Old Music


buckwild biggie

In the latest episode of Deconstructed, Genius sit down in the studio with veteran producer Buckwild (Big L “Put It On,” Black Rob “Whoa!”) to get the story behind The Notorious B.I.G.’s “I Got a Story to Tell.” The true events behind Biggie’s lyrics are already the stuff of legend (RIP Anthony Mason), but here, the D.I.T.C. crate digger walks us through the making of his beat, which required the Andreas Vollenweider sample to be completely recreated, while talking about his relationship with Big and how the song landed on Life After Death.

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One of the most exciting events at last year’s ComplexCon was their panel on Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Former Complex Editor-In-Chief Noah Callahan-Bever, who spent a week in Hawaii during the making of the album and penned the classic “Project Runaway” cover story, sat down with key players and collaborators like Mike Dean, Rick Ross, Consequence, Malik Yusef, Hype Williams and Selita Ebanks to share their memories of Kanye’s magnum opus.

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In the latest installment of Off The Record, Mass Appeal sit down with Large Professor to reflect on the making of Nas’ “It Ain’t Hard to Tell.” Large Pro remembers how the blend culture in Queens sparked the idea, how Nas being on the same label as Michael Jackson (Sony) helped them clear the sample, and his approach to remixing his own beat.

Above all else, Extra P and Nasty Nas were operating with a true N.Y. state of mind. “We were heavy New York, so we weren’t thinking about the globe and, like, ‘Yo, what do they want in Paris?’ We was just like, ‘Yo, we do what we do and we put it down,'” he says. “We’re just thankful that the world received it and loved it.”

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nas-nicki-minaj

Nicki Minaj has been busy in recent days, giving fans three new tracks and a Pretty Girls Like Trap Music playlist for 2 Chainz. On Saturday (Mar. 11), Minaj tweeted to her fans that she had another surprise up her sleeve that would appear on TIDAL by Monday.

The surprise? A 40-track curated playlist called “Queens Got Da Crown.” The title, an obvious subliminal aimed at Remy Ma during their current beef, leads a three-hour trip of rap classics by famous artists from the New York City borough the Young Money Queen grew up in.

It includes songs by Nas, Q-Tip, 50 Cent and G-Unit, LL Cool J, Mobb Deep, Roxanne Shante, Run-DMC, Ja Rule, Lost Boyz, Noreaga, and more.

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nas-hip-hop-is-dead-documentary

Nas’ Hip Hop Is Dead album turned 10 earlier this week, and to celebrate, the Queensbridge rapper teamed up with Mass Appeal and Google Play to put together a short documentary on his provocative project.

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Lupe Fiasco released Food & Liquor 10 years ago today. In this new podcast, the Chicago rapper reflects on the making of his critically acclaimed debut album, which spawned hits like “Kick, Push” and “Daydreamin,” and cemented him as one of the best MCs of his generation. Lupe talks in length about the album cover, from the Dōmu inspiration to the story behind each item floating around him (“I was born Muslim, it’s my spiritual foundation,” he says of the Qur’an, which was actually his father’s copy).

Later on, Lupe touches on the infamous Food & Liquor leak, collaborations with Three 6 Mafia and Sa-Ra that didn’t make the cut, and the album’s far-reaching influence on hip-hop today. As an added bonus, Lupe plays a bunch of unreleased material throughout the podcast, including what sounds like the sequel to “Hip-Hop Saved My Life” at the very end.

You only get to do your first one once. i don’t do interviews but i will record myself talking to myself lol. 10…Remembering is hard but its fun lol. Enjoy. Happy Anniversary!

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bad boy box set

Bad Boy Records are celebrating their 20th birthday this year, and in typical Bad Boy fashion, Puff Daddy and the Family are going big with their celebrations. Before their blockbuster reunion tour gets underway next month, you’ll be able to dust up on (or for the younger heads, get familiar with) all the Bad Boy classics with this upcoming box set.

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gnarls barkley

Gnarls Barkley’s debut album St. Elsewhere will celebrate its 10th anniversary next week (seriously, where does the time go?), and today the group’s prolific producer Danger Mouse decided to dig into the vaults and unearth his “rejected” remix of the album’s mega hit, “Crazy.” Obviously, the original is a damn near perfect piece of music, but this slower, stripped-down version — featuring an acoustic guitar loop and some bright brass — leaves you wondering why it’s been buried for so long. According to Danger Mouse, it’s “a weird remix I did back in 2006 that got rejected by the label.”

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guru

The hip-hop world got the sad reminder that it has been six years since Guru passed away this week. To commemorate his life and celebrate the Gang Starr rapper, Tim Westwood has released this rare freestyle with Common for his Throwback Thursday series. As MC’s from the golden age, the two kick rhymes actually off the dome over Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode.”

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the fugees

Another Thursday, another throwback gem from Tim Westwood. For this week’s hip-hop history lesson, Tim unearths a rare freestyle from The Fugees back in 1995 — a year after they dropped their debut album Blunted on Reality, and a year before they’d leave their mark on the culture forever with The Score. This five-minute flashback finds Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and Pras spitting fire on the mic while rewording Black Moon‘s all-important question. “How many mics do ya rip on the daily?” asks Wyclef, to which Lauryn responds, “many many many.”

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