1/31/15

Eric B. & Rakim - B-Sides, Rarities & Remixes (Vol. 1-3)

For the last post of the first ever Rakim Week, we have yet another compilation, this one coming to us from the Hip Hop Is Read Blog, which in 2009 put together three volumes' worth of Eric B. & Rakim B-Sides, Rarities & Remixes. The first two are just about all remixes, making the third volume (comprised almost entirely of instrumentals) the real gem of the series so far. I say "so far," because volumes four and five were supposedly in the works when the third was posted. Keep in mind this was almost six years ago, so it's unlikely they'll ever surface at this point, but hey, the comps were re-upped in 2013 and the blog is still active, so maybe if enough people drop a line they'll put the gears in motion again. I hope everyone has enjoyed Rakim Week. This will most likely become an annual tradition, so if there's something you think should have been included, please feel free to hit me up.

*UPDATE: dirt_dog over at the Philaflava forums was kind enough to extract the tracks from audiomack and re-post the comps in Zippyshare, so you can now download Volumes 1, 2 and 3 in addition to streaming them above.

1/29/15

Rakim Live on Long Island

Rakim backstage at the Nassau Coliseum, September 10, '88
Back in April 2010, I had the pleasure of seeing Rakim move the crowd at the Crazy Donkey in Farmingdale. Although it wasn't my first time seeing him live, it was the only time I saw him on Long Island and the only time I saw him in a club setting, as opposed to a big festival stage. The show was rightfully billed as a homecoming for Rakim, but it would be incorrect to call it his first LI performance (as some have).

In 1988, Eric B. & Rakim headlined the Dope Jam Tour, which hit Nassau Coliseum on September 10 with a bill that also included Kool Moe Dee, Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew, Big Daddy Kane, Boogie Down Productions and Biz Markie. Unfortunately, the star-studded lineup is not necessarily what this concert is best known for, as at least 10 people were stabbed during the event, one fatally. The violence prompted Nassau Coliseum to temporarily ban rap concerts and attracted negative media coverage you can still read today if you follow the links in this sentence. The last of those stories purports, "Eric B. and Rakim's main message is that 'Eric B. Is King.'" I guess he meant 'President,' and anyway, no, not really.

Below, you can watch Rakim discuss the real message of his music in some Yo! MTV Raps footage that was shot backstage at the Coliseum. Below that you'll find footage from the aforementioned Crazy Donkey show, as well as a more recent performance at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, uploaded by Birthplace Magazine.

1/28/15

The Rakim Collection

On this day, 47 years ago, William Michael Griffin, Jr. was born. Today, he is better known as Rakim Allah, The R, The God MC, or simply, God. It's a fitting title, because not only is he the most dominant MC of all time, but it's from his style that all others since have stemmed.

Today, we celebrate Rakim's birthday with the gift of 70 songs, as originally compiled by the Rap Dungeon. Whereas yesterday's compilation was basically a lost album, this one is nothing like that. It's three folders of random collaborations and non-album cuts. And for the Long Island hip-hop completist, it's indispensable.


01. Jody Watley - Friends (feat. Eric B. & Rakim)
02. Eric B. & Rakim - Real Men Drink
03. Mica Paris - Contribution (feat. Rakim)
04. Rakim - I Get Visual
05. Rakim - Last Resort
06. Rakim - Living For The City
07. Rakim - New York To Cali
08. Ayatollah - Cold Feeling (feat. Rakim)
09. Rakim - Cypher In The Park
10. Rakim - Hoodlum
11. Rakim - In The Lab
12. Rakim - New York (Remix)
13. Rakim - Original Style
14. Rakim - Punish Em ft. Canibus (Original Version)
15. Rakim - We All Got Plans
16. Jody Watley - Off The Hook (feat. Rakim)
17. Rakim - Bring It (Turn It Up)
18. Rakim - Get Some
19. Rakim - Heat It Up
20. Rakim - Keep It Complicated
21. Rakim - Murderer (feat- Barrington Levy)
22. Rakim - Rakim Def Poetry
23. Rakim - Welcome to the Hood [Prod. by Dr. Dre]
24. Rakim - Dont Sweat The Technique (Original Version)
25. Rakim - Hypnotic
26. Rakim - Lvin For The City (Remix)
27. Rakim - Once Upon a Rhyme
28. Rakim - Tryin to Write Rhymes
29. Rakim - Various Shades of Black
30. Rakim - You Dont Fool Me
31. Shaquille O'Neal - Game of Death (feat. Rakim)
32. Mobb Deep - Hoodlum (feat. Big Noyd & Rakim)
33. Art of Noise - Metafor on the floor (feat. Rakim)
34. Art of Noise - Metaforce (feat. Rakim)
35. Art of Noise - Rapt In The Evening Air (feat. Rakim)
36. Art of Noise - (New York London Paris) Spleen (feat. Rakim)
37. Rakim - Get Some (St Ides Commercial)
38. Bob Marley - Concrete Jungle (feat. Rakim)
39. Gang Starr - The Militia II (Remix) (feat. W.C. And Rakim)
40. Canibus Feat. Rakim - I'll Buss 'Em U Punish 'Em
41. G-Dep - I Am (feat. Kool G Rap and Rakim)
42. Malcolm McLaren Buffalo Gals (Back to Skool) (feat. Rakim)
43. Truth Hurts - Addictive (feat. Rakim)
44. Truth Hurts - Addictive (Remix) (feat. Rakim)
45. Jay-Z - The Watcher 2 (feat. Dr. Dre, Rakim and Truth Hurts)
46. Alicia Keys Feat. Rakim and Nas - Streets Of New York
47. Rakim - Take the Train (Rugrats The Movie OST)
48. Rakim - R.A.K.I.M (8 Mile OST)
49. Rakim - After You Die (feat. Truth Hurts) [Prod. by Dr. Dre]
50. Rakim - Run Freestyle
51. Talib Kweli & Rakim - Getting Up Anthem - Part 1
52. Rakim - Freestyle (Icon DVD Magazine)
53. Black Thought, Talib Kweli, Styles P, Raekwon, Kid Capri, Rakim and The Roots Band - Rakim Tribute & It's Nothing (VH1 Hip Hop Honors 2006)
54. Kanye West, Nas, KRS-One & Rakim - Better Than I've Ever Been (DJ Premier Remix)
55. Rakim - Rice Returns (All-Pro Football 2K8)
56. Rakim - Guess Who's Back (Buckwild Remix)
57. Chilli Mac, Ice-T and Rakim - Game of Life
58. Rakim - Everything is Cool
59. Rakim - Heat It Up (Album Version)
60. Rakim - Heat It Up (J-Love Remix)
61. Rakim - Hoodlum (Longer Version and Worse Quality)
62. Rakim - Once Upon A Time (Remix)
63. Rakim - Remember Dat (Original Version)
64. Rakim - When I Be Flowin (King Tech Remix)
65. Rakim - Shades of Black (Easy Mo Be Orignal Radio Edit)
66. DJ Z-Trip - Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em 2007 (feat. Rakim & Chevelle)
67. Rakim - Keep The Mic (Produced By J-Love)
68. Rakim - Light It Up (Unreleased)
69. Rakim - It Aint Kool (Unreleased)
70. Rakim - Yo MTV Raps

1/27/15

Rakim - The Last Platoon

For day three of Rakim Week, we turn to The Lost Tapes blog, which, in September 2014, posted a dynamite compilation of unreleased tracks recorded in the mid '90s between Eric B. & Rakim's split and the beginning of The God's solo career. In fact, it's almost an injustice to call this a compilation, because it is so cohesive and well-sequenced that it sounds like it could just as easily be a true-to-life unreleased album. As lost-tape compiler Claaa7 writes, "It works as the perfect bridge between Don't Sweat The Technique and The 18th Letter." Download The Last Platoon, listen to it exclusively and consecutively for a week, as I did, then head over to The Lost Tapes blog to give props.

1. "Bring It On" [Dominic Owens] (1995)
2. "Shades Of Black" [Easy Mo Bee] (1995)
3. "The Original Style" [Domingo] (1995)
4. "Last Resort" [Buckwild] (1995)
5. "Living For the City" [Pete Rock] (1995)
6. "New York to Cali" [Dominic Owens] (1995]
7. "We All Got Plans" [Marley Marl] (1996)
8. "Show Me Love" (Rugged) [Nick Wiz] (1996)
9. "Heat It Up" [Gary "G-Wiz"] (1993)
10. "Remember Dat" [Clark Kent] (1995)
11. "Once Upon A Rhyme" [Nick Wiz] (1995)
12. *"Bring It On" [Domingo Mix] (1995)
13. "I Get Visual" [Dominic Owens] (1995)

1/26/15

Rakim 2013 RBMA Lecture

Here, Rakim discusses his illustrious career at a lecture moderated by ego trip's Chairman Mao.
Do the knowledge.

1/25/15

Eric B. & Rakim - Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em Singles

The God turns 47 this Wednesday, so to celebrate the birth of the greatest MC of all time, it's all Rakim all week at the Long Island Rap Blog. (We're overdue anyway, I know.)

We're kicking it off with a selection of four 12-inch singles released on MCA Records from 1990-91, including firstly my personal favorite Rakim song, "In The Ghetto," which features one of my all-time favorite rhymes:

I learn to relax in my room and Escape from New York /  And return through the womb of the world as a thought.




We've also got two "Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em" singles, including a total of nine (yes, count 'em, nine) versions of that song:

12" vocal version
45 King club mix
A cappella
The riddim mix
The riddim dub
The radio riddim mix
Brixton bass mix
Upso mix
Upso dub


And last but definitely not least, we have the "Mahogany" single, which includes extended remixes of that song and "No Omega," as well as an instrumental of the latter.

Download Eric B. & Rakim 90-91 Singles

Please remember to keep us in your tab this week as we'll be dropping nothing but God jewels all seven days.

Yo what happened to peace?
...PEACE!!!

1/24/15

MC Just Divine - "Get Right" / Hype Sound Productions - "We Got the Hype Sounds"

MC Just Divine a.k.a. Oxygen a.k.a. Ox the Architect has roots that run deep in the Long Island hip-hop scene.

How deep?

Well, for starters these demos that he's repressed on wax date back to 1991 and 1987. A classmate of Freddie Foxxx, Oxygen is actually the original source of the Rakim Wyandanch High School talent show recording that appeared in this site's fourth ever post.

That deep.

To start at the beginning, preview his early demos below, then cart your copy of this limited edition release (only 300 available) before you dig deeper through his extensive discography.

1/20/15

R.A. The Rugged Man - "Media Midgets"

With the video for "Media Midgets" off his 2014 album Legends Never Die, Rugged Man re-stakes his claim to the title of rap's biggest cinephile, by paying homage to Werner Herzog's absurdist masterpiece Even Dwarfs Started Small in what R.A. describes as his "most ambitious, biggest, most cinematic video so far."

1/19/15

Pipomixes - Sounds Like Porridge

This mix kicks so much ass, it's almost pointless to write anything about it, but here's roughly how I described it while inebriated last night: "It's like this guy [Pipomixes] had four turntables set up, with one playing a Roc Marciano single, one playing the acappella version, one playing an instrumental to a different Roc Marc song, the other playing its sample source, and all of them are mixed together perfectly." Add in some interview clips from Roc's memorable Combat Jack Show appearance and what you get is a recipe for porridge that puts my humble Piece & Carats mix to shame in all ways (except for cover art; cats can't catch Young BeenDead).

Big Breakfast - "Dominoes"

Big Breakfast might currently reside in Queens County, but the kid is clearly Long Island in all the right/wrong ways (depending on where you're from and how you feel about that place). Brash, nasal and ambiguously financially (in)secure, the self-proclaimed "Mastic bastard" reps bad booze and worse pizza on "Dominoes," the lead single off his Smokers Cough LP Luxury. Stream both below.

1/18/15

Roc Marciano - "Stop Me" (Prod. by Just Blaze)

The fact that Roc Marciano's sophomore LP Reloaded is no worse off for not including this Just Blaze banger only speaks to that album's flawlessness. As a matter of fact, one of the things that was so ill about that release is that few of the loose tracks leading up to it appeared on the final product. Don't get me wrong: all of these loosies were great in their own right, but the album was all the better for consisting almost entirely of fresh material we hadn't heard before. Leaky rap labels, take notes.

1/15/15

Kong - Shackles Off (Re-Release)

Originally released in 2008 by Classified Recordings, Shackles Off is the debut solo LP by Monsta Island Czars member and Long Beach native Kong aka Kongcrete. The album — to which Freeport's MeccaGodZilla contributed cover art, five beats and a guest verse — was reissued this week by Mecca's own label, Manafest Vision Media, and is now available on mp3 via iTunes, Google Play and ONErpm. CD copies are coming soon too.

Below you can stream the entire album, as well as a fan-made video for "Ultimate Sacrifice," one of the MeccaGodZilla-produced songs that appears on it.

1/10/15

Mike Mozart - "Ungrateful Dead" ft. Mr. Cash

Back in November I mentioned a pair of submissions from Long Beach, the first of which came from Mr. Cash. The second comes from Cash collaborator Mike Mozart, whose first full-length album, Gallery, dropped on November 6.

One of the LP's standouts is this joint featuring Mike and Cash exchanging irreverence over a beautifully subdued Apollo Brown beat. Stream/download that and the rest of the album below.

As you can tell from the painting to the left, Mike's nice with the visual arts too, so be sure to check out KekunFrog's anime-and-titty-filled instagram and tumblr pages while you're listening.