Posts Tagged ‘Skool’

Some tracks just resonate with you. These are the ones that get stuck in your head, or you find yourself quoting lyrics from them, or — the most telling tale — you keep playing them over and over again because they move and inspire, as Landmark Education would describe this feeling. That’s why I make “compilations” of tunes every year; even the year I said I was going to stop making compilations, I made a compilation. I just didn’t make physical copies with custom covers and inserts and liner notes, which takes hours and days and months to perfect, in 2008 or — most likely — in 2009. I give them away for free because they’re my way of communicating. It’s a way to say something along the lines of “here’s what I played for myself all of this year; hope you like some of it” in a palpable format.

What’s a real trip is letting this sink in: I have been making these compilations every year for 12+ years now. That is just a count of the official, main compilations; sometimes more than one disc, but always tuned to fit on an audio CD (OK the Old Skool Hip Hop McGee Mix can’t, but there are always exceptions). There are adjunct comps, live mixes, bootlegs, extra cuts that couldn’t quite make it, times I didn’t record while spinning to an international audience on the Mordenkainen’s Parlour stream, and practice stuff — some of which I recorded and some of which I didn’t.

When engaged in the constant act of choosing music you like for 12+ years on a day-by-day basis, you know what you like and what you don’t like. Everybody does that. That is why everybody is a DJ. The crucial difference is that I recorded it. This fact sets me apart from the rest of the amateur record-scratchers and mix-tapers. Why don’t you go pull out one of your old mix tapes or CDs, or an old .m3u playlist and try to understand what you were thinking about when you felt passionate — or bored — enough to actually press the record button and pick some songs in a particular order. Or did you give them all away to potential booty calls?

Songs become old friends when you play them enough. Ensconced between the lyrics and the bassline, the drums and the swells, a personal soundtrack has embedded itself into the fabric of the music. Playing certain tracks is evocative to you in a way that nobody else is going to get just like you. Sharing these particular musical missives with others is, I believe, a fundamental art form. That’s why I do it.

So when I spend hours listening to my compilations, in order or on shuffle play, it has become something akin to going to church. The best way that I can be a Shaman for everyone is to bring something back; that is certain compositions of music, perhaps in a certain order. I love these sermons. Because I recorded them myself of myself in space and time. When I press record, I realize that it is a positive, creative, wonderful thing that I have the cojones to take a deep breath and go live for posterity.

Part of the Deceptikons 2006 release Universal as the fourth bonus disc as an MP3, I never got around to creating the tracklisting. Essentially, I was having a conversation with my man Mcginty about the heyday of hip hop in the eighties and decided to rip some battle CDs and go to town. I recorded my first attempt at practicing this set, and lo and behold, it was decent enough for publication. Since I no longer do compilations for the holiday season (though there might be a box set of everything in the future), and I have recently been posting some epic long mixes, I thought I would throw this oldie but goodie out there for your enjoyment.

Like all discussions of music, you can evaluate the tracklisting for what is “really” old skool hip hop, but I tried to keep the flow going throughout the mix, and I can argue the inclusion of more modern tracks for some of the backstory involved. For example, Eve’s Satisfaction was produced by Dr Dre, and has that signature flavor to it. Furthermore, as time goes on, I expect that many of the newer tracks will age gracefully into the annals of signature hip hop as the older representations are still serious booty-shakers when dropped on the dance floor of a crowded and enthusiastic club or house party; gems that shouldn’t be forgotten like Public Enemy, Eazy E, and any track by Sir Mix-a-Lot that ISN’T “Baby Got Back”. In addition, you’ll find some of those one hit wonders that are too easy to forget about, like Paperboy, Father MC, Positive K, Onyx, Pharcyde, and Skee Lo.

KRS-ONE said it best: “Rap is what you do; Hip Hop is what you live”.

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TRACKLISTING:

  1. Rachid Taha — Barra Barra (from the Black Hawk Down soundtrack)
  2. Panjabi MC featuring Jay-Z — Beware of the Boys (Funkymix)
  3. Ludacris – Area Codes (DJ A2B Remix)
  4. Paperboy — Ditty (Funkymix)
  5. Onyx — Slam! (Ultimix)
  6. Cypress Hill — Insane in the Brain (Beavis and Butthead Funkymix)
  7. Ice Cube featuring Das Efx — Check Yourself (Radio Remix ‘The Message’)
  8. Das Efx — They Want Efx (Funkymix)
  9. Young MC — Principal’s Office (Impact Remix)*
  10. De La Soul featuring Tribe Called Quest, Jungle Brothers, Monie Love and Queen Latifa — Buddy (12″ Remix)
  11. Doug E. Fresh featuring Slick Rick — The Show (Ultimix)
  12. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince — Megamix
  13. NWA – Express Yourself (Extended Mix)*
  14. Snoop Dogg featuring Dr Dre and Nate Dogg — The Next Episode (Funkymix)
  15. Snoop Dogg — Gin and Juice (Wicked Mix)
  16. Eazy E — Boyz N Tha Hood (G-Mix)
  17. Digital Underground — Freaks of the Industry (Ultimix)
  18. Sir Mix-a-Lot — Posse on Broadway (The Godzilla Mix)*
  19. Run DMC — Megamix
  20. Black Sheep — The Choice is Yours (Funkymix)
  21. Beastie Boys — Shake Your Rump / Hey Ladies (Funkymix)
  22. Positive K — I Got a Man (Ultimix)
  23. Public Enemy — Night of the Living Bassheads (Anti-High Blood Pressure Encounter Mix)*
  24. Missy Elliott featuring 50 Cent — Work It (Remix)
  25. Skee Lo — I Wish (Funkymix)
  26. Naughty by Nature featuring Zhane — Jamboree (DJeez Club Mix)
  27. PM Dawn — Set Adrift on Memory Bliss (Richie’s Street Groove)*
  28. Nas — Made You Look (Original Mix)
  29. Busta Rhymes featuring Sean Paul and Spliff Star — Make it Clap (Remix)
  30. Snow — Informer (Ultimix)
  31. Ja Rule featuring Ashante — Always on Time (Funkymix)
  32. Fat Joe featuring Ashante and DMX — What’s Luv? (Funkymix)
  33. Big Pun — Still Not a Player (Original Mix)
  34. Eve — Satisfaction (Funkymix)
  35. Pharcyde — Passin’ Me By (Funkymix)
  36. Afroman — Because I Got High (Funkymix)
  37. Styles P — I Get High (Original Mix)
  38. Chingy featuring Ludacris and Snoop Dogg — Holidae Inn (Funkymix)
  39. Puff Daddy featuring Mase and Notorious BIG — Mo Money, Mo Problems (Supreme Ultimix)
  40. Father MC — I’ll Do 4 U (Ultimix)
  41. De La Soul — Eye Know (Daisy Bass Mix)*
  42. Jungle Brothers — What U Waitin’ 4? (Jungle Fever Mix)*

* Recorded from vinyl especially for this mix.