Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Can You Spell That Again, Please?: Thayod Ausar

Thayod who?

King Tee: "Free Style Ghetto (feat. Xzibit, MC Breeze, and the Alkaholiks)"
from IV Life 1994

Xzibit: "At The Speed of Life"
Xzibit: "Paparazzi"
Xzibit: "Carry the Weight (feat. Defari)"
from At the Speed of Life 1996

When Xzibit emerged from the Alkaholiks camp with his debut At the Speed of Life, his street philsophy was backed by the young producer Thayod Ausar on three stand-out tracks: the title song, the classic "Paparrazzi," and the autobiographical "Carry the Weight." The cinematic beats crafted with strong, haunting symphonic melodies and heavy reverb drums added age and wisdom to Xzibit, underscoring the sincerity and heart in his lyrics.

Two years earlier, in 1994, Thayod blessed the Likwit crew godfather King Tee with the "Mahogany"-laced "Free Style Ghetto" on the IV Life album, elevating a free-for-all posse cut to something timeless. Somehow, the dramatic, melancholy music added gravity to lyrics like "Footballs, basketballs, microphones, gas and grass / just some of the few things that J-Ro likes to pass." Can't help but to crack a smile at the contrast of the music and typical Alkaholik subject matter.

Only one song on Xzibit's 40 Dayz and 40 Nightz received the Thayod treatment, "Handle Your Business," and the orchestral backing was in full effect. Little did we know that it would be almost 6 years before we'd hear from Thayod Ausar again. He re-emerged with three production credits in 2004: the G-Unit banger "My Buddy," Lloyd Banks' "Warrior" and Xzibit's "Back 2 the Way It Was" from his WMD album. Of those three, only "My Buddy" possesses remnants of the chorus-inflected backdrops that became his early signature.

Extrablogicular reading
Discogs page

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Baknaffek, Howz Dat?!

Make way for the underground rappaz

Das EFX: "Baknaffek (Solid Scheme Radio Remix)"
Das EFX: "Baknaffek (Solid Scheme Funk Remix)"
Das EFX: "Baknaffek (E-A-SKI/CMT Remix)"
from Baknaffek cassingle 1993

After a month-long escape in Barbados, M Ceezy is indeed Baknaffek. Which is also the subject of today's post...the slept-on and too-quickly dismissed follow-up to Das EFX's "Dead Serious" debut. "Straight Up Sewaside" didn't have the catchy singles like Black Caesar-laced "They Want EFX," or the Matlock theme-song-esque "If Only", but what it did have was some seriously hardcore, no-frills, no-crossover beats courtesy of Solid Scheme. It's possible that people had enough of the diggedy-das, after countless biters watered down the flow during their absence. Those people missed a refinement of the dope formula; the production embodied and defined the sound of the sewer, while Books In Reverse and Krazy Drayz increased the density of their lyrics ("Rappaz") and stepped up their storytelling game ("Kaught in Da AK").
Shippity bop, well hot diggedy,
Where's the iggedy, The bum stiggedy
Niggas wanna know but check the flow my little trickity!
Word...what did people expect from Das EFX? Social and political commentary? Incidentally, this was the first post-EPMD split album to be released, and heads were wondering if Das EFX were going to comment on the situation. Referencing E-Double's opening single from his solo debut: "So you can stay real kid, but I'ma stay rich" on "Itz Like Dat." Trivial, as far as beefs go.

For doz that slept, three "Baknaffek" remixes today, unearthed from the cassette archives.

Extrablogicular Reading
The Broke BBoys cover Das EFX's classic "Microphone Master" remixes from 1996.