Kevin Casey’s Sample Saturday – Percy Faith & His Orchestra et Noreaga & Styles P

First of all shotout to the Click The Square box for taking up an hour of my time when I should’ve been getting right to work on this post.  Damn that shit was fun.  Anyway, let’s discuss one of the thousand reasons that make New York City the best city on earth.  The scenario is; a super crowded nightclub, no one in the place looking less than fresh to death, beautiful women in every direction you turn your head, a few Yankees in that corner, a few actors in that corner.  Scram Jones is on the set with the crowd in the palm of his hand as usual, some type of rock/house remix has the energy level at a 10, and only a few records later he drops in the full intro of “Come Thru” by Nore and Styles.  Not only does the energy remain at a 10, but people seem to get even more excited as the beat drops, and somehow the most unassuming characters, judging by looks, are “singing” along…

Here’s why they call me the Ghost, I’m half live – half dead, and when there’s beef I bring all of the toast.”

Yea, those characters are the native New Yorkers.  And their energy is enough to convince those who don’t know what a Styles P is, that this is the shit, and it’s time to get fuckin’ hyped.  A few records later, the tempo is way up and the party goes on into the night.  Yes, that just happened in a high class club, and this makes sense only because that club is in the heart of New York City.

One of my favorite things about sampling in hip hop is when an original sample takes on an entirely different feel when flipped by the producer, and in many cases turned into a dark soundscape for some hard raps.  When standing on it’s own, Percy Faith’s “Early In The Morning” has a very upbeat and calm aura about it, but when used by producer Edward Hinson in “Come Thru”, it has an eerie and almost scary vibe to it that matches the lyrics and ultimately makes that record so effective.  On the intro and in between verses he uses the 4 bars from 0:12, and then for the verses we hear some hard drums over the beginning of “Early In The Morning”.  Definitely one of the records that I most regret not squeezing onto Live From New York.

Percy Faith & His Orchestra – Early In The Morning

Noreaga & Styles P – Come Thru

via KevinCaseyMusic

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The Bird And The Bee – Heard It On The Radio

After my freshman year in college I spent the summer in Saratoga causing all sorts of trouble and one of the reasons why I remember that time so well is because of the music on the radio. Summer 2002 was the shit. Hip Hop had the perfect balance of commercialism and authenticity, Styles P had just released his solo debut A Gangster and a Gentleman and the single I Get High was playing all the time, everyone was getting high. The Neptunes released Grindin’, one of the most innovative minimalist productions of the time. The game was immediately changed when that track came out…

Yo, I go by the name of Pharrell from the Neptunes…
And I just wanna let y’all know…
The world is about to feel something, that they’ve never felt before “

I don’t know if it’s the internet or what but that excitement of a new track breaking through the radio isn’t what it use to be. You would hear about a track making noise, then you would be driving with your friends and the DJ would drop it and it sounded better than the hype and you shared that moment with all your friends, it was good stuff. These days you’ve already heard everything usually when you’re alone in front of a labtop so needless to say the mystery, drama and excitement of music is just a tad different.

When we first met, they were playing that song
And then it stuck into my head
Stuck into my head

When we first kissed you made it to my list
And then I couldn’t stop myself
Think of nothing else

When we parked the car they were playing that song
And then we turned it up to ten and started up again…”

Anyways, I was listening to The Birds and The Bee’s Heard It On The Radio and I couldn’t help but to feel some nostalgia for those moments. The track is an original from the Hall & Oats tribute album they released earlier this year. Hopefully we can find some cool new ways to experience new music together again, enjoy.

The Bird And The Bee – Heard It On The Radio

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Kevin Casey Music Presents Live From New York (1994-2001)

Man look at these suckers. I ain’t no rapper, I’m a hustler. It just so happens I know how to rap.”

In the beginning Hip Hop was about b-boying, djing, graffiti and emceeing. The drug game of the late 1980’s changed the ghetto so, it was only natural that it would change the music as well. Additionally, Hip Hop itself became quite profitable and in turn created an opportunity for a lot of trapped young artists to leave a life of crime, danger and limits. I’ve come to realize that people perform at the highest level when their backs are against the wall. The extreme conditions and adversity that came from living in the hood was transferred into a musical energy and ‘realness’ that was able to touch and reach an entire world. It was survival of the fittest and to be an emcee in the 90’s you had to hold your own, no exceptions.

You see me all my life I had to sell drugs, while you grew up with straight nerds, I grew up with thugs.”

Why the brief history? Well, if you want to appreciate New York City’s mid to late 90’s Hip Hop you’ll have to realize that these guys aren’t just talking loud and being aggressive for no reason, they’re representing an attitude one needed to have in order to survive and stay sane in the concrete jungle that was NYC in the 90’s. Look at it this way, you don’t go into a battlefield to put your gun down, read a book, have some tea and talk about where you want to summer next year. You’re going to be screaming and hollering, cold, alert and focused at all costs; you’re going to be aggressive and you’re going to be challenging that next man if he’s trying to take you out. Like I said, it was a concrete jungle and survival of the fittest was the type of mentality that applied, “only the strong survive”

That was the mindset in NYC because prior and even during Guiliani that was the reality. I’m not praising it or saying it was correct but if you want to appreciate the music for what it is without having actually experienced that lifestyle, then you have to listen with some perspective. So when you hear lyrics that sound somewhat extreme, violent, and brutal, understand that that is just the top layer and the language only serves to represent issues that went much deeper than the words being used to represent them. Lastly, the only way to escape an extreme circumstance sometimes is to develop an extreme type of mentality. Most people don’t have to deal with such challenges in life so it may be hard to relate. For the sake of this mixtape I suggest you try, it will be worth it.

With that said, we exclusively present a mixtape that captures that time in New York City better then anything I’ve yet to hear – Kevin Casey Music Presents: Live From New York. Officially this is a mixtape but the editing and thought process displayed on this tape will make you think you are listening to an extremely well produced album. The transitions and details from song to song are flawless and carefully crafted. It’s not often a mixtape displays this level of depth with no compromise of quality. Kevin Casey has done his research to provide listeners with an expansive yet refined taste for the best NYC had to offer. Pretty much all classic mainstream and underground NYC hits are represented. However, only the best verses from the wide spectrum made the cut, making the listening experience easy and extremely entertaining. Having grown up listening to this music, I can tell you this was no easy task. Rappers were hungry back in the day and there were a lot of good verses but Casey did in fact manage to narrow it down to the best. All the rappers you hear on this tape are at their absolute prime and deliver their lyrics with the energy and hostility of the street. Like the time it represents, this tape is hardcore, gritty, challenging and extremely entertaining. This mixtape is available as a free download at and was made for the sole purpose of spreading good music. It’s been a while since New York City’s golden era was revisited with such thoughtfulness and sincerity; this is truly worth the listen. All that said, let me end this post like the tape begins:

New York will… not… lose… ever!

Live From New York (Intro)

Live From New York (Intro)