You’re probably wondering why I’m posting two tapes instead of one this week? Well, there a good reason even if I wish it wasn’t. Unlike digital media, cassette tapes are vulnerable to over-use. There’s only so many chances you get to spin the tape reels and hit the switches on your deck before something goes wrong. For Tony Touch #51 Drastic Measures and Tony Touch #54 Keep Feedin’ Ya the magnetic band go chewed up and spat out. This predicament sucks balls but it’s also testament to the fact that Tony Touch tapes got heavy rotation back in the days. So, instead of dropping half a tape, I figured I’d combine both and make up for a full 90+ minutes of dopeness.
My introduction to Tony Touch a.k.a. Tony Toca a.k.a. The Piecemaker a.k.a. El Indio was somewhere in the late forties of his mixtape series. My tape went missing after I left it in the player at a house party which didn’t really come as a surprise because Tony Touch tapes were always in high demand. I learnt my lesson after that loss and made sure to keep a sharp eye on my collection. Tony Touch is not a one trick pony. He started off as a B-boy back in the day inspired by the famous Rock Steady Crew, but he swapped the popping and locking for cutting and scratching on the decks, and gradually worked his way into the production booth for a successful line of Piecemaker and Reggaetony albums. I’ve always considered Tony’s tapes to be some of the best mixtapes because his quality control levels are on point every time. Slip a Tony Touch tape in your cassette deck and you’re guaranteed three things: Flawless skills on the turntables, superb sound quality and a steady pace that gets the party pumping from the get go.
Tony is also sweet on the mic. I don’t know many DJs that can juggle vocabulary and rhymes as well as they juggle a beat on vinyl but Tony Touch was never scared to grab the mic a drop a quick 16 bars to start of his latest masterpiece. It’s pure speculation, but Tony turning emcee to open tape #51 might be linked to the fact that he just dropped his legendary tape #50 featuring fifty emcees freestyling over instrumentals. That much dope sound is bound to rub off on you one way or another.
Even if these two tapes don’t boast fifty emcees freestyling, they do boast some hot artists that deserve a few minutes of your attention. First, DJ Honda features twice on Drastic Measures and the reason being that he was a quiet DJ from Japan who had just released a solo album featuring some of Hip Hop’s most popular emcees of the moment. Redman and Problemz feature here, but Guru, Biz Markie, Alkaholiks and more feature on the album H if you can track it down. Another song that’s featured on tape #51 is Semi Automatic with U-God and Inspecktah Deck coming together to prove that they can spit fire just as hot as the rest of their Clan members.
The Wu Tang Clan also features heavily on tape #54, opening things up with their no hooks – off the books Triumph single, Cappadonna’s underground hit 97 Mentality, and RZA and GZA sharing apocalyptic visions with DJ Muggs on their Third World joint for his Soul Assassins album. The Wu is a pretty formidable crew of rappers, but Side A of Tony Touch’s Keep Feedin’ Ya also features two prolific emcee collectives: The Diggin In The Crates Crew and the Bootcamp Click. The DITC drop a massive hit with Day One featuring Big L (RIP), AG, Lord Finesse, Diamond D and OC. Heltah Skeltah and the OGC combine skills to rep the BCC on Okee Doke.
Sorry again for not delivering complete recordings of these two tapes, but what is available is strong evidence of Tony Touch’s superior mixtape game. Don’t worry – I’ve got a few more complete Tony Touch tapes in the stash dropping soon!
Side A (Incomplete)
Drastic Measures Intro – El Indio
One Day – Jeru the Damaja
Friend or Foe – Jay-Z
Find That – Beatnuts
That’s my word – DJ Honda / Redman
New Jack City – MOP
How you want it – Jungle Brothers / De La Soul / Q-Tip
Do it again – Sadat X
The prowl – Heltah Skeltah / OGC
[Missing] Me & My Click – Ill & Al Scratch / Greg Nyce
Lyin’ King – Nine
Cut that weak shit – Quasi / Royal Flush
Usual Suspect – Big Noyd
Baby Phife’s Return – A Tribe Called Quest
Daytona 500 – Ghostface / Raekwon / Cappadonna
The set-up – Nas / Mobb Deep
Drop a gem on em – Mobb Deep [/Missing]
Whadda you know – Cypress Hill
Shoot Outs – Nas
The Sequel Freestyle – Smoothe da Hustla
Brownsville – MOP
Crush – Big Shug
Thug Shit – Akinyele
Kill the noise – DJ Honda / Problemz
Know the game – Mobb Deep / MOP / Kool G Rap
No – Chuck D
Name Calling – Queen Latifah
Bitch in you – Common
Blah Blah Blah – Blahzay Blahzay
Heart full of sorrow – House of Pain / Sadat X
Keep it moving – A Tribe Called Quest
Wu-wear – RZA / Cappadonna / Method Man
Semi Automatic – U-God / Inspecktah Deck
Scandalous – Trigga / Khrist / Rhyme Wrecka
4 More – De La Soul / Zhané
Radio Except – Howard Stern
Intro: Take That – Tony Touch
Truimph – Wu-Tang Clan
The Main Aim – Cella Dwellas
Day One – Diggin In The Crates Cru
My World – O.C.
Okee Doke – Boot Camp Clique
Cloud Nine – Heather B
I Got Style – Craig Mack
Who Ya Wit – Jay-Z
The Franklins – DJ Riz
Beast From The East – Lost Boys / Cannabus / Redman / A-Plus
You Ain’t A Killer – Punisher
Third World – DJ Muggs / RZA / GZA
97 Mentality – Cappadonna
Flipmode Enemy – Rampage
Interlude – Notorious B.I.G.
Illuminati – Tragedy / Iman Thug