- Continuing with the lovely series that is Fabriclive, New York’s own DJ Spinbad steps up to the decks to conjure up his first-ever official mix album. Number 14 in the series is a return to hip hop with the last hip hop mix done by Deadly Avenger on volume 4. Spinbad takes it to another level however with mad scratching, beat juggles whilst leaving most of the cut and paste AV8 records in the crates going for a more classic approach, mixing up proper hip hop tunes.
Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz’ Déjà vu – the tune that got everyone chanting “Uptown Baby!” kicks off the mix and 8 years after it’s original release it’s still a dope release, and to the best of my knowledge, the only hit record for the duo. It’s hard to go past the funky bassline and one can’t help but chant along to that chorus! Nas’ Halftime brings on even more wicked bass and that inimitable flow that Nas is known for – definitely not one of his more mainstream tracks.
Ante Up by M.O.P. is another welcome inclusion to the mix – Spinbad grabs the intro that’s really hard to mix and shows us how easy it’s done, scratching in the remix version with the original version. If the beat isn’t enough to get hands waving in the air, then it’s M.O.P, Busta Rhymes and Remy Martin with their aggressive lyrical deliveries that just make anyone want to jump around and get stupid.
Old Dirty Bastard is one MC known to get a little bit silly and he does so on Shimmy Shimmy Ya (shimmy yeah, shimmy yay! give me the mic so I can take it away… sorry just couldn’t help myself). His highly recognisable voice makes this track an unforgettable hip hop classic. Another MC with a highly recognisable voice is none other than hip hop’s answer to James Brown – Mystikal. Produced by and featuring the Neptunes, Shake Ya Ass earned it’s place in hip hop due to the amount of females willing to get down and dirty on the dancefloor - you can’t complain with that!
Highly known for representing the cut & paste style of hip hop, AV8 records make an appearance with two Crooklyn Clan tracks - The Franklinz and Thug Anthem. Not overly creative, Crooklyn Clan take the best parts of P.Diddy, DMX, The Beatnuts and other classic hip hop tunes and put them in the blender. It’s not all bad though, one track that seen a resurgence thanks to AV8 records is Black Sheep’s The Choice Is Yours which was used for the “engine, engine” bridge in Fatman Scoop’s Be Faithful – one simple request from a humble person… can commercial radio stations stop playing it?
“Woop, woop!” – the sound of the police comes calling on KRS-One’s Sound Of Da Police, featuring a wicked scratch and rewind routine by Spinbad. KRS-One then reunites with his BDP buddies for South Bronx. Even more classic hip hop follows on with Eric B Is President by Eric B & Rakim bringing it back to the days of when hip hop acts revolved around the DJ while the MC rapped about how talented he was!
Run DMC’s classic Peter Piper demonstrated how old skool block party DJ’s would rock the breaks, with Jam Master Jay scratching and looping the Bob James break over and over – he will definitely be missed. Their classic Walk This Way which was done with Aerosmith will always be regarded as one of the first collaborations between a rock group and a hip hop group.
The only non-hip hop tune on the album is Cheryl Lynn’s funk classic Got To Be Real, however hip hop fans should recognise it easily as it has been sampled many times not only in hip hop, but in house, beats and breaks scenes. The funk in Got To Be Real sets the precedent for what is regarded to be the first hip hop track (if not “first” then “first classic”)– Sugarhill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight. Thankfully it’s been culled down from 15 minutes to fit nicely into the mix. Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel follow on with their classic White Lines, the tune they wrote to describe the dangers of using drugs.
To wind it up, a couple of underground classics in the form of Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s The Creator and Chubb Rock’s Treat ‘Em Right ending the mix on a nice high note, with the first tune being a basis for a Jeep Beat Collective track. If you haven’t gotten up to cut a rug on Got To Be Real or Rappers Delight, then these should be enough to get your lazy ass up.
Spinbad is definitely one DJ who knows how to rock a block party with Fabriclive choc-full of classic hip hop anthems and party classics combined with Spinbad’s turntable wizardry. One thing about the mix is that Spinbad only mixed classic hip hop tunes and party anthems (with Mystikal being the one exception). While there’s nothing wrong with that, the hardcore hip hop elite would have most of these and would probably skip getting it. However, it’s mixed extremely well making volume 14 a must have inclusion for die-hard Fabric fans and for new hip hop fans looking to educate themselves on some hard to find gems.