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 hand 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 influence on 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.


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
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


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.




Originally posted on Pages Digital.

Halfway Crooks will be moving home as of tomorrow – taking over the excellent GoodGod Small Club. To celebrate this new chapter, we asked Andrew Levins from the crew to name his Top 10 tracks by Pusha T – seeing as Pusha T is the rapper to grace their very cool gig poster this month.

Pusha T has long been one of my favourite rappers. Well, that’s a lie kinda – Clipse were my favourite rap group 8 years ago. Lord Willin’ is one of the best albums of all time and Hell Hath No Fury is pretty great too. The mixtapes in between those albums are incredible. I love Clipse and was stoked to support them when they toured in 2010, with a set that garnered high praise such as “Levins showed little skill on the 1’s and 2’s.

I’m not as crazy about Pusha T’s solo output these days. He can still put a great song together, he just hides them amongst a bunch of boring ones on his albums and tapes. Also his guest verses can sometimes be really out of place (like Kanye’s Runaway). Pusha is best rapping about selling drugs or having problems with women. These topics make up about 85% of rap songs anyway, so why does he keep getting featured on the other 15%? Anyway here’s my favourite Pusha/Clipse tracks. Franco put a few in there too.

Clipse – Gangsta Lean

I had to start with this one, you know how Pusha is best rapping about either drugs or girls? Why not both? This is five glorious minutes of Pharrell, Malice and Pusha rapping about having sex with weed. So romantic.

Clipse – Ma I Don’t Love Her (featuring Faith Evans)

This is a perfect Clipse song, a perfect Neptunes song and a perfect rap song with an r&b hook. It’s actually really sweet too, poor Pusha is just trying to prove to his girl that he’s been faithful. I love how he suggests that the only way he’s been unfaithful is by keeping a second gun. I’m sure my Dad can relate to that.

Clipse – I’m Not You (featuring Rosco P. Goldchain, Jadakiss & Styles P)

At this point you’re probably thinking “is this dude just gonna list every song off Lord Willin’? And I totally could. When I had a restaurant, I once left the kitchen for about 15 minutes during peak trade to go and argue with a table of friends who were saying that Hell Hath No Fury was the better album. Get the fuck outta here. ‘I’m Not You’ is the sleeper hit off Lord Willin’. Those steel drums are hypnotic and Pusha’s ‘rappin’ n tappin’ intro is probably my favourite ridiculous rap intro in the history of ridiculous rap intros. Shout out to Rosco P. Goldchain as well. I miss you.

Baby featuring Clipse – What Happened to that Boy?

Someone else who rules at ridiculous intros is Baby aka Birdman, the head honcho of Cash Money. He’s tame on the start of this though, presumably because of how hot the rest of the song is. This song is 12 years old now and still gets played out all the time.

Dre – Chevy Ridin’ High (Remix featuring Pusha T and a bunch of other rappers who cares)

Pusha’s verse is so good on this. I had no idea it was one of his own favourite verses as well. This remix came out in the hot summer of 2006 when it was illegal to not put at least 20 rappers on your remix. This would’ve been a hit if it was just Pusha’s verse, then the hook for three minutes.

Clipse – Definition of a Roller

My problem with Hell Hath No Fury when it came out was that it was nowhere near as good as the We Got it For Cheap mixtapes that came out a year or two before it. There was so much hype and excitement about these tapes when they came out and other random tracks would leak that were incredible and now they’re almost impossible to find. When you google ‘Definition of a Roller’ the first thing that comes up is the actual dictionary definition of what a roller is. The only version of this song on Youtube is this slowed down one from M.I.A.’s Piracy Funds Terrorism tape. Try and track down the actual version if you can, it’s so goddamn good.

Clipse – Zen

This might be my favourite Clipse song ever, and nobody knows it. It’s easily better than everything onHell Hath No Fury at the very least. The beat is so hot – more songs should begin with gunshots like that! This was the only original track on We Got it 4 Cheap Volume 1 and was later re-recorded with an inferior beat but nobody knows that version either anyway. Life sucks but go download that tape and feel me on this one.

Clipse – Eghck!

You know that “yeurck” noise Pusha T always makes? They made a whole song about it! This came out during a magical time when every week a hot new Clipse song would just appear on every blog once a week. The excitement for their new album was crazy and then none of the songs that I loved ended up on it and everyone forgot about them. How am I even still alive after that?

Clipse – Mr Me Too

I’ve been running my mouth off on Hell Hath No Fury but it actually doesn’t have one bad song on it. Maybe if they released an album of all the best mixtape cuts before they put it out I wouldn’t have been disapointed. When ‘Mr Me Too’ came out the whole internet went nuts, mostly for two things: Pusha T’s line about the crackers not playing fair Jive and that tambourine that comes in halfway through the song. This is one of those songs that people still proudly shout every word to.

I spent too long bragging about how cool I am with all my obsucre mixtape cuts and ran out of spaces for all the songs off Hell Hath No Fury that I actually love, so I’ll use this spot to mention that ‘Momma I’m So Sorry‘ still gets a massive cheer whenever I play it, ‘Nightmares‘ is the shit and ‘Wamp Wamp‘ is so good that Kato and I named a party after it in 2006. Hell Hath No Fury is a really good album. Don’t be mad at me for not putting more songs from it on this list – instead you should be mad at me for not putting one song off Till the Casket Drops on here lol suck shit.

Pusha T – Let Me Love You (featuring Kelly Rowland)

When My Name is My Name came out last year I had become that shitty dude who writes off anything new that a rapper does that doesn’t sound like their old stuff (it’ll happen to all of you, don’t judge me). So naturally I was attracted to the Neptunes-y guitar song with Kelly Rowland doing a cute lil 90s hook and Pusha doing his best Ma$e impression. This is a hot song. Stop not dancing to it when I play it.

Captain Franco is a much bigger Pusha T in 2014 fan and would like to add Blocka and Hold On to this list. I hope you found a few tracks you didn’t know while reading this! See you on Saturday!



Originally posted on

Halfway Crooks makes its Goodgod debut this Saturday and we couldn’t be more psyched. Captain Franco and Levins will be bringing their magical rap party to the Danceteria, playing nothing but rap hits as they’ve been doing for the past five years. You can hear Captain Franco’s fav songs of the month every time he puts out a new mix for Acclaim (October mix dropping tomorrow!), so we asked Levins what his favourite new rap songs are at the moment…

Rich Gang – Tell Em (Lies)

We have been listening to the Rich Gang tape non-stop since it came out. Before that we were listening to Lifestyle every single day. Tell Em (Lies) is like a weird sequel to Lifestyle. Same tempo, that similar piano beat, Thugga and Quan both passionately crooning about things that I’ll never understand. That’s the blueprint to a hit in 2014.

Yung Lean feat Travis Scott – Ghosttown

When I first saw the name of this track I thought Yung Lean had covered The Specials and was immediately disappointed. Disappointment quickly turned into fistpumping though as I heard the best track that the Swedish sad boy has made so far.

Kari Faux – No Small Talk

This one is so cool. Her voice is the best and the beat is a reprise of one of the best Three 6 Mafia songs. Her clip is cool too but nowhere near as cool as that Three 6 Mafia one – probably because they spent at least a billion dollars on theirs.

Gucci Mane – Swole Pocket Shorty

Somehow Gucci released his tenth album from jail after being locked up for just over a year. In this one he raps about relatable subjects like watching The Simpsons and rolling joints on top of shitty albums that his rivals put out.

Tre Capital feat Sean Leon – Prestige

I heard this on Xzibit’s radio show when I was in LA last month. Why was I listening to Xzibit’s radio show? I have no idea. This Tre Capital bloke is his nephew or something and his rapping is a happy balance between not that good and easy to ignore. I love that weird hook but most of all I love that weird beat that WondaGurl made. She’s great.

Future – Codeine Crazy

Future’s most recent tape is unfortunately garbage but this track is the saving grace at the end. Equal parts gloomy and triumphant, Codeine Crazy will either have you terrified of drinking lean or more excited to hit it than ever.

New Ara – KMA

I put this bro from Chicago on the last tape I made and here he is again with another weird banger that nobody will care about except you and me. I’ve never heard someone ask his listeners to kiss his ass so gloriously.

Halfway Crooks comes to the Danceteria this Saturday night from 11pm. Get the full info here!

UPDATE: Listen to Franco’s OCTOBER mix for Acclaim!


Thanks to everyone who came to the last Crooks at Phoenix last month – and thanks even more to Phoenix for having us for the last 5 years! Cheers to 49 amazing parties!

We’re stoked – seriously so stoked, typing one handed while the other hand is shaka-ing above our heads – to announce that the new home of Halfway Crooks will be our favourite club in Sydney, the incredible funhouse that is Goodgod Small Club. No huge surprise there right? We can be found at Goodgod almost every other weekend and have run some great special Crooks parties there but we’ve always wanted to run a monthly party there. The sound system is great, the staff are the friendliest and the vibe is just unbeatable. We hope you’re as stoked as we are about this and we’ll see you on the 8th of November for the first Halfway Crooks at Goodgod – with special guests Nes and Liz Bird aka Lazer Gunne Funke!

RSVP on Facebook.




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Halfway Crooks – the rap party I run with my compadres Elston and Captain Franco – is turning 5 years old this weekend!

We are celebrating with a PLAYERS CRUISE on Saturday – but why not celebrate before the weekend with this hot mix!

This is a celebration of the last five years of Halfway Crooks. When we started the party in 2009, Franco was the East Coast rap guy, Elston played mostly West Coast and I was the king of the South. So for our birthday, Franco has made an East Coast mix, Elston’s mix is all West Coast and I have attempted to put as many of the biggest Southern rap anthems from the last 5 years in one hour long mix. It was hard.

Please turn this one up and punch the air for the entire 60 minutes. I’ve never made an all-whoppers mix before. There’s barely a moment to breathe in between each anthem.

Shout out to Rowan Dix aka Joyride who randomly emailed me a handful of terrifically awful drops a few weeks ago. I threw most of them on this mix.

If you’re in Sydney this weekend come cruise with us, it’s gonna be incredible. Tickets are still available here.



BIG BOI you ain’t no dj
LIL’ WAYNE six foot seven foot
LUDACRIS feat GUCCI MANE shake and fries
GUCCI MANE feat PLIES wasted (remix)
LIL’ WAYNE feat YOUNG MONEY every girl
DJ KHALED feat LUDACRIS all i do is win
PLIES plenty money
RICH KIDZ patna dem
WAKA FLOCKA FLAME hard in the paint
WAKA FLOCKA FLAME feat DRAKE round of applause
WAKA FLOCKA FLAME grove st. party
RICK ROSS b.m.f.
JUICY J who da neighbours
2 CHAINZ spend it
MIGOS hanna montana
RICK ROSS feat FUTURE ring ring
FUTURE you deserve it
CA$H OUT cashin out
ROSCOE DASH featurin TRAVIS PORTER all the way turnt up
TRAVIS PORTER make it rain
SOULJA BOY feat GUCCI MANE pretty boy swag (remix)
BIRDMAN feat DRAKE & LIL’ WAYNE money to blow
FUTURE turn on the lights
JUICY J bands a make her dance
BIG KRIT feat LUDACRIS country shit (remix)
ACE HOOD feat FUTURE bugatti
YOUNG THUG danny glover
LIL’ WAYNE feat FUTURE good kush & alcohol
GUCCI MANE hell yes

UPDATE #1: Franco just put his East Coast mix up! Elston’s West Coast mix will be up soon!

Halfway Crooks 5th Bday – East Coast Jams by Captain Franco on Mixcloud

UPDATE #2: Elston’s West Coast Mix is up too!




Halfway Crooks is five years old!

Come celebrate five years of rap, dancing and whoppers in the middle of the ocean with your friendly skipper Levins, loveable cabin boy Elston and of course good old Captain Franco.

The Halfway Crooks 5th Birthday Players Cruise
Saturday 5th April
4pm – 8pm
Leaving King St Wharf at 4pm on the dot
w/ DJs Levins, Franco & Elston
Tickets $30 (and includes entry to Halfway Crooks at Phoenix after the cruise!)

Voyage with us through space and rhyme across the seven seas!

Tickets are super limited and available here.

Don’t miss out on the splashiest event of the year, get your crew together and buy a ticket ASAP!

RSVP on Facebook too!


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Originally posted on You Only Live Once.

Halfway Crooks, the monthly rap party I started with Franco and Elston, is FIVE YEARS OLD next week! That’s old as fuck in club night years!

We’re celebrating in a major way by putting on a PLAYERS CRUISE on a motherfuckin’ BOAT next weekend. It’s everything you love about Halfway Crooks except in the middle of the stupid ocean!

To help get you in the wavy mood, here’s a list of my five favourite rap videos that feature rappers on boats.

T.W.D.Y. – Player’s Holiday
Player’s Holiday makes the top of the list because within 5 seconds of the song starting, someone has already sprayed a bottle of champagne off the deck into the water. Plus this clip actually looks like a party I’d like to be at, everyone looks like they’re having a nice time (hanting), probably due to the fact that the president has got rid of the player haters. I wish Player’s Holiday was an actual public holiday.

Young Bleed featuring C-Loc & Master P – How Ya Do Dat
This one makes the list for the sheer amount of people they crammed on their yacht. You’ve got a handful of No Limit All Stars and some dudes from C-Loc’s Concentration Camp crew and then like 100 girls just wylin’ out in bikinis. File this one under: using a yacht correctly.

Big Tymers featuring Boo & Gotti – Oh Yeah!
Just one of many perfect Cash Money clips (the key to a truly great Cash Money clip is to give Mannie Fresh as much screen time as possible), Oh Yeah! opens with a hilarious Cribs pisstake called This Is Where I Lay At before revealing a big ass yacht complete with the Big Tymers logo and Ca$h Money flags. And heaps of chicks, obviously. What makes this rap yacht different to all other rap yachts is that it is equipped with hyperdrive, meaning Mannie can take his crew to Hawaii or Alaska in a matter of seconds, all thanks to a hilariously dated operating system. Bonus points for censoring ‘hoes’ with the ship’s bell.

2 Chainz – I’m Different
Tity Boi proves he’s different by not even putting his boat in the water! The whole clip is just him looking comfy in a boat that’s being driven down a long stretch of highway. There’s a bit of a “when are they gonna get to the fireworks factory” vibe as you watch 2 Chainz’s boat get really close to the water but the b.o.a.t. never f.l.o.a.t.s.

Jay-Z featuring UGK – Big Pimpin’
Probably the most famous rappers on boats film clip (ok maybe second to Biggie’s Hypnotize), the ginormous yacht that Jay-Z flaunts his money on for his verse is almost crazy enough to distract from the lame clean version of his rap. Bun B and Pimp C never recorded clean versions of their raps, maybe this is why Hov didn’t invite them on his yacht?


I dare you to not watch this five times in a row.


Halfway Crooks 5th Birthday Players Cruise sets sail on the 5th April.

Buy Tickets here!


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!


BEYONCE we like to party (SAMPOLOGY remix)
DJ FRESH VS DIPLO earthquake
ASTRONOMAR careless earthquake
RIHANNA birthday cake (KIDD SPIN edit)
KENDRICK LAMAR backseat freestyle
TRIPPY TURTLE only wanna give it to you
DRAKE worst behaviour

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

JUSTIN BIEBER hold tight
CANBLASTER i see you
KOWTON and whut (KAHN GYAL-DEM edit)
TODDLA T SOUND worst enemy

YO GOTTI act right
TY DOLLA $IGN paranoid
KID INK feat CHRIS BROWN show me
SNOW THE PRODUCT feat TY DOLLA $IGN don’t judge me
T-PAIN up & down

KELELA go all night
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
JUSTIN BIEBER roller coaster

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


Oh cool, it’s the end of the year already! Fuck you 2013! Thanks for nothing! Except these many fine parties and events that I will be at before the year is out, starting with Crooks this weekend and right through to New Years Eve!


Crooks is back again for the last time in 2013 and won’t be back until February 2014! Come celebrate as me, Franco and Elston play the best raps from the year at Phoenix.


I’m hosting a trivia night at Goodgod for one of the best movies ever made, Home Alone, and will include more than just a few questions from Home Alone 2, while ignoring both Home Alone 3 and Home Alone 4. Come get a Christmas banquet at The Dip (compete with highly nutritious microwavable macaroni and cheese) and join in on the trivia. Make sure you go easy on the Pepsi.


Halfway Crooks are supporting Waka Flocka Flame! I’m so amped for this show. Make sure you check out this playlist I made of all my favourite Waka jams.


Crooks and Hoops team up to take over all of Goodgod for a Christmas miracle to end all Christmas miracles! Five of my favourite DJs and people playing back to back with yours fucken truly. Merry Christmas indeed.


And finally – the last party for 2013 – the Goodgod NYE Prom! Double Prom even! We’ve got a 1988 Homecoming Prom in the front bar, channeling the sweet sounds of our bi-centennial and then in the back things are getting sweaty with a Jiggy 2001 Year 10 Formal playing nothing but R&B and rap classiques. Prizes, champagne and grinding will feature heavily in what is sure to be a top notch send off to a damn good year.


Halfway Crooks, my rap party with Franco and Elston, is back on this weekend! Did you see the article I wrote for Oyster last month with my top 10 tracks from the first 4 years of Crooks? It’s a good one!

Franco has made an awesome mix for you to get familiar with before tomorrow – the final in his Lush Lyfe mix series – THE FINAL WAVE. Listen and download below!