I’ve been trying to remember how my connection with DJ K Shaw began. I originally thought it was thru Pudgee The Phat Bastard, because some time right after Pudgee’s first album we had connected and spoke on the phone a few times. When I started my “Rage Hotline”* he was one of my first guests to do an exclusive freestyle for me. Upon further investigation it seems possible that it happened like this...
When I would take trips to New York. in the 90s, I would generally pick up a few mixtapes because it was good way to get new music that wasn’t out yet and I’d wanted to see which DJs were representing. Usually I would be disappointed and end up with tapes of DJs just shouting thru the whole tape and “playing” songs…not even DJing just pressing the play and pause on a DAT tape most the time. I also always tried to grab at least one “Old School” mixtape and one time that tape was K Shaw “Old School Part 1”. I was impressed and ended up writing a review for it in Caught In The Middle Magazine. I also called the number on the tape and connected with his manager to get more tapes.
K Shaw’s manager at the time was Spence Boogie and we used to build semi-regularly. He would send me the tapes and keep me posted on what was happening with his projects. His company was Just 4 Fun! and his roster was Pudgee The Phat Bastard, Tomm E Gunn, Homacyde, Troublemakaz, Ran Reed, DJ K Shaw, DJ Nitty Brown, DJ Super Cee, & DJ Jhreem (Dream). He also was running Date Of Birth Productions which oversaw careers for Nick The Wiz (Nickel Plate Productions), Tony L (Protone Productions), & John Smooth.
Representing Mount Vernon, K Shaw made tapes that were solid and well rounded. Honestly, he is the type of DJ who should have been running the New York mixtape scene in perfect world were important things matter. He was nice and precise with the blends, cuts and doubles. He shows flavor, creativity and a unique style all thru out his tapes. He knows how to freak the records just enough to add his stamp, but not over do it, like so many DJs do, and ruin your listening enjoyment of the songs. For the satisfaction of the typical NYC mixtape fan, he also maintains the popular New York style of talking on the tapes. He gives his shouts outs and all that, but he often does it in a creative context with little routines and scratch interludes. His playlists were a balance of who was hot on the streets at the time, plus he mixes in enough nuff underground joints and rarities from his crew and beyond. He also had a thick crew of MCs were always repping on his tapes. Most were dudes who I don’t know if they made any records, but held it down. The most frequent collaborators were LQ (Of Grand Jury) and Pudgee The Phat Bastard, who are both K Shaws cousins. I think that Grand Jury was a group with LQ and K Shaw, but I could be mistaken.
“Fuck Clue” (1994)
“Fuck Clue” is a bold statement for a tape. At the time, DJ Clue was probably the top mixtape DJ in terms of hype and sales. The intro gives some ideas to what the “beef” was about, as K Shaw and his crew go in on Clue! The first 14 minutes of the tape is a series of freestyles with scratch interludes and routines from K Shaw’s extended crew. I don’t have an original playlist for this one so I don’t know who all the MCs are. Only a couple cats say their name; Rsonist and LQ (of Grand Jury). Pudgee closes the freestyle session off with a verse directed specifically at DJ Clue. He speaks on DJ Clue’s beef with Notorious B.I.G, how Clue claimed he “made” Pudgee with his mixtapes, how Clue was apparently scared to battle DJ S&S when he challenged him, etc…
The rest of the playlist consists of some stand out tracks/artists from ’94; Redman, Keith Murray, LL Cool J, Method Man, B.I.G, etc… There’s a fresh interlude routine he flips during Pete Rock & CL Smooth “Get On The Mic” dedicated to given shout outs to his peeps from Mount Vernon.
The B-Side has two Pudgee cuts, “Showstoppa” and “Ni***s & B***ches” which I’m not sure if they came out officially.
There’s two more freestyle pieces on the tape also. Side B starts off with a session with six MCs; Kid J, Pos (?), XL, Lord Vision, Pudgee The Fat Bastard, & LQ, who ends his verse, “when we find Clue he’s getting burned in a casket.” Then the tape ends with another LQ of Grand Jury freestyle.
"Old School Part 1"
“Old School Part 1” is just what it is supposed to be, K Shaw on a journey thru this crates of the early to mid 80s. I remember being happy with this tape because most times I picked up a “Old School” Mixtape from someone it was mostly just stuff from ’87-’89 and even some 90s cuts in there. Sorry, but that is not a proper representation of the Old School to me. Here K Shaw is covering the spectrum from ’79 –’88. It’s non-stop action with a nice blend of classics and underground favorites.
“Who’s K Shaw” Part 1
"Who's K Shaw" Part 2
These have K Shaw fully representing all the skills that I talk about in my opening description about his Mixtape style. There are also a couple other particular things that stand out**:
1)Intro with Match, Swaine, I Born, Kid J, & Pudgee
2)Outro with LQ From Grand Jury
1)Pudgee & Red Hot Lover Tone “Tick Tock”
2)Red Hot Lover Tone, Snaggle Puss, Pudgee “A-Yo-I-Ight”
1)Intro: LQ, Rsonist, Rev Goti, Kid , Kenny Guest, Lord Vision, Pudgee
2)Side B Intro: Tomm E Gunn, I Born, DMX, LQ and Superior
3)DJ Superior “Mary J Blige” DISS
I have playlists for two other K Shaw tapes, “Chocolate Funk” and “Just 4 Fun”, but I’m not sure if I actually ever got this tapes. When Spence Boogie send me a package once it had playlists for the mixes I mention above and some info on his company, Just 4 Fun!. It’s possible that those extra playlists were just part of that “press kit”.
Each Mixtape D/L above has the tapes split up in A Side/B Side. It includes a tape cover scan, which none had artwork, just hand written info. I include the original playlist for the ones I have and I made my own rough playlist for the “Fuck Clue” tape. The main blog feature image comes from the cover sheet of the “press kit”. The only other info included in the press kit that I haven’t already mentioned, was a Just 4 Fun! roster, which I have included below. Basically, now you have everything I have…
Some time in ’95 I went underground for a bit and lost touch with a lot of people including Pudgee, Spence Boogie and K Shaw, so I’m not sure what moves they made post these tapes. I do know he is still doing his thing. I just did a search for him and he’s on Facebook and is working on some projects…
CONNECT WITH K SHAW: Let him know if you enjoy these tapes!!
*Rage Hotline: In the early 90s, I got a separate phone line in my house and attached a 4 Track Recorder to it so I could record interviews, freestyles from artists, and other stuff. I also would give Chicago show info, new releases and other Hip Hop news with a mixture of new instrumentals in the background. I would then mix it all down to my Answering Machine Greeting Tape so whenever someone would call they would get all the info. It would be updated weekly. It was rather unique and pretty popular.
**Who's K Shaw Pt 1 & 2: Due to us connecting and me pushing his tapes in Chicago, on one of these he gives me shout out. Which caught me off guard when I heard it. I always appreciated that. Just another way that K Shaw took care of business on the turntables and off!