THE RETURN

rakim – street freestyle
mobb deep – survival of the fittest
jeru the damaja – invasion
ghostface feat az – double cross
logic – under pressure
the roots feat dice raw & greg porn – understand
freddie cruger – keep on knocking’
mic geronimo feat OC and royal flush – men vs many
atmosphere – apple
blu feat fashawn & pac div – boyz n the hood
vinia mojica feat common – the sun god
ludacris feat miguel – good lovin’
epmd – manslaughter
large professor feat nas – one plus one
talib kweli feat raekwon – violations
jay-z – the ruler’s back
slick rick – the ruler’s back
run the jewels – get it
freddie gibbs & the world’s freshest – I be on my grind
daye jack – hello world
logic – metropolis
fabolous feat jeremih – thim slick
jazz liberators feat j sands – when the clock ticks
snoop dogg – full of that shit
skee-lo – i wish
de la soul – ring ring (ha ha hey)
tash feat raekwon – rap life
the un – get yo bitch
goldlink – bedtime story
ghostface feat elzhi & badbadnotgood – gunshowers

 


MIX NOTES

Rakim freestyle – short verse he spit at the beginning of a music video in the 90s. I just to like to hear his damn voice. Just sounds like Hip Hop to me.

Survival of the Fittest – this was always my favorite Mobb Deep cut, simply because the track is SO fucking dope. It was always difficult to mix, because the baseline starts on a half note before the 1, and that shit is just hard to catch when you’re in a club and 5 beers deep. I added a few custom acapella drop outs, just to own it a little more inna 138 style.

Invasion – Jeru has so many great songs on great Primo tracks, I can always just dig back through his albums and find a cut I never put on a mix. His obsession with police harassment is just as relevant in 2015, if not more so.

Police all on my dick like I shot somebody
cuz of these big ass lips and and I rock my locks knotty.
Snatchin’ up a nigga for nothin’.
I heard bad guys wear black,
so I guess I’m
the mutha fuckin’ villain.

Double Cross – This dropped in November. As long as Ghost stays being Ghost, I will run his tracks in mixes. The Kid always delivers. AZ comes through with a solid verse of his own. This is a live track recorded by the Brooklyn 3-piece The Revelations, who recorded a 2014 LP in Memphis with some help from Stax and HI Records veterans. I have yet too see them live but I heard good things from the Sharon Jonesy Fort Greeney crowd.

Under Pressure – I tend to shy away from fresh-faced white rappers on GP, especially when they look like Bieber’s little brother (biased, I admit), but this kid has been growing on me over the last few years via his mixtapes. He’s from Maryland, but I think he reps LA at this point. Def Jam signed him last year and he’s been on the rise since. He can definitely flow. Derivative of Kendrick Lamar, perhaps, but solid. And Chicago veteran NO ID makes great tracks, so all in all its a solid package.

Understand – The best track from the Roots’ latest LP “And Then You Shoot Your Cousin”. Also features Roots fam staple Dice Raw, who broke through on the Roots’ classic “The Lesson Pt. 1”, which you should listen to again, just cuz the beat was so bugged and Dice Raw’s debut verse caught my ear at the time.

Keep on Knockin’ – Freddie Cruger is a former 80s Stockholm B-Boy who started making beats in the 90s. He’s down with the Raw Fusion cats and makes smoove boom-bappish beats that I like to break up mixes with. The voice is a 1960s reading of “Think & Grow Rich” that just sounded like some cool weird shit to put on a mix.

Men VS Many – Classic Mic Geronimo joint from a very specific period around 1995 when every NY crew made laid back, 90bpm posse cuts ala “Leflaur Leflah”.

Apple – Atmosphere is underground MC Slug from the Minneapolis Rhymesayers crew. I came across this 2003 track on a random skate video and it reminded me of all of the great things I miss about The Pharcyde.

Boyz n The Hood – I fucks with Blu. Everything he does is pretty dope to me. And both Fashawn and Pac Div should have blown up already if you ask me. This track has a very funky, push-n-pull, over-compressed sound that takes a second to get used to, but it grew on me. The last verse has a great spoken word, stop-n-start cadence you rarely hear in Hip Hop anymore.

Lost in a promised land, milking honeys

A field of dreams, this the city of angles
Set your neck on the line, that shit’ll get strangled

What you expect? Besides connected
The culdesac council
Starter jackets, and Sauconys, the sauce in me

And a sordid past
Fresh from court, no boarding pass
Forfeit arms from a lord’s lab

Pour more with a taller glass

Monetary support towards some college class

A wealth of knowledge, hustle mania

Game became plays to make with power

Sitting on the stoop like a substitute, solid
Chopping it with the barbers
displacing transplanted

Sipping a chalice in childish comfort
The colors got colored improper
Shuffling shuckers, cool suckers, cards for audit

The Sun God – At the tail end of the 90s, when Hip Hop was sucking and we all knew it, there was still Hi Tek making beats like this.

Good Lovin’ – Miguel has a classic R&B voice that makes ladies swoon, and Luda will always deliver a few solid verses. Yeah he’s past his prime, but he’s making that Fast Five money, so who cares? Not me.

Manslaughter – I’ve always loved EPMD’s lazy flow, and nobody else used the word bozack as much as they did, so there’s that.

One Plus One – I had forgotten all about this Nas guest track on Large Pro’s first solo LP. The rhymes are classic Nas in his prime, and the beat is classic Extra P magic. Drink it in.

Violations – Is it just me, or is Talib the Renee Zelwegger of rap – his flow changed so much that he’s barely recognizable anymore. Weird. Yet I still have love for him. This came out about a year ago on the Gravitas LP. Raekwon, as always, fucking kills it. Exhibit A:

You know I wrestle with pawns,
getting my money, we gone
The automatic laying player, we dons

You can’t see us, the new phenoms,
I like the Benz zeons

Split your wig like I got three arms

I need a fiancé, at least a Beyoncé

I know my vision beyond
some other shit just as meaty as moms

I’m supposed to be on
the greenery gone

The Ruler’s Back – Just a random Jigga acapella I threw on here to set up the Slick Rick classic to follow. In truth, I had to fuck with Jay’s verse to stay on beat, as his flow was very lazy for this 2006 intro joint.

The Ruler’s Back – This track sounds like NY radio in the 80s to me. Just the whole production has that specific reverb to it that says to my brain “Red Alert is on the mix”. Maybe you had to be there.

Get It – I’ve never been a big El-P fan, but both Run The Jewels LPs are solid as fuck. Killer Mike made the right move getting with this dude.

I Be On My Grind – I’m digging this moody, synth-laced flip of a dirty south-type beat. Freddie Gibbs hails from Gary Indiana, which if you ever go there, instantly reminds you just how desperate the Midwest ghetto experience really is. DJ Fresh from Oakland’s battle crew The 12-Inch Assassins on the beat.

Hello World – Daye Jack is an 18 yr old NYU student originally from ATL. This is his from his first mixtape, “Hello World”, which shows mad promise and you can cop it for free HERE

Metropolis – another track from Logic. When he gets in that bouncy flow about halfway through the track, I can’t help but give him props.

Thim Slick – Fabolous will always get love from Brooklyn. He should just keep making joints like this and nobody will complain. Solid club track that couples can dance to towards the end of the night. Too few of those, these days. Chicago’s Jeremih had another good year by the looks of it, steadily climbing since his 2009 break through on Def Jam.

When The Clock Ticks – J Sands is one half of the Columbus, Ohio rap duo The Lone Catalysts with J Rawls. Both of them rep a fairly traditional 90s flow and I’m not the least bit perturbed at that.

Full Off That Shit – This is a random cut from a Snoop mixtape that came out last year. Sounds like an old Neptunes beat (check) and Snoop’s flow is always Snoop’s flow (double check) so what’s not to like?

I Wish – I somehow never put this song on a mixtape in the last 20 years so it was simply overdue.

Ring Ring Ha Ha Hey – If you recall, this was the second single from De La’s long awaited 2nd LP, after A Roller Skating Jam. At the time, I usually just played the LP sleeper “Pass the Plugs”, cuz the singles got so much attention, but this really holds up, thanks mostly to The Honeydrippers and The Whatnauts, but still, Prince Paul knew WTF he was doing. That was a shamefully long run-on sentence.

Rap Life – Classic party track I used to run a lot in the late 90s. Sounded great in a club and had silly memorable lyrics. Remember those?

Get Yo Bitch – The U.N. was a Cam’ron mixtape side project featuring uptown rappers Charlie Clips, Byrd Lady, Vado, Fly Boyz, Begetz, Young Hustle, Felony Fame (great name), and Omar ‘Iceman’ Sharif. Cam started the group after he and Jim Jones dissolved the Diplomats. This came out around 2010 or so. It always reminded me of classic uptempo posse cuts on Big Daddy Kane’s records.

Bedtime Story – From Goldlink’s 2014 debut mixtape “The God Complex” – which blends Hip Hop and forward-thinking, bassy electronica sounds in a way nobody else is quite doing right now. He calls it “future bounce”. Must be the DC/BMore influence. It’s fresh as fuck. You can DL the whole tape for free HERE

Gunshowers – Yes, one more Ghost to close it out. This one features a different live band, Toronto’s BADBADNOTGOOD, who throw down lovely – with Detroit’s underground boss Elzhi – never to be slept on.


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