Sunday, October 29, 2006

Hiero vs. Hobo

In 1994, Saafir made a brilliant guest appearance on Casual's debut album Fear Itself. Saafir wanted Casual to return the favor on his own debut, Boxcar Sessions, but for whatever reason Casual didn't show up. Saafir took it personally, and soon his crew, the Hobo Junction, was beefing with Casual's Hieroglyphics crew. They agreed to settle it in a battle broadcast on Sway and Tech's Wake Up Show. There was dispute about whether Saafir was using written rhymes, and whether he had warned he would do so beforehand. But when you hear him open his first verse "Did your momma tell you that you was my son," sounding "like he could swallow the fucking planet" (as Cocaine Blunts described him), it doesn't really seem to matter.

The entire battle is long (over 45 minutes) but there's stuff worth hearing throughout. Click the second link if you just want to hear the opening few salvoes from Casual and Saafir, before their soldiers get involved.

Hiero vs. Hobo (whole battle)
Casual vs. Saafir

Less remembered is the pre-battle battle which took place at San Francisco's Crash Palace. The sound quality is poor, but it's part of the history, so here you go:

Crash Palace battle

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fondle 'Em Fossils

A few performances from artists who helped make Fondle 'Em Records one of the greatest hip-hop labels ever during its brief existence.

If you are familiar with Siah and Yeshua da poED, then you know they left far too few recordings before Siah retired to apply his efforts to the disaster that is Middle East politics. Coincidentally, A Tribute to Ignorance (one of the best websites around, peep that shit) just posted three old freestyles from the pair. Here's one more, joined by J-Treds in 1996.

Siah, Yeshua, and J-Treds on KZSU

Next, J-Treds comes back to New York for a live performance at the late Wetlands club. After a couple solo joints, he is joined by Breezely Brewin, El-P, and Big Juss to form the Indelible MCs. I'm not sure of the date on this; some time between 1997 and 2001. Try to ignore Bobbito's periodic shouts.

Indelible MCs live at Wetlands

Finally, a freestyled promo for WKCR 89.9 FM recorded by Cage and Godfather Don, from some time in the mid-90s.

Cage and Godfather Don promo

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Surprise, surprise. The "comeback" is official; the new album is imminent. Now that he's a business, man, and everything he does is an event, it's easy to forget that Jay-Z reached this status in no small part by being a formidable MC. In 1995, Big L had the record deal and Jay-Z was just an underground rapper still putting in dues. You may have heard this classic radio appearance before but it's always worth another listen. Both MCs show off rapid-fire deliveries, with Big L focusing on the punchlines and Jigga switching up his patterns with ease. Seven minutes of microphone terrorism.

Jay-Z and Big L on Stretch and Bobbito

I am not sure where or when this brief live performance comes from. Based on The Jaz's presence, it's around 1998 at the latest, and I'm guessing a few years before that.

Jay-Z, Jaz, and Busta Rhymes live

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Freddie Foxxx

No musical performance today, but a fascinating radio interview with Bumpy Knuckles (including the story of how he got the name Bumpy Knuckles). The entire thing is over an hour long, but well-worth listening to. Freddie Foxxx is candid, funny, and intelligent in discussing his problems with Rakim, his recordings with KRS, and battling rappers over the Internet.

If you just want to hear about the beef with Rakim, I posted that as a 20 minute excerpt. You can also read this.

Entire interview
on Rakim only