Tuesday, July 5, 2011

F3 - Words from Infinite [Part 2]


On "Can't Hold It Back" (feat. Tuffy Tuff, Chris Lo, & Smash Money):
(Download below)

It was just like… Okay, Tuff’s tryna get his foot back in, so Tuff jump on this joint. Chris was up-n-coming… and hungry… like “gimme that hard ass beat” … and I’m like just take it man, go… so he was like a little brother. Smash… what he did for me I couldn’t even repay him for. He was a perfectionist. He’s been in the studio where people are paying money or every take has to be right. Me… it’s hip-hop, if I miss a word or whatever, I just keep it moving. When he came along he cleaned everything up.

The significance of that song… It was an attempt to make an anthem. We call them symphonies, like Marley Marl’s “The Symphony.” There was a formula… we had to have a song for the ladies, a song for the club, a song for the radio, and a symphony.

On the Spice 1 concert at Station Square:

I was mad at my hood after the Spice 1 concert, because his manager heard so much about us... “I’m here to see y’all, I wanna see y’all” … That was actually the most we ever got paid to do a show and it was $1,500. I wanna say it was ’93 - ’94. It was at Station Square at the Ampitheatre. It was packed… Ron Brown and Ray Childress were the promoters and they did a good job, they got everybody there. The problem was… Hill and Hazelwood did not get along.

It was Mel-Man, us, and Kado from Homewood who has since passed away. And what they did was put Kado on, then Mel, then us… major mistake. I would even let Mel go after us… He was bigger than us as far as radio play, but we had the streets… The problem was that Kado went on… and the people from the Hill was up by the stage and they don’t care what you’re saying, they’re trying to intimidate you… So then Mel went on, and Mel did a hell of a show, it’s just that cats were booing cause he’s from the Hill… throwing shit and pushing up to the front so they can do what they do in his face. By maybe the third song all chaos broke loose. All I remember was jumping on stage to protect my equipment… Two SP-1200’s and two Technic 1200’s that nobody’s touching. I was so mad at everybody because cats from Hazelwood and Homewood almost couldn't wait to get in the middle of some shit... They didn't know it, but that may have been a major break for us had we been able to go on that night. I'm sure of it, pretty much.

They had a big ass picnic the next day, Spice One’s the guest of honor, Homewood Park is packed… I didn’t even go. No disrespect but like… we had the best show planned… I can’t even describe it, Rockin’ Rosh was gonna be beat juggling... We were gonna kill it, and we never got the chance.

But what came out of it was that Lil Dub, from up C-City.. I guess Spice must’ve heard him and he recorded a song with him. He put him in a national video, and Spice even rocked the ‘Homewood State’ hoodie in the video. The song was hot, too.

On battling Biz Markie and opening for Notorious B.I.G.:

I was a big Juice Crew fan… Gangstarr was probably my favorite group. Rakim is probably who got me motivated though.

I got a story though… I got into a battle with Biz. It was after a show at the Syrian Mosque, in the lobby of the Holiday Inn. I was feeling the pressure because Big Daddy Kane was watching. But I’m going in spitting freestyle, and Biz is up and he starts spitting writtens! So I’m like okay, let me spit something… And I spit this storytelling song called “Ruff Day.” I stumbled and couldn’t remember my fucking words, I guess I got a little nervous and shook. They asked if I had a tape but we didn’t have any. So, we flew home and did the tape [laughs]… But it was just funny that I was going back-n-forth for maybe an hour with Biz. And it was funny, because some months later on Biz's I Need a Haircut album I remember a lot of the stuff that he was spitting from the battle.


We opened for B.I.G. around the time Ready to Die came out. Hill cats were feeling him, they knew every word to everything he performed. I didn’t know that this dude was gonna be who he ended up being.

And to be honest with you, I’m gonna tell you a little story. My man was the weed dude. So he goes up to serve Big, and Big says “I gotchu, I gotchu” … but Big never paid him, so he got him for like 15 bags. And we laugh about that to this day, like “Big got out on you.”

F3 - The Stretch Tape (1993)
01. Intro
02. Stretch

03. The Lady Hustla (feat. Lady Hustla)
04. Ruff Day
05. I Knew I Was the Man
06. Trapped In Homewood (perf. by Kado)

07. Can't Hold It Back (feat. Tuffy Tuff, Chris Lo, & Smash Money)
08. Outro


Next up, Infinite speaks on the formation and idea behind Ruff Chemistry Records. And later, Infinite shares his experience working in Cali with Mel-Man, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and more.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

F3 - Words from Infinite [Part 1]


[Picture: Infinite, Rockin' Rosh]

Words from Infinite:

I started DJing when I was about 12, me and two other kids. One named Rasheed, that’s Rockin’ Rosh, who was making beats and stuff, and then another dude Ed, we called him Icee Ed. We used to do old cabarets at the Colisseum and the American Legion down in East Liberty, and that was our hook, we were so young and playing adult music and we were professional, did weddings and everything.

Since I was 12 I’ve been immersed in music. We got our beat machines from Tuffy Tuf, everything Tuffy had… we bought it when he got something new. He had a Dr. Rhythm, when he bought the Alesis we grabbed his Dr. Rhythm. When he moved on to a SP-1200, we grabbed his Alesis. And by the time I was able to afford the SP-1200 they had stopped making them, so I paid an ass-load of money to have one built. They sold for like $2500, I think I had to pay $4500 to get one built, but I had it at that time cause we were out in the streets.

Rockin’ [Rosh] got a full engineering ride to Penn State, big campus and everything. We took his DJing equipment up there and I made the mistake of giving him the SP and he flunked out. And from there it was music all the time.

Around that time was when we did our first white label tapes. The thing that held us back, well, me primarily, was that I always had one foot in the streets. And I believe that if you’re juggling you’re never gonna be the best at one thing, nah'mean? You’re only gonna be so good at this and so good at that. So, I never made the decision like, I’m gonna do this music whole-heartedly. … Sometimes they couldn’t get me to the studio [even] if they paid me. Other times when I was working a job, and wasn’t in the streets, the job interfered.

I can remember the first tape I sold… It was to a dude that… You know, a customer… I’m standing on the block with this gray bag of tapes. His name was Tom, he just passed away, Rest In Peace. He pulls up, I’m like, Tom I got this music, and these are full songs… the “It’s Ya Birthday” tape. He said, “man, this better not be no bullshit… here, man… ,” he was like… reluctant to pay for it. So it’s the dead winter like, I think it was December of ’92, and after about ten minutes he spins back around the block like “Wooo!!,” and then peeled off. And that’s when I said, yeah, we might have something.

I feel like we did a lot as far as the city. The entrepreneur thing… most people were chasing deals. We were one of the first, well… Tuffy kinda did it first… to come out the trunk with it. But, I believe we were the first to like… get the whole city behind us. Because, our first white label came out in ’92, at the exact same time that gang bangin’ hit the city, so it was real territorial. It was hard for cats from Homewood to be on the Hill, or in Garfield. I don’t know how we did it but we crossed all those lines. You could go anywhere in the city and hear people bangin’ “It’s Ya Birthday.”

I think part of it was that they didn’t know who we were, cause we didn’t put pictures on the tapes. To this day, even with Multiple Shots, we didn’t have our pictures on there, and that was me, because of the street shit... like, why would I be talking about this shit and put my picture out... nah... just never went out, and… I think I was scared of fame a little bit, and looking back, I should’ve been more outgoing and more of a self-promoter. I’d have rather our company made money, or we made money just showing up and do the shows, rather than being all in the [public’s eye]… that wasn’t me.

F3 - The Fanatics Tape '92
01. Fanatics of Unique
02. It's Ya Birthday
03. We Only Wanted 8

04. Riff Raff


For those that have problems with Rar files, here is a Zip file:

My personal experience... Infinite hooked me up with severals discs worth of his music. Overwhelming to say the least. But with this first tape... I was blown away.

I was playing the role of transportation for Elzhi, of Slum Village fame, when he was in Pittsburgh for the Rhyme Cal competition in December '10. I figured, hell, might as well put him on to some Pittsburgh classics (rightfully assuming that he had an appreciation for the '90s hip-hop sound). I put on "We Only Wanted 8" and saw his manager's head bobbing uncontrollably. He was bugging out about how the beat drops at the end of every 2nd bar. Elzhi was feeling it too. I just smirked, and proceeded to nod my head.

This is part one of an on-going interview with Infinite, of F3/Ruff Chemistry. More words and music coming soon, including the history of the Ruff Chemistry label and Infinite's experience working with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mel-Man, and more.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

DJ Double KK & Hardcore Crew (Mel-Man)

Live at Mirage 4/24/88:

Live in Aliquippia 8/6/88:

Live in Iowa 2/23/90:

Live at the Syria Mosque 2/1/90:

DMC DJ Battle, 1993 - Pittsburgh's first DJ to enter the world wide battle!:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

LOS & CLG - Chronicles of Robin Leach (2010)

LOS & CLG, now recognized as Folkland, released Chronicles of Robin Leach in 2010. They have since signed with Play On Records, which has distribution through Def Jam. The duo combine their unique rhyming styles to form a group that is on its way to becoming a powerful force in music and hip-hop. LOS has a twang to his rhyme delivery and added an impressive singing dimension to his vocal repetoire. CLG, aka Lemar French, is a versatile MC, and on this album showcases his ability ride any beat well. He also is responsible for much of the production on the album.

My favorite joints: "Calling," "Highest Mountain," "Favorite Girl," "So Far Away," "Up So High"

DOWNLOAD the Album

You can check out the videos from the release below.

For further information visit http://reverbnation.com/folkland

"Favorite Girl"

"So Far Away"

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ohio Takeover Tour: Pittsburgh Edition


Tomorrow is the much anticipated Ohio/Pittsburgh takeover show/in store. It's going to be a great show, so don't miss out on this opportunity to see some real dope hip-hop. The event is FREE. On the bill we have J. Rawls (from the legendary Lone Catalysts), Ill Poetic, Illogic, L.e for the Uncool, as well as Pittsburgh's own Varsity Squad and B-FreeDaMisfit. Also, DJing and hosting the show will be DJ Big Phill.

OHIO Takeover Tour: Pittsburgh Edition
APRIL 17th 3-5 pm
720 Music, Clothing, & Cafe
4405 Butler street
Pittsburgh, PA


Shade Cobain - Cobainish Theory (2011)


New release from Pittsburgh's "Producer of the Year," Shade Cobain!! An great addition to Shade's beat tape series, Shade has outdone himself once again.

Cobainish Theory would be classified as head-nod music. Short but sweet, I can assure that this album will have your head nodding for a solid 30 minutes. You can download the album for only $7.


Gene Stovall - 2 + 2 = 5 (2011)


One of the most prominent artists on Pittsburgh's music scene over the past decade is Gene Stovall. Rapper, singer, producer, beatbox extraoridinaire, drummer, guitarist... I really could keep going. The frontman for tens of bands which have featured some of the local scenes best musicians.

Earlier this year Gene released his debut album, 2 + 2 = 5. The album is produced in-full by Gene, and features an various arrangements of Gene showcasing his vocal abilities.

You can listen to the album on Gene's bandcamp page. Hard to pick favorite tracks, but I'll go with these: "2 + 2 = 5," "Walking On Ice," "Alpha Jive Arithmetic," "Electro Pop Memoir," "Cassette Tape Teens," "Example," "Listen," "Permutations"


EnSilence - Strange Fruit (2011)


Not many artists are as consistent with releasing music as this diamond in the ruff MC, EnSilence. Did I mention that everything she puts out is of top notch quality? Yeah, she's got skills and heart that are heard in every syllable of her music.

EnSilence recently dropped this new EP, Strange Fruit. It's a free download. My favorite joints are "Promise," "Malcolm Little," and "Strange Fruit." Take a listen!!


Connect - Arrival Tactics (2011)


The debut EP release from Fortified PhonetX member Connect, Arrival Tactics. It's a free download via Connect's bandcamp page. My favorite joints are "9 to Live" and "Get It." Check it out!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Shad Ali - The Appetizers EP (2011)




"Einstein" (feat. Ghosty & Jon Quest)




Follow Shad Ali


Sunday, March 6, 2011

GEO - Here I Come (1994)


Originally from Arlington, hip-hop artist GEO started his music career while living in Larimer. Raised in various cities throughout Pittsburgh, including Arlington, St. Clair, and Beltzhoover, GEO earned respect as a battle MC and by performing in talent shows at the Colisseum in Homewood. In 1994, Geo presented his first single, "Here I Come." The release also included the ruff street track, "My Krew."

A few years following the release of the "Here I Come" single, GEO linked with local producer Suga Free, formerly of the Misfits in da Attic, to complete the album Introduction to the Storm, as GEO was at this time referred to as the Almighty Geostorm. GEO credits Suga Free with teaching him about the structure and processes involved with making quality music.

"Cali G-Funk is a Pittsburgh sound"

In the late '90s, GEO moved to California. It was GEO's writing skills that made way for his move, as he studied and worked with the artists of SoulLife Records. GEO describes SoulLife Records as a breeding facility, where aspiring artists learn how to produce and how the industry works. Through his involvement in SoulLife Records, GEO collaborated with artists such as Mike City, Sunshine Anderson, and Nocturnal.

During his time in Cali, GEO's focus began to change from being a write to being a producer. Pittsburgh legend Mel-Man was already in the Cali area, working with Dr. Dre, and GEO was able to study both producers, among others, and he quickly developed an appreciation for the craft. GEO explains that constantly being surrounded by such talented producers inspired him to produce, not rap.

GEO is currently working as a music producer in California. He is working closely with rising hip-hop MC Rick Official.


GEO - "Here I Come" b/w "My Krew"



And here's a new joint from GEO - "The Almighty"


Saturday, February 26, 2011

E. Nyce & Kool Krush - Highly Untouchable (1991)


Highly Untouchable was released in 1991 on Out Cold Records. E. Nyce & Kool Krush teamed up with producer, and DJ, Kelly Nelson to complete two dope cuts, "Just A Lil Something" and "Street Poetry." As you can see in the photo, my copy is on cassette tape, but I'm aware that this had been released on vinyl as well.

According to some additional research, I can confirm that the MC's are from Pittsburgh. However, I'm unable to pinpoint a specific area of the city.

To my knowledge, this is the group's first and only official release. Both joints are nice. "Just A Lil Something" includes some impressive rhyme flows, while "Street Poetry" is guided by a KRS-One vocal sample, saying "Poetry is the language of imagination."

Check it out!!


"Just A Little Something"

"Street Poetry"

Producer Kelly Nelson has also been credited with producing the one and only additional Out Cold Records release. Def B's The Birth of Def was first released on Out Cold in 1991, and appears to have been re-issued a year later on another short-lived label, Echo Rapp. Similar to the E. Nyce & Kool Krush tape, the Def B record includes two tracks, "You Fell Off" and "Played Cheap." Unfortunately, I've yet to obtain this release. If you have the Def B record, you can share by dropping a link in the comments or by e-mailing the tracks to stilltownmgmt@gmail.com


Beedie - Ruff Draft: J. Dilla Changed My Life! (2011)


This project is in honor of Beedie's favorite producer, J. Dilla. On this new release, Beedie takes on the pressure and challenge of combining his MCing skills with Dilla's Ruff Draft EP. Beedie imprints his own style and story on the tracks, without straying from the original concepts first formed by Dilla years ago.


Monday, January 31, 2011

Ensilence - I Love the 90's Mixtape Vol. II

Here's a new tape I did paying homage to some of the 90's classics that I grew up on. Not only that but recognizing that most of these artist have fathered my style. ~ Ensilence

03-Shut Em Down
04-Ready Or Not
05-It Ain't Hard To Tell
06-Wisdom Body
08-Electric Relaxation
09-Verbal Gemz
10-Know The Ledge
11-Street Struck
12-Murder Was The Case



NEW SINGLE: Ensilence - "No One Else" (Prod. by BusCrates 16-Bit Ensemble)
Ensilence - No One Else by BusCrates 16-Bit Ensemble


Saturday, January 15, 2011

BLACKSUN - "Here We Go Again"


Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl Anthem 2011




Follow BLACKSUN on Twitter