In this episode, Hank Williams III talks about the hundreds of metal records his mom burned, a rare Hank Williams recording that’s never seen the light of day, and his punk rock rebellion. Crate Diggers profiles people with extraordinary vinyl record collections, with owners displaying and telling the stories behind their collections.
Marley Marl is unquestionably one of the greatest producers and DJs in hip hop history. His influence and importance to hip hop are undeniable, and his innovative productions and pioneering use of sampling helped define the genre. Marley Marl has produced beats for some of the music’s finest MCs including Big Daddy Kane, MC Shan, LL Cool J, Biz Markie, Roxanne Shante, Kool G Rap, Nas, Rakim, and Masta Ace.
In the second installment of Marley Marl ‘Classic Recipes,’ he shows you how he produced “Eric B. Is President” in 1986, the debut single for legendary hip hop duo Eric B. & Rakim. Marl talks about meeting Rakim for the first time and discusses the collaborative process with Eric B. that would yield one of the most influential hip hop tracks ever. “Eric B. Is President” combines a bassline from Fonda Rae’s bonafide 1982 club hit “Over Like a Fat Rat” and a beat from James Brown’s 1974 hit “Funky President.” Putting these two parts together was a bit tricky due to differences in tempo, but Marley resolved this problem by replaying the bassline with his trusty Casio CZ-101 keyboard instead of just sampling it.
In this video, Marley Marl recreates the entire track using his Akai MPC Renaissance to play a bass sound similar to the original, and using kick and snare samples from The Honey Drippers’ track “Impeach The President.” As always, Marley Marl drops priceless nuggets of wisdom and tips for young producers, including a beat programming technique he picked up from the original funky drummer Clyde Stubblefield and knowledge and words to live by from Rakim: “It ain’t where you from, it’s where you’re at.”
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Arguably one of the most influential indie-dance labels of our time, DFA Records has seen its share of success in the ever-changing realm of electronic music. Headed by Tim Goldsworthy, James Murphy and Jonathan Glakin, DFA Records has carried the baton of dance music from the seminal eras of electroclash, dance-punk to the ongoing onslaught of quality disco. With an accolade of artists under its roster — Holy Ghost, LCD Soundsystem, Hercules and Love Affair, Hot Chip to name a few — the New York-based label surely has its own share of stories when looking back on the past 12 years. Here, Red Bull Music Academy has produced a short documentary capsulizing the label’s history thus far. Enjoy the 13-minute mini-doc above and share your thoughts below.
In conjunction with our very special June 2013 issue, Beastie Boys: A Visual History + Tribute to MCA, we bring you excerpts from some our interviews with Beastie album cover artists from Polly Wog Stew to Hot Sauce Committee Part Two!
We find the inside stories of how each album came to fruition through the experiences and artwork of each artist that is now part of the Beastie Boys canon. The issue was curated and compiled by our contributing editor-at-large, Joey Garfield.
We speak to Cey Adams, Haze, Arabella Field, World B Omes, Glen E Friedman, Ricky Powell, Todd James, Mike Mills, Matteo Pericoli, Bill McMullen, Bruce Davidson, Alex Grey, Kiino Villand, Sunny Bak… and, we interview Adrock of the Beastie Boys as he gave us the inside story and behind-the-scenes look at how each album cover was selected, from inside the band.
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Lauryn Hill may be getting all the headlines right now, but her former Fugees band-mate Wyclef Jean is the one making waves in the music world once again, having just released his 33-track April Showers mixtape as a lead-up to his next album, The Carnival Begins. We chatted with Clef about the new projects in his New York City studio, where he says he’s been holed up “for literally six months,” churning out some 200-300 tracks. The first taste of what he’s calling his “Frankenstein project” is the sprawling mixtape, which includes everything from trap to dancehall to acoustic ballads.
“The best way I can explain to you how I do music is the way an author gets a bug in the middle of the night and he gets up with the ink and just starts to write,” Wyclef told us. “He can never stop writing until the book is complete. So I’m inspired right now, I’m doing all this music and I’m like, ‘I gave you 33 records, man I can give you 33 more tomorrow.’”
As for that proper sequel/prequel to The Carnival, Clef said it will be crazy. “It may have a lot of surprises. There’s a record with Pitbull. This is big because it’s Haiti and Cuba. Just the two generations getting together, it’s historic for both countries.” Clef also teased “Small Town Girls,” his collab with 2 Chainz that “fuses original dub with electro dub.” Watch up top for six more things you need to know about Clef’s comeback, including how Missy Elliott and Timbaland‘s proto-dubstep beats influenced him.
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