Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The DJ is the Cornerstone of Hip-Hop

When I was in school, I spent some time working for The FADER magazine/Cornerstone promotion out of NY.  This is when I first discovered the Cornerstone mixtape.  Back then (a bit moreso than today,) these joints were pretty consistent and on point.  Cats like Babu, Jazzy Jeff, Vice, Hi-Tek, Tony Touch, and many other top-notch producers and DJs were at the helm from month to month doing what they do.

I could probably post some other dope moments from past Cornerstone tapes, but I'll focus on the man who I think has best represented on these mixtapes over the years: DJ Premier.  Premo always seems to have more input as far as the tracklist goes when he is hosting the tape (which certainly helps set him apart,) but he also brings more quality music and exclusive music to the table.  And not your typical 'exclusive' as other fools point out on their mixtapes...we're talking dope tracks that you can't get elsewhere, but wish you could.

The audio here is (mostly) from Mixtape #47, where Premo and Green Lantern hosted (right around the time D&D closed if I'm not mistaken.)  The first part of the audio is how the mixtape opens...Guru setting the stage.  Next up is Ras Kass.  If you recall, when Ras was still held captive by Capitol, the single 'Golden Chyld' sort of made the rounds...classic record.  Ras Kass in top form, and Premier likewise.  Finally, I'd never heard of Connekt 4, but it's a nice little track and just a simple example of how Premier does his own thing and breaks new music (maybe not to the masses necessarily, but he breaks records no less.)

DJ Premier - Intro / Guru freestyle
Ras Kass - Golden Chyld (Premier, Capitol)
Connekt 4 - Just One of Those Days (unknown, On Point)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Beyond Real

Growing up, electronic music to me was more corny than anything, probably because I only heard lame club music and trance-type stuff on the radio.  Working and interning at certain spots, and just living and DJing a bit in DC and NY over the years though has exposed me to the world of electronic music.  I definitely now have a much greater respect and appreciation for the different genres of electronic music, especially house.

One record I came across early in my days of discovering house music, etc. was from Spinna.  I realize for many that it seems all too obvious how dope Spinna is with his house production, but regardless, I'm glad I have this record in my collection, and I think it's a great entry-level (if there is such a thing) house record for beginners like I was (and am.)  For those of you who don't mess with house, check this joint before you dismiss the genre like I used to.  For those of you who are house lovers, you already know the deal.

This version (below) is off 'Here to There' from BBE's Beat Generation series.  You can also cop this on 12", which gives you a slightly reworked/extended version (by Paul Simpson.)  Dope in either format if you ask me.  The 2nd part of the audio is a remix Spinna and Joc Max (aka The Domecrackers) did for Das Efx.

DJ Spinna - Music In Me feat. Shaun Escoffery (w/ intro)
Das Efx - Microphone Master (Domecrackers remix)