I’M NOT AN EX-CON, I JUST LIKE TAPES Pt. 1

Uncategorized September 23rd, 2009


J-Zone still owns and operates a cassette walkman. He also tried to have a tape player installed in his car, but he was laughed out of the dealership (seriously).

While sweatin to the oldies at Planet Fitness (a notoriously bootleg gym chain) not too long ago, some ragtag living room couch of a broad who was on the treadmill (and deservedly so) busted out laughing as I walked past her. I assumed I knew why, but sometimes I like to think that there’s really nothing wrong with using a cassette walkman in 2009. I guess there is, because the bitch shouts “you just get outta prison or something?!” I didn’t know what she meant at first, but when I got home later that night it hit me. If you went to jail in 1993 and just came home, you might not know that the Discman came and went and the ipod has made its way to the top as the standard portable medium of playing music. Look, I got off dial up internet in 2006, got a cel phone that was more than $14 in 2009 and have a vicious enemy in the form of mass text messages. I’ve always instinctively resisted every single technological advancement upon its introduction to popular culture, but eventually I’m backed into a corner and forced to get with the times. But the jury is in, and I don’t think I can ever make the switch to the ipod. For one, the look of it. When I think of ipods, I think of broads doing low-impact cardio on the elliptical machine at the gym, and that blood pressure taker looking Inspector Gadget arm sleeve holder that it sits in. They’re slim, frail and dainty. You can’t listen to Mob Style or Pretty Tone Capone on an ipod, it just doesn’t make sense, that‘s an oxymoron. I also can’t ride with the prospect of buying albums digitally and not getting any liner notes. Album art and liner notes/credits are just as a much part of the consumption of music as the music itself, and I just can’t get used to getting an album and being sent an 800×800 jpeg of the cover art. There’s nothing like buying a great album, then reading the liner notes and seeing Masta Ace playfully diss Mr. Cee for giving Big Daddy Kane the beat that was supposed to be his. Or seeing who produced track #5. Or looking at never seen before photos. Or reading Red Hot Lover Tone dissing all the people he’s supposed to be giving shout outs to. Or reading the credits for Public Enemy’s Fear Of A Black Planet and discovering new artists you’ve never heard of by the categories they were placed in for the acknowledgements. Or seeing shout outs to people who weren’t famous, but friends of the artist. These dudes had names like Big Ray Roll, Big Dog and Psycho Pimp, and you wonder where they are today. How about reading Kool Keith’s opinions on who the best producers in rap were at the time (of course he listed himself as #1). I got a shoutout out in one of the Eastern Conference Records’ albums back in the day, with "you should have signed with us" after my name in parenthesis, prompting folks to e-mail me to see if it was a snub, and if it was, would I come out and dis them on record. Imagine buying De La Soul Is Dead on iTunes…how can you enjoy the whole thing without seeing the cartoon artwork? I recently bought a CD re-issue of Kool & The Gang’s Live At PJ’s just for the bonus liner notes, because I already have the album. As fans, these are things we used to look forward to reading when listening to the music, but as for people coming up now, I guess you can’t miss what you’ve never been exposed to.

Does anybody remember this?…The closest thing we had to iTunes back then was the short-lived custom tape maker at Sam Goody record chain (if you actually remember that, you’re an OG). There would be a book of selected songs from current and popular artists, and you could order whichever songs you wanted and make a custom tape. I think the songs were $1.99 each. I’d bullshit around the Galleria Mall in White Plains for an hour while they prepared it, and come back to Sam Goody and my tape was ready. The first time I did it, I got Freshco & Miz’ "We Don’t Play" and Uptown’s "Dope On Plastic" and "It’s My Turn" on a custom tape, but only because those songs were never released on an album. Needless to say, the Sam Goody Custom tape machine only lived one year (1990) before it was given the axe, partly because most albums back then were decent enough all the way through to warrant the $10 price tag.

Speaking of which, the number of shitty albums released on tape was far less than the number of shitty albums available on itunes, especially with rap. People bitch and moan about having to fast forward through the tapes, but when tapes were in their prime, most albums didn’t have much in the way of fast forward material. Albums were -and sometimes still are- about peaks and valleys, you’d want to hear every nook and cranny of what an artist was doing. Besides, shit like "LOL Smiley Face" never came out on tape.

Tapes also hold a high level of significance in the landscape of hip-hop history, and that’s beyond capturing defunct radio shows and park jams. Cassettes took over as the primary medium for bonus cuts, like the “12 b-side did for vinyl. Albums like Stetsasonic’s Blood, Sweat & No Tears , Nas’ It Was Written , Digital Underground’s Sex Packets and Lord Finesse’s Return Of The Funky Man were all creatively marketed with tape only bonus cuts, which gave you an incentive to hunt down the album in each format. There were even albums that only came out on cassette (the elusive Baritone Tip Love Livin Foul album from ‘91 and numerous regional gangsta rap albums) or cassette with a limited dose of wax, but no CD (half of the Warlock/ Idlers Records catalog or AZ’s Streetwise and my debut album, Music For Tu Madre , before the reissues). If nothing else, I miss buying tapes and seeing the order forms for merchandise from the group and record label inside of the fold out liner notes. The cassette inserts of the Luke Records (2 Live Crew, Poison Clan, etc.) albums were always my favorite…

Luke was a visionary for racial harmony, as he’s got the junior high school cafeteria manager-looking middle aged brother standing side by side with the young trampy-looking white chick. These are epiphanies that you just can’t unleash in the milquetoast world of iTunes. Needless to say, I ordered a We Want Some Pussy t-shirt before I lost my virginity, but I don’t think the kid growing up in the world of iTunes can experience the same rite of passage and that’s a God damn shame. Raekwon had a purple tape, myself and Masta Ace had gold tapes, Illegal had a red tape, but I’ve never seen an MP3 with a color.

I’ll play Devil’s Advocate for the digital world when I speak from the view of the artist. Who really buys music in physical media form in 2009? A small number of folks, but pressing up music in any physical form is risky. There are enough copies of a few of my releases in my basement and in my distributor’s warehouse to re-open a Crazy Eddie chain. But then again, my first two albums are near impossible to find, and I get requests to re-press them. I put them on iTunes because it’s risk free and saves me the hassle of getting stuck with CD overstock, but sometimes I wish it wasn’t that way. It makes me seem like a hypocrite because I’m plugging these releases on iTunes, but I don’t even have an account there. It’s a catch 22 between things financially making sense and catering to the few fans like myself that still appreciate tapes, CD’s and LP’s as part of the full music buying experience. That said, for all looking for my first two albums, my Experienced EP or my Chief Chinchilla (Live @ The Liqua Sto ) album, if I ever re-issue them in physical form it will be on tape only. Call it the era I grew up in, call it stubbornness, but cassettes will always reign supreme in my book.

And don’t even talk about DVDs vs. VHS tapes. I didn’t see O-Dog passing around a DVD of the liquor store robbery in Menace II Society. Dig where I’m coming from? If that isn’t enough to convince you, here are some photos of my collection that explain why I refuse to switch…

Random Tapes: Some of my favorite flicks old and new, a bunch of obscure TV shows I taped on VHS over the years (Harry-O, McCloud, Surfside 6, Banacek, What’s Happening Now!!, Head Of The Class, 227, Amen, The Whiteshadow, etc.), the NYC Public HS B-Ball Championship Game (2001) and a bunch of other random shit.

Music Videos: Yo! MTV Raps Spring 1990 tape (gotta preserve that one), Sleeping Bag/ Fresh Records video comp, UBC "UB Style" video (EMI promo), Hendrix @ Berkeley

Radio show tape box: Stretch & Bobbito, Sunset & Mayhem (WNYU-FM), Martin Moor, Doo-Wop Mixtapes, Across 110th St. (Columbia University funk show back in the day), Do Or Die "Po Pimp" cassingle (Chi-Town love on that one).

More bugged movies, Ice-T’s OG Home Video (he did videos for the whole fuckin album, that’s hard), PE Fight The Power Tour Video.

Left: Kool & The Gang- Music Is The Message 8-track tape (it’s only right!) Right: Me and my pops jammin on drums and organ in the basement when I was 6 years old. Oldest tape I got and the first music I ever made…in the first grade! (no, I’m not digitizing that one).

Jeah. Sorry about the Flash, my camera was $120. If you need a title of a joint, let me know.

13 years of doing my own number series. Shits is hard. What do you think is on ohhh…Tape #14?

Like everything else that was popular 20-25 years ago, I’m thinking that there will also be a small resurgence in tapes at some point. They may wanna Do The Right Thing it all the way out and go get a ghetto blaster to be super-retro, but maybe tapes are too much of a hassle and somebody will make a an ipod that sits inside of a ghetto blaster frame, who knows.  Just like I’m sure some fools will have the audacity to bring back Africa medallions, just to let them pass as a fad again after 6 months. But only real OG’s never stopped rolling with tapes and never will. I always tell people, hip-hop is a generational thing. You’ll always relate to the era you came up in above all, and some habits die hard. So until Disco Rick & The Dogs’ entire catalog is uploaded to itunes in the year 2047, I’ll keep being mistaken for an ex-convict.

Stay tuned for a future tape related entry that will include video footage of the collection…yeah, I’m getting hi-tech now.

Father Dom debut tape…NOT ON iTUNES!

I got auto-reverse on this bitch too…

47 Responses to “I’M NOT AN EX-CON, I JUST LIKE TAPES Pt. 1”

  1. bigpartymaker Says:

    I loved Shock G’s cassette cartoons.

  2. Chesca Says:

    That’s the point. Back in the day albums were albums. People would take their time with it,
    putting one out every 2 to 4 years… It had to be good. Now everythings sped up, digital, cheap, so they make a good single and throw other shit 15 tracks in there to fill it up, e
    that being enhanced by the iTunes feature of buying one song at the
    time.

  3. ralphykid Says:

    i had the purple tape, my niece (when she was about 1.5 yrs old) decided one day to pull all the tape out of it and ruin it forever..the remnants were soon rendered useless when i tried to repair it. i was so heated that day. that was around 96-97.

    also. my car is a 2002 and it has a factory tape deck! that means i get to dig up old mixtapes i made to bump from time to time. not to mention old beat/raps my friends and i recorded in high school which only exist on tape.

    im glad i got that tape deck in my car cuz come to think of it i dont even have a tape deck in my house now.

    soo many of my peers dont even know about “silent murder” its ridiculous. ans big ups on that “po pimp” single, i may have had that one day. ive been lookin for that album in any form ( ill probly resort to downloading a pirated copy).

    long live the tape deck!

  4. BIG D O Says:

    I’m with Zone on this one 110%…have a nice collection of cassette tapes myself and have always preferred tapes to MP3’s and CD’s too, easily….

    I almost regret not coppin’ more tapes back in the day…This post rushed all those memories of how Sam Goody, Best Buy, Circuit City, Media Play and all the mom and pop record shops looked before 02′, or 03′, when they took out all the cassettes and re-arranged their store layouts. I was coppin more CD’s back then, and have a dope collection b/c of that, but I always lament not grabbin more tapes.

    I still add to my collection today tho, but I have to jack everything…only places I really bump into cassettes in bulk is at thrift stores and pawn shops…even mom and pop record stores are really starting to push em’ out, I usually pay in those spots cause they usually have tapes new.

    Zone, I got a money order with your name on it for that “Music For Tu Madre” cassette if you got it, lol…

    p.s. props on having the VHS of that “The Education Of Sonny Carson”…one of the greatest blaxploitation era flicks of all time….

  5. jzone Says:

    D.O., I hear that. In the late 90’s albums began to get crazy with the filler. The sales of full albums suffered from it, this itunes thing was bound to happen. Al album is an experience…40+ minutes into the mind of an artist. Albums are about peaks and valleys, because artists aren’t thinking radio single and club banger all the time. Even album cuts that weren’t that great…when I hear an album I wanna hear it all the way through. Downloading a few cuts disrupts the process of listening to an album, but some of the albums are so bad that there’s no choice. I put “To Love A Hooker” on iTunes, but when I get my statements, its crazy to see more individual song buys than total album sales. Being its a concept album, I dont get how people can listen to it in bits and pieces…unless they wanna just vibe out to one particular beat. And word to Sonny Carson…that may be the most timeless and most important “Blaxploitation” flick out of all of them. That and Car Wash.

  6. Boothe Says:

    *still rocking Hiero demos on cassette.

  7. Butcha Says:

    yes i am a tape junkie just like i am for vinyl. if space becomes an issue in my life, i would probably sleep on cases of old tapes before throwing them out. alright shameless plug time.

    the new Vinyl Life album is out on vinyl, CASSETTE, & cd
    from TAPE THEORY music

    side b track 5 - “Take It Off” feat. J-Zone, Ray West & Tru Pro

    http://www.discogs.com/Vinyl-Life-Vinyl-Life/release/1910590

    http://shop.tapetheory.com to get one

    yes, we’re still putting out music in 2009 on limited edition tapes.

    p.s. i had to google disco rick to see what that was about. the video to “the nasty dance” might demand another mention in a future blog post, J.

  8. Angel Says:

    man, a lot of those Hiero and Livings Legends demos and stuff are only available on tape. I had a lot of tapes but now I only do CDs with the occasional vinyl. my tapes used to get “lost” too easily or just get eaten up by the player from too much playing. plus some tapes where like 500th generation and sounded like shit. But Zone, I have never bought a digital anything and I used my Zune everyday because I hated to have to cary CDs around. if I’m paying that shit better come in some form of phisical thing I can touch and use as a frisby if i want. I’ve had to pay premium for stuff that’s long out of print that I could have bought for $5 digitally but screw that. just happened with the Grouch’s “They Don’t have this” $25 for the cd form someone or $6 for digital. $25 it is. or even with your Music For Tu Madre, someone must have jacked mines from back in the Temple Univ dorms 8 years ago or something and I had to go hunt the UK version with the different cover from a record store out there cause no one else had it. I want a CD not something that could get lost forever in a lightning storm. I want to go through the pages of the liner notes and read every single line in there. And it makes me so mad when I buy a CD and there are no liner notes or anything just a front and back cover in 1 sheet. WTF. I don’t do compliations, soundtracks (unless all done in a concept or all by a single artist) or greatest hits for the same reason you stated. I want to listen from beginning to end and what that person was going through artistically and not at that time. I listen to albums not songs.

  9. BIG D O Says:

    @ Zone:

    yeah, kids these days aren’t lookin for what’s “exclusive” or the next big thing, rather, they let the corporations dictate to them what’s hot…explains why a lot of them is walkin around dressed kinda suspect too…

    your right though, albums are getting shorter and shorter and the emphasis on the body of work is getting pushed to the back of the bus in favor of “marketability” Rap is turning into a novelty again and it’s because too many of our artist’s refuse to actually put together solid LP’s…..soon artist’s ain’t even gonna put out albums…just gonna drop a single every now and again…SMH…Ringtones are a primary reason this shit is happening too….back when guys had to put out tapes they had to come correct on the album tip in length and material otherwise there was no point to pressing one up…

    and yeah you dead on right about that Sonny joint being important…that was one of the blaxploitation films that was dealing with social conventions and race and the whole 9…was a monument within the genre….I also peeped out you got “Hell Up In Harlem”…lol, not as socailly conscious as Sonny, but one of the Fred Williamson’s best blaxploitation pictures and one of the illest movie posters eva…only real heads know bout “Hell Up In Harlem”…don’t even get me started on the soundtrack…

  10. dq Says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8117619.stm

  11. Angel Says:

    albums suck now. is like 3 good tracks and 15 fillers. might as well make an EP every 9 months with 5 tracks or something and call it a day.
    Btw, hell up in harlem is a good stuff man. somewhat out of topic, anyone ever seen boss nigger with Fred Williamson? is there a soundtrack for that anywhere? I know the dvd came out called The Boss. not as good as the original title. (is a western)

  12. Travis Says:

    Around ‘86, after buying a handful of records, tapes became my main media form until the mid 90’s. I had so many tapes, or at least it felt like it at the time. I would go to the local mom & pop store and just look at the walls full of tapes. While I was moving last month, I ran into a small box of tapes that I had at my parents house. Had my No Face tape in there. For whatever reason though, I never got Slaughtahouse on tape, it was one of my few early 90’s CD purchases. I remember the Paul’s Boutique tape being a funky solid green color, like a cheapie radio shack tape or something.

    I still have a decent amount of tapes, although I’ve lost a lot over the years, either through getting them jacked or just being an idiot and leaving them behind during my numerous moves in the late 90’s. About five years my boy bought asked to borrow some tapes because he only had tape player in his car. I lent him some, mostly old home made stuff I had from back in the day thankfully. His car ended up getting repo’d with all my tapes in it…and there were some of my “classic” home made tapes too….still pissed about that.

    I remember having that OG VHS (wasn’t there one for Iceberg/Freedom of Speech too?) and the PE VHS tapes, along with 3rd Bass and a couple Beasties. Good stuff Zone, I’m going to have to get some tape racks now and organize all mine.

  13. Jesper Says:

    I’m into diggin for obscure b-movies on VHS. Death Of A Snowman, Death Journey or America 3000 ring a bell?

  14. BIG D O Says:

    @ Angel:

    oh yeah, Hell Up In Harlem is my shit, just was sayin it didn’t have huge a message as The Education Of Sonny Carson did….

    As far as “Boss” goes it was aaaight…I didn’t like the blaxploitation westerns as much as I did the ones that took place in urban surroundings….just found out they re-released this last year on DVD….

  15. BIG D O Says:

    @ Travis:

    lemme know if you tryin to sell any of your tapes bruh….

    nickyledez@yahoo.com

  16. Kenneth Says:

    Good shit, still have alot of my hip hop collection in cassette form, although I have the cd versions of some of those albums. Yes I myslef feel the same way about buying a digital version of an album today, never have, never will, just not the same , a Dr. Dre Album, etc can never equal the experience of having a physical form with liner notes, the smell, the feel. Yeah, feel the same way about Twitter, never have, never will waste time with that bullshit, I have a facebook a/c but I see some of the same tweet like updates on the a/c am really thinking of closing the shit, wastes my time. Anyway love these posts, you need to put a “share” icon so that your stuff can be uploaded to other sources, as it was just by accident I came up on this article, but what a start to the day, will just add this blog to my “favourites” category, peace.

  17. Kurt Says:

    Don’t forget about the smell of certain tapes. I remember opening my 3 Feet High & Rising tape in 1989 and it smelled… well, I’m not sure if there’s a word for it. It wasn’t a bad smell, it was fresh and clean, but distinct. I was 11 at the time and remember wondering if De La scented the booklet on purpose, which would be a pretty amazing thing to do. “On the tape, fresh out the box”, literally. Pine scented cassette for the ride.

  18. LD Says:

    You are hilarious Jay. I zoomed in on that box of tapes and saw my footprint on one of them. My bad. I will replace the “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack on cassette.

  19. Web Conn Says:

    So sweet that you have baller blocking on VHS love that movie

  20. SoulBeats Says:

    I feel you J. Actually have a pretty big casette collection myself which includes Biz’s “I Need a Haircut” with “Alone Again”. Personics was the name of the custom tape maker, I even have a few those too. Great Post.

  21. jzone Says:

    Personics! That was it, good lookin out, I had forgotten the name! Hold on to that Biz Mark OG with “Alone Again”, its gonna be worth crazy dough.

  22. vinnieboy Says:

    dont worry j, they already came out with a retro ghetto blaster that fits an ipod, comes equipped with the fake play button and all…

    http://gizmodo.com/381663/review-lasonic-i931-ipod-ghetto-blaster-verdict-awesome

    aside from blank tapes that you can record shit off of, tapes are one thing i do not really miss. I gotta agree with you on the liner notes, yet the same can be said about CDs. I have about 45 tape cases and maybe 8 of them have their tapes in them. Too many times i left them in my boys car, someone borrowed them or i just straight up lost them. (the same can be said of my CD collection). Youre not gonna lose vinyl or your ipod in your boys whip. However i do miss those friday mornings walking to school checking out what i missed from the previous night of stretch & bob.

    And if we’re talking tapes you gotta mention the times when your walkman would bug out and eat that only copy you own of that Big L and lord finesse freestyle. shit i’ve repaired some tapes that i’ve had that would make a brain surgeon proud. clear off the table, make sure you got adequate light, get your kit ready (tweezers, mini screwdriver maybe a swiss army knife) that was some serious pressure…haha those were the days. great post.

  23. preston Says:

    Tapes live! I got a friend in austin, tx, who has a tapes only record label. Kills You Records. They’re cheap as shit to print.

  24. ruvane Says:

    i remember listening to stretch and bobbito .. i got a 95 ford taurus… now when in my car i can listen . …

  25. CRASH DDZ Says:

    somebody will make a an ipod that sits inside of a ghetto blaster frame, who knows.

    http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=208105607&listingid=36802856

    IT’S BEEN DONE.

  26. jzone Says:

    Didn’t know about the ipod ghetto blaster. Shows how out of touch I am, fuck it.

  27. simplychris Says:

    Damn! i rediscovered part of my old tape collection the other week and this brings me back! Bullshit Kane albums, the Gravediggaz first album twice - the regular one and the one with the alternate title (Niggamortis), the Cactus Cas/ette.. Theres not many things better than listening to Eazy’s 5150 maxi single on a super bassed up walkman. Silent Murder is the best thing Nas has ever done

  28. quimby Says:

    Across 110th St. (Columbia University funk show back in the day)

    that show is still on the air.

    I don’t got a walkman but I still have a tapedeck. I got a gang of tapes & still cop them at flea markets & local sales. Son of Bazerk album for $1? copped
    Money Love album for 50cents? sure

  29. Vocab Says:

    yo Zone my dude, not sure if you know this or not so I thought I would speak up. When you get sent on vacation to the big house the only form of music you’re allowed to own in their is on cassette tape, they actually have a catalog with some pretty up to date music all on tape for dudes to cop. Might be worth hitting up a liquor store for…lol. peace

  30. Shotgun Don Says:

    I dumped my tape to tape last year.

    When I was a little kid i had my tape deck and i used my dads. When you pressed record/mic on his it recorded the sound outside. I would put the two decks face to face and make mixes. it had nothing to do with hip hop. it was just some cool shit. i’d throw on the rolling stones, a snippet from Michael Jackson telling the story of ET, some Drifters…whatever I had.

    I loved tape to tape.

    When I got a little older my pops got me a cool deck that was tape to tape. I could record a song and in a flash record off the radio. That was the shit.

    A couple years later they came out with a tape to tape + CD player.

    When I got older I figured I could plug a turntable into one of the aux channels and those were the days I began making the dopest mixes. I’d dig out cuts from everywhere, tapes, cd’s off the radio, record..it was shit.

    I liked the process of pause/play..or if you fucked up just hit rewind and copy right over.

    I guess today with the way technology is there are some insane programs that take all of it to a way deeper level BUT sitting infront of a screen, plugging away at a keyboard or on a mouse it’s not the same for me.

    I LOVED making mix tapes. By the time I was old and had kids I wasn’t buying music or even listening to it. I didn’t even have a radio for a couple years. BUt luckily I got back into it around 2002. I had a job that had me at a computer all day and thats where I was introduced to the net. DL music and all that, beat making programs.

    I bought a turntable, dusted off the records in my pops garage, got myself what looked like the best tape to tape ever (shit was WACK) and was ready to start going off again.

    Being old and waking up early, staying up late with my ear to the speakers listening for some raw shit isn’t in the cards for me anymore…

    so I dumped my tape to tape, my sister got me an ipod and I havent bought a record or tape since.

    but I havent thrown my tapes away either.

  31. jzone Says:

    @ Vocab…yeah I knew that. One of my childhood friends got sent up and he told me that. I used to send him tapes in there. But if you been locked up for a long time and been outta the loop, you wont know much about ipods and discmen, haha.

  32. Vcab Says:

    haha, ok then, my bad. But yo Zone, you seem to have a staggering amount of knowledge about tapes my dude, idea for a future project perhaps, why not put out a mixtape featuring some of those rare, tape only cuts? I know speaking for myself, I missed out on the whole tape thing, I had a dozen or so when I was younger but cd has always been my format of choice, cant help but feel like im missing out on some of those rare joints.

    p.s. just to keep it a little more on topic, fuck digital music. Nothing will ever replace the feeling of holding the actual music in your hand and going through the artwork and inserts, plus the digital age has pretty much killed digging, me and my boys used to go out digging together all the time to see what we could turn up, anymore im going solo.

  33. Paulie Sure Says:

    Beautiful post

    The whole linear notes and shout outs and see who other artists gave props too. The best thing was going through old album linear notes a couple of years later and see who had blown up (Tical and Slim Shady L.P notes were great for that). Linear notes gave an insite into artists personality beyond there music - this is odd but I always noted who said thank god and who gave praises to Allah.

    Seeing I’m only 25 I can’t sound like too much of a grouchy old man but the first rap albums my mum bought for me (in New Zealand explicit albums were Restricted to 16 years and over) and they definitly weren’t gonna sell to a 9 year old were Doggystyle and Black Sunday. I feel sad for kids nowadays cause there just not going to get the quality straight out the gate. My favourite album of all time I only have on tape.

    Linear notes also had info on fan clubs, don’t know if anyone ever joined them but it was nice to have the option.

  34. jzone Says:

    Haha, Paulie you’re right on about the fan clubs. I guess the modern version of that would be…myspace? But fan clubs were so dope, you’d get little news letters and all that in the mail. I joined one, but I can’t remember whose I joined.

  35. jzone Says:

    Oh, and by the way, I know about the whole not allowing CDs in jail thing, so they have tapes. Referring to the chick at the gym, she was assuming I was living away from civilization since tapes went out of style, I just didn’t feel the need to print the whole convo (or think about the dual meaning). My bad!

  36. jzone Says:

    But I didn’t know about the ipod ghetto blaster. Im not surprised though

  37. Cassette King Says:

    Great article and I still want to battle you on the pause mix.

    Cassette King

  38. Antonio Says:

    I still have the Ice T VHS, that shit is hard.
    Also, making a compilation for a friend in cassette form is infinitely better than a shitty rapidshare rar file… :-)

  39. Mr Pancho Says:

    Move with the times son, you neglected to mention that tapes sound like shit, and break, how many times have you had to do surgery on them motherfuckers, trying cutting the shit and glueing it together with scotch tape. Fuck that.

    I’m old school, 36 years old. Used to have thousands of records all over the fucking house, couldn’t move with that shit, plus bulky record decks, broken mixers, amps, the whole shit. I sold all that around 2002 (when records were still worth a lil somthin’) Now I got all them same records and more on an ipod with some bomb ass high powered digital speakers that takes up no space in my life and its easy to integrate with.

    One thing right now is music is disposable, shit sits on a hardrive in a folder and goes in the recycle bin if its trash. If you find out you want it back you can download the motherfucker again, its not like its gonna scratch or fuck up.

    Technology is good, makes life easier, you cats out here riding horse back instead of taking the bus? I do feel for the younger cats who never had the excitement of picking up some new music at a record store, hunting through the racks and feeling like Indiana Jones when you found some rare hard to find shit, but for me them days are long gone, I don’t have the time or inclination, just give me what I want to hear and give me another 100 plus choices, thats what the new digital age is about.

    and Videos dog? come on you can’t be a fan of movies if you watching some classic that grainy shit.

  40. e.brown Says:

    yeah i kept the tapes/12″s but got em on minidisc now (shits been dinosaured now as well)
    zone u remember dan the man in perth? dude got a shout out on pimps dont pay taxes from memory…got a bunch of his shows kicking around somewhere.his show had me wagging last period of class every monday wednesday and friday to record it haha.jzone for president was my shit back then

  41. jzone Says:

    yo e, thanks. whats good with dan the man, that was my dude! real cool ass cat, dope dj too. tell him i said what up if you catch him. i remember when mini disc was supposed to be the next big thing. so much for that. one thing i liked about it was you could record over tracks like you did with tapes. That’s what I hate about CD’s. I’ll burn a dope comp for the car and forget a joint and gotta do the shit all over again. That’s one good point about the ipod over CD’s.

  42. Ben Osborne Says:

    Great as always. I love tapes, too. I have a stereo at home that still plays them, so every week or two I play some classic old tape…at least half the time they sound too warped or won’t play. Those go in the garbage. If they sound good, though, I stick em back in mu cessette holder. I’m probably down to about 150 from maybe a peak of 500+ tapes, but at least I haven’t quit the experience entirely. As for your VHS tapes, no MHS games??

  43. e.brown Says:

    I dunno man I stopped listening to the radio when I got a cd player in the car i think dan started doing more promo work after he stopped doing his afternoon show. Which was a shame cos he used to spin all kinds of hotness..like brooklyn academys first ep in 98,jean grae and real head banger new york shit..at 3 in the afternoon!!!

    yeah as for minidiscs, u could record out of anything with at least a headphone jack, so they had the +1 over tapes on the record functionality aspect…so for mashups they were the shit
    but dude, im hella surprised to hear about your love for liner notes when you refused to mention anyone on … how many solo joints u put out ??? hahahaha

  44. DJ HasH Says:

    Yes! Yes! YES! I LOVE this blog! It feels so good to hear someone that feels the same way that I do. I agree with you 100% on everything. I admit that I gave in and copped an iPod but I got that 1st joint that came out that looks like a garage door opener. Now they got a million different iPods out. Enough is enough. I’m not coppin the “touch” or whatever else is new. Every year a new and improved iPod comes out. It’s just ridiculous.

    You hit the nail on the head when you said that kids comin up now don’t know what they miss. I don’t download ANY albums. Part of the excitement of coppin new music is getting the album artwork and reading the liner notes. I use to read those shout outs as shorty imagining that one day a Big Daddy Kane or Run Dmc or someone would give ME a shout out! Ha! But when I talk to kids nowadays they could care less about artwork and liner notes. They just want to hear the music for 2 months, be done with it and then move on to the new “hot” joint. It’s sad really but like you said if they were never exposed to it then why would they care? I still play my tapes although my walkman currently died. I gotta find another one but I’m having a hard time finding one.

    Hey, what Masta Ace album was it when he playfully dissed Mr. Cee. I have to revisit that. Also my Lord Finesse tape got stolen YEARS ago. I copped the CD but it doesn’t have that tape joint. It has a different song instead. I can’t remember that tape only song but I know it was DOPE. Please tell me the name of that song because it’s been bothering me for years.

    Oh yeah. Your VHS and tape game is mean! Make sure you put those in a safe or something because that collection is priceless. Thanx for the Chicago shout on the Do or Die tape too. You weren’t from Chicago if you didn’t have that tape. EVERYBODY had that joint when it first came out!

  45. jzone Says:

    Yo Hash its WILD you ask about that Masta Ace dis. I asked him what beat that was that Mr. Cee gave to Kane and he didn’t remember, haha. Probably “Down The Line”, it was the only Mr. Cee beat on Taste Of Chocolate (came out the same year as Take A Look Around). Trivial shit like this is what made liner notes fun though. and E Brown…haha, yeah I never named names in liner notes because I always felt saying their name on the album was better. But when I put the fill in the blank option in the liner notes, it showed you a humor edge to it (I stole that from Craig G’s second album). My first album (OG vinyl w/ cover and tape versions only) was the only album I had with shouts in the liner notes.

  46. Patrick Says:

    Thanks J, man, I miss my tape collection so much. And the whole deal, like you said, its the WHOLE package. Not to mention, colored cassettes were always interesting, like 14 different varieties, but always surprising, man.

  47. Samantha Boyd Says:

    I still have all my tapes too. I don’t want to let them go and good thing my sterio has a tape player on top of it. I have good hip-hop tapes and won’t spend extra money just to buy the cds. Nope, money is tight. I can’t believe that girl said that to you in the gym. How rude!

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