G.Dep featuring Ghost Face Killah, Keith Murray, Craig Mack and P.Diddy. This is another one of those great remixes that Bad Boy did back in the day. Peep this and enjoy.
Now this is a classic that still gets rocked on the regular. Black Rob is a beast. Apparently he’s dropping a new album this year with production from Easy Mo Bee, Tony Dofat and more.
Who doesn’t love this duo needs help. One of my childhood favourites that I still enjoy now. Peep this doc about the biggest selling duo of all time. Enjoy.
HELLRAISERS featuring DMC, PMD, MC Serch, Chuck D, Terminator X and DJ Eclipse. Produced by BIG K.O. Video directed by Rob Martin. I got to say I enjoyed this. All delivered in my opinion plus it was good to hear Serch drop a verse again.
Hellraisers – Single by DMC, Chuck D, PMD, MC Serch, Terminator X, DJ Eclipse & Big Ko: https://itun.es/us/3p8Z4
Order the Limited Edition Clear Vinyl 7″: http://tinyurl.com/ps89wxg
German producer Shuko unveils a star-studded new track off his debut album “For The Love Of It”, featuring guest verses from Saigon, Vinnie Paz, and R.A. The Rugged Man, plus vocals from Carolyn D’Elia.
I’ve been a fan of Rob’s music for some years now and have been lucky to connect with him via IG, Twitter and Facebook. I’ve always thought he was a stand up brother with a old soul. I approached him about arranging a interview. He agreed and here we are. Enjoy.
Chris: Where were you born and raised?
Rob: I was born in raised in Wexford, which is on the south-east coast of Ireland, small town, have lived here all my life. Wexford is a cool place, the people are good for the most part and it’s just like any other Irish town, except we have beaches being on the coast which makes it more scenic.
Chris: Do you come from a large or small family? In regards to family what does the word mean to you in relation to yours?
Rob: There was just 4 of us, my sister who is older than me and me Ma & Da. My Ma passed away about 4 years ago, that had a big effect on me. I don’t know what that means to me to be honest. I never thought about it too much. My family is cool, our immediate family is small but the extended family is huge, there were 14 brothers and sisters in me Ma’s family and 8 in me Da’s, a lot of my cousins are in and around the same age and lived close so growing up they were my best friends. I have so many cousins, that I can’t keep up. I don’t know what it means to me other than I love my family.
Chris: Was your childhood a happy one? Any stories from then that have stuck with you?
Rob: For the most part I had a happy childhood. I grew up in the 80’s in Ireland, things were a lot simpler. I was a loner then like I am now. I have always liked my own company. I was same as any other kid, I had the same heroes, Mr T, Mike Tyson, Maradona, Michael Jackson etc. My sister is 13 years older than me but she was into music heavy. We had a big old turntable in the front room of the house and she had an Amstrad double tape deck with a 7 inch turntable on the front that you could pull down. She emigrated to Australia and she let me have it. She used to listen to disco music. She liked Donna Summer and all that so I was always into music from her. My Da liked no music even though two of his brothers were in a successful band. He likes traditional Irish music and that’s it. My Ma liked music but she wasn’t a music lover. I think she only went to one show in her life and that was Shirley Bassey. My Sister was the one who had the music in the house. I always remember music being what I was interested in the most. Even before I full knew what hip-hop was they had videos of me breakdancing when I was 6. I didn’t realise it was what I wanted to do until way later.
Chris: When did you become fully aware of Hip Hop?
Rob: I think I became fully aware what it was in 1988. I used to buy my own records by that stage. I say my own but my sister used to let me pick out my own stuff. I think I heard “The Fat Boys” with Chubby Checker and saw the movie “Disorderlies” around the same time. Again there was no outlet, no radio shows no nothing. There was a tv show called Jo Maxin on RTE in Ireland. They had DJ Mek and all them in doing scratch routines. Record Breakers had Daddy Freddy in. All around that time I was seeing all this stuff happen. Maars had the ‘Pump Up The Volume’ record around that time. Neneh Cherry was doing Buffalo Stance on Top of the Pops. So around then I was aware but I was still really young.
Chris: What was it that intrigued you about it? Did you have school friends who were in to the music as well?
Rob: My school friends for the most part didn’t know a thing about hip-hop, When I was 11 I was fully involved. The show Dance Energy had come on TV by then once a week on BBC. Normkski presented it. He did a documentary for Rapido on the history of hip-hop that documented everything from say 74 to 89. Back then you had to be handy with the video recorder and have a blank tape ready to go. Dance Energy had in studio guests. It had Naughty By Nature, 3rd Bass, Fu Schnickens, Tribe all performing live. That show definitely changed my life. To this day I remember them playing Big Daddy Kane’s “Death Sentence” and he said, “to any m.c that try to test me, I’m swelling up his Jaws big as Dizzy Gillespie”. That was it. I wanted to rhyme from then on. That show was everything. I met a guy when I started secondary school. I knew him from primary school he was a year older but he spotted me in town wearing the Public Enemy T-shirt. I had that on with a pair of British Knights and a flat top. I wanted to dress like what I saw on that show. He approached me and said “You like Public Enemy? You like rap?” I said yeah. That guy, his da was a record collector of all genres but hip-hop had resonated with him in a big way and when I say he had EVERYTHING I mean he had everything on Vinyl. Kane, Biz, G Rap, Shan, Krs, Ice-T, Slick Rick, you name it he had it. Albums, 12 inches all literally floor to ceiling. Racks in his house full of records.
Chris: Can you remember the first record/tape/cd you had? How did it make you feel?
Rob: We had the dubbed copies of NWA “Straight Outta Compton”. We liked that more so cos it had curses in it. That guy made me a tape. I can nearly remember every song on it. Steady B “I’m serious” remix with KRS, Rob Base & Ez Rock. It had Slick Rick “Children’s Story”. It had “Self Destruction” Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince “Brand New Funk”. I played it that much I almost wore it out. From then on I wanted my own records. I was 12 going on 13 but that was it. My sister bought me LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out” album for my confirmation. There was something about that album. Marley Marl & LL was a match made in heaven and I knew the words front to back. After that I used to order everything, tapes, vinyls. Nobody had a CD player back then everything was wax or cassette. We used to order vinyls and tape them so we wouldn’t scratch the records. It was an exciting time. It’s funny cos I ran into a comedian called Des Bishop years later. He was from New York but was a border in the secondary school I went to. I wasn’t a border but the school still had some borders at that time. He had the Pete Rock & CL Smooth album. There was only 3 or 4 of us in the whole school who were into hip-hop. He went on to be a pretty successful stand-up. About ten years ago I was opening up for Dilated in Crawdaddy with DJ Flip, I ran into Des Bishop. We remembered each other. We had a brief chat. It was funny because someone drew my attention to his blog where he was saying he was “selfishly taking the credit” for me becoming an M.C “because he gave me rap tapes and there was no hip-hop in Ireland”. I had to laugh because at that time nobody could have given me anything, we had everything, and I don’t even know how, the guy whose da used to let us dub his albums had someone in new York who had all the Tommy Boy samplers, we had everything. We had those early Rza records as Prince Rakeem. We had everything at that time nobody could have given me anything we already had it.
Chris: You def got in to the culture at its most creative, would you agree with that? For me at 35 I look back and see the great music from my youth with fondness.
Rob: I think there was just a lot more balance. You could have Heavy D & G Rap at the same time, you could have De La and still have NWA. Digable Planets & Onyx. You can’t have that these days. The programming, the climate everything is just so different. I just saw my man Hex Murda tweet “I never thought I’d see the day the best m.c’s are all 35 plus”. I think if you come from that time you have a better view.
Chris: Tell me about your love of reggae and all things roots & culture. Was it around the same time as rap or did it come after? Who introduced you to it?
Rob: My sister would have listened to reggae, but as far as dancehall it was all around the same time. You know Shabba Ranks was huge in early 90’s even before the ‘Loverman’ record. Super Cat was always my favourite I make a lot of references to him. I feel a connection to Jamaican music. I like a lot of the Dancehall from that era. Reggae dancehall stars were crossing over into hip-hop. Supercat’s ‘Ghetto Red Hot’ video was to me one of the best videos of all time. That and ‘Ill Street Blues’ two of the best. KRS-One was a big inspiration to me and he was influenced by dancehall too. To this day when you hear me do those ‘aye aye aye’ adlibs that’s all from there.
Chris: Have any other genres of music grabbed you attention in such powerful ways?
Rob: Reggae, Blues, Soul and Funk did. I think it happens as you want to know what samples make your favourite records. Honestly the most cliche thing is for m.c’s to sit down and get all artsy fartsy and start talking about their alternative listening tastes. I wanna hear hip-hop all day. Nothing else. I don’t wanna hear what they give you on radio the Coldplays and Taylor Swifts and all that. That’s not for me. I want to hear what I want to hear all day.
Chris: Because hip hop as a culture took over your every waking moment can you recall the first time you decided to try your hand at rapping?
Rob: I remember all my early rhymes were like Fresh Prince. I made tapes in 91 all the way up to 97.
Chris: Was it something you did in private or did it happen around others?
Rob: A bit of both when I was younger I was more fearless I always knew I could rhyme. Ruairi hartigan who is now a blogger is the only one that heard it all. He used to come to my house and I used to go to his place. I was pause button recording drums and looping bass lines using tapes decks and a mixer. He had all those tapes.
Chris: Did rhyming give you a buzz even at that early stage?
Rob: I suppose it did, some of those tapes made there aways around different schools and people knew the words and that gave me a little buzz. I still kept it a hidden talent, I didn’t go to radio til 6 or 7 years later.
Chris: You mentioned going to radio. How did that happen? Was it through connections you’d built up over the years or was it all off your own back/desire?
Rob: It was funny I had left rapping alone. I suppose it all seemed too far fetched but I was in the car listening to 2fm’s ‘The Big Smoke’. It was a rap show hosted by Wes Darcy – he really knew nothing about hip-hop and I mean nothing. He didn’t come from it nor did he understand it but he was good enough to offer everyone a chance to rhyme on the show. He had these guys in, to this day I don’t know who they were but when I heard them I said ‘my rhymes that I wrote when I was 17 are still better than this’. I text the show that I wanted to come to the station and he called my bluff and put me on next week. I had no rhymes, no dj, no rap name.
Chris: Had you been thinking of pursuing rap as a career or did the radio experience open your mind up to the possibilities? Was there a deciding factor?
Rob: Well when I got there I knew nothing, nothing about the business. Nothing about counting bars or making songs just nothing full stop. I just had one long 48 bar verse. The DJ was there on the tables he had the ‘Boom’ instrumental. I said my bars and the reaction was good. People were texting in. From then I was back every week, it all started there.
Chris: The texts and attention coming in must have given you such a good feeling. How many weeks did you return for? With the texts did anyone from the Irish scene reach out to you? Did the chance to record in a studio arise or was that a little later?
Rob: It was more that I could do it. I didn’t really care what the good texts were cos all that is temporary anyways. I was back 2 weeks later and once a month or pretty much whenever I felt like it. We didn’t know the power of it then. We didn’t even have songs. Me and whoever else was on it at the time didn’t know how to make songs. That’s when Mike Donnelly reached out to me. He was a producer. He invited me to his studio and that’s when I made my 1st song.
Chris: Were you nervous about recording your first song? Can you describe the feel and the process of recording? Was it how you expected it to be?
Rob: I was nervous I suppose. It was tough. I didn’t know how to count bars and the songs were very west coast sounding but it felt good when it played on radio.
Chris: How many fully recorded songs did you come away with from those sessions?
Rob: I had one song and went back to do another pretty soon after. Then I knew I was on to something for sure.
PART 2 COMING SOON SO STAY TUNED………
TheBeeShine.com always brings the gems out and this is no exception. My Brother Ray West is one of the illest producers in Hip Hop and music in general. He’s also incredibly humble about his talents.
Peep below this little writeup/article I wrote awhile back about his label http://redapples45.com
My understanding of New York City comes from cinema of the 70’s and Hip Hop Culture of the 80’s & early 90’s. The works of directors William Fredikin & William Lustig to rappers Kool G Rap & D.I.T.C. have shaped my perception of the city and its 5 boroughs since my childhood. Between them they painted pictures of a gritty yet soulful city that at times might’ve torn its self apart if not for the cultural movements that permeate the streets and the people that dwell there.
The works of those mentioned above reported from the front line of NYC, a warts and all tale of how life really was for people. How the system didn’t work. How the rich got richer while the poor slid more and more in to decline. Real life, on the streets. The character of the people and the City shinned though. Good people in bad situations striving to make a difference to their family and neighbours lives. The true sense of Neighbourhood.
The films and music gave me that impression. When I first heard AG spit I knew that he lived and breathed The Bronx, it wasn’t just the place he lived it was him. That’s what’s missing from music today. In this digital age we have access to more and more sounds each day. But is it good music? Will it stand the test of time? That’s were redapples45 comes in. It’s a label that is born of love. Real love of a culture that can’t be forgotten. It’s born of the city, the smells and sounds that carry on the wind. From one street to the next, borough to borough, from person to person.
It’s born of The Bronx where the people stay fresh, the home of Hip Hop. When I listen to the music that redapples45 releases I know that in every vinyl, cassette & cd is contained passion, dedication and creativity. Each release is a labour of love that has been crafted by hands on equipment that the forefathers of Hip Hop used. The creativity comes from working within boundaries & limitations. We know that’s how greatness has been produced in the past. We have the music to prove it. So why change it? Technology has it’s uses granted but not when it stifles us, holds us back and makes us lose our individuality.
redapples45 is the label that Ray West & AG have blessed us with. They honour the culture, they respect the architects and push for beautiful music we can all enjoy. When I buy music I look for the complete package. I want to see artwork, read liner notes and most of all enjoy the sounds as they escape from my speakers. This is music for sound systems not tinny computer speakers, it needs to breath and be allowed to live.
redapples45 makes music that you can play over and over. You can be safe in the knowledge that you’ll play it for others in the hope they hear what you heard and continue to hear. New York City is known the world over as the Big Apple because it shines the brightest. A juicy rewarding red apple shines the brightest on the fruit stall. We are drawn to both, neither will let you down. They are both rewarding on multiple levels. You get that same reward from redapples45. Get involved. Preserve the culture.