Via the United States branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (2015):

In winter 2001, I served as Assistant Tour Manager for the Ground Control U.S. Tour—sponsored by the now-defunct underground hip-hop label, Nu Guv Alliance. Over the course of thirty-four days, the Ground Control All Stars—comprised of Los Angeles’ Aceyalone, Boston’s Ed O.G., the Bay Area’s Rasco, and New York City’s the Masterminds—put on twenty-seven shows in cities and college towns across America. By the time we returned to San Francisco, I had accumulated eighteen CD(-R)s from aspiring hip-hop musicians or affiliated promoters we had met on the road.

Following the tour, I immediately resumed my job at Amoeba Music. With so many obscure used hip-hop CDs available through Amoeba’s employee loan program, my collection of tour music mementos was soon discarded. Fourteen years later, I’ve unpacked these CD(-R)s in order to reflect on their significance…

In making this mix, I have sought to re-value this formerly depreciated music. While a track like the Dirty Luggage All-Stars’ “Dirty Luggage/State 2 State” is certainly obscure, claiming any song featuring legendary Project Blowdian Mikah-9 as “devalued,” to some hip-hop fans, may be a stretch. Yet listening to other tracks, like Paradigm’s “Questions”—featuring guest emcees Mr. X & Mr. Sin Que—I’m reminded that some of these songs likely represent one of the few opportunities an aspiring artist has to record.

Track List:

Arkitech (Audio Aerosol) – Track 5 [Colorado Springs]
Kabir – Track 1 [Cambridge, MA]
Organic Mind Unit – “Chemically Imbalanced” [Chicago]
HAAS – Track 1 [Phoenix]
Kanser – “My Own Two” [Minneapolis – given to me in Lincoln, NE]
Unconventionalz – Track 10 [Phoenix]
Paradigm – “Leverage” [Somers, NY]
Extreme – “Werk Ya Self” [Minneapolis – given to me in Lincoln, NE]
The Procussions – “All That It Takes” [Colorado Springs]
Dirty Luggage All-Stars (featuring Mikah-9) – “Dirty Luggage/State 2 State” [Los Angeles]
Paradigm (featuring Mr. X & Mr. Sin Que) – “Questions” [Somers, NY]
Drunken Immortals – “1999” [Tempe, AZ]
dälek – “Swollen Tongue Bums” [River Edge, NJ]
Alias (Ellis Bancroft) – Track 1 [?]
Legendary Axe (featuring Mic Stylz) – “Big-N-Nasty” [Boston]
Organic Mind Unit – “The Good Shhh” [Chicago]
The Procussions – “Move Yer Self” [Colorado Springs]
k0ng (featuring Jes Hudak) – “How Can I be” [Saratoga Springs, NY]
Drunken Immortals – “MOB U Philosophy” [Tempe, AZ]
Dirty Luggage All-Stars – “Suicidal Soldiers” [Los Angeles]
Aceyalone – “Five Feet” [Ground Control Records, 2000]