The July 1991 issue of The Source featured Slick Rick on the cover. Locked up for shooting his cousin, The Ruler was bailed out by Russell Simmons ($800,000!!!) to record a couple of albums, record two or three videos and give Russell a Swedish massage, manicure and pedicure. D*#n, if someone pays $800,000 to bail you out of prison, then you’re definitely expected to pay them back with something. And after going platinum with The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, Russell Simmons was looking for more platinum on the Def Jam walls. I remember Slick Rick receiving a lot of support from the hip-hop community and even Q-Tip chanting “Free Slick Rick” at the end of the Heavy D song “Don’t Curse”. The whole prison situation seemingly ruined his career. I always thought he could have done much better on the The Ruler’s Back but I enjoyed it for what it was. By the way, take a look at the chart for the top 15 albums and singles that month. Wow! I can remember checking that list each month to see if I had forgotten to purchase something. In those days, I must have had 90% of the albums on that monthly chart. If I looked at a Source chart for 2008, I wouldn’t own even one of the albums.
Some other highlights from this issue:
-Rap Business 101 (Things have changed drastically for the music industry since ’91)
-Poetical Prophets (later known as those Mobb Deep guys) as the unsigned hype featured artists
-An informative DJ Premier interview (I wonder if he still uses some of that older equipment when producing today.)
-Sexism in hip-hop and the word “B!tc$”
Record Report highlights:
Terminator X – Valley of the Jeep Beats (rated 4)
Ice T – O.G. Original Gangster (rated 3.5)
KMD – Mr. Hood (rated 4) – I’m amazed at how guys like Zev Love X aka MF Doom and Kool Keith aka Black Elvis have extended their careers by creating aliases and rhyming with zany styles. Is that the future for Ghostface? Will he become Atomic Soap Warrior in 5 years?
Black Sheep – Flavor of the Month/Butt…In the Meantime (rated 4.5)
Main Source – Just Hangin Out (remix)/Live at the BBQ (rated 4)
KMD – Mr. Hood
KMD – Nitty Gritty single
July ’91 issue