DJ Mister Cee and Hot 97 had a great idea last month to celebrate Black History Month, that idea was Black Fist Fridays. Four Fridays saw four guest DJs bless the airwaves for an hour. I say it all the time thank God for the internet because KC doesn’t get it in like this, live mix shows, it’s one reason I really loved how The Show Me Mixshow started out when they had DJ Kiz One doing his thing. Not sure if the 103 Jamz back home still have mixshows but to hear this was a definite throwback to days gone in my book. The guest that showed up are international legends of Hip Hop. They were Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Questlove and Q-Tip.
So I figured I’d have some fun with this review since this is somewhat new ground for me. Not only will I review each mix but also rate the mix meaning cuts and scratches, Mister Cee interaction and song selection. Let’s get it started shall we.
Feb. 3rd 2012 Guest DJ: Pete Rock
Pete Rock set the mix off with the Mary Jane Girls “All Night Long” which blends into LL Cool J classic “Around The Way Girl”. One thing that is so cool about DJs who are a major part of recording industry, they don’t shove projects they’re part of down listeners throats. It’s Pete Rock and he has more than an hour worth of old songs to give you he chose to. He only played five songs he had a hand in, “Don’t Curse”, “I’ll Take You There”, “Fakin Jax”, “Rampage remix” and “Shut Em Down remix”. This mix was more of the original song sampled and the Hip Hop song that sampled it type of mix, an educational experience indeed. It’s Pete Rock, who is one of Hip Hops top five Producers of all time. So of course he will know many of the songs used for Hip Hop songs because he may have used the same records at some town but different parts.
The Mix: It’s Pete Rock and he knows how to make an hour go by fast. There were crazy turntable skills showed on here, again how could that not be the case it’s Pete Rock. The highlights were hearing the songs used for classics like “D’Evils” by Jay – Z, “Fakin Jax” by INI featuring Pete Rock, “Run” by Ghostface and “Che Ghost” also a Ghostface song. Plus mad points for playing “Wildflower” another Ghost joint and if you know the song you know why having that play in the middle of the day on the regular radio no matter what city you’re in is truly freedom and respect for the DJ playing it.
Mister Cee interaction: He went crazy as Pete rock put down with the Lynn Collins song “Think”. Mister Cee really was into the mix as a fan and you could hear it as the hour went on. And when Pete Rock pulled out samples for “Run” and “D’ Evils” not only was Mister Cee going crazy but I was like what the fuck because I was so not ready for that at all.
Song Selection: To me you can’t go wrong the original sample mixes unless you do the obvious songs that everyone knows. It was cool to pull out songs by Chubb Rock, EPMD, Gza, Fab 5 (Heltah Skeltah and OGC) and Big Daddy Kane that weren’t the radio classics.
A great way to set of Black Fist Fridays, the bar was set high thanks to Pete Rock.
Feb 10th 2012 Guest Questlove
Some people have no idea that Questlove, you know the drummer of The Roots crew, is a good DJ. I’ve heard a few mixes hear and there by Questlove over the years and like how he gets down. Questlove chose to show love to the late great J. Dilla. He spent his hour giving the listeners a taste of what Dilla had gave us during his time here on earth. Questlove opens his mix with “Can’t Stop This” by Black Thought .followed by the Ghostface “When I Was Bad”. There were a few originals sample moments here and there as well. This was like the week before with Pete rock mostly Hip Hop for the hour.
The Mix: It’s Dilla, I for one am a fan and love listening to mixes that are dedicated to him. I really give respect to those who don’t rock “Player”, Fall In Love” or “Find My Way”. It’s funny it’s rare to here a mix include what really had the radio on lock and still gets shit poppin and that’s “Vibrant Thing”. I’ve heard maybe two Dilla Mixes that even had that song in it. Still I’ve heard like four mixes by Questlove where he showed love to Dilla and they’re all different. So yeah I like the mix. The DJ skills weren’t really on display, could have been because the setup wasn’t Philly style. Putting that aside it was an easy ride of good music that Dilla had a hand in.
Mister Cee interaction: This is the one week where Mister Cee isn’t going crazy for the full hour like he did with the other guests. There were some points you’d think he was trying to convince those in the Tri State area the hour is something different and special. Is that a bad thing? No, it’s just Dilla, while being your favorite producers’ favorite producer, his music is still very underground and even those within the underground don’t know everything Dilla was a part of. Still Mister Cee did go crazy here and there and that hype really makes the mix that much better because it keeps things live.
Song Selection: Like I said it is cool Questlove didn’t really touch on the songs everyone knows. Even the Janet Jackson song “Got Til It’s Gone” produced by Dilla started out as the The Ummah remix then was blended into the album version. One of the highlights is Questlove love telling how Dilla came up with beat for the Common song “Doin It”. As he played the Rick James sample you cold just ill how Dilla was as you heard what he flipped to make the beat.
Not sure how it came off to those locally getting Hot 97 but in the world of the web this mix was just as good as the other three and even better because it was a tribute to Dilla. Many sites posted the link as a Dilla tribute. It may be the one mix that was intended on going beyond New York.
Feb 17th 2012 Guest DJ Premier
Preem sets his mix off with an obscure yet classic Jeru The Damaja joint “The Frustrated Nigga”. That song would lead you to believe Premier would go hard with 90’s Hip Hop… Not the case at all, hell there wasn’t even a Gang Starr song played. Again here is another man who could fill more than hour with the classics he produced and didn’t go that route. DJ Premier goes old school for sure as he pulls out pre 88’ Hip Hop and old school R&B. The vibe came off less radio mix and more club experience. I could see a mix like this going down in a club where a DJ goes on a throwback mission.
The Mix: DJ Premier slid into each song with ease with exception of the attempt to bring in “California Love” but he did rock “Woman To Woman” which made up for that completely in my book. As Mister Cee said Preem cuts were flawless and sharp. The hour went by fast and it could have been because Preem really didn’t talk much. It’s DJ Premier so you know he was gonna to kill the turntables.
Mister Cee interaction: Mister Cee was amped, that also made the hour go by fast. With it being a lot of old school R&B and Hip Hop Mister Cee really was feeling it and you could tell.
Song Selection: The mix was ill as hell. The Isley Brothers, Sly and The Family Stone, UTFO, Busy B, The Commodores, The Jungles Brothers, Donny Hathaway and many more artists got played. That shows how he kept the mix going back and forth. The highlight was the whole mix in general. I haven’t been to a show where DJ Premier is DJ but if that opportunity comes I will hop on it no matter the cost.
It felt good hearing something different than what you get on Live from HeadQucourterz from Preem.
Feb 24th 2012 Guest Q – Tip
The first time I even seen Q – Tip on the turntables I had came across the Soul Train awards when “Vibrant Thing” was everywhere and he and DJ Scratch went back and forth in a routine. I know D Nice said he was fan of Q – Tip once on something that I can’t remember at this time. This was the first time I ever heard Q – Tip doing his DJ thing. He set it off with “Young Gifted and Black” by Big Daddy Kane. Q – Tip like Questlove had a theme, Q – Tip theme was positive music.
The Mix: First off Q – Tip rocked an echo which was cool as shit because it has been years since I heard anyone do that. With the theme being positive music it felt good to hear a sound that radio will no longer play. Like DJ Premier, Q – Tip went through Hip Hop and R&B with Jazz sprinkled in which does round the mix out. Never hearing Tip on the 1’s & 2’s was a pleasant surprise, he was killing shit. I mean I was shocked he was that good.
Mister Cee interaction: Mister Cee was going crazy, the whole echo thing was the topic of the hour. With most of the mix being old R&B and Hip Hop, Mister Cee was really into this mix too.
Song Selection: With such a cool theme laid out and the fact Mos Def, Black Star, The X Clan, Boogie Down Production, Public Enemy, Gil Scott Heroin, Sly and The Family Stone, Rakim, Earth Wind & Fire and more were thrown in the mix, it made the mix much better to me. The highlight was the D’ Angelo song “Africa”, I love that song so it’s a personal highlight. Just hearing Q – Tip catch the breaks was a highlight for me also and anyone who knows of Q – Tips legacy in Hip Hop would have no idea how good he is on the turntables. I’m looking for any mix online by Q – Tip now, that’s real shit
I loved the idea of Black Fist Fridays during Black History Month and hope this becomes a thing because I will be looking forward to this next year. I would care if the same four men returned either. Peace to Mister Cee for coming up with such dope idea. I hate to say this but I wouldn’t be mad if other radio stations copied what Black Fist Fridays did, not just the guest DJs but the showcasing of old music and positive music.
you listen to the mixes by clicking on Black Fist Fridays or down them by clickin the names of the guest DJs. Shouts to 2DopeBoyz for the Tip and Questlove ones I got those from them.