Category Archives: Cassette

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…

Westwood – Capital Rap Show Saturday 19 January 1991

‘Live from the science lab, were schooling ruling and a cooling’ allegedly…

Here’s a Westwood show from 20 years ago this weekend…

Timmy had obviously just received his copy of Breaking Atoms as he drops a heap of ‘specials’ including a world premiere of Snake Eyes and Think. It’s the Saturday night show, so there are a few popcorn cuts as well as tracks from Stets Blood, Sweat & No Tears, the KRS produced H.E.A.L. project and of course the Break to the Beat comp. There’s a segment of a Guy interview from another night at the end of Side B too, cant remember if thats from the night before or not. Any info appreciated. If anyone is holdin the Main Source interview from the night before, hit us up. Dont forget to call in for those Cool J tickets.

Big shouts to anyone that ever attended The Slammer in Gravesend [pause]

Westwood – Capital Rap Show Saturday 19 January 1991 Side A

Westwood – Capital Rap Show Saturday 19 January 1991 Side B

The Cassette Era AKA In the PJs, my blend tape plays

Mr Jones looks back at the science of recording radio shows onto a format long forgotten about, from the days when he was a ‘young city bandit’. He talks about the importance of twiddling up and down the dial during the days when more than one show was on the New York FM airwaves, the colour of the physical tape and even the fragrance of a fresh cassette. Top choice clip for the throwback crowd and anyone that put their batteries in the freezer to recharge em

To listen to a multi-million selling artist talk about those live tapes and park jams with such affection and admit theyre still hurtin from missing those tapes is something anyone who did the same back then can equate to. I wonder if Nasir repeatedly used the same C90 before he got his double tape player. Anyone that has any Fresh Fest recordings needs to get in touch too btw

It can be a painful experience to recount those lost tapes sometimes. Thankfully, some of us held on to em and folk like ourselves and Dutch are resurrecting those broadcasts and live sessions. I hear the Fat Lace chaps are bringin some Westwood back real soon too, ‘HOLD TIGHT, WATCH THE RIDE’.

This also erm, amps us. Shouts to Dom for the heads-up, and to Jappy Jap for havin one of the most ridiculous names ever.

Boogie Down Productions – Live at the Town & Country Club, London July 13th 1989

As well as puttin you lot up on the latest greatest in Rap singers and the usual nonsense, more and more of you are contacting us requestin the rarities from the HOTASBALLS Rap radio archives, for the few that say please, i’ve culled this wee number.

It’s 4 live cuts broadcast the night after the show above by Tim Westwood on the Capital Rap Show on Capital Radio.

http://www.mediafire.com/?jmgd50jntjn

Still Number One
Criminal Minded
My Philosophy
P is Free [Reggae Version Excursion]

The show was at the Town and Country Club, as opposed to whatever corporate branded trench-foot ridden hole its known as today. The T&C Club was THE venue of choice during the late Eighties for Hip-Hop [and even Go-Go] outfits playing to a larger crowd than the usual pokey sweat-soaked low-ceiling spots in London town [The Trouble Funk show that was featured on the Say What! alblum on Island back in 86 is a perfect example of the raw excitement that ensued under the T&C roof].

This show, was THE best Rap performance I have ever witnessed in the flesh, without question, and i’ve seen a few in my time let me tell ye. It wasnt because I was bouncing up and down like some lanky lunatic, rhymin along with almost every other lyric with my mates, or spiritedly throwing bows down the front, but simply because KRS had already honed his skills and created a persona for himself as the number one performance Rapper at the time, and let’s face it, not many have come close to perfecting his presence or delivery on-stage since. The clarity of virtually every rhyme was as clear as crystal that night, his phonetics were unfuckwitable, that may sound standard, but think of how many shows youve been to and that hasnt been the case.

As outta-towners attending gigs in London, the inevitable radio shows that came with travelling to the mainland from Ireland were as important to document as anything else we were at. By any means we’d record the Westwood shows, or Max n Dave or Dave Pearce or even Delroy Briscoe on Sky Community Radio, whoever was playing Rap at that moment in London, I wanted to be able to hear it at home, back in sunny Belfast. One of my best mates Andy even bought a portable radio/ tape deck in NY on one trip, just to catalog the Stretch & Bobb late night sessions on WKCR. We’d get off on the trips to 4 Star General, hangin out with and after a while, snappin on George, in his Gucci loafers and shitty nylon grey socks, we”d stock up on vinyl at Groove and head to all the Hip-Hop spots of choice at the time but the radio shows were imperishable and evidently lasting, so we’d do anything to tape em.

This show was broadcast on the Friday night, the evening after the gig, that’s a pretty impressive turnaround even by todays standards. Me and my muckers were ecstatic as we tuned to 95.8, nodding our heads to the show that we were all at just the night before, but the element that has made it an even longer lasting memory was listening to it on a roof-top across the bloody road from the venue, in North London, with it’s high Irish population. Shouts to Robin and Robins brother who let us hang out on the roof hurling abuse, amongst other things, at passers-by below til the wee hours.

The same live session from the Thursday night was also used for three cuts on the LIVE HARDCORE WORLDWIDE alblum, none of the tracks I have upped today were on that release so this is probably the first time these wee numbers has surfaced from this gig.

If you want more of this kind of thing, leave comments and you never know what might appear next, by just ripping the shit and runnin, youll never know what else could be round the corner. Enjoy.