hip-hop

Heat Rocks EP21: Pharoahe Monch on Main Source's "Breaking Atoms" (1991)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Pharoahe Monch

The album: Main Source: Breaking Atoms (1991)

MC extraordinaire Pharoahe Monch was no stranger to the trio known as Main Source (Large Professor + DJs K-Cut and Sir Scratch) back in the early '90s: Monch and Large Professor came up under the tutelage of the same mentor: producer Paul C. Though C was tragically murdered in 1989, both his proteges would go onto have banner years in '91 as Large Professor saw Main Source's Breaking Atoms released to critical fanfare while Monch enjoyed the same just a couple of months later when he and Prince Po released their debut, self-titled LP as Organized Konfusion.

Monch sat down with us to talk about the experience of buying Breaking Atoms on tape from Hot Waxx in Queens and having it blow his mind on that first listen as well as what he's learned from the album in the 25+ years since. Listen to this episode live at your BBQ...

More on Main Source and Breaking Atoms

More on Pharoahe Monch

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Breaking Atoms unless indicated otherwise):

  • “Large Professor”
  • Pharoahe Monch: Internal Affairs “Simon Says”
  • “Vamos A Rapiar”
  • “Looking At The Front Door”
  • “Just A Friendly Game Of Baseball”
  • Lou Donaldson: Pretty Things Pot Belly”
  • “Just Hanging Out”
  • The Honeydrippers: "Impeach The President"
  • Sister Nancy: One, Two “Bam Bam”
  • Jesse Anderson: Thomas “Mighty Mighty”
  • “Peace Is Not The Word To Play”
  • “He Got So Much Soul”
  • Bob James: One “Nautilus”

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Heat Rocks, EP20: King on Outkast's "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below"

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
King

The album: Outkast: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)

The Grammy nominated ladies of King are Anita Bias alongside sisters Amber and Paris Strother and it seems only right to have a super-sized guest talk about a super-sized album: Outkast's massive double LP from 2003: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Amongst other topics, we talked about how each of the three women first crossed paths with Outkast, what the group meant for the rise of the South in the 1990s, and revisited the endless debate over whether this as an Outkast album or a pair of Big Boi/Andre 3000 solo albums packaged together.

More on Outkast and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

More on King

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Speakerboxxx/The Love Below unless indicated otherwise):

  • “Ghetto Musick”
  • KING: The Story “The Story”
  • KING: The Story “Supernatural”
  • Outkast: ATLiens “Elevators (Me & You)”
  • “My Favorite Things”
  • “Reset”
  • “Where Are My Panties”
  • Outkast: Aquemini “Spottieottiedopalicious”
  • Dungeon Family: Even In Darkness “Trans DF Express”
  • “Pink & Blue”
  • “Prototype”
  • “Unhappy”
  • “Tomb of the Boom”
  • “Church”
  • “Knowing”
  • “The Rooster”
  • “She Live In My Lap”
  • “Draculas Wedding”
  • “Hey Ya!”
  • “Love Hater”
  • “Happy Valentines Day”
  • “Take Off Your Cool”
  • “A Day IN The Life of Benjamin Andre (Incomplete)”
  • “Spread”

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Heat Rocks, EP 15: Kris Bowers on Kendrick Lamar's "Section.80" (2011)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Kris Bowers

The album: Kendrick Lamar: Section.80 (Top Dawg, 2011)

To talk about Kendrick Lamar's studio LP debut, we wanted to find someone of K-Dot's generation, another L.A. young gun, and who better than pianist and composer, Kris Bowers? Like Kendrick, Kris grew up in L.A. and just as Kendrick has ascended the hip-hop ladder, so has Kris in jazz, as he won the prestigious Theolonious . But more than that, the web of Los Angeles musical ties was bound to bring the two into orbit in different ways - something we discuss in the episode - not the least of which is the fact that Kris covered one of the biggest tracks in Kendrick's early career: "Rigamortis."

In our conversation with Kris, we got deep into how he put together both the song and video for his version of "Rigamortis," whether or not Kendrick has a jazz sensibility in his style, and what it's like to see a hometown kid become the Greatest Rapper Alive.

More on Kendrick Lamar's Section.80

More on Kris Bowers

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Section.80 unless indicated otherwise):

  • "A.D.H.D."
  • Kris Bowers: "Rigamortis (Kendrick Lamar Cover)"
  • Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid M.A.A.D. City "m.A.A.D. city"
  • MURS: Captain California "GBKW"
  • Dr. Dre: The Chronic “Dre Day”
  • A Tribe Called Quest: The Low End Theory “Jazz (We’ve Got This)”
  • "High Power"
  • "Rigamortis"
  • "Keisha’s Song"
  • Kendrick Lamar: “Sing About Me”
  • "Ab-Souls Outro"
  • "Kush & Corinthians"
  • Willie Jones III: The Next Phase “The Thorn”
  • Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly “If These Walls Could Talk”
  • Chapter Six

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Heat Rocks, EP 13: Jay Smooth on Run DMC's "Raising Hell" (1986)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Jay Smooth

The album: Run DMC: Raising Hell (Profile, 1986)

 

Jay Smooth was always on our list of "people who we gotta get for Heat Rocks." His cultural and political commentary, much of which he does through his pioneering Ill Doctrine videos, have positioned him as one of the hip-hop generation's leading pundits and he's also hosted one of the longest running rap shows in the world: The Underground Railroad on WBAI.

For this show, Jay wanted to revisit Raising Hell a paradigm-shifting rap album that, as we discuss, has seemingly become underrated through the passage of time though it is unquestionably one of the most important hip-hop releases, ever. We get into the moment in which Run DMC first arrived, how they changed the game for rap artists (for better and for worse) and of course, all our fire track and sleeper jam picks off this LP.

More on Run DMC's Raising Hell

More on Jay Smooth

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Raising Hell unless indicated otherwise):

  • Walk This Way
  • Run DMC: Sucker MCs
  • Run DMC: It's Like That
  • Raising Hell
  • Eric B. and Rakim: I Ain't No Joke
  • It's Tricky
  • Peter Piper
  • Bob James: Mardi Gras
  • Dumb Girl
  • Is It Live?
  • My Adidas
  • Proud to Be Black
  • You Be Illin'
  • NWA: Straight Outta Compton
  • Run DMC: Tougher Than Leather
  • Aretha Franklin: I Never Loved a Man
  • Jay-Z: Jockin' Jay-Z

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EP12: "The Prequel Episode" feat. Loren Kajikawa on Dr. Dre's "The Chronic"

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Loren Kajikawa

The album: Dr. Dre: The Chronic (Interscope, 1992)

This is a special "prequel" episode, originally taped in December of 2016. Back then, Heat Rocks was just a mere glint in the eye Morgan and Oliver. All we had was a basic concept: how about a podcast devoted to doing deep dives into an album? We invited Univ. of Oregon musicologist Loren Kajikawa, author of Sounding Race In Rap Songsto help us tackle one of the most important albums of the last 25 years: Dr. Dre's The Chronic, which just so happens to celebrate its 25th release anniversary today (hence why we timed to put it out now).

For our listeners, you'll notice that while this episode shares some familiar aspects with our regular Heat Rocks shows, there are some differences. For one, we hadn't come up with our format yet, especially in having our guests pick a hot track, sleeper jam, etc. We had also toyed with a little "Context" section - complete with its own jingle! - that we eventually abandoned because it was superfluous (Oliver did have fun making the jingle though). But overall, we think you can easily see the seed of Heat Rocks even in this very early attempt. Hope you all enjoy it and we're so happy to finally share this, one year later.

More on Dr. Dre's The Chronic:

More on Loren Kajikawa

Show Tracklisting (all songs from The Chronic unless indicated otherwise):

  • Fuck Wit Dre Day
  • Nuthin' But a G Thang
  • Leon Haywood: I Want To Do Something Freaky To You
  • Public Enemy: Bring Da Noise
  • Above the Law: Livin' Like Hustlers
  • Let Me Ride
  • The Roach
  • NWA: Niggaz 4 Life (From Efil4zaggin)
  • Lyrical Gangbang (feat. Lady of Rage and Kurupt)
  • Stranded On Death Row (feat. Kurupt and Snoop Dogg)
  • Rat-A-Tat-Tat
  • Dr. Dre: Deep Cover (feat. Snoop Dogg, from Deep Cover OST)
  • Tupac and Snoop Dogg: Amerikaz Most Wanted
  • The Day the Niggaz Took Over
  • Bitches Ain't Shit

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

Heat Rocks, EP 11: Suzi Analogue on Missy Elliott's "Da Real World" (1999)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Suzi Analogue

The album: Missy Elliott: Da Real World (Elektra, 1999)

Artist and producer Suzi Analogue originally hails from Missy Elliott's native state of Virginia though these days, she's rooted in Los Angeles, having come up within the city's beat scene. Suzi wanted to talk about what she described as the "underdog" album, Missy's enormously successful yet somewhat forgotten sophomore album, Da Real World, one in a string of five back-to-back platinum LPs for Missy and her production partner, Timbaland. We talked about Missy's creative genius and what that meant for a young girl, growing up in VA.

More on Missy Elliott and Da Real World:

More on Suzi Analogue

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Da Real World unless indicated otherwise):

  • All In My Grill
  • Suzi Analogue: Wildflower (from Zonez V3)
  • Mr. DJ
  • Missy Elliott: The Rain (from Supa Dupa Fly)
  • You Don't Know (feat. Lil Mo)
  • Stickin' Chickens (feat. Aaliyah)
  • Timbaland and Magoo: Up Jumps the Boogie (from Welcome To Our World)
  • Timbaland and Magoo: Clock Strikes (from Welcome To Our World)
  • Bus A Rhyme (feat. Eminem)
  • Crazy Feelings (feat. Beyonce)
  • U Can't Resist (feat. BG and Juvenile)
  • She's a Bitch
  • Beat Biters
  • We Did It

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Heat Rocks, EP 6: Ill Camille on Common's "Like Water For Chocolate" (2000)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Ill Camille

The album: Common: Like Water For Chocolate (MCA, 2000)

This week, we are joined by Los Angeles rapper, Ill Camille. She picked Common's Like Water For Chocolate from 2000, a moment that marked the Chicago's turn towards becoming a hip-hop elder statesman, backed by the production might of the Soulquarians crew. Camille's love for the album runs deep and during the course of our taping, she'd bust out Common's rhymes, line for line.

More on Common and Like Water For Chocolate:

More on Ill Camille:

Show Tracklisting:

  • Common: Like Water For Chocolate "6th Sense (Feat. Bilal)"
  • Ill Camille Heirloom "Black Gold"
  • Common: Like Water For Chocolate "Nag Champa (Afrodisiac for the World)"
  • Common: Like Water For Chocolate "Geto Heaven"
  • Common: Like Water For Chocolate "A Song For Assata (Feat. Cee-Lo Green)"
  • Common: Like Water For Chocolate "Funky For You (Feat. Bilal & Jill Scott)"
  • Common: Like Water For Chocolate "The Light"
  • Common: Like Water For Chocolate "Thelonius (Feat. Slum Village)"
  • Georgia Ann Muldrow: "Untitled/Fantastic Remix"
  • Common: Like Water For Chocolate "Dooinit"
  • Common: Like Water For Chocolate "Time Travelin (A Tribute to Fela)"

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Heat Rocks, EP 2: Phonte on Intro's "Intro" (1993)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Phonte

The album: Intro: Intro (Atlantic, 1993)

This week rapper, producer, and songwriter Phonte (Foreign Exchange, Little Brother) joins Oliver and Morgan to talk about R&B group Intro's 1993 self-titled debut album. The release was part of the changing tide of R&B music, when slow jams were giving way to more uptempo hits and singers were exchanging suits for Timbs and jeans.

Phonte shares about what Intro's brand of new jack swing meant to him as a teenager learning about life in Greensboro, North Carolina. Don't get him wrong: he was a hardcore hip-hop head, but he grew up both in an R&B household and in the church where singing was a big part of his musical formation. Phonte breaks down the group's influence on his understanding of songwriting, lyrics, and the balance between uptempo and down-tempo songs. He also discusses the album's mature themes, crediting them for helping a young brother's macking game.

More on Intro

More on Phonte:

Tracklisting:

  • Intro: Love Thang
  • Intro: Let Me Be The One
  • Jodeci: Forever My Lady
  • Brick: Dazz (1976)
  • Heavy D & The Boyz: Mr. Big Stuff
  • Jade: Don't Walk Away (1992)
  • A Tribe Called Quest: Award Tour
  • Mary J. Blige - You Don't Have To Worry
  • Intro: Come Inside
  • Intro: Why Don't You Love Me?
  • Intro: Ribbon in the Sky
  • Intro: One of a Kind Love
  • Faith Evans: Reasons
  • Intro: Ecstasy of Love
  • Intro: So Many Reasons
  • Intro: Don't Leave Me
  • Intro: It's All About You
  • Foreign Exchange: If She Breaks Your Heart (feat. Yahzarah)

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

Bullseye With Jesse Thorn: Judy Greer and Ice-T

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Judy Greer
Guests: 
Ice-T

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in Apple Podcasts or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

Judy Greer on Her Unexpected Hollywood Trajectory as a Co-Star

[r]When Judy Greer first got out of school she auditioned for leading parts and not getting them. So she shifted gears. She became a co-star. Turned out she became one of the most successful co-stars in Hollywood. It stands to reason. She’s a gifted actress, she’s funny, she’s beautiful, but she still looks like a real human being you might know in real life.

She’s been a best friend in a pile of romantic comedies, like 27 Dresses and 13 Going On 30, she’d been in dramatic films like The Descendants and Jurassic World, she’s been on every kind of TV show, from Two and a Half Men, to ER to Arrested Development. On Arrested, she played the memorable role of Kitty Sanchez - an insane administrative assistant bent on driving home any point she makes by showing her boobs.

When Jesse talked to Judy in 2014, it was right after the release of her memoir, "I Don't Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star."

Click here to listen to Judy Greer's interview on YouTube!

Ice-T on Hip-Hop and Directing

Ice-T is, of course, an entertainment business legenad. He's been acting for over 25 years and he was a pioneer of West Coast hip-hop in the early 80s. His roots are so deep that his first screen credit in 1984's Breakin' was as "Rap Talker."

His breakthrough on screen was in 1991's New Jack City, and he spent the last dozen years or so solving crimes on Law and Order: SVU. He's an MC and as the frontman of the metal band Body Count he's released more than a dozen albums in his 30 year music career.

When Ice-T talked to Jesse in 2012, he had just directed his first ever movie. It was a documentary called Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap. In it, he travels from coast to coast talking to rappers from Grandmaster Caz to Kanye West about the work of the MC.

Keep up with Ice-T by visiting his website.

Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with Ice-T on YouTube!


The Outshot: Quick Change

Hey - hey you. Want to know about a cool Bill Murray thing? You probably haven't seen it before. It's not Scrooged, not some SNL bit or a viral thing he did for Funny or Die. It's Quick Change, the only movie he's ever directed.

Click here to listen to Jesse's Outshot on Quick Change!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Lily Tomlin and Rick Moranis

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Lily Tomlin
Guests: 
Rick Moranis

[r]

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Greg Gorman

Rick Moranis on growing up Jewish, Canadian comedy, and quitting showbusiness

This week on Bullseye, Jesse brings you some of his favorite interviews from 2013. The first of which is his conversation with Rick Moranis. You know him from Strange Brew, Ghostbusters, Spaceballs, Honey I Shrunk the Kids. He is the bespectacled man in argyle socks, who plays nerdy characters with goofy dad jokes. In the late 80's and early 90's, it seemed like he was the star of every family friendly comedy to hit the big screen. But, after his wife passed away in 1991, he quit the movie business, to raise his children. The last time he has been seen on screen was 20 years ago, in Honey We Shrunk Ourselves.

Nearly a decade after pretty much signing out of show business, Moranis returned in 2005 with a Grammy-winning album of original music, Agoraphobic Cowboy. In 2013, Moranis released his second album My Mother's Brisket and Other Love Songs, which is a collection of comedic music inspired by Moranis's Jewish upbringing in Toronto.

Jesse and Rick talk about his first job selling hockey programs in the nosebleed section, SCTV and the ironic outcome of his famous nose-thumbing at Canadian content laws, and his decision to be a stay-at-home father.

Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with Rick Moranis!

Lily Tomlin on being someone else... in her own way

Lily Tomlin is a comedic actress if there ever was one. She has incredible rang, whether she's playing a precocious six-year-old on Laugh-In or a pill-popping sixty-six year old on HBO's Eastbound & Down, Lily inhabits her roles in a way that few performers can. She was nominated for an Oscar for her 1976 performance in Nashville, as well as being awarded the Mark Twain Prize for humor back in 2003.

Back in 2013 when Jesse and Lily spoke, she had just appeared in the Tina Fey led and Paul Weitz directed movie Admission. This was 2 years before a resurgence in her career, which would earn her recognition in Grandma, her first lead in a film in 27 years, and a Golden Globe nomination for the Netflix series Grace and Frankie.

Lily talked to Jesse about shaping her role in Admission, the moment that she decided she wanted to be a professional actor...and yes, a certain YouTube-famous confrontation (link NSFW) with I Heart Huckabees director David O. Russell.

Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with Lily Tomlin!

The Outshot: Chance The Rapper's Acid Rap

Jesse tells us about Chance The Rapper's 2013 mixtape Acid Rap.

Click here to listen to Jesse's outshot about Acid Rap!

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