The Redefinition Of Time Travel #3 w/ Kevin Beacham

The Redefinition Of Time Travel #3: Rap Randomness…

CJ Moore (Black By Demand/Biggamen)
CJ Moore is one of those names in Hip Hop that anyone who actively read album credits in the ‘80s and ‘90s will more than likely recognize. However, most people don’t realize his full contribution or influence in Hip Hop.

Representing Queens, he first got some national recognition in ‘88/’89 with his crew Black By Demand on Tommy Boy. They only released two singles, but both were pure quality material. CJ handled the production and vocal duties for the crew with his man Cut Professor working the wheels.

One of the first things that sticks out about all their tracks is the creative production. The tracks all use familiar elements; “Can’t Get Enough” (Kool & The Gang), “All Rappers Give Up” (Zapp), “Dearly Beloved” (Prince with a nice use of the “Apache” drums), & “In The Mist Of Funk” (Kool & The Gang and Parliament). It’s not about the samples used, it’s the way he flips them that displays his true gift. Perhaps the best example is “In The Mist Of Funk”. Bits and pieces of “Flashlight” are looped for great effect and enhanced with a ensemble of skillfully and tastefully placed teaser cut and scratch segments that are seemingly randomly yet mathematically placed thru out the entire track (think: Jazz horn player “freestyling” a variety of notes to a beat non-stop for 4 minutes). It recently occurred to me that this song might be the start of people using scratching as a production element in this way thru out a whole song…if not the first certainly one of the best, which makes it stand out.

Lyrically CJ has a great voice and raps with lots of style, in terms of content and delivery. With these four strong songs on their resume and a deal with one of the powerhouse labels of the day leaves you wondering why there wasn’t more material. One of the reasons was CJ’s other gift, which is behind the boards. He is one of the most gifted engineers and mixers in the business and thru out the years worked an endless amount of projects and gave them a professional touch. At some point his in-studio “demand” was so high and lucrative that it became difficult to focus on CJ the artist. However, with the rise of the home studio and the rapid decline of the big studio sessions, things have changed.

CJ has just made his official return to the forefront with a new crew “Biggamen” (CJ Moore and Milz). The new single, “Welcome” revisits the scratch technique of “In The Mist Of Funk”. The track, lyrically and musically, has a Hip Hop Club feel with some throwback elements, which is also evident in the upcoming album title, “Serious Beat-Down”. CJ’s style is less complex but still witty and boastful with lines like, “Put rap on my back, carry it bicoastal”. The CJ story is real interesting and I recently did an interview with him about his whole career that I will be publishing soon.
Biggamen – Welcome: http://www.sendspace.com/file/xknifu
Black By Demand Folder: http://www.sendspace.com/file/vx47nb
Connect: http://www.myspace.com/cjmoore1

The Majors
The Majors is a crew out of Denmark consisting of DJ Static & Nat Ill (who have been killing it on stages and tracks for years), DJ Noize (battle champ), J-Spliff, & Negash Ali. I haven’t heard the album but if the 3 songs I have are any indication then it’s gotta be pretty incredible.

On“Suckers Never Play Me” J-Spliff describes the state of radio perfectly with “Yapping in my ear all day long, I’m getting stupidier every time you play a song”. My favorite of the batch is “City Hall Cipher Pt 2”, the three MCs just pass the mic around and drop gems. Nat Ill’s flow is the most swift and complex but Negash Ali consistently delivers the most memorable performance with lines like, “When I should be at the mosque, I’m at the tailor, I’m something between a boss an a failure” and “Why’s you so cynical, your mind is so minuscule, I would get rid of you for principal…”.

On all the tracks the cutting is top notch, as expected, with lots of classic quotes and vocal restructuring. I just peeped the myspace page and saw a plug that the Negash Ali solo joint drops 2-3-09.
City Hall Cipher Pt 2: http://www.sendspace.com/file/3mxfwy
Connect: http://www.myspace.com/majorsdk
Connect: http://www.myspace.com/negashali

Peep this week’s Redef Radio show for more joints:

Also, peep the new batch of rarities on Time Travel:

-Kevin Beacham

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