My podcast is a chance for me to dig into my record collection and give you a monthly mix of music; mostly Hip-Hop, but always with the potential for a few surprises! Listen out for the occasional track from me in there too.
Only the most recent few posts appear here; the full version of this page with the complete back catalogue is at podcast.airadam.com
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06/25/2017
Episode 97 : In A Project Near You
http://traffic.libsyn.com/airadam/Episode_97.mp3?dest-id=35990

"Permanent. Physical. Suffering."

- Prodigy

The eighth birthday of the podcast, but a rough month in the world. A last-minute change to the selection for this episode opened up the inclusion of some verses by Prodigy of Mobb Deep, who passed away just a few days ago. On top of the musical tribute, the title and artwork of this episode are inspired by Prodigy quotes from two different cuts - "G.O.D Pt. III" and "Mac 10 Handle" respectively. As always with a birthday episode, I like to break some favourites out, and I think that there are some classic mixes to be heard this month. Let me know what you think! 

PS - If you got a copy of the podcast last month (ep.96) with the repeated "pull it up selector" sample before the first voiceover, it got fixed within the first few hours, so if you re-download it's gone. Maybe the broken version is a virtual collector's item? ;)


Playlist/Notes

Nas : The World Is Yours (Tip Mix)

One of the all-time great remixes, and one of a track which was a classic to begin with! Q-Tip comes through with a stripped down beat headlined by absolutely perfect boom-bap drums, and Nas slightly changes the lyrics from the original version heard on "Illmatic". While we're here - everyone who listens to this podcast should have heard "Illmatic" at least once. It's an unmissable landmark.

Non Phixion : 5 Boros (Remix 'Instrumental')

Ok, let me get this out of the way - we DJs don't want your "TV Track". Just give us a plain instrumental, without adlibs and hooks, and we're good. This beat is a prime example of one I'd like a clean copy of - DR Period with an absolute monster which is streets ahead of the Necro-produced original. The vocal version appeared on the show all the way back on episode 13, and it's well worth going back for a listen!

IAM ft. Sunz of Man : La Saga

I think this is one that most people won't know, and understandably so. I came across this on "Yo! MTV Raps" many moons ago and was surprised by two things; firstly, that this French crew had got a Wu-Fam feature at a time when that was a rare thing, and secondly - how amazingly extravagant the video production was! The episode 68 notes alluded to this one, which I was saving for a special occasion. I got this on the "Le Flow" compilation of French Hip-Hop, but it's originally from the album "L'ecole Du Micro L'argent".

Group Home : Up Against The Wall (Getaway Car Mix)

Another classic 90s remix, appearing on one of DJ Premier's finest projects, the debut Group Home album "Livin' Proof". Those drums, that piano - perfection. Group Home might not have been the greatest MCs in the world (although I do think Lil' Dap is generally underrated), this album got the most out of them.

Royal Flush : Can't Help It

A great tune from the "Ghetto Millionaire" album. Prince Kaysaan on the beat bringing some 80s soul flavour to the beat, filtering down to the bassline during the verses in that early-mid 90s style with the slapping drums to match! On the mic, Royal Flush is kind of laid back in the style of a Mic Geronimo, and Khadejia reworks Michael Jackson on the hook. Here for it.

Prodigy : You Can Never Feel My Pain

I almost played this on the show a couple of times this year, but it just didn't fit the mixes. With the passing of Prodigy this month, I asked a few people if they thought it'd be appropriate to include it this episode, and everyone agreed. A great closer to P's first solo album, "H.N.I.C", this is an extraordinary track where he goes in depth about his lifelong battle with Sickle-Cell Anaemia, a blood disease primarily found in Black and other tropic-originating people. The lyrics feature what could be regarded as some shots at 2Pac, which likely stemmed from Pac's entirely unwarranted mocking of Prodigy's illness on "Hit 'Em Up". Ric Rude's production is a great backdrop for an intensely personal song.

Mobb Deep : Temperature's Rising

For most people, it's "Shook Ones, Pt. 2", but this is my personal favourite track on the second (yes, second) Mobb Deep album "The Infamous". Lyrically it's as dark as you'd expect from the Queensbridge duo - based on the true story of Havoc's now late brother, who had been on the run for murder - but musically, it's so smooth. This was Q-Tip at  for me, the height of his producing powers, alongside the Mobb. The drums bang hard and then the beautiful Patrice Rushen sample comes in, and Crystal Johnson's hook tops it all off. Prodigy, Havoc, Q-Tip and Crystal created a classic.

Yadava : For Peace

Time to chill things out for a little while! Yadava, resident and co-founder of the Manchester night "So Flute" cooks up something fresh and clean for the "Manchester With Love" compilation, a mammoth gathering of music from the city which is raising money for the Red Cross "We Love Manchester" emergency fund. With a cause like that, and a package of 226 tracks for a minimum donation of £10, I can't recommend highly enough that you get a copy!

Chaka Khan : I Feel For You

Trivia for you - the repeated triggering of Melle Mel saying "Chaka Khan" at the start was a mistake that sounded good, so they stayed with it! This is an absolute monster of a record, with star quality at every turn. For one, Chaka Khan was already a legendary singer at this point, primarily for fronting the funk group Rufus. Featuring in the band, you had some guy called Stevie playing the harmonica (you may have heard of him), and David Frank of The System on the synths. That's not even counting Melle Mel's opening bars. Finally, this song was written by Prince, and actually recorded by him on his second album. Rebbie Jackson and The Pointer Sisters also recorded versions, but which is the one that gets the play? This. Fire.

Suga Free : Hello, Hello, Hello

Sorry Lionel and Adele, but this is in fact the best song with only the word "Hello" in the title ;) "Hello, hello, hello" could easily have been the epigraph for an episode just because of how fly Free's delivery is! Typically outrageous in both ways on the mic, he just slays this old-school flavoured beat from Casino on the "Sunday School" LP.

Clipse ft. Keri Hilson : All Eyes On Me

I cannot work out why this song from "Til The Casket Drops" never got a single release with a video. The Neptunes on production cooked up a beat here which could easily have done well in the clubs, and has been used on many a dance routine! One of the high points of this track is the first line of the hook; I'm not sure if it's intentional, but Keri Hilson delivers it kind of void of emotion - and it works. Maybe it's just me?

Run The Jewels : Call Ticketron

This cut from "RTJ3" has been powering me through skipping (or "jump rope", as some call it) workouts at the gym over the last few months. Crazy hectic, full of energy - if they ever did play at MSG, the place would go nuts over this one!

Miguel Migs ft. Aya : The Distance (Balcazar & Sordo Remix)

The original version of "The Distance" from "Outside The Skyline" is a beauty, and almost got included here, but when I remembered this remix and tried the blend out...it had to be the choice. I do wish they'd used "into the distance" from the original hook here, but that's my only complaint. Aya's vocals are always smooth as silk, and is a great accompaniment to the cold (in a good way), electronic instrumental. Definitely worth checking the remixes release if this kind of thing is your bag!

Trae The Truth : Open Up Tha Trunk

Slow, dark, unnecessarily menacing? Sign me up! Freestyle from the "Another 48 Hours" project by Trae which, as the title suggests, was apparently completed in just two days. Moxiii and Watson The Great come through with an insanely gloomy beat, with the slowed vocal sample for the hook making it sound even more claustrophobic. Teenage me had never heard beats like this, but was trying to make them - would have loved this! 

Curren$y : Take You Higher

Cool & Dre go to town with the sample warping and filter tricks right here for the opener of the "Andretti 11/30" mixtape! Curren$y goes with a common theme of his - smoking up and getting lifted. Nothing complicated lyrically, and he cedes control of the track after just one verse to let the producers show off, which is a smart decision. When you've said all there is to say, why not step back?

Corinne Bailey Rae : Taken By Dreams

Leeds! It's been special to see Corinne Bailey Rae's career continue to build, and her latest album, "The Heart Speaks In Whispers" is a worthy addition to her catalogue. I love the way this track opens as a quite acoustic number, then brings in a wave of other elements before settling back into stillness at the end; great production by Corinne and Steven Brown. And if you ever get chance to see her perform live, do.

Wretch 32 ft.Varren Wade, Bobii Lewis & Avelino : Open Conversation & Mark Duggan

The man Mr Mari put me up on Wretch 32 a few months back and after doing a little listening, this went into headphone rotation and I was searching for a way to work it into the show. Wretch 32 started his career in the grime scene before transitioning over to more of a Hip-Hop sensibility, and his "Growing Over Life" album is a considered piece of work. This track, as he describes it, starts as very much like pages from his diary, with feelings and details that many will be able to relate to. When he starts talking about Mark Duggan, bear in mind that this is someone from his area, someone he actually went to school with - not just a person on the news. The track runs slightly short here, but it's definitely worth hearing the whole thing.

Beyoncé : Sorry (Instrumental)

Had to do a little looping and chopping to get enough of an instrumental bed to fit here, just using the intro which I think is killer. Wynter Gordon, Melo-X, Beyonce, Hit-Boy, and Stuart White are all credited with the production of this cut from the "Lemonade" album.

Oddisee : Like Really

Sometimes, you look at the madness out here, that's your reaction. Taken from Oddisee's latest album "The Iceberg", this was a track I first heard live and very much benefits from the input of live instrumentalists. Oddisee has always been a quality artist since his days working with people like DJ Jazzy Jeff and Foreign Exchange, but I never saw him expanding as much as he has done; it's a testament to hard work and commitment to the art, not the fame.


Please remember to support the artists you like! The purpose of putting the podcast out and providing the full tracklist is to try and give some light, so do use the songs on each episode as a starting point to search out more material. If you have Spotify in your country it's a great way to explore, but otherwise there's always Youtube and the like. Seeing your favourite artists live is the best way to put money in their pockets, and buy the vinyl/CDs/downloads of the stuff you like the most!

05/31/2017
Episode 96 : A City United
http://traffic.libsyn.com/airadam/Episode_96.mp3?dest-id=35990

"It's not the world, it's the people in it..."

- LaPeace

What a month it has ended up being. Manchester suffered a terrible blow, and the figurative reverberations will be felt for a long time to come. It has been something to see how people have come together in the wake of the attack, and hopefully that spirit is something that can be carried forward.

While I wasn't able to completely re-do this month's show, I hope it's a pleasant listen for anyone who has the time to give it an ear. Amongst this episode's tracks we have a couple of Manchester tunes, some beautiful instrumentals, and an uplifting ending. Enjoy.

Twitter: @airadam13


Playlist/Notes

Kendrick Lamar : DNA

"I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA". Absolute fire. The Mike Will Made-It beat is dark and banging and from the very first line, Kendrick is on point. A beast of a track from the new, appropriately-titled album "DAMN." Definitely worth checking the video starring Don Cheadle too!

[Lex Luger] Kid Ink : Blackout (Instrumental)

I was struggling to find an instrumental in my library to fit in here but then thought about which producers might have something to fit, and Lex Luger, Mr."Hard In Da Paint", was my first idea. To be honest, I went to go and have a listen to the Kid Ink track and...I didn't rate it. All about the beat here, thanks to a mixtape of instrumentals on Datpiff!

Devin The Dude : Acoustic Levitation

Devin is a bit of a southern legend, starting off with Odd Squad and Facemob before commencing a long solo career. He's noted for bringing his sense of humour to his music, but that's not the vibe on this cut, the title track from his ninth solo LP. It's a fairly serious number with Devin in reflective mood about the world over a beat produced by his old Odd Squad running mate Rob Quest, who cooks up a solid 808 groove.

Children of Zeus : I Want You

The first time I heard this, I stomped over to DJ Chris E and demanded (ok, not like that ;) ) he tell me what it was immediately! It had only just been released on the CoZ Soundcloud account, and I got my download as soon as I got back home. This is a bodywork-rattling, baby-making slow jam out of Manchester that deserves all the listens. Vocally, it's a Tyler Daly solo, and as much as I love the lead vocal I think his backing styles on the hook put this one over the top. 

Dr Dre ft. Jill Scott, Jon Connor, and Anderson .Paak : For The Love Of Money

One of my highlights from Dr Dre's "Compton" LP, a piece inspired by "Foe Tha Love Of Money" by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. This has some of the foremost soul vocalists of recent-ish times taking a starring role, with Jill Scott bringing the gentleness and Anderson contributing a rougher tone. The origins of the track are that it was the first beat made by New Jersey native Cardiak when he moved to Los Angeles, and Jon Connor heard it and wrote his lyrics to it - it was only after that that it found its way to Dre for it to become what you hear now. 

MC Eiht : Just Lean

This Compton veteran has carved out a long career, and it's amazing to think that "Affiliated" is his eleventh solo album. Add that to the Compton's Most Wanted LPs, and you have someone who deserves a ton of respect. He's not talking about anything super complex on this weed anthem, but he does definitely slip in some clever references - Ice Cube and UGK, to name but two. The longtime CMW producer Tha Chill collaborates with the D&B producer DJ Subflo for an eerie, creeping track with those echoing snares adding to the dissociative feel.

UNKLE : 24 Frames (Redux)

I can't remember how I exactly found this one - I hadn't been up-to-date with UNKLE's output after the "Psyence Fiction" album, but heard this orchestral killer on Spotify and have been dying to find a place to slot it into the show for months!

Count Bass D : Subwoofer (Dumile)

Somewhere right now, Count Bass D is making a beat. Crafting. Refining. He's sixteen solo albums in, not to mention EPs and compilations, but right here were back to his third, 2002's "Dwight Spitz", now available via Bandcamp. A tribute to the fallen DJ Subroc of KMD and also paying homage to Hip-Hop luminaries of times past, this is almost certainly my favourite tune on the LP. For a little listening detail, check how the drum pattern changes up on the approach to the hook, doubling up on the kicks and snares - very nicely done.

Mothership Connection : Space Junkin'

Manchester's Mothership Connection have been doing a stack of live appearances over the past few years, but as they're a collective of solo artists and member of other groups, it's taken a while for them to release their own product. we finally have their debut EP, "This Train Goes To Junkleberry Junction". All tracks are produced by Mankub, and this one is on a bit of an Apollo 13 vibe while the crew of MCs spill lyrics all over the equipment!

Ilajide ft. Propaine : In The House

The man behind the beats for Clear Soul Forces stays producing quality material. This particular piece is on the "Five Week Heet III" Bandcamp release, and after the quiet intro groove (hard to hear on the mix in/out, actually) it just thumps along. I definitely need to hear this man doing extra work outside the camp. Actually, how about Ilajide and Camp Lo...?

J Dilla ft. LaPeace, Moe Dirdee, & Seven The General : Say My Name

One of those songs that pops into my head fairly regularly but which I don't play even for myself as much as it deserves. Nothing esoteric here, just dope rhymes over an old Dilla beat - that's enough. Catch this on the "Rebirth Of Detroit" album.

The ARE : Midnight (Instrumental)

It's been a while since our last visit, but we return to The ARE's reworking of samples used by A Tribe Called Quest on the "Midnight Marauders" LP. This one is a re-imagining of one of my favourites, but crashing along with a vibe of its own :)

Ka : Up Against Goliath

I was having a listen to Ka's brilliant "Grief Pedigree" this month and found myself rewinding this track. It may at one level be a song about the street game, it could be an anthem for anyone up against the odds. DJs, for full thematic effect you could follow this with UGK's "Pocket Full Of Stones", which is also pretty close speed wise too. #yourewelcome

Damian Marley & Nas : Friends

It's been a while since "Distant Relatives" was released, and every so often a song gets shortlisted for the podcast before getting dropped at the last minute. This time though, it makes the cut. It's not often that Nas doesn't put in the best lyrical performance of all the vocalists on a track he appears on, but I think Damian's performance is superior here! Damian also handles the production, which is well-done, except that the periodic sloppiness on the two and four beats makes it sound like yours truly is making mixing mistakes :)

Yusef Rumperfield : Sparklin

From the Tall Black Guy Productions label come the instrumental stylings of Yusef Rumperfield on his "Jazz In Motion" album. I picked this chilled-out number because sometimes, there's no room for words.

Portishead : It Could Be Sweet

An old favourite from Portishead's debut "Dummy". Beth Gibbons' heartfelt scratchy-throated vocals go nicely on top of the drum machine beat and some subtle keyboards.

Air : High Point

The B-side to the "Once Upon A Time" single, and once again proving Chuck D right about the flip side, this is a beautiful instrumental.

Thundercat ft. Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald : Show You The Way

A great song to end on, and one I've been playing over and over since I bought Thundercat's "Drunk" album. This bassist, producer, and singer is a really unique gem, and as is somehow befitting of a man who's worked with artists as different as Suicidal Tendencies and Kendrick Lamar, he's a lover of the R&B-infused jazz fusion styles of the 70s and 80s. When Kenny Loggins called him up to say that he and Michael McDonald would be interested in collaborating, he rightly flipped out! The combination on this uplifting cut is a straight classic to me, and I think with the pain of the last month, this is a fitting place to close the episode.


Please remember to support the artists you like! The purpose of putting the podcast out and providing the full tracklist is to try and give some light, so do use the songs on each episode as a starting point to search out more material. If you have Spotify in your country it's a great way to explore, but otherwise there's always Youtube and the like. Seeing your favourite artists live is the best way to put money in their pockets, and buy the vinyl/CDs/downloads of the stuff you like the most!

04/30/2017
Episode 95 : Record Store Way
http://traffic.libsyn.com/airadam/Episode_95.mp3?dest-id=35990

"Studying my sickness like the Tuskegee Experiment."

- Ilajide

In a world with all kinds of options for DJs, there's a lot to be said for just two turntables, a mixer, and some crates!

This month's show has more new releases than the average episode, including some local heat. We also have a track from the late Guru (RIP always), and one or two of my headphone favourites finally coming out into the light!

Upcoming Manchester shows mentioned;

London Posse @ Rebellion, May 23rd

Kool G Rap @ Sound Control, June 21st

Twitter: @airadam13


Playlist/Notes

Sean Price : Definition Of God

It's a shame to think that all the Sean Price tracks we'll ever hear are already out in the world somewhere. On this posthumously-released single from this March, Sean blasts the Stu Bangas instrumental with his trademark mixture of rapping dexterity and casual, disrespectful brutality. I know I'm not alone in looking forward to the "Imperius Rex" LP - this is is right up my alley!

Ilajide : Dance Of The Psudo

Ilajide is the man behind the boards for the brilliant Clear Soul Forces, but he's also putting out some very good solo material that's definitely worth your attention! This is a burner from "Five Week Heet III", one of the lead-ups to the "Heet Tape" album release.

Tribeca : Wheel Of Fortune

A favourite of mine for years which I finally got a legit copy of (from the "Subway Series Vol.1" compilation) thanks to the modern convenience of digital purchase! Self-produced as always, the Bronx MC and MPC-batterer tells a tale of a dice game gone very wrong over a fitting 70s sample and some punching drums & bass. I won't give the sample away - to be fair, it's not a hard one to discern - but I do like the way it's been used. Using a three-bar segment for the title breakdown is awkward for a DJ, but it does sound good :)

Rapsody : Kingship

Making a return visit to Rapsody's "She Got Game" mixtape for a short and sweet cut with the legendary DJ Premier. Rapsody has one of those bell-clear voices that works so well for an MC, and lyrics to go along with it. Apparently Premo once tried to give this beat to Ludacris, but it was a little too experimental for him to do anything with!

KING : Red Eye (DJ Spinna Blissed-Out Remix)

My man Agent J from Groovement was up on this three-woman group out of Los Angeles very early, but I'm just getting up to speed on their 2016 debut "We Are King" now. It's a high-quality, ambient-flavoured R&B album with its own kind of flavour, and hopefully it's just a taste of the things yet to come! The great DJ Spinna is on the remix here and gives them some extra bass and head-nod drums to take the original "Red Eye" to new heights.

A.D. Carson : Dissertation (Part I The Introduction)

This project has something of a unique origin, which alone was enough to catch my interest. A.D. Carson was a Ph.D candidate at Clemson University who turned in his dissertation for the Rhetoric, Communication, and Information Design program in an unusual form - a full album. "Owning My Masters : The Rhetoric of Rhymes and Revolutions" is worth a listen on both its musical and academic merits, especially as a "name your price" Bandcamp release. Give a student a few dollars though! This track is a solid opener from the album, and A.D. makes excellent and appropriate use of a sample from "Malcolm X" after the hook. 

Pro P : Concrete Jungle

Almost pure drums here from one of Manchester's busiest beatmakers, on this track from the first "Concrete Jungle" beat tape.

Ran Reed ft. Sadat X : The God's Power

Hailing from New Jersey, Ran Reed was one of those guys who put in mad independent work in the mid-90s, with underground 12" releases, guest appearances, and mixtape cuts. Only this year has he finally released his debut album, and while longtime collaborator Nick Wiz contributed several beats, Ran also self-produces many, including this one. A Sadat X guest appearance is always a win, and he provides a nicely contrasting vocal tone.

Children of Zeus : Don't Say A Word

They just keep on killing it. This is the B-side of the "I Can't Wait" 7" and it knocks! Konny Kon and Tyler have a great album in them, and I am 100% here for it whenever it arrives; in the meantime, just follow them and be ahead of the curve.

Raekwon : This Is What It Comes Too (sic)

I couldn't have you thinking that I didn't know which "to" to use :) This is the lead single from Rae's new album "The Wild" (big up Dan Lish on the cover art), the first to have no features from any Wu members whatsoever! Xtreme on the beat, working a classic old-school drum break, and the rhyming is prototypical Raekwon street talk.

Guru ft. Branford Marsalis : Transit Ride

RIP Guru! I definitely wanted to play some Guru this month and was pleased to find a track of his with the same drum break as the preceding cut. He was a pioneer in making links between the Hip-Hop nation and the world of jazz, and the first "Jazzmatazz" was a landmark. Here's another link - Guru and Premier actually lived in Branford Marsalis' house for a while back in the day! That sounds like it could have made for an amazing TV programme :)

Focus : (Entry no.3) CisumovneZ

Georgia's Focus is a beast on the boards. I could happily have played any number of tracks from the "aNALOG iN a dIGITAL wORLD 2" album, but went for this one. I love the manipulation and warping of the beat as the track progresses, with all kinds of stutters and stops - almost like a modern-day, digital version of the Latin Rascals.

Geechi Suede : London Luton

A number clearly inspired by the globetrotting adventures of Camp Lo's Geechi Suede, from the "Fishnet Skyscrapers" mixtape. This one was so long in coming after the release of the single "Ask About Me", I figured it had been shelved altogether - but it finally came out this month. This actual track was recorded/released in 2016 via the Brapp TV platform, and features the production of NYTELIFE, Rexx, and SaL GuoD (all the casing styles there). It's a suitably spacey background for Geechi's abstract freestyling!

Clear Soul Forces : Fan-Ta-Sa-Ro

So talented, it's a bit ridiculous. Detroit's Clear Soul Forces channel the spirit of their hometown heroes Slum Village on this track, as Slum listeners will recognise from the title and the hook. Ilajide supplies the beat, and this tune from their debut "Detroit Revolution(s)" gave just a taste of the great work to come.

J Chambers : Thought From New Mount Street 2

A brand new freestyle from a Manchester artist on the rise as he prepares to release his "Moment of Silence II : The Road to Perdition" mini-album. Gorgeous beat, dope rhymes - what more do you need? 

Robert Glasper Experiment ft. Ledisi : Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.)

Needed something with a certain kind of flavour to follow up the J Chambers cut and I think I found it with this beautiful piece from Robert Glasper's first "Black Radio" album. Top-notch instrumentation as you might have expected, undergirding the vocals of the exceptionally talented singer/songwriter Ledisi. Oh yeah, she acts too :) This track got a Grammy nomination, and rightly so. The meaning of "F.T.B." is "off the record", according to Glasper, so take your own guess - but it was also the title of the song this is based on, from The Robert Glasper Trio's "In My Element" album.

Beatnuts : Gonna Fly  (Inst)

From the old "Hydra Beats 5" collection of instrumentals (one of fourteen), just a head-nodder courtesy of Queens' own Beatnuts, some of the most dedicated diggers in the game.

Nas & DJ Shadow : Systematic

I did not see this collaboration coming! One of the greatest ever to pick up a mic, in combination with a legendary producer...on the soundtrack to the "Silicon Valley" TV series? You could have got great odds on that. The beat is funky at the core with the odd glitchy interjection and some synth bass and FX giving it a contemporary feel. Nas can be counted on to come through with the lyrics, and this track is no exception.


Please remember to support the artists you like! The purpose of putting the podcast out and providing the full tracklist is to try and give some light, so do use the songs on each episode as a starting point to search out more material. If you have Spotify in your country it's a great way to explore, but otherwise there's always Youtube and the like. Seeing your favourite artists live is the best way to put money in their pockets, and buy the vinyl/CDs/downloads of the stuff you like the most!

03/29/2017
Episode 94 : The Illest
http://traffic.libsyn.com/airadam/Episode_94.mp3?dest-id=35990

"...yo' ass lie like the president!"

- Ice Cube

This month marks twenty years since the death of Biggie Smalls - and yet it somehow doesn't feel like that long ago. The B.I.G man's influence still looms large over the culture and this show is no exception. Several Biggie tracks and others inspired by him dot the episode, alongside choices from the discographies of the late Phife and Nate Dogg. Besides those, a few classics and some fairly modern gems you may have missed!

Catch me DJing at Eastern Bloc Records on April 22nd for Record Store Day and then stay out for their big party in the evening! Just over a week later, check DJ Andy Smith at Whiskey Jar for a Sunday night session :)

Twitter : @airadam13


Playlist/Notes

Ice Cube ft. Chris Rock : You Ain't Gotta Lie (Ta Kick It)

The way things are right now, I should do a whole mixtape strictly on the subject of lying! Chris Rock was an inspired choice to guest on this track from "War & Peace Vol.2 (The Peace Disc)" for the adlibs, while Cube just goes in with venom on an assortment of unnamed dishonest people. Production comes from Chucky Thompson of The Hitmen, and it does have a little of that Bad Boy flavour - you could imagine someone like The Lox on this beat back in the day.

Da Beatminerz : Bentleys & Bitches (Instrumental)

Tough beat right here from instrumental version the "Brace 4 Impak" LP (can't believe it's 16 years old this year!) - definitely an album to have in the collection if the ruggedness is what you seek. 

ODB : Hippa To Da Hoppa

Two short verses of battle rhymes in Dirty's own truly inimitable style :) I don't play much ODB here somehow, but he was an MC unlike any other. This isn't one of the most often heard tracks from "Return To The 36 Chambers : The Dirty Version", but it popped into my head as one to bring out this month. The beat was one that RZA had in his archives and that Dirty had mentally bookmarked for himself when the time was right. 

Lords Of The Underground : Chief Rocka

I was well pleased to be able to cut this in and have it rhyme with the hook of the preceding track! A classic Hip-Hop single out of Newark, New Jersey, with K-Def on production. This is the video version, taken from the 12" single, with the original of course being available on the "Here Come The Lords" LP. This tune is quality all the way through, but we don't quite make it to the end of the third verse, because it made sense to loop up a notable Mr.Funkee line and then come in with...

The Notorious B.I.G. : Machine Gun Funk

...a track which happens to use it as a hook! The 1-2-3 combo on "Ready To Die" of "Things Done Changed", "Gimme The Loot", and "Machine Gun Funk" is phenomenal, but this is still an underrated cut in my opinion. Easy Mo Bee contributed an absolutely cracking beat, and Biggie's rhymes are enough for his son to rate this as maybe his favourite from the catalogue. Pure fire.

Mary J. Blige ft. The Notorious B.I.G. : Real Love (Remix)

If you weren't around at the time, it's hard to communicate how revolutionary this was. Hip-Hop and R&B were very separate things back then, and it was people like the Harlem DJ Ron G with his innovative and influential blend tapes who showed the possibilities of combining the two. When Puff Daddy (now P.Diddy) went to Uptown Records, he masterminded producing that kind of combination to the studio, and the "What's The 411? (Remix)" album is one of the most well-known examples. Ron G is actually on the intro to this track (just before the part I start playing from), but Puffy and Daddy-O (of Stetsasonic) are credited with the Hip-Hop-heavy production, blending several classic samples together to give Mary a fitting backing - which also works brilliantly for Biggie, when he comes in.

[Buckwild] Sadat X : The Lump Lump (Instrumental)

Classic boom-bap from 1996, Buckwild's bumping instrumental for the Sadat X track discussing... adventures about town. This was a quality single from the "Wild Cowboys" LP - remember when a tune like this could be a club banger?

Curren$y ft. Nate Dogg & Nijay Sincere : Let's Get It Crackin'

This has one of those hooks that just sticks in your head - Nate Dogg can do that to you. Just know that you cannot sing like him :) Anyway, this is kind of an interesting one; you may be familiar with Curren$y's recent career, the "lifestyle rap" and the sonic flavours that come with it, but this 2010 single sounds more like a move for the clubs and the radio - not necessarily a bad thing at all. He's firmly midtempo here over the DJ Taylormade beat with Nate supplying a hook that may not be catchy, but one that works for sure.

A Tribe Called Quest : The Donald

RIP Phife Dawg...aka Don Juice, apparently! Dancehall-accented tune with some nice turntable work (courtesy of DJ Scratch) for the sureshot combination of Tribe and Busta Rhymes on this closer from "We got it from Here...Thank You 4 Your Service", the final ATCQ LP. One of the only things I've heard in months that involves the name "Donald" and doesn't make me want to be sick!

Lexxus : Stress

I'm kind of mad I had to buy the "Mr.Lex" album a second time (on CD) because so many tracks aren't on the vinyl. Still, big tune here with Bobby Konders on the digital production! Lexxus only has two albums, but his singles discography is deep if you like what you hear.

Large Pro : Off Yo Azz On Yo Feet

(Note: I've just realised that this was also included on episode 76. First repeated track in the history of the show! #oops)

The live guy with glasses just keeps on going. His latest LP, 2015's "Re:Living" was a concise eleven tracks, with this being one that just stuck in my head. Self-produced, of course, with the snare smacking away relentlessly in the mix. Lyrically - I guess it's motivational music, after a fashion? The hook certainly leaves no doubt about the message :)

The Alchemist : The Thirst

Thinking about it recently, I realised that in this post-anthem world with an explosion of music availability, Alchemist has quietly worked his way into the pantheon of greatest all-time producers. A nice dark beat from the first "Rapper's Best Friend" beat compilation. 

Mega Ran : 10 Gamer Commandments

Random aka Mega Ran is best known for his skill at blending of video game culture and Hip-Hop, and he gives just a piece of it on this cut from his "Notorious R.A.N - Ready To Live" tribute album. Twenty years after the passing of Biggie, Mega Ran reworks some of his tracks in tribute, and this bonus track is of course his flip of "Ten Crack Commandments"; a step-by-step booklet on how to conduct yourself in the gaming world ;)

Kaytranada ft. Craig David : Got It Good

A year ago we heard a Ras Kass track based on this instrumental, but I thought it was worth giving you the original! Coming strong for the crown of best producer to come out of Haiti, the Canadian-raised Kaytranada made some serious noise among those who know last year with the "99.9%" album, and this was a standout cut for me. The highly underrated Craig David supplies a smooth vocal performance at the high end while the beat bumps along at the bottom - great blend.

Omniscence : Golden

North Carolina coming through! The likes of Bandcamp is a godsend for allowing independent releases to be easily obtainable by the fans, and after putting out stuff like the previously-unreleased "The Raw Factor" digitally, Omniscence then moved on to bringing new material onto the platform. This piece from "The God Hour" has some bump but the gentle keyboard work is a fitting backing to Omni's two contemplative verses.

Geto Boys : Leanin' On You

A group often missed when we discuss Hip-Hop legends, Houston's Geto Boys went through lineup changes early in their life, then settled for a while before changing again, and finally coming back together with what most consider the canonical MC lineup - Scarface, Willie D, and Bushwick Bill. Here, we take a reflective track from their seventh LP, "The Foundation", with each MC taking a turn to describe a missed person or a struggle in their own lives. The production comes from someone you may not associate with this style, and also may not have thought about in a while - Mr.Mixx of 2 Live Crew, a pioneer of the Miami Bass sound. This certainly has some heft in the mix but rather than the accelerated beats that he made his name with, this sample re-work is slow and somewhat solemn, perfectly matching the lyrics. 

Oddisee : Brixton

A bit of an old one (2010) from Oddisee's "Traveling Man" instrumental album; I don't know if he made this beat in Brixton or just took inspiration from there, but it's quality as usual. I'll likely play you something from his new album "The Iceberg" in the coming months.

Willie Evans Jr. : Nerd English

Finally, we come all the way back to the theme from the episode opener! A very amusing but sincere track about keeping it all the way real, staying in your lane...however you want to put it :) It reminds us that trying to be something we're not is stressful, hard work, potentially trouble, and just generally undignified. A solid tune from the "Introducin'" LP that always makes me smile.


Please remember to support the artists you like! The purpose of putting the podcast out and providing the full tracklist is to try and give some light, so do use the songs on each episode as a starting point to search out more material. If you have Spotify in your country it's a great way to explore, but otherwise there's always Youtube and the like. Seeing your favourite artists live is the best way to put money in their pockets, and buy the vinyl/CDs/downloads of the stuff you like the most!

02/26/2017
Episode 93 : (for small values of infinity)
http://traffic.libsyn.com/airadam/Episode_93.mp3?dest-id=35990

"All that happy, 'let's be friends' shit? Yo, this is the opposite."

- Konny Kon

As usual, we pay tribute to J Dilla, Big L, and Big Pun this month, but also two giants from a previous generation who both made a massive impact on Hip-Hop; Clyde Stubblefield and David Axelrod, who both passed in the last few weeks. Besides that, we have some great recent tracks from Manchester, some US classics and a few tracks that may have passed you by! Let's get it going...

Twitter : @airadam13


Playlist/Notes

D.I.T.C. : Best Behavior (Showbiz Remix #2)

From "The Remix Project", we go heavy in multiple ways right from the jump. Big Pun may not have been a charter member of D.I.T.C, but Fat Joe certainly is, and it's via Joe that we end up with this connection to one of the fiercest MCs of all time. One verse each over this Showbiz beat which somehow manages to be even darker than the excellent Amed-produced original

David McCallum : The Edge

I'd imagine a good number of you thought this was about to be an entirely different record :) This track from the "Music: A Bit More Of Me" album is definitely the most famous track by the actor/musician David McCallum, and one of the most well-recognised by the producer, the brilliant David Axelrod, who passed away this month. That intro is just a monster.

Big L & Jay-Z : Freestyle

Given the origin and the content, I hope you can excuse the sound quality! This is one of the great freestyle sessions of all time, with the then-rising Big L and Jay-Z trading serious bars over the beat for Miilkbone's "Keep It Real"; as it turns out, they'd already battled off-mic earlier the same night! While that clash is lost to folklore, it's good to have this back-and-forth preserved for posterity, thanks to Stretch & Bobbito.

Ras Kass : Soul On Ice (Remix)

Diamond D remixes the title track from Ras' debut, blessing Ras with a David Axelrod-sampling instrumental that is probably better known than the original. Ras is in the political lyrical mode many people would associate him with here, but as always managed to blend that with just vicious battle lines. "The waterproof MC, you ain't wettin' me/You need to stop rapping and start robbing banks like Steady B"? *Ouch*...

SoundSci : The Remedy (Jonny Cuba Remix)

This one has just missed the cut a few times but it fit nicely here! Super relaxed vibe all the way through on this closing track from the "Dig For Victory" EP.

James Brown : Funky Drummer (Parts 1 & 2)

We join this track about a minute and a half in - the full track is seven minutes long. At 19:25 though, one of the most famous, sampled, re-used, re-formulated pieces of audio of all time appears to grace our eardrums. Clyde Stubblefield claimed to not particularly like this song as a whole all that much, but these few seconds of solo drumming when he was given his shine have immortalised it - and him. 

[Jay Dee] Slum Village : Climax (Instrumental)

Easily one of my favourite Dilla beats, from the "Fantastic, Vol.2" album - a fantastic blend of samples and that clap on the two and four are perfectly crisp and clean.

Busta Rhymes : Genesis

Busta was one of those MCs who caught on to J Dilla relatively early and the two artists combined for some excellent tracks over the years. On "Genesis", Busta's fifth album, Dilla contributed this title track and "Make It Hurt", which sounds like it was done by a completely different producer, which just goes to show his versatility. 

Gang Starr : Mass Appeal

It just seemed to go well with the Busta record, and it's a great single, taken from the "Hard To Earn" LP. What you might not know about it is that DJ Premier essentially put the beat together as a bit of a mickey take! The track is supposed to sound like catchy elevator music, in keeping with the lyrical theme of rappers simplifying their material for a popular audience - but it just sounds so good! 

Souls of Mischief : 93 Til Infinity (Remix)

Do I prefer this to the original? Absolutely not - however, that doesn't mean it's not a quality track in its own right. If you listen carefully, you'll hear that it's an actual re-record, with the lyrics being very slighly different and the delivery also tweaked to better fit this alternative beat by A-Plus. The easiest place to find this is on the original 12" single, though it has been released by itself as well.

Masta Ace Incorporated : Saturday Night Live (L.A. Jay Remix)

Staying in '93 for a remix of a track from the "SlaughtaHouse" album - an LP notable for largely being a parody which a lot of people either took literally or assumed wasn't about them! This particular track has its own dark humour, showing about how live a Saturday night can actually get, and feaures Uneek, Eyce, and Lord Digga on the mic. L.A. Jay from the Pharcyde crew rocks the same sample heard on Gang Starr's "Jazz Music" for a beat that manages to surpass the album version!

Pete Rock : Dilla Bounce (R.I.P)

A fitting instrumental to include this month. Dilla came up idolising the work of Pete Rock, so it's poetic that after his passing (as in life), Pete pays respect to him in return. I feel that "Petestrumentals 2" may follow the same path as its predecessor - underrated on release, and retrospectively hailed as a classic.

Run The Jewels ft. Joi : Down

The "RTJ3" album came out on Christmas Day and ensured that we all got at least one present :) This was the opener and a worthy one - a look back at Killer Mike and El-P's pasts, and a look forward to where they plan to go. There's a kind of warmness to the beat which isn't a word I'd usually use to describe an El-P track, but it envelops your ears and draws you in to focus on the lyrics.

Ellis Meade : Kings & Queens

Ellis was kind enough to send me a copy of this a few months back and I finally found a good place to showcase it in a mix. The flow is crazy over a double-timed, almost southern-style Pro P beat. Another win for the Room 2 Records crew!

Chamillionaire : You Gotta Love Me

"Mayn, let the truth free". That shout-out to the then-incarcerated Pimp C firmly dates this one, a longtime headphone favourite for me finally making it onto the show! From the DJ Whoo Kid (hence the annoying adlibs) collaboration mixtape "The Truth", Cham focuses his anger on Mike Jones ("who?", you may now ask?) - that beef lasted for several years. I haven't been able to find out who produced this but that sped-up vocal sample is a serious earworm!

Don Jagwarr : The Cure

I've had this one hanging around for a long while, not sure it's everyone's speed but it fit tempo-wise into this selection and I think was a reasonable follow-up to the soul sample in the previous track. Don Jagwarr is almost certainly best known to most as the guest on Ice Cube's "Wicked", but he did have his old LP, "Faded", from which this track is drawn. The beat and hook are based around a replay of Diana Ross' "Love Hangover", which is a chilled backing for Jagwarr to spin his tale over.

Jake One : Oh Lord

We go back to the gospel-themed "#PrayerHandsEmoji" beat tape for this instrumental, a perfect warm-up for this month's closer...

Children of Zeus : Crown

An anthem already (wow, alliteration)! Tyler Daly goes straight rhymes alongside the always-ready Konny Kon over a no-drums track based around a stirring gospel sample; both MCs turn it out in fine style! Absolutely huge track from the "Two Syllables, Volume Thirteen" compilation and one that deserves as much shine as possible - on top of everything else, it also has one of the best videos I've seen in ages, so no excuse not to share and share again!


Please remember to support the artists you like! The purpose of putting the podcast out and providing the full tracklist is to try and give some light, so do use the songs on each episode as a starting point to search out more material. If you have Spotify in your country it's a great way to explore, but otherwise there's always Youtube and the like. Seeing your favourite artists live is the best way to put money in their pockets, and buy the vinyl/CDs/downloads of the stuff you like the most!

All content Air Adam Productions