Always wanted to have your own FUTURA 2000 piece but never thought you would have the budget? Well, here’s how to at an affordable price with a little record diggin’..
Just collect all of the five singles below, flip over to the back of the record sleeve’s and voilà your very own Futura piece. All five of the records were simultaneously released on 7″ and 12″ on Disc AZ (France) and Celluloid Records in 1982 in the US and in Europe. Happy diggin’ YALL..!!
Now the history behind this amazing piece of Hip-Hop memorabilia..
In 1982 a group of young graffiti and Hip-Hop artists who regularly hung out at Downtown NYC clubs such as NEGRIL’s and THE ROXY came together under the wing of French journalist Bernard Zekri and Celluloid Records owner Jean Georgakarakos were commissioned by AZ DISC Records (France) to release five Rap songs.
Their mission was to (A). premiere Rap music to the French audience, and (B). to promote the five artists up and coming ‘NEW YORK CITY RAP TOUR‘ which was about to reach France and England. Their budget – 200,000 thousand French Francs.
Futura 2000 added a mural to the recording project which was partitioned into five separate pieces and used on all of the artists involved in the projects record sleeves. In a clever marketing strategy when you purchased all the five singles, the back sleeves interlocked into one long whole horizontal Futura 2000 piece. An idea later copied by James Lavelle‘s Mo-Wax / Ninja Tunes and numerous other record labels.
The five singles from left to right are as follows –
GRANDMIXER D.ST & THE INFINITY RAPPERS 7″
1. GrandMixer D.ST & The Infinity Rappers – The GrandMixer Cuts It Up.
“He’s the hypnotizer, the tranquilizer, he cuts the beat and plays synthesizer..”
The Infinity Rappers are – Godfather K.C. / King Pin Shahiem and the Flyest Boo-Ski.
FAB 5 FREDDY – UNE SALE HISTOIRE 7″
2. Fab 5 Freddy – Une Sale Histoire.
“Fab 5 Freddy tell me everybody’s fly / DJ spinnin’ I said my my..”
Une Sale Histoire (aka ‘A Dirty Story’ in English) features French vocalist Ann Marie Boyle who was later renamed by GrandMixer D.ST as BE-SIDE.
Contrary to popular myth the ‘AAH THIS STUFF IS REALLY FRESH‘ phrase which can be found at the end of the French B-Side version is actually the voice of MATERIAL’s manager ROGER TRILLING who can also be heard doing the background vocals through-out the single, and not by Freddy himself.
NOTE: this release was later re-packaged in 1983 on a 12″ and promo 7″ under the title ‘CHANGE THE BEAT‘ after the French BE-Side version became more popular than Freddy’s version and was promoted to the A-Side with Freddy’s song on the B-SIde.
PHASE II – THE ROXY 7″
3. Phase II – The Roxy.
This single is by the legendary NYC graffiti artist / and original old-school flyer designer PHASE II, who also penned the original TUFF CITY RECORDS logo design which can be seen in Martha Cooper‘s and Henry Chalfant‘s SUBWAY ART (1984) book and on the first two Tuff-City releases.
THE SMURFS – SMURF FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH 7″
4. The Smurfs – Smurf For What It’s Worth.
Just one of the multitude of early 80’s Rap releases dedicated to the latest SMURF dance craze that was flooding the dance floors. Other Smurf inspired songs included – SPYDER D – SMERPHIES DANCE // CHAPTER THREE – SMURF TREK // THE MICRONAWTS – LETZMURPH ACROSSDASURF // JALIL ( pre WHODINI ) SMIRFATHON and most famously TYRONE BRUNSON’s – THE SMURF.
NOTE: Bernard Fowler (pictured left) who was also a member of the PEECH BOYS can also be seen in the closing scene of BEAT STREET performing ‘DO YOU BELIEVE‘ with the MARINER’s BAPTIST CHURCH CHOIR‘.
FUTURA 2000 – THE ESCAPADES OF FUTURA 2000 7″
5. Futura 2000 – The Escapades of Futura 2000
“The idea is to let you know, that grafitti is rockin’ and it’s on the go..”
Whilst touring with THE CLASH in the early 80’s doing graffiti backdrops as the band played upfront Futura alongside Fab 5 Freddy and the late great DONDI WHITE (who both added backing vocals to the song) visited JIMI HENDRIX‘s ‘Electric Lady Studio‘ and formed a toxic mixture of Uptown Rap with Downtown Punk Rock rhythms produced by MICK JONES and The Clash.
NOTE: the back piece for two of the sleeves where also later reduplicated for two other Celluloid / Disc AZ releases – BeSide / Fab 5 Freddy – Change the Beat 12″ and Tribe II – What I Like 12″.
All scans are taken from the original 7” sleeves, courtesy of MARK B
Find him on Instagram – MARK_B__