Mixed Review: DJ Pratt-Table Manners (1998)

August 08, 2011 3 min read


I spoke a bit about how I connected with J Pratt in Mixed Review: The Experience Chapter 18.

If memory serves, once I finished recording my “Applied Theories Of Time Travel” Mix, J Pratt was ready to get started on “Table Manners”*.

I honestly don’t remember much about the making of this tape. I just put a call in to Pratt to ask him and he confirmed that I was on hand to engineer it for him. I know we set up the Tascam-688 at his house and recorded it there. The only recording session I have a clear memory of is the day Jel came in to do the interlude, “Dose One On Table Manners” (which contains a vocal sample from a freestyle from Time Travel Radio).

The language on the cover and playlist support the concept; the sides are labeled “Table I” and “Table II” and the playlist is called “The Menu”.

J Pratt tapped into his dark-side on this tape for sure, using his new alias, Dik Mor. Dik Mor wasn’t interested in making friends, just bold and, what most might consider, offensive statements…ha. You get a small taste of that on the opening routine to Table II, as well as sprinkled thru out with the song selection.

The tape playlist acts as a looking glass into 1998 Hip Hop, mostly indie, but also some choice selections from the likes of Onyx, Xzibit, Jay Z, and a few others. Pratt also mixes in a variety of routines, showcasing his juggling, scratching, and turntable wordplay skills.

The "Table Manners" Download Includes the Mix, Playlist, Original Artwork and scans of the actual tape!!

Overall, it’s a solid debut and well-rounded mixtape from the man known as J Pratt. On a complete other note. If you didn't know, J Pratt is pretty much the "missing link" between Chicago Hip Hop and Twin Cities Hip Hop. It was in the Summer of '97 that me and J Pratt were out at the Rock Steady Park Anniversary. This is the year it was out in the Bronx. I only have scattered memories of that year, including meeting Showbiz and watching the show for a while and looking to my side and realizing I was standing next to Wesley Snipes the whole time, who was just chilling checking out the event.

Anyway, when we got back home and we were going thru all the free CDs that people gave us and discovering that most were below average. J Pratt says, "I actually got a pretty dope CD out there." I'm like, "Whatever, dude, prove it.". It's put it on and it's Atmosphere's "Overcast". All I could say was, "How did you get the only good CD in New York!?!" Upon further investigation we learned it was from Minneapolis and had a number on the back. I called the number right then and there and talked to Siddiq (CEO of Rhymesayers). That was the start of Rhymesayers sending me and J Pratt CDs for Time Travel Radio that had a amazing response from the people. Then the RSE crew started to drive out to Chicago, just to Freestyle and do interviews on Time Travel. Eventually, I got J Bird involved and since he was managing Rubberoom at the time, we started to arrange some show swaps where we would get Rhymesayers shows in Chicago and they would get Rubberoom and other Chicago acts out to Minneapolis. All that eventually lead to J Bird and the myself getting a job at Rhymesayers. So, J Pratt, good looking on get "the good CD"...


*For the record, this tape was started and finished before we heard of any other project titled “Table Manners”. Shout out to the homie Vitamin D though he was brewing up his version in the Northwest around the same time...

Written By Kevin Beacham

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