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Here we have a HEAVY rarity outta Philly from 1995 by MC, producer and graf artist Jon Doe aka DENSKE aka Culture Livingston.  Check the interview below in the Product Info section for the full story, but homeboy has been part of the Philly scene since way back when. He used to write under the name DENSKE and heads might be aware of his excellent documentary "Tag City" which delves deep into the Philadelphia writing scene and in particular the esoteric Gangster hand style of the 60s/70s synonymous with the city. He was also featured in Roger Gastman's "History Of American Graffiti". Seriously, peep the interview below - it's full of gems.


So, to the music. There were 3 joints on the 12" that dropped in 1995 [300 copies pressed only] and 6 on the cassette version - here we have 5 of those 6 tracks, 2 of which have never been released on wax. Unfortunately the final track was busted so couldn't be used!! As he mentions in his interview, this project was recorded on an old 4-track and never got mastered before pressing so it is dusty, but that adds to the mid 90's flava!


Enjoy the last 90's Herring vinyl drop of 2023 -  and good luck trying to find the OG!!!


Shout out to the man like Onur Unal for the connect - much respect due!!



There are 300 copies on CLEAR WAX in trad Herring sticker jacket.



See a couple of DENSKE's classic pieces in the image section - 






Basementality - Kings and Kingdoms EP (Vinyl)

  • Tracks:


    A1 Perspective
    A2 Optimism (One Day We’re Gonna Wake Up)
    A3 Without A Doubt

    B1 Self
    B2 After Hours  (Nite Time’s The Right Time)

    All tracks produced by Jon Doe.




    Where did you grow up?

    I grew up in Philly, in Southwest and North Philly. My dad lived in New York so I had a lot of exposure to that early.


    What were your first memories of the culture?

    My first memories were the block parties. I'm from Philly, and you have to realize hip hop was not something that reached us in 80s. Guys like Disco Dave was doing parties on our block in like 78, 79, before rap records. So seeing those guys live was incredible to me. I was living in Southwest Philly at the time, which was the main incubator grounds for some of the best DJs of all time like Cash Money, who I would see at house parties all the time,  DJ Jazzy Jeff, who used to kill shit, and DJ Miz who lived a couple of blocks away. I literally was there when the art of turntablism was being developed.


    I know you are heavy into your graf, when did you start get getting up?

    Graffiti is another one of those things that was always present here in Philly. It's the birthplace of graffiti. not New York like many people believe. I did a documentary on that called "Tag City" that I would encourage your audience to stream or download to get that full story. Its amazing to me that 57 years later, most people STILL dont know that. So i've seen graffiti as long as I've been alive. My older cousin was a writer and MC named CRASH from The Market Street Mob, a crew of street hustlers who also wrote graffiti. They had girls and money, so it was the obvious path to take. Lol...


    I started in his footsteps in 1982 and started on my own in 1986. I didn't really go hard until 1990 when I moved to North Philly, and by 1991 I was the King Of The City. My graffiti has been featured in numerous magazines and movies and I was also in The graff movie "Infamy" during the NM segment. I was in the On The Go video series, and I am included in Roger Gastmans "History Of American Graffiti". Its impossible to talk of graffiti in the 1990s and not mention DENSKE. I started trend and styles that are still being used to this day.


    Were you in the train yards? And did you stay local to Philly or did you venture to NYC?

    Philly isn't a real train tagging city anymore. It was prior to 1979, real heavy. By the early 80s is was largely gone. The same guy who cleaned the trains in Philly, David Gunn, went on later to clean the trains in New York City. We were heavy on the walls, which is a harder way to get rep, because the winner has to tag on EVERY bus line and trolley line and train line. You really have to put the work in out here.


    I used to get up in New York. mostly when I went up there to see family. I did some straight letters across the street from the Apollo once. But I never got up on the trains. By the late 80s subway graffiti was on a decline anyway.



    What came first, writing or music?

    Graffiti for sure. I used to draw comic books, so seeing graffiti and knowing how to draw was just a natural progression. But music has always been a part of my life. As far back as I can remember, I've been surrounded by music. Watching my cousin get down on the mic made me want to too. And there was guy in my neighborhood named Killer Kieth, was a top notch MC and a real gangster. He used to body beat us when he came thru the block, telling us, "we dont raise no punks around here!' lol...


    I started rapping and started going to the house parties and started making a name for myself, rocking in the same parties that Cash Money and Miz would DJ. LOTS of girls at those parties. lol...


    When did you get your first bit of recording gear and what was it?

    My first gear was a Fostex 4 track and a Gemini sampler. I started messing around with it. It wasn't til later that I got good with the technique and many people had no idea I was using that. The sampler was boosted for me by the legendary Boosting Billy, one of the founders of the Lo-Lifes Crew. He started a chapter in Philly with his Uncle, Dave Lo, the original Lo Life, in North Philly. He showed up with it and was like let's get busy. I shout out Lo Lifes on this project. We used to get serious money boosting clothes, especially in the winter with  Pelle leather and Goose downs from Polo Marmot and North Face. Lo Lifes introduced North Face to the hood.


    How did the Basementality project come about?

    The project came about after I made a record that was very popular on the local circuit called "Ease Back". They still play it to this day and is considered a classic in Philly. In fact Nardwaur, when he interviewed Back Thought and Quest Love actually asked him about my record. Black Thought said, "yo that's DENSKE. He's a legend". It was very dope he would shout me out like that. I actually opened for them when they got their deal with Geffen. The fugees performed that night also and got booed. I tore that shit up!


    On the heels of that record, the management was stutter stepping, so I took matters into my own hands. I broke out the 4 track and went to work trying to put it together myself. So I went to my man Ari Foreman, the guy who made the Menthol Air Forces, which are like sneakerhead collectors items now. He also did the Kriss Kross logo. He designed the cover for this project. DJ Miz was the one who recorded it at Third Story Studios. It didn't get mastered, because I didn't know that step. The whole thing about putting a record together was new to me. I'm a hustler. I was just on go mode. I sold a bunch in the hood, around 1,000 of them.


    Were you trying to get a deal back then?

    Yes, I was approached by Sony and Def Jam. But, like a lot of other Philly artist with promise, I wound up going to jail. I spent 5 years in the state penn. Its a dam shame. The album I made would have killed shit if it would have came out. I'm mixing it now actually.


    How many copies of the tape were pressed and how many copies of the wax?

    more tapes than wax. maybe 1,000 tapes and maybe 300 records. Not a lot.


    How come there was no album? 

    I went to jail! lol...


    Where did you go musically after that material from 95?

    Well, I was the tour MC for DJ Jazzy Jeff for a while. I finished the record and went away before it could be released. When I came home, I had aspirations to be an artist but I gravitated more to business and production, because those guys made more money. I'm a mixing and mastering engineer and I have worked on a bunch of records. Our studio did the world wide smash "Billie Eilish" by Amani White and I'm now finishing the next artist to emerge, K-Twist.

    Music is still my life and I still love it.




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