If you want to immerse yourself in the fashionable sound of raw 90s Rap, you need look no further than this 6 set playlist from 1994 and 1995. These rare radio recordings have been bandied about in various qualities over the years , but we thought we’d make it easy access like Eazy-E’s pants. He was on every Friday night between 1992 & 1994. He tore it up between 8 – 10 PM on THE station of choice in NY, the World’s Best Looking Sound, 107.5 WBLS.
Primo is a don, a ‘king of style’ if you will. His work with Gang Starr, his production credits, his unapologetic and wide ranging taste in music, and his legendary status within the universal Hip-Hop community as a humble cat, can’t be contested. But as a mix show DJ, this man is a ‘monster on the set’, and listening back to these shows, it’s evident that even with quite a few years of the business under his belt, he was still hungry like bears goin’ bonkers in Yonkers.
Listening back to a show which pre-dates Sirius XMs ‘Live From HeadQCourterz’ by approx a decade, the first thing that you’ll notice is Mr Martin taking the Terminator X approach [he was known to Speak with his Hands]. I don’t think he utters a word, but that ain’t important. He had Geronimo and assorted posse in effect in the other booth to undertake the presentation, which allowed him to concentrate on rippin shit.
They were broadcast in the mid-90s, and in 2009 they had a very limited Japanese release on CD. These recordings are from those CDs. He drops ‘Future Classics’, from all coasts, and as you know, his scratch is insanely and hypnotically tight at times, he even drops the airplane effect. What, you want more? He drops tracks that didn’t sell out in their first week, but still had ya head noddin back then. He drops a demo by an unsigned artist called Rambo [Produced by Clark Kent protege and old school alumni Ski, FKA MC Will-Ski from the Bizzie Boyz]. And, as you would, he murders some doubles of his own productions to make this a classic set. The Gang Starr Foundation make a couple of appearances, including a brief interview with Bahamadia and some time with Jeru. Apart from the fact that there are a few repeat listens of a handful of tunes over the 6 volumes, there is very little else to say about this playlist. All you need to do is listen, and maybe reach for a neckbrace.
Biggest propers to Biggest Gord and the PhilaFlava Unit.
Friday 18th November 1994, a definitive date in the annals of Rap battles.
This was the night two of the Bay Areas Rap crews would metaphorically go for the throat. Casual and the Hieroglyphics crew battled Saafir and the Hobo Junction mob in the Wake Up Show studios at KMEL in Northern California. The beef had been marinating for a minute but no one knew just how animated it was gonna get.
On Casuals full length LP ‘Fear Itself’, Saafir appeared on one of the tightest rhymes on the entire album. Yet when Casual was due to rock a rhyme on Saafirs debut ‘Boxcar Sessions’, it didnt happen for one reason or another. Maybe this was the cause of the dissent, who knows. There had been a couple of freestyle battles weeks previous to the KMEL showdown, they’d both met in San Francisco where Saafir presented Casual’s wallet to him at the end of an on-stage session [having pick-pocketed Casual while serving his in front of the crowd]. Maybe the cause of the beef was a mixture of pride, show n prove and a strong belief in beef.
By all accounts, the DJs were Prince Ice & Joe Quixx, and the winner was, well, that all depends on your affiliations and whether or not you took the [off the top] freestyle rhyme issue to heart. The atmosphere in the studio sounds tense to say the least, at one point King Tech informing the soldiers and the weed carriers in the KMEL studio ‘Yall got to chill, this is a Rap thing, you can fight outside’ !!
The purity of actual freestyle rhyming is commendable, but if we look back to Harlem World in Christmas 1981, Busy Bee had to accept that Moe Dee wiped his ass with him due to a syllable perfect delivery of a jaw-dropping fully rehearsed Rap. Saafirs vicious styles had the same effect in 1994, pernicious pre-writtens taking out the majority of the Hiero crew. Casual had some great one-liners off the dome, but with Saafir delivering booming pre-writtens like “Nigga you still play Pictionary with Mom and Dad/You grew up with wing dings named Buffy and Brad/You used to talk like this, that’s rad let’s go surfing”, there really was no competition.
Casual appears alongside Pep Love, Tajai & members of Souls of Mischief but unfortunately Del tha Funkee Homosapien didnt make it. Saafir appears along with Big Nous and various Hobos. The phone lines were opened and listeners had their chance to vote for a winner, but no on-air announcements were forthcoming.
Hoodied up and Timbo’d down, the studio guests on this occasion, Blackmoon and their associated Duck Down entourage, landed in London, fully Beef and Broccoli’d for promotional obligations, interviews and a performance or two. That was a day short of 20 years ago.
English and Jamaican accents get dropped, Tim drops a Westwood themed Snoop ‘Doggy’ Dogg G-Thang promo, artists like MCD & Scarface drop knowledge, Blackmoon, Smif n Wessun et al drop a freestyle that Westwood says ‘People will be crying for if they didnt have a blank cassette’ and Evil Dee drops a tasty little mix. Luckily, we had a blank cassette eh?
Apologies for the periodic static and the channel seperation on Side B [the original recording annoyingly cuts out sections of the right hand channel, for no apparent reason]. This is also one of the few tapes in the archives where the recording level witnessed some itchy trigger finger action.