13 Years Of Tools Of War In Photos

Photographers Joe Conzo and Francisco Molina Reyes II have been documenting the Tools Of War Park Jams in the Bronx since it's beginning in 2003. A photo exhibit displaying these incredible pieces of history was recently held at the Bronx Music Heritage Center. It was a packed house and viewing these photos brought back a lot of great memories of my last 10 years of attending these incredible park jams. Here are some highlights.

GrandWizard Theodore

Mr. Biggs & Debbie Dee

Bonz Malone

GrandMaster Caz
Debbie Deb & T Ski Valley

Recent Digs-De La Soul

Just picked up this little 7" nugget for $3. European Import in mint condition.

Diggin Stories-Rim and Kasa

On the previous post, Off The Cuff Radio Interview, I mentioned how I found one of my holy grails, the Rim and Kasa "Too Tough" Ep. A few years ago I stumbled across this dance floor banger "Love Me For Real" on the internet somewhere. I had to have this record but everytime one would pop up for sale it was always between $200-$300 and needless to say, my pockets don't run that deep...,not often anyway. I would describe it as African Disco. This Ep was just reissued with 2 additional songs which should make collectors happy because there is currently an original pressing for sale on the internet for $989.00!

Off The Cuff Radio Interview

Here's the interview I recently did with Dj DN3 and Lisa Arenas from the "Off The Cuff" radio show over at radiosupa.com.  We talked about Dj'ing, record digging, music, and current events. Catch their show every Monday at 7pm. Thank you both for inviting me.

The Secret Beastie Boys 45

When this Beastie Boys 45 surfaced in 2010 it was quickly rumored to only have a mere 10 copies in existence. This is somewhat true but not completely. Due to the fact that I was the one who actually had this record pressed, I may be able to clear up this little mystery. I went to Kingston Jamaica some years back and while I was there I got 3 seperate records pressed including this Beastie 45. I ordered 100 copies of each. The plates, the labels, and the pressings had to be completed at three different companies and of course would not be ready by the end of my vacation. A dj buddy of mine told me about a taxi driver buddy of his that would run me around the city to take care this record project. By the time I got back to my hotel I had spent $200 in taxi fare when it should have been a lot closer to $20. This guy was a greedy crook. I think he somehow got the impression that I was ballin.(I wish)  After I returned home I still needed this taxi guy's help with picking up the records and shipping them back to me but he wanted way too much money.(I didn't know anyone else in Jamaica that could help me.)  There were 3 boxes but I was only able to afford to pay this guy to help me with 2 of them. All I needed for him to do was pick them up from the pressing plant and take them to UPS. It cost me $350 to ship 2 of the 3 boxes plus the $100 this taxi guy was charging me.(He wanted more to take all 3 boxes.)  From those 2 boxes, there was only 10 copies of the Beastie record. The other 90 were in the 3rd box which was left in Jamaica. Crazy right? I always wanted to tell that taxi guy what he could do with that 3rd box.  

Because this was indeed a bootleg, I wanted the label to be blank but the plant would not allow that so right there on the spot I came up with the "Soul Freak" label name and "BB" instead of "Beastie Boys". 

Side A, "I'm Down", was a song that was supposed to be on the Licensed To Ill Lp but they could not clear a Beatles sample. Side B, "B-Boys In The Cut", was produced by Dj Organic, a well known producer.  The sound quality was less then great and i'm not sure I would ever take this route again.

So there you have it. Mystery solved.


Mixtape Spotlight - Kid Capri 4-11-1990

I can't remember where I found this cassette but my copy was originally bought from Kim's Video, a well known spot for buying ill rap mixtapes back in the day in New York City. Kim's is actually still around but the days of the mixes and rare kung-fu flicks are long gone. For many years I was only familiar with Kid Capri "Old School" Parts 1 thru 4 so I was excited when I found this one which is simply titled "4-11-1990". They don't make Dj's like this anymore. 


Diggin Stories

It's pretty impossible to be a serious record collector without having a lot of cool diggin stories, experiences, and finds. Most of my killer digs have taken place outside of record stores, in fact, these days it's pretty rare for me to find any deep cuts in a "brick and mortar" without paying top dollar. This is a good time to share some of these digs.

The first story I want to share in this series was pretty recent, a few months ago in New York. A record buddy of mine told me that he found this guy who was in the music business for 20-25 years. He worked for a few major record labels and acquired a lot of free records. So many in fact that it completely filled an entire two story house with a basement. I couldn't wait to get in there. The day before I was to fly home we were finally able to go over to Jamacia Queens where this house was located do some digging. Once there, the nice guy who was selling the records made it clear that everything was $5 each. Lp, 12", or 7", everything was $5 each and that he had final say on what he would sell and what he wouldn't. Also, everything was mint as most of it has never been played. I started in the basement where most of the Lp's and singles were and my buddy went straight to the attic where all of the 45's were kept. After about 30 minutes I started pulling some cool stuff, 2 copies of Mary Jane Girls "All Night Long" 12" import with the instrumental, Pharcyde Labcabin promo on colored vinyl, 10 sealed copies of Prince "Purple Rain" 12" on purple vinyl, a Black Sabbath bootleg concert Lp, some classic BlueNote jazz Lp's, lots of Duck Down Lp's & other 90's rap albums. I presented my first stack of about 75 pieces to the seller for approval. He pulled about  90% of it out that he would not sell. Bummer. The second stash I pulled was about 40-50 pieces of which about 90% he kept. This was getting old. I decided to join my buddy in diggin thru the 45 boxes. After going thru around 10 boxes all I found worth buying was a copy of Original Concept "Charlie Sez".  By then It was time to head back across town since we had other plans for that evening. I only ended up spending about $115 when I was well prepared to drop at least a grand. I was pretty disappointed I couldn't buy more and almost felt like it was a waste of time, but the guy was nice enough to gift me a mint copy of the Mazzy Star-Among My Swan Lp(he had at least 25 copies of it!) I hope to one day go back with better results.  

Check My Style Out!

I'm happy and proud to say that I have NEVER in my life stood for the national anthem or took a pledge of allegiance to ANY flag. Most people enjoy living in ignorance, but for me, Truth is bliss!

Tools Of War-2015 Recap

Blast from the recent past. These are some pics from my incredible July 2015 visit to the Tools Of War Crotona Park Jams.

Christie Z-Pabon along with husband Popmaster Fabel Pabon makes these incredible park jams possible. Thank you!

Lord Finesse & Darrell D

BreakBeat Lou & Pow Wow

Large Pro

BreakBeat Lou, Biz, Kenny Dope

Biz loves the kids!

Louie Loo

Rockin Rob & Chuck City

K-Def, Lil Rodney C, & Special K

Caz & Kool Herc

Louie Loo & Solo Flex

Rockin Rob & BreakBeat Lou

Louie Loo, WaterBed Kev, Darrell D, & Kool Herc
photo #5 courtesy of mambos nuyotopia.

Shining Soul "Good Times" Ft. Nefftys & Frank E. (official music video)

The homies Shining Soul are back with another heater. Fresh off of the new album "Politics Aside" is the first single "Good Times". Feel this.