Friday, March 30, 2007

The Art Of Comic Book Adaptation Or How To Butcher Millions Of Peoples Favorite Characters Without Really Trying AKA Dartflix Edition #13

Nothing pisses me off more than reading a trade publication and seeing that yet another of my favorite comic books is being turned into a big budget live action movie. For the most part, buying the right to option a major Marvel or DC title costs mad money and the investors, producers and studio all want to see a (big) profit...this means that your favorite comic book is going to look like a bullshit Hollywood blockbuster 80% of the time (complete with Burger King/McDonalds collectable cups and movie themed toys) as opposed to the well written material with years of back story and multiple fully developed characters that you enjoy reading.

So far we’ve seen the X-Men (three times), Batman (three times), Daredevil, Electra, The Punisher (twice), Superman (lost count and don’t care to check), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (twice), The Hulk (I kinda sorta liked it, though), Spawn, Bulletproof Monk , Ghost Rider and the Fantastic Four among other famous comic book titles receive the the big budget Hollywood treatment and summarily suck due to the fact that the studio and writers (and I use that term loosely) completely abandoned the elements that made the book/title hook in the reader in the first place in favor of getting a high Q score with teenagers during the test screening process.

While most audiences respond well to Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine in the X-Men movies, we X-Men fans know that ain’t Wolverine on that screen.I realize that these movies aren’t made for ME to like ‘em ...they are made to make money, bottom line. The special effects, CGI, makeup, and stunt coordination takes precedence and character development and writing takes a back seat (exceptions are Batman Begins, the Spiderman franchise, the Blade franchise, and a few others).

The best bet to make a good (I keep my expectations low, I’m a cynic) comic book movie is to pick a little known indie title, keep the budget low (below $50 million), focus on the writing and keep it character based. The best way to go is to involve the creator/writers of the book and get as much input as possible and pick a director and studio that have a real interest in making a “good” film that’s true to the source material. This worked in the case of “Hellboy”, “Constantine”, “Sin City” and “300” but these success stories are few and far in between.

On the horizon are “Sin City 2” and big screen adaptations of “Power Man And Iron Fist” (why do I fear seeing what Luke Cage will end up wearing?), “Captain America” and “Wanted” (the studio producing this movie is following the above success formula I just illustrated above so this should be “good”). The “Preacher” project has been in limbo for years now. Overseas last year in Hong Kong, Boston legend/martial arts action star Donnie Yen successfully adapted the “Dragon Tiger Gate” comic book into a live action film (also known in the States as Jademan Comic’s “Oriental Heroes” title). Difference being is that if anyone butchered Tony Wong’s characters of Dragon Wong or Tiger Wong they’d receive some serious grief in they’d just chalk it up as a loss and just try to pitch another project. Expect to see Hollywood execs show up at comic book conventions for years to come...Lord knows you won’t see me there...unless, of course I’m screening a trailer for the comic book I’ve just adapted to a live action movie.

Dart’s Three Trailers Of The Week (3/26/07-4/2/07):


Across The Universe

The Hip Hop Project

Movies you should consider seeing available to rent through Netflix:
Hard Luck
The Devil’s Advocate
The Inside Man
The Heist
Bottle Rocket
Lock, Stock & 2 Smoking Battles
The Way Of The Gun
The Croupier
The Hard Word
The Ice Harvest
Gangster No. 1
Essex Boys
Boondock Saints
Everyday People
Pretty Persuasion
Titus (Julie Taymor)
The Alamo
Cocaine Cowboys
Runaway Jury
Time & Tide (Tsui Hark)
Old Boy
City Of Lost Souls (Takashi Miike)
Ballistic Kiss
Buffalo Soldier
Night Of The Living Dead (D. Original)
Dawn Of The Dead
Land Of The Dead
28 Days Later
Shawn Of The Dead
They Live
Evil Dead
Evil Dead 2
Army Of Darkness

Why Can’t I Find These Movies On DVD?
The Walking Dead- An underrated Vietnam War flick starring Joe Morton, Craig Allen Payne and Eddie Griffin. Criminally slept on.

La Haine- One of my all time favorite international films...I have it on VHS from 1998 but I can’t get my hands on a DVD version...damn shame.

Revolver- Guy Ritchie’s follow up to’s been on my Netflix list for damn near 18 months now...Where the hell is it?

Sucker Free City- This excellent movie was supposed to be a pilot for a series about life in different San Francisco neighborhoods through the eyes of their respective residents. Spike Lee was instrumental in the creation of this project and the subsequent series, for some unknown reason the series never materialized though it was rumored to be in production. Either way, it should’ve made it to DVD by now.

Kidulthood- I had to wait two years before I finally saw “Bullet Boy”...I hope I don’t have to wait that long to see Kidulthood. The UK is right across the why does it take so long for us to get British films in the US?

Dart’s Picks:
Children Of Men- This was yet another excellent book adaptation about a dystopian future in which women have become infertile and a child hasn’t been born on Earth in over 18 years (it’s set in London in 2027) and the resulting chaos that society falls into. The camera work in this film is sheer genius, it’s done documentary style with long ass takes that make you think you’re watching something that’s happening in real time as opposed to a movie. This was a powerful film that I highly recommend.

Curse Of The Golden Flower- A big budget highly stylized Hong Kong epic worthy of all of the praise that’s been heaped on it...It’s been available for a while through Asian distribution but was just released on DVD formally in the US. In Hong Kong red trousers (stunt peoiple) are the cornerstone of the film industry...this movie displays why.

Dart’s WTF?/Watch This Bullshit At Your Own Risk Award:
Turistas- I already saw it the first time when it was called “Wrong Turn”...or was that “Cabin Fever?” Or “High Tension”? Nah, I’m sure it was “Wolf Creek”. Nope, it was “Hostel” get the idea.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Why Are 70’s Babies So Damn Salty? AKA Tell ‘Em Why U Mad, Son!

I realized that I should address this issue for many reasons. I am often dissapointed in just how little the current buying public knows about Hip Hop/Rap before 1997. I then have to remind myself that if you’re 18 now, you were born in 1988. That automatically means that the 18-20 year old missed the first Golden Era of Hip Hop...actually, it ALSO means that they missed the Second Golden Age as well (1992-96)!

How many 8 year olds you know that are into Nas? You typically don’t really get into music until you’re between the ages of 9-13. This would bring your musical cutoff memory/ point of reference to from around 1996/7 to now...everything that happened previously, would be considered “old school”.

They would’ve just got into mainstream music when a lot of us oldheads began washing our hands of it (1997/8). I remind myself of that fact whenever I have to explain to someone on who Company Flow was. Do we really expect a kid whose first CD purchase was Mase’s “Harlem World” to appreciate Large Professor and Lord Finesse beats? This is why BET won’t play the new Roots video for the “106 & Park”ers.

I can never jump in and go off on young people for their lack of hip hop knowledge due to the fact that it’s almost justified in their case. Our experiences as 70’s babies growing up with music was so different from theirs that we can’t possibly even compare the two.

For the most part they (mid to late 80’s babies) grew up in a BET/MTV/ADD/instant gratification/quick cut society. We grew up playing 8 Track tapes we couldn’t rewind...we had to sit there and listen to each and every song. Before we got our OWN radios, we had to sneak/ask to use the family record player when we were young. Records had to be treated with the utmost respect. Our parents/older siblings wouldn’t let us just handle an Etta James, Ruth Brown or James Brown record any kind of way, you had to RESPECT the records!

We had to handle them a certain way, put them on the record player a certain way, learn how to drop the needle and then wait for the record to start. At a young age these things taught us patience...shit, even the first Sony Walkman’s had three big ass buttons: Play. Stop. FF. The Eject was a separate button. YOU COULDN’T REWIND TAPES AT FIRST! That button was added onto Walkman’s later.

We used to listen to the radio during the 80’s and early to mid 90’s and have a tape ready in that box with the following buttons down: Pause. Play. Record. Once that coveted jam started, you ran your ass over the the radio and pressed Pause. All you had to do in the late 90’s was either buy the mixtapes with all of the exclusives and new singles from the radio mixed with advance tracks. Or go online and download whatever songs you wanted and burn your OWN mix CD’s (have you SEEN how they kids treat CD's and DVD's? We handle them like we did records). Before that, they at least had a CD player so they could skip tracks instantly or fast scan to an exact point in a song digitally. Can you imagine how WE would’ve turned out and where hip hop would be now if we had the internet in 1992? It’d be a wrap for the entire music industry!

Considering that I was born in 1975 and I spend a good amount of time answering questions about hip hop history to many people born in the mid to late 80’s, and that I have a 17 year old younger brother I can see the rift firsthand between so called 70’s and 80’s babies.

I remember when Sickamore first started writing his blog series “80 Ways To Know You’re Not An 80’s Baby”. I personally thought it was clever, insightful and funny...then I started seeing that many readers (a lot who were my age and younger) seemed to take it the wrong way and began to get really pissed off at certain things on those lists. They saw those lists as a representation of the younger generation that seemed to be proud that they didn’t recognize any emcee with a career that started before 1997/8 and many of them were outraged by it...

Some of them also saw it as disrepectful to the DJ’s, emcees and producers that paved the way for this generation of rappers to enjoy the sucess that they have now. A lot of older heads were appalled that legendary emcees such as Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap and Ice T aren’t put on a pedestal like they deserve to be by the younger generation. Another thing that pissed off some old heads was that this generation of rap fans doesn’t even recognize emcees like Nas, AZ, Ghostface Killah or Ras Kass as being considered relevant nowadays. I saw it more as “Yeah, and...?”.

I realize that I’m not as salty as I should be about these things given my age and level of hip hop knowledge. I mean, if I had some kids, a wife, a mortgage, a car note and and an unpaid student loan on my head I would be, too. However, I have no debt and no kids of my own so I have no reason to be as cynical/angry as I should be at this age....and I can also recognize when I’m blaming others for some shit that isn’t totally their fault.

Why would you instantly expect any kid born between 1986-1988 to really give a damn who Percee P is? Do you really think that any kid that’s a rap fan nowadays who loves cats like Cassidy or Fabolous (I had to make sure I spelled that correctly/incorrectly) would be able to instantly fathom just how important and dominant emcees like Grandmaster Melle Mel, Grandmaster Caz, or Kool Moe Dee were or what they represent to older hip hop fans? Why would any kid in high school now be expected to revere Mr. Magic, Kid Capri, Kool DJ Red Alert or Jazzy Jay like we (older hip hop fans) do? What REASON do they have to do so?

When I write a list of all time great basketball players Bob Petitt and Dolph Schayes don’t make my list, even if they obviously deserve to...Why would I put them on my list? I never saw them play! Shit, I SAW Dr. J. I saw Larry Bird. I saw Alex English. I saw Kareem Abdul Jabbar. I saw Robert Parish with my own two eyes. I can’t possibly have the same regard for George Mikan because I didn’t personally see him play. Does that automatically make me a disrespectful ignorant bastard because he’s obviously the first great big man in history but he doesn’t make my personal Top 50 All Time? I don’t believe it does.

Relate that same kind of thinking to hip hop culture. How many under 21’s do you think have even SEEN “Style Wars”, “Wild Style”, “Beat Street”, or “Krush Groove” before? WE experienced the growth of Hip Hop firsthand, THEY didn’t...or are we quick to forget that?

Kids that were born in the 70’s got to grow up with hip hop culture. Before records were even thought of, all we had were radios, tapes, turntables, speakers, crates of records, pieces of cardboard and linoleum that we carried around everywhere, markers, paint cans, blackbooks, etc. All we knew were voices from tapes and names. That’s ALL we had to go on.

Sometimes we got pictures of our heroes. usually they were grainy as all hell so we could barely make out anyone’s features and they were mostly in black and white, if we were lucky they were in color. Hip Hop was a living breathing culture that we were a part of and all we went on was FAITH. It was supposed to have died so many times when I was growing up that to hear someone utter that phrase now doesn’t event illict a response from me.

We heard the voices of the Crash Crew, Kurtis Blow, Jimmy Spicer, Spoonie Gee, The Treacherous Three, The Furious Five, Sequence, The Fantastic Five, Chief Rocker Busy Bee, The Cold Crush Brothers, Funky Four Plus One More, and Afrika Bambataa & The Soulsonic Force on the radio and knew all of their rhymes chapter and verse. The best DJ’s were named Kool Herc, Afrika Bambataa, Afrika Islam, Jazzy Jay, Grandmaster Flash, Grandwizard Theodore, DJ Baron, DJ Breakout, DJ Charlie Chase, DJ Tony Tone, DJ Crazy Eddie, Grandmixer D. St, Davy D, DJ AJ, etc.

These were the men we hero worshipped and as kids we argued day and night about who was better than who on the mic, who was quicker on the cut, who played the best records, etc. We had no pictures or video of them in action whatsoever, all we had to go on was our imaginations and mental images we made of them in our heads. Rap was rarely on the radio, it wasn’t even regarded as MUSIC. Rappers were even rarely in Right On! and Black Beat magazine. There were NO music videos at this time. If we did get images, they were few and far between.

We would catch the occassional picture of the Rock Steady Crew or the New York City Breakers. We all knew who Crazy Legs, Frosty Freeze, Powerful Pexster, Kuriaki, Ken Swift, Mr. Wiggles, Speedy Legs, Doze 5, Take One, Kippy Dee, and many of the greatest B Boy’s were by reputation or heard stories of the new moves they made up in competition.

Mind you, I was a kid growing up in Boston, which is 200+ miles away from New York. We could buy NY newspapers ( we STOLE them) and read about legendary graf artists warring with the transit authority. Imagine how it was for kid who loved hip hop in the early days who lived somewhere that they couldn’t easily get a tape from a jam in the Bronx in the mail from their cousin in 2 to 3 days or get flix of famous bombed trains running through New York.

Besides, Hip Hop was just supposed to be some fad that the ghetto/poor kids were into, it would soon fade away like the Pet Rock or the Hula Hoop, they said. Adults thought we were all out of our minds. Mainstream America laughed at a bunch of Blacks and Latino kids and young adults witing their names or creating an alias and trying to put it up every and anywhere it could be seen and recognized by as many people as possible (we are NOT invisible), carrying huge radios on their shoulders or spinning on their backs on makeshift flooring made with refrigator boxes on the corner . Little did Middle America know that this culture that they laughed at openly and they thought was due to die any minute would spread throughout the nation and then the WORLD.

First came the rap record. It was 1979 and here comes the Fat Back Band with “King Tim III” (Personality Jock), then came “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang...we had NO idea who the hell they were. But that record got played to death! Next thing you know, more and more rap records started coming out, these had crews/emcees we actually heard of on them. The album covers finally gave us faces to go with the voices we heard for years for so long. I remember going into a record store on a few occassions with my big brother, not to by records but to SEE what the hell these cats that sounded larger than life on our radio and record player looked like.

The only thing in life that requires you to believe in something without having any real visual representation of what it is is RELIGION. You believe in God. He never speaks directly to us. We don;t see Him manifest himself in front of us physically, but we believe anyway. In the early days of Hip Hop, we BELIEVED in it. We didn’t KNOW that there would ever even be a rap record. We never thought we’d hear a rapper on the radio...unless we were playing a tape of somebody’s party, that is.

We were actually half afraid that the rap record would kill hip hop. Around 1982, rap records were coming out less frequently and some people started crying that now that old school rappers couldn’t do parties/jams like they could back in the days since the clubs took over and the lure of records was killing the base of the hip hop jam as we knew it, (you guessed it) HIP HOP IS DEAD!!!! Uhh, hold your horses doubting Thomases and Thomasinas!

It all changed when Wild Style and Style Wars were filmed in 1982 and were premiered for the first time in 1983. Everyone not only got to see the faces of their favorite DJ’s and emcees, but most importantly, they saw hip hop in action for the first time in living color. The layman saw Lee Quinones, Fab Five Freddy, Lady Pink, Zepyhr, Kase2, Min One, Dez, Butch 167, Seen, Duster, Cap One, Mare, Skeme, and Dondi sneak into yards and train stations and bomb the system.

They got to see the Rock Steady Crew in action with their own eyes as opposed to hearing these second and thirdhand tall tales about impossible spins, routines, footwork and freezes. They also got to see The Cold Crush Brothers, Fantastic Five, Cheif Rocker Busy Bee, Double Trouble (the genesis/blueprint of RUN DMC), and Rammellzee rap and rock the crowd LIVE for the first time ever. Soon, the entire country and later on, the world would see it. In 1983, Run DMC came on the scene and released their first album. Next, their video “Rock Box” was the first rap video to ever air on MTV. Gil Scot- Heron was made into liar at hat exact moment... the revolution WAS televised.

By 1984, Hip Hop had taken over the mainstream, Middle America, AND Madison Avenue. Companies began rushing out hip hop related movies, commercials began featuring rapping or B Boys in them. I remember seeing Fred and Barney rapping about Fruity Pebbles and a bunch of kids doing windmills and backspins in a Hershey’s commercial in back to back Saturday morning cartoon commercials in 1984. I lost my damn mind! I though it was strange enough that there were B Boys on stage with Lionel Richie when he did “All Night Long” during the LA Olympics. Run DMC , Whodini, Kurtis Blow and the Fat Boys were in Rolling Stone! LL Cool J was on American Bandstand!...this was a lot for a 9 year old B Boy to handle.

This^ is why us 70’s and early 80’s babies seem to fly off the handle at the younger generation in regards to hip hop nowadays. From our standpoint, they’re spoiled brats that always had it good. They were always rap/hip hop records (or CD’s) for them. A lot of them don’t remember a time when Rap records didn’t get a Grammy category, and if it did, it wasn’t even televised. We had no rap videos, and no video shows would air them. They had Yo! MTV Raps growing up and Rap City (Muchmusic’s as well) for their entire existence. We didn’t get a magazine that was written about rap/hip hop culture until 1988/9. They’ve had The Source running since they were born damn near!

Rap records were lucky to go Gold at one point. Now, going Gold is seen as damn near flopping based on your fame, promotion and budget. We judged who was the best on their skill levels. Sales and street credibility rarely factored into the equation. For us, Rap/Hip Hop was so much more than just music. It became a part of us, it was something that belonged to just us.

We were there in the beginning, therefore a lot of us feel that we are more authentically Hip Hop than that next generation of rap/hip hop fans on some “How old were you when “Yo! Bum Rush The Show” dropped?” or “Did you ever even hear the N.W.A. & The Posse” album? shit. A lot of us think that the younger generation has fucked up hip hop as we know it and blame them for not knowing what we know about it or even wanting to. This is where I tend to disagree with this logic.

An album like Public Enemy’s “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back” will not resonate with a 13-18 year old in 2006 anywhere near the same way it did when it dropped in 1988. I would have low expectations for my 17 year old brothers opinion of some of my favorite all time albums like Ultramagnetic MC’s “Critical Beatdown”, Stetsasonic’s “In Full Gear”, or BDP’s “Criminal Minded”. These albums were seminal classics and they were the cutting edge in the sound of hip 1986/7/8. If you don’t have any frame of reference for that time period, then how can you be expected to understand it or embrace it?

I don’t think I can properly explain to anyone who wasn’t alive to experience the era for themselves how Dana Dane’s “Dana Dame With Fame” was a classic hip hop LP. Anyone that expects the average 16 year old rap fan to think that De La Souls’ “3 Feet High And Rising”is obviously a better hip hop album than “Diplomatic Immunity Vol. 1” must be on crystal meth...and if they do? Check their teeth immeadiately...Are some missing? You got your answer then!

My one beef is the question of “relevance” and ageism in hip hop. However, I only feel this way because I’m 31. When I was 18/19 I remember saying on SEVERAL occasions “I won’t be rapping when I’m 30!” or “If I haven’t blown by the time I’m 30, I need to just hang it up”. Hip Hop/rap is, for the most part, a young man’s sport. Difference is that now, in 2006. You can be 40 and still make a dope album (A 40 year old would’ve been born in 1966 and was just 13 when the first official rap record dropped).

When I was a kid, rappers were starting their careers at 16-18, so to be still rapping at 30 was a big deal back then. However, I think too many of us get sensitive when the question of a rapper’s/emcees “relevance” is brought up. I AM annoyed that no matter how good that new AZ, Cormega, DJ Hi Tek or Talib Kweli joint is, I won’t be seeing it on BET anytime soon (or ever). I get over it. Why would a 15 year old want to hear a new Chuck D record? I’m 31 and I don’t wanna hear a new Chuck D record! Read his new book? I’m down for that. Listen to him do a lecture? Yeah, that too. Cop that new album? I’ll pass.

Rap/Hip Hop has new generations like reverse dog years. Every 3-5 years things change over. Why? That 13 year old has turned 18 now and has become a completely different person with different tastes. What worked in 2003 has become old by 2006. Do you think 50 Cent will ever go double platinum again? Do you think Chingy’s next album won’t come out on Koch? Do you think Cassie will have a follow up album? Things come and go fast as hell.

Remember how short some of the greatest crews of the 90’s careers were? The UMC’s, Leaders Of The New School, Fu Schnickens, Black Sheep, etc. only lasted 2 albums in the spotlight. Why? Because the way they rhymed in 1991/2/3 was out of style by the time they make a second album and they were forced to switch it up....

Things were the same back in the days with us. We didn’t want Busy Bee, and Spoonie Gee to make records in 1988! We were like “Why won’t these old school cats hang it up?!” “They can’t hang with KRS One, Big Daddy Kane, Ice T, Rakim, Kool G Rap and Chuck D!” Remember when Melle Mel lost to Mikey D at the 1988 MC Battle For World Supremacy and wouldn’t give up his belt? A lot of us thought “How can Melle Mel be surprised that the people preferred Mikey D to him? Shit, it’s 1988...not 1978! Step aside and let the new generation rock.”

I think it’s funny that we’re so quick to diss the youth and not even stop to realize that things are so much different now than it used it be that we can’t possibly expect things to be the same. These kids didn’t grow up with the entire culture of hip hop like we had the privilege of doing BEFORE the labels, promoters and corporations got a hold of it. When we were kids Crazy Legs and Phase 2 were each as big a star as Slick Rick or Doug E. Fresh was. That all changed in a matter of years. If you give that same process 15-18 MORE YEARS, then what do you think is going to happen?

As for those of us old heads that place the blame for the lack of old school hip hop appreciation squarely on the heads of the mid to late 80’s babies themselves need to remember that everytime you point a finger at someone else, three are pointing back at you. We should share some of the blame as older brothers, sisters, cousins and parents for not properly educating our younger siblings, family members, and children about hiphop.

B Boying was underground for a LONG ASS TIME if you all remember well. I stopped B Boying in 1985 because I thought it was dead. No kids I knew were doing it anymore because we thought it was played out....we thought that an aspect of a culture we loved was played out because it was in commercials and in movies (can you believe that shit?).

They were still dancing but there were a handful of dedicated B Boys and B Girls holding it down (Respect to the Floorlords outta Boston, Ma!). All of the powers that be convinced us to just stop doing one of the 4 basic hip hop elements like that..and none of us questioned it. We just quit like nothing. We were B Boys one year and then the next, it’s dead.

It took until 1992/3 before I began seeing a widespread resurgance in people getting back into it again. Dance classes opened up again and little kids started learning footwork, etc. If it wasn’t for Rock Steady Crew and many other B Boy advocates that kept it alive, who knows what would’ve happened?

The DJ had his place in the culture switched around, but the DJ wasn’t going anywhere. Especially when the first early signs of what will come to be called “turntablism” showed up in the event of the Herbie Hancock/Grandmixer D. St song “Rock it”. Aside from the seminal recording “The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel”, this song was the introduction to the mainstream of the potential of two turntables...the sky was the limit.

Graf writing/aerosol art had become criminalized to the point where it was pushed far underground and became an independent outlaw culture unto itself, which is weird because it existed before the other 3 elements and helped influence THEIR slang and development. All that remained on the mainstream radar of the original 4 elements of Hip Hop culture was rapping/emceeing itself by 1986. After 20 more years of having Rap music separated from the rest of the culture on a mainstream level, how can we blame the younger generation for not fully understanding hip hop as a culture like we supposedly do when they’ve never been exposed to properly in it’s entireity?

If they don’t properly understand/appreciate hip hop, the cuture or it’s history the only people we can really be alty at is ourselves for not doing a better job of teaching them or bridging the gap between the 2nd Golden Era (1992-1996), the deaths of Big and Pac (1996-7) and the Jiggy/Bling Bling Era (1998-now). If that’s not the case, then remember that history repeats itself.

One day, G Unit will be on Koch Records and 50 Cent’s gonna be an underground rapper that can’t get on the radio. Dipset fans will grow up and start listening to Jazz records and Jay-Z will STAY retired...By then the mid to late 80’s babies will be pissed off at the 90’s babies for similar reasons....Hopefully, “Red Gone Wild” and “The Growth” will have finally came out. We need to stop crying about what’s past and work on the present so the future will ensure more generations of Hip Hoppers to come. One.

This blog was originally posted as part of my State Of Hip Hop Blog series on October 21st, 2006 on

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I Still Got Ta Have It AKA The Legend Of The Boston Anthem

The following is a true story about the power of music and in particular, one song that we've come to know as the Boston Anthem...well, it actually means even more than that to me. Let me first explain why....

I was in Baltimore, MD. A freshman at O'Connell Hall in Morgan State University back in 1996. I was in a historically Black college and it seemed like every other region was reppin' hard but mine (Boston, MA...South End to be exact!). Every major city from the East Coast on down to the Midwest was deep with representatives. One day, a bunch of us were in the lobby talking about the most famous hip hop joints from where we were from. Someone suggested that we all go and select some songs that best represented where we all were from, we all went to our rooms and conferred with a group of cats from our hometowns to pick some songs that spoke for us.

A group of about 8 cats from Boston and some other spots in Massachusetts, including myself were left with the task of picking that one song that just screamed Boston...we didn't even need to deliberate, fam. I just went straight for the tape...but my boy from New Bedford had it on CD. We headed back downstairs to wait for everybody else to come down with their joints.

About 45 minutes later, no less than about 200 cats filled up the entireity of our dorm lobby. Each group taking turns playing songs that represented their areas. New York cats not only picked songs that repped their borough, in some cases, they picked joints that repped their projects (yeah, they were THAT deep). We heard classic after classic. "South Bronx", "The Bridge", "Strong Island", "Protect Ya Neck", "Bucktown", "Put It On", "Money Earning Mount Vernon", "One For All", etc. Shit, even some kids from Lefrak City in Queens played the brand new joint "LA, LA" by some dudes named Capone N' Noreaga that were down with Tragedy! After about a hour of playing NY joints it was time for Jersey to represent.

We heard "Sleepin' On Jersey", "Jersey", "Rock Dis Funky Joint", "Wrongside Of The Tracks", and "Time 4 Sum Aksion" from Jersey. Philly repped with "P.S.K. (What Does It All Mean), "Funky Dividends", "Glamorous Life", "Serious", "Clones" and "Brand New Funk". Houston reps played "Mind's Playing Tricks One Me" and"Mr. Scarface Is Back". They were heated because they wanted to play more but tape after tape was rejected because too many cats were like "Never heard of 'em!"

Next, the Chicago heads rocked "I Used To Love H.E.R." and left it at that. Detroit cats played "Ain't No Future In Yo Frontin'" and stepped off. They realized that it was a waste of time to try to argue with the large New York and California delegation in attendance.

The Washington D.C./Baltimore crew played Nonchalant's new hit (at the time) "5 O'Clock" and let it go there for the same reason (No one was accepting GoGo, so no E.U. or Trouble Funk joints counted). There was mad tension considering that some cities didn't have ANY joints that broke nationally. To make it even crazier, the massive squad from California stepped up next.

Let me remind you that back in the spring of 1996, the whole East Coast/West Coast beef was going on strong. The New York Times magazine with Death Row on the cover was being passed around like a joint in dorms. The songs "LA, LA" and "New York" were being played to death on the radio. If cats started playing Pac loud in some parts of the building, the room directly across would play Biggie thing you know cats were straight up brawling right there in the hallway. Fighting over dudes that neither of them even knew was that serious back then.

The Cali squad was from all over California and about 40 dudes deep, they could've easily broke Cali up and played 10+ joints to rep where they each were individually from, but no, they all decided to play ONE SONG...I knew what they were gonna play and I prayed a riot wasn't going to go down between 200 Black dudes in a college dorm lobby over Rap music...I could see the the headline "East Coast/West Coast Rap Feud Spills On To College Campuses". I wanted NO part in that.

The Cali crew's CD went into the player and a familiar riff that we all heard 30 times a day on the radio started blaring through the speakers...."California Love" by this time on campus, merely playing that song in the wrong place could set off beef. Here we all were standing in front of the stereo system, with said joint playing MAD LOUD...Shit was REAL..Something had to give.

Heads were sitting around eyeing each other for close to 3 minutes before I got up, lone CD in hand and said "Come on y'all, if we wanna hear this joint we could just turn on the radio!". The dudes from California started laughing. A Detroit head said "Y'all could've played ANY other joint!" Before anyone else could speak I said to everyone in the lobby as I slid the CD in the stereo "Ay Yo! Everyone put your hands over your hearts...This is the Boston Anthem!"

Those first familiar notes boomed from from the speakers, faces all around the lobby started changing immeadiately, heads start bobbin', some dudes even made the "this joint is the shit!" face. Then came the rhyme...200+ brothers in unison began spittin' the lyrics along with the emcee. The Emcee was Ed O.G. The song in question? "I Got Ta Have It".

I'm hard like an erection/I'm burnin' suckas so wear protection/whose next when Ed's flexin?/
I'm the bread and you are just a crumb off/stand back relax cuz Ed O.G.'s about to come off/

Everyone in that lobby knew this joint word for word. It made me realize immeadiately the duality of music and the potential it had to both divde us and bring us all right back together. After it ended, heads were like "Play that joint again, Celtic!" (It was my nickname...I was the only cat on campus with a Wilkins #12 jersey). "Those horns were ill!" "That was my jam right there!" "I had the single and I played that shit until the letters on the tape rubbed off". I heard story after story about that song, a couple of dudes even started buggin' out and doing the dance from the video in the know the one, the one with cats pumping their fists in the air while going in a circle.

The words to that song put our whole situation in perspective that night. Ed spit lines like "you can buy some new Adidas but you can't buy my life back" and "Black people unite and let's all get down" that we were used to hearing back in the day, but hip hop had gotten away from by then (and has COMPLETELY ABANDONED now). The whole mood had been changed around thanks to what 8 dudes thought was just the Boston Anthem.

It turned out that quite a few of them had not only that tape, but the "Roxbury 02119" album, singles for "Bug A Boo", "Be A Father To Your Child", "Skinny Dip", "Love Comes And Goes" and "As Long As You Know". To think, it went from 30 seconds short of Black on Black violence to a bunch of hip hop fans reciting lyrics to a song in unison in under 5 minutes. After playing that joint and couple of others like "I'm Different", "Speak Upon It", and "Dedicated To The Right Wingers" we all decided to just play our favorite joints, regardless of region...we were there all damn night playing song after song.

Even though heads didn't know shit about the Black and Latino experience in Boston, they knew that we were there because of Ed O.G.'s "Life Of A Kid In The Ghetto" and "Roxbury 02119". It made me feel proud to be a Bostonian, much the same way it did every time a New Edition, GangStarr , Joint Venture, or Almighty R.S.O. joint came on the radio or on BET.

Ed O.G. has repped for the Bean since his days in the Fresh To Impress Crew back in the 80's, he held it down with Da Bulldogs in the 90's, introduced us to one of the best that ever did it, Scientifik (R.I.P.), and he has continued to rep until now on his classic singles, solo joints and 12"s including the Dedicated EP, The Truth Hurts, My Own Worst Enemy (f/Pete Rock), the Special Teamz mixtape and most recently the 4 Peace project. Ed O.G. has been making me proud to be a Bostonian for damn near 20 years now and he's still tearin' shit up on tracks. Respect due to the one and only Ed O.G., the illest Roxbury representative since Malcolm Little.


This blog was originally posted on the Rewind section of in December 2006.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

How Come No One’s Ever Made An Animated Hip Hop Film Before?* AKA Dartflix Edition #12

I remember listening to Slum Village’s “Fantastic Vol. 2” for the first time with my brother and I heard the following line uttered by one of the members ,“I rock and rule like Mok”...We were like “Yo!”. “Rock & Rule” was this animated movie with a rock soundtrack (featuring Blondie, Cheap Trick, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Earth, Wind & Fire) where the characters were all rock musicians that had their own signature songs. I had it on VHS back in the days and it used to come on cable sporadically back in the 80’s and early 90’s. Of course, it went out of print and some opportunistic people made a killing selling VCD copies of it on EBay for years until the good people over at Unearthed Films rereleased it last fall in a 2 disc set(God bless y’all).

Along with this movie I can count Ralph Bakshi’s animated ode to the history of American music, “American Pop” (Bakshi is best known for creating Fritz The Cat, Heavy Traffic, Coon Skin, and let us never forget him blindly ripping off Vaughn and Mark Bode’s “Cobalt 60” for his animated film “Wizards”) and the film adaptation of the stories and art contained in Heavy Metal Magazine, “Heavy Metal”. I am a huge fan of all three of these movies but the question remains, after 30+ years of Hip Hop culture and Rap music invading the American mainstream, how come there hasn’t been a “Heavy Metal”-ish movie made for Hip Hop audiences?

In recent years, studios greenlit an animated feature adaptation of Robin Harris’ “Bebe’s Kids” which featured “urban music” (and I pray that the Men In Black exist so they can erase my memory of it). Legendary turntablist DJ Q-Bert helped to produce the animated film to go along with his album “Wave Twisters” and Techno/Dance/Trip Hop duo Daft Punk collaborated with Japan’s legendary anime house Toei Studios to produce the animated companion to their “Discovery” album called “Interstellar 5555: 5tory Of The 5ecret 5tar 5ystem”. So far no one’s either thought of or pitched the idea to make an animated film with a hip hop soundtrack behind it a la “American Pop”, “Rock & Rule” or “Heavy Metal” yet...

I find this surprising considering how many makeshift anime rap videos I’ve seen on Nightsessions TV in the past, the marriage of Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim” with Stones Throw and their subsequent collaborations (“Dangerdoom” and the “Chrome Children” series) and the breakout success of animated series like “Samurai Champloo”, "The Boondocks" and “Afro Samurai”. You mean to tell me that a Robotech/Gundam hybrid movie with fighting mecha, voice acting by RZA, MF Doom, Common, Madlib and ill Wu Tang/J Dilla instrumentals playing in the background wouldn’t put asses in the seats? Shit, people are PAYING to see “Norbit”!

For whatever reason, it still hasn’t happened yet. Do studios need to be convinced that a hip hop themed animated feature would find an audience here and overseas? Are they afraid that it might attract an “undesireable element” to the theatre? Or has it just not been pitched to me properly or scripted the right way yet? The Sound Scientists (from my 32 Producers on MySpace list) informed me that they are working on a pilot for an animated series and they may or may not pitch it to the bigwigs on Williams Street. I wish them luck, for now I’ll just have to be content to watching “Ninja Scroll” on mute while playing Ayatollah instrumentals.

* If anyone wants to take this idea and run with it I claim rights to it first on that intellectual properties tip, if you want me to present you with a treatment, concepts or help with the pitch to make this a reality, get at me.

Movies avaible to rent through Netflix:
American Pop
Heavy Metal
Rock & Rule
Fire & Ice
Wave Twisters
Interstellar 5555: 5tory Of The 5ecret 5tar 5ystem
The Virgin Suicides
Open Your Eyes
Starchaser: Legend Of Orin
Golgo 13: The Professional
Amores Perros
Tzameti 13
Throne Of Blood
Sword Of Doom
Come Drink With Me
The One Armed Swordsman
Lady Snowblood (blueprint for The Bride in Kill Bill)
Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song Of Vengeance
Lone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven In Hell
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart To Hades
Lady Vengeance
Princess Blade
The Weatherman
Sympathy For The Underdog
Suspect Zero
Phone (Korea)

Dart’s ThreeTrailers Of The Week (3/18/07-3/25/07):


Pirates Of The Carribean: At World's End

Dart’s Picks:
13 Tzameti- The less I tell about this film, the more of a surprise it will be for you when you see it. I’m going to be as vague as possible so as not to give any spoilers and not come off as an asshole while doing so (pretty damn hard to do, IMO). It’s in black & white, has subtitles and it won hella awards at film festivals all over the world. Just rent it and watch it...Trust me.

Brick- I love this movie. It’s a present day noir thriller set in a California high school that’s both well acted and well scripted. The lead actor totally redeems his performance in the godawful flick Havoc. Try to watch this joint with the subtitles on so as not to miss any of the may take a couple of watches to catch all of the extra nuances. Great first feature from a young director.

London- My brother and I just watch this movie again last night (It’s On Demand on Camcast digital cable) and we caught mad more stuff we missed the first 4 or 5 times we saw it. It’s an ill character based movie that draws you into the characters through their interaction with each other. It actually convinced me that Chris Evans (Fantastic Four) can act! (A feat in itself). Features Jason Statham, Jessica Biel, Joy Bryant, Kelli Garner, Isla Fisher and even Paula Patton makes a cameo...damn good movie (a shitload of coke snorting, though).

Dart’s WTF/Watch This Bullshit At Your Own Risk Award:
Rocky Balboa- A 60 year old punch drunk/brain damaged ex world champ gets back in the ring again...Does he win? Do I really give a fuck? Make Tango & Cash 2, Rambo 4, Cobra 2 and then sit your old ass down, Sly.


Three Mixtapes From 2005 AKA For Promotional Use Only

These first two mixtapes were given to me by RBG/People’s Army affiliate and Bronx representative N.I.M.R.O.D when he came to visit Boston back in 2005. The last one was given to me by a girl from London after we had this long ass discussion about Grime and the parallels and differences between it and Hip Hop (Grime derived from UKG AKA Garage as opposed to the UK Hip Hop scene which was, of course influence by the US Hip Hop scene/’s an original music form in itself), she was pretty impressed with my knowledge of the scene, it’s emcees and producers. So much so that she gave me this mixtape from one of my favorite UK emcees (next to Sway, Klashnekoff, Wiley, Skinnyman, Jehst, Kyza, etc.), Kano. I would write a longer and more detailed writeup but I need to write something else (namely the Dartflix blog for this week) before this damn laptop dies on me again. Enjoy ‘em:

A Alikes-Guerilla Nation Chapter 1 (Hosted by DJ EFN) (2005)

N.I.M.R.O.D-Failure’s No Option! (Hosted by Sickamore) (2005)

Kano-Beats & Bars (2005)


32 Producers on MySpace That You Need To Hear Roll Call (All Links)

This is how we run it down the line!:

1. Medi-Cal (Undersea Fam)

2. J. Cardim (Respect And Power)

3. Session (Ghetto Radio Productions/Acuta Records)

4. Danny Swain (Def Jux)

5. Da Goldminerz

6. Young Cee

7. 76

8. StU Bangas

9. High Priest (Grandmassive) (World Wide Incident Productions)

10. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Origami Sounds)

11. Sound Scientists

12. Paul Mac Innes

13. Paycheck Stubbz (Fresh Produce/Gutterscum Fam)

14. A.C. Layne (TE1 Productions)

15. Cyrus Tha Great

16. Hasan Insane

17. Zam 1

18. Mr. Koichi (Plan B)

19. Arts The Beatdoctor

20. LB (Imperfekt Musik)

21. Cris Prolific (Kemit Sources)

22. Noel Zancanella

23. Devious (Broken Family)

24. Afra Behn

25. Golden Beat Era

26. Big Willie Green

27. Cadence (Raw Produce)

28. BinGrim Productions

29. Intrinsic Beats

30. Neil Nots (Wreck Shop Movement/Crate Invaders)

31. Clutch Player

32. Hellsenda Productions (Hellfire Club Inc.)

There it is^ . I’ll be doing another one of these in September so if you have any MySpace pages of producers I need to start considering for next time drop ‘em in my comment boxes or hit me up on MySpace.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

32 Producers on MySpace That You Need To Hear Part Four

We’ve now made it to the end of the list, the final 8 producers that I’ve picked to be among the 32 I’m highlighting. I’d like to thank the heads at Oh Word (Rafi, Sasha, etc.) for putting this in their shared links and all of the readers that frequent this blog. Without further ado, the final 8:

25. Golden Beat Era

He’s from Salisbury, MD and his MySpace picture shows him holding an MPC, his weapon of choice. Judging by the beats on his page, he knows how to weild it. I found this cat by chance through a comment he made on one of my favorite producers pages (either Ayatollah or Black Milk). I clicked the link, heard his slaps and his name was on the potentials list 10 minutes later. Judging by the comments on his page I’m not the only one who likes his joints, check them out here:

26. Big Willie Green

The first time I heard one of Willie’s compositions was a track he collaborated on with my extended family members, Dead Poetz. I heard that joint and I was like “Dayum!” There were multiple layers to the beat and different elements blended together that let you know this cat can produce damn near anything. Hailing from Allston, MA Willie Green has worked with everything from R& B /Soul singers to hardcore Hip Hop groups. Regardless of who he works with the end result is undeniable...It’s that hot shit (not the corporate “hot”, I mean the REAL “hot”). His projects have titles like “The Proof” and “Exhibit A”, the truth is that Big Willie Green doesn’t need to argue that hard to convince the listener that he’s the truth. Case closed. Check out the well rounded sound of Willie Green here:

27. Cadence (Raw Produce)

Veteran producer Cadence reps Somerville, MA all day. He is an accomplished producer with som impressive credits, he’s released solo projects on Day By Day Records (MF Grimm’s label), and Female Fun Music. He’s made some acclaimed LP’s with his crew Raw Produce, produced music for ESPN’s eries “The Life” and crafted gems for local legends 7L & Esoteric, Akrobatik and Mr. Lif. He’s also collaborated with underground legends like Prince Po (Organized Konfusion), Breez Evahflowin’ (Stronghold) and Yeshua DaPoED AKA Yesh (Wee Bee Foolish). Even with all of this success, he hasn’t received the recognition or due he rightfully deserves. Maybe one day it’ll happen. Take the first step to ensure it does, walk this way:

28. BinGrim Productions

I discovered this resident of City Of Angels completely by mistake. I clicked on the link to his MySpace page and I saw two music players (ayo,’d you swing that?) with four joints a piece. I clicked on each one and listened to everything from off the wall musical compositions, intro music, proper songs with people spitting over them and even some experimentation through sampling movies and TV shows (like Transformers and kung fu movie dialogue). In an age with radio friendly/club beats on every MySpace page and four joints just waiting for your purchase it was cool to see someone just make a page for beatheads. Judging by his top 24, we probably feel the same about the current direction the hip hop industry is taking...Anyone with Marley Marl, DJ Mark The 45 King and Hitman Howie Tee in their Top 8 is alright with me. Check his page out:

29. Intristic Beats

This lady is reppin’ Chicago, Illinois lovely . There is absolutely no way a sane person can front on her skills after the dope beats on her MySpace page (with her tag on them so no one can jack them) Two joints in particular, “My Love” and “Lucy” got a couple of rewinds over the weekend (I told myself I wasn’t gonna name joints because it bulids up the readers expectations and it unfairly overshadows the other beats on the page...fuck it, they’re ill!). I haven’t heard of a prominent female hip hop producer since Nikke Nicole used to bang tracks out the old D&D Studios (best known for her hit “Old Times Sake” by Sweet Sable back in the days). I’ll most def be rooting for her to do big things in the near future. Discover a woman’s true worth to Hip Hop culture here:

30. Neil Nots (Wreck Shop Movement/Crate Invaders)

Veteran hip hop DJ/Producer Neil Nots is a member of DJ outfit Crate Invaders and a member of the Wreck Shop Movement. Neil was once mentored by one of Hip Hop’s true beatmaking legends, Sam Sever (3rd Bass, Downtown Science) and he has more than 15 years experience making bangers and list of credits that would give me carpal tunnel syndrom if I dared to type ‘em all out. I don’t need to sell you on how ill he is behind the can listen to his beats yourself and it will be far more convincing than anything I could write (and I write for a living). Listen here:

31. Clutch Player

The man who goes by the name Clutch Player lives in Paris, France and he’s one of the illest up and coming procers on the underground scene. His 2006 mixtape “Atlantic Connection All Stars” is what first opened some eyes to heads in the States that slept on his previous work. He’s built up quite a buzz after making heat rocks with features from Insight, Tableek (MasPyke), Shabaam Sahdeeq, Prince Po and Doujah Raze. His upcoming project “Atlantic Connections” is sure to launch him into rareified air with other sought after underground Hip Hop producers. His infectous mix of Soul music and Jazz influences makes his sound stand out in a sea of copycat beatmakers. Cross the Atlantic here:

32. Hellsenda Productions (Hellfire Club Inc.)

Hellsenda Productions are from Boston, MA and they’re the in-house production team for Hellfire Club Inc. They consist of two producers, Buctayla and Cardi. They make everything from R&B/Soul to hardcore Hip Hop (they specialize in the latter). Being that I am CEO of Hellfire Club Inc. I may be biased in my opinion (I, however, have enough integrity not to say somethings dope when it isn’t...that would completely kill any credibilty I have as a writer/journalist). While I have my biases, I’m supposed to be objective...They got serious heat. I have some of their instrumentals on my page instead of my own music so I’m clearly co-signing their material. Check it out for yourselves:

There were A LOT more producers I wanted to include on this list, but for whatever reason they didn’t pay much attention to their MySpace pages or they never visit them or update them. Some cats only had one or two tracks on them or had them so corporate looking and sterile that you thought you were in a damn beat listening session and a voice saying “Buy now or leave!” was gonna shout over the tracks every 30 seconds. Producers, put some of your most up to date or hottest joints on your MySpace pages. If you have a wide array of heat or mad versatility then you should make another page and put four more joints on it.

Either way, the age of the (unsolicited) demo is dead and your MySpace pages/Soundclick pages are your best foot forward for undiscovered producers to gain notoriety and for known ones to reach newer fans. Thanks for tolerating me for the last four days...Tomorrow it’s back to the Dartflix and on Friday I go back to the uploads from my own personal collection and writeups.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

32 Producers on MySpace That You Need To Hear Part Three

Let me first start by saying that compiling this list was not an easy task in the least. I spent more than a week poring through the internet and looking at/listening to music on various artists and producers MySpace pages. I managed to find the proverbial needle in a haystack a couple of times and some of these talented cats were referred to me by some of my peoples on MySpace, Blogger, or found through various music messageboards. Right now we’re at the halfway mark with 16 down and 16 to go. Now let’s delve back into my list of hand picked producers and their MySpace pages that I originally narrowed down from a list of over 200 to the 32 I’m writing about on Poisonous Paragraphs. Let’s go:

17. Zam 1

Ever heard of Zam 1 before you just read his name here? This master tattoo artist/beatmaker has somehow managed to fly under the radar and go unnoticed for this long. Did he think that he could post up heat like he got on his MySpace music pageand I wasn’t gonna find him and write about his fire joints on my blog?’s a wrap for his anonymity now! Nah, seriously, this cat has mad skills with the ink and needles as well as behind the boards (check the pics to see his sick studio setup)...somebody needs to holler at him and see if they can get his sound on some of their projects right this moment. Listen here:

18. Mr. Koichi

Mr. Koichi originally hails from Tokyo, Japan but now lives in New York. He’s a veritable human swiss amy knife... He’s a musician, arranger, beatmaker and engineer all in one. He also brings his deep, soulful production to the table as a part of the hip hop band Plan B. His style is a breath of fresh air in comparison to the toxic fumes we usually inhale when we listen to the radio or watch any Viacom video station that isn’t called VH1 Soul. I’ve been diggin’ his joints for more than a year now and it’s only right I put out the word about his beats. Peep game:

19. Arts The Beatdoctor

Arts is a resident of Hilversum, Netherlands and his sound and production style is smooth, jazzy, soulful and easy listening all at the same time. He’s known mostly for his collaborations with underground heroes Pete Philly & Perquisite, including his remix project of their acclaimed 2005 album. He recently released his first solo project called “Transitions”. I’ve heard people talk about how uneventful 2007 has been as far as hip hop releases go and I have no idea in hell what they are talking about. Arts The Beatdoctor’s new album should be included in the long list of excellent underground releases from the 1st quarter of 2007. Go to his page and check his joints out now.

20. LB (Imperfekt Musik)

When I first began making this list I already knew LB was gonna be on it, no doubt in my mind. I first encountered his joints from the forums on and and was instantly impressed with what I heard. This Manchester, NH native beatmaker has the versatilty to take it to the club on one track and take it to the streets on another without sounding contrived and generic. His debut project “Good Morning America” just dropped recently and he’s already made gems for some of New England’s finest and Brooklyn rhyme legend AZ. Who’s next to spit bars on one of his joints? Lend him an ear:

21. Cris Prolific (Kemit Sources)

What some of the top French emcees have already known for years is something that I have only learned just learned recently...Cris Prolific’s got that hot shit. Ask Arsenik, Rocca or Lunatic. Ask RZA how ill the remix he freaked with him and I-Cube was. Ask undeground sensation Ta’ Raach (check out “The Fevers”) about Cris Prolific’s joints because he recognizes his talent as well (their collabo is on Cris’ MySpace page). I was first put on to this cat by members of my extensive OKP fam. Not only does he make straight up hip hop/soul beats, but he collaborates with musicians regularly to make completely original compositions (check the links on the page). The beauty of living in the digital information age is that the world is made smaller so we can find, see and hear things that we normally wouldn’t be exposed to (such as Cris Prolific’s new fire mixtape). Experience what manifests directly from one’s soul:

22. Noel Zancanella

Noel Zancanella is already known in Trip Hop/Electronica circles and he’s released several projects over the last 5 years. It wasn’t until 2006 when Noel collaborated with original member of Slum Village Baatin on two songs called “Embryo” and “Could It Be?” that more people outside of that circle began recognizing his production talents. Ever since then he’s made several nice joints and had them posted on his page. Noel and his different approach to beatmaking and production could be one of the things current Hip Hop music needs more of. Look forward to hearing him do some more collaborations with prominent hip hop artists in the near future. Check his page out here:

23. Devious (Broken Family)

I was first introduced to Devious’ beats when listening to the 1st album from Wu affiliates Contribution X (Check it out if you haven’t already). Several of the tracks had that grimy, hardcore boom bap sound that made me scramble for the liner notes immediately. Standout track after standout track had this man’s name next to it in the producer credits. He continues to make that raw fight music with his crew Broken Family and he has several new tracks about to be released in 2007, including a Broken Family project. Get familiar with his material here:

24. Afra Behn

Detroit native Afra Behn’s production style is a collage of Soul, Funk and Rhythm & Blues and the end result is Hip Hop music that truly illustrates the true beauty that lies in the diaspora that is Black music. Afra’s unique sound can go from Afro beat inspired and jazzy to deep, bass heavy and driving all in the same track. His projects “World Of Paper/City Of Boom” (featuring collaborations with Detroit’s own Baatin) and “The Vibemachine” are all evident of his creativity and willingness to stretch the boundaries of conventional hip hop music. Get acquainted with the future here:

Tomorrow, I’ll post up the final 8 with their write ups. Stay tuned.


Monday, March 19, 2007

32 Producers on MySpace That You Need To Hear Part Two

I continue with my list of 32 producers that you need to hear. I looked at many different styles and genres of Hip Hop music as well as above and below ground for these collected beatmakers and producers. I also went global in my search for 32 deserving of shine and praise. I present to you all the second installment of a four part series:

9. High Priest (Grandmassive) (World Wide Incident Productions)

Although he has thousands of MySpace friends, but not that many folks are familiar with his name or his work. High Priest AKA Grandmassive has a wide catalog of bangin’ joints on Myspace going back to 2005. His gritty, hardcore beatmaking style brings up back to 1997 but with a 21th century sophistication. Reppin’ World Wide Incident and 7th Son Productions, High Priest’s sound makes for some energetic, off the wall joints. Check out dudes bangers under his alias, Grandmassive as well:

10. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Origami Sounds)

The one known as the Fantastic Mr. Fox reps Origami Sounds out of Wolverhampton, UK. He learned how to produce under the watchful eye of his brother, whose the man behind the boards for Peter and The Wolf and Paper Tiger (links available on Fox’s MySpace). In a relatively short amount of time he’s made quite a few moves lately (including getting his joints some spins on the radio and doing local production work). I’ve been checking out his progression for a while now and this kid is a straight up monster behind the boards. Recognize and realize:

11. Sound Scientists

I have been enjoying the musical renditions of the Sound Scientists for quite a while and I couldn’t believe more people weren’t aware of these cats. I included them in some of my early “10 Artists/Songs That You Need To Hear On MySpace Right Now” threads to open some eyes more than a year ago..Shortly afterwards I was watching Adult Swim on Cartoon Network when I heard a familiar beat I couldn’t turned out to be none other than the Sound Scientists’ joints playing during the breaks! After receiving some much deserved shine through Adult Swim they’ve gone on to make several tracks for some Wu Affiliates like 12’ O Clock, Chi Kung of the Tha Cra Z 88, and Killah Priest and well as underground artist King Syze and most recently they’ve crafted some joints for the San Antonio Spurs PG/MC Tony Parker. The world needs to hear these cats. If you don’t know, now you know:

12. Paul Mac Innes

Repping Gothenburg, Sweden and his crew the Brothers Of Invention, Paul Mac Innes does not fill the profile of what the average person would consider a hip hop producer to be. To them I say “Get your head out of your ass and listen to the music rather than making assumptions”. His mixture of live instrumentation and arranging skills makes for some ill joints. His collaborations with other musicians have been critically acclaimed and loved by fans overseas for a while now. Not too many heads in the US are really up on him or his work as of yet...Hopefully, now maybe a few more people will recognize his talent and spread the word. Listen here and judge for yourselves:

13. Paycheck Stubbz (Fresh Produce/Gutterscum Fam)

My boy Stubbz is a veteran of the armed forces as well as a hip hop head. He once told me that he got injured in the field and his life started flashing before his eyes...oddly enough it was full of old school hip hop tracks and seminal rap songs and the part they all played in his life coming up. Now, that’s a real hip hop fanatic for you in my opinion. He’s blessed joints for his own crew, Gutterscum Fam and Maine’s own mic wreckers Syndicate (what up, La Familia!) but due to Stubbz being based in Oklahoma City, OK he hasn’t had the shine he rightfully deserves up until now. I’ve personally seen him post up banger after banger on his page just to have the world at large sleep on his beatmaking skills. Check his newly uploaded joints out here:

14. A.C. Layne (TE1 Productions)

It’s another one! A.C. Layne from the Brent section of London makes liquid fire under the production company titled TE1 (The Esoterik 1) Productions. His beats make you make that scrunched up “something stinks” face...then your head gets to bobbin’ (cuz the neck knows). I’ve been checking out his beatmaking skills for a long ass time now and he’s never once failed to impress me. It’s time for more people to become aware of what I’ve known for a minute...Check his jams out:

15. Cyrus Tha Great

Most hip hop heads living in the Boston/MA/New England area could rattle off a list of the illest producers from here without even thinking about it. This mans name comes up early on most of those lists. His star turn came in 2004 when he dropped the hood classic “50 MC’s” mixtape on an unsuspecting public...ever since then his name has been magma hot in the streets. In the past, Cyrus has crafted bangers for Little Brother, Royce the 5’9”, Grafh, Jean Grae, Scram Jones, Ali Vegas, and produced gem after gem for his former group Personal F.O.U.L. In 2007, he looks to take the world by storm with a new team and new tracks. Get stuck on the realness:

16. Hasan Insane

This New York beatmaker is most well known for his sick ass remixes and blends. Along with his partner in crime, DJ Mills, he’s made the critically acclaimed hood smash mixtapes “Perfect Strangers” and “The Pink Album”. He’s received love from and has been featured in Scratch Magazine in the past as well as making some of the dopest remixes and refixes on MySpace. His mixtapes have spent a hella long time in my iPod Nano and it’s time for even more heads to hear his joints. The boy’s sick and here’s the proof:

Tomorrow, I’ll post up the next 8 with their write ups. Stay tuned.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

32 Producers on MySpace That You Need To Hear Part One

My purpose for doing this feature is to shine light on a bunch of the illest producers that I've encountered on MySpace that I feel are severly underexposed given their talent level/music quality. I have added in some heads that I know from the Boston/MA/New England area as well as beatmakers, musicians and producers from all over the globe in different genres of Hip Hop/Soul music. I personally feel that balance and variety are integral to the growth of Hip Hop so my taste are all over the place in regards to beats. Here are the first 8 of what will be 32 of the illest producers on MySpace that you NEED to hear. It starts like this, son:

1. Medi-Cal (Undersea Fam)

I first stumbled on this cats MySpace page a year ago and I heard some ill joints that were freaked and chopped up so crazy that I had to download them all and put ‘em on my iPod Nano right then and there...I did it so fast that I damn near forgot to add him as a MySpace friend. Over the past year my boy Medi-Cal from El Centro, CA (who reps the Undersea Fam) has made numerous bangers and remixes that fucked my head up. If I ever come out of retirement I have one of his beats earmarked to spit on, believe that. Check the method:

2. J. Cardim (Respect And Power)

This Respect And Power representative has already made bangers for AZ, Talib Kweli and Jean Grae and appeared in the pages of Scratch magazine. Before the year is over he’ll have made more heat for some of your favorite emcees and contributed to building a new empire with his team. He has one of the beat looking and professional MySpace pages I’ve seen in a while, too (If you want your MySpace page to be made fresher than it was, contact Respect And Power’s G Nellz for a quote). Listen to some of J. Cardim’s tracks and get your head nod on:

3. Session (Ghetto Radio Productions/Acuta Records)

One of Boston’s best kept secrets is a man named Session. This versatile producer has made joints for several emcees and crews in the Boston/New England area, in particular the talented roster of Boston’s Acuta Records and is well respected by his peers on the scene. The only thing keeping him from blowing up is exposure...if there’s anything I can do so that more people become aware of his slaps, he can consider it done. Check for his joints here:

4. Danny Swain (Def Jux)

Danny Swain is the next one coming out of the Carolinas. I first heard some random joints of his starting back a couple of years ago and they were so off the wall I couldn’t believe this dude wasn’t signed. I did some checking around and found out he had 3 full length joints out, “The College Kicked Out”, “F.O.O.D.” and his breakthrough underground classic (yeah, I said the C word!) “Charm”. I found out that he had a MySpace page and that all of his joints were available for sale. Every person I played this cats joints for were disgusted that he was without a deal. Back when I was new to Okayplayer, I used to post these lists of “10 Artists You Need To Hear Right Now On MySpace” and he was on a few of those lists. Here’s the funny part. There was a dude on OKP named Danny...I didn’t realize until weeks later that this cat was in fact, Danny Swain. Recently, Danny won a contest sponsored by MTVU and now has a contract with Def Jux (thanks to Boston rhyme renegade, Mr. Lif). Now the sleepers can all awaken. Go see why I’ve been biggin’ this cat up for years:

5. Da Goldminerz (Gold Bones Music)

Who are the Goldminerz? An ill crew of beatmakers and emcees with a cult following from all over the place that are now reppin’ the Tampa Bay, FL area lovely. These cats are so deep with ridiculous tracks and flows that I could’ve posted way more links to their crew and affiliates (just to understand how ill these muthafuckas are check out Eyeznpowa’s page where he tears apart some of Dilla’s joints from “Donuts”). Their music is hardcore, grimy and soulful all at the same time...some of these cats joints make me wanna jump up and knee somebody in the chest like Tony Jaa for real. Check ‘em out:

6. Young Cee

I first ran into Young Cee on in a Justus League discussion thread. He mentioned that he was still a teenager and an up and coming producer...that was two years ago. Since then he’s won the Boston Beat Battle against a deep field (check the footage on Spotlight DVD’s YouTube channel) and made beats for Justus League crew members Little Brother, Kenn Starr and Skyzoo. Next up he has joints featured on Duck Down’s newest signees, Boston supergroup Special Teamz upcoming project as well as collaborations with new Rawkus signee Barak Yulad. Young Cee is poised to do big things in the industry. Get in on the ground floor:

7. 76

Years ago I heard some ill underground tracks from Black Samurai in the UK and the beats were all bananas. The more and more tracks I was able to get (thanks to my London peoples on Dissenus, and Okayplayer) I began to wonder who the hell was producing these joints. I found out that the man behind the boards of the overwhelming majority of these raw tracks was some cat named 76. He's been grinding overseas in the UK and European hip hop scenes for years and has amassed a great amount of respect for his producing talents. The unfortunate thing is not too many heads stateside are familiar with his work, I’m gonna try and change that right now:

8. StU Bangas

First off, let me say that this cat is aptly named. Back when I still used to rhyme I’d hear one of his finished tracks with NBS (Natural Born Spitters) or South End’s own Loose Notes and it would get me amped up to make a joint right then and there. His bangers have provided backgrounds for several of Boston/MA/New England’s elite crews including Greater Good and Awkward Landing. StU has also blessed Ras Kass, Devin the Dude, Reef The Lost Cauze and local legend Krumbsnatcha with his own personal brand of beast music and he’s set to make some big moves in 2007. If you haven’t heard of dude before, you can now consider yourselves formerly warned. Check his joint out here:

Tomorrow, I’ll post up the next 8 illest MySpace producers from all over the globe with their individual write ups. Stay tuned.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Wanderers Vs. The Warriors AKA Dartflix Edition #11

I was bored yesterday so I decided to peruse the imdb messageboards for the film “300”. Apparently, this movie has managed to draw the ire of a wide array of people for various reasons. Among the offended and outraged are history buffs (historically inaccurate), comic book fans (yet another comic book film made into a movie), Black people (cuz it’s racist! Duh!), Iranians (the descendants of the Persians...because, again, it’s racist!), gays (it’s homophobic), and movie purists (the film was mostly CGI effects and it looked like a video game). I scrolled through 69 pages of angry people both tearing the movie apart and defending it with equal fervor amidst people asking harmless question regarding the film just to have some nut jump down their e-throats and get all up in their e-grills. Needless to say, I was quite amused by it all (I'll see it on DVD).

One of the questions asked on the 300 boards in the form of a thread was “Who would win in a fight/war between...?” and they presented two armies or groups from different films (i.e. The Trojan army from “Troy” vs. The 300 Spartans from “300”). It reminded me of a similar question asked on imdb’s boards about the two 1979 cult movies based on novels about New York gangs, the question was asked, what gangs would win in a rumble? The gangs from “The Wanderers” set in 1963 or the gangs in “The Warriors” set in the mid/late 70’s? Being that I’m a huge fan of both films, this was an interesting question...although I really identified a lot more with “The Warriors” than “The Wanderers” this was a tough decision when I thought about it. I’ll break it down and show my work like it’s Math class back in the day:

The Wanderers vs. The Warriors

First off, the Wanderers totaled less than 30 guys at full strength. The Warriors were supposed to have upwards of 100 dudes of various ethnicities in cool ass vests back in Coney Island, Brookyln so that doesn’t fare well for the Wanderers and their bright yellow jackets. Based on the eight guys the Warriors sent (fuck Rembrandt) and what you know of the Wanderers and their fighting abilities from seeing the movie, I can easily assume that those Italian cats would’ve got the hair products beaten out of them/wigs pushed back by Cleon, Ajax, Cochise, Cowboy, Swan, Fox, Vermin and Snow. I give it to the Warriors hands down, they could whip the Wanderers asses in a train station bathroom, a train station platform, a public park at night, or in a locked apartment during a house party. 1-0, Warriors.

The Del Bombers vs. The Punks

The all black gang called the Del Bombers had as many soldiers as or slightly more than the Wanderers. Being that the movie was set in 1963 during the height of the Civil Rights Era, I’d have to assume that these cats had some serious rage inside of them due to being denied basic human rights for their entire lives. Factor in how the Punks got their asses handed to them by the not even at full strength Warriors (once again, Rembrandt did nothing but spray a cat in the face and slap him to jump the scrap off...the girl Mercy was more gully than he was) and I can safely say that the Del Bombers would’ve handled the Punks like luggage. It’s tied 1-1.

The Baldies/Wongs vs. The Baseball Furies/Rogues

In the world of “The Wanderers”, the Baldies rolled about 40 deep and they all could fight. The leader and 2nd in command were huge. The Chinese gang, The Wongs numbered less than 30, but all of them knew Kung Fu so they could kick some serious ass and take out multiple heads each. The Baseball Furies had about 30+ dudes full strength and the Rogues had about the same amount as well. The Baseball Furies might be able to hold it down for a while but the Rogues for the most part are punks. The only way this would be even is if the Turnbull AC’s showed up..unfortunately, they’d rather ride around in their bus listening to the radio then get out and scrap with someone. The combined forces of the Baldies and Wongs would win out in the end...Don’t fuck with the Baldies/Wongs! Wanderers are up 2-1

The Ducky Boys vs. The Gramercy Riffs

The Ducky Boys are a scary ass Irish gang that numbers 500 soldiers. The scene in which we first see them in “The Wanderers” is bugged out because they keep coming out of the mist in droves like zombies. They all seem like they’re unhinged or mentally deranged. Near the end of “The Wanderers”, they rush the Wanderers/Del Bombers football game and get turned away by the combined forces of all the gangs in the Wanderers universe.

The Gramercy Riffs on the other hand, were loosely based on the Black Spades/Savage Skulls/Nomads and their numbers went into the low thousands. As scary as the Ducky Boys are, ain’t nothin’ scarier than thousands of armed militant Black dudes with sunglasses and afros...just ask the US government (and Cointelpro). In the world of “The Warriors” the Riffs have enough power to organize all of the gangs in New York (with the exception of the Turnbull AC’s, Orphans and the Lizzies) in one spot...and nobody was wasting nobody. That’s a miracle, and miracles are the way things ought to be. It goes without saying that the organized and more disciplined, trained army of the Gramercy Riffs would wipe the floor with the relentless yet unorganized Ducky Boys. I’d love to see it happen live, though...Cats with dashikis and black karate gi’s bopping through the fog with baseball bats, chains and hockey sticks (if you see a bunch of brothers with hockey sticks and you’re not in Canada, some shit’s about to go down). Tied 2-2.

I have to go a tiebreaker, so I’ll go with lasting power and relevance of the two films on audiences today. Let’s see...”The Warriors” has become not only a cult classic, but a staple in hip hop culture as well. Rockstar Games made a video game version of the film recently (an idea I had way back in 1990, but I digress). The movie has been released on DVD in two different editions. “The Warriors” has WAY more quotable lines (“Magic...A whole lot of magic”, Cyrus’ speech, etc.) than “The Wanderers”. People have been dressing up as characters from “The Warriors” for more than 25 years now so it’s clear that it’s had way more impact as far as pop culture goes. The kicker is I don’t even have “The Wanderers” on DVD...The Warriors win 3-2. Can you dig it? *Cues up “In The City”* Oh yeah...on to the movie stuff.

Dart’s Three Trailers Of The Week (3/11/07-3/17/07)

The Host (Gwoemul)

Resident Evil: Extinction

The Invisible

More Netflix releases to consider putting on your queue now:
The Wanderers
The Warriors
Rumble Fish
The Outsiders
Over The Edge
Bad Boys (not the Will Smith/Martin Lawrence one)
24 Hour Party People
SLC Punk
Beautiful Girls
The Lost Boys
Hard Candy
Suicide Club
Battle Royale
Battle Royale 2
Bullet Boy
Brooklyn Babylon
Planet Brooklyn (see below)
Infernal Affairs 2
Infernal Affairs 3 (only if you saw the first one...otherwise you’ll be lost)
Breaking News
The End Of Violence
A History Of Violence
Broken Flowers
The Constant Gardner
Three O’ Clock High
Friend (Korea)
Better Luck Tomorrow

Dart’s Picks For The Week:
Over The Edge- This other 1979 film classic is the first appearance of Matt Dillon as the troubled youth (a role he’d play for damn near another decade). It was based on a true story of a planned community (New Grenada in the film) that drew a bunch of families and skilled labor with the thought of future fiscal growth in mind. They, however, forgot that they had a huge teenage population and nothing in place for them to do (or plans to do anything in the near future). This resulted in rampant juvenile delinquency and the adults worst nightmare happens at the films climax. It’s definitely a cult classic for us 70’s and early 80’s babies that remember it from back in the days. It still stands up well after damn near 30 years.

Pusher- Nicolas Winding Refn’s breakout 1996 indie Danish film about a drug dealer in Copenhagen has become one of the greatest cult films in overseas history, spawning 2 sequels. This movie made such an impression with audiences that it has been remade in India, sticking almost to the original material word for word and shot for shot. I saw it for the first time years ago and was shocked that no one I knew in the US knew anything about it (but all of the European film buffs I knew swore it was ill). This flick made me want to grab a camcorder and bang out a script on my laptop. Check it out.

Dart’s The Jury’s Still Out Award:
Planet Brooklyn-I really wanted to like this movie...The best thing I can say about it is it didn’t suck. The script was well written (by Mad Matthewz) and it starred Ishmael Butler (Butter of Digable Planets AKA Cherrywine) and one of my biggest influences, hip hop journalist Bonz Malone (Whiteboys, Slam, Bomb The System). This movie did have some nice writing and it wasn’t derivitive at all. The films low budget did hinder it’s appeal greatly, though..past the main characters (Ish, Bonz, Andre Royo (The Wire) and Anita Kopacz (love interest and sister of video chick/soap opera star Yvonna Kopacz) the acting fell off tremendously with some of the supporting roles. The story also seemed to drag in spots. Watch it for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

Dart’s WTF?/Watch This Bullshit At Your Own Risk Award:
Havoc- This movie was a hot mess from beginning to end..the one saving grace was seeing Anne Hathaway act like a complete nut/slut for change and horny teenage boys will watch the flick just to see her breasts. (It’s On Demand on Comcast, BTW). Indie film queen Bijou Phillips once again shows up in another troubled teen role complete with the prerequisite loose morals. By now, I’d like to see her play a church chick or librarian to test her acting chops (sarcasm intended). This movie is a cinematic train wreck and the end will make you scratch your head. Who am I kidding? Watch this shit and laugh your ass at how ridiculous it is.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

No Words Part Five

The first offering of the day is Cypress Hill’s first album’s instrumentals. Produced by DJ Muggs for Soul Assassins Music, this album introduced the world to the sound of blunted/zooted soul and properly prepared them for the likes of RZA and the Wu Elements who didn’t appear on the scene until two years later. DJ Muggs and his people (Ralph M , DJ Lethal, T Ray, Alchemist, etc.) would later go on to contribute classics on albums like House Of Pain’s debut, Funkdoobiest’s “Which Doobie U B?” and several more projects. It all started with this breakout classic. The lead single made little noise (“Phuncky Feel One”), but the album went on to have several more after “How Could I Just Kill A Man” broke on the radio, MTV and BET ( “Hand On The Pump”, “Latin Lingo” and “Real Estate”)...who would’ve thunk it? Here are the instrumentals:

Cypress Hill Instrumentals (1991)

When I bought Vordul Mega’s “The Revolution Of Yung Havoks” from Sandbox, they sent it with a Nature Sounds sticker, A Vordul Mega poster and a grey CD-R that said simply “Vordul Mega Instrumentals”. Of the 13 tracks on Vordul’s LP, only 9 of the instrumentals are actually on here along with 4 other joints. The instrumentals contained on this CD were made mostly by Belief and the rest were by Soul Purpose and Dev 1 AKA The Prof (founder of Nature Sounds). Check it out:

The Revolution Of Yung Havoks Instrumentals (2004)

These last two offerings are from DJ Lt. Dan and they contain Kanye West instrumentals. The second joint is a split instrumental CD shared with Chops (formerly of the Mountain Brothers) in commemoration of Chops’ “Virtuosity” LP and his collaboration with Kanye West called “Changing Lanes”. These instrumental collections were offered on several websites for $5 each or 2 for $8. I copped them both, of course. Here they are:

Kanye West Instrumentals (Mixed by DJ Lt. Dan) (2004)

Kanye West/Chops Instrumentals- Changing Lanes (Miixed by DJ Lt. Dan) (2004)

This post officially concludes the No Words instrumental CD/LP series on Poisonous Paragraphs (due to problems with MediaFire last night, I had to use Megaupload and Rapidshare instead). For any of your future instrumental needs please visit and tell ‘em I sent you. Tomorrow, it’s back to the old posting my entire collection for you to download while I rant about Hip Hop culture and write long ass treatises about film.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

No Words Part Four

In 1996, indie label Bulk Records released what later would become a cult classic and one of the definitive underground hip hop/”backpacker” albums. Produced almost entirely by the now legendary producer Dan “The Automator” Nakamura (with help on “Technical Difficulties” and title track “Dr. Octagon” by the beast behind the boards Kut Masta Kurt), Kool Kieth and his apprentice Sir Menelik delivered the Dr. Octagon “Octagonecologyst” LP. Later the album would become so popular that Dreamworks/SKG would buy it and rerelease it. The legend goes that Keith was given a balloon payment of $25,000 after the album was bought by Dreamworks and he blew the majority of it on porn. As much as I liked the “Dr. Octagon” album I think I like the instrumental album even more. Here it is, the Octagon beats:

Instrumentalyst (Octagon Beats) (1996)

Company Flow was already about to go their separate ways as a group and they were at their wits end with Rawkus when “Little Johnny From The Hospitul” was released in 1999. They were underwhelmed with Rawkus’ promotion of the product as well as their ability to distribute it. Co Flow eventually broke up and El Producto started up his Def Jux label while Mr. Len started up his own Dummy Smacks label (Big Juss was already an A&R at the short lived indie 3-2-1/Zero Hour Records with Fiona Bloom). This is Company Flow’s final Rawkus release featuring 16 beats that were never spit on (unless you count the rash of rough demos between 1999-2000 with emcees spittin’ over these joints). I got this one on preorder from Sandbox Automatic eight damn years time flies. Check it out:

Little Johnny From The Hospitul (1999)

Last but not least comes the instrumental album for “Fantastic Damage”. El-P produced the entire project himself and it would go on to become a critically acclaimed underground classic album. This was one of the most definitive (no jux) post 9/11 New York albums released and it along with Cannibal Ox’s “The Cold Vein” helped to define the sound of Def Jux for it’s audience. I survived many shifts working overnight playing these very instrumentals at 3:00 AM and now you can posess them as well. Here they are:

Fan Dam Plus (2002)