Friday, September 11, 2009

Ground Zero

After 9/11, like a lot of Americans, O'Neal and I were left wondering what we could do to help. We contacted The Middle East (the venue, and yes, there is some irony there) about doing a benefit concert. A number of other promoters and bands had the same thought, so the venue ended up doing a string of benefits, and donated 200% of the door proceeds to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. We pulled together every known emcee we could find, and I have to say, they were all eager to get involved ---- the event was a huge sold-out success, and we ended up raising over $10,000. It was a proud moment for everyone in that room. GeeSpin was on stage forcing the rappers to empty their pockets into a hat --- everybody gave that night. Pretty sure I have some show audio around here somewhere ... but in the meantime ...

We also got together with Inebriated Rhythm to record a single that would be sold at the event. The song featured EDO.G, Reks, Alius, Akrobatik, Illin' P, Jaysaun, Shuman and T-Max over a really dope Soul Supreme beat. We never did much with the song, but I like to listen to it every now and then, to remember how Boston really pulled it all together that night.

Here is the mp3.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Radio Free Allston

Back in the mid-late 90's there was low-wattage pirate radio station set up in Allston/Boston called "Radio Free Allston." Good people who were trying to do something pretty cool. We had a show on that station for a year or two called (embarrassingly) "Hip-Hop 617." I distinctly remember that we were paranoid that the cops would somehow find out, so we refused to use the name Main Ingredient Productions on-air. Hilarious. At any rate, I'm sure the 3 people who could actually catch a signal thought the show was pretty good ... we certainly had plenty of hot records to play, even if our DJ skills were a bit suspect.

Main Ingredient Productions (& the skullies)

Before we incorporated in January 1999 as MetroConcepts, we did business under the name Main Ingredient Productions, which I think accurately reflected that at the time we were more of an event company than a marketing company. I swear the best shwag item we ever did were the Main Ingredient skullies you see below. We gave out a ton of these to emcees, and would see them popping up in magazine photo shoots years later.

Here is O'Neal with J-Live in New York

Here is Tim & O'Neal with High & Mighty in Providence

Virtuoso performing at The Western Front

Friday, August 7, 2009

Akrobatik - Remind My Soul (Live) - MP3

I consider Akrbatik's Balance album to be one of the best indie hip-hop albums ever --- solid from beginning to end. We were really proud to be part of that project (even did the cover art). "Remind My Soul" was the standout single from this record (did that cover too) --- sonically and topically just a really powerful song.

Here is a live MP3 version of "Remind My Soul," recorded at the 2004 Superbowl MC Battle.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mr. Lif Freestyle 1997

This is from waaaaaaaay back in the early days at The Western Front. Not 100% sure this is 1996, but no later than 1997. Lif was largely unknown at this time, just getting a little airplay on WERS. He used to come down every week or two and just kill it.

His dreads were tiny then too.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Def Jux Freestyle 2001

Here is a juicy mp3 from the second-to-last Co-Flow show in 2001 before El and Len split. This 5-minute session weaves in and out of freestyles and writtens, and includes El-P, Copywrite, Vast Aire and Aesop Rock. Aesop had just signed with Jux, and I remember him basically walking into the venue at midnight, fresh of the bus, and walked right on stage ... and I'm thinking, "who the hell is this guy?"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Boston Globe feature 1996

Back when we were young and I had a good head of hair. This was the first big exposure for us, and helped open a few doors. Funny to look back at how corny it all is, and how misunderstood hip-hop was by the media at that time ..... "an offspring of rap." LOL. I will say though, the thing it does capture is how much fun we were having back then, no bullshit. It was just a bunch of people listening to music, having some drinks and hanging out .... didn't feel like work, just good times.

Where the hell was O'Neal for the photo shoot? Still at college I guess.