“Black Helicopters” is probably Non Phixion’s most iconic song – it’s so popular that it was released officially 4 different times. Technically, the first time it was released was on The Past, The Present And The Future Is Now, but I held off on putting it up till now because I wanted to focus on it’s 12 inch incarnation on Matador, released March 7th, 2000. It was also released again as a single on Uncle Howie in 2004 and on NP’s debut album The Future is Now in 2002.
The highly memorable cover art (as well as the Non Phixion logo itself) was designed by Canadian Metal drummer “Away” from the thrash band Voivod, who also designed Voivod’s logo.
See the resemblance?
The single was engineered by Howie Weinberg, who had also worked with Kurtis Blow, Herbie Hancock, and The Clash on “Rock The Casbah.” It was recorded at Area 51 and No Mystery Studios by previous NP affiliate 10K. The track was produced by Necro, sampling “Yu No Machi Elegy” by Misora Hibari.
Some people are confused by the reference to “black helicopters in the sky.” Black helicopters are an aerial phenomenon commonly reported in conjunction with UFO sightings. In the 60’s and 70’s, cattle ranchers reported seeing unmarked black helicopters in the skies after cattle mutilations. UFO scholars are also reportedly harassed by these phantom-like airships on a frequent basis.
Here’s a video of black helicopter phenomena:
And finally, Physicists, I give you:
Keep your third eyes open for a lot of stuff in the next few days here on Physics.
Today we’re going to briefly talk about Non Phixion’s compilation tape The Past, The Present, And The Future Is Now.
The tape came out in January of 2000 on Matador, just a few months before their iconic “Black Helicopters” single, which we’ll get to tomorrow. The tape was a sort of greatest hits collection to promote the group. It was only available on cassette and never made it to CD. Unfortunately, the vast majority of songs on it were released previously on singles, so we’ve already discussed them, however I’ll put up a few of the tracks we never got to. The song “2004” features the Montreal group Obscure Disorder, whose membership included rapper Troy Dunnit. Troy would later work with Bill on the song “Let’s Go” which was released as a single as well as on Bill’s mixtape Ill Bill Is The Future. Troy also hopped on a very cool beat by Necro in 2003 with impressive results.
So here’s the tracks from the cassette I picked:
Non Phixion – End of the World
Non Phixion – This is Not an Exercise
Non Phixion feat. Obscure Disorder – 2004
Ill Bill – Gangsta Rap (this is a Bill solo song that they put on the tape. The real version has a long intro clip of Robert Deniro in A Bronx Tale, but for whatever reason the dude who uploaded this wasn’t feelin it… oh well)
Stop back tomorrow, we’ll have the Black Helicopters stuff up and hopefully I’ll be finished with my article/interview with Mr. Lopez by the weekend. Don’t touch that dial.
Ap hit us with a new joint the other day. He produced it and the rumor is that it might be a bonus track off his upcoming Honkey Kong, which is supposed to be out in the next few months.
Anyway, here’s Ap:
- Salem Astronomy
Physicists – sorry for my recent absence, I’ve been out of town most of the weekend and I’ve been busy with school and work when I’ve been around, so I have some catching up to do. Don’t worry, I’ve got plenty of songs and an interview with Mr. Lopez from Demigodz coming for you in the next few days. Also I’ve got some exclusive interviews for Nuclear March coming up as well so stay tuned.
Let’s focus now on Non Phixion’s next single after “14 Years of Rap.” The A-side is called “Sleepwalkers” and the B-side is called “Thug Tunin,” it was released July 27th, 1999. “Sleepwalkers” to my knowledge was the only Non Phixion song ever produced by Goretex.
Non Phixion – Sleepwalkers
One of my all-time favorite Non Phixion songs is “14 Years of Rap” with The Arsonists, produced by 10K. This song came out on May 10th, 1999 on a single called Plan A by the short-lived Skeme Team collaborative (even though they’re not on the song), which would later become Brooklyn Academy.
For those of you who haven’t heard of The Arsonists, they were another rap group from Brooklyn around the same time who frequently did shows with Non Phixion. I’ll touch on them this summer in a feature I’m calling “As The Week Burns” to commemorate the release of their first album, so stay tuned.
The song premiered with a video as well. It was the first music video appearance of NP. The video is an outright tribute to a show called “Graffiti Rock” from 1984 that only lasted one episode. While it was canceled quickly, it gained a huge cult following due to its inclusion of hip hop celebrities like Kool Moe Dee and Run DMC. It also includes actress and then-B girl Debi Mazar before she was famous. Here’s the full episode:
They did an excellent job on the video, I must say. They recreated the set almost perfectly and the tag logo looks exactly the same. The video features a lot of people to look out for: DJ Eclipse of Non Phixion is the DJ, Sabac is seen dancing in a red leather jacket, Necro’s wearing his logo on a hoodie, and legendary DJ/WKCR radio personality Bobbito Garcia is the host. There’s probably a lot more people in it I don’t recognize, so if you know any, email me. Another interesting fact about this video is that the symbol (which is actually a Masonic lodge emblem, not a star of David) in Bill’s eye wasn’t digitally added like some people have suggested, it was actually a custom contact lense Bill had made for the video, but due to it being made wrong, you can only see half of the design.
Anyway, here’s the video:
And the actual single version:
Alright, till next time, Physicists, break up the séance.
Here’s the B-side of the “I Shot Reagan” single “Refuse To Lose.”
Add this to the list of Non Phixion songs produced by Necro. The sample is from the Public Enemy song “Welcome to the Terrordome”
Non Phixion – Refuse To Lose:
Watup Physicists – Nuclear March will resume tomorrow morning, but I just wanted to take some time out to address something and make an announcement. A lot of people have been asking me “oh why don’t you write about ___?” To be frank, it’s probably because ____ is a shitty pop rapper with no discernible talent. Let’s be clear – I’m far from a backpacker and we’re gonna do both underground and mainstream on here, but I only write about it if it’s quality and that’s the way it is. There’s just a lot of dudes out there right now making money off this bullshit Sam Adams frat boy genre and calling it “hip hop,” but in reality the real hip hop artists with actual skill are getting slept on and that’s what this is all about. There’s people all over that you’ve never heard of because of the politics of the rap scene – people from places like Connecticut, which is in my opinion is one of the most slept on areas in the country.
This state’s truly got some of the best talent in hip hop today and people need to start paying attention to it because it’s about to make waves in 2011. That’s why Physics is honored to bring you an exclusive interview and article with CT veteran rapper Mr. Lopez, whose recent works have gotten a lot of people’s attention in the rap world. Look for the article this Saturday.
And for those of you who are unfamiliar with Mr. Lopez, I refer to his feature (third verse) on this Apathy classic:
So tell your favorite _____ rapper to make songs like this and maybe we’ll listen to his shit, until then, fuck outta here.
Look out for it: The Mr. Lopez Article!