Hello and welcome to part three of the 1983 Hideaway 200 spotlight on twelve-inch singles. Today's batch of my favorite larger-sized singles from 1983 are grouped together under the broad banner of hip-hop. All of these singles were purchased in 1983 and listening to them brought back many, many great memories of my Junior and Senior years of high school, tooling around in my parents Chrysler Cordoba with green Corinthian leather. (I got my driver's license a year late, in 1983, and I wouldn't get my first car, a customized 1964 VW Bug, until April 1984, around my 18th birthday.)
"Get Out Of My Mix" doesn't get much play but I've been a fan ever since buying it without first hearing it, all because it said Thomas Dolby wrote and produced it right there on the label. Sounds like a more playful, less-abrasive Trevor Horn/Art Of Noise production with both recognizable and unrecognizable elements from Dolby tracks "Europa And The Pirate Twins" and "She Blinded Me With Science" floating in and out of the mix. The 7:58 Special Dance Version would later appear on the 12x12 Original Remixes compilation in 1999 and a 4:44 single edit of the track appears as the first of eight Bonus Tracks on the 2009 Collector's Edition of The Flat Earth, Dolby's underrated 1984 follow-up to The Golden Age Of Wireless.
When Bill Laswell was putting together the state of the art squad he would use on Hancock's Future Shock album in 1982, he asked his friend Afrika Bambaataa who he should use on the turntables. Bambaataa said, "Whiz Kid", who was red hot at the time with "Play That Beat Mr. DJ". But when Laswell called to invite Whiz Kid aka Harold McGuire to be a part of the team, the DJ was unavailable and suggested his own protege DJ Cheese, which Laswell considered for maybe a minute before inviting his own friend Derek Showard bka Grandmixer D.ST. down to the studio. ("Play That Beat Mr. DJ" would find larger success when cut and spliced with other songs by Double Dee and Steinski in 1985 as "The Payoff Mix" while DJ Cheese, whose real name is Robert Cheese, went on to win the world DJ championship with handcuffs on in 1986 so it was all gouda.) D.ST. came in, did his part in just one take and then toured the world with Hancock for the next three years. But first, the twenty-one-year-old laid down "Crazy Cuts" late one night in the Boogie Down Bronx and the seventeen-year-old me picked it up one night in the Old Pueblo at Loco Records. While you may never have heard Grandmixer D.ST.'s "Crazy Cuts" until right here and now, it may sound familiar to you. And not because he cuts and scratches up Chic's "Good Times" as so many DJ's had been doing since that song's release in 1979. "Crazy Cuts" should sound familiar because it is the turntable riff he performed in Herbie Hancock's smash hit "Rockit" stretched out to fill a whole side of a twelve-inch single that climbed to number 15 on the Dance/Disco chart.
We had no idea "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)" was lifted from Liquid Liquid's "Cavern" back in 1983 but it really wouldn't have made much of a difference as we were cuckoo for the high energy of the track, blissfully ignorant of its subject matter, its musical origins and its double negative there in the title. With all apologies to all the wonderful music of 1983, this awkwardly credited Grandmaster & Melle Mel joint was the most popular song of my 1983 and while it still sounds great today it is tainted with the knowledge that, in addition to being an uncredited note-for-note recreation of "Cavern", the song was originally written and recorded as a pro-drug anthem before certain Just Say No-like lines were added to better its commercial prospects.
Hashim is the recording name of Jerry Calliste Jr. and his "Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)" is not as well-known among casual music fans as the records above and below it in today's missive but it is probably the single most influential track here. Calliste was just 18 when he wrote, performed, produced and mixed this seminal electro track. I cannot take credit for buying this track as I had no idea what it was until the Doug Henning looking guy at Loco said I should try it.
I believe "Hard Times"/"Jam-Master Jay" is RUN-D.M.C.'s debut single* and I'm fine with not verifying that as it the first of their records I bought. Cannot recall where I first heard the songs - from a coworker, maybe - but I bought it the following payday. The sparse beats, the intelligible lyrics, the humble bragging all make for a great sound I continue to enjoy thirty-five years later.
*After a few days, I ended up looking it up and it is not their first single: "It's Like That"/"Sucker M.C.'s (Krush Groove 1)" preceded it by a month in 1983.