Mos Def photography by Peggy Sirota

Fresh out of school in 2007 and having spent the better part of the summer hitting the rave circuit like it was going out of style, I quickly realized as soon as the leaves began to change colour that the party was effectively over — for now. My part-time job simply wasn’t cutting it anymore. Armed with a pressed button-up shirt, my degree, and a stack of résumés, I set off on my first grown-up job hunt.

I eventually landed an entry level 9-5 gig in the Financial District, pushing never ending mounds of paper through the operational machinery of a wealth management brokerage.  While I will spare you the mundane details of my horrendous first position within the bank, I will divulge that the injection of disposable income afforded to me by way of my new employment paired with the close proximity of my workplace to the city’s best record shops resulted in me purchasing a shitload of music.

Passing through Toronto’s hallowed shrine of vinyl Play De Record two times a week to dig was commonplace for me at the time.  The DJ’ing world had not yet gone full-on digital and I was stockpiling a tidy collection of my favourite Drum & Bass plates.  During one of many record runs, I spotted an intriguing white label pressing with the word “Panties” crudely scrawled across the adhesive centre.  I hastily added this mysterious record to my already large stack of prospective buys, and promptly headed over to the listening station.

Seldom leaving my travel crate since, the enigmatic record I had purchased on a dreary November afternoon would end up being a personal favourite piece within my collection.  One of the best Drum & Bass bootleg remixes ever produced, Dublin born beatsmith Zero T signaled his arrival as one of the top beatmakers in the scene with a sublimely crafted reworking of “The Panties” — Mos Def‘s sultry between the sheets Rap cleverly reimagined in a Liquid Funk stylee.

Those not astute enough to have picked this uber limited issuance nearly a decade ago would have been shit out of luck — that is until now.  Zero T recently announced via his various social media outlets, the free giveaway of a number of remixes on his official Soundcloud page with “The Panties” bootleg being the first of said rerubs enabled for download.  Audiophiles rejoice.

– Joe Crilla