Monday, January 8, 2007

Blue Monday AKA Show Assante The Money!!

Since watching the Patriots smack fire outta the Jets yesterday I’ve been in a good mood. The Chargers are gonna get beat like the Baseball Furies in “The Warriors” next Sunday, but I digress. Today, I decided to upload three of the best underground hip hop compilations from the past (1999-2000) that heads may have missed on can’t find anywhere nowadays: Superrappin’ The Album, Wide Angles, & Tommy Boy Black Label presents Hip Hop 101.

Superrappin’ The Album was billed as “74 minutes of brand new underground hip-hop from rap’s new generation”. It was made an distributed by German hip hop distributor Groove Attack and A&R’d by MA’s own Jamieson Grillo (Bi-Coastal Recordings) and (1nce agin) Matt Fingaz of Gueeswhyld Productions, who also appears on the compilation himself spittin’ on a DJ Hi Tek track. The talent collected on this 1999 compilation alone makes it worth a download, Rasco, Planet Asia, Organized Konfusion, The High & Mighty, Lootpack, Ed O.G., Mos Def, Jigmastas, Bahamadia, Consequence, Shabaam Sahdeeq, F.T. of Street Smartz, L Fudge, Matt Fingaz, Mike Zoot and Network Reps. Canada reps lovely with northern rhyme heroes Choclair, Mathematik, Frankenstein, Da Grassroots and Mr. Roam. Production stays tight on this project, anchored by beats from Shawn J. Period, Mr. Walt of Da Beatminerz, DJ Hi Tek, DJ Spinna, Madlib, SPK (SP Killa), Kut Masta Kurt, Mr. Attic, Rich Boogie, and Nick Wiz. International hip hop artists Brixx, Square One, and Walkin’ Large also appear on here but get overshadowed by a high level of North American hip hop talent. Classic material wall to wall.

Wide Angles is easily one of the most criminally slept on underground hip hop compilations in recent history. This CD was made by Blindside Recordings (UK?) in 1999 (I can’t name any other project that they made...the tag on it says BSRCD 1001 so it was their very first) and it was distributed by Fat Beats. The lineup on this album has underground heavy hitters De La Soul, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, L Swift & A Butta (of Natural Elements), Grap Luva (of InI), Truth Enola, Pharoahe Monch (of Organized Konfusion), Mr. Complex and J-Live all making appearances. Some of the best joints come from cats I’ve never heard of (or from since) like Brother Alphonso Greer and Khaliq’s “Situations Realistic” or Invisible Mics “Way Past Go”, the lone singer on the project is Alice Russell who blessed the set with her vocals on “Someday”. DJ Spinna produced 3 of the 15 joints, followed by UK’s Creators (not to be confused with Boston’s Kreators) who handled the boards on two tracks. The rest of the comp was produced by Domecracker and Joc Max of Beyond Real, the legendary Kenny Dope, J-Live, 88 Keys and Nick Wiz amongst others. This is a good listen from beginning to end, don’t sleep on it.

The final compilation I uploaded for my peoples comes with quite a story. Tommy Boy Records, which was run by Tommy Silverman and Monica Scott had managed to run off talened group after talented group by 1999. Naught By Nature wanted to be out, Queen Latifah bounced for Motown, Flavor Unit Records left, and De La Soul had become increasingly more angry at the label with each release. Tommy Boy decided it would be a good idea to appease De La Soul by giving them their own label to oversee. It would consist of underground talent and they could give out 12” deals like Rawkus, and Fondle ‘Em did at the time. The project was given to De La Soul to coordinate along with A&R’s Chris Atlas, Lisa Aird and Corey Smyth of Blacksmith Mgmt. (the same Corey Smyth who with Talib Kweli started Blacksmith Records in 2006).

The end result was a banging compilation that became a companion piece to the Black Mask Soundtrack (look for it!) on Tommy Boy’s Black Label. The end result? One of the dopest (and slept on) compilations of 2000. De La Soul called in favors and assembled a lineup that would’ve had the Avengers shook: Masta Ace, Camp Lo, Talib Kweli, Tony Touch, Defari, Jigmastas, Natural Elements, Royce The 5’9”, Self Scientific, The Bad Seed and Medina Green. De La gave spots to Da Matrix, Strick, Kovas, and Deadly Snakes to round out the project. Production was handled by Ski, Alchemist, DJ Spinna, De La Soul, J Love, DJ Khalil, Mr. Khaliyl and Charlemagne. Some of the standout tracks include: Self Scientific’s “The Best Part”, De La Soul & Camp Lo’s “So Good”, Natural Elements’ “Live It Up Pt. 2”, Da Matrix’s “Beat Biter”, Medina Green’s “I See”, Defari’s “Blast” and Masta Ace’s “Splash”. This CD was good from top to bottom as well...unfortunately, Tommy Boy dropped the ball and eventually killed Black Label. Instead, they just signed over Mike Heron from Hydra Records and he brought Screwball with him. Tommy Boy signed Tony Touch to a deal as well but none of the groups whose singles they put out on Black Label got a deal from them...Of course, De La Soul decided to do the AOI triple album and leave Tommy Boy after it was done. They got to bounce with one album left to do (the DJ album...they instead started their own label and released “The Grind Date” in 2004). Download this album now.

Check out the tracklistings and full credits for these compilations out at http://www.discogs.com or do a Google search. I’ll upload more joints this Wednesday. Enjoy ‘em:

Superrappin’ The Album (1999)
http://www.sendspace.com/file/2esnxz

Blindside Recordings presents Wide Angles (1999)
http://www.sendspace.com/file/pgqp0p

Tommy Boy Black Label presents: Hip Hop 101 (2000)
http://www.sendspace.com/file/6bi6cf

One.

5 comments:

alley al said...

big up big up
thanks for this.
nice write up(s)!! i didn't know that tommy boy/de la story!?!

travis said...

Excellent write up. I still have a copy of the Black Label Complilation that I bought when it first dropped. Always liked that Maceo track and the one with Royce and Strick. I still kick myself in the ass for not buying Superrappin' when I had the chance. Never heard of the other one, so look forward to hearing it.

Bryan said...

You get much props for this blog you give further insight into what was really going in an era that personally meant alot to me. Breath of fresh air indeed.
-B

Dart Adams said...

Thanks for reading it, fam! One.

D.L. said...

The Black Label joint has my favorite Self Scientific song of all time. PEACE