Friday, April 29, 2005

"Throwing up your hands - that better be a peace sign!" Live Rap on Wax Part 7 - Lord Finesse

As far as I'm concerned, Lord Finesse doesn't get nearly enough credit for his contributions to rap. He elevated the punchline-heavy style that so many kids use today to previously unheard-of levels, paving the way for guys like Mad Skillz, Chino XL and Ras Kass. Here's the set he performed at Tramps in New York for the D.I.T.C. memorial concert for Big L. With Roc Raida on the decks and A.G. on back-ups, Finesse hits us with certified dope cuts like "You Know What I'm About", "Yes, You May (Remix)" and an ill version of "Baby, You Nasty" with this extra horn hit that wins. Ignoring the crowd's various song requests, the Funkyman also caters to the broads with a couple of his skin-pulling specials.

This was released on a three-LP/two CD set on Japanese label P-Vine records, and features sets from Show & AG, Diamond D, O.C. and the whole crew. Look out for it, it still pops up from time to time.

Lord Finesse - "Live At Tramps, NY" (P-Vine, 1999)

I've also dropped a new feature over at A Tribute To Ignorance if you need something to read.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Fear of a Blog Planet and other bad plays on words

Yesterday I noticed that Steady Bootleggin' got a mention in the Village Voice's "Blog Rock" column, which I guess ranks somewhere between getting linked by Soul Sides and getting mentioned in "real" print (which may also be happening in the near future but more on that when it drops). In actual fact, that shit's only up for a day and only got me a handful of extra visitors, but nevertheless, I'm in good company.

Monday, April 25, 2005

They Used To Do It Out In The Park Part 6 - Kurious Jorge

Kurious and a bunch of guys who aren't the CM Mob.

Following on from the Brick City Kids set at Rocksteady Anniversary '94, Kurious Jorge and the CM Mob rolled through to tear shit up. With Kadi ("the man with the yellow hat"), The Omen and Lord Sear on deck, the Magician has no shortage of back-ups available and proceeds to perform half of the Constipated Monkey album.

Kurious Jorge - "Live" (Rocksteady Anniversary Volume 1, 1994)

Friday, April 22, 2005

"Hot As Hell and High As Fuck" Live Rap On Wax Part 5 - The Artifacts

Some of the best live records you'll find are the Rocksteady Anniversary bootlegs (I think there's four albums in the series, but I only have the first three). It's basically a live recording of the event, and includes such memorable moments such as Lord Finesse tearing LOTUG to streads (sic), KRS and Fat Joe teaming up, The Grimm Reaper (aka MF Grimm) rocking shit and a bunch of group sets by the Pharcyde, Kurious Jorge etc. Today I'm presenting an early performance by The Artifacts (who were originally called That's Them before they got signed), who only had their Nubian Crackers cameo under their belt at the time but preview several tracks from Between A Rock and A Hard Place.

Tame and El are "high as fuck" and feeling the effects of a sweltering New York summer, which results in some entertaining comments between tracks, as well as several remarks detailing their Rotten Apple conspiracy theory against Brick City residents. Look out for the Kurious set from the same afternoon in the next post.

The Artifacts - "Live" (Rocksteady Anniversary Volume 1, 1994)

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Live Rap On Wax-N-Compton Part 4 - N.W.A

With a scant running time of 1:43, this little glimpse of "the world's most dangerous group" on stage is still dope. Included on N.W.A's Greatest Hits album, this "live" taping sounds legit, despite the extra over-dubbed crowd noise.

Did you ever notice how the all the photo's from the Straight Outta Compton-era (including the album cover) feature ex-member Arabian Prince, despite the fact that he doesn't feature on a single track? That's some Jarobi shit right there duke.

N.W.A - "Compton's In The House (live)" (Greatest Hits, Ruthless/Priority , 1996)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Who Says The Pumas Should Match? Live Rap On Wax 3 - MC Shan

When MC Shan and Marley Marl dropped "Jane, Stop This Crazy Thing" complete with it's Jetsons-sampled chorus, they also blessed us with a couple of b-side treats. At this stage in his career, Shan was the fuckin' man, having dropped the incredible "The Bridge" a year earlier, and this time around he addressed the crack/freebasing epidemic that was sweeping America.

"Jane..." was a pretty straight-foward cautionary tale, but "Cocaine" took the metaphoric approach. Presented in both studio and live mixes, it's the echo-soaked club rendition that wins over the bland "LP Version" (although it never appeared on Shan's album). The highlight of this live recording lies in the crowd response when the subject of this tale of heartbreak is named at the end of the second verse....

Considering Shan's drug problems later in his life, his large discography of anti-drug raps can either be viewed as ironic or hypocritical. These days, Shan is most likely still collecting royalties from Snow's international mega-hit "Informer".

MC Shan - "Cocaine (live)" (b-side of Jane, Stop This Crazy Thing 12", Cold Chillin' , 1987)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

"Yeeaahh Kane!" - Live Rap On Wax Part 2

This is easily one of the greatest live rap on wax moments, primarily due to the fact that it succeeds in capturing the electric atmosphere of a full house of excited fans. This recording finds Big Daddy Kane at the height of his popularity, as you can hear when the notoriously fickle Apollo Theatre audience go ape when King Asiatic hits the stage. If you're unaware of just how popular Kane was during this period, I can remember kids buying the Lean On Me soundtrack just to get Big Daddy's rendition of the title track.

It's worth noting that the Smooth Operator struggles with his breath control a little near the end, but since he often used to join Scoob and Scrab Lover in busting out a few dance steps, this is forgivable. "Wrath of Kane" is such a fuckin' great song to begin with, and hearing it performed live still gets me "about as hyped as hype can get".

Big Daddy Kane - "Wrath of Kane (live)" (It's A Big Daddy Thing CD bonus track/vinyl bootleg, Cold Chillin' , 1989)

Side Project/ Ignorance Update

I'm running a little side project at the moment over at A Salute To Weed Carriers.

Also, I've finally updated a few more classic radio interviews over at A Tribute To Ignorance.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Live Rap On Wax Part 1 - Spoonie Gee

After a month on "No Retail" madness, I didn't get through half of the songs I wanted to include, but it's time for a change of pace. Join me now for a look at what I like to refer to as "Live Rap On Wax".

If for some reason you don't know much about the legendary Spoonie Gee, you can read about his experiences in his own words in this interview with jayquan. This live recording of his early hit "Spoonin' Rap" appeared on the b-side of his "I'm All Shook Up" single on Tuff City (I've heard that some pressings of this single don't include this live cut, but who knows). With no sign of Jerry Lee Lewis or under-age relatives, this Teddy Riley-produced swingbeat excursion was part of Spoonie's late-80's resurgence, as Marley Marl and Ted sucessfully updated his sound on classics like "The Godfather", "Take It Off" and "Mighty Mike Tyson" (which is also one of the best rap dedications ever). It remains unclear why this live track (listed on the label as "Spoonie's Rap") was featured on the b-side, or when it was actually recorded, but as one of the few examples of "official" live rap on wax, it's a worthy addition to the shelves.

Spoonie Gee - "Spoonie's Rap (live)" (b-side of "I'm All Shook Up" 12", Tuff City, 1988)