DJ Food presents ’88 was great but ’89 is mine

Ninja King and Solid Steel impresario DJ Food surely needs no introduction here. He’s rocked more mixes and events than you and I have taken breaths in and out. I was perousing the fine King Megatrip spot as i do on a regular basis and saw this set of golden era hip hop that looks pretty bloody essential.

“I was recently asked to play at a night called Classic Material, run by Chris Read and Nick Armitage. The idea for this is to give each month over to a year from Hip Hop’s past and only play tracks released during it. DJ Format did ‘87 (entirely on 45’s!), Andy Smith – ‘88 and I was given 1989. ‘89 was a special year for me as it was the year I moved away from my home and parents and started studying in London, a city I’ve remained in for more than half my life now.

It was also a year rich in musical delights with the beginnings of gangster rap taking over Hip Hop and the emergence of De La Soul’s Daisy Age with their incredible ‘3 Feet High & Rising’ album. Actually possibly my top three all-time favourite Hip Hop albums were released in ‘89, the aforementioned ‘3 Feet High…’, the Beastie Boys‘Paul’s Boutique’ and the Jungle Brothers‘Done By The Forces of Nature’.

The Beasties’ album was critically mauled at the time but has undergone a reappraisal since and is now hailed as the classic it is but the Jungle Brothers’ record is still only really feted by Hip Hop heads in the know. It’s their strongest record with as much inventiveness as the De La album if not quite the wackiness of Prince Paul’s production. In it you can hear the whole blueprint for the Native Tongues movement that was beginning to emerge but also a precursor to Deee-Lite’s ‘Groove Is In The Heart’ – which would be the anthem of 1990 – Towa Tei was even involved in aspects of the record. On the west coast the Dust Brothers were in their most high profile period with Tone Loc, Young MC and the production of the Beastie’ record. The whole NWA/Ruthless Records camp was basking in the glory of ’88’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’ and surrounding releases like the D.O.C’s ‘No One Can Do It Better’ album.

Hip House and the general speeding up of Hip Hop was the order of the day with a lot of UK only remixes of licensed US tracks having this edge to them. Alongside this you had the Stone Roses’ debut album and the whole Maddchester scene as well as the fallout from the acid house excess of the previous year making it’s mark on both the charts and surrounding music genres. S’Express made their best records and Tim Burton’s first Batman was the film of the summer, complete with soundtrack by Prince.

Whilst all this was going on I was doing my Foundation course in Art and Design in Reigate and used the screen printing facilities to make some custom T-shirts for myself and others featuring De La Soul surrounded by psychedelic lettering I drew. It’s with this design that I want to illustrate the mix I put together for Classic Material, done completely on vinyl – what a pain that was after using Serato for 5 years!” – DJ Food

Tone Loc – On Fire (Remix) (Delicous Vinyl)
Gang Starr – Words I Manifest (Wild Pitch)
Chill Rob G – Court’s In Session (Wild Pitch)
Beastie Boys – Hey Ladies (Capitol Records)
Jungle Brothers – Jbeez Comin’ Through (Warner Bros)
Beastie Boys – Shadrach (Capitol Records)
Beastie Boys – Shake Your Rump (Capitol Records)
EPMD – Big Payback (Sleeping Bag)
Ultramagnetic MCs – A Chorus Line (Next Plateau)
Public Enemy – Fight The Power (Motown)
De La Soul – Say No Go (Say No Dope mix) (Big Life/Tommy Boy)
Most Wanted – Calm Down (Fever Records)
Hijack – Badman Is Robbin’ (Rhyme Syndicate)
Ice T – Lethal Weapon (Sire)
Twin Hype – Do It To The Crowd (Profile)
Jungle Brothers – Tribe Vibes (Warner Bros)
Jungle Brothers Beyond This World (Warner Bros)
Cookie Crew – Born This Way (FFRR)
Jungle Brothers – Good News Coming (Warner Bros)
The D.O.C – Portrait of a Masterpiece (Ruthless)
Hijack – Doomsday of Rap (Ice T Remix) (Rhyme Syndicate)
De La Soul – Magic Number (123 mix) (Big Life/Tommy Boy)
Doug Lazy – Let It Roll (Grove St)
Double Trouble & Rebel MC – Just Keep Rockin’ (Desire)

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