This is one super sick track that defined the true meaning of techno-electro hiphop. Drum machine tight beats, rolling mechanical techno bassline, synth zip-zaps, reverse-then-slap-forward claps, synth pads, vocal erotic samples, synthetic scratching samples, really sweet processed orchestra stabs/hits, and serious rhymes. 808 Beats stands on its own plateau. Although The Unknown DJ raps about his 808 drum machine, but the drum machine sounds in this track aren’t from a Roland TR-808 at all …. not even close; but my best guess would be that they come from Oberheim DX or DMX.

The Unknown DJ – “808 Beats”…

Artist: The Unkown DJ
Title: 808 Beats
Year: 1984
Label: Techno Hop
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

The Unknown DJ – “808 Beats” (mp3)


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Roxanne Shante - Bite This 01

The first time I’ve ever heard of Roxanne Shante was in 1985 in 8th-grade at my boarding-school Pickering College in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. At that time, I was listening to very few rap artists (such as Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel & The Furious Five; Sugar Hill Gang, to name a few) and had only limited rap records/tapes in my personal music collection, considering that the Rap genre was practically unheard of in Canada where it also was very difficult to find any rap music at any Canadian record shop. Then one day, in early 1985, there was this Bahamian kid (who lived in the dorm-room next to mine) who played me his NYC underground rap mix-tape which he’d brought over from his trip to NYC …… and ….. OH MY GOD ….. the first track ….. blew my mind …..Roxanne Shante’s “Queen Of Rox”  ….. harder-edge ….. drum machine beat/groove, scratches, one-shot stab hits and edgy rap vocals ….. slightly more hardcorish than any other rap I’ve ever heard before. When school was over for the Summer, I went back to England and ordered all of Shante’s 12-inch records from local record shop. Less two weeks later ….. I went to pick up my imported Shante records …..  the guy handed me the stuff with a nice surprise on top: Shante’s spanking-new latest release (UK release, mind you!) Bite This. The single so new …… that even Streetsounds (Electro-7 mix compilation) haven’t picked it up yet!

Here’s what I need you to do:

  1. First, play this youtube video of Roxanne Shante’s “Queen Of Rox
  2. And then play Bite This tracks (Flash player below) and at the same time read her wiki and the next article The Story Behind The Story Behind The Roxanne Shante Story.
  • Roxanne Shante is known for improvising her rap lyrics on the spot …. recorded in one-takes.

Roxanne Shante – “Bite This” (Extended)…

Artist: Roxanne Shante
Title: Bite This (Extended)
Year: 1985
Label: 10 Records
Beat Producer & Shante’s close friend: Marley Marl
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Roxanne Shante – “Bite This” (mp3)


Roxanne Shante – “Dub This”…

Artist: Roxanne Shante
Title: Dub This
Year: 1985
Label: 10 Records
Beat Producer & Shante’s close friend: Marley Marl
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Roxanne Shante – “Dub This” (mp3)


Roxanne Shante - Bite This 02


YouTube Video: Roxanne Shante – “Queen Of Rox”…

Roxanne Shante 01

Roxanne Shante

Marley Marl 01

Marley Marll -- Shante's beat producer and personal friend.

Grandmaster Melle Mel - WW3 01

Notice the name Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious. Just the six of them. Grandmaster Flash was not involved with this single. World War Three was a one-off singles released by Sugar Hill Records, available only on 12-inch single; it was not part of any full LP album by the full seven-member group. The B-side’s track “The Truth” is also available exclusively on this 12-inch.

Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five – “World War Three” (Side-A)…

Artist: Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five
Title: World War Three
Year: 1985
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five – “World War Three” (mp3)


Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five – “The Truth” (Side-B)…

Artist: Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five
Title: The Truth
Year: 1985
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five – “The Truth” (mp3)


Grandmaster Melle Mel - WW3 02

Myspace Link…

Melle Mel’s MySpace link …..

Melle Mel…

According to Wikipedia:

Melvin Glover was the first rapper ever to call himself “MC”.[citation needed] Other Furious Five members included his brother Kid Creole (Nathaniel Glover), Scorpio (Eddie Morris), Rahiem (Guy Todd Williams) & Cowboy Keith Wiggins. While a member of the group, Cowboy created the term “Hip Hop” while teasing a friend who had just joined the US Army, by scat singing the words “hip/hop/hip/hop” in a way that mimicked the rhythmic cadence of marching soldiers.[citation needed]

Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five began recording for Enjoy Records and released “Supperrappin’” in 1979. They later moved on to Sugarhill Records and were popular on the R&B charts with party songs and the like. They released numerous singles, gaining a gold disc for “Freedom,” and also toured. In 1982 Melle Mel began to turn to more socially aware subject matter, in particular the Reagan administrations economic (Reaganomics) and drug policies, and their effect on the black community. A song entitled “The Message” became an instant classic and one of the first glimmers of conscientious hip-hop. Mel recorded a rap over session musician Duke Bootee’s instrumental track “The Jungle”. Some of Mel’s lyrics on “The Message” were taken directly from “Supperrappin’”, a song he had recorded three years earlier. Other than Melle Mel, no members of the Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five actually appear on the record. Bootee also contributed vocals (Rahiem was to later lyp-sync Bootee’s parts in the music video). “The Message” went platinum in less than a month and went on to become arguably the greatest record in Hip-Hop history. It was the first Hip-Hop record ever to be added to the United States National Archive of Historic Recordings. Mel would also go on to write songs about struggling life in New York City (“New York, New York”), and making it through life in general (“Survival (The Message 2)”). Grandmaster Flash split from the group after contract disputes between Mele Mel and their promoter Sylvia Robinson in regard to royalties for “The Message”. When Flash filed a lawsuit against Sugar Hill Records, their label, the factions of The Furious Five parted.

Mel became known as “Grandmaster Melle Mel” and the leader of the Furious Five. The group went on to produce the anti-drug song “White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)” (the unofficial music video was directed by then unknown film student Spike Lee & starred an unknown Laurence Fishburne). The record was falsely credited to Grandmaster + Melle Mel by Sugarhill Records in order to fool the public into thinking Grandmaster Flash had participated on the record. Mel then gained higher success appearing in the movie Beat Street, with a powerful song based on the movie’s title. He became the first rap artist ever to win a Grammy award for “Record of the Year” after performing a memorable rap on Chaka Khan’s smash hit song “I Feel for You” which introduced hip-hop to the mainstream R&B audience. Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five had further hits with “Step Off”, “Pump Me Up”, “King of the Streets”, “Jesse”, and “Vice”, the latter being released on the soundtrack to the TV show Miami Vice. “Jesse” was a highly political song which urged people to vote for then presidential candidate Jesse Jackson.

In 1988, after an almost 4 year layoff, Mel and Flash reunited and released the album “On The Strength”, but with up and coming new school artists such as Eric B. & Rakim, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, and Big Daddy Kane dominating the hip-hop market, the album failed miserably. Mel performed with The King Dream Chorus and Holiday Crew on “King Holiday” aimed at having Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday declared a national holiday. Mel also performed with Artists United Against Apartheid on the anti-apartheid song Sun City aimed at discouraging other artists from performing in South Africa until that government ended its policy of apartheid. Mel ended the decade by winning two more Grammy awards for his work on Quincy Jones “Back On The Block” & “Q – The Autobiography of Quincy Jones” albums.

In 1996, he contributed vocals to the U.S. edition of Cher’s hit “One By One”. Their version is only available on the maxi CD format.

In 1997, Melle Mel signed to Straight Game Records and released Right Now. This album featured Scorpio from the Furious Five and Rondo. The album barely sold at all in the USA and the UK even though it marked the return of one of hip hop’s greatest. This album took more of a harder rap style to show the world that Mele Mel could stay with the times.

In 2001, he released the song “On Lock” with Rondo on the soundtrack of the movie Blazin under the name Die Hard. Die Hard released an album of the same name in 2002 on 7PRecords.

On November 14, 2006, Mel released a children’s book “The Portal In The Park”, which comes with a bonus CD of his rapped narration. Also in 2006, Melle Mel attended professional wrestling school and in 2007, stated in an interview with that “I’m going to try to take some of John Cena’s money and get with WWE and do my thing”. Mel changed his name to “Mele Mel” & released his first ever solo album, Muscles on January 30, 2007. The first single and music video is “M3 – The New Message”.

On March 12, 2007, Melle Mel and The Furious Five (joined by DJ Grandmaster Flash) became the first rap group ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

On October 10, 2008 Mel appeared on Bronx based culinary adventure show ‘Bronx Flavor’ alongside host Baron ambrosia. In the episode entitled Night at the Bodega he appears as a spiritual mentor to sway the Baron from his over-indulgent ways and get him on the right path to success.

Sugar Hill Records…

According to Wikipedia:

Sugar Hill Records was the name of a rap music record label that was founded in 1979 by husband and wife Joe and Sylvia Robinson with Milton Malden and financial funding of Morris Levy, the owner of Roulette Records. Joe Robinson had parlayed a music publishing company that he established years before in New York into the All Platinum, Stang, and Turbo record labels prior to establishing the Sugar Hill label. Artists included his wife Sylvia, of Mickey and Sylvia (Love is Strange) fame, The Moments (Love on a Two Way Street), Brother to Brother, Shirley and Company (“Shame Shame Shame”), Linda Jones, Jack McDuff and Chuck Jackson.

The Sugar Hill label’s first record was “Rapper’s Delight” (1979) by The Sugarhill Gang, which was also the first Top 40 hip hop single. Afterwards The Sequence, Grandmaster Flash, Funky Four Plus One, Crash Crew, Kool Moe Dee, The West Street Mob, and Melle Mel joined the label. Sugar Hill’s in-house producer and arranger was Clifton “Jiggs” Chase. The in-house recording engineer was Steve Jerome. Al Goodman, leader of The Moments, ran the show and George Kerr was a major producer. Joe and Sylvia’s sons Joey and Leland were also active in the business.

In the early 1980s, the Robinsons bought Levy out. They enjoyed several years of success, including 26 Gold Records. They also pioneered the music video, with Sylvia producing several and a young Spike Lee making his first video production depicting the White Lines record. Joe Robinson was innovative in the business end. He was the first to introduce a cassette single. He also worked with TVS Television Network executive Tom Ficara to produce the Fresh Groove TV series to feature these music videos when MTV would not run them. The success of Fresh Groove forced MTV to establish Yo! MTV Raps, and rap music videos were now on a mainstream cable network.

However, a controversial distribution deal with MCA Records ended up in protracted litigation, and finally the label closed down in 1986.

In 1995, Rhino Records purchased all the released and unreleased masters owned by the Sugar Hill label.

In 2002, Sugar Hill Studios in Englewood, New Jersey were destroyed by a fire. “Rapper’s Delight”, “The Message”, and many other Sugar Hill hits were recorded there.


Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel & The Furious Five. Melle Mel (far left). Grandmaster Flash (third from the left).


Melle Mel today.

World War Three Lyrics…2,1  1984 World War III


Life is a Game of Business
and in the end we sight (swear to god)
the new and old are bought and sold
and everybody thinks they’re right

War is a game of business
a game we shouldn’t play (swear to god)
cause men with guns killed all our sons
they blew us all away

They Called it
World (Paranoina!)
War (it’s Almost Over)
3 (Cause Nobody Hears what the People Say)

Realistcally the Bombs are ready
Technically, Nuclear by name
Capability of total Destruction
Radioactive death and flame
there is talk of a firey doom
prophesied since the dawn of time
in a world of bloodshed, mass confusion,
killer diseases, Pollution and Crime
Man is in Conflict with nature
and that is why there’s so much sin
mother nature’s delicate balance will fix it so nobody wins

in World (Catastrofic)
War (Reaganomic)
3 (and nobody hears what the people say)

World (it’s Atomic)
War (catastrofic)
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

A thousand miles away from home
a mortally wounded soldier dies
and on the blood stained battlefield
his life flashes before his eyes
before he dies the man saw jesus
and jesus christ took his hand
and on the soldier’s dying breath
the good lord took him to the promised land

cause there’s.. No (people living)
More (People Dying)
Pain (Everybody Disappeared)


Breakdown, Pain

1984, See the world at war
your darkest fears of reality are knockin’ down your door
drones and mutations, Clones and deviations
and there’s no one that can escape the nuclear revelation



the silver moon, the midnight stars, jupiter collides with mars
and out of the darkness spirits roar
to cast revenge on the earth once more
the leaders of the world are hypnotized
by wizards, dark and in disguise
brought to earth by an evil hand
to devour souls in a brand new land
they let the leader think that war brings peace
and out come the one with the mark of the beast
there’s evil behind closed doors
in the year of 1984


long ago and all too soon
2 different wars fought on the moon
one put (creators?) on it first
then we blew futher in the universe
both of these were nuclear wars
breaking universal laws
then falling stars and meteorites
dropped to earth by day and night
twisters, earthquakes, hurricanes
volcanos, drops and torrential rain
then one day, the UFO’s
came to see the whole world explode
we will pay the ultimate price
and a lesson is to be learned
when we play with nuclear fire
everybody’s gonna get burned


Pain! Pain! (so let the music play on)

Between the boundaries of time and space
was the planet earth and the human race
a world alive and centuries old
with veins of diamonds, silver and gold
snow capped mountains over looked the land
and the deep blue sea made love with the sand
full grown strands of evergreen hair
kissed the sky with a breath of air
where exotic fish once swam in the sea
and the eagles soared in the sky so free
but the foolish clan that walked the land
was the creature, that they called man
they’re cannibalistic, paranoid fools
tricking each other with games and rules
training their men to kill and fight
moving and stearing their mechanized might
only thought that man had in mind
was to conquer the world and the rest of mankind
and with the thought that they were right
they gave you permission to take a man’s life
the ones you killed fought just as hard
then you even had the nerve to pray to god
but god don’t wanna hear all your mess
when you ain’t the one that he laid to rest
the devil’s children with no disgrace
crushed and killed the human race
while they got rich off the games and war
what in the hell were you fighting for
a silly ass metal, a stupid parade
for all those innocent people you slaid
and after that, you couldn’t even get a job
cause fighting that war made you a slob
a seargeant and major, a corporal, Lieutenant
titles and positions were all invented
you, and me, and all this mess
are just a bunch of pieces in a game of chess
it’s all the same, a third world war
a blood thirsty massacre just like before
it’s genocide, three billion tears
feeding on a war every twenty years
then one day we heard the sound
of the whole damn world tumbling down
just one big boom, and what do you know
the world is a ghetto, high and low
crumbling buildings all around
man’s creation burned to the ground
chaos, panic, fear and pain
days of radioactive rain
grotesque figures burned alive
miraculously seem to survive
everything of reality is the science fiction on TV
mutant dog and sabertoothed rats
eat men with guns and baseball bats
the dead won’t die, the (rudie?) won’t cry
and everybody’s asking the question “why”
until swarms of millions walk from the city
and thousands more went underground below
with their head held down in their own pity
wondering where, they do not know
cause in this game we had a chance
but we blew it for cheap thrills and romance
maybe one day we’ll get another play
but until then remember what i say


King Tee & Mixmaster Spade - Ya Better Bring A Gun

I got this 12-inch record in 1987 for the A-side track The Coolest by King Tee. When I got the chance at home to play what was on the B-side, I was blown away by Ya Better Bring A Gun and loved it a lot more than side-A’s track. The Coolest (A-side) was available on King Tee’s debut album Act Like A Fool, whereas the Ya Better Bring A Gun was not on the album but served only as a B-side exclusive to the 12-inch release. Music and sound-wise, Ya Better Bring a Gun makes reference to an even older style of rap’s funky origins — pay special attention to the style of rapping and the bassline riff. However, the lyrics are about modern violence/crime; only few hiphop artists at that time were rapping about stuff like that, such as Public Enemy and The Ghetto Boys.

King Tee & Mixmaster Spade- “Ya Better Bring A Gun” (B-side)…

Artist: King Tee & Mixmaster Spade
Title: Ya Better Bring A Gun
Year: 1987
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

King Tee & Mixmaster Spade – “Ya Better Bring A Gun” (mp3)


King Tee & Mixmaster Spade - Ya Better Bring A Gun


[ VERSE 1: King Tee ]
They live on the street and they hustle for fame
Some kill for a livin, some sling cocaine
Because it’s now a lifestyle and a full-time job
And if you live in Compton, it’s like at McCobb
From block to block everybody’s bad
And if you don’t know where you’re at, then your life’s been had
Cause they walk in the street with intentions to meet
Some sappy lookin punk with Fila on his feet
And if you try to act tough, well Mr. Tough, you’re through
Cause everybody’s a family, if not, they’re a crew
I’m here to give some advice advice (Run!)
Cause if you’re ever in Compton, you better bring a gun

Yo, here come my homeboy Mixmaster Spade
Man, what’s up, man?
Hey man, ain’t you from Compton, man?
(Ah yeah)
Alright man, tell em what’s up, man
What you used to do

[ VERSE 2: Mixmaster Spade ]
I used to cut up the beat on the two turntables
Now I’m rappin on the mic, cause I’m willin and able
When I’m on the mic I take no slack
And everytime that you see me I’m tearin a gat
I got .380s and .22s
You messs with me, I’m gonna bust on you
I got a .357 and a M-16
They call me Master Spade, and Tee’s the King
Now Compton is the city where the homeboys stay
Rollin in a different car everyday
Can’t roll too hard, gotta watch my back
Cause if I don’t, I just might get jacked
Now Compton is a city of a lotta fun
(Can’t walk down the street
(Can’t walk down the street
Can’t walk down the stree without my gun)

[ female voice ]
Now you know this just don’t make no kinda sense

[ VERSE 3: King Tee ]
Now the next place is kinda risky if you’re walkin with your mother
Y’all can get shot if she wears the wrong color
They’re all from the old school, nobody’s modern
The place I’m talkin ’bout is the Nickerson Gardens
You can get away with murder, cause they murdered the cops
Cause they said they tried to run a bumrush on Watts
But they took control, slingers walk real tall
While real down gangbangers write their set on the wall
If I was you I wouldn’t visit here, it’s like hell
And if you get robbed, who you gonna tell?
I’m only here for advice advice (run!)
And if you’re ever in Watts, you better bring a gun

[ VERSE 4: King Tee ]
Now you got a nice car with a brand-new paintin
Rag top convertable with all-gold Daytons
You decide to take a ride down the Crenshaw strip
You stop at the Fat Burgers to feed your lip
You got your sounds bumpin, playin Zapp and Vibe
A skeezer comes your way, you say, “Let’s take a ride”
So you’re cruisin Crenshaw with her, you’re goin to bail
A brown Cutlass pulls up, they put a gauge to your head
They say, “(Get our your car) if you value your life
(And leave your money) if you love your wife”
Now you’re standin in the street lookin like you’re on crack
And you say to yourself: I can’t believe I got jacked
You call the police because your car they stole
But when you get in touch with them, they put you on hold
Your car is gone, nothin could be done
So next time you cruise Crenshaw, YOU BETTER BRING A GUN!

Alright, I wanna thank Mixmaster Spade for comin out to rock with me
(And Greg Mack) the Mack Attack
And I also wanna thank J-Ro and Sweet Tooth for comin out rockin
(And DJ [Name])
And I wanna thank Scotty D, Cold-Crush Chris
And DJ Pooh, the Hip-Hop Gangster
(When he say beat em up he don’t be bluffin)
And oh yeah, I forgot somebody
(Yo man, who blew up that McDonald’s on Central and Rosecrans, dude?)


I am so happy for having bought this rare 12-inch (45 rpm) single in London back in 1988.  When the original (album) version of Talkin All That Jazz was released internationally, it was an instant hit worldwide.  There was an extended version released on 12-inch, but having lived in UK half my life and knowing how that country is big on several kinds of remixes/versions of the same single, this particular remix of Talkin All That Jazz (Dominoes Mix) was the best one.  I remember hearing Dominoes Mix for the first time at Hippodrome nightclub (Picadilly Circus, London) in Fall-1988 …. oh man its bassline shook the roof, especially on that last note sustaining in the hook completing the measure (before the bassline lick repeats again on the one). Dominoes Mix is just steadier with a driving groove that is not as busy as the drums/bass in the original version, making it flow and kick more intensely.

Since Talkin All That Jazz is about sampling, it is worth noting that its bassline sample is taken a 1975 track “Dominoes (Falling Like)” by Donald Byrd which is a nice jazzy, funky fusion. This original track was provided by (thank you guys!).

Stetsasonic – “Talkin All That Jazz” (Dominoes Mix)…

Artist: Stetsasonic
Title: Talkin All That Jazz (Dominoes Mix)
Year: 1988
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to digital.

Stetsasonic – “Talkin All That Jazz” (Dominoes Mix) (mp3)


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