I've been a fan of Kan Kick since discovering his work back in '01. It took me a couple years before I actually heard anything of his, but I knew the name. In '99, it wasn't hard being aware of Kan's name if you were a Lootpack fan, you just had to listen closely to their records. Clearly, there was somebody part of the crew that they kept hyping and probably worth further investigation. At the time I felt, "If Madlib's championing this guy, it's got to be good."
Fast forward two years and I land a copy of Kan Kick's under the radar west coast classic, "From Artz Unknown". A beautiful debut and essential for any true hip-hop fan. On first listen, you heard what should have been a household name for underground hip-hop. Unfortunately to this day, I've been dumbfounded on how overlooked his production has been. Speaking with other artists, producers, fans, I've taken some satisfaction that maybe my assumption of this criminally slept-on producer isn't true. Because not only are they very aware of his work, they all end up feeling exactly the same way I do. It's like people I talk to about Kan have a personal connection to his music. They're thrilled to finally talk about him and the energy in their voices raises. There are very few producers that give you goosebumps when you listen to their music, Kan Kick can do that to you.
Further digging into his discography and you pull up guest production on Declaime's "Andsoitisaid", the Mad Men EP and the absolute must have, "Comprehensions" Mixtape with DJ Babu. He'd later put out collections of beats known as "Acid Massive Musical", "The Traditional Heritage" and "Serious Business This!" among others.
It's 2003 and after years of obsessing for Kan's next beat, I attended what was supposed to be an in-store performance by Declaime, Oh No and Medaphor...they never showed. I start shopping through records and shortly after, I hear this guy trying to sell his EP to the store clerk. I walk up out of interest, "What's the record man?", he turns around, it's Kan Kick. The record, "Cal I Foreigner". From what I understand, it's an extremely rare thing to catch this guy anywhere, so I make the most of it. I purchase the record and we strike up conversation, I let him know about the radio show I just started two months prior and ask if he'd come on. Without hesitation he tells me "Let's make it happen." A couple weeks go by and I welcome the very first guest on BTS in-studio. This doesn't mean all went well.
Kan was scheduled to do a live guest mix and during this time in BTS history, I had to lug my own turntables and mixer to the studio every week. Having faulty Technics and a broken Vestax mixer, I decided to go with my backup plan of bringing my slightly more functional, less desirable, Nu-Mark turntables and mixer...both of which had a "my very first DJ set" quality to it. We get to the studio, "Shit, where's the needles?", we find some busted needles that were never meant for scratching, packed in the station's emergency supply and set everything up. I can't stress what a nightmare this equipment was, but I always say, "It's not the equipment that makes it fresh, it's who's in charge of it." Kan brought his bags of dusty records and we somehow pulled it off. BTS Radio was officially born.
This archive is what I consider to be the very first BTS show and the one that makes me the most proud. Charles Munka told me, "This is the re-launch, put up the first show. Show them where it all started." Makes sense.
This download includes the original live recording, plus a segment never before heard of Kan Kick presenting some exclusive productions strictly for BTS.
I'll end this with a tweet I read from frequent Kan Kick collaborator, MC Blame One. "Y'all gotta realize that Kan Kick is a legendary producer...If you know about Madlib and Oh No, you should know about Kan Kick. Period."
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