Friday, 7 May 2010

London Posse (1989-90) Gangster Chronicle

London Posse were one of the earliest groups to emerge from the British hip hop scene, initially formed by Sipho the Human Beatbox who asked friends Rodney P, Bionic and DJ Biznizz to join him for a tour of the US supporting Mick Jones' (formerly of The Clash) new group, Big Audio Dynamite. When they first formed, they didn't even have a name, but whilst playing in New York City, they were constantly referred to as "the London Posse" because of their hometown, and the name stuck.
On their return, they released a single - "London Posse/My Beatbox Reggae Style" (Big Life, 1987) produced by Tim Westwood which detailed their experiences, but following this, Sipho and Biznizz left the group.

Rodney P and Bionic continued to record, releasing a single - "Money Mad" (Justice, 1988) - with Westwood's Justice label, before moving to Island Records' subsidiary Mango Records to release more singles and their only album, the classic Gangster Chronicle (Mango Records, 1990). With its roots in Reggae and New York hip hop, the album sounded significantly different to the predominant hardcore sound of their contemporaries, and cemented London Posse's reputation as one of the UK scene's most talented groups. When Mango was closed down by its parent company, London Posse moved to Bullit, run by their manager Errol Bull. They recorded a second album, but although a selection of singles came out - "How's Life in London" (Bullit, 1993), "Supermodel/Here Comes the Rugged One" (Bullit, 1993) and "Style" (Bullit, 1996) - the band couldn't afford to put the record out as any money they received for their work was ploughed back into the record company, and it was permanently shelved.

Bionic moved into drum and bass, whilst Rodney P continued as a solo artist - he has formed a partnership with DJ Skitz to host a BBC 1 Xtra radio show and has released a solo album. In 2001, Word Play records reissued the Gangster Chronicles album, adding some of the more sought after later work such as "How's Life in London" and "Pass the Rizla".


In 1990, London rappers Bionic and Rodney P released arguably the first true UK hip-hop album. A potent blend of the reggae, dub and cockneyfied rhymes, their debut album Gangster Chronicle was also to be their last. Successful though it was, when their label went bust, it ceased to be commercially available. Rodney P later became a leading light in UK hip-hop, Bionic got into drum 'n' bass, and Gangster Chronicle was all but forgotten about. Over a decade on and the original ten tacks, plus four follow-up singles, have finally been resurrected and re-issued. And while a lot of water has passed under hip-hop's bridge since its first airing, it's fair to say nothing's ever sounded quite as London as this. It wasn't just Rodney P's Lundunn accent and Bionic's ragga toasting and slang that set the pair apart.. Their use of dancehall reggae ("Money Mad", "Livin' Pancoot"), Soul II Soul grooves ("How's Life in London") and speaker throbbing dub ("Oversized Idiot") ensured they were nothing like their US counterparts or anything else since.
Essentially it's as unique as UK hip-hop gets.

Frickin' Excellence Epitomised

London Posse (1989-90) Gangster Chronicle

LL Cool J (1993) 14 Shots To The Dome

After hearing revolutionary music from Afrika Bambaataa and Sugar Hill Gang, little James grew to love the rap scene. His grandfather bought him his first DJ set when he was nine years old.

By 13, he was already out on the streets selling his demos. The first one to notice this budding talent was Rick Rubin of the then-new Def Jam Records. At 16 years old, Smith, now known as LL Cool J (short for Ladies Love Cool James), had a contract with the upstart label and released its first single ever, "I Need A Beat," in 1984.

It was with the release of L.L.'s inaugural album Radio the following year that L.L. knew he had the talent for a promising career. The album was received with surprising acclaim, and the single "I Can't Live Without My Radio" became memorable, as it was featured in the movie L.L. performed in that same year, called Krush Groove. He followed up his newfound fame by joining the "Raising Hell" tour of 1986-1987, with Run-DMC, Beastie Boys and Public Enemy as headliners.

On a frenetic pace and not even out of adolescence yet, L.L. padded his bare-chested, gold chain-wearing image with his sophomore album, 1987's Bigger and Deffer. Almost single-handedly, he was making Def Jam a major label, as "I Need Love" became a huge chart hit across the board. For his third LP, L.L. successfully experimented with new styles, making Walking With A Panther his third platinum seller. "Goin' Back to Cali," which appeared on the soundtrack for Less Than Zero, is still a song that every rap aficionado should have in their collection.

Between concerts and some controversial incidents by L.L.'s crew that left his image a tad tainted, he teamed up with talented producer Marly Marl to make Mama Said Knock You Out in 1990. The album blew up around the world, with the title track getting him his first Grammy in the Best Rap Solo Performance category. His fierce lyrics and catchy duet ballads with various R&B groups appealed to a wide range of people, further broadening rap's popularity. The album, which is considered L.L.'s most popular, spawned the hit singles "Around The Way Girl," "6 Minutes Of Pleasure" and the title track.

As the awards from MTV, Soul Train and other institutions poured in, L.L. took a step toward acting. In 1992, he appeared in Toys with Robin Williams, the beginning of what was to be a successful career in film. 1993 saw the coming of some gangsta rap in L.L.'s repertoire, with the release of 14 Shots To The Dome. Further cementing his influence as an artist, he performed at MTV's Inaugural Ball for President Clinton, and became the first rapper to be featured on MTV's Rockumentary.

In 1995, L.L. Cool J landed his own NBC sitcom with In the House, in which he starred as Marion Hill. That same year, Mr. Smith was released and proved that fans' love for L.L. was undying -- the single "Hey Lover" with Boyz II Men brought him his second Grammy.
A year after 1996's All World (a greatest hits album) dropped, the edgy Phenomenon was released, hardly giving fans time to breathe. The title track climbed its way up the charts, and brought more record-setting numbers for L.L. In the meantime, films like Woo, Caught Up and Halloween H20: 20 Years Later filled up his time. He even wrote his autobiography, entitled I Make My Own Rules.

14 Shots to the Dome was LL Cool J's fifth album. The album had three singles ("How I'm Comin'", "Back Seat" and the strangely titled "Pink Cookies in a Plastic Bag Getting Crushed by Buildings") and guest-featured labelmates Lords of the Underground on "NFA-No Frontin' Allowed". The album went gold.

LL Cool J (1993) 14 Shots to the Dome

sickenin' LP, His best from my perspective

Genius of Wordplay - GZA 1990

When it comes to thought provoking, street-bred raw lyricism, the Wu-Tang Clan's fountain of wisdom, GZA takes his job very seriously. The way he crafts his double-edged rhyme flow mirrors the skill and precise technique of one who works with fine ceramics. GZA's metaphoric and multi-layered lyrics are often touted by critics as his rap name implies; genius.

Born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in every borough of New York City, The GZA's workmanship can be found three albums deep with classics dating back to 1991 including the albums Words From The Genius, the gold-selling Liquid Swords and Beneath The Surface. Before his days of microphone notoriety, GZA found himself, during the early ages of rap music, travelling throughout New York City sharpening his rap skills in scattered rhyme battles. "I've studied rap in every borough," the GZA says proudly. "I've been rhyming before a lot of these cats out here were born. We've [Wu Tang Clan] always drank, ate and slept hip-hop. I love it." On his latest blockbuster album Legend Of The Liquid Sword, The GZA makes reference to his hip- hop foundation on the reflective Fam (Members Only) "I grew up around B-Boys, DJs, MCs, through rap, never thinking in ways of TV," the Genius raps. "It was strictly all about magnificent rhyme clout."

During GZA's travels, he encountered other rap veterans that recognized his promise and helped to nurture his talent. "I watched a lot of people come up that are big now," Genius says earnestly. "I used to make demo tapes with cats that rocked with Russell Simmons and people like that. The history goes so far back; I've always been really focused on writing dope rhymes."

The GZA's dream of perfection has been realized once again on his fourth album to date. Legend Of The Liquid Sword not only regains the powerful momentum started by the last three releases, it adds to the Genius' verbal legacy with uncompromising integrity. Heat-seeking darts like the introspective, Auto Bio where GZA breaks down the elements of his life that created the man he is and the crime thriller Luminal.

What has always set The GZA apart from the ordinary is his ability to create complex images with simple context. In the same way it's said that a picture is worth a thousand words, Genius assembles his words to create thousands of vivid pictures. "I don't like to just be simple," he explains. "Even though some of my stuff can seem simple at times, I like to write in a way that when you listen to it over and over again, you hear something new and it requires you to think." Legend Of The Liquid Sword does just that. Whether the listener gets captured by the vocal acrobatics of Santi White (who has written songs for Res) on GZA's Stay In Line or the authentic old school soul production on the masterpiece Animal Planet, Genius weaves satisfying brain food through his lyrics. In his phenomenally cerebral use of metaphors, The Genius flawlessly equates human city dwellers to animals in the jungle on Animal Planet, which was produced by rhythm doctor Bink (who has produced heavyweight joints for Fat Joe, Nate Dogg, Mr. Cheeks and Faith Evans). With beats by fellow Wu Tang brother RZA, Jaz-O (Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt album), DJ Muggs (who has produced for Cypress Hill, Mobb Deep), Wu producer Mathematics (Ol' Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Sunz of Man), Arabian Knight and other sonic masterminds, GZA's talents come across even heavier. On the adrenaline raising Hip Hop call to arms, Knock, Knock (the album's shining debut single), The GZA asks on the chorus, "knock, knock, who the f*** is banging at my door, is it abstract, commercial or hardcore?" In his signature way of ill rhyme construction, GZA further defines the parameters of what rap music should be.

Don't call GZA's comeback just a comeback, it's a return of an entirely revolutionary thought process. "When we did Back In The Game on the Wu-Tang Iron Flag album, I did a verse about gambling," he explains solidly. "I didn't want to be 'back in the game' or 'back on the block,' that's typical. I made it all metaphorical." It's those same metaphors that makes the Genius' liquid sword a living legend in it's own time.

GZA (1990) Words From the Genius

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Outlaw Posse (Brothers Like Outlaw) '90 & 92'

Outlaw Posse was a UK duo formed by Bello B (real name Isaac Bello) and K-Gee (real name Karl Gordon). They also recorded together as Outlaw and Brothers Like Outlaw, before the group finally split in 1992. The LP's are sensational, absoloutely worth a listen the beats are nostalgic to say the least. The Nineties was a great era, The UK were there to.

K-Gee started out as a drummer in the school band, but soon had a residency as a DJ in the Fringe in London. Together with his school friend Bello B, K-Gee used to rap over beats and basslines and record their efforts onto tape. The duo called themselves the Outlaw Posse, and the tapes they recorded came to the attention of DJ Richie Rich, who was making his name as both a club DJ and a recording artist in his own right. He was also the owner of Gee Street Records, and was impressed enough with the group to offer them some time in a recording studio. The tunes the group put together became their successful debut album, My Afro's On Fire (Gee Street, 1990), an album that was decidated to Bello B's late brother, Bentil Bello.

Tours with Arrested Development and the Brand New Heavies followed, as the group went through their first change of name, releasing the single 'Party Time' and 'Good Vibrations' both featuring Singer and Songwriter Alison Evelyn (Gee Street, 1992) as Outlaw. The name didn't last until the end of the year, and by the release of their final album the name had changed again to Brothers Like Outlaw. The album was well received amongst the fans and the music press, but the dissatisfaction with their name echoed the group's growing dissatisfaction with each other - their final album's title The Oneness of Two Minds In Unison (Gee Street, 1992) clearly intended to be ironic. Citing musical differences, the group split and went their separate ways in 1992 - although more recently K-Gee has stated that the group were actually recording a third album and split because of Gee Street's delays in putting out new material

Outlaw Posse [Brothers Like Outlaw] (1990) My Afros On Fire

Outlaw Posse [Brothers Like Outlaw] (1992) The Oneness of II Minds In Unison

Tragedy Khadafi: Intelligent Hoodlum

He began his career as half of the duo Super Kids, along with Hot Day, releasing the single "Go, Queensbridge" in 1985. This got them noticed by Marley Marl, who produced the duo's next two singles, and Chapman was also made a junior member of the Juice Crew alongside artists such as Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, and MC Shan.
After a conviction for robbery followed by time in a correctional facility, Chapman became a Five Percenter and began working under the alias Intelligent Hoodlum. His self-titled debut, Intelligent Hoodlum, released in 1990 and produced by Marley Marl, was full of political commentary, Five-Percenter rhetoric, and controversial messages in tracks such as "Arrest the President" and "Black and Proud. He returned in 1993, releasing his second album, Tragedy: Saga of a Hoodlum, which would be his last album under that moniker.

(courtesy of wiki)

Gold Clippin Ice (that nineties vice)

After last nights random session I thought I'd have to re-up alotta important LP's from my early listenin' days.
Alotta old stuff is coming your way shortly, all good of course. Strange listening back to the fore-fathers, the beats are raw, production isn't of the same quality as todays beatsmifs (understandably), but the rhymes are surpass todays offerings. Over the next coupla days, I'll gift you with some legendary formulas from the 90's golden era.

Back When MC's wore T-Shirts & Jeans, had gold and not ice, rocked a boombox not an ipod, healed the youths with wordsa wisdom and ig'nant poetry was discriminated against, not to forget that four-finger ring ish....

Now I'm not on some ''keep it real'' bullshit, your ears are yours so whats real to you is as real as it'll be within that moment, and the past is the past, nothing stays the same, artisticly anyway. But with so much nonsense fluctuatin from station to station, blog to blog & mp3 to mp3 its appropriate to school the youngsters on the soundsa the sices'!