In an anthropological sense, this clip is at the very least, engaging. Its also a very uncomfortable clip to watch, not just because it features Kurtis Blow reading Mr Magics obituary, also cos Marley Marl clowns it up during a service at the open casket funeral…
For reference: Im proud to inform you that I have been listening to the works of MC SHAN & MARLEY MARL since August 1987, and even though we normally stay a long way away from this type of ‘beef’ crap, all the small-talk is windin me up, you dig what im saying ?
An open letter to Shawn Moltke, Marlon Williams and the rest of the hater-nation actually enjoying this crud out there. Jesus, yer a bunch of grown-ass men, cant we all just get along? Why is it fashionable or even necessary to create these kinda rants, this form of ‘beef’. Beef my arse. Shame on you Shawn. This is garbage, this is pompous, this is self-glorification of the highest order, and from where im sittin, its ugly, and none of ye’ even have a release to promote; Black Gus, you get a late pass on that.
These videos are not a good example of how technology should be harnassed, these are signs of adults acting like a bunch of children. Kids would do things in a higher-res and set cams on a shelf for a start !
Long after the glory days of the Juice Crews achievements and successes, Marley remained a progressive guy that recognised the importance of furthering himself. He continued his career in music production after his legendary Rap Attack performances behind the wheels on WBLS with Mr Magic, the Future Flavas shows, the nutty amount of remixes and productions he has created over the years and kept on pushing himself even in the face of illness, and tbh, good on him.
Kane is a great example of getting older and still enjoying the lime-light, he was wise enough to utilise what talent he’d been blessed with. Kane aint been young for a minute, and you KNOW that Kane destroys a stage when he performs, that is a perfect example of giving the audience/ consumer what they want. Shan didnt do that. I saw Shan perform at a PUMA launch a few years ago with Kane and Doug E Fresh in London, and the difference between the 2 Juice Crew members was like watching a professional and an amateur, like Shan hadnt held a mic in front of an audience before that.
Marley furthered himself by continuing his career in broadcasting, he can currently be heard on WBLS on two seperate slots, on the Midday Mix with Marley Marl and again on drive-time, and of course he still drops the Golden Era Radio show with Shante on a Friday night. As if that wasnt enough, of course, he’s been working on production of a DVD called The Vapors for a while now [when yer ready Mr Williams, take yer time there slow-poke], not forgetting his ability to create interest around unreleased gems from the back cat by working with good folk like DWG and Roots Forward. Again, Marleys morals come into question with a supposed unreleased track from 88 which was released recently by Canadian imprint Roots Forward. I dont care what anyone tells ye, that record was NOT produced in 1988, the lyrics may have been written back then but cmon sons, yeh I said it…
Alotta these cats are enjoying fame from their musical heritage but in business terms, progression is the key to success, yeh of course its great to look back, maybe make a buck or two on the side, but the most important issue is going forward, and not letting the past keep you there. Shan did not stay current, even to a throwback/ younger crowd.
Marley is like any producer from any form of music, every genre has the artists that come to the table with ideas, and its the engineers / producers that bring those ideas to life. Shan may have brought the concepts and ideas, but Marley gave them colour and definition, Shan hasnt truly comprehended that formula IMO. So feckin what if Aaron Fuchs brought a copy of Impeach the President to the studio that time…
Personally, I think Shan wants to be held in higher esteem, but this kinda school-yard shit is the last thing that is gonna offer him a new found respect, no one likes a tell-tale. Its a shame that Marley has to call out Shan on his addictions, its a shame we’ll never see a reunion, its a shame that yall are hanging yourselves collectively, as the relationships between the members have become ruinous in the scheme of things.
Remembering that Shan had records with his name on em released on NIA and MCA in 1985, as I see it, its real simple. The Juice Crew artists didnt sign any contracts during those embryonic stages cos, well, nobody was signing contracts. They wanted fame, and they were already gettin round the way fame at that point. It took a while for people to catch on to the importance of signing contracts I think. At the very start, its a bet that, as Marley explains, they just wanted success, share some of the light that was shining their direction. They wouldve got paid well off tours and shows et cetera but that only kept them sweet in the short-term.
Okay, Marley MUST HAVE known about credit at that point, and surely thats the rub, Marley chose not be transparent in terms of the business relations and the contractual minutia, or in the good faith element of it all… Instead of sharing the information with Shan and therefore sharing the royalties down the line, he as he says, shares the small percentage of the ASCAPs and according to the ‘All-Star Engineer’ they are for small amounts, because Shan had signed contracts alot later rather than sooner. How manipulative Marley was in the scheme of all this we’ll never know. Its clear that it took Shan a while for him to realise the importance of writing credits, performance and publishing rights.
I can see how Shan is bitter, what im troubled about now is not only what was Masta Ace talkin about in D-Nices video that sparked all this, but how Shan is going to respond, if he’s ‘wrong’ enough to yell at his sleeping baby girl just for giggles and shits, then how the eff is he gonna react to Marlons giggles directly squarely at him. I hope Shan doesnt suffer a heart-attack from ‘his worries about being a good father’ like Marley. Doubt it.
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…