Things Fall Apart

The Story Behind the 5 Covers of The Roots
Things Fall Apart with Art Director
Kenny Gravillis: click here

This week listening to one of my favorite albums of all time, The Roots Things Fall Apart. Here is a story of the cover art by Kenny Gravillis by Richard Dryden at Complex. 

Senior year theme music, ((Double Trouble)) in the 99'.


Vinyl in the Sun City

All That Music
Vinyl in the Sun City

Check out a recent article by Halima Mansoor about vinyl sellers in El Paso, Texas, click here.

Helen Folasade Adu


One of these days... I'm going to make a mixtape for Dad.  Call it Songs for My Father.  I inherited my love for Sade's music directly from him and everything about my Dad's 80s character.  Pops blended really well into just about every decade.  His experience is a musical timeline.

The photos on the Diamond Life vinyl cover is handled by Chris Roberts.  Sleeve design by Graham Smith.  When I think of this record I think of my old radio comrade Steph aka Moleman who put me onto Stuart Matthewman's Cotton Belly CD when we were live on air.  He's the sax and guitar on Diamond Life and a lot of soulful music that really defined my own music experience and what I like... going back to the songs of my father with Sade.

I'm looking forward to the day I begin the Songs for My Father mix.  Not to mention the Folasade Tape I've always wanted to assemble.  All Sade.


DJ Spanish Aztec

DJ Spanish Aztec

I'm signed up for a digital MP3 list-serve called MP3Waxx.  A lot of rap audios arrive through the list-serve, mostly mainstream with a couple of gems.  Each time I check out the MP3Waxx emails, my old friend DJ Spanish Aztec crosses my mind.  He'd often go through a bunch of list-serves and record pools he was a part of to round up what he wanted to put people on to. He was gracious enough to share those audios with a lot of people including me.  He did this for years.  Below are some words I wrote shortly after his funeral three years ago.  It talks about SA's love for music... whether vinyl or digital, his archive was deep.  I plan on assembling tracks from these record pools and maybe starting up a newsletter listserve to share with whomever wants free access to music.  All of these audios are sent out from the labels or people that represent their promo teams.  They're already available online for free.  If you're an eMCee, beat maker, musician, one of those folks that works at a label or just interested in having someone hear out your music, email repshowhost@gmail.com.  I recently got a volume started up of a few mainstream tracks I downloaded from MP3Waxx.  What I'm interested in doing though is combining the mainstream with the independent.  My heart is into underground but I listen to everything... this is what DJ SA was all about too whether he was just hanging out listening to music with you, at the radio station, or out dj'n somewhere.    

In the future I plan to use this blog to document DJ SA's story.  When he was alive we got the chance to sit down and talk about his life everything from the ups and downs.  He let me write about his experience at the time for a short story I was putting together for one of my English classes at NMSU.  We recorded his story on cassette tape in audio... hours of conversation starting with his born day.  I put some pieces of the memories he shared for the short story I wrote for class.  I plan on returning to that story, including those cassette tapes I have.  Blogger seems like a good permanent platform that's not behind something you need an account to access like FB or Tweet. So I think it's the best place where I can "archive" something like this without it getting lost in the world wide mix.  That's the plan.

If you're interested in a digital download of some music, email repshowhost@gmail.com. I'm calling the digital collections Mp3oBOX... the Mr. Postman Volumes.  We on volume 1 right now.  It's mostly all mainstream stuff that sounds pretty good but in the future there will be more variety.  Maybe it'll turn into something else we can connect to interviews to educate people on what's out there with links to support what these artist have for sale  In a simple way... just MP3, download, play.  Nothing else to it, no theyTunes, streams, nothing like that.  Just simple... MP3, download, play.  

Here's the write up about my good friend  It was posted online at the time but the whole site was removed about a year later when I decided to turn it into a blog.

Dedicated to SA. Peace.

In Memory of DJ SA
October 22, 1968-March 6, 2012

Thinking of 2012 and the meaning of HHA (Hip Hop Alumni) I want to dedicate this site to Joseph Troy Candelaria, who a lot of people, including myself, called DJ S.A. (Spanish Aztec, Still Alive, and a few other acronyms he told me about).  DJ SA passed away this year.  SA’s life revolved around family, his friends, and his two Technics turntables and the new digi-wax setup he was starting to get down.  One of the things I appreciated most about the brother was his passion for music which was a lot like mine.  He had a lot to say about it, and more than that, he had a lot to share.  Thinking on the end of this year, and time throughout the first decade of the millennium, I appreciate having had the chance to get on air with SA, to check him out at a few of his events, and also for his help for a couple times I needed a DJ.  He’d come through and represent straight out of love.  It wasn’t easy for SA to get around, but he never hesitated when I reached out.  I also really appreciated SA’s exchange of music.  I like to think I’m up on a lot of stuff and when I first got to know SA and his interest in music, I was hype to put him on to what I was listening to.  But from the jump, it was never just me telling him about the music I had, it was him telling me.  He always had a top 20, 30, or 40 new joints he had to talk about.  “Yo, listen to this G…” he’d say on the phone.  I’d be on the cell my ear pressed up against the phone speaker and he’d ask… “You know who this is?....”  I’d say, “Naw…Who is it…”  And he’d laugh. 

For a Doujah Raze record that I’d pass to him, he’d put me on to Y Society, and then I’d go back at him with some Pharcyde/Space Boogie X records, and he’d hit me over the head with some DJ Skratch Bastid.  It got to a point where I was receiving data discs from the dude every time we’d get together… “check this out, check that out”… “listen to this, listen to that”… “check out this old mix I did back in like, I don’t even remember (97’ or something)”…  And me being who I am, I couldn’t put my appreciation for this dude into words.  And beyond that, the hospitality of him and his wife, and young B, was bar none.  It wasn’t just about what I was listening to… this dude was always asking if I had eaten yet, or if I was hungry.  And by no means did SA have a lot of loot, but he treated you like he did, sometimes spottin’ a meal at a restaurant and just lookin’ out overall, whether it be music, food, or a prayer while one was going through their own challenges with health or life in general. 

This post is for somebody I think of every time I’m listening to music by myself.  Just today I was going through some files and found a digital vinyl recording of a record he had lent me that I dubbed from the Dakah Hip Hop Orchestra.  I’mma miss all them boxes SA had in his living room that towards the last few months before he passed he never got the chance to share.  It was a bunch of music that him and his fam had recovered from his old days diggin’.  And what’s crazy is he usually has no problem showing you everything in the stash, but all them boxes he took home from EP was just too much.  In my mind I think of the Liquids Swords record he had flipped his hands through and a lot of Funkdoobiest stuff and crazy remixes that I couldn’t wait for him to share once he started to feel better and out from under the weather. 

There are a lot of songs, a lot of old mixtapes, CDs, tapes of recorded shows, that I look forward to going through some day just to share.  Cause that’s what dude was all about.  Getting people to hear that new, or old, instead of the same ole’ … So yeah, when I think of HHA (Hip Hop Alumni), I think of dudes like SA.  Who in their own way contributed a lot… And when you get around to learning about where he came from, what he had experienced, and survived… it’s  real interesting story when it comes to what Hip Hop means to us, whether we’re on our own, with our family, or with others.  Whether you be an MC, a beatmaker, a DJ, or an educator.

With much love, respect, and rememory of the big homie, DJ SA.


Nina Simone 1969

Nina Simone 1969

It was the Train of Thought record by Reflection Eternal that put me on to Nina Simone.  The turn of the century introduced a lot of classic records, and one of my favorite songs on Train of Thought was ((Four Women)).  Before he starts rapping Talib talks about the Nina Simone original ((Four Women)). 

I can't remember where I found the LP To Love Somebody.  I have very few Nina Simone records on vinyl.  This one is the first Nina LP I've ever found and its definitely up there as one of the worst cover designs I've ever seen for such a great record.  I love every minute of it.

Here's a note on the back of the LP cover by Claude Hall.  Also noticed the album features Weldon Irvine, Jr. on the organ.

"In the mansion of the mind, where a song feeds only on the nebulous winds of imagination and emotion, Nina Simone walks in musical grandeur where few others dare stray.  She can be warm and tender, or she might turn into a storm of anger, boiling in the fury of the song.  Yet she is so great she communicates human understanding and affection for her fellow beings even while she attacks the towers of Wrong or Prejudice lyrically."


Keywords + Tag = Nina Simone | To Love Somebody | Weldon Irvine | vinyl | Talib Kweli | Hi-Tek | RCA Records | lyrical | Claude Hall | Four Women | records | wax | digging | Revolution | The Times They are A-Changin' | music | soul | Hip Hop | 2000 | 1969 | organ | vocalist | singer | classic


MC Zoolor's (Viva Cugat!)

MC Zoolor's (Viva Cugat!)

I picked up the Viva Cugat! LP by Xavier Cugat at All That Music.  This record was solely responsible for setting off The Lee Jun Fan Tape, a mixtape project dedicated to Bruce Lee that I put together.  I was looking for a "cha-cha" sound as reference to what I read about Bruce Lee being a really good dancer.  I read somewhere that he taught people how to cha-cha as he made his way over the Pacific to the \/\/est side of America.  Whether or not that is true, what's special about this record is the sound of certain instruments similar to sounds I've heard in some of Bruce Lee's films.  On the Cugat record, certain breaks sounded like someone was hitting two ends of nunchuck together in a hallow room.  It's real amazing.

I decided to Audio Scribe this record.  The Audio Scribe process pertains to records I've identified in my stash that hold a lot of weight or purpose to my life.  As I was going through the transcription process I had my little brother recreate the cover art.  I thought the name he signed below at the time was hilarious.  He go by MC Zoo.  On the piece its signed MC Zoolor's.  

Our nephew gets down with the artwork too.  We'll see if he's interested in hooking us up with some LP recreations some day.   

Here's a quote from the LP cover about Xavier Cugat...

"Cugat's long and fabulous musical journey had its beginnings in a cafe in Barcelona, Spain.  There, in the twenties, he was found playing the violin by the great Italian tenor, Enrico Caruso.  So impressed was the world-famous opera star by what he heard that he retained the young fiddler and took him on a tour to America.

In the course of their joint travels, Caruso discovered that young Cugat's talents reached into areas other than music.  The youngster handled a drawing pen as skillfully as the violin bow.  Since Caruso was himself an amateur artist, the two amused themselves on their journeys by drawing caricatures.  Cugat's caricatures have since appeared in many of the country's large circulation magazines, among them Life."


Child of the 80s - For Danielle

Child of the 80s - Chapter 1
For Danielle

Danielle aka 'D'.  
Our b-days are separated by two days, same year, 1981.  Aries!

Child of the 80s Chapter 1 Mixtapes
Original (Lee aka repshowhost) | Belinda