Hear Rakim Rarities, Pete Rock Freestyles From 1996 Future Flavors Set (Mix)
Just like in the late 1980s, Marley Marl and Pete Rock transmitted dopeness into radio waves in much of the 1990s. The Juice Crew founder and The Chocolate Boy Wonder brought their ear for excellence and supreme Rap mixing skills to airwaves for the HOT 97 Future Flavors radio show. Aimed at breaking new music, celebrating the overlooked, and examining the excitement of the impromptu, the shows were legendary to those in-the-know.
On January 7, 1996, DJ Eclipse (Non-Phixion, Halftime Show, Rap Is Outta Control Show) was listening in—with his finger on the recorder. In his latest liberation of lost radio, E shares the hour-long set from the beginning of one of Hip-Hop’s most transformative years. Pete, who had recently wrapped recording Center Of Attention with InI, was posted on the tables. As he’d done for more than a decade at that point, Marley waxed linguistics.
Eclipse explains, “From ‘In Control’ to ‘Pirate Radio’ to ‘Future Flavas,’ I don’t think there was ever a better duo who were not only dope at what they did on air, but also responsible for a good percentage of the music we listened to back then. ‘Future Flavas’ debuted in January of ’95 on HOT 97 and aired on Sunday nights from 11pm-12am. Marley (mostly) on the mic and Pete Rock on the decks would bless us with weekly exclusives as well as impromptu freestyles and fresh radio promos. For example, peep out the Rakim joint (7:27) that for the life of me I do not recall ever hearing again. Then there’s Pete’s off-the-top freestyle sessions (5:46 and 55:55) as well as a dope Pete Rock produced Biz Markie promo (30:05). The great thing about listening to NYC radio shows like this one was that you were getting the music straight from the source. Songs would be recorded that week and played immediately without the wait of a label release or even the chance of ever hearing it again. Now that’s exclusive.”
Eclipse not only shared his thoughts, but the recording that Heads can all revisit like it was brand new: