Sunday 28 July 2013

R.I.P to Westwood's BBC career

10 reasons why big Tim will always be the bomb! *EXPLOSION*

1. Let's not even bullshit on this one : Westwood is the UK's answer to Nelson Mandela. As a cracka in a black culture who came to prominence after the Broadwater Farm riots of 1985, the big dawg has done more for race relations in this country than any politician or activist. For the BBC to sack such an inspirational figure yet continue to employ a wife beating sex pest like Andy Kershaw is an absolute travesty.

2. He was there before the vast majority of other Rap DJs in this country, he didn't jump shit once House music exploded in the UK in 1988/1989 like so many other British DJs did, and he's still here today awkwardly lurching about in boxy oversized Ralph Lauren polo shirts as he asks Waka Flocka Flame questions about why Rappers wife up their busted high school sweethearts.

3. Dude took a bullet or two in a drive-by shooting when some Yardie pulled up on his jeep and opened fire on him, and then bounced straight back on some "My wings are like a shield of steel" Batfink type shit. Westwood : 1; 2pac and Biggie : 0.

4. I'm too young to have ever heard Mike Allen's show and too much of a bumpkin to have been able to pick up Westwood's Capitol F.M show, thus his friday and saturday night shows on Radio One were my entry-point into proper Rap radio, a conduit into what was happening stateside on a weekly basis, and remain the benchmark for all my Rap radio listening experiences ever since.

5. Back in the day, you never felt like you were wasting your friday night by driving around provincial towns listening to his radio show in your mate's Vauxhall and making explosion and airhorn noises at random strangers instead of going to the pub and trying to get your dick wet.

6. Nowadays I don't go out before 10 P.M on a saturday night because I'm knackered by about 2 A.M if I go out any earlier. Back in the mid 90s to early '00s, I usually didn't go out until 10.PM because I wanted to listen to the first hour of Westwood's saturday night show and then leave a tape running to record as much of the rest of his show as possible so I wouldn't miss all the best new music, his link-ups with Marley Marl and/or Cipha Sounds, and freestyles from guests like Biggie and Big L.

7. He played exclusive cuts that industry politics dictated NYC DJs couldn't air on the radio like Ultramagnetic MC's demos, unreleased early 90's joints by LL, Tragedy, Big Daddy Kane etc (as collated by Rare Dave on his legendary Rare Frequencies Radio cassette compilation), and an amazing Freeway song he premiered once sometime around late 2002 that I've never been able to ever identify or track down.

8. Back in that dark, dark era of the late nineties when every other British rap DJ was playing terrible records by Mos Def, Jurassic 5, Ugly Ducking, and godawful U.K characters like Dave The Ruf & his crew, Westwood was spinning Superthug and 357 next to Ha and It Ain't My Fault, closing out his shows with half an hour of the best underground N.Y cuts like Spit and M.I.A, and, thankfully, never ever playing anything from the UK.

9. He's always gotten the best freestyles out of great rappers who can't make decent music to save their life like Eminem; see : the epic summer 2000 ones with Proof amd the more recent sessions.

10. From Biz Markie explaining that Pickin' Boogers "came from my heart" on his N Sign Radio Night Network show, to the episode of his UKPlay show where Capone-n-Noreaga and their goons took us on a tour of the gun-stashing spots on their block, to his interview with Chase & Status where he sonned them live on air, dismissed the entire genre of Dubstep, and dissed Jay-Z's dancing skills, to him bodying Xzibit on his own show format when he hosted the UK version of Pimp My Ride, Westwood has always made great TV too.

Honourable mentions : the time he signed an autograph for my mate Shaun and spelled his name "Shar", his YouTube channel where he uploads incredible footage of Biggie and the Beasties & LL Cool J live in London, the Outsidaz freestyle session from around 1999 or 2000 that I could really do with an MP3 of, and the way he's a simultaneous inspiration and deterrent to all of us ageing white British Rap nerds.


Daps said...

If anybody has a copy of the show ('96 ish) with Mad Skillz hosting and judging a live-on-air-phone-in rap competition alongside Westy, please post a link!

(The winner was Big Major with the immortal fingering line, "so I suggest, a dip-and-sniff test").

BTW, number 5 in your list applies to everyone I know. Very true.

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Let's use the comments to list all of our Westwood wants, lads :

The Outsidaz freestyle session.

That exclusive Freeway song from 2002 which I've never been able to track down (it's not on the State Prop Lost Files CD with all the other Roc promo 12" and mixtape joints from that era.)

That interview with Pharrell I posted about a couple of years back where lil' Skateboard P was talking about how he instructed Fabolous to rhyme like Vanilla Ice on Young'n and how Nothin' was a homage to J Beez Comin' Thru.

Anonymous said...

Westwood sacked? 19 years too late. Mark Tonderai was far more witty and entertaining. Executive-producing London Posse's "Money Mad" aside, Westwood is a twat with no redeeming features. What do you mean "freestyles?" Do you mean verses from latest single over a different beat?

neb said...

truth and lolz

CrowleyHead said...

He also gains points for dissing Roots Manuva and calling him 'THE LAZIEST PERSON IN THE GAME', in 04. As well as devoting hours worth of time mocking Chipmunk and being the only person to host Nevermind The Buzzcocks to make that show seem worthwhile for a second.

bradley said...

a beautiful eulogy

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

What are your favorite shows on BBC America, SpaceGhostPurp guy? Did you ever notice that Only Fools And Horses uses the same mistral font as N.W.A's logo?

Should also add that someone really needs to upload that UKPlay show of his where he was hanging out with CNN on their block in Lefrak.

James said...

Surprised you didn't mention the Dipset in London video.

igloo said...

So yeah, after this news had broken, some unabashed character on my timeline claimed Tim's a grass?

The fuck? This common knowledge?

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Tim don't tell.

Good call on the vid of him ferrying Dipset around London.

"All you need is a bitch and a plan!"

Anonymous said...

I remember his on-air argument with KRS One. Had a lot of respect for him after that one.

Mat Flint said...

Does anyone have a copy of a Doo Wop mix live on Westwood in late 94 or early 95... it kicks off with the instrumental of They Want EFX, straight into Unbelievable, Most Beautifullest Thing In This World, Puerto Rico (Frankie Cutlass), Get Up (Masters at Work)... then into loads of old school stuff like Overweight Lover's In The House, Jingling Baby, I Know You Got Soul etc. Was my most played tape back in the day.. but haven't had a copy for YEARS. Would kill to hear it again!

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Trying asking Step One :

DJ Archive said...

Does anyone remember the Friday radio one episode where the legendary Love bug Starski took over the show and spun some exclusive old school records and also freestyle throughout the show?? 3 hours of the best radio I ever heard!