Old School Feature – Live Old School Tapes

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What’s up to my brothers and sisters, who hold a common interest in old school hip hop tapes as I. In my quest on a never ending journey for these tapes I’ve found great happiness when I come a cross some hellified tapes that be rocking like a mother. I also found tapes that sounded terrible as far as quality, some have had a lot of hissing sounds, and some have been recorded many times over. I have tapes that are pieces from other party’s, some sound too fast, sometimes theirs gaps, I even had a couple tapes that were made from a radio sitting in front of a speaker.

Then there are those beautiful clear tapes. Thank the lord for them. I remember being a young brother of 11 maybe 12, getting a tape from a friend going home and not coming outside for hours because I was caught up in this tape. I would be in my room playing it over and over, trying to imagine how the place look, were the party was at, and trying to picture what these guys looked like, and just loving the lyrics and the sounds from the M.C. and DJ. Even after knowing the tape by heart, I still listened to it over and over. I would hear some dope sounds like, Kool Moe Dee battling Busy Bee and making history by saying the most unbelievable battle rhymes off the top of his head, ripping Busy Bee apart. Grandmaster Caz having prepared rhymes for hecklers in the crowd were he blatantly disses the hell out of them. The Treacherous Three telling Melle Mel and the Furious Five they can’t get down, and asking them openly for a battle.

The infamous Johnny Wa and Rayvon having all the emcee’s of that time reciting their rhymes. The Fantastic 5 setting the hip hop world straight on why they are legendary in their battle against the Cold Crush Brothers. Flash going Bananas on the beat box and his Furious 5 emcees stating why they are the father of all hip hop groups. The Funky 4 rising back up to the top after losing Rahiem and adding Lil Rodney Cee and Jazzy Jeff. Donald Dee, Kid Vicious and Afrika Islam solidifying their history in 118 park, in one of those legendary summer nights in the Bronx.

The Force MC’s being a breath of fresh air, with their signature F- Troop and Adams family routine’s. Busy Bee on short notice and he is not even on the flyer, killing it and showing why he is the crowd rocker in Harlem World. Cool a— Reggie Reg and the rest of the Crash Crew doing it in their silky style. Master Don and his Def Committee emcees showing the hip hop world why they better not sleep on them. Caz and J.D.L. the humorous, sarcastic crowd rockers that turned the Cold Crush Brothers into a Dynasty. Theodore and Flash cutting the hell out of records and so many dope routines and rhymes, by the likes of the Cold Crush brothers, Crash Crew, Fantastic Five, Treacherous Three, Furious Five, Master Don and the Death Committee, Disco 4, L-Brothers, Zulu Nation, Magnificent 7 of Harlem, Funk Machine, Funky Four and others.

To my ears, those were the best crews. Much props to Doug E. Fresh as he made his bones and later became an international star. The Fearless Four killing it freestyle, although they did even more damage when they did album recordings, Spoonie Gee sounds better on his albums, then at live parties free styling, I say that because it is hard to get tapes of him free  styling with out him doing his records. Kurtis Blow got the girls screaming while he is singing daydreaming.

Much props once again, to Pow Wow and Globe and the rest of the Zulu Nation.
Kool Moe Dee was the reason I never liked or gave myself the chance to like LL Cool J, (L.L. I later learned to respect a great deal for his longevity, acting skills and just watching his growth through the years, and I am not going to front, I still nod my head to many of his joints.) because to me Moe Dee was the man, at that time. But today I would have to say that Caz is the man. I probably like them both the same but I have much more tapes of the CC4 then the Treacherous Three. I know Mele Mel is a bad brother, cause on those albums he use to kill it. But to me he never said enough on the tapes and his crew use to piss me off because they never really did a show, you know routines. They would have me open, but they wouldn’t give us enough routines in their shows.

I asked Caz one day who was the best between him, Moe Dee and Mel. Of course he said him, and get this, he said that they knew he was the best. Of course Moe didn’t agree to this, when he read this. I am sure Mel would not have either. I know that battle would have been the bomb back in the days. I think I would have set it up like this, Dot-a Rock, D.L.B., Rayvon, Tito, Mighty Mike Cee, J.D.L., Busy Bee, Rahiem, Whipper Whip, Master Rob, Gangster Gee, Rodney Cee, Doug E. Fresh, Mr. Freeze, Donald Dee, Kurtis Blow, Kid West, G-Man, Spoonie Gee, Pow Wow, Globe, Kid Creole, Mr. Troy, Cowboy, Johnny Wa, Kid Vicious, Reggie Reg and Barry B-stro would of battled each other, who ever would of won then would of stepped in to the battle of their life against Mel, Moe and Caz. At the end of the battle only one can be left standing of every last M.C. Who would win only GOD knows. I think at that time if advertised properly it could have sold out Yankee stadium.

As far as D.J.s Theodore, Flash, DJ AJ, Charlie Chase, Africa Islam, Breakout, Master Don, O.C., Crazy Eddie, Barry Bee, Whiz Kid, Jazzy J and Bambaataa were the best by far. Then there is the Hot to Cool to Vicious Girl m.c.s, Pebbly Poo, Sha-rock and Lisa Lee. It is hard to debate which one was the best cause they were all very good. I hope you find great joy in these tapes as I did cause this is some of the greatest music in the world.

Family I need some help, I am interested in all tapes of this time but right now I hope you can help me with some special tapes such as: Fantastic five first anniversary, full Crash crew tapes, Notorious2, Funk machine, L-Brothers, Salt and Pepper M.C.s (Dot-a-Rock, Whipper Whip that is), Magnificent 7 from the Bronx and Harlem, Funky 4 with Rahiem, Casanova Fly, the Funky 4 with Rahiem battling the Furious 5, Furious 3, Mighty Force, Sound Masters. The number of tapes I have right now is 182, but the number is always going up because I am always putting in work trying to get new tapes, I may even have tapes sitting in the house waiting to be assessed. So know that it is always more coming. Also if you have any leads for me to reach people that have tapes and the lead turns into something good, you will be blessed back. To my people, I am from the Grant projects in Harlem.

LETS GO BACK FOR A MINUTE- To all those Busy Bee, Kool Moe Dee battle fans, that believe their was more then one battle between the two, you were right! It was two, the first was the legendary battle, which was Christmas Eve, and Moe dee blazed the show. Also from word of mouth it was said that Busy Bee felt he was set up so it was done again, plus Harlem World milked it. But this time the battle was on New Years Eve. Only the Technicians for that night could not get the tape deck to work at the right time, so it was never recorded. Lucky for us the show that second night was no were near as good as the first show they did. (Note: check tape 20 for this show.) But now bust this; imagine if Rayvon would have showed up that first night of the battle. Him and Johnny Wa would of gave Moe Dee and L.A. a run for there money. Don’t know what I am talking about, then listen to tape number 76 with Johnny WA and Rayvon they killed it. Never heard of them, they are of the Magnificent 7 of Harlem. You say who are they? The members were Ray and Wa as you know, as well as D.J. Tastic, D.J. Spivey, Shoeshine, D.J. Cookie And E-Man. Yes ladies and gentlemen who always wondered who he was, E-man (Who was named by his man Chu Chu from the Bx.) was mostly just a respected homeboy and m.c. who happened to be kool with them and help put the equipment together, as well as m.c., break dance and tag graffiti. Grand Master Caz told me, him and JDL often battled Ray and Wa, and said they were some talented brothers.

LETS GO BACK FOR A MINUTE-There should be a special award or recognition for the Cold Crush for being the funniest, versatile, health conscious, chiming in brothers in hip hop and just being very original. These are the main reason’s why the CC4 were and still are my favorite crew. First with Caz and J.D.L., when the record stopped it was still…SHOWTIME. Know telling what was going to come out of those two mouth’s. From CAZ telling a heckler “fuck you and the cab that brought you here” to “when my man Roy Thomas gets out the hospital for the herpes he is going to be walking like he got potato chip in his ass and he don’t want to break it.” And J.D.L. saying some girl was sewing her draws as well as his trade mark hut routine. Caz was the first to have two different prepared rhymes for hecklers, which had the crowd “saying oh s—“. And when he said “there’s one person from queens here, and a half a person from Staten island.” that was classic. With K.G. (or J.D.L.) he was always on the side being like the filler, today Flava Flav and Freaky Tah (God bless him) are some what similar. You can count on K.G. to gas Caz (as well as J.D.L.) to blaze a heckler in the crowd or he would just be m.c.ing a long with the lead m.c. and he was a funny brother with the courageous cat voice mimic. A.D. was the first to M.C. about dealing with life and society with out drugs and alcohol. Was the first to advertise that it was cool not to use. “Give me Reefer, Blow, pipers and I drink milk”. All classics.

LETS GO BACK FOR A MINUTE-Like I said earlier it is real hard for me to tell which female m.c. is the best between Lisa Lee, Pebbley Poo and Sha rock. Sha- Rock is to me, the first lady of Hip Hop. Her elegance, grace and beauty was heard long before you seen her. For an emcee she had a voice like a song bird, but she would also put her rhyme down like Mike Tyson in his prime. I have often heard that she emcee’d better than a lot of the brothers in the game. In a world of stick up kids, and tough guys, she was the Queen of this game.

Peebly Poo is the Ma Barker of hip hop. She has a heart of a lion when it comes to saying her rhymes, and the coolness and style of a Pam Grier. If you listen to Pebbles on tape32 she is on fire the sound of her voice is like something from Motown back in the days.

Then there is Lisa Lee on tape77. I have found a new respect for Mrs. Lee, she killed it. Man she sounded like she was the leader of the crew on that one. Lisa Lee is another courageous pioneer of the hip hop game. Also the first woman, to be featured in a hip hop movie.

LETS GO BACK FOR A MINUTE- lets talk about Grand Master Flowers. It is said that their is a time when Mr. Flowers was such a bad meaning good, D.J.ing brother that he had once opened up for James Brown at Yankees Stadium.

The history of Mr. Flowers is he use to go up to the Bronx from Brooklyn to hear Kool Herc play. They were some what similar in the fact that they had very strong, powerful systems and they built there own speakers. Now Flowers on his visits to the Bx. to check the other D.J.s, notice Flash and his greatness. He quickly named Flash, Grand Master. That’s right Flowers named Flash, Grand Master. Flowers felt That Flash took D.J.ing to a whole new level. In 1974 Flowers popularity grew so much that he played at the most popular clubs N.Y.C. he was even mentioned in the commercials that WBLS did for Studio 54. By 1975 Mr. Flowers formed his crew which was called ” THE GMF CREW” which consist of D.J. Blue, Aron and Barren. From 76 to 79 he was very strong and popular. But by 1980, ended up succumbing to drugs. In 1992 he died because of drugs. Peace and blessings to you and your family, Grand Master Flowers. Check his sound and style at tapes 97 and 98.

LETS GO BACK FOR A MINUTE- In an interview with J.D.L. I asked him “What were your thoughts on the Force M.C.s, did yall have beef before and after this so called battle, cause I asked Caz was it a battle he said “no”. He said when Crush were leaving they were just coming in. When you listen close I never hear the Cold Crush 4 mention them”. Also how was the relationship afterwards? J.D.L.s response was “The Force M.C.s were real good, they had tight, good, cute, novelty routines (like a nice breath of fresh air). Their D.J. was on point, and they wanted to be the top m.c. crew (secretly) and so the crowds gave them love, other m.c. crews gave them props, we did too! However like I explained to you before that, all those groups wanted to get at us except the alliance (Treach 3, Fearless 4, Dougie Fresh). Why? Because every single M.C. contest we got in we won and all them groups that were in them couldn’t do nothing about it! And I mean we never dissed no group that didn’t draw blood first, always humble and confident, polite and never no snake moves! So back then a lot of promoters use to hook up fake battles to draw the crowd and make a lot of money, the groups that would of supposedly battled were told in advance it was rigged just come do your regular show get paid, all is good. We had no beef with the Force M.C.s at the time so I don’t know what was on there mind. We did mad shows with them, even in the Shaolin (S.I., their turf) and got along alright. Any way we had 3 shows that night and wanted to knock out that show first cause it was in Jersey, so we got there, got on and bounced, did a regular show kept it moving, we didn’t even get dressed. So the next day we were at Caz house practicing and this kid that was a roadie let us listen to the tape and we was like “this don’t make no sense” so we called our manager and asked him when was the next time we were playing with the Force M.C.s and it just so happen that next week we were playing with them at printing H.S. so we rolled up in there strong like the untouchables on some gangbusters. Went dead up in their dressing room, surrounded them and asked them why they did that foul move. They broke down and gave some lame excuse. So we took what they was getting paid that night (with out guns) and told them that at the next Harlem world party they are to apologize to us in front of capacity crowd and let the crowd no what they did. I don’t know if there’s a tape of that night but the next M.C. contest after that we stood in front of the stage when the Force got on, wished them luck and A.D. threw a rabbit’s foot in Mercury’s (R.I.P.) face and when we got on last at that particular M.C. contest we broke out with two new dance steps. Two smoking new routines and before we got off we showed them the money the contest was paying cause the promoter knew we was going to win and paid us right before we got on stage. Then Caz threw $100.00 in singles in the crowd, which caused pandemonium and we left! And our relationship with them after that was “you bring it to us again we will end your career”!

LETS GO BACK FOR A MINUTE- I am going to speak about the Fantastic 5 for a moment. Right after I heard the Fantastic 5 battle with the Cold Crush, I felt that they were very good and in my honest opinion they won the battle, over all the Cold Crush 4 is a better, a much better crew and I only say that because I am a fan. But on this night Fantastic won and the reason is they had a totally new show of routines. When Kevie Kev asked Dotta Rock if he was ready to win the G and Dot said the gusto is going home with me. You knew something was about to happen. Cause first the lyrics of the intro was slamming but you hear chicks screaming and people yelling, then they have mic problems, but go back in to there routine saying “like a four leaf clover when the party’s over the Cold Crush will be starving Marvin”. The routine and rhymes were real tight. Head hunters was like one of my favorite records so when that came on they just killed it. Then Theodore came on later and killed it with hand cuffs and Kevie Kev said “We handled the 4, and Theodore handled them all”. I found this to be a very interesting moment in hip hop so I had to get some real good inside information, so I had to see my man the rhymethologist J.D.L. My question to him was “What tipped off the BATTLE and what was the buzz (feeling) in the Bx. in the days leading up to the battle”? Well Busy Bee amped that up. We all were in the ecstasy garage us, them, and Busy waiting to get paid after the show taking flicks. Busy is under the influence talking garbage. I don’t know maybe Busy knew we kind of had an edge on Fantastic. Any way Busy said to us “yeah Cold Crush rocked it tonight but I Know who yall can’t mess with”. So we said who? He said my man Theodore and his fantastic 5 emcee’s. So things got mad quiet. Couple spectators going “ooh, ooh” So Caz said the hell with that can’t nobody mess with us. So we started beefing right then and there. Mean Gene was like “yall want me to cut the music back on”. We were like what ever. So we bounced but it was bound to have happened anyway. So for a couple weeks we would go to their shows post up in their spot, be right up front when they get on intimidating them. Then they would come to ours and do the same thing. Then they would come to Caz crib while we were practicing and we come out side beefin with them. A promoter name Ray chandler found out about this and capitalized on it. That battle changed our lives even though we got robbed that night and got hanker chiefs thrown in our faces by them. That battle took us to a level of showmanship that after that show WE NEVER LOSS NOTHING AGAIN!!!!! I mean our professionalism had rocketed. Every m.c. contest they gave we won (about 10 of them) we got crazy awards for our stage shows. Best m.c. group and everything. Fantastic on the other hand went down and we made them feel it every time we played with them we tore them out the frame dissing them on rhymes and all.

Peace and blessings to you and your family……….One Troylsmith21@hotmail.com

Author: Troy Smith

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