NEW MIX! CASH MONEY BOUNCE

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I finally finished a mix that I’ve been working on little by little over the last year, exclusively after 2am. Blame the stupid working hours on the fun of becoming a dad – each night I was volunteering to stay up all night to look after my son’s night feeds and would spend my new nocturnal spare time answering questions like “I wonder how many gigabytes the entire No Limit discography will take up on my laptop” (the answer is 12.17). I became addicted to staying up late and delving deep into the back catalogues of my favourite artists, producers and record labels; my downloading marathons interrupted by the cries of a hungry baby, who would be fed with one as I spent way too much money on the eBay app with the other, bidding on old tapes and CDs with a recklessness not usually associated with new parents.

A mission I accepted early into my night rap crusade was to fill the gaps in my Cash Money discography. Cash Money has always been the label I’m quick to blurt out whenever someone asks what my favourite rap label is – but it’s always immediately followed by “until 2005!”. That’s the year Mannie Fresh left the label, the best rap producer of all time and the heart and soul of Cash Money during their best years. It was crazy to me how different the early Cash Money releases were to what they put out these days and I wanted to hear the progression of Mannie Fresh as a producer, of Cash Money as a label and of Cash Money’s influenceon the sound of New Orleans hip hop. I’d become fascinated with the history of New Orleans rap scene in the 90s (spending as much money on old No Limit albums and the odd overpriced bounce 12″ as I was on Cash Money releases) so I bought a few books documenting the bounce movement, most of which were useless and referenced the articles I was finding online anyway (Matt Miller’s Bounce is a great read though). For the purpose of this mix, the best article I found was this fantastic history of Cash Money’s independent years on the Amoeba Records blog, which the perfect introduction to the labels beginnings and the characters involved in their long story. (Sidenote: last year I found Lil Wayne’s 500 Degreez on vinyl at Amoeba Records in LA for $1 but I’d parked illegally in the Jack In A Box across the road. My car was towed and I had to pay $250 to get it released. Bargain!)

A weeks worth of Paypal transactions and illegal downloads of hard to find tape rips was all it took to complete my collection and soon my iTunes library contained every single record released on Cash Money from 1992 until 2004 (even the Teena Marie album). As my son slept, I immersed myself in the back catalogue, burning dozens of comps of my favourite tracks for the car and whittling it down to the essentials. I was immediately drawn to the bounce stuff as that’s where Mannie Fresh’s roots with Cash Money are. The beats on the first few releases are rawww (especially when heard as a low quality mp3 ripped from a cassette), with fairly primitive drum machine loops and recognisable samples. With each release Mannie builds on the bounce framework more and more, adding live instrumentation and relying less on loops, eventually removing the tell-tale bounce samples and producing his more hip hoppy (but still clearly bounce influenced) signature sound.

Originally this mix was gonna just collect the bounce tracks produced while Cash Money was an independent label (until 1998) but it made sense to include the last two proper bounce tracks Fresh produced, the mega hits ‘Back That Azz Up’ (from Juvenile’s 400 Degreez) and ‘I Need a Hot Girl’ (off the Hot Boys’ Guerilla Warfare) to show how he brought the sound of New Orleans bounce into the mainstream rap charts. Plus, they’re fucking awesome songs.

At some point I’ll make a mix of all of the more straight rap stuff Cash Money put out, from the Pimp C produced Kilo G tracks, to seriously half the songs on B.G.’s two part album It’s All On U. Even if I stuck to the independent years there’s enough gold to warrant another two mixes, showcasing one of the best labels and eras in the history of raps. Until then, here’s Cash Money Bounce.

Tracklist:

LIL’ SLIM bounce slide ride
B-32 shake that ass like a salt shaker
MC HEAVY gangster walk
PIMP DADDY got 2 be real (remix)
PxMxWx mo bounce
U.N.L.V. get into it with a nigger
U.N.L.V. eddie bow
PxMxWx still smokin’
PxMxWx splift out
PIMP DADDY keep on kick it
B.G.’z true story
B-32 feat MS. TEE i need a bag of dope
U.N.L.V. 6th & baronne
PIMP DADDY god bless the dead (rip)
LIL’ SLIM feat PxMxWx blunt after blunt
LIL’ SLIM feat B-32 ho’s i used 2 sweat II
PxMxWx feat LIL’ SLIM big man got hoes
U.N.L.V. pussy c’mon to me!
MS. TEE let’s get high
U.N.L.V. jazzy bitch
MAGNOLIA SHORTY monkey on tha dick
JUVENILE feat BIG TYMERS & MAGNOLIA SHORTY 3rd ward soulja
MS. TEE i like it (MANNIE FRESH style)
JUVENILE feat LIL’ WAYNE & MANNIE FRESH back that azz up
HOT BOYS feat BIG TYMERS i need a hot girl

crooks

I’ll be playing a shitload of bounce hits this Saturday night in Sydney at Goodgod Small Club for Halfway Crooks. It’s Mardi Gras night and every year we do a New Orleans Mardi Gras Party which is always my favourite party of the year. Huge lineup, free beads and a solid three hours of triggaman samples. Come dance. RSVP here.

Artwork by Daniel McKinley.

SOME PHOTOBOMBS I FORGOT ABOUT

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Stop the fucking press! I just remembered some photobombs from last year that I never put up! Maybe you were lucky enough to catch these on Two Thousand last year. The visionary Hayley Morgan took them on the last day of Splendour In The Grass 2013.

I’m gonna be at Splendour again tomorrow, DJing on the Smirnoff stage with my Halfway Crooks buds Franco, Elston, Ezzy and Joyride. Might ruin a few photos while I’m up there too.

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All my old photobombs can be found here.

LOCKOUTS AND FUCKWITS

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Yesterday morning NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell announced a set of new laws for Sydney’s pubs and clubs to abide by. Brought in to target “alcohol-fuelled violence”, these laws include a new 1:30AM lockout and a ban on selling alcohol after 3am.

Knowing how much this would affect not just me but everyone I work with at Goodgod Small Club and my countless other friends who work as DJs, club promoters or in hospitality, I quickly opened Twitter to find that everything I wanted to yell had already been yelled 500 times. I threw some of the better responses a favourite or a like and called a few friends to discuss how badly these new laws would affect us. 3 discussions later and every social media feed I had open had a million new posts from friends outraged at the Premier’s decision, not just because of the effects it would have on their lifestyles, but because of how alienated by the decision they felt. Why hadn’t anybody who represented their voice been consulted before the decision was made?

Earlier in the week I read an article by David Penberthy. Two lines from this article stuck with me:

It appears to be mandatory to describe the random, mindless violence we have seen in pubs and on footpaths around the nation as “alcohol-fuelled” violence. I hate this term.

A more appropriate term would be scumbag-fuelled violence, as the focus on alcohol lets the scumbags off the hook.

With what David said in mind, I blessed the internet with a trio of zingers.

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With the extent of my wit out in the webosphere, I continued my day, absolutely not checking my phone every 30 seconds for favourites, retweets and likes.

At 10pm a friend let me know that my face was on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald website. Underneath the heading “Thousand sign petition against ‘draconian’ drink laws”, I was the first name referenced in an article focused on the reactions of ‘young partygoers’. My “Don’t Be A Fuckwit’ campaign tweet was written as if the paper had called me for a quote and that was what I had decided to give them, which I absolutely saw the funny side to, so I shared the article right away. 100 likes later and I realised that I might soon need to clarify that I wasn’t actually a part of the movement who had started a petition against the new laws, nor had I ever used the word ‘draconian’ in my lifetime.

I called my Dad to let him know that in tomorrow’s paper his son had been quoted saying the word ‘fuckwit’ and went to bed.

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I woke up the next morning to an insane amount of notifications on my phone. Who needs an alarm when you know you have a social media shitstorm to address! The comments on my personal Facebook page were all positive, a given considering that 80% of my friends are involved in the music industry in some way. Over on the SMH Facebook page was another story, with people singling me out as the poster boy for an entire campaign against the Premier’s new laws. Some people pointed out the flaws in my “Don’t Be A Fuckwit” campaign, while others pointed out the flaws in my face. Later that day I realised that my own Facebook page was open for the entire universe to see and comment on after a handful of strangers did exactly that, telling me that they were laughing heartily at anyone complaining about the new laws (my response: “Don’t be a fuckwit”) and making me realise why those privacy settings exist. Back at the SMH Facebook page a lovely woman commented that “After viewing Mr Levins FB I note that he is reading the comments left and is less than happy with some of them. My advice Mr Levins is if you don’t want people to comment on your views then don’t talk to journalists.”

What was funny about the whole ordeal is that all I had done was put up a few zingers on Twitter. Nobody had contacted me to comment on the new laws and I hadn’t offered anything resembling an opinion online beyond the zingers. People I didn’t know were either praising me or shaming me (mostly the latter) for leading a movement that I wasn’t really a part of. It was a weird reminder of the overhyped media frenzy that lead to these new laws being pushed upon us.

The Herald story was updated today, making it much clearer that all the opinions within were taken directly from social media (although ‘draconian’ still haunts my paragraph) and a few excellent articles have been published elsewhere that show a much more level headed take on the reactions from those affected by the new laws.

My good friends and co-workers Jimmy, Hana and Adam put together this piece for Faster Louder, which speaks out against the proposed laws while highlighting what a unique and special place Goodgod Small Club is: “Goodgod was started to provide an answer to the problems with Sydney’s nightlife culture. Barry O’Farrell’s laws don’t just fail to address these issues, but their broad, one-size-fits-all nature also pose a serious threat to solutions like us. They compromise our ability to deliver on our ethos of creating an iconic Sydney club, where music is celebrated and music lovers can enthusiastically party in a welcoming and safe environment.

I was interviewed for this article on artsHub alongside some other kool figures from Sydney’s nightlife which features comparisons to Melbourne’s recent failed lock in laws, official statistics that show the decline of non-domestic assaults in Sydney and me saying: “Some of my favourite memories in the last decade have happened at 4am in the morning.”

I’m sure that in the next few weeks I’ll put together a more succinct response to the proposed laws, especially as the laws become less ‘proposed’ and more ‘career ending’. Who knows, maybe my ‘Don’t Be A Fuckwit’ campaign will actually take off, hopefully with Sam Kekovich as its spokesperson. I just hope everyone outside of the scene affected by these new laws thinks about the music and culture that will be lost before they join in congratulating the government for making a rash decision that won’t actually stop any violence. 

My thoughts go out to the families of the two boys who were killed as a result of an angry attack and while I sincerely hope no further attacks occur, these new laws are not the right way to go about making a change.

Follow me on Twitter, hopefully more of my tweets will make the news and you’ll be able to read tomorrow’s headlines today!

The proposed laws supposedly don’t come into play until February, luckily I have a party organised for this Sunday night if anyone wants to come down and dance. I recommend taking advantage of this weekend and going to as many parties as possible as clubhopping will soon be a forgotten concept, like planking.

Thanks so much for reading this. It took me a long time. It’s 2:30am right now. I’d have a nightcap but I’m afraid I won’t be able to get in anywhere.

KNIFEY SPOONY

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to do a whole party based off of one Simpsons joke.

Come hang with me and Joyride (and a tonne of other kool mates) this Sunday night. I know it can be difficult to celebrate Australia Day given what it represents but we are hoping to unite everyone in the celebration of a Simpsons episode set in Australia. How very 2014.

We’ll be playing the usual good time hits of rap, R&B and Earth Song, we might even throw in a few of the Alt Aussie bangers we grew up with. I’ve re-upped my Australia Day Mix from 2012, filled with local hits from the late 90s and early 00s to prepare you for such a possibility!

Read more about my Australia Day Mix here.

RSVP for Knifey Spoony here.

MIXES BY MATES

Happy new year! I haven’t made a mix in just under a month but I did make a BABY. You can’t listen to Archie (yet) but you can listen to these wavy rap mixes that some of my best pals put out over the last few weeks!


Radge – The After Hours


Captain Franco – Half Lyfe


Aslan – January Canvas Mixtape


Illuminati Trillionaires – Christmas Mixtape

ALL CAKE EVERYTHING


 

Good pal Sampology promised me he’d make a video to my stupid edit of the dumbest Jay-Z verse of all time. A few months passed and Sam came good on his promise.

This video is truly wonderful and in three days it’s gotten more than 16,000 views. Hopefully Jay-Z records more songs about pastries this year!

EVERY MIX I MADE IN 2013

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People have been saying some wildly negative things about 2013 on social media in the last month. There’s even a NYE party in Georgia called #Fuck2013, which boasts free drinks all night and “everything u need”, according to @Osama_BinFuckin on Twitter.

But you won’t catch me pounding free alcopops at #Fuck2013 this year. Flights to Riverdale were just too expensive and more importantly, I loved 2013. Bianca and I got married this year, went on two huge holidays and have spent the last few months awaiting the birth of our first son (our number one name for him so far is Osama BinFuckin).

“Good for you, dickhead! My 2013 sucked! I got divorced, smoked two packets of holidays and my son hates me!” I hear you man, and I’m sorry to hear that. Maybe one of these eight mixes I made this year will cheer you up.


 

THE SOUNDTRACK 2 DA WEDDING

We went all out for our wedding in April, spending the three months beforehand making decorations, desserts and dresses that added a personal touch to our big day. We wanted our friends to take home something once the wedding was over, so I made an activity book and a mix which we gave to all our guests.

The mix is a collection of dorky love songs that we have both been obsessed with over the five years we’ve been together. Songs we yell at each other in the car or have forced our friends to listen to at 5 in the morning.


CRISP FOREVER

I made this mix for Vanishing Elephant and it’s probably the best mix from start to finish that I’ve ever made. Highly emotional r&b and rap. Some good grinding anthems. The intro is me being a dickhead with the intro from Rick Ross’s Rich Forever mixtape.

DO THE DIP VOLUME 2

Our restaurant The Dip turned two this year! This mix is a follow up to Do The Dip Volume 1, made in 2012 when The Dip turned one. This is the opposite of the low tempo vibes on Crisp Forever. Do The Dip Volume 2 is nothing but upbeat club rap, the kinda tunes we blast in the kitchen when we’re busy. There’s a tonne of DJ Mustard on here.

THE LAST LOVE KINGS

Love Kings, the semi-regular R&B night that I ran with Radge over the last three years, had its last hurrah in August this year, just before Radge moved overseas. This mix is a few new R&B songs I was feeling with a lot of R&B hits from the last couple of years that were felt very deeply at Love Kings. This is my most listened to mix ever! I should end my parties more often.

This is a bigger and better sequel to my 2011 Love Kings Mix.

KOOL DAD FM by Levins on Mixcloud

KOOL DAD FM

And now, my least listened to mix ever, mostly due to the fact that Soundcloud won’t let it stay on their site because of the Kenny Rogers song at the beginning. Kool Dad FM was made for Fathers Day and is a tribute to Dad Rock! A grip of rock classics perfect for blaring out of your car with the windows down. I’m really proud of this mix and it was crazy hard timestretching half these songs so they mixed with each other. I lose sleep over how few people have listened to this. You can download it here, please burn it for your Dad.

WAMP WAMP RETURNS
Wamp Wamp was a party that I ran with my pal Kato in 2007, at the height of everyone’s obsession with subgenres like Baltimore Club, Crunk and Baile Funk. We brought the party back in November with our Melbourne buddy Tranter coming up for a set too. The three of us teamed up for this throwback mix, each putting together a 20 minute mix full of the best of 2007’s genres with silly names.

HALFWAY CROOKS x HOOPS BEST OF 2013

Another team up! This time for the Halfway Crooks & Hoops Xmas party at Goodgod (which was last weekend and was incredible!). The Wamp Wamp mix was 3 DJs putting together 20 minute mixes, this mix is 6 DJs putting together 10 minutes mixes! Anna Lunoe, Nina Las Vegas, Bad Ezzy, Captain Franco, Elston and me, throwing down a quick mix featuring some of our favourite songs of 2013. Hosted by Google Text 2 Speech, the hottest MC of the year.

GOODGOD NYE PROM HITS

My 8th and final mix of 2013 is a mix I made to promote the crazy concept of the Goodgod NYE Prom, a party that’s an 80’s Homecoming Prom in the front and a Jiggy 2001 Year 10 Formal out the back. The mix is half 80’s soul and half early 2000’s R&B. It’s some smooth listening and acts as a taste of the smoothness you can expect at Goodgod on New Years Eve! Buy yourself a ticket to the prom here.

There you go! Eight mixes in one year! A personal best, even if you take out the collaborative mixes (which you shouldn’t, because they’re great!). Please share these with everyone you know who likes kool music and I’ll try to make even more mixes in 2014.

Let me know which mix is your favourite and which mix you’d like a sequel to in the comments! I promise that 4 MILLION IQ, the long awaited sequel to 1 MILLION IQ and 2 MILLION IQ, will drop early next year. Thanks for listening!

NEW MIX! GOODGOD NYE PROM HITS!

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Yup – yet another mix! But this one is to give you a better idea of what to expect at the Goodgod NYE Prom. That’s right, we’re doing a Prom at Goodgod this New Years Eve. Better than that – we’re doing TWO PROMS!

It’s a 1988 Homecoming Prom in the front bar and a Jiggy Year 10 Formal out the back, so I tried to make a mix that represents both rooms, like something a fickle partier would hear as they walked in between each room. This is a mix of 1980’s soul and some R&B heaters from the late 90s / early 2000’s. Nothing too banging, just some smooth grooves to get u in the mood.

Come and find love at the Goodgod NYE Prom, it’s a cracker of a lineup with me, Shantan, Radge, Ariane, Joyride and Mike Who! Buy your tickets here!

TRACKLIST:

GEORGE BENSON breezing
G-UNIT wanna get to know you
ZAPP & ROGER i want to be your man
CHRISTION feat JAY Z bring back your love
504 BOYZ feat MERCEDES i can tell
AL B SURE nite and day
DJ DMD feat LIL’ KEKE and FAT PAT 25 lighters
HOT BOYS feat BIG TYMERS neighborhood superstar
BITS & PIECES don’t stop the music
AALIYAH if your girl only knew (TIMBALAND extended mix)
NEW EDITION mr telephone man
LIL’ FLIP sunshine
PHARRELL WILLIAMS frontin’
MTUME juicy fruit
FABOLOUS & JAGGED EDGE trade it all

NEW MIX! HALFWAY CROOKS x HOOPS BEST OF 2013

Just in time for our X-MAS BLOW OUT party at Goodgod this Saturday night is the HALFWAY CROOKS x HOOPS BEST OF 2013 MIX. Nina Las Vegas, Captain Franco, Anna Lunoe, Bad Ezzy, Elston and I selected ten minutes worth of our favourite tracks of 2013 and put them all together. Our good (and very famous) friend Google Text 2 Speech hosted the mix for us and the tracklist is GINORMOUS! Read it all after the jump!

Come see us all DJ back to back, front to front and side to side this Saturday night as we take over all of Goodgod Small Club from 10pm till the bloody sun comes up!

TRACKLIST

ANNA LUNOE MINI MIX
BEYONCE we like to party (SAMPOLOGY remix)
SWIZZYMACK drip
DJ FRESH VS DIPLO earthquake
ASTRONOMAR careless earthquake
RIHANNA birthday cake (KIDD SPIN edit)
KENDRICK LAMAR backseat freestyle
BUSTA RHYMES twerk it
TRIPPY TURTLE only wanna give it to you
DJEMBA DJEMBA stahp
DRAKE worst behaviour

LEVINS MINI MIX
LIL’ WAYNE rich as fuck
PARA ONE every little thing remix instrumental
KEY! guess who
2 CHAINZ where you been
KINGDOM feat KELELA bank head
MIGOS hannah montana
RICH HOMIE QUAN type of way
CIARA feat FUTURE body party remix

BAD EZZY MINI MIX
JUSTIN BIEBER hold tight
CANBLASTER i see you
KOWTON and whut (KAHN GYAL-DEM edit)
TODDLA T SOUND worst enemy
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE feat PUSHA T, J COLE & A$AP ROCKY tok remix

CAPTAIN FRANCO MINI MIX
YO GOTTI act right
TY DOLLA $IGN paranoid
KID INK feat CHRIS BROWN show me
AUGUST ALSINA feat IAMSU! numb
SNOW THE PRODUCT feat TY DOLLA $IGN don’t judge me
T-PAIN up & down

NINA LAS VEGAS MINI MIX
KELELA go all night
CASHMERE CAT do you…
GANGSTA BOO & SINJIN HAWKE yea hoe
DANNY BROWN smokin’ and drinkin’
M.I.A. y.a.l.a. (MIKEQ bootleg)
MAJOR LAZER bubble butt (DJ SLIINK x BIG O jersey club remix)
TA-KU closet drake fans
WAVE RACER my boo
JUSTIN BIEBER roller coaster

ELSTON MINI MIX
DOM KENNEDY & NIPSEY HU$$LE checc me out
DRAKE come thru
DEVIN THE DUDE probably should have
2 CHAINZ feds watchin
SLEEPY BROWN some of that

WRECENT WRITINGS

A recipe I wrote for Sopaipillas with Fried Chicken got put up on the Thump website with a cute lil’ interview.

I submitted some of my favourite take out spots in Sydney for this tasty article on YOLO.

I made a playlist of my favourite Waka Flocka Flame songs just in time for him to cancel (“postpone”) his Australian tour.

Cool!