25Sep/17656

Take It Personal – West Coast Classics II

September 25th, 2017

Episode 15 is the 2nd installment of our West Coast Classics. This XL edition features tributes to Ice Cube, The Pharcyde, Cypress Hill, Freestyle Fellowship, House of Pain, Dilated Peoples and the entire Bay Area. We got joints from Jayo Felony, Spice 1, Mac Dre, Too $hort, RBL Posse, Luniz, Andre Nickatina, 2Pac, Tha Dogg Pound, Defari, Planet Asia, DJ Quik, E-40, Dr. Dre & Ras Kass to name a few. This episode clocks in at 4 1/2 hours, so make sure you listen in its entirety, because before you know it, WCC III drops this October!

iTunes
SoundCloud
Google Play

Download West Coast Classics
Download previous shows

31Aug/171395

Take It Personal – West Coast Classics

August 31st, 2017

Episode 14 is the first installment of our West Coast Classics. Dust off those Chucks, throw on your khakis and strap-in for this for this west side roller-coaster ride. We got tunes from N.W.A., Ice T, Too $hort, King Tee, DJ Quik, Digital Underground, Above The Law, 2Pac, Cypress Hill, W.C., Murs, Kurupt, People Under The Stairs, MC Eiht, Nate Dogg, The Game, Ras Kass, The B.U.M.S., plus special tributes to Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre, Hieroglyphics and The Likwit Crew. Keep it locked, cuz the TIP crew is just getting started on this WCC series and even though there is a lot to cover, we tackle this muthf*cker like Lyle Azado.

iTunes
SoundCloud
Google Play

Download West Coast Classics
Download previous shows

10Aug/171231

Damian Lillard Is Spitting Bars In The Offseason

August 10th, 2017

The NBA off-season is a long and painful time for basketball fans everywhere. However, this year has easily been one of the most entertaining breaks we’ve seen in quite some time. There’s been more attention than ever paid to the summer league, and there’s no small amount of gossip about the trouble in paradise between Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. But not every NBA star is staying in the news for drama. Some of them are actually being productive in their time off by pursuing artistic endeavors.

Oaktown sensation, Damian Lillard surprised a lot of people last year when he dropped his debut album, The Letter O, to a healthy amount of critical acclaim. The album featured a ton of quality guest stars including the likes of Lil Wayne, Jamie Foxx, and Raphael Saadiq. He followed it up with another well-received record, B4td Reloaded. The verse he briefly dropped in the State Farm commercial belies his actual talent as a lyricist, and the more you hear from him, the more you have to recognize that he’s actually pretty good.

Lillard is hardly the first NBA star to make his own stab at a rap career. Shaquille O’Neal went platinum with his debut, Shaq Diesel, but that was more on the strength Shaq’s superstardom rather than his actual rapping abilities. And never forget that legendary 1994 compilation, B-Ball’s Best Kept Secret, which featured a host of NBA talent. The 1994 record was the apex of the crossover of hip-hop and basketball and featured the likes of Gary Payton, Jason Kidd, the late Malik Sealy (RIP), J.R. Rider, Cedric Ceballos, Dana Barros, Dennis Scott, and, of course, Shaq. It’s actually not bad at all and pairs the ballers with ’90s rap icons like Sadat X from Brand Nubian and Warren G at the height of his fame. It’s a fascinating time-capsule that’s well worth re-visiting if you’re looking for something nostalgic to bump on your way to the next pick-up game. Sadly, the idea of players having something to say on record would be sullied by the questionable musical efforts of Allen Iverson, Metta World Peace, and Kobe Bryant.

But unlike most ballers looking to moonlight in the rap game, Lillard actually has bars. It’s good to see him getting the recognition he deserves off the court in addition to the praise he gets for his play. If only they’d put him on an All-Star team. It’s become a trend to snub Lillard, who’s the first player to score more than 25 points a game and be overlooked in consecutive years since 1986. Anyone that’s listened to his track “They Sleep” knows that he doesn’t take this lightly. That mean’s he’s just going to play even harder when the season starts up. If anything, it’s plenty of material for another album, and we can’t wait to see what he does when the season starts back this fall.

The future is looking bright for both Lillard and for the Trailblazers. Last year many experts picked either Portland or the Utah Jazz to win the division, and the Northwest ended up sending three different teams to the playoffs. Of course, now that Utah has parted ways with star small forward Gordon Hayward, the only thing standing in Lillard’s way are the Oklahoma City Thunder. With Lillard looking to finally cement his place as a true All-Star in the NBA, the Blazers are a team to watch out for.

Dame will also be contributing some jams to NBA 2k18 to help lend even more authenticity to the already impeccably curated collection. The game will include “Wasatch Front,” a standout song from The Letter O, in addition to a new song called “Shot Clock” that you can unlock in the “My Player” mode. It’s a cool tribute by the best basketball simulation to the best rapper in the sport. NBA 2k18 will drop September 19 and we’re looking forward to balling out with Lillard to the tune of his own music.

3Aug/171369

Growing Up With The Source

August 3rd, 2017

My youth was spent collecting cards, comics and listening to rap tapes. I’m not a very religious person, but my bible was The Source. Every month, there would be just two magazines I had to buy, not Mad, not Nintendo Power, but the Beckett Monthly to see if my Griffey, Canseco or Frank Thomas rookies had gone up in price, and of course, The Source magazine. I felt like Sam studying at The Citadel, so I could become this hip-hop maester. There was no internet back then. Certainly, no podcasts either. I can’t imagine having a show like Take It Personal back then. If you lived outside of the NYC, and I did for most of my teen years, you had just a few options. Those were Yo! MTV Raps and The Source. I knew plenty about Hot 97 or Kiss, but I could never listen to it live. My Stretch & Bob experience came in form of trading tapes. But my knowledge came directly from The Source and whatever Yo! would play. The Heavy Rotation, Fat Tapes, Unsigned Hype, Hip-Hop Quotables and Sure Shot Singles. And as much as I loved The Source, like many kids leaving their teens, I stopped buying the magazine somewhere around your junior year. I know my days of card collecting were kinda over once high school hit. When you finally grow a pair, all you want to do is release what’s inside them.

ProSet rap cards weren’t going to help you achieve that. But like many guys entering their marriage years, you find a way back to relieve your youth. With love comes heartache too. The Source became corrupt. David Mays allowed Benzino to Suge Knight his way to the top. He decided on who got covers, ratings and if they didn’t play (pay) for ads, they wouldn’t get love. He practically extorted groups into doing features for Almighty RSO/Made Men (Mobb Deep, M.O.P., The LOX, DPG, Cocoa Brovaz). Mays was like Jason getting stuck up in the latest episode of Ballers, he couldn’t do shit but give it up. Almighty RSO’s Classic Limited Edition received 4 ½ mics. That’s 1 mic higher than O.C.’s Word…Life masterpiece. You know scored lower than Classic Limited Edition? Doggystyle, Me Against The World & Reasonable Doubt to name a few. He awarded his own album with the same rating as OB4CL, which is crazy in itself. As far as I’m concerned, The Source hasn’t been the same since ’97, and even those years were questionable. Still, The Source from early to mid 90s were the best and is responsible for shaping my knowledge and taste in hip-hop. And for that, I thank all the contributing members who wanted to do right. He believed in the music, not the politics and who helped make so many of us real heads. Thank you. –Philaflava

Follow on IG @philaflava

For The Source scans please visit Press Rewind.

26Jul/171315

Is 93 ‘Til Infinity A Top 50 Album of All-Time?

July 26th, 2017

A great question was asked today on the Philaflava message boardis 93 Til Infinity a top 50 hip-hop album of all-time? The answer is no.

This album is a personal favorite of mine. I have no problem labeling it a classic either. I also don’t think any of us can dispute the fact ‘93 Til Infinity is one of the greatest tracks — ever. You can’t argue with that. 1993-94 Hiero was some of the best shit ever. Casual dropped a classic (Fear Itself). Del dropped a classic (No Need For Alarm) and this album, that makes it a trifecta. Even Extra Pro was a pretty great! But that is really the point of this post and unfortunately, it’s coming at the expense of SoM. Many of you will be quick to say, sure it has to be. Some of you will say, maybe this isn’t top 50, but surely 60-75. Guess what? It’s might not even in the top 100. How fucking crazy is that? 93 Til Infinity is an amazing record. If we’re comparing it to any album (Kendrick or not) that came out in the last 5+ years, we’d probably say it’s better than all of them.

The 90s were crazy and every Tuesday a new classic dropped. Not a once-a-year thing, it would a few times a week thing. Think about that. To further prove the point, I have compiled a list of albums, many certified classics, but mostly albums that I feel rank higher than 93 ‘Til Infinity. My opinion, but if you look at the list, maybe you’ll agree. Keep in mind, this a favorite thing. If it were, 93 ‘Til Infinity would be chilling around the 30 mark. This is a list where the heart has no involvement whatsoever. The list is not in order and certainly I would opt to listen to 93 ‘Til Infinity over many of these listed. Certainly over any Eminem album, but again, that isn’t’ the point. It really is crazy because you start to realize just how many classics albums dropped between 1988-95. It adds up quickly as you can see.

So, is this album in your top 50? 75? 100?

Read the rest of this entry »

19Jul/171228

DJ Premier Interview

July 19th, 2017

After putting together a 6+ hour tribute to the man, it was only right he stopped by Take It Personal to shoot the shit with us. Unfortunately, this happened during our Prodigy tribute (another 6+ hours), so Preem was kind enough to share some great stories about Mobb Deep, and of course, his rather illustrious career. Now, you can listen to the exclusive DJ Premier interview in its entirety, right here. RIP P!

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/333802714″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

Youtube link

10Jul/171190

Art of Rhyming: Eric B. is President

July 10th, 2017

 

Art of Rhyming: Lyrical Breakdown
Artist: Eric B. & Rakim
Song: Eric B. is President

This week, 30 years ago, hip-hop music changed for good. While it would be easy to list the top 5 Rakim songs, or do another “goat” listing with him at the top, I thought it more important to breakdown why a generation of legendary emcees claimed that Rakim changed the way rhymes were written. The best way to do that is to literally breakdown the writing of William Griffin, aka Rakim.

Eric B. & Rakim’s debut album Paid In Full dropped in the summer of 1987 and it was the complex rhyme schemes and rich content that Rakim provided, which changed the way artists put together their rhymes. Paid in Full showcased Rakim’s multi-syllabic lyrical delivery and the idea of a rapid, continuous flow, based around deeply woven rhyme structures (incorporating internal rhymes and sophisticated metaphors).

As legendary emcee, Masta Ace says, “Up until Rakim, everybody who you heard, the last word in the sentence was the rhyming word, the connection word. Then Rakim showed us that you could put rhymes within a rhyme, so you could put more than one word in a line that rhymed together, so it didn’t just have to be the last word (Edwards, pp. 105).”

For context, the 1986 hip-hop scene was dominated by Run DMC and The Beastie Boys. Legendary groups in their own right but nowhere near the lyrical prowess Rakim was about to bring. Note the rhyme scheme in My Adidas by Run DMC.

Read the rest of this entry »

5Jul/171335

Prodigy Tribute Show w/DJ Premier, Meyhem Lauren & Ras Kass

July 5th, 2017

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/331537068″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

After our 6+ hour DJ Premier show, we swore we were done with tributes for a while. Then, on June 20th, hip-hop suffered another tremendous loss. We usually celebrate the careers of the artists we do tributes on, but in this show, we wanted to celebrate the life of Albert “Prodigy” Johnson as well. Like the Preem tribute, this was no easy feat. Prodigy’s career was remarkable filled with longevity and a ridiculously extensive catalog. He started making music as a teen and went out doing exactly what he loved at aged 42. This tribute was an emotional one, and we know many of you will get to re-live moments when you first heard these Mobb classics. If there is one thing our listeners should know by now about Take It Personal, it’s that we take it SERIOUSLY! We have 5 extraordinary guests, each one sharing unique, personal stories about Prodigy. Shouts out to DJ Premier, Bonz Malone, Meyhem Lauren, Domingo and Ras Kass for being a huge part of this proper send-off. You all helped make this a masterpiece. And since this is another 6+ hour one, we decided to break it up into two parts. Please make sure you listen to it in its entirety- I promise, you don’t want to miss anything our guests had to say or any of the joints we played. P may be gone, but his music lives forever. RIP P! — Philaflava

iTunes
Google Play
Stitcher Radio
PlayerFM
PodBay

Download Shows

16Jun/171154

Take It Personal Podcast (Ep 11: with Apathy)

June 16th, 2017

Episode 11, I didn’t think we’d make it after our vainglorious DJ Premier 6-hour tribute, but with some much needed time-off –we’re back. Apathy of The Demigodz joins us, and what was supposed to be a 20 minute interview turned out to be 75 minutes unedited. Ap gets personal with us, holding nothing back, while discussing everything from his come-up, the trials and tribulations of an indie rapper, being courted by Jimmy Iovine, signing with Atlantic records, being a Freemason, his production process, his mental health, his love for Don Mattingly, all the way to his future projects, including his collaboration with O.C., Perestroika. Of course, a Take It Personal episode has to include dopeness, so we’ve included music by Ghostface Killah, Shyheim, Kurious, De La Soul, Black Moon, Fashawn, Open Mike Eagle, Brother Ali and a bunch of slept-on goodies and new heat rocks to keep you entertained. –Jason Gloss

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/328109126″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

iTunes
Google Play
Stitcher Radio
PlayerFM
PodBay

Download Shows

7Jun/171325

Important Indie Hip-Hop Releases

June 7th, 2017

I’m not saying all these are classics, though many are. I’m not saying that some of these are even the best releases by these artists. I am saying that these are some of the most important independent hip-hop releases of all-time, in my opinion. These 36 albums, many of which are still influential to this day, helped define the genre.

This isn’t a definitive list and I know there are plenty more that deserve a spot, but these are my selections (no order). Indie hip-hop is the foundation. There is no major without it. I hope many of you have listened to most of these, because they are the very reason we still invest in the music today. I could easily have made this into 50+ with The Best Part, Time Waits For No Man, Movies For The Blind, Beauty And The Beat, Champion Sound, A Piece of Strange, Revolutionary Vol. 1- 2, Leak Bros, the list can go on and on. I’d love to hear your picks, please post them on our Facebook or Instagram or in the comment section below. –Philaflava