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Diggin’ In The Crates: Twelve Jewelz (Volume 6)


Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

The gems continue this week as we return with Volume 6 of our Twelve Jewelz series. This time around we’ve got a dozen more B-Sides, remixes, unreleased cuts, bonus bangers, and mixtape rarities from the ’90s and early 2000s for you to feast your ears on. Take a break from the new shit and enjoy another trip down memory lane below. And after you stream/read, make sure to click that download link at the bottom of the post to add these Twelve Jewelz to your collection!


1. Main Source “Bootlegging”

During our recent In The Lab interview, Large Professor told us that during his rap career he’s “always written about the state of affairs.” And on this joint that was supposedly recorded around ‘92 for the never-released Breaking Atoms follow-up The Science, he addresses the issue of street corner bootlegging, which at the time was a major topic of discussion within the industry. Large plays the part of the bootlegger himself on the track, showing his lack of care for artists and record stores by rapping, “I don’t give a fuck about Kane or Biz/Finally somebody beats The Wiz.” Dope song, and a very well-executed concept by the one and only Extra P.



2. Lord Finesse “Hey Look At Shorty (Demo Version)”

The released version of this song appears on Lord Finesse’s sophomore album Return of the Funky Man, but I prefer this self-produced demo version. The beat and groove hits a little harder than the one on the LP, in my humble opinion. For those unfamiliar with either, Finesse crushes an extended verse here, reminiscing about the days when he was “the funkiest rapper in the lunchroom.” Fresh.



3. Gang Starr “Doe In Advance (Original Version)”

“Doe In Advance” was originally intended to be the B-Side on the “Suckas Need Bodyguards” single, but was replaced by “The ? Remainz” due to sample clearance issues. An alternate version ended up on the Japanese import of Hard To Earn, but this version contains the original horn sample. It’s a must-have Gang Starr rarity.



4. Black Moon “Reality (Killing Every…)”

I was listening to Juan Epstein’s recent interview with my big homie from White Plains Dru Ha, and I realized that I have yet to include any Boot Camp joints in this Twelve Jewelz series! What a travesty! Honestly, I did reach to include some a while back, but thought all the ill B-Sides were on that Black Moon album Diggin’ In Dah Vaults. However, when looking back at that album recently, I noticed one jewel didn’t make it—this absolutely ill B-Side off the “I Got Cha Opin (Remix)” single. I’ve been banging this shit so hard all week, cot damn.



5. Heltah Skeltah & Originoo Gunn Clappaz aka The Fab 5 “Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka Pt. 2”

To continue to make up for me slacking on my Duck Down shit, here’s another rare cut from the Boot Camp catalog. On Pt. 2 of this Fab 5 classic, we get a new beat and new verses from the whole squad. And to tell you the truth, as untouchable as the original is, I find this follow-up version to be equally enjoyable. Anyone remember this?



6. Ras Kass “Soul On Ice (Remix)”

Diamond D laced the fuck out of Ras Kass for this remix, huh? Dude definitely knew how to give Cali artists that New York fire while still harnessing their rhyme styles, as exemplified on his production here as well as on the joints he did for groups like Tha Alkaholiks and The Pharcyde. As for Ras Kass, well he tears this beat to shreds. If you don’t agree, then you simply can’t handle the truth. Read all about the making of the remix HERE.



7. Sadat X “It Go’s Down Ones Again”

As a proud 914 resident, Sadat X has always been one of my favorite MCs. I’m particularly fond of his Wild Cowboys album, so I was pleasantly surprised when I came across this cut recently that I had never heard before, which seems to be from that era. This is that classic Now Rule flavor right here. Nice Frank Sinatra sample, too.



8. The Boulevard Connection ft. Artifacts and DJ Kaos “Haagen Daz”

Peace to my boy MICK (formerly known as Mick Boogie) who sent me this song a few weeks back. I’ve always been a big Artifacts fan, but somehow never had this song in my collection. Props to overseas producers The Boulevard Connection for supplying the ill piano sample and DJ Kaos for the wicked scratches, and of course Tame One and El Da Sensei come correct as usual with the impeccable New Jeruze rhyme stylings. Fill your backpacks up with spray-paint for this mellowed-out, Fondle ‘Em Records return to the underground.



9. Outkast ft. Slick Rick “Da Art of Storytellin’ (Part 1)”

The album version doesn’t have Slick Rick on it, but you may remember that his verse was featured in the music video (along with his puppet). It ended up on the B-Side of the single release, too. You gotta respect Outkast for reaching out to the original rap author Slick Rick to hop on this storytelling song and add a chapter to it. And thankfully, they went on to make more magic together in the future.



10. Prodigy “Gun Love”

Let’s stay in Slick Rick mode with this unreleased Prodigy gem. Yes, that’s Ricky’s voice sampled on the hook as Pee breaks down the lifetime love affair he has with his heat. This song is a masterful showcase of Prodigy’s ability to write conceptual raps, and though it was never officially released, his ode to toast remains a true Mobb Deep fan favorite. In fact, I’m pretty sure I recall his longtime collaborator Alchemist once saying one of his favorite Prodigy verses ever was on this song. Ain’t that right, Al?



11. O.C. ft. Jay Z “Bonafied”

This is one of those odd collabos that even back when I first heard it made me scratch my head. Like, how did Hov end up on just the hook of a Buckwild-produced O.C. song? Regardless of how it happened, I gotta say, I’m just glad it did. Being that both MCs are from Brooklyn, there’s definitely an innate chemistry between them on the track. It’s one of those bonus cuts that deserves more spins and recognition, so I’m throwing it in this volume as a testament to its underrated flyness.



12. Raekwon “Who Would Have Thought”

I gotta finish things off just like I did last volume—with an unreleased 2000s Raekwon gem. It’s essentially just a quick verse with a little chorus over a sweet Maze featuring Frankie Beverly sample, but Rae def floats on it. And Doo Wop smartly brings it back to the top and lets it ride again, because it’s too good not to rewind. This overall was a dope mixtape by the way, it had a bunch of unreleased Raekwon shit on it. Props to Wop and DJ Thoro too with the exclusive.

Download Twelve Jewelz (Volume 6) HERE.

Twelve Jewelz artwork by TJ Bennett.

Photos via Discogs and UpNorthTrips.


Twelve Jewelz (Volume 1)
Twelve Jewelz (Volume 2)
Twelve Jewelz (Volume 3)
Twelve Jewelz (Volume 4)
Twelve Jewelz (Volume 5)

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