Posts Tagged ‘redefinition radio’

Big L Rarities & Press Kits

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

The Redefinition Of Time Travel w/ Kevin Beacham: Big L Rarities & Press Kits

Usually I do something to focus on the Redefinition Radio shows, but with the anniversary of Big L’s death today, I wanted to dedicate this offering to him.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/6rlpk8
TRACKS: Timez Is Hard, I Shoulda Used A Rubba, & School Daze.
Here’s the three rare joints taken off his debut album from the original promo tape (scans included). I also included all of his press kit stuff I had which includes: original Columbia bio, original Columbia press photo, Rawkus bio, 2 Rawkus press photos, & a few press releases.

Big L was a good dude. I won’t go far as to say we were “friends” or anything like that, but we crossed paths a few times and talked about Hip Hop, lyrics, and things of the sort.

My first meeting with him was somewhat of a humbling experience. It was in the Summer of ‘94 and I was on one of my regular trips to New York to take in the scene, buy new music and check out Rock Steady Anniversary. It was me and my man Zeke. We were staying in Harlem at Grav’s Mom’s place (at the time Zeke and Grav were a group called Indigenous Theory). There was this late night chicken shack not too far from his spot so it was a nightly adventure to walk up there any time past midnight.

On one of the first nights, we are at the spot in a long line and something must have got me excited or whatever cause I was “preaching” about the state of Mcing or something like that. It started out as just a convo between Zeke and I but as it went on and we noticed people starting to take interest it got more elevated. There was one guy in particular about 4 or 5 people back really checking us out and listening in. On our way out, he was like “You MC?”. I was like, “Yeah, since 1980, but now I’m more focused on the business side of things and journalism…my man Zeke is an MC.”. He’s like, “Yeah, I rhyme too. I got a deal with Columbia and I’ll be dropping soon”. Being that in New York everyone rhymes and got a deal I didn’t think much of it and sort of blew him off with a “Oh word. What’s the name? I’ll check for you….”. He’s like “L”
and we give pounds and say peace.

I walk outside and something just hit me with an interest to know where we were so I look up and it’s the cross streets of Lenox and 133rd (or something like that). Then my rap computer brain kicked in and I was like “Hold up…”. I go back inside and I’m like “Big L???”. His face lit up a bit and he’s like “Yeah. You heard of me?”. At this time, he only had the verses on “Represent” and the “Yes You MayRemix”…”Devil’s Son” promos might have just started leaking out.

I was like, “Yeah man. You killed it on those guest appearance joints”. I apologize for blowing him off but tell him why and he knows the deal on the “everyone raps and got a deal in New York steez” so we are all good. We talk a bit. I tell him about my promotions company in Chicago and that I’ll have his back out there when he drops so we exchange numbers and say peace.

A little less than a year later, Notorious B.I.G had a Platinum party in Chicago (at Club Drink I think…) and it’s a star-studded affair; Puffy is there, Lorenzo Tate is chilling at the bar, still hot off his Menace To Society rep, and so on. It’s not really my kind of scene but I’m trying to network for my upcoming magazine (Caught In the Middle) and my promotions company (Rage Promotions). I’m just chilling and out of nowhere Big L steps up and is like “What’s Up”. I’m can’t remember why he was there in Chicago, but it was unexpected. We kick it for a bit and catch up on what’s going on with his project and whatever. While we are talking Puffy comes by to say what’s up to Big L and someone asks to snap a flick. I’ve seen the flick but never got my hands on it. I imagine that picture is somewhere with the caption, “Puffy, Big L and unknown friend”…ha.

Anyway, L and I stayed in contact for about another year or so, off n on thru phone calls. Then I hit a stressful point in life and was sort of unreachable for a while and in that time I lost contact with a lot of people (mostly artists) who I was talking to on the regular. In any event, Big L was killing it with every release and I continued to love and support his music on my Time Travel radio show and by word of mouth.

When I heard about his death I was in the middle of my first break from the radio show since ‘95 cause I never missed a show for any reason, but I was getting real frustrated with things so I was thinking about quitting the show. When I found out about Big L getting shot it hit me. I just thought about the senseless murder, the loss of a great artist, the loss of good person, and also how you can stop contact with people thinking you’ll hit them up “whenever” because you got time…though that’s not always true and we shouldn’t take those things for granted. I came back to show the next week to do a dedication to Big L. I stayed on the air strong until 2002 and I moved to MPLS.

R.I.P Big L (May 30, 1974 – February 15, 1999).

Also, this week on Time Travel Radio:

1)All Natural-Liquid Paper (Ghostface diss….) ‘95
2)No Pity Committee/M.A.T.s Crew feat Twista-The Padded Room ‘94
3)D2ThaS-Doomsday ‘92
4)Kwest The Madd Ladd, Rhymefest, Vakill Time Travel Freestyle 7-4-96
5)Twista-Suicide ’94

–Kevin Beacham

The Redefinition Of Time Travel #3 w/ Kevin Beacham

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

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:
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/radio/programs/redefinition_radio/

Also, peep the new batch of rarities on Time Travel:
http://www.myspace.com/timetravelradio

-Kevin Beacham

The Redefinition Of Time Travel #2 w/ Kevin Beacham

Thursday, February 5th, 2009



The Redefinition Of Time Travel #2: A Kool G Rap classic

Kool G Rap “I Declare War”
By now, if you are a internet savvy ‘80s Hip Hop fiend, you are probably aware about the Juice Crew EP of unreleased gems that just dropped [all Produced By Marley Marl]. I don’t know if there is info out there on the year this was done but I’d say early ’88 based on the style, some of the references, and I’m guessing that sped up “Terrorist” scratch in the intro is from “Juice Crew All Stars” (’87).

The third verse is definitely the best and where he flexes the style that originally made him recognized as one of the greats. It’s essentially a battle rap challenging anyone in the industry with lines like, “Point out any rapper and I’ll diss em” or “I got a track for every rapper on the map”.

The line that left the biggest impression on me was his “I’m Kool G Rap, you can call me G. I’m not scared of any K, any J, or any D”. Immediately when I heard that I thought of it as a challenge to others with “Cool” names, particularly “Cool J” and “Kool D” (who had a record on Wildpitch in ’88). I haven’t been able to figure who the Kool K is…maybe Kool Keith? (I’m probably reaching there). Of course this is all speculation but it seems logical by using those particular letters that he is being specific, that could be one of the reasons why the song was never released, who knows. I put the job on some other blogger to interview Kool G Rap about that….ha
I Declare War: http://www.sendspace.com/file/y6jcxk

Peep this week’s Redef Radio show for more joints:
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/radio/programs/redefinition_radio/

Also, this week on Time Travel:
1)Stony Island-Basement Seasoning ‘93
2)East Of The Rock-Mr Producer ‘94
3)Ang 13-No Contest ‘95
4)AZ and Amar Freestyle ‘95
5)Presence-Time Travel Freestyle ‘’99
6)Da Great Deity Dah-Time Travel Promo ’97?

Peep the joints and in-depth artist/song descriptions here:
http://www.myspace.com/timetravelradio

-Kevin Beacham

The Redefinition Of Time Travel w/ Kevin Beacham

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

REDEFINITION RADIO: The Present and Future

I started off the year with a month long theme which is Phase 3 in what has been an ongoing epic experience that I’ve dubbed “Cut Short Careers”

Phase One-One Album Only (Nov ‘07): This was a five week special covering a lot of ground and a lot of underground favorites who only dropped one album (and maybe a few singles or appearances); Hard Knocks, C.P.O, Breeze, Diamond Shell, Cannibal Ox, Kurious, Mad Kap, Da King & I, Future Sound, Funkytown Pros, and the list goes on and on…
Listen Here.

Phase Two-Singles and Appearances Only 1986-1992 [No Albums] (Jan ‘08): Some of these artists are simply too mind-blowing to never had a full length (Latee, Freshco & Miz, & Sir Ibu) … others are some favorites of mine: His Majesti, 4Ever Fresh, Too Poetic, Crush Nation, Castle D, The Brothers (Kickin Live Productions), and so on and on….
Listen Here.

Phase Three-Singles and Appearances only 1993-2002 [No Album] (Jan ‘09): The bulk of this time is in that incredible indie explosion of the Mid and Late 90s (mainly thanx to Wu-Tang for making the self-financed 12″ the new “demo”). Dredknotz, Ten Thieves, Rugged Brood, Natural Elements, Street Smartz, Spoon Of Iodine, DV Alias Khrist, Tony Bones, J Treds, K Borne, IG Off & Hazardous, Vooodu!, etc…
Listen Here.

Phase Four-Guest Appearances Only (No Album, No Single), stay tuned.

As for the immediate future for Redefinition Radio, I’ve collected a nice stack of new music while being focused on this last theme so starting next week I’ll start dropping some of that: Czar, Yadi Supreme, K the I, P.O.S, Custodian Of Records, Myka 9, Labtekwon…

CHECK OUT TIME TRAVEL RADIO FLASHBACKS: The Past

This Week: White Collar Criminals-“Time Travel Promo”, Rubber Room & Spalaney’s-Time Travel Freestyle 6-22-95, Spalaney’s-“Simple Fact”, Tony Baines-Time Travel Freestyle 12-29-96, Children Of Reality, JP Schmedrick-“Insect Invasion.”

As an added bonus for peeping the TROY blog: http://www.sendspace.com/file/ktysow

-D/L Contains
1)Rubber Room-Peepin Tom (early unreleased track on the freaky porn tip…ha)
2)JP Schmedrick (Immortal Griffen & Tony Baines)-No Offense Playa (limited tape release 97)
3)Spalaney’s-Universal Langurage (from the “Talent Fest” Compilation ‘95)

–Kevin Beacham