08/08/2018, 3:29 PM
Filed under: Random


Arguably one of the best logos in the history logos, Delicious Vinyl’s reign as the longest running, truly truly independent record label commands respect. While I don’t ever bump Young MC, I surely still throw on Bizarre Ride and loved hearing Mike Ross (DV’s co-founder) talk about hearing Pharcyde’s demo for the first time. I spoke with founder Mike Ross and Leslie Cooney, the young A&R who we should all thank for help bringing “Passin’ Me By” to the masses (and more). And let us not forget THIS in 1993.

DV was recently in the public consciousness when co-founder Matt Dike passed away earlier this year. Dike by all accounts was a fascinating person who you cannot deny understood music and how modernity impacts its making– he arranged the making of the Beastie’s Paul’s Boutique by orchestrating sessions with the Dust Brothers, who were early DV adopters and whom Dike named, according to Ross. Their legacy is not only ongoing (this year they’re aggressively exploring Caribbean tunes) but Ross now has two pizza joints in LA, of course called Delicious Pizza– brilliant, and what a dream to marry music and food. Their understanding of music and business savvy is really inspiring. Okayplayer published the piece which you can read HERE.


08/06/2018, 4:09 PM
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Editor’s Note: South Bay activist, longtime struggle rap auteur, and 1/3 of DadBodRapPod, Demone Carter, took a second to explore a fleeting yet impactful moment in hip-hop– the ’95 Source Awards where a babyfaced 3 Stacks unapologetically announced the South’s arrival and subsequent industry takeover. Really glad to add Mr. Carter to our long list of thoughtful contributors and looking forward to seeing what he comes with next. Thanks Demone! – DM


August 3rd 1995, a dashiki-clad Andre Benjamin glared into the audience gathered at Madison Square Garden for the Source Awards and made a boldly prophetic proclamation.

“The South got something to say” his words drifted into a sea of open hostility. In our world of 24/7 social media antagonism, that statement may not seem like much, but it was a big deal. A culturally redefining big deal.

To understand the weight of Dre’s prophecy, we have to look at what the rap landscape looked like in 1995. Notorious B.I.G was making his ascent as King of New York, a coastal rap war was brewing with Bad Boy and Death Row Records at the center, and a soon to be legendary rap group from Atlanta was taking the hip-hop world by storm on the strength of an absolutely perfect debut album called SouthernPlayalisticCadillacMusic.

The album was hailed as a breath of fresh air, even by some in the mecca of hip-hop, New York City. But the Big Apple rap chauvinism that had long been the norm in hip- hop was not ready to die in 1995. The prevailing thinking among many artist and tastemakers in New York was (with few exceptions) that if it wasn’t from the five boroughs, it probably didn’t matter.

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DJ Premier Breaks Down Moment of Truth Track-By-Track.
05/09/2018, 8:54 PM
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gs mot

As Moment of Truth turns 20 I realize just how well much it’s aged; “Robbinhood Theory”, What I’m Here 4″, “Above The Clouds”, so many high points. It’s my favorite Gang Starr album (Hard to Earn, close second) and I had the huge honor of speaking with DJ Premier and listening to him break down every song from the album with incredible candor and color. You can see how the stories behind the tracks really shaped the album and its overall sunken mood in particular. Check it out on Wax Poetics. Thank you Preemo. Guru RIP.

For Hymn, Souly
04/23/2018, 3:05 PM
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Editor’s Note: Nerdtorious scribe and 1/3 of Dad Bod Rap Pod, Nate LeBlanc, recently revisited LA rapper/poet Hymnal. It’s an expansive piece that reaches behind Hymnal’s words while also showing the remarkable fertile patchwork of influence during 1990s LA. Concurrently published on our homie’s terrific site, Passion of the Weiss— DM

Hymnal 1996

Hymnal is an LA-based writer, MC, and vocalist whose work is defined by poetic diction, melodic delivery, and a writing style characterized by inscrutable tangles of phrases that are nevertheless loaded with meaning. With a long but sporadic discography behind him, Hymnal has been involved in some of the most creative projects to emerge from the LA underground and continues to create thoughtful and highly original material. At the same time, he is a bit of a mystery.

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Phantogram Record Rundown
03/16/2018, 5:13 PM
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I’ve always been a fan of Phantogram, especially it’s hip-hop tinged production. You can tell Josh Carter (the duo’s production half) has an ear for boom-bap and bass licks. I got in touch with Josh to talk about his top 10 most profoundly influential records. Published for Wax Poetics, you can now read it HERE.

03/15/2018, 4:54 PM
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If you’re of a certain age and don’t mind brainy, unsolicited opinions, check out this little side podcast we just started. Featuring longtime Nerdotrious contributor Nate LeBlanc and hometown hero Demone Carter, aka San Jose’s MC Dem One. We discuss old man topics with cool weekly guests renagin from industry insiders and artists (as of this writing, the legendary Prince Paul and venerated MC Myka 9 have been on… with much more to come!) Take a listen to those episodes if you have dishes to do or errands to run– and peep upcoming episodes HERE. #DBRP

Breaking The Ice
03/14/2018, 7:19 PM
Filed under: Random

This project with DJ Platurn has literally been 10 years in the making (more if you count his lifetime’s worth of sourcing these records). The project is out at the end of the month on San Jose’s Needle To The Groove Records.

The mix is an astounding collection of obscure Icelandic funk, proto-rap, rock, soul, and disco, all expertly put-in-place by Platurn. The release comes with liner notes (by yours truly) and is limited to 1000 CDs with a booklet of awesome ephemera. To gain a bit more perspective on the BTI, here are some past blog posts which aided in the realization of the project. Peep the nice mini-doc (by Kicker Dixon) above and kindly purchase HERE).