Sunday, July 25, 2004

Primo Loves This Single: "I'm Still #1"

The first in a series, "Primo Loves This Single" postings examines joints that DJ Premier has exploited more than once in his productions. BDP's "I'm Still #1" graces at least three Primo productions:

1. Jeru the Damaja, "D. Original"
What KRS said: "I'm the original teacher of this type of style"

2. Gangstarr, "I'm Not Superman"
What KRS said: " I'm not Superman, because anybody can / or should be able to rock off turntables"

3. Ed O.G., "Sayin Somethin"
What KRS said: "So BDP, short for Boogie Down Productions / made a little noise cuz the crew was sayin' somethin'"

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Toiling In Obscurity

One of the saddest stories in hip-hop is that of the aging rapper who has been putting it down for years with too little recognition for too long, staying true to the game throughout. And so we begin, the Toiling in Obscurity List, no particular order:

1. Tragedy, aka The Intelligent Hoodlum, aka Khadafi. Talk about never getting what's due, this guy has put out album after album of worthy material, only to see it ignored by the buying public every single time! From his Marley Marl produced debut and sophomore joints, to his recent Mobb Deep-styled politicking.
2. Masta Ace. More Intelligent than the Hoodlum, Masta Ace has tried everything. Black consciousness, Jeep Beats, Rap Operas, you name it. All with integrity and creativity, mind you. Still, ain't nuttin to show for it.
3. Craig G. Didn't expect this to be a Juice Crew list, but while we're at it...
4. Biz Markie. Come on, one hit "Just a Friend" doesn't do the man justice. Pop charts saw the song as an oddity, not as a true hip-hop staple.
5. Chino XL. The original Eminem, Chino XL spit offensive lines before it became fashionable.
6. Keith Murray. He's never going to have a huge album, or a huge single, but he's going to keep cranking em out. Up there with Chino and Rass Kass as a great punchline MC.
7. Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith. Separate not together, these two are doomed to obscurity following their disappointing reunion. This is especially sad for Erick Sermon, who may be the most prolific producer that hip-hop has ever known.
8. Prince Paul. Speaking of legendary producers, this man has contributed so much to hip-hop, yet seems content with his niche outside of the hip-hop mainstream. Possibly the only person on this list who is comfortable with the "Toiling in Obscurity" title.
9. Chuck D. Does anyone really care about *anything* Chuck D has created since "Can't Truss It" came out? Unfortunate, would have been great if he contributed to Michael Moore's Farenheit 9/11.
10. Ras Kass. One of the most skilled lyrical technicians, Ras Kass seemingly had all the traits for a legendary artist when he came out the gate back when...11 years later, only two albums to show for it, neither being worthy of his potential.

Monday, July 12, 2004

top ten list what happened to them

list of artist who you thought would blow up, but somehow fell in a crack
or just got played by their label
list is in no particular order

1. Cool V and the whole hiltop hustlers ( steady b, 3x dope)
2. Dread Scott
3. Twin Hype
4. Channel Live
5. D-Nice
6. Tone Loc, laugh all you want, but this nigga had one of the top 5 illest voices in hip hop
7. Skinny Boys
8. Illegal (head or gut)
9. Steezo the fly negro
10. Dinco D and Charlie brown (poor bastards, must hurt to see busta blowing up like he has)

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Tha Realness

"You know what the fuck I think is just pathetic and gay?
When niggas speculate what the fuck 'Pac would say...
You don't know shit about a dead man's perspective
And talkin shit will get your neckbone disconnected
Disrespected, niggas don't show no love
Why you tryina be hardcore, you fuckin homo thug?!
And don't be sensitive and angry at the shit I wrote
Cause if you can take a fuckin dick you can take a joke
I choke your friends in front of you to prove you fallin off
And you won't do shit about it
Like the Church during the Holocaust
Kalishnakov machine gun flow that I fire
Obnoxious til they shoot me on the day I retire!"

Artist: Immortal Technique
Song: Obnoxious
Album: Revolutionary, Volume 2

For more information about Immortal Technique, check his bio.

Friday, July 09, 2004

In Rotation

Powerule: Volume 1
A 1991 sleeper that sounds like a Latino version of Rough House Survivers (sorry it's so obscure, but it's true). Particular attention paid to the Large Professor-assisted "Gots ta Get This!"

SWV: The Remix EP
The only SWV album you'll ever need. Only the good isht, none of the ballad filler that made their albums so unbearable. Two particular highlights: the "Anything" remix featuring young and hungry Method Man and ODB, and "Right Here" remix that samples the Human Nature strings a la "It Ain't Hard to Tell."

Jeru the Damaja: The Sun Rises in the East
Like whoa...DJ Premier pulls out all the stops for the first member of the Gangstarr Foundation to come out the gate on this 1994 summer classic. From the syncopated Chinese water torture rhythm of "Come Clean," to the frenetic key slapps of "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," this is one of the albums that made 94 that last truly great year in hip-hop. "In the land of crooks, yes, Brooklyn's tha borough."

Ghostface: The Pretty Toney Album
It ain't all nostalgia up in this piece! New Ghostface, what?! Honestly though, this is album to me is like a clone of Supreme Clientele. Not a bad thing, considering that Ghost's prior masterwork is one of the all time greatest albums in the hip-hop canon. It's still the strongest Wu release in years, with impressive production turns by No I.D. ("Metal Lungies"), Nottz ("Be This Way"), and the shining star on the album, RZA's "Run" featuring Jadakiss on support verses. What's the story with dropping "Killah" from the name?

Prince: One Night Alone...Live
Yeah well what can I say. I'm honest with these lists, so it's all out in the open. Prince delivers his odd mixture of Jehovah Witness-inspired jazz combined with cleaned up versions of his classics. His performance of "Alphabet Street" is tighter and funkier than the original, and collabos with George Clinton, Musiq, and Larry Graham (Sly Stone's bassist) prove that Prince is the only man staying true to the funk code in '04. Andre Benjamin, keep taking notes.

The UMC's: Unleashed
From the Staten Island duo that brought us "spin 360 degrees for blue cheese" comes the sophomore release in 93. Darker and closer in style to their Shaolin bretheren's steez, they highlighted their Ill Demonique Clique (lol) members throughout. M Ceezy interviewed these cats prior to the release, and they really didn't have much to say--same goes for the album, though the beats are nice. Not a classic like their debut "Fruits of Nature" (what a horrible album title), which is highly recommended.

Black Moon: Enta Da Stage
This album is like an anchor in any collection--it will always sound hard and dope regardless of the weather,. even ten years later. "Oh lord...get on my skateboard and do a muthafuckin' drive-by!" boasts Buckshot Shorty on the opening shot "Powaful Impak!". The Beatminerz laced this and Smif n Wessun's debut with their finest work, and haven't matched this pinnacle of production since.

Poor Righteous Teachers: Holy Intellect
Playing catch-up on this gem that M Ceezy copped for a mere $9 in the used selling on Amazon for $36.00 and up. Now on the lookout for Pure Poverty to complete the collection.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Independence Day

"I bang like vehicular homicides
On July 4th in Bed-Stuy"

The Genius
"Duel of the Iron Mic"
Liquid Swords