LISTEN: Gucci Mane And Pusha T Jump On Common's "Black America Again"

Waking up on a grey Tuesday morning is always made better when Common drops a new track, and here it is the remix to Common's powerful "Black America Again" featuring Gucci Mane, Pusha T, and BJ The Chicago Kid.

Common shared the remix with his fans on twitter saying, "My hip hop comrades @PUSHA_T and @gucci1017 lend their talents and perspective to #blackamericagain."

"Black America Again" is the title track of Common's new album. This timely record in the wake of the recent US presidential elections is filled with social and political commentary and the status of America and the black culture within it. Common confirmed that the album was purposely released just a few days after the national election saying "As the project started to develop and became what it became, it was like, 'Man, this is an election year. This music needs to be out and heard at that time.' And these times are creating music like this."

Gucci Mane and King Push jumping on this remix has sent the internet into a frenzy, check it out below...

Posted on November 15, 2016 and filed under New Music.

Remote music and wellbeing island hosts Applebum, here's our story...

  Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals at the Amphitheatre

Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals at the Amphitheatre

Set amongst pine trees and surrounded by turquoise seas, just off the coast of mainland Croatia lies a little bit of paradise. Obonjan, running 6 weeks through the summer July to September, kicks off its first year on the previously uninhabited island. Four years of hard work has been put in to creating an island designed to be a place of health and wellness alongside excellently programmed concerts, late night forest parties and well thought out food and drink menus. 

  Obonjan Island

Obonjan Island

It’s not all about yoga and dancing, guests attending the summer long festival can enjoy stargazing from the south of the island, get involved in art workshops hosted by resident artists, laugh at some of the comedy shows on offer and take in the pink lit skies at sunset (and we also fit in some sunrise’s too!) 

As festival accommodation goes, we certainly couldn’t complain. Our own private forest lodge was set back in the trees and perfectly positioned to always be in sight of the sea. With an en suite, veranda, deck chairs and two separate rooms it was kitted out beautifully - you can see how much attention to detail has been put in by the creators of this island. We visited the bell tents too and these were perfectly designed if anyone is on a tighter budget.

  Forest Lodge

Forest Lodge

Applebum had the pleasure of being invited along to play a few records over the week.  We were fortunate to play poolside, on the East Harbour by the sea and at the Forest Bar for a late night Anderson Paak after party. Naturally this was our favourite night - made better when Anderson and his crew turned up to party with us! - however the music across the week had felt like it had been programmed to suit the Applebum team (credit to the Obonjan booker). In the short time we were there we saw Tru Thoughts’ Latin, Funk and Soul producer Quantic followed by genre-bending jazz-house producer/DJ Romare, along with Applebum residents The Age of L.U.N.A, energy filled and multi-talented Anderson Paak and the Free Nationals, and lastly chilled indie rock band Local Natives.

  The Age of L.U.N.A at the Ampitheatre

The Age of L.U.N.A at the Ampitheatre

Just as important as music to the ethos of the island is the wellbeing and health conscious Zen Den - a place to escape to, eat vegan salads, drink fresh juices, have a holistic massage and partake in different types of yoga and meditation. Set amongst the trees on a decking platform we took a few yoga classes (not recommended first thing after a very late night drinking!!) with options for early, mid morning and sunset - we (eventually) opted for sunset which was a great way to put the day to bed and bring in the night.

The intimate capacity of the island also made for an amazing experience. neighbours became friends and dancing partners became sunbathing buddies. It felt like it was our own exclusive island with a community of like minded people. Even some of the artists and DJ’s were extending their stay to enjoy what was on offer, which is a testament to how far its come in such a short time. 

  Little Prince at the Ampitheatre

Little Prince at the Ampitheatre

To round it off here’s our top ten moments

1. When Little Prince opened his Drift Bar set with Finlay Quaye - Even After All in front the bluest sea and scorching sun.

2. Stumbling back from home from the Forest Bar after Romare and Quantic, in the middle of the night and realising we could see the Milky Way!

3. Discovering our own sunset view point a short walk from our forest lodge, through the pine trees and naming it Des’ree point.

4. Mastering the crow pose during yoga after a particularly heavy night. 

  Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals at the Ampitheatre

Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals at the Ampitheatre

5. Having Anderson Paak. and The Free Nationals come down to our Applebum after party then onto the after after party at South Beach.

6. Watching The Age of L.U.N.A guys completely nail their performance and feeling extremely proud.

  The Age of L.U.N.A at the Ampitheatre

The Age of L.U.N.A at the Ampitheatre

7. Watching the sunrise with a huge crew of guests and Obonjan workers and feeling like one big community. 

8. Having a pizza for pudding every night because they were just that good!

9. After 4 nights out in a row being able to watching back to back films at the pavilion and give our bodies a much needed rest.

10. Leaving on a private boat to the mainland, looking back at the island and feeling we were part of something special.

Obonjan we'll be seeing you next year!

 

 

Anderson Paak x Jazzy Jeff

One of our favourite artists of the present meets one of our favourite DJs and producers of all time. This super sexy remix of Anderson Paak's  "Room in Here" comes via Hip Hop legend DJ Jazzy Jeff. It oozes class! Check it out below...

Posted on October 11, 2016 and filed under New Music.

Is this Frank Ocean's New Album..?

It seems like the wait is finally over...
Franks new project "Endless" features 18 tracks including a cover of the Isley Brothers’ ‘At Your Best (You Are Love)’ featuring James Blake and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood. There’s also featured from Arca, Sampha and Philly indie fave Alex G. See below for full credits.
You can watch Endless in full over at Apple Music now.

Tracklist:

01. ‘Device Control’
02. ‘At Your Best (You Are Love)’ (Isley Brothers cover)
03. ‘Alabama’
04. ‘Mine’
05. ‘U-N-I-T-Y’
06. ‘Ambience 001: “In a Certain Way”’
07. ‘Commes Des Garcons’
08. ‘Ambience 002: “Honeybaby”’
09. ‘Wither’
10. ‘Hublots’
11. ‘In Here Somewhere’
12. ‘Slide on Me’
13. ‘Sideways’
14. ‘Florida’
15. ‘Deathwish (ASR)’
16. ‘Rushes’
17. ‘Rushes To’
18. ‘Higgs’

Posted on August 19, 2016 and filed under New Music, News.

Members Of Public Enemy, Cypress Hill & Rage Against The Machine Are Forming A Supergroup

Earlier this week a new website landed and set the internet into a frenzy. The site is called prophetsofrage.com and hinted towards a new project involving Rage Against The Machine and possible Public Enemy. The site simply features a countdown clock with the hashtag #takethepowerback and experienced server problems throughout its launch day due to huge amounts of traffic.

Now details have emerged that Prophets of Rage are actually a new super-group consisting of members from Rage Against The Machine, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill. According to a report on Billboard Public Enemy's Chuck D and Cypress Hill's B-Real will join forces with Rage against the machine members Tom Morelly, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk to create the new mega-group Prophets of Rage.

The group will make their debut with appearance at Hollywood Palladium on June 3, notably, that's just 4 days before the California primary for this year’s presidential election. Given how outspoken many of the members of the group have been on political issues over the decades, the show is likely to be quite a firestorm.

They'll be performing RATM tracks alongside selections from the Public Enemy and Cypress Hill back catalogues. But it’s not the first time fans have had a chance to hear RATM’s Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk working with the rappers.

Chuck D worked with Tom Morello, Travis Barker and DJ Z-Trip on the LL Cool J track ‘Whaddup’ which they debuted during the 2013 Grammy Awards telecast. But has also worked with the full RATM crew back in the ’90s teaming up with the band on a live version of ‘Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos’ – a track that originally appeared on Public Enemy’s 1988 classic It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us alongside the song that has inspired the supergroup’s name, ‘Prophets of Rage’.

Back in 1993 Rage Against the Machine shared the bill with Cypress Hill on tour forming a close bond with the group. They later covered ‘How I Could Just Kill a Man’ on their Renegades record in 2000 with both B-Real and Sen Dog appearing on a live version of the track that appeared as a bonus track on the album.

We can't wait to see these outspoken and politically driven individuals coming together. We may well be in for a real treat! 

Applebum bring Hip Hop royalty to the White Isle with a groundbreaking 13-week residency at Sankeys

Every Tuesday night from June 21st September 13th

Special guests include Hip-Hop and R&B icons;
DJ Jazzy Jeff, Grandmaster Flash, DJ Premier, Blackstreet, Coolio,
The Sugarhill Gang, Slum Village and The Furious Five

Plus;
Nightmares on Wax, DJ Yoda, DJ Craze The Age of LUNA + More

——————————————————————————————

Theres only 9 weeks to go until the biggest and best celebration of Hip Hop and R&B culture touches down at Sankeys Ibiza for the first time, thanks to Applebum. The full details of our debut, groundbreaking 13-week residency have just been confirmed, and with an array of some of the biggest names in the industry alongside a host of acclaimed resident DJs bringing the ruckus each week, Applebum looks set to make Hip Hop history with the first series of events of its kind on the White Isle. Running every Tuesday night from June 21stuntil September 13th, we'll be bringing you a taste of the old school and showing Ibiza what Hip Hop is all about.

Kicking things off on the grand opening night of the first ever Hip Hop dedicated club residency on the Island is one of Londons most acclaimed turntablists, DJ Yoda. A winner of DMCs DJ of the Year award, DJ Yoda is renowned for his mindblowing audio-visual sets and unique cutting-edge mixing style. Hes produced a catalogue of seminal mixtapes and records over the years, toured the globe with Goldie and the Scratch Perverts and collaborated with the likes of Biz Markie, Jungle Brothers, Ugly Duckling and People Under The Stairs. With Q Magazine declaring him one of the Ten DJs to see Before You Die, his spectacle of a set is not something you want to miss.

Watch DJ Yoda as he performs tracks from his album 'Chop Suey'.

In week two, Applebum are extremely excited to welcome the legendary hip hop producer DJ Premier as he makes his Ibiza debut. Premos history of collaborations spanning over thirty years is like a Hip Hop hall of fame with the likes of Nas, Biggie, Mos Def, Rakim, Immortal Technique, Kanye West, KRS-One, Dr Dre, Jay Z and Busta Rhymes. He and his late Gang Starr counterpart Guru were one of the most influential East Coast duos of the Golden Age, spawning classic hits such as Mass Appeal, Full Clip and Step In The Arena and pioneering the distinctive New York City hardcore hip hop sound.

One of Gang Starr's biggest hits, 1994's "Mass Appeal".

Joining DJ Premier in week two is Nightmares on Wax, a.k.a. DJ EASE. With a lifelong love and dedication to Hip Hop and b-boy culture, Nightmares on Wax has continued to develop his experimental sound over the years with classic chill-out records like 1995s Smokers Delight and Carboot Soul in 1999. No stranger to Ibiza with his successful weekly Wax Da Jam parties at Las Dalias back in 2014, the Leeds-born DJ is sure to make a scene at Sankeys with his genre-blurring take on Hip Hop, Soul, Trip Hop and Electronica.

Watch Nightmares on Wax do his thing in an extended set for Boiler Room.

Get ready to take a journey back to the roots of Hip Hop as we present one of our biggest inspirations, Grandmaster Flash. Young Flash mastered his innovative and completely original DJing techniques of cutting, backspinning and phasing on a sound system he built out of scraps before he finally rose to prominence in the New York DJ scene of the 70s. His mixing skills have been said to have transformed the turntable into a true instrument, and his energy-filled sets that get the crowd moving like no other have become legendary. In 2007 he, along with the Furious Five, became the first Hip Hop act to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He pushed the envelope, broke the rules and became a revolutionary driving force behind the continuing development of hip hop music, a true godfather of Hip Hop culture. Grandmaster Flash will be bringing his iconic old-school South Bronx vibes to Sankeys Ibiza to headline week three.

One-half of a double Grammy-award winning duo with The Fresh Prince a.k.a. Will Smith, DJ Jazzy Jeff has been transforming the groove for decades with a multitude of platinum-selling albums and hit singles such as Parents Just Dont Understand, Ring My Bell, Boom! Shake the Room and the timeless 1991 classic Summertime. In his own right Jazzy Jeff has established himself as one of the most influential R&B, soul and neo-soul record producers around, helping to develop artists such as Eminem, The Roots, Talib Kweli and Rhymefest. He was recently credited for scratching over last years box office smash Hip-Hop movie, Straight Outta Compton, and we proudly welcome him as our fifth week headliner.

Jazzy Jeff's timeless summer classic, 1991's "Summertime" with The Fresh Prince.

Grammy-award winning New Yorkers Blackstreet will be mixing it up with their soulful, slow jam vibes in our sixth weeks headline slot. The R&B-funk quartet has an impressive history of collaborations with some of Hip Hops biggest names, including Ol Dirty Bastard, Dr. Dre, Mya, Janet Jackson, Eve and Ja Rule. Known for their classic hit and certified club night staple No Diggity, theyre sure to get Applebums crowd bumpin & grindin.

DJ Yella, the man formerly behind the beats in legendary gangsta rap group N.W.A., is next up on week seven alongside the returning DJ Yoda and Phat Phillie, co-founder of Croatias Fresh Island Festival and one of the biggest DJs in the Croatian Hip Hop scene. After wowing Coachella audiences earlier this month as he performed with former bandmates Dr. Drew, Ice Cube and MC Ren, DJ Yella will play the first of his two Applebum Ibiza dates on August 2nd, before returning a fortnight later on August 16th.

Yet another Grammy winner will be on the mic at Sankeys this August as rapper Coolio headlines week eight. Coolio helped push rap into the mainstream as he rose to fame in the 90s with a string of globally successful hits including Gangsters Paradise, C U When U Get There and Fantastic Voyage, becoming a household name as he collaborated with the likes of Method Man, LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes, B-Real and Snoop Dogg.

1994's "Fantastic Voyage", Coolio's breakout double-platinum hit, from his Top 10 debut album "It Takes A Thief".

Applebum are then teaming up with legendary Hip Hop brand DMC in week nine to bring you four-time World DJ Championship winner, DJ Craze, certified turntablist master who has toured with the likes of Kanye West and Yelawolf. He will be joined by Brighton-born scratcher, JFB, another three-time champion and former resident turntablist at BBC Radio 1, and legendary multi-vocalist, Killa Kela. A leading name in UK beatbox culture, Kelas live shows also take on MCing and singing - a facet of his work that has seen him share stages with the likes of N*E*R*D, Mobb Deep, Redman, Busta Rhymes and even Prince.

The big names dont stop there, with Slum Village, the now-duo famous for spawning the career of globally acclaimed genius producer J Dilla, headlining week ten. Emerging from Detroits underground Hip-Hop scene in the mid-90s, Slum Village climbed their way to success with some of the most important records in Hip-Hop history including Detroit Deli (A Taste of Detroit) featuring Kanye West, Ol Dirty Bastard and John Legend, and Fantastic, Vol. 2.

Of course it wouldnt be an Applebum party without our favourite resident quartet, The Age of Luna, up-and-coming stars already making waves in the UK Hip-Hop scene with their refreshingly authentic take on the nostalgic sound of the Golden era. Their jazzy, neo-soul and R&B vibes have earned them airplay on BBC Radio 1, and have grabbed the attention and support of Mobo, The Guardian and Vice, with Radio 1 DJ Mista Jam likening them to a modern take on The Fugees. The group will be flying the flag for British Hip-Hop in Ibiza this summer as they touch down on week 11 alongside DJ Yoda.

The video for 'Six Feet Deep', performed by The Age Of L.U.N.A.

Applebum are excited to announce the legendary Sugarhill Gang to headline the penultimate show of the season. The group are notorious for bringing Hip-Hop into popular culture around the world with one of the most pivotal songs in Hip-Hop history, 1979’s “Rapper’s Delight”. Generally considered to be the first ever real commercially successful Hip-Hop track, the song was named as one of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” by Rolling Stone, and earned itself a place on the National Recording Registry, a list of recordings seen as “culturally, historically or aesthetically important” in the United States.

The Gang will be joined by the equally as influential Furious Five. The group produced some of the biggest Hip-Hop tracks of the 80s including “The Message” and “White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It”). These tracks made history as some of the first prominent Hip-Hop songs to provide real hard-hitting social commentary in the lyrics, with Melle Mel rapping about the dangers of drug addiction, crime and poverty, lyrical themes that would continue to be replicated in years to come. The Sugarhill Gang and The Furious Five will be sure to bring those 80s vibes to Sankeys and make the whole crowd jump on it.

If that isnt quite exciting enough, we will also soon be announcing yet another very special guest to headline the thirteenth week closing party. If the already star-studded lineup is anything to go by, you can only expect to be blown away by the secret star who will be joining a returning Nightmares On Wax to draw Applebums Ibiza debut to a close at the final party of the season, making it a summer to remember.

In support and performing on rotation each week are our incredible resident DJs, who all play regularly across our residencies in London, Manchester and Bournemouth Mr Doris, MoFunk, Patrick Nazemi, Harley Maxwell, Little Prince, Gin & Juice, Gold Teeth and JB & Reff.

Jordan Hallpike, Applebum Co-Founder Said: With Spotify announcing Hip Hop as the most streamed music genre in the world last year, theres no doubt the culture is everywhere. Everyone is repping a hint of that old school Hip Hop fashion with retro style sneakers and vintage streetwear, and there are Hip Hop and R&B jams dominating everyones party playlists. While artists like Kanye and Kendrick continue to rule the charts, the likes of Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$ and Danny Brown are rising to global success, and Hip Hop culture is more prominent than ever. But the Hip Hop greats of the 70s, 80s and 90s that influenced and inspired the MCs and beat-makers of today must never be forgotten, and what better way to celebrate the worlds most exciting genre than to bring some of the most legendary names in the industry together to grace the party capital of the world.

 

Please see below for full line-up details.

 

APPLEBUM SANKEYS IBIZA 2016

WEEK 1 Tuesday 21st June

DJ Yoda, Mr Doris, Patrick Nazemi, Little Prince, Harley Maxwell, JB & Reff

WEEK 2 Tuesday 28th June

Dj Premier, Nightmares on Wax, Patrick Nazemi, Harley Maxwell, JB & Reff, Gin & Juice

WEEK 3 Tuesday 5th July

Grandmaster Flash, Mr Doris, Patrick Nazemi, Harley Maxwell, JB & Reff

WEEK 4 Tuesday 12th July

DJ Premier, MoFunk, Patrick Nazemi, Harley Maxwell, JB & Reff, Gold Teeth

WEEK 5 Tuesday 19th July

DJ Jazzy Jeff, MoFunk, Mr Doris, Patrick Nazemi, Harley Maxwell, JB & Reff

WEEK 6 Tuesday 26th July

Blackstreet MoFunk, Little Prince, Patrick Nazemi, Harley Maxwell, JB & Reff

WEEK 7 Tuesday 2nd August

DJ Yella, DJ Yoda, Phat Phillie, Mr Doris, Harley Maxwell, JB & Reff

WEEK 8 Tuesday 9th August

Coolio, MoFunk, Mr Doris, Patrick Nazemi, Harley Maxwell, JB & Reff

WEEK 9 Tuesday 16th August

DJ Yella, DJ Craze, JFB, Killa Kela, MoFunk, JB & Reff

WEEK 10 Tuesday 23rd August

Slum Village, MoFunk, Patrick Nazemi, Little Prince, Harley Maxwell, JB & Reff

WEEK 11 Tuesday 30th August

DJ Yoda, Mr Doris, MoFunk, Patrick Nazemi, The Age of Luna, JB & Reff

WEEK 12 Tuesday 6th September

Sugarhill Gang/Furious Five, Mr Doris, Patrick Nazemi, Harley Maxwell, JB & Reff

WEEK 13 Tuesday 13th September

SPECIAL GUEST TBC, Nightmares on Wax, MoFunk, Patrick Nazemi, Harley Maxwell, JB & Reff

Posted on April 26, 2016 .

“You on point, Phife?” – Remembering the Five Foot Assassin and Our Favourite Lyrics

The world of hip hop was well and truly devastated when they awoke to the news of Phife Dawg’s passing on Tuesday morning. 

At only 45, Malik Taylor, legendary founding member of pioneering rap group A Tribe Called Quest sadly passed away from diabetes-related complications after battling the illness for many years. A completely irreplaceable and unforgettable component of hip hop’s history, the legacy Phife leaves behind will continue to touch and inspire many for years to come.

Phife could almost be seen as somewhat underrated and overlooked as a talent in his own right, but when you’re a part of one of the most influential hip hop groups of all time, it’s easy to understand why. A Tribe Called Quest didn’t just produce some of the most acclaimed records of the Golden Age – they completely reimagined and redefined hip hop as a genre.

 While Tribe were finding their feet in Queens, New York in the early 1990s, Gangsta rap was also on the rise on the other side of the States. While N.W.A. were saying ‘Fuck the police’, Tribe were keeping their cool, spitting relatable stories from the heart, with no violence or aggression. They were a breath of fresh air for rap culture. Famously fusing jazz with hip hop, their seductive sonics and audaciously metaphorical lyrics pushed boundaries. They gave everybody a reason to start listening to hip hop, mastering the balance of music that was perfect for bumping at parties but also kicking back and chilling with your friends. They did their own thing in their own way, and didn’t simply go with the grain. 

But it was the undeniable chemistry between the main emcees Phife Dawg and Q-Tip that really brought the magic to A Tribe Called Quest’s music and set them apart from the rest. Phife’s exuberant, playful and bawdy attitude was the perfect complement to the more abstract, urbane and philosophical nature of Q-Tip. Their contrasting styles of lyrical poetry and delivery bounced off each other in a way that stopped people in their tracks and got people talking. 

Phife Dawg himself, known for his constant references to popular culture, sports and sneakers and other hip hop and R&B artists, was behind some of the most ground-breaking verses in Tribe’s musical career. His clever verbal gymnastics were often far more profound than they seemed, touching on real visceral emotions and thoughts through playful, idiosyncratic innuendos.

A Tribe Called Quest and their legacy are a huge influence and inspiration for the Applebum crew – we even named ourselves after our favourite track “Bonita Applebum”. As a commemoration for the “gritty little something on the New York street”, we put together a list, in no particular order, of some Phife’s best lyrics and verses throughout his career with Tribe.

 

“Award Tour” – Midnight Marauders

Phife delivers one of his most stand-out opening lines in Midnight Marauder single ‘Award Tour’, making reference to his rhyming debut on De La Soul’s 1989 track ‘Buddy’, with a play on one of Afrika Bambaataa’s lyrics in the song.

“Back in 89 I simply slid into place / Buddy, buddy, buddy all up in your face.”

Though he maintained an admirably humble persona with his cleverly self-deprecating rhymes, Phife Dogg quietly knew of his capabilities and power and of Tribe’s success: 

“When was the last time you heard the Phifer sloppy? / Lyrics anonymous, you’ll never hear me copy”

“Niggas know the time when the Quest is in the jam / I never let a statue tell me how nice I am”

“Electric Relaxation” – Midnight Marauders

“I like ‘em brown, yellow, Puerto Rican or Haitian /Name is Phife Dawg from the Zulu Nation”
You can almost hear the smugness in Phife’s voice as he spits the legendary opening line to his first verse in one of Tribe’s best known tracks. ‘Electric Relaxation’ proved Tribe’s ability to rap about sex in a tongue-in-cheek, intelligent way without an ounce of misogyny or offense, despite its hilariously filthy lyrics. 

“Let me save the little man from inside the boat / Let me hit it from the back, girl I won’t catch a hernia” – In Phife’s true braggard fashion, he makes a witty reference to cunilingus in the first line, moving onto his other sex moves in the second. 

“The Chase Pt. II” – Midnight Marauders

Phife’s verse on this track is probably one of the best examples of his uniquely conversational and effortless flow, carrying a real wow factor with both its opening and closing lines. 

“(Damn Phife, you got fat!) / Yeah, I know it looks pathetic / Ali Shaheed Muhammad got me doing calisthenics” – Phife pokes fun at himself and his struggles with diabetes, referring to his weight issues and a self-confessed sugar addiction. And when was the last time you heard the word ‘calisthenics’ in a rap song?

“Battling, whenever – hot damn! / Give me the microphone boy, one time, bam!” – Phife delivers this line in true Caribbean patois, echoing his Trinidadian roots. ‘One time’ is also slang for the police, with an onomatopoeic ‘bam!’ to symbolise a gunshot, making this a powerful closing line to his verse. 

“Buggin’ Out” – The Low End Theory

With only a few minor appearances on Tribe’s debut record ‘People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm’, Phife needed a real breakthrough to finally make his name on the scene. His unforgettable opening verse on ‘The Low End Theory’s ‘Buggin’ Out’ is often regarded as the moment he finally went from a background component to a major player in A Tribe Called Quest, showing the world what he was made of.

“Yo, microphone check one, two, what is this? / The five foot assassin with the roughneck business”

Later in the verse, whilst showcasing his impressively effortless flow, he dropped in one of his many sneaker-related references with: 

“Styles upon styles upon styles is what I have / You wanna diss the Phifer but you still don’t know the half / I sport New Balance sneakers to avoid a narrow path / Mess around with this you catch a size eight up [your ass]”

“Baby Phife’s Return” – Beats, Rhymes & Life

An almost entirely solo joint, minus the hook from Consequence, Phife delivers some slick punchlines while he tells a more personal story, including references to the influence of his family, his faith and fellow Tribe members:

“Big up pop Duke, that’s where I caught my athleticism / My mama, no doubt, that’s where I got my lyricism / My nana, that’s where I got my spiritualism / As for Tip and Shah, they made me stop from smokin’ izm”

“Keep shit hotter than a sauna / Or better yet, the hormones on your Christian daughter / Hey, I tried to warn her” - One of the many “oh shit” moments in his lyrical career, he drops powerful mysterious lines like this before swiftly moving onto the next one in true Phife fashion.

An avid sports fan, Phife keeps up the basketball references with the line “Kid, you know my flava, tear this whole jam apart / Fuck around and have your heart, like Jordan had Starks’”, relating his dominance and skill to Michael Jordan in comparison to John Starks. 

“8 Million Stories” – Midnight Marauders

Another solo track from Phife, ‘8 Million Stories’ is an almost ‘It Was A Good Day’-esque tale, except Phife turns the idea on its head and spits a humorous story about his day full of woes and misfortunes, including getting pick-pocketed and even burning a hole in the shirt he was going to wear for his date.

“You know I gots to look dipped in the fresh new gear / Cool I found something so I ironed it / I then got caught up on the phone, oh shit, I’m frying it / Will someone tell me what did I do to deserve this?”

Similar to the menstrual hints in the previous record’s track ‘Infamous Date Rape’, Phife dares to go there again as he complains that he couldn’t get laid as he had caught his date Sheila at the wrong time of the month:

“I need to hit a honey off, Jarobi pass the phone / Pulled out my book of hoes, oh yo, Sheila’s home / Steady smiling like a mother yo I’m read’ to bone / Went down on hon, she’s in the red zone”

Known for launching into rants about girls who do him wrong, Phife later moans about picking up a gold digger who expected him to pay for everything:

“Picked up this girl in the hooptie / Just because I rhyme she tried to soup me / Pay for this, pay for that, loot for nails and hair / Who the hell do you think I am, Mr. Belvedere? / Go and get a bloody job, then can we look cute / Even if you give me boots, you’ll never see my loot”

He then drops another Afrocentric term in his lyrics, using the Jamaican term ‘botty face’ to describe the gold digger who “wasn’t even all of that”: “Sometimes you gotta put the hoes in their friggin’ place / Just move in front of me with your botty face!”

“Butter” – The Low End Theory

Another story about his romantic escapades, this Phife-dominated track is reminiscent about the girls of his high school days while he asserts the notion that his game is “smooth like butter”. 

He remembers one girl called Flo who really messed with his head: “Yeah I messed around with the one called Flo / All the troopers round the way used to call her a ho / But deep down in my heart I knew that Flo was good to go / ‘Cause I thought it was me like Bell Biv Devoe / But little did I know that she was playing with my mind / The only thing I learned is that good girls are hard to find”

He later launches into a rant about try-hard groupies and fakes, including the hilarious diss: “You barely have a neck but still sporting a rope”

“Your whole appearance is a lie and it could never be true / And if you really liked yourself then you would try and be you / If your hair and eyes were real, I wouldn’t have dissed ya / But since it was bought, I had to dismiss ya”

 “Oh My God” – Midnight Marauders

Phife’s verse in the catchy ‘Midnight Marauders’ track arguably contains some of his punchiest and most clever rhymes. 

“I like my beats hard like two day old shit / Steady eating booty MCs like cheese grits”

“It’s not like honey dip would wanna get with me / But just in case I own more condoms than T.L.C” – Phife’s rhyme game was on point with this genius reference to how T.L.C.’s Lisa Lopes wore a condom over her left eye. 

“Trini gladiator, anti-hesitator / Shaheed push the fader from here to Grenada” – a clever nod to his Caribbean roots, he makes a comparison between Shaheed switching the beats with a fader, and Phife himself swiftly moving from New York to Trinidadian rhyme styles in his cyphers. 

“Mr Energetic, who me sound pathetic? / When’s the last time you heard a funky diabetic?” – one of Phife’s most famous lines, in reference to his illness.

Saturday 9th April we come together in London to pay tribute and celebrate the life and legacy of Phife Dawg. Come hang with the Applebum crew at Efes Snooker Hall as we spin our favourite A Tribe Called Quest tracks all night long. 

 

Posted on March 27, 2016 and filed under News.