My computer knowledge has increased tenfold since starting this blog. I’m no wiz yet, but I can handle a little HTML now, and more importantly, yesterday I worked out how to rip 12”s to my computer. This can only be a good thing, and now allows me to get some of my rarer singles uploaded in addition to the CD albums… damn I’m good! I’m probably not going to make a regular habit of it as it did take me a while, but in response to a ‘conversation’ I had with Alley Al over at Biff Hop recently, I’m throwing up a couple of 12”s that may tickle your fancy.
Ninety9 – Willow 12”
I remember copping this when it came out in 2000 after it received some pretty heavy rotation on MTV. I know very little about Ninety9, but judging by Alley’s comments, she was a feature on the New York hip hop/spoken word scene around the mid to late ’90s and this ultimately resulted in the release of this pleasing, summery single. The lead track is ‘Willow’, a beautiful string and piano laced beat with sung chorus hook that feels great when the sun is shining and has the effect of making the world around you seem sweet. With lyrical references to an SP1200, you can also be assured that Ninety9 is representing the real hip hop. The b-sides aren’t too shabby either, my favourite being ‘Last Minute’ which has a seriously chilled, late night vibe. All in all, this is a pretty decent 12” from an artist who I would have liked to see a lot more of but who has sadly disappeared from the scene.
DJ JS-1 – Beyond ft. O.C. b/w Arrogant ft. Substantial, Tonedeff, PackFM & Rise
I remember seeing Rahzel in my first year of university and being absolutely blown away by him and his DJ sidekick JS-1, so when this 12” dropped in 2002 I grabbed it without hesitation. ‘Beyond’ is an almost Premieresque (the man deserves his own adjective) beat with melodic piano loop and crispy drums that will get your head nodding, and O.C. comes correct on the vocal side of things. The two elements combined make for a quality, upbeat track that seems to have barely registered on the hip hop map. I’m not a great fan of the b-side, although there is no doubting that JS-1 can work his way around the boards. Ultimately, whenever I used to buy 12” singles, one side would always predominate and leave the other in the shade and in this case, ‘Arrogant’ takes the fall.
The 12” also includes a DJ track featuring DJ ODY-ROC, who I have never heard of before, but the pair perform some seriously tight scratching over a relatively aggressive beat that makes several transitions over its five and a half minute duration. Overall, a quality 12” that demands you hit the link.