Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rappers eat, too

Well, it’s the end of the year (but not the end of the decade as some proclaim) and I can’t believe I’m still doing this. When I started scanning magazines, I figured that it would take a year at the most but lo and behold, I haven’t even scratched the surface of my huge storage container yet. And with a wife and children steadily demanding my attention and energy, I can barely get a moment to scan these days. But I will soldier on and post mags when I have the time.

Anyway, was any album this year better than Raekwon’s Only Built for Cuban Linx 2? I think not. You can add up every indie, mainstream, and pop album and they were all inferior to Rae’s comeback. Even the weak Dr. Dre produced songs didn’t weigh down the album too much. Overall, 2009 was a great year for music whether you value quantity or quality. Will 2010 be even better?

Crazy story. Yesterday afternoon at about 12 noon, me, wifey and the children went shopping at Whole Foods down on 20th and Callowhill. My wife was making me pick out pears and yams and as I’m strolling past the citrus juice and dairy section, here comes Black Thought whizzing by on his phone headed for the cheese section. Funny thing is that, something told me to wear my heavy duty all black Okayplayer hoodie that morning because it raining like crazy outside. So I mentioned this to my wife while she was picking out soy milk and she didn’t believe me. Little did she know that I always seem to bump into The Roots members at food establishments and this was my third or fourth time bumping into Thought. It’s uncanny. I explained to her that way back when the Okayplayer website first got started (I actually remember discussing the whole design and layout of the original website in my apartment in U. City, back in ’98, with the person who originally set it up), I bumped into Questlove, in mid ’99 I think, as he was walking out of this same market when it was named Fresh Fields. I stopped Quest cold in the parking lot with his bags in hand and his companion looking me and up and down, to debate his ‘classic’ review/rating of Mobb Deep’s The Infamous on the site because I considered it (and still do) a 4.5 out of 5. I was so upset that day, that I called him by his first name out loud in the parking lot and shocked the ish out of him. Y’all know that I can debate something I feel strongly about with no fear or hesitation. Anyway, so Black Thought was wearing a very stylish hat just like the one I was wearing (see pic above) but my wife initially saw him from the back and didn’t believe it was him because he was wearing…pajama pants!?! I couldn’t believe it either. One of my all time favorite MC’s wearing pajama pants outside? At first, I was thinking, “I must be too old or something” but I think me and Thought are the same age. But you’d never catch me wearing pajamas; much less outside! I had to actually stop myself from saying something to him about it. For real. I had an entire old man speech rant planned about how we both grew up on Kool G Rap, Public Enemy, The Krown Rulers, Boogie Down Productions, Three Times Dope, Big Daddy Kane and Rakim and that this would never happen with them. My wife distracted me while she waited until Thought stopped to buy some baked fish or chicken at the prepared foods section to get a good look and then agreed that it was him. I had planned to congratulate him on that Late Night show and all but with the pajama pants issue, the baby hanging all over me and my son begging me for apple juice, I had no energy left. Funny that I caught him peeping out the Okayplayer sweatshirt I was wearing, twice, as if he wanted one for himself.

Have any of you noticed the requests for access to this site on the Wordpress site? Leeches are very rude and selfish people. I’ve deleted and replaced about 40 people here since November because some people just don’t like to comment but love to download. Just so you know, I may be deleting your access soon, too. To avoid this, stop leeching and leave comments. Simple, right?

That’s it. Happy New Year.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Source June 1997 issue featuring The Wu-Tang Clan

This issue was graciously scanned for you by Marthijn, who is from The Netherlands. Show your appreciation by giving him some thanks in the comment section.

Source June 1997 issue and fat tape

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Big Pun: The Legacy

It's no secret that Pun is one of my all time favorite MC's. I may be one of the few people on Earth who would rather have Big Pun and Big L alive today rather than Biggie and Jay-Z. Why do I feel this way? Pun and L simply have many more, "What the eff did he just say?!?! Rewind that ish again!!!" moments. Don't get me wrong, Biggie had some of those moments, too, but Pun and L had a better balance of lyrics that were hardcore, witty, and comical in my opinion.

Watch the whole movie here:

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Source April 1997 issue featuring The Notorious B.I.G.

Source April 1997 issue and fat tape

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Random Ish

Yeah, my little girl is getting bigger by the day. Children are amazing people. That pic was taken before she had her ears pierced and she was absolutely miserable afterwards. Women go through a lot of pain for men, huh?

I’m sure the majority of you already know that those back to back issues of The Source, featuring Biggie on the cover, are up next. I read them again over the weekend. What a shame to get taken out so young when you’re still on the rise. I took a moment to flip through the rest of the 1997 issues as well and I think we have a slight problem. I forgot that the later issues, beginning with September 1997, are packed with advertisements. I’ll experiment with the scanner but if it doesn’t work, then I’ll just post a few individual pages from the larger mags and keep it moving. I may throw up a few more XXL's and Ego Trip’s, too, if anyone wants to see them. Also, for those of you requesting re-ups of the 1991 to 1996 Source magazines, they may be posted again on a site with much more exposure. Stay tuned.

Is anyone else feeling Royce’s music this year? He was on fire with Slaughterhouse and the few joints I’ve heard from his upcoming album (Street Hop) are also pretty good. He won’t sell many units but dude can still spit with the best of them and we old folks appreciate real MC’s. On the other hand, I don’t know how any of you can stomach that Jay-Z garbage. He’s older but boring and severely overrated. Did you hear that stinky album??? Shameful! I think I told my wife that unlike Biggie, Tupac, Big Pun and Big L, I would feel absolutely nothing if I heard that he died today. He’s that wack to me. Anyway, Raekwon has the hands down best album of the year so far and I don’t think anyone will supplant him on my imaginary list. Even his throw away tracks were good. Canibus and Keith Murray also put out a good EP that few people have heard. But my sleeper album of the year is Del & Tame One’s Parallel Uni-Verses. It’s quirky, weird, abstract, and even lazy in some places. But more importantly, it was creative and obviously fun for them to create. And the production? I love it! I need somebody from the Strictly Beats crew to get those instrumentals ASAP. In the meanwhile, check out the album here:

It’s kind of funny that most of the hip-hop I like these days is created by people who are 32 and over. I remember when it was all about the youth in the 80’s but now that the youth have grown up it’s good to see that hip-hop has matured somehow. And let's not forget the young bull holding it down, Freddie Gibbs. I think I heard his stuff via Passion of the Weiss and haven't stopped playing it since. He's oozing with talent and potential. It's rare that I big up the young cats but he's pure fire and unlike a lot of clowns (Gucci Mane, anyone?) he has a secret weapon (a brain). Can't wait for the official album. Get his mixtapes here:

One last thing, if you had to pick one rapper from the list below for a head to head 5 minute battle against any other rapper for one million dollars, which one would you choose?

Chino XL, Canibus, KRS-One, Xzibit, Redman, Black Thought, Big Pun, Lord Finesse, Masta Ace, Ras Kass, Biggie, Andre 3000, Pharoah Monche, Eminen, GZA, Mos Def, Casual, and LL Cool J.

That's it. Get back to work people.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Source March 1997 issue featuring KRS-One

Source March 1997 issue and fat tape

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Source February 1997 issue featuring Lil Kim and Foxy Brown

Remember when these two young women were the premier ladies of hip-hop…or rap depending on your personal definition? Their public images seemed to be based solely on their sexual escapades and in the ‘get money’ era of 1997, that’s what sold. Truth be told, I never liked these chicks at all and never bought any their albums. But I did like Lil Kim’s ‘take no shorts’ attitude. She was going to get hers no matter what the cost but sadly, the one thing she really wanted for herself (Biggie) eluded her. Makes you wonder what would have happened if Biggie had married her instead of Faith. And Foxy? I can’t even give her one kind word.

Moving on to the Redman review, does 4 mics really satisfy you? That's a 4.5 mic gem to me. And what about Camp Lo? 3 mics?

Get it

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Malcolm X: The Great Photographs

Since my college days in the early 90’s, I’ve always set aside time on Sundays to read, study and play jazz music and today was no different. After putting my daughter to sleep earlier, with Joe Sample’s Invitation (an essential album for relaxing and helping babies sleep) playing in the background, my eyes turned to my bookshelf and fixed themselves on this book. If you’re a student of history and Malcolm like I am, then this book is definitely for you. It’s full of great pics of his life that you may have never seen before. And it’s kind of funny how I happened to come to ‘own’ this book, too. I think I had just read his autobiography for the 2nd time before the spring semester of ’94 began. During the summer of ’94, I was still living with my aunt and uncle after graduating college and waiting to start my first real gig in August. My aunt worked at Border’s and would come home with boxes of books for ‘free’ that she never bothered to read and I rifled through them weekly searching for something interesting. I think she left this book on the dining room table back in June ’94 and I decided to ‘borrow’ it knowing that Malcolm was the last thing on her mind. Come to think of it, she may have actually gotten it for me but I didn’t even bother to ask her. It was so engaging that, for maybe a week, I couldn’t put it down. From that point on, I began collecting the books and audio of his speeches and so on. I have just about everything ever published with his words in it but this book is a great addition for historians and a good introduction for younger people.

Buy it:

See a few pics here

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Source January 1997 issue - 1996 Year in Review

After a few months and a few breaks at home, I’ve decided to scan and post this entire issue for the patient ones among you. With a little free time this coming weekend (if my daughter stays asleep), I may get to that February issue but don’t hold your breath. I would like to get to the Biggie and Wu-Tang issues at some point before 2010, though. For those of you who care to answer, what is your opinion of '97 hip-hop vs. '96 hip-hop? Better, worse, or about the same? What about the rise of Bad Boy and No Limit Records in '97? Was that good for hip-hop overall? What about the explosion of underground hip-hop? Is there any underground artist from '97 that you wish had blown up in the mainstream?

Source January 1997

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back to School Special: 1994 Fat Tapes

Probably the best year for Fat Tapes (IMO).

(Note – There were 10 fat tapes in 1994)

1994 Fat Tapes part 1

1994 Fat Tapes part 2

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back to School Special: 1993 Fat Tapes

1993 Fat Tapes (Note – There were 10 fat tapes in 1993)

Back to School Special: 1992 Fat Tapes

To commemorate my son’s upcoming first day of school (kindergarten) and my little cousin’s first week at college, I figured I’d post some Fat Tapes for those of you who are also going back to school or starting that new job and need to get your mind right. You know by now that music soothes the savage beast and calms the nerves and I have to tell you that I was nervous as hell when I started my first job right out of college. If I remember correctly, I played my dubbed tapes of Boogiemonsters Riders of the Storm, Nas’ Illmatic, Jeru’s The Sun Rises in the East, and Gangstarr’s Hard to Earn over and over and over to hype myself up each day that August and September of 1994. By the time my new favorite, O.C.’s Word…Life, came out in October, I was a seasoned veteran and calm as could be. My car’s tape deck was slowly dying from the constant tape play but what could I do? Anyway, today I’m posting all of the 1992 Fat Tapes. I’ll post the 1993 and 1994 Fat Tapes next week when I get a chance. Let me give you a brief history of The Source Fat Tape. Contrary to popular belief, the first ‘Fat Tape’ didn’t show up until July 1992. Before that, it was called ‘Singles’ or ‘Singles File’ and was predominantly a list of, you guessed it, singles or alternate versions of singles. Someone in their office (intern?) came up with the bright idea to showcase the other songs rarely heard on these albums along with a few singles and the ‘Fat Tape’ was born. It took them quite a while to perfect this however since they would sometimes list incorrect song titles, incorrect artist names, and repeat a song for 2 or 3 Fat Tapes straight. The quality control was seriously lacking in those days. Anyway, enjoy these for now and let me know if I made any mistakes with the tape track lists (wrong version of songs, etc.).

1992 Fat Tapes

Monday, August 03, 2009

Ego Trip Magazine: Issue #7 featuring Q-Tip, Large Pro and Posdnuos (1995)

I've only included the cover story here for now. Pretty good article and it was interesting to read Pos' comments. You can still feel his anger in this article. This interview was done around the same time De La was recording Stakes is High and he had run out of patience with the fake hip-hop gangster posturing of '95/'96. Q-Tip and Large Pro were a little more laid back and I guess it showed in their respective album recordings (Beats, Rhymes & Life and The LP). Let me know what you think.

Ego Trip #7

Saturday, August 01, 2009

The Source January 1997 FAT TAPE

No magazine just the fat tape. Upset? Get over it.
January 1997 fat tape