Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Roots

Their seventh album, Game Theory, drops at the end of the month, so we'll take it back to when they first burst into national consciousness. Both of these selections are from around 1994, when The Roots recorded their second (and best) album, Do You Want More?!!!??! First is Black Thought alone on New York's WBLS.

Black Thought on WBLS

Next the group visits Stretch and Bobbito. Black Thought is joined on the mic by Malik B. and Dice Raw, and Rahzel provides some beats at the end. The three MCs all go off the top and show some great interplay. It's a little bittersweet to hear all the talent in that room. Since then, Malik B. has had some serious personal problems, Dice Raw (about 15 years old at the time) never lived up to his tremendous potential, and Rahzel apparently left the group on bad terms. Malik and Dice do make appearances on the new album though.

The Roots on Stretch and Bobbito

Saturday, August 12, 2006


I couldn't make up my mind what to do for the second entry, but finally decided I couldn't go wrong featuring the greatest MC of all time.

First we have KRS with Lord Finesse and Supernatural on the famed Stretch and Bobbito show in 1995. Finesse kicks writtens, Supernatural of course is off the top, and Kris slides back and forth from written to freestyle. Everyone sounds like they're just having a great time, goofing on each other and enjoying hip-hop.

KRS-ONE, Lord Finesse, and Supernatural on Stretch and Bobbito

Second is KRS and Common rhyming on New York's Hot 97 in early 1998. (I think I actually snatched this from some mixtape back in the day, but I don't remember which.) Favorite moment: Common's laugh as Kris prepares to pass the mic, sounding somewhat intimidated at the thought of following up the Teacha's monster verse. He acquits himself admirably.

KRS-ONE and Common on Hot 97

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Our first entry is dedicated to Rhymefest, an MC who has certainly paid his dues and finally released his first album last week. I actually find Blue Collar pretty disappointing thus far, but I'm still digesting it.

I first heard Rhymefest about 10 years back, when he and fellow Chicagoan Juice were winning battles all over the country. The first link is from that era, circa 1996, performing on Kevin Beecham's show on WNUR. I lived on the South Side of Chicago at the time, and WNUR broadcasted from north of the city, so unfortunately most of the time it was out of earshot.

Rhymefest on WNUR

The second link is from fall 2003. Poison Pen, PackFM, and Immortal Technique were on WNYU's Halftime Show. Rhymefest shows up, absolutely DESTROYS the mic, and pisses off DJ Eclipse in the process. Good times. In his second chance he kicks the verse that Kanye West would make famous in "Jesus Walks" 6 months later.

Poison Pen, PackFM, Immortal Technique, Rhymefest on Halftime Show


If anyone is reading this, welcome. This is a hip-hop MP3 blog, but I'm hoping it will be slightly different than most. I'm not planning to post forgotten obscurities, or tracks that were never released, or hot shit that ain't even out yet. There's already a ton of sites which offer that stuff, and there isn't much I could add to the table. The focus here will be on live performances and freestyles. A lot of the music I'll offer will be MCs rhyming live on the radio. Even if they're not going off the top of the head, something about those performances often interests me. It can be an average MC with average lyrics whose records leave me ambivalent, but if he's spitting those same rhymes live on the air without worrying about making a polished record, there will often be a raw energy which is captivating. Of course, I hope you'll consider most of the stuff you find here to be better than average MCs with better than average lyrics. So feel free to tune in for freestyles, freewrittens, battles, concerts, maybe a few recorded interviews, and whatever else I feel like throwing up here. I'll try to update at least once a week, but who knows.