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Thursday, February 28, 2008


If you're a mix tape head, the name Recon-Struction rings more than a few bells. It's the title producer/DJ Vinroc gave to his late 90's sonic masterpiece. In my opinion, mixes like Recon-Struction are more important now than ever. They represent what is starting to become a forgotten time in rap music and hip hop culture. Check out my interview with Vinroc, and download the entire Recon-Struction tape (with Vin's permission) by clicking here. The interview is a very insightful and in depth breakdown of the making of Recon-Struciton and the lasting impact that it has had.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Can You Dig It? Vol. 17: DJ Day

Name: DJ Day

Claim to Fame: Most people probably know me from some of the records I’ve put out like the Nas remix or “Four Hills.” Some might remember me from the Return of the DJ series for the track I did with the Innernational Crew.

Representing: I represent Palm Springs with no shame.

Years in the Game: Too many to name, but I’ve been putting music out since ’95 and digging since ’93 or so.

Best Digging City or Town: San Francisco/The Bay Area is still the most consistent place to come up. Of course you’ve got Groove Merchant, Open Mind, Rasputin, etc., but you can still find joints all over if you look. I pulled the Soul Searchers We The People in the bins outside of Records in Sacramento for $0.50 last time I was there.

Most Prized Piece of Wax: That’s a tough one. Probably my copy of DST’s “Rockit” show vinyl. All it says is “DST/Herbie” in the run out groove. It’s a bunch of short clips of breaks and scratches with “fresh” repeating at the end. Like most fools my age, “Rockit” was that, “Oh shit!” moment that made me want to become a DJ. For me, having that piece of history is invaluable.

Favorite Album Cover/s: There’s an old budget comp on Columbia called Soul that I’ve always dug.

Dollar Bin Miracle: Damn, there have been a bunch. I’ve found the Willie Tee record that David Axelrod produced, the Jackson Sisters, and The Gimmicks in dollar bins. But the most bugged out one is Klute. There’s one remaining record store in Palm Springs and it’s in the mall. They mostly sell new stuff, but they also have a small section of used records. Most of the time it’s your usual shit, but I was in the back room one day looking through some records and there was the Klute OST just chilling on the shelf. I asked them how much they wanted for it and they gave it to me on the strength. Record karma is real, biatches!

Total Records Owned: Between 2,500 and 3,000 with a lot of bullshit in there no doubt. I hang on to wack records if there’s something to sample on them.

Best Digging Story: A few years ago I heard there was a guy who used to have a record store that lived way out in the middle of nowhere in the high desert. Think The Hills Have Eyes/Twilight Zone type desert. Anyway, I finally get in touch with him and make the drive to his house. When I get there I see a big ass semi trailer parked in the back. He takes me inside and it’s filled floor to ceiling with records. The trailer had already been hit by a well known dealer in LA, but he didn’t even get to a fraction of it. It took me all day and into the night and I still didn’t even make it through half of what was in there. Needless to say, I pulled some heat. Literally…it was like an oven in that thing.

To download DJ Day's remix of "It Ain't Hard To Tell" click here.

Check out DJ Day's kick ass blog with lots of cool posts and free downloads by clicking here. To visit his MySpace, click here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dirty Harry Tape #2

Dirty Harry- Tape #2 Side A

Dirty Harry- Tape #2 Side B

To keep with the theme of classic mix tapes, here is Dirty Harry's Tape #2 for your listening pleasure. I really want to get some discussion going on these, so please leave some comments. It only takes a minute and is much appreciated.

Monday, February 18, 2008

DJ Geo Roc- To The Death Vol. 4: The Return

Ok boys and girls, here is another mix tape CLASSIC from the mid/late 90's. I really don't know much about Geo Roc, except that he repped Queens HARD. I also know his career was way too short lived. Wherever he is, he needs to come back to the game.

Geo Roc's tapes, at least the two I have, are chock full of blends and skills. One of my favorite sections of this joint starts around the 4:30 mark, where Geo goes into an insane Mobb Deep section. He starts out with the original version of "Hell on Earth", and then goes on to flip different instrumentals, including several Mobb Deep beats, underneath Mobb lyrics. Highlights include the Drop A Gem On 'Em accapella over the Hell On Earth and Street Dreams beats . Shit is bananas!

It is so refreshing to hear a tape like this. You get lots of long forgotten things like doubling up, scratching and, best of all, a distinct lack of anything but rap. I confess that I like some of the multi genre mixed together stuff, but it has been beaten to death for the most part. DJ Geo Roc's To The Death Vol. 4, much like a lot of the tapes from this era, is a much needed change of pace.

Download it and post some feedback/comments.


Before Rap Phenomenon

I recently did a post featuring mix tape legend Dirty Harry's Tape #1 for download. In a matter of days, it has already reached the 200 download mark. Many people know Harry from the Rap Phenomenon series he did with DJ Vlad. Besides helping establish/blow up Vlad, the series is without a doubt one of the most critically acclaimed mix tape series of all times. Rap Phenomenon payed tribute to raps two most famous fallen legeneds, Biggie and 2 Pac, and featured tons of rare shit, blends, and creativity.

But Harry, a Queens based artist, always fucked with Pac and the west coast, even on his early releases. Here is a great blend he did of Tupac's "Temptations". If anyone knows what Harry mix tape this is from, post the info, because I honestly have no idea. I believe it came out in '96.


Temptations (Dirty Harry Blend)- 2 Pac

Saturday, February 16, 2008

DJ Soul's Blog Gives Shyne Some Shine

DJ Soul keeps providing the heat over at his Mic Check blog. This time the heat I speak of is a radio show MP3 from Stretch Armstrong's show on Hot 97 which features guests Black Rob and Shyne, days before Shyne's first album dropped on Bad Boy. I can't sell this enough...just download it and give it a good listen. Quality music, nice freestyles, plus interesting coversations with two promising rappers who are now locked up. To check out the OG post on Soul's blog, click here.

To download the MP3/give it a listen, refer to the DivShare bar below.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Classic Dirty Harry: Tape #1

Dirty Harry- Tape #1 Side A

Dirty Harry- Tape #1 Side B

If you’re a mix tape head, you’re familiar with the name Dirty Harry. The man has consistently dropped top notch blend tapes for the past decade plus. While he does not drop with the same regularity of many other famous mix tape DJ’s, Harry’s emphasis has always been on quality over quantity.

His first ever mix tape is no exception. The tape starts out with a bang as Harry blends “Freak Like Me” and “It Ain’t Hard to Tell” over Group Home’s “Supa Star” and never lets up. To own this is to own a piece of mix tape history. Do your self a favor and download this classic debut from a true mix tape icon.

Many thanks to the one and only Tapemasta for making this available at Rap Mullet through the Pushin' Tapes section.

To get the skinny on Dirty Harry, check out his MySpace and website.

7's Series: February

7’s Series is a new edition to Heavy in the Streets that I think will add a much needed visual element to my blog. The series will focus on the artistic endeavors of my friend Jake Thomashow, who I met in one of my senior art seminars in college over two years ago. Jake, who is also known in the graf world as 7, is an extremely talented photographer and graffiti artist. Jake will be sending me a mix of photographs of other peoples work as well as his own. Our goal is to bring you seven new images every month, with a mix of black and white and color. I’m very proud to present the work of Jake Thomashow in the first installment of 7’s Series.

Click on images to enlarge.

Info provided below each picture.

Venice Beach 1. Artist: Carlos. Barbershop. Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California.

Venice Beach 2. Artist: Carlos. Barbershop. Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California.

7 Caotic. Artist: 7. City Rivulet. Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Back Alley. Artist: Various Artists. Back Alley. City Center, Melbourne, Australia.

NZ Maori. Artist: Opto (Otis Frizzell). Maori Portrait. Auckland, New Zealand.

Richmond Fame. Artist: Unknown. Richmond Train Station. Melbourne, Australia.

Taki 183. Artist: Rueben (Rats Crew). Tribute to Taki 183. Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Photographs by Jake Thomashow aka 7

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Can You Dig It? Vol. 16: Eli Escobar (DJ Eli)

Name: Eli Escobar

Claim to Fame: I would like to think that people know me for being a somewhat versatile DJ. Since I was a kid I've never really had an interest in only one specific type of music. While that may seem commonplace these days, it wasn't always like that for DJ's. I've been producing different types of records for almost a decade, including some hip hop stuff for friends of mine from back in the day like The Juggaknots and MF Grimm. I also produced some hip hop stuff early in the 00's. I started putting out some House stuff that not too many people have heard. That sort of led me to where I am now, which I think is kind of all over the place. I still make my living, for the most part, as a DJ. I guess I'm known for a few different things.

Representing: I grew up uptown in Manhattan and I'm still here, I've just moved downtown.

Years in the Game: I’ve been in the vinyl collecting game for almost 25 years. I started buying records very early; I would say age 6 or 7. Around my way we had the Wiz on 96th Street as well as two Spanish record stores that sold some English language music. When hip hop started to get really big with "Roxanne Roxanne" and "Sucker MC's", I was going to these stores and buying 12 inches with money I would make from selling my toys in front of my building. At the same time I was really into groups like Duran Duran and all that new wave stuff, so I was getting all that shit. As far as DJing goes, I got my first set of real turntables in '93.

Best Digging City or Town: Overall I'm pretty sure you can't beat New York due to our history. With all the clubs, radio, and the amount of influential DJ's, there are just so many records floating around. I guess when you talk about the best digging spots; it all depends on what you're after. I will say that one of the most fruitful digging sessions I've ever had was in Rotterdam at this place Demon Fuzz. I went out there to DJ and they paid me like 1500 euros and put me up in a hotel across the street from that store. Needless to say, I came home without a dime. They had crazy 12 inches I never even knew existed like "Fame" by David Bowie. I'm not a big 45 guy, but I got this one 45 there by The Voices of East Harlem called "Right On Be Free" which is one of my favorite songs ever. That record is so ill!

Most Prized Piece of Wax: I'm not really sure I have anything too staggering, but I would say my "Family Tree" 12 inch is one of my most prized pieces and of course my Funky Nassau record is crazy.

The "One More Try" 12 inch by Ashford and Simpson is amazing. If something ever happened to that, I'd commit suicide.

I'd also say the Someone Prayed for This album with "Stand on the Word" on it, but those are just rare records that I also really love. To be honest, I don't care so much about that stuff anymore. I cherish my Jungle Brothers and Public Enemy albums more than anything because I think it's the most incredible music made during my lifetime.

Favorite Album Cover/s: I love the cover of the "La Vie En Rose" 12 inch by Grace Jones, which is also the picture I use for my blog.

The "Broken English" 12 inch by Marianne Faithfull is so iconic, and the European pressing has a slightly different picture that I love a lot.

Dollar Bin Miracle: I have a lot of those. I found "Got You Dancin'" by Karisma at some Trip Hop store back in the 90's for 99 cents.

And the Eighties Ladies' "Turned On To You" for a buck.

I also found the "Voices Inside My Head / When the World Is Running Down" 12 inch twice. That's a good record to have doubles of.

Total Records Owned: Not so many these days. I've sold mad shit, so I would say around 5 thousand now. I wanna have less, but I think I've got it down to the point where I couldn't bear to part with any of the ones left.

Best Digging Story: I wish I had some really funny and crazy story, but I don't think I do. I can say that I do remember the pre-Sound Library / A-1 days with a certain fondness. Those are great stores, I just feel like record digging lost some of its innocence when they came out. Back in school I became friends with J Zone, who was a very introverted and shy dude, which, if you're familiar with his records, might seem hard to imagine. He was definitely making the best beats out of everyone, so we hit it off.

He put me up on this spot in White Plains that was only open for eight months, but it was amazing. We raped that place! It was some DJ who wanted to sell off his collection so he opened a store to get rid of it. And, if you can believe it, no one was ever in there. I think a good percentage of my early 90's hip hop collection is courtesy of that guy. Another great store form that era was this place Vinyl Solution in Port Chester. Vinyl Solution was literally a bunch of records lying on the floor for two dollars each no matter what it was. Oh man, I used to go nuts in there. I’d come out with black fingertips and shit. I liked stores like that back then. They didn't have obnoxious signs in front of the listening station warning you not to "touch the grooves" or whatever.

To find out more about Eli Escobar, check out his MySpace and his Outside Broadcast blog.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Can You Dig It? Vol. 15: Egon

Name: Egon

Claim to Fame: I’m best know for managing Stones Throw Records, founding Now Again Records, and being friends with David Axelrod.

Representing: Los Angeles, California.

Years in the Game: I’ve been DJing since 1992, collecting records since 1992, and collecting funk and the like since 1995.

Egon, Lee Anthony of True Soul Records, Count Bass D, and DJ Signify at the Ultimate Breaks & Beats II benefit in Nashville, April 8, 2000.

Best Digging City or Town: Sao Paulo, Brazil has always been kind to me, but when it was happening, I was just killing it in New Orleans.

Most Prized Piece of Wax: Galt MacDermot's "Hamlet" acetate, Universouls' "New Generation" 45 on Tener Custom, and L.A. Carnival's "Blues For LA" acetate.

Favorite Album Cover/s: For the entire package? Lula Cortes and Ze Ramalho's Paebiru. For the front cover? Galt MacDermot's Shapes of Rhythm.

Dollar Bin Miracle: Too many to count boss. They were mostly dollar records found in warehouses back in the day.

Total Records Owned: A few thousand LPs and a few less 45s.

Best Digging Story: Well, here's a recent one: I just returned from LA where I hung out with the Kashmere Stage Band circa 1972 (including bassist Gerald Calhoun, drummer Craig Green and guitarist Earl Spiller) where they and the rest of the band played at Kashmere High School for Conrad O. Johnson, their 92 year old bandleader. They played "Zero Point", "Kashmere", and "All Praises" and they sounded exactly like the record versions. It was incredible, and all of it was filmed for a documentary on the band that is coming out around 2009. I already have all of the Kashmere albums and 45s, so I wasn't tripping on hitting up every band member for any old records he or she might have had, but I did score a few test presses, including "Kashmere '73”. That's special.

Kashmere Stage Band

To listen to an interview with the Kashmere Stage Band and Egon on NPR, click here.

Also make sure to check out Stones Throw Records and Now-Again Records.

RIP Conrad O. Johnson 1916-2008

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sloppy White: Your Favorite Obscure Rappers Favorite DJ

Sloppy White has made a name for himself in the mix tape game with his keen ability to unearth rare rap records that don't suck and making cool mixes out of them. He also designs some of the best mix tape covers I've ever seen. As if that weren’t enough, he was the first person to participate in my Can You Dig It? series.

Luckily for all you cheapskates out there, Sloppy has decided to let his mixes run free on the internet. He’s made all three available for download. Make sure to download all three, and check out the fresh cover art.

Fat Tape (03/2003)


Track Info

The Way It Was (06/2004)


Track Info

Get Some (01/2006)


Track Info

Learn more about Sloppy White by clicking here.

Can You Dig It? Vol. 14: DJ Mr. Supreme

Name: DJ Mr. Supreme

Claim to Fame: I’m probably best known for spinning in nightclubs, my record label Conception records, some of the groups and rappers I have produced or mix CD’s I have out. I currently have a track on the HBO The Wire soundtrack that was released 2 weeks ago. I wasn't aware that I was famous however, I'm just well known amongst other DJs and record nerds.

Representing: Seattle, Washington USA

Years in the Game: Plenty if you consider a picture I found of me playing 45's in 74. I was like 3 years old. My mother bought me a turntable for Christmas that year. From what she tells me, it was my favorite thing that she ever got me. The best part is how she explained to me that I took all of the children’s records she got me, chuked ‘em aside, and went straight for her personal funk and soul stash. Yeah!

Best Digging City or Town: I say NYC is best, but some might argue.

My reasons for saying this are:

1. They have a large black and Latin community. Therefore, there are lots of good tastes in music.
2. If you read labels, most of the stuff was manufactured in NYC. All the labels were there to begin with, so that means the records were also there.
3. They’ve had mad music history since day one from jazz to Latin to the disco scene and so on.
4. You have tourists and DJ’s from all around the world that come there regularly and bring boxes of good stuff from their country to trade with shops like Big City, A-1, Sound Library, etc.

So say what you will, but a lot of good records are in NYC. Other great places to dig are in the outskirts of cities in small towns that people never really go to. Usually they still have some records. Not many people hit them for that sort of thing and so the records are often dirt cheap.

Most Prized Piece of Wax: You know this is really a hard one because I have lots of great records. Different records have different personal meaning to me. I have original records from Flash and Bam's personal collection. I have some disco 12"s from Larry Levan’s collection. I have the original Ramellzee with the Basquait cover art. I also have a lot of dope 45's that are classic hip hop breaks and those mean a lot to me.

Favorite Album Cover/s: I once again have many. I love the Soul Expedition cover.

You can't front on Blue Note cover art either; there are so many classic and great ones.

I love the UK pressing of the Chakachas with nude sister with the red background.

Ice T’s "High Rollers" 12" isn't too shabby either. Big Shout to Darlene.

Dollar Bin Miracle: I have a bunch, including Stark Reality, Syl Johnson, Turner Bros., Dansers Inferno, Soul Swingers, and Priceless.

Total Records Owned: Who knows? I had 50,000 when I put them all in storage and have continued to add to the collection almost daily.

Best Digging Story: I was at the swap meet one day to look for records. They had an indoor part and I heard there was a guy with some records in that area. I got there nice and early, but he wasn't there and the stall was all covered up. I looked around at all the miscellaneous crap other people had while I was waiting for dude to show up. Finally he did and I went over and bent down to go through a stack. It was your normal Firestone Christmas records and crap. After about 3 minutes the power in the building went out and everyone was told they have to leave. I was pretty well fed up at that point.

I left without question and right when I get back to my car, I heard on the loudspeaker that the power was back on and everyone was welcome to shop inside. I was like, “Forget that crap!” I got in the car and before I started it I thought, “Wait, this is what I came out for” and made my way back. I started at the other end of the stall this time and found an ill disco 12" in the first box then another and another. I found heat upon heat upon heat, all for $1 a piece. I asked where the records came from and the seller said they were from an unpaid storage locker in NYC. The guy was from the east coast and had just come out to the west coast. I really cleaned up that day big time. I can't even remember how many records I bought.

To learn more about DJ Mr. Supreme and his 50,000 records, hit him up via MySpace.