Monday, January 20, 2014

The Chill Zone - Rowpieces : Afternoon Jazz Vol. 1 and Vol. 2

Released under Soul Bros. Records,
Drum and Bass producer and DJ Rowpieces,
takes you waaay back to the original days of Drum and Bass.
Now this isn't your normal version of Drum and Bass...
It's chilled out cooler than a polar bear's toenails. 
So if you're sitting back dinking a brew lounging on your patio watching the sun go down,
if you're on a long road trip, or if you're deep in some homework, 
these two mixes exemplify the best in "jazzy Drum and Bass". Enjoy.

Special Thanks To : Vice Magazine, Epicly Later'd, Tom Cruise starring in another corny apocalypse movie (Oblivion), True Detective on HBO, Richard Sherman's "You Mad Bro?" coming to fruition and changing to the new version on Michael Crabtree "You Mediocre Bro!", Spotify, rolling your own cigarettes.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New Music Tuesdays: Grab the Essential Free Download of DJ Marky's "Best of Drum & Bass" 2013 Mix

Not sure why we didn't come across this year-end mix sooner, but if you like proper drum & bass, you'll definitely want to grab this absolutely sick free download of DJ Marky's "Best of Drum & Bass" 2013 mix on SoundCloud! Boom Selecta!!

Special Thanks: DJ Marky for putting this together and all the true drum & bass heads worldwide!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Yo! UPPERHANDS Raps Part 2 - Strictly 90's Y'all!

I've been empty since YO! MTV Raps went off the air, so I figured I'd bring it back in my own way.

In the New Years 2014 edition of YO! UPPERHANDS Raps,
I bring you some of the classics and some mostly unknown videos.
 So sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

 I originally saw this remix video on an episode of Beavis and Butthead back in the day.
What always stuck with me about this video was one of the best matchups between two similarly styled bands, Onyx and Biohazard. Always loud and always in your face!

Onyx - Slam (Bionyx Remix ft Biohazard)

The song "1nce Again" was one of my first introductions to 
A Tribe Called Quest and the J Dilla sound. This video here epitomizes 
the relationship between the beats and the emcees.

A Tribe Called Quest - 1nce Again

The Roots telling us all to keep it real and never do what the mainstream do.

The Roots - What They Do

Just a fun video of big dudes going crazy in a Hip Hop video and also marks the 
beginning of two rap careers that went in two complete different directions, Pharoahe Monche and Prince Po. 
Reminds me a lot of the Gravediggaz style of early hardcore rap.

Organized Konfusion "Stress"

 I had no idea there was a video for this song by Digable Planets, but it is a classic 
unknown video and a classic "walking down the Brooklyn streets" video.

Digable Planets - 9th Wonder

I chose this video to just marvel at how young and immature this version of Nas is.


Nas - It Aint Hard To Tell

 In a Hip Hop ode to the movie, "Blues Brothers" Method Man and Redman bring their 
first on camera acting talents together and create the brainchild that 
would become the "How High" movie starring the two rappers. 
This video is a must see for any fan of Hip Hop, Wu Tang Clan or the blunt smoking Redman.
If you're like me, that's a win, win, win, win.


Redman Ft. Method Man - Whateva Man 

Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Common Sense in the early years of their rap careers,
chilling out in New York City, black and white film style.

Blackstar Ft. Common Sense - Respiration

 The song "I Used To Love H.E.R." by Common Sense is by far one his top five tracks of all time.
The song is a soliloquy to the days of the old.
Each verse tells a different stage and story in the life of Common Sense and his love for Hip Hop.
Verse 1 : Trying to get to know the girl (Hip Hop) and "dating" her
Verse 2 : Hip Hop a.k.a. H.E.R. starts to branch off from Common and steer in other directions.
Verse 3 : Losing faith with Hip Hop and ultimately needs to make Hip Hop himself to bring it back.

What I love about this video is that it too coincides with the story of the lyrics and really 
opens up the rest of Common Sense's incredible career.

Common Sense - I Used To Love Her

"Midnight In A Perfect World " is an artistic look at the life, times and 
production habits of DJ Shadow in the very early years.

DJ Shadow - Midnight In A Perfect World

 A great remix of the song "It's Like That" by RUN DMC was remixed by 
electronic producer, Jason Nevins. In honor of RUN DMC's influence on breakdancing culture,
the video features some very ill breakdancing routines and is very entertaining.


 RUN DMC Vs - Jason Nevins - Its Like That
 Special Thanks to : Chron.

Street Marauders - Notes from Los Angeles Urban Landscape.



Special Thanks To :

Evolution of a Beat Part 3 - Six Degrees of David Oliver

When I moved to Los Angeles, my music taste was in the middle of an enlightenment.
Probably the sixth musical enlightenment I've had in my lifetime :
1.The first time I heard the Beastie Boys. Circa 1990
2. The time I almost wore out my Sublime, 40 Oz's To Freedom CD. Circa 1994
3. The first time my father really played Pink Floyd for me and the first time I heard Wu Tang Clan : Enter the 36 Chambers and the Notorious BIG - Ready To Die and Dr Dre - The Chronic. 
Circa - 1994
4. The Rage Against The Machine / Hardcore music times. Circa 1998
5. My deep obsession for Hip Hop grows and the pursuit and studying of all that encompasses Hip Hop, ie. jazz, funk, soul, house, turntablism, rock, disco, classic r&b. Circa 2000
6. Hearing my first true Drum and Bass track that made me want to know more. Circa 2008.

My bedroom. Downtown Los Angeles. 2008.
 Atlantic Connection - "Hanging On"

Atlantic Connection - "Hanging On", samples two specific tracks:
Oddly enough here is the first.

Daniel Merriweather Featuring Marc Ronson - Shes Got Me

The main sample for the Atlantic Connection song "Hanging On" is taken from 
the Teddy Pendergrass song, "Love T.K.O."

As I started to listen to the Teddy Pendergrass song, I remembered one of my favorite
old school Hip Hop tracks, "Back In The Day" by Ahmad,. having
the same sample as the "Hanging On" track. Take a listen.

 As I researched the liner notes on the Ahmad track, I noticed that other Hip Hop artists had sampled
the Teddy Pendergrass track, like :

8Ball & MJG, "Pimps"
Side Note ... 8Ball and MJG just instantly became one of my new favorite Hip Hop duos ever.

But I also found out that one of my other favorite old school West Coast emcees, MC Eih, as
part of the Hip Hop duo Compton's Most Wanted, sampled Teddy Pendergrass on the
track entitled, ""Can I Kill It?"

Compton's Most Wanted - "Can I Kill It?"

Compton's Most Wanted - "Can I Kill It?" also pre-dates a very famous song by Ice Cube.
Listen to about 2:15 of this song, and it will all come together.
Yes, this song pre-dates Ice Cube's "Good Day". Nice stealing Ice Cube.

Now that I had taken all of this time breaking down what songs the sample was used for,
I realized that we had a heavyweight track on our hands, which left me wondering more
about this track "Love T.K.O." by Teddy Pendergrass.

This is where things get wierd.
Let's revisit the song again.

As I looked further into the archives, I noticed that Teddy Pendergrass, "Love T.K.O." is actually
a re-work of David Oliver's "Love T.K.O." from the same year of 1983.

Oddly enough, in the same year of 1983, Womack and Womack ... yes, two Womacks,
covered the track "Love T.K.O.", but renamed the track with just, "T.K.O.".

And for my final sample act on this here 3rd edition of
Evolution of A Beat : Six Degrees of David Oliver,
I present the final Hip Hop track that oddly enough samples the Womack and Womack version
of the "Love T.K.O." track :
(Will guarantee that this song is going to be your new 4:20 smoking anthem)

Ludacris - "What U Smokin On?"

Special Thanks to : Every day is a sunny day in Los Angeles.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Evolution of a Beat - Part 2 : Asheru meets Hubert Laws


 Evolution of a Beat - Part 2 : Asheru meets Hubert Laws

In this edition of "Evolution of a Beat", I travel down the path that starts with
the Jazz Liberatorz. Known for their elegant blend of Jazz and Hip Hop, French Hip Hop producers
invited well known emcees from the States to hang out and record some tracks.
No one could have known that the album that ensued would become one of the greatest and
most unknown cult classic Hip Hop mix albums of all time.
Featured on the album is one of mine and Smash le Funk's favorite emcees, Asheru.
Originally known for his work with emcee Blue Black (Of The Unspoken Heard),
Asheru has been able to stay very relevant in the Hip Hop game after dropping this track circa 2001,
and eventually becoming the voice, producer and emcee on many of the songs
featured on the Adult Swim cartoon, "Boondocks".

 Asheru and Blue Black - Soon Come

Asheru - Soul

Jazz Liberatorz Featuring Asheru - I Am Hip Hop
Clin D'Oiel - 2008

Which samples the songs
Hubert Laws - Trying to Get The Feeling Again
Sample appears 1:29, 2:36, 5:37

Hubert Laws - Trying to Get The Feeling Again, was also sampled in the same year and in the same genre, and a part of the same Hip Hop faction as the producers DELA recorded the album "Changes of Atmosphere", and specifically the song, "I say Peace" Featuring J Live.
Sample at 1:41

Now that we have made our first beat connection, let's go back to Jazz Liberatorz - I Am Hip Hop...
This is where you go back up and listen to it for a moment.

The sample for "I Am Hip Hop" is also featured in a track by one of my
favorite new Drum and Bass artists, Andrezz. He's known for working with the V Recordings label
and recently produced a track entitled, "Like The Real Thing".
 "Like The Real Thing" also uses the organ sample from Hubert Laws track:

The beautiful hook on the Andrezz track comes from someone who has been
sampled numerous times in Hip Hop and Drum and Bass history
(Remember this one?)

I digress....
Let's get back to the program.

Marvin Gaye featuring Tammi Terrell
"Aint Nothin Like the Real Thing"

Well this concludes Part 2 of the "Evolution of a Beat" series,
where UPPERHANDS dives deep into who, what, where, when and how
producers have used classic music samples in
obscure and very noticeable genres.

Special Thanks to : Gay guys who constantly and loudly say "What a Lesbo!!" a lot while listening to bad music, being back on the West Coast, ultra filtered water, making New Years cards for your friends and family 0- and they havent been mailed out yet by January 3rd, Bacardi Gold 100, Being served beer with just waaaay too much head (mis-pour masters behind the bar), Every single NFL fan all of a sudden giving a shit about the weather of a Playoff game - we've all become such sissies I tell ya.