I’ve seen Haze presents New York Reality Check 101 mixed by DJ Premier up on blogs in the past but I’m not sure that those links are working anymore and I’ve seen mad heads request it so I’ll upload it for them. I also uploaded Ego Trip’s old school compilation The Big Playblack then was released in conjunction with Ego Trip’s Big Book Of Rap Lists back in 2000.
Haze presents...is an interesting compilation because it was made by a major label (FFRR/PayDay/PolyGram, who dropped the ball with an incredibly talented roster over the years), headlined by a grafitti legend (even though all he contributed to the project as far as I know is the design and art direction of the CD/vinyl), A&R’d by Mr. Dave AKA ColdWaxaNigga (who was reported to be a crack user in an article by a former worker at D&D Studios in either Stress or On The Go years ago...I need to find that article!) and mixed by D&D Studios lab rat DJ Premier.
This compilation was a big deal when it came out in 1997 in Boston because it featured local products Laster & Ed O.G’s “Off Balance” which was produced by local legend Madso-Desar of Knight Of Music and “Too Complex”, the classic track produced by some more local production legends Vinyl Reanimators and penned by L The Headtoucha (now known as Larry Cheeba). This mix features some of the biggest college/underground mix show favorites from 1996 and 1997 such as J-Live’s “Braggin’ Writes”, “Break It Down” by Brainwash, “Head Over Wheels” by a pre-Bad Boy G-Dep, “Lyrical Tactics” by Natural Elements”, “Change” by Shadez Of Brooklyn, “Metal Thangz” by Street Smartz, “Properties Of Steel” by Godfather Don, “Mixmaster” by Brainsick Mob (does ANYONE have this full song? I been looking for this for 10 years now!), “21 Years” by Choclair (T.Dot represent!), “Feel The High Pt. 2” by Finsta Bundy, “8 Steps To Perfection” (again?) by Company Flow and the runt of the litter and the weak track on the entire project “Inner City Blues” by Rezidue. I can’t believe this joint is 10 years old, now.
Ego Trip magazine was one of the best, most inventive (articles AND art direction), well written and influential hip hop publications of the last 10 years...therefore they were doomed from the day they started printing. Much like Stress and On The Go, Ego Trip was years ahead of it’s time. When they moved into publishing books it seemed the logical progression and they made two excellent tomes in The Big Book Of Rap Lists and The Big Book Of Racism (the ‘cism is indeed a powerful thing). They moved into television, producing several series’ for VH1 before the current White Rapper Show. The most slept on project with the Ego Trip name is this compilation entitled “The Big Playback”.
Not only does “Playback” feature some cerified classic joints from the days of wayback (Postive K droppin’ jewels on a Grand Puba track on “Step Up Front”, Marley Marl and MC Shan on “Marley Marl Scratch” and the largely influential joint “Beat Bop” by Rammelzee & K-Rob), it also features several overlooked gems that only real heads check for. Included in this collection are “Holy War” by Divine Force (which inspired Ghostface’s hook on “Mighty Healthy”), “My Mic Is On Fire” by Lord Shafiyq, “Get Retarded” by MC EZ & DJ Troup (Craig Mack & Teddy Lee), “Get Down Grandmaster” by Grandmaster Caz (featuring Ced Gee on the boards), “This Cut’s Got Flavor” by Latee (the song that put DJ Mark the 45 King and the Flavor Unit on the map), “Droppin’ It” by The Bizzie Boyz (featuring legendary producer Ski on the mic and behind the boards), “I’m Not Playing” by Ultimate Force (featuring legendary producer Diamond D behind the boards), “Do It! Do It!”by The Alliance, and “Brooklyn Blew Up The Bridge” by MC Mitchski (a song I never even heard of until I read about it in an old back issue of Ego Trip). Download this and get some wrinkles in your brain.
For more information, full tracklistings and cover art, either check http://www.discogs.com or do a Google search. All uploads are Zip files, enjoy ‘em:
Haze presents New York Reality Check 101 Mixed by DJ Premier (1997)
Ego Trip’s The Big Playback (2000)