Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hip-hop reggae!

Last week we mentioned some of the most sampled soul, funk and jazz acts of all time and discussed their importance with regard to the creation of what we now call hip-hop. It's interesting that while soul, funk and jazz remain the most sampled music genres hip-hop producers have also taken many loops from rock records too, and back in the late 70's and early 80's drum breaks from Thin Lizzy, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin were regularly sampled in the embryonic stages of the music.
Meanwhile reggae and dub, despite being music that also opened the gates for hip-hop in New York and beyond, played a more subtle role in hip-hop from a sampling perspective. Despite this, when utilised together, the two musics can have a devastating impact. I recently wrote an article here about dancehall but today

I'm gonna look at ten classic combinations of more conventional hip-hop artists putting reggae to great use. The music that was originally born out of Jamaicans love for American r&b and jazz, eventually found it's way around the world and as waves of Jamaican immigrants arrived in New York in the 70's they brought reggae, DJ Culture, spoken word rap stylings and even production techniques to the studios of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. If it wasn't for DJ's such as Kool Herc, there would be no hip-hop, and if it wasn't for reggae and dub, there certainly wouldn't have been such a panache and freshness about this music that eventually became bigger than ever 10 and 20 years later. Here are ten who had the reggae at the forefront! (Article originally appearing in last weeks Evening Echo)

Catch a mix next Saturday on Black on Red featuring many of these on more

7-10PM Saturday http://redfm.ie

1-Boogie Down Productions
KRS-One and Scott La Rock were one of the finest purveyors of the reggae hip-hop style, and even after Scotts tragic death KRS went on to become one of the great exponents of Jamaican vocal stylings over hip-hop beats.
2-Poor Righteous Teachers
Not as well known these days as KRS or BDP, but this Jersey crew had some underground hits back in the day, and they always had a nice reggae vibe with some conscious roots sounds fused with their rhythms.
3-J Live
A New York MC, Producer and DJ who burst onto the scene with the Sister Nancy sampling "Longevity", using a loop also prominently executed by Diamond D. J Live has since sampled reggae a number of times and cut up "East of the River Nile" beautifully on 'Satisfied"
4-Roots Manuva
UK rapper always heavy on the reggae and indeed ragga plus plenty of his music comes in dub format too.
5-Smiff N 'Wessun
Boot Camp Clik members who hit us with the classic "Sound Bwoy Burriel" and who's rapper Tek has always had a reggae vibe. Fellow members of the Boot Camp, Heltah Skeltah, O.G.C and the mighty Black Moon, were also influenced by reggae stylings.
6-The Fugees
Even before Lauryn Hill and Wyclef went on to solo success with a heavy Caribbean influence reflecting their Haitian roots, their two albums were dominated by clever reggae samples.
80's rap and reggae artist who was way ahead of his time and paved the way for many of the successful stars to follow.
UK rapper/singer turned pop star is another who is proud of her reggae roots, prominently displayed on her recent "Magnificent" single.
9-Phife Dawg
The lessor known of the two main rappers in A Tribe Called Quest was a reggae and dancehall fanatic and even released some solo singles in this mould.
10-Black Star
Both Mos Def and Talib Kweli have been huge respectors of roots and reggae in their solo career, so it was no suprise that their collaborative work was similar in outlook

Some videos

Black Star

Can't tell ya how big this was at the time!

Roots Manuva


Poor Righteous Teachers



Diamond D

File with "Longevity" by J Live

Monday, March 30, 2009

My newmix

Hi everyone, I posted an episode to my podcast, Stevie Gs podcast.

Click this link to check it out:
Stevie G presents Remind Me-an r&b selection of soulful tunes over hip-hop beats

- Stevie

Yo Latino paves way for Carnivale this Friday!

Yo Latino
was a night that ran in the Half Moon for about 4 years at the turn of the decade in the late 90's. Originally it started off with DJ's such as Paul Murphy and guests and I ended up as a resident fairly shortly afterwards with DJ's such as Paul Tarpey, Aran and Ray from Shake and lots more. As a self proclaimed non expert in latin music it was challenging and i used spin a lot of latin based soul, funk, disco, house and hip-hop with the more conventional flavours from South America and even New York. It was a fantastic night and I learnt a lot from it-This Friday there is a similar night running in the Pavilion called Carnivale and all proceeds go to charity. Dress up and party like it's the dead of summer as we combine Carnivale with Jam on Friday in the Pavilion!




Stan Getz-Saudade Vem Correndo

Tito Puente-Oye Coma Va

Cal Tjader-Shosana

Red Astaire-Follow Me

Ray Baretto-Ban Ban Qeure

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Five days of work, one whole day of play!

C'mon everybody get your roller skates today!

A few tunes for a Saturday!

Oliver Cheatman

"Get down Saturday Night"
I always have this with me on a Saturday

De La Soul

"A Roller skating Jam named Saturdays"
not the original mix which i prefer but Morales is on point here too!

"Saturday in the Park"
One of the many sampled by De La Soul

Alexander O'Neal and Cherelle

"Saturday Love"
This was big for me back in the day!

T Connection
"Saturday Night"

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tune of the day!

with a few bonus tracks for those who like this kinda flavour!

The Real heavyweight Back Bar soul flavour this was a huge anthem for me throughout the 90s it was hard to find at the time but a big favourite!

R.I.P. Curty Cuts




Faith Evans

with the killer James Brown loop

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A couple for the breakdancers ahead of our party this Friday at Jam at the Pavilion

Featuring the Rhythm Rebels amongst others live on stage after Doubletime only a fiver in!

Mc Lyte and many more tore this groove up; another one of their many great influences.

Oh yes, the original and still the best Juan Atkins was one of the Godfathers

I Know i posted this before but the original is one of my favourite 12"s and perfect for Jam!

DJ Globe and the WhizzKids classic covered on a rare 12" from Gang Starr that is in my possession "Real DJ's know how to rock the show"

I love house and i love where it collides with breaks this is never gonna get tired!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Theophilus London hitting Jam April 17th at the Pavilion celebrating Cork Fashion Week!



Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bad news and a tiny bit of good news!

The Bad News

Please note THE MIGHTY DIAMONDS show due to take place in The Pavilion on Tuesday 31 March has been postponed…

‘Donald "Tabby" Shaw, Fitzroy "Bunny" Simpson and Lloyd " Judge" Ferguson were all denied visas on appeal this week. There is only get one chance to make an appeal before the visa is completely denied and the process has to be started all over again. The system for UK visas has radically changed in the last few months, and since the last tour. Their Irish visas were dependent upon their UK visas and were to be collected in London.’

Refunds available from point of purchase. New dates will be announced once confirmed.


13 Carey's Lane(just off Patrick Street)

Cork City.

The Good News (here is a classic tune to cheer ya up on a Tuesday morning)

Monday, March 23, 2009

The most sampled artists in hip-hop?

We've often talked about sampling here through the years. It's been an integral part of hip-hop and when done well, it has brought us some great music by the likes of Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest, J Dilla, De La Soul and many more great acts! Those who have been sampled have not done too badly out of either and it has helped resurrect the career of many soul, funk and jazz artists who have deservedly found a new young audience and got some long overdue royalties to boot. The obvious beneficiary has been James Brown but it obvious works both ways, if there was no James Brown there most certainly would not have been hip-hop. This week I'm gonna count down the top ten most sampled artists by hip-hop. If you are into rap music and you don't have music by these guys I would highly recommend a trip to your local record store or get downloading fast!

1-James Brown
The hardest working man in showbusiness was also the most sampled, and he is rightly heralded as the Godfather of not only soul and funk but hip-hop too. His bands were so tight that the music formed a perfect template for hip-hop breaks, and there is hardly an influential hip-hop album that hasn't used his music over the years.

2-George Clinton
Parliament and Funkadelic used many of the same musicians as the Godfather in the late 70's and again the funk grooves were tight and with so much variety in their music, it wasn't just the drum breaks that became hip-hop staples. Particularly influential on the west coast hip-hop scene, there would be no G Funk without P Funk, of that I am 100% certain!

3-Kool and the Gang
A lot of people may only remember these guys for disco era hits like "Celebrate" and "Ladies Night", but back in the early 70's they were one of the top funk and soul bands on the planet and uptempo numbers such as "Spirit of the Boogie" aswell as jazz grooves like "Summer Madness" plus many more were used by loads of rap producers in the 80's and 90's.

4-Sly and the Family Stone
Sly Stone is a music legend and paved the way for Prince and influenced everyone from Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix to a few generation of hip-hop artists years later. His multi cultural band and peace and love vibes brought us some great music in the 60's, and when it all began to fall apart he left us with a despairing classic album ("There's a riot Goin On") that sounds better than ever in 2009.

5-The Average White Band
Scottish funk band who were anything but average laid down some amazing grooves and were suitably pillaged by A Tribe Called Quest and co

6-The Meters
New Orleans funk outfit who are massively respected and of course massively sampled aswell. In recent years Amerie's "I Thing" became a huge hit on the back of one of their grooves.

7-Bob James
Jazz funk flavours have always been really popular among hip-hop producers and Bob James, Grover Washington, Roy Ayers, Bobbi Humphrey and Donald Byrd are just a few who have brought us some of the most notable cuts.

8-Lyn Collins
Possibly the most sampled female singer, her "Think" track produced by James Brown is one of the most sampled tunes of all time. The intro, the break, the vocal stabs and just about everything else have been used many many times

More west coast flavours from Roger Troutman, who himself appeared on "California Love" and vocoded his way to hip-hop history with Zapp

10-Isaac Hayes
The late great Stax soul man was a terrific writer and amazing arranger, a fact not lost on the hip-hop people who not only took his look, but his beats and grooves! Barry White was another great soul singer and arranger similarly sampled.

Monday, March 09, 2009

The Disco era that lives on!

The word disco music brings all sorts of different images to our minds. For some it is simply a nightclub or a huge hall, for many more it is the music movement that became fashionable in the late 70's and which ended up dominating pop music for a time in conjunction with movies such as "Saturday Night Fever" and it's massive selling soundtrack. Disco became a dirty word in the early 80's and suffered a backlash that still taints some of it's coverage today, but for more people again it's spirit stayed alive through the creation of a new type of music which took the disco groove; house music, which is more popular than ever these days.
Disco also evokes the cliched images of retro 70's nights and platform shoes with open top shirts and thoughts of the days where everyone from mod singer Rod Stewart to jazz legend Idris Muhammad got on the disco train and made music for the dance-floors. Disco saw the rise of the 12 inch single and a DJ Culture which is also bigger than ever today, but it remains one of the most misunderstood music genres and often one in which commentators can be totally ignorant! For me, it is a special music genre for many reasons, not least because of the fact that it's rise went hand in hand with the birth of hip-hop, which sprung out of many of the same communities and which first reached the mainstream through re-workings of the disco anthems of the day being replayed by live musicians added to rappers on the top.
I was lucky enough to always appreciate that a million miles away from "Y.M.C.A" and the wedding anthems that everyone knows, there was an underground music culture that developed out of this era that still carries an amazing relevance today. Just take a look at the best modern music producers and dj's; Danny Krivit, Theo Parrish, Moodyman and many more are all children of the disco era and slaves to the grooves which dominated nearly every big club track of that era.
Disco is far from dead. Despite record company and media fuelled revivals instigated by music from the likes of Cassius, Basement Jaxx and Daft Punk in the 90's, the disco era was always held in great esteem by the true aficionados of dance music, and DJ's, producers and record collectors have for a long time kept the spirit of the music alive. Even in the pop charts we can see this clearly. Madonna came out of the disco era, Lady Gaga and most hit-makers these days are in thrall of the 70's and 80's while Timbaland and a thousand other producers keep nodding towards it's later electro stylings.
As a DJ it is without doubt one of my favourite types of music to spin at parties or in clubs. Back in the day myself and Angi used spin at a night called Mor Disco in Zoes and every Tuesday night became an incredible party where loads of different people dressed up and got down to the funkiest of tunes! By the time we packed it in the music was becoming really ubiquitous again through the efforts of many of the aforementioned acts but in the intervening years i've always enjoyed dusting off the 12 inch disco gems for special occasions. Last Saturday on Black on Red on RedFM I spun a disco mix with some of my personal favourite selections. Some will be familiar, many more obscure and one or two will be edits of old tunes. The re-edit culture surrounding many disco records is quite interesting actually and when done tastefully it can be really good, fortunately there are many DJ's and producers out there with respect for the genre which brought us some of the greatest music of all time!
Here is the link for the Mix

Disco Special Volume 3


I Wish You Would [edit] Jocelyn Brown
The Sound Of Music Dayton
Mr. Groove One Way
Don't Stop K.I.D.
Spaghettidisco (Extended) Cave Bear Cult
High Skyy
Sweet To Me Logg
Keep On Movin' Deodato
Feel Up Grace Jones
Seventh Heaven Gwen Guthrie
Loving You Donald Byrd
Don't Give Up [12" Version] Linda Clifford
This Beat Is Mine Vicky D
Don't Cost You Nothin' Ashford & Simpson
Hit And Run [7"Mix] Loleatta Holloway
Runaway Salsoul Orchestra
Once I've Been There Norman Connors
Mainline Black Ivory
I'm Every Woman Chaka Khan
I'm In Love (Original 12_ Mix) Evelyn King
Touch Me (All Night Long) Wish Feat. Fonda Rae
Falling In Love (DK Edit Of Shep Pettibone Remix) Surface
Jump to It (Original 12" Mix) Aretha Franklin
Sure Shot (Larry Levan Mix) Tracy Weber
Here Comes That Sound (Social Disco Club Re-Edit) Love De-Luxe
There Was a Time ESG
I Need You (Unreleased Mix) Sylvester
Bad Luck Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
We're Getting Stronger Loleatta Holloway
Armed And Extremely Dangerous First Choice

Friday, March 06, 2009

Maturing better than the finest wine!

Thanks to my boy Phil for this one-you can catch him spinning rare soul on the first Wednesday of every month downstairs at the Pavilion, and it's free!

Little Anthony and the Imperials heading for the Rock N'Roll Hall of Fame

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Things done changed!

One thing that is constant about music and indeed all art is that we are always led to believe it is never as good as it used to be. A new exhibition on probably the greatest visual artist of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso, places and compares him to the past masters who he was influenced by growing up in Spain over a 100 years ago. This may not seem like such a big deal now, but despite being widely acclaimed throughout his long and productive life, for many traditionalists, it was difficult to accept Picasso as being a genius in comparison to those who came before him.
In music i've always told young hip-hop fans to be respectful of the past in order to understand where the music has come from. Those who get this will have no problem understanding that to get to hip-hop the legends of blues, rock, soul, funk and reggae had to pave the way, and many hip-hop worshippers like myself hold the likes of James Brown, George Clinton, Ray Charles, Lee Perry and many more in massive reverence. Indeed, such is the ubiquity of many crap hip-hop artists these days, especially in the mainstream, that for many people who consider themselves big hip-hop fans, it is love of other music that these days interests them more. On the opposite end of the scale, many people who love this modern day version of hip-hop, mostly younger kids, have a disdain and ignorance of the music which went before, and would laugh in your face if you told them that James Brown or Gil Scott Heron were more hip-hop than Flo-Rida or Souljah Boy ever will be.
There are two almost opposite hip-hop mindsets these days, and many of those raised on the classics of the 80's and 90's have a totally different attitude than those growing up now. This is obviously largely in part to a simple generational thing, and even in Picassos time it was not possible for an artist to hear about how "things were much better years ago". It's a constant theme in hip-hop too and being lucky enough to grow up in arguably the golden era of the genres productivity (1987-1995), it would be hard for me to get the same excitement now with much of the music that currently gets released.
This was always the way though, and in any art-form this mindset persists. It may seem strange now, but those golden era artists were sometimes compared unfavourably at the time to the Run DMC's and LL Cool J's who had gone before. Hip-hop as a whole was certainly compared unfavourably with the soul and jazz it had emulated, and until that golden era many were reluctant to admit it was real music at all. Stetsasonic were correct when they credited hip-hop for bringing much of this soul and funk and jazz back into fashion and into the general musical consciousness; before the late 80's artists such as Donald Byrd and David Axlerod, revered now by many, were largely ignored.
Also, while it is right to always respect this past but sometimes I reckon older people let it prevent them from acknowledging the great work that still goes on in the present. Does this mean that Flo-Rida and Souljah Boy are as good as Run DMC and James Brown. Certainly not, but it is also certain that these guys still represent hip-hop to certain people and will introduce these people to the genre. Personally their music may do nothing for me but it doesn't mean all modern day hip-hop is rubbish. This is a familiar argument coming from people of my generation, who are sometimes to busy listening to 90's classics rather than searching out the wealth of great new music that does come out on the hip-hop underground. Terminology, Static Selectah, Panacea, Frank n' Dank, Exile, Theoliphilus London, Foreign Legion, Guilty Simpson, to name a few of the top of my head, are all hip-hop artists doing quality music a million times removed from Flo-Rida and Souljah Boy, but who will largely be ignored by many of the very people who would probably like their music if they heard it, but won't listen as it is of the wrong generation. To me, this is a shame, but it is the way with all music and art really. Those who make music should not get frustrated though, even the greats such as Picasso had their doubters back in the day!

This article originally appeared in Downtown in Cork's Evening Echo last Thursday

Yo this is my blog that's updated pretty much every day before 1pm Irish time

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    About Me

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    I'm a DJ from Cork in Ireland. I work with RedFM, presenting Red Drive, The Hitlist and my specialist show, Black on Red. I'm probably best known for being one of the main hip-hop/soul DJ's in Cork and Ireland. I've been DJing in Cork since the early 90's in legendary clubnights such as Sweat in Sir Henrys, Mor Disco, Free La Funk, Yo Latino and also Jam and Jam Junior at the Savoy and the Pavilion. I've also held down long term residencies at clubs around Ireland such as Brown Sugar at the Kitchen in Dublin, U-Turn at Ri Ra in Dublin, Jazz Juice at the GPO in Galway, Thompson Garage in Belfast, the Soul Clinic, Dee-Bop, Meltdown and Mo Bounce in Limerick and i've played abroad in the United States and the U.K. on numerous occasions. I also write a music column for the Evening Echo and i'm a regular contributor to the U.K.'s Blues and Soul, the longest running black music magazine in the world. These days i run the Pavilion, a music venue in Cork, which hosts my Jam night every few Fridays http://www.pavilioncork.com also you can catch me at http://djstevieg.podomatic.com