February 8, 1990

This episode is from February 8, 1990. Eazy M was off DJing a party somewhere in Jersey, so his partner from “Too Smooth” (later “Sounds from the Underground”) Fresh J filled in as a co-host. Eazy’s absence meant that Tone was given a full two hours on the wheels. And, man, was Tone in full promotion mode. Tons of great Trenton acts, special announcements about groups that were to become legendary, and even some MC Serch references. This really is a classic episode.

So, side by side:

Side 1 (10:05-10:48pm)

The show kicks off with some technical difficulties, but Tone steps up to the wheels (after telling Fresh J, “You’re messing uuuuup!”) to kick off his two hours and displays some nice turntable work when he starts things off with Gang Starr’s “Words I Manifest.” From there, he moves into Marky Fresh’s underrated “Mack of Rap” and then hits a couple of Trenton cuts from Too Kool Posse (“Music Makes You Move”) and YZ.

During the first break, Tone pimps an upcoming show for the first of many times. The show sounds like a killer, put on by the Awesome Two in New York City at Quando’s (which was on 9 East 2nd Ave). It featured A Tribe Called Quest, LONS, Freshco and Miz, Robbie B and DJ Jazz, Poor Righteous Teachers in their first NY appearance, and Tony D. When Tone mentions Tribe, he asks G, “Have you heard of those guys?” and G replies that he has but has trouble remembering the name of their first single. Seems weird now, huh?

Among the tracks in the next set are “The Gas Face,” which surprised me not only because they didn’t cut out the repeated “Oh shit”s, but because that was the track that kicked off the Tony D-Serch feud (quick recap: Tone mistook Serch’s dis to “Tony Dick” as a shot at him and then fired back at Serch on vinyl). Debuted on the show is one of my favorite all-time cuts that’s nearly impossible to find, 360 Degrees’ (made up of Prophecy and Gusto) “Ebony Harmony.” Additionally, this is a partial version that’s different from the one that wound up on their EP. In the mid-2000s, Tone was selling the EP for $500 on eBay.

  • Intro/super sloppy intro airbreak (over Inside Out (Instrumental)… Queen Latifah)
  • Words I Manifest… Gang Starr
  • Mack of Rap… Markey Fresh
  • Young, Gifted, and Black… Big Daddy Kane
  • Music Makes You Move… Too Kool Posse
  • Airbreak (over Master Plan (Remix Instrumental)… YZ)
  • Raise the Flag… X-Clan
  • Gas Face (feat. Zev Love X)… 3rd Bass
  • Ebony Harmony (Demo Version)… 360 Degrees
  • Check the Elevation… Tony D

Side 2 (10:49-11:35pm)

Some great banter on this side (“Lance, Lance with the dookey stain pants”). Tone hints at a possible “Serch vs. Tony Part 2″ and the upcoming New York show (“If Serch comes…”).

Also on this side, a Tony D-voiced ad for the “Sound of Trenton” record store, an 8-minute anti-apartheid song with Black Rock and Ron, Brand Nubian, and many others (“Ndodemnyama (Free South Africa)” by Hip-Hop Against Apartheid), the premiere of “Listen to Me Brother,” and more Tony D, Blvd. Mosse, and PRT goodness.

  • Check the Elevation… Tony D (cont.)
  • ? ID
  • Welcome to the Terrordome… Public Enemy
  • Airbreak
  • Sound of Trenton ad
  • Ndodemnyama (Free South Africa)… Hip-Hop Against Apartheid
  • Listen to Me Brother… Tony D
  • Time to Say Peace… Poor Righteous Teachers
  • Shoe Polish… Tony D
  • Airbreak

Side 3 (11:35pm-12:15am)

At the end of the night, Tone debuts a new track with PRT that didn’t even have a name yet (it later became “Can I Start This?” and kicked off PRT’s Holy Intellect). They also play the top track in their new countdown and close out the show with some funny back and forth between Tone and Fresh J before it kicks into Fresh J’s “Too Smooth” underground house show.

  • Airbreak
  • Ed Lover drop
  • Airbreak
  • Move To Something Funky… Blvd. Mosse
  • Itz Oh Kay… Kwamé & A New Beginning
  • Heed the Word of the Brother… X-Clan
  • Can I Start This? (feat. Tony D)… Poor Righteous Teachers
  • Brand Nubian… Brand Nubian
  • Crocodile Dundee… YZ
  • Airbreak into Too Smooth

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