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the classical (3rd movement)


So yeah, some more classical sounds on deck. I like my strings son. I like my cellos and oboes and shit. Feel those choirs up in the beat.

On the Eve of War - Jedi Mind Tricks (feat. The GZA) / Blvck Blanka - Dub MD x C-Rayz Walz / Behold The Opera - The Black Opera / Turn the Lights Down - The Adding Machine / It's A Description - Danny Brown / Reject #20 - Odd Nosdam / Bottom To Tha Top (Instrumental) - Timbaland / Fatal (Instrumental) - The RZA / Imani (Willie Green Remix) - Vordul Mega (feat. billy woods) / Spartacuts - Rob Swift / A Quick 16 - NYOIL / Fabric of an Orchestra - Rob Swift / Chapter 7 - Saul Williams / PRAY - Kilowattz / Lower Level (2nd Movement) - Rob Swift / Etymological Perspective - The Jones Orchestra / Drinking Water For Lovers - Surface Tension Beekeepers & V8 / An Industrial Ton - Routiger Slob / Thule King

the classical (2nd movement)


So since flute rap's suddenly mad popular, time to hit you off with another collection of classical sounds. You kids today. One fucking flute loop and your minds are blown.

Enigma - Sean Price (feat. Illa Ghee) / The Revolution (DJ Semi & DJ KG Remix) - The Notorious B.I.G. / Watch Ur Mouf - Wu-Tang Clan / Symphony - EPMD (feat. M.O.P.) / Best To Do It (magOwl Remix) - DJ K.O., Royce 5'9, Elzhi & Supastition / Rising To The Top - KRS-One & Marley Marl / Terror - Jedi Mind Tricks (feat. Demoz) / Bust 'Em In - Army of the Pharaohs / Pounds Up (Sagace Remix) - M.O.P. / It Gets Worse - Dutch Massive (feat. Vast Aire, Windbreeze, Alaska, Majik Most & Cryptic) / ILLJEWMANATI - Sneakas (feat. Iron Solomon, ILL Bill & MC Serch) / Greatest Rapper Ever (DJ Critical Hype Blend) - Danny Brown / Monumental - The White Shadow of Norway (feat. KRS-One, Bigg Limn, Raekwon & Immortal Technique)


the classical


So I went to see this Benjamin Britten opera in Berlin (because caucasity) and all I could think was: oh shit, this bit would be good to sample.  That little bit right there would be fire on a beat. Remember, hip-hop started with the breaks: looping the tightest, hardest parts of records to move the crowds. Cue the bridge. Cut the rest.  And every kind of music ever made has got those nice bits to flip.  I said all this before fam.

If you read this piece on Beethoven, dude's influence was so great that CDs were set at 75 minutes to fit the 9th Symphony.  But all that talent not only shaped all orchestra music that came after, it kinda calcified and stultified it too--an anxiety of influence classical music still hasn't broken out of.  And John Cage said: "If you listen to Beethoven, it's always the same. But if you listen to traffic, it's always different."  And sampling, flipping, looping--that's cars on the interstate kid.  By chopping it up, it's bringing something new to the table.

So some people think sampling classical is outrageous, or corny, or shitting on high culture. It's nothing new and you got your corny high school music teachers doing Tuba Tupac probably and Asian chicks fluteboxing on WorldStar.  All I care about is what they did with it: is the beat heat or not?

The real question is how is it possible the whole boom-bap '90s went by without a lotta diggin' in the Wagner crates.  He had that large-ass, giganticous sound on lock.  It is kinda funny though that most classical samples are on chest-thumping, bumpining joints, not the smooth sensitive types.  And if anything, you'd think in these sampling-lawsuit heavy days cats would be jumping for those public domain sounds. Zombie Chopin ain't finna sue you b.

Anyways get ya opera glasses ready and peep it.

Animal Rap - Jedi Mind Tricks (feat. Kool G Rap) / The DJ - DJ Revolution (feat. KRS-One) / K.I.M. - EPMD (feat. Redman) / No Joke (DJ Snyder Tchaikovsky Remix) - Apathy & Celph Titled / Habitat Of The Gasmask - La Coka Nostra (feat. Vinnie Paz) / Spaz Out - Army of the Pharoahs / War Tactics - Guru (feat. Hussein Fatal, James Gotti & New Child) / Trylogy - Kurupt / Chocolate Box - Falside / Classic - Hieroglyphics / Crystal Glass - dj BC (feat. Smif & Wessun & Talib Kweli) / General Patton - Big Boi / Regeneration - DJ Premier, Nas & The Berklee Symphony Orchestra / Change The Beat (Q-Fish Remix) - DOOM / Battle The Universe - AbcDEFiend? / Savagelands #8 - Tenshun / Pouches Of Tuna - Action Bronson (feat. Roc Marciano) / Underground Hitz - R.A. The Rugged Man / The MC - KRS-One

for a few stacks more


Back in the saddle son.  It's the Return of the Two-Gun Western Mixtape.

Exposition - Nym / NYC Crack - Wu-Tang Clan / Gunfight - Mighty Underdogs (feat. DOOM) / Which Side You On? - B. Dolan / Trap Door - Jake One & DOOM / Hardest From The Underground - Kyo Itachi & Ruste Juxx / Antique Revolver - Dr. Quandary / Anakim Dreams Killah Priest / Circle - Graves / Wandering Gun - Mr. Moods (feat. Jenova 7) / The Baddest Man Alive - The Black Keys (feat. The RZA) / New Vs. Old - IV The Polymath / Dead Wrong - The Notorious B.I.G. vs. RZA / The Way - Vast Aire & G. Green / Hoarse - Earl Sweatshirt / Natural Born Trouble - B. Dolan / Warm Up - KRS-One / Tango Ronin - DJ Bootsie / When the Guns Come Out - Christbearer, WC & E-40 / The Good, The Bad, The Weird - Dr. Quandary / Rise Of The Ghostface Killah - Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge / Absolut Alive - Odd Nosdam Desperados - The Firm / They Said - Mr. Dibbs / They Die By Dawn - The Bullitts (feat. Jay Electronica, Mos Def & Lucy Liu) / The Good, The Bad & The Gypsy - Crookram

on the mix as it is in heaven (book ii)


It's the New Testament mixtape. That's right.

Hosted by Johnny Cash.

God Made Me Funky - The Headhunters / Soul To Rock & Roll - Run-DMC / Jesus Walks - Kanye West / What You Need Is Jesus - Public Enemy / Black Jesus (Instrumental) - RZA / Black Jesus - Schoolly D / He's A Superstar - Roy Ayers / Hallelujah - Bishop Lamont (feat. Xzibit) / The Cross - Nas / In Heaven's Home - The Alchemist (feat. Prodigy & Roc Marciano) / When I Get To Heaven - Ice Cube / The Power of God - LL Cool J / John 3:16 - Wyclef & DJ Muggs / The Last Supper - Killah Priest / Apostle's Warning (Instrumental) - Mobb Deep / 30 Pieces of Silver - Ka / INRI / B.I.B.L.E. - Killah Priest / On Earth As It Is In Heaven - Ras Kass / The Real Holy Place - Boogie Down Productions / Personal Jesus - Johnny Cash


Remember about ten years ago everybody was bugging off sampling Bollywood for their beats?  That came and went around the time Madlib killed it with 85,000 loops. But across hip-hop history, cats been sampling Far East music in interesting ways.

Look peoples, you know how I do: I curated the dub-hop, the jazz-hop, the Spaghetti-Western-hop. This is another one.  But not just on some OCD digging tip.

Sometimes peoples are all, 'why do you only listen to hip-hop? You need a varied musical diet to stay healthy god.' Son. SON. Hip-hop contains all other musics. There is not one single type of music that hasn't been flipped, sampled, popped and locked, and if it hasn't, it will be soon enough. There is no other genre that does that. 

Hip-hop production is magpie music, finding the shiniest nuggets and weaving them into nests. It's alchemy, turning a few bars of Chinese opera into a beat that makes you wanna bodyrock. It's prestidigitation: makes you say, wait, how the fuck did they turn that into this?

On top of that, with this set you also have the deeper relationship between kung fu movies and hip-hop, which has been explored with art exhibits and fucking incomprehensible scholarly shit. While Wu-Tang foregrounded and embedded kung-fu shit into hip-hop permanently, it goes back earlier and deeper. A lot of breakers were also into martial arts, and kung-fu movies were all over the cheap theaters in the '70s, '80s. Some say the original b-boys admired the code of honor, the discipline; the plots of revenge and fighting against injustice--but same could be said about Westerns though...I guess aside from being a definitively white genre there's also not the cool and acrobatic action. There is that--the poise and posing; the ritualistic squaring off before the battle--that's hip-hop. Hip-hop iconography, movement, the stylized practice--it's sometimes like a Noh play. Peep this:

So kung-fu is another strand of hip-hop's earliest appropriations to make something new with what was at hand, what was hot on the streets. There's actually a whole lot of other facets though...how does this play out, or contradict with, long-standing tensions between Asian shopkeepers and ghetto residents (c.f. 'Black Korea', 20 D Energizers, Latasha Harlins)? Why have no Asian rappers really broke through--is it the inability to overcome the stereotype of Asian dudes as nerds, not hardcore enough? (OK, yeah, Jin, that one dude from 2 Live Crew, Bambu, Cool Calm Pete and uh...Boo Yaa Tribe, but that's a handful outta 80 billion black, white and Latino rappers.)

Last, what happens when one dispossessed subculture idealizes another minority culture, borrows from it, but also reduces it to stereotypes of high-stepping, face-kicking wise men, moo goo gai pan, submissive females and plinkety-plunkety music? Given the lack of a power play, can hip-hop really be accused of orientalizing the Orient? Maybe we should call it orientamalism because it's not really driving in Edward Said's lane? Oh you want me to unpack all that for you? Nah b. You don't. You wanna hear KRS go the fuck in over this flip of Song Of The Shenzen Widow or whatever that shit is.

Hideyaface (Reminder Version) - Prefuse 73 / I Already Know - Nas / Emperor's Main Course in Cantonese - Kid Koala / Enter the Ablist - Rob Swift / Watch Your Step  - Percee P (feat. Vinnie Paz & Guilty Simpson) / Hawaii Dark - Booka B / Tall Tale of Denkufucious - Taiyamo Denku / Once Upon A Rhyme in Japan - Rakim / All In Japan (DJ Sardonic Smirk Mix) - Aesop Rock & Plasticman / Never Give Up - KRS-One / Dope On Plastic (Scratch Perverts Mix) - Uptown / Big Trouble in Little China - DJ Yoda (feat. Action Bronson & Alice Russell) / Live From Hue - Onra / BigaBand - Sizemen / How High (Isjberg Mix) - Wu-Tang Clan / Cellular Antiquity - DJ Espionage / Nightfall's Messenger - Hermitude / Bodhisattva Vow - Beastie Boys / Boong4 Boong3 Va Thet - Ban Nhac Le Go Vap (vs. Eric B)

I didn't know this existed before I started or I might not've bothered: DJ Yoda - How To Cut & Paste (Asian Edition). His is a lot different though. We got different crates.

on the mix as it is in heaven (book i)


It's The Old Testament Mixtape.  That's right.

Hosted by Charlton Heston.

Genesis - El-P, Nas & Charlton Heston / The Garden - Cut Chemist / Adam & Eve - Qwel & Kip Killagain / The Garden - Son of a Bricklayer / Paradise Lost - Redshield (Of Oldominion) / Wrath of Kane - Big Daddy Kane / Noah - A.M. Breakups / Pitch Black Ark (Instrumental) - Micranots / Pain Language (Instrumental) - DJ Muggs / Lot's Wife - Red Ants / In The Middle Of Infinity (6) - 3:33 / I Am What I Am - Chubb Rock / Moses - Slick Rick / The Ten Plagues (feat. Malcolm X) / The Ten Plagues - Socalled (feat. Killah Priest) / Into The Water - DJ Krush / Exodus - Remedy / The Ten Commandments (feat. Notorious B.I.G.) / Levitibus (Instrumental) - Stoupe / The Number Song - DJ Shadow / Holy Are You - Rakim / God Moving Over The Face Of The Waters

bbop for bboys (take 3)


The passing of Donald Byrd a couple weeks ago got me thinking a little more on jazz's influence on hip-hop.  Robbie at Unkut came through with the ten greatest Donald Byrd samples, which are a tribute to the man's work and his (unacknowledged, unknown possibly to him too) contribution to some truly classic cuts.  And that doesn't include "Buck 'Em Down," "Self Destruction" and "Fear Of A Black Planet," just for starters.

Over at whosampled, Byrd is listed for over 100 songs sampling him and another 100 of music he produced--and remember whosampled is pretty incomplete (and that's a good thing, since nobody except DMCA and lawyers want all samples known.  Sampling is like magic tricks, or pussy, or pussy magic...when it loses its mystery, we're all poorer for it).  And compare that to Miles (96 samples) and Coltrane (40 samples--I'm pretty sure that's a crowdsourcing failure, right? Nobody sampled 'A Love Supreme' yet?! Common? Lupe? Some other cunnilingus adept rapper?! That shit can't be right.)

So on the one we owe Donald Byrd for a heavy grip of classics.  Peace to him for that.  Thing is though, while you could do a great 'Donald Byrd Sample Mix,'* it wouldn't sound all that...jazzy.  (It's an idea though, I'll think on it. Actually I was trying to convince Hevehitta on the twitter the other day to do a series of all-one-breakbeat mixes.)  Samples get cut up, flipped, slapped, tweaked and the result hits the groove but a lotta times far from the source--which is one of hip-hop's great achievements, that artistic transformation of sounds.

What I'm trying to say is, you know how scientists are always coming out with shit like, 81% of the human DNA comes from the housefly, or we're all descended from this one rat-looking-thing?  If there ever was a Hip-Hop Genome Project, I think we'd find a much higher percentage of jazz up in there than you woulda guessed.  Wait--not to compare jazz to a housefly or a prehistoric rat though.

Anyways here we got another hour of jazz/hip-hop beats where the influence is upfront, so forget everything I just said.  That was just off the dome on account of Donald Byrd, I already had this mix going when he passed.  C'mon son, it's not like you come here for the coherent hypotheses or even read all this wobbly verbosity. You come for the beats.  I got you.  I got your beats.

Conflict (DJ Critical Hype Blend) - Guru (feat. Masta Ace) / Ill Street Blues (Rework Instrumental) - STS / Stand Up (Ode to Allen Ginsberg's Beat Memories) - DJ Hellblazer / Blue & Green - Mr. Moods / The Second Shoot - Planet Soap / Morning - Maliks / Nonverbal Communication - Rob Swift & Dave McMurray / Endless Nights - Mononome / When the Dust Settles - Kurtis Sp / Pot Belly - Rob Swift & Lou Donaldson / Hypnotic - Eric B. & Rakim / Step Right Up - PremRock / Lagoona's Bliss - Live Human / Chi Nike 'e Pedi - DJ Manueli / Mont - Bil Basmala / Iron Head - U.X.O. / A Different Blues - Apple Juice Kid / Piano Fragments - Bones The Beat Head / I'm The Man (Instrumental) - DJ Premier / Loungin' - Guru & Donald Byrd

Take 1

Take 2

*Update:DJ Polished Solid - All Donald Byrd sample mix, great tracks there.

**Update: Unkut - All-ESG's 'UFO' & All-'Nautilus' sample mixes

bbop for bboys


Scratchoetry - Alien Army / The Brew Out - Wu-Tang Clan (DJ 2-Tone Jones remix) / The Gift - The Whitefield Brothers(feat. Edan & Mr.Lif) / Jazz Thing (Movie Mix) - Gang Starr / Freedom Jazz Dance (Remix) - Nas, Miles Davis & Olu Dara / Human Language - Mumbles / Heat It Up (Album Version) - Rakim / Mystery (Reprise) - Miles Davis & Easy Mo Bee / Applesauce - DJ Quest / Dark Water Jazz - Jenova 7 / Sum Shit I Wrote - Common / Ha-Doh - DJ Krush & Toshinori Kondo / Vermont - Airnino / II B.S. - Charles Mingus (RZA's Bounce Mix) / Dolphy Surround - JohnnyBoy & Manuele Atzeni / Ruby in the Rough - Celestial Impressions / It Sounded Like a Roc! - MF Doom / Jazz Break #6 - DJ Mark the 45 King / From Heritage - Dday One 

The jazz/hip-hop relationship hasn't been nearly as fruitful or long-established as you'd think it woulda; if funk and soul are hip-hop's parents, jazz is kinda like an uncle who drifts into town now and then, sleeps on the couch, bums hip-hop's cigarettes and tells stories about the good old days.  Trouble is, we look at him like he's a played out rummy bum-ass, but back in the day uncs had skills, scared people just as much as hip-hop does/did, and had seriously bad-ass musical chops. 

The much-maligned 'jazz rap' thing never really made it to a full-fledged genre, I don't think...its original history was really only a handful of songs: various scattered cuts by Stetsasonic, Gangstarr, Tribe, De La and other Native Tongues cats.  As far as albums, there's only really Guru's hugely uneven Jazzmatazz series, the first Digable Planets LP (which actually isn't as jazz-sample-heavy as we think), and that Buckshot LeFonque record with Premo and Marsalis, which nobody really listened to. 

close cover before striking #3


Can't-stop-won't-stop-ten-tracks-I-forgot edition.

Still Shook - Greenhouse Effect / Run - Rakim / Made You Shit Your Pants - Copywrite, Yakballz & Cage / How I Could Just Kill a Man - Styles P & Sheek Louch / Sucker M.C.s - Wu-Tang Clan / Rapper's Delight - Erick Sermon, Keith Murray, Redman & Joell Ortiz / Vapors - Snoop Dogg / I'm Still #1 - Cypress Hill / I'm Housin' - Rage Against The Machine