hip-hop

EP38: Marcus Moore on Mos Def's "Black on Both Sides" (1999)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Marcus Moore

The Album: Mos Def's Black on Both Sides (1999)

Writer Marcus Moore, currently a senior editor at Bandcamp, happened to be coming through to Los Angeles for his first time ever and we took advantage by inviting him to join us to talk about Mos Def's debut album, Black on Both Sides. Coming out just a year after Mos and Talib Kweli created a new generation of conscious hip-hop fans with their Black Star collaboration, Black on Both Sides was also the culmination of a coming-out party for the Brooklyn rapper/actor that began earlier in the decade as he began racking up all manners of outstanding cameo spots.

During our convo with Marcus, we got into Mos' portrait of Brooklyn, how his singing took everyone for a (pleasant) surprise, why "Ms. Fat Booty" wasn't necessarily representative of the album as a whole and whether or not Mos ever was able to exceed the excellence of his debut.

More on Mos Def and Black on Both Sides: 

More on Marcus Moore:

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Black on Both Sides unless indicated otherwise):

  • Know That
  • Umi Says
  • Nas: NY State of Mind
  • Biggie: Live Freestyle 1995
  • Mos Def: BET's The Cypher
  • Mos Def, Q-Tip, Tash: Body Rock
  • UTD: My Kung Fu
  • De La Soul: Big Brother Beat
  • Ms. Fat Booty
  • Jay-Z: Jigga What, Jigga Who
  • The Roots: You Got Me
  • Techn9ne: Questions
  • Reflection Eternal: Fortified Live
  • Love
  • dialogue from 16 Blocks
  • Rock N Roll
  • Public Enemy: Fight the Power
  • Rock N Roll
  • Love
  • New World Water
  • Boogie Down Productions: Beef
  • Fela Kuti: Water No Get Enemy
  • Climb
  • Umi Says
  • Aretha Franklin: One Step Ahead
  • Ms. Fat Booty
  • Roy Ayers: We Live In Brooklyn
  • Brooklyn
  • Ms. Fat Booty
  • Mathematics
  • May-December

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EP37: Adrian Younge on Jeru's "The Sun Rises In the East" (1994)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Adrian Younge

The Album: Jeru the Damaja's The Sun Rises In the East (1994)

Since he started putting numbers on the board with the soundtrack to Black Dynamite, artist/composer Adrian Younge has become the hip-hop maestro for creative collaborations. Through the years, he's worked with Souls of Mischief, Ghostface Killah and DJ Premier/Royce the 5'9" as well as continuing to release his own solo work. For our episode, Younge reached back to the golden era of hip-hop for us to talk about one of the most "impervious" MCs around: Brooklyn's Jeru the Damaja and his 1994 debut album, The Sun Rises in the East. We tackled everything from the contradictions of rappers talking about both consciousness and doing dirt to the brilliance of DJ Premier's production to the intricacies of Jeru's freaky freaky freaky flow.

More on Jeru and The Sun Rises in the East: 

More on Adrian Younge:

Show Tracklisting (all songs fromThe Sun Rises in the East unless indicated otherwise):

  • Gang Starr: I'm the Man
  • Can't Stop the Prophet
  • Adrian Younge/Delfonics: Lost Without You
  • Adrian Younge/Ghostface: Beware of the Stars
  • D. Original
  • Come Clean
  • Souls of Mischief: '93 Til Infinity
  • Smif N Wessun: Let's Get It On
  • Black Moon: Who Got the Props?
  • Group Home: Livin Proof
  • Rap City Interview w/ Jeru
  • Perverted Monks In the House (Theme)
  • Jeru and Lauryn Hill Interview
  • Da Bitchez
  • Mental Stamina
  • Ain't the Devil Happy
  • Lee Oskar: Our Road
  • Adrian Younge: Midnight Blue
  • Jungle Music
  • Statik
  • Brooklyn Took It

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EP34: Cole Kuchna on Kayne West's "Yeezus"

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Coke Kuchna

The album: Kanye West: Yeezus (2013)

Comprehensive analysis. Two words that describe Cole Cuchna's extraordinary podcast, DISSECT, which dedicates a season to unpacking one album, one song (per episode) at a time. His subterranean exploration of Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is one of the reasons we were thrilled to have him join us to discuss Kanye West's 6th album, Yeezus.
We covered Yeezy the persona vs. Kanye the person, problematic lyrics, ego reckoning, and the 2009 VMA's - a turning point in his career and a moment that will forever be a part of pop culture history. We also spent some time delving into the mindset of Yeezy, but full disclaimer: we taped this episode before Kanye's infamous twitter torrent and TMZ brouhaha.

About Cole Kuchna:

Cole's socials: IG: turangalila_ TW: @dissectpodcast

About Dissect:

More on Yeezus

Yeezy on Yeezus:

Show Tracklist (all songs from Yeezus unless indicated otherwise):

  • “On Sight”
  • “Hold My Liquor”
  • “Guilt Trip”
  • “Blood on the Leaves”
  • “Bound 2”
  • “New Slaves”
  • “I Am A God”
  • Nina Simone: Pastel Blues “Strange Fruit”
  • “Black Skinhead”
  • “I’m In It”
  • Daniel Caesar: Pilgrim’s Paradise “Streetcar”

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EP26: Jack Davey on Digable Planets' "Reachin'"

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Jack Davey

The album: Digable Planets: Reachin' (1993)

Miss Jack Davey's contribution to LA's alternative soul scene began over a decade ago with her work as one half of the group J*Davey. Their debut project, "The Beauty In Distortion" a mix of punk, funk, synth and soul, was a must have for tastemakers and made a splash both in Los Angeles and around the world. When she's not writing songs and producing, she can be found at a myriad of cool spots around the city, spreading the good news of good music as a DJ and selector.
Davey wanted to get into Digable Planets' debut album, now celebrating its 25th anniversaryReachin' (a new refutation of time and space). Coming out at the height of hip-hop's love affair with jazz, Reachin' has been lauded as "an album about freedom—from convention, from oppression, from the limits imposed by the space-time continuum."
We had a chance to talk with Davey about Digable Planets' "Rebirth of Slick" and its cool factor, Brooklyn and its relationship to the album, Ladybug Mecca's butter voice, and what's it's like to be cool and not know it.

More on Reachin'

More on Jack Davey and J*Davey

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Reachin' unless indicated otherwise):

  • “Rebirth of Slick”
  • Georgia Anne Muldrow: Olesi: Fragments of an Earth “Wrong Way”
  • Sy Smith: The Syberspace Social “Aquarius Rising”
  • Sa-Ra: The Hollywood Recordings “Glorious”
  • Flying Lotus: Los Angeles “Roberta Flack (Feat Dolly)”
  • Dam-Funk: Toeachizown “Searching 4 Funk’s Future”
  • J*Davey: The Beauty in Distortion / The Land of the Lost “No More”
  • “La Femme Fetal”
  • Guru: Jazzmatazz “Loungin’”
  • Young Deciples: Road To Freedom “As We Come (To Be)”
  • “Jimmi Diggin Cats”
  • Digable Planets: Blowout Comb “Graffiti”
  • “Where I’m From”
  • Fugees: The Score “Fu-Gee-La”
  • UTD: Manifest Destiny “Manifest Destiny”
  • “What Cool Breezes Do”
  • “Last of the Spiddyocks”
  • “Swoon Units”
  • “Escapism (Getting Free)”
  • “Nickel Bags”
  • E-40: My Ghetto Report Card “Yay Area”
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EP25: Denaun "Mr." Porter on A Tribe Called Quest's "Low End Theory" (1991)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Denaun Porter

The album: A Tribe Called Quest: Low End Theory (1991)

Producer/MC Denaun Porter aka Mr. Porter has been in the hip-hop scene for over two decades. He has some impressive credits under his belt, producing songs that combined have sold almost 100 million records. He has worked with some of the industries top-talent including Eminem, 50 Cent, SnoopDog, Shakira, Bad Meets Evil, and many more. He is also one of the founding members of the chart-topping Detroit hip-hop group D12. It was none other than ATCQ's "Bonita Applebaum" that inspired Mr. Porter to get into hip-hop and not surprisingly, when we invited him to the show, he wanted to talk about one of the all-time great hip-hop albums: ATCQ's sophomore effort, Low End Theory. 

During our convo, we discussed the production techniques and sample choices, how good the album's sequencing was, and why Q-Tip and the late Phife Dawg went together like peanut butter and jelly. We also got into the fight-provoking question of: Low End Theory or Midnight Marauders?

More on A Tribe Called Quest and Low End Theory

More on Denaun Porter

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Low End Theory unless indicated otherwise):

  • “Scenario”
  • “Denaun Porter: Porter Shops Glasper “jUsT 4 dA hAwAiI eVeNiNg
  • “D12: Devil’s Night: “Purple Hills”
  • “Excursions”
  • “Cannonball Adderley: The Black Messiah “The Steam Drill”
  • “Jackie Jackson: Jackie Jackson “Is it Him or Me”
  • “Queen Latifah: Nature of a Sister “Latifah’s Had It Up to Here”
  • “MC Lyte: Act Like You Know “Act Like You Know”
  • “Skypager”
  • “Check The Rhime”
  • “The Infamous Date Rape”
  • “What?”
  • “Jazz (We’ve Got This)”
  • ““Buggin Out”
  • “Migos: Culture II “Motorsport Feat. Cardi B and Nicki Minaj”
    “Butter”
  • “Weather Report: Mr. Gone “Young and Fine”
  • “A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders “Lyrics to Go”
  • “Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers: Buhaina“A Chant for Bu”
  • “Everything is Fair”
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    EP24: Brian "B+" Cross on Freestyle Fellowship's "To Whom It May Concern" (1991)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Brian Cross

    The album: Freestyle Fellowship: To Whom It May Concern (1991)

    Brian Cross, better known to most as B+, is one of the most important photographers of the hip-hop generation to ever emerge out of the West Coast. A transplant from Ireland to California, Cross began documenting the L.A. rap community throughout the late '80s and early '90s, producing one of the great books about the region's hip-hop scene, It's Not About a Salary. He's also a founding partner of the music/events organization Mochilla. Just this year, Cross finally published his first book reflecting on his career in photography, Ghost Notes: Music of the Unplayed. For his episode with Heat Rocks, Cross took us back to 1991 and the release of To Whom It May Concern, one of the greatest West Coast hip-hop albums of all time...and one that most people never got to hear back in the day because of its limited distribution at the time. Better late than never; don't keep sleeping.

    More on Freestyle Fellowship and To Whom It May Concern

    More on Brian "B+" Cross

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from To Whom It May Concern unless indicated otherwise):

    • ”Here I Am”
    • Cypress Hill: Cypress Hill “How I could Just Kill A Man”
    • AMG: Bitch Betta Have My Money “Bitch Betta Have My Money”
    • ”Good Life”
    • ”7th Seal”
    • ”120 Seconds”
    • ”Jupiter’s Journey”
    • ”For No Reason”
    • ”We Are The Freestyle Fellowship”
    • ”Sunshine Men”
    • ”Dedications”
    • Ornette Coleman: This Is Our Music “Humpty Dumpty”
    • ”5 o’Clock Follies”
    • Gang Starr: No More Mr. Nice Guy ”Manifest”
    • Jon Hendricks: Freddie Freeloader “Freddie Freeloader”
    • ”Convolutions”
    • ”7th Seal”
    • ”Legal Alien”
    • ”We Will Not Tolerate”

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks EP21: Pharoahe Monch on Main Source's "Breaking Atoms" (1991)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Pharoahe Monch

    The album: Main Source: Breaking Atoms (1991)

    MC extraordinaire Pharoahe Monch was no stranger to the trio known as Main Source (Large Professor + DJs K-Cut and Sir Scratch) back in the early '90s: Monch and Large Professor came up under the tutelage of the same mentor: producer Paul C. Though C was tragically murdered in 1989, both his proteges would go onto have banner years in '91 as Large Professor saw Main Source's Breaking Atoms released to critical fanfare while Monch enjoyed the same just a couple of months later when he and Prince Po released their debut, self-titled LP as Organized Konfusion.

    Monch sat down with us to talk about the experience of buying Breaking Atoms on tape from Hot Waxx in Queens and having it blow his mind on that first listen as well as what he's learned from the album in the 25+ years since. Listen to this episode live at your BBQ...

    More on Main Source and Breaking Atoms

    More on Pharoahe Monch

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from Breaking Atoms unless indicated otherwise):

    • “Large Professor”
    • Pharoahe Monch: Internal Affairs “Simon Says”
    • “Vamos A Rapiar”
    • “Looking At The Front Door”
    • “Just A Friendly Game Of Baseball”
    • Lou Donaldson: Pretty Things Pot Belly”
    • “Just Hanging Out”
    • The Honeydrippers: "Impeach The President"
    • Sister Nancy: One, Two “Bam Bam”
    • Jesse Anderson: Thomas “Mighty Mighty”
    • “Peace Is Not The Word To Play”
    • “He Got So Much Soul”
    • Bob James: One “Nautilus”

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    Heat Rocks, EP20: King on Outkast's "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below"

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    King

    The album: Outkast: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)

    The Grammy nominated ladies of King are Anita Bias alongside sisters Amber and Paris Strother and it seems only right to have a super-sized guest talk about a super-sized album: Outkast's massive double LP from 2003: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Amongst other topics, we talked about how each of the three women first crossed paths with Outkast, what the group meant for the rise of the South in the 1990s, and revisited the endless debate over whether this as an Outkast album or a pair of Big Boi/Andre 3000 solo albums packaged together.

    More on Outkast and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

    More on King

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from Speakerboxxx/The Love Below unless indicated otherwise):

    • “Ghetto Musick”
    • KING: The Story “The Story”
    • KING: The Story “Supernatural”
    • Outkast: ATLiens “Elevators (Me & You)”
    • “My Favorite Things”
    • “Reset”
    • “Where Are My Panties”
    • Outkast: Aquemini “Spottieottiedopalicious”
    • Dungeon Family: Even In Darkness “Trans DF Express”
    • “Pink & Blue”
    • “Prototype”
    • “Unhappy”
    • “Tomb of the Boom”
    • “Church”
    • “Knowing”
    • “The Rooster”
    • “She Live In My Lap”
    • “Draculas Wedding”
    • “Hey Ya!”
    • “Love Hater”
    • “Happy Valentines Day”
    • “Take Off Your Cool”
    • “A Day IN The Life of Benjamin Andre (Incomplete)”
    • “Spread”

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks, EP 15: Kris Bowers on Kendrick Lamar's "Section.80" (2011)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Kris Bowers

    The album: Kendrick Lamar: Section.80 (Top Dawg, 2011)

    To talk about Kendrick Lamar's studio LP debut, we wanted to find someone of K-Dot's generation, another L.A. young gun, and who better than pianist and composer, Kris Bowers? Like Kendrick, Kris grew up in L.A. and just as Kendrick has ascended the hip-hop ladder, so has Kris in jazz, as he won the prestigious Theolonious . But more than that, the web of Los Angeles musical ties was bound to bring the two into orbit in different ways - something we discuss in the episode - not the least of which is the fact that Kris covered one of the biggest tracks in Kendrick's early career: "Rigamortis."

    In our conversation with Kris, we got deep into how he put together both the song and video for his version of "Rigamortis," whether or not Kendrick has a jazz sensibility in his style, and what it's like to see a hometown kid become the Greatest Rapper Alive.

    More on Kendrick Lamar's Section.80

    More on Kris Bowers

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from Section.80 unless indicated otherwise):

    • "A.D.H.D."
    • Kris Bowers: "Rigamortis (Kendrick Lamar Cover)"
    • Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid M.A.A.D. City "m.A.A.D. city"
    • MURS: Captain California "GBKW"
    • Dr. Dre: The Chronic “Dre Day”
    • A Tribe Called Quest: The Low End Theory “Jazz (We’ve Got This)”
    • "High Power"
    • "Rigamortis"
    • "Keisha’s Song"
    • Kendrick Lamar: “Sing About Me”
    • "Ab-Souls Outro"
    • "Kush & Corinthians"
    • Willie Jones III: The Next Phase “The Thorn”
    • Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly “If These Walls Could Talk”
    • Chapter Six

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks, EP 13: Jay Smooth on Run DMC's "Raising Hell" (1986)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Jay Smooth

    The album: Run DMC: Raising Hell (Profile, 1986)

     

    Jay Smooth was always on our list of "people who we gotta get for Heat Rocks." His cultural and political commentary, much of which he does through his pioneering Ill Doctrine videos, have positioned him as one of the hip-hop generation's leading pundits and he's also hosted one of the longest running rap shows in the world: The Underground Railroad on WBAI.

    For this show, Jay wanted to revisit Raising Hell a paradigm-shifting rap album that, as we discuss, has seemingly become underrated through the passage of time though it is unquestionably one of the most important hip-hop releases, ever. We get into the moment in which Run DMC first arrived, how they changed the game for rap artists (for better and for worse) and of course, all our fire track and sleeper jam picks off this LP.

    More on Run DMC's Raising Hell

    More on Jay Smooth

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from Raising Hell unless indicated otherwise):

    • Walk This Way
    • Run DMC: Sucker MCs
    • Run DMC: It's Like That
    • Raising Hell
    • Eric B. and Rakim: I Ain't No Joke
    • It's Tricky
    • Peter Piper
    • Bob James: Mardi Gras
    • Dumb Girl
    • Is It Live?
    • My Adidas
    • Proud to Be Black
    • You Be Illin'
    • NWA: Straight Outta Compton
    • Run DMC: Tougher Than Leather
    • Aretha Franklin: I Never Loved a Man
    • Jay-Z: Jockin' Jay-Z

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