Early feature on Wu-Tang Clan from Rap Pages written by Cheo H. Coker with the controversial illustrations by Elika. This created a brawl between the writer and Masta Killa, as exposed later in a Source editorial (see below). This created a strange situation in hip-hop where many artists from Keith Murray to Chuck D justify the beating down of journalists.
Review of the long forgotten Streetwise album by J Rock, better known as that-guy-who-worked-with-Premo-before-anybody-else-care. Soon to be reissued by the good folks at Traffic.
J Rock : Neighborhood Drug Dealer (DJ Premier remix) (DivShare)
Someone requested some old interview with KRS One from Rap Pages, so here is one from february 1994, right after Return Of The Boom-Bap. As always with the Teacher the interview is full of those outrageous and outstanding quotes he’s known for.
KRS One : Ah Yeah (Diamond remix) (DivShare)
Chris Wilder followed Chris Wallace when he wasn’t the King Of New-York yet, from The Source, october 1994. The mp3 is a dope demo with an awful sound.
Notorious Big : Biggie Got The Hype Shit (demo) (DivShare)
the Mayor of ST. JAMES
THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G. CAN MAKE ANYTHING HAPPEN ON THE STREETS OF BROOKLYN.
YO,THEY NOT FRISKIN’. Get down here right now!” The Notorious BIG. is talking into a cellu-lar phone. He’s rolling about 12 or 13 deep, but with Craig Mack’s crew, the posse’s at least 20 strong and everybody’s outside the Brooklyn Academy of Music smoking blunts and drinking an Olde English and Guineas Stout mix. The show tonight is actually a pre-Jones Beach Greek thing, so while this scene goes on outside, the Kappas or some-body is stepping inside.
‘They gonna flip when we drop “R&B Bitch’ on ’em,” says an anonymous voice out of the blunt haze. The voice is talking about “Dreams,” a fantasy song about Big sexing several of the ladies of B&B. The only problem is they can’t decide whether to do “Dreams” or “Juicy,” which is pretty much Big rhyming over the old Mtume jam.
Later inside, the decision is made. “R&B Bitch.” Let’s do this. It was a little hard to get the a cappella “Dreams of fuckin’ an R&B bitch” hook over on the mostly female, collegiate crowd. For a crew of ruffneck B-boys, sure. But in this setting, no way. Women run New York.
The show takes a lot out of Big because after the show, instead of going to Hot 97 for an on-air interview that had been scheduled for days, he opts to stay around the way and chill. Chances are he’s out on his block or around the corner or hanging on Fulton Street—known to the locals simply as “The Ave.”
Biggie is the mayor of his block of St. lames. Not St. James between Gates and Greene, the block that Chubb Rock propped up on wax, but St lizzy between Fulton and Gates, the next block down. “Chubb had a little honey that lived on St. lames between Gates and Greene. I guess he thought the kids in the neighborhood was sweatin’ him,” recounts Big.
He’s a big, Black celebrity checking in at about 63″, 280. He can’t stand on the block without people speaking to him. “I’ve lived here my whole life, from the first day,” he explains. “I’m the mayor.”
He was the mayor of the block when he was hustling, he was the mayor when he seas making demo tapes, and he was mayor each time he came home from jail. If you’ve ever been to jail, even if it’s only for one night, you know the feeling when you get back around the way, it’s like getting back with family. The block is always there for you. But that’s exactly why Biggie didn’t trust it when his peeps would tell him that his demo tapes were dope ‘Your family will always support you,” he says. “But when niggas wanted to sign me. I knew’ I had something.”
But it was actually his fam that hooked him up. His tape made its way to Kane’s DJ, Mr. Cee, who brought it up to THE SOURCE, where he won Unsigned Hype in March ’92. Puffy, Uptown’s A&R director at the time, quickly signed him and put him out there on a couple of things—a Mary J. Bilge remix, a Supercat remix and video. But when they had him do a song for the Who’s The Man? soundtrack, Big turned in “Party and Bullshit”, the fattest underground piece New York had put out in a long time.
When Puffy left to held up his own label and management company. Bad Boy Entertainment, Uptown let Biggie go with him. “This is what we always wanted: insists Biggie. I wanted to go to Puffs shit because I knew if I went to that niggs shit it’d be 100 percent correct.”
No argument from Uptown. “We just felt like Puffy could allow Biggie to grow the way he needed to grow,” claims senior marketing director Brett Wright
One day kickin’ it in front of the mayor’s crib, I wanted to hear the album since we were talking about it. I didn’t have a copy, and Big didn’t either. “Don’t worry,” he says. “We’ll get it.”
A couple of minutes later. here comes his man down the street. Big asks if he has the tape on him. He does, but there’s still the problem of where to listen to it. Even that problem only lasts a few minutes because here comes another kid walking up the block with a box. It’s on. For Big, anything is possible on St. James.
Funny. Biggie Smalls’s debut album, Ready to Die, starts off with a birth. With Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up,” a record released around the time Biggie was born, playing in the background, loud enough to be the foreground, a baby is born lorries of “Yeah, you did it, baby.” Then “Rapper’s Delight”—parents arguing—”You can’t control that boy!? What’s wrong with you!” Next is Audio Two’s ‘Top Billin” and a plot to rob a train, presumably the subway. Obviously the train robbery didn’t work out because next, with a Snoop track playing, we hear Biggie getting out of jail and telling the CO he won’t be back, “I got big plans.”
Now that we’ve been brought up to date with Biggie’s life, the rest of the album is a series of intricately detailed post-jail stories. The first song is about how the streets have changed since he’s been away. On the next, he plans a robbery along with his “alter ego,” and so on. All these stories are told via Big’s loud, fat-guy voice, first made famous by Big Bank Hank and carried on by the likes of Kool Rock Ski, The Chubbster and any other fat guy with rhyme skills you can think of.
But still, you need to understand just how clear and thorough his lyrics are. At the end of every track you’re left with a Kodak moment—an exact pic-ture of everything that happened over the last three minutes and change, right down to the smallest detail.
There’s one detail Big forgot about, though. And that was copyrighting his name. We call him Biggie Smalls, but offi-cially it’s The Notorious BIG. What hap-pened was, some Jesse Jaymes-looking kid came out with a record early last year, “I Like Black Girls, Too.” He was out first. He had the name.
“Yeah, that’s my name,” Biggie sighs. “But it don’t matter. Niggas know me.”
Interview from 1992 with Ultramagnetic MC’s in The Source reminiscing about the good old days, talking about how I Like Your Style is a great song and discussing Kool Keith mental state.
Nice little interview by Andy Anderson where Fat Joe got mad at Masta Ace for not being a real graf writer then admits that he’s not really the drug lord he pretends to be in his songs. Masta Ace answered to that interview a few weeks later with Top Ten List, produced by Saukrates.
Underground favorites Legion Of Dume appeared in The Source in the Unsigned Hype column of may 1992.
Funny thing is that (according to Jaz , Matty C aka Matt Life was a member of the group ! I guess nepotism has always been the norm in the mag.