Reachin into the archives and pluckin out a cassette of the legendary Capital Rap Show, this time we have UK pioneer Tim Westwood interviewing the legendary Ice T. This recording, featuring 2 shows from October 1988 captures the golden era of Rap broadcasting in all its compressed and hissy FM glory. It’s also something that artists, DJs, producers and heads outside the UK fiended for back then, in much the same way British industry insiders and consumers were jonesing to hear the iconic and influential sounds of DJ Red Alert or Mr Magic coming out of NY.
The year was coming to a close and one of the most important alblums in Rap had just dropped, Ultramagnetic MCs Critical Beatdown or, as you’ll note on the tape via the amped up goofballs of young Tim, an alblum by the name of Critical Breakdown [Tim tripped his lips with numerous on-air fails over the years but it never doused the spirit of what he was doing or the importance of the music he was playing]. The cassette, a crispy and balanced TDK SA90, was recorded over a couple of weekends during a visit to London, and was pause-buttoned to avoid ads, wack tunes, too much chat and to capture tracks that were simply bangers and to catch some ‘spectacular, high grade vernacular’ from an interview with ‘rhyme boss of the Syndicate alliance’ Ice T.
Side A – Tim kicks off the show with his first fail, he plays the opening few bars of the first track before remembering that he has to play his signature ‘legendary’ opener promo from Boogie Down Productions’ KRS One. It’s at this point that we get down to business, a goose-bump inducing Evil Dead promo, some Floyd Pepper, and the grand incredible sounds of Ultras’ Ease Back, being played for what sounds like the first time.
Side B –
A super-duty station ID from Public Enemys’ Chuck D and Flavor Flav opens Side B, authenticating if there was any doubt, Westwoods position at Capital Radio and therefore within the community ?????
A Mikey Dread promo re-introduces our presenter and we kick off the show properly after this. Unfortunately at 4:35 the impatient blade of the pause-button makes an appearance and we jump straight from Tim to some promos from the Fat Boys and Sir Drew [from UK pioneers the Mighty Ethnicz]. At 5:45 Comptons King Tee [and the alblum title track Act A Fool] will have you reaching for a neck-brace, before the Paul C produced classic Give The Drummer Some comes in at 8:02. Incidentally at 12:12 Tim informs us that he’s ‘Rock Shockin That Funky Beat’ over a classic Cerrone bed before instructing us to tune in to his TV show on Night Network the following Friday. Ultra appear again with Ain’t It Good To You after a random Shinehead drop.
After more unfortunate pause action, the first UK track appears from Demon Boyz as they ‘distress the rhythm’ with Vibes [including that Dario Argento intro dialogue].
Over a bed of Experience Unlimiteds go-go classic Knock Him Out Sugar Ray, Tim gives us a rundown of the weekly record sales in London with the Capital Rap Report. The chart places in the top 10 are bursting at the seams with a list of Rap gems including In Control Volume 1, 900 Number [The Sound of the Street], Sugar Bear, Night of the Living Bassheads and It Takes Two. At this point Ice-T suddenly appears in the studio [on the tape], explaining that Def Jef, the next cut on the show, was originally a Syndicate member before heading to work with the Dust Brothers at Delicious Vinyl. Tim also gets intensive with the questioning when asking ‘Did you ever get hurt when you were in the gangs’ ? Around the 34 minute mark, the phone-in Version Excursion competition has caused the Capital exchange to ‘go bionic’ and that the board has lit up ‘Christmas Style’ with the competition entrys.
Ultramagnetic MC’s – Ease Back
King Tee – Act a Fool
Ultramagnetic MC’s – Give The Drummer Some
Ultramagnetic MC’s – Aint It Good to Ya
Tone Loc – After Dark
Ultramagnetic MC’s – Cuttin Rhythms
7A3 – Drums of Steel
Kool D & Technolo-G – Now Dance
London Rhyme Syndicate – London Rhyme Syndicate
Rodney Cee/ Kevvy Kev Rockwell & DJ Stevie Steve – Double Trouble At The Amphitheatre
Ultramagnetic MC’s – Break North
Ice T – Interview
Derek B – Who Dares Wins
Ice T – Interview
Ice T – Take It Personal
Demon Boyz – Vibes
Ice T – Interview
Def Jef – On the Real Tip
Spoonie Gee – The Godfather
7A3 – Cool in Cali
Heavy D & The Boys – Freestyle Session
Doug E Fresh – Play This Only at Night
Outlaw Posse – Party
22:46 – Tim gets profoundly meticulous with some intensive questioning ‘Did you ever get hurt when you were in the gangs’ ?
Featured FAILS, Technolo-G is described as Techo Lock ?!! And world-famous Lil Rodney Cee is referred to as Roddy Cee ?!
Around the ….. mark, the phone-in Version Excursion competition has caused the Capital exchange to ‘go bionic’ and that the board has lit up ‘Christmas Style’ with the competition entrys.
At ……an older session gets aired. Heavy D appears along with Trouble T-Roy & other various Boyz. DJ Eddie F drops some Bobby Byrd bonus beats while the Overweight Lover drops a few rhymes from the Barry Manilow themed We Write the Songs, as well as few lines ‘off the top’. Were reminded that Tone LOCK, was ‘strictly armed & dangerous’ with DJ M-Walk, we hear a superfluous track by Cool D, some more UK plastic from the London Rhyme Syndicate and then were blessed another Capital Rap Report from the 2nd Friday of the holiday, as Tim sends young consumers on a wild-goose chase [over a deftly looped version of Stanley Turrentines’ Sister Sanctified], telling us that Ultramagnetic MCs LP Critical Breakdown has risen to the number one spot.
At 1:06:43 Tim gives a respectful nod to the old school by introducing ‘a new regular freature’ of playing one track each week from the days of way back. This weeks jammy, from the 1983 soundtrack to the Wildstyle movie, is a short-lived Double Trouble Live at the Amphitheater. Over some more Wildstyle beats, Tim continues to questions Ice and asks about the sexist imagery on his LP artwork, before we reach the end of the tape, with Tim signing off with his trademark “Thats all from me Westwood, im outta here, Peace” !!