This was the debut release for the label and featured the legendary MC Silver Fox (Reggie Hobdy Jr.) of the Fantasy Three (It’s Your Rock, Summer, Biters In The City, The Buck Stops Here).
The original recording of ‘The Buck Stops Here’ by Fantasy Three was actually a solo track by Silver Fox and the idea was to pay homage to the original by creating a similar style track as a follow-up. Although Silver Fox was always recording music and releasing it digitally, this was his first time on vinyl since 1984.
A group of us got together to be part of the process. It was a huge buzz to work with one of hip hop’s legends, who was also a mentor to LL Cool J and Kool G. Rap. Big thanks to Clandest, Diseone and DJ Credit One for their contributions to the project. Being record collectors ourselves, we wanted this to be special so there were a small quantity of Silver Fox photos included with orders, some signed. I decided to get Promo and Test Press stamps made so we could stamp the appropriate records accordingly, like so many of them were back in the early 1980’s. I then thought it would be nice for each of us to have something a little more exclusive so asked graffiti artist, AZHQ, to create custom sleeves for each person involved, the result of which you see in the images.
A – The Buck’s Still Here (Vocal)
B – The Buck’s Still Here (Rawmix)
Although originally planned as the second release on Hip Hop Be Bop, this was actually the third. We decided to keep the original planned catalogue numbers to hopefully create a bit of hype and get people wondering what #002 was.
Sugar Bear first appeared in 1988 with the smash hit ‘Don’t Scandalize Mine‘ but had released nothing else except for a few featured artist tracks so it was great that he agreed to record a new track. Once again, production was by Clandest and cuts were courtesy of DJ Credit One.
The artwork was to pay homage to the original artist, John McKenzie, who had sadly passed away. It was created by graffiti artist Krymein and edited very slightly by Mr. Krum. We also had small hype stickers printed to add to the shrink-wrapped sleeves.
Also, once again, we added some text to the runout grooves on each side to give a shout out to specific people.
Side A: GARY CRAZY BEAT, MARK B RIP, MR KRUM, LIVI LIV, DIMPS
Side B: JOHNNYROAST, BIG TED, PRONE, RICHSONZ
First copies were sent out with additional bags of gold gummy bears.
A – It’s Hot
B – It’s Hot (Remix)
As explained previously, although intended as release #003, this was actually released second but retained the planned catalogue number.
The first release on the label by Silver Fox was intended to be a follow-up to his 1984 track and had more of an electro sound but this release, ‘Back‘, was more up-to-date sounding and featured the turntable skills of DJ Credit One.
We had the idea to include some text in the runout grooves on each side as a way of giving people a shout out and I also thought it would be great to tape a track list to the sleeve of the test pressings like some of the old 1980’s releases used to have. Cool idea, in my opinion, but didn’t really have the same feel so I won’t be doing that again.
After inspecting the 10 test pressings when they arrived, although they sounded great, there was a spelling mistake in the runouts. Instead of LEGENDARY, it read LEGEGENDARY. We ordered 10 more with the correct runouts and thought to ourselves, collectors items!
The original test pressing read as follows (10 copies only):
Side A: FAB, BEATTROOPER, TESTPRESS LEE, WHIRLWIND, TUFKUT, WAXNERDS
Side B: LEGEGENDARY MC SILVER FOX, CREDITONE, CLANDEST, SLICK & DISE1
The second batch of test pressings and the official release read:
Side A: FAB BEATTROOPER, TESTPRESS LEE, WHIRLWIND, TUFKUT, WAXNERDS
Side B: LEGENDARY MC SILVER FOX, CREDITONE, CLANDEST, SLICK & DISE1
A – Back
B – Back (Remix)
This was the label’s first venture into releasing a full-length album.
The Outlaw Posse released one of the all-time classic UK hip hop albums with ‘My Afro’s On Fire‘ in 1990. They followed it up in 1992 with ‘The Oneness Of II Minds In Unison‘ and also changed their name slightly to Brothers Like Outlaw.
Bello B enjoyed commercial success in 1990 when he featured on the KLF’s ‘What Time Is Love’ and then appeared with Richie Rich on the Real Skills EP in 1992 together with the Upfront Rudies. He then released his only solo single as Mistah Bello with ‘Daddy On The Run’ on 1994. K-Gee also enjoyed commercial success when he produced tracks for All Saints, Lynden David Hall, East 17 and Gang Starr, to name just a few. Little did the fans know, however, that the Outlaw Posse also recorded another album which never saw the light of day.
‘My Afro’s On Fire Vol. 2‘ first appeared in 2018 on Bandcamp as a digital only release with new artwork by Sub Two. The album was reminiscent of their debut and worthy of a proper release on vinyl. I fired of a quick email to the contact on the Bandcamp page and received a prompt reply from Bello B. We had a few phone conversations and eventually met face to face to sort out a deal. The outcome was the fourth release on my label. Sadly, after a late addition by Bello, not all the tracks could fit on the vinyl without compromising on the sound, so I also decided to do a small run of CDr’s with picture inserts. These contained the bonus track ‘Funk It Up!‘
Mr. Krum was recruited to handle the artwork for the album and didn’t disappoint. The sleeve and the labels pay homage to the original album artwork perfectly. After a lot of thought, I also wanted to make the album a little special, so decided to include colour vinyl options too. As the albums were shrink-wrapped, there were also colour coded hype stickers to represent the colour vinyl in the shrink-wrapped sleeve. The test pressings were a little special too and featured alternative artwork, some of which were signed by both K-Gee & Bello.
In addition to the music, there was also a variety of Outlaw Posse stickers printed and a very limited quantity of slipmats featuring the album artwork.
A1 – Back In The Day
A2 – Yeah Ha! Ha!
A3 – Enforce The Positive
A4 – Ghetto Child
A5 – Freestyle Poetry (featuring MCM)
B1 – Livin’ In Hackney
B2 – In Trouble
B3 – Ready 4 Action
B4 – Hey Mr Officer
B5 – Selina
1 – Back In The Day
2 – Yeah Ha! Ha!
3 – Enforce The Positive
4 – Ghetto Child
5 – Freestyle Poetry (featuring MCM)
6 – Livin’ In Hackney
7 – In Trouble
8 – Ready 4 Action
9 – Hey Mr Officer
10 – Selina
11 – Funk It Up! (featuring Leroy The Engineer) [Bonus Track]
Released at the end of 2019 together with HHBB-7-005, we present the new track by Unique.
This was being worked on for a while but little did we know that the Diggers With Gratitude crew were planning a series of 7″ releases from Unique themselves. Looks like the end of 2019 is a time for Denarius Unique Hemphill to shine.
On the menu were 3 separate singles from DWG taken from the unreleased Die Hard album. First in the series was ‘Die Hard b/w War Rap’, two tracks from the original unreleased album but released previously in 2008 by the DWG crew on their Die Hard EP. Second in the series was a 7″ reissue of his 1989 classic, ‘Pure Dynamite b/w Axe Maniac’. Last in the set was the holy grail of holy grail hip hop releases, ‘I’m untouchable’, which also included the previously unheard demo mix and was released in limited quantities on blue vinyl plus a standard black vinyl pressing. All 3 releases included company sleeves designed by Mr. Krum which were reminiscent of the original New Day Records sleeve.
Released shortly after these was our very own ‘Lyrical Assault’ b/w ‘I’m A Always Shine’. The tracks were produced by Clandest and featured DJ Credit One on the cuts and showed that Unique most definitely had not lost any of his skills. The idea for the sleeve came from Clandest and was completed by an uncredited Mr. Krum.
There are two slightly different test pressings for this release due to sound issues with the first run.
A – Lyrical Assault
B – I’m A Always Shine
Enter new UK rap group, 05:21.
05:21 are Koba Kane and T1 Vega. The group, managed by UK rap veteran and all round nice guy, Blade, have been putting together tracks and videos for a while with their eyes most definitely on the prize. Just check out photos of The Beast on their website, these guys mean business and are not playing!.
I’ve followed the group from day one and while the music wasn’t always to my taste, I always enjoyed their lyrical style. They’re extremely versatile and are bringing something new to the UK scene in a style that I can only describe as ‘grime not grime’ together with an energy unlike most other artists of their age.
A competition was run online by Blade to showcase the group’s versatility. Submit your beats and the group will record a track using your music. The competition was won by a producer named Sinikal and, true to their word, the group quickly put some lyrics together and recorded the track that you can listen to here.
I loved the track enough to want to release it officially on vinyl so had a discussion with both Blade and Sinikal and put together a plan. I put together the idea for the artwork, something big and bold, and it was completed by an uncredited and ever reliable Mr. Krum once again.
This track doesn’t lay out the group’s intended path and is a complete one-off in terms of style and may be the group’s only ever vinyl release so grab it while you can. You can also check out the official promotional video for it on the group’s YouTube channel plus follow them on all the usual social media platforms for which I’ve added the links below.
A – Without Warning
B – Without Warning (Instrumental)