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Saturday, August 29, 2009


Download the famous AM and Travis Barker Fix Your Face Vol. 1 and 2 mix tapes by clicking here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Shorty Swing

This is the best blend I've heard in a really long time. DJ Platurn takes the dance classic "Shorty Swing My Way" and gives it an unexpected reworking. This is one of those blends that I hate myself for not thinking of first. Download it by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Vinroc Interview at To The Disco

My man Vinroc released a killer instrumental project earlier this year by the name of Beat Freaks. It was an impressive debut; combining Vin's golden era hip hop roots with mellow and soulful samples. From front to back the album was full of creative surprises like Vin cutting in an unusual part of "Act Too...The Love Of My Life" by The Roots on the track "Lost and Found". As my appreciation for the album grew, I decided to interview Vin about what instrumentals had the biggest impact on him. Read the interview at To The Disco by clicking here.

To buy the digital download of Beat Freaks from I Tunes, click here.

To buy the digital download of Beat Freaks from Amazon, click here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Can You Dig It? Vol. 33: Jesse Felluss

Name: Jesse Felluss

Claim to Fame: I was pretty well known in the New York hip hop mix tape scene for the 6 Great Albums series. Now I’m more known as the dude that just rocks the party, whatever kind of party it is, 80’s, hip hop, house, or rock. In a way that kind of hurts me sometimes because I’m not known for one specific thing like hip hop or mash ups. These days, I’m going for more of the house vibe. I really like the energy of a house party going off.

Unfortunately, outside of the house scene it’s all Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Danity Kane. It’s alright, I guess. It gets the girls going, but it’s not really what I’m into. I’m working harder on my production than working the New York scene. To me, right now, the New York scene is played out. It’s stoke brokers and hot gold digging chicks that want to here cheesy music. That’s how I see the New York scene at the moment. I’m trying to bust out these house tracks, get on the road, and get out to where people want to get hit with something different, instead of just making a bunch of young girls gyrate. That can be fun too though (laughs). I can’t be too mad at it. I have my complaints, but overall, life is good. The DJ living is great. I get to sleep in and watch my soccer games during the day.

Representing: I grew up in DC and then spent three years of high school living in Port smith, New Hampshire. I went to college up in New Paltz, New York and then moved to NYC in 2000. I’ve been living in the same building ever since.

Years in the Game: If you consider me scratching on my brother’s record player and totally fucking the thing up DJing, I started DJing and buying records at around ‘93. For a while, I guess I wasn’t in the game, I was in my bedroom learning how to do everything. I was probably better than most club DJ’s when I started doing clubs because I had practiced so much. I didn’t have any gigs when I was in New Hampshire, so I did it as a hobby. I didn’t really think of DJing as a business until it started making me more money than my regular job. I made the leap, and here I am. I always practiced like a motherfucker, even before I was doing this as a job. A lot of people see DJing as a business first. With any art, you’re only going to be good at it if you’re thinking about the art first. If you’re only thinking about the money and the red carpet, nine out of ten times you really won’t go anywhere.

Best Digging City or Town: There’s a special place in my heart for the old school days when I first kind of discovered DJing. I would go to Satellite and Biscuit Head records in Boston. I could stay in those places for hours and hours. My friends would be wylin’ out like, “Dude, what is this, how can you spend three hours in one store?” So I ditched them and started going on trips to dig without them (Laughs).

The old Beat Street was really sick for everything hip hop that you needed. Rock & Soul was the home base I used to hit up on a weekly basis. That was always a good spot. Atlanta had some good spots. I haven’t spent too much time in California, but I found good shit in the vintage shops there. Some of the shops had really good records and they’d cost 99 cents. It’s great to be able to go into a shop and find dope records for that cheap. I remember San Diego having some good spots.

Back when I was in the DJ battle scene, I used to always go to Fat Beats for the Dirtstyle battle and hip hop records. Back when hip hop was fun (Laughs). It was great man, getting destroyed by I Emerge all the time (Laughs). It was fun.

Most Prized Piece of Wax: I would say my number one overall is the copy of Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly that my brother owned. When I first started fucking around with turntables, I’d put that shit on and when “Pusherman” came on, it was one of those musical moments where it took over my whole body. Listening to that record was my first vinyl moment. I put the needle on and it was all scratchy and it sounded great. That one always sticks out, it was just awesome.

Appetite for Destruction was one of my first records ever; I got it when I was in sixth grade. I used to read the words and sing along to that album. Picture that, a sixth grader signing along to "Mister Brownstone". I didn’t know what the words meant until a little later. I remember thinking, “Man, my mom let me sing that shit?” I guess she didn’t really know what the song meant either (Laughs).

I’d also have to say my first ever Booger Breaks record. When I first bought that, it got a workout. It actually got a work out for something like 10 years (Laughs). Whenever I practiced scratching, I would take that one out. When I first started DJing, I was mostly going to raves. Eventually I got a VHS copy of a DMC competition and that was my introduction to battles. When I got Bionic Booger Breaks, I was hearing every sampled I’d ever heard anyone scratch. I was going nuts.

Favorite Album Cover/s: I always liked the Appetite for Destruction.

The Illmatic cover was obviously dope.

A guy like me is always going to love The Chronic.

Abby Road by The Beatles is really good.

I like Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy. That cover looks all bugged out, like it’s a scene from Lord of the Rings.

Another cover I love is Jethro Tull’s Aqua Lung. That has a weird, medieval vibe to it.

Dollar Bin Miracle: There was this thrift store I went to in San Diego while I was on the 2003 Lipton Brisk Flavors of Hip-hop Tour. Everything record cost 99 cents. We were finding sick shit: 70’s, 80’s, and all original pressings. Some of us had to buy new crates to stick all of our new the records in. That was dope.

I like the Grateful Dead, and one time I got this triple live set of theirs for 25 cents at a yard sale. It was six records total. Sometimes I find the Dead boring, but sometimes I love listening to them. I can’t explain it, it’s weird. I have ADD like a motherfucker, so sometimes I have trouble listening to a 20 minute song.

Total Records Owned: I’ve cleaned out a lot of the stuff I don’t have an emotional connection to. Right now I’m probably rocking around 1,500 records. I only keep stuff that I’m actually going to want to play for myself. I’m not going to keep a copy of Lil’ John’s “Get Low”. I have no use for that ever again in my life.

Or Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love”. Yeah, it was a big song, but guess what? There’s never going to be a day in my life where I’m going to want to put that on in my living room.

I live in New York. I’d love to be one of those guys who has a basement like Jazzy Jay. That would be awesome if I had the room, but I don’t, so I got rid of the shit I really don’t need. It’s tough to start getting rid of records. The mentality used to be just horde that shit, because everyone wanted to be the guy with a million records.

Best Digging Story: I remember going to Boston on a digging trip with my friends when we were either sophomores or juniors in high school. For us to go to Boston solo was a big deal. We got so fucked up; we were drinking and smoking on the way there. Biscuit Head was on the second floor of some building and we didn’t know where the fuck we were going. Our car was running on fumes; it was a total mess.

Once we got to Biscuit Head, I didn’t want to leave. My friends were like, “Uh, this place is cool and all man, but we we’ve been here for a couple of hours and we want to eat.” I told them, “Go ahead, I’m here.” Just sitting there for hours and listening to records in the store was like heaven to me. That was the same day I got Booger Breaks and I also got to hit Satellite. My friends were pissed though. Oh man, they were pissed. They were not feeling me one bit. They didn’t really know what was happening inside me at the moment. Those trips were the beginnings of where I’m at today. After that day, they were done doing Boston trips with me.

Record shopping is great. There’s just something about flipping through those stacks. You never know when that next flick of the finger is going to expose some sick shit.

To find out more about Jesse Felluss, check out his MySpace.

Also make sure to check out his new band, Nue Pourn. You can download a free summer mix from Nue Porn titled Days of Color by clicking here.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Mike Boo's insane turntablist composition "Resolution" has been played today the bone today. I've been revisiting Mike's Dunhill Drone Committee album this week as I work on a bunch of writing, and I'm blown away by a lot of it. Every single musical component of the album is manually scratched. If you're like me, you'll find yourself listening to cuts like "Resolution" and saying, "How the fuck did he do that?" Please take a moment to appreciate this incredibly powerful scratch composition.

Download "Resolution" by Mike Boo.

To download the MP3 version of Dunhill Drone Committee, click here.

You can learn more about Mike Boo by checking his MySpace.

'Til My Tape Pop #1: Cosmo Baker- Love Break

This is a new interview idea for HITS. In this section, I'll discuss some of my favorite mix tapes with the DJ's that made them. I hope to cover a broad range of era's, styles, and regions. If you have a tape you would like included in the series, please shoot me an email. You can find my email address in my profile section. Big shout outs to Cosmo Baker for helping me set this thing off proper.

DJ Sorce-1: A lot of the music on Love Break was music that I’d either heard before or heard sampled before but wasn’t intimately familiar with. To hear it all on one mix…it blew my mind. I was a senior in college at the time and I started listening to it all the time. It’s one of those mixes where the sequencing and song selection are perfect. How did the concept to take a minimalist approach with mixing on a bunch of soul classics come about?

Cosmo Baker: It’s funny how the first Love Break came about. I had a gig in Philadelphia and had to drive from Brooklyn. Me, DJ Eleven, and DJ Crooked decided we we’re all gonna drive down to Philly together and hang out at the gig while I spun. Knowing that we had a two hour drive ahead of us, I decided to put some songs on a CD that I’d really like to listen to while driving. I did a rough version of Love Break as a CD I was just going to listen to for my drive to Philadelphia. We listened to it in on the way to Philly and on the way back. By the time we got home Eleven was like, “Yo man, you gotta put that out as a mix tape. That’s a really thorough mix.” I had done a couple of mixes that were kind of in that vein before, but nothing that was completely focused on classic slow jam soul music.

Love Break Tracklist:
01: Kool & The Break Introduction
02: Samuel Jonathan Johnston "My Music" (Used by Jadakiss)
03: Tom Brock "There's Nothing In This World That Can Stop Me From Loving You" (Used by Jay-Z)
04: The Dramatics "In The Rain" (Used by The Notorious B.I.G., Beenie Sigel, Bun B)
05: William Bell "I Forgot To Be Your Lover" (Used by Ludacris, Dilated Peoples)
06: William Bell & Mavis Staples "Strung Out" (Used by Cam'ron)
07: Nina Simone "Baltimore"
08: Gwen McCrae "Let's Straighten It Out" (Used by Wu-Tang Clan)
09: L.T.D. "Love Song" (Used by J Dilla, De La Soul)
10: The Isley Brothers "Hello It's Me"
11: The Meters "Wichita Lineman"
12: Eddie Kendricks "If You Let Me" (Used by Masta Ace)
13: Al Green "Light My Fire"
14: Heatwave "Star Of A Story" (Used by A Tribe Called Quest)
15: Curtis Mayfield "The Makings Of You" (Used by Monica)
16: Marvin Gaye "Come Live With Me Angel" (Used by G-Unit)
17: Gene Chandler "Tomorrow I May Not Feel The Same" (Used by Talib Kweli, Kool G. Rap)
18: The Dells "Does Anybody Even Know I'm Here"
19: Ethel Beatty "It's Your Love"
18: Aretha Franklin "With Everything I Feel In Me"
19: Joe Simon "Before The Night Is Over" (Used by Outkast)
18: David Ruffin "Common Man" (Used by Jay-Z)
19: Z.Z. Hill "That Ain't The Way You Make Love" (Used by Madvillian)
20: The Jackson 5 "We Got A Good Thing Going"
21: The Isley Brothers "Here We Go Again"
22: Madeline Bell "Make That Move"
23: Milton Wright "Keep It Up"
24: Odyssey "Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love"

After I decided to make an official version, the response was kind of overwhelming. First I put it up as a free download on The Rub site. Literally, within an hour and a half of putting it up, it had so many downloads that it crashed the site. We had to revamp it and put it up again as two separate MP3’s. Again, it crashed the site. At that point a few people said that they would host it for me on the free download tip. That was when I decided that I needed to put it out as physical product. People started buying it, the response was good, and as a result I put out Love Break 2 and I’m almost done with number 3.

Download a generous snippet of Love Break 2.

DJ Sorce-1: It’s funny that you said you made it for a road trip. Last summer I broke up with my girlfriend and hadn’t been listening to Love Break that much in the months around our break up. I took a road trip at the end of the summer and loaded up my CD binder with music for the drive. Love Break was one of the CD’s I put in and it was in rotation the entire trip. It’s perfect ride music to think about life and just reflect.

Cosmo Baker: It’s definitely good driving music. There have been tapes made before of original songs that have been sampled. For the most part, with a few exceptions, all of them were somewhat scattered. They’d play seven seconds of one sample, and then throw in 15 seconds of another, and so on. I always felt that didn’t do the songs justice. You gotta let a lot of those songs breath man. We’re in a day and age when people’s attention spans are so short that they want instant gratification and as soon as they get it they’re on to something else. That kind of runs contrary to my philosophy with playing music. With some records, you have to give the whole presentation. With that in mind, with the sequencing of Love Break, I wanted to make it like a perfect ark. That’s the thing with mix tapes, there’s a certain arc to it that has to happen. Have you ever seen High Fidelity?

DJ Sorce-1: Yeah, I love that movie.

Cosmo Baker: Well, there is that scene where he’s talking about the art of constructing a mix tape. He talks about highs and lows and reaching certain crescendos. All that stuff really rings true in the process of making mix tapes and I always try to keep that in mind while working on a tape.

DJ Sorce-1: That’s one of the interesting things about Love Break. You didn’t do anything over the top with scratching or blending, but you can tell there was a lot of effort put into the mix just by the way it flows.

Cosmo Baker: Actually, on the original version of Love Break, I did a doubles routine of The Supremes “It’s Time to Break Down”. That isn’t on Love Break, but it was on one of the original versions. I had a little doubles routine, but it was the only song where I did doubling or cutting. It sounded awkward. It kind of stuck out like a sore thumb. After realizing that routine didn’t fit, I decided in favor of letting the songs breath over doing any complex mixing or blending.

I really think that the art of selecting has been overshadowed over the past few years, especially with the advent of Serato. Everything is readily available; therefore DJ’s have a tendency to burn through records really fast. It’s almost like some DJ’s aren’t really considering what they’re playing. I recently made a Valentines Roll mix, which in all honesty, wasn’t even blending records, it was just playing records. In essence, with certain songs, the blending and the mixing can detract from the songs them selves, especially with these slow jam love songs. It’s almost appropriate to not mix the records.

DJ Sorce-1: I’m 25 and I love music, but I don’t have a deep knowledge of soul music. Your mix really sparked a desire to know more about this kind of music. I was talking to one of my friends about how the kind of music on Love Break might be some of the best music ever made. The lyrics are so honest and these songs are from a time when people were actually singing in the rawest form without the help of technology.

Cosmo Baker: That brings up a point that I was thinking about recently. I’m just as much a fan of contemporary R & B as the next guy, but I think that a lot of contemporary R & B lacks a certain honesty and vulnerability which is conveyed in the lyrics and music of R & B from a few decades ago. Those elements are definitely sorely missed.

DJ Sorce-1: Absolutely. When I talk to people about this CD, I always bring up the song “Wichita Lineman” by The Meters. It’s like the song is being told by an average everyman with an amazing voice. The lyrics are something a lot of people can pull meaning from.

Cosmo Baker: That’s such a beautiful song. Originally, it was a Glen Campbell song. It was a pretty big hit for him when he released it in the early 70’s.

Download Glen Campbell's version of "Wichita Lineman".

Lots of times artists during that time did cover versions of big hits. There is something about the way The Meters do their version that is so heartbreakingly beautiful. Not just the instrumentation, and not just the way it’s sung; it’s the total package. That’s a common thread that I tried to find with all of the songs I selected…a certain overall intensity of each record.

Download The Meter's version of "Wichita Lineman".

DJ Sorce-1: I’ve also used the phrase “heartbreakingly beautiful” to describe numerous songs on this mix tape. Another song that really kills me is Heatwave’s “Star of the Story”. That’s one of my favorites.

Cosmo Baker: I used to play that song incessantly. Many, many years ago I was with a girl for a while and then we broke up. I was distraught. I would play that song all the time. It totally conveyed how I felt. I felt like I didn’t need to express myself at all because I could listen to that song and they were expressing themselves in a perfect way that matched where my heart and mind were at. That song always strikes a cord and makes me think about…shit (laughs).

DJ Sorce-1: One song that is really interesting to me because of the use of string instruments is William Bell’s “I Forgot to Be Your Lover”. On some of these tracks it’s easy to overlook the instrumentation because of the power of the singers’ voices, but if you listen to the background of that song it’s very powerful. I was wondering if you wanted to talk about the mix of great vocals and background music.

Cosmo Baker: That’s such a beautiful record. I first heard it on a mix tape Soulman put out years ago. After hearing it for the first time, I became obsessed with finding that record. I eventually did find a copy of it in a dollar bin somewhere. William Bell was signed to Stax and that record is a perfect example of just how tight the studio band was for Stax. All the elements of the instruments are really powerful and at the same time really subtle. They never overpower his voice. The music is a perfect compliment to his voice and the lyrics.

It’s funny because that song has been sampled a bunch of times by people like Dilated Peoples and Ludacris, but when you listen to the original you’re just like, “Holy shit, this is the next level.” The R & B singer Jaheim did a cover of it years ago. Although it was definitely different because it was a contemporary R & B song, it still kind of conveyed the same energy with a more updated feel. To me, that’s a testament to its power and how well written a song it is. That’s what makes classic records. Not if it gets a lot of airplay, not if it does well on the charts, but because somebody like you or I can listen to it thirty years after the fact and be struck by the power of it. That’s a classic record.

Download William Bell's "I Forgot to be Your Lover".

DJ Sorce-1: When you bring up the lasting power of these songs, it kind of puzzles me that when I look at the Love Break track list, many of these artists are unknown to the average American music fan.

Cosmo Baker: There are definitely artists on there that are huge like The Isley Brothers, Aretha Franklin, and Nina Simone. Then there are some artists who are not as well known like Ethel Beatty, The Dramatics, William Bell, and Samuel Jonathan Johnston. I think one reason might be that for so long the music world was just as segregated as the real world. So where you would have an artist like The Dramatics selling out mad records in the black community, they wouldn’t cross over to the pop charts like a contemporary pop singer today.

DJ Sorce-1: I agree. Although I’m sure there are other reasons why some of these artists aren’t better known, race seems to have definitely played a part. We’ve talked about a few cuts on this mix tape that have deep meaning for you. Are there any other records on Love Break that you have a personal attachment to?

Cosmo Baker: Well, for the most part, I have a personal attachment to every record that’s on there. Every record has certain significance, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be, “I listened to this when I was breaking up with a girl” or “I listened to this when I was first dating this girl”. The Samuel Jonathan Johnston record is one that my friend Rich Medina put me up on at the party in Philadelphia we used to do together called The Remedy. The Aretha Franklin record is a record that I had in my crates for years and never listened to. One day I decided to throw it on and I was like, “Oh my god, this record is mind blowing.”

DJ Sorce-1: I get the sense that you’re one of those people that when you listen to a song, it often puts you back into a certain time and place.

Cosmo Baker: Word up. One of the things that I’m most proud of with the Love Break series is that I was able to present music that a lot of people are unfamiliar with and spark their interest. In your case, you said that you didn’t know a lot about classic R and B and soul and my mix set you off and made you want to check for that kind of music. That’s kind of how it works. At least, that’s how it worked in my case. I’d listen to records and want to learn more. It’s a never ending process and there is so much music out there to discover. I learn new shit every day and I don’t plan on ever stopping.

Download a generous snippet of Love Break.

To order a copy of Cosmo's Love Break CD, click here.

To learn more about Cosmo, check out his website.

And, if you like, read on as Cosmo talks records with me.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Rest in Peace William Tapply

Writer William G. Tapply passed away on July 28th at his home in Hancock, NH. He was one of the most influential and memorable professors that I had during my four years of college. I credit him with teaching me more about writing in one semester than the rest of the world taught me in my previous 21 years of life. I will miss his humor, insight, and advice.

Please take a minute to visit his website and check out some of his writing.

Also, The Boston Globe wrote an excellent obituary about him which you can read by clicking here.

New Producer Alert

Heavy in the Streets readers...I need your help. I've recently been put on to two new tracks from producer Clams Casino by Noz over CBRAP. Ever since hearing both, I've been trolling the Internet for information about this guy. I hit up countless blogs and major sites alike without much success. There have been brief informative moments, but I can't even find a damned MySpace so far.

He did personally made a comment on this blog. In addition to his blog commenting, in this interview Sha Stimuli credits Clams for helping him make what he says is his "most honest CD", in reference to his Hotter Than July mix tape, which you can download here (shout outs to 2DopeBoyz). With the exception of some tracks with Sha Stimuli, I've found nothing else. Please post a comment if you have some info about Clams, because I've been bumping both of these tracks non stop this summer.

Download "I'm God" by Lil' B.

Download "Always Have A Choice" by Havoc.

Bonus: This is the same beat Havoc uses in the above song. It appears Sha Stimuli used it first for his Love Jones mix tape.

Download "I Tried" by Sha Stimuli.

"The Beautiful Decay" by Skyzoo

If this new 9th Wonder produced joint by Skyzoo is an any indication of what The Salvation album is going to be like, I am without question going to cop it. I love these type of joints; A+ MCing over some nice soulful production. On top of picking a dope single, Skyzoo got a great visual assist here from video director Artemus Jenkins. Well done all around.

7's Series: July 2009

Click On Images to Enlarge.

Information Provided Below Each Image.

Tops. Artist: Toper. Rivulet Below Regent St. Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Underpass. Artist: Solo. Rivulet Below Regent St. Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Shapiro. Artist: 7. Rivulet Below Regent St. Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Scientific. Various Artists. Kasino Piece Extended. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Door 9. Artists: Peter and Lucy Gouldthorpe. Aurora Energy Mural. Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Door 7. Artists: Peter and Lucy Gouldthorpe. Aurora Energy Mural. Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

BBQ Burners 1. Artists: Dawns, Solo. Burners Jam: Clarence Sports Center. Clarence, Tasmania, Australia.