Category Archives: Vintage Hip-Hop

Westwood VHS archives: Rakim, Ultra, PE, LL Cool J Live from London….

Tim Westwood has been going in heavy on the archival action recently. He’s been uploading unreleased and never seen before footage from iconic performances  like Rakim at Hammersmith, Ultramagnetic in Camden, Derek B live at the Hammersmith Palais and more…

Tims clips capture the raw excitement of the embryonic stages of the London Hip Hop youth culture in clips that feature body-popping on corners of Trafalgar Square, and under the watchful eye of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square.  And as well as these, he has also added outtakes from the N-Sign Rap show. We all know about the Bizmarkie handshake debacle but what about a young Will Smith dropping more bloopers than Dennis Norden !

“Punched in the Windpipe” The Lord Finesse story.

Real heads had this off  Westwood back in the Denzils, but i ain’t never seen footage!!, Love the energy as people hear the punchlines for the first time..Finesse is clunky, but who really out there does it better..

Lordz of the Underground didn’t know who they were fuckin’ with, with that “yes, Mr funky-man”, those fellas better cut it out.

Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap – June 2012

I remember seeing an early trailer for this and thinkin it was just another budget affair that probably wouldnt inspire me or educate me. I take that back. Im interested now because the core of the subject matter is less about the artists involved, its about the craft of rapping, although its always nice to see Caz in conversation about how it was actually Barry Manilow & Melle Mel that inspired him. Nice to see that the film will cover the important subject of an individual rappers style, and technique.

The underlying importance of this film is that the millions of worldwide fans who want to know more about the origins of Rap, get to discover the truth behind what the elders grew up with. It is also important because street poetry and the actual ART of rapping and rhyming words is still so integral to the soundtracks of our lives in 2012.

Grandmaster Caz & CC4 – February 1980 @ Bronx River Centre

Just a cheeky somethin somethin for the weekend. Some records/ breaks are untouchable, some MCs are equally unfeckwitable. Caz murders More Bounce on this, mainly as he’s  DJin & MCin at the same time, they call it ‘doin an Edan’ these days. Shouts to Tapemaster Troy.

Mr Magic birthday party [1984]

Another week, another clip from way way back from peoples that were there along-side the greats. This time we have conversations with the late great Mr Magic, Sweet G from the Fever, Kool Kyle, DLB from the Fearless4 and live performances from Fearless, Divine Sounds and the Force MCs.  Magic discusses Graffiti writers and the ‘generations’ of Rappers while DLB is prophetic in his observation that there are ‘so many creative writers when it comes to Rap, that there is no way it could really end’…

There’s also an instrumental with a Malcolm X speech towards the end, not unlike the 1983 Keith Le Blanc produced cut on Tommy Boy. Its probably exactly that, just a World Famous Supreme Team instrumental with a sheet of Malcolm over the top, but its cohesive, and sick…

Mr Magic funeral [2009]

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…

Rocksteady Crew doc from 1981/ 1982 ?

As well as droppin Hip-Hop gems from 2012 on ye, we are also known for that throwback ish, so here’s another little jewel from the same guy that dropped the Disco Fever footage a while back

I recognised a few moments from this footage but its not something Ive seen the whole way through before. Its another simple TV documentary charting the rise of the Rock Steady Crew back around 81 or 82. Its simple in its presentation, utilising radio broadcasts from KTU92 and park jams as the soundtrack [mainly cos they are whats bein played on boxes and in photographic studios].

As well as some insightful inteviews with members of RSC, the moving picture documentation of New York City back then is the true highlight, seeing NY in the rain and the snow still appeals. Keep an eye out for the shearling sheepskins, the polo-necks, bobble hats, fat laces and the kicks. Even the Bronx River Parkway looks good.

Peep homeboys VIMEO for more public service announcements regarding the perils of graffiti, a decent rip of BOMBIN, footage of dance competitions from The Roxy and a bunch of throwbacks you mighta missed…