Love him or hate him, you cannot deny the contribution to Hip Hop that the big daddy of the airwaves TIM WESTWOOD has made over the years. From his days on KISS FM in London (when the station was still pirate), to his legendary CAPITAL RAP SHOWS of the 90's and collaborations with MARLEY MARL,
TIM brought only the freshest hip hop sounds to our ears. I personally sat locked to my radio dial on many a late night as a teenager and into my 20's, not wanting to miss the exclusive joints TIM would play. A blank cassette was a must. How many UK hip hop personalities can claim to be receiving props on records as far back as early ICE-T records, and photos on the sleeve of 3RD BASS albums? Not many. TIM WESTWOOD still plays his brand of rap for the new generation on BBC RADIO 1, and although I might not agree on his playlist these days, I cannot disagree that WESTWOOD's sounds influenced me a lot. Some of the old cassettes I have of his shows contain tracks which never even got to see the light of day. The thought of his record collection scares me.
Anyway, it would be so easy for me to simply drop an old WESTWOOD cassette from back in the days, but I'ma take this theme in a different direction.
Those of you who checked out the WESTWOOD RAP shows back in the day will be aware of his trademark explosions, and the fact that he had more catchphrases than you can shake a stick at. "No left turns, no right turns, just straight ahead to the firing line!". Or something similar and just as random. People may knock him for sounding like a fool at times, but who else has lived the hip hop life over in the UK like big daddy TIM. Not many.
But another of my memories of the best WESTWOOD years, are those when he would introduce his show over familiar breakbeats that he would feature on rotation. Some of them became synonymous with the CAPITAL RAP SHOW itself as he would introduce the show over the beat. Let's reminisce shall we?
THE LITTLE BOY BLUES - "Seed Of Love" FONTANA RECORDS 197?
This track comes from the "Woodland of Weir" LP by the LITTLE BOY BLUES, a garage psych outfit from Chicago. The LP features some tripped out moments, and "Seed of Love" is no different with some real tension building and drama thrown in. My vintage copy is a little battered so please excuse the crackles and pops in the soundclip. This was a WESTWOOD favourite simply because of the tension the record creates, but it took me enough years to find out the title of the band or the track itself, then a further long period of time to eventually track down a copy of the LP. I'm sure you will still appreciate it.
JAMES BROWN - "Blues & Pants" POLYGRAM RECORDS 1971
Not the most obvious James Brown joint, but WESTWOOD certainly made this JB beat his very own by dropping it regularly, and eventually just by hearing it you knew you were listening to the CAPITAL RAP SHOW 95.8FM. His format was crisp back in the day, and you knew you were gonna get a healthy dose of the good shit when TIM was on the dial. God bless you WESTWOOD.
I'm surprised how little I have included JAMES BROWN joints here on BREAKS FOR DAYS, maybe I will change that with a little JB dedication in the very near future.
LOVE UNLIMITED ORCHESTRA - "Strange Games & Things" 20th CENTURY RECORDS 1976
Barry white does the arrangement and production on this serious number from 76. Again this was a firm WESTWOOD favourite for the start of his show, and being an instrumental he could let it play as long as necessary and talk over the top. I remember EPMD also successfully using this break to dope effect, on their rap banger "Manslaughter". Either way it's a great track and also a floorfiller - the strings build and build throughout and the bassline provocative from the beginning. Dead easy to find in vinyl too, check the bargain racks in your local record shop for this one.
And of course I found a copy of EXPERIENCE UNLIMITED "Knock Him Out Sugar Ray" recently (see posts below) which was also a WESTWOOD intro fave.
All that and not a pimped ride in sight!