Find A Way :: A Tribe Called Quest [R.I.P. Phife Dawg]

a-tribe-called-quest

a-tribe-called-quest

I owe the entire title of this site I’ve been working on for the past seven or so years to a line from Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest, so you can imagine that the news hit me hard when I found out Phife had passed. Let this be yet another lesson that we lose our greats too soon, so please appreciate the architects of this culture before it’s too late. Some of these groups need to get back together (looking at you, EPMD…put out a record!) and we need to be willing to support future concerts and other endeavors as hip-hop heads. We love you, Phife. Thanks for these classics.

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[Vintage Goods] The Basement :: Pete Rock & CL Smooth f. Heavy D

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peterockclsmooth

On the classic album Mecca And The Soul Brother, Pete Rock and CL Smooth enlisted the assistance of the late Heavy D along with Grap-Luva, Rob-O, and Deda for this posse cut, which deftly samples “Bam Bam” by Sister Nancy and “Atomic Dog” by George Clinton, among several others.  On one of the most perfect hip-hop albums of all time, this gem provides layers upon layers of content, from ill scratches to classic bars.  Appreciate this and then check out the album and if you’ve already heard it – run it back.

 

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[Vintage Goods] Come On :: Notorious B.I.G. f. Sadat X (Original Lord Finesse Version)

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qwsoancc6uwoovn7kggd

One of my favorite tracks off of the posthumous Born Again album, which served as a Notorious B.I.G. album, was “Come On” which featured Sadat X of Brand Nubian.  Come to find out, Sadat considered this the “trash” version of the song in comparison to its original incarnation as a Lord Finesse production.  As you can tell from listening, the jazz-rap sound comes off as slightly dated compared to the more modern sound on the second version, but we never shy away from the old school here at Front-Free.

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[Vintage Goods] Rediscover Me (1981) :: The Main Ingredient

Main Ingredient

Main Ingredient

Ever since I heard “Rediscover” featuring Blu off of Skyzoo and Torae’s Barrel Brothers project due out next week,  I’ve been obsessed with this unsung old school jam.  In case you weren’t aware, the lead singer of the band during this particular era was Cuba Gooding, Sr., father of actor Cuba Gooding, Jr.  He became the lead after the former lead, Donald McPherson passed away from a battle with leukemia.  You may remember the song from it being sampled in Wale and Rick Ross’ music before the aforementioned Barrel Brothers song, but the original remains a top shelf soul classic.

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[Vintage Goods] Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop (Full Album) :: Diamond D

Diamond D

Diamond D

I don’t usually post full albums for the Vintage Goods section, but I think it’s important that I start in order to show how the focus used to be on creating a complete product, not just a collection of unrelated potential singles.  Diamond D released Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop in 1992, a classic album that contained some of the first appearances of Big L and Fat Joe, who would later become his partners in the D.I.T.C. crew.  Production is done mostly by Diamond D, making him one of the best producer/MCs that novices may have never heard of.  Q-Tip, Large Professor, Sadat X, DJ Mark the 45 King, Jazzy Jay, and Showbiz also show up to lend some production assistance, making a varied but cohesive blend of soundscapes for Diamond D to kick his effortlessly smooth flow over.  This is the blueprint of a dope album that’s true to hip-hop culture and those not familiar with this sound and artist should take some time and understand why this was listed as one of the 100 best rap albums of all time.  Shout out to C. Lee for pulling this out of the crates.  Side Note: I can’t be the only one who wanted that green leather.

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