November 16, 2012

Article: The 5 Must Listen @Combat_Jack Show Episodes by @Gioevy

I started listening to The Combat Jack Show over two years ago, stumbling upon it purely by accident. Since that discovery, I haven’t missed an episode. Not a single one. Honestly, I can’t think of anything else I’m so dedicated too. But really, this shouldn’t be so surprising. Real, after all, recognizes real and The Combat Jack Show is the realest thing going on in Hip Hop right now. For 2 hours every week, the gang of Combat Jack, Dallas Penn, A-King, Premium Pete, Matt Raz, DJ Ben-ha-meen and Just Blaze (yes, that Just Blaze) treat the Internets to music, hilarious conversation, and the guaranteed most candid interviews you’ve ever heard from some of your favorite personalities in Hip Hop culture. It’s the Internet age’s version of The Stretch and Bobbito or The Wake Up Show, a show for Hip Hop people, by Hip Hop people. The show recently celebrated it’s 100th episode, and if you’re looking to get into the show, there’s really no “wrong” place to start. There are far more great episodes in that 100 than bad ones. But here are my Top 5 Combat Jack Show episodes, a starting point for the casual listener to understand the show.

5. Ed Woods

If you don’t know who Ed Woods is, he is an entertainment lawyer, former partner of Combat Jack’s and manager of Cory Gunz. Most of his legacy in Hip Hop has gone unnoticed (as is generally the case with attorneys) but he found more mainstream popularity when he appeared on the VH1 show Son Of A Gun, highlighting the career of Cory Gunz. As interesting as he is individually, he’s not the reason this episode is great. The reason this episode is great is co-host Dallas Penn. The man is in many ways the heart and soul of the show: constant comedy, undeniable intelligence and zero fucks given. He is truly one of a kind and on numerous occasions, single-handedly provided the entertainment that the episode was otherwise lacking, a talent which was made most clear in this episode.

The Ed Woods Episode

 4. RZA

It’s crazy to see how far things have come in two short years of the show, but the RZA interview solidified the legitimacy of Combat and Co. The interview is special because, well, it’s the RZA and the RZA is endlessly interesting but more than that, the episode represents the heights the show has achieved. From interviewing relative no names to a Hip Hop legend, movie star, author and apparent philosopher, the Combat Jack Show has risen to be the only show out which can remain true to itself in the face of all level of celebrity. Oh, and Melyssa Forde is on this episode. Get ready for thirst.

The RZA X Melyssa Forde Episode

3. Just Blaze and DJ Premier

If you want to point to one episode that pushed The Combat Jack Show over the hump, it’s when Just Blaze came on board as a full fledged member. The fact that one of the greatest Hip Hop producers ever would take a night out of his week to hang out with a group of guys and just kick it proves that something special was happening here. On top of that, the idea of Just Blaze interviewing quite possibly the greatest Hip Hop producer ever in DJ Premier is a Hip Hop nerd’s dream. The show has it’s moments of nonsense and can certainly fly off the wagon at times but at it’s core, it’s about Hip Hop. And this episode is all about Hip Hop.

The Just Blaze X DJ Premier Episode

 2. Maino

All of Combat’s interviews are great but the Maino interview is particularly good, as it highlights the greatest quality of the show: the honesty. In today’s musical climate, fan’s just aren’t messing with the music like they used to. Pick whatever reason you’d like to explain it, but the fact remains that the industry is suffering and it’s becoming more difficult to convince the public that they’re a part of that suffering. One of the reasons for this is the huge disconnect between the fans and the artists. Rappers particularly have such contrived images that it’s hard to even consider them real people. I believe strongly that breaking down these phony personas and seeing the artist for who they really are is key because simply put, people are less likely to steal from people they know or feel connected to. In this interview, we see Maino the man, not just Maino the rapper. There’s a level of comfort that these interviews bring out in the artists that allows them to speak openly and casually. This is the greatest strength of the show, and the main reason I keep tuning in.

The Maino Episode

1. Touré

Where do I begin? Race is a tricky topic, as we all know, but The Combat Jack show’s discussion with Toure about race might be the realest shit they ever spoke. Listening to Premium Pete on the one hand and the combination of Toure/Combat Jack on the other discuss racial stereotypes and white privilege might sound ridiculous when you consider all parties involved, but for many of us it’s like listening to a conversation we’ve always wanted to have, but were afraid to get ourselves involved in. Is post racialism possible? Who get’s the blame for racism in America? Is Premium Pete too real for the Internets? These are endlessly complicated issues, but to hear men of such varying backgrounds express their seemingly dramatic differences straight up, no filter, is as enlightening as it is entertaining. It’s a conversation you’ll be thinking about even after the show is over. It’s like they say on the show: It doesn’t stop.

The Touré Episode

For more on Combat Jack, check out our feature interview with him by clicking here

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One Comment

  1. Joyce Marie says:

    I came to HipHop very late and like all latecomers who are impressed with what they find, I am now a fiendish student. My sons harrassed me until I gave rap a serious listen and when I did, a overall study of the entire culture came immediately after. I am proud and they are tickled that I am the one that put them on to the Combat Jack Show.

    I quickly recognized that it was the level of comfort that you wrote about that made the show so interesting. You gave a voice to the words that have been rattling in my head since I started listening. Thank you for that.

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