Volume 5: 911 Ain't No Joke: Count Bass D & Egon|
November 26, 1999
Let me ask you a question. Make that a few questions. Do you like those raw, underground, hard-as-hell-to-find beats? Do you like your grooves rare? Do you like all that fly shit that Mr. John Q. Public just ain't up on? Of course you've answered yes to all of these questions, or else you probably wouldn't even be visiting this site. Duh.
Now that we know what you like, I know that you'll like hearing from my special guests, Count Bass D & Egon (a.k.a. Eothen Alapatt... see last episode's Galt MacDermot interview). Count Bass D you should know from his past musical endeavors, which include his most recent joints- the "Violatin'" single (featuring that infamous Primo vocal sample) and the ep "Art For Sale". Eothen is kinda like a hip hop jack of all trades- deejay, beat collector, writer... you name it, son is doin' it. Together they host the 911 Emergency radio show at 91.1 WRVU in Nashville, Tennessee (also on the 'net at 113 Audio Resources http://www.113audio.com) which features a cornucopia of underground sounds that will produce many a "oh shit" moment for those that know what's going on. Incredible indy hip hop that a lot of people snooze on gets mad love at 911. Plus the breaks get dropped regularly, and we're not talking about 2 copies of the "Diggin'" comps spinning on those steel wheels. No sir, I'm talking rare originals, baby paw. A sample of some of the selections on a recent playlist would include stuff like the KPM "Visual Contact" library joint, Fried Chicken's "Funky DJ", Richard's People and "Oily" by Juggy. See what I'm sayin'?
From the 911 Emergency show came a spinoff called "Origins Of Hip Hop" featuring interviews with some of the people who created the beats that everybody's been sampling. But I won't tell it all, I'll leave the details to the stars of this story so they can spit it in their own words. I interviewed Count & Eothen separately, so instead of trying to edit and splice it together to make it look like it was all done at the same time, I'm just gonna run both interviews one after the other. I asked them both some of the same questions, and the different responses are pretty damn interesting. So with no further ado...
COUNT BASS D: ON THE REELS
SOULMAN: Count, tell me a little about your recording history
COUNT BASS D: When I was 16 my brother was stationed at MacDill AirForce Base in Tampa, Florida. He knew I was getting into this rap game. I had been playing instruments for years, but he wanted to see me branch out into rap. So he financed some demo sessions with Kenny K (R.I.P.) of Digital Underground. The engineer at those sessions suggested I move to Nashville because of an ill recording program a state college was offering. I agreed. I got to Nashville in 1991 and made more demo tapes.
Got signed to Hoppoh/Sony in 1993.
Released Pre-Life Crisis in 1995.
Released Art For Sale January 1999.
Released the Violatin' 12" in April 1999.
S: Wasn't Hoppoh the label that Pete Nice (3rd Bass) was running?
CBD: As a matter of fact, Hoppoh was the label that Pete Nice was running. Bobbito was the president. Kurious was my only labelmate, and the company managed Artifacts and K.M.D. as well.
S: How'd you get cliqued up with those cats, simply from soliciting demos?
CBD: As far as getting down with them, I was in a situation where I was about to get jerked by this dude here in Nashville. He knew Pete from back a few years prior. To make a long story short, I got hip to the game, and Pete went around the dude and found me on his own.
S: The new stuff I heard on your site was dope but kind of surprising. It's very different from "Violatin'" - would you call it alternative hip hop? What made you branch out into that direction?
CBD: What's funny about that album is that it's not new. I made that album as a farewell to my live instruments before Violatin' came out. What's really ill is that Urb just reviewed it in the November issue, and they surprised me with their ability to find the "Hip-Hop" in it. I have been playing instruments since I was a toddler, and it is hard for young people to listen to real instruments these days. It wasn't until I met JuJu and V.I.C. in 1994 that my sampling skills got up to snuff! So that album was made to bridge the gap between my first album and my new "traditional hip-hop" mode that I'm in right now.
Pre-Life Crisis came before a lot of records that are considered "live" hip-hop albums. I played 90% of the instruments myself. No SMPTE, just a click track. No loops of drum tracks, I played them all the way through for the duration of the track. This was in 1994. I remember watching Wu-Tang perform "C.R.E.A.M." on Arsenio Hall when I was in the studio. I didn't have a bunch of musicians that I hired and took producer credit (or "all instruments played by"). The hip-hop world never saw so much raw talent, and if you listen to that album today it fits right in with some of the "experimental hip-hop" albums that are muli-platnium. If Sony would have known what to do with my record, I would have been (ahead of) the times. I was hell bent on shocking the music world. And I'm still eating off of that record!
S: Tell me how you and Eothen got together & how the 911 Emergency show Originated.
CBD: We met at a record store. He looked like he was searching for beats, and he had some awful records. I told him about the "Public Animal #9" joint that you put me up on in your old column. He thanked me. From then on his collection has grown to the point where I look like a novice. He has one of the illest record collections in the country. I'd put his collection on track with you and Supreme's. By the way, he did try to "big you up" in that Source article!
S: What kind of feedback do you get from people about the show and the way you mix current hip hop with breaks? Is there a big audience for that type of music down in Tennessee?
CBD: Well there was not an audience for it at first. People come here for shows, and they say, "Wow, this is iller than at home! I never thought y'all would have any heads down here!" But we hung in there and tried to get people into what we play instead of playing what they want. Now we've got an ill scene here.
S: How do you feel about the current state of hip hop & sampling, is it stagnant right now or do you see major progression?
CBD: Hip-Hop is very stagnant right now. As a matter of fact it's simple. It is so easy to get props right now it's a shame. I see a lot of rappers out here who take one word and pull every word with the same prefix or suffix, and call that rhyming. Then everyone wants to freestyle, but no one wants to make a classic. I want to make a classic record, not a classic freestyle. I think this new found "skills" movement that has taken over the "keep it real" movement is cheapening the art form. As far as sampling, niggas is using the sounds that come with the MPC and saying "I don't use samples." A lot of these niggas is wack, and it's a shame because these kids are too young to know what dope hip-hop consists of.
S: As an artist who are your major influences?
CBD: As an musician I like Bobby McFerrin, Mervin Warren and many church organ players I've met over the years. In hip-hop, it's Large Professor, Beatnuts and V.I.C. I like niggas who rhyme and I like niggas who make beats, but all M.C.'s should be trying to make their own beats. Because no one can make a beat better than an M.C. can for himself. Furthermore, if lyrics are what make an album, why do most people think that Illmatic is Nas' best album? His lyrics may have been a little better on the first album, but the beats made all the difference between the 1st, 2nd and every album since.
S: How big a part does diggin' for samples play in the creation of your own music?
CBD: Well, I love beats, but I am not a slave to them. I choose to use them. A lot of these producers out here have no choice. If they don't filter a bass line, then there is none. If they can't find ill strings, then there won't be any in the song. I try to find what I want, but if I can play it better, I will. I'm not just talking about some cheap ass bass line, or some corny ass triad. I'm talking serious Jazz theory. As far as this beat thing goes, music is my forte. There are a lot of producers in other genres who play instruments, but as far as hip-hop goes, I fear no one. Except maybe DJ Quik. He is more talented than people think.
S: I noticed that "Titanic" break on one of your recent playlists- obviously you and Eothen know your shit when it comes to the beats. Do you both dig deep like that, or is one of you more the "beat man" than the other?
CBD: We used to be on the same level, but that changed about 6 months after we met. He took his youthful energy and elevated to another level. I'm 26 and I haven't seen a collection like his yet. Everything on those (911 Emergency playlists) are originals. And I know mad niggas be lying when they put that on the back of they tapes. We ain't them niggas.
S: What can we look for from you coming up in the year 2000?
CBD: I've got the "On the Reels" 12 inch that will be out in January. The b-side features Esoteric and Virtuoso. Plus V.I.C. did a remix for Violatin' on it too. Egon did cuts on everything.
S: And the most important question of all... how many records ya got, and can I have any of them?
CBD: I only have about 3,000 records. I slowed down once I started making beats and getting selective. Now I may only buy 3 or 4 records when I dig, but they will all be hot records that I will use. I don't buy records for the "Such and such used this" factor. My collection isn't as ill now as it was in 1990. I remember when I paid $2.99 for (David Axelrod's) "Songs of Innocence" and thought it was high!
S: Anything else you'd like to say, feel free... the floor is yours.
CBD: Your column in RapSheet put a lot of niggas up on these beats. I'll be the first to thank you for that. I was into hip-hop, and I loved beats, but it takes someone to give you the science on beatdigging before you get the nuts and bolts of production. I got some of that knowledge from you.
For more information, check www.113audio.com.
|The Count's 12 Best Beatmakers Who Rhyme:|
Special consideration if they write their own rhymes.
They must have created the bulk of the beats they rhymed on.
(Count Bass-D intentionally omitted from this list)
|1. Large Professor|
|4. Lord Finesse|
|5. Pete Rock|
|6. Diamond D|
|7. Biz Markie|
|9. DJ Quik|
|11. Kurtis Blow|
|12. Dr. Dre|
EGON: TALES FROM THE CRATES
SOULMAN: Tell me how you got together with Count & how the 911 Emergency show
EGON:I first was brought into the breakbeat fold by Connecticut hip hop legend Dooley O in early 1994. Dooley had recently returned from California (where he ran with Cut Chemist and the pre-Jurassic 5 crew) and he would always rock tapes of originals in New Haven's local hip hop spot. Dooley ran with a talented crew of producers, including Chris "Lowe" Crosby, and they always dug up the illest beats! It was Dooley and Chris who pulled the Skull Snaps LP out of "Boogie Down" Brown's infamous New Haven basement in 1987-8. It was Dooley and Chris who first looped the record, for Dooley's debut. And it was Stezo, Dooley's cousin, that "borrowed" the beat for his now classic "It's My Turn".
These two, but most importantly the one Dooley O, established my foundation. Ill rock records, deep soul and funk, fusion jazz, 45s, labels, producers - they started me right. By 1996, when I moved to Nashville to go to Vanderbilt University, I was pretty ready to tear the city apart. I met Count in a local record store, The Great Escape, in the fall of 1996. He noticed some records I was carrying - some fusion and soul jazz, some funk records - and surmised correctly that I was digging for beats. He walked up to me and handed me an Alice Cooper record - the one with "Public Animal #9" on it - and instructed me to listen. I did, realized he knew what he was talking about, and wheeled around to talk. It ended up that he knew Chris Lowe, who had recently finished a term at Tennessee State University. We began talking more, and of course we kept bumping into each other at the store. I'll never forget the time that I walked into the store and Count handed me a stone mint copy of Bob James "Two" at his wife's insistence!
At the time, I was finishing my training at WRVU, Vanderbilt's station. I knew that I couldn't do a show by myself, so I asked Count if he would consider taking up the show together. We both built on the concept of the show, developed the name ( a play off of WRVU's frequency, 91.1 fm), and kicked off the show in the beginning of 1997. From Dooley's New Haven public access show, we appropriated "the beat segment", the portion of our show where we would rock the original samples to hip hop cuts and discuss production. Of course, our main focus was (and is) bringing a variety of the newest, most progressive hip hop and commentary to Nashville, but rocking the breaks is truly the treat of every show!
Allow me to make one point though. Of course we have developed the show in the years that we have been producing it. But we always took (and still take!) continuity very seriously. You won't find us playing one hip hop record, then a break, then another hip hop record and so on. We segue all of our portions - try to create a true mix show. We have intros for all of our segments, we tie instrumental passages with drops from Gangstarr to David Axelrod, and we have established a format: we start the show with a famous sample or break, run hip hop for an hour and a half, and then run a half an hour beat segment, ten minutes of which is usually commentary on the music that we just played. We treat our show as if it was a commercial radio show!
S: What kind of feedback do you get from people about the show and the way you mix current hip hop with breaks? Is there a big audience for that type of music down in Tennessee?
E: At first, we received no feedback, except for the occasional dis and request for "some ol' down south shit". But as time went on, our listeners came to appreciate our blend. You must realize that our station broadcasts at 10,000 watts over a 60 mile radius, so we do get all kinds listening to the show. But a big he is the internet site, 113 Audio Resources (http://www.113audio.com), and its creator Don Moore who began cataloguing our shows in Real Audio in 1997. Through Don, 911 Emergency (and of course Origins of Hip Hop) is accessible from any point on the globe. We've gotten great response from all over - Italy, Sweden, Africa. I've saved hundreds of messages from people - and you'd be suprised at what they say! I've gotten people requesting Monty Alexander, people asking me to settle breakbeat arguments. It' s fun! So, while Nashville may not be an ideal location for our show, it seems as if the rest of the world is hungry!
S: Over the years you've interviewed not only Galt MacDermot but also legends like Bernard Purdie, Idris Muhammad and many more. How did you catch up with all these cats and what was it like kickin' it with them? What's their take on hip hop and sampling?
E: One day, Count and I were running the beat segment on 911 Emergency and we began talking about the next step we should take with show. we both agreed that we should make a conscious effort to get ahold of the people that had pioneered all the funk we loved - but we didn't really know where to start. I tried to get Donald Byrd's number from (Gangstarr's) Guru to no avail. I attempted to get ahold of Jackie Mclean through the University of Hartford, where he teaches and I occasionally do radio, but had no luck. Then, I stumbled across an article that stated that Clyde Stubblefield lived in Madison, Wisconsin. At 12:00 in the a.m., I called Madison information and asked for Stubblefield, Clyde and surprisingly received a number! The next morning, nervous as all hell, I dialed the number and asked for "Mr. Stubblefield". Come to find out, Clyde was very gracious and patient, and on top of granting me an interveiw, he put me in contact with his one time partner, Jabo Starks. Jabo put me in contact with Bobby Byrd and his wife Vicki Anderson. Vicki put me in contact with her friends Marva Whitney and Lyn Collins. So you see how the cycle started. I lucked into meeting Reuben Wilson by discovering that he played occasionaly at the metronome cafe in Manhattan. Upon meeting Reuben, I was quickly pulled into the whole soul jazz circuit, and I hooked up with giants like Melvin Sparks, Leon Spencer & Lou Donaldson in short order. However, finding more obscure people, like Lalo Schifrin, The Silver Apples, Roy C, and Sal Principato from Liquid Liquid has been more challenging. Sometimes, if the person is big enough, he will have a publicist - this is the way I lucked into finding Lalo. Sometimes the person will be online, and contacting him is simply a matter of an Alta Vista search - as was the case with Simeon of the Silver Apples. However, sometimes I have to really get creative. For instance, to contact Johnny Frigo, I looked up every John Frigo in Illinois (and believe me, there were a lot!) and called every one until I found the correct number. To get ahold of David Axelrod, I had a friend put me in contact with Don Randi, a long time associate and friend of Axe, who called him for me. But you have to understand, sometimes it takes a long time, and I hit a lot of dead ends in my searches. It took me well over a year to get in contact with Axelrod. I just recently got ahold of Dennis Coffey, I'd been looking for his number for a long time too! Lots of times, publishing information is outdated, so publishing contacts don't always work. For instance, Ron Price, the writer of the song "PM Or Later" for The New Breed, has been missing in action for 25 years! Try to pick up that trail! But sometimes, connections just happen magically - I wanted to find Rayfield Reid, so all I had to do was search through two states - North and South Carolina - to find him. He has a unique name, so there wasn't much slack to search through.
I love talking with these cats - they have so much to say! Most everyone I speak to is totally down with the idea of sampling. To many, like Galt and Axelrod, sampling is more than just a novel idea, but a true artistic movement. Some, like Gus Giordano, are so reminded of their past work that they break it out again, to work with! Gus is currently working on new choreography for two of his classic Johnny Frigo tunes - "Scorpio" and "Do Whatever Sets You Free". That, to me, is incredible. We hip hop cats are responsible for something!
S: How do you feel about the current state of hip hop & sampling, is it
stagnant right now or do you see major progression?
E: To me, the magical time in hip hop was the early 90s, when the second wave of great innovators were first digging the real obscure beats out of the crates and melding all kinds of samples together in incredibly colorful musical collages. I think that the current minimalist trend in hip hop is quite depressing - though I do understand the cost of rightfully clearing various samples and the woes of losing publishing! To me, there are a few hip hop producers out there now that are truly taking the bull by the horns and crafting some real genius music - Premier, Vic, Joe Mansfield of the Vinyl Reanimators, PB Wolf and Pete Rock are some good examples. Then you have producers like Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow who are literally sticking a middle finger up at EVERYONE and saying, "You thought sampling was dead? Take a listen to this!". Listen to that song "Holy Calamity" off of the "Handsome Boy's Modeling School" record. Melding music from an obscure texas high school band with an equally deep North Carolina funk 45? Making it flow? Shadow is on the next level. I respect all kinds of production, but I find myself truly feeling those producers that are appropriating and reassembling the gems of the past. That, to me, is true creativity. Using all of the stock sounds on your s3000 to create some pseudo-drum n bass music a la Swizz Beats is sophomoric to me.
S: I noticed that "Titanic" break on one of your recent playlists- obviously y'all cats know your shit when it comes to the beats. Do you both dig deep like that, or is one of you more the "beat man" than the other?
E: Well, right now Count is running a full time job, and helping his wife Oriana finish school and raise two beautiful children. I know you know the score, Phill! Sometimes a family means you gotta take a little hiatus from the record spots! Lately, I've been trooping all over trying to score the funk. I try to hit all of the regions - upper south and midwest, Carolinas, all of Tennessee. The south is chock full of beats - you just gotta find the little store that the English haven't found yet!
But don't get me wrong - we both stay up on the knowledge. You have to understand the rapport Count and I share. We'll be in a party, I'll drop David Mccallum's "The Edge" - and Count will start souping up the crowd while talking about Axelrod. Then, boom! I'll drop Chuck Carbo, Little Royal and Donald Austin. Count will be right there -breaking down Eddie Bo, Nashville funk and Eastbound records - and all of this is improvised. Sometimes, that guy really amazes me!
S: I know you just came up on a nice warehouse find and got some good records. Was that your best discovery ever & if not what was?
E: Well, I love warehouses because finding multiples of a great funk record is incredible. I trade like a madman, so finding a bunch of gems means I can rake in the dope treats from all of my partners! Like, finding one copy of the Sons Of Funk 45 is pretty tough, but I came up on 60! Or the Coasters LP - at one point, i had 40 copies - sealed. But that one warehouse you're speaking of is pretty well done. I've gotten some real great trade stuff out of there, but I wouldn't say it was my best score. One time, I got into a warehouse and found all of the Jean Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsely LPs (inc. "Moog Indigo"), a bunch of southern gems by The Meters, Black Nasty and the like, and mounds of other records on labels like Guiness for a dollar each! And there was this one time when my boy Dave and I visited this record store and found (Melvin Sparks')"Texas Twister", The Everyday People LP and "Dress Is Too Short" (by Syl Johnson) in the new purchase bin - for like $3.99 each! That was ill! But my favorite story of late is a real gem! My girl called me about a month ago and told me that she had bought me some records at a thrift store, including a country record because she wanted to hear country mixed with hip hop (ha ha, funny funny....). Well, she leaves the records in her car for three weeks - in the sun and all that - and finally gives me the package. The third record was a copy of "Honky Tonk Popcorn" - in the shrink wrap - mint! I must have called half of all beat diggers in the country that night! Who would have thought!
S: What can we look for from you coming up in the year 2000?
E: Of course, you can expect some ill funk on the two radio shows - 911 Emergency, and Origins Of Hip Hop. 113 Audio will be updated soon, so start checking. I'm also working on establishing an Origins Of Hip Hop website that will hold Real Audio files of all of my interviews - I've done close to fifty! I'm also working on a slew of reissues. I'm still working with Kilmarnock to issue previously unheard Galt MacDermot tracks, and a couple of full soundtracks. I'm speaking with Carol Kaye about reissuing the Joe Pass LP "Better Days" she put out on her own label in 1972 - forget (Boogaloo Joe Jones' classic lp) "Sweetback", this is probably the best soul jazz album of all time! I'm working with Orion Records and Ubiquity on a compilation of all of the funkiest Johnny Frigo Sextet music. That music is incredible - and pretty damn rare! Breaks galore, and some great soul jazz. Heads should dig it. I'm also in the planning stages of some reissues with Boo Boo McAffee's LP ("the American 'Niagara'" to quote Cut Chemist), Rayfield Reid, James Reese and the Second Movement. Lots of things going down! Plus, I'm still trying to assemble my first 12" for the Vinyl Reanimators - an uptempo "dj" cut for which I will definitely be breaking out some heavy hitters, working with Count on his new records, and putting the finishing touches on "The Beat Segment Volume 2" - a mix tape by myself hosted by Count Bass D and featuring my fellow APSO crew members Mr. Dibbs and DJ Signify!
S: The most important question of all... how many records ya got, and can I have any of them?
E: I must have about 8,000 LPs and hip hop 12"s by now, though I store many at my parents house in Connecticut while I'm at school. I have about 800 45s. But the thing is, I periodically purge my collection as to make room for new records that I buy. So, my shelves aren't filled up with every Brass Construction lp. I try to take after Dante (a known collector / seller) in Chicago - quality over quantity. As far as the records I can give you Phill, how about I send you my Maceo And All The Kings Men lp? Or my Good Old Bob "Doing His Thing"? On the strength of course!
For more information, check www.113audio.com.
|Eothen: The Top Ten Beats I'm Feeling At The Moment:
|1. "Getting It Out Of My System" - Kashmere Stage Band|
|2. "Silver Child" - Sadistic Mika Band|
|3. "Elanor Rigby" - McGavock High School Jazz Rock Ensemble|
|4. "Carpet Drill Team Routine" - Harrell And Sharon Lucky|
|5. "Drums On Phasing B-11" - Joe Ufer Drums Section|
|6. "Sangandongo" - Niagara|
|7. "Jody's Freeze" - James Reese And The Progressions|
|8. "Gossip" - Cyril Neville|
|9. "Let The Groove Move You" - Gus "The Groove" Lewis|
|10. "Live It Up" - James K-Nine|
SOULMAN: SHIT I'M FEELIN' RIGHT NOW
THE NEW TREACHEROUS 3: KRS ONE, BIG DADDY KANE & KOOL MOE DEE
The actual record might turn out to be wack as shit but I hope not, 'cause I love the idea. 3 of the greatest MCs of all time unite to make a super group? In 1988 it would've definitely been dope- in 1999 I can only cross my fingers and keep believing in miracles.
LENNY KRAVITZ: 5
It's been out for awhile but I finally bought it just recently. I picked it up for the cut "Thinking Of You" (dedicated to Lenny's deceased mom, the lady who played Helen Willis on the Jeffersons)- I thought this was a severely slept on joint. Lenny's also got some nice beats and shit on here. Maybe not everybody's cup of tea, but it's a darn good effort by Lisa Bonet's ex.
MC PAUL BARMAN: Joy Of Your World
Hilarious!! That mad genius, doo doo man Prince Paul, has done it again! Seems like he found the corniest sounding white man in America and put him in front of a mic, looped up some shit off of Mantovani's Greatest Hits and made a disgustingly dope record. And check how Paul parodies Lauren Hill on the chorus.... insane. Didn't De La Soul used to make records that were this much fun? And speaking of the Plug Brothers...
DE LA SOUL: That New Shit That I Don't Know The Title Of
Rest assured, the super MC's are comin' with it again. Out of the two joints I've heard from their upcoming "Art Official Intelligence" lp, both are undoubtedly like that but I'm really loving the one with the Quincy Jones "If I Ever Lose This Heaven" sample- one of those jams that makes you say "Damn, I got that record!!! Why didn't I think of flippin' that shit ??" Lyrically, it's your regular De La lambasting of all MCs who aren't as smart / skillful / righteous / true to the artform as they are. Hip hop snobbery at its best.
MAD SKILLZ: Ghost Writer
As reported in an earlier edition, my boy Fusion The Funk Hunter from B-more is working with simile scientist Mad Skillz on some new jointskis, and this is one of 'em. Reportedly comin' atcha soon through Eastern Conference / Rawkus Records, Skillz lets y'all know who really writes the songs like Barry Manilow. Dope lyrics + dope track + dope Jay-Z sample on the hook adds up to a dope record that should be a hit record.
CANIBUS: 2000 B.C.
Why was Cani's debut album worse than expired milk? "Muthafuckin' Wyclef spoiled it" according to this new song by the man who ripped the mic off of Cool J's tricep. Well, the beats still seem less than earth shattering here, but Canibus sounds like a man hungry to restore his street cred as he rips into his rhymes with the same kind of fervor that made people annoint him as the next "one" about two years ago. He might just live up to the hype after
THE MAIL MUST GO THROUGH
Soulman,I really enjoy the interviews, they're mad insightful. I was reading your interview with Dusty Fingers. And I was just wondering, does he make those compilations with the intent of giving people a resource to sample from? I've noticed a lot of new songs coming out with tons of samples coming off of the Dustyfingerz comps. Dj Vaddim, Pacewon, and even a Puff Daddy song I think. It's weird how after these comps have been released, a bunch of new songs are using those same breaks dusty has compiled. Yo just wanted to hollar at you and big ups on representing the subculture of beatdiggin'. I don't know what's been going on these past few years in the music biz, but it seams like people are getting too cheap to clear samples or something. Not too many loopers and some of the samples have been kinda weak (I mean it doesn't seem like a lot of people dig anymore). Is it because the chopping thing is more of composing nowadays? Any thoughts on that?
Check out my site and one love.
Soulman Sez: Just talked to that Dusty kid today, he's happy to see people using joints from his comps. That's what he put them out for, to help bring some flavor back to hip hop production. And as for the lack of loops in hip hop, I think it's a combination of producers wanting to prove they're creative by chopping shit, and also trying to avoid what could be an expensive and time consuming sample clearance situation.
Straight up and down, first off, let me say respect for the site and time you've put in and thanks for the attitude you have towards diggin. Too many squirrels, not enough acetate prophets like you. DJ Authentic put me up on this site a few days ago and man, ish is dope. I'm a ten year experienced graf writer, who started DJin' and turntablin' over five years ago, and been diggin since. I'm part of a production crew called Drunken Theoriez, and recently we have some tracks on a tablist album on BOMB records (DJ T-Rock's "Who's Your Daddy?" album, who by the way is also a diggin' son o' a b#&*!). Anyways, just wanted to let you know I appreciate the dope site. Peace and keep them hands dirty, kid!
Your site is the best beats site I've ever seen. That Galt MacD. interview was so fucking interesting. Can't wait for your CDs to come out - love your style.
another guy in Australia
YES!! Finally a new edition of that much craved for, never disappointing, always fresh WOB. I gotta say your man did a mighty job interviewing the legendary Galt. As is the case with your shit I'm feelin'. Also to get on that underground tip, maybe you could do a report on the undascene the world 'round. I'd gladly contribute on the Belgian diggin' scene or the obscurities waiting to be excavated from underneath the European dust. What do you think about the Trailblazers amazing start of the season? Pretty hardcore squashin' competition early in the season!! That's about it from this Belgian basketball lovin', beatcravin', basslovin' muhfuh. (all things nice seem to start with a "B", except for the "P").
Peace & Respect
DJ DICE (BAMBU)
Soulman Sez: A piece on diggin' around the world? No doubt! Sound like a good idea! Send me a report on what goes on in Belgian as far as diggin' goes and I'll see if I can print it. And if anybody else from other parts of the globe want to contribute with some info on diggin' in their area, send it to me and maybe we can use it. Let's make the World Of Beats live up to its name!As for the Blazers... yeah, I forgot just how many good players they have, even with trading most of their bench to Houston. They might be the men this year..
What's going on, brother- just checking in to see if you was 65 degrees (cool). Anyway, I had beef with this cat at CD Sound (Rising Sun Plaza area in Philly). I had some old shit I wanted to get rid of, and this fool tried to play me!!!! By saying my joints was only worth $9?!!? I had over 25 records... ok, half of them were ASS. But still... anyway, we arguing and he tried to pull the recs I wanted out my hand AS I'M LOOKING AT THEM! So, he decides to call 5-0. I was cool, I just KINDLY took the joints I wanted and left the shitty joints on the counter. I WAS STROLLIN' HARDER THAN MAX JULIEN!! NOT RUN STROLL.........mad joints...
Billy and George live
MAD JOINTS!!! Well, I gotta lay low from THE MAN......PEACE!!!!
Soulman Sez: Oh, that's some funny shit, dog! My partner 5-Finger Felipe would be proud of you!
WHO'S WHO IN THE WORLD OF BEATS
HELLO! MY NAME IS:
MONK1 (aka Sparky Lyle, aka Mase)
CLAIMS TO FAME (Look What I Done Did):
Well, you know I'm not famous. I was a mixtape maven for a while, I made joints in various styles and sold 'em under different deejay names, thru cats on the street and other shady spots like Fat Beats and Footwork. I hooked up with the notorious hip hop impressario and man-about-town G-Man and he put me down with the Underground Railroad Radio Show crew, where I deejay Saturday nights (12-2 WBAI 99.5 in NYC). I also spin at various spots mostly in Lower Manhattan. But really noteworthy, like Ed OG said, I was a father to my child, who's 3 & 1/2 and wicked on the Fisherprice 1200.
THE ORIGIN OF MONK1 AS A BEAT COLLECTOR:
Being a lifelong music fanatic, I acquired all types of sounds whenever and wherever I could. I grew up in the pre-cd era, so records were where it was at. I bought pop 45's, LP's, 12" mixes, whatever. So that was the beginning of my record collecting passion. Beats came about later. In '87 or so I picked up my first Ultimate Breaks record (No.9) and started looking for originals, but on a real casual level, nothing like now, where you've got to be cutthroat about it. Anyway, I had been making tapes for friends for a while, and around '91 I realized that I might have some things other heads might not be up on. So I started to focus on the beat tip a bit more. On my first tape I had joints like "Drum Song" (EWF), "Slipping Into Darkness" (Ramsey Lewis), "3 Is the Magic #", that type of thing.
FAVORITE SHIT TO SPIN:
You've got to have a song that works all the way thru. People in a club aren't going to be interested in "Put Your Hand In the Hand" no matter how good the break is. You've definitely got to read the crowd and see what works, you can't be in your own world, like many DJs are unfortunately. So, it depends on the place, how hip the crowd is, tho some things will almost always work. You can't go wrong with a JB's medley for example, and a Cold Chillin' set will get always get folks amped. Lately I've really been into underground disco records, what we call club classics. Fortunately a lot of heads aren't into this and these joints are plentiful if you look in the right places. Whatever you spin, building a mood is important in a club. It's a step by step process til you get people to a musical climax.
THE FUTURE OF SAMPLING & DIGGING ACCORDING TO MONK1:
I think sampling will not go away. It is an artform in itself, like when new styles of painting came around, like cubism say, cats did not just abandon representational painting, but that became just another style in which to work. Nowadays, brothers like Shawn J. and Jay Dee are doing real innovative things without sampling records. But if you're a true hip hop fan (whatever that is) you know you can't front on Primo's sample collages, or even straight loops when they're done right. It's also interesting to me how producers are incorporating more intentional 'digital quirks' in their mixes, like 'stuttering' samples, where it sounds like a CD skipping, stuff where you take the limitations of the machine you're working with and make it a feature of the mix.
MONK1'S BREAKFAST THIS MORNING:
Fruit loops. Two ripe melons. And a whole wheat bun.
THE ULTIMATE DILEMNA: ILL-ASS BREAK OR NICE PEICE OF ASS?
Oooooo, that's tough. I'd have to say it's finding the break!
BEST STOLEN RECORD:
Dam, let me see. I tried to steal Dizzy's "Real Thing" from my brother but
he caught me. As a kid I used to lift mad records from Tower, that was
before they installed the security sensors... I don't steal no more, bad
karma. Except Jay's promos (whatup Jay!!).
THE MEANING OF "VIVRANT":
I think it's some type of asprin, or a sexual device.
BEST CITY FOR BREAKS (Won't You Take Me To Funkytown):
Philly, tho it's hit or miss. But yo I will never front on Brooklyn, I found PLENTY out here. TSOB, baby! The Bay Area used to be good, I heard it dried up tho. Tokyo and London got everything, but not at prices I would pay. You can find things on the internet. I know some cat that found a $4 copy of Manzel... (Dag, you must be talkin' about me! (Soulman putting in his 2 cents))
TIRED OF PRIMO YET?
Nope. He needs to mess with some new drum sounds tho.
MOST LOOT SPENT ON A RECORD:
$30, a few different times. I'm a cheap bastard and if it's real expensive then it kind of defeats the purpose, you dig. One of the essences of beat digging is finding the discarded unknown and unloved vinyl rejects and extracting gold from 'em. Would I enjoy my "Impeach" as much if I had paid $50 instead of $0.50? I don't know. But one of my great pleasures in life is grabbing a pile of dusty treasures at a bargain rate, cleaning 'em up and then dropping it on the radio, a mix tape or show. Beautiful.
ALL TIME FAVORITE GROUP TO SAMPLE FROM OR LISTEN TO:
This is impossible to answer, my records are like my kids and I can't choose one favorite. It'd like choosing the most beautiful woman in the world, you know? It would be different each time I thought about it. Right now, I'll say Curtis Mayfield "Curtis Live" (Curtom).
THE BIG QUESTION: HOW MANY RECORDS DO YOU HAVE & CAN THE SOULMAN HAVE ANY OF THEM?
I got about 5000 and you can have 'em all. Just kidding.
TEN THINGS THAT MAKE MONK1 HAPPY:
- Iron Monkey
One of the great kung fu flicks of all time. If ya don't know, now ya know.
- "The Hot Rock" Soundtrack
Quincy Jones concocts another mystic brew, same personnel / year as the better known "$".
- Memphis Black 45
Two organ led wax-melters make this a treasure. "Hang 'Em High" and "Why Don't You Play That Organ", on the Ascot label.
- Unspoken Heard: Jamboree
A favorite white label EP which I think has recently been released. Grap Luva and Asheru drop innovative beats, a spoken word piece, J-Live contributes a freestyle, what more do you want?
- The Miracles: Pocket Full of Miracles LP
Late 60's soul. They were getting a little into the psychedelic thing, a little into the rock thing, and the songs and arrangements are top-notch.
- Walt "Clyde" Frazier's radio broadcasts
"Spinning grinning and winning", Clyde drops crazy science and ill phraseology.
- 7:43 PM May 8, 1970, Madison Sq. Garden
- 5:30 PM May 16, 1999, Miami Arena
- 10:10 PM June 5, 1999, Madison Sq. Garden
- Rosario Dawson
Got to have a hottie on the list right? But wait up, she's got a brain too!
(I am FEELIN' you on Rosario, dog. (Soulman puttin' in 2 more cents))
TOP 10 UNBELIEVABLE REQUESTS MONK'S GOTTEN WHILE DEEJAYING AT MANHATTAN BARS / CLUBS:
- "Do you have anything funky?" (While I was playing the Meters. Two minutes later a guy steps up to the booth with this...)
- "You got any Black Sabbath? I thought this place played rock."
- (While playing Tempo 70 'El Galleton') "You got to play some funky latin shit bro!"
(But this has got to be one of the funkiest latin jams ever, 'bro'!)
"Yeah but something I can dance to!"
- "Do you have any reggae?" (While playing Sister Nancy 'Bam Bam')
- "Do you have any swing music?" (Huh???)
- "Can you play something funky?" (While playing 'Mothership Connection')
- "Can you play something I can dance to?" (Uhhh, no, doesn't look like it)
- "Do you have anything by the Beatles?" (I was playing 'I'm Down'. By the Beatles.)
- "Can you play some funky disco music I can dance to?" (I had on the Strikers: "Body Music")
- "Can you play some Stevie Nicks? But it's my birthday..." (Agggghhhhhh!!!!!!!)
AND THE 2 BEST REQUESTS I'VE EVER GOTTEN
(and actually been able to fill):
- Spinna's remix of Artifacts "It's Gettin Hot"
- "Tunnel One" by Tommy McCook
NFL: A LOOK AS THE PLAYOFFS APPROACH
Has this season been bizarre enough for you? As of this writing, we're heading into the 12th weekend of play and we still can't be sure of which teams are the real deal. But we do have some ideas. Check the playbook:
Jacksonville: Look like the strongest team, but the offense has been suspect
with Fred Taylor hurt.
Indianapolis: Peyton, Marvin & Edgerrin give the Colts a 3-headed behometh a
la Dallas with Troy, Michael & Emmitt in their prime. But is that enough? I'm
not sure about that defense.
St. Louis: They lost the only two tough games on their schedule, but they did
show character when faced with adversity. Kurt Warner looks impossibly good
throwing the ball.
Seattle: Jon Kitna is the only thing keeping them from being a best bet.
Tampa Bay: Same as Seattle, just replace Kitna with Trent Dilfer.
Minnesota: The offense is back, but that defense will be the death of them yet.
Tennessee: I like 'em, but I don't love 'em.
Miami: Same old Miami.. they'll show up for the playoffs but they'll exit early.
I DON'T THINK SO:
Washinton, Dallas, New York Giants: Someone will win the NFC Least only because someone must.
Green Bay: I hope I'm wrong 'cuz I'd like to see Ray Rhodes do well. But I
think Holmgren peeped the writing on the wall and bailed out before this ship
Buffalo, New England: I don't believe in either of these teams, even though I
gotta root for Flutie to make some more miracles.
Detroit: Ehhh... Charlie Batch is a playa, but I gotta hate on the Lions 'til
they prove to me that they're real.
Chicago, Kansas City, Oakland, Pittsburgh: No.
San Francisco: They will stink forever. Their pact with Satan has finally expired, now they must pay up.
Denver, Atlanta: From the Super Bowl to the Emergency Room.
New York Jets: Was Testeverde really that important to their success?? I guess so.
Arizona: They wasn't never shit no way.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:
Edgerrin James in a landslide, although when all is said and done Ricky
Williams may end up being the best running back to come out of the 1999
draft. Ricky was hurt early in the season, but he's been coming on as of late
and showing the NFL what all the hype was about.
Kurt Warner without a doubt. Who knew that this Arena league reject would light up the league and play a big part in the reincarnation of the Rams?
ONE CAT THAT NEEDS TO BE IN THE PRO BOWL:
Duce Staley, Philly Eagles: Last year the Duce played with a fuckin' HERNIA, man! This year he's been running over everybody and giving us Illadelphians at least one thing to cheer about.
You never believe that your childhood heroes will ever really die. Superman always wins in the end, right? Well, as a Chicago Bears fan during my childhood, Walter Payton was my Superman. And I still just can not believe that he's really gone.
That's all for now, but we'll be back shortly with a special "End Of The Millenium" edition of the infamous World Of Beats... featuring all the best shit from the last 1000 years! Until then, check out my interview at www.turntablelab.com (it's a barrel of laughs - kudos to Pete, Jasper & James Brown for making it all possible!)
Thanks for coming, God bless and good night.
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