Monday 28 January 2008

He's Nasty Baby!!

Ask 100 Hip Hoppers who their favourite rapper is, and the name LORD FINESSE will pop up more times than a defective toaster! And it goes without saying that we here at DAILY DIGGERS HQ would be shouting his corner too.
His careful choice of words and eloquent delivery of punchlines have astounded many fellow emcees and us listeners alike since he first dropped on wax with "Baby You Nasty" in '89. And with legendary freestyles and performances such as the Patterson Project Battle with Rhyme Inspector Percee P, he holds a firm place in Hip Hop history. (Check out the Patterson Projects rematch in the Video Bar on the bottom right).
Whilst nearly all of his releases on vinyl are highly sought after and demand a high price, those clever diggers over at VINYL ADDICTS have thought out-of-the-box and contacted the FUNKYMAN himself in search of a bigger fix of Finesse's funky phonetics!
Now the guys at VA have got some ill shit to drop on us - the likes of which you are unlikely to have heard unless your down with the FUNKYMAN himself. Superbootytuff props go to MIGHTY MAZE, SMOOV & REDKHAT for putting in mad work on this one! All in order to bring us the raw!
VA001 - LORD FINESSE & DJ MIKE SMOOTH - THE FUNKY MANEUVER EP featuring six dope unreleased cuts on vinyl to make ya eyeballs pop clean out the sockets. Taken straight from FINESSE's own demos and archives, we look forward to, amongst others, hearing the Nautilus version of "Bust A Little Something". It's gonna be dope-on-a-rope!

Funky Dope Maneuver
No Stoppin'
Bust a Move
Sexual Healin'
Bust A Lil Something (Nautilus version)
Back To Back (Demo version)

And yep this is the "Sexual Healin'" where Finesse flips his trademark raps over the Marvin Gaye beat. Classic!

Pre-Orders have already begun, so check out the link above to reserve your copy. But don't sleep cuz....

Lord Finesse is the brother that you have to hear
I flow smooth like clouds in the atmosphere
I'm spectacular, so damn terrifyin'
That wack MCs dont think about ever tryin'
To dis or flip cause what it boils down to
You won't survive to step to me in round 2
I stand and expand like a great man
And swing a party like tarzan the apeman
Say rhymes that are necessary, make em extra-scary
Watch Finesse and take notes like a secretary
I get furious, display experience
Lord Finesse is nasty, PERIOD


Lord Finesse in effect with the master rap
And I flip on the mic like a acrobat
I wont fret, step, but Ill make a rep
Usin vinyl wax, or a tape cassette
Think Im weak? take your next look
And get schooled and read like a textbook
Cause I'm the better man, and I never ran
MCs beat me? I give credit to whoever can
Cause I terrify, scare, and horrify
Couldn't win against me even if you let your father try
Hang and socialize, rhymes just multiply
Me and Mike get with it cause we both are fly
Lyrical lecture, word architecture
Rap director, the best in my sector
Microphone cool chief releasin' the smooth speech
I get nasty with a pen and some loose leaf


LORD FINESSE - Baby You Nasty (Wild Pitch 1989)

And as a little treat to keep you Finessed-to-death until VA001's a little FUNKY TECHNICIAN (DAILY DIGGERS REMIX)...simply click on his name below!


Kid Dyno

Saturday 26 January 2008

Cold Chillin' with the Juice Crew

When we first heard about the forthcoming US film "The Vapors" say we were excited is an understatement. No doubt that the exploits of the Juice Crew back in the late 80's led them to become a major force in Hip Hop's golden era, but if you had told us then that they would eventually make a full length movie about the crew coming outta Queens, we wouldn't have believed you for a hot minute.

But then on second thought, and if we examine in detail the impact the Juice Crew members made on Hip Hop music, it becomes a much clearer picture.
As we have mentioned before here on Breaks For Days, Hip Hop music's tenuous first few years on vinyl didn't truely represent the artform in the same way as the kids in the parks who had originally created it. The use of breakbeats to provide the music for emcees to rhyme over may have been essential in the parks and parties, but the music industry (eager to earn a buck or two from Hip Hop) had different ideas when it came to pressing "rap" on wax. Their introduction of "house bands" and disco producers to provide the backing music for emcees only lead to a twisted and counterfeit version of the artform - and many original Hip Hoppers lost interest in the early 80's music. Where was "Apache"? Where was "Sing a Simple Song"? Where was "Pussyfooter"? After all it was the pure energy of the music itself (and more importantly the breaks contained within) that gave the emcees their confidence and made them wanna rock tight on the mic. Hip Hop had become instantly diluted!

But little did we know back then that superproducer Marley Marl was coming to save us all. As a pioneering producer and sidekick of the legendary Mister Magic, Marley's love of technology eventually made him realise he could sample directly from a drum break record and re-create the drum sounds into his own patterns. Yes many early artists had re-played familiar funky basslines and incorporated them into their songs ("Was Dog a Doughnut" for instance on Fearless Four "It's Magic"), but for the first time the actual sounds of the drums could be chopped, looped and still retain the original energy that made people "go off!". Little did Marley know at the time he had struck gold with his techniques, and single-handedly enabled Hip Hop music to sound "authentic" once again.

Marley came to the forefront as the "engineer all-star" and chief spinner of wax on the WBLS "Rap Attack" radio show. Hosted by Super Rockin' Mister Magic (now somewhat of a legend of the NY airwaves) they were playing music from the early hip hop pioneers, despite the station being more R&B orientated. His knickname "Sir Juice" eventually led to the formation of his "Juice Crew" - a team of eager young Queensbridge talent ready to take the Hip Hop world by storm, using Marley's ear for sound and technical know-how as the backbone. Together they formed the Juice Crew alongside Tyrone "Fly Ty" Williams, who had originally co-produced their WBLS radio show.

The roll-call of Juice Crew members now looks like a "who's who" list of Hip Hop greats.......MC Shan, Big Daddy Kane, Roxanne Shante, Biz Markie, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, Tragedy, Master Ace, Craig G, Cool V, Mister Cee, TJ Swann, MC Glamorous, Debby Dee and others.

And of course how can we forget that the Juice Crew sparked one of hip-hop’s first ever rivalries between crews from different areas of the tri-borough. Now affectionately known as the "Bridge Wars", the fierce competition amongst crews gradually built to fever pitch as crews dissed other boroughs and proclaimed theirselves as New Yorks number one. When MC Shan released his single "The Bridge" it was an open invite for the Bronx to diss Queens in return. And it was of course Boogie Down Productions that stepped up to the frame to launch their verbal attack through the voice of the Blastmaster KRS One. Was this true beef? Did it dramatically lift record sales on both sides? We will let you decide the circumstances in which the Bridge Wars developed, and of course we have our own opinions - suffice to say KRS and Shan performed on stage together many years later (and even released a joint compilation LP on Cold Chillin').
Marley Marl's vision was to establish a recording group in which to display his production skills, and looked to his own neighbourhood of Queens to assemble the talent. His first signing was a young Roxanne Shante (real name Lolita) who as a hardened ghetto girl was equipped with some fiery raps and could quite easily take on her male counterparts. The story goes that Roxanne Shante overheard a conversation outside a Queensbridge housing project between Marley, Fly Ty and Magic who were discussing the fact that UTFO had cancelled on a gig that the trio were promoting. Shante stepped up to offer her services, particularly as UTFO had just released a song called "Roxanne, Roxanne" about a stuck-up girl who ignores the group and their love advances. The result was "Roxanne's Revenge" on Pop Art records, a hardline diss at UTFO and other egotistical males which featured some pretty obscene suggestions.....and so started the Roxanne stories with every rapper coming out of the woodwork with their own Roxanne answer record (over 100 I believe - for more info check out Drewhuge & Dan Large at the uber-excellent fatlacemag)

MC Shan was the second signing - a quick witted and smart talking emcee who bragged constantly, and tried to come across harder on the mic than his real-life slim frame would lead you to believe he actually was. In fact Shan's high opinion of himself resulted in his thinking that he was too good to appear on the "The Symphony" - a mistake I'm sure he regretted later! Possibly the best posse cut of all time? (EDIT: oops I forgot Juice Crew Allstars!!)

Soon Marley added the lyrical sniper and part-time gigolo Bid Daddy Kane to the roster, alongside the one-and-only comedian of Hip Hop the Diabolical Biz Markie (ah One Two!). Add to this the incredible Kool G Rap & DJ Polo and you have three legendary artists of the game right there! You only have to look at the career spans of the aformentioned three to see the contribution COLD CHILLIN' and it's sister label PRISM have made to the Hip Hop community. And if you're still not sure......lemme just say POISON, RAW, MAKE THE MUSIC WITH YOUR MOUTH, SET IT OFF, THE VAPORS, IT'S A DEMO....nuff said!!

To show and prove our love for the COLD CHILLIN' label (and yes that includes the 42% of you who voted in favour of this post) we're gonna go deep into the COLD CHILLIN'/PRISM back catalogue to listen to some of our favourites. Man there is just too many to drop them all in the mix, so sorry if we miss out your favourite. But that's a testament to Marley Marl's skills, due to the fact that he put out so many bangers! Just look at what he did for a certain James Todd Smith - he made the hard man look and sound much harder!! And that's no mean feat.

So thanks to all of you reading this that voted on the Cold Chillin' feature. I'm sure you will all be rewarded handsomely when the film "THE VAPORS" drops. I believe filming has already begun. is reporting that the following have been cast for various roles in the upcoming film "....Rapper-actor David Banner will play the part of Biz Markie, Cuba Gooding Jr. will be playing Marley Marl, Evan Ross will play MC Shan, Jackie Long as Big Daddy Kane, and Idris Elba as Tyrone Williams aka Fly Ty. This is on the heels of the announcement that Keke Palmerhas been cast as rapper Roxanne Shante. Clifton Powell was previous announced as playing the part of hip hop DJ and radio host Mr. Magic. Furqaan Clover (Queen of Media: The Wendy Williams Story) is set to direct it. Questionmark Entertainment and Marley Marl, Roxanne Shante and Big Daddy Kane are executive
producers on the film while will produce the film."

Exciting stuff. Now back to the music...... We're gonna take a deep breath and dive head-first into our COLD CHILLIN' / PRISM crates and drop some of our favourites in the mix. We hope you enjoy!

JUICE CREW MIX (30 mins)

Keep cold chillin'

Kid Dyno

p.s thanks and credit goes to J Smooth of the Underground Railroad for the Marley photo.

Monday 21 January 2008

UNIQUE - Die Hard EP

People power - it is truly amazing what can be achieved. Who would have ever thought five years ago (in the midst of the then dismal Hip Hop industry), that a new avenue of hope would eventually open up for us real Hip Hop fans. Not only were we tired of the major labels in the industry trying to spoon feed us weak beats and poor rhymes and package it as "Hip Hop", but the drop in vinyl sales generally also affected the profitability of our so-important indie labels. Some fell on hard times, and the majors' vice-like grip only tightened. Things did not look good from any angle.
But finally we have stood up for ourselves and offered out a big "Fuck You" to the industry
and found our own "new" shit to listen to. I say "new" because a lot of it wasn't actually "new" music. Of course the internet and websites like Myspace and others had allowed great new artists to get their music heard by the punters without the need for any kind of corporate backing. But at the same time it also allowed the punters to track down the artists of their choice. And who says it has to be a new artist??

So in the last couple of years it's not suprising to see that many record lovers have (via the web) made contact with their favourite artist(s) from back in the day, and maybe passed on a few compliments ("YO I got all your records!!" LOL!). Possibly asked a few nerdout questions...."who did the scratching on this track?"....and then one day BOOM! the reply they receive is....."Actually you don't have ALL my tracks!"

Many Hip Hop artists from bygone days had unreleased cuts that didn't make their 12" release, or perhaps were pulled from their LP, or sometimes that were recorded purely as a demo in order to obtain a deal. On hearing this, a Hip Hop lovers heart starts pulsating in a funkydrummer-like rhythm, and their eyes start spinning like a pair of Technics 1200s in beat-juggle mode!!

So now a quest to find that ever-elusive promo 12" that you always wanted, has incredibly now been eclipsed by the search for the unheard and unreleased shit! The grail of all grails! And as music lovers and Hip Hoppers, we have only good things to gain from this kind of situation.
A few of the more estute members of our diggin community, namely diggerswithgratitude, were among the first, to pull off some amazing "never heard this shit before" type steez. And what a dome-belter it was with a vinyl release of PHILL MOST CHILL's "Be Intelligent" EP featuring unreleased cuts from the same era as his 12" on IN EFFECT RECORDS.

Swiftly followed by DWG002 - a selection of unreleased tracks from GODFATHER DON which were partially aired on or recorded for the legendary Stretch & Bobbito 89TEC9 radio show. Entitled THE SLAVE OF NEW YORK EP, this once again set a standard by which others had to adhere. And we didn't have to wait that long.

Shortly before the DWG first release, the FREESTYLE PROFESSORS had just dropped unreleased gems from their back catalogue with the aid of Ed Catto (nice work Ed).
Priced at $100 this may initially seem like an expensive purchase, but just sit and think for a moment what you are actually getting here. You're not paying huge amounts for an overpriced and overhyped twelve after entering an eBay bidding war beacuse of the word "random". What you are purchasing in most cases is a truely limited (and in many cases less than a couple of hundred pressed only) and one-off chance to own some dope material which is UNAVAILABLE elsewhere. And very often these vinyl releases are signed by the artist so it truely makes it a collectable piece. OK so your boy down the road might have an mp3 of this or that track, but personally I couldn't give a rats arse what mp3s he has. I'm a vinyl lover period!
The DWG releases have also been priced around the £40 mark, and they have flown off the shelves like hot cakes on a frosty morning! In this game if you snooze, you lose. And if you didn't cop some of these incredibly dope and very limited releases, then I guess you will be kicking yourself pretty damn hard in the very near future.

Only this weekend a copy of UNIQUE's DIE HARD EP (DWG003) hit the Daily Diggers doormat greeted by a large smile and very soon after some serious volume cranking. Remember the dude who brought us "Pure Dynamite" and "Axe Maniac" in '89?? To have 4 more cuts from UNIQUE that I have never heard before kinda blows my grey matter to be honest. It's like being a kid again. Not that I ever grew up!
And now I learn that those crazy cats at VINYL ADDICTS have got some unreleased LORD FINESSE & MIKE SMOOTH due to drop on wax, and DJ CRO (MAIN INGREDIENT RADIO) plus his CRATE ESCAPE label are gonna bring us the KURIOUS JORGE "CONSTIPATED MONKEY DEMO EP" in February of this year. Holy smoke where will it all end?? I'm not sure I can digest all this at once! Don't get me wrong....I ain't complaining.
So now the music industry can kiss my skinny white butt while I listen to Golden Era dopeness that they thought we wouldn't wanna hear. Let them release that pish they call Hip Hop. Because we know better don't we??
And huge props to the guys making these releases happen. It's enough to make an ageing hip hop junkie like me go OD! It takes a hell of a lot of time and effort to make these releases happen. And to the odd few who have complained that the prices are high because these cats are only out to make a fast buck or knuckleheads! If they were in it for the money they wouldn't be putting out "true" Hip Hop like this in such small quantities! Do the maths!!

Here's some essential unreleased listening...

PHILL MOST CHILL - Be Intelligent EP (DWG001)
GODFATHER DON - Slave of New York EP (DWG 002)
UNIQUE - Die Hard EP (DWG003)
KURIOUS JORGE - The Constipated Monkey Demos (Crate Escape)
LORD FINESSE & MIKE SMOOTH - Funky Dope Maneuver EP (VA001)
BARITONE TIPLOVE - Livin' Foul DBL LP (white)

Kid Dyno

Friday 18 January 2008

Breaks for Days podcast

It's that time again where we rummage deep in the DAILY DIGGERS vaults so we can bring you some vintage BEATS to kick your weekend off to a good start. Hopefully you have no work this saturday or sunday and so you can kick off your shoes and relax to some funky sounds courtesy of KID DYNOMITE & The BEAT DETECTIVE.!

We are going to drop some ill rock drums, a handful of funk classics, some real vinyl obscurities, and of course a few Hip Hop treats from back in the days. We wouldn't give it to ya any other way!!

Please stay tuned!

Breaks for Days 18/01/08

Metal Fingers vs. Super Lover Cee - Corriander Got 'Em Locked
Larry Larr - Keep On Y'All
Pesos - Don't Smile
Hot Day Dante - Going Straight Up
Ghostface - Mighty Healthy
Slum Brothers - The Sureshot
Godfather Don - Styles by the Gram
Ill Brothers - Funkneck
Colored Section - Bomb MC
Daily Diggers skit
Unique - War Rap
Roy Ayers
The Fabulettes - Muddy Waters
Matata - Return To You
Paul Humphrey - Detroit
Little Feat
Persuasive Percussion
Rare Earth - I'm Losing Her
The Police - Voices inside my Head
Dr. Frankenstein - Frankenstein's Pain
Fierce - Come Close
Country Joe McDonald - TV Blues

Kid Dyno & The Beat Detective

Nasty Nas Live on the Capital Rap Show

Hey people! Keeping with our recent theme of live emcee action, check out the new PADDYSHOP blog which is sure to bring us lots of Hip Hop goodness over the forthcoming months.
For a starter (and what a starter it is!) you can listen to an appearance by Nas (or Nasty Nas as we knew him then) on the legendary Capital Rap Show with DJ Tim Westwood (no right turns, no left turns, just straight ahead into the firing line!)
Recorded and broadcasted in '94, from a time when Nas sounded at his best IMO - he was still hungry at this stage. Recorded midway through promoting his incredible debut album "Illmatic". What a classic that was!!
There's also a great article taken from the very first edition of EGO TRIP mag, where Nas really speaks his mind. I have just realised this is over 14 years ago now. Damn how time flies!

Great post from PADDYSHOP - have a read, then a listen, and then do like it says...and "Bookmark This Sh*t!"

Kid Dyno

Thursday 10 January 2008

Lord Finesse kicks it accapella

"When it comes to Rap, I'm all that and a bag o' chips!"
- Lord Finesse '94

Once again we're back at the Rocksteady Anniversary in '94. At the time, the re-union was held outdoor in a ballpark just off Amsterdam Avenue and 98th in Manhattan (Uptown). Known as "Rocksteady Park" because of its affiliation with the RSC over the last 3 decades, this park has seen some events! Although to be there in the day you would never realise its place in hip hop history - it looks like any regular NY ballpark.
The RSC Anniversary also had an indoor event planned in the Manhattan Centre later that week, with the highlight being DITC on stage, as well as Q-Bert and the Rocksteady Djs (as they were then known) performing their live routines. This was due to be hosted by the Funkyman Finesse himself, but would he arrive at the park to do his thing??

We had seen several MCs take the mic, including Fat Joe, KRS, and a fresh-outta-Cali Alkaholiks crew who threw cans of beer into the crowd!! But the rumours were Lord Finesse was gonna drop a verse or two. Needless to say we were'nt disappointed.

You can even here KRS One laughing in the background on several occasions. Finesse chose to rip the mic accapella....and although you will recognise the rhymes he drops, this was possibly the first time he had busted 'em live.

Lord Finesse Live at RSC Anniversary July '94
**WARNING** Explicit Lyrics!!

Monday 7 January 2008

The Artifacts Live in '94

Now it's time for some LIVE ON STAGE action. To be completely honest we have been inspired so much lately by Phill Most Chill's excellent "THAT REAL SCHITT" blog and the amazing old school tapes he's been dropping lately (that's a legend teaching us about legends right there!). So we thought it's only fair to share a little of what have stashed away on a well-chewed up cassette tape somewhere at the bottom of a dusty box marked "NY 1994"!
Our first offering was recorded in July 1994 at the Rocksteady Crew 16th Anniversary Jam in New York at the now famous "Rocksteady Park". Hosted by RSC's very own Crazy Legs and Kool Bob Love aka Bobbito the Barber, this anniversary jam had brought together some great names for live appearances including Lord Finesse, Kurious Jorge, Rocksteady Djs (Qbert and Mixmaster Mike), and KRS One to name just a few.
But Rocksteady Jam 94 also saw The Artifacts take to the stage at a time before their "Wrong Side Of The Tracks" 12" had dropped on the masses, and they were only just riding on the back of the success of the Nubian Crackers release they featured on. Have a listen below to THE ARTIFACTS LIVE AT ROCKSTEADY '94 and let us know if you like it, and maybe later on we will post more archive recordings of other artists at the anniversary jam??? Tame One and El Da Sensai's set is f#cked up at first with sound or DAT problems, but hold tight and witness the Boom Skwad eventually rip shit!
Later that very same day, the Lord Finesse appearance was pretty amazing as he performed accapella.............and you could hear KRS laughing backstage at his hilarious yet predictable Michael Jackson diss. As a young Hip Hopper from the UK it was spine-chilling to witness the Funkyman do his thing live. Also there was an early appearance on the mic by Zulu Gremlin. And Mixmaster Mike rocked his set despite a needle snapping half way through. But I haven't posted those clips up yet, please drop a few comments if you dig it and we will keep our word and post some more goodness for your domepieces.

THE ARTIFACTS LIVE at Rocksteady Anniversary JULY '94

z-share download - ARTIFACTS LIVE Rocksteady Anniversary JULY '94

Friday 4 January 2008

Collabos and Posse Cuts

The music industry has seen artist collaborations since the 50s and 60s, and Hip Hop is no exception with its fair share of collabos and posse cuts hitting wax. More often than not in early Hip Hop, the coming together of 2 artists was to demonstrate crew allegiances, rather than being industry-created for financial reasons. Later on in the forthcoming weeks we will bring you some of the deffest posse cuts of all time, but to get you in the mood early, here's a nice 3 emcee collabo from 1991.
From Big Daddy Kane's "Prince of Darkness" LP, here we see Kane bring on Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest) and Busta Rhymes (Leaders of the New School) to join him over the Kelly's Heroes break.
If you don't own this already, aim to find the promo only double vinyl LP for the superior pressing quality.

BDK, BUSTA & Q-TIP - Come on Down

Wednesday 2 January 2008

Breaks for Days podcast

Coming soon... Breaks for Days RADIO show with a bi-weekly download direct from the DAILY DIGGERS HQ. It's gonna be a mixture of.....funky breaks, old school hip hop, golden era classics, 90's indies and of course new millenium beats that we think are dope! We may even slip a few funky Double D remixes into the show.

We've done radio for various staions over the years so it only seems natural to drop a little podcast here and there on our OWN damn page. We can then give you a flavour of what we are listening to. And who knows, we may even progress to video if the technology allows?

You can hear the first test broadcast by clicking on the player below, and we have added a track listing too.

Approx 1hr 15mins in length, perfect for a journey to/from work to brighten up your day, to put some bounce into your ounce, or for inspiration when you are out on a digging mission.

Got any requests? Then hit us up on the comments page and we will try our best to please our regular listeners.



zshare download

Art of Origin - No Slow Rollin'
Lord Finesse - Yes You May (Funk Flow mix)
Troubleneck Bros - Gusto
Ty Wizah - Bust the Context
Kool G Rap - Letters
The Jaz - Sign of the Crimes
Donald D - Let the Horns Blow
Original Flavor - Give 'Em Some Wrek
Positive K - One to the Head
Tyree - Mind Altering Dope Cuts
Slick Rick - It's a Boy (KING remix)
Johnny Hammond - Big Sur Suite
Kool & The Gang - Give It Up
Olympic Runners - Just Funkin' Around
Joe Thomas - Mike
Billy Preston & Syreeta - Books & Basketball
Kid Dynamite - Uphill Peace of Mind
Isotope - Do The Business
The New Apocalypse - Stainless Soul
Clyde McPhatter - Mixed Up Cup
Off Side - Small Deal
Orange Krush - Action

Kid Dyno & The Beat Detective