Sunday, 31 July 2011

Zonk PBS

District Line yard action by ZONK from the mid 90s. Polaroid photo courtesy of an unlocked BTP office.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Refridgerated Funk

There are some strange people amongst the record collectors out there, and I guess I have to include myself in that statement. My vinyl storage solution for my funk 45s is kinda out of the norm I will agree, and always raises an eyebrow or too when someone visits the DAILY DIGGERS HQ. But hey so what! I like to keep my beats as fresh as possible...

Friday, 29 July 2011

Rock Steady Crew 34th Anniversary

Firstly a happy 34th anniversary goes out to the legendary ROCK STEADY CREW. Wow is it really that long since JO JO and JIMMY D formed the crew in the BX back in 1977? The fact that RSC have reached their 34th milestone kinda puts a big middle finger up to all those who put breakin' down to being a craze back in the days. And remember 34 years is only the anniversary for ROCK STEADY themselves - crews were goin off and battling each other on the floor years before 77. In fact breakin was beginning to peter out around 77, and the whole purpose of JO JO and JIMMY DEE forming the crew was to keep the ROCK(IN) STEADY i.e. to continue the art of b-boying. And a huge part of the fact that breakin is as big today globally as it has ever been is mostly down to ROCK STEADY CREW being the ambassadors of the whole dance. You simply HAVE to give them props for that.

This weekend New York City once again plays host to various RSC events around NY including a free outdoor concert on Sunday held outside the tri-borough in Newark. The main battle takes place on Saturday with none other than SKEME RICHARDS on deck duties. Any self respecting hip hopper who is NOT from New York really should make the effort to check out one of the ROCK STEADY ANNIVERSARIES at some time in their lives. Believe me when I tell you it's like making a pilgrimage to hip hop's birthplace and the best way to get a feeling of how hip hop started in the first place. The three consecutive years that I attended the ROCK STEADY anniversaries myself (it's a long journey from London) also happen to be three of the best years of my life. Now ain't that a co-incidence!

Get yourself over to the Rock Steady Crew 34th Anniversary Battle at the Red Bull Space 40 Thompson Street on Saturday July 30th 2PM-9PM. Admission is a mere $15 in Advance on or $20 at the Door. All ages are welcome and DJ's pulling out the baadest breaks will be SKEME RICHARDS and DV ONE.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY ROCK STEADY! ... and a few personal shouts from me KID DYNO to SKEME RICHARDS, PEE WEE DANCE, PRINCE KEN SWIFT, EASY ROC, MR FREEZE, Q-BERT, MIXMASTER MIKE, APPOLLO, and TUF TIM TWIST and all the other RSC members I have been lucky enough to meet over the years. The fact that they have been there throughout my own 27 year long love affair with hip hop is unique in itself. No other crew/organisation/group has stood the test of time like they have.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Wanted! Vandy C Tapes

Please people I need YOUR help tracking down some vintage VANDY C & BIL BLAST 80s radio shows on cassette. You may remember the short but informative post about VANDY C that I did back in JUNE 2009 featuring some of his early productions. Well now I am searching for any old tapes featuring VANDY C himself or of his popular radio shows. This could be a WNYE show, Medgar Evers College radio station (91.5), or even a VANDY C with BARRY MASON & THE RHYTHM TEAM show. I'll take as many as you can send me.
If anyone out there has a C90 cassette stored away in a drawer somewhere with VANDY C on it I would be most appreciative if you could get in touch. Thanks a million.

Kid Dyno

Monday, 25 July 2011

Peace Party People Ha Ha See You Later

Whether you love him or hate him you cannot deny that the INHUMAN ORCHESTRA and most DIABOLICAL emcee on the mic BIZ MARKIE has firmly carved himself a unique position within the hip hop community. He first appeared as the man on the beatbox for a young ROXANNE SHANTE on her 1986 track "Def Fresh Crew" when both were under the wing of MARLEY MARL and signed to POP ART RECORDS in Philly. Although before that BIZ will happily tell you that he was the kid making "all the strange noises" at the jams and basement parties of the early to mid 80s. I'm talking pre COLD CHILLIN' days here.
SHANTE and MARKIE dueted again on the incredibly dope single "PAYBACK" a year later also on POP ART RECORDS which incidentally is one of the toughest sounding records from that period you will come across. BIZ by then had built up enough popularity to go it alone and release his own solo record which had taken firstly New York, the USA and then the rest of the world by storm on its release. By late 1987 you weren't down with hip hop if you didn't know who BIZ MARKIE was.
His goofy style of rap, off key vocals, comedic beatbox routines and silly antics truly make BIZ a one-of-a-kind hip hop personality that personally I could never get bored with. And the reason why, cuz BIZ still got skills despite playing the class clown. In fact some of the most memorable lines in hip hop are some of BIZ's own. Let me remind you ...

"All party people say isn't he something?"

"Ha ha ha ha ha check out this bizarre"

"damn it feels good to see people up on it"

Born MARCEL HALL in 1965 and originally from Maryland, BIZ is also an avid sneaker collector and very serious record fiend (don't be fooled by his comedy manner). He is also notorious for telling stories over the years of a legendary BOB JAMES 12" version of MARDI GRAS on CTI RECORDS recorded with just the drums and without the bells over the break. MP3s of this have surfaced all over the web as I'm sure you have already seen and heard, and BIZ himself plays the track out at parties and jams, but no-one as yet has provided physical evidence of the record. A holy grail of the breaks game or just another BIZ MARKIE leg pull? You decide.

BIZ is such a joker when it comes to buggin people out. Check out THE BIZ NEVER SLEEPS for some hilarious BIZ stories from people who know him. Here are a couple of extracts from the site by THES ONE (PUTS) and BIG CHAN.

Big Chan wrote:
Phone rings one day about 6 years ago. First time I ever talked to Biz on the phone:

Me: Hello
Biz: What you got?
Me: Excuse me
Biz: What you got! Kung-fu movies man. Ca$h told me to call you about the movies.
Me: Who is this
Biz: Biz man! What movies you got?

I then start to list off every rare kung-fu movie in my collection that I can think of. After every title I mention, Biz replies "Got it!" He then says get to the rare stuff man! We start talking about all kinds of kung-fu movies for about and hour and a half. Biz then says, "Gotta go, I'll call you back."
Later that night I'm DUMB tired from work the day before and I'm sleeping early.
Wifey comes in a wakes me up, she's holding the cordless phone. She has a confused look on her face and says "someone named Biz is on the phone for you, he said that you told him to have me wake you up if he called back and you were sleeping. He sounds crazy, is everything ok?" I never told him to have her wake me up. Dude is always on some comedy like this!

ThesOne wrote:
Biz and I are shootin' the shit on the phone one day and his other line rings. he says hold on and clicks over. Then he comes back on and says "yo thes, you gotta be real real quiet when I click over again aight? don't say anything aight? just sit there and listen aight?" Then he clicks over again and now I'm on three way calling with him and some girl and he starts macking her up, but making little record jokes while he's doing it. I'm trying not to laugh but can't believe what I'm hearing. he's on the phone with her for like 45 minutes and convinces her to come through and "rub his back". Dude is the mack like that. She hangs up and he starts whilin' like See Thes?!! That's how you do it??!! Right there!
What a guy.

BIZ is himself no stranger to controversy - back in the early 90s a fairly low key track on his "I Need a Haircut" LP had used a sample from GILBERT O'SULLIVAN's song "Alone Again (Naturally)" although without the artist's permission or credit. The subsequent lawsuit GRAND UPRIGHT MUSIC vs. WARNER BROTHERS RECORDS became a landmark case which ultimately changed the way in which records could be sampled in hip hop music from that point on into the future. No longer was it possible to simply sample another person's music without first paying for "sample clearance", a fee which the record labels were not keen to pay. I hate to admit it, but that test case and others like it are partially the reason for the weak module-produced sounding rubbish beats churned out by the majors these days.
The sampling controversy certainly affected BIZ's recording career, and he even followed up the offending LP with the cheekily entitled "All Samples Cleared" LP in 1993. Unfortunately by then BIZ's sales and popularity as an artist had dwindled, although true-to-form hip hoppers would always have a soft spot for the diabolical one.
Nowadays you can still catch BIZ MARKIE busy dropping funk nuggets and disco gems at the park jams and big New York parties. In fact as far as deejaying is concerned BIZ MARKIE is never short of bookings and reportedly "gets all the big gigs!". His record knowledge is certainly second to none and no-one has the personality and ability to rock a crowd like he does. In BIZ's own words...

"I keep the people cheerin' because of what they hearing
Movin' and groovin' to a devastating sound that's glaring!"

from BIZ MARKIE - "Biz Is Goin' Off" 1988

And how can I sign off without a mention of the incredible alien conversation with WILL SMITH from the film "Men In Black" - pure comedy. As are BIZ's regular appearances on the cult kids TV show "YO GABBA GABBA" where he does his "beat of the day" for the little ones (and I know a few of us older dudes are regulars Gabba Gabba fans too!) Hell, you can even buy a BIZ MARK doll that beatboxes to you.

BIZ you are a legend. Straight up.

Here are a few of my favourite BIZ MARKIE moments...

Check out THIS footage of BIZ doing a beatbox live at SLED ISLAND in CALGARY. His stage rendition of "Biz Is Goin' Off" is some high standard delivery not many MCs can manage. Don't sleep on the BIZ!

Hilarious - BIZ unconvincingly tries to outdo KID CAPRI on the wheels of steel, and even changes the joint on him at one point just to fuck his flow up. And watch out for how BIZ walks away from the turntables as he passes back to Kid Capri - pure comedy. Go BIZ!!

BIZ and BIG DADDY KANE live for the camera

BIZ and SHANTE are the def fresh crew

BIZ the advertising genius

The BIZ vs FRESH PRINCE beatbox conversation

And here's GILBERT O'SULLIVAN's take on the BIZ controversy...

12 Finger Dan & B-Base

SOULBROTHA of Hamburg, GERMANY are back with another sureshot vinyl release featuring the likes of PREMO, LARGE PROFESSOR, FREESTYLE PROFESSORS, NUTSO and BLAQ POET. If you liked the boom bap sound of their 2009 "Collectors Item" LP then this twelve inch release is a must. The beats are chunky and chopped to perfection with the SP1200 / S950 combination, and the rhymes won't disappoint as both LARGE PRO and POET pull out the big guns on the mic.

It's Grimy Up North

Some people from LONDON assume that the world ends when you reach the M25 (the motorway that surrounds the UK capital), kinda similar to how hundreds of years ago man believed the world to be flat rather than round. And within the hip hop scene its a similar case - there is a fallacy that good hip hop music only comes from the capital. However some of the most refreshing UK beats and rhymes I have heard lately have come from much further afield.
It ain't grim up north, it's grimy!


Monday, 18 July 2011

TAKI 183

TAKI 183 - not necessarily the first New York writer, but certainly amongst the most famous. The name that spawned a thousand other people to "get up" was scrawled across New York and eventually featured in a 1971 New York Times article about graffiti entitled "Taki 183 spawns penpals". Of course any kind of media coverage like this was only going to encourage a thousand other kids to do exactly the same thing as they travelled the tri-borough. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the article on JULY 21st 2011, TAKI 183 is teaming up with ROGER GASTMAN and CALEB NEELON to launch the book "The History Of American Graffiti".
The launch will be held at THE HOLE 312 Bowery New York NY 10012 from 7-10pm. Special Guests from Writers' Corner 188 include SNAKE 1, SJK 171, MIKE 171 and ROCKY 184. TAKI 183 signed prints will be for sale and he will also be signing copies of the book.

ADE Energy Drink

ADE from the UK's south coast is back with another mix of hip hop vitamins and minerals to put some pep in your step this summer. ADE is a regular here at BREAKS FOR DAYS BEATS FOR WEEKS, in fact he regularly sends me dope mixes of the records he has been finding recently; everything from rock breaks to funky disco and dusty samples. This carbonated hip hop mix has been on regular play at the HQ for a while now, and I guess as the sun is now finally making an appearance in the UK it is time to share it with y'all. A perfect 80 minute mixture of classics and a few joints you may not be so familiar with, but in usual DAILY DIGGERS style with all weak sauce eliminated. Artists include ARTIFACTS, SHOWBIZ & AG, K9 POSSE, PUMPKIN, CYPRESS HILL, SOUND SCI and others including a dope chop edit of MC SHAN. So what are you waiting for? Crack open a can, crank up the volume and get your daily dose of dope beats right here....

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Rockin' 45 Doubles

Cutting up 45s is much more fun than doubling LPs or 12"s in my opinion, but it requires a very steady hand to keep those needles from jumping. Try it for yourself and you will see why DJ MARK 45 KING's recent "cutting on little turntables" video is super tight!
I'm partial to a 45rpm break as you already know, so it goes without saying we love to cut 'em up here at the DAILY DIGGERS HQ. Sending big love to all deejays who rock the 45 doubles - MAC MCRAW, DEK ONE, DJ PRONE, SKEME RICHARDS, DJ MARK 45 KING, ROCKIN' ROB, DIAMOND D, MURO, DJ SHADOW, CUT CHEMIST and anyone who is partial to cutting up tiny records.


They say your record collection is the musical soundtrack to your early life. In that case my soundtrack would begin with a flurry of 70s movie chase themes followed by some early uptempo funk nuggets on 45. After that some killer 12" disco breaks leading to some old school rap records, a burst of electro funk and then a journey through the golden era of hip hop into 90s classics and finally into the mid 90s indie sound. It would start a little something like this...

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Breaks on 45

As usual I have been on the hunt recently for some drum heavy 45s to add to the stash, and luckily I stumbled on some nice records to keep me from fiending. If you are a regular reader you will know I have an unhealthy obsession with any of the ULTIMATE BREAKS AND BEATS records on the 7" 45rpm format, and I'm always on the look out for ones that I know exist but don't yet own. But it's always an added bonus to chance upon a 45 that I DIDN'T even know was available. This week I fluked upon a beautiful copy of a CTI seven inch pressing of "Star Wars" by David Matthews in a bright yellow CTI sleeve. Now that's a nugget! All I need to do now is find another so I can wreck shop on the doubles.

Here's a few of my recent 45 finds...

I have been searching for this record for a few years without success, but I have been looking for the pressing on CITADEL RECORDS label. To be honest it was the only press I knew of until I spoke with DJ FORMAT who, being the 45 fiend that he is, told me that it was also available on EBONY SOUNDS RECORDS but many copies have a slight pressing fault causing a fairly unobvious skip during the first portion of the record. Not only did he tell me that, but he also has a spare copy which he was willing to trade for something else exciting on 45. If I remember correctly I traded with him a UK promo copy of the JUNGLE BROTHERS "Because I Got It Like That" 45 which ain't easy to find itself.
So I had tracked down a copy at long last, and as you listen I'm sure you will understand why I'm not so fussed about the slight skip on one side (which I can't even find at the time of writing this post). All I know is that these drums are tough, and there's no wonder MARLEY MARL rocked these for a BIG DADDY KANE classic. I'm not gonna tell you which BDK record, if you know your hip hop onions then this should be a cinch to answer!
I have also flipped the drums into a little sequence just to give you an extra clue.

I have this record already on a 12" and was searching for a cheap double to accompany it. Then recently whilst I was digging through the vinyl delights at ELDICA RECORDS in Dalston East London I found a 45 of EDWIN BIRDSONG's classic break. You may not recognise his name or the track title but I'm 99% sure most of you will have heard this record as it has been sampled by everyone from DE LA SOUL to GANGSTARR. Possibly the most famous being DE LA's "Me Myself and I" in 1989 on TOMMY BOY RECORDS. Both the 12" and 7" versions both have the INSTRUMENTAL version. Check it out.


I mentioned this record briefly above, but on looking at it in it's pretty yellow CTI sleeve it makes me think it was a bargain purchase for only £3, that's about 6 dollars. I spend more than that on snacks during the day at work, so a cute little drum break on 45 for the same price is a steal! That's why I like 45s, as I find I can cop more of a bargain than with buying twelve inch versions or LPs.
Now I have took the liberty of recording a second version including a little LOUIS FLORES style edit on the break itself, in the style of GRANDMASTER FLASH (this was one of his regular joints to play and cut up back in the day). It may sound a little cheesy at the start but the breakdown here is tougher than leather, with R2D2 noises over the drum break. That's dope in my book.

GARNETT MIMMS "Stop and Check Yourself" GSF RECORDS
These drums are chunky AND funky! I cannot recall how I found out about this tough to find GSF release, but I never forgot the name and then found two copies within a couple of months of each other both at knockdown prices.Once again I have looped up the drums to give you a feel of how dope they sound when looped up. And don't forget these soundclips are fairly lo-fi - the 45s play much louder and and super crisp. I have sampled these drum sounds individually into the SP1200 and as soon as you punch the pads KAABBOOOOM there it is!!
There is no excuse for wack drum sounds in hip hop music as there are so many fat drums out there waiting to be found if you wanna put in some diggin' work. Fuck using module sounds, any numb nut can program drums from a module or a sample CD, but in my opinion that is straight up wack. Dig for your drums YO!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Posse Cut Extraordinaire

My homeboy AGENT FINCH was busting out some vintage UK hip hop tracks today, and he played one track in particular which epitomises the early UK hip hop sound perfectly. But not only does it have that hardcore break-laden sound synonymous with the UK, but it is essentially a glorified posse cut featuring some of the UK's finest MCs of the time. I'm talking names like DEMON BOYS, HIJACK, OVERLORD X, GATECRASH, ICEPICK, LONDON POSSE, LONDON RHYME SYNDICATE, STANDING OVATION, MC MELLO, SHE ROCKERS, and not forgetting one of my favourite UK emcees MC FRESH SKI.
I'm posting this video more for the regulars from the States who, for obvious reasons tended to ignore rap music from the UK. And you cannot blame US hip hoppers for this as they had all the MCs and DJs they needed on their own doorstep, so why would they need to look any further? But because of that fact many have never heard DEMON BOYS, or FRESH SKI, GUNSHOT etc. and realise how hardcore UK rap was back then. UK beats were uptempo break bangers and our MCs took no prisoners with their lyrics. I still believe the UK hip hop scene was more concentrated than in the US back then. You had to go OUT OF YOUR WAY to be into hip hop, so it was rare to get fakes and frauds on the scene (unlike the US). Also most of the UK labels putting the music out were independent so artistic were free from major label tinkering. Hence the records that were released were raw and uncut.
It would take me forever to introduce a list of UK artists, so what better way to give you an insight on vintage UK MCs in one 6 minute video; "Beyond the 16th Parallel" by B.R.O.T.H.E.R. was a collaboration track recorded in 1989 to bring awareness to the Apartheid regime in South Africa. Produced by GATECRASH and HIJACK and also featuring the voice of BERNIE GRANT (rip) former MP for Tottenham, North London.

DJ SUPREME from HIJACK tells the story...

"Brotherhood in the form of the Black Rhyme Organisation To Help Equal Rights (B.R.O.T.H.E.R ) was a collection of some of the most talented UK Hip Hop artists around in 1989. Instigated by the political ragga-rap group Gatecrash, the main purpose of their debut record, "Beyond the 16th Parallel" was to raise awareness of the racial inequalities of the South African apartheid regime.
Assembling an all-star line up, including the late Bernie Grant MP, each of the separate groups had the task of tackling the specifics of the Botha government. With this as a new main focus, the B.R.O.T.H.E.R project managed to temporarily stem the inter-group friction that existed across much of London's Hip Hop community. All artists royalties were donated to the ANC.
This led to a second B.R.O.T.H.E.R project entitled "Ghettogeddon". This three track EP, focussed entirely on the rising inner city gun culture of the nineties, and was preceded by a BBC documentary entitled: "The violence must cease". All artists royalties were donated to SCAR (Sickle Cell Anaemia Research)."

Conscious dope music! This is how it sounded in London back in '89.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Second Sundays

If you are in the New York area get yourself to Macri Park in Brooklyn every second Sunday of the summer months for a free BBQ with KAMUI & WES supplying the sounds alongside SKEME RICHARDS plus guests. Chicken & Waffles plus Hot Peas & Butta equals a funky good time.

Sputnik Brown - Three Shades Of Black

Our long term followers will no doubt remember back in December 2007 when we gave you the heads up on SPUTNIK BROWN. At the time the New York crew were just about to drop their seriously dope "U Havin' Fun Yet" 12" single on HIGH WATER MUSIC. The single received great reviews from deejays and hip hoppers alike, and hip hop celebs like BOBBITO, LARGE PROFESSOR and DJ SPINNA tipped SPUTNIK BROWN to be the future of real hip hop music in this sea of wack shit we have to suffer daily.
Despite OXYGEN, HOWARD LLOYD, E THA 5TH, SLIM DONUTS, TRE BEST and DJ SHARK completing the "THREE SHADES OF BLACK" album project it was never given a vinyl release, or an official release come to that despite being scheduled for April 2008. The result of this was that a lot of fans of their original material left fiending for more of that quality SPUT boom bap, and unfortunately the group shortly afterwards went their separate ways despite remaining tight personal friends. Once again it seemed as if the politics of the biz had claimed another victim, and for me personally SPUTNIK BROWN was one of the few bright lights shining at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Luckily for me I hooked up with OXYGEN himself while he was over in the UK (see photo) and I am pleased to say that he is currently one of the hardest working men on the m-i-c as I write this with collaborations with some big names in the hip hop game (stay tuned for more news on this).
Recently OXYGEN decided it is time for the lovers of real hip hop music to hear the "THREE SHADES OF BLACK" LP in its entirety, so here it is for your listening pleasure - remember where you heard it first! This doesn't mean to say that it will never get a vinyl release, but it keeps the SPUT fans happy until it does.

To download SPUTNIK BROWN "Three Shades OF Black" click here

..and in the meantime enjoy "SUPER EGO" and "THE SPUTS" which incidentally is one of my favourite hip hop tracks of the last 10 years!



Saturday, 2 July 2011

The Bridge Is Over

Back in 1986/87 you couldn't get away from the BRIDGE WARS - a time when competing crews from the BRONX and QUEENSBRIDGE went all out to dismiss their opposition's claims that hip hop started in their neighborhood. The main instigators were BOOGIE DOWN PRODUCTIONS and MARLEY MARL's JUICE CREW, and it all stemmed from a few MC SHAN lines in the 1985 hit "THE BRIDGE"...

"You love to hear the story again and again
Of how it all got started way back when
The monument is right in your face
Sit and listen for a while to the name of the place
The Bridge, The Bridge The Br- The Br- The Bridge

Now although SHAN had not specifically said that HIP HOP started out in QUEENS, the BDP crew from the BRONX were not just gonna sit down and ignore a verse like that. As we all now know, hip hop was born on the BRONX streets and in the BRONX playgrounds, so it wasn't long before BDP had a response. That response was "SOUTH BRONX" and "THE BRIDGE IS OVER".
The BRIDGE WARS continued with various shots at each other's crews, and before too long other artists had seen the hype around this "beef" situation only increase record sales for BDP and the JUICE CREW. It was only a matter of time before other crews chipped in with their two cents, the most notorious of which being ROCKWELL NOEL & THE POET (of PHD and SCREWBALL fame, now known as BLAQ POET) who had a hit with their "Takin' U Out" single which was deliberately fired at the BDP crew. In fact POET had a reputation for taking beef a little further than just to diss on record, and liked to back his claims up "in the physical".

Unfortunately SCOTT LA ROCK was shot dead in August 1987 at the age of 25. But before he died he gave a radio interview alongside his partner KRS ONE to talk about the BRIDGE WARS and give his views. SCOTT LA ROCK told it how it was.

Big thanks to DJ VICTORIOUS and FLATBUSH TV in Brooklyn for uploading this gem of an interview.

And check out these other releases related to the BRIDGE WARS...
MC MITCHSKI - "Brooklyn Blew Up The Bridge"
COOL C - "Juice Crew Diss"
MC BUTCHY B - "Go Magic" b/w "Beating Down KRS"