Author Archives: richiesodapop

Where would 90s dance music have been without hip hop?

Back when I used to earn a crust bending, punching, folding, welding and cutting sheets of metal, the only form of entertainment available, apart from tea breaks, shit breaks and calling each other queeeeeerr, was to have the radio on in the background. As we didn’t get London local radio on the South Coast we had to make do with radio one.

All day every day, the same 15 songs over and over again for months at a time. Aside from the occasional indie classic from Mark Radcliffe or Jo Whiley or an hour of Nostalgia from Simon Salad Cream (Mayo)’s Golden Hour, it was repetitive, dance music that dominated the airwaves.

Often the formula for these tracks included a chopped vocal sample from a rap record. It used to really grip my shit that the type of Sharon’s and Gary Lager’s that liked this music really hated hip hop. Don’t get it twisted, I don’t hate this music or these producers, if anything they are to be lauded for their digging. But anyway, you probably already know all these tracks, I just felt like giving them a collective salute cus like my man Masta Ace said, “Pay homage respect, acknowlege the rep”.

Schoolly D from Chemical Brothers:

Rockmaster Scott and Dynamic 3 from Chemical Brothers

Ultramagnetic MC’s from Prodigy

More Ultramagnetic used by the Prodigy, in fact there’s a whole lot of Kool Keith and Prodigy pairings.

ADOR sampled by Wildchild

Vinyl Dogs (Lord Finesse) from Fatboy Slim


There’s a million more such references all over the interweb, so many Ultramagnetic and Hijack samples that I can’t even be fucked to look for them.

Eyedea found dead, just shy of his 29th birthday

When 2pac, Biggie and Big L died they were catapulted from underground favourites to G.O.A.T.’s that even your mum heard of and all new jacks cited as their biggest influences. When more important talents such as Guru and Jam Master Jay passed barely an inch in the Guardian marks the impact of such amazing legacies. So now that Eyedea has sadly left us I doubt you’ll hear anything beyond the blogosphere.

Though he may not have made a massive impact on the world outside of backpack rap, make no mistake, Eyedea was a very, very, very good rapper. And that’s all there is to say.

When you win blaze battle and scribble jam numerous times and your DJ wins numerous, regional DMC titles and makes up part of the legendary 1200 hobo’s crew, you got it going on. But for whatever reason Eyedea & Abilities never really blew up, which is why I feel compelled to put something up to commemorate an amazing talent after learning about his tragic death.

Eyedea’s body was found at his home in St Paul’s Minnesota earlier today, at this stage, details are scarce and his family request privacy during these trying times.

He was 28, put that in to perspective he would have been barely 17 when he wiped the floor with seasoned veterans such as Peace from Freestyle Fellowship as you’ll see in these vids.

But beyond battling, Eyedea’s written material shows a more introspective emotional side, certainly no one trick pony.  As well an excellent rapper he was also a talented guitarist, singer and songwriter. Talents like his are rare our thoughts are with his family, DJ Abilites, Rhymesayers and the whole Twin Cities hip hop scene.

Rest in Peace, love Hotasballs.

Prank calls #2

RichieSodapop recalls: ‘Confessions of a Southampton Prank caller’

I can’t remember what spurred me to get into prank calls, in my sheltered, South Coast teen-hood it wasn’t something that my contemporaries were engaged in, I guess that’s what made the ones we did so effective, people simply weren’t doing it so we could really reel these suckers in. In fact, in our naivety we referred to them as ‘crank calls’ or as we affectionately coined it, “crankers”, ie, “ There’s fuck all going on, let’s get the yellow pages out and do some crankers”. It was the early 90s and I’d heard of the Jerky Boys but didn’t know anybody that actually owned the tape, it was one of those mythical, ‘my mates older brother went to America and got it’ type scenarios, but that’s what made our style of crankers so appealing, we weren’t imitating, it was strictly local. The main work was done by my best mate Greg who had an amazing ability to think up ridiculous scenarios off the top of his head, all the while managing to mentally and verbally control a total stranger on the end of the line. Typically we’d either scan the Yellow Pages and look for local businesses to wind up and outsmart, claiming they’d stole our idea and we were going to sue, eg, a local party magician going by the handle “Jimmy Bow tie” was called at 3am by a young man with a camp, Northern accent going by the name “Jimmy Neckerchief” demanding that he remove his advert from the Yellow Pages. Or we’d just dial random digits and play it by ear. Incidents included pretending to be DJs from local radio stations [Bob Gill from Radio South] and stringing along bored, dumb housewives, convincing them that they’d won a prize and to get them to request a song. They’d then be given some make believe frequency to dial into to hear their songs, meanwhile we’d be on to some next ish like calling the local family portrait photography studio to book a gay porno shoot and then play the homophobe card when they informed us that it would be inappropriate.

As the years went on, and telecommunications advanced, crankers maintained a presence in our lives; after a shit night out in the city and a nose full of coke with no pussy to be found, we found amusement in the wee, small hours from mobile phones. Calling random numbers from the back of a car to tell some dozy mare that their water supply needed to be switched off for four hours, this conversation would drag on for minutes while I gave made up information and closed the call by informing the sleepy recipient that would be legible for compensation if they called this number and quoted my name “Brian Shitbag” at which point the penny would drop and I’d be hailed with a string of four letter expletives. See, we discovered that it was no fun if they still believed you at the end of the call, the real hilarity lay in being told to fuck off by some irate docker or called an immature little prat by a well to do gentleman. I have to say that a massive part of the fun was knowing that we were smarter than grown ups, however this activity carried on up until this day to tickle the part of our personalities that refuses to acknowledge that we are now grown up ourselves.

Slug, Murs, The Grouch and Michael Franks. Musical Angel Dust.

I fucking love Michael Franks, yeah his voice may be a little flat and his music may be just slightly on the diet soda, newports and ritz crackers side of funky but that’s the side of funky that I feel most comfortable with. With his songs about video games, rainy Tokyo evenings and empty cookie jars I feel me and the brother Franks could be kindred spirits of a sort.

And then the pairing of Slug and Murs for the Felt series. This track comes from the much slept on first instalment, A tribute to Christina Ricci. All the beats are by Oakland brawler, The Grouch and the whole EP is a lo-fi, dusted out beauty. Worth owning on vinyl if only for the pull out art work that depicts a cartoon Ricci wielding a human heart in the palm of her hand.

First you get the break.

Now you get the beat.

they’re raping errbody out here

even though the whole thing is totally ridiculous, I do find myself singing this catchy little number as if it were a real club shaker. I guess it just shows how sticking a bit of autotune on a groovy melody can give you an instant pop rekkid.

I hate myself for liking this tosh but keep coming back like Andi peters.

watch the original first, even that shit’s funny, despite the sensitive subject matter.

if at any juncture you have been caught out,  or are unaware of the rights and wrongs of rape, grooming, the predacious nature of your sexual appetite and the like, learn a lesson below

new J Rocc mix for Supreme

Supreme, the NY based clothing label, favored by aging B-Boys, well dressed skaters and Asian people since 1994 has teamed up for a second time with former World Famous Beat Junkie, J Rocc for this exclusive mix.

It’s mostly breaks, many you heard and many more that you haven’t, smoothly blended and juggled with minimum fuss by the Stones Throw stalwart. it kicks off with the track that Portishead nicked for Sour Times, I believe it’s called ‘A Midsummer’s Night Murder’ but I’m not too up on these things, and that pretty much sets the precedent for the next 45 minutes, not exactly floor fillers but not exactly chin stroking neither, a happy medium of good songs that plays nicely in the headphones, like all mixtapes should.

Here it is y’all

Unreleased J Dilla, safety dance.

Them crazy cats at Stones Throw have put out Donut Shop, billed as an official colab between them, Serato and the J Dilla estate. Can’t believe this hasn’t been done before but everybody’s favourite producer has flipped “Safety Dance’ by goof ball, Canadian, electro pop wizards ‘Men without hats and turned it in to a booming piece of down and dirty funk.

Here it is.

Just in case you’re not familiar with the original, you can cop that here too.

But if you really need to complete the cycle, track down  ‘Weird Al in 3D’ by ‘Weird’ Al Yancovic for his parody on Safety Dance that he calls The Brady Bunch, it’s the best of the bunch.

The DNA of the Blueprint by DJ Neil Armstrong.

Q) What’s better than listening to a Jay-Z album?

A) Listening to the highlights of several Jay-Z albums, expertly selected and blended by DJ Neil Armstrong.

I first mentioned Neil back here and since then his career has seemingly really taken off, his talent finally getting the recognition it deserves in this fickle world of hip hop where association with a superstar is seemingly the only route to success.

Check out this awesome mixtape here and then go and cop all the All Out King and Smoove Mixtapes and allow yourself to be transported back to an era where mixtapes were actually mixed and the dj schooled heads to all kinds of good music rather than just shouting over a load of bangers and ‘exclusives’ to promote whichever rapper they were down with that week.