Random Tracks #6
The Beatnuts – Reign of the Tec – from Intoxicated Demons 1993 – My favorite ish-talking duo came out swinging for the fences with this song.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Brooklyn Zoo – from Return to the 36 Chambers (The Dirty Version) 1995 – No matter what anybody says, ODB is sorely missed in the Wu. You cannot imitate his off the wall, nuttiness and unpredictability. He really balanced the seriousness of the group.
Redman – Whateva Man – from Muddy Waters 1996 – This song represents the essence of Redman to me. Pure entertainment and a banging beat by Erick Sermon.
Masta Ace – Mad Wunz – from Slaughtahouse 1993 – Ace completely shocked me with the incredible production on this album. I think Lord Digga had something to do with that but nonetheless I love hearing this song in the car.
Digable Planets – Rebirth of Slick(Cool Like Dat) – from Reachin’ (A New Refutation Of Time And Space) 1993 – Music diversity reigned in the early to mid 90’s and even the hardcore heads liked this in the midst of listening to Dre and Snoop. The beat is just incredible.
Gangstarr w/ Jeru Tha Damaja and Lil Dap – I’m the Man – from Daily Operation 1992 – Thank goodness for instrumental albums and sites like strictlybeats.blogspot.com. I couldn’t stand to hear Lil Dap anymore. Primo laces everyone with the heat as usual, though.
Boogie Down Productions – We in There – from Sex and Violence 1992 – KRS-One was very angry in the early 90’s and I loved that. I must have played this song a zillion times when I bought the CD.
Casual – I Didn’t Mean To – from Fear Itself 1994 – I used wonder why Casual wasn’t in Souls of Mischief. But after listening to his album I realized that he didn’t fit within their group dynamic. This song is funny as heck and darn near matches a true story I heard yesterday.
Group Home – Suspended in Time – from Livin’ Proof 1995 – A great example of when keeping it real goes too wrong. Some people can’t tell their friends that they’re wack. Primo’s loyalty to these weak wanna be MC’s was a waste of good beats. Why didn’t he just hand them over to Nas and Jeru for their sophomore albums? Or better yet why didn’t he use them for a Gangstarr album in ’96? The world will never know. But the day I bought this CD, me and my cousin prayed for the instrumental album. On November 5, 2006, our prayers were answered by strictlybeats.blogspot.com. The little snippet featuring Jeru at the end of the song was a welcome surprise.
Nas – It Ain’t Hard to Tell (remix) – from It Ain’t Hard to Tell single 1994 – I picked up this cassette maxi-single before the lady at the record store could even put it on display. We were Nas fiends in late ’93/early ‘94 and couldn’t wait for a clean copy of any of his songs. I love how Extra P flips the remix.
Black Moon – Black Smif and Wessun – from Enta Da Stage 1993 – I used to have daily hip-hop debates with two guys who lived across the hall from me in the dorm. One was from Brooklyn and one was from Harlem. Since I was from Philly, they figured I knew nothing about hip-hop music…until they saw the huge collection of magazines, vinyl records, tapes and CD’s in my room. From then on, we debated just about every album that we bought from summer ’92 to spring ’94. Black Moon’s album was one that we all agreed was a 5 mic classic. We would sit in the room for hours playing spades, chess and Mortal Kombat breaking down the entire album track by track. This song happened to be my second favorite. I can’t figure what the guy is saying in the vocal sample but it still sounds great today.
Tupac – Young Ni99*z – from Me Against the World 1995 – This song is probably my favorite Tupac song. It always takes me back to ’90 or ’91 when life was crazy and ever changing. It reminds me of my friend’s cousin who was a wild character like O-Dog in Menace to Society. He didn’t care about anything. No matter where we went (movies, mall, on the corner, to meet girls, etc.) he would always start a fight, get rowdy or steal something. It got to the point that I couldn’t jeopardize my future hanging around him anymore. I remember when he started car-jacking people (with or without a gun) just for fun. There were so many car-jackings statewide that the Pennsylvania legislature created a new car-jacking law with an automatic 15 year penalty. Around the same week that the law went into effect, he went out to carjack somebody for a ’91 Lexus and he got caught for the first time and spent 15 years in jail.
Tha Alkaholiks – DAAAM! – from Coast II Coast 1995 – With a limited budget for buying new music in the mid-90’s, I frequently employed one of my old tricks. New music was released every Tuesday and I knew that some people would quickly sell their new CD’s to a used CD store before the end of that week to get a good trade-in price. So me and my cousin Allan would take Saturday morning trips across the bridge from Philly to Pennsauken, NJ to pick up those still new CD’s at less than half price. We went to a store that sold used music and electronic equipment as well as CD’s. I picked up a boatload of great new CD’s there in the early to mid 90’s for $5.99 or less. When I finally heard this song in our concert speakers at home, I went “DAAAM!”, too. I always liked how Tha Liks seemed to just be themselves on record and have a good time sort of like The Beatnuts. Isn’t being yourself, in the music industry, kind of taboo now?