Golf by 2004 was spending half his time in London and the other half in NYC digging for wax to sell on Ebay under the user id Bruceforsight. He'd been hittin up some NICE collections in the rotten apple, one belonging to Rawkus owner Jarret Meyer one to D&D studios, but in the summer of 2009 he was reintroduced to Evil Dee and Mr Walt of Da Beatminerz through Bronx digger and MC/Producer Nobs. Golf cut a deal with Da Beatminerz on their record collection and in the process picked up a bunch of Shadez of Brooklyn deadstock (which we still have copies of!!! peep the store!!!).
He was also introduced to Crazy Dj Bazarro, producer of little known Brooklyn Hip Hop crew Da Dysfunkshunal Familee. DDF had released two records in 1994 and one in 1997 and had guested on the Fondle'em Fossils album on Def Jux records. Apart from those several releases and some elusive demo tapes from the late 80s there was little of their music commercially available.
Golf was given free reign to choose from both previously released material and unreleased cuts. He chose 3 tracks from the incredibly rare early EPs as well as 3 other unreleased tracks from the shelved 1994 Da Dysfunkshunal Familee LP. The limited vinyl release was sold through underground Hip Hop forums, Diggers With Gratitude and Vinyl Addicts, as a preorder-style release. Following on from the Civilized Savages EP and as part 2 in the Bushwick series, Chopped Herring Records released another Da Dysfunkshunal EP of unreleased material from 1996 entitled Mixed Emotions '96 Demo EP.
Words from Crazy DJ Bazarro producer of Da Dysfunkshunal Familee:
“You guys have me being very grateful and excited that you love a sound I made up in a cold basement with no real equipment..It almost bringing tears to my eyes because of the memories I had recording these songs. You guys have kept the music alive and resurrected me as a producer to try to keep that same sound alive..90's style...I appreciate all the support and compliments..All I can say is Wow!! So since im here and taking time out working on the new Dysfunkshunal album "FAmily Reunion" i'll brake down some of the samples I used to create the songs on this ep...
When I made Ill Rhyme Skillz I had no equipment I was in the basement putting the whole track in my head..The basslines comes from a record Chicago made I forgot the name of it..When I filtered the bassline it sounded like DWYCK from GAngstarr...I liked it and felt this track had to have all kind of sounds on it.. So I took the Nice & Smooth horns from their record and reversed the horns on the sampler...When I make songs I'm usually going at other producers to make a answer to their hit records... When Dysfunkshunal FAm and Black MOon didn't get along..My answer to WHo Got The Props was New Ruff Flava...not in a dis way..just saying "yo my crew is here and we got beats too"....didn't mean to fall off subject....lol but back to Ill Rhyme Skillz...I looped Substition real short made it grimey..sample a piece from the same record leaders of the new skool used and made it hollow..U can hear going in and out...With the scratches, I just did random in and out scratches while the song was playing using Funky President....I met Uneek that same week..and that was the first song she got on with us..I met her over the telephone..she spit two lines and I said "yo u down right now,, come to the studio"...
The "Set It OFf" track was suppose to be us introducing Rebel Rhyme to the airwaves and let people know his solo album was coming..That session nobody showed up except me and Rebel Rhyme...but when u book studio time back in the days it was no canceling. So Rebel Rhyme wrote two more verses while I laid the beat down. We only had 4 hours to knock it out... I sampled the loop from a Stephanie MIlls record,, Nas used it too...I wanted to add a horn to it...So I took a slice from All NIght Long by the Mary Jane Girls... looped a break beat and Latifah voice..I don't like the way the engineer D-mechanic had a reverb on all the tracks...I was mad ass hell...but when I went home and played it....I couldn't believe how ill and different the record sounds from other records...I didn't have pre-production..all this was coming from my head right in the studio...So people from this day ask me "what made u use that horn" I just say it sounded like it was suppose to go with the beat...lol
"Far From The Average" this record was our answer to "All For ONe" by the Brand Nubians...not dissing..Just the track was saying the name of our group a little..I looped Grand Puba and sliced a piece of JaMes's Brown record..that was it...we went in the studio and had fun....I liked that loop back then cause no one ever touched it..
Savage Life was my answer to Pete Rock's Jump Around remix by Everlast....The basslines sound a little similiar but different records... I looped a dirty break beat and we went in the studio drunk and wilding out on that track...I just switched up the Pop Life record by Prince and made it a hook....I remember I heard Funk Master Flex playing it on hot 97 back in the day...I couldn't believe it..
"Im in Da HOuse'... My boy RJ had the loop just sitting around for months and I hate when a dope loop is not being used..I said let me get that, I wanna use it for the album..stop wasting loops before somebody else use it...He said take it and I ran to the studio with the fam. I put the loop over Skull Snaps..took the hook from the World Famous Supreme team...Migraine made up the hook...I like this joint..it was like our 3rd song we ever recorded..we was having so much fun in the studio..it was our escape from the world..
"Keep Me High" shit We loved to get high..so the hook said it for us..from Slave, Just a Touch of Love. Me and Finsta was messing around with records at the house...Finsta played the Sly Family Stone record and I said "you heard that" he said what? I said "we going to the studio this Saturday...that loop iz crazy....I just hear things different and it can be from the same record somebody else looped....
Now I'm getting asked about the Mixed Emotions album that was never released...some of those songs would make a great ep...stay tune. thanks again....thanks also to chopped herring records... Make sure ya'll check out www.dabeatminerz.com radio show all week...there u can here new dysfunkshunal joints being played...and we got shows archived....take care....”
And then, in 2011........
Just when you thought it was over we dropped yet another DOPE project in the Bushwick series. Bazarro hooked us up with Hip Hop's hardest working B-Boy, D-Stroy from legendary Fondle Em recording artists Arsonists. He let us in on his unreleased material from around 1994, a virtual album of early 90s sounding bombs he put together with the NYC mixtape king Dj Tony Touch. D-Stroy met Tony one day in a now long-gone record store in Bushwick and began a professional relationship and friendship that is still as strong today as it ever was. D-Stroy started passing material over to us in May 2010 and by November that year we had put together the EP that you hear now. The masters were dusted off and worked on over the next few months and by 2011 we were ready to announce the project. Feedback has dictated that this record has been one of the best received pieces on the label to date. We are EXTREMELY happy with the quality of the music and wanna give props to a very nice guy D-Stroy for all his help in making this a truly ILL release on Chopped Herring Records.
A Short Interview With D-Stroy:
I read that you started the Touch and D-story project in the 9th grade, so you were like 15 years old?
I was in the 9th grade just starting High School. I walked into a record store where he [DJ Tony Touch] worked in Bushwick called Music Hut (Evil Dee also worked there). I was a customer, heard him catching records. I told him I like to rhyme, I freestyled as he caught breaks. He said come tomorrow with some lyrics. I went home thought of an M.C. name. By chance I remembered tagging D-Stroy once and that the name Touch and D-Stroy had a ring to it. I get back to the store with new verses and a M.C. name set. I told him the verses everything started that day.
Did you do any talent shows at that time?
No I did talent shows before I met Tony and won ski trips for kids in the hood. It was weird but that was the prize. After meeting Tony, we were local heroes in Bushwick and instead of being in talent shows as acts, I was the Host and he was the DJ of the talent show. One notable talent show is where i met Freestyle, who I later introduced into Bushwick Bomb Squad.
So tell us more about how things progressed with Tony?
When he was only on his 9th Mixtape he asked me to feature on it. I am the 1st rapper to spit, maybe even the 1st person to talk on a Tony Touch mixtape and have done many more after that. My years in High school were VERY different. I was selling mixtapes in school, hosting clubs (I was too young to be in) while Tony was on the cut. Because of our m.c./d.j. act we were asked to open up and play music between sets for tours and there were many including Nas, Wu-Tang, Craig Mack, Naughty and more.
Tony was older than me and I always rolled with older dudes having a big brother who's a Bushwick O.G. it was a lane I was comfortable with. He was and [still] is my big brother in this music industry. I learned a lot from rolling with him. Later on he kept saying we should have a crew. I was already rolling with a bunch of dudes called the Bushwick Bomb Squad (B.B.S.) which was a jack from Public Enemy's "Bomb Squad" with Bushwick in front! As B.B.S. began to grow in popularity in the neighborhood and with Tony mentioning the crew idea, I decided to reshape the group into a whole new thing. I kicked out the knuckleheads that didn't have anything to do with the 4 elements of hip hop. After that it was a pure M.C. click renamed Arsonists by a childhood friend and member Kinetic.
Now with a new hip hop crew to stand behind Touch and D-Stroy we were a machine. Touch and D-Stroy would record, Tony would DJ clubs, I would keep recording with Arsonists. Tony was a tastemaker in the industry as most dj's were then so he took one of Arsonists 1st recorded songs "Session" to Stretch and Bobbito and that was hip hop's introduction to Arsonists.
How did u first hook up with the Zulu Nation and the Rock Steady Crew?
Tony heard about the RSC anniversary at Rock Steady Park (98th Street and Amsterdam Avenue). He showed up and gave Crazy Legs a copy of his mixtape. Crazy legs would later invite us to Zulu meetings and involve us in shows. To be introduced on tour by Crazy Legs and rhyming with Rock Steady Legends Ken Swift, Wiggles and others dancing was special - being part of the movement was mind blowing.
When did you start writin graff? Were you more into bombing or creatin more sophisticated pieces?
I respect the element of Graffiti enough to say there's a difference from what I was doing in comparison to Tats Crew. I wasn't a "graffiti artist" or in a graffiti crew, but I did want people to know the name D-Stroy. I use to take Fat Markers (Pilots) and hit every wall of the shopping area because I knew a lot of people would pass it. I once was bombing a train and Swel (Arsonists) said Damn, D I see your name everywhere, both of us not knowing a cop was watching me the whole time. Then I had a white can and I went up Broadway in the Village about 3 miles of D-Stroy tags when I was with Freestyle (Arsonists) both of us not knowing undercover cops followed me the whole time. I later on helped on some sophisticated pieces out in London with Deal Real and Copenhagen with Sabe which were featured in the Arsonists “As The World Burns” album artwork.
So, regarding the 'Palante Siempre Palante' track. What does yr Puerto Rican heritage mean to you and how is it part of your life now? Have you any affiliation to the Young Lords, either intellectually/emotionally or by blood?
New York is the melting pot of all races, media/movies/commercials caters to a black and white america and its not only Puerto Ricans but all Latinos that struggle to have an identity in this country. I have family in Puerto Rico. However, the Young Lords organization was created in the U.S. by those who felt neglected by the government. My parents drove once a year to the White House to protest against the government in the 80's at the time 'Reaganomics'. When I was older, Crazy Legs told me and Tony to be part of a protest with Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo, Bobbito Garcia and others against Hollywood films that were using non-Latino actors to play Latinos. That was when I first learned of the Young Lords. It gave me strength and pride. Though they're not as well known as the Black Panthers who I'd read about prior to that time, I was elated to discover a group of people united in going up against the government that kept them down. My heritage means a lot because its my identity. U.S. is built on capitalism, people think theres an "American Dream" but it's an "American Struggle". Outside of the U.S. family, well being and happiness reigns over money.
FINSTA BUNDY - THE UNRELEASED ALBUM EP
Let's jump back on the L train. Damn, it's down between Lorimer St and Broadway Junction - AGAIN. That means we have to get off and hop on the L train shuttle bus - forget your afternoon plans, we'll be sat on here for a minute. So we roll through the desolate, industrial landscape of the Montrose, Morgan and Jefferson stops avoiding the potholes and straight up CRATERS in the 'roads'. Quick, there's a hipster over there buying organic venison at the bottom of Wyckoff Ave (the quiet end) - take a shot, you may never get a better chance!! Next up, DeKalb Ave, it's getting a little busier as we go past Wyckoff Heights Medical Centre on the left, a daunting illness factory and past Crown Fried Chicken on the right, where maybe you visited just before you went to the Wyckoff Heights Medical Centre! - then we hit Myrtle-Wyckoff - within a few minutes walk of here we can cop merengue cd’s, live poultry at Pio Pio's, cheap sneakers at V.I.M and any Central or South American dish you could ever wish for. But we won't get off just yet. Next stop is Halsey St. Grab your things, this is our stop.
Let's turn the corner and head straight down Halsey. We come to Irving Square - a little park, the size of a block, with a children’s play area. On a sunny day we might see Evil Dee or Mr Walt sittin’ out on the stoop of their building takin a well-earned break from the tireless task of running Beatminerz Radio station, sayin 'Whatsup' to heads they've seen pass by a million times since they were youg'uns. Cross over Wilson Ave and you might run into DJ Bazarro on his way to the radio station (aka Da Beatminerz crib) to take over from Wayne Ski’s slot. Over Central and one block down you hit Bushwick Ave and that's where THIS story begins.
Walter Giddens aka Finsta moved into the Bushwick neighbourhood at the age of 11. One week after his arrival in the area, there was a block party just down the street from his mother’s place. Whether he was just waking up to culture around him or whether this was something out of the ordinary to a newly-teened New Yorker, the vibe of his new neighbourhood struck him hard and would influence him and his music for many years to come. Bushwick in the 1980's was no idyllic place, but it was different, different from Biggie's 'Do or Die Bedsty' or M.O.P's Brownsville. It was the hood make no mistake, but there was a special sense of community that has shaped the lives of a number of its children. As this was a densely residential part of Brooklyn, there was a huge choice of street games for a young cat to play with the other neighbourhood kids - tag football, dodge ball, basketball or wiffle ball and there were leagues where different blocks would compete with each other. It was a thriving community at that time. There weren't as many kids influenced by the gangster way of life back then either. If a dealer hung around the block, local heads would give them shit - things were different then – remember, the good old days? That sense of community, of positivity, was to shape the lyrics and sensibility of the artist Finsta and later, the group Finsta Bundy.
The sounds of early Hip Hop music were always around him, but it was Gospel music that first touched his heart. His family were fairly frequent church goers and most Sundays they would hit up the local church and a young Walter was exposed to the soul music that is at the crux of most Hip Hop music. He took saxophone at junior high school and his first compositions were Gospel-based. He was a live music cat well before he started to rhyme. He carried on his music studies at Bushwick High School and was in band class with Da Beatminerz' Evil Dee - whose instrument, not surprisingly was DRUMS! The 2 would work together for several years as artists and have remained friends ever since.
After hooking up with Dee and his brother Mr Walt in the late 80s they formed a group called Hi Tech, which was an early incarnation of Black Moon (the name being taken from Mr Walt's production name 'Black Moon Productions). Two dancers Buckshot and 5Ft were added to the line up. It was very early in the lifespan of Black Moon that Finsta left the group. He found himself with impending financial responsibilities in the form of a beautiful baby girl and he got himself work at Jackpot Records in Downtown Brooklyn. This began a new stage of his life. He was for the first time exposed to the music business - sales, promo, distribution - he saw music from a fresh new perspective. The store would become a platform for his future recording career.
Even though he was not part of the Black Moon outfit, he was still mad tight with the members and was working with them on his solo material. Looking to start up a record label a cat called Gucci Mane (R.I.P) approached Dee and Finsta to record a single for his label Cracd (aka Cassettes, Records and CDs). Gucci's boys had previously tried to set up a label which was to be called State of Fresh and a lost Evil Dee track called 'Feel the Horns' was to be the first release, but that fell through and Gucci came up with the money (if you're squeamish, don't ask how) for the Finsta record. The record as we all know, was the elusive 'Finsta Baby'/'Payday is Bliss' joint from 1992 which was produced by Evil Dee and Mr Walt aka Da Beatminerz. This 12” was one of the first 'Da Beatminerz' credited productions, along with the LEGENDARY East Coast mix of Ultramagnetic MC’s ‘Poppa Large’.
It was shortly after the release of ‘Finsta Baby’ that Finsta hooked up with one of Dee's boys Bundy to form, yeah you guessed it, FINSTA BUNDY!! They had both attended Halsey Junior High School (PS 296) but didn't really hang out - they later remembered being in the same gym class at that time and playing baskeball together (their earliest examples of rhythmic creativity!). Evil Dee had recommended Finsta get himself a DJ for live shows and Dee, Mr Walt and Bundy had been friends since they were 6/7 years old. Bundy's thing was battling and learning DJ tricks - he was tight with Masta Ace's DJ Steady Pace and used to follow him along to DMC Battles and watch dudes like Roc Raida catch wreck on the tables. He'd always show Dee and Walt a new trick once he'd mastered it and looked up to the Beatmining Brothers - so he was always around. It was a natural choice for Dee to hook him and Finsta up. One of their first gigs was a show in North Carolina opening for Grand Puba. They wanted to do something fresh for the show so they decided to switch duties for the set – Finsta DJ’d and Bundy emceed. Due to unforeseen circumstances the show was extended by an additional 45 minutes and the crowd loved it. From that moment on Finsta Bundy was born. Bundy often refers to Finsta as ‘The Godfather’ of the FB movement, he always felt indebted to him for giving him the opportunity to shine. So that’s how it all began….
The cats from Big Willie Records ran into Finsta in Jackpot records and maybe even copped a copy of the 'Finsta Baby' single which Finsta had put out in the racks &ndash (one of the less obvious perks of working in a record store). That relationship lasted for several years and several vinyl releases. Between 1994 and 1998 Finsta Bundy dropped seven 12" singles - but no album. Their singles gained support in NYC, most notably from Fat Beats who stocked and promoted their singles in store and on radio, along with radio cats Stretch and Bobbito, Jay Smooth, Teddy Ted and even on the west coast Sway and Tech used to open up their show with ‘Sunnyside’. They also received a whole lot of support around the world - The Tape Kingz kids had their links to the UK which opened up their shit to Europe and they had much love out in Japan after working with DJ Krush. But even with a host of singles, their NYC connections, their work ethic and their obvious talent, they couldn’t get the right management or right record labels interested in pushing them further than the ‘underground’, which they come to represent over the years. Maybe it’s their underdog status that rings bells with their passionate and devout worldwide fan base; maybe it’s their no-nonsense, positive standpoint ; their no sell-out steelo; maybe, as Bundy suggests it’s “Finsta’s dreads” – whatever the formula is that = FB, it works.
Chopped Herring Records has the honour of presenting an 8 track EP for your underground Hip Hop delectation. What we have are 4 tracks which appeared on the sought after Neva Say Never mixtape by DJ Primetime as well as 4 never-before-heard BOMBS. At least 6 of these tracks would’ve made up at least half of the never released or finished debut Finsta Bundy album. 6 of the tracks were record at the legendary D&D Studios in NYC. The other 2 were taken from 4-track mixes. Now enough chat – check out the flava!!!
Peep The Tracks:
A1 Bushwick To Shin-Juku
A2 State Of Emergency
A3 One Life To Live
A4 Love & Hate (4-Track mix)
B1 Game's So Crazy
B2 What You Gonna Do
B3 Via FB
B4 Who Wanna Rock (4-Track mix)
Track A1 & A2 produced by Rich Blak. Track A3 prod. by Chocolate Ty. Track B1 prod. by Baby Paul. Track A4 & B2 prod. by Finsta. Track B3 prod. by Mr Walt. Track B4 prod. by Fatal Son. Tracks A1,A3,B1,B2 & B3 recorded in 1999. Track A2 Recorded in 1998. Track A4 recorded in 1997. Track B4 recorded in 1996. All tracks except A4 & B4 records at D&D Studios, NYC.
Price is £19.99 + shipping (6.50gbp in Europe or 8gbp in USA/Oz/Asia
So heres the scoop - There will be 350 copies pressed ONLY.
The first 75 copies are on Clear Mint mixed colour vinyl
The next 75 are on Flammin Red n Black coloured vinyl
And the remaining 200 are on traditional black vinyl
NOW SOLD OUT!!!!
FINSTA BUNDY - THE DEMOS 1993-1994 EP
What can you say except "Thank you Finsta Bundy". For 4 years we've been tryin to persuade FB to dig through the inevitable DOPEASS stash from the immediate post-Finsta Baby era. After the success of our last FB project they agreed to run through some old tapes for us. And guess what? It's everything you hoped it would be. Rugged beats, grimey yet conscious lyrics, perfect 90s Hip Hop!! As these ones were taken from cassette you will hear some VERY ocassional tape damage. We spent a while scrubbing them up and mastering them for your listening pleasure and frankly, this [f]ish BANGS. No words can sufficiently do this one justice so let's get straight to the heat shall we?
A1 Fuck the Bullshit
A2 Bigga Hood
A3 Payday is Bliss Remix
B1 Sick O' Dis
B2 Sunnyside (Rough Version)
All tracks produced by Rich Blak 1993-1994.
£19.99 + shipping (from France)
First 75 copies on Mint Green coloured vinyl
Next 75 copies on Black and Red mixed coloured vinyl
Remaining 200 copies on Black wax for the PURISTS