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Pwned by Homeland Security

Waddup XXL world, Skyzoo checking in again. After a small delay I’m back at it with the blogging. The past few weeks have been hectic, in a good way. I couldn’t blog the way I wanted to because of everything that’s been going on with the music. From the “106 & Park” appearance to the “Speakers On Blast” remix with Lloyd Banks and Maino, and everything that’s been going on in between, I’ve def been tied up with new moves. Like Marlo from The Wire would say, “Call it a good problem.” With all of that being said, I’m back to having the time I need to blog for the week.

This past week saw the temporary shut down of a few key music websites, including my homies OnSmash. The anti-piracy game is in full swing right now, which is fine from an artist’s perspective, but it obviously makes no sense to shut down a site such as OnSmash, which is fueled by music that the artists and labels themselves provide. It shows the lack of research and knowledge that the powers-that-be actually have. Watching all of the above happen, it made me reflect on the state of the game as we know it, the idea of finding new music, and how it has changed drastically.

As a junior high and high school student, I, like everyone else around me, was all about finding out who was hot in the streets. In the mid-late ’90′s, the best way to do that was through a Clue tape. For those outta the loop, a DJ Clue tape was pretty much the end all be all for exclusives. When a Clue tape dropped, it seemed like the world stopped for a moment. Tapes like 4,5,6, Fall Pt. 1, Platinum Plus, Clue For President, etc., were all serious moments in mixtape history. I proudly still have most of my Clue tapes, emphasis on the word “tapes.”

The thing about mixtapes and getting music back then was that when a tape dropped, that was it for about three months. Sounds like a far-fetched idea in 2010, but in ’97, that Clue tape or Envy tape or Ron G tape held you down for a full season until the weather changed. The tape would generally consist of between 25-30 joints, from new songs to freestyles to remixes, and they were mostly all never before heard. Copping the new Clue tape from stores like Beat Street (R.I.P.) or from Hott Waxx (R.I.P.) or the Africans in the back of the sneaker store and rocking out for the next few months was everything to a 9th grader. Passing the tape around the school, going to somebody’s crib during lunch to play it when they’re mother was at work (think of the scene in Juice when the crew cut school and went to Steel’s house), rewinding the Lox freestyle over and over, the novelty was in the fact that you never knew when you’d get a new tape again. So those 30 exclusives lasted for months at a time, because you had to make them last.

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