de la soul – excursions
black thought & rakim – in the ghetto (wake up)
mrr drumpoetics & igor zhukovsky – pongtron
nappy nina – elevator
rapsody feat leikeli47 – oprah
solange – binz
9th wonder – take care soul
eugene mcdaniels – jagger the dagger (edit)
jswiss feat daru jones & jermaine holmes – in time
raspody feat d’angelo & gza – ibtihaj
mir fontane – kenwood ave
cookin soul – lo fi spitta
jeru the damaja – ya playin’ yaself
will sessions – the world is yours
pete rock & cl smooth – one in a million
your old droog feat heems – bangladesh
kazumi kaneda – uncertain
lovebirds feat galliano – icarus (tall black guy remix)
uhssentials – duck & cover
gang starr – gotta get over
gang starr feat q-tip – hit man
el michels affair – tearz
wu tang clan – tearz
ghostface killa – daytona 500
grand puba – what goes around
kaytranada – despite the weather
kaytranada feat sir – go dj
anderson paak – king james
kaytranada feat charlotte day wilson – what you need
patrice rushen – number one
daphni – face to face
talking heads – i zimbra (brian eno remix)
african music machine – black water gold
visioneers – apache (battle dub)
sweet charles – it’s you
oceanliners – cutting room
the sorcerers – summoning the monkey god (45 edit)



One last Hip Hop mix for 2019, with a smattering of R&B and some Funk + Soul on the backend. Old + New. Funky + Fresh. Cagney + Lacey.

Excursions – One of my all time favorite Tribe Called Quest songs re-imagined by one of my all time favorite groups, De La Soul. What’s not to love? DJ J Period Commissioned this for his Q-Tip tribute mixtape “The Abstract Best” that came out in 2009. J Period makes seriously excellent mixtapes, building real relationships with all the artists and getting exclusive tracks that make him stand far above the rest. He has my utmost respect and props for dayz.

In The Ghetto (Wake Up) – Since we’re on a throwback vibe out the gate, this late 2019 cover of Rakim’s The Ghetto”, with The God himself in the building, should fit right in. Black Thought bodies this, as usual, and I’m pretty sure (dare I say it) he wrote Rakim’s verse too. Just sounds like his flow. The original tune is the great “Ghetto (Misfortune’s Wealth)”, heard in full on THIS MIX, by a one-album band from my own hometown of Cincinnati, 24 Carat Black. They were discovered by Isaac Haye’s arranger Dale Warren, who got them to change their name from The Ditalians, and record a concept album, about life in the Cincinnati Slums.

Pongtron – Just a weird ass interlude-type beat I found by a couple of European cats who go by MRR Drumpoetics & Igor Zhukovsky.

Elevator – Oakland-by-way-of-Brooklyn really real MC Nappy Nina brings a Bahamadia-like coolness to her delivery here. This is from her 2019 debut album “The Tree Act”. She’s been on the come up since her first EP, Naptime, in 2015 and I’m all about it.

Oprah – This beat is siiiiiiiiiick. So sick I felt compelled to throw a few bars from Kendrick Lamar up front, just to hear how it would blend. But not too long to oustshine the track’s real stars: Rapsody and Leikeli47, who dropped this anthem of female economic empowerment gem on us in August of 2019. Both bring a crazy bounce to their flow that really pushed the whole thing forward. Rapsody’s long-time production partner Eric G on the beat.

Binz – Speaking of beats, this was just an interlude on some Instagram video that Solange made to hype her latest album, and once I came across it, I couldn’t get it out of my head. Definitely the cooler, younger sister.

Take Care Soul – More interlude beats, this time from 9th Wonder’s incredibly dense, 46-track 2019 beat album, “Zion IV”. This has a bit more of a Flying Lotus vibe than his usual stuff, but I couldn’t resist.

Jagger The Dagger (EDIT) – You know this sample. You love this sample. Eugene McDaniels had some success as a singer in the 1960s, but is best known as the writer of Les McCann’s “Compared To What” And Roberta Flack’s “Feel Like Making’ Love”. This is from his 1971 Acid-trip of an album, “Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse”. He was definitely a friend of Ken Kesey, if you feel me.

In Time – A 2019 collab with rapper JSwiss, Hip Hop drummer extraordinaire Daru Jones & one of D’angelo’s Vanguard vocalists, Jermaine Holmes. Love the plucky strings that come in and out.

Ibtihaj – I really love it when I can hear and feel the lingering influence of Parliament Funkadelic in Hip Hop. Even though this Rapsody track is almost a straight re-work of GZA’s “Liquid Swords”, D’angelo really brings the P-Funk on the back half. It’s the looseness. The layering. The mixture down re-pitched voices, This is all textbook George Clinton. Thank god some mf is carrying the torch.

Kenwood Ave – A compelling story of just another day in the hood, told very cleverly in reverse by Camden, New Jersey’s Mir Fontane. This came out on his 2016 “Who’s Watching The Kids” LP.

Lo Fi Spitta – Just a beat. From Madrid’s #1 beat junkie duo, Cookin’ Soul, who never disappoint.

Ya Playin’ Yaself – I was such a huge Jeru fan when he first started bubbling up on Gang Starr remixes around 92. I banged his joints in clubs for well over a decade, and I’d put Pete Rock’s “Can’t Stop The Prophet” remix up in any throwback battle you want to throw my way. But the older I got, the more and more his misogyny has really worn on me. For the last decade or so, every time I dig up a track of his for a mixtape, I invariably get to some line in the song where I just go “um, nah”. This song is also borderline, but I guess I’m making an exception, this one time. Tho white I may be, I was very much caught up in the late 80s explosion of Afrocentric consciousness, and even with all the crucial enlightenment that took place, there was often an underlying conservatism regarding women that guys like Jeru tried to justify as philosophically-based. It’s bullshit now, and it was bullshit then, but in truth, I wanted to be down so much I don’t recall having the nerve to step into a Bed Stuy cypher’s and challenge it. These days, miss me with that shit.

The World Is Yours – Speaking of Pete Rock, Will Sessions released this dope instrumental cover with Elzhi on their 2011 Elmatic tribute mixtape.

One In A Million – Definitely in my top five Pete Rock & CL Smooth joints. At the time, we all played this off of a fake, Elektra bootleg, because I didn’t think it ever really came out, for some reason. But somehow everybody knew the words. Does that still happen?

Bangladesh – I copped this on last year’s Fat Beats 25th Anniversary compilation, which is full of exactly the kind of tracks you would hear if you ever hung out in their store on 6th Ave, which I did often. A couple friends worked there, and independent Hip Hop was surging for real, so every DJ had to put it on his list of digging stops. Good times.

Uncertain – Tokyo pianist and beat maker Kazumi Kaneda lent this track to the Oonups Drops Vol 2 compilation, released out of Germany in 2019.

Icarus (Tall Black Guy Remix) – Some dreamy soundscape vibes at work here, courtesy of Lovebirds aka Hamburg DJ/Prodcuer Sebastien Doering, who started releasing tracks as Knee Deep in 1998, before adapting the Lovebirds moniker in 2006. Galliano, you will recall, were a great Acid Jazz band from the heyday in London that exploded in the late 80s. And Tall Black Guy is definitely one of my favorite Hip Hop producers working right now. All in all, a great Marvel team up.

Duck & Cover – Some 2019 throwback sounds from The UHssentials, who are rapper Encyclopedia Brown and producer Kenny Keys from Chicago. I mostly just like the loose fader beat.

Gotta Get Over / Hit Man – A back to back Gang Starr snack, with a classic up first, and something brand new to follow, released after Guru’s death. Q-Tip does his thing on the verse, and the Primo beat is, of course, nothing short of primo.

Tearz / Daytona 500 – Brooklyn’s instrumental studio band The El Michaels Affair has released a lot of great covers of rap songs and/or the originals that inspired them, and this is no different. It’s just nice to hear these tracks e-recorded with proper analog equipment. This is even more true when it comes to old RZA beats, as he was famous for his lo-fi sonics that seemed like they were recorded on a Star Tac flip phone. Or, more appropriately, a RZR. I threw in one Wu verse, followed by the acapella from Ghostface – cuz why not? His opening lines still devastate:

Say peace to cats who rock mack knowledge knowledgists
Street astrologists
Light up the mic God, knowledge this

What Goes Around – Classic Puba solo niceness. Back to a time in NYC when the word “parlay” inexplicably meant “chill”.

Despite The Weather / Go DJ – Two tracks from Louis Kevin Celestin aka Kaytranada, who is always 2 steps ahead of everybody IMO. The first is from his 2016 “99.9%” LP, and the second is from his 2019 “Bubba” LP. Both are really solid records, particularly his most recent.

King James – I will admit I seriously overdosed on Anderson Paak last summer, so I had to walk away for a few months. But just when I thought I was out, this track pulled me back in.

What You Need – I was a real devotee of uptempo R&B club records like this, back when I was DJing regularly. Raphael Saadiq’s “Get Involved”. Coffee Brown’s “The Afterparty”. Donnell Jones “U Know What’s Up”. You feel me? This Kaytrananda song would work perfectly in a set like that.

Number One – A classic NY club record that works on just about any crowd. From Patrice Rushen, back in 1982, when singers would occasionally just release an instrumental because it was THAT good. How does NOBODY do this anymore?

Face To Face – Just a bassline and wee bit of percussion and vocals. Dan Snaith aka Daphni was probably listening to a lot of ESG at the time. Or maybe Quango Quango. Or was it Konk. Either way, this has a rawness and simplicity that is a lost art, for sure.

I Zimbra (Brian Eno Remix) – I was thrilled when David Byrne included this early Talking Heads classic in his “American Utopia” musical. If this virus ever ends, and we can actually go to a Broadway theater again, I strongly urge you to check it out. It’s fantastic.

Black Water GoldAfrican Music Machine were not even from Africa, but rather, New Orleans. They released a few singles back in the 70s, and were later revived by crate diggers and record labels, that resulted in them re-forming for an album and tour around 2000.

Apache (Battle Dub) – Just a snippet of this very faithful cover by The Visioneers.

It’s You – I wrote a quick bio for Sweet Charles on THIS MIX that gives us a few clues as to why this man was so damn Funky. /

Cutting Room – A funk rarity from the Oceanliners that came out in 1972 on the Blue Candle label. Clearly it borrows heavily from The Isley Bros “It’s Your Thing” (1969), with some horns that sound kinda like The Average White Band.

Summoning The Monkey God (45 Edit) – One last track from The Sorcerers, the house band from ATA Records in Leeds. From the sound of this, I can only assume they’ve watched a lot of the early 70s movies that I’ve watched. They really nail that vibe. Dassit. Thanks for listening.

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