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Archive for the ‘Hip-Hop’ Category

The Hip-Hop Talk Show

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Although I may listen to a wide variety of music, hip-hop is always on heavy rotation. Back in the early ’80s, my brother and I made “pause tapes” before we knew there was a name for them—I’m pretty sure we thought we invented the technique. I never stopped finding ways to manipulate songs, I produced rap music with my friends and learned everything I could about sampling, beat production and recording.

Rob Borman, TS3, Pumice T, Jon Salemi, and Pete (from left to right)

When I was attending Buffalo State College, I got my FCC license and entered the world of radio broadcasting at WBNY 91.3FM. After a short stint on Sunday mornings from 6 to 9 A.M., I was given the opportunity to join the “Dance” shows on Sunday nights. My show, “Pumice T and his Famous Hot Nuts,” broke pretty much every rule the station had. No unauthorized guests in the studio? Ooops. I had at least 2 friends co-hosting with me every week. No callers allowed on-air? Sorry, I did that, too. No profanity? I’m pretty lucky no one from the FCC was tuning in to what was then a mono 100-watt broadcast, because rap artists tend to drop a few F-bombs. Not allowed to do the show unless you’re a student? Even after I left Buffalo State, I did the show for another two or three months before the program director called me and put an end to it. She asked me why I was still doing the show. “Because it’s fun,” I replied.

As much as I enjoyed playing music, it was the on-air conversations that I truly loved. Almost 20 years later, I’ve decided to get back into broadcasting, but thanks to technology, I no longer need that FCC license. “The Hip-Hop Talk Show” premiered January 5, 2011, with what will be a weekly podcast about hip-hop. Keep in mind, hip-hop is not to be confused with “rap music.” Hip-hop is composed of four elements: MCing; DJing; B-boying (breakdancing); and Graffiti Writing.

MC Serch and Frank Azzarelli

MC Serch (left), Frank Azzarelli (right)

In order to do the show “right,” I needed to re-assemble a strong group of co-hosts. I’ve known DJ Heat and Jeff for over ten years, and I knew they both not only kept up with what’s current, but also what’s to come in the music industry. Frank was a regular guest on the Hot Nuts show after bringing us free food one night. We used to refer to him as “MC Serch,” due to his uncanny resemblance to the 3rd Bass MC.

DJ Heat and Jeff hadn’t even met Frank until a week before recording our test run. I had them over to my house to see how the group would gel, and not surprisingly, it was as if we’d all been friends forever—and the rest is history.

You can listen to the Hip-Hop Talk Show on our website, and the podcast will be on iTunes as soon as Apple approves it.

Hip-Hop Circa 1989

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

2009 marks the 20-year anniversary for some historical releases in the world of Hip-Hop. Not only did De La Soul debut with “3 Feet High and Rising,” but we also heard the talents of 3rd Bass and The D.O.C. on their first full-length releases.

The production of rap music had recently evolved, thanks in part to the Emu SP-1200 sampling drum machine, and the releases of 1989 would make music lawyers heads spin (and not due to break-dancing). The Beastie Boys’ “Paul’s Boutique” has so many samples, I’m pretty sure it has yet to be fully reverse-engineered. Fortunately, you can hear the sample-rich production better than ever while listening to a beautifully remastered 20th anniversary edition.

Do any other artists have anniversary releases planned? I don’t know. I’d love to hear “The Cactus Album” or “3 Feet High and Rising” remastered, but I won’t hold my breath.

I’ve compiled the following list of 1989 releases. If I’m missing any, please let me know.

  • Antoinette – “Who’s the Boss”
  • Awesome Dre’ & Hard Core Committee – “You Can’t Hold Me Back”
  • Beastie Boys – “Paul’s Boutique”
  • Beastie Boys – “Love American Style EP”
  • Big Daddy Kane – “It’s a Big Daddy Thing”
  • The Diabolical Biz Markie – “The Biz Never Sleeps”
  • Black & White – “Don’t Know Yet”
  • Ron C – “C Ya”
  • Chubb Rock & Howie Tee – “And the Winner Is…”
  • Company B – “Gotta Dance – “1989 – “Pop/Rock
  • Criminal Element Orchestra – “Locked Up – “1989 – “Pop/Rock
  • Willie Dee – “Controversy”
  • De La Soul – “3 Feet High and Rising”
  • Def Jef – “Just a Poet with Soul”
  • Divine Styler – “Word Power”
  • D.J. Chuck Chillout & Kool Chip – “Masters of the Rhythm”
  • The D.O.C. – “No One Can Do It Better”
  • Dr. Ease & D.J. Mix – “Put Your Mind & Body at Ease”
  • Doctor Ice – “Mic Stalker”
  • EPMD – “Unfinished Business”
  • The Fat Boys – “On and On”
  • Fresh Celeste – “Fresh Celeste”
  • Full Force – “Smoove”
  • Craig G – “The Kingpin”
  • Gang Starr – “No More Mr. Nice Guy”
  • Hipsway – “Scratch the Surface”
  • Hostyle – “Get Off”
  • Hustle Z & M.C. – “Show Me Yours and”
  • Ice Cream Tee – “Can’t Hold Back”
  • Ice-T – “I’m Your Pusher”
  • The Jaz – “A Word to the Jaz”
  • Just-Ice – “The Desolate One”
  • K-9 Posse – “K-9 Posse”
  • KC Flightt – “In Flightt”
  • King Sun – “XL”
  • Kings of Pressure – “Slang Teacher”
  • Kool G Rap & DJ Polo – “Road to the Riches
  • Kool Rock Jay & D.J. Slice – “Tales from the Dope Side”
  • Kool Skool – “Kool Skool”
  • Kwamé the Boy Genius – “Kwamé the Boy Genius: Featuring a New Beginning
  • LL Cool J – “Walking with a Panther”
  • Magnetic Force – “12-52-365”
  • MC Ade – “How Much Can You Take”
  • MC Ade – “Just Sumthin’ to Do”
  • MC Hammer – “They Put Me in Mix”
  • M.C. Rell – “Into the Future”
  • MC Sergio – “Making a Killin'”
  • MC Shy D – “Don’t Sweat Me”
  • MC Twist – “Comin’ through Like Warriors”
  • Mellow Man Ace – “Escape From Havana”
  • Merlin – “Merlin”
  • Ms. Melodie – “Diva”
  • Nemesis – “To Hell and Back”
  • Nice & Smooth – “Nice & Smooth”
  • Nu-Sounds – “Mackin'”
  • N.W.A. – “Express Yourself ” [12″ Single]
  • N.W.A. – “Boyz-N-The-Hood”
  • Posse NFX – “Black or Ya White”
  • Public Enemy – “Fight the Power”
  • Public Enemy – “Welcome to the Terrordome” [Vinyl Single]
  • Queen Latifah – “All Hail the Queen”
  • Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I. – “A Shade of Red”
  • The “R” (Renard with No Regard) – “Going for Gold”
  • Roxanne Shanté – “Bad Sister”
  • Salt-N-Pepa – “A Blitz of Salt-N-Pepa Hits: The Hits Remixed”
  • Schoolly D – “Am I Black Enough for You?”
  • Sir Mix-A-Lot – “Seminar”
  • Special Ed – “Youngest in Charge”
  • Steady B – “Going Steady”
  • Stop the Violence Movement – “Self Destruction”
  • Tony Tee – “Time to Get Phy”
  • 3rd Bass – “The Cactus Album”
  • Three Times Dope – “Original Stylin'”
  • Twenty Eighth St. Crew – “I Need a Rhythm”
  • Too Short – “Born to Mack”
  • Too $hort – “Life Is…Too Short”
  • Twin Hype – “Twin Hype”
  • 2 Live Crew – “As Nasty as They Wanna Be”
  • 2 Live Crew – “As Clean as They Wanna Be”
  • U.T.F.O. – “Doin’ It!”
  • The Wee Papa Girls – “The Beat, The Rhyme, The Noise”
  • Wrecks-N-Effect – “Wrecks-N-Effect”
  • X Clan – “Heed the Word of the Brother”
  • X Clan – “Raise the Flag”
  • Young MC – “Stone Cold Rhymin'”

WBNY Hip-Hop Radio Shows – Updated Links

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Every known recording of the “Pumice T and his Famous Hot Nuts” WBNY radio show has been digitally archived.

Some technical details:

The shows were originally recorded on VHS tapes using a Hi-Fi VCR. I would set it to record from 6–9 p.m., using the input rather than a channel. An FM tuner was connected to the input and tuned in to 91.3 fm. This was the easiest way to record a 3-hour radio show without having to span multiple sides of cassette tapes.

Each tape has two shows—Show 4 being an exception, as J-Love and the Brat were at the Hit Squad concert so we filled in and did a 6-hour show. Shows 1–11 were clearly labeled on six VHS tapes, two tapes are dated March 21 & 28 and April 4 & 18, and three tapes are from unknown dates.

At the time, WBNY was broadcast in mono (with a 100-watt transmitter) so naturally the recordings are also mono.

The following shows are available as 96Kbps mono MP3s:

More to come. Stay tuned.

Pumice T and his Famous Hot Nuts – Show 2

Sunday, September 14th, 2008
Air date: September 20, 1992
Station: WBNY 91.3 FM, Buffalo, NY
Run time: 2 hours 43 minutes 47 seconds
Download MP3 (112 MB)

Pumice T and his Famous Hot Nuts – 16th Anniversary

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

Upset that you missed the 15th anniversary? Don’t worry. You didn’t. It wasn’t until this past week that I realized the premiere broadcast of my Sunday night show on WBNY was September 13, 1992. I got excited, did some poor math, and thought the 15th anniversary was coming soon. Too bad I actually missed it a year ago. So, today marks the 16th anniversary, which may not have quite the same ring as 15th, but it’s an anniversary celebration nonetheless. Feel free to download the 122mb MP3 of the show, all three hours are there, completely unedited.

If another format works better, please let me know. Keep in mind, splitting the shows down to one MP3 per song would be extremely time-consuming, but I am considering splitting them into half-hour segments.

I’ll be uploading every show that I have recorded. The first eleven shows are clearly labeled and dated, but every show thereafter is going to be a guessing game. As a heads-up, the fourth show was six hours long. We had to fill in for J-Love and the Brat—they were at the EPMD concert. I have 13 VHS tapes that are presumably filled with shows. If that ends up being accurate, there’s probably 25 shows totaling 78 hours. Also, the math works out so the show probably went from September 13, 1992 through February 28, 1993. Then WBNY realized I was no longer a student at Buffalo State College, and told me I couldn’t do the show anymore. It was sure fun while it lasted.

Air date: September 13, 1992
Station: WBNY 91.3 FM, Buffalo, NY
Run time: 2 hours 58 minutes 1 second
Download MP3 (122 MB)

Break Beat Sample Directory

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

I ran across this break beat sample directory for “The Funky Drummer.” It’s an attempt to track all of the songs that sample James Brown’s “The Funky Drummer.” That’s quite a tall order, considering it’s been sampled (seemingly) countless times. The directory is just one of the sampled songs which can be found on I suppose if I’m ever bored, I’ll submit some of the samples I know, which they’re missing.

Since the above-mentioned link keeps getting spammed, you may find [Sampling-Love] to be a better database of sampling sources. They’ve got quite an impressive list!!