Old Music


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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camron

Every Thursday, Tim Westwood has been releasing rare and unreleased freestyles from your favorite rappers back in the day. The dates vary, but he’s taking it all the way to 1998 for this week’s drop, which features Cam’ron rapping over some classic Wu. The best part is this Confessions of Fire Killa Cam and he goes off for three minutes.

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method-man-tim-westwood

It’s Thursday, so you know what that means: Tim Westwood is digging into the vaults for some rare throwback freestyles. This time, Method Man and Redman take a stab at various instrumentals, spitting rhymes straight off the top of the dome. This one dates all the way back to 1999 around the Blackout! days, but the crazy part is that the two spit for 25 minutes. Crazy.

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complex 1996 project

The good folks at Complex have just launched The 1996 Project, a collection of in-depth content celebrating the 20th anniversary of one of hip-hop’s greatest — and saddest — years. But for the ’90s babies who were too young to fully experience that era, then allow this talented group of local kids to give you a taste of what ’96 was all about. Because sometimes a school play is the best way to understand history.

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drake-rick-ross

Show of hands: who still wants a joint project from Rick Ross and Drake in 2016? I thought so. Just five years ago Rozay was the hottest MC in the game (according to MTV, anyway) and Aubrey was the auspicious star eying up the throne for the taking. These days it’s Drake who’s the biggest bawse in the game, and What a Time to Be Alive has almost erased any memory of that rumored YOLO project he was prepping with Rick Ross, along with the use of the word “YOLO” (praise Jesus).

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Screenshot 2016-01-07 09.14.14

You know how Tim Westwood does around this time. He’s been releasing classic freestyles from some of his guests for weeks now and DMX is the latest artist to make it out of the vault. This track dates back to the year 2000 and as Westwood put it, “hardest freestyle ever!” We’ll let you be the judge of that, but we can certainly tell you Dark Man X went in.

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spike lee michael jackson

Spike Lee has already directed one documentary about Michael Jackson — 2012’s Bad 25 — and now he’s set to release another film on one of Jackson’s iconic albums. According to Pitchfork, the King of Pop’s 1979 LP Off the Wall is being reissued next month, along with a new Spike documentary called Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall.

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nelly county grammar

In the latest instalment of Magnum Opus, Complex reexamines “Country Grammar (Hot Sh*t),” the infectious song that kickstarted Nelly’s hot streak in the early ’00s. Featuring interviews with Murphy Lee, Cedric the Entertainer and the man himself, the episode explores the record’s crossover success from local hood favorite to national pop smash — not without a “they’re trying to ruin me moment!” though.

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