Crack Val - Rap for Ordinary People

Nowadays, everyone's extraordinary. We all have beautiful homes, giant televisions, and luxury vehicles. Or, at least, we can all convince each other that we have these things. But long ago, in the 2000s, we had only our aspirations. This isn't some social critique of influencer anti-culture or late-capitalist lamentation for the American dream. It's a blurb for a mixtape that never was. 

If Crack Killz Vol. 1 ever was released, Crack Val isn't around to tell us about it. The I.G.T. co-founder passed away seven years ago this month. He left online about a dozen solo tracks. Most are about money and women, especially the joys they bring and the fearful pain of losing them. Most have beats with the kind of 2000s mixtape-era magic today's producers yearn to recapture. The beats on here that don't fit that description are still ahead of their time. All of these songs are best described in Crack Val's own immortal words as "rap for ordinary people." I present them to you here in a continuous mix, with the blessing of Val's longtime partner in rhyme, Lagato Shine. Be grateful for everything and everyone in your life, with the understanding that all we ever really have is us.

1. Caviar
2. Bentley
3. Hate Yourself
4. R.O.A.E.
5. She Know
6. Top Notch
7. Rope-a-dope
8. Get Money
9. I Live It
10. Opposite of Found
12. In My Zone


$cottLaRock - If Love Could Kill

Symbol cheating like an unscrupulous Scrabble player, $cottLaRock remains the first name in Long Island Rap. Say what you will about board game night. 

If Love Could Kill, it would. (Would.) Imagine the body count. It would rap under the name Mass Grave. Peace to YoungBeenDead. It would say something dramatic before doing the deed. "If I can't have you, no one will!" And then, my friend, you die. It would assassinate, denoting the stature of its victim. It would slam the door behind it. 

If only...


Whirlwind D - Long Island Pioneers Hip Hop Show

Great Britain's affinity for Long Island hip-hop goes back decades, to the 1987 Def Jam tour if not longer. I dare say the connection has roots in the culture's progenitors. Indeed, recent posts here waxed philosophical on genre- and medium-spanning cross-pond collaborations, like Rakim's with Art of Noise or De La Soul's with the Grey Organisation. In our current century, Roc Marciano has produced an entire EP for UK rap duo The Planets and received nothing short of a hero's welcome on English tour stops. I even remember hearing somewhere that the famously purist P Brothers, who'd featured Roc on their 2008 Gas album, held Long Island up beside the Bronx in terms of hip-hop bona fides. I say all of this to say that much like the Germans go nuts for obscure Southern horrorcore and West Coast g-funk, the Brits love them some Long Island rap. Now, Salisbury, UK rapper/DJ Whirlwind D has compiled all that respect and admiration into a multi-decade history lesson of a megamix for the Pioneers Hip Hop Show on England's 103.7 Kane FM. Regular readers will no doubt recognize that Long Island Rap Records postings and musings served as a big source of inspiration for this mix. That said, regular readers may in fact be Whirlwind D and his fellow countrymen, and to them I say cheers, bruv, dun know.