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Air Adam Podcast

Hip Hop Music

A mix through a selection of Hip-Hop and whatever else comes off the shelves - special respect to those underappreciated artists, album cuts, and b-sides - always keeping it varied, aiming to make sure everyone discovers something new every episode!


Manchester, United Kingdom


A mix through a selection of Hip-Hop and whatever else comes off the shelves - special respect to those underappreciated artists, album cuts, and b-sides - always keeping it varied, aiming to make sure everyone discovers something new every episode!





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Episode 181 : Still Rollin'.

"Come on and give me my props..." - Diamond Fifteen years! We started this ride in June 2009 and here we still are all these years later. Thank you so much for your support, and I hope you'll stay with me for as long as I'm able to keep putting these shows together. The point of this podcast has never been to prioritise new releases, or to only ever look to the past, but a blend of the two. With that in mind, this month's mix certainly has some old personal favourites, a sprinkling of new music, and some obscurities and rarities! Listen, enjoy, and please do spread the word as widely as you can - as I always say, I have a lot of things, but no advertising budget 😆 I was racking my brain trying to come up with cover art that would reference the theme of fifteen...then realised that the infamous "4, 5, 6" combination sums up to that very number! Mastodon : Twitch : @airadam13 Events : Playlist/Notes The Thryday : Fantastic The album this was ultimately released on is only available for silly money on the second-hand market, but at least I had this from an old mixtape ("WJLR Radio, Volume 1") to share with you! The Dutch master Nicolay is on production for this North Carolina group who were part of the Justus League family and appreciated by those in the know. This same beat, with the same name, is also on Nicolay's "City Lights" and the "City Lights 1.5" version, but with the rhymes that elevate it so...much harder to get! [J Dilla] Jaylib : The Red (Instrumental) You already know! One of the best-loved instrumentals from Dilla's post-Slum career - certainly if the reaction when I drop it in a set is anything to go by - and one that will move your speakers for sure. The original is from the famed "Champion Sound" collaboration between Dilla and Madlib, where each rhymes over the other's production, and now the full set of instrumentals is available, making the deluxe release a 100% must-own. Jigmastas ft. Mos Def, Mr. Complex, Pharoahe Monch, Shabaam Sahdeeq, and Talib Kweli : Lyrical Fluctuation Remix This is a true all-star MC roster from the late 90s-early 00s independent scene, with DJ Spinna of Jigmastas on remix duties, bringing a different vibe to Joc Max's original, based on crazy short chops of a classic soul sample and having them cheerfully bounce along. I only got this 2000 release in the last few weeks, but have already played it on Twitch, digitised it, and am now sharing its eternally-fresh energy here! Ghostface ft. Wigz : Outta The Way " the gym throwing the dumbbells all out of order" - disgraceful conduct... Another usage of the same sample from the "Lyrical Fluctuation" remix, this Anthony Acid beat is more straightforward, with Ghostface and Wigz busting through with the energy of two guys rushing a bank! This was one of the standouts on the 2005 Ghostface and Trife "Put It On The Line" LP, though not released as a single despite the potential. Mobb Deep : Feel My Gat Blow The soundtrack to the Saul Williams-starring "Slam" was very much a mixed bag in the vein of many 90s-00s soundtracks, but certainly had a few standouts and otherwise-unreleased cuts from some greats, of which this is one. Havoc's beat sounds like a mix between a medieval court and 90s NYC, and the lyrical content is trademark Mobb. Redman : Winicumuhround As much as I love Redman's "Dare Iz A Darkside" album (which, notably, he doesn't - reminds him of a bad time), I had all but forgotten about this track until I pulled the vinyl out for a front-to-back listen recently. Erick Sermon and Redman combine on production to have this one thump along with a killer bassline-lead track, and Red is in fine form on the mic. With the voice of the late Hurricane G appearing as part of the densely-packed hook, this is a Def Squad heater for sure. Pete Rock : Death Becomes You Definitely one of my favourite Pete Rock beats of all time, but we had to wait a long time to get an...


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Episode 180 : Reverse Jams

"Slashed all four tyres on the bandwagon..." - Pos The end of the fourteenth year of the show is here, with the numerically-satisfying number 180! It's been a good month for shows, with a highlight being seeing Edo G live for the first time, so I've included a couple of his tracks alongside some recent releases, a rarity or two, and some bonafide old classics. The show is a touch longer than usual, running a little over an hour, but hopefully it still flies by for you! Mastodon : Twitch : @airadam13 Playlist/Notes Edo G, DJ Yoda, and Brad Baloo : Talk About It Coming off the back of seeing a great performance by Edo G and DJ Yoda at The Hip-Hop Chip Shop in Manchester this month, I thought we'd start the episode with a smooth selection from their new "Hometown Heroes" EP. Edo G is in his grown man rap bag on a Brad Baloo beat, with Yoda on the cut - and if the record he's cutting is what I think it is, then that's an A1 selection. Visoneers : Swahililand I finally got round to digitising the "Hipology" 7" box set, a 2012 release by Marc Mac's Visioneers project that features tributes to the Hip-Hop side of his influences, and notably contains several cover versions of famously-sampled tracks, of which this is one. This is a beautiful version of a track originally by the late great jazz pianist and composed Ahmad Jamal, which eventually breaks out into the part most people will recognise - the mighty chords sampled from the Jamal version by J Dilla for De La Soul's "Stakes Is High". DJ Spinna ft. Dynas : More Grab the "Sonic Smash" album by Spinna if you see it - it's no longer on streaming services and with it also not being available on Bandcamp, picking up a physical copy is the only way to secure yourself a copy of this really high-quality album. In the meantime, take this slice, with Spinna coming with his trademark synth bass as the centre of the instrumental, and Miami's Dynas, a longtime collaborator, spitting a positive message on the mic. Buscrates ft. Soraya Watti : On My Way It was great to hear Buscrates play this track during a DJ set on Twitch recently while Soraya Watti was actually in the chat - the love she was getting was beautiful. This warm, bassy, soulful cut is the closer on last year's "Control Center" LP, a triumph from the Pittsburgh synth maestro. Curren$y ft. Freddie Gibbs : Stash House Eighties vibes here on the production, with 808-Ray going vaporwave style on the main sample and then adding his drum track to it. Curren$y fills this lane extremely well, as he uses his trademark relaxed flow to liken the dope stuff being exported out of his studio to...well, actual dope...while guest Freddie Gibbs just jumps straight out of the analogies and into the street for real. This is from the "Andretti 12/30", which was one of twelve (!) monthly releases Curren$y did back in 2016 - he might sound relaxed enough to be able to fall off the floor, but he's one of the most prolific MCs of his generation. Fat Pat : Tops Drop RIP Fat Pat, the creator of a true Southern classic that just overflows with good vibes! J Slash on production brings in the bassline groove from an 80s soul classic on this track from Pat's debut "Ghetto Dreams", and the lyrics are just about the joys of stunting in a nice convertible. This still gets plenty of play to this day on its home turf, and the youngsters at University of Houston basketball games hear it as the team's theme music - even though it was released before they were born! Ilajide : Number One The exact flavour of banging beat we've come to expect from Detroit's Ilajide, with the drums smacking, the main sample stuttering and the bass coming in strong to undergird it all. I might need to go and find/buy the original sample, which plays for a few seconds quietly at the very end, but you can find this track and some other excellent work on the "3" album. Declaime : Exclaim The Name A track with a bump so urgent it almost feels...


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Episode 179 : Crate Expectations

"If you're wrong, you're wrong, and if you're right, you're right." - Malcolm X It's been a rough month in the Hip-Hop community, as we've said goodbye to Mister Cee, Rico Wade of Organized Noize, MC Duke, and Keith LeBlanc, all of whom are included in this episode's selection. Rest in peace to all, and thanks to them for all their contributions. Despite spending a fair amount of time (and £) digging in the vintage crates this month, the selection is mostly a mix of exploring my existing colllection, plus a few new brand new digital releases. I will be very impressed if there's anyone who knows every track here already! Mastodon : Twitch : @airadam13 - see upcoming schedule @ Playlist/Notes MysDiggi : Skull Island It was a pleasure to hear the well-respected UK MC MysDiggi explain some of his approach to writing and maintaining a career at the Hip-Hop @ 50 event at the Contact Theatre in Manchester recently, and so I wanted to include a track from him on this episode! On this track from "Tip Of Da Mysberg 3", he's in full King Kong mode over an 8-bit-style beat from Manchester's Twizted Roots (now Strange Soul Music) that has demolished the room when he's played it at the WORKINONIT producer sessions. A perfect union for a literally monster tune! [Dabrye] Bus : Keep Life Right Remix (Instrumental) Bass and more bass, following up with another electronic track that was very popular in Manchester on the underground scene in the early nineties. The vocal version has lyrics by Scottish MC Soom-T, and if you go all the way back to Episode 55 you can hear it there - though of course, if you like it, I recommend buying a copy! Sparkz : Buzzin Last year's "Overload" EP by Manchester's Sparkz was a great release on High Focus records, with five tracks entirely produced as well as written by the man himself - and with a touch not seen nearly enough these days, all the instrumentals coming included as well! This is the opener and probably my favourite, with a nice relaxed bounce to the rhythm and the lyrics flowing over nice and easy...until he ramps it up with some devastating double-speed bars! I don't know if any of the vinyl copies of this are still available, but it's on Bandcamp so you can pick it up for yourself there. OutKast : Elevators (ONP 86 Mix) Of course there had to be some Rico Wade this month, and so I've gone back to what is still my favourite OutKast LP ("ATLiens") for the remix of the lead single. It retains some of the same spooky keys as the OutKast-produced original but overall swaps elements out for something more of a live feel, you could say - almost like a funk band putting their own spin on it. Cookin Soul & The Musalini ft. Planet Asia : I Want It All Mus has been cultivating his New York take on the "gentleman of leisure" lane, and this luxurious track is a standout on the newly-released "Mackaroni" album, with Valencia's Cookin Soul hooking up an Anita Baker sample for a short and sweet cut, with both Mus and guest Planet Asia cooking (no pun intended) up visions of fly living, with those Mediterranean lamb chops sounding good right about now... Z-Ro ft. Mya : Clearer This has been a track on repeat for me this month, great track from Rother Vandross' new "The Ghetto Gospel" LP. He's never really made a mainstream splash, but those who know him have no choice but to appreciate and respect him. Getting the legendary Mya to feature here was a big win, and Beanz & KornBread on production beautifully interpolate a Houston classic for a sparkling clean track perfect for when the sun does eventually appear! DJ DMD : 25 Lighters (Instrumental) I was utterly amazed to find out that I'd never played any version of this track on the show before, but with the preceding tune drawing heavily from this Houston anthem, I had to drop the instrumental at least. DJ DMD sampled the classic "Nite and Day" by Al B. Sure and hooked it up perfectly for an...


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Episode 178 : @StreetLevel

"...just to show how many come to the funeral." - Tee There's some very serious Hip-Hop in this month's selection - from the rugged to the smooth, and from some old and even unreleased material to brand new releases! Of course we pay tribute to Biggie, Phife, and Nate Dogg, with some music that may have passed you by previously. RIP Bo$$...I make a point of not repeating tracks on the podcast, but her classic single "Deeper" is in the mix on episode 37 if you fancy going back nearly twelve years into the archives. Her run may have been short, but the talent was there. Oh yes - the Hieroglyphics gig in Manchester this June still has some tickets available! Mastodon : Twitch : @airadam13 Event/stream schedule : Playlist/Notes The Notorious B.I.G and 2Pac : Where Brooklyn At? (Freestyle) Starting off raw, but also very much a selection that makes you sad when you consider what was lost - first a friendship, then two lives. Biggie and 2Pac took the stage together in 1993 at Madison Square Garden for this memorable freestyle performance (with some of the lyrics later turning up on other tracks), and DJ Mister Cee had the presence of mind to record it to cassette. The sound quality might be rough, but it's history. RIP to Biggie and 2Pac. [Oh No] Grand Agent : After This track is a shockingly short fifty-two seconds long, so I had to loop it up here to give a long enough instrumental bed for the voiceover - and it's a shame because it's easily one of the best beat on the "Under The Circumstances" project that Oh No produced for Grand Agent back in 2005. This was another bit of wax that I rediscovered during The Great Digitisation, and I'm glad I did - for everyone who missed it the first time round, there's a very affordable digital release! The Eastsidaz ft. Butch Cassidy, Nate Dogg, and Kokane : Cool We start the first mix over on the West Coast, Long Beach to be precise, with The Eastsidaz, a group made up of Snoop, Big Tray Deee, and Goldie Loc, and essentially a reprise of a previous group The Eastsiders that had Snoop, Crooked I, and Li'l C-Style as members. While the original group only released one song officially, the later lineup is much better-known, and their second LP "Duces 'n Trayz: The Old Fashioned Way" is a well-regarded album for those who appreciate the style. The late great Nate Dogg blesses them with some vocals on the hook here, alongside the multi-talented but oft-overlooked Butch Cassidy who is actually the lead singer here, and another connoisseur's choice in Pomona's Kokane. The producer isn't one that you might immediately expect, but in fact Hi-Tek working with MCs who are spitting material far from the Reflection Eternal sphere! Tyler Daley : Never Look Down The first of a run of three Manchester tracks, this is a brand new single from half of Children of Zeus, taken from his aptly-named "Son of Zeus" EP. Thematically this could have been part of Zeus' "Balance" album, with Tyler both rhyming and singing about the challenges and pressures of balancing family life and a music career, over the kind of modern soul production that is a crew trademark. Definitely get yourself a copy of this new release. Berry Blacc, Dubbul O, & Jointhedots : The Rain Possibly the most appropriately-named record that could come from Manchester, Jointhedots are back with their second release of the year, with longtime collaborators Dubbul O and Berry Blacc on the mic. The jazzy, chilled vibe of the instrumental is a trademark of the crew, and both MCs settle into it perfectly - not trying to dominate it, not running wild, just fitting in as two more instruments, lyrical ones of course. Grab this single and keep an eye out for future releases...🤞🏿 KinKai & Mecca:83 : Safe Don't Say Short, but one where they leave us wanting more! A third straight local selection, this was on the mammoth "Manchester With Love" compilation that raised money after the 2017...


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Episode 177 : Like Clockwork.

"Rockin' and rollin' like the myth of Sisyphus..." - Anthony Cruz More than any other month in the year, February is the one where we remember some of the greats that have passed on; as such, this mix includes tracks from J Dilla, De La Soul (RIP Dave), Big L, and Big Pun. The average ruggedness level is high, and we start off with a classic sample being used on a remix you might not know...volume up! Mastodon : Twitch : @airadam13 Playlist/Notes Slum Village : We Be Dem (Atomic Dog Mix) "Atomic Dog" is one of the most heavily-used samples in Hip-Hop, and with good reason - even in novice hands it sounds good, and with someone like J Dilla in charge, it sounds amazing! He has it twitching on the three on a beat it's impossible not to move to, and on the mics, the crew don't get too complex. It's only a short one, which I got on a white label of unreleased Slum Village cuts, but I think you can find it these days on some of the digital platforms. In my opinion, this mix wins over the original version! The ARE : OH You can hear the sound of a well-known Michael Jackson cut being atomised and reconfigured on this killer from the "Dem Damb Jacksons" instrumentals, which punches so hard that you realise why the track title is in upper case! The whole project, as you might guess from the name, is all MJ and Jackson 5 samples, worked to perfection by the man from Houston who you may also know as a member of K-Otix. De La Soul ft. Yummy Bingham : Much More A single that deserved to be so as a standout from "The Grind Date", this starts off with an uncredited guest appearance by the DJ Premier questioning the commitment of some to the the Hip-Hop culture, before passing to the late great Dave (aka Trugoy) to handle the opening verse. "Using these minutes like I value the call" is a great analogy for an MC who understood more than many how important it is to say something when you have the platform to do so. J Dilla's beat is grand and imposing, and his re-pitching of the main sample as used in the hook wrong-foots you - it was originally sung by a man, but sounds like a woman by the time he's finished with it! Sol Uprising ft. Emanon : Feel The Sound Somehow I'd "played past" this one over and over again, due to it sharing a slab of vinyl with the incredible "Raach Ya Sol" on the 2004 "They Don't Know" 12", but having stumbled on it while shortlisting for this month, I think I need to find more places to play it! Sol Uprising is the union of Sci the MC and the awesome Stacy Epps, who is towards the top of my list of "Musicians I Wish Had Released More Material". Alongside them here are Emanon, with Exile (who you might know better for his work with Blu) on production, and Aloe Blacc on the mic. It's the records like this, the ones that slip under the radar, the ones that you sometimes take a chance on, that really make a DJ's record collection. L.E.G.A.C.Y : More Legacy strides over this cut from the "Legsclusives" album with so much confidence that you can't help but love it! 9th Wonder's beat from the heyday of the Justus League initially draws you in with the short sample that repeats throughout and his swinging drum track (with a different snare/clap than you might have expected), but that sneaky low bass really anchors it. Kid Capri ft. Big Pun and NORE : Block Party Big Pun is regarded as one of the greats in spite of him unfortunately passing away without a huge amount of recordings - his impact was that powerful. It's always a joy to realise you have a feature by him that might not be known to many, and so we land on this collab alongside fellow Latino New Yorker Noreaga, with the legendary Kid Capri on production. "Soundtrack To The Streets", on which this appears, was Kid Capri's 1998 album where he handled things behind the boards and brought in an all-star cast on the mics - being a DJ with his kind of pedigree, there were a lot of people he could call! Otis McDonald : One For...


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Episode 176 : It's Goin' Down...

"I AM" - Chuck D Hope you've had a good start to 2024! While it's been a bit bumpy over here, the selection on the first episode of the year is strong from start to finish. If you know every single one of these tracks already...we should probably have a chat as you clearly have an ear for the good stuff! Mastodon : Twitch : @airadam13 Playlist/Notes Organized Noize ft. Big Boi, Big Rube, Sleepy Brown, and Cee-Lo : We The Ones A very fortunate find during a recent digging expedition, I didn't even know that the "Organized Noize EP" existed until I had it in my hands. Looking around on Discogs, it seems that it was a limited release in 2017 of 500 copies, on fiery orange vinyl and with a fantastic cover. Apparently twenty years in the making - probably because the production team behind OutKast, Goodie Mob, and more were kind of busy - it's a quality seven-song collection that you can now also get digitally! I heard a few seconds of this track at the listening post and it was the one that convinced me to buy the record, a musically-stirring and always-relevant and timely call to stand up and fight against oppression. Orbital : Adnan's This industrial-sounding track from the 1996 "In Sides" album was an extended version of a song they contributed to the 1995 "War Child" charity LP, and was named after a young boy who was killed by a missile during the war in the former Yugoslavia. Paul Hartnoll of Orbital broke this, and the rest of the album, down in a way only one of the creators could - so I'll link you to his own words. Sepalot ft. Blu : Surrender I've heard the instrumental of this many a time and had actually forgotten that there even was a vocal version! The beat went down well on the most recent #BeatsOnly show on my Twitch channel, so I thought I'd bring it out on this episode. The angular production from German producer Sepalot lurches, twitches, and squelches, with Blu fittingly being a bit more aggro lyrically than you might have expected from some of his better-known work. I have this on the B-side of a 12" headed up by "She Likes Me" with Frank Nitty, but you can also find it on the 2014 "Red Handed" LP. Jigmastas ft. Shabaam Saadique : Too Ill Does what it says on the tin! DJ Spinna on production on this track with the dramatic backing, courtesy of a well-known old TV show sample, while the processing on the vocals makes it sound like weak MCs are being admonished over the phone! By the way, the spelling of Shabaam's name is different than what I've seen on previous releases, but as it's written this way on this album ("Resurgence") I'm taking that as being correct unless/until I find out otherwise. Public Enemy : Louder Than A Bomb A classic from what is often said to be the greatest Hip-Hop album of all time, "It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back" (lot of text to write on a cassette label btw). Those who follow me know I'll sometimes refer to the more grimy records as "not calling for the building of a new nation or anything" but this track literally does! Chuck D will always be the first name that comes to mind when pro-Black, politically-driven Hip-Hop is mentioned, and this is just one of his outstanding vocal performances. Bomb Squad on production of course, with a hard-hitting track that would dominate most other MCs, even now. Sonically, you might notice that the sound is busy but not "thick" - if it was made nowadays, I suspect it'd be mixed with a lot more bass, not to mention built with more high-fidelity samplers. Would that have been "better"? Hard to say, but this is revolutionary in all senses regardless. Bumpy Knuckles & DJ Premier : B.A.P. (Bumpy and Premier) For those of more gentle dispositions, you may as well skip to the next track! Otherwise, this is quintessential boom-bap rawness, courtesy of DJ Premier - one of the finest exponents of the style - and fellow Gang Starr Foundation MC Bumpy Knuckles. Wicked track from the "KoleXXXion" LP,...


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Episode 175 : You're Forced To Chill

"Speaking to the people that matter, with my mind." - Grap While a lot of December up this way has been surprisingly mild, but there was an absolutely vicious period - was lucky that the heating in the house only died after the worst had passed. Still, it's fixed now, so I didn't freeze to death putting this episode together! As we draw towards the end of the year, the themes here might be wintery and seasonal, but the tunes are heat :) As promised, here's the link for WORKINONIT - definitely support this collective (and the venue that hosts the monthly events!) if you want to support grassroots talent 💯 Twitch : @airadam13 Mastodon : Show/Stream Schedule : Playlist/Notes Median : Median Alleviates The Drama A deep cut from the heyday of the Justus League, with 9th Wonder (of course) chopping it up on this breezy beat for his Winston-Salem, North Carolina, compatriot to get busy on. You may not know Median as he only recorded two albums, his last in 2011, but he's a grounded yet imaginative writer who is well worth your listening time. Of interest to many who do take the time to dig into his history will be "Brenda's Baby" from the 2007 "Median's Relief" LP, his sequel to 2Pac's famous "Brenda's Got A Baby". Soul Supreme : Mood Swings Big shout to Jim Bane of Eastern Bloc who gifted me the "Poetic Justice" LP on wax for my birthday earlier this year! Amsterdam's Soul Supreme has been giving us quality music for a long while now, but in recent times has been locked in what sounds like an awful legal dispute with a record company and another producer. Despite still being in the thick of it, he delivers his commentary in the form of instrumental music on this album, which is even clearer when you read the track titles. The interplay between the horns and his keyboard work are the highlight on this particular track, but for the full effect, sit down and listen to the whole album end-to-end. Cookin Soul : Kamaal Xmas Time Cookin Soul usually comes out with a special Xmas release each year, mixing up an artist you know well with seasonal sample flips. This track comes from the 2002 "A Tribe Called Xmas" collection, and takes Q-Tip's verse from "Mind Power" and adds on a few more lines I can't place before going full Christmas - but keeping that boom-bap! Noveliss & Mega Ran : Memory Card One of the OGs of leaning fully into video game culture in Hip-Hop alongside the Clear Soul Forces veteran and manga writer Noveliss? You know the references are going to be fire. Hir-O provides the beat, and both MCs bring it as they centre the concept of the memory card (ask your parents if you don't know) on this standout from their "Maverick Hunters" album. Bounty Killer, A.R.P, Curly, and Tulokk : Evils Of Your Mind (Edited) Devil on one shoulder, devil on the other? Almost like a dancehall version of Eminem's "Guilty Conscience" (especially with that second voice), this is a big single from 2001 on the "Heavyweight" riddim that also appears on the 2002 "Ghetto Dictionary : The Mystery" album as "Evils Of The Mind". 2002 was a busy time for the Warlord, who also dropped "Ghetto Dictionary : The Art Of War" that same year. Kuartz & Vybz Kartel : Clarks (Kuartz Real Badman Remix) If you're a DJ, especially in a city like Manchester where crowds react to big sounds, get "Hybrid Dialects" just for this monster! A local producer with worldwide rep and reach, Kuartz has done the home scene proud and on his latest release, the industrial, digital vibes come through loud and clear. The cold, wintery feel on the intro make it a perfect inclusion this dark month. Kuartz bends and effects the voice of Vybz Kartel as much as any other instrument on the track, making for a sound system killer! Da Beatminerz & KRS-ONE : Seckle KRS was one of the first to really bring that reggae/dancehall flavour into the Hip-Hop arena, and Da Beatminerz have had that as an element of their style since they...


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Episode 174 : Twin Flames

"Ain't a damn thing changed boy, protect ya neck!" - RZA This month marks a full thirty years since the landmark date of November 9th 1993, when two of the greatest albums of all time - in any genre - were released. I've played many of the tracks from those LPs on the podcast over the years, but both do get a nod of respect in the selection here, alongside some absolute fire new releases and old classics. This month's selection tends towards veterans of the culture, while for the most part staying in the relatively recent past. Like Nas says, keep on putting out records...we want to see and hear the art! Twitch : @airadam13 Mastodon : Show/Stream Schedule : Playlist/Notes Champion Sound ft. Smif-N-Wessun : One Luv This is a really grand-sounding track which deserves to be heard from the very first note. The piano chords and overall instrumentation bring to mind less a Hip-Hop single and more the kind of thing you might hear on the soundtrack of a Spike Lee film. I looked up the band Champion Sound and was amazed to find that they hail from Prague - a serious cross-continental collaboration for them to link up with Brooklyn's finest! Tek and Steele drop grown man street raps over the brooding, cinematic soundscape for a standout from the "Stash Box" LP that just dropped last month. [DJ Eclipse] O.C. : Time's Up (Remix Instrumental) Buckwild's beat for the original version of this classic single is one of the best-known and loved pieces of production in Hip-Hop history, and it would take a brave man to remix the track - enter DJ Eclipse. The former Fat Beats retail supremo and DJ for Non Phixion isn't one to shy away from a challenge, and he does an excellent job bringing a different flavour right here. While this might have once been tough to find (I'm only just hearing it for the first time myself), it's now easily available on the deluxe version of "Word...Life", which has been released digitally. Wu-Tang Clan : 7th Chamber In the month where we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of the debut Wu album "Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)", I've gone for one of the deeper cuts that isn't something you'd hear at a typical gig or club night. Quintessential Wu, with RZA nailing the production (personally, I love the loop with the stabs before the main groove comes in), and seven of the Clan MCs murdering the track. Wu forever, indeed. Kev Brown & J Scienide : Legendary Rugged Simply a slice of raw Hip-Hop, no fancy studio gloss, just rough drums, deep bass, and a warbling main sample over which J Scienide spits that goodness. Kev Brown drops some bars himself on the second verse, showing why he clearly has to be thought of as one of the best producers on the mic of the current era. 2021s "Stray From The Pack" LP is inspired by the great duos both inside and outside of Hip-Hop, and Kev and J pay tribute in fine style. MC Eiht ft. Xzibit : Medicate The various battles over the years aside, I love to see how much true respect the veterans of the culture have for each other, especially when it leads to pairings you might not immediately think of! In this case, Texas-born but longtime Brooklyn resident DJ Premier, possibly the exemplar of the East Coast sound links up with one of the OGs of the scene in Compton, California, the legendary MC Eiht to executive produce his "Which Way Iz West" album, from which this is drawn. Connecting with Xzibit takes the union to an even higher level, and Austrian producer Brenk Sinatra captures just the right vibe for both MCs to get busy on. Krumb Snatcha : Rich Man Poor Man A heavy album track from "Respect All, Fear None" that I'd imagine passed most people by, Da Beatminerz come with some boom-bap accented by a dramatic horn sample for one of Boston's ruggest to spit over. As a man whose trials and tribulations are a matter of record (including his classic single "Closer To God"), when he gives you lyrics like this they...


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Episode 173 : ...after all this rain.

"...kick rocks or kick rhymes..." - Jean Grae The seasons are most definitely changing on this side, and the heavens have been pretty open the last couple of weeks while I've been putting the show together. Unfortunately during that time, we lost a couple of respected DJs and producers, DJ Mark the 45 King and Groove Damoast, both of whom are included in this month's mix. May they rest well. The selections for this month span a time period of almost fifty years, from a 1975 funk classic to a brand new release from one of Manchester's finest, making stops in the 80s and the independent Hip-Hop wax era of the 90s - something for all the heads! Don't forget - you can always get an up-to-date list of my next few upcoming streams and gigs @! Twitter : @airadam13 Twitch : @airadam13 Mastodon (because Twitter is basically on fire) : Playlist/Notes DJ Muggs, Roc Marciano, Meyhem Lauren, and Rome Streetz : 67 Keys Two MCs I've seen live recently with another (Rome Streetz) I would have seen if it wasn't for work's on-call schedule, talking pure drug business over some thriller film-type production courtesy of DJ Muggs, who has constructed an amazing second act post the Cypress Hill classics that everyone knows him for. Everyone gets busy on the mic on this new single, with Meyhem killing that last verse. David Cutter Music : Upstart UK beat action here with this London beatmaker cooking up a quintessential boom-bap type of beat with a little of that DJ Premier flavour and heaviness - I might need to blend this with some M.O.P! Get this on the recently-released "Follow Dreams" LP. MF DOOM : Lickupon I went back to the "Viktor Vaughn Vaudeville Villain" LP after being gifted an amazing alternate cover for display recently, and this was a standout on my first listen in a while. The producers (Heat Sensor) work the same sample as Biggie's "Warning" but with all sorts of other stuff going on, and DOOM just goes nuts from beginning to end. Bars upon bars with no hook, purely the sounds of someone who loved to flip words every which way. Doo Wop ft. Raekwon : Castle To Castle You've got to be brave to hop on a track with the crime-rhyming slang master Raekwon if MCing isn't your full-time gig, but Doo Wop (one of Biggie's favourite DJs) gives a good account of himself here as well as holding down the production! A classic jazz sample is the basis for this track from "The State vs Doo Wop" which is also available on a 12" if you need the clean version and instrumental. Little Brother ft. Rhymefest and Supastition : Do It To Death A personal headphone favourite I could have sworn I'd already played on the podcast, but which somehow missed the selection for the last fourteen-plus years! All four MCs kill it, but my favourite is absolutely Phonte on the opening verse, with his "American Pie" reference never failing to make me smile! Focus... is on production and those drums are absolutely smacking here, making this track a highlight of "...And Justus For All". Marley Marl : Hip-Hop History #4 Short and sweet, with a chunky and bouncing beat from the godfather of sampling as we know it today, and no rhymes - just a few words about his own history in Hip-Hop. Find this one on the 2000 "Hip Hop Dictionary" release, which I thought might be a big hard to find but is actually available digitally. Kev Brown & Dre King : Black Champions Tough, tough instrumental that I've had on repeat this month, taken from the seven-track "King Kev" project from these two musical masters. Dre King is, amongst other things, a sample pack producer who provides top-shelf instrumental pieces for producers to sample, and his work is used to great effect once Kev Brown gets it into his MPC. No hi-hits on this, just the kick and snare smashing through the whole beat, giving you little spaces where just the bass and keys play before the drums kick you in the head again! Pharoahe Monch ft. Jean...


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Episode 172 : Yield To None

"Do you wanna be dope, or do you wanna deal it?" - Common All Hip-Hop at a nice steady pace - but a varied platter of vibes - for this episode, as I celebrate my birth month! Great personal news : I'm very proud to be included in the new "Hidden Histories : Black in Manchester" resource by Parise Carmichael-Murphy - have a read! Twitter : @airadam13 Twitch : @airadam13 Playlist/Notes Meyhem Lauren & DJ Muggs : GT3 From the car-themed "Members Only" 2019 collaboration between Meyhem and Cypress Hill DJ/producer DJ Muggs, this track integrates the sound of some very angry engines as an additional instrument/element of what is otherwise an extremely sparse bit of production - drums and bass only. Meyhem is laid-back and comfortable at this pace, crafting a track that even those of us without a Porsche on the driveway can appreciate - well, as long as our speakers or headphones deliver the goods! [RZA] Raekwon : Can It All Be So Simple (Remix Instrumental) You might detect a little sonic garbling where I was using Serato's "stems" feature to try and remove the vocal samples in the hook, but other than that here's the glorious sound of a hard-to-come-by RZA instrumental of a track from the monumental "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..." LP. Rae, Ghost, and RZA took their track from the Wu-Tang debut LP which was already a classic and subtly made it a little darker, a touch rougher and a little less nostalgic. A masterful remix and rewrite. Roc Marciano : Ridin' Around A very different kind of rider music to the opening track, but still with an ominous bassline which helps carry the vintage crime vibes perfectly. This is a deep cut from Roc Marciano's seminal solo debut "Marcberg" album, with his gangster wordplay on full display atop a track with more drum action than on much of his later work. Showbiz & AG : Trapped This is one of those records which, despite being by a highly respected group, has likely slipped under your radar. The DITC production legend Showbiz is here under his original name (you can find much of his other work credited as simply "Show") alongside his day one MC AG on this late-night creep number from the 2012 "Mugshot Music" album. Planet Asia ft. Prodigy : Stick & Move If you love your dark, underground NYC Hip-Hop, you might have heard this sample used elsewhere, but for the current episode this is the slow, menacing, bi-coastal track that gets the nod. Fresno and Queensbridge in combination as Planet Asia and Prodigy (RIP) go back and forth over an Evidence beat on this 2005 release. Not even a hint of going for the pop audience here, just gutter from start to end. Got to respect it. Mud Family : Itchy Town I've been holding onto this one for absolutely years! I first heard this on a "Radio Zero" show courtesy of Dave The Ruf, and it's a dark, brooding piece of UK boom-bap from this highly-regarded north London crew. Centred around the MCs Chester P, Skinnyman, and Mongo, they released their core work in the late 90s and early 00s, with this absolute beast being on their very first wax release, 1997s "The Mud Files, Vol. 1". Production on the EP as a whole is credited to Deckwrecka, Firebomb Fritz, and Mad Money Wah - not sure who did what on this cut, but I applaud them for cooking up a track that still bangs after over twenty-five years! DJ Premier : Dee Ell P It's been over a decade since DJ Premier gave us a "Beats That Collected Dust" collection, but there's a good reason for he correctly points out, the beats that end up included have to be given time to collect that dust! With that said, the third edition is out now, and is a good digital pickup while the (likely pricey) vinyl works it's way through distribution to the shops. As for the title of this selection from the new release, I haven't deciphered it yet. "The LP"? Was it a track meant for Large Professor, perhaps? Probably overthinking it - just enjoy the master of the MPC 60 going back into his vaults. Mabanua ft....


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Episode 171 : Ripples and Echoes

"Let me say it again, and say it with feeling..." - Jay Dee A big episode this month - both in importance and in number of tracks - as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1973 Kool Herc party at 1520 Sedgwick Ave, Bronx, NY, that arguably sparked Hip-Hop! The format is slightly different from the usual, and the episode is centred around three records which have been sampled, references, and homaged throughout Hip-Hop history - echoing through time. The influences manifest differently as they encounter each artist, so even within the set of tracks that have a common root, there are wide variations of style, subject, and sound. I think you'll enjoy the hour I've put together for you! Twitch : @airadam13 IG: @airadam Twitter : @airadam13 Playlist/Notes Westside Gunn, 緑, and Kool Herc : Kool Herc Intro Big up to Westside Gunn for going back to the source and allowing us to hear from Kool Herc himself on this intro to "FLYGOD Is Good...All The Time". KRS-ONE and Marley Marl : Hip Hop Lives KRS is one of the greatest MCs of all time - and as Bomani Jones said, maybe the one person you'd pick if there was no music, no anything, and they just had to go on stage and command it. Marley Marl is often overlooked by those not necessarily in the know, but the man behind the Juice Crew (who famously battled KRS in the Bridge Wars) was a revolutionary in the field of production, with his approach to cutting up samples being the grandfather of most of what you would have heard afterwards. Together, they released a 2007 album "Hip Hop Lives", of which this is of course the title track, and a rallying cry for the culture. [Buckwild] Meyhem Lauren : Love and Loyalty (Instrumental) Buckwild never wavers from the path of putting in the honest effort that his talent deserves to deliver quality material. If you want popcorn, microwave beats, go elsewhere! This is a great beat from his 2014 "Silk Pyramids" project with Meyhem. Fred Wesley & The J.B.s : Blow Your Head A funk classic that must have sounded positively UFO-like when it was released in 1974 on the "Damn Right I Am Somebody" album, and there's a reason for that that I only just learned; the crazy synth wasn't even on the track to begin with. The original was recorded in 1973, and only after that did James Brown, playing with his newly-bought synthesizer, doodle all over the track before adding it to the album! Apparently Fred Wesley was not impressed... The D.O.C. : Portrait Of A Master Piece The "Blow Your Head" sample here is relatively backgrounded, definitely not the focus of the instrumental - but as good as the Dre-produced beat is, the star here is without question the MC. This track comes from his first LP "No One Can Do It Better", which had people tipping him for big things, before he was cruelly and ironically deprived of a critical attribute - his voice - when his larynx was crushed in a car accident only five months after its release. He later returned to recording with a changed voice, and has written classics for several artists, but it's a huge shame that he never got to follow his debut up on his own terms. Hijack : Style Wars When Brixton's legendary Hijack got a single deal with Music of Life, none of them knew how to create a record as such. The three-man inner core was made up of DJs Supreme and Undercover alongside the MC Kamanchi Sly, and it was actually the latter who suggested using the Fred Wesley sample. Supreme was unconvinced, believing that it would make their track too much of an imitation of the then-recent "Public Enemy No.1", but relented on the basis that the rhymes and cuts would be so good that they'd make up for any deficiency on the beat side. As it turned out, "Style Wars" turned out to be an absolutely classic single in its own right, and in my opinion, never came off as a bite. Public Enemy : Public Enemy No. 1 One of the first records ever to sample "Blow Your Head", this is arguably the inspiration that all the others...


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Episode 170 : In My Own Lane

"Tell Nipsey I'm still running laps." - Dave East We're past the halfway point of 2023 and summer in the UK is...variable. Instead of trying to go seasonal in the main, I've gone with a selection which is heavy on relatively-recent releases while excavating some absolute gems from the crates. There's almost no way anyone knows all of these tracks, and as such, I'm aiming to send all of you to go and buy some of this stuff so that the artists know how much you appreciate top-quality material! Twitter : @airadam13 Twitch : @airadam13 Events : Playlist/Notes Saigon ft. Benny The Butcher : No Witness Big New York State action on this new single, with Saigon in combination with Buffalo's Benny The Butcher (lots of alliteration there!). The beat is heavy goodness courtesy of the DITC legend Buckwild, and is exactly what you need for MCs like this. Benny continues his run of form on features, while Saigon kills it as the returning veteran, starting his first and last verses with a similar four bars before diving into his subjects. That last verse is a stark warning to the youngsters who are sending themselves to prison by documenting their questionable associations and/or illegal activities on social media and on records... Judah : Sweet Jesus Digging this one out of the stash was a real win - I think it's a perfect chaser for the Saigon track. Taken from an old favourite, "The Ghostface Beat Tape" by The Beat Tape Project, this instrumental by Washington D.C.'s Judah has Blaxploitation flick written all over it. Serial Killers (Xzibit, B-Real, and Demrick) ft. Kurupt : Dickies & Bandanas The "Serial Killers Vol.1" mixtape has been sitting in my collection for almost exactly ten years without me drawing from it, but that's part of the nature of the show - it's not about just playing the brand new cuts or the old classics, but digging deeper. Heavy west action from this union of MCs together with the still-underrated Kurupt. No details on who produced this, but there's no G-Funk, no smooth synths on the beat, instead using a hammering rhythm track and string stabs as the driving elements. Khrysis and Geechi Suede : Delta9 Khrysis has continued to deliver quality material over the years since his early days when the Justus League were first breaking out, and this is no exception. That vocal sample in the beat sounds semi-uplifting, and semi-dark - though the latter might be the reflection off the heavy drums and tense keyboard lines. Geechi Suede comes through with a less abstract verse than you might expect from him, despite it being a track about actually getting high! The 2021 "The Hour Of Khrysis" album is the place to hear more - don't worry, not all the tracks are quite this short :) Curren$y ft. Jim Jones and Tommy Wright III : Marcus Camby Curren$y on an entire project channelling 80s Miami vibes? That's something I'm grabbing with both hands. The short "Vices" album came out earlier this month, with all production coming from frequent collaborator Harry Fraud, and this is one of the standouts for me. Lush with just a touch of tension, the production is absolutely on-theme. On the mic, Curren$y is in his usual lane, followed by Jim Jones of Dipset who comes with a slightly more energetic delivery while still matching the downtempo vibe. I don't know Tommy Wright III, but I think he's just on the hook here - either way, one of my favourites this month and looking like a late contender for my most played tracks of 2023! Dave East & DJ Drama ft. Buda & Grandz : Egyptian Kings I'm only just catching up with last year's "Book of David" mixtape, but there's some absolute heat on there, including this downtempo, almost bluesy track. I may need to search out the instrumental, because Buda, Grandz, Mike Kuz, and A-Vow knocked this one out of the park, with it being the perfect backing for Dave's choppy flow. In turn, in adopting that slow he leaves space for the beat to show through the gaps -...


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Episode 169 : Thirteen Squared, Fourteen Years

"Paid my dues, now pay my fee." - Pete Rock Another year in the books! This is the fourteenth birthday episode of the podcast, and it's wild to look back at how different the landscape looked back in 2009 when I started it off. At least nowadays, I don't have to explain what a podcast is! I needed a selection worthy of the milestone, and I think you'll enjoy it - Hip-Hop basically end-to-end, with some virtuoso performances on the mics, the boards, and the turntables. Turn the volume up and check the styles... Book a ticket to see me play live in Salford with the 45 Kings and Queens on July 8th here! Gigs & streams calendar : Twitter : @airadam13 Twitch : @airadam13 Playlist/Notes Swizz Beatz ft. Jadakiss, Benny the Butcher, and Scar Lip : Take 'Em Out Huge new single to open things up for this month, and a track I can already tell is going to make my list of top Spotify tracks this year. As part of the 50th year of Hip-Hop celebrations, Mass Appeal have released a couple of producer-led EPs with a selection of MCs, and this is of course from Swizz' contribution. It's not the production style most would think of when Swizz Beatz is mentioned, but listen for the classic "The Bridge Is Over" drums accompanied by what sounds like a pipe organ with the "evil" stop pulled all the way out - vicious. And the MCs, my goodness! LOX legend Jadakiss opens up, hands off to modern-day street rap giant Benny the Butcher, and cleanup duty is handled in fine style by the young and hungry Scar Lip. The video is great as well - chaotic, dark, monochrome, giving me just a taste of the same energy as the visuals for Ice Cube's "Wicked" back in the day. The whole package is hard like titanium. Onyx : Throw Ya Gunz (Instrumental) After starting the show with a track sampling the yelled into Onyx's first single, which was a big tune in its day, I decided to follow up with the instrumental as I hadn't heard it in so long. RIP to Chyskillz, the producer, who passed away in 2018. Coach NYM : Work Ethic One from my gym playlist for you, taken from the "Healthy Gangsta" LP. Part of the RBG movement, NYM gives a message on this track and the rest of the album that very much aligns with the innovative "Workout" LPs that stic of dead prez (their lowercasing, btw) released in 2011 and 2020. Turn this track up and get your motivation right! Bronx Slang : Excuse Me Again My man Jerry Beeks accurately and sadly points out that the subject of this track will continue to be relevant into the foreseeable future. Following up from the original "Excuse Me Officer" from the "Bronx Slang" LP, this is, in Beeks' distinctive style, a run-down of yet more Black people who have been murdered by the police. The producer Fake Blood gives it a soundtrack with just a hint of melancholy that still makes you nod your head thanks to his drum programming, and leaves enough space for you to hear every work clearly. Find this on the appropriately-named "Substance" album. Blak Twang ft. Fallacy : Homegrown I promise I didn't just try to find every track that sampled Onyx and throw them into this episode! The b-side of the incredible 1996 "Real Estate" 12", this is not only pure lyrical rawness from both MCs (Blak Twang/Taipanic/Tony Rotton and Fallacy) over a beat from V.R.S, but it's also the source of an incredible number of samples. If you go and check the excellent Blak Twang LP "19 Long Time", you'll be amazed how many times he samples himself, and from this specific cut - EPMD would be proud :) The Musalini ft. Pete Rock and 9th Wonder : Carmel City 2 The vast majority of times, a sequel track is done by the original artist (for example, EPMD's "Jane" series, Ice Cube with the "Gangsta's Fairytale" pair), but this is an interesting exception. Pete Rock, the producer of the original "Carmel City" from his and CL Smooth's "The Main Ingredient" LP is here...but only on the mic, and even then only as the featured guest! Lead duties are...


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Episode 168 : No Sudden Moves

"I was a seventies baby, raised in the eighties..." - Scarface An appropriate quote for this month's episode, in which we keep a constant speed all the way through - an unbroken chain in the low-80s BPM range! A little rugged, a little smooth, some old and some new, and hopefully something for each of you 🙂 Remember, you can always see a list of my next few upcoming streams and gigs @! Twitter : @airadam13 Twitch : @airadam13 Playlist/Notes Lupe Fiasco ft. Jay-Z : Pressure The show starts back in 2006, with a selection from Lupe Fiasco's debut "Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor", produced by Prolyfic. He came out strong on this album, representing Chicago in fine style, a city that historically hadn't been as regarded as some when it came to Hip-Hop. Being able to get Jay-Z in for a feature on your debut, even back then, was a sign that you were to be taken seriously, and Lupe has definitely justified that in retrospect. Marco Polo : Pirate Hookers The modern move towards independent digital releases on platforms like Bandcamp means it's easier than ever to get hold of gems like "MP On The MP ; The Beat Tape Vol. 2" - at one time they just wouldn't have come out at all, or maybe got a limited run of hard copies. It's hard to describe this track, but the quieter sections make me think of the back streets in a French detective movie, while the louder parts are much more bombastic. If you like hearing instrumentals breathe without vocalists, support releases like this and let the artists know! Dan Greenpeace & Diamond D : Nowhere To Run To This release was an incredibly pleasant surprise - I had no idea it was coming out until just before release, when Greenpeace posted about it on Instagram. I've had the pleasure of knowing Greenpeace since the mid 90s - he was working at a company where I had a summer job, and we bonded over a love of Hip-Hop. He was DJing on the side and was a big influence on my listening, putting me up on artists I might not have heard at the time, and he was the absolute first person I remember talking about independent Hip-Hop in the sense of the early Rawkus releases and things like that. I even remember him having the idea of a column in Hip-Hop Connection called "Independents' Day", which came to fruition some time before another well-known magazine "borrowed" that title for their column and ran with it! Anyway, around the time we met, Diamond D's first LP would not long since have been out, so it's amazing to see him producing a track for an artist that we would both have been looking up to from afar all those years ago. Chunky, dark, menacing, the beat is a suitably threatening setting for Diamond's bars, and when one of the most storied producers in Hip-Hop history allows you to produce him, you know you're doing something. Salute! The Away Team : Steppin On Toes A nice bit of rugged aggro with Khrysis on the boards and Sean Boog on the mic as The Away Team, a North Carolina crew that came out as part of the Justus League collective. This is on their second LP, 2007's "Training Day", which has some really solid tracks and is definitely worth a listen. While 9th Wonder was the most prominent producer from Justus League, Khrysis was putting out heat round the same period and has continued to work to the present day, with beats for everyone from Busta Rhymes to Rapsody. Slim Thug : No No No One of two straight tracks from Southern legends, we go to the nawf of Houston for a killer from last year's "BIGslim" (which it seems, is the name he plans to go by in the future) album. It of course features Slim's distinctive relaxed yet straightahead flow, as well as a Mr. Lee beat with some nice contrast - rapid, dead-on hi-hats alongside a main drum pattern that gets there when it gets there! Scarface : Safe The first full track on "The Fix" and a personal favourite from Scarface's long and storied catalogue, this is a raw record that explicitly talks about the contents of...


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Episode 167 : More Tune

"We on they mood board, though they livin' in denial." - Solace This month's selection came together slowly and then all at once! It's turned out to be a great combination of deep album cuts, some lesser-known bonus tracks and remixes, as well as some brand new nuggets you can and should add to your collection! Of course I had to give you some Guru, and we start the episode with a cover version of a record that samples another musical giant, the recently and sadly departed Ahmad Jamal. Don't forget that you can get the up-to-date list of my upcoming streams and events at! Twitter : @airadam13 Twitch : @airadam13 Playlist/Notes Elzhi & Will Sessions : The World Is Yours RIP to the great Ahmad Jamal, the legendary pianist who was famously sampled on the original "The World Is Yours" on the classic Nas "Illmatic" LP. As we've already played that on the podcast, we instead turn to the excellent re-imagining of that album by the all-Detroit combination of the band Will Sessions and the gifted MC Elzhi. It's always interesting when a musician is sampled by a Hip-Hop producer, and then that production later remade by other live musicians - bringing things full circle. The Quarter Inch Kings : I'm No Comeback As part of the Beat Tape Project, Toronto's Quarter Inch Kings channel some soulful flavour on this instrumental from "The AZ Beat Tape" - one that I could very well hear the Brooklyn Legend on. Masta Ace & Marco Polo : Masta Polo I was almost going to describe Marco Polo as one of the new generation of producers, but then I realised - it's been eighteen years! Still fresh, yet a veteran, he combines with a legend from the Juice Crew, Brooklyn's Masta Ace, for some classy 21st century boom-bap. You need to find the Deluxe edition of the Polo-produced "A Breukelen Story" album to get this one, and it's well worth the effort. Terri Walker ft. Ty : OK One of the finest soul singers these isles have ever produced, though an underappreciated one, Terri Walker has always shown love to the home team, with this track being a great example. The Nottingham stalwart Joe Buhdha is behind the boards, and the late London don TY warms up the mic before Ms Walker strides over the instrumentation. You might know her first few LPs, but definitely check for the later stuff, such as the EP this track was release on, "Joe Buhdha Presents Breakout". RIP Ty, live long Terri Walker. Gang Starr : 2 Deep (City Lick Mix) This is one of my earliest Hip-Hop 12" purchases, and a version of the Gang Starr classic deep single that I had to grow into! The UK's Dodge City Productions were, in retrospect, a perfect choice to take on remix duties here, a group well-steeped in the jazz that Gang Starr had helped pioneer as part of Hip-Hop. The late great Guru is in fine form, on his grown man business over all three verses - starting closer to battle mode and then weaving in his message. Apparently a Europe-only release, this is a worthy version to stand next to the original from the "Daily Operation" LP. Curren$y : Fortune 500 This is clearly an anthem for LLC Twitter, with one long verse about getting that cash, and the outro showing Curren$y quizzing the next generation. The brand new "For Motivational Use Only" LP is another in the set of releases where Curren$y links up with a single producer to build a cohesive whole - in this case, the veteran Jermaine Dupri. I'd be lying if I said it was a collaboration that I was thinking about, but it works! Medline : Payé Entièrement Sound familiar? If you didn't guess from the title, this is a wicked instrumental cover of the classic "Paid In Full" by Eric B & Rakim that just cannot be denied. You can head straight over to Bandcamp to get the digital version as a bonus cut on the "Je Sais Que Tu As De L'​Â​me" release (put that into Google Translate if you don't speak French) - really, an essential pickup in my opinion. Knaladeus : Lose Or Win Not in terms of complexity as...


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Episode 166 : Public Art, Unseen Artists

"Godbodies behind bars, y'all see the barcode." - Pharoahe The month went from the ridiculous to the sublime, but as always, here we are right on time! This episode we pay homage to Phife and Biggie Smalls, and bring out some great recent releases alongside some older tracks that I think will have escaped the notice of many - after all, there's so much music out there! Almost an hour-long mix this time out, let's get to it... Twitter : @airadam13 Twitch : @airadam13 Playlist/Notes E-40 : On The Case One of the hardest-working men in Hip-Hop, E-40 has recorded twenty-six studio albums, and still sounds as dope has when he debuted back in 1992. This is from his sixteenth, the second in the "The Block Brochure : Welcome To The Soil" trilogy, and as the prisoner quoted in the hook says, it does indeed slap! Chris "THX" Goodman gives him a dark, stomping beat which is a perfect backing for 40's flow as he gives you some free game. Whether you're facing a case or just a tough week at the work, I hope this helps! Lsdream & Z-Trip : Space Funk Giving exactly what it says on the tin, this tune is heavy instellar bass business. Z-Trip is better known to many of us as a turntablist and DJ, but his collaboration here with the former Brillz is a beautiful slice of bassy, floaty, vocoded production goodness! Semi Six & Ilajide : Too Code Going back to the "Park Orange" collab between these two Detroit natives, we have bump in abundance on this one. If one part of the track stands out, it's the fact that clearly, the roads in their neighbourhood and those in Manchester have a lot in common. Don't ride your 23" rims round here, for your own good! Karl Hinds : Don Gramma Twenty-two years on, some of these terms may have been superseded, but you get the point! Essentially the UK (or London, at least) version of Big L's underground hit "Ebonics", Karl runs you through a selection of the local slang, and handles the squelchy, bassy production on top of that. I'd only be half-surprised if it turns out he did the 12" cover design too... Bumpy Knuckles ft, Sy Ari Da Kid : Word It was a struggle to find a tune to fit into this spot, but I'm pleased with the choice - very much a deep cut from Bumpy, taken from the now ten-year-old "Mix Files, Vol.1" EP, which seems to be little hard to find nowadays. In fact, it's not even listed on his Discogs discography at present, which makes me wonder if that's just an oversight or if it was actually some kind of bootleg! Note : Feburary 29th does come, just infrequently... Rich The Factor & DJ.Fresh : White Party I've been playing this one in the car so much over the last year or so, it's about time it made its way onto the show! Kansas City's incredibly prolific Rich The Factor isn't coming with particularly complex bars, just vibing to the 80s-flavoured beat from DJ.Fresh from their edition of the "The Tonite Show" series, sampling a great bit of jazz-funk to great effect. Tavaras Jordan : Photogenic (Instrumental) It was great to see a complete instrumental release of Le$' "E30" LP, which was produced by Tavaras Jordan, who is rapidly becoming a personal favourite. Smooth synth and drum machine action with a lot of polish. Definitely one to hear in the car! Slum Village ft. Phife Dog : Push It Along Marking the anniversary month of Phife's passing, I thought I'd share a track of his you may not know. The circumstances are beautifully circular - Phife, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Q-Tip make up Tribe. Q-Tip puts J Dilla on as part of The Ummah, a production unit that worked on the later Tribe albums, which ultimately gives a boost to the early career of Slum Village. Years later, Slum Village, after the passing of J Dilla, bring Phife of Tribe in for this feature - named after a track from Tribe's debut. You can find this on Slum's "Yes!" LP, with Young RJ representing lovely on production. ILLAMAN & Pitch 92 : Sometimes Relax Great new single out of the UK, with ILLAMAN (all...


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Episode 165 : The Second Plug.

"Too old to rhyme? Too bad, too late." - Dave This month marks a huge loss for the Hip-Hop community, and the music world more widely, as Dave, aka Trugoy The Dove of De La Soul, passed away. As part of the group, he was a perfect match with Pos on the mic, and was one of those low-key people that no-one ever had anything but good to say about. De La's influence is hard to overstate; without them, we might have had no Tribe, no Pharcyde, no Souls of Mischief... They showed that you didn't have to follow the hypermasculine style of their time, and brought their own brand of humour and creativity. On top of that, they were frequent and much loved live performers, and Dave's presence as part of one of the best shows in the culture will be greatly missed. Of course, in tribute, we have several De La Soul tracks in this month's selection. Before we get into the tracklist and notes; here's where you can donate to relief efforts in Turkey and Syria following the devastating earthquake they suffered this month. Twitter : @airadam13 Twitch : @airadam13 Events : Playlist/Notes De La Soul : Stakes Is High Knowing that we were going to make several visits to the De La catalogue, I just had to open the episode with this one, the title track to their fourth album. The late J Dilla is on production, and there's a classic story of Posdnuous having to "Jedi mind trick" Q-Tip out of taking the beat for himself! To Pos' ears, the majesty of the beat perfectly fit the grand theme De La were going for with the lyrical theme, and he was bang on. The title actually came from Dave's late cousin Fudge, who told him " all better do something. The stakes is really high for you right now..." and his words live on through this work. De La take that title and use it to warn how high the stakes were for Hip-Hop at that time, with the jiggy and Mafioso era in full swing and raising real alarm for the direction of the culture. Pete Rock : Play Yo Horn The first instrumental of the month is a 2015 release, though whether it was actually recorded anywhere near that year, I couldn't be sure! For one, Pete Rock is a master at channeling vintage flavours, and secondly, he's been known to bring stuff out of the vaults that sounds great even today. I would love to hear MCs getting busy on this dense cut from "Petestrumentals 2". Fat Joe and Big Pun : Best Behavior (Remix) I love the dark, late night flavour of the original version, but Show does an equally good job on this remix (one of at least three to exist) - big horns, banging drums, and an overall stripped-back, boom-bap feel. You already know Big Pun is going to give you heavy bars, and Fat Joe holds it down on the mic too. I have this on a 12" backed by "My Life's On The Edge" by A-Bless, but I hear it's also on the 2005 "Street Talk" DITC compilation. Big L : On The Mic This vinyl had already been throught the wars when I got it, but I guess the surface noise lends a certain flavour! You might recognise the vocals from the track "Size 'em Up" from the posthumously-released "The Big Picture" album, but this raw Roc Raida-produced track is on the B-side of the "Flamboyant" 12" single - definitely one to pick up for the Big L fans. RIP Big L and Roc Raida. D'Angelo : Devil's Pie One of those happy accidents, the bassline of this track was created by DJ Premier for a track with Canibus. It didn't work out and D'Angelo happened to call the same day, and he asked to hear the unfinished product. He loved it, and they went back to the studio the next day to finish what became one of the standouts on his sophomore "Voodoo" LP! Mad Skillz : It's Goin' Down Arguably the first MC to really make some noise out of Virginia (hence the name of his debut LP, "From Where???"), Skillz may not have the record sales of some of the more famous MCs...but he may well have written their rhymes at some point! This track is an early J Dilla production (from when he was going by Jay...


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Episode 164 : The Jordan Year

"...baking soda, get it crackin' when you mix me with Kane." - Checkmark If you're like me, every time you write 23 this year you're thinking it! The first episode of 2023 is here, and we go mostly on the downtempo tip and mix up the genres in a big way, so there's almost sure to be something new for everyone in the mix! RIP to Laylaw and Gangsta Boo. As mentioned on the voiceover, you can now keep up with the schedule for all my streams (and I'll start putting my IRL shows here too) at! Twitter : @airadam13 Twitch : @airadam13 Playlist/Notes Termanology ft. Raekwon : Passport Kingz I was reminded of this track after listening to a podcast about citizenship and a shady character known as the "Passport King"! It has an ominous-sounding intro (as an aside, that pastor should be in prison), and then doesn't let up for the rest of its running time, with Raekwon and then Term going hard over Staik Selektah's production. One verse each is the perfect dosage. Find this on Termanology's 2018 "Bad Decisions" album. [Dru Kevorkian] Smif-N-Wessun : Reloaded (Instrumental) Just screaming mid-2000s New York, this is the instrumental for the title track of Smif-N-Wessun's third LP. I could hear this beat on the soundtrack (and too loud) for a street DVD of the era... El Michels Affair & Black Thought : Grateful Looks like there's a big treat coming later in the year, with the collaborative "Glorious Game" due in April. One of the best writers in Hip-Hop history in combination with one of the coldest bands in years? Yeah, that's a must. This lead single was released this month to give us all a taste and it's a great appetiser. The flute kind of hypnotises and draws you into the thick mists of the rest of the music, where Black Thought is waiting with high IQ, high-density street lyricism. Be grateful, indeed. Shabba Ranks : Have This Woman Coming off the back of the "Ting-A-Ling" sample woven into the "hook" of the preceding track, I thought I'd take the opportunity to move straight across into a Shabba track, and one that I just recently digitised during the task of taking on my whole reggae and dancehall 7" section! Over the "Girl A Love" riddim, Shabba's lyrics remind me that despite the gyalist/player image put forth in most of his catalogue, he's been happily married since 1992 - so he and his wife will just have celebrated their pearl wedding anniversary! Camp Lo : Award Winning They may never have got the level of acclaim that the title speaks of, but those who know know. Bars upon slang-filled bars on this deep album cut from "Ragtime Hightimes", with Ski on production. Play this one loud in your headphones when you need to go somewhere and let them know who you are :) Above The Law : Another Execution Including this one as a tribute to the recently-departed Laylaw, who was an integral part of the Above The Law story - not only did he manage them, but he has production credits on their debut "Livin' Like Hustlers", including for this track. It's a slow and low number on a classic sample, and if you want the instrumental then you can find it on the B-side of the "Murder Rap" 12". Unusually for ATL, it's Cold 187um solo on the mic, in storytelling mode with two tales of having to let that thing ring out. People Under The Stairs : Chris Says 'Nice One' (Bonus Beat) This short semi-interlude track from the 12" of "The Cat" is actually only 44 seconds long, so I looped part of it up to make it a suitable length to include here - just because it's a nice piece of digging/production that PUTS clearly included just for that extra flavour! RIP Double K. Gangsta Boo ft. DJ Paul & Juicy J : Where Dem Dollas At? I've not historically been a big follower of 3-6 Mafia, so I bought this track specifically to play it on this episode. DJ Paul and Juicy J of 3-6 are on production, but even though DJ Paul also takes the third verse, he has to play second position behind Lady Boo, which is only right....


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Episode 163 : Cold, Rolled.

"...while she was waiting for her son to shine." - Mystro Ok - last month was a bit chilly but this one was ridiculous! As 2022 ends, we loosely have a winter/Xmas theme scattered through the selection, some brand new releases that deserve sharing, and many other gems including a Grand Daddy IU production after he passed away this month - RIP to him. By the way - as well as all my other social media accounts, I'm now on Mastodon, since Twitter seems to be falling apart - you can follow my account on Twitter : @airadam13 Twitch : @airadam13 Playlist/Notes Shaquille O'Neal ft. Jay-Z and Lord Tariq : No Love Lost I'd almost forgotten that this track existed until I was going through the "S" section of my wax! Shaq was certainly a competent MC, if not a standout, but he was consistently able to leverage his status into some memorable collaborations. Even in 1996 when this track was released on the "You Can't Stop The Reign" album, his third, Jay-Z was a big feature to get, and Lord Tariq was not long off dropping the enormous hit "Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)" with Peter Gunz. Production comes from Poke and Tone (Trackmasters), and it's a chill head-nodder that definitely brings back memories of the era. Side note: there's another version of this cut from the DJ Clue "Fall Pt.1" mixtapes that also features Nas! Kev Brown : Myrrh The don of the bassline dropped a surprise Xmas project last year, the sixteen-track and appropriately-named "The Kev Brown Holiday Special" and generously offered it at a discount this month. This track goes straight for the nativity angle, with those choral voices floating around the the classic eighth-note sleigh bells and the kind of solid, chunky, funky foundation that Kev has absolutely mastered. This wise man from the east (coast) delivers 🔥 Jointhedots, Dubbul O, and Berry Blacc : Right Now Brand new flavour from Manchester! I was literally waiting for them to bless me with a copy of this track before recording this episode, so convinced was I that it'd be another in a streak of excellent singles, and it does not disappoint. Dubbul O and Berry Blacc, who are the vocalists for their live performances, combine to provide the vocals on this one, with Berry showing his versatility by singing on the haunting hook as well as spitting the second verse. JTD's production, headed up by Defty, is based around a classy bassline, and everything else falls into place perfectly around it. Another release worthy of your support! Smif-N-Wessun : Nothin' Move But The Money Nineties classic! This was an underground and mixtape staple shortly after it was recorded, never actually got released. This track was supposed to be on "Dah Shinin'", Smif-N-Wessun's debut LP, and would even have been first single, but they couldn't clear the sample, and so it had to be dropped. Shame, as it's an absolute killer, with Da Beatminerz taking the original track and manipulating it over to the dark side like Palpatine, creating a perfect canvas for Tek and Steele to get busy, weaving in and out of each other's bars like the legendary duo they are. If you see a copy of this (which will usually involve some kind of bootleg vinyl), just grab it! Tiny Hearts : Snow Cold I can't even remember how I stumbled upon this cut, as I totally missed it on its 2013 release on the "Stay" EP, but this definitely felt like the right time of year to drop it, certainly if the well-below zero temperatures in this area were anything to go by! Tiny Hearts is the combo of Detroit production legend Waajeed, and the duo of producer/composer Tim K and singer Deanne Reynolds of DEDE. Reynolds' dreamy, ghostly vocals are a great compliment to the heavy synth bass and machine drums, and this is the kind of thing that could fit nicely into all kinds of headphone mixes as well as moving a big sound system - even if it's no club tune. Cookin' Soul x A Tribe Called Quest : Butter Cookies I thought I was the only one...


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Episode 162 : Writers' Block

"This might be God speaking, it's just my mouth is moving." - Ka The weather might be cooling, but there is some heat on this one. We pay respects to two Hip-Hop stalwarts who sadly and unexpectedly left us this month - Tame One of The Artifacts, and Hurricane G. We include music from both in the mix, along with some material from their contemporaries, and some newer stuff that might have escaped your notice. Listen, enjoy, buy the releases from the artists you like - let's please give them their flowers while they're here. As well as the socials below, you can also now find me on Mastodon - Twitter : @airadam13 Twitch : @airadam13 Playlist/Notes Public Enemy : LSD One of those tracks I've wanted to play for ages - but something always gets in the way! Unrelenting, banging, squelching, militant sonics to go with the always-fierce lyrics of Chuck D make this a perfect episode opener. Released in 1999 as part of the "There's a Poison Goin On" album, you can kind of place it in time thanks to the specifics of the critiques Chuck is making of the music industry of the era. That said, some of the shadiness is, sadly, timeless... [Non Slick] Genesis Elijah : Jah Bless (Instrumental) This was a big UK single when it dropped - that heavy bass that always goes down well here, with layers of synth and FX that are so forward that the drum track doesn't have to do too much! According to Neil Craig on Youtube who actually engineered and mixed this tune, Non Slick's beat almost went to Rodney P but they met Genesis Elijah and ended up giving him the beat instead. I'd argue this is still his best single, so that union was a blessing indeed. Clear Soul Forces : Don't Stop A good friend gifted me the 2019 "Still" LP on wax this month, which was a perfect present for someone who rates CSF as highly as I do! As always, the MCs absolutely explode with lyrical energy, and Ilajide brings his trademark heavy bass and knocking, slightly off-balance kick drum programming to the dance. Here's the kicker - this only the first half of the track. If you want to hear the rest, go ahead and support with a purchase! Ozay Moore & 14KT : Record Store Day Recently I was speaking to a young workman who loves music, but doesn't actually own any - he listens strictly on streaming services. They have their place, but the magic of the record shop is something that can't be duplicated, and that's the subject of this beautiful memoir. As he says, there are still shops out there so let's support them - not just on Record Store Day, but year-round! Production on this, along with the rest of the "Taking L'$" album is by 14KT - nicely done, kind of sunny-sounding with lots of changeups and decorations through the track. A Tribe Called Quest : Against The World As I say on the voiceover, I was actually going to play something else here originally, but just picked it out of the library on the fly after the mention of Dilla beats on the preceding track. This was from his work on Tribe's "The Love Movement", which like many others I really didn't like much at the time of release, but it's been long enough that it might need a revisiting! The15 : Still Here A bit of soul for you, coming out of a city you might not readily associate with such - Las Vegas! This duo (so far as I can tell) don't have an album out as yet, but this 2020 single is pure vibes. If there's something going off in your head as you listen, you might be recognising a vocal motif from Common's "The Light". By the way - when did you last hear scratching like this on an R&B track? Packo : Photon Freefall I'm not sure where I first stumbled upon this one, but I love it. Hawaiian DJ and producer Packo has a long series of "The Pocketbook Collection" singles, but he came out of the gate blazing with this as track one on the first! The rhythm bumps along with some flavoursome loose timing, while the soundscape of synths is warm and draws you in. Then the strings...