Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"find me" feat. chong nee (audio)

Once again, props to the homie Ryan Marx for the artwork.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

smiles everytime my face is up in the...

In some ways, this magazine changed my life.

Everybody knows before The Source became The Sauce, it was the information spot for a hip-hop aficionado. I was talking to Dave the other day, and he noted how it took a lot more dedication to be a fan back in the day. You had to actually buy music, study videos to see who was down with who, and wait monthly to find out what was going in this genre we obsessed over. Growing up in the Manawatu, my exposure to Hip-Hop in the late 80s, early 90s, didn't exceed much more than Rhythm Volume CD's and RTR Countdown. But later on I could rely on The Source as a bible. It was an authority on pretty much everything that I cared about at 16.

None was more important than Issue #100, January 1998. I was 13 and I remember riding my bike down to the local Write Price (Feilding's answer to Pack'n'Save) where they, unusually, stocked the magazine. Though my knowledge of rap music was advanced compared to most of my Palmy peers (I remember being asked "did you know Busta Rhymes is in Wu-Tang?"), I still didn't have a full grasp on the culture. Almost all questions were answered in this one issue. Top 100 Albums of All-Time, Top 100 Songs of All-Time, Greatest Verse of All-Time, and so on. I spent the next few months diggin' in The Warehouse bargain bins for re-issues of Paid In Full and It Takes A Nation Of Millions. See, I always knew of these artists but didn't quite understand their importance. With such limited resources it felt like the task of working out a whole cultures history would be somewhat impossible (the advent of the internet makes this sound oh so ridiculous).

That one issue gave me a foundation to work off, something I think a lot of todays artists don't have. Even though I discovered so much good shit from the past, I still wouldn't put any album pre-1992 in my personal Top 10. I grew up on Death Row and Bad Boy and their influence on me obliterates Run DMC or Boogie Down Productions. But that particular Source edition gave me a comprehensive understanding of where it all came from. It buzzes me out when kids nowadays think DMX is as old school as it gets.

Its also interesting to see how much the history of hip-hop has changed since this issue.
  • Best Producer of All-Time: Puff Daddy
  • "I Get Around" the only Tupac joint in the 100 Best Songs. No All Eyez On Me in the 100 Best Albums.
  • Best Song of All-Time: EPMD - You Gots To Chill
  • No Jay-Z in the 100 Best Songs.
  • Illmatic the most underrated album ever.
I wonder what songs and albums would be added or removed from the lists. Maybe over at the Shotthen massive we could try update this classic.

or simple as do re mi...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

fuzzy bad feet

Recently, C4 asked me to list a bunch of my favourite music videos. I thought I'd share some of my picks...

Eddie Murphy - Party All The Time

Engineers had it good in the 80s. Box office mega-stars would rock up, slap hands with the entourage and record dance jams in one take. If only every producer acted like Rick James in the studio, throwing the music sheet in the air and running in on the session for an impromptu cameo.

Michael Jackson - Smooth Criminal

Everyone wanted to be Michael Jackson at some point. Though Moonwalker was actually a bit of deranged movie, everyone I know had a vhs of it for this scene. MJ let off shots from a tommy gun, smashed a pool ball and leaned like a muthafucker. LOL at the orgy-sounds scene though.

The Notorious B.I.G - Mo Money Mo Problems

This remains my favourite video. Not the typically praised Hype Williams clip, but also at the top of the pile. Shiny suits, exploding money, zero-gravity rooms, Riddick Bowe... What else do you need?

Stardust - Music Sounds Better With You

Kid builds plane. Kid watches shiny-silver-music-clip-guys. Shiny-silver-music-clip-guys catch plane in clouds. Cool.

Outkast - B.O.B

This is the best opening to a clip ever. Andre getting chased by hundreds of 9 year olds. The psychedelic colours fit the madness of the song and his verse was so ill it made two of them flip downhill. Mean.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

beat kamp mu-zik

I spent the weekend over in the Gold Coast with the Beat Kamp crew. They were shooting the clip for their song "Rap Game remix" which features yours truely and a slew of other nz/oz hip-hop artists.

I first connected with MZRE when we did the second Hook Up Tour, both MC'ing for DJ Sirvere. Then in 2005 we did a song intended for the Sirpreme Team album (MZRE and A.T.P) which ended up on Adeez Presents BeatKamp Mixtape Vol 1. These dudes have been doing their thing on the Coast for a while, so it was cool to see them prepping their first official release for the masses.

Rhann kept the Henny flowin'. Me and Scotty jacked Kane and O-Dog's steez.

for my money, is the best producer from New Zealand at the moment. He's produced Savage's "Swing" (you may have heard of it??) and also has songs with everyone else on Dawn Raid and the Major Flavour's compilations. We spent Friday knockin' out a few songs and I dropped a verse on a track for Dirty Mob. Look for the homie Aaron to have multiple tracks on my sophmore effort. Yerrp!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

"Ruthless, cause its easy/ how I break ya bones thug..."

Heres some images from my new single/video Find Me.

The song features vocals from the legendary Chong Nee and his protege' Tolu. These two killed it on the hook, but this isn't an R&B song whatsoever, straight hardcore rap. One of those ones where the clean version sounds a bit ridiculous. It was produced by the massively talented but relatively unknown First Class.

We brought in Warren Green to do the clip, he did alot of the stuff for The Living Room and the X-Air specials. Photography wise, this guys amazing, so I'm Tim Duncan that this clip is gonna look ill (Tim Duncan = banking, ha, I'm coming with the new slang daily!).

I've decided to hold back on releasing the song early, so the first time you'll hear it is when the clips done. That should be in the next two weeks, maybe sooner, so keep a look out. Yes. Sir.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Swagger Jackin'

I dont know how many people realized that the Just Roll verses were basically alot of lines from 90's hip-hop/r&b cuts put together. That was the inspiration for the clip, along with a an old sketch from Skitz ("wanna root ya girl...") where they were mocking Boyz II Men, hence the reason we got Oscar Kightly to do the video. Oscar is the only one I can remember that knew every line used in the song.

I put this rough as mix together to show all the bites, back when we did the track. 10 points and a gold star for anyone that can list em all.

Just Roll is still the track of mine that we had to put the most work into. The sample Official used is The Temptations - Treat Her Like A Lady, and I thought we had no chance of clearing it so I kind of wrote the song off. Low and behold, we managed to clear the publishing but not the master, meaning we had to remake the sample. Problem was, even P-Money hadn't tried to recreate a song verbatim like that, so we didn't know if we could pull it off.

We randomly found a book of Motown sheet music in a shop by the Dirty office, that had Treat Her Like A Lady in it. Money's mate DJ Sarah Love was staying down here at the time, and she could read it, so she played some of the keys (her names in the liner notes if you check it). We brought in Chong Nee to play the lead key line, and sing the vocal along with Lemuel. Money replicated the drums, put all of that to tape, and re-sampled it. In the end, I think we got as close as possible.