In The Ruff is a raw mid-90's Boom-Bap themed album for the DC state of mind, destined to appeal to all lovers of hip hop's golden era, managing to travel back in time and push the boundaries of DC Hip-Hop simultaneously.
Archive for 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009
Featuring Mr. eXquire & E-Cashe$:
Illogic ft. Slug, Aesop Rock & Zerostar "Diabolical Fun (Remix)": Illogic called in the heavy artillery for a remix of the title track from his latest. He starts the Diabolical Fun Tour on April 16th, just check this listing:
4/16 - Athens, OH @ Casa Cantina (6 W State St, 45701)
4/17 - Traverse City, MI @ The Loading Dock (205 Lake Ave, 49684)
4/18 - Bloomington, IN @ Rhinos (325 S Walnut St, 47401)
4/20 - Lawrence, KS @ The Jackpot Saloon (943 Massachusetts St, 66044)
4/22 - Lincoln, NE @ The Box Awesome (815 O St, 68508)
4/23 - Sioux Falls, ND @ Nuttys (3400 W 49th St, 57106)
4/25 - Minneapolis, MN @ Dinkytowner (412 14th Ave Se, 55414)
4/26 - Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar (1020 Westport Rd, 64111)
4/28 - Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews (212 4th Street, 50309)
4/30 - St Louis, MO @ Atomic Cowboy (4140 Manchester Ave, 63110)
5/1 - Sioux City, IA @ Reds Bar (1919 Pierce Street, 51104)
5/2 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Highberry (2322 S Kinnickinnic Ave, 53207)
5/7 - Austin, TX @ Karma Lounge (119 W 8th St, 78701)
5/8 - San Antonio, TX - venue TBA
5/9 - San Marcos, TX @ Triple Crown Live (206 N Edward Gary, 78666)
5/10 - Las Cruces, NM @ Code Red Café (1160 El Paseo Rd, 88001)
5/11 - Pueblo, CO @ Zippers (326 S Union Ave, 81003)
5/12 - Denver, CO @ Bases Loaded (3109 Federal Blvd, 80211)
5/13 - Ft. Collins, CO @ The Cork (313 W. Drake Rd, 80526)
5/14 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Bar Deluxe (668 S State St, 84111)
5/15 - Tempe, AZ @ The Sets (93 East Southern Ave, 85282)
5/16 - Flagstaff, AZ @ The Joint (110 S San Francisco St, 86001)
5/17 - Tucson, AZ @ November Bar & Cabaret (4001 N Romero Rd, 85705)
Check out this video of Aesop Rock working on the "Diabolical Fun" remix in studio, and keep it locked to Illogic's MySpace page for updates to the tour.
DOOM: [Laughs] Alright. Here's how I look at it, because the wording in there is kinda funny. "Impostor." Impostor would imply that the character. I liken it to this: I'm a director as well as a writer. I choose different characters, I choose their direction and where I want to put them. So who I choose to put as the character is up to me. The character that I hired, he got paid for it. There's no impostor.
I told you it was probably some Tony Clifton shit. And I respect that.
Cymarshall Law "Must Be Love (Remix)": My boy Cymarshall Law is the next MC to hop on my favorite instrumental of the Spring. Twists a tale that sounds kind of like how I met my wifey... speaking of which, I'll be 7 years in, relationship-wise, this Sunday. Craziness. I love it.
In terms of Cy, the homey Aubrey said he'll be at Brooklyn Bodega's "Show & Prove" event this Thursday. Should be ill!
related Cassie ft. N.O.R.E. & Diddy "Must Be Love"
Cypher Linguistics ft. Mr. SOS "Rap Is Dead": I know a lot of you feel the way CL does, and its been said before, but hell, its 2009 and a lot of the shit out there is, well, shit. Step your rap game up, all of you!
related Cypher Linguistics "New Life"
Mr. Scruff ft. Roots Manuva "Nice Up The Function (Remix)": I've been sitting on this one for a bit, and I see that the single that this is featured on is out. Or should be out. Whatever the situation, check out the remix of the latest collaboration between Scruff and Manuva, taken from Scruff's Ninja Tuna album. Nice bounce to this - works well as a fun wake-up tune, or something to get you bubblin' for a wild night out.
I first hipped you guys to "$ Orientated" back in December of '08; the video is finally here, and its a mother:
Their self-titled debut album is out on iTunes right now - go grab that! I'm also working on a special project with/for them as well, so keep it locked! Shouts to Hav for the assist on this one, and Johan for the heads up!
Cassie ft. N.O.R.E. & Diddy "Must Be Love (Remix)": Excuse me, Cassie. I can't ride with the new hairstyle, but I do fuck with this track HEAVY! Good to see N.O.R.E. hop on an instrumental I've been riding for since I heard it.
PH "That's That Shit": The MC who was known as Pumpkinhead is back with a new, 12-track mix CD, My Era (No Skinny Jeans Allowed), which should be seen as "a warning to those hipster strictly do it for nostalgia rappers who try to reinvent my era and fail horribly stop the fucking madness you suck it's over with find your own niche..."; damn PH, I love the directness!
My Era is set to drop June/July. Keep an eye out for it!
Chelsea Lately is slowly becoming one of my favorite shows, just for Chelsea Handler's wild sense of humor. Very smart, and very real. Her being a beautiful woman helps as well. Word is she posed nude for Allure, and here's a shot. Love it.
EDIT Shake's posted the other HOT pics. Props.
Joker Starr ft. Genesis Elijah "Road Man Tune": Let's go across the pond for a minute with this one from Joker Starr and RTD-homey Genesis Elijah. This is taken from Joker's Northborough Estate Project; for those that don't know, estates (or council estates) are what they call projects in the UK. UKHH brings the raw grit of real life, too! Keep it locked for this project, which will be dropping digitally on May 25th.
Cypher Linguistics "New Life": All real fathers will shed a tear, or just smile, when listening to this cut from CL. It borrows heavy from "Feeling Good", and gives me the goosebumps when I think about my own lil' one. Shit like that... man, I was at home last night peepin' old pics of my son. Those kids grow up FAST... anyways, enjoy this one. Shouts to Cypher for making this track!
The homey Cy Yung was nice enough to hook me up with a preview of his Madicinal Libationz project with DubMD, which has him (and company) rockin' over Madlib-related beats. It will be dropping in less than 3 hours, but I just got my mittens on it, and with a cover THAT FLY, and a tracklist this ill, I had to divulge some info before it drops...
03 Da Boom
04 Delusions of Slander ft Naturel
06 Forcefeel ft Silent Knight
08 How U Feel ft Access Immortal
09 Montego Bay ft Ill-Poetic
10 OK Corral
11 P.A.T.O.I.S. ft Wordsmith & Junclassic
13 Vowel Movements
15 Goin Back 2 El Segundo ft Dominique Larue
16 A Hard Drive
17 Aftershox ft Zero Star
18 Bing Cherriez ft Junclassic
I figured I had to leak the RTD All-Stars cut, so grab that below, then check back in a few hours for the full tape. Shouts to Cy for this one!
Bonus Beats Cy Yung ft. Wordsmith & Junclassic "P.A.T.O.I.S."
EDIT Stones Throw has posted some news on Madlib & J Rocc's European Tour.
Mobb Deep ft. 50 Cent "Pearly Gates": Remember the minor stir this caused when it dropped? No? Do you remember that beat? No? WTF were you doing in 2006? Prodigy goes IN on Jesus. "Tell the bossman that we got beef"!?! What better day to get religion than Easter. Think on it...
Lil' Mama ft. Count Justice "Shake": Here's the latest joint I've heard from whatever album Lil' Mama has coming, and sounds much better than the "Diva" joint that leaked around Super Bowl time. The instrumental > the rest of the track (especially that hook), but I would bet that if Lil' Mama shot a dope video for this, it'd be a nice sleeper hit.
Shouts to Digiwaxx.
Jo Well "Welcome To The Jungle" (prod. by Jansport J): Jo has been throwing loads of product out, and you should already know Jansport J's resume from peepin' RTD. They are from the same hood in Cali, and linked up for a guitar-driven fly one. More to come from these two? Let's hope so...
Icadon "The Drohibition" (prod. by Rockwilder): Icadon's definitely getting it in on his High Times blog; the Drohibition begins! This is also the first single from Ic's forthcoming Mr. Digital DOUBLE album, which drops on June 12th. Hit up homey's blog for more details on this, as well as that Pump Pirates mixtape.
On DJ Kayper's "Mixtape Challenge" (which can be found on the BBC Asian network), DJs are challeneged to fit 3-4 Desi tracks into a 15 minute set. My boy DJ Cable took the challenge, and it came out kind of hot!
02. Sukshinda - Shinda Wanga
03. Snoop Doog - Drop It Like It's Hot (Instrumental)
04. AC/DC - Back In Black
05. DJ H & Rags - Char Panj
06. Mavado - So Special/Unfinished Business Riddim (Instrumental)
07. Dil Se - Chaiyya Chaiyya
08. J-Kwon Tipsy (Instrumental)
09. Queen - We Will Rock You
10. DJ Starski & DJ AD - Right Thurr 2009
11. DJ Vix - Ah Chak Bottel Daru Di
12. DJ Class Feat. Lil Jon - I'm The Ish (Bonus Beats)
13. K.I.G. Family - Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes
14. Dizzee Rascal - Stand Up Tall
15. DJ Zinc - 138 Trek (Bonus Beats)
16. Jammin' - Go DJ
17. Skepta - Duppy
18. Benga - 26 Basslines
19. Shreya Ghosal - Silsila Ye Chahat Ka
20. Chase & Status - Eastern Jam
Grab this while you can!
Big Kuntry King ft. Young Dro & T.I. "I Do" (prod. by Nard & B) [clean \ dirty]: Them P$C niggas link up for a twinkly-piano gutter romp. I feel like they're trying to force Big Kuntry on us, when he should really just be some nigga's bodyguard.
Day26 ft. Jermaine Dupri "Need That": I wonder if going B'more was something Que's bitchass wanted. This really isn't THAT bad, but it's not bringing Bmore flavor to the mainstream anytime soon.
Shouts to the low-bee crew for this one!
related [video] More Day26 BitchAssNess!?!?
01. Rick Ross ft Kanye West, Lil’ Wayne & T-Pain - Maybach Music 2
02. Asher Roth Ft. Cee-Lo - Be By Myself
03. Method Man & Redman - Mrs.International
04. N.O.R.E. Feat. Nina Sky - Shoulders Move
05. Slim Thug - Gotta Get It
06. Fat Joe ft. Benisour - Cup Cakes
07. Nipsey Hussle Ft. Slauson Boyz - Roll The Windows Up
08. Uncle Murda ft. Bun B & Busta Rhymes - Gotta Have It
09. Trick Daddy Ft. BadGuy & Desloc - What Dey Do
10. Crooked I - Jackin For Beats
11. Joell Ortiz ft. Novel - Stand Up
12. Young Buck - Cant Catch Me
13. Memphis Bleek - Im For My Family
14. Uncle Murda - Make A Movie
15. Yung Joc - P.O.V. ft. LeToya
16. Memphis Bleek - Lil’ Youngin’
17. Rhymefest ft Haffa - Prove Myself
18. Bishop Lamont - Friends
19. South Park - Gay Fish (Long-Explicit Version)
- Eminem "We Made You"
- Busta Rhymes ft. Lil' Wayne & Jadakiss "Conglomerate"
- Rick Ross ft. Kanye West, T-Pain & Lil' Wayne "Maybach Music II" [Bonus Beats Rick Ross ft. Foxy Brown "Murda Mami" & Rick Ross "Crack A Bottle Freestyle"]
- Jadakiss "Ayo Freestyle"
- N.O.R.E. ft. Nina Sky "Shoulders Move" [clean \ dirty]
- Method Man & Redman "Mrs. International"
- Raekwon ft. Busta Rhymes "Death Wish"
- Lloyd Banks ft. Ron Browz "In Luv With Ya Boy"
- Young Buck "Can't Catch Me" (prod. by The Future)
- Asher Roth ft. Cee-Lo "Be By Myslef"
- Chamillionaire ft. J Holiday "Relax"
- Slim Thug "Gotta Get It"
- Shawty Lo ft. Gucci Mane "Put Em Up"
- Day 26 "Perfectly Blind" [Bonus Beats Day 26 "Loving You"]
- Jamie Foxx ft. T-Pain, Juelz Santana, Icadon, Young Jeezy, Busta Rhymes, Lil' Wayne & Yung Joc "Blame It (AA Remix)" [Bonus Beats Lady Gaga ft. Icadon "Poker Face (Remix)"]
- Lady GaGa ft. Chamillionaire "Poker Face" [Bonus Beats KiD CuDi ft. Kanye West & Common "I Poke Her Face"]
- Mike Maven "Sugar"
- Meagan Good "Starstruck"
- Beenie Man ft. Icadon "Streets Is Gettin' Hot (Remix)"
- Wayne Marshall "Blame It On The Weed"
- Vybz Kartel "Mek Me Tape It"
- Dizzee Rascal ft. Armand Van Helden "Bonkers"
- Amanda Diva ft. Styles P "Devils (Remix)"
- Joell Ortiz ft. Novel "Stand Up"
- Memphis Bleek "I'm For My Family" (prod. by Guru)
- Bishop Lamont "Friends" (prod. by Hi-Tek)
- Chevy P "Chevy Boi"
- Yo Gotti ft. Zed Zilla & Jeff Johnson "Phone Ring"
- Dame Grease ft. N.O.R.E. "OG Kush"
- French Montana ft. Dame Grease "Mac With Da Cheese"
- DJ Vadim ft. Pugs Atomz "Saturday"
- Chino XL "90 Bars Of Intervention" (prod. by Focus)
- Sadat X ft. KRS-One & Rahzel "Blow Up Da Spot"
- Serius Jones "Help (I Been Robbed)" (prod. by Needlz)
- Uncle Murda "Make A Movie"
- DV Alias Khryst ft. Uncle Murda, Bun B & Busta Rhymes "Gotta Have It"
- Keelay & Zaire ft. Slo Mo "Growin' Up"
- Wale "Penthouse Anthem"
- Rapper Big Pooh "Rear View Mirror" (prod. by 9th Wonder)
- Junclassic "Stop Watch" (prod. by Kid Hum)
- MAGr "Feelin' Us" (prod. by Tha S Ence) [Bonus Beats MAGr "Spike Lee" (prod. by Mike Slott)]
- Fes Taylor "Broken Wings" (prod. by Battery Jackson)
- Black Milk "Mo Power"
- Fresh Daily "Winterfresh (Flying Lotus Remix)"
- Wordsmith & I.N.C The Poet "On The Rocks"
- Articulate & Pendragon "Short & Sweet" (prod. by NasTAY TraXXX)
- Soulbrotha "Ezek323"
- Hellz Yea! "Go DJ"
- Wafeek "Sgt. Peppers"
- Max Mega ft. Von Pea & Justin Battle "Year Of The Other"
- T.E.F.L.O.N. "Eastcoast Shottas"
- Outasight "People, Places & Things" (prod. by Ryan Durkin)
- D. Julien "Horizon" (prod. by King I Divine)
- Rich Boy ft. 607 "Drop" [Bonus Beats 607 "Let's Go Dutch"]
- David RUSH "http://www.mediafire.com/?amlj40bngjy"
- Black Table Committee ft. Lee Majorz, Shugga, CTG & B.E. "Problem"
- Pierce "I'm So Fly"
- Cypher Linguistics ft. Tripp "ATL"
- New Boyz "You're A Jerk"
- Deams ft. Big Daddy Kane "State Your Game"
- Mr. Faylon ft. A.leon Craft & Gripplyaz "Beat Off In My Ride" (prod. by SMKA)
- Monsta & Ed Cox "Lost Clown"
- Q-Tip "Gettin' Up (5 Minutes of Manic Mix)"
- Nina Sky "On Some Bullshit (DJ Yonny Remix)"
- Marky Nothing Is 43ver
- Taliesin Samizdat Mix
- DJ Concept & Lefty Present Gangland 3 (The Young Misguided)
- Rhymefest The Manual Mixtape
- Suave The Ape Planet Of The Apes
- The Problemaddicts The Guestlist Preview
- Scanz Presents The Basement Chronicle
- DJ Concept Music Is Life, Part 2
MissInfo posted up this footage of Raekwon and Bobby Brown performing together in LA:
Enjoy the Easter weekend!
Mike Maven "Sugar": Here's a nice exclusive from the homey Mike Maven. This is a nice lil' tune... he described it to me as "Little Red Corvette meets Dirty Diana meets Kanye West", which I can see. Dude has that Soul in him, but the electronic and Hip-Hop influences are right there in his voice, right there in the beat. Some nice music to put on while you and your girl are having a great dinner... or are getting your foreplay on. Grown-up business here.
Raekwon ft. Busta Rhymes "Death Wish": Here's some gutter rap for your Good Friday festivities. Shouts to Alex at Killer Beez for this one; he also mentioned via e-mail that The RZA was helming a new Wu-Tang album? Hopefully its more The W and 8 Diagrams.
Jamie Foxx ft. T-Pain, Juelz Santana, Icadon, Young Jeezy, Busta Rhymes, Lil' Wayne & Yung Joc "Blame It (AA Remix)": I fuck with this track heavy, so its good to hear Icadon lend a verse to this one. Celebrate Good Friday with a bottle of liquor and some of your favorite white girls...
D. Julien "Horizon" (prod. by King I Divine): Here's another joint from D.Ju, who is steady rollin' the acclaim from The Experiment into his forthcoming project, which should be dropping early June. Nice track to get you hype in the early morning... well, with a bit of coffee. Why am I even AT work today!?!?
Keelay & Zaire ft. Slo Mo "Growin' Up": Peep this unreleased K&Z joint from the Riding High sessions; word is, when things with Riding High were slow, they would bang out cuts with Slo Mo, which, in terms of volume, is something like 3-4 albums deep with of joints. Hopefully the majority of them sound like this, or better!
David RUSH "Twitter @ Me": Here's the third twitter anthem I've gotten in the last few months. The odd thing about this is a) dude speaks about more than just twitter, and b) I don't know if this cat truly has twitter, as all I got was a MySpace page! I guess you can't win 'em all?
Anyways, RUSH is signed to Pitbull's Mr. 305 imprint, represents Jersey and has a single out ("Shooting Star") featuring both Kevin Rudolf AND Pitbull. Plus he has a mixtape (Moon Muzik) coming out later this month. Keep it locked!
related Icadon "Turn My Twitter On" \ Soulbrotha "Twitter Song"
My homey Manic (of "Killers Theme '08" fame) hit me with this ill video for his flip of Q-Tip's "Gettin' Up"; play spot the sample, see how it runs:
Bonus Beats Q-Tip "Gettin' Up (5 Minutes of Manic Mix)"
Yeah, I'm still on it.
Today on Normal Bias, laze posted up a sick episode of Club Crush, the WPRB radio show that Tony D was on for a bit. Classic Hip-Hop on this episode, don't even front.
Shouts to Fat Lace for throwing me some love the other day; they've got a few LP links, so if you're still sleepin' on Tony's prowess, I highly recommend checkin' 'em out!
N.O.R.E. ft. Nina Sky "Shoulders Move" [clean \ dirty]: Oh wow. This is some shit the DJ drops then WHEEEEEEEELS right back. This for them niggas who can't really dance, but have a MEEEEEEAN two-step. First single off NORE's S.O.R.E.; big up on the birth of your child, too, Nore!
Via 57th Ave.
Torae & Marco Polo - But Wait
The New Royales f. Self Scientific - Everywhere I Go
Step Brothers - It’s Coming Down
Blue & Exile - Blu Colla Workers
Nut-Rageous - Crusin’ In NYC
B-Real f. Sick Jacken - Psycho Realm Revolution
Johnson & Johnson - Wow!
Black Milk - Mo Power
Tools f. Termanology - Can’t Tell Me Nothing
Deams f. Big Daddy Kane - State Your Game
Strong Arm Steady f. Planet Asia & Chace Infinite - Black History
JR&PH7 f. Black Milk & Guilty Simpson - Top Rank
Black & Brown Project - Together As One
Skyzoo - Appreciation
MF Doom - That’s That
Blu vs Exile - LoveLine(s),DedicatedToLastFe’vrier
Eminem - We Made You
Even if I hate that last track...
I threw my interview with Paul Wall up on Boo Goo Do Boom like 20 minutes ago. Dude cracks me up; I remember trying to be objective when listening to The People's Champ, and just saying "fuck it", I dig his music without trying to (over-)analyze it. He also speaks on hsi forthcoming album, Fast Life, and the Houston Rap scene.
MoodSwingaz "The Blessin'": This cut is known through underground Hip-Hop circles, for good reason. Crews like this are hard to come by - they have dope flows and ill lines, but also known how to flip offbeat sample choices in their tracks, making it work VERY well. I like to think that these cats are what Cannibal Ox would've been if they weren't so abstract, lyrically, and had some real Timberland boot-wearing niggas on the boards for The Cold Vein instead of El-P. I miss shit like this, and CRU. If anyone can hook me up with a copy of Circa 2000, I'd be forever grateful. [Ed Note: We got Circa 2000!]
Bonus Beats MoodSwingaz "No Simulator"
I dropped "Refined Soul" on that ass last week, and now here's the full project. Scanz is another Jersey representer, making that quality Hip-Hop. Loads of ill features and fire beats on this one, so don't miss out! Big up to Sherm for this one!
DOWNLOAD Scanz Presents The Baement Chronicle
Hellz Yea! "Go DJ": This isn't over the Lil' Wayne joint, which is a good thing. Hellz does pay tribute to the DJs out there, who I still consider thee cats you need to fuck with to know what's rockin' or not (although us bloggers are giving them a run for their money). Support your local turntablists in the club or pon the mixtape.
- "What You Need" (ft. El Da Sensei & Blacastan)
- "It's A Khrysis" (ft. Blacastan, Krumb Snatcha & Lex Boogie) (prod. by Khrysis)
This is mixed by DJ Theory, and its ill, so check it out. Other cuts on this feature heads like J Dilla, Evidence, Copywrite, dead prez, Statik Selektah and others!
Queen Latifah "Jersey": Yes, my NJ love is still going strong. With Tony D's passing, I've been on some very pro-New Jerz shit (Noz sees it); I can't help it. Whenever my hometown, Trenton, or my state was shouted out in tracks, I always got open. In speaking to my boy Kris Kay, I realized us NJ niggas are just like that. The whole nation shits on Jersey something heavy, so we have that tough skin/"see, we CAN pop shit" thing in us. He was mentioning that, on Naughty By Nature's "Craziest", he would wyle out when his city got shouted out. Made me think of the New Jersey Drive OST, which was a huge part of my mid-'90s Hip-Hop love. Not just for "Can't You See", or that Ill Al Skratch joint, but for shit like hearing the Queen namecheck Bordentown (still random as shit to me to this day). Classic compilation. Here's a few of Hip-Hop's nicest, from NJ, and on that soundtrack. We run New Jerz.
Bonus Beats Redman "Where Am I"
Suave The Ape and Naive Native Designs bring forth the next chapter in Suave's Hip-Hop saga. Planet of the Apes rings true to the movie its based on, but throws Cornelius and Dr. Zaius into a Hip-Hop mindstate. Suave's put a lot of time into this, and that quality shows throughout. RTD stamps this one, and thinks you guys need to align with the apes... its face-ripping season, you know!
DOWNLOAD Suave The Ape x Naive Native Designs Planet of the Apes
khal: First off, can you state your name and affiliations for the heads who might not be aware of who you are?
Bobbie Fine: These days, I go by Bobbie Fine (aka B-Fine for my crate diggers and 90’s Hip-Hop heads), but it’s all the same. YZ gave me the name B-Fine in like ‘84 or ‘85. I was like “isn’t dude from Full Force named B-Fine?” and he was like “I don’t know, but he ain’t you, the ladies love you”. So there it is LOL.
khal: Thanks. Now, you’ve been involved in the Hip-Hop scene since the age of 15. I imagine you grew up listening to the music, but when did you first realize that you could write and spit with your peers?
Bobbie Fine: Before we did YZ’s first album (Sons of the Father), I was the emcee dude in my area of Jersey. Me and Z’s brother Young Star, we’re the ESD Posse from grammar school. We used to battle any and everyone we could. I was the more vocal, big mouth of us & Star was the cat that would punch you in the mouth after the battle if there was a problem. I’d really been writing rhymes and freestyling since 4th or 5th grade, when I first heard “The Breaks” by Kurtis Blow. So I always knew I was an emcee.
khal: Speaking of peers, who would you say were your peers in the game?
Bobbie Fine: Central Jersey was dope in the 80’s, especially Trenton. There was a cat named MC Force who I really looked up to, and Almighty was a beast to me back then. Of course, YZ, and when he was in Too Def with G-Rock, PRT, Blvd Mosse, MOB, Tony D (RIP) and Too Kool Posse were all cats that I admire. Even some heads around my way like Saladeen (my OG big homie from AC), Lester Brown, Mark Swain and even my younger brother Chill aka #9 (RIP) and his crew at the time are all that made me love Hp-Hp and want to be a part of it.
khal: You rolled with the central New Jersey crew heavy when you were first getting put on. What do you think about that geographical area made Trenton and the surrounding area different than the scenes in Philly or NY? Do you think you’d be a different MC if you grew up somewhere else?
Bobbie Fine: What made Central Jersey so dope was that you’ve got both Philly & New York’s energy, with just the right amount of originality back then. We respected Philly & NY and loved their sounds, but only borrowed just enough to sprinkle onto our own sound and style. I’d be a completely different emcee, recording artist producer & performer if I grew up anywhere else. True school of hard knocks stomping gounds.
khal: I’d be remiss if I didn’t speak to you about the recent passing of Tony D. He’s known as a legend in the Trenton Hip-Hop scene, and his status is certified. I’ve seen you speak on him as both your producer and your mentor. How did you first meet Tony?
Bobbie Fine: YZ was originally a dancer. He and G-Rock used to go to NY and dance at the club, and they were sick with it. His brother and I were the rap cats, so when Z and Tony met and started conceptualizing him recording music, Z used to always talk him up, so I couldn’t wait to meet him. One day, he finally took us over to meet Tone, and I remember walking down this long hallway, to where his bedroom was in his Mom’s house out in Ewing, and there was a long brown table with his drum machine on it. I remember he played me this beat and I spit something, and he was like “we gotta get him in the studio, too”. I was amped and I couldn’t believe someone doing music for real finally validated what I’d already known. He gave me a couple of beats to write to, and the first song we recorded was called “I’m The Principal”. It was one of those songs that was just Hip-Hop, raw. I wish I had a copy of it, but the sound is imprinted in my brain. I was like 14, young and dumb, and from that moment Tony made me realize that I could actually do something with myself as an artist.
khal: I know your crew, Blaque Spurm, worked with Tony, and you put some work in on the Crusaders For Real Hip-Hop project. How much work did you put in with Tony D? Do you have any tracks that never saw the light of day, or beat tapes of his that never got used?
Bobbie Fine: Well, during and after YZ’s first album, I put in work as Z’s hype man, wrote and co-wrote a couple of joints, so I was heavily involved in the album, which tightened my bond with Tone. When he and Z started falling out, I was in the middle of it on stand by, waiting for my day to come. Tone and I started to record joints for my 1st group conception, The Funk Family, which we were first approached by Dante Ross when he was at Elektra, but we ended up at a new label distributed by Interscope called Poetic Groove. We recorded an entire album and released 2 singles (“Think B4 U Step” b/w “Disperse” and “Anyway”, produced by the Baka Boyz) towards the end of our stay on PG. I was featured on most of the projects Tone put together back then, and we were as thick as thieves. I didn’t make a move without talking to him, and he was involved in my deal with Blaque Spurm and American Recordings via a mutual homie, Dan Charnas, who was an A&R at the time. I made some alliances in Houston from my days of touring with YZ, so the BS album was half Tone and half some new production friends of mine. I was hesitant at first, bringing in different producers, and thought Tone would think I didn’t want his sound anymore, but he loved the direction I was going in and welcomed it. We recorded the album and dropped a couple of singles, but ultimately were unhappy with the way Rick Rubin was dealing with his Hip-Hop acts at the time, so we got a release. Tone and I have so much material and I’m grateful that I got so many chances to work with him and be creative. He taught me more than I would have ever learned on my own, and made me, in so many ways, the person I am today.
khal: When was the last time you saw Tony? When did you last speak with him?
Bobbie Fine: Tone lost a lot of weight after getting out of prison, so the last time I saw him was before he went in. We’ll talk every couple months, just to check in and see how each others families are and if we still have love for the music. We talked last year about releasing all of the old tunes online and even putting out some singles. He hit me up on Facebook a couple of weeks ago and said he would hit on the weekend. Last week I had a show here in Houston, and performed this joint called “My 1st Love” which is a dedication to Hip-Hop over a Tony D beat. The next day, Tone was heavy on my heart, but I didn’t call him. My homie Dre, who was close with Tone, called me that evening and when I heard his voice, I knew it was about Tone.
khal: What are some of the tools or gems that you learned from Tony?
Bobbie Fine: The biggest lesson I’ve learned from Tone is not to compromise yourself or your music for anything or anyone. Tone did what he did because he didn’t care what anyone else thought about him as an artist. Watching him over the years tap the drum pads and make so many dope instrumentals made me want to start making beats of my own. When he told me I was a dope producer is when I started calling myself one. Before that I was just a beat maker.
khal: OK, so getting back to you, you spent a lot of time dropping cameos on a host of projects, from the Fu-Schnickens to the State of Emergency project. What would you say was your favorite guest feature and why?
Bobbie Fine: My very first cameo was on a remix with YZ called “In The Party”; this was also my introduction as the next cat from the camp to pop, so that was big. The fact that Z wanted me on the joint and that it was, I believe, a B-side on one of his singles was a really big deal.
khal: In your travels, you took a liking to Houston, Texas, and ended up staying out there. What was it about Houston that drew you to the city?
Bobbie Fine: It’s a city, but it’s really a big ass suburb and I like that. I love the gritty NY and the hectic LA, but HTX is just laid back and has a calm about that I needed, coming from Jersey. Artists like Royal Flush (aka Uckfe Ouye), Bun and UGK, Ghetto Boyz, Devin and the Odd Squad and so many other really talented underground cats let me know immediately that Hip-Hop was definitely alive in the South.
khal: Not knocking Houston MCs at all, but there are obvious differences to the way their MCs rhyme and how it’s done in the East. Did you ever find it difficult to get respect in the Hip-Hop circles down there?
Bobbie Fine: Absolutely not. I’ve always maintained a really good balance of being able to run with the coming down, grippin’ grain rapper folk as well as the backpack Hip-Hop heads in the city. I respect both hustles, and I am versatile, so I can hang with the best of both worlds.
khal: What’s going on with you today - do you have any albums on the way? What’s Ambidextrous Music all about?
Bobbie Fine: We produce music for networks. That’s our bread and butter. Fox Sports Net is our biggest client, but this year we plan on stepping up our game and pursuing some other major networks. We release projects every couple of years, just for the love of staying creative and letting folk know we’re still relevant. I’m working on a project with a partner of mine from Portland named KP (formerly of the group Pros & Cons). We have a group called Good Biz, and we’re putting the finishing touches on the album this month. I have another solo album up my sleeve that I want to release after the GB smoke clears, so we’re still at it. Future plans are a studio in Portland that’s being built right now, and possibly some touring this summer with the release of the GB album. We’re also starting a management company, so you’ll be hearing some new artists we’re working with really soon. Oh and we just did a deal with YZ to release all of the old material online. The release date is April 28th, so you’ll be able to log on to any music site and get The Funk Family, Blaque Spurm, my solo albums, #9 album and a bunch more.
khal: Do you tour regularly?
Bobbie Fine: I gig every once and a while, nothing consistent, but my dream is to go on a world tour before I hang it up. Working on that.
khal: Do you keep in contact with heads like YZ and the rest of your fam from the golden era?
Bobbie Fine: Z’s my brother from another mother. I talk to him all the time and still play a small part in what he’s doing. We give each other advice, and he’s a mentor of mine. I run into just about everyone online, and I keep in touch with a lot of the cats that I still look up to and admire.
khal: What would you like Bobbie Fine’s legacy to be?
Bobbie Fine: That I made good music, stayed true to myself and didn’t take the bait. I can make money anywhere, but I can’t change what I put out there for ears to listen to, so at the end of the day my kids respect that man I am and I can look in the mirror and know I didn’t just rap.
khal: Do you have any final thoughts or shoutouts to kick before we wrap this up?
Bobbie Fine: Without my big brother Pum, I couldn’t have lasted this long, so thank you for being my support system. To my wife, thanks for understanding that I was in love with Hip-Hop first, but it doesn’t mean I don’t love you and the kids, and to Tony Depula & Borne “#9” Humbert, keep smiling down on me and continue to show me the way through this journey in music. Both of you have contributed to who I am and what I represent. RIP. Oh and haters… choke on a fat one. LOL! Audi!!!