Okayplayer is proud to be the first blog (ok, except for his own, maybe) to crack the seal on the 10th anniversary Box Set Edition of legendary turntablist, Jay-Z tour DJ and all around good dude Neil Armstrong‘s infamous Original mixtape series (pretty sure we only got this because as a young DJ fresh off the bus I happened to sit in on the desktop publishing session in which then-5th Platoon manager Chris Sealey designed the very first Original cover art around Neil’s baby pic. My contribution: I suggested the caption: “I used to be a lowercase G,” which was summarily rejected).
We’re also proud to be pioneers with this review/preview of what is–to my knowledge–the very first *Mixtape Box Set* in rap history. In case you are unclear on what that might even mean, the 10th anniversary package comprises an actual box set embossed in gold ink, a shrink-wrapped cassette copy of the first Originals mix (released by Neil ca. 2001) a handsome booklet with cover art, tracklisting and detailed info/liner notes and a customized USB card containing the rest of the series in digital form–4 in total, including the latest installment: Original All Out King. You can listen to the sampler below but suffice to say that the new mix applies the template from the other 3 mixes–recreations of essential hip-hop beats from their constituent samples using virtuoso turntable technique to cut breaks and loops together from the original vinyl, all with plenty of vocal scratches. These are like a million of those youtube cratedigging tutorials strung together in a form you could actually rock out to at a houseparty–edutainment! The newest mix also contains some surprises, digging up unexpected vinyl originals for heavy new-school hits (Diana Ross on Chris Brown‘s “Look At Me Now”, for instance, or the Rocky II sample on Drake‘s “Forever”). This limited edition object is only coppable in a handful (assuming you only have like three fingers on one hand) of physical stores, so you have to purchase at Neil’s site (where you can also get a quick ‘unboxing’ vid demo-ing the customized packaging)