Between the blends.

Rob Swift vs. Rhazel
from Soulful Fruit (1997, Stones Throw)

Whenever I listen to an old cd it’s like slicing a quick snapshot to where you were at in life.

It was your soundtrack per say to what you were doin, who you were, reminds of why you listened to THAT ONE album.

my early hiphop mixtapes/cds are all like that. Granted, 1 out of 3 times I would be scratching my head to what I was listening to– downtempo original jazz and funk samples blended when I wanted intensive uptempo scratching, breakbeats of obscure bongo bombarded/ horn flooded rhythms when all i wanted was electro.

I was a freshman in HS when I got my hands on Rob Swift’s “Soulful Fruit.” Amongst the current dj-related releases of the day, “Return of the DJ II“, Q-bert’s “Preskool Breakmix,” Rob’s Swift’s “Soulful Fruit” was wayyyy more downtempo and more soulfully organic than what was comin out. And I honestly thought it was a little borin. But now, at least for me, it represents the strong NYC tradition of the complete mixtape blueprint—blending original samples with acapellas, full of cohesive skits, conceptual intros, and classic routines with premium selection of course. Yah, you could say this mix was oldschool, but not the oldschool I was lookin for at the time. About a couple of years later, I could say this is some truly dope shit. Here is a classic battle between Rob Swift and Rahzel.

So it’s been a journey for me, although challenging to find, I truly enjoy having these cd’s like mirrors of my old naive familiar self–obscure, outcasted from the mainstream to dig for somethin that felt way more deeper. I think my life finally caught on to the b-side.

-BoogaLeo

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