General Jimmy

Writer / DJ / PR Manager / Fat Bastard

Archive for the tag “Big L”

DJ Premier – Five for the Funk

That Joey Bada$$ track ignited by Preemo got me excited for the hot Texan, so I decided to pluck five of my favourite beats he had gifted emcees over the years. Especially ones where he teased awesome performances out the of rappers sitting atop of them. Here we go…

Few rappers have been consistently brilliant with DJ Premier quite like Nas. During his ‘fallen’ years just before his career saving spat with Jigga, the only time Nas really sounded worthy of his Illmatic legacy was behind a Christopher Martin beat. On this track he may very well have exceeded anything on that album, the leisurely lyrical genius glides effortlessly over the beat which is an absolute master-class in eagle eyed sampling from Premier.

Technically this track isn’t a premier production in the classic bring the best out of a rapper mould, because he instead replaced the original production by Ron Browz after Lamont passed. That though misses the point, this takes an already amazing track and gifts it a relentless urgency such to the point most people sleep on the original. And of course Big L, one of the best braggadocio emcees of all time, delivers one of the finest deconstructions of slang that would prove the template for rappers across the globe to do the same.

Is this the best ever preemo beat? Hard to tell but it’s certainly up there, and the verse from ignorant shouter Noreaga is definitely the finest thing he has ever done as well. His penchant for getting head while he drives is mixed with the admittance his album was poor and a pleading to put it down to his dad dying; well out there for a rapper who had previously made a name for himself shouting whut a lot. Capone is ill too. Absolutely amazing.

This strung out soul classic came to light on D’Angelo’s ‘Voodoo’ album and the soundtrack to watchable but basically a bit shit Hype Williams film ‘Belly’. This however is so far from a bit shit it’s undeniable, an astonishingly deep and dirty track you can listen to over and over again.

Gang Starr were relentlessly consistent, such to the point that there’s a gluttony of records worth salivating over from the duo. However this is definitely my favourite, the opening salvo from Big Shug introducing the posse cut brilliantly (high point rhyming fear with square), Guru anchoring things perfectly before Freddie Foxxx annihilates the track at the end. His verse is one of the scariest and hardest things hip-hop has ever seen, encapsulating his appeal with the gambit “When you speak of who’s the dopest MC, I don’t come up, But when you speak of who’s the livest MC, I stay what up, what’s up?” which is one of about fifteen equatable in there. It’s breathless stuff and for the full lyrical content head here.

And if you’re still fiending for Premier dig his latest radio broadcast below.

Live From HeadQCourterz (01/11/2013) by Dj Premier Blog Radio on Mixcloud

Remembering Nate Dogg

I admit it, I full on miss Nate Dogg.

Somewhere between the ideas of guilty pleasure and full on hero worship, I reckon there’s a part of your musical tastes where favouritism completely swings your judgement. You know when you know full well the Beatles are the better band but you just kind of like the Kinks that little bit more? Or knowing Carl Cox is a superior DJ but really, you’d much rather go and see someone like Reboot? It’s when for whatever reason someone who is actually very good at music has a characteristic or quality that elevates their talent in your eyes to near mythical proportions. This is how I feel when I hear Nate Dogg’s voice.

Aside from the odd exception (the above being a standout example) Nate was very rarely much kop by himself, instead the kind of aural butter that drenched the bread of others beautifully. But by god did his presence completely lift a record. The amount of times he completely outshone rappers on wax is monumental, from the moment he announced his voice to the mainstream on ‘Regulate’ to the his scene stealing moments on ‘The Chronic‘ and ‘Doggystyle‘. He stood toe to toe with the west coast brethren he grew up with, added a honey coated zeal to ‘proper’ emcees like Ghostface Killah, Mos Def and Pharaohe Monch and made misogyny sound so sweet even Emmeline Pankhurst would have had a wide-on. Peep the below for an example.

I’ve djed on an amateur and professional basis now for just shy of a decade, and the only time I’ve ever come close to the emotion I experienced during a mini-tribute after Nate passed last year was at a memorial night for a close friend. It’s unnerving to a degree how much the death of someone I never knew can affect me, especially considering that his input on the music I love is really a footnote. The talent of Biggie and Big L still makes the hair stand on the back of my neck but I never get actually emotional about him no longer being here. Yet the fact this rotund hoe-hating troubadour is no longer with us actually makes me sad. It’s ridiculous but in a way quite endearing.

There’s other ways in which he provokes a smile really, check out this footage below of him chasing someone with a golf club (with a beyond awesome cameo from Method Man and Wu). Which pretty much sums up Nate, who turned the frankly ridiculous into something beyond sublime. Just like namesake and brother from another mother Snoop, he brought a fun loving freestyle sheen to hip-hop which made borderline disgusting themes humorous and amiable. The P.I.M.P. soccermums could dig. We’ll never have a voice quite like it again in music.

Hip-Hop Playing cards

Awesome shizzel. Mynority Classics created some stunning hip-hop playing cards, which had Slick Rick, Biggie Smalls, 45 King and Diamond D as the Kings, and the likes of Tupac, Big L, Public Enemy, Big Pun, J Dilla, the Wu-Tang Clan, and many more across the rest. Dig the video below.

Create & Devastate – The Golden Era (90s Hip Hop Classics)

DOPE DOPE DOPE!

Killer 90s HipHop classics mix from Swedish DJ Devastate. Big L, Biggie, Lord Finesse, Das EFX and shuh-diddles more.

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