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.
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10/31/2017
Episode 101 : Staying Power
http://traffic.libsyn.com/airadam/Episode_101.mp3?dest-id=35990

Shelltoes

"Gotta risk a life just in order to make a living."

- Le$

This month, we keep things at a moderate-to-low tempo, allowing you to conserve some energy as autumn draws in; all you need to do is keep that head bobbing! 

If you're anywhere near Manchester, don't miss out on the Juice Crew on November 13th.

Twitter: @airadam13


Playlist/Notes

Redman : The Saga Continues (Da Countdown)

Apologies for the sound quality - the vinyl I have sounds pretty grungy to begin with! This (from "Ill At Will Vol.1") was the first track I think I heard Redman talking about his Gilla House label on, and he is seriously hyped up! Killer beat too, and great use of the Dre sample for the opening and the hook.

Alchemist : Stuck To You

A nice beat from Alchemist's "Rapper's Best Friend" beat compilation, later used on the similarly named "Stuck On You" by Prodigy on his excellent "Return Of The Mac" mixtape.

Natural Elements : DroNEs

A new release from one of my favourite crews! Natural Elements spit lyrics about government surveillance over the beat from the classic "Clones" by The Roots. The call-and-response motif on the piano is a killer, and the beat as a whole is spare enough to avoid overpowering any MCs - as though that would ever be a concern with these three...

Raekwon : Nothing

One of those tracks where the radio version definitely has the edge over the uncensored album one! Raekwon stays bringing that low-key gangster talk on this cut from his latest LP, "The Wild". Production is by Frank G, who cooks up a nasty beat - slowing down a classic soul drum break and topping it all off with that vocal sample that forms the foundation of the hook.

Jay-Z ft. Frank Ocean : Caught Their Eyes

The vibe on this selection from "4:44" fits in pretty well here I think. Jay is in scalding form, talking about surviving the world around him on the first verse and then talking raw about the administrators of Prince's estate on the second. Production is by No I.D, who also gets points for finishing the track with the sample of Joseph Welch asking of Senator McCarthy "at long last, have you left no sense of decency?" - I wonder if we'll reach a political moment like that in the near future...

Count Bass D ft. Snoop Dogg : Too Much Pressure

Brand new 2017 release from two veterans in the art. Count Bass D comes through with some low-speed synth funk that perfectly suits the mellow Snoop vocals.

Terrace Martin presents The Pollyseeds : Chef Dubble E

The Pollyseeds are Terrace Martin's band, and they are seriously skilled musicians - those who caught them at Band on the Wall will have experienced that first-hand. Their new album "Sounds of Crenshaw Vol.1" is kind of jazzy, kind of groovy, definitely genuine and absolutely worth your time for a listen. I just love the low end on this one, bending along with the motif set by the rest of the musicians and forcing you to feel it as you turn the volume up!

Scram Jones ft. Saigon : No Surprise

Nice little track from the "Dead Giveaway" free EP - released exactly four years ago on Halloween 2013. Scram and Saigon tell their own stories of their introductions to Hip-Hop and how they came to work together on a chilled, guitar-led instrumental.

M-Dot ft. Method Man and Dominique Larue : Shine

I've only just found out that this record was released as a single, and that was all the way back in 2014! My first hearing of this was as part of the new "Ego And The Enemy" LP from Boston's M-Dot. If you think you hear an Eminem-ish tone on the closing verse, you're not the only one - I had to double-check the credits! Columbus MC Dominique Larue of the group Heresy is someone I hadn't heard before but will definitely be checking based on her bars here, and a feature from Meth just puts the icing on things. Soulplusmind provides the production - the change-up for the hook is what does it for me on this beat.

Dubbul O x Clay : Commence

Quality from the Room 2 camp out of Manchester. Dubbul O always heats up the mic and Clay gives him a solid beat to get busy on. Available as a "name your price" release on Bandcamp and once again...this B-side wins.

Ras Kass : Eyes Don't Lie

This is one of my headphone regulars finally finding its way onto the podcast! It's slightly awkward to mix with the "eyes don't lie" refrain being three bars rather than an even number, but that's just a concern for us DJs :) Ski produces this tune from Ras' "Institutionalized Vol. 2" mixtape, and Ras is excellent on the mic as per usual.

Pete Rock & CL Smooth : Get On The Mic (Instrumental)

Both of the Pete & CL albums are 100% must-owns for any Hip-Hop fan, and when I saw an instrumental version of "The Main Ingredient" on vinyl a while back, it had to be grabbed. Just enjoy Pete Rock's SP-1200 mastery on this one.

Dilated Peoples : Let Your Thoughts Fly Away

Big shout out to my man Gez, who bought me the excellent "Directors of Photography" album for my birthday a few years back! This is my favourite track on there, but at around 73bpm, a tough one to find other records to go with; I'd been saving it and found a great spot for it here. Diamond D kills it with this beat, another one with a slightly unusual bar count, putting some bump on a wicked jazz-rock sample. Rakaa Iriscience and Evidence go back and forth with short six-bar verses, coming through crystal clear at this laid-back speed.

Hus Kingpin ft. Milano Constantine and DJ Q-Bert : Serotonin High

When I heard that Big Ghost Ltd had produced an album, I had to get it - someone with such a well-documented high bar for what he considers to be hard enough (and a relentless disregard for the weak) would surely come through with the goods. He takes the helm for the "Cocaine Beach" project by NY-raised, L.A-resident MC Hus Kingpin (aka Lord Wavy), which is on that experimental street vibe that fans of someone like Roc Marciano will appreciate. This cut bangs along with the gravelly vibes of Hus and guest Milano Constantine of DITC painting street brushstroke over the top. The absolute capper, though, is the appearance of legendary turntablist DJ Q-Bert, who shows stunning control on his patterns here. Definitely an album to check - though a short one, at around 38 minutes.

Ken Dawg : Playa In Me

I picked up the "Mo Thugs Family Scriptures" album way back in 1996 for one reason - it was a bargain. I wasn't even into the Bone Thugs sound, but found a few gems on there that I enjoyed, and this was one of them. This was Ken Dawg's first release, and he was featured on projects as late as 2003. He may not have a deep catalogue or the most dazzling wordplay, but all the same he made a good record here!

Children Of Zeus : I Can't Wait

Konny Kon and Tyler Daly are continuing to build momentum towards the completion and release of their debut album, but for now they're feeding the people something to hold us over. The "The Story So Far..." compilation brings together all the tracks they've had out on Soundcloud and Bandcamp up to now (some of which you'll have heard on the podcast), and is an absolutely essential purchase. Soulful as always, this track is one of their latest releases, still bringing some sunshine as we approach the winter months!

The Cool Kids : Popcorn (Instrumental)

Found this one on the "Gone Fishing : Instrumentals" collection - truthfully, not even my favourite beat on there, but not only does the speed come in right where I need it to, but the vocal samples form a counterpoint to the Children of Zeus track that comes before!

Le$ : 45 South

I think Spotify Radio brought this one to my attention after a playlist of mine ran out, but it grabbed me on the first listen. Le$ is an MC out of Houston (but born in New Orleans) who's been associated with the Boss Hogg Outlawz and Curren$y's Jet Life click, and really seems to represent a new wave of talent coming from the city. He gives you some of what you might expect lyrically but definitely drops some other gems in amongst it all, weaving politics and street/industry politics into the mix. On the beat here is DJ Mr Rogers, with a slow track very much in the Houston tradition and perfect for a SLAB. I definitely need to sit down with the "Midnight Club" album off the back of this one!


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!

09/29/2017
Episode 100 : We Made It.
http://traffic.libsyn.com/airadam/Episode_100.mp3?dest-id=35990

Air Adam mosaic

"One hundred on the percentage, I don't talk split..."

- Q-Ball

Wow, what a milestone! In the early days of the show I didn't know we'd still be here after this long, but focusing on just producing one show at a time has paid off. Every month I feel like I must have run out of tunes, but one hundred months in....not quite yet ;)

Thanks so much to all of you for taking the time to listen. Please spread this one far and wide!

Twitter : @airadam13

For this month's charity draw (check the end of the show for details), the website to donate to is MSF, entries close on the 21/10/2017. 


Playlist/Notes

Air Adam & Mega Ran : Pacman

Hitting you with a special right out of the gate! This is one of my own beats, done many moons ago when my man Kev 80s asked if I could make something out of sounds from the "Pacman" arcade machine. I sampled some audio out of an arcade emulator into the MPC and got busy; when I played it for Kev over the phone, he went out of his mind! I knew I had something, and I got this beat pressed onto a dubplate which some of you will have heard me pull out and play occasionally over the years. I've always thought it deserved some lyrics, and I was honoured to have Mega Ran bless it for a 100th episode special. Not only is he an ill MC, but one who knows his video games and has been a real pioneer in flipping gaming sounds and themes to devastating effect! No hook, just straight bars for you - I really hope you enjoy this one as much as I do every time I hear it :)

Visioneers : Apache (Battle Dub)

My man Bane pointed me in the direction of the Hipology 7" set by Marc Mac's Visioneers, and it's a nice five-disc, ten-track set paying respect to Hip-Hop's influence in his life. There's a mixtape of it on Bandcamp, but it's worth getting the full release! To start off a mini-theme in this part of the show, we go with their take on the classic track "Apache", a true foundation break of Hip-Hop. If you want a bit more background on it, check the film "Sample This"!

Ilajide : Apache 2

This man is one of my favourite producers of the last few years, and here he kills it with a great flip of the Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five version of "Apache"(you can just hear him letting it play as I blend the track in). Slowed, chopped, and with some added ODB flavour, it's a monster that on its own makes a purchase of "Five Week Heet IV" worth it!

Nas : Made You Look

A lot of people like to talk down on Nas' beat selection, but in my opinion you have to give him this; whenever he needs to drop that one big street single, he can. "Nas Is Like"? "Get Down"? "The Don"? That's just three off the top of my head, and this one could well go ahead of all of them. Salaam Remi flips that "Apache" breakbeat but making it slower and more menacing and Nas is on top form setting out his stall on this first verse. When this track dropped it got everyone open for "God's Son", and you can guarantee crowd response in a Hip-Hop club when the hook hits. Just one verse here, then blending during the hook into a killer remix...

Nas ft. Styles P and Ludacris : Made You Look (Remix)

Eleven synonyms for "gun" in just the first three bars of his verse is what stands out for me on Nas' closer right here. You have to bring it when you get a verse like Ludacris' preceding lyrics, and while you don't hear it on this episode, Styles P also got it done. This remix was killing the net and mixtapes when it came out but to the best of my knowledge, it never got an official release - if you know otherwise, get at me!

Aim & QNC ft. Grand Puba and Sean Price : We Don't Play (Curt Cazal Remix)

A great union of Grand Central-connected acts, along with some big guests! The original from the "The Habit of a Lifetime (And How to Kick It)" LP with Aim's production is dark, but Curt Cazal takes the darkness in a completely different direction for this remix. Treat yourself with a bit of extra volume for this cut because even with just two bass notes every couple of bars, it definitely bumps! Lyrically, all the verses are solid but as usual, I think Sean P takes it. Also check the homage being paid to EPMD, first with the opening bars, and on the hook too!

Seanie T, Karl Hinds, Jeff3, and Skeme : Had E-Nuff

I can't count the times I wanted to play this on the show but just wasn't happy with the mix! From Seanie T's Western-themed "The Blacknificent 7" superteam (just four on this track) we have this thumping AA-side with all MCs sounding seriously vex over a Karl Hinds beat. The Guru sample for the hook is just the icing on the cake!

DJ Spinna : Fancy Pants

Always here for a DJ Spinna beat, and this is an old one which has only just become available. The "Unpicked Treats Volume 1" collection on Bandcamp is made up of unreleased beats from 2005 to the present, and if you're a fan it's definitely one to check. This track has that trademark squelchy keyboard low end he does so well.

Redman : Tonight's Da Night

From Red's debut "Whut? Thee Album", we take the start of the jazzy third single, which has a lyrical switchup after the first few bars, and then do a little switch of our own...

Royal Flush : Best Type Of Rapper

...into this - I did this transition once live and the crowd went mad calling for the rewind! Big tune from the 2005 "Street Boss" album by Queens' Royal Flush. I haven't been able to find a producer credit for this one, but it's an energetic, horn-laden track over a classic break with Flush's staple street braggadocio delivered with what is still a low-key flow.

Naughty By Nature : Craziest

In a time when Hip-Hop was much more localised (and NY-centric) than it is now, the all-area respect theme of this track was a rarity; the video does a great job conveying it too. A fantastic but in my opinion, under-appreciated single from the "Poverty's Paradise" LP. NBN self-produce the track, and the particular combination of sounds like little else while also being very comfortable/familiar somehow. Treach and Vinny then proceed to get amped on the verses (did Treach ever get his money from Jermaine?), and the hook is straight classic. I'd love to hear a Leeds, Manchester, or just a UK version of this one!

DJ Quik ft. B-Real : Fandango

I think this is an amazing tune, and I love to find opportunities to play it when I DJ. The first full track on the "Trauma" LP, it's just big sounding and driving, with the horns taking centre stage and reminding you of an HBCU marching band - if you can't get live to this one, you should seek medical attention!

DJ Quik ft. B-Real : Fandango (Live at the House of Blues)

There aren't that many live Hip-Hop albums so being able to do a mix like this is rare, but taking the opportunity to catch that crowd energy is a winner. This is from the "Greatest Hits : Live at the House of Blues" album, which was recorded in February 2006 and is a release absolutely worth having in your collection! B-Real's killer second verse gets the crowd hype here and Quik brings it home strong, while the band do an excellent rendition of Quik's original production.

Showbiz & A.G. : Silence Of The Lambs (Remix)

Claaassic Diggin In The Crates product right here. The original cut on "Runaway Slave" is dope, but this remix is just incredible. Those blaring, almost discordant horns scream to be heard over Showbiz' wicked drum sampler programming, before settling down into the groove of the verses. This is the time when both members were getting on the mic, before Showbiz (now just Show) decided to focus on his work behind the boards. He could easily have carried on, but given that he's responsible for beats like "Sound Of Da Police", he can be forgiven for rationing his time. One aside - check the low, distorted evil laugh during the hook!

Chemical Brothers : Chico's Groove

The Chemical Brothers' "Exit Planet Dust" was a huge debut release, which came to the attention of me and mine via the use of several tracks on Channel 4's NBA coverage back in the day :) While they're primarily a dance act, there were some more laid back cuts on the album, and this was a standout for me - the feel of the first part of the track before the bass section comes in is just gorgeous.

The Mouse Outfit ft. Black Josh and TrueMendous : It's Like That

New track from a Manchester crew who continue to go from strength to strength - if this is any indication of what their next album will sound like, they're onto another winner! Chini's beat is chilled but the drums snap, and as always the right MCs are drafted in to grace the track. Black Josh has been working with The Mouse Outfit for a while and delivers some solid lyrics, but is at least matched by the dextrous TrueMendous out of Birmingham, who shines on this one!

Camp Lo ft. Mecca : Sky Box

The closing track on Camp Lo's second album, the appropriately-named "Let's Do It Again", this gentle Jocko-produced track is a tribute to loved ones Sonny and Geechi have lost along the way. One of the rare five-star tracks on my iPods.

Tall Black Guy : Broken Lies

A little something from the "Mini Therapy Chops 3" single by TBG, laid back but very tech with the drum programming, throwing in some great rolls and cymbal work!

Raekwon ft. Ghostface Killah : Rainy Dayz

Ok - I don't know if this is definitely my favourite Hip-Hop song, but is absolutely my favourite song on my favourite Hip-Hop album, the mighty and must-own "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...". A beautiful, dark, twisted beat from RZA in his golden period is the perfect setting to hear Rae and Ghost talk about being stuck in the drug business, with Blue Raspberry killing the vocals as the woman left at home worrying about her man. RZA cites it as one of his favourites, and with good reason. As far as my own relationship with this track; a) I played this once a day minimum for at least six months after buying the album, and b) that part where the audio seems to disappear towards end is the cue burn I put on this vinyl learning how to rock doubles on some highly unsuitable turntables!

Jan Hammer : It's Over

A short instrumental from the "Cocaine Cowboys" soundtrack. An amusing story about that OST is that the producers of the film were nervous about asking Jan Hammer to do something in the vein of "Miami Vice", in case he took offence and declared he'd moved past all that; as it tuned out, he had all the old synths upstairs ready to get busy!

Rakim : Bring It On

Very little available info on this one. It appears to be a remix of a 1995 track produced by Dominic Owen, but neither version was ever released. The sound quality on the white label compilation I have is pretty awful, but I tried to add a little top end to the EQ to counteract the worst of the muddiness. Rakim is in aggressive mode over a hard beat that definitely could have gone down well at the time, when the rugged East Coast sound was popular. This is the kind of relative rarity I love to share with you all!


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!

08/27/2017
Episode 99 : Straight From The Sixth Ward
http://traffic.libsyn.com/airadam/Episode_99.mp3?dest-id=35990

Makeshift recording!

"Acknowledge the scholarship."

- Sean Price

One of the more challenging episodes I've released in the history of the show, thanks to an unexpected illness and subsequent surgery. I'm out now and on the mend, but the sound quality of the voiceover I recorded while in the hospital is somewhat rough, so apologies; will be back at podcast HQ for the 100th show!

PS - it seriously was the sixth ward...

Twitter : @airadam13


Playlist/Notes

Sean Price ft. Illa Ghee and Head I.C.E. : Go Rambo

I don't know what that sample is, but I like it! I've been saving this track for this episode, one that Roc Marciano produced (got this wrong on the voiceover) for the "Songs In The Key Of Price" mixtape, but also put out on PF Cuttin's own Soundcloud. Unsurprisingly, Sean drops the best verse of the three!

Apollo Brown : The Answer

For a relatively low-key opening to the show, I needed an instrumental which achieved quality without being too bombastic - mission accomplished by this piece from Apollo's "Thirty Eight" album.

Ka : I'm Ready

I might have to experiment trying to put together the kind of beat that Brownsville's Ka can take to this kind of level. As it is though, he does a fantastic job self-producing with skill and subtlety. Barely any drums there, just enough to to keep a rhythm under the atmospheric backing. One of my favourite wordsmiths, Ka is the thinking person's MC and his clear, steady delivery allows you to catch every word. "The Night's Gambit", his third solo LP, was another triumph.

Roc Marciano : Better Know

A great artist to play next to Ka - both men have a very distinct aesthetic and a mutual respect that has led them to work together to great effect. It's been a bit of a wait for Roc's "Rosebudd's Revenge" LP, but we finally have it and it has that vintage crime feel we know him for in spades, not least on this track. 

Boldy James ft. Vince Staples : Give Me A Reason

Nothing uplifting and edifying here, just unrelenting darkness from the two MCs on this pick from the "My First Chemistry Set" album. Alchemist's beat sounds halfway between crime thriller and 70s prog-rock, and fits perfectly.

Beres Hammond : No Disturb Sign (SD50s Remix)

Going with a reggae flex going into the break, we have an artist who specialises in the Lover's Rock subgenre, which will be especially familiar to my Black British listeners of a certain age :) Beres started his career in the seventies, but this cut is a remix of a track from his 1994 album "In Control". The SD50s come through with a relaxed boom-bap backing for this tune about staying in bed for some romantic time!

Apple Juice Kid : Sacrifice

Once more, we return to the "Beats of a Revolution" instrumental album for this gentle but percussive number, which is just the right pace to transition into the next section.

Hannah Williams & The Affirmations : Late Nights & Heartbreak

This may sound familiar to many of you, thanks to No I.D. sampling it as the musical basis for Jay-Z's "4:44" - given the lyrical themes of each track, it's a very appropriate usage. Lovely bit of soul from Winchester's Hannah Williams and her band, which is the title track from their 2016 LP. The production on the Jay-Z record makes use of the actual session recordings as well as some custom re-records, but you can hear the foundations right here.

Facemob : The Other Side

Facemob was a multi-regional group assembled by Scarface of the Geto Boys, made up of 350 (Ohio), DMG (Minnesota), Devin (Florida), Chi-Ray (Illinois), and Smit-D (Texas), at a time when many of those regions weren't getting the respect. This is essentially the title track from their 1996 debut "The Other Side Of The Law". Scarface produced most of the album, but on this particular track Michael Poye and Uncle Eddie lay down some slow funk. It's not a powerhouse of a cut lyrically, but I would say Devin had the best verse.

Bronx Slang : Well, Well, Well

The bluesy-soul of this cut blends really well into this spot, courtesy of friend of the show Jerry Beeks and rhyme partner Ollie Miggs! Both MCs go back and forth dreaming of various superlatives over a beat from East London's Jadell.

MC Eiht ft. The Lady Of Rage : Heart Cold

Welcome back Lady of Rage! If you were around in the era of "The Chronic", you thought Rage was going to blow up huge after "Afro Puffs", but it didn't quite turn out that way. Nonetheless, she carried on working both on the mic and in front of the cameras as an actress, and it's great to hear her here alongside fellow West Coast legend MC Eiht on the DJ Premier-executive produced LP "Which Way Iz West". Austria's Brenk Sinatra is on the dark and dramatic beat, with fitting scratch work over the top.

Ulrich Schnauss : Thoughtless Motion

I was going to save this for a future selection I'm curating, but it was just a little too slow and so I thought I'd bring it here. The London-based, German-born Schnauss has a nice catalogue of synth-based music, and this track from "No Further Ahead Than Today" has a feel reminiscent of an 80s thriller soundtrack.

The Doppelgangaz ft. Tnava : Roll Flee

The "Dopp Hopp" LP is likely well worth checking if this big tune is anything to go by. The cloak-wearing duo out of Orange County (New York) harness something of a West Coast sound on this one, with bonus points for the vocoder! 

Soopafly : I Feel

Trivia note: Soopafly played keyboards on "Natural Born Killaz" - I only just learned that this week! He's a West Coast veteran who has been putting in work behind the boards and on the mic since the mid-nineties, and we go here to his third album, the 2011 release "Best Kept Secret". This song reminds me very much of Common's "I Used To Love H.E.R", with Soopafly speaking about music in general and Hip-Hop in particular as though it were a woman, and describing a relationship. Excellent track with great production.

Oh No (ft. Roc C and Aloe Blacc) : Keep Tryin'

One of those tracks I do rather like but had forgotten about for a long while. Oh No's "Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms" LP was an album completely built around samples from Galt MacDermot - a concept which is exceedingly rare, since it generally requires the green light to go through the archives of the sampled artist! Definitely worth a listen, and then heading back to find some of the original sources.

Sean Price : Rap Professor

This was first released a few months ago, but is most readily available on the posthumous Sean Price album "Imperius Rex". A compact two bars of boastful, humourous, disrespectful rhyming from a real specialist over a DJ Skizz beat. By the way, do try mofongo if you get the chance, recommended.

Soul Supreme : Beat 16

Dug this up off the hard drive from Soul Supreme's "Instrumentals 4 the Mind, Body, and Soul" collection. Sadly, this looks to have been deleted but will hopefully show up as a digital release at some point. 

Invisible Circle : Crazy In Leeds

The 12" I got this on doesn't have as much credit information as I might like, but this killer B-side is a huge Leeds posse cut over the then-current "Crazy In Love" beat. Unapologetic Yorkshire Hip-Hop heads throwing down in fine style to close this month's show!


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!

07/30/2017
Episode 98 : Straight Ahead
http://traffic.libsyn.com/airadam/Episode_98.mp3?dest-id=35990

"I'm at the back of the wake, fe' re', selling my tape"

- Rodney P

Managed to pull myself through a busy, somewhat trying month to bring you another selection! We have one new release, some 80s soul picks, a Mobb Deep feature, and a bunch more - I'd be surprised if anyone, even the DJs, knew every single record. Let's get into it...

Twitter : @airadam13


Playlist/Notes

Skitz ft. Rodney P and Supanatchlus : The Killing

A very downbeat few bars to begin the episode, with Skitz basing this track from "Countryman" around what sounds like a version of Chopin's famous "Funeral March". Rodney P was settling into his solo career right around this time and he gives us some of his trademark style here, mixing the London with the Caribbean, elevated even further with Supanatchlus on the intro and hook. As far as I can tell, this is Supanatchlus' only credited recording, but it's a good one!

Hexsagon : La Buena Memoria

Big shout out to Hexsagon, friend of the show, for giving us gems like this beat from the "Beat Flip Tuesdays Volume 4" tape!

Rah Digga ft. Mobb Deep : High Speed Chasin'

Super dark cut from Dirty Harriet herself, which I got on a white label 12" but is now available through the magic of digital distribution, on the formerly unreleased album "Everything Is A Story". Tone Mason's crackly, low, insistent beat is actually very reminiscent of something Havoc might have done, but here he stays on mic duty for the closing verse. Rah slays the second verse, and of course, the familiar voice of the late Prodigy opens proceedings.

Above The Law : L.A. Vibe

Love this, a personal favourite from the "Legends" album. It's a very minimal beat from Cold 187um, but not as minimal as you think at first. Listen carefully and hear a number of different keyboard and pad touches come in over that spare, gritty bass and unpretentious drum pattern. It's always nice to hear the voice of the late KMG, and his low-key style as displayed on the first verse suits the track down to the ground.

Kankick : Say

Another one of those respected producers out of Oxnard, California (think Madlib and Oh No), Kankick has been quietly working away for years. This is an all too short track from his second LP, "Acid Massive Musical" which can't help to hook you in with the backwards lead sounds and neck snapping drum and bass combination. 

Ty : Knock Knock (DJ Spinna Remix)

Great combination. On the third release in Ty's "Kick Snare And An Idea" series, he spits with his usual clarity and intelligence and this track is no exception. DJ Spinna remixes the cut with some classic Beyond Real flourishes, bringing synths and keys in from all angles underneath a solid kick-snare foundation. Appropriately. 

Fat Jack : Try Ta Test

Dug this one out this month, going back to the "Beatology Vol. 2" compilation; Fat Jack is a producer from the underground Los Angeles scene who you might have heard working with heads like Volume 10, Aceyalone, and Abstract Rude, and getting respect across the board. This cut has a nice little wobble in the bottom end, nothing drastic, just enough to add that extra something.

Kev Brown & LMNO : The Cause

I've only just discovered this 2008 track this month, which speaks to how much material gets released nowadays and how easy it is to miss quality needles in the musical haystack. Kev Brown always brings the funk, and this is no exception - classic boom-bap with his own particular aura. It's easy to forget he's an MC too, and his more natural tone is my preference over LMNO's flow - but they both get it done. This is from the "Selective Hearing" album, which also has a follow-up which I'll have to check too!

Method Man & Redman : 1, 2, 1, 2

One of those combinations that seems obvious in retrospect but seismic when it happened, Method Man and Redman's coming together has been a source of joy in the artform. Their debut "Blackout!" had a number of big tunes, but this is probably one of the less-played ones. DJ Scratch gives the MCs a nice funky beat with some bounce for them to swap bars over. There's always room for a track like this.

7L & Esoteric ft. Inspektah Deck : Speaking Real Words

I wigged out the first time I heard this, and it's one of those tracks I have two copies of on vinyl - in fact, that's why you may just detect a dip in volume near the start, it's that dreaded cue burn! Big tune out of Boston from that late 90s independent scene, with Deck from the Wu of course stealing the show lyrically. 7L is usually responsible for their production but on this track he hands the reins to fellow Bostonians Vinyl Reanimators, who do a bang-up job. The horns make me think of a choppy, Hip-Hop version of "Sledgehammer"!

Rakim : When I B On Tha Mic

Apologies for the audio glitch in this one! While "The Master" LP might not have made as much noise as other Rakim releases, this single was pretty universally lauded. A trademark DJ Premier beat right here! It's not Rakim's most complex writing, but still a cut above most and for a track like this, pitched just right. I do love his tribute to the DJ in the second verse, along with matching turntable manipulation - an inspired bit of post-production.

[Madlib] Madlib & Freddie Gibbs : Real (Instrumental)

I'm not actually much of a Madlib fan but he turns it out on both parts of this beat from the "Piñata" LP!

Geechi Suede : Mahogany Mami

Clearly on a burst of creativity right now, Geechi Suede follows "Fishnet Skyscrapers" with the "Purple Suede" mixtape, made up of tracks sampling Prince. The groove for "Kiss", as used here, is always one to give you that energy.

Steve Arrington's Hall Of Fame : 15 Rounds

Very much of its time, we have here a track from the former Slave frontman's 1984 "Positive Power" LP. Not especially subtle lyrically, but not putting it all the way out there either! The growling, stereo-spread keyboard bass on this is a beast.

Midnight Express : Danger Zone (Extended Version)

Apparently this style is now referred to as "boogie" - for me, this is just what soul records sounded like when I was a kid :) This is an absolute bomb out of Rock Island, Illinois, originally released in 1983. The video very much gives the impression of the guys in the edit suite just pressing every button available, which makes it worth the watch at least once :)

Ronnie Hudson : West Coast Pop Lockin'

Rounding out the run of 80s heat, we have a 100% classic that is likely to give some of you a sudden gasp of recognition! Yes, this 1982 track is the origin of the hook of 2Pac & Dre's "California Love", which came out fourteen years later. It also incorporates musical and lyrical elements from Zapp's "So Ruff, So Tuff", which was a big record at the time. (Actually, it is easily one of the greatest records of all time). Ronnie Hudson was a singer and bassist out of Washington D.C. who moved to Los Angeles and met some pretty rugged characters while doing the research for this track! This is a real California anthem.

Miguel Migs : Do It For You (Bump The Tech Dub)

Hip-Hop is rarely up around this speed, so I had a dig into my house crate to come up with this remix. The original vocal version of this cut, featuring Li'Sha (aka Lisa Shaw) is well worth picking up if this is a style you enjoy!

Little Shawn : That Girl

I got "The Voice In The Mirror" a year or so back purely to get this song, which up to that point I'd heard only once - when I was about 14. It didn't sound quite like I remembered, but that Madonna sample being played up and down the keyboard (I thought they were pitch-bending it somehow) had stuck in my head for all those years! Little Shawn (later Shawn Pen) is on that light flow here as he is on most of the album, which is interesting because for those that know...nothing lightweight about him! Hitman Howie Tee is on production and it sounds very much like something targeted toward the radio of the time. It's not like this is my favourite record or anything, but it is one I was glad to find and am happy to share.


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!

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!

All content Air Adam Productions