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5 Songs to Start Your Summer [High-Five!]

Inspired in part by the Contrast Podcast & Tsururadio‘s sometimes mammoth, always intriguing mixtapes comes High Five: a semi-focused semi-regular series of mini-mixtapes presented for your listening pleasure. High five!

“5 Songs to Start Your Summer” download (19:25)

Rather than beating the summer heat, why not embrace it? Turn up the speakers, open the windows, pour yourself a cold drink, click play and let the sun shine in with five songs to start your summer (the right way).


Though arguably untouchable, the Sugarhill Gang’s version of “Rapper’s Delight” might see its most fulfilling cover in the version provided by the Def Squad for the 1997 monster-comp In Tha Beginning… There Was Rap and later their 1998 debut album El Niño. In fact, Redman, Erick Sermon and Keith Murray’s version might even be my favorite when comparing it to the original. Yeah, I said it.

MP3 Redman, Erick Sermon & Keith Murray “Rapper’s Delight” [Download Mirror]

As time has proven it’s hard to find a song that has been sampled as often, and with such great effect, as “Apache.” What might be most interesting about the song however is how one person’s point of entry to the song is probably world’s apart from the next; for example, one of the first times I recall hearing the sample was during the Beastie Boys’ Tibetan Freedom Concert performance of “Root Down.” Regardless of its use as a sample though, the Shadows’ original doesn’t get a sliver of the love that this rendition by the Incredible Bongo Band does. Then again, one is slightly more conducive to hip hop than the other.

MP3 The Incredible Bongo Band “Apache” [Download Mirror]

I’ve still yet to find a definitive answer on this but Curtis Mayfield’s contribution to Bran Van 3000′s “Astounded” might very well have been the last piece of work the legend ever recorded. However bizarre it might be that Mayfield’s last effort might have accompanied the “Drinkin’ in L.A.” crew, I stand by the story that it’s his swan song and I’m still stickin’ to it.

MP3 Bran Van 3000 feat. Curtis Mayfield “Astounded” [Download Mirror]

If by volume of brilliant work alone, Boston’s dj BC is my favorite mashup producer. His ability to create thoughtful mixes arranged with patience and care was as enjoyable to me back when I first heard him as it is now. This blend of Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere,” Snoop Dogg’s “That Girl,” Kanye West’s “This Way” and Q-Tip’s “Come Close” was one of the best bootlegs of 2009 and remains one of my favorites by the prolific bastard pop wizard.

MP3 dj BC “Everybody’s Everywhere Girl” [Download Mirror]

Formerly one half of the East Coast/West Coast adolescent rap duo Illegal,” Jamal managed just a single solo album in the mid-’90s despite later being signed to Smoke-A-Lot Records about five years back. This track is the only time I ever heard him though, and despite coming off not entirely unlike Canibus, Busta Rhymes’ consistent flow essentially buries him. “Accelerate on the gas — move fast/Blast! Now a nigga foot in ya ass.” Love that line.

MP3 Busta Rhymes feat. Jamal “There’s Not a Problem My Squad Can’t Fix” [Download Mirror]

1 Comment

    I happen to have a copy of the original vinyl of “Rapper’s Delight!” Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn. If your . . . .

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