So my favorite kinds of mixtapes are the ones that incorporate lots of exclusive vinyl rarities, and the ones that purport to showcasing an obscure or regional sound. This Mastermind Megamix, a blend of Boston raggamuffin hip-hop from the 90s, is loaded with records that I can guarantee you won’t find elsewhere, and in that sense is also just a straight-up historical artifact that provides an eye into a little-known but extremely innovative local hip-hop scene.
“Pace,” the DJ and the man behind Library of Vinyl, the blog that launched this mix a few weeks ago, set out to “prove that the Bean was rocking the ragga sound as hard as anyplace in the mid 1990s.” Honestly, I love how this complicates the dominant narrative of dancehall music, place, and location- people are always talking about the Jamaica, New York, Panama axis, and so many sites of exchange get left off the map; was Boston just feeding off of all of this great energy coming out of New York, or did these seemingly isolated Easterners manage to enter the feedback loop and change the game up with their unique contributions? Some of this stuff is new to me; I wasn’t aware that underground hip-hop and ragga deejay styles had been so close at one point and it seems like this was a really exciting time for music.
Props to Wayne and Wax for pointing this out originally.