Marley Marl – In Control Volume 2 [Unreleased demos]

Unreleased and unaccessible Hip-Hop gems have been as much a part of the aural history of Hip-Hop as the scratch itself. We had the Live Convention releases of T-Connection and Celebrity Club parties on Disco Wax Records way back in 1982, Music of Life in the UK released a few volumes of Zulu Nation jams like Cold Crush vs The Fantastic 5 in the early 90s, but these were jams, these were live parties. The world of collecting & dredging for these is next level.

In this post, I want to discuss unearthing previously unavailable jewels that have been buried away on dust covered tapes in shoe-boxes in attics, and lounging behind radiators for decades like the K-Def produced and long sought after Year of the Hip-Hop by LL Cool J. I want to talk about our collective adolescence and the hidden treasures we used to hear on the radio in weekly rotation as we fine-tuned the boxes, I want to talk about the Rap that never made it to the shelves of the record stores.

In 2001, DWGs Rare Dave created a mixtape compilation of hard-to-find Rap, and accurately titled it ‘Rare Frequencies’. The tracks were original full versions, demos and unreleased cuts that had been broadcast on Tim Westwoods Capital Rap Show for promotional purposes, rarely making their way to retail for one reason or another. Sometimes it was due to sample clearance, other times they just didnt make the grade cos they had unsuitable subject matter et cetera. For me, hearing Rare Frequencies was a tipping point, Hip-Hop and Rap radio already had a huge effect on me, affecting the way I listened to, enjoyed and collected Hip-Hop over the years. This was probably because the first time I EVER HEARD Hip-Hop was back in 81, when as kid across the street from where my Aunt lived had just come back from a holiday in NY, he was playing a tape on a ghettoblaster, on his doorstep, recorded from the radio. Since then Ive held on to all of my ferrics and chromes, sifting through my own archives in the attic at the family home, and as I continue to collect and trade, the over-all sound of a radio show, the compression, the strange hissy quality still provokes an indescribable energy in me, as well as a seemingly never-ending discovery of random rare Rap gems.

Anyone that can recall the spine-tingling sound of a Mr Magic WORLD PREMIERE, the sound of a DUB PLATE PRESSURE radio spot, or the sound of a CAPITAL RAP SHOW EXCLUSIVE knows exactly what I mean. Amongst dozens of other station IDs, these were the sounds that announced to the listener that they were about to witness something  special, something truly captivating, something that hadnt been heard before. Its these exclusives that I continue to fiend for today, I’ll be 43 in a fortnight, I have no shame.

Marley Marls In Control Volume 1 was such an iconic release, but when Volume 2 was released in 1991, there was something amiss. I clearly remember hearing it in my mates car for the 1st time that year, and thinking back to the Westwood plays from 1989; what had happened to this cut, to that cut, where was this that and the other. Where was the cut with Marley rhyming over that ‘Puppet’ beat? It seems that a few things had been omitted from the finished tape, things that I knew I’d heard, things that we knew we had on a D90 in the glove compartment, and knew that Westwood had been rockin…

Since then, it seems that there were at least three cuts that didnt make the grade for In Control Volume 2:

Unit3 – Here It Is [From an In Control with Clark Kent from 89]

Marley Marl –  No Bullshit [Original Version above, lifted from a Capital Rap Show cassette from 7th October 1989]

and Marley Marl featuring Rapataire – They Cant Get With Me [a Straight head-noddin banger that got unceremoniously dumped in favour of usage on Marleys remix of the 3rd Bass classic Product of the Environment], btw, who exactly are Rapataire and the ‘def coalition’ Unit3?

The track No Bullshit is a hidden highlight cos its Marley rhymin on the mic, somethin he didnt do that often. The demo version that Westwood played was being dropped with those ‘exclusive’ IDs back in October 1989, nearly 2 years ahead of the retail release. The questions remain, how many more are there sittin behind radiators, gathering dust in shoe-boxes with other cassettes and DATs etc? The odd thing about No Bullshit is that, in comparison to the version that ended up on the alblum, the original unreleased mix murders the finished version, IMO. As Marlon says himself, the ‘beat thats smooth’ makes it an entirely different song, even if the lyrics are the same, but maybe it was the amount of tracks that ended up on the 1991 release that dissuaded the ‘All-Star Engineer’ to go with the plodding and head-nodding pace of the slower paced cut.

There were 10 cuts on Vol1, and 20 cuts on Vol2 [including a few skit bits]. Maybe there was an issue with the ‘Im Your Puppet’ sample from the 1966 classic, who knows. Marley even teases us with a shard of that James & Bobby Purify track before switching up the pace to around 115 bpm, cos it’d been ‘jacked already’. Weird thing is, I dont recall it being used until after 1991 [The Hi-C track is a personal favourite but its been ‘jacked’ many times since].

Fingers crossed the good people at Diggers With Gratitude, Slice of Spice or one of the other ‘vinyl goodness’ labels will get their mucky paws on these exclusives, until then, im happy to take the dolby off and press play. As with alotta these things, the more knowledge is shared, the more we fiend, it transpires  that Rapataire had more than one cut, according to Chris [HDIC at DWG], as well as They Cant Get With Me, Rapa’ had another cut called Hip-Hop Science, was this another long lost Marley production? Is Marley worried that if he goes behind that radiator he’ll have another heart-attack? Will this Hip-Hop fiend ever be satisfied ? The questions remain…

Shouts to Palma, Beatlover and the rest of the DWG fiends…

11 responses to “Marley Marl – In Control Volume 2 [Unreleased demos]

  1. good post, dude, very nicely written..

  2. Thanks for these treats!

    Marley himself used ‘Im Your Puppet’ again, one year before Hi-C on Tragedy’s ‘Live & Direct From The House Of Hits” feat. Craig G. which was on the b-side of the ‘Back To Reality’ 12″

  3. Ah, top man K. Completely forgotten about that one, the B-Side won again. I guess Marley was basically thinkin I cant use this twice in such a short space, so switched the beat up to a faster tempo for No Bullshit.

    Thanks fella

  4. “the over-all sound of a radio show, the compression, the strange hissy quality still provokes an indescribable energy in me … WORLD PREMIERE, the sound of a DUB PLATE PRESSURE radio spot, or the sound of a CAPITAL RAP SHOW EXCLUSIVE knows exactly what I mean” (Leckie).

    I could have cried with empathy over them words. That Tragedy ‘At Large’ and Kane’s ‘Sing My Song’ need some small run vinyl love. Have them G Rap ‘Live and Let Die’ circa unreleased jams surfaced yet that Westwood rinsed? They were wild.
    peace,

    A

  5. Peace Craig,

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading your article. This will always remain a fascinating area for discussion.

    Out of all the tapes that i either lost or re-dubbed over it’s (THE) CAPITAL RAP SHOW EXCLUSIVE tapes (often a pre-recorded verse or freestyle), the classic Dingwalls ‘Live to London’ recordings and the Capital Rap Exchange w/ Marley, Pete Rock and Dj Clash that survived the eraser. Im sure a very conscious personal decision on my part the importance of preserving the moment. Possibly never to be repeated or even heard again.

    cheers for the shout fella.

  6. Great stuff thanks IRISH_CRAIG.

  7. Thanks a lot for sharing these (D90?) gems! As a fellow Marley Marl fan it is always great to hear such material. These tracks/versions should’ve been on Vol II – they would probably have made it a stronger album. I suppose by 1991 Marl’s relationship had completely soured with Cold Chillin’ and he wasn’t that enthused with delivering his utmost quality.

    Thanks again! 🙂

    J

  8. The ‘Rapataire’ is a guy named Craig Monteverde, who still Dj’s with Marley and goes by the name DJ Callie Ban. He actually went by the name “Gee The Rapateer” back in the day. I went to college with him and remember hearing ‘They Can’t Get Wit’ Me” over 20 years ago when he first recorded it. There was at least one other song he did with Marley – don’t remember the name but I do remember the beat used the Monk Higgins “Gotta Be Funky” sample. I believe I still have that on cassette. If I can find it I would be happy to share.

  9. thanks for these recordings and the article. I remember these shows very well and thanks to searching around on the net hoping to find more information on these sort of gems I bumped into your page. In this category I’m missing comments on CL Smooth’s track called Lethal weapon, I believe it’s also meant to appear on that In Control Vol II at the time. Remember Cool V’s tribute to scratching pt II? same thing but it’s released by DWG in the meantime:) Anyway let’s hope for all these tracks to appear on a DWG or Dope Folks compilation some day, in good quality.. Peace!

  10. Hi there! could anyone be so kind and re-post UNIT 3’s HERE IT IS/
    the track is missing and so is NO Bullshit by Marley marl. If anyone has that Rapataire joint as featured on DWG’s website I’d really appreciate it when you’re willing to share, I mean the version within that intro, not the youtube westwood tape rip version. Thanks all
    MoMzL1

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