Strip Your Sleeve, Give Up Your Stripes

First leaked by our man Robbie (of Unkut) two years ago…this is another rarely heard, vintage Mobb Deep banger from the Hell On Earth sessions of ’96. I am sure many of you forgot about/missed this…so grab your Henny bottle and get reminded.

Mobb Deep “Tha World” (Feat. Twin Gambino and Godfather Pt. III, Produced by Havoc)

As with many of these demo joints (and I’ve got many more to share), it’s always dope to hear how some of the most memorable verses from the finished product were first laid down (most of the time, on a different track). That being said, this joint is no different, serving as the original home for the dramatic narrative that was P’s part on “Nighttime Vultures.” What’s even crazier is the second verse he spits (one that was never recorded again, to my knowledge). Straight murda.

Generosity wins…so here’s another classic clip from BET’s Teen Summit

Pardon the corny video tag, but it’s worth it for this dope two-fer of Mobb classics…from perhaps many people’s favorite era of Hav and P (once again, the same pre-Hell On Earth business as the above-posted). On a more technical side-note…it’s good to see that these cats (like Camp Lo) also knew how to NOT cuff the mics when performing on stage. I can’t name a MC who has come out in the last 5-10 years who can say the same for him/herself.

And yo, they had Mya as their background dancer…say word!

Livin’ Foul

The Philadelphian Phill Most Chill has had plenty of aliases accompanied by plenty of releases, but I wanted to focus on the sample heavy joint Livin’ Foul he released in ’92 under the moniker Baritone Tiplove. The overall aura of this joint reminds me a bit of KMD‘s Black Bastards. It’s packed with ill rhymes and has its instance of hardcore steelo, but at the same time it’s got a funny/youthful side to it. This album needs a rerelease equipped with a promo poster of that loud cover. If you come across it at a reasonable price, don’t hesitate to scoop. And check Phill‘s blog — he drops gems and schools on all genres of music.

My Posse From The Bronx Is Deep

Ladies and gents, the precursor to the Camp Lo & Pete Rock collaboration, 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s, has been put out for public consumption. This release of new bangers, blends, and lesser-known Lo’ah gems is seamlessly thrown together by DJ’s Trackstar and Mark Divita (with most of the production handled by The Soul Brother #1, himself). I’ll let the guys responsible for the mixtape’s release, The Smoking Section, do the rest of the talking…

This tape does double duty. It reminds us of Camp Lo’s sometimes slept-on lyrical talent while serving hardcore fans with appetizers off the forthcoming full-length…

While we’re always fans of new material, it’s the hidden gems from Camp Lo’s earlier days that stand out. The Marvin Gaye sampled “Sandman,” stands out—a soulful reinterpretation exposition on Camp Lo’s love for women (plural). The focus on sampling and lyrical proficiency recalls a style fundamental to Hip-Hop, but in some ways passing us by. As distant descendants of Native Tongues, both Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede fit comfortably with this genre, mixing classic sounds with their own brand of off-the-wall, multi-syllabic rhymes. Should be interesting to see what they can do over a full stable of Pete Rock joints.

Click here for the The Tiffany Blue Mixtape Pt. 1.

While we’re on the topic of classic shit from the Diamond Crooks…looky what I stumbled upon today.

Yeah man…those were the days when BET was actually watch’able. Peep Mya in the tan(?) sweater on the right side at the end of the crowd on stage (she got her start as a background dancer and “correspondent” on here…was another reason why I watched back in my wonder years). I miss sitting down on a Saturday and being blessed by a gem of a performance on Teen Summit. More on that later…

Leavin’ The Shell There

Philly’s number one gunna Young C spits that hard Desi-bird shit over 9th Wonder’s soulful “Based God” concoction. Well…I won’t say which version/verses I prefer over the beat…but you (should) already know!

Young Chris “Base 2 Ya Face”

Chris goes in at Toca Tuesdays. The live radio sessions have never been a weak point for dude.

Hoppin’ Out The Volvo

This is the first track off of the Action Bronson and Statik Selektah album. QU to the Bean. Bronsolini goin’ in over a mellow backdrop.

Action Bronson & Statik Selektah “Cliff Notes”

A Child With A Child

New cold weather heater from The Hybrid, Danny Brown. This cat just doesn’t slow up when it comes to showing his versatility…and this joint speaks to the soul. Effortlessly.

Truth be told, he kinda lost me for a second with the more punchline’y style he was flippin’ on a few recent (older) leaks. I definitely heard the highly-animated echoes of Young Zee in Brown’s delivery (and I’m generally not a fan of “highly animated”…post-’98)…but then he does some shit like this…and practically every other track on The Hybrid…and has me at full attention again (pause). Basically, you need to keep duke on your radar…Detroit’s best bet for anything truly progressive and relevant in this day and age (and that’s not a reactionary statement due to his choice of fashion or grooming).

“Guitar Solo”

Save the children.

Editor’s Update: Yesterday, I literally listened to The Hybrid 6-7 times in a row, and once more on my way into the office, this morning. Man, that is definitely one of the best releases of last year. Further more, I have actually grown to thoroughly enjoy the more rambunctious side of Brown’s delivery…as it is just that, one partilcular side, brought out by the mood of the music he is coasting over. Easily one of the most interesting MC’s I’ve come across in the last handful of years. Definitely has some Pharoahe Monch and Redman in both the style of his vocals and his content…and channeled properly…so it’s gravy. Can’t wait for some new material (the Deluxe joints are ill as well).

I Will Noose You

CICO Records’ own Sha Banga makes his directorial debut for the visuals of Maffew’s track “Zen Master.” Appreciate the choice of Chatham Square, Chinatown for the filming — one of my favorite zones of the borough.

If you don’t have the Rare Gems mixtape already, my brethren Geng posted it back here.

Ain’t Killin The Sky

Came across this compilation of freestyles from various DJ Kay Slay shows originally threw up by DJ Step One. Tracks on the tape are featuring Big L, CNN, Da Ranjahz, Ghostface, Prodigy, and Sauce Money. But the joint I wanted to showcase features a SDE era Cam’ron accompanied by arguably my favorite spitter from Harlem, McGruff. Grab the whole joint here.

McGruff “Kayslay Freestyle” (Feat. Cam’ron)

Sample All Of Mine, Please

The Motown OG, Smokey Robinson, also one of my favorite songwriters of all-time (up there with Willie Hutch, Jimmy Castor, yeah the list goes on), is interviewed by Tavis Smiley (for his show on PBS) and answers questions on songwriting, Beethoven, sampling (i.e. when people sample his music), performing the same material over the decades, surviving the rapidly shifting times, his experience with drugs, etc. Nothin’ much to say, just watch. This man simply shines in his own glory (semi-pause) and Tavis conducts an entertaining sit-down, as it’s evident that he’s genuinely in awe of the cat he’s throwing questions at.

A quote from Smokey on sampling:

…when the first guys who came out who were doing the rap and then they would, what do you call, sample off your songs. There were people who I know who were writers who said, “Why are you sampling my music?”

Sample all of mine. (Laughter) Please. I beg of you, sample all of mine, man, because – really, because first of all, what better form of flattery is that, for a young artist who wasn’t even born when that song was written to hear that song and say, “Hey, man, I love this song so much I’m going to include it in one of my songs,” you know what I mean?

So as a songwriter, man, that’s a dream come true for me. So I love hearing my music, I love hearing it by other people. I hope it will always be played.

Huge shouts to my millz CV over at GRANDGD for throwin’ this up first.

Move In Move Out

Got another mix for the heads who keep Queens verbalists in the decks. This time around it’s Sumner 2 Lefrak, a Musaliny N Maze tape originally put together by DJ Shah Malid. For CNN fans that ain’t checked their affiliates’ material — terminate the nap and add this to your collection. I’ve spied other compilations of these “Moose-N-Maze” appearances, but this is the most thorough (my b about the DJ’s tags throughout). Download it here.

Musaliny N Maze “Exclusive”

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