Thoughts From The Rap Nest
Well, it looks like I made it! 52 consecutive weeks of posting TFTRN! Over the past year I think I have found a nice rhythm with this newsletter. It is fun to share some things that I am excited about with upcoming news and projects as well as my thoughts about collecting, buying music and off course coloured vinyl! I like sharing a couple recent additions to my collection in the Record One and Record Two reports as well as the always challenging to write Classic Material.
When I first thought about Classic Material I envisioned sharing albums that I thought were super dope and needed a revisit but instead it took on a life of its own and became a place too tell stories around a certain release or show or something along those lines. I have really enjoyed sharing and although it has often been a challenge to write it has been very rewarding. It is often the part of the newsletter that I get comments, feedback or stories about. I hope I can keep that one going and don’t run out of what I think are stories worth sharing.
I was talking with Factor last week and I shared with him as were were reminsicing a bit about a project called Homemade Effort. I shared with him that I think I care more deeply about hip hop/rap now than at any point of my life. Don’t get me wrong I have always cared about it a lot and that is no shock to anyone that knows me or reads this every week. As hip hop turns 50 and I enter my 33rd year of being a rap super fan and my 45th year on planet rock, my relationship with hip hop continues to evolve, mature and strengthen. I know it sounds a bit silly to speak about it in these terms but I hav been super reflective as of late as I see a real resurgence in indie/underground rap. It seems like it is not the really cool thing right now, so those that are involved in it are super involved and passionate. I know I am not the only person who thinks or feels this way as I have heard similar things from the homies. It is a really exciting time to be involved right now. It is sort of like a rebuild. The come up and build up is always the best part of anything so I am really going to do my best to enjoy these next ten years in this game as much as possible because you never know when you last mic check is cashed, as they say.
A huge thank you to everyone that reads this each week and especially those that send me a message or comment. This has truly been one of the highlights for me over the past year and one of my favourite parts of each and every week. Rap is the best!
The homie Rob Crooks dropped another iconoclastic album last week out of nowhere! It is so poignant in this day and time and I believe he is making some of the most important contemporary folk rap being made. These are really songs of the days we are living in and what I believe is the true power of rap music. This gets me so fired up! Word is some physicals will eventually emerge but for now check out the digital on bandcamp!
With another Bandcamp Friday going down tomorrow, Audio Recon is teaming up with Illogic X Odd Nosdam to drop the contemporary classic 2021 release, Right The Ship. I am really excited that this is seeing a proper vinyl release as it is a super dope album. Limited to 100 copies so don’t sleep. They are also dropping Serengeti’s Ajai2 on CD and a reissue of the classic Id Obelus album 2 Bit Fugue. SO lots of excitement from the homies at Audio Recon tomorrow! Images Courtesy Audio Recon.
The homie Noblonski is dropping a super limited 50 copy vinyl press of his classic Waveforms album for Bandcamp Friday tomorrow! I am really excited that he was able to make this a reality after not being happy with the previous very limited released lathe cut version which he was not happy with. The really cool thing is if you bought one of those he is going to give you a proper vinyl copy for free! Previously it was release on limited tape, 3d tape and compact disc. This project was an art challenge to make one track per day based on the paintings of Ze Hai Liu and Valentia Baric. This is a super dope album that you will not want to miss out on. Images Courtesy of Pen Thief Records.
A new single from the homie Matre! It is a bit of a departure from his English League Days but its is really dope and I am happy for him that he is is exploring new sounds and genres and pushing his artistic self! Check it out!
If you follow the homies Rove, Id Obelus and Awol One on Instagram you would have seen that they have officially announced the Fresh A.I.R. album with the release date of May 5, 2003. There are going to be both Vinyl and Cassette copies available. You will not want to sleep on this one! Images Courtesy of Rove.
Missed Third Verse last night? Ugsmag has you covered once again to stream or download NOW! Catch Third Verse on CFCR 90.5 fm in Saskatoon, SK every Wednesday 9-10:30pm CST. Stream online via CFCR.ca or Radio Garden.
As always the last 10 episodes of my other weekly radio show You Know Know the Rules on UMFM in Winnipeg airing every Sunday night 10:00pm -11pm CST. Episodes availible NOW!
Chadio - Cousin of Lucy
This was a nice surprise to receive in the mail as I ordered it with the vinyl so I was prepared to wait for then together. However, the homie Thomas Quinlan at the mighty Hand’solo Records deemed otherwise and send it early by itself. It was a a really nice suprise, that was for sure. I Hav been bumping it for the last week in the rap nest and I am really enjoying it. Chadio has always been one of his favourites, so it is no surprise that I would enjoy this one. One of the really nice surprises and the main reason I wanted the tape as well was for the 4 bonus cassette exclusive remixes that are featured on it. They are also all homies so that was extra nice to see with three of them being from Saskatoon in Rove, Dren and Grainbin and the other being from Vancouver’s Dubgee. They are all super dope! My jams on this one are the Sweater Song witch features Nolto and Wrong Way with super sick cuts from DJ Wundrkut (RIP). This album is super dope and I am excited for the world to hear it.
The Coup - Genocide and Juice
Finally after all of these years I have added this one to the vinyl collection, the time courtesy a Vinyl Me Please reissue. I had the infamous blue cassette from back in the day of this album and I have one 12” single of Fat Cats, Bigger Fish from this album, but never a vinyl version. The Coup have always been one of my favourite groups and this was my first introduction to their music. I even was lucky enough to catch The Coup Live back in 2008 in California and that was an incredible experience. There is not really anything that needs to be said about this album as it is a certified classic and the music speaks for itself, but if you are not familiar with it, I would suggest you go and revisit it as I think you will really enjoy it! It is a super nice gatefold 2 x LP set with a Cool “listening notes” booklet. Only way it could have been a perfect release is if it was classic black vinyl!
I am going to add this to each week until I run out of rap shirts to post or I stop writing these. What ever comes first, but I have enough rap shirts and rap related shirts to keep this as a running feature for a few years at least and new shirts always seem to be coming in. Rap Shirts are the best enjoy! This week featuring a classic from Ugsmag.
Mobb Deep - Shook Ones Pt 2
I honestly don’t think there is a song that when it drops gets my stomach turning in knots and butterflies every single time I hear it. This is that song. I remember the fist time I heard it in my homie Funky’s whip. He picked up the tape from Sam The Record Man in the Midtown Mall. We popped it in is tape deck and drove around the city bumping the album. This one really pushed the 2 x 12” rockford Fosgate subs he had in his trunk. I added a couple 10” subs to my whip a couple of summers ago and this one gets played a lot and it takes make right back to being a teenager and hearing it for the first time every time I hear it. Another really memorable time hearing this one was in the movie 8 Mile in the theatre for the fist time. I really got butterflies and I remember saying something to Noyz who was sitting beside me in the theatre about how dope it was and that this was a good sign for the movie. It is the best feeling when music makes you feel this way. It is wild to me how much of my life and experiences are tied up into these songs.
I got this 12” at Tower Records in Seattle. It was the one and only time I had ever been to Tower Records. It was my senior year of high school. I played Trumpet in the high school senior concert band. The year previous we were planning our senior year band trip and voting on a location. The propossed locations were Minneapolis Minnesota, Denver Colorado, Seattle Washington or Vancouver British Columbia. They all had pros and cons and were all expensive especially for me. They gave us a lot of advance warning so we could save up, fundraise and such.
We were allowed to work 2 Bingos each before that school year ended. I was in band with two of my best homies Funky and Chico. They both played drums and I was so envious of that. We all signed up for two Bingos and and the deal was you got 50$ per bingo worked towards your trip. We asked if we could work some more and we were told no, but to come back the last day of exams before summer holidays and check to see if there were any bingos available to work over the summer. Our band instructor was really awesome. He was so talented at every instrument it seemed. We stopped in the band room after the last exam to check in and see if there were any Bingos available to work over the summer. He told us no one had signed up and we were welcome to work as many as we wanted and that any money over top of the cost of trip they would cut a cheque to use that money on that trip as spending money or whatever. We signed up for the 8 available bingos over the summer. So with our previous two Bingos we worked during the school year we would have the 400$ for the trip covered and and an exrtra 100$
I worked at McDonalds a lot that summer and my senior year to save up extra money for the trip as I wanted to buy all the things I had seen in rap magazines from clothes to shoes to music. I think our dollar was super shitty compared to the US dollar at the time, like somewhere in the 60 cent range. So I am super happy I saved up so much because I got killed at the bank on the exchange but I think I went with 400$ USD in my pocket. I was balling outta control in the best possible way!
We stayed in a hotel in Bellingham Washington, and I remember we drove by a Tower Records on our bus on the way to the hotel. I locked in the directions and landmarks so that as soon as we got some free time at the hotel I was going to go own a mission to that Tower Records. I was super fortunate that Funky and Chico were also down to walk there. I think it was about a 45 minute walk from our hotel. It was the ultimate experience though and I am so glad I had it. I couldn’t beleieve how much rap music they had there. I immediately started digging for 12” singles It was a surreal experience they were 2.99 to 5.99 $ in price and I started pulling out ones I wanted and putting them in a pile. The pile grew and grew and grew. I think when the dust cleared I had like 50 records. I did some quick math and figured I had enough money but I didn’t as my math skills were not great. I am pretty sure Chico and Funky both kicked in on the stack and we were good to go. The clerk loaded them into a box for me. It was so heavy. We took turn carrying it back to the hotel. I scooped doubles of the Shook One Pt. 2 single in the haul. Carrying records was/is the worst but when you are young and super excited it is a little easier. I would do the same again at my age but I would know exactly what I was getting into.
We won the category of the competition we were in and when we got back to the hotel we sent my homie Chico to the AM/PM that was across the street and he bought a couple cases of beer and few 40oz’s. We had to sign a waiver that if we were caught drinking on the trip we would be sent home at our expense. We somehow pulled it off and drank beers in our hotel room while we listened to DJ B-Mello mix live on the radio which was an incredible treat. On our way back we stopped in Taber Alberta and we each bought like 4, 40oz bottles of Big Bear and sloppily smuggled it back on the bus. One of our teachers did us a solid and turned a blind eye to it. It was a really memorable trip for a lot of reasons and buying the Shook Ones Pt 2 single was one of them.
As always, thank you for reading and for the feedback!
**legal disclaimer all records and songs were run through the RAP NEST 5000 SUPER ANALYTIC COMPTROLLER MACHINE that is certified by the I.A.A.R.R.A (International Association of Analytical Rap Recordings Analysis) in layman’s terms, it means the machine is never wrong.
Catch you next week with more thoughts from the rap nest.
Congrats on the 1 year anniversary! These help me get through the work week! Thanks for the mentions too! ❤️🙏🏼