Introducing Old Raps: A Podcast By DJ Levins

Record collecting is a pretty selfish hobby.

Most smart people give it up at some point in their 20s, usually after the realisation that those $40 import CDs they own are worth more as coasters than they are a music format. It’s only the real monsters of this world who keep this disgusting hobby up – even after two children and a mortgage. Monsters like me.

An enormous case of records I never listen to sits between our television and a pile of my son’s toys. Most of the cupboard space in my daughter’s room is taken up by my cassette collection, literally the most pointless thing I own and keep adding to.

About 95 percent of my hard drive space on my laptop is music and 50 percent of my bookshelf is books written about music, with a considerable amount of our DVD collection consisting of movies based on the books that were written about music.

I can’t play any of these strange, crackly obscurities when I DJ, lest I clear the dancefloor within seconds and successfully un-book myself from every club show in my calendar in the process. Is there a rehab for record collectors? Or can I share these songs and hopefully inspire a new generation of idiots to start collecting music somehow?

Introducing Old Raps

Old Raps is a new radio show/guilt remover. It’ll focus on American rap music made in the 1990s and early-2000s in the South and on the West Coast of the US. And I’m going to record an episode every month.

Radio was the first creative thing I was part of. And after having a radio show of some kind from 2001-2014 (shout outs to Triple H in Hornsby and FBi in Sydney), I’m excited to be making the show I’ve wanted to make for years. More importantly, I’m finally justifying the thousands of dollars I’ve spent on record collecting over the last decade-and-a-half.

What It’s All About

The 1990s is generally referred to as the golden age of hip-hop, but the golden age typically excludes these areas, focusing solely on New York rap and the “boom bap” sound. While this was happening on the East Coast, they were doing their own thing in the South and the West, and the musical output from these areas during this time essentially developed into the commercial rap sound that’s prominent on the radio today.

Every month I’m going to explore the roots of rap and its multiple sub-genres, recording episodes focused on prolific producers, legendary record labels and exciting movements in different regions. I’ll be mixing a few songs together and rambling for a few minutes in between each little set.

Episode One: Unsigned Cash Money

The first episode is all about my favourite producer of all time, Mannie Fresh, the in-house producer for New Orleans label Cash Money Records from 1993-2004. After releasing a mix of all his bounce records in 2015, this episode will focus on the more straight-up rap production he was responsible for in the early- to mid-’90s – from the moment he came on board until Cash Money signed their big deal with Universal Records in 1998. If these seem insanely specific and niche to you, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

New episodes of Old Raps will drop at the start of each month. Every month I’ll be focusing on a different label, producer or region, playing a few of my favourite songs and rambling a little in between them. Stay tuned for more. – DJ Levins

Tracklisting:

U.N.L.V. – Pocket Full Of Furl
Kilo G – Down Mutha For Ya
Kilo G – Release Me (feat. Pimp C)
Mr Ivan – Look at Yourself (feat. Mannie Fresh and B-32)
U.N.L.V. – Drag ‘Em ’N’ Tha River
Tec-9 – Local 580 Burn Em Like A Bitch (feat. B’G’z, B-32, Kilo G and Lil’ Ya)
Lil’ Slim – Hands On My Gun
Lil’ Slim – Gangsta Day
B.G. – Bat A Bitch (feat. Big Tymers)
B.G. – Playin’ and Laughin’ (feat. Mannie Fresh)
B.G. – Cash Money N*ggaz (feat. Turk and Bullet)
Hot Boys – Neighborhood Superstars (feat. Big Tymers)
B.G. – Get Your Shine On (feat. Big Tymers)
B.G. – Get Your Shine On (feat. Big Tymers) (Alternate mix)
B.G. – Ride Or Die (feat. Lil’ Wayne and Juvenile)
Big Tymers – How U Luv That (feat, Lil’ Wayne and Juvenile)
Hot Boys – We On Fire
Juvenile – Solja Rag
Big Tymers – Beautiful

(Photos by Daniel Boud)

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