BBE at 20: Kon & Amir’s favourite ‘Real Music For Real People’


Kon & Amir’s history as DJs is intrinsically linked to BBE. The pair have released four compilations together on the label – Kings of Diggin’ and Off Track Vol. 1-3 – over the past decade, forming a symbiotic relationship of building each other’s profiles as well as the label that houses them, thanks to forensic digging and diligent curation. As part of our ‘BBE at 20’ series, we’ve asked Kon & Amir to pick some favourite tracks released on the BBE catalogue over the years.

“The theme for our feature would be the BBE saying ‘Real Music for Real People’.  I say this because BBE has always represented what I consider real music regardless of the genre, and have always given artist like myself a chance. Without labels like a BBE many of us would still be struggling to have people hear and feel our music. It doesn’t even feel like 20 years for BBE, it seems like yesterday almost but they have definitely set the standard of Real Music for Real People. I’m happy to still be apart of the BBE family and I know that I will always have a home for whatever artistic endeavor I choose.”

Kon – Kong and the Gang LP is out now on BBE, with Amir’s Buena Música Y Cultura compilation coming soon.

Kon’s picks

Family of Eve – ‘I Wanna Be Loved By You’

A track I discovered via Keb Darge and since then I’ve listened to it hundreds of times and  I’ve never grown tired of. I love the back and forth between the male and female singing and the keys are great. Such a groove.

Martin Dumas – ‘Attitude, Belief and Determination’

This was first featured on the Mr.Peabody comp but later was reissued as a 12″ for Zafs comp, and rightfully so as it’s quite rare and obnoxiously expensive too! More importantly the entire song is stunning. The intro is a rip off of EWF – Sun Goddess’ but takes a turn into an original, uplifting, anthemic tune about positivity and, as the title suggests, determination.

Alice  Smith – ‘Love Endeavor (Maurice Fulton Remix )’

Man, what can be said about this track that hasn’t already been said? A stone cold classic.

Teddy Pendergrass – ‘You Can’t Hide From Yourself (Dimitri from Paris Remix)’

How do you make one of Teddy’s best songs better? Dimitri does an excellent job with this, stretching out the intro that builds into the horn drop and then that infectious groove kicks in. The Philly Sound is the epitome of disco gold.

JayDee aka J Dilla – ‘Welcome to Detroit’

The age old question of “best producer on the mic” would have to be Dilla. He is, without question, one of hip-hop’s most prolific producers, a trendsetter and a legend. This LP is one of BBE’s shining moments, be it the slow mo techno-ish sounds of ‘B.B.E (Big Booty Express)’ or the cover of Donald Byrd’s ‘Think Twice’ or the classic ‘Rico Suave Bossa Nova’, I think heads will agree this LP is a classic.

Amir’s Picks

J Dilla- ‘Featuring Phat Kat’

For me a track that I have always loved from the BBE catalog is the Jay Dee feat. Pha Kat song from the Welcome to Detroit album. This track represnts the hard grittiness of the “D” fully.  I already had a working relationship with Phat Kat as I had released his first single ‘Dedication to the Suckers’ back in 1999.  When I found out Jay Dee was releasing an album with BBE, I was excited because I knew he chose wisely. 

Julien Dyne feat Mara TK – ‘Layer’

This stays in my rotatation of songs to play.  Such a soulful and funky song with great vocals.  When I play it, it always gets heads open.  It definitely represents the label well. 

Family of Eve – ‘I Wanna Be Loved By You’

One of the great comps that BBE released was the Keb Darge Legendary Deep Funk Vol. 1.  This golden nugget was packed full of funk gems. One in particular was this one by the group Family of Eve. The bassline is infectious, plus I’d never heard of the group or song before, which in itself was awesome.

Martin Dumas – ‘Attitude, Belief and Determination’ [so good they picked it twice!]

One of the best comps to come out within the past decade was The Real Sound of Chicago by Mr. Peabody Records.  This track is such a great, soulful groove and positive message. This was reissued recently thru BBE courtesy of my man Zaf.  This OG 12″ goes upwards of $1200-1500 these days. The message alone in this song represents what BBE is about.  

Osunlade – ‘The Day We Met For Coffee’

Last one would definitely be from one of my DJ inspirations, Osunlade. The Aquarian Moon album had so many chunes. My favorite being this one, with its hard driven bassline and drum track. It became a big part of my sets immediately!  This song is yet another example of the excellence of BBE. 

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