Five years ago today, I posted this sonic clusterfuck and never looked back. Listening to it now, it's just like everything else I put up here: good beat, badly mixed, full of samples which are funny, bizarre, political and disconcerting. And, it's totally different from anything anyone else does.
But mostly it's badly mixed and slapped together. I've gotten a lot better over the past nickel, but every time I get one skill down I'm trying out three other new things not very well. So bear with, my neighbours. Even the worst assembled mixes on here have great joints on them. I stand by my tracklists g, they're all official.
2012. 88 mixes later. (Shit, really? Is that right?) 175,000 hits, from all 50 states and 120 countries. I've been featured on the Percussion Lab home page for about six months (because they probably forgot it was there). I've heard from a lot of people who dig what I'm doing, and only had one serious hater. For all that I'm grateful. I don't overrate what I do by even one RCH, but I'm glad the fam is feeling it. Because most of the time I'm trying to turn people on to great hip-hop they mighta missed, and I know that's happening--so I spread the word. I do my bit, I get to give something back. All good. Cuz that's why I do it: when you here a song, it's so damn fresh, you gotta share it somehow, by boomin' system or sprinkling some Christopher Walken samples on it and putting on the internets.
A couple of cats said I should run down the site's greatest hits. The top three are all cuts I made, popular I guess 'cause they're short:
- Brooklyn Zoo (4% Technique Mix) :: this made it into those weird Russian mp3 sites, so that's why it's got...7,500 hits? Dayumn.
- My Pet Goat :: this was a fuck of a lot of work, so 5,000 hits makes it worth it.
- The Expiration Date :: like My Pet Goat, this gets downloaded a lot in China, because THEY FUCKING HATE AMERICA.
Thing is though, these mixes accrete hits over time like a motherfucker, so I gotta run down the most popular by year:
- 2007 - Go Tell It On The Mainframe aka James Woods is Bugging.
- 2008 - A Rhythm Runs Through It is an all-round good one, funky instrumental shit, even your moms might like it.
- 2009 - Super Chicken: A Dub-Hop Mix / Revenge of Super Chicken [tie] started a series of 7 mixes and made me realize what I do is collect, curate & collage.
- 2010 - DOOM: Live From Latveria?! was cool because PSY/OPSogist did two remixes just for this. Also, that's Bill Murray doing Johnny Storm's voice on the samples.
- 2011 - Autolect: Autology Volume One I'm glad this got love, because it was a blessing for Hasan to let me put it together. I kinda like the second one better though.
- 2012 - The Spraycan Diaries was hanging around my hard drive for a couple years before Hevehitta drove me into action, and I'm glad he did.
If I had to choose my own personal best--the ones I listen to a lot--they'd be:
- Cities of the Red Night
- City on the Edge of Never
- The Illamentations
- They Live, We Sleep
- The Falling, which I only listen to on 9/11, but it's the best piece I ever did.
How it started. I been making mixes on cassette for 25 years this year, starting with pause tapes--Red Alert, Chuck Chillout, Mr Magic, Marley Marl. Originally I was gonna digitize the first one for this 5&25 anniversary, but the tape is pretty degraded and...uh, side A ends with 5 versions of "Bring The Noise" (about 20 minutes) and side B ends with 7 versions of "Rebel Without A Pause" (about 25 minutes).
Even by the second tape I was laying in extra shit, some Scraping Foetus off the Wheel vs. Terminator X, some Apocalypse Now OST dialogue. Five years later I had the VCR hooked up to the stereo to lay in samples...goddamn that takes some dexterity and patience to hit all the PLAY and REC and PAUSEs at the same time. All this nostalgia for the mix cassette--shit, I used to spend a whole day doing those things. Now I spend...uh, a whole day.
2007, I'd laid off for a few years, thought about doing my 50th tape. But I had these MP3s to get on there, needed to go digital. Started fucking around with software. Figured it'd be easier to put 'em on the internet than send CDs to those that I usually gave my mixes to--especially as those cats are worldwide.
The Roman numeral for 50 is L. Therefore, plus other blazay-blah, Elmattic was gonna be the name of the tape.
I been doing this a long time. Every boy needs a hobby, and I don't fucks with model trains. I got at least another year's worth lined up--time travel, the Bible, A Rhythm Runs 4 It, BBop For BBoys (Take 3), one of Asian-influenced beats. After that who knows.
The thing that fucks with me though, is that when I made that first tape--hunched over the boombox, waiting for Red Alert to play that new, hand on the REC--that was around the time I got my first serious girlfriend. On this 5&25 anniversary, I'm divorced. So hip-hop, mixing, has been with me longer than any relationship. It's my greatest Mrs.
The Perfect Beat
I kept the motto from day one. The Buddha says: When you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha. When you meet your father, kill your father. I don't actually know what the fuck that means. Pretty sure I read it in a Lone Wolf & Cub comic anyway.
This site is where I figure out things about hip-hop. What it means. What it does. What makes the perfect beat? What is the perfect beat? The perfect beat might be on some 12" b-side in a dusty crate. It might get made tomorrow, next year, or in 2022. Or 3012, because rap goes on to the year 3000.
For now, though? I'd have to go with "Shook Ones" (part one or two, I can't choose), Roc Marciano's "Snow," and the cut below--Public Enemy's "Son of Public Enemy (Flavor Whop Version)." Play this one at my funeral fam.
Keep up the good work.
I found the falling is the best piece as well. It’s just like Steve Reich’s Three Tales but somewhat better.
I also like the cybernetic pieces or bebop ones. Well anything you do that doesn’t feel too much rap.
Salutes to you brother! thanks for holding us. I am glad to see your finally finding your niche’… You have advanced the idea of what a mixtape could be online (streamed and remixed). Thank you for allowing us to be apart of your hip-hop experience. It was and is a blessing. NuFF respects to you!
UHM, the offer still stands at FRINGE RECORDINGS! ;/
That Steve Reich looks well cool, I never heard of that, gotta check it out.
Should be some stuff you’ll like over the next year, Jester.
Hasan, brother, we’re gonna hit ‘em off with that giant ape illness…
The Falling was way too good! Way too disturbing to listen to often!
Can’t believe Req For Snot Boogie ain’t in there nowhere
Keep it up
I must say it’s very difficult for me to pick a favourite but I would have to go with ‘City On The Edge Of Never’ or ‘A Rhythm Runs Through It’ or ‘They Live… We Sleep’ or ‘The Spray Can Diaries’ or… Yeah, it’s very difficult.
There is so much to appreciate about your mixes. You have such a good ear for music. Also, I really like that you don’t show off with beat juggling/scratching or playing 30 seconds of a song that i’m just getting into and then moving on to something else. So many DJ’s do that and it ruins the vibe for me. So thanks for sharing with us and please don’t stop. I always get a buzz when I come to your site and there’s a new mix for me to download. It will be a sad day when you quit!!