NOTR’s Natural Selection #1



Charles Darwin knew that all life forms evolved from common ancestors… he also liked Coke Zero and anything by the Notorious BIG.

We really like music.. a lot. Every week each of us will pull  5 tracks from the ‘crates’, digital or otherwise, with a little write-up. The format and focus may vary between each installment, but you get the idea. To kick this adventure off, we’ve recruited the world’s least successful DJ – the iTunes random button. These are meant to serve as a taster of some of the great music out there, and should encourage everyone to go blow your stimulus package. (||)


J-Live – Braggin’ Writes

12″ B Side of “Longevity” (Raw Shack Records, 1995)

A favourite lyricist of mine, the Brooklyn middle school teacher has written some gems, this was like his 2nd or 3rd single and garnered him enough props to be featured in XXL’s unsigned hype, which, in 1995 actually meant something. He also played a great show at the Espy a few years back.


The Fabulous Counts – Dirty Red

12″ B Side of “Scrambled Eggs” (Moira Records, 1969)

From Detroit, these cats made their name as a backing band for touring funk/soul stars. Dirty Red, their 2nd single wasn’t particularly successful, but they followed it up with “Get Down People” which stayed in the US R&B and Pop charts for a minute. Interestingly, they are apparently reforming to release an album soon. Still, for now its a bit of late 60’s funk straight from the D.


Interpol – Untitled

Turn On the Bright Lights (Matador 2002

This ones from the album ‘Turn on the Bright Lights’, i assume they need the light so they can drive some more heroin into their feet. Heroin is a superb muse, ’nuff said.


Big Bill Broonzy – All the Classic Sides 1928 – 1937

Out With the Wrong Woman (JSP Records 2007)

Big Bill outdoes himself on this track, getting drunk and dancing with the wrong woman, he only realises when he notices that ‘she was built like an automobile, but she didn’t have no rumble seat’. Im also quite fond of the scat duet half way through.


Ras Kass – Goldyn Chyld (prod. DJ Premier)

12″ White Label (Priority Records, 2002)

Ras Kass is often under-appreciated in lists of great rappers, which is a bit unfair as he has effortless flow and bags of classic punchlines. This joint, produced by Preemo was the initial single of the album of the same name. That is, if the record was ever released… Ras actually evaded police for long enough to get the masters back, drop some overdubs and then eventually turned himself in to serve a 19 month DUI sentence.


Gram Parsons – GP/Greivous Angel

Ooh Las Vegas (Resprise 1974)

This is a great album. I thought I would include this song partly because Gram Parsons is a giant, and partly just to fuck with all you hip-hopsters. This record is still ranked in the top 500 greatest albums of all time by Rolling Stone (everyone’s favourite source for musical claptrap).


Raphael Saadiq – Love That Girl

The Way I See It LP (Columbia, 2008)

Raphael Saadiq is a talented dude. Skills. For. Days. He’s collaborated as a producer and performer with acts ranging from The Bee Gees and Snoop Dogg to the Roots and the Isley Brothers. His latest LP was one of my favourites of last year, and was nominated for a bag of Grammys.


Dirty Three 1000 Miles

Horse Stories (Touch & Go Records 1996)

This song has tambourines that sound like those pimp cowboy boots with the metal thingies at the back, and those lil cello’s you play on your neck with a stick, not bad work for some Aussie dudes.


Syl Johnson – That’s Just My Luck

Shaolin Soul (Koch?? 2005)

What am I doin here…With another man’s wife?
I think we’ve all uttered those words to ourselves from time to time. This gem came from the Shaolin Soul Comp, (via BigDubbs, Cheers mayne) a collection of tracks sampled by the mighty Wu-Tang. Some pretty smooth ish.


Sibot and Spoek are Playdoe – Fishgut

Playdoe (Jarring Effects, 2008)

These dudes couldn’t wash my socks. But being hipster rappers, any skills outside of making beats and rapping about your preferred mode of telecommunications device are kinda redundant. Black turtlenecks and gold chains aside, these guys are sorta ok. They do get extra credit for using the word ‘fishgut’.

Big Easy Strut

Professor Longhair – Big Easy Strut: The Essential Professor Longhair

Tipitina (Varese Sarabande 2002)

Another track from another compilation album… It’s nigh impossible to get records from this era, so cut me some slack. This track is far-and-away my favourite Professor Longhair tune. You just can’t beat The Professor for New Orleans style piano blues. I’m still not sure if he is singing in half English half Creole, or if it just jibber-jabber.


Billy Bragg & Wilco – Mermaid Avenue Vol. 1

Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key (Elektra 1998)

This is an album of previously unheard Woody Guthrie tunes. I love the irony. Nothing more to add.


Raphael Saadiq – 100 Yard Dash

The Way I See It (Sony BMG. 2008)

This sounds like a song you would wash a car to (water restrictions permitting) maybe with Carmen Electra and some other video ho in small ass bikinis, slo mo montage! Like something from scary movie,  up until the moment that i saw the album cover i wasn’t sure if Raph was a man or a woman, still not sure…


Old Crow Medicine Show – Big Iron World

Cocaine Habit (Nettwerk 2006)

An apt moment to add an OCMS track, as they are currently touring… I didn’t manage to see them, so take it easy Sam. This may not be one of their best tracks, or maybe it is, these guys keep me guessing with their old time string band tunes.


Marco Polo – Nostalgia (feat. Masta Ace)

Port Authority (Rawkus/Soulspazm, 2007)

This track was one of the best off what was a great ‘producer’ record. He showed his considerable clout as one of the hottest underground beatmakers on the East Coast by recruiting a veritable who’s who of rappers for the album including Kool G Rap, O.C, Buckshot and Masta Ace. This whole album got maaaad spins when i first copped it.

DOWNLOAD: NOTR’s Natural Selection #1

More Natural Selection Goodness HERE


3 Responses to “NOTR’s Natural Selection #1”

  1. Broke Says:

    Dope tracks boys, loving the Rass Kass white label.
    Guess this means i’ll have to step up my reviewing game.
    I haven’t done a Heavy Rotation in a while, should pick something this week to speak on.

  2. Henry Says:

    Cool idea lads!

  3. johnstevens Says:

    Good stuff Thank you

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