Thursday, January 4, 2007

And Now...Back To The Hip Hop

In one of my old jobs at CD Spins (once the largest used CD & DVD chain in Boston), I was asked to go through all of the urban music CD’s to make sure that they were labelled correctly and priced right. I ran across a promo sampler called Rawkus presents The Cleaner. It was a compilation of 15 Rawkus joints, including a couple of tracks that weren’t released as singles in DJ Spinna’s instrumental “A Grooveamungus” (from his Heavy Beats Vol. 1) and Sir Menelik’s “Macroscope” (which was to be on the long delayed Cyclops 4000 LP and ended up on The Substitute 2: School’s Out Soundtrack).

Even better than having clean versions of classic Rawkus singles like Mos Def’s “Universal Magnetic” and “If You Can Huh...”, Company Flow’s “8 Steps To Perfection” and “End To End Burners” or Reflection Eternal's (Talib Kweli & DJ HiTek)’s “Fortified Live” and “2000 Seasons” is listening to a squeaky clean version of Eminem’s classic verse on DJ Spinna’s banger “5 Star Generals” featuring Shabaam Sahdeeq, Skam, A.L. and Kwest (The Madd Ladd).

The real highlight of this CD for me is the inside booklet/liner notes. A 36 page booklet full of reviews, singles, information and pictures that promotes Rawkus when it was at the height of it’s popularity. According to it, Black Star was supposed to be an EP (Rawkus later pressured them to record more songs and turn it into a LP and rushed it out), the Reflection Eternal LP was supposed to be called “Groundation” (it didn’t come out until a couple of years later due to label limbo) and Sir Menelik’s “Cyclops 4000” LP was set to drop with Mos Def’s untitled LP and Lyricst Lounge’s double CD had yet to be released (of course, Sir Menelik left Rawkus before his album was done and went off to become Scaramanga, releasing several projects under through his own label, Sun Large).

The compilation also includes clean versions of classic Shabaam Sahdeeq and Sir Menelik singles...both emcees would end up leaving the label for greener pastures and they still release projects to this day. It’s well worth the download to be able to play these joints at work (If it wasn’t for this CD and mad other instrumental CD’s that I copped off of Sandbox Automatic, I never would have made it through my last job where I worked the overnight shift for 3 straight years).

I also included an old 12 song 4 track demo album made by Hieroglyphics Crew members Pep Love & Jay Biz from their sessions in 1992 and 1993. The album is called The Shamen LP and I acquired it shortly after learning that it really existed by reading about it on Eric’s Archives, a now inactive hip hop blog. I think it’s also available on some Hiiero fan blogs but I’m not sure.

Tomorrow, I’m going to post about the things popping off in my city at every level involving the culture of Hip Hop...we deserve some shine. We like to welcome Deval Patrick, who begins his gubenatorial term today.

Rawkus presents The Cleaner (1999)

Pep Love & Jay Biz (Hieroglyphics)- The Shamen LP (1992/3)



Travis said...

That Shaman LP is pretty good. Forgot where I ran into it (Cocaine Blunts?), but it's been floating around.

Good looks on that Rawkus joint, I love stuff I like that

Just-Ice said...

I would have loved to have that gig. Thanks for the share.

alley al said...

werd thanks for that rawkus.
waitin on your compilation drop. got that black label 101 off tommy boy, but i lost my superrappins with like 500-600 albums just yesterday!!!!