February 10, 2008

Jersey Post 5 - Flavor Unit

I missed the Jersey Post last Sunday due to the Superbowl. Props to the Giants on getting the W for NY, did not expect that one at all. This weeks Jersey post we're going with the Flavor Unit...

45 King doing his thing...

The Flavor Unit was incredible. DJ Mark the 45 King is a legend, and he is regarded as one of the most influential producers of his time. Members of the Flavor Unit (and affiliates) include: Apache, Aposouls, The Athletes, Black Sheep, Channel Live, Chill Rob G, Confidential, DJ Mark the 45 King, Lakim Shabazz, Latee, LeShaun, Lord Alibaski, Naughty by Nature, Nikki D, Queen Latifah, Rowdy Rahz, Storm P, and Zhané. Here is one of my favorite tracks from the Flavor Unit LP from 1990 'Assasination Squad'. The original LP in 1990 consisted mostly of demos from the group, before being reissued in 1993 by the 'new' Flavor Unit.

Also check this instrumental from one of many 45 King instrumental records. You may recognize this beat as used by Mad Skills on his 'live freestyle from the Stretch Armstrong Show' which was featured on 'The Nod Factor' 12". For more info on 45 King check out 45 his website. I'd also recommend for those interested to check out 'Deep Crates part 2' a documentary video about beat diggin that includes a segment with 45 King talking about his start as a DJ/Producer and record collector.

Lamin Shabazz is another prominent member of the Flavor Unit, well known for his appearance on the 45 King's acclaimed '900 Number'. Lakim was a politically concious MC who released two albums on Tuff City with the help of 45 king, 'Pure righteousness', and 'The Lost Tribe of Shabazz'. Here is one of my favorite joints from 'Pure Righteousness' called 'Sample the Dope Noise'.

Lakim Shabazz 'Pure Righteousness' Live Performance

Naughty by Nature is from East Orange 'Illtown', NJ. As much commercial success they had with 'O.P.P.' that made them less appealing to me at the time, I still thought they were doing their thing. My favorite track from them, which is kind of slept on, is 'Written on ya kitten'. The album/12" version was a little different (better) from the video version. It was funny seeing Treach on the Sopranos (as the dude who hires Sal to shoot him in the leg to gain street credit).

Naughty BY Nature 'Written on Ya Kitten'

After all the videos, movie roles, and publicity, Queen Latifah is probably the most recognizable member of the Flavor Unit. Born in Newark, NJ in 1970, she was only 19 when her debut LP, 'Hail to the Queen', came out. Her first LP was almost entirely produced by DJ Mark the 45 King; this next track 'Mama gave birth to the soul children', was one of the exceptions, production by Prince Paul and featuring De La Soul...

For more info on the Flavor Unit, peep these interviews interviews with DJ Mark the 45 King and Lord Ali Baski from

1 comment:

  1. dat 45 king orange...i have dat wax but no turntable. there is a joint on there that is so so sick but i dont remember the name. can you hit me with all the beats?