A while ago, Guru from Gang Starr died, which reminded me that I have the utterly awesome “Lovesick — Upbeat Mix” on a mixtape. I found it while going through my crap this weekend. I decided that I simply must have the digital file.
This proved difficult. I searched and searched and could not find a digital download from a reputable site because, it turns out, it came out on a 12-inch and wasn’t on the Mass Appeal album. “How was it that you have it on a mixtape?” I hear you cry.
When I was in Damascus
a thousand 14 years ago, a guy who was staying in my hotel told me that there was a place in town where you could buy bootleg cassettes of pretty good albums. I didn’t have time to check it out out before I carried on my way to Istanbul, so the guy told me to pick a bunch of tapes from their catalogue; he’d buy them and give them to me when he saw me in Istanbul, where he was due to arrive a couple of days after me. If we didn’t meet, he’d just keep them.
One of the tapes I picked out was The Best Rap Album in the World…Ever!, which was indeed pretty great. And it was so nice to have an infusion of new music, because this was the Walkman era and I was thoroughly sick of the eight tapes I had been listening to during the preceding eight months in Egypt.
I ended up downloading an album of Gang Starr remixes from a dubious site, but if I end up getting a virus, it will almost have been worth it.
Looking up this track on the Internet also had the happy result of introducing me to Young-Holt Unlimited, who wrote the song sampled in the Upbeat Mix. I went and downloaded one of their albums, and I love it. You have to admire titles like “Doing the Thing” and “Funky is as Funky Does.”