Sunday, 28 August 2011

Derek B - Bullet From a Gun (1988) FLAC or mp3

This could be my favourite album of all time.  It defines Hip Hop's coming of age.  The perfect balance of drum programming, sampled loops and scratching.

When the time came to compile Bullet From a Gun the total running time was too long.  Since vinyl still dominated in 1988 some songs were shortened to fit.  CD's on the other hand could hold up to 74 minutes of music so bonus tracks were added.  Unfortunately though some tracks on CD were the versions shortened to fit on vinyl.  The good news is between the US & UK releases we can salvage all the full length versions.

UK  Good Groove (5:52)
US  Goodgroove (6:31)
UK  Rock the Beat (5:30)
US  Rock the Beat (4:42)
UK  We've Got the Juice (4:37)
US  We Got the Juice (5:44)

"Rock the Beat" benefits the most from having the full release.  The backwards beat is a sonic classic & was unfortunately trimmed for the edited version.

CD  Bonus Tracks:
UK  Rock the Beat
UK  Derek B's Got...
UK  Bad Young Brother (Billy Beat Mix)
US  Alright Now
US  Def Beat Boy

Surprising to see "Rock the Beat" is a bonus track in the UK.  I'd have included it before "Human Time Bomb" & maybe a couple others.

So here is the definitive version of Bullet From a Gun that I have compiled.  Combining the best of the UK & US releases it is the only version you will ever need:
  1. Bullet From a Gun
  2. Bad Young Brother (Billy Beat Mix)
  3. Power Move
  4. Human Time Bomb
  5. All City
  6. Rock the Beat
  7. Get Down
  8. We've Got the Juice
  9. Alright Now
  10. Good Groove
  11. Success
  12. Derek B's Got...!
  13. Def Beat Boy
I once saw a Japanese version for sale on eBay that had 14 tracks but didn't list them.  If you happen to have it can you please share the tracklisting.

Download:  Link Removed
Password:  derekbtribute
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Saturday, 27 August 2011

Founding Father or Sellout?

Second hand sources say Derek B was criticised for rapping with an American accent instead of his native British voice.  But second hand sources also say that, when Music of Life was compiling tracks for Def Beats 1, Derek stepped up and made his own song - Rock the Beat.  Look at the last comment on the cover below.  Did Derek rap with an American accent to give the impression he was from New York City?  Did he set the precedent for his style that he couldn't then turn his back on?  How convincing was his accent anyway?

One thing's for sure.  He put his homeland before America.  He rapped:
  • "America you're under attack!" - from "Bullet From a Gun"
  • "Step off New York cause London's here!" - from "We've Got the Juice"
Within a culture that takes it's history very seriously them's fightin words!  I guess KRS-ONE wasn't listening.  But it wasn't all one-way traffic:
  • "I give thanks to the brothers from across the ocean for giving me a sip of their magic potion." - from "Get Down"
It's clear though that Derek wasn't sure where he fit in:
  • "In the States, the brothers, they are proud.  In England they tried to pull me down." - from "All City"
And the recognition of his US counterparts was something he proudly promoted:
  • "Derek B has one of the hottest records in New York." - Chuck D from the "Power Move" intro.
But the accent was something consciously dealt with.  On "Success", Derek B the DJ & producer speaks with a British accent to EZQ, the MC with an American accent:

EZQ:        Yo D!
Derek B:  Yeah?
EZQ:        You know that def B line you was runnin on me?
Derek B:  Go on, yeah.
EZQ:        Give it to me please.
Derek B:  Alright, sweet.  Hold on.  What, like this?
EZQ:        Yeah, that's right.


This man's contribution to Hip Hop doesn't get the recognition it deserves.  Emcee, deejay AND producer - This cat did it all!  Sadly, he recently passed away.

Derek Boland.  Born: London, 15 January 1965; died: London, 15 November 2009.

Welcome to the Derek B Tribute.