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This week, we have a two guests for you. In the first half of the show, we talk to Baje One, the rapping half of the long-running underground duo Junk Science. And in part two, we sit down with NIKO IS, a Florida-by-way-of-Brazil rapper whose world-class freestyling skills put him on the radar of none other than Talib Kweli, who signed Niko to his Javotti Media label.

Baje One and his group’s producer, DJ Snafu, first met in in their native NYC in the mid-1990s and have been making smart, funny, and ambitious music together since 2003. The success of their 2005 debut album Feeding Einstein led to a deal with El-P’s seminal Def Jux label, which put out their 2007 follow-up, Gran’dad’s Nerve Tonic. The album, in the first of a long run of packaging innovations from the group, came with its own beer, brewed by Sixpoint Craft Ales. Since then, Baje has released three more albums with the group, and several solo and collaborative projects.

NIKO IS was born in Rio De Janeiro, but has spent his rapping life in sunny Orlando, Florida. He made a name for himself in his adopted city as a teenager with his almost supernatural freestyling skills, and started releasing mixtapes in 2012 with Chill Cosby. The following year, he would cross paths with Kweli, and eventually sign to the rapper’s label. NIKO’s first album on Javotti, Brutus, was released earlier this year.

Tracks featured in this episode:

  1. Junk Science, “The Junk-Off”
  2. El-P, “Tasmanian Pain Coaster”
  3. El-P, “Deep Space 9mm”
  4. Company Flow, “Vital Nerve”
  5. DJ Snafu, “Battle Myself”
  6. Junk Science f/Scott Thorough & Probe, “Roads”
  7. Junk Science brew some GNT part 2. From
  8. Junk Science f/Cool Calm Pete, “Words From The Pedro”
  9. Junk Science & Scott Thorough, “Pixelated”
  10. 10 Phoenix Downs in Final Fantasy
  11. Contra – Jungle Theme
  12. Junk Science, “30 Lives”
  13. Junk Science, “You Could Have That”
  14. Junk Science f/George Langford & J. Howells Werthman, “Just One Thing”
  15. Junk Science f/George Langford & J. Howells Werthman, “Just One Thing”
  16. Junk Science, “Fire Drill”
  17. Baje One (of Junk Science) & J. Howells Werthman, “The Punching Bag”
  18. Junk Science f/Cool Calm Pete, “Millins”
  19. Baje One (of Junk Science), “The Only One (House Wigger 2.0)”
  20. Macklemore, “White Privilege”
  21. NIKO IS, “Gumbo”
  22. NIKO IS, “Bye Bye Donnie Brasco”
  23. Great People, “Still Not A Playa remix by: Great People Freestyle”
  24. NIKO IS, “Mr Dark Sky”
  25. The Cipher Episode 110: Blueprint
  26. Talib Kweli & Niko Is Freestyle on Showoff Radio with Statik Selektah
  27. NIKO IS, “Keys To The Kingdom”
  28. NIKO IS, “Vamoose”
  29. Jay Z, “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)”
  30. Jay Z f/The Notorious B.I.G., “Brooklyn’s Finest”
  31. NIKO IS, Green Tomato Coupe”
  32. NIKO IS f/Kool A.D., “We Know”
  33. Big Pun - Pakinamac Skit (Full Version)
  34. NIKO IS f/Talib Kweli, “Carmen”
  35. NIKO IS f/Kool A.D., “We Know”
  36. NIKO IS f/Kool A.D., “We Know”
  37. Jay Z, “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)”
  38. NIKO IS f/Talib Kweli, “Carmen”
  39. NIKO IS, “Vamoose”
  40. Steve Allen show, Frank Zappa Playing Music on a Bicycle, 1963
  41. Frank Zappa, “Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?”
  42. Jethro Tull, “Thick As A Brick (Part 1)”
  43. NIKO IS, “Saturday in BK”

Show notes:

  1. Junk Science, “Roads” music video
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