New Brown Beats

Willie Puckett "Doggie Hopp"
(1997, Take Fo)

I am posting this both to fill a request and as a follow up to the Brown Beats post since the most important track on this short EP is a re-envisioning of those Beats. I spent some time searching my ears for some justification of the word "Brown" - the OG beats are named for their scattered James Brown wails - but the brownest thing was Cool instead: the recently mentioned "Dear Yvette" Bounce Bark.

Maybe Supa Dave had future bounce sample ubiquity in mind in referencing the Brown Beat, like this would be the Bounce Rap Spine of Tomorrow and that Peter Gabriel "Sledgehammer" ethnic sample would be the new Triggaman Bells.

Here is a short clip of Willie charming a fan.


Lemon Heads Believe In Luck

Playa Fly Fly Shit
(1996, Super Sigg) @ 320

I am presenting today's post in the form of an Amazon review and wikipedia entry cut-up as a sort of game played by the unwritten rules of the internet. But first, some real words of mine:

This fly record like so many Memphis rap records has had a busy and promiscuous life in Internet Prison. A pod of rap cloned in so many ways, each child floating through a series of tubes to some faraway continent. Who could have guessed that by 2009 there would be no hover board, no shrink-fit jacket but instead: the worldwide, virus-like flight of data. The Thug Fantasies of Russian preteens and Japanese Salarymen and Born Africans all filled with MPEG color... and I don't often post the often-posted, but the Web needed a better clone, a 320 child strong enough to weather the long, cold life of data immortality.  

Playa Fly is da best rapper in the world, but the world doesn't know Fly. His flows are so real that they are understood by everyone. Unlike most southern rappers, Playa Fly doesn't embrace materialism in his rhymes, usually speaking on a deeper, more political level. If you grew up middle class - tell me about your braces, if you grew up in the projects - tell me about your Uncle being shot and wearing braces. Playa Fly motivated me to go on to better my self. He also keeps the Memphis-rich tradition for seriously talented rappers. The messages he gives are very easy to relate to and hardly commercial or modified for TV and his lyrics make you forgot about Mr. Chill's awful singing. I love 3-6 Mafia but pluck the chicken they got lyrically murdered on this shit. This cd is one of the best I've heard and I've heard any CD you could name. His Hardcore rapin is the stuff.


Bounce Blueprints: True Brown Beats

"Beats & Pieces" Cameron Paul
(1987, Mixx-it) cassette rip @ 320

Today's send-off finally bridges the gap between my IP address and the 504 area code. It's the first in a series of breaks compilations / DJ tools / whatever you want to call it by former KMEL DJ and current Tulsa, Oklahoma resident Cameron Paul and home to the infamous "brown beats" - the 808 bass, rimshot and samples that forms the spine of so much bounce: the Ike to Triggaman's Tina, the Optimo packed with a Drag Rap dub. 

Confusingly, I've already posted this bounce riddim. That's because the most often sampled bars of this track also form Derek B's "Rock the Beat". I stay stuck to my assumption that Cameron Paul is sampling Derek B. and not the reverse, but both records came out the same year and until Paul returns my emails or some bounce historian shares the timeline (Dr. Thug?) I'll remain somewhat uncertain. Fortunately, we can be a little more certain about which of the two records are sampled in bounce music: both. You'll immediately hear the hollered lo-bit digital samples that color so much early bounce in Paul's version, but I remember at least one "Mannie Fresh Mix" to use the chorus off Derek B's cut and I'll edit this post when I recapture that data. The fact that this recently became a point of exactly the kind of contention I'd like to see more of from T&G commenters combined with poster N0LA $o1ja's outing of the ubiquitous barking Bounce dog sample have proved the arduous task of the Bounce Breaks Archive to be worth what it cost me in worsened hyperopia

I'm glad as hell that even the economic downturn is not turning Ebayers back on to cassettes: I find so much shit going for shit on tape that goes for gold on vinyl or compact disc. Strange alchemy. The great thing about this cassette rip is that (and this goes especially for the NR off vers.) you can really capture that Pimp Daddy 93 sound for your own retro bounce productions. 

Also, thanks Chris Brown for permanently clouding the "Brown Beats" google.


Rap Library: Third Coast

Third Coast: Outkast, Timbaland, & How Hip-Hop Became a Southern Thing Roni Sarig (2007, De Capo)

I've been reading reviews (and interviews) of this book (and its author) and it seems a frequent complaint is its exhaustive history. Fuck, thats the only thing I'm interested in - I don't want to read about smoke up the ass of Outkast (even though I think they've made a couple of the best records ...uh... ever) or Timbaland any more than I want to listen to Lil Wayne or Kanye on the radio and as far as arguing for distinctly Southern roots of all rap I could just as well argue that Mozart was African since we all come from there in the first place. 

But, the history - thats homework I'm glad to see done, and there's a fat lot of it. Blowfly (and other pre-rap rap), Luke, Gangsta Pat (Bar-Kays members should have sown more seed), Ball & G, KLC... so much shit I want to know is here explained or at least alluded to... notes taken, records bought. 

Anyways, Sarig knows that to accomplish what he wants to accomplish he needs to tie the underground to the mainstream in a way that appeals to more folk than just fanatics. We (as in me and you, I think) are the fanatics and still his book is the only and therefore best for us. Still, future room left for growth... I can only hope someone who shares my respect for Beats by the Lb. and Triple 6 era Paul & J production (both dissed or at least looked down upon in Third Coast chapters) steps up to that nerd plate. 

-Vanilla Ice used to freestyle battle Scarface
-Lil Wayne & BG were originally "Baby D" & "Doogie", respectively, with the group name "B.G.z", but Weezy's mom pulled him out the group so he could spend more time on homework
-Hammer gansta walkin on Arsenio
-(note to self: check T-Rock's DJ Paul diss "My Little Arm")
-I enjoy the metaphor that MJG grew up on Sample St.
-Someone please upload Cool K's "I Need Money"

That Wild M_AG_NO_LI_A

Junie Bezel "That's How Mess Get Started"
(2001, Take Fo) @ 320

Supplementary class materials to last weeks Triksta post. This is my favorite release on the Take Fo label next to the Bounce Squad album. Although Junie's verses can be lyrically awkward its made up for in timbre and attitude and she works well with Supa Dave's production. Most Fo releases feature his beats somewhere but this time he dominates, producing every track except one remix. The palette he's working with reminds me a lot of Solja Rags era Mannie Fresh but he takes it to his own weird place. Sort of relentless melodic repetition with a Steve Reich sense of handclapping syncopation. Maybe Cohn lent him his Koyaanisqatski VHS.

JB was also featured on C-Murder's "Got It On My Mind" from TRU Dawgs (a few late Soulja Slim feat.s on there too) and her myspace is TRU'd out so maybe you can look forward to future releases from the No Limit camp ashes.

Better Cover Image Coming Soon


Rap Library: Triksta

(2005, Roadburns)

In anticipation of 10th Ward Buck's forthcoming The Definition of Bounce: Between Ups and Downs in New Orleans, T&G will be taking a look at earlier books of interest to fans of Bounce/Buck/Bass/Booty/etc... First up is Triksta, the only book I know of to deal with Bounce Rap exclusively. 

A white alien in a black world, with no funding or qualifications, and not a clue what he was doing, Nik Cohn had to rethink himself from scratch.

So, Nik Cohn is some old UK dude who wrote the first book about rock music or something. 35 yrs later does the same for Bounce music, for better or worse. Somehow a lifelong love of the city, a hep C diagnosis and the thrill of acknowledged racist fear lead Cohn to New Orleans in search of a Bounce artist polished enough for a Dreamworks contract and national exposure. Although dude doesn't really like Bounce music, he sees in it some potential for Missy Elliot-like creative expansion, a development he encourages by bringing to the studio a "treasure trove" of samples: John Adams, Cheb Khaled, Cambodia Rocks, Nortec collective. Needless to say, he doesn't get too far with it though I would love to see on youtube a clip of Nik trying to get DJ Duck to cut up "Nixon in China". The awkwardness culminates in a showcase concert/reading in France (based on the idea that it would be a lot easier for Europeans to "get" Bounce than Americans) where Take Fo's Junie Bezel (whose Thats How Mess Get Started I'll be posting soon) performed alongside Benjamin Diamond, who ran DJ Duck's production thru his laptop for remixing. They did not get paid for the performance.  

Worth mentioning:
a) Cohn reports that Soulja Slim was known as a youngster for his haircutting skills and 50 pairs of reeboks. KLC: "Slim was a fool with clippers. He was nice with the haircutting tools." 

b) Take Fo main man Earl Mackie won't play rap music in his home on account of his strict adherence to Jehovah's Witness principles.

I suppose this is really a book about a man who tried to change Bounce music but instead Bounce music changed him. In the end, the only people likely to read it are those already interested in Bounce music and who could really give a shit about Cohn's failings with the genre and his emotional growth in New Orleans and whatever the fuck else. 


Concept, Tight as a Dreadlock

Bust Down "Putcha Bally's On"
(1991, Effect) produced by Ice Mike
G Plus or VG minus rip

I returned to this shelved record when poster Thug Doubt cited the Stop Inc., "Second Line" sample. Instead of writing any sort of comment or summary, I'm posting what Juvenile had to say about it in 2006.

A couple more cats came before me that I really liked. They had a cat named Tim Smooth. Then again, he didn’t necessarily come out before me, but he came out with a solo album before me. His solo album [Straight Up Drivin] was nice. It was nice. Bust Down, the dude that invented pussy poppin’, he came out with a record that was real big called “Putch' Ballys On,” and he had “Nasty Bitch,” and that record got him a deal with Luke Skywalker, and Luke Skywalker kinda shelved him and took the whole pussy poppin thing away from him. But there was a few cats from New Orleans that were bumpin. We had a cat named MC Spud that had a good following. I’m from the T. Tucker era, and dude came out with a sound like no other. You know, people get it mixed up because they compare bounce music to what he was doing, but what he was doing we called "Where they at." We never called that bounce music. We called it ‘Where they at," cause he was really doing "Where they at, where they at?" the whole song. When the bounce era came, "bounce for me," was really what we sayin. It was more "bounce for me, bounce for me," or "Put your boy in it."

There was a lotta cats that had to do with molding New Orleans, but out of all of them, I was the strongest, because I’m the one that lasted the longest. I came from the Master P era, the Cash Money era, and I’m still here.

Pictured left: OG 15 Century Bally's 


Notes from the Underdog

Murder Dog Magazine
(Vol. 15, Number 3)

First, some Murder Dog purchasing tips: as covered by the last mention of MD in these html pages, never subscribe to Murder Dog. The cheap price is tempting, and the seeming convenience too, but the magazine is an inconsistent quarterly. It doesn't come out every three months or four months... it doesn't come out every anything. It comes out every time its been so goddam long since the last one that you're sure the company has folded. And they won't mail you every issue you order. No Matter What. You will somehow be shorted.

You need to find a local store that carries the mag. In Ann Arbor I bought copies at Border's. In NY, Tower. In SF, Green Apple. None of these cities (as far as I can tell) have more than one MD vendor. When you do find a vendor, buy two copies of every issue. That way you can use a razor blade to cut out the best fullpage ads or keep one mint copy to sell on Ebay in 2022.

Now, notes from this Quarter's Dog:

First, I'm happy as hell to see the return of regional focus (specials on MI & Jackson, Mississippi) & regular record reviews. The new age/tribal aspect & Midwest white rapper feat.s have returned to safe enough levels that I can regard it as one of the Dog's lovable idiosyncrasies. Cover images of Soul Jazz Records' Spirits of Life compilation and Slamet A. Sjukur's Angklung Group record surprised me and I'm glad to see a magazine that shares my belief in a spirit-blood connection between Rap and Gamelan.

Stone from D-Boyz on Soulja Slim: I want to tell you a story of my first experience with Murderdog. I respect a lot of magazines, but before my dog Soulja Slim died he walked up to me on Washington when the projects was still up. He jumped out of his truck and gave me the cover issue of Murder Dog that he was on right before he got killed. I still got that issue in my hand right now. This is the same copy that he actually gave me.

Glasses Malone on Sonic the Hedgehog: When I was a kid I used to write video game stories. I was in 5th grade when I would use characters from video games and create stories about them. Like, Mario would meet Sonic in different situations. I used to make copies because other kids in my class would want a copy which I would sell for 75 cents.

Haystak on Audio Pirates and exponential filetypes: Right Now all artists are takin hits because you are still leaking MP3s. My point is you find yourself in a position of clinging to life. A lot of cats don't get off that operating table because it's hard. It's not a kid's responsibility to not download music. We are the music industry and its our job to create an MP30 or 300 or whatever...when I was a kid we walked in the stores and busted them out of them anti-theft things and stuck them in our pocket.