LL Cool J - Live in Philadelphia (1984/86)

Couldn't let this site go a full three years without a single LL Cool J post, so here go some oldies. You probably don't care but there are date discrepancies about both of these. The first recording streaming below, a live freestyle at the After Midnight club, which was played on Philadelphia radio in the mid-80s, has been dated 1985 (and that may in fact be when it was played), but thanks to an appearance by LL Cool J on the Philly TV show "Beats & Rhymes," hosted by Brian Dennis, we know that the freestyle was actually recorded in 1984 and later edited for radio. The second recording below is of LL and DJ Cut Creator performing "Rock the Bells" live in Philadelphia (possibly somewhere called Lan) in 1986. I'm saying it's 1986, even though the internet says 1987, because LL says in the recording that he's celebrating his 18th birthday that night. LL was born on January 14, 1968, so this would have to be January 14, 1986. If you're keeping score, that means he was only 16 during the first recording. What did you sound like at 16?


Eternal Intellect - Grey Skies

Learning is fun! And we can all stand to learn a thing or two from Eternal Intellect. Passive listeners beware, though: this is not dumb-out music, not by any stretch. Zone-out? Definitely. But sleepy heads need not apply. If, however, you dig tunes that don't just reward repeated enjoyment but hit so hard they wear out the rewind key to the point that each song is extended by default, then soak this up.

the pure - present

Here's another impressive project from the 456 Movement, the same clique that had us drinking Kmplx Vzn's "Kool Aid." This one, though, is by a rapper called the pure. It was he who actually put me onto Kmplx Vzn in the first place, but make no mistake; this is a totally different sound. Across seven tracks, present flirts with jazz, house, trap and pop styles, but keeps the vibe fresh, airy and kinetic throughout. In the words of Big Pun, "What you wanna do? You wanna wile up? You wanna dance?" Well, with this, you can do both.


R.A. The Rugged Man - Stretch & Bobbito Freestyles

R.A. The Rugged Man appeared on the Stretch & Bobbito Show at least three times by my count: May 20, 1993; October 20, 1994; and March 20, 1997 (dates from playlists on Stretch & Bobbito blog.)

As funny as the freestyles are, the on-air banter is equally hilarious, like in '97 when R.A. discussed living with brother-in-law One-Eyed Jake, or in '94 when he (successfully?) propositioned a woman in the studio before leaving.

Stream the '97 & '94 freestyles below. Download all three appearances here.


K-9 Posse - "This Beat Is Military"

In memory of the late Charlie Murphy, here is the video he appeared in for his half-brother Vernon "Vas" Lynch's rap group, K-9 Posse. Murphy was credited as executive producer on both of their studio albums.

Oxygen on Rare Groove Revolution (2005)

If you've ever channel surfed in NY at 2AM, you've probably seen DJ Soulero's Rare Groove Revolution. What you might not realize is that Soulero is a Long Island local hailing from South Hempstead. If you haven't seen it, the premise is simple; Soulero talks about and plays rare groove records. Sometimes he's joined by a guest. Once in 2005, that guest was none other than Oxygen, who played a number of rare Long Island funk LPs. Dig.


DJ Surrup - SURRADIO Episodes 1-3

DJ Surrup is best known for his slowed and throwed remix albums, but his full-tempo'ed mixes are often just as impressive, and yes, some of that is due to his cutting prowess, but it's the more essential sequencing and blending skills that really stand out, at least to my ears. The Barcelona Brazy mix series was an excellent showcase of that, as well as his eclectic tastes, another selector necessity. Those mixes have all but disappeared from the internet, but over the past month, Surrup has poured out three installments of SURRADIO, "a mixshow that may include guest mixes from other DJs, newly submitted tracks from indie artists on the rise and of course, screw music," he writes. "Genres will be diverse so have an open mind."


Brothers G.R.Y.M. - Ghetto Repaired Young Minds

JVC Force, Horror City, DJ Stitches, The Chosen Few, Too Poetic, and now this; it's getting to the point where the only Brits I can think of who've done more for Long Island hip-hop than Chopped Herring Records head fisherman Bob Liptich are the chaps from Coldcut.

Long story short: Brothers G.R.Y.M. was a group comprised of three brothers: a pre-Gravediggaz Poetic aka Grym Reaper, producer E# aka Goalfingaz, and Brainstorm (who was on LongIslandRap.Comp V2).

Read the long version here, preview the EP below and get your pre-order in here (ships mid-May).

Moose Raja - "Chasing the Clouds" / "Card Games"

Moose Raja embodies what this website is all about for two reasons: 1) He's lived in multiple LI neighborhoods (Valley Stream, Westbury, and currently East Meadow); and 2) having done so, he strives to "actively depict the diversity and creativity that flows on the island," as he put it to me. His last project, As A Kid, dealt with his time growing up in Westbury, and while that story is surely one many can relate to, Moose tells it with a style all his own. Download here and stream below.


Cryptic One - The World According 2

Cryptic One stays busy. When he's not dropping a new beat and accompanying video every goddamn day, he's churning out chunes with fellow Atoms Family kinsman Alaska as IT, digging out Vordul Mega's Verses From a Vault, curating his own greatest hits compilation, or most recently, dropping EPs from his scheduled-four-part World According series.

The first, World According..., came out in September. The second, the aptly titled World According 2, arrived Friday. Stream the video for track one below and click "hear more" for the rest.