Old Music


nirvana-1991-650-430

Nirvana’s early days as a clueless band weren’t that different from a young rapper’s experience. You start out by doing shitty shows at dive spots for little to no money in hopes of getting your big break. Eventually, you either progress or realize that a 9 to 5 is in your destiny.

It usually plays out to be the latter, but they’ll never stop trying. 25-years ago yesterday (Jan 12), Nirvana played a show at a Portland punk venue called Satyricon. In honor of the show’s anniversary, the Internets have supplied us with a bootleg recording of the concert. RIP Kurt Cobain.

Listen to the recording below…

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nas-video

Here’s a pleasant treat from the lost Beastie Boys video vaults. Thanks to some savvy message board readers, an unreleased video for the Brooklyn group’s 2011 Nas collaboration “Too Many Rappers” has surfaced. From the looks of it, MCA, Ad-Rock, Mike D and Nasir Jones spent some time romping around D.C. They take it from the streets to a random grocery store, concert, through a park and beyond.

Directed by Roman Coppola and Oscilloscope Laboratories for Capitol Records.

Watch video below…

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50 cent patiently waiting

Wrapping up another excellent season of their Magnum Opus series, Complex revisits 50 Cent and Eminem’s very first collaboration, “Patiently Waiting,” off 2003’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’.

From Eminem’s manager, Paul Rosenberg, sending him 50’s early tapes (which lead to his eventual deal with Shady Records) to the melodic evolution of the song, the episode chronicles the full history behind one of GROTD‘s toughest cuts.

Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, Sha Money XL, DJ Whoo Kid, Paul Rosenberg and Complex’s Noah Callahan-Bever provide additional commentary.

Watch below…

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rick ross bmf

Complex has brought us some great episodes of Magnum Opus on classics like Ma$e’s “Feel So Good” and Common’s “The Light,” but they keep it a little more recent with the latest installment in their retrospective series. Taking it back to arguably the biggest street smash of 2010, Rick Ross walks us through the making of his Teflon Don banger, “B.M.F.” which, of course, featured Styles P.

Joined by DJ Khaled, MMG President Gucci Pucci and Def Jam’s Chris Atlas, Rozay talks about writing the song while riding through L.A., the genius behind that Big Meech and Larry Hoover-referencing hook and the global popularity of the record. “I just wanted it to be a representation of success from some young street n*ggas that’s getting money,” he says.

Watch below…

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fat-joe-big-pun

Here’s an interesting loosie that never officially made its way off the cutting room floor. Originally intended for Shaquille O’Neal’s Can’t Stop the Reign album, a lost collaboration featuring Big Pun, Fat Joe, Easy Mo Bee has landed on the Interwebs — thanks to the track’s producer Domingo. A few versions of this song leaked to Youtube, but never one this complete. Pun murks this (Happy Bornday).

Hear the track and watch video from an interesting “side hustle” from Fat Joe below…

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lupe fiasco the instrumental video

Lupe Fiasco blessed us with his third new song in as many weeks earlier today, but here’s a blast from the past: the unreleased video for “The Instrumental,” off his 2006 debut album Food & Liquor. Although the Chicago rapper doesn’t actually make an appearance (which might explain why it was buried away for so long), the clip captures Lupe at his political peak as it sees a group of scientists carrying out tests on an insane (or so we’re made to believe) individual who is completely consumed by a magical cube lamp.

Shouts to Fake Shore Drive for the heads up.

Watch below…

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public enemy

It’s been a victory lap year for Def Jam, who are celebrating their 25th anniversary, and now two more of the label’s most iconic releases are getting reissued: Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and Fear of a Black Planet (both of which were also released through Columbia Records).

It Takes a Nation hits shelves on November 24, complete with liner notes written by hip-hop historian Questlove, while the Fear of a Black Planet reissue drops on December 8, with Wax Poetics editor-in-chief Andre Torres penning the liner notes. Both reissues will include the original album, plus a second disc of instrumentals, a capellas and bonus mixes. It Takes a Nation also boasts a DVD of live performances and music videos.

Check out the tracklistings below…

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rick rubin returns to nyu dorm

Def Jam may be the house that Rick Rubin built (with the help of Russell Simmons, of course), but it was his NYU dorm room where those bricks were first laid. Commemorating the 30th anniversary of the legendary hip-hop label, Rolling Stone accompanied Rubin on his very first return to his old college digs, where you were more likely to see him hanging out with famous rappers than studying for any midterm. Russell Simmons, LL Cool J, Adam Horovitz, Lyor Cohen and others join Rick on his stroll down memory lane.

Watch below…

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pen and pixel documentary

Although younger fans may snort at the designs looking back, Southern MCs and groups were coming out with some of the wildest album artwork during the ’90s and early ’00s. And the company behind these crazy covers? Pen & Pixel. In their latest documentary, Noisey spotlights the Houston-based duo of brothers Shawn and Aaron Brauch, who produced covers for the likes of Cash Money, No Limit Records and Three 6 Mafia, and helped define the aesthetic of Southern rap during its initial boom.

Watch below…

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mass-appeal-nas-it-aint-hard-to-tell-940x529

No point preaching to the choir: we’re all familiar with the tremendous impact Illmatic has had — and continues to have — on the game. But the bread crumbs leading back to Nas’ debut album stretch further than you think. From classic DeNiro flicks like Goodfellas and Casino to Rick Ross’ belly tattoo, Complex decided to compile the complete six degrees of Illmatic infographic in celebration of the album’s 20th anniversary.

Check it out below…

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