Saturday, April 21, 2007
The English Patient #7
Overlord X - So Damn Def
Overlord X - Prototype
Overlord X - Beast Killer
We present some rare mp3's from the original UK Vet Overlord X. After he recorded his first two lp's "Weapon Is My Lyric" and "X vs. The World", X went back into the studio for album #3.
However, his label Mango St (parented by Island records) decided to pull the plug on their UK Hip Hop roster (which also included The Demon Boyz, Outlaw Posse, MC Mello'O' & Stero MC's), and so the album was never completed, or released.
Overlord went onto perform in the mid 90's R&B boyband "Benz", who scored a minor underground hit with "Boom Rock Soul" before imploding. He also got involved with a similar styled girl group this decade with "Tommi", who unfortunately ended up going out like their male precursors.
Fear not though rap fiends, because X has released 3 demo's from his shelved untitled 3rd lp, which were recorded around 1991/92.
"So Damn Def", "Prototype" & "Beast Killer" are a much welcome reminder that old skool UK Hip Hop was certainly cut down in it's prime, by the major labels back in the day.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Back To The Grill Again
Another retrospective compilation appears!
This time it's former 3rd Bassman, MC Serch with a selection of tracks he recorded in 1994/95. This material was recorded as part of Serch's follow up to his 1992 debut 'Return of the Product'. Unfortunately the long player was never completed or released, following the Wild Pitch/Serchlite fall out in 1995.
'Many Young Lives Ago' also features a trio of 3rd Bass re-union material, which also didn't see light of day. Judging by the production, these tracks appear to have been recorded in the late 90's or early 00's.
Finally, if this new/old compilation has got you in the mood for more 3rd Bass shizzle then be sure to check the highlighted fansite, which contains a whole host of videos and rare mp3's.
Here it comes....I said here it comes!!
The Heavy Bronx Experiance #3
We keep 'diggin in the crates', and have unearthed a boot of O.C.'s rarer shizzle.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Fast Rap #2
We take it back to 1988, and some mo' Fast Rap.
The UK dance label Rhythm King pretty much had the House/Rap scene on lock down in the late 80's, with chart success coming from the likes of The Beatmasters feat Cookie Crew, S'Express, Baby Ford and Betty Boo.
Bomb The Bass certainly created the most impressive RK legacy, with a string of popular singles including "Don't Make Me Wait", "Megablast", "Say A Little Prayer", "The Air You Breathe", "Winter In July" and of course the international club smash "Beat Dis".
Megablast is fondly remembered here on CHHV in 3 different versions; the 'Orginal Rap' and 'Rap Remix' versions feature UK Veteran MC Merlin, who also showed up the "Who's In The House" produced by The Beatmasters, which stormed the charts pretty much at the same time (also on Rhythm King).
The 'Original Rap' mix was considered too hardcore as BTB's official follow up to Beat Dis, so it was relegated to feature only on a Record Mirror magazine give away 7", making it quite rare and sought after at the time.
Tim Simenon gave Megablast a non rap makeover in the form of the 'Hip Hop On Precinct 13' mix (named so after sampling the theme from the film 'Assualt In Precinct 13'). This version ended up being the AA side to his more chart friendly "Don't Make Me Wait (feat Lorraine)".
A second 12" appeared shortly after promoting "Megablast Rap (Remix)" as the main A-side flipped with a Dub Mix of "Don't..".
Megablast enjoyed more success years later when it was used as the soundtrack to the Bitmap Brothers 16 bit computer game smash "Xenon 2" on the Commodore Amiga.
We'll leave it to you to decided which 'Blast' version has the most 'Mega', as well as featuring Don't Make Me Wait in video form.
Dance bwoy, and ya better dance fast... M-E-G-A - BLAST!
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Fast Rap #1
New year, new topic - fast rap!
We begin a new series with the style of late 1980's rap, which was recently showcased on Edan the DJ's mixtape bearing the same name.
The BPM of rap records in the 1980's became faster and faster to enable them to be played out in the clubs alongside the latest house anthems. The two styles of music collided briefly with the advent of hip-house. However, at the turn of the decade, radio shows and clubs became more specialist; with house music heading into acid/rave sub genres, and hip hop embracing slower jazz n' blues breaks.
One of the most slept on artists of the Fast Rap era were the Dismasters. Originally known as the Dismaster Crew, Raven T & Lord Mike Ski dropped two 12"s on the Urban Rock imprint, entitled "We Are The Ones" and "Keisha". Both singles didn't make much of an impact, but the crew achieved some underground success in 1987 with their 3rd attempt "Small Time Hustler" - their first single under the name of the Dismasters.
An lp and single followed this up in 1989 ("And Then Some" - their only long player, and plus the club hit "Black and Proud"). They also stirred up some minor beef with DJ Red Alert & the Jungle Brothers, which resulted from their lp diss track "Act Like You Know".
Hip Hop started to move into jazzier climes, but the Dismasters decided against embracing this new sound; deciding to take early retirement from the rap game, along with other Fast Rap pioneers such as Black Rock & Ron, Skinny Boys and Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock.
Stand by for more Fast Rap throughout 2007, peace!
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
James Joseph Brown Jr (3rd May 1933 - 25th Dec 2006) - The Godfather Of Soul
Most musical geniuses have flaws and Brown was no exception.
But he has also been a huge influence on Black culture over more than 5 decades.
He single handedly took on the pro Black baton on when Malcolm X was gunned down. Music-wise he achieved many firsts, most of his memorable hits coincided with the late 60's, nearly 20 years after he started recording music.
His best work by far was unearthed in the early 70's when he famously collaborated with Maceo Parker, Pee Wee Ellis, Fred Wesley and Bootsy Collins for a tighter, grittier, brand new 'funk' sound. The result was 3 albums in a single year (1973), capped by his best ever work on "The Payback".
The 70's saw many other acts taking the funk to a higher level, but if it wasn't for James Brown, the likes of Funkadelic, Parliament, The JBs, Maceo and the All Kingsmen, Bootsy's Rubber Band etc. would've have reached the heady heights they achieved during the 1970's.
Ironically Brown ignored the fashionable Black sound of P-Funk in the late 70's and embraced disco instead. He would continue to re-invent himself during the 1980's working with Afrika Bambaata way before a generation of new skool hip hop artists had heard of him (who launched their own careers by sampling his entire back catalogue!). By doing so these rappers introduced JB to a whole new generation of listeners. He scored his biggest ever hit with 'Living In America', and tried to maintain a high profile resulting from his emergence as a legend in hip hop circles, by collaborating with the likes of Full Force, Soul II Soul and Leaders of The New School (the latter was Busta Rhymes' original rap trio from the early 90's).
He continued to tour globally well into his 70's, most recently at Radio 1's Electric Proms in London earlier this year. I had the pleasure of seeing him live in 2002 at the Essential Festival in Bristol, even though he was starting to show his age by then.
Very few have achieved what Brown has done inside and outside of music over such a long period of time, and has influenced a number of different generations in different ways. His legacy shouldn't be about his mistakes, but an extensive catalogue of hugely ground breaking and influential music.
10 James Brown Song You Must Own:
Can I Get Some Help
Don't Tell It
Hot (I Need To Be Loved Loved Loved)
Papa Don't Take No Mess
Cold Sweat (parts 1 & 2)
Get Up, Get In To It & Get Involved
Blues And Pants
Rest In Peace
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Christmas Rappin' #4 - The 2006 Wrap Up!
As the year comes to an end, it feels almost obligatory to wrap up things with a 'best of 2006' list!
Louis Logic & JJ Brown - Misery Loves Comedy
Modern day rap for hip hop thirtysomethings, hot and cold tales of relationships that you can relate to.
People Under The Stairs - Tuxedo Rap
I picked up The Stepfather whilst in Boston earlier this year at UGHH, and this track was the clear standout, despite the lukewarm response to the longplayer.
Best Hip Hop Retailer
Underground Hip Hop.com, Boston MA
Not only did they give a bunch of free cd's to commemorate my trip to Beantown, but they also gave me an invite to DJ Premier's private party!
Best Hip Hop Gig
Blade - Guerilla Tactics Lp Launch Party @ Cargo, Shoreditch, London (Feb 2006)
A definitive "who's who's" in UK Hip Hop, including Hard Livin, Phi Life Cypher, Jehst, HKB Finn, Diversion Tactics, Headcase Ladz and of course Mr B.L.A.D.E. who has since retired from the game - good luck B in whatever you do next.
Non Hip Hop Event Of The Year
Visiting Boston and New England - April 2006
Watching the Celtics beat the Heat, the Red Sox dropping a game against the Devil Rays, trekking round the area in a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Cape Cod was breathtaking, the malls took all my dollars!
Too Young To Die
Jay Dee - The Dilla
Lynden David Hall
Rest In Peace
Monday, December 18, 2006
Christmas Rappin' #3
Xmas present #3 comes courtesy of yours truly!
The 'Unmixed' series started a few years back now, it's original intention was to showcase US tracks old and new, together with the cream of UK talent. Unmixed 3 took a slight change of direction and left the old skool behind, with volume 4 doing more of the same '06 stylee.
Don't call it a mixtape; it ain't there to plug claw diddy as a 'deejay' (heck I gave that gig up more than 10 years ago!), just press play and enjoy back to back songs in their original form.
This new compilation features some of CHHV fav's that were featured during 2006 including Large Professor, Tim Dog feat Ultramagentic, Masta Ace, Mr Lif, People Under The Stairs, Ty and Braintax.
Peace out President Pete aka Mr Burberry Leather, Mr Patl & Rich-Ard, hope you have a hype festive period and a mental '07. Good looking out!