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[classic] The World’s Famous Supreme Team – “Hey D.J.” (95 bpm Fmaj@98bpm)

Transcribing vinyl takes a lot of time and effort. If I can find a recording I like on a streaming service, I usually don’t bother. But sometimes, the versions of the song I want to listen to exist only on the 12″ single. In other cases, such as in this wonderful piece of hip-hop history by The World’s Famous Supreme Team, the recording that’s available on Spotify and Amazon Music is nothing short of a disaster. Whoever mastered it and encoded it completely destroyed it. They loudened it, crushed all of its dynamic range, and turned it into an unlistenable, splattery mess. It’s such a shame because this is the only recording many people will ever have access to. Go ahead and give it a listen and then compare it to this recording of the vinyl 12″ single that was competently mastered at Sterling Sound in 1984. It makes all the time and effort worth it.

[new] Anderson .Paak feat. Rick Ross – “Cut ‘Em In” (79bpm Dmin)

Wow… it’s so nice to hear someone actually rap again. Call me old school… whatever. This style is just flat-out better than the unintelligible and profoundly unoriginal rubbish that the music industry is churning out lately. Listen carefully and pay attention all you mumble-rap losers. This is how it’s done. Kudos to the producer for a great guitar riff and head-bobbing beat. I would like to request a 12″ version with a nice long break about two thirds of the way through. That reminds me… why don’t songs have breaks anymore? In the words of Afrika Bambaataa, “The break beat is that part you look for in a record that let’s your God-self just get wild.” The break what started the entire hip hop music genre. Who doesn’t like a good break? Whaddaya say Anderson .Paak?

[classic] The Treacherous Three – “Feel The Heartbeat” (103bpm F♯min)

You’ll notice that there are no iTunes of Spotify links for this one. That’s because this record doesn’t seem to exist in streaming format. So I took my vinyl 12″ single and carefully recorded it. I’ve recently posted a tutorial on how to do this. Please enjoy this beautiful hip-hop classic from 1981! (Both vocal and instrumental versions are included!)

[new] Gang Starr – “One Of The Best Yet”

How could there be a new Gang Starr album? Guru died of cancer in 2010. That didn’t stop Tupac from releasing seven albums after his death. At least 125 Elvis albums have been released since he died. Prince left behind a “vault” of so much unreleased music that a new Prince album could be released every year for the next century.

It looks like 2019 is the year that DJ Premier, the surviving member of Gang Starr, decided to do a posthumous release. “One Of The Best Yet” does not disappoint especially amidst the pathetic backdrop of modern mumble rap. Premier brings back the sick samples harvested from untold years of crate digging and fires up the 1200’s for a brilliant cutting and scratching showcase. I hope current-generation rappers and producers are listening because this is how hip-hop is done.

“Hit Man” – Classic Gang Starr sound. One of my favorites on this album.

Here’s the entire album in a YouTube playlist.