Volume 1: I'M BAAAAAACK!
(The Reincarnation Of Phill Stroman)

March, 1999

Tha' Brand New Shit.
Here we go, folks: Volume One of Soulman's New World of Beats. Buckle up.
-Phatso, 3-99

It's Just A White Bar

        What's the deal, one and all! After a lengthy exile from the land of rap magazine bullshit, I have returned to write once more. This time around, though, it's gonna be a lot different. New format- no more magazines for me. Instead of dealing with magazine editors and deadlines, Iíve decided to take it straight to the people via the world wide web. This way, I can say just what I want to say, when I want to say it, how I want to say it. Mark my word, the internet is gonna really change shit in the coming years. From the way you get your music to the way you get your information. Iím still a novice, but with the help of my man Mhat (whoís hosting this site and hooking it up quite lovely) Iím happy to be a part of this new revolution in hip hop.

        Another change will be in the content of the column. Last time around, when I was writing for Rap Sheet, each column was pretty much centered around just beats. This time, now that my chains have been long removed, I plan on doing a lot of freestyling- just writing about whateverís on my mind at the moment. Donít worry, beat freaks, thereíll be more than enough info on digginí to keep yíall happy. But it feels good to know that I donít have to stay just on that one topic. I love beats but I also love current hip hop, old school hip hop, blaxploitation flix... fuck, if I wannaí talk about how Allen Illy burned the Spurs for 46 the other night I can do that too now! Yeah, seeing my shit on newsstands all over the world was cool and all, but nothing beats total freedom. (And Iím STILL worldwide anyway!)

        I got a lot of letters from people after I disappeared from the pages of Rap Sheet wondering where Iíd gone to. Most assumed that Iíd been canned. Let me take this time to clear that up, for those that donít know the deal. I was NOT fired from Rap Sheet! If anything, it was a mutual decision for us to part ways. What happened was that I was getting tired of doing the column and I told them so. I was asked not to leave, seeing that World Of Beats was the most popular column in the magazine. So I decided to stick it out for awhile, until they started getting lax about paying me on time, even though they wanted me to meet my deadlines. After not getting paid for a few months, I started sending the articles in later and later. Finally, the last one I sent in was REALLY late, and also written in a kindaí sarcastic manner. So I never sent them anymore columns, and they never sent me all of my money, and that was that. End of story.

        But, from all bad experiences you must be able to find the good in them. So rather than dwell on the negative, Iím thankful for being given the opportunity to be published in a national magazine doing a column on beat finding, which was a dream of mine. Iím also thankful to have met so many people who really appreciated my work- to this day I STILL run into people who say things like "Youíre Soulman? Oh, shit! I used to read The World Of Beats every month! That was the only reason I even bought that cheap ass rag!" That alone means more to me than any of the money that I never got paid by Rap Sheet. Iíve also made a lot of good friends and acquaintances from the experience, so itís cool.

        The only regret from my stint at the Sheet is that I didnít get to say goodbye to the readers whoíd been following the WOB religiously. So let me take this time to say thank you to everybody who was checkiní for me back then and hopefully if youíre reading this youíll be checkiní for my new internet incarnation in the future, Ďcuz I plan on blaziní yíall once again!

        What have I been doing for the past 3 and 1/2 years, you ask? Well, I got married just as I was leaving Rap Sheet. We bought a house in the summer of 1997, converting the basement into a hair salon for my wife and half of the 2nd floor into a pre-production studio & record library for me. I started selling records to all of New Yorkís top producers at the Marc Ballroom record convention. I made a couple of under-underground 12"s with Soma (the second of which did fairly well, getting a lot of play in Philly and some in NY as well). And Iíve been selling a nice amount of Archaeologists Classics and Soulman World Of Beats tapes all over the world. Best of all, my wife is expecting our first child in April Ď99, so everything has been going very, very well.

        People have asked why I havenít gotten with another magazine. Well, I did get a few offers, but after the whole Rap Sheet thing I havenít been interested in writing again unless it was for my own publication. Now with the internet, I donít even need a magazine! Damn, life is good!

        What to expect in the coming months: interviews with beat collectors, producers, underground and unsigned rap acts, you name it. Iíll interview any damn body who I find interesting, I donít care who! Expect the unexpected. By all means, if you have something hot that you think I might dig, send it to me!

        One of most peopleís favorite feature in my old column was the "This Monthís Beats To Catch" segment. Making up top ten lists happens to be one of my favorite things to do- I donít know why, maybe Iím David Lettermanís illegitimate black son. Anyway, youíll be seeing a lot of crazy ass lists in the all-new World Of Beats from now on. In fact, letís set it off right now with one.


1) BEATNUTS: new (heard on the internet)
        I don't know the title of this, but it is HOT!! Simple but ill chopped up flute over a basic beat, plus what sounds like a voice from a children's record warning you to "watch out now". After hearing this one and "Beatnuts Forever", I can't wait for the Beatnuts' upcoming album.

2) YUSEF LATEEF: The Eastern Sounds Of... (lp)
        This has been my favorite album to clean my house to for the past year or so.

3) AM FM: You Are The One (12")
        This was one of the dopest party songs back in the early 1980's. I used to hear it at parties and on the college radio stations all the time, and I just recently found out what it was and dug up a few copies of it. The intro is SO dope to cut up.

        You know those Live Convention 81 & 82 records that were recently reissued? Well, this is the tape that a lot of that music came from, plus a whole lot more. Melle Mel in his prime with Flash on the cut, Kool Moe Dee KILLIN' it with the Treacherous 3 (for y'all who only know Moe from his "How Ya Like Me Now" days, he was like the most lyrically dangerous mc of his era and he shows it on this tape), The L Brothers (aka Fantastic Four- Kevie Kev, Master Rob, Ruby D & Theodore), Busy Bee Starski... yo, I feel sorry for all the younger cats who'll probably never be able to comprehend how dope shit like this is.

        Officially the series only goes up to #70, but there are some later volumes that aren't available to the public (sorry- I really just make these tapes for my own listening anyway). This one has joints like Frankie Bleu's "Moses Theme", the classic "Inside Out" by American Gypsy and shit by folks like John Schroeder, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis, Enoch Light and Disco For Kids. Since this may never be obtainable, you'll have to take me word for it, it's kinda nice.

6) WILLIE TEE: (lp)
        Produced by David Axelrod, this is one of the gems of my collection. Only two cuts worth mentioning really and even those songs aren't good from beginning to end. But the intros to both are disgusting. My personal fave: "Mirror", which features lyrics like: "I keep looking at myself / In the mirror / But I don't like what I see / It doesn't reveal what I thought I had / My soul is right but my face is bad / It just ain't right / What can an ugly man do?" I'm feelin' you, Willie.

7) OC SMITH: For Once In My Life (lp)
        Really reminds me a lot of the Willie Tee record, to be honest. Judging by the drums I could swear Axelrod had a hand in the production. Illest cuts would be "Hey Jude" (infamous drumbeats), "Sounds Of Goodbye" (which I slept on for years) and "Isn't It Lonely Together".

8) CONMEN 3: (cd)
        The beatmasters from Seattle return with more of that shit! To be truthful, I await new tapes by these cats more anxiously than any hip hop releases on the market right now. Preme & Jake hitchall with the originals to Big Pun's "I'm Not A Player", Blackstar's "Brown Skin Lady", Gangstarr's "My Advice To You" and many, many, MANY more.

9) KEN SPORT: (beat tape)
        My muthafuckin' man Ken the Original Shogun Assasin got some new shit too. Boy, does he! But the highlight is DEFINITELY when Mr. Sport starts cuttin' up The Bee Gees' "Love You Inside And Out"! WHAT? Ohmygod! Keep rockin' that shit, Ken.

10) JAY Z: People's Court (? heard on the radio)
        Say what you will about Jayhovah but the man is one of the nicest to ever touch a mic skillwise- do not get that twisted. It's funny, but I remember back before the days of all the drug dealing / iced out rolly / Bentley subject matter, Jigga had a joint on a mix tape entitled "What's In A Name", or something like that. He incorporated the names of all the top emcees of that era into his rhymes in a really witty, creative way. Kinda like GZA did with record companies on "Labels", only better. At that time I predicted that this cat might end up being the best of 'em all, and now look at where he's at. Anyway, on this cut he flips the "People's Court" theme- typical, yes. Hot? Also yes.

11) PHIFE DOG: Men Are Dogs (heard on the internet)
        This is the best shit I've heard from Phife in years. I'm really starting to think that the Phiferís been doggin' it (pun intended) on the last two Tribe albums, saving the hot shit for his solo. And the beat isn't that "Love Movement" sounding shit, either. Let's hope the album (if there is an album) will be as hot as this cut.

        Okay, thatís it for now. Just a taste of whatís to come, so get ready. It might be a wild ride back to the World Of Beats, but letís do this! Just like back in the days, you can send any tapes, records, promo shit, love letters, or whuteva via snail mail to: SOULMAN, Box 12323, Philadelphia, PA 19119. Now the new shit: just click on the little green words that you are about to read and you can e-mail the Soulman! Wasnít that easy?

        Until next time... PEACE!

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