Carl Jones' What Samples? show continually presents innovative new ways and ideas to celebrate 90s hip-hop and this extra special set sees Carl show some love to our friends over at 4 Ever in Electric Dreams and the epic list of 100 90's hip-hop tracks that they compiled earlier this year:
Carl breathes some fantastic life into the list by presenting the second of a series of shows dipping into some of his favourites from the list in his distinct fashion. Carl continues to present What Samples? as his undying love letter to hip-hop and we're so proud to be able to host these for your listening pleasure.
Episode #62 of the Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind podcast sees Dan, Tee-J, Imran and friend of the show, Richard Roth, discuss the news of Vince McMahon's retirement from WWE.
Many never believed they'd see it in their lifetime but the WWE seeks to journey into a new era under the guidance and leadership of Stephanie McMahon and Paul LeVesque (HHH). What does this mean for the WWE product, how will it impact the company's overall culture moving forward and what impact is this likely to have on pro wrestling rivals, AEW?
Episode #61 of the Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind podcast sees Tee-J, Imran and Dan discuss the abundance of comic book films and TV.
Is this the golden age of comic book visual entertainment or has the peak passed and we're now reaching an oversaturation point? We look at Marvel's impact on the genre, the variety of streaming services available and ask the pertinent question - what was the last thing you watched that wasn't rooted in comic book lore?
Episode #60 of the Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind podcast sees Tee-J, Imran and Dan settle down to classic movies that we've never actually seen.
Following on from Episode #59 which sees the team allocated their movies to watch in the fourth of our 'catching up with the classics' series, hear our first-time reviews of three movies within the theme of 80s action including 'The Wraith' (1986), 'Cobra' (1986) and 'Big Trouble in Little China' (1986).
Plus we kick the episode off with Dan's incredible real-life 80s action hero story of saving a drowning woman. It's true. It's a real thing that happened. Click to hear all about it.
Episode #59 of the Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind podcast sees Tee-J, Imran and Dan settle down to classic movies that we've never actually seen.
For the fourth in our 'catching up with the classics' series, we each pitch three movies we haven't seen to the group with them voting on which movie each person should watch. This go-round sees the team explore the glorious genre of 80s action movies as we seek to fill the gaps within our own catalogues. There's lots of preamble about the genre itself as we look at some of the icons of the time with a small dalliance into horror territory as well.
Plus we ask the all important questions, "What does the 'Tee' in 'Tee-J' stand for anyway?"
Tune into our next episode - Monday 4th July - to hear the full reviews for each of our picks.
Episode #58 of the Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind podcast sees the team ponder the increasingly darker portrayals of our big screen super heroes.
From the recent depiction of Matt Reeves' grittier and violent representation of 'The Batman' to Sam Raimi's heavily horror-inspired extension of the MCU's Dr Strange narrative, the team looks back at a simpler time when comic book movies where such themes weren't so prevalent within superhero movies. We seem to have moved on from an era of comic book adaptations treated as exclusive content for child- and family-friendly audiences but is the increased level of violence and adult content symptoms of these movies now being geared towards broader audiences or are today's children exposed to so much more now that the boundaries of what constitutes youth content have just evolved?
C.E.N.K. is represented on this episode by Tee-J Sutherland, Dan Collacott, Imran Mirza and long-time friend and broadcasting companion, Denis-Jose Francois.
Episode #57 of the Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind podcast sees the team delve into the most recent on-screen adaptation of The Caped Crusader, 'The Batman'.
Directed by Matt Reeves and featuring an all-star cast including Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Andy Serkis and Colin Farrell, we look at all aspects of the film including the how our new Bruce Wayne holds up, the depiction of Gotham, the Rogues gallery and where this depiction fits within the team's personal favourite Batman interpretations.
C.E.N.K. is represented on this episode by Tee-J Sutherland, Dan Collacott and long-time friend and broadcasting companion, Denis-Jose Francois.
Episode #56 of the Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind podcast sees the team issue their final, somewhat overdue, entry into March's 4ever in Electric Dreams' 90s hip-hop month. For this episode, Dan Collacott, Tee-J Sutherland & Imran Mirza explore some of their favourite 90's hip-hop one-hit wonders and then Imran finds out that revenge truly is a dish best served cold... As quizmaster to episode 55's 90's hip-hop quiz pitting Dan vs TeeJ, the quiz-ees unexpectedly turn the tables with a surprise quiz on the quiz-er in a heinous act of vengeance. How does Imran fare without the answers in front of him?
Welcome to Episode #14 of the 90s State of Mind podcast - a collaborative project between 4ever in Electric Dreams and Blue-in-Green:RADIO. This podcast series sees Imran (London, UK) and Rhonda (California, USA) delve into some of their favourite releases from the 90s and for this episode, the pair celebrate the sophomore studio album from the late, great Notorious BIG, 'Life After Death'.
Released 25th March 1997 through Bad Boy Records, the album would see its release 16 days after Biggie's murder and would go on to be nominated for three Grammies and be certified Platinum in the US eleven times. Spearheaded by the singles 'Hypnotize', 'Mo Money Mo Problems' and 'Sky's The Limit', the album would also be cited in several leading publications from Rolling Stone, The Face, Q and The Source as one of the greatest albums of all time.
Imran & Rhonda delve deep into this definitive 90s hip-hop classic looking at the project, the singles, the collaborators, as well as the variations from 'Ready To Die' and the subsequent posthumous releases.
Blue-in-Green:RADIO is a London-based online internet radio station which celebrates 21st century soul, jazz, funk, Latin & hip-hop music.
As part of 4ever in Electric Dreams' 90s hip-hop month, members of the team will be revisiting some of their favourite albums of the era so reminisce with us as we continue our celebration...
I can concede straightaway that this may be an unusual album to showcase as a personal classic from the 1990s. Only unusual in the sense that, A Tribe Called Quest's first three albums are certified, undisputed, classic releases: 'People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm' (1990), 'The Low End Theory' (1991) and 'Midnight Marauders' (1993) cemented the trio's legacy and inspired subsequent generations of hip-hop in both fans and performers. Pharrell Williams once described his affection for Tribe's music as the realisation that "music was art".
Whilst 'Beats, Rhymes and Life' (1996) certainly boasted its successes - namely Grammy nominations for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for the single '1nce Again' featuring vocalist Tammy Lucas - the album marked a significant period of change for the group, and it was one met with conflicting reviews...
Around this time, Tribe members, Q-Tip, Phife Dawg and Ali Shaheed Muhammad found themselves, personally, being pulled in different directions. With Phife having moved to Atlanta and Tip and Ali having discovered Islam, Phife began to feel somewhat isolated from what was once a tight unit. On top of that, a fourther name was indicted into the group by way of Consequence (Q-Tip's cousin) who became a fully fleged Tribe member, adding more concerns for Phife that the group were laying the groundwork to have him replaced. Thematically, and lyrically, 'Beats, Rhymes and Life' is also cited as having lost an element of what made Tribe "fun" as they explored slightly more darker themes throughout including the infamous East-West Coast rivalry along with themes around gang violence and mental health.
The album also introduced a significantly different sound in the album's production namely through the inclusion of The Ummah. The Ummah was a production collective that comprised Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed and new member James Yancey (known at the time as Jay Dee but later more commonly known as J Dilla). Following an introduction by vocalist and producer, Amp Fiddler, Tip and Jay Dee bonded quickly with Yancey's unparalleled production forming a large part of the overall Ummah aesthetic with Jay Dee production giving birth to songs including '1nce Again', 'Stressed Out', 'Baby Phife's Return' along with two more of the album's tracks.
While much of 'Beats, Rhymes and Life' is surrounded in elements of friction and somewhat drastic changes for what fans had come to expect from A Tribe Called Quest, it doesn't change the fact that - certainly for this reviewer - that this is a front-to-back brilliant album! Much of the album signifies growth and maturity and with even the renowned jazz sampling, which was so apparent in Tribe's first three albums, subsequently making way to a smoother sound that would go on to have an even bigger impact on neo-soul artists and the genre going forward.
If you're reading this as a devoted fan of Tribe's first three Holy Trinity of album releases, with 'Beats, Rhymes and Life' serving as a project that didn't initially engage you, I would certainly encourage you to take this moment to attempt to connect with it once again as, aside from having one of the best album titles of any album ever, there are some fantastic high points throughout and I'd argue the case for this being an underappreciated classic.
The 4Ever team...
Welcome to 4ever in Electric Dreams which is the virtual HQ and home to our burgeoning podcast network spearheaded by our flagship series, Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind (C.E.N.K.).
Our podcasts are available on the following platforms: