bay Area product also does well. Each song blends almost seamlessly into the other. Even when the track is cut in, it doesn't miss a beat. He also brought up some less popular jams that you may not hear on the average "Old School" mixtape. Songs like Stezo's It's My Turn, Eazy E's Gimme That Nutt and Kwest's 101 Things...are rarely thrown into compilations so it's a treat to hear them.

While there is a hiccup in the beginning mix and there is a bit of clashing somewhere towards the end. As a DJ myself, I can appreciate the work and time he put into getting his set together and coming up with his blends. Y'all take a listen and judge for yourselves.

High Skool Classiks 2.0-DJ Audio 1

Wake Up Intro/Nas - It Aint Hard To Tell (Danger Mouse Remix)

Run DMC - Ooh Watcha Gonna Do

Masta Ace - Music Man

Mobb Deep - Hit It From The Back

Del - Mistadabolina (Remix)

Jamalski - Jump Spread Out

Das EFX - Jussusmen (Pete Rock Remix)

Cypress Hill - Hand On The Glock

KRS-One - I Cant Wake Up

Black Moon - Who Got The Props

Special Ed - The Mission

Jamalski - Put It On (EPMD Remix)

Ice Cube - Givin Up The Nappy Dug Out

House Of Pain - Jump Around (Pete Rock Remix)

Stezo - It's My Turn

Eazy E - Gimmie That Nutt

KRS-One - HipHop Vs. Rap (Spinbad Remix)

Beastie Boys - Finger Lickin Good

Kwest Tha Madd Ladd - 101 Things To Do While Im With Your Girl

Stetsasonic - Talkin All That Jazz

Ice Cube - Wicked

Ice Cube - No Vaseline

Nice and Smooth - Sometimes I Rhyme Slow

UMC's - Blue Cheese

Tim Dog and KRS-One - I Get Wrecked

Ice-T - New Jack Hustler

Cypress Hill - Lick A Shot

Ultramagnetic MC's - Poppa Large

UMC's - One To Grow On

The New Style (Naughty By Nature) - Scuffin Those Knees

X-Clan - Funkin' Lesson

KMD - Peachfuzz

RBL Posse - Dont Give Me No Bammer Weed

Eric B and Rakim - No Omega

Organized Konfusion - Releasing Hypnotical Gases

He also has a great website with lots of info on dates and other music mixes to share. Enjoy this mix and let me know what you think in the comments section. Clocking in at just over an hour, it's perfect for that long ass bus ride or drive. One.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Animal's Most Wanted: Champion Of Love

Tonight on Animal's Most Wanted, we take a look at the One and Done group: 991 Volts. 991-wha? Trust me, I know...to explain it, I would have to take you back to '89. So let's go...

In 1989 your host was the average 16 year old rap/beat junkie. I watched Video Music Box a hell of a lot more than I studied and they always had acts on that you would never see on MTV(which I didn't have at the time) or BET. Ther you could see peeps like Divine Styler(kind of a De La knock off in his video...oh yeah, listen to where House of Pain got the horns for Jump Around), MC Rell or 991 Volts. Admittedly, my knowledge of them is limited. As a matter of fact other than the lead MC being named Royal, I don't know jack about them. Boy could rhyme his ass off though.

He had a story teller style with a rapid fire delivery. Like an amalgam of Fresh Prince and Kwame on speed. I don't think they had an album but I do remember having the 12" for Champion Of Love/She's Sneeky. The B-Side is a total wipe from my memory but damn, Champion was catchy as hell. It was just the simplest of breakbeats with a sampled bass line and a chant of "Whoa-oh yeah!"(whose source escapes me but when I'm told I'll go "OH YEAH!" because it's familiar.) Royal had potential but I think he was a few years too early and wasn't affiliated with any of the hot crews at the time: Juice Crew, Native Tounges(who Divine Styler was down with as of De La's second album.) etc. I never heard from them again. And after high school, I think my DJ partner took that when we split the records. Either that or it's in one of my crates.

In conclusion, I loved this song and it's like a piece of my youth. If anyone out there in the blogoverse has this on mp3, holla at ya boy! I've tried searches and come up empty. There aren't even any pics of the group on the net. If anyone has any ridiculously hard to find request, post them in the comments or the CBox. Maybe we can all help each other?

Peace. One.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Better Than The Original: REMIX-A-PALOOZA

Animal Mother in the studio...Bitches!

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')

I wanna talk about something I love...REMIXES! I love when an artist can look at another artists work (or their own for that matter) and see where they can improve. Some of my favorites are Pete Rock, The Beatnuts, The D.I.T.C. Crew etc. Sometimes a remix can take a song like Nappy Headz for instance, and breathe new life into it. Think about it: No remix, possibly NO SECOND ALBUM! Nowadays unless it's Pharell or 'Ye doing the mixing and he spits on a verse on it, you ain't hearing it. So let's check out some of my favorite ones which you may never had heard unless you are a DJ or a ridiculous "head" which most people in the blogosphere are...even the leaches...

Lets get to it track by track:

Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down (Remix) (feat. Diamond D)-Brand Nubian: I love when artists go with the original concept but add new stuff to it. Not only is the beat jazzed up with ill horns, Dat X and Jamar spit new verses and Diamond D drops in to bless it as well.

Jazz (We've Got) (Re-Recording)-A Tribe Called Quest: This was on the B-Side of the original Jazz 12". I like it because I feel they went back and improved on the old one. Phife even weighs in on the Dr. Dre/Dee Barnes incident with: "I'm a negro he's a negro wanna be a negro too/ but beatin' on a girl is something that a puss would do" *Shortly after this, Tip was stomped out by Wreckx-N-Effect.

Grand Verbalizer What Time Is It? (Blackwatch Mix)-X Clan: X Clan were notorious beat jackers. I love them but it's not hard to tell where they got what. Sometimes, they didn't even try to hide it. The Microphone Fiend beat of the original is cool but being a DJ who loves old school, I have to go with the Heartbeat sample.

Funky Lemonade (Beatnuts Remix)-Chi-Ali: Les and JuJu don't only murda the mic, they slay behind the boards. I'm a huge Beatnuts fan and this is one of the many songs they blessed in the early 90's. Come on, the song and video made Chi. Did you care about him before this song? I didn't.

Jussumen (Pete Rock Remix)-Das EFX: Yes...I'm a Pete Rock Stan! Yes he produced 3 songs on this compilation! Shit, I was gonna make an all PR Remix joint but I figured it would be redundant. One of the greatest produceres EVER adds his signature sound to an already dope song. 'Nuff said!

Sally Got A One Track Mind (Showbiz Remix)-Diamond D: A dope D.I.T.C. collabo with Show on the boards lacing Diamond's tale of neighborhood ho business with a harder beat and some real crazy ass horns.(Horns were big in the 90's huh?)

They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) (Vibes Mix)-Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth: I know it's supposed to be a reflective song but DAMN, this beat bangs! Not only did they up the tempo but the baseline got Polio(that's sick for the uninformed) and C.L. re-did the vocals so it's not a sped up acapella, he's rhyming to the new break.

Ruffneck (Beatnuts Remix)-MC Lyte: The 'Nuts do it again by getting rid of that wack Casio beat on the original one and restoring some dignity to Lyte as far as I'm concerned. Chimes, pre-requisite 90's horns and a dope break bring it back from the wack bin. Be warned: Don't sing along! When you catch yourself, you'll feel ashamed and confused...yuck.

Check Yo' Self (Message Remix)-Ice Cube: When you dust off a classic beat, you better come correct. Not much was changed but Cube's vocals went perfectly with the beat. Having re-recorded them, he's now talking to the listener as opposed to yelling at them like in the original. I used to have The Message on an old K-Tel compilation cassette. Who's up on K-Tel? Holla!

Nappy Heads (Remix)-Fugees: Salaam Remi salvaged a song from the mess that was Blunted On Reality(Everybody remembers "Boof-Baf!" right?...right?) and gave the Fugees their first big hit. The remix gave the song a breezy, tropical flavor with the horns at the beginning even becoming their signature for a while.

Swing It (Original Mix)-Da Bush Babees: I really liked these cats. Their energy and Mister Man's vocals reminded me of the Pharcyde which wasn't a bad thing. Producer J. Prins gave this a very Salaam-ish beat(I actually thought it was him at first.) that was hype and made you wanna stomp everywhere. Years later, I actually bought the album because of this and was disappointed that the (Jazziness Mix) was the album cut.

Shut 'Em Down (Pete Rock Remix)-Public Enemy: I was always into PE singles but never bought full albums. Sometimes the Bomb Squad's sample-heavy sound was a little too cluttered for me. P to The R made this song sound like the hottest most stickiest night in the BX. It's dank, the horns are sinister and the overall beat gives Chuck's words more urgency. I can even forgive Puba for writing a party rhyme for Pete to say in the middle of such a serious song.

Yeah (Track Masterz Remix)-A.T.E.E.M.: Tone & Poke had an organist mess with the keys on a break to give this song probably the most original sound on this compilation. I'm glad for that. The T.E.E.M. never really stood out in the rap game but this song stood out for me.

Woo Ha!!! Got You All In Check! (Remix) (feat. Ol' Dirty Bastard): It had to happen! The most animated cat in the industry and craziest thing on two legs had to get together! They did and that shit was DOPE! The weird synthesizer in the background makes perfect sense because the two people rapping just DON'T and I LOVE IT!

Animal Mother's REMIX-A-PALOOZA

I hope y'all enjoy this little mixtape. I will be making more in the future. If I could get some help with the following remixes it would be appreciated:

Eat 'Em Up L-The one with the Keep Rising To The Top beat.

I Go On-MC Lyte

Poppa Large (Westcoast Mix)-Ultramagnetic MC's(also Black Baseball. Not a remix but I like the song)

EPMD-Give The People & Rampage(Not The Pete Rock One...didn't like it.)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Know Your History: Summer Madness Props

What does June mean to you? No school? Cold drinks and barbecues til 2AM? Titties everywhere? I know that whenever June comes around it means one thing: I start hearing the GREATEST SUMMER SONG EVER!

In 1974 Kool & The Gang released their seventh album, Light of Worlds. Suprisingly the stand out track was one with no vocals whatsoever: Summer Madness. I take it this was a conceptual piece and man they executed it to perfection. From the moment the song begins, you can't help but imagine the coldest pool on the hottest day you can remember. The sheer mellowness of the song is incomprehensible. For 4:28 your entire life is in slow motion and you love it. The song went on to be featured in Rocky but it would take nearly 20 years for it to make a real impact on my life and Hip-Hop.

In 1989 I was really hitting my stride in Hip-Hop. I was buying albums on tape and vinyl and getting into DJ'ing and the art of mixing. When I purchased Gang Starr's No More Mr. Nice Guy, I remember putting it in the boom box at school and letting everyone listen, THEY LAUGHED. One dude even said: "Who the fuck is that rappin', Special Fred?". Kane and the Juice Crew ruled my school and maybe N.W.A. but nobody wanted to hear these "jazz rappin' cats." My favorite song on the album was DJ Premier in Deep Concentration an instrumental track that asked the listener to "give the man behind the wheels some credit.". The Summer Madness sample was utilized by Premier who took the song and cut up just about anything he could over the relaxing beat even taking the distinct synthesizer and "transformer scratching" the hell out of it. The song was a B-side to the Manifest single but it never achieved the notoriety it should have. The average rap fan has probably never heard it. It wasn't the end though and the Kool & The Gang sample would leave a mark...nah, a BOOT PRINT in the game that will never be erased.

Spring of 1991, I was watching the Fresh Prince season finale and through several commercial breaks the announcer said: "Stay tuned for a special video from DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince!" I thought: "Oh god, not another Mike Tyson song from this corny dude!" I was wrong. I've never been more wrong in my entire life, that "corny song" turned out to be Summertime. They had me at "Drums please..." Once that beat dropped, it was a WRAP! I was shocked that not only did they freak the K&TG break but Will's vocals seemed like they were made for that beat and nothing else.

Homebase was the duo's fourth album and it achieved platinum status(I think on the strength of Summertime alone.) That summer you couldn't hear a car pass without that song bumpin out of their system. The video is burned into my mind as well with the barbecues, dancing, girls and driving around with your friends. That's what summer was and is still about, CHILLIN'. There has never been a song, a rap song for that matter that has ever made me nostalgic for my youth as much as this. I'm in my early 30's now and it still resonates with me today and brings a feeling of calm over me. About a year ago I was in a bar and they had it in the jukebox, I selected it and the minute it came on, all the older heads had this look of "Awwww, shiiiiiit!" and the head nodding didn't stop until the song was over. There will never be a song that relays the feelings of a moment like this and that's why I say that Sumemertime is THE GREATEST SUMMER SONG EVER!

So let's give props and thanks to Kool and the Gang for creating an amazing song. Gang Starr for dusting it off and DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince for making it an indellible mark in Hip-Hop history. If you get the chance, please support these artists and all of their fine works.

Kool & The Gang-Summer Madness
Gang Starr-DJ Premier In Deep Concentration
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince -Summertime