MF DOOM Freestyle from WKCR 1997

DOOM at his kitchen in Long Beach, from http://www.egotripland.com/egotrip-interview-mf-doom-noah-callahan-bever/
"Long Beach isn't as wide as Brooklyn, as long as Manhattan, or as dense as the Bronx ... But there's the beach three blocks away and that's a fuckin' escape. That's the lovely shit." 
-MF DOOM in the aforementioned egotrip interview.

The audio clip below features MF DOOM in April of 1997 kicking a few verses from then to-be-released Operation: Doomsday before trading freestyles with Stretch & Bobbito show mainstay Lord Sear. DOOM sets it off at 5:20 and is accompanied by fellow Long Beacher Megalon on the adlibs. Props to Dirty Waters for the original show upload from which this clip was cut.


Rozewood - The Ghost Of Radio Raheem

The Ghost of Radio Raheem by Amityville-based rapper Rozewood was one of three Digi Crates releases to hit the net April 8, 2014 (the other two being Hempstead Bred by Smoovth and Hus Kingpin Meets Pro-Era by Hus and producer Chuck Strangers). It's also one of the main reasons I started this blog.

Countless rappers pay homage to the boom bap ruggedness of the '90s, but few truly embody that era's confrontational stance, even fewer do so while bringing something new to the table, and almost none do all of the above while demonstrating genuinely remarkable skill. Here, Rozewood accomplishes all that and then some. Stream The Ghost of Radio Raheem via audiomack below, download it via bandcamp, and then show your support for a talented up-and-coming Long Island artist by buying the CD.


The Illustrated Origin of Public Enemy

On this Memorial Day, Long Island Rap Blog continues to honor hip-hop's first militant rap group, Public Enemy. Here, we get a few different perspectives on the PE collective's origins, as illustrated by the brilliant Ed Piskor. The pages above come from his Hip Hop Family Tree graphic novels, which are collected in print form by Fantagraphics and online through Boing Boing. Salute!

Spectrum City - Lies/Check Out The Radio VLS

Before there was Public Enemy, there was Spectrum City, a Long Island sound system founded by Hank Shocklee and featuring a rotating cast of MCs, most notably Carlton Douglas Ridenhour (Chuck D) and Aaron Allen (Butch Cassidy). As illustrated above, the two MCs teamed up on the 1984 single, "Lies," released on the Vanguard label.

The single's other track, "Check Out the Radio," might sound oddly familiar to some who've never heard it; that's because its chorus, "Got to check out the ra-di-o..." was interpolated by the Wu-Tang Clan for their song, "The W," from Iron Flag.*

Download both Spectrum City songs, along with the rest of the single, including a radio edit and two dub versions, here; learn more about the group by watching the documentary trailer below; and for the full story on Spectrum City's lesser known MC, Butch Cassidy, read this interview with Aaron Allen himself.

*EDIT 3/24/23: While it's possible that Wu-Tang members had been aware of Spectrum City, it's more likely that both songs interpolated Fat Larry's Band's "Down on the Avenue." (I'm posting this here solely on the off-chance that Chuck D or someone in his immediate orbit is aware this post exists. Got to give us an interview, got to ... an interview!)


Battle to Open for Slick Rick at Revolution

Newsday reports seven unsigned Long Island rappers — Tony Orbit, Tri, The Season, Craig Evan, Die$el-E, Alphamale and KidKurupt — will battle tomorrow, Thursday May 22, 2014 at Revolution Bar & Music Hall in Amityville. The winner will then open for Slick Rick on the following night at the same venue. Read the full story here and if you're interested, cop tickets to the events here.


Apollo Brown - "Lonely & Cold" ft. Roc Marciano

Pimpstead's finest, The UN and Flipmode Squad veteran Roc Marciano recently blessed Detroit producer Apollo Brown with two bonus tracks' worth of raw so pure they got their own 5" LP. One of those was released today as a free download by the good folks at Mello Music Group. In other news, word has it Roc is currently working on a record with The Black Keys. That should be monumental.

Public Enemy - "Public Enemy No. 1" (WBAU Promo Version)

Chuck D, Keith Schocklee, Bill Stephney and Dr. Dre
Here we have the first version of Public Enemy's debut single, which originally served as a promo for Adelphi University's WBAU. This promo/demo features a verse not included on the more-popular version that would later appear on Yo! Bumrush The Show. Listen to it below, along with the infamous Mr. Magic diss, "No more music from these suckers," as played by WBAU Operating Room host/founder Andre "Dr. Dre" Young, who is more famously known as the co-host of YO MTV Raps.

Special thanks to Random Rap Radio for the upload and to Media Assassin Harry Allen for the picture above.


Aesop Rock - The Blob

San Fran transplant Aesop Rock (originally from Northport) is best known for his densely packed, at times impenetrable, verses, so it's somewhat remarkable that he's now able to achieve his characteristic tongue-in-cheek gallows humor without even uttering so much as a word. Funky and foreboding all at once, The Blob began terrorizing the small community of Downington (and others) Friday, April 11, 2014.


Rakim Live at Wyandanch High School 1985

This live performance by Biz Markie, DJ Grandmaster BMC and MC Chilly Dawg (of Groove B. Chill), and Kid Wizard Rakim was ripped from a tape owned by Long Island MC/DJ Oxygen and uploaded to the Old School Hip Hop Tapes blog by that site's owner, Dutch. Much respect due to both of them for preserving this piece of Long Island hip-hop history. To help ensure that it doesn't get lost in dead link land, I've taken the (off)liberty of re-ripping Dutch's stream and posting it to Soundcloud, so now you can once again download the performance audio by going to https://soundcloud.com/longislandrap/biz-markie-rakim-wyandanch-1985. Rakim gets on the mic at the 5:06 mark and drops his famous "7 MCs" line at 6:55. As for the picture above, that's Rakim, front and center, playing the baritone saxophone at Wyandanch High School. (I wish I had some recordings of that too!) The photo comes to us direct from the Facebook page of Ra's classmate Daniel Quintana, who appears in the back right.

Hus Kingpin - Cognac Spaceship

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 marked the launch date for Cognac Spaceship, the latest mixtape from Hempstead's own Hus Kingpin, and already his fifth release of the year for those who are keeping score.

A little background info before we get into the music: Hus comprises one half of Tha Connection (the other half being Smoovth, also of Hempstead), a locally based but internationally known rap duo who have been exporting their blend of street sagas and ethereal sounds since 2008. I say "ethereal sounds" because their beat selection tends to gravitate toward the spacey and atmospheric. In fact, you could say "cognac spacheship" is a perfect description of their style.

Most of Hus and Smoovth's work is put out by Digi Crates Records and much of it is available to stream and download, so I'll surely be posting more from them in the days, weeks and months ahead. That being said, come take a ride on the Cognac Starship and see where it takes you.


JVC Force - "Strong Island" Live TV Performance

B-Luv and AJ Rok of the mighty JVC Force perform the anthem "Strong Island" on what appears to be a public access show hosted by Kool DJ Red Alert.

From 516 to 631

Welcome to the home of crony politics and roadside monuments, the summer drive from which Jerome's niece never returned, the 1,401-square-mile isle that raised some of hip-hop's greatest and most influential artists past and present, from Rakim to Roc Marciano, from Public Enemy to De La Soul, from EPMD to KMD, from Busta Rhymes to Aesop Rock, and on and on and on.

As stated on the Mission page, this site aims to document and promote the works of all the above and many, many more, including Long Island's up-and-coming local MCs, DJs and producers. This blog exists because it should. Because nowhere else can you study the relics of Long Island hip-hop's past and enjoy the sounds of Long Island hip-hop's future, all in one place.

Welcome to the Long Island Rap Blog.