Finally, this post is done! I had to gather up all the material and information and fix some info on the music so that it will be right, so yes.. I put in a tremendous amount of work to make this post happen!
When it comes to music and the success of artists [especially in hiphop], it’s important to know how did they become successful, and to know the history behind their music that they put out. For me, and maybe, for some of you, I’d like to know how they got signed- because as far as what history tells us.. if you want to get discovered [or listened to], please have a demo tape ready for the producer in possession at all cost. Never miss out on an opportunity!
I have to bring it to my hometown for a second, so let me give you guys this bonus joint: I had this tape for over 2 years before I started to lose my tapes due to moving and my brother misplacing them over the years.
St. Ides ’94 Promo [remember the A&B sides]! Click here for the download. I do it for you, Long Beach!
So I present to you, the history of how some of my [and your favorite artists] got their deal inked. First off, Common.
Common, who was known back then as Common Sense [before he got sued for his name], was taking rap to major heights with his ill-rhyme flow, especially when his rhyming style then was close to being mirrored to Das Efx. Before he got discovered, he and his then-producer No I.D. has put out two demo tapes; one before he got a deal [w/Relativity] and was featured in 1991 in The Source’s Unsigned Hype Column, and after he got the deal. The demo that got him discovered was named UnAmerican Caravan; which featured the original version of the future top-charting single, ‘Take It EZ’, which later was edited and added to his first album, Can I Borrow A Dollar? For you, here are his earliest recordings for you to download.
Next on the list is one of my earlier favorite producers and rappers of the 90s, DJ Quik. He’s put out nothin’ but funky material for you to bob your head to, and to get down to as well! If you’ve ever been to a DJ Quik show, or any show that featured him on the bill, there’s no possible way that you couldnt sit through his performance without singing word-for-word any of his songs.
Anyhow, the history with him comes to the discovery of his demo tape called The Red Tape, which was made back in 1987 and got him inked up with Profile Records as the first six-figure-signee [on that label]. According to NOM, this was also the same tape that ignited the beef w/ a then-known rapper from the same city, MC Eiht [check out ‘Real Doe’]. It even questions the actual time period that this tape has been put out by stating, “In fact Quik’s overall production sound on The Red Tape sounds nothing like anything sounded in 1987. Either Quik was WAY ahead of his time, or The Red Tape was recorded in 1989/90 at the earliest.” See for yourself by grabbing the 2nd installment.
They say ‘three times a charm’, but fuck that! I’m going hard with this one. This is what I discovered yesterday [to keep it real]. Before NWA, West Coast Rap’s Attorney General [as I’d like to call him] Ice Cube was a part of this group called C.I.A. [Cru In Action] who linked up with Dr. Dre to put out an EP called My Posse. Cube then met Eazy-E and showed him the lyrics to Boyz-N-The-Hood, but kept being denied. Eventually, Mr. Wright gave in and collaborated with Cube, Dr. Dre, and other emcees on his team [MC Ren & DJ Yella] and formed N.W.A.
Well, this isn’t a demo, but here is his earliest recordings with his first crew he started with. From what I was told, it almost sound like Public Enemy fits this recording [because of the lyrical content].
here’s the fourth installment of one of my favorite emcees – Joe Budden. Why is he even on here? It’s because I’ve been following him since he was fuckin’ with DJ Clue and DJ Envy on mixtapes, doing freestyles back in the late 90s’. He’s been grindin’ hard from the beginning, and believe it or not, I respect his work ethic. Fuck what you’ve been told, but I believe that he’s one of the hardest working emcees in the game right now. You can slam him for his blogging, drama with other women and going back and forth against Wu-Member Raekwon, Game [they’re good now] and A-Team’s former member, Ransom, feuding with Def Jam– I dont care. Just like most lyricists, Mr. On-Top-Music/Slaughterhouse member will reign on top at the end of the day. Trust me, you will respect him.
Here’s his demo that got him inked with Def Jam, back in ’02 [before the feud].
Now I love this picture: This was the true essence of what Mobb Deep represents: NY. Grimey, dark beats that haunt your conscience that are filled with hard-spitting rhymes. I honestly believe that they changed the game when they stepped on the scene back in the early-mid 90s. In fact, they were on the front lines reppin’ hard for the east during the East/West Coast beef. I dont know exactly what happened since they signed to G-Unit, but I do miss their hardcore sound. Havoc should be waaaay more involved in the production. He’s very talented in that area, as well as he is with his rhymes. It’s unfortunate to know that Prodigy is serving jail time right now, because either way it goes, we all miss M-O-B-B. Free Prodigy!
I dont know the exact origin of this demo, but supposedly it came out in ’94. It features a few original tracks that didnt make the cut on The Infamous album. There are two tracks that I couldnt find that was a part of this tape, but I provided the rest of them for you. You still get that raw that remind you of why we like them in the first place. Check it out here.
This guy right here started out as a 16-year-kid in shorts! Most of you knew he was discovered on Main Source’s ‘Live At The Barbecue’ back in ’91, but in mid-’92 3rd Bass emcee and legend MC Serch became his manager and that same year got him secured to Columbia. A lil over a year later, Mr. Jones released an all-time classic album, Illmatic. He was one of the biggest icons in hiphop at that time, with DJs using his adlibs on other people’s tracks, heavily featured on albums, and coming out with poetic material that will get your mind spinning!
Anyhow, here’s the demo that got him recognition. Unfortunately there’s plenty of tags on here [by J-Love], but that’s because he’s been holdin’ it down for Nas for quite some time. This demo features the original version of a track that was probably made [but never released] back either in the summer on ’94 or sometime in early ’95 [the track mentions his daughter Destiny (she was born in ’94)]. Nasty Nas fans, this one is definitely for you.
I have to honestly say, the W do have love for Christopher Wallace. Whether it showed a few years later after the West/East Coast beef ended with ‘Pac [or after his untimely death], I’m not sure; I will say that it has taken a very long time for that to eventually happen. The thing about it is this: there was always this comparison between the two heroes of rap about who’s the illest on the mic. In my opinion, you couldnt compare the two. They both spoke a different language. The East was always fascinating with their hood poetry/story-telling rhymes, while WE were fascinated with the lifestyles of the ghetto/gang/partying atmosphere. It’s completely different. One is more of a realist, and the other is a pure-bred lyricist. There was no way of comparing the two.
Anyways, Biggie’s debut album Ready To Die was one of the first albums in hiphop who achieved success beyond platinum by getting a diamond [another was Eminem w/ the Slim Shady LP]. That’s UNHEARD OF nowadays. There was a raw and uncut versionof the album.. almost the exact replica of the album, with the exception of the mass amount of Original/Unreleased versions of the tracks that Puff Daddy didnt slam on the album. Biggie-stans, come and get it! It also features the names of those who produced the tracks.
“Of course we gotta pay rent, so money connects/but uhhh, I rather be broke and have a whole lotta respect/it’s the principle of it…”
Who DOESN’T know O.C.? In fact, the REAL question is who DOESN’T know D.I.T.C.? If any of you dont know of this track right here, then you need to hit the books. Period. Then again, there’s always a first for everything, so that’s always good!
Anyways, here’s his earlier recordings, dating back to ’93. Did you know that he was first discovered by his neighbor across the street back in ’91, and was featured on his neighbor’s debut group album? Anyways, here’s his earlier recordings too! hope you guys are enjoying them so far!
Organized Konfusion at one point were known as SimplyII Positive MCs [back in the late 80s; probably around ’86]. Originally, Po was the rapper and Pharoahe was a beatboxer, but after realizing how sick his skills were, Monch joined Po as an emcee. The duo caught the attention of prominent Hip Hop producer Paul C, who produced a demo for the group in the late 1980s. Unfortunately, Paul was killed in ’89, but the duo went on and signed a record deal with Hollywood BASIC record label.
Here is the demo tape that the three put together. Thank me later.
The Gravediggaz is a click off the Wu-Family; well-known for its dark sense of humor and abrasive, menacing soundscapes. The group was formed in 1994 and was effectively a supergroup, bringing together Prince Paul (The Undertaker), Frukwan (The Gatekeeper), Too Poetic (The Grym Reaper) and RZA (The Rzarector). The group is widely credited as being one of the most influential and pioneering groups in the small hip-hop subgenre of horrorcore. The Gravediggaz demo similarly captures an embryonic moment in the long and critically acclaimed careers of its members, accentuating the zany, grass-roots, anything-goes approach shared by RZA and Prince Paul. I was put on by this group by listening to The Last Emperor’s “One Life” track that was talking about Too Poetic’s fight with colon cancer, which he unfortunately succumbed to back in July ’01. The doctor told him that he had only 4 months to live after being diagnosed. Miraculously, he and death was “playin’ chess” [c/o Esthero] for over 21/2 years before he was taken to the sky. These dudes live lyrically by their name. Kinda remind me of Killah Priest with their lyrics. Then again, he was a part of the Wu in the very beginning. Here’s the demo.
Last but NOT and NEVER the least, The Wu-Tang-Clan!
Fuck that. I’m tired of typing! Imma let Oh Word speak on them. My hands are hurting like hell!
These noisy, crackly scraps and outtakes transcend the simple novelty of their obscurity.The unfinished, fragmentary quality of “After The Laughter” (which eventually becomes “Tearz” on 36 Chambers) helps one to further appreciate the subtly distinctive vocal styling that accentuates the LP version’s poignantly emotional atmosphere. “Bring Da Ruckus” feels so spare and improvisational that the officialversion we hear on 36 Chambers is refined and complex in comparison. It’s a treat to hear the Wu’s idiosyncratic emcees, RZA included, attack the mic as if searching for the precise voices that could transform them from local legends and posse cut wreckers to world famous solo artists. On tracks like “It’s All About Me” and “Wu-Tang Master” the rhyming is unpolished yet original as can be: glass shard-gargling rhymes/threats brim with strange pop culture allusions.
Wu-Tang Clan [demo] ain’t nuttin’ to fuck with. Foreals. If you download it, you’ll hear the proof.