Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Old School Wednesday

As any self-respecting New York Rap fiend should know (unless you're a youngin') this is Uncle Ralph McDaniels from Video Music Box. And when I was in high school every wednesday was "Old School Wednesdays" on Video Music Box. I have many fond memories of cutting out of school to smoke L's and watch (and tape) Video Music Box. So in tribute to "Old School Wednesdays" we're gonna post some old shit every wednesday.

Side Note: Uncle Ralph still does Video Music Box on WNYC (check your local listings) but nowadays I think he's having trouble finding enough decent new hip hop videos to fill the time slot. The last episode I seen started with "Hip Hop Is Dead" and then played a bunch of R&B videos after that. Fitting. Ralph also has this other show on WNYC called "The Bridge" which is all old-school videos and is a GREAT show. And you should all watch it and support your local PBS stations. Word.


The Art of The Remix-
I know Puffy thinks he invented that shit. But he didn't (although that Flava in Ya Ear Remix is a classic. I just remember how skinny Busta Rhymes was before he started taking steroids and how he used to rock those ILL doctor Seuss hats)

Today's post is about how I always liked the remixes that went the extra mile. This is especially relevant today as "Mash-Ups", as they are now trendily called, are so common place. It's easy for anyone with access to a computer to make a "remix".

The Pharcyde had a series of remixes on b-sides using the same lyrics but kicking them all differently over a different beat. They're pretty much singing the lyrics actually. If you're reading this and you are unfamilliar with The Pharcyde's seminal work "Bizzare ride II the Pharcyde" then I can't help you. They should teach that record in school.

The Pharcyde: Otha Fish (L.A. Jay Remix)

The Pharcyde: Ya Mama (Remix)

The Pharcyde: Passin Me By (fly as pie Remix)

On this one The Gravediggaz do a remix where they spit completely new lyrics over the same beat. Kind of the invert of your average remix. This is my all-time favorite Gravediggaz track. I especially like the second verse when Poetic (R.I.P) tells that crazy story about the A-Team bumrushing the Jonestown masacre. "No tambourine-beating Deacon, is freaking my seed, every weekend, as long as I'm breathing"

Gravediggaz: 1-800 SUICIDE (New Vocal Version)

The Fugees' first album was kinda "ehhh". The reason they're famous now is cause of Salaam Remi's "Nappy Heads Remix" New Beat/New lyrics - It blew up. Boom. I bought the cassingle and kept flipping the side all day. I'm not gonna post that song. It's famous. I'm going to post their second Remix single. This was the first Fugees video I remember seeing back when Wycleff was a Crazy Baldhead. When I pulled this record out today and slipped it on I was surprised how good it sounded. Lauren KILLS it. And Praz is like "when I rest my head it's on a PEEE-LOW" and it made me smile. SIDE NOTE: Black Moon also used the so-so album/Amazing Remixes stratagy to blowing up (remember).

The Fugees: Vocab (Refugees Hip Hop Remix)

Del kicks different lyrics over a different beat. The only thing that's the same is the hook (kinda). Dope.

Del tha Funky Homosapien: Catch a Bad One (Remix)

This one was always weird to me. On the B-Side of Award Tour there was a version of The Chase part II where they let a mad young Consequence freestyle over the beat. Now the original song was called "The Chase part II" (what happened to part 1?) so you'd think this one would be part 3. But no. It's still part II.

A Tribe Called Quest: The Chase, Part II (*Rap by Consequence)

...And that's how we geek out on Old School Wednesdays. Until next time:


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Colder Than Crisp Weather

The problem with Hip Hop purists is they end up with boring music. If anything that strays too far from the ridgid confines of "true" hip hop is criticised then nothing will ever evolve and you'll all end up like Hip Hop Amish. Living as if its 100 years ago - Making your own clothes, churning your own butter and ridding to the "vinyl record" store on your horse and buggy.

Also Jurrasic 5 sometimes ends up feeling like the Rap version of SHA-NA-NA.

To stay true to the SPIRIT of the early rap pioneers you gotta be original and do something new. That was what was important about what they did. Not only new but different from everyone else. Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, Rakim, All had wildly different characters, different flows and different styles of dress. Nowadays, almost all mainstream rappers wear the same costume: coke dealer. All underground rappers have a closet full of oversized T-Shirts with graff designs on them. Its like the most boring holloween ever.

Ever seen when Bart Simpson opens his closet and its all red t-shirts and blue shorts? That's all that little motherfucker wears!

K-Swift is a true New York character. You can catch him running around the L.E.S rocking a flat-top on some New Old School shit. It's Cold Chillin' meets 2007 and is as current as the morning edition. Part of the New Rap Order I've seen him rock this song with his whole clique on stage and he tore the roof off. check it.

K-Swift: Nu Ol' School

Monday, January 29, 2007

Lost In The City

Cool Calm Pete is the perfect artist to jump-off this blog. Born in South Korea, raised in Queens, Pete is a true New Yorker and a product of New York City Hip-Hop. Ever since Hip-Hop died (That shit is dead motherfuckers!) the pop music that devoured and digested it hasn't left room for artists like Cool Calm Pete. But "Modern Rhymes" sounds better to me than any hip hop I've heard on the radio all year. Also: People don't write rap music about dental hygene anymore. And thirdly: Embedded is my new favorite label.

Cool Calm Pete: Modern Rhymes
Cool Calm Pete: Brush P.S.A.
Junk Science (feat Cool Calm Pete): The Blaze-O (Scott Thorough Computer Rock Remix)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Bringing Back That Ol' New York Rap

This is not a new BLOG. This is a BLOG that has been going on in my head for the last fifteen years and only now is technology catching up with me.

Hip Hop is dead. And I don't want to hear anyone saying it's still alive like ya'll ain't in agreement with Nas (He said It's dead mothefucker!) That being said:

1.This is not retro. I reserve the right to post old music, new music, or any music I may have glimpsed in my dreamlike travels to the future.

2. "New York Rap" represents to me Hip Hop as I fell in love with it. To "bring it back" evokes the spirit of an earlier time - but is not defined by geography. I reserve the right to post music from any place in the world.

3. I don't even have to post hip hop songs if I don't feel like it. This is my BLOG. Not yours. Chill.

4. There are still people making dope music. Right Now. I will try to find them and post their music.

My Name is Blind Boy Grunt


Da Gif (feat. Mercury): The Truth Hurts
Nuclear Family: New York
Mercury: BooM
Babbletron: The Clock Song
Ghostface: Charlie Brown