Edition: November 09, 2011
Rock-n-Roll-Exhibition: MISTY DIAN
Basslines and Vibes
This playlist is a tribute to people from my old suburban neighborhood, the kind of neighborhood in which the Top 40 music reigned and where I thought the boot-legged albums of Prince were the ultimate score until the people I now call my friends made me listen to their Walkman or borrowed me their tapes.
These friends, my homeys, took me to out of the suburbs and brought me to the city’s obscure churches that turned into dope bass pumping B-Boy Extravaganzas, followed by Bassline parties and numerous accounts of impromptu events and performances. They introduced me to sounds that inexplicably made sense to my head and body. There were these sick beats that made people act like a cursing hustler swinging his gats or a spliff smoking brother admiring the booty and whatever person in between those two. And the rhymes, the brilliant rhymes, made people bob their heads all the way through, in whatever act they’re at.
I was totally sold, wrapped and I never returned.
I cherish my Top 40 music because it landmarks certain episodes of the past. But the music on this list is more than just a categorical device. It’s not just an important reminder of the good days of way back then, but it’s also my important ingredient for having a good time, period. This list is a timeless device and I have my homeys to thank for that.
What I’m trying to capture in this list is the great time we had in discovering one sick beat after another. Like most playlists, it is that trip down memory lane, it is that mini autobiography, and it is the place of giving credit where credit is due. This list isn’t coming from an expert and you won’t find any rare or unknown artist in it, but you’ll hopefully feel the gratefulness I have for the experts who allowed me to have a taste of their expertise in discovering all these amazing beats. I’m bowing down, oh great ones, and I’m forever thirsty and hungry for more of your discoveries.
…Deeply grateful to Rudolf for having me in this exhibition!
01. Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Brooklyn Zoo
Is there a way to favorite only one member of the Wu Tang Clan? When this album came out, one of my hombre’s almost dropped his below-waist baggy jeans to his ankles. He may have found THE most brilliant Wu Tang-ist ever, he said. So we played “Brooklyn Zoo” in a thick volume at the store we worked at that time, and the house music-digging clientele couldn’t help but bobbing their heads to the sounds of the man who insanely ‘kept planets in orbit’.
Return to the 36 Chambers: the Dirty Version/1996
02. Step into a World – KRS One
Non-mainstreamers are supposed to hate this song, but if you hear the Blondie intro through the massive speakers in a packed club followed by that burst of bass that makes your heart want to bounce out of your carcass, you won’t see nobody hatin’
I got next/1997
03. They want EFX – Das EFX
I can’t think of anyone back then who did NOT try to rhyme in the iggity or iggedy way Drayz and Skoob (yes, the DAS of the EFX) did. Jay Z tried to mack it, Blackstreet tried the swingbeat out of it, but of course DAS, they’re unbeatable innit.
04. Swing – Camp Lo
Sometimes we don’t feel like getting violent or being mad at the popo and that’s when we turn to Camp Lo’s extremely cool Uptown Saturday Night album. Swing’s jazzy yet tight beats were a great backdrop of our afternoon teas, and of course the teas we’re having were extremely cool.
Uptown Saturday Night/1997
05. Puerto Rico – Frankie Cutlass
Probably one of the best intro’s I have ever heard. When a DJ plays a set with KRS One’s “Sound of da Police” followed by “Puerto Rico”, you can hear the whole floor rap in unison, like a bunch of Nuyorican gangstas.
Politics and Bullshit/1997
06. Foxy’s bells – Foxy Brown
My friends and I adore hoochie lady rappers with foul mouths like Foxy Brown and Lil Kim in Junior M.A.F.I.A. Aside from the eye-feast we’re having out of the way they look, it’s also a party for our ears hearing those deep female baritones rapping eloquent stuff like ‘Bitches squeeze your titties, niggaz grab your genitals’.
Ill Na Na/1996
07. Around the way girl – LL. Cool J
The reason why my girlfriends and I love this song so much is because we DID wear bamboo earrings (yep, the kind that Salt N Pepa don in the “Push It” videoclip) and we DID wait for the bus at bus stops while sucking on our lollipops. LL knew all that, so we’re fully recognizing the man.
Mama Said Knock You Out/1990
08. Her – Guy
I hung out with ladies who were deeply into new jack swing and they were the glam opposite of my hip-hop home girls. They had a perm like Karyn White, listened to Keith Sweat and danced to Guy with boys in hooded and zippered blazers. ‘Her’ is the ultimate swing beat grinding music.
09. The Blast – Talib Kweli & Hi Tek (Reflections Eternal)
Sometimes hip-hop is beautiful poetry and Talib Kweli is one of my favorite poets. His voice, his rhymes, the beats, everything about it feels like an ode, a woe. My friends used to think I’m mushy for liking this album better than the raw Mos Def Black Star collaboration, but since most of them have become daddies, I know they’re secretly being mushy now on this particular song.
Train of thought/2000
10. Miss Fat Booty – Mos Def
Time for some polytheism and Mos Def is undoubtedly one of my gods. I always feel a sense of worship listening to his albums. His voice, his rhymes, the beats, everything about it feels tight, right and effortless. “Miss Fat Booty” is when I first saw the light and so I dedicate this prayer to you, my Lord…
Black on Both Sides/1999
11. Vibes and Stuff – A Tribe Called Quest
Still in a polytheism vibe → I’m also a big worshipper of the Tribe. At a certain point, my friends and I felt a certain smugness for our preference in hip-hop because aren’t ‘true’ appreciados supposed to resort to the east coast artists? The answer is a big smug YES, especially when it comes to Q-Tip, Phife Dawg and Ali S. Muhammad. I saw them live on stage once and when they started this track, it was like oh my Gawd…yes oh my Gawd! His Holiness Q-Tip touched my hand!
The Low End Theory/1991
12. Nobody – Ruste Juxx
When you’re kind of stuck in music from the 90ies and have become one of those persons commenting on the Youtube about how much the music of 2010 sucks, then Ruste Juxx will give you some hope. Also, don’t forget to check out the violent yet quirky video on the YouTube!
13. Nuthin’ But a G-Thang – Dr Dre
My all time (and everybody’s) favorite Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg anthem! We can’t help but imagine ourselves driving a jolting lowrider cabriolet when we listen to this classic goodness.
14. Made You Look – Nas
I could not fully understand the adoration of my friends for Nas and the Illmatic album. But I fully turned after hearing Nas and God’s Son. I couldn’t really choose between “Made You Look” and “Get Down”, the two most wicked tracks of the album, so I eenie meenie miny moed. But if you get the chance, I strongly recommend you to listen to both, one right after another.
15. One More Chance – Notorious B.I.G. [NOT the remix]
Can you imagine a playlist with 90ies greatness without Biggie Smalls? And can you believe that Puff Daddy has produced something as amazing as this? Notorious is sort of my semigod, my thrilla in Manilla. DJ’s at that time loved to play the remix, but the original album version, with the phonecalls and all, remains the very best.
Ready to Die/1994
16. 90% of me is you – Gwen Mc Rae
I’ve discovered compilation albums by Kenny Dope and DJ Spinna with a bunch of original tunes used for hip-hop remixes and samples. This song is from 1974 but it’s still so timelessly smooth and delicious, you can understand why rawkus hip hop boys recycled it for their current stuff.
Strange Games and Things by DJ Spinna/2001
17. Gravel Pit – Wu Tang Clan
I’m the typical girl who loves lyrics, singing and girly voices in between the brilliant Wu Tang Clan’s raps. That’s the main reason why I picked this song, plus the fact that they made this weird video clip out of it with dinosaurs and gambling and girls in tiger tooth leather bikinis. It’s that Wu Tang gangster Bruce Lee vibe with a self-ridiculizing dash of nerd. Love it.
18.Thoughts of Old Flames – Pleasure
Another smooth and delicious intermezzo from 1979.
I adore the slick and gorgeous lyrics.
Strange Games and Funky Things III by Kenny Dope/2000
19.Remote Control – Beastie Boys
I didn’t get the Beastie Boys. They were just a bunch of boys shouting to each other and called it ‘rap’. Of course I was accused of blasphemy by my haughty buddies who were into alternative hip hop and they took me to see them live. And that’s when I went like, okay, I get it now. I get it.
20. Daaamn – Tha Alkaholiks
Tha Alkaholiks made us all want to take out our glocks and swing with it wildly (but we were already happy doing the same thing with our bottles). This track is so good, you just want to do bad.
Coast to Coast/1995
21. Everybody Loves the Sunshine – Roy Ayers
Mary J. Blige’s My Life was one of my CD’s with the ugliest and deepest scratches. We played it often and memorized ‘My Life’ like most girls did at that time. I kind of love the original version by Roy Ayers because it makes you listen to that fine beat instead of an overwhelming voice.
Everybody Loves the Sunshine/1976
22. Superman Lover – Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson
This is slickness and awesomeness and I’m convinced that it’s the father of all big baller player anthems out there. “I’m stronger than a locomotive, yeah…”
Strange Games and Funky Things III by Kenny Dope/2000
23. I against I – Jedi Mind Tricks
I bumped into Jedi while I was browsing and the lyrics they created were like from another world. So engaged and polished and prophetic, it’s almost like the hip-hop you’ll listen to on judgment day.
Violent by Design/2004
24. The Most Beautifullest Thing in This World – Keith Murray
This is the exemplary tune of all my friends who had a thing for freestyle. Keith Murray’s laidback but tongue-tying flow was always a fun challenge in the wee hours of a party filled with intoxicated wanna-be freestylers. It was such an adorable scene.
The Most Beautifullest Thing in This World/1994
25. Super Strut – Kashmere Stage Band
I’m normally not a big fan of big bands, but again, a friend showed me the way. She said this track had all the hip hop elements imaginable without becoming too improvising and complicated, and I now love to imagine this classic tune as the end credit of a big east coast – west coast event.
Choice, A Collection of Classics/2006
26. Daylight – Ramp
After a night filled with bass lines, you drive home surrounded by the weak light of dawn while listening to Ramp. I can’t think of a nicer way to cool off.
Strange Games and Funky Things III by Kenny Dope/2000
Misty called herself a has-been in the advertising and the home video industry, an inactive anthropologist, an intercontinental movie production person, an occasional corporate writer, a devout admirer of two toddlers, and a hip hop enthusiast.
♫ Download the whole playlist here ♬
– Nov 16 | Exhibition: Rebekah E. Moore (ethnomusicologist)
– Nov 23 | Exhibition: Adi Cumi (vocalist of Fable & Raksasa)
– Nov 30 | Exhibition: Doni Iblis (vocalist Funeral Inception)
And more exhibitions by Tony Tandun, Anto Arief, Ricky Surya Virgana, Tony Trax, Josh Howard, Kas, Saleh Husein, and more.
See y’all again next Wednesday!
Boozed, Broozed, and Broken-boned,
*subject to change
The Block Rockin’ Beats
Curator: Rudolf Dethu
Every Wednesday, 8 – 10 PM
The Beat Radio Plus – Bali, 98.5 FM
120 minutes of cock-melting tunes.
Zero horse shit.
Rad-ass rebel without a pause.
Shut up and slamdance!