Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)
In the summer of 1995, I was going into my senior year at White Plains High School. I had a four-door Honda Civic DX, and a camp job that kept gas in my tank (and chronic in my sock). And the soundtrack to my summer was DJ Craig G’s Sneekin’ Up On That Ass II.
Back in ’95, DJ Craig G—who is now known as the #1 hip-hop DJ in Connecticut holding down a prominent afternoon slot on 93.7 FM in Hartford—was among the elite mixtape DJs in New York City. Along with peers like DJ S&S, DJ Clue, DJ Doo Wop, Tony Touch, and DJ Ron G, Craig kept the streets fed with phat tapes that were always jam-packed with exclusive flavor. And it wasn’t just hip-hop. Craig G came correct with the R&B, reggae, and slow jam tapes, too.
Sneekin’ Up On That Ass II—the follow-up to the classic first volume from the summer of ‘94 that boasted Ready To Die exclusives months before Biggie’s debut dropped, plus mad other instant classics by everyone from Redman to Snoop Dogg to O.C.—continued the tradition with never-before-heard B.I.G. joints, and so much more. He had a comeback gem by Rakim, Bad Boy remixes featuring hot artists of the moment like Keith Murray, Smif-N-Wessun and the already legendary LL Cool J, all the hot joints off The Infamous… and Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… , plus new shit by everyone from Das EFX to Special Ed. It was one of those tapes you let rock ‘til it popped—and then you’d take it apart, fix it, and let it rock some more.
For our latest Mixtape Memories feature, we linked up with Craig G and asked him to take us back to the summer of ‘95 to revisit what the mixtape game was like when he released Sneekin’ Up On That Ass II. Craig talks about his partnership with DJ S&S, his in-house recording techniques, his memories of having the original version of Biggie’s “Dead Wrong” before any other DJ, his experience working at the Music Factory in Brooklyn, and so much more. Let’s rewind twenty years back with one of Uptown’s illest mixtape DJs ever.
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