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Heavy with the D might refer to selling dope or could just be Meth bragging about how well endowed he is. It’s also a play on the name of rapper Heavy D who died in 2011.

Troy Dixon aka Trouble T. Roy was one of Heavy’s dancers. He died in 1990 but has been immortalised by Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s “They Reminisce Over You”.

Heavy D & The Boyz. Hev is at the back, Troy is on the right.

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The lyrics and flow of Nore’s opening lines are loosely based on “J Beez Comin' Through” by the Jungle Brothers:

Uncle Sam, Mike G, Baby Bam
Road manager (yeah), this joint is slamming
Five thousand booming watts
Sound system state of the art
Travel lightly, clothes packed neatly
Strapped with the Baby Bam Baby Bam beat, see

Chris Lighty is the manager mentioned in both songs. He road managed the JBs in the 80s and later signed Nore to his Violator management company.

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Union Square was one of the most popular Hip Hop clubs in late 80s New York, along with Latin Quarters.

In this interview, KRS One’s brother (and BDP member) Kenny Parker describes the memorable debut performance of “The Bridge Is Over” which really did take place at Union Square.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HDPSQcM4Jw#t=591

Check out the full interview for more BDP jewels…

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The Colosseum Mall in Jamaica, Queens is an important location in Hip Hop history. Like Brooklyn’s famous Albee Square Mall it was a popular spot for 80s Hip Hop heads to cop the latest gear and hang out. Fashion pioneers Eddie’s Gold Teeth and Shirt Kings were both based there.

A young Serch posing with the Shirt Kings crew. He wrote the foreword for their recent book.

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That’s Paradise Gray, who booked and hosted the shows at Latin Quarters, and Lumumba Carson aka Professor X The Overseer. Together they formed the group X Clan with emcee Brother J and DJ Sugar Shaft, dropping the landmark album To The East, Blackwards in 1990.

3rd Bass and X Clan have an interesting history. Lumumba managed Pete Nice early in his career and Paradise knew Serch from the LQ days. But that didn’t stop X Clan dissing them on songs like “A Day Of Outrage”:

In the first place, 3rd Bass I’m at home
Waiting for the pitch so I can chrome your dome

and “In the Ways of the Scales”:

I see a cave boy and he try to play black
Give a Gas Face and you’re bound to get slapped

Pete Nice later sampled Professor X’s vocals on his solo cut “The Sleeper” and there was some online back and forth between Serch and Paradise a few years ago.

Professor X sadly died from meningitis in 2006.

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Hip Hop caught a lot of flak in the 80s for sampling other people’s music. One of the best rebuttals came from Brooklyn crew Stetsasonic in 1988. After jazz musician James Mtume (of “Juicy Fruit” fame) called sampling lazy and uncreative, Stet responded with “Talkin' All That Jazz”.

The song defends Hip Hop as an artform and demonstrates just how creative the music can be by blending sampled drums with a replayed bassline and live keys. Even Lonnie Liston Smith (who made the original song) liked it.

Side Note: Two people from this record later worked with Serch on “The Gas Face”. Stetsasonic DJ Prince Paul produced it and Don Newkirk, who played keys on “Jazz”, did the introductions.

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MC Shan began his recording career with a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it major label deal on MCA. He released one single — the well-intentioned but cheesy “Feed The World” — and was dropped from the label.

According to Shan:

…they didn’t know what hip-hop was about at MCA. They didn’t know how to market it, so that relationship kinda soured between me and MCA, so we just started going independent.

Considering how corny “Feed The World” was, and how banging his next two songs were (“Marley Marl Scratch” and “The Bridge”), leaving MCA was a good look for Shan. And he appeared on MCA again anyway — rapping on Marley Marl’s “He Cuts So Fresh”.

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Malt liquor is cheap but it’s not $0.02 a case! This is really a shout-out to two of Method Man’s deceased friends, 2 Cent and Kase.

Ernest Sayon aka Kase lived in the same Park Hill neighbourhood as Meth but was killed by the police. He’s mentioned in songs like “What The Blood Clot” and “The Heart Gently Weeps”. He’s also one of the names dropped by Heems in “New York City Cops”.

Contrary to internet opinion, 2 Cent and Kase aren’t the same person (although they’re often mentioned together). Hear 2 Cent being shouted out on songs like “PLO Style” and Cappadonna’s “Growth And Development”.

Both names are written prominently on walls in the video for “Can It Be All So Simple”.

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This is legendary engineer Bob Power, whose skills behind the boards helped shape the distinctive sound of The Low End Theory (and other Tribe albums).

Power had worked on Hip Hop records before — like this banger from 1986 — but Tip was the first rapper to start shouting him out on songs.

We’re guessing “Mase” is Maseo from De La and not the guy who got his jaw broken by Ghostface Killah.

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If anyone deserves the title scientist of sound, it’s Madlib, one of the most experimental producers in Hip Hop. But this isn’t just boasting — it’s also a nod to the song “Heaven At Once” by Kool and the Gang, which goes:

Well you see we are scientists of sound, we’re mathematically putting it down

This is another example of Quas giving props to his musical influences. Although Kool and the Gang are remembered more for their pop hits, their early jazz/funk records have been heavily sampled in Hip Hop and are still highly sought after.

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"Like a nerd cat wheeling ten speed / So way back spin you..." (MF DOOM – I Hear Voices Pt.1) | pending

Not convinced by these lyrics. Can’t make out the words but pretty sure the last word is speech:

Drop degrees like a ??? speech
From way back and spin on your back and then freeze

We need to decipher the lyrics and merge the single-word annotations of “drop” and “degrees”. Also, “spin on your back and then freeze” is a reference to West St Mob’s “Break Dance Electric Boogie”.

Spin on your back and spin on your knees
Spin on your hands and then freeze

"Eric B and Rakim jacked the whole record a couple years l..." (Outside the Lines With Rap Genius – Dante Ross Excerpt #1: Uptown's "Dope on Plastic") | accepted

X-Clan, on the other hand, went nuts with the “Dope On Plastic” instrumental for their DJ cut/Blackwatch manifesto “Shaft’s Big Score”.

"Eric B and Rakim jacked the whole record a couple years l..." (Outside the Lines With Rap Genius – Dante Ross Excerpt #1: Uptown's "Dope on Plastic") | accepted

Not sure about this. “Keep ‘Em Eager to Listen” doesn’t use any of the same records as “Dope on Plastic” as far as I know.

I think he probably meant “Don’t Sweat The Technique”, which uses the same “Give It Up” drum loop as “Dope on Plastic”. It’s a bit harsh to say they “jacked the whole record” though.

"We broke up the ice to be precise" (Hijack – Style Wars) | accepted

Not yet they weren’t. This is their first single on Music Of Life — they didn’t hook up with Ice T until after the next record.

"Now and Laters, gum drops, jelly beans" (Prodigy – Illuminati) | pending

Can’t help with the drug slang, but

Now and Laters, gum drops, jellybeans

is an LL Cool J line from the song “Kanday”. Nelly and Snoop have used it as well.

"We all talk having greens, but none of us own acres" (Killer Mike – Reagan) | accepted

Rappers brag about short term material gain — cars, jewels, clothes etc — without owning anything of lasting value. It’s the difference between being rich and being wealthy.

Also a play on the old school sitcom Green Acres

"Velour-ed down like the Sheikh of Iran" (Ghostface Killah – Ghost Deini) | accepted

Could possibly refer to the Iron Sheik, an Iranian WWF wrestler from the 80s/90s. Often pictured in velour-like robes.

Swap out the hat and that’s a classic Ghostface outfit.

I think this is about clothes rather than jewellery. He says:

I shop Fifth Ave

5th Avenue in New York being a major shopping district and Iceberg being a designer clothing label.

Hence the “don’t dress gay enough” afterwards.

"You can't beat me, kill me / I'll be back in three days d..." (Jay Electronica – My World (Nas Salute)) | accepted

Should be:

disguised as a gardener

Refers to John’s account of the resurrection in which Mary Magdalene mistakes Jesus for a gardener. Some paintings of this event, like this Rembrandt, depict Jesus holding gardening tools.

"A crowd of people stood and stared / They'd seen his face..." (The Beatles – A Day In The Life) | accepted

I believe this was partly inspired by Tara Browne’s father Dominick Browne who actually was in the House of Lords. Coincidentally he took his own father’s seat after he died in a car crash.

There was a second reference but I can’t remember it now. It’s all explained in this book.