Did you know Faith Evans was nine months pregnant when she recorded the hook for “Clap”? How mad was Giddy when Just first played “It’s Alright” on Shade 45? What’s up with the album’s comical, light-hearted joints like “Give It To Me”? All that and more with the conclusion of my convo with Saigon which was conducted on The Greatest Story Never Told‘s release date.
What do “Boyz N The Hood”, “Do the Right Thing” and “Mo Better Blues” have in common? This guy on a bike.
Some people know him as “The Ego Trip designer”, some others as a signature “… x Stussy” or “… x Nike”
and everybody know the Hip Hop album covers he created (remember that ill “Stimulus Package” ?)
Born and raised in South (Central) L.A., the Bike Guy now lives in Brooklyn where he talks…
First Step In the Arena, Spike Lee’s Influence… and Visions of Biggie Smalls
Arms & Hammers: The Foundation is a short 15-minute film about everyday life in the City of Los Angeles. It follows three young men who approach survival differently but all-in-all have the same purpose throughout. The characters by no means reflect the individuals in Strong Arm Steady directly, but more so we believe they reflect the individual in us all, which is the basis of SAS music and Arms & Hammers. I guess you can call it the ghetto’s duality. The film was written and directed by me & my bro Picaso (LAC). We came with the vision beginning to end. It was filmed and edited by LA’s own Calmatic. – Arms & Hammers – Feb 22, 2011- Kron
Ohhhh shit — Cold Crushin’ Mixes is back with more fire for ’011. This time we got the original funky man Lord Finesse; of legendary New York hip hop crew D.I.T.C, live on two technics and the M.I.C. And baby — they don’t call the man Lord Finesse for nothin’. Fin shows us what D.I.T.C is all about, ramming in 100 tracks in his two hour set covering hip hop and beats to soul, funk, boogie, disco and new jack swing as only a true crate digger can, as well as rocking the MIC Lord Finesse style, spitting a freestyle and some classic Finesse bars.
Jaeki Cho (Complex) recently went to the HeadQCourterz in Manhattan, to hear the master craftsman share stories behind some of his all-time classics.
Here’s one of my favourites, the story behind making of Nasty Nas’ N.Y. State of Mind. I heard this one before and what makes it so unbelievable is that Nas did that first verse in one take.
DJ Premier: “That was just amazing because it happened in this room. Actually, anything from ‘92 and on, we did it here. It was just amazing watching him work because I was already a fan of him when he did ‘Back to the Grill,’ ‘Halftime,’ ‘It Ain’t Hard to Tell,’ and ‘Live at the Barbeque.’ So when I heard him on those records I was like, ‘Yo, I got to do something that’s on the same level.’ So I came in here, and flipped the ill, gutter, Joe Chambers sample (‘Mind Rain’). I can tell you because it’s cleared. [Laughs.] Nas watched me build the beat from scratch. And he wrote the verse in the studio. If you listen to ‘N.Y. State of Mind’ you’ll hear him going, ‘I don’t know how to start this shit,’ because he literally just wrote it. Before he started the verse, I was signaling him going, ‘One, two, three,’ and he just goes in like, ‘Rappers I monkey flip’em, in the funky rhythm.” He did that in one take. After he did that first verse, he goes, ‘How was that? Did that sound all right?’ And we were just like, ‘Oh, my God! The streets are going to go crazy when they hear this!’
“It was one take, but he would format it before. He’ll sit at the front, cover his mouth when the beat’s playing, and would mumble it. So we can’t hear what he’s saying. He was real quiet, but he would bring his whole army. Rest in peace to Drawz, by the way. He just died not too long ago. I remember [Nas] bringing Slate, Wallet Head, basically, all the people he was shouting out. They would be like, ‘Can we go in [the booth] too?’ They just wanted to feel it, you know? It was just funny to watch them all in the booth doing ‘Represent,’ and yelling in the background.”
Go to Complex to read the rest of the stories behind Primo’s classic records.
Here’s the freestyle that Lupe did while he was in the studio with Tim Westwood. He went in straight off the dome over Kanye and Jay’s ‘H.A.M’ instrumental.
..no BlackBerries, no iPhones, none of that..I’ll just go, off the top..
Download: Lupe Fiasco – H.A.M. Freestyle
Continue reading if you want to listen to Lupe’s interview with Tim Westwood and watch his interview with The Hip Hop Chronicle.