Saturday, February 25, 2017

'97 Retrospective, Celebrating 20 Years --> DJ Juice's "Volume 34"

Saturday, February 11, 2017

'97 Retrospective, Celebrating 20 Years --> "The Mix Tape Volume II"

Man, it certainly has been a while since I've talked in depth about Funkmaster Flex on the blog hasn't it, lol? Instead of going back to a previous post and doing it verbatim style, I'm going to tell a particular story again as it relates to Flex. Back in late '95, I remember my cousin Andre copping Flex's "Mix Tape Volume 1" on tape. Prior to that, I didn't know that Flex was dropping a mixtape (the first official one of its kind), however, when I checked this out the first time, I thought it was incredible. In addition to having 1-2 minute editions/snippets of classics that were very familiar to these ears, the freestyles were the highlights of the mixtape, including memorable showcases from the likes of Erick Sermon, Keith Murray, Redman, Method Man, Busta Rhymes, Rampage, Fat Joe, Big Pun, Q-Tip, Kaotic Style and a closing "speech" from KRS-One. If you haven't heard "Volume 1" before (and I'm not sure why you wouldn't have at this point in time), I strongly recommend you add it to your collection and to those who already own it, revisit it sometime, I'm sure it's going to take you back.

All of this brings us to the follow up, "Volume II" and yes, the story continues, lol. My aunt Denise knew a local guy in our area who used to come through with CDs, tapes, movies, etc, the "hookups", lol. Previously, she already got me the movie "Rhyme & Reason" when it was just hitting the theaters (in a limited fashion). So, in either late February or early-mid March of '97, the guy came by and in addition to a few other joints, he had a brand new copy of "Volume II" on cassette, and once I was able to look at the tracklist, a whopping 44 tracks, I happily asked Denise if she could buy it for me and she did! You know I was happy as hell. I would hold onto the cassette until I got the CD several weeks later. Also, I was in the 7th grade at the time and in Art class, I remember tracing the following picture for an assignment:

As you can see, this mixtape holds such a STRONG nostalgic vibe with me and that'll be felt all through this retrospective.

I'll mostly focus on the freestyles and other "exclusives" throughout the mixtape. I'll list the other classic songs that Flex included, but I won't talk in depth about those, respectively. So, without further delay, let's get right to it!!!!!!

Release date: February 11, 1997

Saturday, January 28, 2017

'97 Retrospective, Celebrating 20 Years --> "Uptown Saturday Night"

For the first '97 retrospective, this is coming verbatim from a previous post on January 28, 2014. Any new thoughts will be bold and italicized.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

It's 1995!!!!!

Ah, 1995, my favorite year in hip hop. I had to redo this joint because I left some albums out (moving too fast, lol). #ClassicsGalore #IMissTheseDays

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Mini LL Cool J Project (1997-2013)

Now this is a first right here for the blog. I've done quite a few well received projects, however, this would mark the first "mini project", with this one focusing on the legendary LL Cool J. You're probably asking, "why a mini project Wayne?" There's a simple yet answer for that loyal reader. You see, I've already covered LL's first 7 albums on the blog and rather than include them verbatim in this project (something I would've done), I thought I'd do something different this time around, but at the same time, I'll include the links to the reviews of those 7 albums before we proceed with this project. Also, what inspired this mini project, so to speak, was a YouTube show named "Thought Crimez" (shout out to Sincere Ignorance and Prince Solomon for the work they do). They had a show where they not only talked about LL and his discography, but they also asked why he's rarely mentioned when talking about the all time greats in hip hop history, which is a VERY good question (that particular show was good and I recommend you checking it out when you get a chance, as well as subscribing to their channel). I'm certainly going to answer that question during this very post. I'll be focusing on his albums from 1997 to 2013, from "Phenomenon" up to "Authentic." Most of his albums released during this period didn't receive that much attention, so what I plan to do here is give these albums a respectable look and listen, something that may not have been done otherwise. So, with all this being said, let's head back to 1997 and the unofficial follow up to 1995's "Mr. Smith" with LL's 7th album, "Phenomenon", but before we get there, be sure to check out my reviews/revisits of his first 6 albums if you haven't done so already.