FRE$H PRESENTS:Underground Movements

Hiphop Headz you need to check out this new Underground group from New Orleans called “The Last Real Ones”. The core members are Big Rick, Cell The Great, Polo, & K Black, they’re getting ready to drop their first group album called “Playin’ For Keeps”. And Big Rick is coming with his solo album “Life’s A Bitch”. Do yourselves a favor and get these two albums, you can get ’em from iTunes or CDbaby. Don’t sleep on this group or you’re gonna oversleep and miss out.


FRE$H Throwback Review

r-483017-1129279174Turn off your iPods and MP3 Players and stroll down memory lane with me for a minute. The year is Summer ’94 when the Compton O.G. MC Eiht dropped this street gem “We Come Strapped”. It was perfect timing because Eiht had just come fresh off a successful run with his hit single “Straight Up menace” which was the highlighted song on the classic “Menace 2 Society” soundtrack. So it was natural us Hiphop was waiting, wondering when was he coming out with an album. It was worth the wait and Eihthype did not disappoint, the production value alone was worth buying this album over and over again. I love how he and DJ Slip played with the bassline throughout the album every song had a different bass tune that made you thank the man upstairs for installing those twelves and fifteens in your trunk. “Niggaz that kill endolude”  set the tone for the album, but I was geeked when I found out the “Def Wish3” intro was sampled from the “Deep Cover” movie and “Def Wish3” although it was a diss song to DJ Quik who he was rivaling with at the time (they’ve settled their differences since then) this cut featured vocals from Carla Evans who put some soul into this gangsta azz song, it would’ve been nice if Eiht would’ve let her do a solo on this album. “All For The Money” which was the single sampled the soulful beat from “In The Mood” by the late great Tyrone Davis, it was after hearing  this I started listening to him. Although MC Eiht didn’t have witty punchlines in his rhymes, what he rapped about was all that mattered “Take 2 With Me”, “Niggaz Make The Hood Go Round”, “We Come Strapped”, “Going Out Like Geez” & “Nothing But A Gangsta” was the only cut to featured the Emcees Spice 1 & Redman. That was those gritty hood tales we loved hearing about, the very substance that is missing in today’s hiphop. But While he had all these trunkbangers he had smooth cuts like”Can I Still Kill It”, “Compton Bomb”, “Hardtimes” & “2 Tha  Westside” that was real easy on the ears, these four cuts are so smooth and laid back they could’ve been reused as R&B beats. But what really stoodout on this album was the use of live instruments. I love the sounds of the Bass, Piano, Flute. It’s so soothing when you add live instruments, it brings out a certain sexiness in the songs that can’t be matched buy protools or any other digital format. Which is why this album is easily gained a top 5 spot of my top 10 favorite Westcoast hiphop albums. I smoked a lot of Cigars and drunk plenty of Cognac while listening to this amazing Hiphop Masterpiece from July 19, 1994 it’s original release date to 2017, it aged well and it still get regular spins in my deck. Digital downloads don’t do this album justice, if you’re an old skool hiphop head and you have this laying around on tape or CD, I suggest you pull out that cassette or CD walkman wipe the dust off, put in some fresh batteries, put your headphones on and let it play and take it all in like it’s 1994 Geeeaaaaaaah.



In the year 2019 Hiphop will be forty years old and throughout it’s storied evolution from the rapping and breakdancing to graffiti writing and beatboxing when it started on the corners of the Bronx on up to the Corporate record labels. There’s been one constant undeniable force through it all and that force is the DJ. To the average listener and party goers the DJ is just a person who play music, But the role of a DJ is very, very critical in the music industry. Not only the DJ play music, but he’s the silent backbone of the Emcee. Some DJs even have the influence to make or break your music career. Some DJs went on to become very successful in different areas of the industry. But they started off scratching those turntables.

In 1974, the Genesis of Hiphop there was no Emcees, no mics, no rhymes, just the DJ and his turntables. When DJ Kool Herc decided to take those Disco, Soul & Funk Records mix one breakdown with another one the old folks thought he lost his damn mind. But little did they know Kool Herc was creating a paradigm shift for a new generation of DJs called scratching & Breakmixing giving those R&B records that fresh edgy mixdown. Neighborhood kids started dancing to the break mixes and shortly afterwards they became known as the breakdancers. It was amazing to witness these breakdancers create some of the most incredible dance routines all to the breakbeat of the DJ. Then in ’77 the Cold Crush Brothers was the first Emcees to grab a mic and spit a rhyme to a beat done by a DJ. The DJs started something new, it was fresh, it was a revolution, it was Hiphop.

As Hiphop progressed into the 80s the artists started to evolve, the role of the DJs evolved with them. See nowadays when a rapper perform at a concert he got lights, power technics and special affects, but in the early days all the artist had was his mic, his DJ and a stack of wax. And the DJ was all the artist needed because the DJ was the driving force behind the performance. His job was to get the crowd hype and in good spirits while anticipating the rapper to make his grand entrance and mesmerize them with his killa flow. Sometimes the rapper would be gracious enough to let the DJ spit a rhyme or two, The DJ would come from behind his turntables grab the mic, spit about eight bars then go back behind his turntables. Another side of their evolution was that some of them started getting into production and created magnificent sounds for the artists even helped them with their image. For instance the late “Jam Master Jay” he never said anything, never whispered a rhyme. To the public he was just a DJ for RUN DMC, but behind the scenes he was the mastermind he had the idea for them to wear all black with the leather jackets. It was also his idea for them to wear Adidas with no shoelaces and it became a marketing phenomenon. “DJ READY REDD” of the Geto Boys he’s the musical enforcer for a reason, he shaped their sound on “Making Trouble” and “Grip It On The Other Level”. He was the first DJ to use samples from the Scarface movie before any other producer in the industry. Dr. Dre he started off as a DJ for the “World Class Wrecking Crew” then became one of the baddest producers to ever touch a mixing board. They all went on to do great things, but they was DJs first.

From the 80s on up to now some DJs can make or break your career, because they be the ones you have to take your music to in order to get played whether it be on the radio or in the club. You ask the DJ to hear your music and if he’s gracious enough to listen to it. If he shake his head yeah it’s gonna get played, if he shake his head no then you shit outta luck.But if he decide to play it for the club or the on radio the club crowd and the radio listeners will decide what should be done with it. Plus a lot of these DJs can be your gateway into the industry because they know the right hands to put it in. Or they can host your Mixtapes, the role of the DJ has come a long way from scratching on the corners to producing platinum selling albums. Bottomline without the DJ there’s no such thing as Hiphop, without the DJ there wouldn’t be no memorable houseparties or concerts and without the DJ the industry wouldn’t evolve the way it do. DJs aren’t the only factor in Hiphop,but they’re a major factor. Their role is just as important as the Executives, Managers, Agents and promotors. And far the club DJs they know their crowd. They know what a certain section of folks like and don’t like. So when you’re in the club and you hear your favorite song, then you jump us and say “Oh that’s my jam, it’s like he playing that song just for me”…you better believe he’s playing just for you.  Shout out to “DJ Kool Herc” thanks for going against the grain creating a phenomenonal sound for our generation.


Must not be the music

Lately Hiphop has been getting a bad rep for the type of content that has been presented in the passed few years. From the songs that lacks meaning to our ears and mind to the images that’s hard to look at without shaking our heads in disappointment. But hiphop isn’t the only musical genre catching the heat. It’s also R&B, Country, Jazz, Gospel, Rock & Roll and Heavy Metal. Every avid listener of each genre says the same thing about the music they hold so dear to their heart. “It’s not the same like it use to be” or “Now that’s when we had music, I don’t know what that is they’re playing nowadays”. We all said it or heard somebody say it at one time or another. But hiphop is getting the worst of it, the image, the sound, the opinions is just getting drug through the mud. We feel it’s missing two ingredients that made it so special that’s Music and Lyrics. You take that and mix it with the Graffiti spray paint, breakdancing, scratching and mixing then top it off with the gold rope chain and Locs and you had a nice bowl of hiphop. Men loved it like a woman, Women loved it like a man many, many days and nights hiphop was all we had. It got us through those rough times, it made us think, laugh, and cry and we could relate to it on so many levels because it feels at times like those Rappers & Emcees (there’s a difference) made a particular song just for us depending on your current situation at that moment. But we also feel there’s another reason why the craft is so beat down  it’s not just the music, but it’s also the meddling of the Corperations “The Fat Cats”, “The Greedy Bastards”, “The Suits”. Who could give two shits about the art as long as the Major Label the artist is under is impressing their shareholders and and raising the (EPS) Earnings Per Share and increase their stock payouts. But they’re doing it at the expense of the artist and against the desire of the fans. If only the artists and the fans can take back the music, the craft, the creative control and the business hiphop and the other genres will go back to the way it was. Like when Kool Herc was scratching and spinning those records at the house parties in the South Bronx and created hiphop, Like when Little Richard took blues twisted it up created Rock & Roll, Like when The Carter Family & Jimmie Rogers out of Bristol Tennessee mixed Mountain Music with a ballad  and created Country Music, Like when Thomas A. Dorsey mixed Blues with Religious hymns and created Gospel. Like when Buddy Bolden mixed African Drums with European horns and created Jazz, Like when Cab Calloway mixed Blues and Jazz speeded it up and created R&B, Like when Cream mixed Blues and Rock and gave it a amped up, edgy, acid feel and created Heavy Metal. If they can get it back to where only the music mattered. Music would go back to being that mistress we fell in love with a lifetime ago. But it’s not dead it grows, it changes, it never stays the same. But we are desperately yearning for the sound and the feeling we had when hiphop and the other genres was new, fresh and vibrant but remember all we have to do is push play and our era is here until the next civilization. May Ol’ Skool Hiphop live forever, Peace