Sunday, 11 July 2010
Great songs from forgotten rap albums # 14
Kam - Stereotype
Ice Cube's cousin Kam was basically Cube without the intelligence, humour and moments of profundity, but it'd be unfair to claim that he wasn't a decent rapper with a few really good songs, right? The Cube connection and the single Peace Treaty were enough to convince me to part with my money for the Neva Again tape in 1993, but this was the cut which had me with my finger on the rewind button. Stereotype was easily the fonk-iest thing on there and finds Kam rapping about, uh, black stereotypes 'n' stuff, but it doesn't suffer from any of the po-faced hectoring which permeates 90% of Kam songs; as Da Lench Mob's first album proved : rapping about hating whitey can and should be funny. Kam's not exactly Johnny Ball let alone Bobby Ball, but this is one of the few songs of his where where the power of FUNK! allows him to remove the stick from his ass, lighten up and get a little playful with his usually immalleable flow. Excellent usage of vocal samples on this too.
Master P - Bloody Murder
Had to dig Mama's Bad Boy out when Lil B's recent We Are The World reminded me of the acapella "we are the world, we are the dealers/we are the ones who sell crack cocaine, so let's start selling.." crooning on Psycho Rhymes from it. Percy's 2nd album from 1992 was my introduction to pre-'Bout It, 'Bout It Part 2 P after hearing the aforementioned song and Ohh Shit on J-Zone's Ig'Nant mixtape, but neither are close to being the best shit on there. Fuck A Bitch Cuz I'm Paid, Shoot 'Em Up, and Dope, Guns, And Pussy are all great in their respective ways (ie. sounding like low-budget NWA or Geto Boys rip-offs by a dude from Oakland), but the most unique cut is Bloody Murder which sees P establish some identity of his own. Okay, it's sorta Bushwick Bill or Ganksta Nip-ish, but with more abundant drug talk, and that squelchy beat is some proto-The World Is Yours/Till Death Do Us Part Swamp-Funk (C. Schoja). I'm guessing that's a Herbie Hancock-related sample?
Poor Righteous Teachers - Wicked Everytime
Damn, Wise Intelligent had that Takagi Kan from Major Force on De La's Long Island Wildin' style on this, the most bombastic song of Poor Righteous Teachers's career, only in words I could actually understand. Conscious Style with KRS and the single Word Iz Love are the most fondly remembered cuts from P.R.T's New World Order album at this point, but if there's a song on there which sums up what got me open to them when I heard Holy Intellect and Rock Dis Funky Joint 6 years earlier in 1990, it'd be Wicked Everytime. Allies was another potential P.R.T classic from New World Order, but it was unfortunately ruined by having The Fugees appear on it. Not even The Rock could make Wyclef listenable.
Lil' Slim - Gangsta Day
Lil' Slim's third album Thug'n & Pluggin' is a great example of post-bounce N.O Gangsta-Rap as Slim developed more of a taste for gun-talk and Mannie experimented with G-Funk. Neighborhood Terror and the pre-Juve era Ca$h Money Records posse track Time To Murder with Mr Ivan and Kilo G are both superb, but A-Day-In-The-Life-Of.. tracks (ie. Boyz 'N The Hood or It Was A Good Day are to me what young, dumb, blond Geordie club sluts were to Raoul Mort's dick so Gangsta Day is the one for me. This is not just any A-Day-In-The-Life-Of.. track, though, but a Mannie take on Summertime by Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince with Slim detailing the sort of trife activities even the neighbourhood hardrock dudes from west Philadelphia who caused Will to move to Bel Air would balk at.
Azie & Mobstyle - Up And Down Lenox
Yeah, I know : European rap bloggers posting Mobstyle songs is about as cliched as it gets, but at least this is something from the barely-jocked-on-the-blogosphere noughties album Blood On My Money put out under the moniker of Azie & Mobstyle and I feel justified in posting it as this album was impossible to find to buy or download back in 2003 and, as someone geeked off picking up the Azie & Alpo issue of F.E.D.S magazine and the bootleg of the Paid In Full movie on a trip to NYC in 2002, I used to listen to the 10 second snippet of this on Amazon over and over when it appeared on there a year later. When British lads make Youtube videos of themselves rapping about commiting crimes I find myself wishing this country had some sort of eugenics program in effect, but when former drug dealers and murderers from Harlem rap about their exploits I find it the most fascinating shit ever. This might be because I'm a hypocrite willing to forgive rappers for sins I wouldn't tolerate from anyone else (see : not being bothered by rappers making songs with any sort of Christian theme, when I sneer at any rock band who big-up Jesus other than Trouble and Talk Talk), but it's more likely because I find Dapper Dan suits more aesthetically pleasing than black McKenzie tracksuits and black Air Max 90s.
Anyhoo, this track is great and one of the new Mobstyle members who replaced Pretty Tone Capone sounds exactly like the one from Boo & Gotti who-doesn't-look-like-a-fat Memphis Bleek rapping like Cam'Ron circa Confessions Of Fire.
Bonus action :
Play Time Is Over by Mr Low Kash 'N Da Shady Bunch over on Fat Lace as part of their Rap Groups We Know Nothing About series.