Old Music


The date August 25, 2014 marks 13 years since the passing of Aaliyah in a tragic plane crash. The singer-actress’ spirit still lives on stronger than ever, serving as inspiration to many of today’s new stars. Taking time out of his “Throwback at Noon” mixshow on Hot 97, Mister Cee pays tribute to Aaliyah with old school classics, No.1 hits, and features on more recent records.

Aaliyah Dana Haughton would have been 35-year-old today. Stream and download the mix below.

Continue after the jump……


mike jones still tippin

Mike Jones’ time in the national spotlight may have been fleeting, but “Still Tippin” remains a Southern rap classic to this day. With its 10-year anniversary fast approaching, Mike, Slim Thug and Paul Wall sit down for Complex‘s “Magnum Opus” series to look back on the making of Swishahouse’s second biggest single. Bun B, Michael “5000” Watts, Joie Manda, video director Mr. Teeth and the song’s producer Salih Williams all join the Texas trio to tell the comprehensive story behind this timeless track.

Watch below…


common fat beats 1997

After unearthing a historic clip of a 19-year-old Kanye West performing at Fat Beats’ NYC opening party back in ’96, DJ Eclipse treats the Internets to another rap relic. This time, it’s a video of fellow Chi-Town native Common freestyling over Gang Starr’s “You Know My Steez” at the same Fat Beats store in NYC (RIP) in 1997, just a few days before the release of his One Day It’ll All Make Sense LP. Lord Sear also got on the mic that day, while Mista Sinista from the X-Ecutioners provided the music.

Watch the throwback clip below…



Today marks the 20th anniversary of Biggie’s breakout single, “Juicy,” and Shea Serrano/Grantland took the time to put together an extensive standardized test on the classic record. There’s a couple “facts” that most rap fans are aware of, including all that was seen in Notorious. I guess only a few folks really know everything that went on behind-the-scenes, but if you consider yourself a rap scholar, take Grantland’s test and prove it!

Grantland tossed out a few disputed tidbits: Pete Rock says he came up with the original version, and that Diddy lifted it from him. Perhaps this is turnabout, though. Consider: In 1993, San Francisco’s Dre Dog released an album called The New Jim Jones. His lead single, “The Ave.,” also used a slice of Mtume’s “Juicy Fruit” as its spine.

Biggie wasn’t all that excited about recording the track at first. We all watched Notorious. We all saw that part of the movie:


Throwback Thursday: The Notorious B.I.G. and Craig Mack Freestyle on Funkmaster Flex’s Show

kanye west robocop

Kanye’s 808s & Heartbreak album spawned some pretty incredible visuals, including the Hawaii-exploring “Amazing” and “Welcome to Heartbreak,” which fooled everyone into thinking their screen had just broke. It looks like a video was also shot for “RoboCop,” and thanks to Shihan Barbee, an animator who worked on the production, we’re treated to a 15-second preview of the unreleased video.

The clip features Kanye in a tux while an Amber Rose robot-doll pulls off some stop-motion dance moves besides him. It’s safe to assume the couple’s break-up lead to this video being trashed, so don’t hold your breath for the full thing to arrive anytime soon.

Watch the unreleased “RoboCop” clip below…


2pac all eyez on me.jpg

18 years after its release, 2Pac’s All Eyez On Me has finally been certified Diamond by the RIAA. The legendary West Coast rapper’s fifth LP inched past the five million shipped units mark this week, but with it being a two-disc album, that figure gets doubled, earning the classic record another plaque. Yep, a fairly dubious rule, but who are we to strip ‘Pac of another historic achievement?

All Eyez On Me joins OutKast’s SpeakerBoxxx/The Love Below, Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show, MC Hammer’s Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em and Biggie’s Life After Death, as well as 2Pac’s Greatest Hits, as some of the other rap albums to sell over 10 million copies. And yes, as you can see, many of these are also double-disc releases.

[Props HHNM]

New Music: 2Pac x !llmind “#Tupacsquiat (Remix)”
Retired Police Officer Recalls 2Pac’s Last Words: “F*ck You”
Watch an Uncut 2Pac Interview on Life, Death, Religion & Prison

diddy mase.jpg

Complex TV‘s Magnum Opus is back for its second season, and it kicks off with a late ’90s classic. Diving into the shiny suit nostalgia of the Bad Boy era, this new episode revisits the making of Diddy and Ma$e’s 1997 hit, “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down.” Puffy, Mason and the song’s producer Nashiem Myrick (of The Hitmen) recall their studio sessions — including the initial hesitation about sampling Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five — while Complex boss Noah Callahan-Bever and veteran A&R Dante Ross provide key context for younger rap fans.

Watch the episode below…


kanye west fat beats 1996.jpg

You don’t have to listen past The College Dropout‘s “Last Call” to understand the burning passion and unrivaled hustle that epitomizes Kanye West. But let’s take it back even further — before the Roc-A-Fella days, before Freshman Adjustment, before ghostproducing for D-Dot.

In this old clip that Complex just unearthed from the vaults, we get to see a 19-year-old Kanye performing at Fat Beats’ opening party in New York City, all the way back in ’96. After fluffing his first line, a fresh-faced Ye composes himself and spits a raw yet nonetheless dope verse.

Watch the throwback clip below…


prince purple rain.jpg

For unspecified reasons, the Internet Gods have decided to bless us on this fine Monday morning. Here’s rare footage of Prince recording his iconic album, Purple Rain, live during a benefit concert at Minnesota’s First Avenue club back in 1983. According to the video, much of the album was culled from this very performance, with several edits and overdubs being made. It was also the debut of guitarist Wendy Melvoin, who would go on to back Prince for the next three years as part of his band, The Revolution.

This is guaranteed to send chills down the spine of any Prince fan. Watch the video below while it’s still available on YouTube.

Watch the video below…


the alchemist

Usually I hate making these kinda statements because I’ll randomly revisit an album and change my opinion like that, but eff it: The Alchemist is my favorite producer of all time. Even after 15 years into his career, he’s still finding new ways to flip that gritty hip-hop formula into something that leaves your face looking like this. Just take ScHoolboy Q’s “Break the Bank,” Mac Miller’s “Red Dot Music” or Prodigy’s “Give Em Hell,” which are all from the last 12 months alone.

As Alchemist’s debut solo album, 1st Infantry, turned 10 over the weekend (sidebar: “Bangers” and “Hold You Down” never fail to make my face scrunch), UpNorthTrips joined in the celebrations by putting together this dope mix of slept-on A-L-C bangers from the last decade. From Nas’ “Tick Tock” to Curren$y’s “Scottie Pippen,” these 40 minutes are all the evidence (pun intended) you need to see that Alan Maman belongs in that GOAT conversation. But then again, you could have picked any 40 minutes out of his catalog to do that.

Listen to “Alchemix” below…


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