Thursday, November 30, 2006

R.I.P. Skanbino Mob

Rest In Peace:

Bone Skanless & Young Kee
(Skanbino Mob)

Bone Skanless
Real Name: Deion J.L Smith
Hailing From: Saginaw, Michigan
Born: Unknown
Died: 28 July 2006
Cause Of Death: Shot multiple times during a Friday night cruise.

Young Kee
Real Name: Marcus Mosley
Hailing From: Flint, Michigan
Born: Unknown
Died: 31 July 2006
Cause Of Death: Shot and dumped on his Aunts front porch.

I first read this in last months issue of XXL, and couldn't believe that both members of one group could get murdered in the space of 72 hours of each other. I've only been into Skanbino Mob for about 3 or 4 years when I was lent the 'Playin For Keeps' album, if you haven't heard these guys they are straight quality from start to finish. Bone Skanless (formerly known as That Nigga Bone) was the first one killed and apparently on two weeks earlier attended the funeral of his neice. After she was killed but before her funeral shots were fired at his home and a female friend was injured. In 2002 Bone Skanless was aquitted of a 2001 murder of a Flint man and in 2004 was charged with armed robbery and home invasion, he was sentenced to jail after pleading guilty on weapon charges. With a couple of days his partner was also murdered and dumped on his Aunts porch. Thats some real fucked up shit right there.

(Article From XXL Nov 06, Click To Enlarge)


Skanbino Mob - Front & Back Doe
Skanbino Mob - Representin

Friday, November 24, 2006

A Cut Above The Rest

Kool Herc, Flash, Bambataa, Theodore etc started it, Grand Mixer DST showed it to the world with Herbie Hancock on 'Vibe Alive' and then B Boys and B Girls perfected it. One of the worst things to happen to hip hop over the past 15 years is the slow fade out to a 'real' DJ cutting up samples and breaks. Obviously the copyright infringement laws that forced musicians to clear samples damaged the quality of alot of breaks but is no excuse for DJs not scratching throughout tracks anymore.

The DJ used to be at the forefront of the group and with groups like 'Jazzy Jeff And The Fresh Prince', 'Gregory D & DJ Mannie Fresh' and 'Cash Money & Marvelous' the DJ's name is in the groups title. Somewhere along the line the DJ faded out almost completely and even if a group had a 'DJ' as Joe Cooley said, they have become stage props standing behing turntables looking the part, moving the record back and forth but with no sound coming out the speakers. The emcee that started out as nothing more than a hype man at block parties for the DJ has now become the face to hip hop with breakers and DJ's used as background props for the cameras with a bit of graf behind used to make it look more 'street'. This forced up and coming DJ's sick of the mainstream market, drum machines and record CEO's to go back to basics and create Turntableism.

To me the golden era of hip hop was the late 80's and early 90's where groups like Philly's Tuff Crew had DJ Too Tuff terrorizing the decks, Low Profile had DMC Champion DJ Aladdin, Hijack had DJ Undercover and Surpreme, Cash Money showed off his DMC title on the cover of his album with Marvelous, Schoolley hade Code Money, LL had Cut Creator, UTFO's Mix Master Ice cut up the Flatbush crews tracks, the 2 Live Crew was getting bass'd and scratched out by Mr Mixx and amongst dozens of others, Joe Cooley was putting in for Rodney O and General Jeff.

Back then alot of tracks not only had DJ's scratching up breaks, but some tracks ended with a minute or two of the DJ showing off their skills. Some albums even dedicated an entire track to their DJ. To be fair not all groups ditched their DJ, infact in the Beastie Boys case they replaced an average DJ Hurricane for the incredible Mix Master Mike from the Invisibl Scratch Piklz and the I.C.P., although I'm not much of a fan, have kept it real on the decks. The Mixtape craze that has blown up over recent years has let DJ's use uncleared samples, remix underground artists over commercial beats and bring back the scratch that has almost been nonexistant over recent years. Every now and then I hear a new track that has a real DJ cutting shit up and it lets you know that you can take the DJ's name off the cover, replace him with a computer, stop pressing most new albums on wax, but you can't get rid of bedroom DJ's that are honing their skills waiting to resurface from the underground!!

Respect to Kool Herc, GM Flash, Bambataa and all the legends. To all the golden era DJ's, Joe Cooley, Aladdin, Miz, Cash Money, Surpreme, Undercover, Cut Creator, Mix Master Ice, Code Money, Punish, Poison Ivey, Evil E, Too Tuff, Mr Mixx, Derek B, Swift, Pam the Funkstress, Xtra Large, Icey Hott, Muggs, Mannie Fresh, DJ Slip, Unkown, BattleCat, Mix Master Mike, all the dope DJ's I forgot and all the turntablists world wide. The selected few tracks I put up are DJ cuts from various artists some are just the DJ cutting it up others are propper tracks with verses. There are so many I missed out on like Ice T 'Pimp Behind The Wheels', Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince 'The Magnificent Jazzy Jeff', 'T.D.S. Scratch Reaction' by the T.D.S. Mob, a 'Mega Mixx' by Mr Mixx off of a 2 Live album etc etc. Although these are some of my favourites, I had to put the Soopa Villainz track up from 2005 to show that these tracks still do happen, just not very often. I hope you enjoy them


UTFO - I'm The Master
Soopa Villainz - Mr Club
Tuff Crew - My Part Of Town
LL Cool J - Go Cut Creator Go
Rodney O Joe Cooley - DJ Nightmare
Low Profile - Aladdin's On A Rampage
DJ Cash Money & Marvelous - Ugly People Be Quiet (REMIX)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Dope Shit From The Chi

Chicago hip hop is a bit strange to me, you'd think that it would be bigger than it is considering that it has produced both dope underground artists like the South Park Coalition's Point Blank (who grew up there before moving to Texas) and His Majesti (long disbanded with Cyco and DJ Streek forming Insane Poetry in LA), as well as a good balance of more known artists like Twista, Common and of course Kanye West. To be honest I'd love to learn a whole lot more about Chicago hip hop and other artists from there because most of the underground artists and groups that I have heard from there are dope.

O.C.U. are a good example of some dope older underground Chicago hip hop. O.C.U. are a group from the Southside of Chicago that consists of Homicidal MC, Impact, Murder 1, Sudden Death and DJ Tragic. O.C.U. (Organized Crime Unit) play on the whole Mafia gimmick, as you can see just by looking at the cover. The group came out with 'Stronger Than The Mafia' in '91 which was a follow on from their debut E.P. 'Penetentiary Bound' on Kapone Records. The EP had some different versions of tracks that later featured on the album that were actually a little bit better. There are alot of quality tracks on both the EP and the full length album, but I've decided to chuck up 'Proud To Be A Gangster' as it sums up the groups style and mentality pretty well.

This next track is by a group called Tha Chamba which is made up of Toxic, Chainsaw and DJ Riot One. The dopely titled album, 'Makin Illa Noize' is pretty crazy but I wouldn't have a clue about them other than what's in the artwork and on the disc, which is all impressive. This '95 album is on Coroner Records and distributed by the classic Ichiban company. The track for download is 'Hardcore Kru', it's a quality track and a good representation of the rest of the album. Unfortunately thats where I'm gonna have to leave it with this album, as I know nothing else.

Do Or Die consists of the three members, Belo, Nard and AK-47, they were a pretty sick group who were definately worthy of carrying the legendary Rap-A-Lot Records label printed on the back of their albums, that was until 2000 when they released the wack 'Victory' album. I know people who say I'm too hard on that album, but to me it's absolute shit and an embaressment to Lil' J's empire. However, that is 'Victory'. 1998's 'Headz Or Tailz' and 1996's 'Picture This' are completely different. The track I put up for download is 'Shut Em Down' from the latter, a track produced by The Legendary Traxster. The album has a couple of tracks featuring Tung Twista (now known as just Twista) who back in the early 90's found himself in the Guiness Book Of World Records for being the fastest timed rapper on the mic, he may no longer hold the record but his flow still can't be fucked with.

Next up is another group who were a part of the Rap-A-Lot Records family, Snypaz, consisting of 2/4, Chilla, R-O-B, and Sic Wic. Hailing from Westside Chicago, the group originally came out as the Westside Connection, but before dropping an album Cube, WC and Mack 10 used the title, probably a complete coincidence but this is Ice Cube we're talking about, so who knows? Anyway, the group then decided to dub themselves as Snypaz and went on to release some locally released product and then the 1997 EP 'My Life as a Snypa'. The group then dropped 'Livin' In The Scope' in 2000 and later 'Snypaz' in 2002, both on Rap-A-Lot. The track I've put up for download is the short but sick 'Kamakazi' which is off of their 2000 album and is produced by Mike Dean.

Last up are a group who sound nothing like any of the aforementioned artists, this group in question being Los Marijuanos. I first became aware of this group thanks to SPM's 'Latin Throne' DVD's and I soon ordered one of their albums. Pony Boy takes care of the majority of rhyming duties for the group, while still managing to incorporate some singing into the album here and there. As the group's name suggests, they primarily make weed tracks, although they do branch out on tracks such as 'Brown Pride' and 'Watch Yo Back', the latter of which you can download below. I can't speak on the group too much as I've only heard their 'Puro Pleito/Pure Drama' album, but from that album alone I can definately say that they make some dope music. The only other group from Chi Town that I can think of that sound anything like these guys would be Kinto Sol (who've worked with Los Marijuanos) and I highly reccomend those guys if you haven't heard them already.

^ Click To Enlarge ^
Article From: Rap Pages (December '92)

If you're interested in the Chicago hip hop scene then here is a quality site you should check out, they do miss out on a few artists however it is pretty comprehensive.

O.C.U. - Proud To Be A Gangster
Tha Chamba - Hardcore Kru
Do Or Die - Shut Em Down
Snypaz - Kamakazi
Los Marijuanos - Watch Yo Back

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Committing War Rhymes

First up, I'm not into politics, I've never chained myself to a tree to save a rain forest, and I've never joined a anti-war protest. That being said, most politicians can suckadick, making the rich richer, the poor poorer, filling their pockets with money that should be spent on public shit and of course sending millions of soldiers to fight a war that shouldn't be fought. I'm sure George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard's sons and daughters aren't enlisted in any defence force.

On this post I've chucked up some war tracks by several rappers with their own way of hitting the subject, Paris comes from the point of view of a young African American student that gets tricked into enlisting into the army and then goes on a so called 'peace keeping mission' slaughtering innocent people in the track 'AWOL' from his 2003 'Sonic Jihad' which is one of the best albums to come out this millenium. Richmond CA's C.I.N. member B-Dub a.k.a. B-Double (one of the most under rated emcees with his fast double timed raps) has a track called 'We Commend You' on his 'World War I Mixxtape' where he takes an approach I've never heard before, giving shout outs to all the soldiers that risk their lives in war, and he tries to relate them to the war he's living in, the concrete jungle war in his ghetto, trying to stay alive.

There's a few other tracks I put up and I know there is a few more that don't come to mind right now and I'm sure there's a heap more that I don't even know about.
This post is dedicated to the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld.

B Dubb - We Commend You
Bushwick Bill - Fuck A War
Paris - AWOL
Esham - No War
Shock G, Paris, Sway - Time For Peace

Thursday, November 09, 2006

R.I.P. Fat Tone

Rest In Peace:
Fat Tone

Real Name: Anthony Watkins
Hailing From: Kansas City
Born: Unknown
Died: May 24 2005
Cause Of Death: Shot several times, found dead in a car in Las Vegas.

This one's a bit of a touchy topic, as yet no one has been found guilty of either the murder of Mac Dre or Fat Tone (or pretty much any rapper found murdered for that matter). Although it is speculated by alot of people that Fat Tone was responsible for Mac Dre's murder, however he had an alibi for the time of Dre's death, which happened in Kansas City after a show. The real investigation however was going on in the bay by Mac Dre's friends, and it is rumoured that bay rapper Mac Minister went to Vegas for a Snoop concert and got in contact with Tone and promised to take him to Snoop's people to help hook up a record deal. Instead Tone was shot and killed and later found in a car at a housing projects site. The feuds between the different rappers go back a long way with Mac Dre and E-40 having problems years ago about some girl, E-40 also had beef with Mac Dre's friend, Mac Minister who got into a fight with 40 at the televised Source awards in Pasadena about 6 or 7 years ago, and E-40 was friends with Fat Tone. I'm not sure what any of that means but there was alot of beef between rappers from Kansas City and the Bay, and at the end of the day two rappers, and God knows who else, have lost their lives over some shit that went on. I guess who killed who, and who did what will stay on the street with only those who need to know, knowing. R.I.P to Dre and Tone.

Fat Tone Ft E-40, Nate Dogg, Butch Cassidy - Money Rules
Fat Tone - Night And Day

Friday, November 03, 2006

Criminal Nation Vinyl Rips

These guys that came out of Tacoma, Washington back in the very late 80's under the name Americas Most Wanted. They changed their name to Criminal Nation after hearing about another crew from Oakland with the name A.M.W. (Americas Most Wanted) half way through recording their can't be fucked with Nastymix album 'Release The Pressure' from 1990. Although the cover appears that Criminal Nation are a massive crew they are actually just a two man crew, the emcee, MC Deff and DJ E (Eugenius who also produces their shit) although they are in a posse called D.C.P. (Def City Posse) with rappers like D-Rob, Clee Bone and D-Wiz amongst others.

In '92 Criminal Nation came back to release their second album, 'Trouble In The Hood' also on Nastmix which isn't a shadow of their debut. MC Deff went to Canada for a while but got caught up in some drama that saw him escape from the border and return to the states to release three albums under the name 'Wojack' but unfortunately nothing compares to the 'Release The Pressure' days. In 2000 the members of the D.C.P. took the name 'Criminal Nation' to release an album called 'Ressurection' but without MC Deff something doesn't seem quite right with it. Although all those D.C.P. rappers have got skills too.

As I mentioned on the Sir Mix-A-Lot Vinyl Rips post, Nastymix were always known for their unreleased tracks on twelves or a remix that actually sounds different from the album version. These are all dope quality tracks.

Criminal Nation MP3's:
(Unreleased Album Tracks)

Niggaz From The Ghetto ft The D.C.P.
Release The Pressure Remix
Rap Criminal