wild dogs.

according to wiki, a source i trust explicitly with information on all things trivial, the SL-1200MK2 has been around since 1978. i find that somewhat surprising, as i would have reckoned my first pair was manufactured in the late ’40’s; busted dust covers, spliced RCA cords, broken lights and tonearms, rusty platters, etc. i was in no position to be particular, though, seeing as how i didn’t pay a dime for them – the same homie who used to take me down to the ohio river to shoot fully automatic weapons into the wooded knolls of indiana helped me lift the decks from a defunct nightclub in a swanky hotel on louisville’s east side. good lookin’ fam, i hope you’re alive and un-incarcerated well.

anyhow, the turntables turned and to my astonishment the original M44-7’s still had pick-up. i set my joints up atop the “home entertainment center” in my 4th street apartment (much to M’s chagrin) and started workin’ on my scribbles, cuts and flares. i’d been messin’ around with belt-driven pieces of shit since my first paid DJ gig in ’87 – my uncle’s wedding reception at the henry county country club, where i’m absolutely certain that “miuzi weighs a ton” has not been played since. i used that same lame crappy plastic turntable to hold down a handful of high school homecoming dances, too, including the one which ultimately led to my expulsion. i may not have been down since day one, but believe me when i tell you i was fully committed before the week’s end.

despite years of scratching on 8-track recordings in a makeshift bedroom studio and a couple dozen mostly miserable experiences spinning out (“do you have any bob seger?”) i still consider the day i got those sorry-ass 1200’s my practical beginnings as a DJ. something about a sixty-pound shiny hunk of direct-drive steel makes a man feel official, validated.  in my pre-technincs life, i used to stop by camelot to pick up twenty-five cent records from the discount bin; my post-technics existence was fueled by the urge to dig through the basement at better days.

i’ve never had a diverse musical palette. ever. thanks to a co-worker of my pop’s who hit me with a pause-button mixtape featuring morris day and the time, i’ve been favorin’ the funk since the age of 10. it was a natural progression into rap about a year later, and for better or worse, i wouldn’t really check for anything beyond the boom-baposphere for two decades.

even within rap music, my taste was hardly ever obscure. if you could imagine the parameters stretched to maximum capacity between g-funk and go-go then you have a pretty good idea just how comfortable was my zone. nevertheless, the kid still managed to come up on some certified VVS-quality gemstones. to paraphrase my late grandma gertrude, i’ve probably lost more good stuff than you’ll ever own, but i did manage to hold on to a handful of favorites whilst globe-trotting across continents. it’s not that they’re all that rare or valuable (damn, i wish i would have made more of an effort to keep big shug’s OG “crush” 12″), i just appreciate them for always making me feel like i wanna be a DJ again. just a few of the notables:

public enemy’s “shut em down” pete rock remix

just anotha case of that ol’ PTA

young doom (no lil’ sambo)

the fiend of a microphone

and then there’s this:

i don’t know if die laughing is regarded as rare amongst the vinyl elitists, but i have no reservations at all about classifying under “long forgotten.” i’ve had this joint in the crate since it dropped in ’96, but i can’t remember the last time i ever really played it. just this evening, i was workin’ in the home-office, hookin’ up a self-powered mackie i lifted from a non-defunct nightclub in a far-from swanky area of seattle’s capitol hill, when it occurred to me i should revisit this album.

if your idea of genuine horrorcore rap is even remotely related to ICP, then please, if only for a second, forget what you think you know about the genre. hell, who am i kidding, i don’t really know a damn thing about the genre, myself, but in my estimation, the degrees of separation between gravediggaz and juggalos number more than six.

while prince paul and RZA, and, to a lesser extent big L and russell simmons, are accredited with pioneering horrorcore, chuck d had a whole lot to do with the stylistic development of the movement when his slam jamz label signed hyenas in the desert. to my knowledge, this 9-track EP (including skits) is the only project these dudes ever released. it’s just as well, though – this debut can rightfully be given “classic” status. so peep game, get familiar, and live a more fruitful life die a horrific death.

sony disabled the embed option, so check the video for “concubinez” right here.

hyenas, the name rings bells, so what the hell, you can’t see – you only smell the decomposed in the cellar…”

peace to you and yours…

RA

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7 Comments

  1. Moments after this post, RA gave his entire collection to DJ Daps1.

  2. The horrorcore discussion reminds me of when I played a beat disc for Ra last year… I was playing a joint that eventually was gonna get placed on the King Syze LP, and about 10 seconds into it he gives me a quirky look and says, “…you make a lot of darker stuff, don’t you?”

    hahaha These are some real dope records, the shut em down remix of course is one of the best ever

  3. oh no you di int
    i used to mix up HITD with the Psycho Realm for years before I realized PR were infuckincredible

  4. Readin’ this stuff reminds me how much I DON’T KNOW about hip hop and all things DJ/Emcee related. Thanks for being a teacher and puttin’ me in my place. Ya gotta start somewhere, right?

    Now, ask me about hippie sh** from the 60’s and 70’s and I might be able to school ya. My momma didn’t keep me all that sheltered.

    *hangs head and leaves to google every reference and phrase RA made that had me scratchin’ my head and sayin’ “what the hell does that mean”. I bow to your way with words*

  5. If you haven’t played Rayman: Raving Rabbits, you don’t know shit about hip hop….

    wait… nevermind.

  6. “…six years of separation, damn near a generation…” YEP.
    xoxo

  7. ra and webster.com / peas and a pod

    ‘castigate the cat for tryin’ to harrow with the parallax’

    damn, was that a year ago? dosent seem like it…


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