The Skinny Boys – Jockbox Rap Attack World Premiere Feb 1986

Listening back to these Rap Attack World Premiere power-plays is precisely what RRR is all about. The excitement of hearing ‘World Premiere’ or ‘Exclusive’ stings and drops has stained our brains to the point that a chosen few of us remember the placement of those drops to this day when we hear the original tracks. That’s some pretty powerful shit that the FCC couldn’t regulate. Just tuning in and hearing them in the knowledge that whatever was played was brand new, was exciting enough. Thousands of people tuned into these weekly shows religiously, and globally, whether it was a DJ Red Alert show on WBLS in NY, a Westwood show from London or a Rap Attack with Super-Producer Marley Marl alongside the first Rap radio presenter, Mr Magic.

This example is a double-header, it’s crazy short, and raw like sushi but it’s so so dope. Marleys’ near-perfect mixing was great, so inventive, and in terms of creating a soundtrack for so many of us, an absolute blessing to be able to share again. The opener is from a group called The Skinny Boys, in particular, the track Jockbox. Members included the memorably named Shockin’ Shawn, Superman Jay and The Human Jock Box ! The tape is dated 1985, but also has some other bits on there too. As far as we can tell, the World Premiere dates back to February 1986.It was taken from an alblum called Weightless [Partly produced by another superstar of Rap radio, DJ Chuck Chillout] and even though the groups name was a straight response to The Fat Boys [arguably the most popular and ahem, biggest beatbox crew from the period], Weightless was big time within the Hip-Hop community, and considered far from novelty.

If pre-1990 beatbox singles on independant labels outta Bridgeport, Connecticut are not your specialised subject, don’t sweat it. Alotta people will recognise the track from the Comedy Central hit show Workaholics. To series creator Blake Anderson we say thank you, and also, if you didn’t pick this, and assuming that your Music Supervisors [Who dont look like their in their 40s either] didnt choose it, how come such a powerful chunk of the tune ended up in the credits ?
As well as the World Premiere, Marley takes it upon himself to tease the listeners with a back & forth ‘Mastermix’ of the seminal MC Shan track The Bridge, and The Honey Drippers Impeach the President, just doublin up for the hell of it. As casual as it was, hearing these specials in 2015 allows us to vibe off these dusty classic sounds all over again.

HUMUNGANOID propers go out to both the 2015, and the 14 year old Eric Johnson for having the prescience to record the show, and for hooking us up with the tape.

Marley Marl – Unreleased

Marley Marl’s In Control Volume 1 was such an iconic release, introducing the talents of the Juice Crew members like Big Daddy Kane, Masta Ace & Kool G Rap amongst others to a world of new listeners. But when Volume 2 was released in 1991, there was something amiss. I remember hearing it in my mates car for the 1st time that year, and thinking back to the Tim Westwood plays on the Capital Rap Show in London, from 2 years previous. Where was the cut with Marley rhyming over the ‘Im Your Puppet’ break? What had happened to this track and that track? It seems that a few things had been omitted from the finished 1991 Cold Chillin alblum, things that I knew I’d heard, things that we knew we had on a D90 in the glove compartment.

Marley Marl

The track No Bullshit is a true gem cos Marley rhymes throughout the entire track, somethin he didnt do that often. And the odd thing about No Bullshit is that, in comparison to the version that ended up on the alblum, the original unreleased mix murders the finished version. As Marlon says himself, the ‘beat thats smooth’ makes it an entirely different song, and even if some of the lyrics are mostly the same, some of them are kinda malicious, and didnt appear on the finished LP, and possibly for good reason.

Marley, intriguingly cusses Mr Magic, the same person that put him on in the industry and made him his right hand man on the Rap Attack. Maybe guilt was the motivation for the switch up and thats why this version never made it #justsayin Maybe the hyped up sound on the finished No BS was just more appropriate in 91. Have a close listen to what Marley says about ‘Business & pleasure’ and how Magic mighta got the two mixed up, its the only segment of the 2 versions that feature alternate lyrics. The flow on this version is controlled, smooth and confident, compared to faster needier rhyming on the Vol2 version, where he almost sounds like he’s gettin his flare on.

There were 10 cuts on Vol1, and 20 cuts on Vol2 [including a few skit bits]. Maybe there was an issue with the ‘Im Your Puppet’ sample from the 1966 James & Bobby Purify classic, who knows. On the 1991 version made available to the public, Marley even teases us with a shard of that track before switching up the pace to around 115 bpm, cos it’d been ‘jacked already’.

The 2 other bangers by the self-appointed Super-Producer are by a little known Rapper by the name of Rapataire, called They Cant Get With Me, who incidentally had another unreleased cut called Hip-Hop Science. The other is an uptempo track also from 1989, recorded off a Clark Kent In Control broadcast [with bonus De La Soul], by a group referring to themselves as Unit3. Very little is known about them.

The questions remain, how many more of these gems are gathering dust on reels, in shoe-boxes or behind radiators ?

Marley, just bless us with some more Hot Chillin already !

Westwood – First Radio1 Rap Show in Primetime – 7 June 2002

Westwood moves to BBC Radio One prime time, this day 11 years ago.

Cue studio guests Wyclef Marley Marl Puffy & Eminem passing through giving Tim justification to drop excessive bombs.

Puffy is loose. Eminem is vocal about Canibus and XXL.

Music from The Lox, Mannie Fresh, Crooklyn Clan, Cam’ron…

80 Mins of the first show ripped from MD and remastered in 320. No freestyles..