April 27, 2011

This is the part where you and I pretend that I have the long-term memory to keep up a weekly column showcasing a track from the digital vaults (the crashing of my desktop isn’t helping matters). But let’s ignore the future and focus on the past — specifically, the Massive Attack Essential mix that 3D, Mush, and Daddy G dropped in ’94 on the BBC. Often considered a footnote in American hip-hop history, it’s entirely possible that the Bristol sound collective were the best rap group the British ever produced. Admittedly, this is the aural equivalent of being the best blockbuster starring black cross-dressing comics made in the 2000s (Big Momma Lawrence, you win this round by default).

Over a decade and a half later, the mix works as both a time capsule for the dirt rap utopia of 1994 and as a testament to how deep these guys went. Granted, the 30 hip-hop nerds above 30 reading this blog who dimly remember late-night Yo! MTV Rap sessions could easily unearth Nine’s “Whutcha Want” or Paris or Method Man keeping dancehall strong. But it’s about the jazzy float, the deep cuts, and the genre smashing:  Mos Def in Urban Thermo Dynamics bleeding into TLC and Ennio Morricone. It’s testament to how pervasive rap culture was in the British underground — the way it informed the sound of trip-hop, jungle, and acid house. It’s all in there below the surface, along with two hours of Gangstarr and G Simone, Big Daddy Kane and Black Moon. Bible material.

Tracklist below the jump.

MP3: Massive Attack — BBC Essential Mix (11/12/94) (Left-Click)

1. Massive Attack – Sly [Underdog Mix]
2. DJ Smash – Dubs on Wax
3. DJ Cam – Abstract Hip Hop Vol 1
4. Massive Attack – Blue Lines
5. DJ Cam – Abstract Hip Hop Vol 1
6. Urban Thermo Dynamics – My Kung Fu
7. TLC – Creep
8. Nine – Wutcha Want
9. Unknown – Unknown
10. Ennio Morricone – The Ecstasy Of Gold
11. Fu Schnickens – Breakdown
12. Jeru da Damaja – Statik
13. Public Enemy – Louder Than A bomb
14. UFO – ESG (Version)
15. Main Source – Scratch & Kut
16. Unknown – Unknown
17. Unknown – Unknown
18. Gang Starr – The question remains
19. Public Enemy – Yo! Bum Rush The Show
20. A tribe called quest – God lives through
21. Black Moon – Reality (Killin’ Every Nigga) Acapella over Quincy Jones – Summer In The City
22. Whodini – One Love U22
23. Tribe Of Issachar feat. Super Cat & Method Man – Scalp Dem
24. Black Moon – Who Got Da Props
25. Big Daddy Kane – Word To The Mother
26. K5 & The Bottom Feedaz – Unknown
27. Stetsasonic – Talkin’ All That Jazz
28. 90′s Lovers – You Know I Got Soul
29. The Boot Man – To The Hip
30. Unreleased Project – The Pushing Dope EP
31. G Simone – I Know You Know
32. Paris – Gorilla Funky EP
33. Jamiroquai – Journey To Arnhemland
34. Biz Markie – Nobody Beats the Biz
35. The Buddha Baboons – Say Uptown

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