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Elements CITR-FM (Radio station : Vancouver, B.C.) 1996-12-01

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   Element's had torn* personnel problems and someone got dissed. Wb had to beat down FreetlyleCrazee because aside from his
weak ass interview with Ghost and Cap, we found out he was tryin' to sell elements mag out for like two buds or something to a
couple of slupid kids out in Surrey who thought it wos « 'test issue of Prop$. AND he wos on some code blockin' shit tellin' this
girt about some shit that 1 had mistakenly let ai| regarding my extra cUricSlar activities: invokin' my a«W and... shit, almost did it
again. Fuckin* punk..
lys keep in mind that
for whatever then...
more man sufficiently fi
his views in parliculo
whatever.... Omekawfb? ...
sick of every single song ami
fi.e.-orookr/n-Brookk
is ugly as hell. Idon'l
call (604) 268-1130
Oh wed... Oh yeah '
£ week after you're fuckin'
eked up pronounciation's.
© peeps think her half Filipino as*
rt reafly Cove in?"). For info on his shit
i. That's not really UOod in ri his mag is late again.
^20 Rcksfw '96, Sv^pdeed *S+h«.' and fl^KHJt picked 'Wake Up'
Both hale each others pick and don't know why they're on the list. They almost fought but Kemo broke it up. J's WAY bigger than
Flip, but Flip is quick. In the end, Kemo got "accidentally" smoked in the brain and we had to take him to the hospital real quidc-
but Emergency had a huge line up and we ended up waiting there for about a month- that's the real reason the mag's late. Fo' rilla.
Features
MOT.
Jem tha Damaja
Xzibit
Mobb Deep
Ras Kass
Ghostf ace Killah
Editors/L&ywit/Prodnction
J Swing & Flipout
Art Direction
AllCity Action Team
Contributen
Checkmate
DAT
FreeStyle Crazee
Kemo
Logic
Mr. Bill
Omeka Almighty
Sunil C.
Photography
J. Stroud/D. Gallaway
Distribution
Vancouver - Bruno
Toronto - Big C Promotions
Canada - Timeborab Disc.
Advertising
Robert Rizk
Publisher
Linda Scholten
k Hip Hop Journal, elements is a bi-monthly magazine published by the Student Radio Society of UBC.
Content-element* will focus on ai elemenb of Hip Hop cutlure: MCs, DJ's, B boying and Graffiti • on a local, national, ond
international level. The magazine features interviews, musk reviews, and lifestyle issues pertaining to the Hip Hop community.
Editorial Policy elemenb jointly shores the CiTR programming policy (ask Linda Scholten a Mio Hoffman @ CiTR radio (604)
822-3017 for details) and encourages submissions from all members of CiTR and the general public. Please ensure consistency
with the magazine's underground theme fa belter publishing consideration ('cause we don't print no dibby bullshit).
Submissions- Please forward all submissions (illustrations, licks, essays, reviews, opinions, etc) to: elemenb, c/o CiTR, #233-
6138 SUB Blvd, Vancouver, B.C., CANADA V6T 1Z1 or fax us ah (604) 822 9364.
Regulars
MixTape
Metaphysics
Vinyl Konflict
- Kool DJ Red Alert
B-Boy Shit
•Easy-Roc pi. 2
Graff Shit
re:\
11
12
15
16
19
20
8
25
27
"i_«r
HI Lyricals    y
As overexposed as Wu Tang Clan is, ihe foci remains that some of the illest rhymers of this day and
age brandish ihe Wu Tang sword. From ihe finesse
and flavor of Raekwon and Melh to ihe deep science of Ihe GZA, RZA, Masta Killah and Killah Priest.
But one killa bee thai has always been a standout
and underrated MC would have to be U God. His
sick delivery and military-like cadence shines bright
and I can honestly say that he doesn't sound like
nobody. Take a listen to his verses starting from
"Chessboxing" to "Knuckleheads" to "Winter Warz"
and his standout performance on "Semi Automatic
Rap Full Metal Jacket" where he flipped, "Like the
fist of the mantis, those who oppose get dropped
and hit the canvas in rigormor' I hit you in the core
and pop your legs- you're in ihe figure four." (I quoted
that shit from memory so don't trip if it's a little off).
Any one who's feelin' me on this one check U Gods
verse from "Black Jesus" off Ghostface's album. Shit's
fresh. (If you see any mistakes then why don't you
write if out and send it to me, otherwise shut the tuck
up. It's not my fault I can't understand everything.
I'm tryin' my hardest man... it's not fair... I ain't Super Lyric Transcriberman or nothin'.) Oh yeah,
Inspectah Dek is the tuckin' man. Beware... he's the
nastiest... why try and test the Rebel INS...
I hose down the place nose shots to the face/ elite
special force/no religious style faith.
The melting pot boil gunshot drama soil/ gamble
when I scramble handle hot pots of oil
Manhandle pain killin' erect my hidden/ streets make
me potent put your 96 bidding
Vampire curse disperse on each verse/ swim in black
water axe slaughter through my earth
You're hit by my element great wall of China/ mountain peak hold the globe like vagina
[Measure?] my mic stand molecule or strand/ finger
roll the rhythm hold the horse one hand
Golden eye spy vs spy guilty of suspicion/ chessboxer
mic in dead body position
Forty ounce [swigger???] odd three verse invention/
divine universal black man representin'
Similar to pure rhyme blowin' out the pore (poor)/
battery in the back keep me charged for the raw
I'm bred type thorough pistolero gun hero/ renaiv
sance rebel chatter box through your borough
Fully woven Beetoven hit you on a humble/ hard
enough to hurt you chastise my rap styles locked down
for this curfew!
-U-God aka Goldenarmz "Black Jesus"
IRONMAN 1996. »r«oh
Canl««trtf
Man*
Sbrtuatfcmt
large frofmor
Hard
PeUSoul
Sweet Rreaws
Mbtanmtao
Unstoppable
MobbPetp
Woodsport
Fmnkewrtsbi
AH Hand*
Trigger ttw*a*l«r
gust
Supawaw luva $
KRSOtw
WordPerfect
lUuealzw/Chedkiiwte^flipwrt
Clockwork
$ravw/AI Tariq
CrtYToCrty
WgNoydw/TYNHly,Twb^Prwiay
AH Pro
Kim Km
Soul On Ice (diamond V remix)
Xrfttw/thaAlkahollci
fclrds Eye View
Soalft faptrt
Wght lights, llg City
Zhm
NYC
Camp lo w/ Wi aka fcrttrflY
SwfetQ
Poogfc Fresh *M0RfekyP
the Show
&
personal expression,
longer have the time
by Mr. Bill   V _f
I had a conversation with a DJ/Producer lately about the culture in general. You know the usual who, what,
where's etc. I found it amusing that I know longer have anything to say about the community. I mean I don't
paint, I don't b-boy, I don't MC, but I love beats. I haven't bought any Hip Hop in the last six months. The last
new full length I listened to was either Busta Rhymes or Kool Keith's Octagon shit.
I guess over the twelve years of listening to Hip Hop I've seen the trends go full circle and now with the advent
of doing covers of Hip Hop classics it's now a question of new thoughts, new ideas. How can I listen to
somebody anymore that views the world through the eyes I can't use or that doesn't fit what's going on for me.
Do I wish to tear the whole structure down? No. Am I interested in disrespecting what is
Artistic creation? I could be if it's wack, but why? Isn't it about going for self? Yes. I no
to be an authority or a purist
I wish to see the world full spectrum. I can appreciate culture, gender, and generation differences and gaps.
I gotta laugh at Chuck D giving those twelve year olds a part in his video, they were in diapers when he was
the Hard Rhymer. Am I dissing age? No. I've grown up finally; it's kinda chill.
There was a reason I felt self conscious reading Hip Hop magazines in public. All "wigger" accusations aside,
I'm no longer 14-24 and when I looked in the mirror I still wasn't any darker. Before you read into this any
deeper, realize what "MCing" has become and realize once and for all time now that this is a vehicle for black
expression, black issues, black passions, and black love and pain.
I needed to know what the issues were and now seeing this whole full circle business and cover tracks, I return
to the beats. I know what I need, I know what I am, and the days of fronrin' with a 40 are done.
I went to communicate in new ways and that meant getting in a new pond and meeting a new fish. I'm now
in that pond and I cannot return to the old School. The old School has it's time and place but now is the futue.
Somebody told me recently that they admire my ability to be able to start over from scratch with no fear, no
hesitation. That's partly true but I saw this coming for years and I knew I'd be getting out. This is just a part of
larger growth.
Music is very, very, very personable to me. I embrace music I love like a woman. It becomes my girl and I give
myself to her fully and completely. My new girl has Hip Hop down tracks (and always will), but she has more
than one speed, she has many moods, she has many skin tones, different coloured eyes, and she doesn't need
to talk, she just does. We understand without speaking, feel deeply, and love each for what we are and what
we do for each other. She has many names and iterates all the misuse of names, categorization, and exploitation. She loves me enough to tell me what's real, what's right, what's love and when to move on to find her
in her next era.
My grandfather fell in love with her when she was introduced to him by Charlie Parker, my father met her
again and again through Miles Davis. I first met her through Mantronix, felt completely in love with her when
she was down with the Bomb Squad, Juice Crew, BDP, Ultra, Eric B <& Rakim, Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called
Quest, Main Source, JVC Force, EPMD, Cypress Hill, Beastie Boys; man she was an exploding star between
88-93.
Now we are both a little older, smarter, more secure, low key, modest, confident, and know what the limits are
and what's on the horizon. I mean we are both looking over our shoulder's at the abomination of pop culture
• that gross, obese, juggernaut that destroys ond consumes everything in it's path. It's like death, i mean I've
had dreams about death in his cloak with his sickle and it's basically the same thing. It's coming to get you •
it's gonna catch you, it's gonna destroy you.
Ask Tupac about Pop-culture - oh you can't? Ask Suge Knight if you can find him. I'm sure deep down he's
wondering what really happened. Anyway I want to live, I want to thrive and I'm running like a motherfucker
to get away from death.
See my girls music is the exact opposite of death. Death is actually her mortal enemy and she has died a
thousand deaths, a thousand different ways through the hands of a creature with a thousand faces. She's so
special, so fearless, so boring and so unselfish she gives me plenty of time to get the FUCK OUT OF DODGE,
before she dies yet again. She embraces me, says goodbye, and says meet me in heaven soon.
4     elements top 20 tracks of '96
PMD "Rugged-n-Raw"
Tragedy w/ CNN & Mobb Deep "LA, LA" (Marley Marl remix]
Outkast "Elevators"
Mr. Voodu w/ Natural Elements "Shine"
Camp Lo "Luchini"
J-Live "Braggin' Writes"
Smoothe Da Hustler w/ Trigger "Broken Language"
Ghostface Killah "Daytona 500"
Jeru "One Day"
Inl "Props"
KRS One "The MC"
Busta Rhymes "Woo-Hah"
The Roots w/ M.A.R.S. & Dice Raw "Clones"
Saukrates "Father Time"
De La Soul "Stakes Is High"
Nas "I Gave You Power"
Inspectah Deck, U-God & Street "Semi Automatic Rap Full Metal Jacket"
Heltah Skeltah "Operation Lockdown"
Redman w/ K-Solo "That's How It Is (My Big Brother)"
Killa Army "Wake Up"
FM Vancouver
CiTR 101,9
"The Show" Sot. 68pm with Checkmate, Flipout & J Swing
"Awara House" Tue. 67pm with Shazia, Homo & Wax
"Hip Hop Habit" every other Mon 7-9pm with .Otis
CFRO 102.7fm
"Krispy Biscuit" Tue. fmdnighi-2am with Ease, Blots* A KibCee
MNo Mercy On The Groove" Mon. 4-5pm with Ebony & Kemo
'CJSF:8&3ftn
?   :
"Stroigto No Chaser" Frt. 7-9pm with Matt & Trevor Chon
"Sagfterrorisfs" Thurs. 8-)0pn> with Cassandra & Cheeba Ma.
♦In The Shaddows" every other Mon. l-3am with
TOT 2PAC IS NOT DEAD
During Chuck D's promotional tour for his new album,
The Autobiography of Mista Chuck, Mr. Chuck himself
decided to share His theory on 2Pac*s passing. It seems
that the Hard Rhymer wasn't oil that convinced that 2Pac
was gone, and to bock up this theory he stated 18 reason's why. This list come to us via some record lobej that
sent it out with their servicing ond we thought that oil of
you 2Pac fanatics out there might find this a little bit intriguing. We here of elements ain't saying that 2Poc did
in fact fake his death, however that thought hos obviously been on Chuck's mind. Peep the list.
1. 2Pac died on Friday the 13th
2. las Vegas is a payoff city, meaning oil sorts of folks have
been known to be on the take. That meons doctors, press,
lawyers etc.
3. The white cadilloc containing the assailants was never
found. How could this be when Vegas is in ihe middle of the
desert?
4. There's a small block community on the North side of
town. This is only about 8 blocks long. The artoclcer* were
black. Where did they go? Where did they hide?
5. The white cadillac containing the gunmen passed an entourage of 2Pac's boys, many of them body guards, no one
gives chase and there are no witness*. There were no wit*
nesses on the street. How come? Why Not?
6. The name of 2Poc's new olbum is Mach'tavelli. He wos
an Italian war strategist who faked his death to fool his erv
emies. Perhaps 2Poc is doing he same thing.
7. The cover of his new olbum hos 2Pac looking lib jesu>
Christ. Could he be planning a resurrection?
8* Las Vegas is in the middle of the desert, how come there
was no helicopter chose? If some one was to rob a casino
the IVPD would've chased you down with some helicopters;
How come this didn't happen with 2poc's shooting?
9. 2Pac was cremated the day after he died. Since when
does some one get cremated the day after a murder. There
was no autopsy.
10. There were no ballistic tests. At least we hoven't heard
about them.
11. Los Vegas ts still very much a mob town. No one gets
killed on the strip. You have to pretty much get permission in
order for something like this to happen. Who was calling
the shots on this one?
12.2Pot's vehicle got shot 12 times an6 Suge didn't get hit
once. He was'grazed'by a bullet. Why did 2Pac get shot
all those times ond Suge not get hit?
13. Suge said he drove 2pac to the hospital and they hod a
coherent conversation? How bad was 2Pac hit? In addition to this there are conflicting stories claiming thatQutncy
Jones' daughter was in the back of the cor, and then she
wasn't. What's the deal for red?
14.2Pac has completed 2 movies and 3LPs that hove yet to
be released. With so many people upset at 2Pac's death
literally anything connected with htm is bound to net a whole
lot of cosh.
15. Suge Knight and 2Pac ore the only two music industry
people on that high a profile with enough balls to pull off a
stunt like faking death.
16.2Pac's video "I Ain't Mod At Ya'" foretold his death.
17.2Pac always wore a bullet proof vest, for some strange
reason he didn't wear one this time. Why not?
18. The memorial services that were open to the public were
cancelled in Los Angeles and Atlanta.
winter '96     5 What are your first Hip Hop related experiences?
Going to Kool Here parties up in the Bronx. I used
to spend time going to disco parties on a Friday
and checkin' out all the disco DJ's, but then people
were telling me in the high school I went to up in the
Bronx about Kool Here so I stepped in there and
experienced and seen a whole different sight. When
I stepped into a spot called the Twilight Zone for the
first time it was a dingy lookin' spot. I stepped all
the way in and I saw people and the way they were
weorin' their clothes, their farm of expression to each
other ond their way of dancin'. It was the Hustle
during the days but they had a certain way of doing
the Hustle, like in a hardcore type way. Then I'm
steppin' all the way to the back and I saw this tall
brother who had this system right there and the music I heard him playing was a little bit different from
everybody. It was the disco era and he would play
disco records but he would mix a certain portion of
the record from turntable to turntable and you'd see
guys and they was either breakdoncin' or they wos
spendin' time hustlin' in their own style and that was
like a new experience for me along with what the
Hip Hop was comin' to.
What did you do after you discovered all
that?
Well after that I spent time going to a lot of their
parties. I was following Kool Here from that club to
about two other clubs. At the same time a lot of
other people started to branch out. You had people
that were comin' right after Here that wos attendin'
the Here parties who come up on their own. You
had people like Grandmaster Flash. You had Mean
Gene who was the brother of Grand Wizard
Theodore. You had several other people who started
branchin' out, Kool DJ Al and then Africa Bambaataa
on the side. You had a lot of people and I started
noticing and watching other people and it inspired
me more ond more. After I came out of a year and
a half of college I went and started workin' and
savin' up my own money to buy my own set, so I
saved up my own money, got my own set and started
experiencing how to buy certain records but I was
divided. I would go buy disco records and I would
also buy Hip Hop records so I would know the diversity of both.
Around what time was this?
I would say the mid seventies, yeah the mid seventies.
When did you start to make a name for
yourself?
Well what it was at the time was one hand washes
another. As I started to develop myself my cousin
used to come down and watch me play and he got
interested in it. At the time he got into it the family
moved up into the Bronx and when they moved to
the Bronx he had got his first set. A guy by the
name of - godbless the dead • Disco King Mario, he
was another pioneers back in time, he was havin'
his own name and buildin' up his own set but he
didn't have his own tables so he osked my cousin to
DJ. At the same time he was borrowing his set, he
was in a sense jerkin' him. So Bam noticed what
Mario was doing, and he noticed that he come from
the same area he come from, Bronx River. So he
said no, no, no leave Mario alone, start comin' down
with us. So as Bam brought him in that's when he
started tellin' Bam about me. My cousin go by the
name of Jazzy Jay and that's when he started tellin'
Bam about me. Pretty soon he was bringin' both of
us in under him, Bambaataa.
How long were you with him for?
Well I been with Bam ever since '79 on.
When did you first get on radio?
Well the first time I really got involved was early '83
when I used to be on 105.9 with Africa Islam. We
had a show called Zulu Beats where I wasn't really
spinnin', but if was an experience for me to come
down and know what it's like talkin' on the radio
and hearing music played on the radio and I was
known for bringing down all my tapes. I'm known
as one of the people in the post to hove all the party
tapes - Hip Hop classics. I would bring them down
and play them on the radio. During the era that we
was at the Roxy later on in '83, the people at KISS
FM came to Bam and said we're interested in having some of your DJ's come and do some mixin'.
First they went after Africa Islam but he missed a
couple of appointments. So the next person they
came to was my cousin Jazzy, he did it for a couple
of months but he say they wasn't payin' so he just
stopped. So they came to me and they put me on a
3 month trial from October to the end of the year
and at the top of '84 they put me on the payroll.
What other shows were around then?
The show out before that wos Mister Magic. Mister
Magic used to be on 105.9. Then from there in '82
he went on WBLS, where he brought a guy by the
name of Marly Marl to do the mixing.
How was your show different from theirs
and the rest of radio?
Everybody thought my show was a straight up and
by J Swing
down hip hip show but when I first started the people on radio were trying ta show me how they
wanted me to play R&B, club, dance and rap music
with a hip hop sound. I learned how to combine all
that in one. I used to go to them disco parties on a
Friday and then the Hip Hop ones on a Saturday so
I hod a good idea of what they wanted me to do.
What was your involvement with BDP?
Me and godbless my man Scott LaRock, we knew
each other for a long period of time and we got
down chottin' and I knew he had a couple of down
falls with different labels until he formulated with this
company and they made Boogie Down Productions.
I was surprised when the first record came out, I
didn't know they had made a record going after
MC Shan and mentioning me in part of the record.
At the same time there was a little feud thing with
Mister Magic and his Juice Crew was on at the station, so they (BDP) wanted to back me up. So when
they came to me and wanted me to be on the second record, "The Bridge Is Over", they were really
in a sense incorporating me to be a part of them.
So you were at the center of that whole
thing.
Well that was a little rivalry that was going on a
long time. Mister Magic was always known for
mouthin' off and dissin' people over at KISS FM.
Even before I got there he was mouthin' off and
dissin' awful on Jazzy Jay because he saw that KISS
FM was gettin' more and more involved in rap and
havin' a mix show at the same time he had a show.
He was tryin' to shoot us down, from there on they
would always mouth me off mostly cause I was there
the longest. So that went on and then after that it
was the "Roxanne Roxanne" era with U.T.F.O. You
had Shante going after them and the girl Sparky-D
was going after Shante. Sparky-D came across me
and asked me to DJ for her. So that went on and
then after the "Roxanne Roxanne" thing died out
then here come the BDP versus the Juice Crew. So I
seen that whole scenario but it's a little surprisin'
how today, this year, you see KRS and MC Shan
come together and make a Sprite commercial. Nobody would have ever expected what all that led to.
Lookin' back, how has Hip Hop changed
the most from when you first started playin'
records?
Definitely with the people in the music, yaknow things
does change, rap had been diversifies in so many
different tones from seeing Run DMC utilizing rock n
roll, you see Jungle utilizing house music, or you see
a Pete Rock & CL Smooth and Tribe utilizing Jazz.
Here it is with different forms of fashionable rap. At
one point you had dissin' rap like the U.T.F.O.
"Roxanne" era, then you had gimmick rap with the
"Peewee Herman", or certain people with the lingo
like Slick Rick and Dana Done. Or the different
style of rap where you had Das EFX. Then after
NWA everybody got involved with gangsta rap ond
then there was also social conscious rap with BDP
' and Public Enemy. There has been so many different types of rap that it's still elevating to more and
more things happening today. So I have seen a lot
of things change.
What about on the industry side?
6     elements That's something that I had to learn about but not be
involved in. At one point I had my production management company but the reason I let that go is
because I didn't want to be on both sides of the
fence. I was on both the recording side and the
broadcasting side and that is a conflict of interest.
So I passed it on to my man and let him run the
show and I just continued to show love how I like to
do and not try and get into the ugly political side
because I don't care for it. I mean you always have
people that will try and "wine and dine" you and
try and set you up to do what it takes to play a
record. I myself, I don't get involved in that. Everybody knows my reputation for years is this - If the
record sounds good I'm playin' it. I don't care if
your well established or not. If it don't sound right
I'ma just pass it up. I feel like this, I understand you
have to play for the people but then again I feel like
I'm the pied piper. If I play my tunes right my crowd
will follow me. If I don't feel I'm playing the right
tunes I'm not going to play them at all.
No doubt. Where do you think Hip Hop is
heading?
That's a good question. That's upon the creators
and the audience itself, cause it's the creators that
make it and it's the audience that will believe it and
carry it.  So that go both.
Let's talk about the CD for a minute, this is
your fifth one now.
Yeah, my fifth one all together but my forth one on
Plateau. Still doing the basic thing like I did on the
rest of them, make it sound like my radio show. The
reason I did it like that is because anytime that I
travel around people always wanted a tape of my
show. So I figured why not market it like it's my
show.
Who chose the tracks?
I had chose em.
Based on what?
Well there were a lot that I chose, but these were the
ones I was able to get the rights too. I wonted to get
Nonchalant "5 o'clock", I wanted to get "No One
Else", another Biggie... there were several joints.
But these were my favorite joints from the past year.
Is there anything you'd like to speak on
before we end this?
Just how the public that may not understand Hip
Hop will look at it in the wrong way cause there's a
lot of down falls and destruction in it. But that goes
for anything that your involved with as far as sports,
entertainment or industrial you have your ups and
you have your downs but believe me, they didn't
think it was going to last this long. So for all y'all
that don't know it, don't speak on it. If you know it,
then please speak on it in an uplifting way. Because if you individually know what problems there
is with what your involved in your not going to talk
about them, you going to say something to uplift it.
That's the same way people should talk about Hip
Hop.
Word.
winter '96     7 interview by Flipout & Zebrok
The original dance form of Hip Hop, b boying is olive and
thriving all over the world in this here decode. Although b
boying is almost non existent on television shows nowadays
(I'm talking about RAP shows) it is widely celebrated and par-
lia'pated by b boys around the world. While gangsterism ond
other trendy trends bombard you poor kids, the underground
scene is full of the illest b boys, tumtablists and even MCs that
you'll never see on the lellinliestoyourvision (TV). One such b
boy from the Rock Steady Crew west coast chapter, Easy Roc
hos established himself as one dope b boy, by not only displaying true b boy finesse and flavor but by giving back to the
community and doin' his part to keep this shit moving. By
organizing events like the B Boy Summit, together with his partner Asia (the two make up Eternal Two Creations) and J Love,
Easy Roc has taken the time to make sure that the genuine love
and creativity tor Hip Hop has a place to grow and breathe,
rather than be suffocated to death underneath the rap industry.
The result is a dope jam that you might have attended 'back in
the day" with live DJ's doin' their thing while the b boys break
and the MCs commentate. In addition, true school heads like
Kool Here, Whipper Whip, Crazy Leggs be edumacatin' the
youngn's 'bout the foundations ol Hip Hop. That's all. No
fronrin'. No beef. But remember... punks jump up to get beat
down ot any party. I don't know why I nod to say that but
anyway, now that you heard that, let's hear what Easy Roc's
gotta say about beats, b boyin' and life... what else is there?
Alright. Lefstdk about Ihe I ioy Summit the next
one is at Ihe end of February 1997 In San Diego.
How did it all get started?
Asia's the one who came up with the idea. Asia came out from
Denver ond she had a Hip Hop shop, so she's been involved
for some time. She came out here to San Diego and we met
her at a dolhing trade show. Vve started hanging out, whatever we all started dancing when her and J Love approached
us to do some youth shows for free ond just do it for the kids.
So we storied linking up here and there and we started going
to dubs and seeing how bod we got treated at dubs. We
would be like, "Yo, we're Rock Steady Crew" and they'd be
like, "Oh so what?" No one cared that we were trying to
break, people were dissing us and making fun and then Asia's
like, "You know what? This sucks man. This wouldn't happen
in Denver. This is wack." So her and J Love talked a little bit
ond came up with this idea of having a summit where b boys
ond b girls could break and tell the rest of the Hip Hop community that you know, we wont ta be respected. She told me that
idea and we also thought that it would be cool ta have a dance
afterwards and make it free, just hold it otfside. So, the first
summit went off ond it wos kinda easy because we did it with
the clothing trade show and that helped us get the locations. It
was really small, maybe 500 kids and we got enough money
together and brought Crazy Leggs out ond it wos kinda cool
cause we all sat on some choirs and passed the microphone
around then had a little break off afterwards. There was no
afterparty or anything but we were hype and people there
were like, "Yo, this has potential you guys should do this bigger
next year." Then people started colling us all the time, "Hey
when's the next one, when's the next one?" The next one was
only six months after.
How are the B Boy Summits financed?
We do it all br free, all with sponsorship money.
What about Ihe video tapes. Some people bug
cause they think the tapes look shitty or something,
like they're expecting a huge production or some-
Vve're not really into that "Hollywood" glamorous scene, that's
why the footage is real raw. It's belter that way, I mean for the
people who are really into Hip Hop, they enjoy it. The whole
video thing in Hip Hop these days is spoiling people. Then
people get mad at us cause we don't allow cameras. That's
our revenge man. We do that for a number of reasons. The
main reason is to make the tope and sell it in order to make
money for next years summit, that's the main reason. But there's
other reason's too that I won't get into but kids get mad at us
and hold a grudge against us and I'm like, who ore you anyway? You should be thanking us for the chance to come ana
enjoy yourself and meet people from all over the world... and
it's freel What are you going to complain for? You know,
people get altitudes, they don't realize the work that goes into
that event.
Word. So b there going to be a B Boy SummitIV?
Yeah, we're going to do another one next year, maybe late
to accommodate everybody in Hip Hop but it's a tribute to b
boys. And the DMC's, that's a tribute to DJ's.
The Summit videos are really dope though. But
until I went down there, I never realized how much
doper it actually is cause you're part of it, you know.
And then actually gettin' on the tape is just... ex*
hHarating. (laughter)
Well, on the back of the video it says, "The purpose of this
video is not to over shadow event itself but to give you a glimpse
of what goes on and encourage your participation in the next
years summit." Vve're trying to say, you gotta come to this shit,
you gotta come and meet people and bring your piece book,
bring your camera and have a good time because you can't
experience this shit from the video. I mean, I haven't seen kids
just breakin' on street comers for years. During the summit I
was just staring out the window in downtown San Diego and
I'm just seeing kids breaking against each other and hanging
out on the street ond writers on the other side signing each
others books. It was incredible but the only thing you gotta
remember is that the whole thing only lasts for a weekend, after
that you'll go to San Diego ond be like, "Hey where's the Hip
Hop that I remember seeing here?" That's the thing you gotta
remember, that's how small the Hip Hop is right now, as far as
the culture, that's the only time you're going to see it, when you
go to these events. It doesn't exist there outside the event.
Yeah but even though it only last for a weekend, it
gets you so hype that you try to keep that hypeness
as long as you can. Cause we got bade, we were
goin' off boy, they thought we got injected with
some sort of drug or some shit down there.
Yeah, I mean, that's how we were in New York (for the Rock
Steady anniversary). We got all pumped up and we did all
kinds of business and even as br as oana'ng, I mean when I
wos doin' moves... it's just being there gives you a rush. That's
what people need ta experience. I mean, these dudes from
Switzerland were like, "Yah, I huv to come out at least wonce a
year to get umf rush nstein."
Yeah I'm Undo disappointed cause I didn't make It
out to New York for that shit...
Have you been to New York yet?
Nope, I never even been to new Tone
You gotta go to New York, espedalfy on a b boy tip. Just to go
February '97. Ws-'re tryin' to make it bigger every time but the
main focus of it is mainly br the b boys cause a lot of people
were gettin' confused. Some people come out and got mod
cause they couldn't get on open mic session... and we're trying
there and talk to some people, you'll really get a belter understanding. That's why some kids get on my nerves when I'm
talking to them and they don't GET W. I just tell 'em man, go to
New York and get a feeling for it and maybe you'll understand
8     elements a little bit of what I'm talking about. You go there br experience because then you can better understand where the b boy
mentality came from. If you don't already know...
Word up. It was cool when you came up to Vancouver a couple months ago and broke with us at
El Famoso and shit.
Yeah, I definitely wanna come back soon even if there's a club
or something just let us know about it. I definitely want to take
another trip back there. Unfortunately I didn't get to practice
with onybody or anything or dance so when we got to that
other dub, the Red Lounge, there was only like fifteen minutes
left ond it was like, "Ah shitl"
Shit went off though. We got it on videotape too.
Cool.
I was talking to you one time about Ken Swift and
you were saying how he has literal files... like written down files of aN of his moves.
That's what he told me.
What land of shit is that?l
I believe it. That kid... you can't underestimate him...
I mean he looked better than ever at the summit
(III)... I don't know If it's just from seeing him dance
in person for the first lime but he was poppin'shit
offl Nice and dean and he had lots of new shit too,
I mean nothin' I've seen on any videotape up to
this point... I'm talkin' about when we were at the
afrerparty, not the outdoor shit.
At the afterjam, hell yeah he loved it. When I was in New York
he was tellin' me that that was like, one of the best times he's
danced in a long time. Cause he doesn't like dancing outdoors and a lot of people don't. I mean I don't like dancing on
linoleum and a lot of b boys don't like dandng on that either
cause it kinda sucks the energy out you. I don't know, I just
don't like dancing on it.
Now, I don't wanna get down on some Idds but
most young kids, when they hear rap musk or see
the videos or whatever, they can't seem to link b
boyin' to ft. I mean, it's not really their fault but it's
a shame. They just don't know. I mean, I didn't
got into breakin' from seein' it on TV, I happen to
see that old summit video. After that me and my
crew was like, whatever! Let's do this shitl That
that ain't the only shit you can do in this here Hip
Hap.
It's cause of music videos man. Straight up. That's all they see.
These kids are attached to their TV sets, they're walchin' MTV
a b boy if you're so colled "down" with Hip Hop. You aint
really down for Hip Hop unless you do something for it ond
take the time to learn one of the skills.
They're just consumers. Doin' what they're told.
like 24 hours a day. I see no end to that until it just gets ployed
out until it's just so boring from everybody acting the same
way.
I think that as long as you're young man, do something! You can do that "groovin"' shit when you
can't break no more. Kids is missin'out man... It's
like when our aew is at a jam or especially ebbs
and we hit the floor they see 8
they maybe never even knew existed man. Especially the young kids, like under 19.
Yeah, I see that. Kids are fronting just standing fronting on
each other but nowadays it's expected, it's easy to front. It's
not like in the days, you'd get dissed. If you were fronrin' like
was the rawest shit I've ever seen. Rappln's dope
right. But to me, that physical shit u just dope! It's
just a fuckin' shame that kids cant see b boyin' on
MTV or Much Musk... all they see is rapping and
you were bod someone would be like, "Yo do you write?",
"Nah." "What do you do, do you b boy?", "Nah." "MC?*,
"Nah," Then what the fuck do you do? You're just a Hip Hop
bn. And what sucks is they call themselves b boys. So you're
They contribute to the record companies bank that
pimp your favorite artist but then don't care to contribute something to Ihe cukure behind it.
Yeah I Contribute to the fuckin' culture man or else get out of
the way. Step bock, get out of my circle. Get your big dumb
bet out of my circle man and give me some room if you ain't
gonna dance or at least give some moral support. I mean, lost
night we were at an open mic and we were just dancing while
the MCs were goin' off and they had no problem with it. That
was cool because one thing that MCs have a problem with
now is having any kind of competition, whether it be b boys or
whatever, take the focus away from THEIR show. That's dumb
cause if you think about it, the best praise that an MC con have
is to have some kid b boyin' while he's out there rhyming but
they don't see it that way. And the best thing for us is to have a
good MC to get us hype cause ifs not just the beats. A good
MC can get you hyped. But they see it as a dis cause you're
not watching them walk back and forth on stage waving your
"W" in the oir or whatever.
And how did MCin' start out... the MC would stand
ta Ihe side and then b boys would go off in the
centre while the MC busted like a h/rical commentary.
I wrote this arfde and I was talking about that when nobody
really knew about rap, they knew about breakdandng and
they would tell 'em, "Put on tome of that breokdance music*
But It was rap. But now most all MCs don't core.
Everybody's talkin' how the good ol' days were
better bulk's like, for me, I wasn't even In kinder-
garten In those good oY days, but I recognize that
vfce being mora genuine and creative than Ihe
frontin' nowadayi. Put it this way, If I was 14 now
in 1996, the age when I got into Hip Hop, I probably would think the shit is dumb. Thar UK I only
knew what I see on TV. So I guess what I'm tryin'
to say is just because you don't see brealdn' and
DJ's In rap videos anymore or even on TV at all
doesn't mean for a second that that shit is played
out. If you like the underground shit men peep the
real meaning of underground,
winter '96    9  Although both growing up in
Brownsville, Brooklyn, neither Billy
Danzenie or LiT Fame are able to
recall how they came together as
the Mash Out Posse. "It's been so
long, can't even remember," says
Billy Danzenie at his management's
offices. "We just had an interview
and we was talkin', tryin' to figure
out, how did we meet. But we grew
up together since kids, since lil'
kids. On the same block, that's
right." M.O.P.'s first single "How
About Some Hardcore" set the
stage for what the group had to
offer. The energetic delivery of their
rhymes is an element that is transferred to their live performances.
"M.O.P. is just straight to just how
you hear it on the record. Mad
live and amped. We try to drown
into the people. With our lyrics or
whatever, or with our performances
on stage. We love performing."
Their first album for Select, To The
Death gained M.O.P. a large hardcore following particularly in New
York. Singles such as DJ Premier's
remix of "Rugged Neva Smooth"
and the b-side "Downtown Swinga"
strengthened this fan base, but the
group was still denied the success
they felt they could have achieved,
as expressed on the title track of
their sophomore LP Firing Squad.
In 93, you barely heard us in the
crowd/ So we left our former label
and now our shit is bumpin' loud."
"Nah, we ain't dig it, we ain't dig
it at all. Like the street credibility
was there, but the promotion wasn't
there with it. And the sales wasn't
there with it, y'know? The respect
was there though." Now with a
new deal on Relativity, who Lil'
Fame says "was ready to support
us.", M.O.P.'s Firing Squad (produced primarily by
Premier) should see the group receive further recognition.
Although best known for their hardcore stance,
the first commercial single off Firing Squad,
"Dead & Gone" pays tribute to both
members mothers who passed away.
Over looking the personal sentiments of the track, some may
view the song as just another
tailor made radio joint. "Nah,
if people know MOP they
should be able to relate to it. It
ain't nothin' knew, we always
been makin' music like that. This
time, it's just visual where you can
see it.   It's emotional.   It deals with
your soul. It's a concept song, it's about
something. It's not just straight ra-ra hip hop.
That song is about something to listen to, not to
dance to."   How does the group feel about artist
willing to make tracks strictly for financial gain?
"Everybody gotta do what they gotta do and some
by Sunil C.
people think it's all about money
or whatever," says Billy "We
keep it real. Keep it real to us is
being real to yourself, and being real to whatyou do. We from
the streets, so when we bring you
lyrics, we bring you lyrics from
the streets. So we not gonna try
and camouflage it with nothin'.
For nothin'. No money or anything. If they dope and they on
the radio, then hey, you dope,
you can't take nothin' from them.
That's how they gettin' they ched-
dar, That's how they gettin' their
money, yaknowhati'msayin?
Can it be seen as detrimental to
hip hop in the future, if artists are
quick to compromise their music?
"Well, it's not gonna damage hip
hop. What would it do? It might
damage them." explains Billy.
Lil' Fame continues, adding
"Ain't nothin' wrong with being
in it for the money, but you still
gotta love it, y'know? You gotta
love it first. You can't just do it
for the money. If you can love it
and still make money off it then
that's even doper."
Rapping with Kool G. Rap on
"Stick To Ya Gunz" is indicative
of the new album's overall vibe.
"Well coming up, we always
loved G. Rap," explains Billy,
"we know that G. Rap is one of
the most underrated hip hop artists in the world,
knowhati'msayin'? And he
dope, and ain't too many people that can touch him, lyrically.
It's like come on, we love what-
ever's dope, and G. Rap is real,
so let's defiantly do a song with
him."
On the subject of the heavy gun imagery in their
music, and "Stick To Ya Gunz" more specifically,
Billy states "That song just ain't about guns though.
That song is just straight up about, like you
are a reporter or whatever, whatever you
do, if you stick to it and make sure you
get better at it. Long as your shit
improves, you stickin' to your guns,
you doing one thing you stick to
one thing. You stickin' to your
guns. The reason my verse is
the way it is, and Fame's verse
the way it is, is because we
grew up in that environment
where if you didn't have a gun,
you felt real unsafe when you went
outside. So who ever says that 'they
talk about guns, they ain't never did
nothin' like that', you ask around Brownsville,
they know us. Wherever we went, we always represented in any kinds way. We not no trouble makers or whatever, but if shit hit the fan, it hit the fan
and we got it on."
winter '96     11 JeViA ffa <&mfc
Jeru tha Damaja. Who can
fuck with him? You can say
he's wack but can you fuck
with him? While you chew
on that shit for a while try
to remember 1993 when
you first heard "Come
Clean." That undoubtedly
was a pivotal time for Hip
Hop, as this relatively unknown MC dropped this
bomb on the industry, consumers, fans, heads, whatever they may be, Jeru
dropped some shit. Some
were ready, some were not.
When The Sun Rises In The
East was released, no one
was prepared for the lyrical and musical onslaught delivered courtesy of Jeru and Premier.
Jeru's mental stamina along with Premier's sonic cinematics fused together creating an indestructible force that sent Hip Hop into a state
of shock. All redundancy had run it's course, it was time to kill all the
bullshit and point Hip Hop back in the right direction- the next level.
That was 1993 and how does that saying go? History repeats itself.
Could that be because most do not bother to learn from the mistakes
of the past or could it be that they know no better. Like Method Man
once stated, "Nigguhz crossin' over but they don't know no better."
Now, in 1996 Hip Hop
is in a worse state than it
was three years ago.
How is Hip Hop so bad
now? Every song is the
same as the next. There
is no balance, it is lop
sided and -dare I say without sounding redundant-
redundant. Jeru is back.
The prophet returns.
Wrath Of The Math Is a
wake up call. "Everything is mathematics"
says Jeru, "and now is the
time when mathematics is
coming forcefully. One
plus one equals two,"
pausing, "but if you add
another two - it changes." Jeru's new project is more than just an
album, it's a catalyst for thought, a study of deep concentration into
the power of music. "The main purpose was just to make a dope
record," explains Jeru. "But the purpose of the music that's on this
record is to provoke thought. That's all my music is here to do: provoke thought. By provoking thought, I switch and change the order of
things." So as you read the following interview keep in mind that Jeru
ain't your average nigguh and there's more to it than what he says.
The key in this interview is what he doesn't say. Peep:
J^^tfur^a Utf&afueNb
12     elements Okay, to start off, your video is dopel
You like that?
Yeah.
I did il just for you!
(Laughing) Me and my friends were just talkin
about it and "Ya Playin' Yasetf" is one of the best
videos we seen. Not to be propin1 you up too
much or anything but the shit is dope. Where
was it filmed?
Hong Kong. The whole thing.
Who are the stars of the video?
Me and Afu.
Who's the third man there?
Ah Wey, this Chinese du'.
So you're practicing kung fu then.
I ain't practicing nothing. I don't know nothing. I'm just
dope. I can do whatever, you just show me and I can just
do it-
Word? Ah... right... I mean uh...
You open now right?
Yeah.
That shit wos too fly for you right? You don't understand
how we con do that ond not know nothing right?
You know nothing? You don't practice kung fu?
Nope.
Damn. Well... what goes on with the second
aibum, what did you do this time that you might
not have last time?
Nah, it was just more iller.   It's just more iller now,
yaknowhatimean. It's for brothers.
You say the album was made to save Hip Hop
right?
Right.
To save it from what?
From being destroyed.   Not from what, just from being
extinct knowhatimean? Everytime something is saved it's
not from somebody. You couid save something from itself.
How's it killin' itself?
(pause) You don't know?
Yeah but I want to hear what you have to say,
right?
Anyway you could think of. I just see it dyin' yaknow.
Alright.  As far as the song "Black Cowboys"
has anyone wanted to battle you on that?
Can't nobody battle me boy!
But has anybody WANTED to?
Nah they don't wont to battle. They don't want to battle!
Or I'd have to do my styles on them, (sounding all cool
ond confidnent like o kung fu actor)
Then what do they want to do?
Nothing (in the same voice). Just talk shit.
How about Puff, have you ever spoken to Puff
before this or after or anything like that?
Nah, he's cool. If he want to battle, all he got to do is
moke a record and come out and bottle. Knowhati'msayin'?
It ain't hard.
But you never talked to him before or after you
made the record?
Yeah I have. What you want to know? You wanna know
is there beef? Come on man, what you want to know?
You talk about someone on the record and you
say shit...
(raising his voice) But that's me! That's me! If you talk
about somebody on a record what's going to happen to
you ?
They're gonna wanna talk to me probably.
That's you. And whot else? They probobly gonna want to
beat you up too, right? That's what you're gettin'at. This
is me g. My name is Jeru. It doesn't come to that level.
I'm not disrespectin' nobody, I'm just saying what IS!
So everyone understands that?
Of course everyone understands that.
You talked about someone infiltrating your camp
and stealing your style...
That's in general. That's a lot of motherfuckers. It oin't no
specific one person.
Cause personally, I dont see anybody thaf s stole
your style.
Style is not just rhyming. When I'm talkin' about my records
I'm talkin' about life. So that could just be one incident in
my life that somebody stole a style, infiltrated the camp.
And I know there's people in other peoples life who infiltrated they camp and steal they style. So that's whot i
make my records for. So that's why to all y'all crews-
whatever. Knawmean?
Alright. Who's all in the Perverted Monks? Who
rhymes? Who does what?
That's it. Perverted Monks is my whole crew, 100,000.
Damn, everybody rhyme?
No. Everybody's just the Perverted Monks.
Where are they all residing?
Secret places.
Okay... (mildly frustrated) So have you been
physically training because you had that joint
"Mental Stamina" and you have "Physical
Stamina." How much metaphorically speaking
are you?
I don't do nothing, (laughing)
You don't do shit?
Uh uh.   No training.  I just am.   I think therefore I am.
That's it.
(laughing)
You like that right?
I guess. I was looking for a little more but... whatever!
If I did study some styles do think I'd tell you?
Well... why not?
Why not? If I had a gun should I tell you, "I'm carrying a
gun, yo. I'mma shoot you if you mess with me."
No.   But I was just asking about physical fitness.   I mean cause you first talked about
stamina on the mental tip which is cool but then
you flipped it to physical this time around.
Cause that's oil one though, mental and physical. Mind
body and soul. I'm just living g. I think therefore I am!
Alright, alright. Are you ever gonna right a book
or something?
Maybe.
Yeah? What would it be about?
Michael Jackson.
(Laughter)
I don't know. If I know then I'd be writing about it. Whatever strikes me enough to write a book about.
In your opinion will Hip Hop ever be crazee popular and super dope at the same time? It seems
that when it's really popular, it's the wackest
shit.
Because motherfuckers just want to commercialize and
capaitlize on it.
Peru's attention is diverted suddenly to a background conversation about John Woo movies)
John Woo movie? Who's gonna be in it? You? Oh they
should put me in that shit. John Woo... I kill that nigguh...
(back to me) Go ahead.
So can you see it being dope at the same time
mad popular?
Yeah it's about to happen right nowl
Besides yourself, who will be some of the dopest
people?
Can't soy. I don't speak for no one but Jeru.
Thaf s cool. Do you view yourself as an entertainer or how do you view yourself towards the
people?
Me? I'm Jeru. More than an entertainer- (urgently interrupting himself) Hold on hold on!
(He goes bock to the John Woo topic in the room as he
does some sort of action hero type of movement in the
background ond the room starts laughing as you hear an
"aiight?I" from Jeru, as if to prove o point about whatever
he did. He comes bock for a second...)
Peace.
Yeah.
(Again very urgently) Hold on hold on! (To the people in
the room) H- h- h- here it go man! (Sounding overly excited) Here it go man! Here go some John Woo shit!
Look, here go some John Woo shit. Check it out. Come at
me, man. Like come at me with a knife or some shit. Look,
(fighting sound effects) whoo whoo whoo whoo whoo!!
(back to me, sounding out of breath] Go ahead mon, I'm
sorry.
You doin' an audition? (laughing)
Nah noh. We talkin'about some John Woo shit. I wos
showin' 'em some John Woo shit.
You need to be killing fifty people in one scene
for a John Woo flick.
Yaknawmean? You see how we fucked all them cats up in
that video right?  That was some other shit right? You
never sow no Hip Hop shit like that!
Word. That towel shit was the bomb though.
My man was tellin' me about this one movie or
something and this dude had a towel-
Once Upon A Time In China. Hard like a stick. He wet it
in some water ond shit.
Yeah.
See I already know g.
And he's battin1 some people, it was like a fuckin'
stick.
He was fighting Jet Lee with it. He was like a sergant in an
ormy or some shit. I saw that shit kid. I know about all
them shits.
You seen "Fearless Hyena?"
That's Jackie Chang. That's "rubber legs." WangChing.
Were any of the people in your video from kung
fu flicks?
Yup. They was in some shit called, "Iron Monkey" Shit
like THAT! I had the assistant director from, "Rumble in the
Bronx" Motherfuckers from all types- one of the dudes we
was fuckin' up the most, he's in some Jackie Chan shit.
See how we jumped off thot high ass roof right?
Yeah.
It's the butters, we did that shit for real. Word up.
Word.
So listen baby bro, I gotta make like a motherfuckin' balloon and burst.
Thank's for comin' through on the interview.
It ain't nuttin'.
Peacel
Aiight. John Wayne.
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fep Following his guest spots on the albums of King Tee and the Alkaholiks, Xzibit is the
next MC to emerge from the Likwit crew. The California-based rapper is now focused on establishing himself as an artist in his own right, not just from his crew
affiliation. Displaying tight rhyming skills on his debut album At The Speed Of Life,
Xzibit is also in the process of putting a group together with Ras Kass and Saafir,
tentatively titled the Golden State Warriors (formerly Usual Suspects) As both Ras
and Xzibit have indicated, the group is likely to sign with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment. Ras Kass foresees the project to be "Some ill shit, some dope ass beats!
(laughs) It's gonna be some creative shit and just doing songs as a group is gonna
bring out different shit in all of us."
When did you first start rhyming?
I got down, when I wos thirteen or fourteen, I started getting down. Then eventually
I came out to the west, met up with the Alkaholiks and King Tee, and we just brought
it live from there. I was born and raised in Detroit 'til I was like nine. Then I came out
west so, y'know, it don't really count. I had to be in the house when the lights were
on, so it don't really count! Yaknowhati'msayin'? I'm more influenced over this way
more that anything.
Would you say you've found differences in the way people react to
your musk in different places?
Defiantly.  It's like I didn't really get the chance to see what was going on in the
Detroit hip hop scene, 'cos I left so early. But hip hop is universal, it's the same all
over.  It may be different forms, and different artists, but it's still basically the same
thing.
How has the response been?
It's dope, people are giving me love across the map. It's dope. I just came off the
East Coast last night. Fools giving me love once again.
How easy was it for you to get your record deal with Loud/RCA?
I never shopped a demo. I got down on the King Tee and Alkaholik albums and then
got a solo deal from Loud, and that's basically how that came about to getting on
Loud. It's just like I didn't want to go through the headache of going through all that
shit anyway so I took off. We didn't get the first shit off 'til we made sure it was
correct.
What was your inspiration for the hook of "Paparazzi"
I'm just sayin' man, a lot of the stuff that's comin' out right now ain't really got no
backbone in it. Yaknowhati'msayin', talking about the same thing, people scared to
break new ground. Basically they just in it to collect a check. Ain't nobody trying to
enhance hip hop, make some shit fresh. What ever happened to making some fresh
shit, yaknowhati'msayin? It's all about money, cars, and bitches right now, but I'm
just trying to bring something to the table.
How do you think it got to the state it is now?
Because we see people cashing in millions of dollars, and y'know, everybody brings
it to what people are trying to do. You see the next man cashing and you wanna
make records like that so you can gain the same outcome, but it don't work like that.
It becomes redundant and everbody starts coming out with the same kinda sound,
talking about the same shit and we stuck in the mud, so to speak. Nobody's making
nothing fresh.  So instead of following the path and coming with G funk from the
west, come with straight hip hop from the west and it's fucking people up. (laughs)
Do you think the attitude is ultimately detrimental to hip hop?
Exactly. That's what the whole essence of "Paparazzi" was all about. So I'm dealing
with a broader aspect, not just the literal - talking about the people paparazzi. I'm
talking about that whole effect with those people that are trying to achieve, and the
way they make their records.
What's your approach to freestyling?
Man, it's cool. It has it's place and everything, but I don't think you can define an
MC on what comes off his head. I know cats that can write songs and blow niggas
up.   Some people that can say these little rhymes off the head, but I don't know
anybody that made records and sold copies over motherfuckin' freestylin' and shit.
You can't do a whole record freestyling. You gotta eventually sit your ass down, and
write a motherfuckin' song.
Tell me about the Golden State Warriors project?
Yeah, we working on that right now. We in production, we gonna have that done
over the Christmas holiday. We can't use that name, yaknowhati'msayin? We can't
use it, so we gotta come with a different name. We don't know right now.  We
gonna fuck with Aftermath. We tryin' to fuck with it, but it ain't definite. Everybody
got their own individual style which is gonna make it fat.
What aspirations do you have as an MC?
To bring something new to the table, and make sure I leave something more than I
came into with. Miake sure my mark is something a motherfucka can just put up when
they think of the dopest MCs that ever walked in these shoes and shit.
--&*"'&>£«.<•
**      ,:><?;**
x_&      *
.   ***»'
winter'96      15 Mobb Deep
It's the Infamous back in the house once again! A
Less than two years after Havoc and Prodigy dropped their debut album on Loud,
the infamous Mobb Deep have returned to bless the Hip Hop realm with some more
New York thug shit. May 1995 marked the birth of the Mobb Dynasty by means of
the classic Infamous album, an album that shook the rap world from the New York
epicentre pinpointed to the Queensbridge projects underground, leaving most rappers shook and Hip Hop fans open to the trife lives of the Mobb. The Infamous
wasn't the Mobb's first attempt at breaking into the rap game. They first appeared
in the Unsigned Hype column in The Source under the title "Poetical Prophets" they
later changed their group name and signed a deal with the legendary 4th and Broadway label. Hardcore heads might remember joints off the Mobb's first album Juvenile Hell like their classic "Hit It From the Back" or even the Premier produced
"Peer Pressure." While some might hail the album as a slept on gem, Havoc would
rather forget the whole shit, "I don't even acknowledge it. I just look at it as
another time zone soa I don't even want to look back at it. We just move on you
knowhatimean?"
16     elementi No deubtl Yol Yol You know how we did it on the Infamous
album right? Aiight. Well we gonna do it again son.
The fact that Mobb Deep is a self contained entity handling production and
rhymes makes their music more attractive, knowing it's all their own creation from
the beginning. But of course the end result is what really matters and their end
product is definitely one of the most potent and on point. The production follows
the similar formula that was used first time around, deep ass bass, mad snare
reverb and eerie loops- add to that the murderous rhyme material and what you
have is an intense vibe that pulls you in whether you like it or not. Even though
Mobb Deep rivals M.O.P. for the most graphically violent lyrics, the (sound)
quality of their music proves to be superior. And with all other groups tryin' to be
the next Mobb Deep, that makes it even more apparent why they are so ill.
Because they're the originators and they're not ready to step down yet or anytime
soon. In fact, they've just begun. When it comes down to it their shit sounds the
best and this being music and entertainment shows why the Mobb continues to
shine. The duo handles all the production on the new album Hell On Earth but
they've paid their dues on the road to self containment. They've studied the best,
from Queensbridge legend Large Professor to another QB native, Q tip. "We
knew Q Tip from back in the day, since we've been trying to get on. So, he was
one of our favorite producers and his group A Tribe Called Quest was one of our
favorite. So it was easy to hook up with him yaknowhati'msayin'." This time
around though, the only guest appearances are on the mic and Havand P have
collaborated to produce the entire album alone.
"Btoodsport", Hell On Earth
Hell on Earth is as Havoc says in the title track, "right in front of your eyes." And
if entertainment exists merely as a mirror reflecting reality then Prodigy's repeated
referral to the llluminati in the Mobb Deep/RSO track, "The War Is On" and
again on L.L. Cool J's "I Shot Ya" remix, should be taken seriously. "That's
Prodigy the researcher," Havoc says of his ill-logical partner, "I just get the feed
back from him. I let him come with the facts- I'm just laid back. He's the researcher, he read a lot. And everybody know llluminati is real." This type of
information isn't usually found in the daily newspaper and llluminati is not a
Dungeons and Dragons role playing game. Shit's real, do your research, keep
your third eye peeled and be open to anything/everything and anybody/everybody says and does so that you don't miss anything that might be "right in front
of your eyes."
llluminati rule my mind, soul and my body. Secret society, tryin' to
keep their eye on me. But I'mma stay incog ni' in places they cant
find me, make my moves strategically. The G.O.D. is similar but
iller than a chess player. -Prodigy, "I Shot Ya (Remix)", U Cool J
Mr. Smith.
The production on Hell On Earth successfully ond unceasingly depicts a dark
and hellish aura throughout the album (Posdnuos once said, "Your ass must be
darker than a Mobb Deep track"). At times though, the lyrics delivered some-
This man is half scientist, half sane. Create a rhyme labyrinth like poisonous cannabis.
Here take a toke of this deadly rare vocalist overpower your tiny noise like locust.
Like sunlight through a magnifying glass I focus and burn a hole straight through your
brain and leave you open. (Ohshiiiit!) And let the venom soak in, you start sweatin'
and goin1 through convulsions from dope shit I writ'. -Prodigy, "Apostle's Warning"
In on industry that's caving in on revolutionary musical ideals, Mobb Deep have
basically given the middle finger to all those "wanna be rap singers" and set a
course for the less travelled path, relying on the only information source they can
trust- word of mouth on the streets. Hell on Earth builds from where the Infamous
left off, whether it's Prodigy steppin' up with the facts through his continuous
study of "right knowledge" or the accompanying haunting soundscapes mostly
conducted by Havoc- both combined help more vividly reflect the tensions of their
daily (trife)'life. Even though the rap industry is over populated with the "thug
life" or "gangsta shit" most of the genre is too corny or half ass for most heads to
fake seriously. Perhaps it's the fact that the artists fronting that type of image are
relying solely on that portrayal to sell records, as opposed to making dope music
that pushes the boundaries of the game. If all these rappers were for real drug
dealin' murderers, then Mobb Deep would be Gotti and the others would just be
wannabe's copying the masters scrambling to get on- and that's exactly what
goes on. In addition, the true essence of Hip Hop is undefined and without
restrictions- the only constant is chonge. So while some groups are trying lo pull
cards on all the mafia image type groups, Mobb Deep Ignored all that shit and
did the most blatant act, almost as if it was done purposely to prove a point- they
sampled the actual end music from the movie Scarface in the song "G.O.D. Part
III." Prodigy then illuminates through the dark funeral like organs professing,
"Mobb representative, call me the specialist, Professional professor at this rap
science, Up In the laboratory, that's why your small rhyme bore me, Your store
bought rap ain't shit," And then later continuing with, "You're searchln' for signs
of the end, well I am thaf which brings apocalypse to this game called rap. Not
a game but quite serious and yo, in fact,,." As for the usage of the Bonita
Applebum drums Havoc simply responds, "It's whoever finesse it better," No
doubt,
I get It hemmed and pull the gat like a stem. You all fucked up like
an off beat blend... This ain't rap it's Bleedspert, your life cut short,
ya fell short. The pressure's en high, full court... -Havoc and Prodigy,
times question the delusionory "thug" mentality that they're so devout to follow. In
1996, Prodigy and Havoc recognize thaf the lifestyle they leod might have run
it's course. In "Animal Instinct" the chorus confesses, "I'm tired of living life this
way/ crimes pay/ but for how long? Till you reach your downfall." These two
rhymers come off like old war veterans but both are still young men being born in
74 and as Prodigy versed on the lost album, "I'm only nineteen but my mind is
old and when things get for real my warm heart turn cold."
The tight knit QBC unit: Godfather Pt. Ill, Gotti, Ty Knitty and Gambino along
with childhood friend Rapper Noyd all represent in rhyme form on the Hell On
For/fi album. In addition, Lex Diamonds aka Raekwon and Nas Escobar both
return with appearances on two separate joints, "Nighttime Vultures" and "Give
It Up Fast" respectively. And as an added surprise another Wu Gambino blesses
the track, "Extortion" with a low down grimy and shiesty ass yerte. That man
being none other than Johnny Blaze himself: "Remember me? Bum a nigguh to
a third degree. Don't act familiar motherfuckers you ain't heard of me,., punk
wanna pop the most junk/ be the same motherfuckers with the most lumps."
Although Mobb Deep and the Queens Bridge Committee have seen life take a
turn for the better since "Shook Ones" dropped, a painful tragedy hit the crew
last year, In a gruesome car accident in Manhattan, QBC member Scarfoce's-
Gamblno's twin- life was taken, Along with another close friend and four others
suffered serious Injury. But so goes the cycle life and death. From the darkness
comes light because on May 14, 1996 the start of the next generation In the
Mobb family was initiated with the birthday of Prodigy's firstborn son, Tchaka Jr.
Dreams of growing eld with my sen and live great. Little man, I
plan to enhance your mind state. Prodigy, "Apoith'i Warning",
Hell On Earth
Out.
winter'96     17  The release of "Won't Catch Me Runnin'" b/w "Remain Anonymous" saw the
reputation of Ras Kass increase dramatically, as the record was soon proclaimed to be a classic. The two years since his first single dropped have
seen Ras Kass grace numerous guest spots, resulting in a large buzz for his
debut. No longer with the Vvesfern Hemisphere clique, Ras is now rollin' with
Stratosfear, his crew consisting of Aeon Flux and Syphilis. Of the changes, he
reflects that "It just went to show me that business brings out the worst in some
people. It brings out the capitalist in you." Although there are changes to the
bootleg's already circulated, the debut Soul On Ice illustrates the talent of one
of hip hop's most endearing lyricists in Ras Kass. Growing up in "Carson",
Southern California, Ras concentrated much of his studies around English and
History, two subjects which have givin' him the benifit of knowledge often
interjected into his rhymes. "Same thing as everyone else I guess," he says on
his background. "I went to school. I mean, I wasn't the greatest kid on the
planet, I wasn't the worst. I went to school, I graduated. I liked English a lot
and History. So that was my focus. Everything else, I kinda didn't give a fuck
about. Did that, and I decided I wants to do the rap shit, and that's when I
took it seriously. I wanted to be an MC. I felt like I had some shit I wanted to
get off my chest. Basically I just went in and made three songs. One was
called "ETC.", "Remain Anonymous", and "Won't Catch Me Runnin'", and
we just pressed it up and put it on some vinyl and the reaction was just crazy
'cos I didn't expect people to react the way they did. I didn't really expect
nobody to feel it, so I mean, I made it for my immediate peers. Long term, I
wanted Rakim to say "Yo, you dope Ras, or whatever, or whoever. KRS-One
to say I was dope. I never even expected that that would really happen, and
that's what came out of it."
An MC who wants to keep his integrity intact through his music, Ras Kass is
conscious that once an artist sings their deal, they may have to compromise
their vision. "Because the nature of the record business is not to be creative,"
says Ras Kass.  "The record business is business.  It is exploiting. And when
you, and when you sell something you don't want to talk about anything other
then what are the good qualities are, or what's effective, what's selling it.
Thafs more so the record label that sorta forces an artist.   Just like we all
human beings, we all laugh, we cry, we sad, we angry but a R&B singer is
basically gonna sing love songs.   For ten songs, and I don't think they love
■hat much.   I mean, I love „.,.,^........„ myself   and    I
""didn't write ten songs about     _^tiM      B_fe__ ^ow ' 'ove
wld I write ten       JtM H__»       songs
ving a female or      JBi H_k      what-
ir?     But ifs |ust the      jB^^iM mom    nature
of the business.   You       ^" ■_    hav
to draw that fine line,
gotta   realize   that
there's records.
(That's)    My
Those are two totally different entities basically battling within one dynamic."
How easy is it to balance the business aspect - when you. are told that you
have to sell some records, and trying to retrain creative control? "You gotta
balance it, you gotta put it on a scale, and know what you want to get out of
it," responds Ras. "On my album I wasn't trying to make a double platinum
album or nuttin' like that. I know how, I think every rapper basically knows the
format of what to do to be moderately successful at least, but it's all in what
you want to get out of it. If that was my focus, then my album would probably
sound a lot different. What I wanted to get out of it, was to say some of the
things that I felt needed to be said and everybody has to balance it themselves. Figure out what they want, out of this record business, and then know
the job is dangerous when you take it. I know that I'ma alienate certain
people if my beat is not sounding a certain way. If it ain't the g-funk type thing,
or the R&B type thing, then that's gonna alienate o lotta people. IKs gonna
alienate radio, you knowhati'msayin', so you gotta be prepared for that and
accept it."
While many albums receive the distinction of being a classic, Soul On Ice can
truly claim to deserve the title. It's essence lies in it's lyricism. The olbum
received it's title from the book of the same name by Black Panther Eldrige
Cleaver. As the book did in touching on the different emotions felt by Cleaver
through self analysis, Ras Kass attemps to do the same for himself, asserting
his views on the East/West conflict ("Sonset"), goupies ("Drama") or sociopolitical issues on "Ordo Abchao (Order through Chaos)". "To simplify it, the
whole theme and the whole concept is basically my idealistic self as opposed
to the reality of who I am." declairs Ras Kass. "Everbody wants to be a good
person and do the right thing and then your in a capitalistic society which
basically says 'you exploit the next man, you pull yourself up by your bootstraps
and you get yours, and who cares about the next person'. Having those two
dichotomies, the either/or dichotomies within one person and having to deal
with that. So you know, sometimes I'm really political and sometimes I'm just
on some 'well, why should I give a fuck? Nobody else do.' It's not really
hyprocritical, but it is... human nature. My album is basically a psychoanalysis of me in particular and human beings in general. Man's duality. Your
good side, and your evil side and how they struggle for dominance, I guess."
The binary oppositions that the album aims to explore also extend to questioning how easy it is to walk a 'righteous path', when other forces may make it
difficult. "Yeah, because then you start questioning what exactly is righteous.
A lot of things are in perception, and trying to figure out what ultimately is the
definitive "right thing".
While most underground heads would recognize that creativity isn't always
rewarded with sales, it might also even be denied it's due props. This has
been the case with numerous MCs who undoubtedly posses talent, but because they don't conform, or due to industry politics don't get their dues. "You
by Sunil C.
know what you trying to get out of this," examines Ras. "You know you
not gonna get major props like that unless you sell a million records? You
on MTV or you get on the radio all day, every day and if you don't
make thaf type of material then you can't expect to get that type of
response." Yhe politics are cited in "Reeh/ishymn"' "Make a radio
hit heads criticize it/ Underground classic, nobody buys it/ So
rap is fucked and everything blowin' up sounds redundant/ But
money talks and bullshit does nine flat in the hundred.'   Ras
Kass is aware that he may not go platinum, but perhaps this is
irrelevant when those who do peep it may absorb what is being said. It signifies that such music can have importance that
transcends any sales figures.
winter '96      19 The latest Wu Tang instalment has surfaced, as if you didn't already know. I feel
any article featuring Wu Tang members is hardly necessary because there's always twenty other articles trying to be on the "cutting edge" on writing about the
Staten Island massive. It gets annoying. Not the Wu comin' out like clockwork,
that's fine because they're always guaranteed to please, no doubt about 'it. What's
annoying is the countless articles on the group. It almost makes me not want to
cover them. Fortunately though, Wu Clansmen usually give dope interviews so
the pleasure is all mine. Everybody already knows everything about Ghostface
and if you don't then go buy some of the other more glossy type magazines and
update yourself. Better yet just peep his new album Ironman, He spills his whole
life story on it, case in point, "All That I Got Is You." So without further adieu, let's
get into this elements style and just peep the conversation. Thafs it, that's all.
How come you guys are doin' these interviews today? Don't you gotta go vote
or something?
Yo I voted man. I voted for Wu. Word cause I
know that's the people's that really really really
gonna do the right thing. It's like you could be
almost certain that Wu is gonna give you an
album every year. It's like we don't even have
to promise you that. You know that. Yeah! I
voted for Wu man. Who you vote for?
Nah, I'm in Canada I didn't have to vote.
That's good man, you got over then. You got
over this time. Cause if you would've voted you
know what would've happened?
What?
Nothin'.
Word...
C'mon man, what? What's gonna happen man?
If a thousand motherfuckers vote what's gonna
happen?
Nothin'.
Nothin' man. We been votin' for how many
years? Ever since voting's been around and I
ain't seen shit. We still in fuckin' slavery...
yaknowhati'msayin'... it's a little more modern
now.
Cap - It's like vote for yourself!
I'm votin' for people that's movin' with me and
that understand me man. Ya see you understand
us kid. Knawmean.
How's your new crib in New Jerusalem?
We were just under pressure over there thinkin'
that... we had run into a situation that we thought
jiggy was comin to the lab or somethin'. But it
wasn't jiggy but just the thought alone was
bringin' us right back to fuckin' square one. It
wasn't them though it was a false alarm but just
the thought alone, yaknowhatimean?
Why would they come there though?
Ya see the thought got you fucked up right now?
It was just a thought.   Nothin' happened
20     elements yaknowhatimean. But you sayin' "why would
they even come?" it's like that thought alone
makin' you ask questions like, "hold up." They
ain't supposed to be there. You know if they
came here, they gotta be comin' to start trouble.
Word. Let's get into album.
Word kid.
That Daytona 500 beat, who pkked that
beat?
I always wanted to rock off that beat right there.
It's been my shit for years yaknawmean. I finally
got the chance. We just tore that shit down right?
I thought that shit was the bomb,
straight up but I know some people
thought you shouldn've used that shit.
They didn't like it.
It's just music man. It's like yo, however you fuck
that shit- milk that cow, it's how it gonna come
out, some hype shit. Word g.
How'd you get the Force MD's up on
there?
Those are our people's right there. They from
Stolen Island, we just throwin' 'em back on the
map real quick. Open 'em up, make 'em feel
good.
How long you been collectin' the
Wallabee's for?
Centuries kid. That's my shoe right there, most
comfortable shit in ihe world right there.
Yo when I used to go to church my priest
used to wear those.
Yeah? He ain't dip 'em like I dip 'em.
Nah, definitely not.
True indeed. The cover look ill right? It catch
the eyes even if you don't wanna buy it right?
True.
Word up. You got good taste...
How come you weren't even on i
of the songs, like "Assassination Day"?
No doubt. Yeah, let my brothers go ahead and
get busy, I ain't gotta be oh everything. It's an
album, shit is just out there, I ain't gotta be on
that shit. That's a song right there for you to
hear still comin' from me cause it's mine. The
Wu you know. Word.
How the fuck does RZA keep makin' so
many beats?
He's a genius! A psychiatrist. An underground
dweller. He stay underground kid. Word up.
Nothin' but bomb shelters. He's all in there like
that just constantly doin' his shit, work or what-
Word.
He told me on the one on one that sound travels in the head faster than the speed of light.
That's deep. So who's next to come
with a solo album? How do you determine you comes out next?
Who you think is next? Take a guess.
Cappadonna?
See how the chamber works?
Yeah. You know who I'm waitin' for
man?
Who?
	
Cappadonna
Where the fuck did he come from?
Where the fuck did Cappadonna come from
man? Whafs the story behind where you
come from?
Cappadonna is the all eye seein' kid!  Like I'm the
mind mart, Word up.
But where'd you come from? No one heard
about you before you appeared on
Raekwon'* album.
I came out the woodworks. It's like yo mon, t was
always there but I never said nornm. Knawmean?
Now I'm startin' to talk to you, so what's up?
I seen this 12 inch in the stores caBed 'Dras-
tk Measures" by Cappadonna, whafs that
about?
Oh shiiiiif.... That shit is real fuckin' sod man.
Thafs a bootleg right?
Yeohl That's bootleg! Watch out! Somebody tryin'
to sound like me and shit,
That's not even you?
Ya lemme tell you somethin' man, don't go for it du'.
You know what time it is man.
Damn...
I run with the Wu bats.
You've seen that record then?
Yeah, I've seen it. That's why you gotta watch out
kid. You gotta worch out for fakes ond frauds.
So you didn't even record that shit then.
It wasn't me! Spread the word kid! it wosn't me.
I thought maybe they used to be down with
you and had some ol' shit of yours or
UGod.
He's comin'. He'll be right around the bush
kid. He's like a ninja right?
How do you figure out who gets a
beat?
Whoever's there to go ahead and snatch 'em.
Whoever sound best on 'em get it. That's all
9-
Alright. That's it. Thanks a lot.
True indeed, I gotta take a piss kid.
Nooohl Them nigguhz got on some fuckin'... rhey
srmck around kid. But I got my dor! on 'em. 1 got my
dart 'em.
Where they from?
Florida. Butyo! My album's obout to come out in a
minute.
What's it called?
Slang Prostitution. The shit is off the wall kid.
Word...
But you know what kid? I'mma start shootin' these
darts at you kid.
Huh?
I wort you to brace yourself. Knawmean.
Uh.„
Just hold yourself down man. Don't worry 'bout it.
I've got these dorts covered. Word.... So how you
feel about the konmon joint?
It's dope.
Rumour has it mat it's gonna go number two on the
Billboard charts for two weeks. The only one that's
beatin' it and they didn't wanna put it before is that
Booties shit.
Oh shit, not the rap chart, you mean the
fuckin'main Bilfcoard chart?
Yes yes y'all. To the booty oil.
That's an album debut at number two.
Rumour has it, g. They didn't wanna put nigguhz
before the Booties though.
Nah nah, that's like blasphemy, you could
go to jail for shit like that.
Heh heh heh heh hen! Paughter) It's Americo right
here, shit is gettin' deep.
winter '96     21 f FEBRUARY 2Sth-MARCH 2,1997 •{
{> SAN PESO, CAL. USA \
Thats right ya' II it's back! The one and only B-BOY SUMMIT
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historical figures, fat merchandise, 'raffle for relics'...
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y
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■ Beat Factory
Rap Essensials Vol. 7
Beat Factory
Finally. A Hip Hop compilation consisting of Canadian artists exclusively has been successfully completed and launched. That means any and everybody can go get it. And I strongly suggest anyone
who digs this magazine should pick this olbum up.
Rap Essentials Volume I is the first Hip Hop compilation consisting of Canadian artists ranging from Vancouver to Toronto to Montreal. All groups deserve
to be on the roster and all deserve mention so here
it goes... First off (in order of appearance) the
Rascalz, from Vancouver should be familiar to everyone. They've had a couple of videos and an album released in the past and the track "Fit N Redi"
is a foreshadow of their long awaited debut on Figure IV/BMG, Cash Crop scheduled for release in
early '97. Concrete Mob from the Toronto Esplanade, dropped this single "Boiling Point" earlier in
the year and made mad underground noise with the
SCAM produced track. Down to Erf have been
around in the Toronto scene for a good six years
doin' remixes for groups like Dream Warriors and
Saukrates among others. The song "Learn to Earn"
features rhymer Mathematiks expressing in his words,
"the life of Hip Hop." The following track is the
latest Figures Of Speech (Saukrates, Marvel and
others) member to offishally debut his material.
Kardinall Offishall's west Indie flavored "Naughty
Dread" is just a taste of shit to come from the F.O.S.
crew. Next up, comes Black I with the joint, "No
Laws" on a military tip, complete with a marching
drum roll as Black I rhymes about killin' nigguhz
and loading up the gats and shit like that. Basically,
whatever reality presents to him, Black I lays down
on record. From the dark comes "Sunlight" the next
track provided by ex-MVP member Wio K. The
song's got a video to go along with it that has been
getting good play on Much Music so nuff said. Also
with a video on rotation right now is the duo, RedLife.
Their contribution, "Who's Talkin' Weight" is a Revelation of their Experiences in Dealing with Life In
Elevation. Another SCAM produced track, "Dear
Hip Hop" features Torontonian, Dan-E-0 writing a
letter Common Sense style to his girlfriend Hip Hop,
who he's hopelessly in love with. Then from Montreal comes the crew Scales Empire. "Bright Lights,
Big City" is a journey with Kandu and T Wyze
through any big city as they relay things you can
see and hear, over a soundscape provided by DJ
Luv. The next joint, "21 Years" is an autobiographical account by veteran Toronto rhymer Choclair. This
song was originally released on Knee Deep Records
as a double A side 12" with Saukrates on the flip
side. Check for Choclair's video and upcoming releases. Following "21 Years" comes "Structure, Foundation" by Citizen Cane. Some may remember their
track from the Zulu Nation It's All Good compilation, "Soul Survivor."   If not, then check this track
and keep a look out for their upcoming releases,
"Livin'" and "Black Rain." And anchoring this monumental compilation is the two time Juno award winning crew Ghetto Concept. Their newest work, "U.L."
showcases MCs Kwajo, Lowell and Dale rhymin'
over a RZA-esque beat, bringing out the best in each
of them. Overall this is a much needed and very
well compiled album. HOWEVER. Some (not most)
groups on the compilation are WAY too New York
influenced. Some more than others and a couple
tracks are really wack on the strength of lack of originality. THEREFORE the STANDOUT cuts are "Bright
Lights, Big City" and "Fit N Redi." Much much props
to the whole staff at Beat Factory for finally actually
doin' something for Canadian Hip Hop music as
opposed to all talk and no action by too many other
people in the past or half ass lop sided projects that
no one ever heard about. Buy it. Do not front.
-Flipout
Jeru tha Damaja
Wrath of the Math
Pay Day
Two years after his acclaimed debut, The sun Rises
in the East, Jeru tha Damaja is back with more knowledge for heads to feed on with his second LP, Wrath
of the Math. Jeru's latest masterwork, once again
produced soley by Hip Hop's finest- DJ Premier- consists of fifteen sticks of finely whipped grade AA
butter... in other words Wrath of the Math is the
bomb! The average LP has, at best, six or seven
tracks worth hearing, the rest being either merely
decent or wack. On this olbum, every cut is dope,
saying something worth listening to; no fast forwarding is necessary when listening to this gem. One of
the reasons that this LP is so hot is that there is a
driving purpose behind the album; Jeru is on a mission to save Hip Hop, dropping his best material
winter '96     27 yet. Lyrically, Jeru is not to be fucked with, as he
brings the ruckus to Pros and Wyclef ("Black Cowboys"), "Puffy" Combs and Foxy Brown ("One Day")
and other in a style reminiscent of the 'dis' records
of the mid eighties. These four, in particular, are
deservedly chastised for their sins committed against
Hip Hop but this album's greatness goes much further than dissing. Jeru's lyrics are more focused this
time around, whether speaking about fraudulent
MCs, continuing previous tales ("Physical Stamina,"
"Revenge of the Prophet (Part 5)," "Me Or the
Popes") or demanding reform in Hip Hop. Jeru,
respected for his vivid vocabulary, is also more coherent on his sophomore effort. On the first album it
seemed at times that he was forcing himself to use
lofty words, but his use of language here seem much
more natural. Still, his rhymes are so potent that
they take a few listens to digest, so be patient! Few
MCs in Hip Hop rhyme as intelligently as Jeru does
on this album. Some tracks take longer to get into
than others, but stick with it because they all shine.
And if you don't want to go so deep into his lyrics,
that's cool too because his deep voice is mesmerizing by itself. Jeru's lessons, vocabulary and clarify
of delivery make him a stand out MC, but if is Premier's production that makes your head bob. Straight
up: the production on the olbum is ridiculously dope!
Premier continues to build his resume of classics with
this album. Whether he is restructuring famous samples ("Ya Playin' Yaself" ond "Whatever") or creating some space-age next shit with his signature bass
thump, Premier always comes up with the butter
joints. The combination of the captivating production and the razor sharp rhymes makes this album a
winner.  Wrath of the Math is a must purchase for
any true Hip Hop head. If you don't like this album
for some unknown reason, bring your beef my direction and I'll give you a lesson in Hip Hop 101.
-J Grand
Snoop Doggy Dogg
Tha Doggfother
Death Row
They called his first album the most anticipated rap
album ever. Then it came out and sold four million
copies. Why? I don't know. It wasn't even all that
if you ask me. Now it's time for Snoop's sophomore
release and I ain't heard shit about it. Perhaps it's
been over shadowed by the drama of label mate,
Tupac's death. Whatever the reason, the proof is in
the pudding. So what's the Doggfamer got to offer?
In one word- Hello! Word. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard the Doggfamer. It's kinda what
I expected from Snoop the first time around, more
Hip Hop and less gangsta glorification. I knew
Snoop was down with that old school shit form the
get go. So now, with all the bullshit aside, we get to
peep the raw skills! The one thing no one's ever
been able to front on is this nigguhz lyrical ability-
shit... I mean the west coast vocab, the silky smoove
flows and the hypnotic pimp voice- the recipe for
butta raps and word is bond, this nigguh can freestyle (for real) ridiculous. Check track number five,
"Freestyle Conversation." So the raps ain't changed
but the production has. Exit Dr. Dre- he been there,
done that. Enter DJ Pooh, Soopafly, Daz and a couple others. That's the real difference on this project.
Pooh's somewhat of an OG on the west coast scene
so you know his shit is tight. He freaks some older
shit that needed to be brought back- yaknow, the
gangsta bounce with the funky beat. This ain't no
"G Funk" which is probably why mafuckers don't
know how to take it. Don't get me wrong, it's still
gangsta shit and it's still west coast but it's Hip Hop
first. And mind you, Daz ain't no slouch himself.
He's gettin' better and his tracks sound more along
the lines of what everyone expected from Snoop.
But regardless, the album is tight. Guest appearances include: DPG; Too Short; and others. Mostly,
however, it's Snoop himself flexin' the lyrical. Personal favorites include, "Doggfather", "Up Jump The
Boogie", "You Thought" and "Downtown Assassins"
but all 21 tracks are worthy my cash in the store
and the album is refreshing enough for a Checkmate Rate™ of 88%.
-Checkmate
Xzibit 0^
At The Speed of Life f 7%%)
Loud V^__>/
Representin' Crystal-ifornia, the most recent member of the Likwit crew has finally gotten his turn to
speak his mind in his gruff voice. After doin' a few
guest appearances here and there (Freestyle Ghetto-
King T, Daaamn!-Tha Liks, No Hand Outs-Alki's), X
to the Z finally lays it down on this long awaited
debut LP. Travellin' at the Speed of Life (not light
cause like Xzibit says we all move at different speeds)
he takes you through eleven tracks of frustrations,
a '
» s i <gf ft. rf»l u s^lMS^^jft i on animosity and nuff lyrics to get you open. If you can
recall, Xzibit and OG King Tee stopped here in Vancouver some time ago and rocked a show in which
some heads were too inebriated (faded) to get up
off their asses and show real support. Too bad because those who payed attention witnessed an intense individual doin' his thing from the heart- like
few do nowadays. Whatever. Just to give a little
insight, the album features quite a few guest MCs
such as: J Roand CaTashtrophe, King Tee, Ras Kass,
Saah'r and Hurricane Gee. The production was
handled by a select few including the Liks own E
Swift, D.I.T.C.'s Diamond D, Soul Assassin's Muggs
and a couple others. The dysfunctional one exhibits
reflective rhymes throughout over the ruff beats. I
appreciate shit like this... with all the nonsense out
there, it's always nice to hear somethin' that makes
me storm about shit. That takes me straight into
"Paparazzi", which received much play and the shit's
fly... "The Foundation" is some shit in dedication to
his posterity; givin' his son a little lesson on life refined in just a few verses. Keep a look out for "Birds's
Eye View" featuring the Liks' Tash and J Ro. This is
probably the best cut on the album because the lyrics are a definite spectacle and the production's
dope. Although it could've done without the background vocals of that bitch! Hurricane Gee! Reference: Track #3, last verse; judge for yourself. Xzibit
then teams up with the mighty King Tee on "Positively Negative" for a captivating excursion of drunk
funk. "Hit and Run - Part Two" is the follow up to the
first "Hit and Run" that was on the Alkaholiks Coast
II Coast album but this time givin' a little insight on
what Xzibit likes to do on a Sunday night... ahem...
anyhow, the beat's fat so check it. Other songs to
look for include: "At The Speed Of Life"- dope hype
shit; "Plastic Surgery" featuring Saafirand Ras Kass;
and "Eyes May Shine." The contents of this album
surely carry their weight so I'mma stand by it with a
respectable 78%.  Bottoms up!
Mobb Deep
Hell On Earth
Loud
Yo! Here we go with the third time 'round the block
for Mobb Deep, the Infamous official Queensbridge
murderer's. Nuff said, cause right there we know
where they're from and what shit they're on. Last
album these cats blew me away and I had to sign
'em up for 100%!! Yo-1 caught a lotta Hack for that
but that shit was ill indeed!! Anyway, let's get to
"Hell On Earth." The shit's ill. I'm sayin'I ain't even
gonna front on the rhyme calibre of Havoc and
Prodigy as well as the vibes their beats create,
yaknowhatimean! Adding to the mix is Raekwon,
Method Man, Nas, Rapper Noyd (who got signed
to Tommy Boy on the strength of his performances
on The Infamous) and some other cats from the QBC.
I'll get to the individual songs later but first I gotta
say that this shit is strictly on some murder, violent
rap type shit. Heila gun talk and crazee explicit
shit... Hell, that's Mobb Deep's whole style- that
crime shit. However. Crazee motherfuckers have
bit their style and I think my brains on crime rhyme
overload. Too bad but maybe that's why I think last
album was fresher. At the same time, Hell On Earth
ain't no dud neither.  Songs to mention are: "Drop
A Gem On 'Em" guess who they dedicate it to; "Hell
On Earth"- so fly; "Extortion" featurin' Meth... fly
instrumental; "More Trite Life"- ill story rhyme; and
all the rest are fly enough to get some quality "ear
time." (Ed note- "G.O.D. Pt. Ill" is the sickest shit!
Sorry Chex... continue...) And to end things off
here's a quote I like, "Fuckin' wit P ya need a gat.
At least you have the opportunity to bust back."
-Checkmate
\1
\m
Large Professor
"I Just Wanna Chill"
b/w "Hard"
Geffen
What's up with the rap game nowadays? Has
every subject been touched upon or what! I guess
Extra P figured he couldn't go wrong with the ever
so popular subject of money, money, money!!!
(played, played, played). The beat consists of a
loop also used in De La Souls' "Dinninit" making it a
mellow track for that parly going vibe. In the chorus- which I find rather displeasing- the professor
states that he would much rather chill out with a little
loot in his palm than ill and cause ruckus. In other
words he manages to say absolutely nothing. Not
too much thought put into this one. The B-side "Hard"
is music to my ears. I can only describe it as "raw".
The uptempo break beat (Wrath of Kane) with that
fat ass jazz bass makes up an irresistible combination along with Extra "Large" P, droppin' some sensible rhymes. Shit works. In all reality I had thought
Extra P to be a much more original and innovative
lyricist from all his guest appearances a few years
back, not to mention all the Main Source songs before that. But much to my surprise the Prof, doesn't
quite do it for me nowadays. Wth his forthcoming
LP release conveniently entitled the LP, soon to be
out in shelves, I really hope the brother gave us the
worst part of his album first. If not I would suggest
that he sticks to production. At least we know he's
good at that.  Peace! (...is not the word to play.)
-El Mariache
Marvel
"Shituafions"
Capital Hill
When Saukrates first stepped on the scene he wasn't
alone. Thaf crew, Figures of Speech is making moves
like a man on Ex-Lax in this here rap game. If you
can recall, Saukrates's home skillet Marvel accompanied him on the track "Hate Runs Deep" which
basically opened Saukrates and the whole F.O.S. to
the world via the wonderful world of video. After
thaf, Saukrates recorded some other material (check
the Saukrates re: View "Rollin'") including a white
label with the joint "California" where he rhymed
over the D' Angelo "Lady" track. But the real gem
on this hard to obtain 12 inch was Marvel's solo
debut, "Words Of..." Marvel's run on sentence type
flow came off mad fly over the cool ass jazz loop
and his lyrical content wos fresh as well. That shit is
like an eventual classic no doubt and this new shit
by Marvel is just a natural progression from that
"Words Of..." track. Again, his smooth ass flow
further compliments the already stellar production
by his mellow Saukrates and the result is a superior
track for the ride, clubs, Walkman- whatever your
listening utensil may be, this shit is super nice. The
"Witchy Woman" sample is fly but it don't have any
relevance to the track- then again does it need to?
(re: Can I Kick If/Walk on the Wildside) "If you
enter pay a premium/ misty room lights leave 'em
dim/ raise your Bailey's saluted/ environment polluted/ the scores never settled nigguhz meddle with
the headlines/ peddle after bedtime/ Cause I see
nigguhz slippin' through the cracks or their plans
crash when the law find a stash of hash/ even try to
make a dash hundred meters." Marvellous shit from
Marvel, my man is nice. Shining bright from the
east of Canada.
- Flipout
Trigger Tha Gambler /-~"x
"Bust" b/w (ffv\
"Broken Language pt.ll" \V V
DefJam ^"""^
Let me take you back for a sec. Remember the early
80's flick "Animal House" with John Belushi? If ya
do then you'll most likely remember the party house
anthem "Shout". This is the whole theme behind
Triggers latest release "Bust!". A hype Onyx- "Throw
Your Guns in the Air" -type a track, minus the insanity. If ya also remember Kanes' second album, you'll
definitely recognize the loop, an old skool Booker T
and MGs' sample used in "Another Victory" and
also known well to b boys alike. As always "birds
of a feather rhyme together" or something like thaf.
Why didn't the Next Level clique just make one damn
group, (ed. note- Uh, because Mr. Kemo, then they
wouldn't be able to make as much cashola. Duh.)
Instead they're on every track together just as featured artists, go figure. Well anyhoo, with Smoothes'
vocals and DVs' harmonies Trigger could do no
wrong. Makin' sure he always comes new and different (ed note- sarcasm?), DV alias Khrist takes care
of his chorus duties and adds an additional verse to
the song. "Throw your guns up and BUST!!! Come
on now! BUST!!! ...A little bit louder now BUST!!! A
little bit louder now BUST!!! Throw your guns up
and BUST!!! Come on now!". Now this guy Khrist
is on some other shit, No Doubt. Though you may
not like his style, you definitely can't say it's unoriginal. Now on the flip side, that obscure, back n
forth, off beat rhyme flows demonstrated in Smoothes'
underground classic "Broken Language" is once
again brought to light in "Broken Language pt. II".
This joint embodies the same formula found in pt. I
with a few exceptions. The beat was flipped a little
and the verses are obviously rewritten starting with
a clarification on the BDK/Litrle Daddy Shane misunderstanding. All in all it only succeeded in creating a mere shadow effect from its original, it may
winter '96     29 have been easier to swallow if it hod been released
immediately after Pt. I or a year or two from now as
to revamp their old style. It's cool, it's just that I'd
rather hear some material off Triggers' new LP Life's
a 50/50 Gamble. Although I wouldn't be too surprised if his album sounds a lot like his brothers'
Once Upon A Time In America. We'll soon see grasshopper.
-Kemo
Gamp Lo
"Luchini" (This Is it)
b/w "Swing"
Profile
Remember these cats from "Killin' Em Softly"... that
shit was aiight right. But this shit is straight up fly.
The loop is the bomb and it sound like "Earth, Wind
and Fire" but I'm not 100% sure if it is. Anyway,
these nigguhz rhyme some fly 70's style, "Armet-
tah" shit, yaknowhatimean. Maybe not, huh... Well
that's why you gotta trust me and get this shit. It's a
crazee party vibe for me- it's hard to find a dope
party cut that ain't corny but this piece qualifies.
This is the best shit I've heard from Camp Lo yet.
(ed note- Hey! Chex! Coolie High Ski Remix was
bombay...) The flip side "Swing" features Butta(fly)
(who's tryin' to change his name to Ish) from Digable
Planets fame, flexin' some vocals with the Sugar Lo.
Nice piece but not as enticing as Luchini. Peace.
-Checkachini
Saukrates
"Rollinm, "Play This",
"P's & Q's" & "Father Time"   V*/ '• )
Capitol Hill
Man... how the fuck did this Toronto kid hook up
with Masta Ace and O.C.? Not to take nuttin' away
from Saukrates cause he's definitely doin' it for himself right about now but yo! My man hooked up
with one of my favorite rhymers O.C. and he's from
Canada yo! It ain't where ya from indeed. That's
some fuckin' super props if you ask me. Masta Ace
ain't too shabby either after all, wasn't he on that
Symphony song with those other guys a while back?
The track is nice, both the original and the remix.
Wait though, it ain't over motherfucker... this motherfucker Saukrates hooked up with motherfuckin'
Common Sense too! I mean, "Father Time" (which
is on this 12") was dope and I had to tell them elements mPs to add it to the top tracks of '96, but
Saukrates has hooked up with some of the illestsolo
MCs out right now. Saukrates is worldwide baby,
'bout to blow the fuck up. My man is makin' moves.
And Sauk holds his own no doubt on each track
and by all means is not overshadowed by the guests.
And if that ain't enough for ya, he's got a new all-
by-himself song, "P's and Q's" that's word. Man
I'm lovin' these Toronto motherfuckers right about
now. I ain't on no Saukrates dick or nuttin' but you
can't front on the dope shit. And a yo Sauk! Keep
grounded baby, you know that. You better know
that at least.
-Omeka Almighty
J-Live
"Can I Get It?' b/w
"Hush The Crowd"
Raw Shack
If you got any problems about the following review
then you need to check the song "Hush the Crowd"
and then check yourself. I'm not tryin' to say you
gotta like this particular artist but this particular artist, J-Live tells the oh-much-too-realness about when
groups get no love cause nobody never heard of
them. Here's the sad truth, "You could have the best
beat and the illest flow. A dope crew with a fool
proof stage show. But if your jam's what the follow
ers don't know. You ain't gettin' no love from the
crowd bro." I wanted to quote the whole shit. J Live
is undoubtedly speaking from experience and it's
cool that he's not ashamed or blind to not see it and
speak the truth. This is the real shit, along the same
lines of the "Stakes Is High" and "Ya Playin' Yaself"
reolness. On the A side, J-Live comes with "Can I
Get It?" or you can subtitle it, "Ode to the DJ." It's a
hype tale of an 18 year old DJ on his way to a live
ass jam he's supposed to spin at, starting from the
moment he wakes up and showers to the bus ride
handing out flyers to honeys and dissin' the crab
asses on the train to when he hooks up with his boy
ond they need to transport the system via taxi cause
none of them has a ride. It continues on to the jam
and I'll leave it at that so as not to ruin it for you.
Those two jams ore more than enough dope material for J-Live's second release from Raw Shack but
to top it off there's a third jam on it. The DomeCracker
remix of "Braggin' Writes" is not as fresh as the
original but it's hard to follow up that original original. Except for the "Braggin'" remix all production
is still handled by my man Georges Sulmer^, combining with J-Live resulting in some dope shit. Point
blank.
Frankenstein
'The Rain is Gone"
b/w "All Hands"
Knowledge of Self
The Dr. is in, or should I say out. Since the days of
Delphi Oracle, this mod scientist has been hello
busy is his laboratory. Other than releasing his own
material, he has done remixes for a few local T.O.
groups, including a track for Nas-T Howie, "Attic",
not to mention a bootleg remix album entitled "Live
from New York" which includes songs from Mobb
Deep, Dos Etx, Busta Rhymes, Method Man plus a
few others. It's now time for this kid now comes with
a brand new single. Emotions run deep in the lyrics, in the first verse he speaks to a girl who did him
wrong in the past, second verse he talks about a
friend who turn his back on him and his crew. All
this expressed over what I would call a smooth nocturnal cool our laid back beat which he of course
produced himself. Fuck this. Hey Frankenstein!
You're shit's dope kid! Straight up no flashy over
descriptive wording needed, the shit's on pizzoint.
The flip side "All Hands" is another self produced
monsta jam (get it, Frankenstein... I'm clever.) Keep
lookin' out for Frankenstein cause he's 'bout due to
reek some havoc upon the world very shortly, he
just needs that extra push. Cool then.
-Omeka Almighty
-Flipout
30     elements  the album
4_l-_l
gue$t appearances by Na$f ftaekwoti dtid 'Method Ivfati
<«£>       ife        llflHr
tti Shores Now

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