Sunday Sleaze

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Another fast weekend in Shanghai. Big thanks to everyone who came out to Shanghai All-Stars on Friday night! Next one is on February 7th.

Here’s a few tunes from my late-nite set at The Shelter on Friday. I got inspired by DJ Ozone’s 80s hip-hop set last week and wanted to mix early 80s hip hop with the Paradise Garage disco/morning music sound from around the same time in NYC. That early hip hop was so much more creative and positive than the “pop a molly get turnt up” shit that dominates the charts nowadays (not that I don’t play that sometimes). Time and place for everything.

T La Rock – It’s Yours

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Taana Gardner – Heartbeat

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The Treacherous Three – Feel The New Heartbeat

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Gwen Guthrie – Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent

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Midnight Star – Midas Touch

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Rah Band – Messages From The Stars

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I first heard “Messages From The Stars” when Stones Throw Records boss Peanut Butter Wolf played at The Shelter last month. His set, basically a retrospective of dope music from the second half of the 20th Century, convinced me that Serato Video doesn’t have to be corny. Easily one of the best shows of 2013. Shout out to Henri for requesting and identifying this one!

TUESDAYS WITH HIP HOP: BEST HIP-HOP TRACKS OF 1992

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Hey fam sorry for the lack of posts lately. Been out in the real world, or hiding from it due to pollution and construction. But we’re back with a brand new radio show, coming at you every Monday not-live from Shanghai. This week we pay respect to the year 1992, ahead of Wednesday night’s COME CORRECT party at The Shelter.

In 1992, Clinton stepped into office, Dr. Dre dropped the Chronic, Mario Kart and Street Fighter II gave us calluses, and Wu-Tang Clan crept onto the scene out from the slums of Shaolin. There’s loads of good dancehall, jungle, and rock tunes from ’92 as well but in this first episode of Love Bang radio we count down the best hip-hop jams. West-coast gangsta rap for cruising in plush LS400s and cold NY street rhymes for blunt circles. Though this wasn’t the best year for hip hop ever, some of the best hip-hop tracks ever come from ’92.

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Catch Heatwolves and Caution from Love Bang guesting at COME CORRECT, Shanghai’s weekly hip-hop party, this wednesday Dec. 4th at The Shelter, which just turned six years old. One year living on Yongfu Lu is like 36 regular years. The theme this Wednesday is 1992, so expect at least 92 tunes from that year, everything from dancehall and rap to R&B and new jack swing.

LOVE BANG TOP TEN HIP-HOP TRACKS OF ’92

10. “How To Roll A Blunt” – Redman
9. ??
8. “I Missed The Bus” – Kriss Kross
7. “Let Me Ride” – Dr. Dre
6. “Crossover” – EPMD
5. “Halftime” – Nas
4. “After The Laughter Comes Tears” – Wu-Tang Clan
3. ????
2. ??
1.  ??

Here’s the direct link if you can’t access Soundcloud (it’s now blocked in China – why?)

And here’s a couple of tracks from ’92 you might have missed, that didn’t quite make it on this list.

Kool G Rap & DJ Polo – On The Run (Untouchable Dirty Version)

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Apache – Gangsta Bitch

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I left off Pete Rock and CL Smooth I’m really not a fan of the raps. The beats and production are ace though. And I can’t stand Das-EFX, Fu-Schnickens, and all that gimmicky rap that dominated the charts. That’s why I say ’92 wasn’t the best year for hip-hop though a lot of good tunes and albums came out. If you know of some good jungle or dancehall tunes from ’92 please leave em in the comments!

Tuesdays With Hip Hop – New School Jams

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We’ve been digging into the old crates these last few weeks, looking at old-school electro and 90s MPC work, but let’s catch up with the new school for a minute. Some scoff “all this new shit isn’t hip hop! This some ratchet shit!” But that’s just the evolution and commercialization of a genre that’s approaching forty years old. Like it or not, it is what’s happening right now.

I’ll be the first to admit that the hip hop coming out in the 80s like Bambata and Mantronix was way more progressive and cutting-edge than anything coming out now (that I know of), but the kids aren’t trying to hear all that. A lot of this ratchet music is really fun to dance to. Also, let’s face it, a lot of old hip hop (especially before the 90s), much like old house, doesn’t sound very clean on a big soundsystem when played next to music made with modern production techniques.

New rap falls into three basic categories

1) Purification and polishing of tried-and-true rap motifs, e.g. Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail, A$AP Rocky.
2) Rap/R&B crossover, e.g. Drake, “Pour it Up,” Chris Brown, etc. (note: fuck Chris Brown and I will never play his songs or any song he’s featured on in any of my sets)
3) Throwback rap, a la Joey Badass, Action Bronson, and Flatbush Zombies. Honestly a lot of this sounds like 90s New York hip hop, albeit updated. That’s fine because 90s rap > 2000s rap.

Note: There’s also strip-club rap (“Bands Make Her Dance,” Big Sean/Nicki Minage “Dance (Ass)”) and club rap (see Future Brown below).

Only a few mainstream rappers nowadays do anything that’s like “wow, that’s some different shit.” Like, when Wu-Tang Clan first came on the scene in 93, that was some different shit. Chance The Rapper, Lil B, Yeezus, Danny Brown, and even Busta Rhymes’ with “Twerk It” fall into this category.

So this week I’ve rounded up a few songs from the very recent past, from all of the aforementioned categories.

This first track is pretty much early 90s NY throwback a la Black Moon, but updated with craftier lyricism. We need more funny rappers/chefs like Action Bronson. Definitely appreciate the humor in this, or say, The Fat Boys, more than all the gangsta “leave you in the bushes” posturing. Wacka Flocka Flame/Action Bronson is a dream collabo.

Flatbush Zombies – Club Soda Feat. Action Bronson

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But about that hard rap…I definitely slept on Yelawolf until his latest album, but he’s dope and there’s some really solid tracks on there. Love the production on this one. Sounds like GTA 5 soundtrack material.

Yelawolf – Gangster (Feat. ASAP Rocky & Big Henry)

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Killer chorus and production on this YG song on a Jam City mix months back. This one definitely falls into the explicit Rap/R&B crossover sex-jam category, but it’s 2013 so YG and TeeFli come more direct and arguably less creative than older but similar tunes like H-Town’s “Sex Bowl.” Still, the beat and chorus on this…A levels.

YG – Sprung feat. TeeFli

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Straight up Atlanta club-rap with a clever flow on the chorus. Probably the next “Versace” or “Bugatti.”

Johnny Cinco – Gave The Wrong Young Nigga Money

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Heading to the East Coast for this one – a cross between Baltimore rap and dark-but-hype club music a la Kingdom and Nguzunguzu. Hopefully the commercial and underground worlds can more frequently meet somewhere in the middle like this kind of tune. For a good example of what I’m talking about, check Kingdom’s mix for Logo.

Future Brown – Wanna Party ft. Tink

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And one more from Baltimore. Can’t get enough of good female rap…

Sheila D Yeah – Kill It (Prod. Jay Feddy)

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Alright that’s all for this week – bump these hard on that public transportation. And if you know of some good new rap, please leave a comment!

Tuesdays With Hip Hop – Guest Post from The Acid Pony Club

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Special guest post by frenchman Laura Ingalls from The Acid Pony Club, a gang of psychedelic bandits who have a hand in more tunes than perhaps any crew in Shanghai,  through their original production of house, disco, and edits, recording for bands like PAIRS and Friend or Foe, doing sound for live music and festivals, playing in bands like Death to Ponies, running drone nights at The Shelter (check out his mix for that here), and DJing everywhere from the underground to the posh bits. Le french hustle. One afternoon last year I ran into Raph on the front steps of our old building; he recorded our conversation and warped it into a techno song.
But on top of all this disco hedonism and doom music Laura Ingalls can talk hip hop for days too. The first time I saw him DJ, way back in 2009 in a portal called Dragon Club, he dropped Ginuine’s “Pony” in the middle of a early-morning  house set. He’s playing a rare, all-vinyl hip hop set this Saturday at The Shelter as part of Come Correct Presents: Shanghai All-Stars #4 so I asked chef to put together this week’s offerings. Here’s what he said:
Slum Village and Dwele – Tainted

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i love everything Dwele does, that must be the lover in me, he is always on point with soulful vocals and perfect Rhodes chords. If you add Slum Village to the equation it doesn’t really get much better than that.
The Roots – Proceed

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i was 14 when a friend of mine brought me to see The Roots live, that night my life changed forever, i was intoxicated, since then i want more Rhodes, everywhere.

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El-P always impressed me, the atmosphere is straight up industrial in his music. Def-jux was really important to me at some point, I had moved away from hip-hop when shit like eminem or 50 cent became big and it was refreshing to find a new streak of artists who were bringing something new to the rap game that wasn’t all about being gangsta and making money.
cLOUDDEAD – dead dogs two

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When that album came out we sat down, i think it was with Clem and my then girlfriend Charlotte, and listened to the whole thing from start to finish without saying a word, proper psychedelic stuff, it’s like listening to a country western artist rapping on LSD. again Anticon was important in that whole renewal of hiphop that was more arty and weird.
Quasimoto – Greenery

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Madlib has to be in there somewhere right? it’s hard to choose a favorite, the first Yesterday’s New Quintet album is probably one of my favorite albums ever, the stuff they did with Declaime under Dudley Perkins is so dark and twisted but yet soulful, it’s perfect. but this is under his Quasimoto moniker, the last album is on heavy rotation in my headphones since it came out but this is from his previous album and it talks about getting blunted. the beat is the fattest, funkiest shit ever!
—-
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For a lot more hip hop, funk, and straight up party music, get down to The Shelter on Saturday for this week’s best hip hop party, brought to you by Come Correct. You get today’s fine selector, plus DJ Caution, Sal from the TV, Cavia, LJ, MC One Con, and surprise guests. It’s free before 11PM and 40RMB after. I’d buy that for a dollar!!

Tuesdays With Hip Hop: EPMD

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Hey we’re back. Was down in Xiamen for a bit, swimming in the ocean, eating worm jelly (not as good as it sounds), and falling asleep on the beach and waking up to a typhoon. I avoid computers/screens on trips hence the lack of posts, but let’s get right back into it with this week’s Tuesdays With Hip Hop. More on Xiamen soon.

When you think of late 80s hip hop, NWA, Schoolly D, KRS-One, or even Too Short may spring to mind first, but don’t forget about one of the funkiest and most influential groups ever – EPMD. This rap and production duo* from Long Island had the illest sample game, taking bits from Bob Marley, Steve Miller Band, David Bowie, and Zapp and Roger and dropping boastful rhymes with a mellow flow. At the time, other producers were either rhyming over James Brown breaks or disco samples, leaving the beat stripped back and raw like Rakim and Eric B, or getting all electronic with the drum machines a la Afrika Bambatta, Egyptian Lover, and Miami Bass.

*they had a third guy but Erick Sermon and Parrish, aka Eric & Parrish Making Dollars (EPMD) are the core, and who people remember.

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Whereas the aforementioned NWA rapped about the police, the ghetto, the bitches, and other “hard” topics, EPMD were classic East-coast boasters, mostly flexing about all the wack MCs in the game and the girls they were gonna steal. To be fair, the rhymes are simple and sound elementary in 2013, but they’re clever, well-delivered, and complement the beats. The beats do outweigh the rhymes, but they aren’t wack by any means. EPMD as rappers were more about sounding cool, smooth, and in control than doing feats with diction – strictly business. Rhymes and beats that will definitely go off at a party.

“MCs look me in my face and their eyes get weak/pulse rate descends, heart rate increases. It’s like beam me up Scottie/I control your body/I’m as deadly as AIDS when it’s time to rock a party.”

EPMD – Strictly Business (1988)

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EPMD – You Gots To Chill (1988)

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EPMD – Crossover (1992)

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As a group they put out two solid albums with a game-changing sampling techniques, Strictly Business and Unfinished Business, plus a few great tracks like “Crossover,” but other later efforts don’t compare. They split in 1993 then reunited and released an LP in 1997 and other music I haven’t listened to or care about (probably a few gems). Cool fact that all their LP titles use the word “business,” e.g. Back In Business, Out Of Business. But much more importantly than these mediocre team efforts, Erick Sermon went out to make a grip of classic beats for rappers like Redman, Keith Murray, and Method Man. Here’s some of my favorites, and there’s loads more. This first one from 1994 is insane.

Keith Murray – The Most Beautifullest Thing In The World (1994)

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Classic uptempo rap track here by Redman. Compare this  103 – 106 beats per minute to Chief Keef at 64bpm. People gonna dance differently. We need more uptempo rap in the 2013.

Redman – Time 4 Sum Aksion (1993)

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If you’ve got YouTube access, check this rare footage from a 1993 interview with Redman where he briefly comments on the EPMD breakup at the end.

And for a bit more of what was happening with hip hop around this time, check out The Rub’s History of Hip Hop mix for 1988. That mix series comes highly recommended.

That’s all for this week. We’ll be checking out The Egyptian Lover and more 80s electro in next week’s edition.

5,000.

Love Bang Pool Party Mixtape #1 – Love Bang Weekend

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Looks like this is Love Bang Weekend.

Friday = Heatwolves’ Birthday @ Dada – I’m about to turn 658 so DJ Caution, T-Plus, myself, and special guest William J from Darker Than Wax, a really prime label from Singapore, are throwing down at Dada, aka our living room. Definitely get down for William J’s set from 12AM – 2AM, followed by the OG Master, DJ Caution from 2AM – 4AM. T-Plus and myself on the warmup tip. Let’s sip some whiskey sours and get on that Life Aquatic level.

Meanwhile…across town @ The Shelter, we’ve got Shanghai All-Stars, a killer lineup of Shanghai’s best hip hop DJs:  Caution, Cavia, LJ (amazing scratch DJ from Guizhou), Shige, T-Plus, and China DMC Champ DJ Cavia, and special guest DJ Maze, one of the dopest dancehall/reggae selectors i’ve ever heard. Straight outta Danmark. I’m playing a set around 2AM as well. Get to rock at my two favorite clubs on my birthday, doesn’t get much better than that.

Saturday got Hu Ayi spinning at the Bund Beach from 5PM – 7PM for the Panda Express party. I’ve learned to stop hating and love the beach, simply because there’s almost nowhere else you can throw a proper outdoor party in Shanghai. You can hear the soundsystem bump from across the Huangpu and no one cares – where else can you do that in Shanghai? Expect a sundown set with dreamstep and soft waves. Cashmere Cat and similar style jams. Hu Ayi likes the bass and pretty lights.

Then finally on Sunday, we’ve got the first Love Bang Pool Party of the summer. We couldn’t get Purple Mountain but we found somewhere nice, and much closer. Only the Ayis know the location, but if you RSVP to holler@lovebanguniverse.com you might get a spot. There’s only 200. Another nice lineup: a goodbye-Mr. Pip set by Arthur Fox, another by William J, Caution, Cavia, and myself. It’s an outdoor pool and we’ve got good music and good speakers – hip hop, dancehall, deep house, and g-funk.

To get hyped for the party, I recorded this mix live on the porch, sweatin all over the place in this 100 degree heat. Big thanks to everyone who already listened and commented! Really good reaction so far. I tried to fill this one with as much water as possible; spent a long time ripping old water-safety and swimming instruction videos on YouTube. PSA-maker is still my dream job.

TRACKLIST.

1. Barrington Levy – Collie Weed
2. Barrington Levy – Sensimelia
3. Horace Ferguson – Sensi Addict
4. The Toyes – Smoke Two Joints
5. Soom T – Boom Shiva
6. Flying Lotus – Putty Boy Strut
7. Outkast – So Fresh So Clean
8. Charizma and Peanut Butter Wolf – Methods
9. Esham – 24/7
10. Jah Cure ft Rick Ross & Mavado – Like I See It (The Town Edit – Intro/Outro)
11. Mega Banton – Grindin
12. Schlachthofbronx – Dickie Riddim (feat. Warrior Queen)
13. Major Lazer – Jah No Partial (feat. Flux Pavilion) [Skream Remix]
14. Cali Swag District – El Dougie (Squincy Jones & Gracie Chavez Cumbia Edit)
15. Mala Rodríguez – En Esto
16. Lil’ 1/2 Dead -  Eastside, Westside
17. Slum Village – The Look Of Love
18. Electric Company – ?????
19. Quasimoto – Brothers Can’t See Me
20. Ice Cube – You Know How We Do It
21. Snoop Doggy Dogg – Gin And Juice
22. Pixies – Where Is My Mind (Young Edits Balearic Anxiety Mix)

streets is rough

Something wild went down at a convenience store near People’s Square yesterday. At least once a week, I stroll this street’s mix of showy chinese restaurants for government officials and business people, street hawkers (lots of stuffed animals), and massage parlors. Literally everyone smokes on this street, all the time. I go for the RMB30($4.50)/70 minute massages. Unlike any other massage parlor I’ve visited, body massages take place in an open room of eight beds where everyone can chat/annoy others with their barking cellphone conversations. The staff, who wear matching pink Brickbear t-shirts, all come from Jiangxi province, as does the owner.

On my way to my second massage of the weekend, I stopped in a All Days (convienence store) for a water, and in bursts a far-past-prime woman in her fourties donning a drab masseuses’ uniform and a reasonably attractive girl, maybe 19, in suggestive casual attire despite the cold and far too much make up. In a hurry, they asked to examine three or four bottles of lotion, bickering about the price (the most expensive was RMB7/$1.03) before becoming clearly fed up and storming out. Through the automatic door I heard “Ni Ganma!?” (What are you doing!?) and I turned to see the young girl yanking the older one to stop her from digging through a garbage can. Then they walked into a massage parlor that appeared to offer a higher degree of privacy.

d00d, hip hop was so much better back in the day…

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Showbiz and A.G. – Fat Pockets

Showbiz and A.G. – Soul Clap

seven percent battery post

So posting faster than the dollar’s decline. Basically soaking in small town America’s slow pace now, experiencing reverse culture shock for the first time; California’s metropolises really provided a soft landing. Now I’m seeing lots of:

a) obese people

b) parking lots

c) roads + gas stations + big cars

And though not as exorbitant as California, high prices. I miss that dollar-fifty dinner of Muslim noodles with a huge plate of dumplings, all coated in chili sauce.

So how to cope? Music

Two artists today. The first I caught at Amoeba Records in Hollywood, King Khan & His Shrines absolutely tore through a [short] set, with the King donning a Darth Vader-ish mask, wandering through the aisles at the end. Think White Stripes with an Indian frontman quite serious about his King shtick and a full backing band plus a functional cheerleader.

King Khan & His Shrines – Welfare Bread

King Khan & His Shrines – I See Lights

King Khan & His Shrines – I Wanna Be A Girl

Plus some hip hop for all the heads. I rocked Beauty and the Beat nonstop when it dropped in 2005, but I never heard Edan’s first EP Primative Plus until yesterday. Still fresh.

Edan – Key-Bored

Edan – Primitive Plus

Edan – Run That Shit