Posts Tagged ‘raekwon’

Growing Up With The Source

Thursday, 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

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For The Source scans please visit Press Rewind.

Take It Personal Podcast (Ep 4: Wu-Tang Tribute)

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

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To many, Staten Island is known as the dump. To us hip-hop heads, it’s known as Shaolin, the home of the Wu-Tang Clan. Who would have thought a group of 9 rappers would have changed the game, but they definitely did. Nobody has ever done hip-hop like WTC and I’m pretty sure nobody ever will. While The Wu is one of the most respected and beloved group of all-time, a two hour tribute doesn’t seem long enough. That said, here is our tribute that should help remind you that Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F*ck Wit!

Download Take It Personal (Ep 4: Wu-Tang Tribute).mp3 from

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T.R.O.Y. & Certified Dope Apparel Present – Sounds Like The 90′s Vol. 22

Friday, September 20th, 2013

It’s been a constant struggle to produce these lately, manly because I always feel I’m at an impasse with the selections. Is it too new sounding? Is it too dated? Is the quality of the mp3 good? Then of course, there is always, isn’t this track kinda played out by now?

I know it’s hard to believe, but I really do put in work selecting, sequencing and creating the overall package for your CD-r or iTunes. This time around T.R.O.Y. and Certified Dope Apparel bring you volume 22, a compilation that features a collection of tracks that we feel exemplifies just how great hip-hop has been, even if a few joints are slightly aged by now.

15+ years ago Ecko used to give mixtapes out with the purchase of their clothes. I never did rock much Ecko, but I made sure to rock those mixtapes. It was an ingenious idea by Mark Milecofsky Mark Ecko. Now 100 million dollars later you have Eckō Unltd. Not that we’re expecting to reach those levels but we feel we have something special with these 3 great collaborative shirts with Certified Dope. And of course, purchase or no purchase, we hope you enjoy our latest offering,  the Sounds Like The 90’s Vol. 22 .

Vol. 22 takes us back in time, so extract the file, burn to a disc (56 mins total) or add to your playlist. Spread the word, spread the file and let’s celebrate hip-hop music.  I hope you enjoy Sounds Like The 90’s as much as I do creating them, even if it’s sometimes a challenge. –PhilaflavabomockbiggercousinmockbiggersologreymockbiggersolotankbiggerCLICK HERE TO ENTER STORE

Certified Dope & T.R.O.Y. Presents – Sounds Like The 90′s Vol. 22

1. Prince Paul Intro
2. De La Soul – Get Away
3. Prodigy & ALC – R.I.P. feat. Havoc & Raekwon
4. Fat Joe – Your Honor feat. Action Bronson (prod. DJ Premier)
5. Sauce Money – Just Nice feat. DJ Premier
6. Da Buze Bruvaz – Unsportsman Like Conduct
7. 14K – Live From Pimpstead feat. Roc Marciano
8. Slum Village – Rock Rock feat. Rapper Big Pooh & DJ Jazzy Jeff
9. Raekwon – T.U.R.K.E.Y. feat. Mic Geronimo & The Kid Daytona
10. Roc Marciano – Ruff Town feat. Cormega
11. Ka – Off The Record
12. True Master – Batman & Robin feat. Raekwon & Ghostface Killah
13. Common Interlude
14. Kid Tsunami – Catch Wreck feat. O.C.
15. Marco Polo – 3 O’Clock feat. Organized Konfusion
16. Jeru The Damaja – Solar Flares (prod. Large Professor)
17. Grand Daddy I.U. – She Said feat. Sadat X
18. Action Bronson – Strictly 4 My Jeeps (Remix) feat. LL Cool J & Lloyd Banks

Running Time: 56 minutes



Arrest The President 1: Junot Diaz And The Purple Tape

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Note: Arrest The President is a new weekly TROY Blog column that will look at rap, past and present, from a socio-political perspective. Enjoy.

I grew up on the northern edge of a mid-sized New Jersey industrial/port city, in an apartment complex that slouched at an intersection with seven other buildings whose occupants kept shifting. Cross-Town’s kaleidoscopic nature was a local secret unless you scrunched your clammy earlobes to the concrete. Then you’d find that this vaguely pretty ‘hood —-nestled smugly between Westminster’s micro-mansions, a series of cemetaries, and the state’s biggest airport —- demanded that its residents code-shift with verve.

My early training (‘85-’90) in merging local dialects —- boricua/quisequeya spanglish, Jamaican and Haitian patois, street talk —- taught me to flow with the shockwaves of change. Elders served up tawdry, unverifiable just-so stories about the inherent flaws of other ethnic groups or social classes. This pressure did not stop us from mingling but paranoia, fueled by the crack wars, colored our curiosity. Even in elementary school we pursued friendships cautiously. On television and radio, journalists, academics, and politicians performed a non-stop smear campaign against urban youth, painting us all as nascent criminal predators. We believed it, lived it, loved it a little too.

Middle School meant getting bussed across town. Court-ordered integration overlapped with turf rivalries; crews that used to blend nicely forgot how to  act. The incompatibly layered housing stock loops that flickered across my scratchy school bus window for the whole length of Broad Street seemed to ache with upheaval. Architectural styles signaled toxic, superlocal, alien ways of life that seemed liable to leak out and fuck with you. Your personal enemy list was rearranged as quickly as the grapes, sevens, and bars on A.C. slots.

Any herb walking the streets thinking he could start shit with the Polo-clad Trinis from the semi-detached houses near Jefferson Park was asking for trouble. Doubly so if he tried to post high like the Northside garden apartment goose-down boosting boricuas or sleep soundly while the Guess-obsessed midtown morenos from the co-ops plotted his demise. By high school the rowdiest crews, now fully committed to the drug trade, recruited crimeys from all backgrounds. Those of us who were not thugged out beyond self-defense had to move warily.

Without unaplogetically thoughtful music and literature, the ghetto nerd universe might have imploded from stress. Mercifully, ‘95 saw two bundles of high explosives in the form of rapper Raekwon’s solo debut Only Built 4 Cuban Linx and Dominican-American author Junot Diaz’s first published book Drown. Fucked our heads up, to say the least. Both works commanded us to imagine our environs as a locus classicus, not just of street dreams gone sour, but also of poignant, flavorful works of art.

Fans of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx are struck by the breadth and depth of the “Shaolin” world depicted within; I was doubly struck when I learned of the actual physical smallness of these north shore Staten Island neighborhoods. Raekwon’s Shaolin is not the same emblematic “everyghetto” inflated to austere celestial proportions in classic old school rap like Eric B. and Rakim’s “In The Ghetto.” The place is drawn instead to encompass the spectrum of social ills commonly associated with NYC’s poorest neighborhoods but it is imbued by Raekwon and his collaborators with its own particular cosmopolitan “exoticness,” aurally and verbally sketched.

In the imagination of Raekwon and his fellow rappers, Shaolin’s placement just a stone’s throw away from more affluent locales and the famous ferry transforms it from a blighted outpost on the wrong end of de facto segregation and the illegal drug trade to a way station that spirals out into worlds of intrigue, vice, and opulence. In Drown, Diaz’s rendering of the London Terrace apartments on the very end of Jersey facing Staten Island is approached differently: the slums and the lives of its inhabitants, many wind-swept from Latin America, are drawn plainly and perhaps pathetically, but with respect to their magical idiosyncrasies.

Both works put me and my crew on the map. Our somewheres, defeated by de-industrialization, mattered. The proof was in and about us, in the surreal twisted words and phrases, garish gear and home furnishings, convoluted visions of uplift, duels between solidarity and selfishness, and even in our misguided, resourceful pursuit of food, drink, weed, and women. All of this could be put through the filter of the mind and shot out to a waiting world of hidden slums and backwaters. I read and lent out that little paperback until the adhesive dried and pages flaked off, and bumped that purple cassette until the shit popped. — Thun

Wu-Tang Forever?

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Who ever thought we’d see the day our beloved Wu Tang members would desperately cling for relevancy? There is no denying the Wu is one of the greatest, most influential and successful groups of all-time. Growing up there was point when every Wu release was met with tremendous excitement and copped with ease. Even the Wu affiliates were copped, every one from Shyheim to GP Wu to Killarmy all the way to Royal Fam.

They’ve been responsible for a plethora of classics, both solo and collective efforts. But if we’re all being honest here, we know the last release that was truly worthy of its praise was the ’09 Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. II. Way before that and certainly well after, there hasn’t been much and when I say before that, I meant for a long period of time. Once the dust settled and the hype dissolved, we later realized albums such as 8 Diagrams or the 11 year old Iron Flag were simply not up to par. They were not how we wanted to remember the Wu. (more…)

T.R.O.Y.’s Unofficial Wu-Wednesday (Week 20)

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Editor’s Note: More like Wu-Weekly at this point, but never Wu-Weakly, ya heard?

Much less than a mixtape, more like a roughly assembled compilation (thanks Dreddy). But back in 2005 Wu-Tang and Alife hooked up for some extremely limited shirts and hats and even a magazine cover. These were later followed by some more tee’s and sneakers. Some decent tracks, but I really enjoy the Don King phone call (#30). For some reason they released two versions of “A Wu-Tang Life NYC.” Both have a lot of similar tracks, but are not identical.

Alife & Think Differently Music Group-Presents… A Wu-Tang Life NYC (Version 2) (2005)
01 Raekwon The Chef-State Of Grace
02 Method Man-Take The Heat
03 Think Differently-ODB Dead (Skit)
04 Ol Dirty Bastard feat. RZA-Skrilla
05 Lord Superb-Short Darts
06 Raekwon The Chef-Treasurers
07 RZA-Outlines
08 Raekwon The Chef and Supernatural-Black Opera
09 Ghostface-Be Easy
10 Inspectah Deck-Make A Move
11 Trife Da God-Hustle Hard
12 RZA and GZA-Wu-Tang Financial (Interlude) (Live On The Dave Chappelle Show)
13 DJ Muggs vs. GZA feat. Masta Killa and Prodigal Sunn-Hip Hop
14 La Tha Darkman feat. Method Man-United
15 Think Differently-Is This Good (Skit)
16 Ghostface and Raekwon The Chef-The Kilos
17 Ghostface-Struggle
18 DJ Muggs vs. GZA feat. Raekwon The Chef-Pop, Pop, Pop
19 RZA and MF Doom-Biochemical Equation
20 DJ Muggs vs. GZA feat. Ras Kass and Raekwon The Chef-Destruction Of A Guard (Remix)
21 Inspectah Deck-Live From The Wu Mansion Accapella Freestyle
22 Think Differently-NY1 News (Skit)
23 DJ Muggs vs. GZA feat. RZA-All In Together Now
24 Killah Priest feat. Nas-The Saints
25 Raekwon The Chef-Kids Thats Rich
26 Dreddy Kruger-Live In Boise, Idaho Accapella Freestyle
27 Raekwon The Chef-Baggage Handlers
28 Bronze Nazareth-Ill Never Be
29 Raekwon The Chef-Apple Jax
30 Think Differently-Don King Speaks To U-God (Skit)
31 Ol Dirty Bastard feat. Macy Gray, Method Man & Raekwon The Chef-Intoxicated



T.R.O.Y.’s Unofficial Wu-Wednesday (Week 19)

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Editor’s Note: Better late than never.

Entirely produced by RZA, here’s another classic Wu instrumental album put out in 2007 by Think Differently Records. As requested by my fellow Wu head, Versive.

Raekwon-Only Built 4 Cuban Linx (Instrumentals) (2007)
01 Striving For Perfection
02 Knuckleheadz
03 Knowledge God
04 Criminology
05 Incarcerated Scarfaces
06 Rainy Dayz
07 Guillotine
08 Can It Be All So Simple (Remix)
09 Shark Niggaz (Biters)
10 Ice Water
11 Glaciers Of Ice
12 Verbal Intercourse
13 Wisdom Body
14 Spot Rusherz
15 Ice Cream
16 Wu-Gambinos
17 Heaven & Hell



DJ Mayhem – Raekwon Mix

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Another mix spotted by the gawd dirt_dog.

DJ Mayhem – RAEKWON Mix by ChoiceCuts


T.R.O.Y.’s Unofficial Wu-Wednesday (Week 9)

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

This week is a double dose of Davina. She was Loud Records R&B crooner, only dropped the one album in 1998 (plus several singles starting in 1984) and plays all instruments on the album. Not sure how she landed the Wu spots (and Xzibit), I’ll chalk it up to being label mates.

Davina-So Good (CD Single) (1997)
01 So Good (Radio Version)
02 So Good feat. Raekwon
03 So Good feat. Xzibit
04 So Good (Instrumental)
05 So Good (A Cappella)

T.R.O.Y.’s Unofficial Wu-Wednesday (Week 6)

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Nice Ghostface Killer white label with some remixes by the Cut Creators.

Ghostface Killer-Be Easy (Remix) (VLS) (2006)
a1 Be Easy (Remix) feat. Ludacris
a2 Future Thug feat. Ludacris and Redman
b1 NY Wildstyle (Remix) feat. AZ and Raekwon
b2 NY Mildstyle (Remix) feat. AZ, Jay-Z, Nas and Raekwon
b3 Kilo feat. Raekwon