Tag Archives: Tony Touch

Tony Touch #53 – Funkin’ You Up

Another classic tape from Tony Toca the Piecemaker during his prime. Tony Touch #53 Funkin’ you up is a strong mixtape with top-knotch sound quality and Tony’s signature smooth cuts. To quote the man himself “Anything from number #51 to #54. I was in my prime right there. I was coming off of the first 50 MCs, and the momentum was hot. All the early 50s definitely stand out.” Check out this great Mixtape Memories article Nah Right did with Tony Touch to learn more about one of the mixtape game’s heaviest hitters.

As I mentioned in a previous Tony Touch related post, Tony wasn’t afraid to drop a few bars on the mic and Tape #53 is no exception where he’s joined by Rhyme Recca, a member of Raekwon’s American Cream Team. With an eagle eye for detail and continuity, Tony blends out of the intro with a sample of Wu Affiliate Cappadonna asking “What ya sayin’ Rhyme Recca?” and Busta Rhymes shouting out the DJ “Tony Touch Buenos Dias!” before dropping into the Wild for the night single featuring Busta and Rampage. This sort of work is so much cleaner than your average DJ who might assault your ears screaming about his connections to said- rapper or crew. Another example of Tony’s professionalism is his quick PSA about bootlegging ( – carefully slipped in after an ominous Mobb deep track Man down – coincidence?). With the arrival of CD ripping on the scene, talented DJs needed to hustle extra hard for their cash. Tony lets the listener know that if he’s listening to his live mix (Yes, all his mixtapes were recorded live!) on a CD, it’s a bootleg because his official CDs say that they’re CDs.

Even if I sometimes go on about how 1997 was a year that signalled the dawn of the Big Willy and Club Rap which are two things I find detrimental to the culture, 1997 was also an important year for independent rap music which was fighting harder than ever to be heard above the Cristal cork poppin and loud Vesace shirts the mainstream was flaunting. Funkin You Up features a grip of underground talent: Non Phixion, MF Grimm, Mother Superior, Big Rob n Lil Sprout, Meanor, AK Skills, Mamma Mystique, Hi Tech… Some of them made it and some of them didn’t but it was the sign of Tony’s dedication to the movement to include these groups and emcees.

To get into my favourite tracks on Funkin’ you up, I have to skip straight to the end of Side A where the Boot Camp Clik drop a wicked cypha-inspired track (later revealed as Down by law produced by Tony Touch for their debut album For the people) where the group rap back and forth over the classic Rappers Delight break. Speaking of cyphas, there’s also The cypher pt. 3 on Side B featuring emcees and DJs on a great posse cut. Craig G, Frankie Cutlass, Roxanne Shante, Biz Markie and Big Daddy Kane show the younger generation how the older gods get busy on the mic. Tony cuts out of the track with the mystical strings of the Tried by 12 instrumental by the East Flatbush Project and then blends seamlessly into the xylophone melody of Redman’s Soopaman Lover Pt. 3. I think the inclusion of the Tried by 12 instrumental listed as Touch Beats in the playlist is a teaser for the 5 Deadly Venoms of Brooklyn mixtape that was soon to be released featuring Tony Touch, PF Cuttin, Evil Dee, Mister Cee and DJ Premier. Definitely track that one down if you can!

Side A

Funkin’ you up Intro – Tony Touch / Rhyme Recca
Wild for the night – Rampage / Busta Rhymes
Do what ya feel – Redman / Method Man
Hurricane Starang – OGC
Man Down – Mobb Deep
Love LOD – Keith Murray / 50 Grand / Kel Vicious
Tremendous – Mamma Mystique
Freestyle Conversation – Snoop Doggy Dogg
The good die young – Dub Plate
24/7 – Hi Tech
Rock da spot – Redman
Foundation – Big Jaz / Jay-Z / Sauce Money
Infamous Mobb – Big Noyd / Prodigy
5 Boros – Non Fiction / DV alias Krist
Soul on ice (Diamond D remix) – Ras Kass
260 – Ghostface Killah / Raekwon
Tony Touch Exclusive – Boot Camp Clik

Side B

Shout Outs – Tony Touch
Leave your style cramped – PMD
Str8 gone (instrumental) – Dr. Dre / King Tee
Word perfect – KRS One
Hot to Def – Keith Murray
Treason – Big Rob / Lil’ Sprout
Most of all – Mother Superior
Crush on you – Lil Cease
The Cypher Part 3 – Frankie Cutlass / Craig G / Roxanne Shante / Big Daddy Kane / Biz Markie
Touch Beats – Tony Touch
Soopaman Lover Part 3 – Redman
Emotions – MF Grimm
It’s been a long time – Meanor
Nighttime vultures – Mobb Deep
One life to live – AK Skills
Foxxy’s Bells – Foxxy Brown
Get up (remix) – Lost Boyz
Freestyle – Mad Cobra
More shouts – Tony Touch

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For one day only…

It’s my birthday so as a gift from me to you, here are all the mixtapes so far in one place and they’re all downloadable – for one day only. Next Friday it’s business as usual with some super exclusive freestyles from Busta Rhymes, Smoothe Da Hustla, The Fugees and Lord Finesse, a Funkmaster Flex mega mix, exclusive news about the Dogg Pound crew getting run out of town and more. Don’t miss it!

Tony Touch #51 – Drastic Measures / #54 Keep Feedin’ Ya

You’re probably wondering why I’m posting two tapes instead of one this week? Well, there a good reason even if I wish it wasn’t. Unlike digital media, cassette tapes are vulnerable to over-use. There’s only so many chances you get to spin the tape reels and hit the switches on your deck before something goes wrong. For Tony Touch #51 Drastic Measures and Tony Touch #54 Keep Feedin’ Ya the magnetic band go chewed up and spat out. This predicament sucks balls but it’s also testament to the fact that Tony Touch tapes got heavy rotation back in the days. So, instead of dropping half a tape, I figured I’d combine both and make up for a full 90+ minutes of dopeness.

My introduction to Tony Touch a.k.a. Tony Toca a.k.a. The Piecemaker a.k.a. El Indio was somewhere in the late forties of his mixtape series. My tape went missing after I left it in the player at a house party which didn’t really come as a surprise because Tony Touch tapes were always in high demand. I learnt my lesson after that loss and made sure to keep a sharp eye on my collection. Tony Touch is not a one trick pony. He started off as a B-boy back in the day inspired by the famous Rock Steady Crew, but he swapped the popping and locking for cutting and scratching on the decks, and gradually worked his way into the production booth for a successful line of Piecemaker and Reggaetony albums. I’ve always considered Tony’s tapes to be some of the best mixtapes because his quality control levels are on point every time. Slip a Tony Touch tape in your cassette deck and you’re guaranteed three things: Flawless skills on the turntables, superb sound quality and a steady pace that gets the party pumping from the get go.

Tony is also sweet on the mic. I don’t know many DJs that can juggle vocabulary and rhymes as well as they juggle a beat on vinyl but Tony Touch was never scared to grab the mic a drop a quick 16 bars to start of his latest masterpiece.  It’s pure speculation, but Tony turning emcee to open tape #51 might be linked to the fact that he just dropped his legendary tape #50 featuring fifty emcees freestyling over instrumentals. That much dope sound is bound to rub off on you one way or another.

Even if these two tapes don’t boast fifty emcees freestyling, they do boast some hot artists that deserve a few minutes of your attention. First, DJ Honda features twice on Drastic Measures and the reason being that he was a quiet DJ from Japan who had just released a solo album featuring some of Hip Hop’s most popular emcees of the moment. Redman and Problemz feature here, but Guru, Biz Markie, Alkaholiks and more feature on the album H if you can track it down. Another song that’s featured on tape #51 is Semi Automatic with U-God and Inspecktah Deck coming together to prove that they can spit fire just as hot as the rest of their Clan members.

The Wu Tang Clan also features heavily on tape #54, opening things up with their no hooks – off the books Triumph single, Cappadonna’s underground hit 97 Mentality, and RZA and GZA sharing apocalyptic visions with DJ Muggs on their Third World joint for his Soul Assassins album. The Wu is a pretty formidable crew of rappers, but Side A of Tony Touch’s Keep Feedin’ Ya also features two prolific emcee collectives: The Diggin In The Crates Crew and the Bootcamp Click. The DITC drop a massive hit with Day One featuring Big L (RIP), AG, Lord Finesse, Diamond D and OC. Heltah Skeltah and the OGC combine skills to rep the BCC on Okee Doke.

Sorry again for not delivering complete recordings of these two tapes, but what is available is strong evidence of Tony Touch’s superior mixtape game. Don’t worry – I’ve got a few more complete Tony Touch tapes in the stash dropping soon!

#51 Drastic Measures

Side A (Incomplete)

Drastic Measures Intro – El Indio
One Day – Jeru the Damaja
Friend or Foe – Jay-Z
Find That – Beatnuts
That’s my word – DJ Honda / Redman
New Jack City – MOP
How you want it – Jungle Brothers / De La Soul / Q-Tip
Do it again – Sadat X
The prowl – Heltah Skeltah / OGC
[Missing] Me & My Click – Ill & Al Scratch / Greg Nyce
Lyin’ King – Nine
Cut that weak shit – Quasi / Royal Flush
Usual Suspect – Big Noyd
Baby Phife’s Return – A Tribe Called Quest
Daytona 500 – Ghostface / Raekwon / Cappadonna
The set-up – Nas / Mobb Deep
Drop a gem on em – Mobb Deep [/Missing]

Side B

Whadda you know – Cypress Hill
Shoot Outs – Nas
The Sequel Freestyle – Smoothe da Hustla
Brownsville – MOP
Crush – Big Shug
Thug Shit – Akinyele
Kill the noise – DJ Honda / Problemz
Know the game – Mobb Deep / MOP / Kool G Rap
No – Chuck D
Name Calling – Queen Latifah
Bitch in you – Common
Blah Blah Blah – Blahzay Blahzay
Heart full of sorrow – House of Pain / Sadat X
Keep it moving – A Tribe Called Quest
Wu-wear – RZA / Cappadonna / Method Man
Semi Automatic – U-God / Inspecktah Deck
Scandalous – Trigga / Khrist / Rhyme Wrecka
4 More – De La Soul / Zhané

#54 Keep Feedin Ya (Incomplete)

Side A

Radio Except – Howard Stern
Intro: Take That – Tony Touch
Truimph – Wu-Tang Clan
The Main Aim – Cella Dwellas
Day One – Diggin In The Crates Cru
My World – O.C.
Okee Doke – Boot Camp Clique
Cloud Nine – Heather B
I Got Style – Craig Mack
Who Ya Wit – Jay-Z
The Franklins – DJ Riz
Beast From The East – Lost Boys / Cannabus / Redman / A-Plus
You Ain’t A Killer – Punisher
Third World – DJ Muggs / RZA / GZA
97 Mentality – Cappadonna
Flipmode Enemy – Rampage
Interlude – Notorious B.I.G.
Illuminati – Tragedy / Iman Thug