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HardC.O.R.E. Vol. 2, Issue 1 10/31/93
The electronic magazine of hip-hop music and culture
Brought to you as a service of the Committee of Rap Excellence
Section 1 -- One
Table of Contents
Section Contents Author
---- -------- ------
001 The introduction
A Da 411 - table of contents
B Da 411 - HardC.O.R.E.
002 What's Up in Hip-Hop
A Review - KRS-One email@example.com
B Article - Return of the Real KLM3298@ritvax.isc.rit.edu
C Reprint - Jerry Springer firstname.lastname@example.org
D Article - Live Hip-Hop email@example.com
E Article - The Atlanta Scene firstname.lastname@example.org
F Reprint - Bootie Flava U14864@uicvm.uic.edu
G Article - ..tha Old School email@example.com
H Article - Soundfiles firstname.lastname@example.org
I Article - What is Real? email@example.com
003 The Review Section
A Review - Souls of Mischief firstname.lastname@example.org
B Review - Black Moon KLM3298@ritvax.isc.rit.edu
C Review - De La Soul email@example.com
D Review - UltraMagnetic MCs firstname.lastname@example.org
E Review - Da King & I email@example.com
F Review - P.R.T. U14864@uicvm.uic.edu
G Review - Justin Warfield firstname.lastname@example.org
H Review - L.O.N.S. KLM3298@ritvax.isc.rit.edu
I Review - HoodRatz email@example.com
J Review - Flowz (demo) firstname.lastname@example.org
K Review - Raw Breed email@example.com
L Review - Sermon and $hort firstname.lastname@example.org
M Review - Biz Markie KLM3298@ritvax.isc.rit.edu
N Review - P. Investigators email@example.com
O Review - Ronny Jordan firstname.lastname@example.org
The C.O.R.E. creed
We at C.O.R.E. support underground hip-hop (none of that crossover
bullshucks). That means we also support the 1st Amendment and the right to
The C.O.R.E. anthems
We In There (remix) Boogie Down Productions
Feel the Vibe, Feel the Beat Boogie Down Productions
True to the Game Ice Cube
Straighten It Out Pete Rock and CL Smooth
It's Not a Game Pete Rock and CL Smooth
Brothers Gotta Work It Out Public Enemy
Hardcore Tim Dog
In the Trunk Too $hort
Remember Where You Came From Whodini
"We'll be in the cornfield, killing your bitch ass" - Joe Synyster
"I got more rhymes than Madonna gets dick" - KRS-One
Asalaam alaikum from Flash
Section 2 -- Two
Charles L Isbell
(Editor's note: Charles Isbell has been writing his New Jack Reviews
for alt.rap and other music newsgroups for several years now, and is
the Moderator of the Annual New Jack Hip Hop Awards, now beginning
its third year. Charles has graciously agreed to let us reprint one
of his reviews per issue as a feature review of the month for
HardC.O.R.E. This month's feature review is the new album from
KRS-One, "Return of the...")
This time: _Return of the Boom Bap_ by KRS-ONE
Next time: _`93 Till Infinity_ by Souls of Mischief
_21 & Over_ by Tha Alkaholiks
_Tricks of The Shade_ by The Goats (no, really, I *mean* it)
Catch Ups: _2Pacalypse Now_ by 2Pac
Distinctiveness: You won't mistake anyone else for KRS-ONE.
Dopeness Rating: I'm kinda embarrassed to say this out loud, but, uh,
I think this is the best album that KRS-ONE has *ever*
done (and that includes _Criminal Minded_). This
gets a Mad Phat+.
Rap Part: Phat+. All that. The man gets my patented rating
of Ziplock(tm): he is tight.
Sounds: I wish he'd turn down the gain on that bass a little
so I can play this in my car, but I'm aware that
this is a bonus for many of my hiphop brothers and
sisters. Besides which, it's solid Phat+ stuff.
Tracks: 14 tracks at 56:04.
Label: Jive. Produced at various times by KRS-ONE and DJ
Profanity: Sure (and no sticker even) tho' not much.
One of the first things one might notice about this album is that it's
filed under "K" for KRS-ONE, as opposed to "B" for Boogie Down
Productions. KRS-ONE, for those five of you who didn't know, is the
center of the aforementioned BDP. In fact, he *is* BDP for all
intents and purposes. One wonders why he even bothered to act as if
*this* album is somehow a solo effort when the last three weren't.
Anyway, BDP began "their" recording career, of course, with _Criminal
Minded_ waaaaay back in the day (maybe a hundred years or so ago).
It's a hiphop classic for most people, sometimes ranking up there with
Eric B and Rakim's first album. In any case, it remains a favorite
and the consensus seems to be that it was better than all the stuff
that followed: 1988's _By All Means Necessary_, despite "My
Philosophy" and "Jimmy"; _Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of HipHop_, with
the slammin' "Why Is That?" and "You Must Learn;" the abysmal
_Edutainment_ (excepting the track "Love's Gonna Get 'Cha" which gets
much dap from this one); his live album; and last year's solid _Sex
I might buy that. I've pretty much followed the crowd on this one if
for no other reason than the fact that even tho' each album has shown
some serious spikes of brilliance, each one since _Criminal Minded_
has been uneven and a bit unfocused.
Well, that changes with _Return of the Boom Bap_. This is an order of
magnitude better than anything he's ever done. And it's *evenly*
dope. Not every track is a classic in waiting, but none of them is a
complete waste. Dap, dap, dap.
We begin with "KRS-ONE Attacks," the required intro track. The music
is pretty representative. As a three-minute intro piece it serves
"We will be here forever
Do you understand?
Forever and ever and ever and ever
We will be here forever"
The real journey begins with "Outta Here," his first release. It's a
sort of history lesson of KRS and rap in general.
"I used to hear all kind of rap groups
Before samplin' loops
Rappers wore bellbottom Lee suits
Me and Kenny couldn't afford that
So we would go to the park
Where they were jammin' to hear rap
I used to listen till the cops broke it up
I always thought to myself 'Damn, why'd they f*cked it up?'"
"After living on the streets alone
Some years went by I signed myself into a group home
I used to watch the show I DREAM OF JEANNIE
And dreamt about 'When I will I be large like Whodini?'"
In fact, this is really nice and pretty representative of the album.
If you've heard this one and liked it at *all*, then go buy the damn
thing. I'll wait here....
"We had a f*cked up contract but we signed it
And dropped the hiphop album _Criminal Minded_
We told the critics that their opinions were bull
Same time Eric B and Rakim dropped _Paid In Full_
Pioneers we didn't ask to be
But right then hiphop changed drastically
People didn't want to hear the same old rap sound
We started samplin' beats by James Brown"
Nice beat. Ziplock lyrics. Good flow.
"Black Cop" follows. KRS-ONE reintroduces his pseudo-ragga style for
this one. THUMP. THUMP. THUMP.
"Thirty years ago there were no Black cops
You couldn't even run, ride around the block
Recently police train Black cop
to stand on the corner and take gun shot"
Nice bit of bizness.
"The Black cop is the only real obstacle
Black slave turned Black cop is not logical
But very psychological, haven't you heard?
It's the Black cop killin' Black kids in Johannesburg"
Anyway, we thump our way from there to "Mortal Thought." Nice soundz
on this one for sure.
"You full of more junk than a sausage.
Let me show you what a real hiphop artist is."
"Lyrics? Somebody want lyrics?
From the lyrical terrorist?
Here's a little somethin' for you all to remember Kris
And remember this: I am no pessimist
More of an optimist, activist revolutionist
Yes, the hardest artist... and the smartest
Premiere, spark this"
We move to the muchly funny "I Can't Wake Up," all about KRS-ONE
dreaming that, well, that he's a blunt and he's being smoked by all
these famous hiphop artists. Silly. Slammin'. Plus it really sounds
"De La Soul took a hit and kept hittin'
Now they're buggin' 'cause they pass me to Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton said 'I'll smoke but I won't inhale.
I'll only hit it twice.'--he got slapped by Greg Nice
Now I fell on the floor,
Greg Nice picked me up,
I'm being smoked and I can't wake up"
"Slap Them Up" brings us back from silliness and into good old fashion
sucker MC dissin' with Kid Capri.
"I was rockin' rhymes when 'La Di Da Di' was a demo
Admit you've been on my tip for years
and just can't seem to let go
Go, go call your mother
Tell her you want to battle KRS quick
I bet the minute you get home you'll get your ass whipped
Crazy ill mad styles is what I give 'em
Not a run of the mill, um, I drill 'em
I got meticulous rhythm
None of my styles you can get with 'em
Still, I'm willin'
Your crew come get some so I can kill 'em"
It's nice to hear this every once and a while, you know?
"I've got no time for amateur rhyme
You can be hurt
Thinkin' you are 'cause you're wearin' gangsta tshirt
I'll smash your wannabe ass in the dee dirt
Black, you'll come up dizzy sayin' 'How the f*ck he do that?'
'Cause you're yappin' like you can't be reached
If your name ain't Arrested Development,
well, save your speech"
KRS-ONE then drops another hardcore track with "Sound of Da Police."
Nice soundz, good lyrics, and a good message: cops suck.
"Watch out! We run New York
Policeman come we bust him out the club
I know this for a fact
You don't like how I act
You claim I'm sellin' crack
But you be doin' that
I'd rather say see ya
'Cause I would never be ya
Be a offica? You wicked overseer
You hot shot wanna get props and be a saviour
First show a little respect
Change your behaviour
Change your attitude
Change your plan
There can never really be justice from stolen land
Are you really for peace and equality?
Or when my car's hooked up
You know you wanna follow me
Your laws are minimal
'Cause you won't even think about lookin' at the real criminal"
"The police pull out a nickel gun
So when I'm on the streets
I walk around with a bigger one
Whoo! Whoo! I hear it all day
Just so they can run a light
And be on their way"
Love it. Much dappage on this track.
Anyway, the second half of the album begins with "Mad Crew." Nod,
"They watchin' too much television in they rocker
This ain't the TV show Taxi and I ain't Latka
I'll break an MC off proper
Yo, don't check me
Ask your mom and pops
They respect me"
Nize soundz. From the perspective of a balanced album, my boy seems
to have found a nice tension between his Edu and his tainment.
"I'll do a number to your body structure
You look like supper
And I'm that hungry motherf*cker"
Whew. Next up is "Uh Oh." His sing-songy style doesn't quite work
here on the chorus; however, the "boom boom" beat-box-like sound his
uses as percussion slams here muchly.
"You join the clique
because ya wanna met some girls
And you want a little prestige
In your little school world"
*I* like it anyway. Boooom!
"Brown Skin Woman" follows with a more complicated muzak background
and simple anti-mysoginistic message.
"We don't come with disrespect
We come with intellect
If you come with disrespect
You get the rope around your neck
Some people don't expect me to be so violent
But me nah violent, it's meself I protect"
A nice case where his reggae influence really works.
The title track pretty much sums up KRS-ONE's thoughts on his place
in the hiphop world: "Return of the Boom Bap means just that. It
means a return to the real hard beats and real rap." Well he succeeds
"Another silly sucker
wants the champion belt
But like a microwave
I make 'em melt"
"You know my style, you know my name
I'm chillin' at the top but I'm still the same
I never crossed over, I never went pop
You know KRS will give you real hiphop"
More power to ya. There's a nice self-sample from _By Any Means
Necessary_'s "My Philosophy" in the chorus.
Well, KRS brings himself up to date with "'P' Is Still Free," a sequel
to the 1986 jam. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
"I looked at her girlfriend
and her girlfriend was fly
But I ain't stupid
She had that look in her eye
I touched her back
She said, 'Denise, does he got the crack?
Is he the one? I got to get back and feed my son.'"
"Got stomped so hard she turned to wine"
We start to wind down with "Stop Frontin'."
"Thank god KRS is still rappin'
All that Ooooh, I love you baby and glink glink glink
Yo, it ain't happenin'"
This is a nice, but standard, track. Makes ya bob your head and think
good thoughts, but it doesn't compare to some of the earlier tracks.
And so we end with "Higher Level" which starts off too slow but ends
up smooth enough. Nice thing to play on a warm day.
"Yo get with me
I deal with reality
Loosen your mind to the truth
And don't get mad with me"
"I don't want a god that blesses America"
"You either vote for the mumps or the measles
whether you vote for the lesser of two evils
you vote for evil"
This is an odd track. Sort of a religious and anti-religious track
all at the same time. Hmmmmm. Yes.
And that's that. Time for the bottom line.
Let me reiterate.
Look, man, just go buy the thing. It's thump-thump vintage best-ever
KRS-ONE. This is a serious candidate for best of the year come the
New Jack awards. If you've *ever* liked BDP, go pick this up. And if
you're just a punk and still hesitating, well, give "Outta Here,"
"Black Cop," "I Can't Wake Up," "Sound of Da Police," and "Mad Crew"
or "Return of the Boom Bap" a listen first. Punk.
Anyway, this is classic BDP. In fact, it's better. I honestly think
this is the best stuff he's ever done. And that's cool. It's nice to
have KRS-ONE back and better.
But that's just one Black man's opinion--what's yours?
(c) Copyright 1993, Charles L Isbell, Jr.
"The Return Of Real Hip-Hop"
In 1993, we are witnessing what may very well be the return of
hip-hop as we knew it. This year we have had "The Return Of The Holy
One" (YZ), "The Return Of The Crazy One" (Digital Underground), "The
Return Of The Boom Bap" (KRS-1), "The Return Of The B-Boy" (The
Pharcyde), and who knows how many other returns. The trend this past
year, for many of the better groups that is, has been a return to
basics philosophy towards hip-hop. More and more we are seeing
production that follow simples formulas that basically go: phat
bassline, dope drum track, slammin' horns, guitar riffs, or
keyboards, and the occasional fly sample thrown in here and there.
This is a formula that proved itself to work back in the day, and is
proving itself to work current day.
Along with the music, we are seeing the return of lyrics, the
return of flowing on the mic, the return of catching wreck without a
gimmick. Even the originators (debatable) of the "diggity-diggity"
style, Das EFX, have even dropped their gimmicky style for the first
single off of their forthcoming LP _Straight Up Sewacide_. A more
appropriate title would be difficult to capture their underlying
theme(This sewer struff) and the return by not just them, but most
groups, of straight up rhyming.
This past year we have also seen the hip-hop crowd get pickier
and filter out a lot of the wackness in hip-hop. This year we were
not poisoned with the emergence of fly-by-night rappers like
___________ (fill in your most hated rapper). Instead, we have had
the appearance of groups with talent, such as The Pharcyde, The
Alkaholiks, WuTang Clan, Black Moon, and Mobb Deep, to name a few.
We have also seen the emergence of talented producers, such as
Chyskillz, old-timer just getting props Diamond, E-Swift, J-Swift,
and many others. The level of quality of the hip-hop that has been
coming out this year has been much better, overall, than it has in a
long time. Most of the groups to come out in the past year have had
skillz, albeit they may appeal to one particular audience more than
another, they have been able to keep crowds moving. It makes one
think back to the year 1988, probably the last year when hip-hop as a
whole was just dope! Even the wackest of groups back in '88 had some
skillz. We've seen more battle rhymes and less love raps, more
straight up rhyming and less dancing (who REALLY needs a dancing MC
unless he's just on stage buggin'), more artists and less
performers (think about it). There has been a lot to choose from for
the true hip-hop fan this year, and hip-hoppers worldwide have been
responding to these choices.
One of the greatest returns we have had this year is the
return of vinyl. Never since 1990 the latest, have I seen so many LPs
on wax as I have this year. DJs have been making noise, and
surprisingly, the record companies have been listening. Probably the
biggest sign of this is the release of most of this years vinyl LPs
as 2-record sets. By releasing these albums on 2 pieces of vinyl
instead of one, they allow fatter grooves with better sound levels to
be produced. Who benefits from this? The DJ. No longer do you have
to max out the level faders on your mixer everytime you want to mix a
12 inch and an album(at least on most albums). No more do you have
to worry about the needle skipping on those skinny little grooves.
This year has been a great push against the philosophy that vinyl is
dead. It is alive and kicking, and growing everyday.
One other observation is the emergence of mad shorties on the
mic. No longer is it just a mans world as far as hip-hop is
concerned. Younger groups like Mobb Deep, Black Moon, Da Youngstas,
Illegal, Kris Kross(yes, them too) and many others have been hitting
the stage, showing and proving. Though they all don't write or
produce their own material, even when you are just the performer of
someone else's talent, it takes a little skill. (I've seen people
try to do lyrics to popular songs and just could not flow.) Granted,
it takes less skill to flow to someone else's flow rather than create
your own, these shorties are doing their part to push hip-hop
forward. Plus they are getting paid, and even if you were the worst
person in the world at something, if someone wanted to pay you to do
it, you would.
Probably the greatest return of all is the return of some of
the "old" schoolers coming back and dropping bombs on the hip-hop
nation. Artists like KRS-1, Erick Sermon, Rakim, Biz Markie, and
even Big Daddy At-One-Time Regarded-As-The-Biggest-Fall-Off-In-Rap
Kane have come out with some of the most solid albums of the year, or
are about to drop. Not to be outdone however, are some of the "new"
school groups who are causing a major buzz on the streets. Groups
like The Pharcyde, The Alkaholics, Black Moon, Mobb Deep, and others
are showing that you don't necessarily have to be a veteran to put
out some slammin' material.
Hip-hop is at a peak like it hasn't seen in a long time.
Record companies and artists are responding to years of inadequacy in
the hip-hop business. More artists are going for theirs, taking
control of their own destinies, whether it be starting their own
labels, or breaking apart from long ties with groups(maybe we've seen
a little too much of this), but the atmosphere is lovely, and the
vibe is live. Hip-hop as a whole is proving that it isn't just a
fad, but an artform that deserves and is DEMANDING respect. If we
keep on going like this, we will get that respect from all sides. If
we don't, we still have each other and the love for a great artform,
so fuck the rest of the world!!! There may be some wacknesses out
there in hip-hop still, but no one who knows what time it is is
paying it any attention. Lets continue to make moves. There is no
time to stand still.
I turn on the TV this morning, and guess who's on: Bushwick
Bill, BWP, and Luke. How interesting. The show was about explicit
lyrics, and basically amounted to how rap artists call women bitches
and hoes *sp*, and stuff of the sort. It was sort of a silly
discussion that went from "Why call women bitches and hoes" to "What
kind of message do you expect to send out to children (who are
purported to constitute the largest group of listening audience - I
DON'T THINK SO)". The issue at hand (According to J.S.) was not
whether they have the right to say such things, but rather is it in
the best interests of the rap culture, and the U.S. culture that
these things be said on record (You can't fight the first amendment
on a talk and expect to win - people seem to be very protective of
The funny part of the show occurred when this psychologist
came on. She says that guys who refer to women as bitches also think
of their mothers, sisters, & other female relatives this way. How
ludicrous!! She never seemed to elaborate on why she thought this (I
don't hear rappers [or guys in general for that matter] saying "all
women are bitches or anything like that"). I don't use "bitch" and
"ho" very often (only when it is effective AND accurate), and I don't
think most of us do either. As far as rap music is concerned, people
like this psychologist always seem to forget that rap is a form of
story-telling, and by virtue of that tends to be very frank in
language, etc. and to most people pretty rough on the ears. I think
before they go around spitting out what they believe to be facts they
1. Do some background research on rap (history, meaning, etc.).
2. Talk to people interested in rap (and the so-called "hip-hop culture")
to gain further insight.
3. Stop trying to explain everything in psychological terms, and branding
anything that they don't agree with as abnormal.
4. Stop blaming everything (violence, etc.) on rap. Look at some of the
lyrics in rock and roll, and other forms of music and you'll find that
they have lyrics that make rap lyrics look tame (and that they have
violence at rock concerts, etc., although they don't report it).
I just think they should stop looking at the elimination of
rap as a panacea to end all violence in this country (which was
built on violence and deceit), and start putting the blame for all
that's going on in this country where it belongs: with the
government (for letting the violence get out of hand in the first
place) and with parents (who need to teach their children what's
right and wrong).
I'm pretty sure most of those who commit violent crimes don't
attribute them to rap.
HIP HOP'S LIVE SIDE
by David J. Warner
One of the great things about hip hop music is its
versatility. Artists have rhymed over a wide range of musical styles
from rock, jazz, funk, blues, R&B, and even orchestra arrangements.
What has allowed this versatility is the quality of DJ's and
producers, who know where to look to find the best beats and breaks
and how to loop them together and make for the phattest jams in rap
Who would have thought that nearly 20 years after Grandmaster
Flash gave DJ Kool Herc his first crossfader that hip hop bands would
be more than just two MC's and a DJ? These days, a good hip hop band
might be two MC's, a bass player, a guitar player, a keyboard/sampler
player and a drummer?
Yes, hip hop has blurred the borders of music production so
much it could make your head spin. De La Soul, Guru, Public Enemy,
and Freestyle Fellowship, among others, are using live musicians and
bands to create new and different sounds in hip hop, while non-rap
artists like Mick Jagger, Janet Jackson, Prince, Stephanie Mills, and
nearly anyone else you could imagine are using samples of breakbeats
to create their own tracks. Prince (oh, excuse me, Victor) even got
his own DJ to cut up records on his last two NPG albums.
Certainly live music has its place in rap history -- the Sugar
Hill Gang rhymed over a cover band for "Rapper's Delight" -- but live
music has never been as big a trend in hip hop as it is today. And
it's creating some quality stuff, like Guru's "Jazzmatazz" and the
Fellowship track "Inner City Boundaries."
Case in point: take a listen to the soundtrack to the movie
"Judgment Night," which obviously was made to make up the money for a
movie that doesn't look too appealing. The whole idea here is to
bring together some of the best metal/grunge bands with some of the
biggest names in rap and let them slap some tracks together. Some of
them work better than others -- the collaboration of Living Color and
Run-DMC brings back memories of Jam Master Jay's earlier heavy metal
turntable cuts, and Onyx and Biohazard prove once again that they
were made for each other -- but the result is the same, a good
quality piece of hip hop created with the help of live music.
A couple of new groups making noise in New York City may be an
even better example of how live music is expanding the boundaries of
rap. Shootyz Groove and Smokin' Suckaz Wit Logic both have live bass
players, guitar players, and drummers, though Smokin' Suckaz also
sports a sampler player/DJ.
By no means does that take anything away from Shootyz Groove,
who's debut EP "Respect," a highlight tape of a live show they did
in NYC, sparks with an electricity that few hip hop bands can
duplicate. While their MC's Season and Sense pop some old school and
blunt smoke flavors, the rest of the band pounds out some heavy, hard
and fast metal styles made for mosh pits everywhere. Sure it's been
done, but it's never been done with so much energy on tape. You can
almost feel the crowd cheering, jumping and slam-dancing to the music
to the point where you feel like chanting "One more! One more!" with
them at the end of the CD. Shootyz Groove is a band that will be
going places in the future.
Smokin' Suckaz Wit Logic doesn't have the benefit of the live
crowd in their corner, but they really don't need it. Unlike Shootyz
Groove, this six-man outfit leans more to the gangsta flavor with
tracks like "Heat Up the M-16" and "How We Hit 'Em." Frontman G's
voice is low and gravelly like Tone Loc, though he flaunts much
better rhyme skills than Loc ever did, and the samples and cuts from
Peter Jorge and Spank Dog add some nice background for some
intermittent funk and metal tracks. "Mutha Made 'Em," which uses a
familiar guitar lick from New Bohemians "What I Am," is as phat as
any electronically produced cut in rap today. Their debut album,
"Playin' Foolz," should be hitting the shelves soon.
While hip hop has changed the face of popular music today, hip
hop's own face keeps changing, keeps incorporating new styles, new
techniques, and new ideas for making the music. Seeing live bands
starting to make a little noise in hip hop is just the next step in
a flavorful history. More power to 'em, I say.
I gots many scoops this month. The Big news is of Rowdy
Records apparent demise. I have heard from fairly reliable sources
that Rowdy is gonna go down pretty soon due to mismanagement in the
financial departments. I don't know where the finances went they
haven't really been promoting their artists that much. I'm told that
for now the Rowdy Artists will be handled by Arista for the time
being. Sorry Yall So Stupid, Da King & I, and Illegal, you guys gave
a good try. Don't cry for Illegal though, I also heard that Death Row
Records is trying to acquire them. Imagine Malik & Jamal doin' a cut
with Snoop, hope they don't follow in the footprints of the gangsta
and end up in the Fulton Co. Penn. Plus everybody and their brother
wants (and has) produced for those lil' ruffneck mic wreckas, so they
shouldn't be hurtin' anytime soon. I wish I could say the same for
Yall So Stupid. Get ready for this, they broke up. At least that's
what I heard. My man at BMG (B-Love) told me that Logic and producer
Spearhead X have parted ways with original members Uncle Buk and H2O.
Oh Well? B-love, who used to be in a funk/rap band, is putting
together a new project and Uncle Buk may participate and B-love also
asked me to come out to a few of their jam sessions, but that's where
the info came from, Uncle Buk himself. Too Bad. I hope Da King & I
The bigger news is that the Natural was just in town
recording at the infamous E.C.T. Studios, or what Natural calls "the
closet". She completed six dope tracks in 4 days of hardcore
recording. Along with Natural, her DJ D-Lush (produced 2 tracks),
Special G (produce 2, he's also the producer of her first single "To
Tha") and Kalimah (her manager) & Pat came down from Queens, NY
Transcribe was on the engineering board for the whole marathon and he
needs to get 'nuff props for his work, and B-Right (produced 2
tracks) did most of the hype background vocals and ad libs, although
me, Special G, and Pat also do some background stuff too. Davey
(D-lush) was only able to stay for 2 days. Special G is a mad cool
brother who will be hookin' me up with some tracks soon in addition
to his busy NYC schedule (he wants me to plug K-swift one of his
upcoming projects) and he's a nutcase in a good way just like us
E.C.T. guys. The point of this though is that the Natural is a dope
hardcore female rapper who will have her album out there early next
year, and though I'm biased, it will probably be the best (debut)
album by a female rapper in a long time, if not ever. But enough with
the shameless plug.
I need to run down some local artists who will be out
nationally in the near future. Shades of Lingo, I'm sure you've heard
or seen the name, produced by Erick Sermon (one song features him:
and who from Atlanta ain't produced by him these days) Diamond, Solid
Productions, Dallas, and somebody else I'm sure. Anyway, these guys
get major props from the local crews (I haven't seen them or heard
them yet) and Havelock from Billboard magazine gives them good marks
so I expect some noise from them. Parental Advisory, whom you may have
heard from the CB4 soundtrack ("...I heard that shit was
Wack..."-Common Sense), have a new single called "Maniac" out on MCA
(Pebbles is their Manager). I don't like it as much as "Lifeline"
(1st single) but it could do some work if their video is better this
By now you've probably heard two R&B groups who try to use
some Hip-Hop to help them get over: NKRU and New Version of Soul. Of
the two, I like New Version of Soul better. My man Hafez did their
live show sound for their showcase in LA which got them signed and
they have a very cute co-manager of their production company (Wanda
Lebron), but that's not the reason that I like them better. They are
halfway decent musically and NKRU is MAD Weak. Of course, New Version
is on Capitol Records and NKRU (along with Five XI, and Kronic) is on
the RCA experiment Kaper Records (Formerly Kane Productions with EMI
distribution, does anyone remember Level III?), who really need to
get their shit straight in the opinion many local industry insiders.
They have ten Rap and R&B groups signed to them but I wonder with
their current status how many will ever see the light of day.
How many of you heard about Left Eye? She was engaged to Andre
Rison until there was a shooting incident at a local club that
resulted from an argument that they were having. This club, Club 112,
brings bad luck to people. It's the same club that DMC got arrested
in because of a fight. It also brings regular people bad luck, $8 to
enter after a 1 hr wait, pack solid with no room to breath, and
bouncer/rodeo cowboys who herd the crowd and make those who can't
find a seat roam around in a circle for the duration of their stay.
Once I met this Fly honey from Spellman and I stopped to talk to her
for a moment and then this guy with a flash light forced me in the
opposite direction and I never caught up with her again. That was
only my second time there and my last. I hate clubs like that and the
good ones close down. Why is that?
Anyway, I need to get going. Next time I'll fill you in on
some New York news that I got from Pat who got it straight from Mel
Quan. That is of course, unless it breaks on the net first.
Peace in Somalia, Send the 24th and the U.N.troops home to
their families and friends ('nuff respect to Mr. Guzman),
p.s. I'm an official NARAS member now so I can vote for the Grammy
awards. Who should I pick this Year? Hammer? Young MC? Tone Loc? or
"Kickin' that bootie flava!!!, part 1"
(Editor's note: This is a post taken from the Usenet newsgroup
alt.rap. It comes from a thread in which the debate lingered over
whether the Beastie Boys are a "legitimate" rap or not.)
Just my $.02 on the Beastie Boys:
Although I'm not much of a fan, I do feel that they ARE an
essential part of hip hop music and history. They shouldn't be
called "not rap" because they did not follow the traditional lines in
music. Some one else mentioned this as well, and I agree... the same
argument can be made against Arrested Development. The Beasties have
proved their authenticity (for lack of a better term) by creating
innovative music... music so innovative that it's been sampled by
some of my favorite artists (Paul Revere is one of those classic
tracks). And placing the Beasties in the same category Vanilla Lice
is damn-near blasphemy.
And, I don't agree with the writer who said that there should
be a "white rap" category... quality hip hop is quality hip hop,
regardless of race, color, or gender. A "White Rap" category
probably would lump Lice and the Beasties into the same category,
just as a "Black Rap" category would lump Hammer and Tag Team
together with Rakim and the Souls of Mischief. And NOBODY wins with
Steppin' off tha podium,
tha Minista of Rage.
...we now pause for a brief commercial interruption...
...this ad brought to you by T-Dub and the Committee of Rap
For all those that missed any earlier posts on this:
The alt.rap.unsigned tape is made up of unsigned artists off the net,
including some who post regularly like Sudden Death (Spice), Blue
Riddle Productions (David J), Flash (formerly MC Flash X), DOA,
Lyrical Prophets (Laze) and SHYGUY Productions (K-Mello and myself,
who haven't been posting regularly these days). The tape contains 16
tracks from a total of 10 groups. In order to obtain a copy of the
tape, all you need to do is send a 90 minute tape and return postage
(people have been sending envelopes with return postage on it, which
I really appreciate because it makes it a lot easier on me) to:
A6 Scotty Hollow Drive
North Chelmsford, MA 01863-1221
I will be at this address until February. There may be two other
addresses floating around; one in Buffalo (which is also on the tape
cover) and the other in Rochester. Any tapes sent to these addresses
will eventually get to me, but do not expect a fast turn around. I
must wait for the people at those addresses (family) to send those
tapes to me at my current address, and I have no control over when
they will actually do this. (For anyone that has recently sent tapes
to either of those addresses, I am making a trip to both places this
weekend and will put your tapes in the mail this Wednesday). I
usually do a mailing of tapes every Friday afternoon or Saturday
morning. If you have any questions, please e-mail them to me at
either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Kickin' that bootie flava!!! part 2"
Damn, time to step to the podium again...
antebi (email@example.com) writes:
>Yo Chump! If the B-Boys were black, they would have integrity. Get it?
>No one would dis them because they wouldn't be fake.
No, Antebi, I DON'T get it. As I said before, QUALITY HIP HOP IS
QUALITY HIP HOP, regardless of RACE. By your definition, is Hammer
more true to the game than say, Pete Nice? Is DJ Muggs (isn't he
Italian?) a fraud while Snap (*retch!*) has "integrity"? How do you
define integrity with respect to Hip Hop? I define it as someone who
takes Hip Hop seriously... and sees it as more than a marketing tool
or the next commercial venture. Being a Black artist doesn't
automatically grant you integrity, just as being white doesn't
automatically exclude you. If you ask me, I would much rather listen
to the "posings and fraudulations" of Pete Nice and Muggs than the
"integrity" of Hammer, Snap, and the buffoon who decided that Raven
Symone needed a rap deal.
"...ya better check yourself before you wreck yourself..." 'cuz mad
ignorance can be bad for ya health...
tha Minista of Rage
Back to tha Old School
I peeped out Chuck D on MTV News this week. He's working on a
new project to bring the old schoolers back on the scene. What he
said is true: too many rap fans of today simply don't know it's roots
and where we were only 5 or 10 years ago.
So, this being the first column for HardC.O.R.E., what I'm
going to attempt to do is flashback to the days of old, when hip-hop
was raw and truly rugged. Before the wanna-be gangstas, when the true
men ruled the mic showing off skills rather then their gats.
To start things off, I'm going to go back to an old 12" by a
crew that is long gone: "King Kut" by Word of Mouth featuring D.J.
Cheese. I'm not sure of the date of this one (the wax has no
copyright date on it), but I'd be willing to bet on '84 or '85. I
was only 9 or 10, and I can remember my cousin DJ Flush (a true
hip-hop head, down with the whole scratching and breakdancing thang,
fe real!) had this record. I was recently at a used record store and
found this vinyl, STILL SHRINKWRAPPED, for $1.00, so of course, I
_had_ to pick this shit up...
Starting off with the classic old school style drum track
(lots of highs and hand claps), this whole cut had classic written
all over it. There's the funky synthesized sample laced through the
breaks, somewhat reminiscent of something UTFO would lay down.
The lyrics were certainly the style of the time: Run-D.M.C.
flavored with the two MC's (Kay and Cee) going back and forth and at
the same time. DJ Cheese's cuts today would be far from creative,
but at the time, they were the shit! When I laid this one down on
the table, I was instantly swept back to a time of breakdancing, MC
battles, Kangols, and 7 minute songs...
This is the shit that all the bandwagon jumpers need to peep
if they want to have any credibility. So, all y'all fans that jumped
into the rap world thinking there was nothing beyond Onyx, Tag Team,
and Dr. Dre (who, incidentally, was wearing lipstick and singing love
ballads when "King Kut" came out), go to your record store and peep
this shit out.
For the nine-three and beyond, but never forgetting the past,
and always staying on the real -- this is Laze... peace.
An update from David J.
Hey, kids, have you ever sat in a dark, musty Sun or NeXT lab
late at night, hacking away at either a tough C program or maybe just
chatting away on IRC, and you forgot your walkman? All you've got for
your ears are a bunch of clicks from the keyboard as you type -- no
jams, no dope lyrics, nothin'...
Well, say no more. Thanks to the massive megabytes or storage
at San Diego State University, you can listen to some of your
favorite hip hop jams right through your sun account. Below is a list
of all the jams stored as .au soundfiles, all of which you can
download to your account and play on your Sun, NeXT, or...well with
the right conversion programs, whatever program you like.
Some instructions are included on how to access these files
through anonymous ftp. There's a gopher pointer to this archive as
well, which I'll update in the next issue of HardCORE. If there is a
particular song you'd like to see there, drop me a line at this
address - firstname.lastname@example.org - and I'll see if I can put something
on. There's room for about 20 more files there.
How to access these files.
- ftp to athena.sdsu.edu
- login as "anonymous" and send e-mail address as password
- type cd .3/rap
- select your desired subdirectory (e.g. "cd public_enemy")
- type "bin" to switch to binary transfer mode
- type "get filename.au"
- files usually range from 1.5 to 2.5MB
Subdirectories in /.5/rap
- atik (ATIK is a computer underground group from the UK)
- blue_riddle (Blue Riddle Productions is a computer underground
group from Indiana University)
- pete_rock (and CL Smooth)
Files currently waiting in /.1/incoming
(These files will be placed in their appropriate spots soon.)
- how_im_comin.au (LL Cool J)
- thats_how_it_is_remix.au (Casual - This is an exclusive
underground jazz remix that is only
available at this ftp site.)
What is Real?
For Real Though?
Uncle L ain't real right?
'Cuz he likes to rhyme about women and love and stuff.
Erick Sermon is real right?
'Cuz he insists that everybody stay this way.
Brand New Heavies is real too?
'Cuz they say stay this way and they got many
Famous rappers on their second LP. Oh yeah and
'cuz people say that this is the type of music
that rappers of tomorrow will sample
Hip-Hop is not real right?
'Cuz they be takin' other peoples music. Oh yeah
My bad it is real 'cuz samplin' is the nature of
Hip-Hop and it's an art to take somethin' old and
use in another way to create something completely
new and different.
Ice Cube ain't real then right?
'Cuz he takes people's shit and "straight Jacks
it". Oh Yeah, he represents. Meaning that he
speaks reality of the urban youth, and their
struggle. Right? Or does he just peel suckas
caps? No! That's NWA from back in the Days.
I'm confusing myself. I suppose others are confused too. Maybe
not. Maybe I'm the only one who can't what real is.
Well, my cloudy vision sees it like this. Real has two meanings:
1) Not Imaginary, FICTIONAL, or PRETEND. Actual. with Synonyms like:
True, Genuine, Authentic.
2) Something that meets all the requirements, something that conforms to
specifications, in order to acquire the brand of approval "real"
To me, art is very personal. I feel that while an artist may
draw inspiration from the world around them, the true artistry comes
from within. Thus, I would respect those artists who perform their
art in that manner more than an "artist who didn't perform in that
same way. That is not to say that I wouldn't like the "artist's" work
or that I would like the artist's. Now the Hip-Hop nation has a
problem these days in my mind. There are so many "artists" and very
few artists. However, the nation checks all the people who want to
perform at the door and it's tellin' all of them what they need to
do. The record executives tell them, the Hip-Hop media tells them,
the fans tell them. It's gotta be "music for the people". Right? This
concept sounds harmless enough. But, by its very nature constrains
real artistry. "I gotta make music that's gonna sell or else I won't
be able to make music" that's what every artist tells themself. It
causes nightmares. "I don't want to conform but if I don't I can
never do my music" Why do these artist conform? So they can get their
career going and then get to the dream of expressing themselves. Ha!
Not likely. They've got to stay on top in order to survive. Also,
even if they do get to express themselves a little bit along the way,
what's the point of all that other stuff. Bullshit! Pure and Simple.
But many fall into that trap. I don't consider them bad or anything.
Hell, I've fallen into that mindstate myself on many occasions. But
I've never had things "goin' on" on a level where I could get caught
up in a loop.
For some people, though, this isn't a trap. Why? Well, I guess
they never took their artistry or art too seriously. In other words,
Bullshit "artists". Who loses then? The Fans. Don't worry Fans, 99.7%
of the time you're never gonna know it. Hell, 97% of the time the
"artists" don't know that they're short changing all of you (and me)
real artistry. How could they? The label,the media,and the fans are
cheering on their every move.
Who's Real then? Who knows? Martay the Hip-Hop Wiz Says
Peace in the Middle East (Which I hope stays real)
Section 3 -- Three
*************************THE REVIEW SECTION**************************
HardCORE's pH ratings:
6 - pHat. EE-Yow! A Hip Hop Classic
5 - pHunky. Great album, go get it.
4 - pHine. Solid. Few weaknesses here.
3 - pHair. Some potential, but it's not quite realized.
2 - pHlat. Falls well short of a quality product.
1 - pHukkit. Get this Vanilla Lice shit outta here!
SOULS OF MISCHIEF, "93 TILL INFINITY"
Review by David J.
It's a well-known fact in rap -- Heiroglyphics is *the* posse
on the West Coast. They began humbly enough, little more than an
afterthought on Del Tha Funkee Homosapien's 1991 debut album "I Wish
My Brother George Was Here," which was billed more or less as the
funk-filled debut of "Ice Cube's Cousin" on wax.
Del and the rest of Hieroglyphics have been able to rise out
of the shadow of The Predator, though, and these new freestyle
champions of the West Coast have lyrically flipped the script on
everyone with styles almost unfathomable in rap today. Nowhere is
the Heiro style more prevalent than in the debut of Souls of
Mischief's album, "93 Till Infinity."
This album is the bomb. There's just no other way to say
it. A-Plus, Opio, Phesto and Tajai have hooked up 13 jams (and an
outro) that are any rap fan's dream. Phat beats, phat lyrics, phat
production....just phat, phat, phat all the way around.
All the production is done within the Heiro posse, including
Casual, Domino, Del and Jay Biz. Musically, "93 Till" stands up well
with any album, supplying boomin' bass on tracks like "Let 'Em
Know," "Disseshowedo" and "Limitations" and a variety of samples from
Monk Higgins to Main Source. A-Plus also shows off some decent
Nothing on this album, however, compares to the Souls'
lyrics. If you've never heard the Heiroglyphics style before, it's
so distinct from everything else out there that it throws you for
more loops than all the roller coasters at Busch Gardens. Peep out
part of Tajai's verse from "Never No More":
Message recorded, lessons be stored in
this mental core. Its like lentil porridge,
Nasty mass, he be the last G
who got what it takes to class me.
Ask me if I had to grit my path.
The riffs I grab will rip and stab the kids that had
the shit that's drab and flavorless
and reckess. Ya best just behave, ya kids.
Not enough for you? Try out this verse from Phesto on "Live
And Let Live," a complicated little treatise debating the necessity
and morality of guns in today's society:
Yo, "Thou shall not kill?" I will if I have to.
You say I'm the one promoting violence, well I ask you.
Have you ever heard the sound of bullets passin' you?
Ever thought of goin' out with someone blastin' you?
Willing to be killing maybe is a great sin,
but it's not a feeling when bullets penetrate skin.
What's pain when a brain leaves a stain with the quickness?
So I get a fool if I think that I'm on his shitlist
with the swiftness of a gloc 9.
So now who got your back, 'cause my gat got mine.
The Souls touch on other big issues as well. "Tell Me Who
Profits" weighs the pros and cons of joining a gang ("I'll have
G's!" "But you'll get shot, kid.") and lack of government
representation for inner cities. ("D.C. got schemes, and we ain't got
spit.") "Anything Can Happen" sets a scenario in which Tajai's
mother was shot in a drive-by, and the police don't care, so he and
the rest of the crew plot their revenge. The battle rhymes are
some of the best in the business, though, especially on "That's When
Ya Lost," "Batting Practice," and "Limitations," which features a
chorus by Del and an equally phat verse from Casual.
Point black, if it weren't for the supreme dopeness of
KRS-One and "Return of the Boom Bap," "93 Till Infinity" would get
my vote for Album of the Year. Souls of Mischief are definitely the
rookies of the year and look more than capable of creating more phat
jams in the future. As long as the lyrics stay this fresh,
Heiroglyphics can't be touched. Get this one in your collection fast.
pH level: 6 / pHat
Title: _Enta Da Stage_
Artist: Black Moon
Rating: 4 / pHine
After making crazy noise with the release of their debut
Nervous single "Who Got The Props?" in 1992, and the recent release
of their second single "How Many MCs...", Black Moon has dropped
their debut album _Enta Da Stage_ on Nervous/Wreck Records. With
"Who Got The Props?" being a year old when it dropped, months after
its release when asked about their forthcoming album, the crew said
that the album would be not be anything like "Who...", and they
delivered just what they said. _Enta Da Stage_ is a street-oriented
album for the true hip-hop heads out there. Packed with beats to
make the woofers do a little some'n some'n, well-used samples, and
cool horns throughout, Evil Dee and Da BeatMinerz have really come
through to provide production which gives Black Moon an album which
musically has not one wack track on it. They follow a basic formula
for their production that allows the listener to not be distracted by
a lot of unnecessary noise. At first the beats may seem too basic,
but after listening to the album, you can tell that these beats were
not just thrown together with the quickness. Lyrically, Black Moon
does what it seems like a lot of groups do not seem to be able to do
these days, just kick good rhymes and flow. Though the subject
matter doesn't vary too much, they flip the script lyrically and
musically to provide an album that doesn't get boring. Some of the
cuts on the album that stand out are "Buck 'Em Down", "Niguz Talk
Shit", "I Got Cha Opin", and "Shit Iz Real."
The two b-sides to the singles released, "Act Like U Want It"
and "Fuck It Up" (probably the dopest song to date released by Black
Moon) are not found on the wax LP, although the former is on the
CD (and probably cassette as well), the latter is not, so if you don't
already have the "Who Got The Props?" single, you might want to go
out and get it just for the b-side (Good luck. "Who..." wasn't
exactly the easiest single in the world to find when it first came
out, let alone now, a year+ later) release. The only problem with
this album is that some of the choruses on this album are tired,
particularly that for the b-side cut "Make Munne." However, it is not
a large enough factor to take away from the quality of this album.
_Enta Da Stage_ is a VERY solid album, not just as a debut album,
period, and Black Moon is a crew that will definitely be making noise
now and in the future.
DE LA SOUL, "BUHLOONE MINDSTATE"
Review by David J. Warner
This is not your father's De La Soul.
When Pos, Dove and Mase ushered in the Daisy Age in 1989 with
their debut smash "3 Feet High and Rising," they were critical
successes, but also enigmas to their peers. Who are these hippies?
Do they think their really operating at a higher level than we are?
Where are the guns? Where are the pimps? Where are the curse words?
Indeed, De La brought an abrupt end to the Daisy Age with
their second effort, appropriately titled "De La Soul Is Dead." They
continued to inject their humorous yet insightful lyrics on tracks
like "Ring, Ring, Ring," "Pease Porridge," and "Keepin' the Faith,"
while working on some new, more serious styles with "Millie Pulled A
Pistol on Santa."
Any expecting to hear the sounds that made De La so big in
the first place, however, can forget it. Everything changes with
their third album, "Buhloone Mindstate," exept for the fact that
three is truly the magic number.
This time around, Posdnous, Trugoy and Maseo incorporate a
very heavy jazz sound in their music, while eliminating all but a few
small skits that were a trademark on their previous two albums,
bringing the focus back to the music and the lyrics. That's
definitely where it should be this time around, especially as the
album starts with the head-bobbin' cut "Eye Patch," where Pos takes
his shots at everyone jumping on the gangsta bandwagon: "I be the
in, 'cause the brother holdin' glocs is out./ I be the in, 'cause the
pusher slingin' rocks is out./I be the in, 'cause the brother smoking
weed, shootin' seed, which leads to a girl's stomach gettin' gout
half a ton is out."
De La then moves on to "En Focus," which criticizes groupies
who love you one day and forget you the next. This marks the first
appearance of Shortie No Mas, a female MC who makes a memorable debut
on this LP. Up to this point, it looks like De La hasn't changed,
until you reach "Patti Dooke," a song critical of crossover acts.
Then, you're hit with a flurry of jazz artists like Maceo Parker,
Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis, Melvin Parker and one of the pioneers of
the jazz/rap combination, Guru from Gangstarr. (Just like Guru, by
the way, De La invites a couple of foreign MCs to bust their own
styles -- SDP and Takagi Kan from Japan on "Long Island Wildin'.")
From there, it's almost a straight jazz festival, with Maceo
Parker playing solo on "I Be Blowin'," the instrumental track for the
smooth cut "I Am I Be," on which Pos says of himself, "I am
Posdnous. I be the new generation of slave/here to make papes for
record exec rates." De La hits plenty of creative targets in this
album with tracks like "Breakadawn," "Area," "3 Days Later," "In The
Woods," in which Shortie shows off some solid microphone techniques,
and "Stone Age," in which another special guest Biz Markie lets De La
know that, just in case their samples don't clear, there's always the
It's a departure in rhyme styles for De La on "Buhloone
Mindstate," but that's definitely for the better, as it shows a group
of artists maturing into a new phase in their career without losing
touch with what made them so big in the first place. As they repeat
throughout the album, "It might blow up, but it won't go pop." This
album should blow up on the scene as one of the biggest albums of the
year, proving once and for all that De La Soul is alive and well and
better than ever.
PH Rating - 5/PHunky
Review - UltraMagnetic MCs : The Four Horseman
This is another one of those reviews I like to call
'chumpies', small, but crunchy and flavorful. Just a quick breakdown
of the LP, my favorite songs and my opinion of the LP
"We Are the Horseman"... I played it for my homey Lynch and he
said "that isn't rap, it sounds beyond rap", and in a way he's
right. This is Ultra extended to their most bugged, and it's so damn
fat I play it on my radio show every week. The beats boom, the jazz
samples are ILL in a major way, and Kool Keith just rips it up with
the lyrics, and incorporates that baseball theme of the LP...
everything about the song is just incredible fat, Ced Gee's flow on
this one doesn't even bother me.
"Return to Zero"... it sounds like it... very simplistic track
where Kool Keith breaks down what he needs and what he doesn't, and
why so many MCs are wack. Nicely done.
"Two Brothers with Checks" almost as bugged as the first
track, and Ced Gee even comes off smooth for a change in this song.
The chrous may be spoken, but somehow Ultra never gets wack with
that... their spoken choruses always just sound so fuckin DOPE. Phat
phizat phat track.
"Raise It Up" - their latest video, featuring once again a
decent job by Ced Gee, and an outstanding job by Kool Keith and guest
The Godfather Don. It has boom and pound to make Masta Ase proud, and
quite simply put RIPS.
"The Saga of Dandy, the Devil and Day"... well it was a while
at first, but the song grew on me... just for the respect to the
Negro Leagues alone it gets a fat rating, plus the smooth track and
phat horn riff during the chorus. UltraMagnetic perfected the
bohemian gangsta style on this LP that Black Moon invented.
"Check One Two" - OK some people find this song annoying, but
Kool Keith just blows me away with his flow no matter what the fuck
he is doing... you could beat on a tin can and a garbage pail for
rhythm and Rhythm X could still rock the fuck out of it with his not
always rhyming always flowing super dope poetical style, and this
song is a chance for him to showcase those SKILLZ.
Most of the rest of the songs on here are dope too... the only
wack thing is that Ced Gee has gotten WORSE if anything on his flow
style... but Kool Keith, TR Love and DJ Moe Love more than hold up
their end... and on a few tracks Ced Gee rips it, he is never totally
WACK he could just improve his delivery a little and not be so big
and monotone. To me listening to this album is what Black Moon would
be ten years of evolution down the road... it's that bohemian gangsta
jazz funk and super dope ill lyrics that can't be matched.
pH rating - 4 / pHine
Asalaam alaikum from Flash
Da King & I
Contemporary Jeep Music
Produced by Majesty of Da King & I
Rating: 4 (pHine)
"Yes I believe you feel, Contemporary Jeep Music" recites Izzy
in the intro track that is "rough as rap, but smooth as wine" as is
the rest of the LP as it should be. Da King & I are back on the scene
nationally. Back I say, many people might have heard, or at least
heard of their first effort under the name Majesty (Da King) & Izzy
Ice (I). Now I never heard this record in my life but I saw it sit on
the shelf of my local record store for ages (it was on Jive Records).
Since that time they relocated (at least for a while) in Atlanta and
tthey changed the name of the group and I'm guessing their style (or
Now after signing with Rowdy Records (following YSS after the
historic Cypress show) they have dropped the LP "Contemporary Jeep
Music" (borrowing the title from a group from their hometown NYC that
had it a few years back). What can I say about the album? It's nice.
I can't go overboard about it as it doesn't really break new ground
in Hip-Hop, but it gets props as a record that can be listened to
almost all the way through. And the only part that I hate about the
record is the forth track, a skit called MC Asshole, thankfully
however this is very short. I'll go through the titles and give you
some thoughts about them:
1. Contemporary Jeep Music (good intro primes you for the album's
2. Let's Take a trip (cool track that asks you to allow Da King & I to
3. Flip the Scrip (Dope 1st single, remeber the cinematography of the
video? with some classic lyrical lines that are very playful yet they
show how nice Izzy is on the Mic. "I'm fantastic like the Four when
it's clobbering time" Just to mention one that I liked.)
4. interlude 1/MC Asshole ("Hated it")
5. Krak Da Weazel (Dope with a capital D, I love this song)
6. Interlude 2/Amusement Park (this one is cool with a short verse
about a drug dealer, this is a skit whereas The 1st is a waste of my
time and theirs)
7. Brain 2 U (cool song, Izzy makes it sound eazy to come off the top
8. Tears (smoothly narrated story about a relationship gone
sour, with all the details, even the movie they were supposed to see,
Sounds too good to be Untrue)
9. Soul Shack interlude (alright I needed a quick break and its
10. Ghetto Instinct (warmin' us back up)
11. Mr. All That (Well come out with some more albums like this and I
just might second that notion, he's in there again but no new jacks
can claim the title with just one consistent LP effort)
12. interlude 3/Jazz Skit (Majesty thinks we need another break so
13. This is how we do (its allright, came out before the Souls, but as
14. interlude 4/Izzy sings the blues (come on man we can take it,
seriously this one is kinda funny but too long)
15. Lost my Mind (No you didn't Iz, this one is good too)
16. Represent (Yes they do, relatively speaking, I like the rhymes and
thought the chorus was weak, but if you want to compare the
representers this one will stand up)
17. Crack Da Weasel (Dat other S***) (This is not a remix, just a
different version of the same title, this one is less aggressive but
18. What's up Doc? (no Shaquille but shoutouts in the form of rhymes,
pretty good too)
Like I was hinting earlier, this album is consistently good
though not anything so new. That coupled with the fact that this may
soon be a collectors item if what I reported in the Atlanta report is
true, makes this album a definite need to buy soon. Stop sleepin' on
Poor Righteous Teachers, "Black Business"
Once again, the "3 Children From The Land of Israel" drop a
spiritual gem for their listeners. The Poor Righteous Teachers are
back with their third LP, "Black Business", and business couldn't be
better. The album opens up with what sounds like a childrens'
religious song "...there were once three children from the land of
Israel: Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego...", (from the track "144K") and
business is under way.
This is a quality package, loaded with mad flava and deep
esoteric rhymes. Wise Intelligent comes off with his rapid-fire
verbal gymnastics, and Culture Freedom and Father Shaheed do justice
to the mic. The production work here is pretty solid as well, with
Tony D and others serving up the underground funk. My favorite
tracks were "Mi Fresh", "Ghetto We Love", and "Get Off The Crack."
If you are familiar with PRT, then this album will not disappoint
you. But even if you have never heard anything from them, this tape
will make a welcome addition to any hardcore collection.
Rating: pHine + (4 1/2) [out of 6].
tha Minista of Rage
...we now pause again for another brief commercial interruption...
...brought to you by the Committee of Rap Excellence and Sudden Death...
Testimonal by Flash:
"The Sudden Death crew has a style that varies from funny like
Weird Al Yankovic, to political like Public Enemy, to funky like
Digital Underground. Their tape, featuring Spice, is one of the best
underground LPs available."
Sudden Death has 2 demo/LP's- Dead Things Can Rap Too
featuring "Necrophilia", "Dice Dice Baby", and "Things That Make You
Go...". And more recently Noise Pollution featuring "P.M.S.",
and "Praying To The Porcelain God" (both tracks on the
alt.rap.unsigned.tape), "Hold On (To Your Lunch)" and various other
twisted tunes. The tapes are 45 minutes long, $5 each. Mail cash or
check made out to Tom Rockwell to
Tom Rockwell Tom Rockwell
115 N. Stowe Pl. or 1074 Grace Watson Hall
Trumbull, CT 06611 Rochester, NY 14623-5689
Pick up your copy today!
...now back to our regularly scheduled programming...
JUSTIN WARFIELD, "MY FIELD TRIP TO PLANET 9"
Review by David J. Warner
It's been a couple of years since we last heard from Justin
Warfield. He had some moderate success with a track from the
otherwise weak QDIII Soundlab LP called "Season of the Vic" in 1991.
Beyond that, though, we didn't know too much about where Warfield was
"My Field Trip To Planet 9" ends that speculation quickly.
Who would have thought the high school kid who made parts of Soundlab
worth listening to would become a beatnik, b-boy on acid, drugstore
cowboy? That's the direction Warfield takes here, opening the album
with a psychadelic mixture of samples, drums, and voices saying
"Well, have a nice trip."
The titles on this album would make any hip hop fan cock his
brow and wonder what's going on. "Stormclouds Left of Heaven?
Guavafish Centipede? Ghosts of Laurel Canyon? What is this?"
Simply put, this is a good album.
QDIII and Prince Paul aid Warfield on the production and help
him create this surrealistic beatnik atmosphere that is
half-intellect and half-intoxication. Slowed-down guitar licks
couple themselves with distortion effects and echoes over top drum
loops, some of which are a bit too familiar -- "Live From The Opium
Den" uses a piece of Lou Donaldson's "Ode To Billy Joe," which
everyone from Grand Puba to Cypress has hacked, and "Cool Like The
Blues" could be mixed in with KMD's "Plummskinzz" without a break in
The lyrics, however, are the centerpiece here, and what a
centerpiece. Warfield's skills on the mic are even better that before,
as he takes us through a flurry of styles, from the laid back, jazzy
tone of "K Sera Sera" and "Cool Like The Blues" to the overhyped s
houting on "Dip Dip Divin'" to the hallucinogenic meanderings of
"Stormclouds" to the mosh pit diving in "Pick It Up." Throughout the
whole album, Warfield just lays down flow after flow after flow,
making reference to everything from "Taxi Driver" to "Twin Peaks" to
Scooby Doo. ("It's Colonel Potter! You kids foiled my plan...")
Warfield's game plan, though, is a little too obvious: talk
about acid as much as Cypress Hill talks about marijuana. "Drugstore
Cowboy" focuses on the lifestyle of a junkie in denial robbing
pharmacies up and down the California coast for lemons and other
psychadelic treats. Title's like "B-Boys on Acid" and "Live From The
Opium Den" are pretty obvious. Luckily, Warfield is versatile enough
with his lyrical styles to avoid coming off like he's dropped one too
many of those lemons.
Rap may not be ready for a posse called The Beatniks, but
they're here, and they're worth a listen. Anytime someone enters the
rap scene with a new style or angle, people will give them funny
looks, but Warfield should rise above all that with this album.
pH rating - 4/pHine
Title: _The Inner Mind's Eye(The Endless Dispute With Reality)_
Artist: Leaders Of The New School
Rating: 5 / pHunky
After their gold debut album _A Future Without A Past_, and
their cameo appearance on one of the most talked about singles of
1992 (the "Scenario" remix), Leaders Of The New School have dropped
what has been one of the most eagerly awaited albums of 1993 with
_T.I.M.E._. Within the 2 year period between this album and the last,
the group has matured considerably. Probably the most noticeable
difference is the appearance of Cut Monitor Milo stepping up to the
mic as an emcee. Although he did appear on "Sound Of The Zeekers" on
their debut, his voice was not heard too much throughout the first
LP. However, he can be found throughout this album, and adds more
flavor to the crew from Strong Island.
The other major change has been that this album is a more
self-produced album, with almost every cut on this album being done
by one of the group members or Backspin, unlike the last with work by
Bomb Squad members. Unlike a lot of crews that try to produce
themselves and fail miserably, LONS has came through in providing
some of the phattest tracks on the album. Overall, this album is not
as energetic as the last, and sounds a lot darker than the last, but
those two factors don't take anything away from the quality of this
album. Musically, this is one of the dopest albums of 1993. No need
to lift the needle, skip tracks, or fast forward (although there are
several cuts where one might want to go in the opposite direction and
Lyrically, this albums has its ups and downs. First off, if
you though Busta Rhymes was hard to understand on the last album, you
haven't heard nothing yet. Butsa is definitely on some ole' next
shit with this album. There are very few tracks where he just
rhymes, but when he does, he comes off kind of cool. Maybe someone
needs to let him know that some people out there DO actually listen
to the lyrics on an album. Next we have Charlie Brown. Though he
wasn't a lyrical superstar on the last album, his skills on the mic
appear to have decreased. No where does he really stand out.
Finally, we have the two superstars of the album, Dinco D and Cut
Monitor Milo. Though Dinco never stood out, he has never really been
wack, and on this album, it is easy to see that he has improved upon
what was already some decent lyrical ability. Milo has also to
another level on this album, providing some very good lyrics, and an
occasional chat which gives some cuts a little reggae flavor. One of
the things that is obvious if you listen close enough is that some of
the material on the album is dated, but then again, this album was
originally completed over a year ago. This has been one of the few
problems LONS has had, and something they need to work out with their
However, most people won't catch it, and the album is good
nevertheless. Hip-hop heads out there will not be disappointed with
this one, and they will no doubt develop a larger fan base as many
people will be jumping on the dilz. Musically, it is all dope.
Lyrically, some cuts that stand out are "Classic Material", "A
Quarter To Cutthroat", and a few others. The best overall cut on the
album in this reviewer's opinion is "Bass Is Loaded", where musically
and lyrically, Leaders show why they've received so much acclaim.
Overall, this album is definitely worth the wait, and will most
definitely put Leaders of The New School back up in the ranks of this
HOODRATZ, "SNEEKE MUTHAFUCKAZ"
Review by David J. Warner
Hmmmm...they're black, they're bald, they're angry, they're
screaming their rhymes, they're talking about being "Grimee" -- sound
Well, that's not really fair, since a lot of people are biting
off Onyx with far worse talent than Hoodratz, who originally called
themselves the Knuckleheadz. They had to drop that name because
another group already claimed it.
So here's their new album, "Sneeke Muthafuckaz," a follow-up
to the success of their first single, "Bootlegga," a theme song for
artists getting ripped off by street corner peddlers. (IF YA BOOTLEG,
YA GET YA LEG BROKE!) Its cover is dark and forboding, its titles
are grossly misspelled on purpose, and its tone is quite hard --
Suffice to say that if you liked "Bootlegga" and its B-side
"Ms. Crabtree," than this is your album. The 'Ratz take off in the
same direction with nearly every track. Somewhere underneath this
whole shiftee image (for lack of a better term), there's an
underlying message that these guys don't want other kids to follow
the lifestyle they shout about. "Street Smart Dummies" hits on how
the 'Ratz learned everything on the avenue because they never went to
class, and "Murdered Ova Nuthin'" deals with why black men are
killing each other in the streets.
Occasionally, this album takes to the lighter side of things,
like on "Free Cheese" and "Grimee", where the choruses don't inspire
as much head bobbing and they do muffled chuckles. This is not to
say the production is off at all -- Doh-Doh of Hangman Productions
did a good job using the music to help develop the theme here.
Of course, the theme here has been done, and the 'Ratz really
bring nothing new to it. They go as far as sampling Sticky Fingaz
himself on "Had A Bad Day." Since it's a relatively new genre,
though, and Hoodratz can hold their own on the mic, I suppose they
can be forgiven. After all, this isn't really a bad album, especially
if you're a big Onyx fan.
Just don't let it happen again...
pH rating - 4/pHine
And now, I would like to bring you a special review of a new
unsigned artist from da Internet. He goes by the name of Flowz, and
he can be reached at:
I recently received his demo, and agreed to critique it for
HardC.O.R.E. on his behalf. Although he is a friend, I tried to be
fair and unbiased... but that's up to you the reader to decide.
Anyway, here follows a short 411 on his rap career, as written by the
man himself. Afterwards, the demo review.
I been rappin since I was 15. It started out as just a
diversion from classes, rappin for the rest of my classmates. But
then, me and my boys put out a tape that we made and sold ourselves
at school and da shit was kickin'. It was then I decided that I'd
continue rappin' for my friends and for myself, and I still am
today. I like to think that my rap as a little smooth, hip hop
groove to it, which I could definitely improve on wit da right
equipment and d.j.--I also sometimes like to include a comic twist to
my raps. I hope to continue rappin for a long time and hopefully get
a shot with a record producer, a chance to show dem what I got. My
dream is to meet Luther Campbell and sign on wit Luke Records, but I
am willing to show my shit to anyone who'll gimme a chance.
"I'd like to thank all da people who believe in my shit--my
man Flash, DJ Spoons, Speed Jam, and Da Rafer, my main niggaz, and of
course da hoez out in LA-FEE-VAH of who we niggaz can't get enough
And for the rap itself... the Flowz demo consists of an intro,
and one song, titled "Foot In Yo Ass". Let me tag the things I like
about it to start. For one, Flowz does indeed do that, he flows and
flows on the track. Second, he is obviously a good lyricist, he
writes clever and witty lyrics. Third, despite the fact he obviously
did not have to notch equipment, the track has some thump and bump to
But just so I don't look completely and totally biased, there
were some things about the song I didn't like. First and foremost
was that the song is basically a homophobic diatribe. Now I don't
improve of gay people or their lifestyle, but the venom Flowz holds
for them is shocking even to me. I don't expect raps to be happy
happy joy joy, cause I listen to as much Ice Cube as anybody else.
But I just though a lot of that energy could have been better
directed. My only other criticism is that at times the music of the
track sounds like a cheap Casio keyboard. (believe me I know I HAVE!
a cheap Casio keyboard)
In summary: Flowz is a skilled artist, who has much
potential. On the HardCORE pH scale of one to six, I give him a three
Asalaam alaikum from Flash
ARTIST: Raw Breed
ALBUM : Lune Tunz
LABEL : Nuff Nuff Music/Continuum Records
RATING: 4 (pHine)
Raw Breed's a crew straight out tha boogie down Bronx, and
they have a true rap flavor that hip-hop heads should definately go
for. Head-bobbing beats, phat lyrics, and real originality.
The beats have a nice pound to them... the drum patterns are
certainly nothing ground-breaking, and the samples tend to get a
little repetitive, but the flavor is very appealing. The chants
("rabbit stew, rabbit stew, yo' -- I'll make stew of your crew") are
laced nicely over the beats and work well. The craziest beat comes in
on "Open Season" -- there is some _real_ funk going on here, folks,
definately _not_ to be slept on.
One thing about the beats that can either be viewed as
original or annoying are the cartoon introductions to each song
(going with the "Lune Tunz" theme). Luckily, most of them don't last
too long. They haven't worn thin on me yet.
Lyrically, these kids got some skills: "I fry MC's like fried
rice / See -- I'm nice, / I'm givin' advice, / I'm on a trip wit no
reason / I break a fool / Wit no rule / It's open season!" and "The
rabbits that I cook by frying / Drying / In vain / Over an open flame
/ As I gain / Much weight / 'Cause rabbit stew tastes great!" The
flow is original, and quite entertaining. Occasionally, they come
off sounding like Onyx, but they can't be classified as an all-out
Onyx rip-off (like the Hoodratz, for instance).
These kids deserve some props -- support them and their label
(which I had never heard of to this point). Pick up this album,
y'all won't be disappointed.
reviews: Erick Sermon and Too $hort
Well, you might wonder why I am reviewing two distinct tapes
in the same piece. The reason is that both know one thing: "IF IT
AIN'T BROKE DON'T FIX IT." While other MCs of the industry have had
succesful tapes and then gone under, these men have consistently been
gold and platinum year after year, simply by giving everybody more of
the same shit they love. Too $hort especially has been criticized
for this, yet he is undoubtedly one of the top ten PAID artists in
hip-hop. You just can't fuck with his Oakland funk boom and west
coast laidback flow. In fact, the way they flow is another thing
they have in common. Both have been criticized for being too slow on
the mic, and for having uncomplicated lyrics. Anybody who can
honestly believe Erick isn't all that obviously never wrote down any
of his lyrics and tried to come up with some HALF as good. And while
Too $hort may talk a lot about bitches, he has more 'bitch' styles
that most MCs can get out of one style. Besides which, songs like "In
The Trunk", "I Wanna Be Free", and "The Ghetto" prove that he can rap
about anything he fuckin wants to, and do it well.
So bearing that in mind, I present you "No Pressure" by Erick
Sermon, and "Get In Where You Fit In" by Too $hort, both a very solid
pHat 5 out of six. Erick Sermon of course is formely of EPMD, but
his solo debut proves he IS the funk bandit (as if Redman's LP hadn't
already proved that). The green-eyed master has aslo enlisted some
very skilled guest MCs to help out... Joe Synystr (an ill slur
wizard), Keith Murray (sounds like Redman pt. 2 but phat), Jeff
Stewart, Shadz of Lingo, Kam, Ice Cube, and the funkadelic man
E-Double does tend to hold up better when he works with other
MCs, but his solo shots on here display much skills. "Stay Real" is
just flowN and flowN and flowN
"Ricochet ping ping!
Make the fans feel it, even when I sing!
The green eyed bandit coming funky with the tune
I'm blowing up, like Tom Berenger in Platoon"
Or check out this shit from "Imma Getz Mine"
"Abuse and use a funky form of dialect
When I mic check I freak the ill concept"
The man has lyrics more fly than a Levi 501 factory. More
from the same song...
"I'm guaranteed to have my own show, like Arsenio
As I maintain to be a desperado
Stayin wicked when I kick it through your speaker
You might think I'm a alien but that's a corny rerun"
But lets not forget his guest MCs either... check out the ill
Keith Murray (and I do mean ill). This from "Swing It Over Here"
"I'll put my head through your chest
Just to see who's next in line, just to get wrecked
I make contact plus the interlude
I take my skills to another level like queludes"
Stick in a fly line or two by E-Double in the same song...
"When I rock the microphone I rock it right
And keep it hardcore and more blacker than Wesley Snipes"
Redman also comes off PHATLY in this song (DAMN! I want his
next LP soon!)
"Oh my goodness! Could this be the funk
that I was stretching out my lungs
Funkadelic tongues, I clear the mucus
Stick tissue up my nose to stop the snot from making spots
To be or not I still give niggaz polka dots for blocks
Now Richard Dawson had a survey declarin that I was awesome
Throw on your WalkMan's while I pour the funk sauce into your coffin
"The funk mixture that gets your body, holy like scriptures"
Damn Redman is rawer than ever... let's not forget Kam and Ice
Cube either they rock "The Ill Shit" hard... Ice Cube especially
"Curse some new shit, what is this
EPMD, is goin out of business
God damn it
Can't leave my dog stranded (who?) the green eyed bandit"
Last but not least I gotta toss in Joe Synystr, who gave me my
newest quote (and perhaps most appropriate for me)
"We'll be in the cornfield, killing your bitch ass"
The best part is that not only are these lyrics dope but every
single one of the songs is FUNK... not the startin to get played
Funkadelic funk but the rap and double smack back Zapp funk that to
me still hasn't been given the respect it deserves... it carries the
E-Double so well he must have been born while his mother was
listening to Roger Troutman.
But lets not leave the other dog stranded... $hort Dog is
Most DEFINTELY in the House. "Get In Where You Fit In" is a metaphor
for many things on this LP... obviously $hort knows where he fits,
cause as he says himself
"Album number eight, five nationwide, two gold two platinums"
It also refers to MC Pooh, who they never talk about by name,
but they refer to "MC WhateverHisNameIs", and "That Too $hort biting
nigga"... obviously they are saying he DOESN'T fit in... and where he
does fit in is where they ain't.
"I'm a Playa" is definetly the BOMB on this LP... it would be
worth it for this song alone...
"See I made up my mind when I was seventeen
I Ain't with no marriage and a wedding ring
I be a playa for life, so where's my wife
Probably at the rehab, stuffin the pipe"
If you can't stand misogyny, you better pass it on to the next
man... he's a pimp, a hustler, an OG, and a mack daddy, but he is
also true to the game
"So if you ever see my driving in my Caddy
Throw a peace sign and say 'Hey Pimp Daddy'
Cause I never would front on my folks
I slow down and let the gold diggers count my spokes"
The rest of the tape rocks too... peep this shit from "Just
Another Day", it's got that "Let Me Ride" p-funk feel
"So I called Ant Banks, to see what's up
He said meet me in the studio at two o clock
I got dressed, smokin on some serious dank
Grabbed my keys off the table and a big ol bank
I hit Interstate 80 and I'm rollin
Joint still burnin and I'm smokin"
It's just kind of that same feel, yet unlike the Sleazy E's of
the industry Too $hort ain't all over Deez (Dre's) Nuts... he got his
own feel to the funk...
"Money in the Ghetto" struck me as a weird concept, but the
music is phat and the lyrics are in there... thought provoking even,
and funky too
"In the ghetto, you think life is hard
Food stamps, and to' up cars
Wall to wall, dirty orange carpets
Sittin in a bucket hoping you can start it
And ride around to the liquor store
Can't get a job get drunk some more
You better stop trippin on them stereotypes
Cause in the ghetto there's a good life"
Rather than offend every single female reader of HardCORE I
will skip even talking about "Blow Job Betty" or "All My Bitches Are
Gone." Straight to side two, where Too $hort rolls with the Dangerous
Crew... a slammin posse cut including Spice 1, Mhisani, Pee Wee, and
"We'll take your cash, five Gs for a motherfuckin song
And if you can't pay it keep movin on..."
...is how Too $hort explains what Dangerous Music is all about - now
peep these slammin lyrics from Spice 1:
"Nigga, so gimme the clip and let me plow one
Cause everybody dyin on this next fuckin album
Dumpin em up in ditches, kill the snitches
tail the glock to the G for these player hatin bitches"
The next song, "Get In Where You Fit In" is THE Pooh-man diss
cut of the LP, even the intro of the song...
"What happened to that other rapper y'all used to fuck with?
Man, we ain't fuckin with that fake motherfucker, MC uhhh
whatever that motherfucker name is man, we got a real crew...
Tryin to be like Short motherfucker... fuck him up $hort"
Too $hort got a DAMN fat diss verse here
"Get in where you fit in fool?
You was a mark up at the high school
Now you're hardcore like CB4
Bitin, what you wanna be me for?"
Lets just say that MC Pooh is gonna rue the day he decided to
fuck with the Dangerous Music crew, even Rappin Ron and Ant Diddley
Dog get in on the act.
"Way Too Real" is a fat song about some fat ass livin too,
just more of the funk for ya trunk and pimp lyrics.
"We hit the motel, the head was swell
Baby had back like a big ol well
She told all her friends, I did her too
She got dogged like Scooby Doo
Cause in the land of macks we don't play that
Ya wanna run your mouth you get pimp slapped", etc. etc.
Lets close out the review with a quick look at "Oakland Style"
which features the slick newjack FM Blue, who has this to say
"Brother brother blue do the do yes it's true
Now it can be told cause the nigga's comin through
Here me out, positives, negatives, here it is
a key to the door to the serious fizz
Quick with the gift not to be fucked wit
Scuse the friends but the shits got me quite pissed
What shit this shit that I heard through the grapevine
Word was, I couldn't get mine"
You wrong FM Blue, you keep rappin like that and you gonna get
yours... I like his jerky quick tongue flow and voice, pure butta
So there you have it, a quick look at the lyrics, funk, and
guest MCs of two pHat LPs... of course it does nothing to just read
about it, peep these dope albums for yourself.
Asalaam alaikum from Flash
Title: _All Samples Cleared!_
Artist: Biz Markie
Label: Cold Chillin'
Rating: 4 / pHine
With his fourth release on the Cold Chillin' label, Biz Markie
has come through with an album that is classic Biz Markie material.
Though Biz has seen emcees come and go throughout the span of his
long career in this business, he has never changed or compromised his
style to fit into the current hip-hop trend. Now, some would
interpret that as his style being played, but if you know Biz Markie,
you know that his style is one that is almost impossible to get tired
of, and even when you think it is about to, he'll flip the script and
drop something like "Let Me Turn You On", which will have you saying,
"I know he's not serious!" But he was. As a matter of fact, most
shops where the single appeared were sold out of the single within a
week. We're not talking about 10 or 20 copies. We're talking about
150+ copies of one single in one week!
Now to kill the mindset that sales represent quality (because
they don't), let's look at the secret to Biz's success. Though it
may very well be true that Biz will probably never make an album as
good as his debut _Goin' Off_ (which had most of it's lyrics written
by a young wipper snapper who went by the name of the Big Daddy Kane,
and was produced by a still extremely talented Marley Marl), this is
by far the best release by Biz since _Goin' Off_, and also shows that
Biz is "in it to win it."
Biz's hook may be his zaniness, but he has a few lyrical gems
on this one with songs like "I'm The Biz Markie", "Young Girl Blues",
"Hooker Got A Boyfriend", and "I'm Singin'"(although the chorus is
bugged). Musically, Biz enlists the help of up-and-coming producers
T-Ray and Salaam Remi, to provide for not the greatest beats ever
created, but some good beats nevertheless. There are a few songs
where the beats are quite noticeable, such as "Let Me Turn You On"
and "I'm Singin'".
Of course Biz has his usual I-make-up-a-new-dance-every-album
track ("The Gator", which is probably his worst my-new-dance cut
ever. The beat is cool, but Biz talks way too long, and the rhyming
is just a little too silly for me.) Overall, this is the epitome of
the classic Biz Markie style. And contrary to what anyone says, "Let
Me Turn You On" is the jam! (Hey, just be happy there is only one
singing joint. At one time, Biz had planned on releasing an entire
album of his singing.) Biz Markie fans will not be disappointed.
They may even feel rejuvenated. The Biz may be "Goin' Off", but he
will never go out.
PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS, "REACT LIKE YA KNEW"
Review by David J. Warner
After blowing up big with his debut single "Pump It Hottie,"
Redhead Kingpin established himself as one of the biggest names in
new jack swing/club rap. Unfortunately, the label of new jack brings
instant comparisons to R&B stars like Teddy Riley and R. Kelly and
sneers from the hip hop community. So Kingpin decided to let his
posse, Private Investigators (formerly the F.B.I), do more of the
work on this album, in order to make it less new jack and more
straight hip hop.
Unfortunately, this album just goes straight to pot.
And I'm talking about Cypress Hill, either. This may be one
of the Kingpin's worst outings to date, which makes it easy to
understand why he didn't want his name up front. This is not to say
that getting others people to make the beats was really a mistake.
Dawud Nurrid-Diyn, Mark-A-Spark and Will Nice are able to put
together some pretty solid music to back up the PI's.
Where this album ultimately fails is in those lyrics. There's
is simply no style to these rhymes. They just sit there and shout at
you like you have nothing better to do than listen to them. Kingpin,
Gicci Brown, D.J. Wildstyle and Knowledge sound like they just didn't
care to arrange or rehearse the vocals at all, making the vocals a
cacophony of voices that barely go together. Throughout nearly every
song, all the shouting and chanting the PI's do is out of place and
out of wack with the beats.
What's more, there's nothing new or vaguely interesting in the
vocals. The PI's couldn't think up their own style, so they just bit
off everybody from Onyx to Chi-Ali. Plus, most of the topics here
are rehashed and outdated. The theme of "Shy Country Girl" is
basically "Hey, ho, I don't care who you are or where you from, I
*know* you gonna let me hit it, right?" When I heard that screaming
on "Who Am I?" and "But She's Not My G," all I could do was cringe in
disgust. I guess it's not much of a love thang anymore for the
That's a shame, because the producers did all they could to
supply some nice beats here. Of course, as Young MC has proven time
and again, nice beats do not a good album make. The PI's need to
check themselves before they drop another dud like this.
pH rating - 2/pHlat.
RONNY JORDAN, "A QUIET REVOLUTION"
Review by David J.
For those who might have missed it, Ronny Jordan is a British
jazz guitarist who played some licks on "No Time To Play," a track
from Guru's "Jazzmatazz" LP. He is considered one of the biggest
influences in the Acid Jazz movement in Europe, which also produced
The Brand New Heavies.
So what is this doing in a rap music zine? Well, I discovered
"A Quiet Revolution" in the rap music mailbox at the radio station
where I do I my show. Someone might have looked at it and said,
"Hmmmm... A Quiet Revolution, titles like 'Slam In A Jam' and 'Season
For Change'... must be a rap album." So it ended up between the new
singles from Das EFX and Casual. Their loss -- I'm not giving this
The first track, "Season For Change" is a rap track, featuring
Guru himself on the mic, showing off what may be some of his best
rhymes to date. This track just flows with a flavor that any
"Jazzmatazz" fan will enjoy. From then on, Jordan puts together some
music that is pure aural ecstacy.
Ronny Jordan is to hip hip-jazz fusion as Michael Jordan is to
basketball, and this album shows it. From the catchy rhythmic "In Full
Swing" to the phat Simon Law production on "Slam In A Jam" to the old
school Dolemite rhymes of Dana Bryant (whose poetic stylings may remind
some of Professor X - only she does it right) on "The Jackal," this
album drips quality like Chris Webber and Anfernee Hardaway drip money.
There isn't a note or a beat or a word or anything else out of
place here. Quite simply, Jordan has created a work of unequaled
brilliance that will make hip hop heads bob and jazz fans snap their
fingers at the same time. Even when he slows the tracks down on "The
Morning After" and "Vanston Place," all you can do is sit back and
think about your favorite girl or guy and wish they were there. Or
if they are there... well, like Romye says, "If you don't know what
comes next, then you're just too dense."
But don't be so dense as to miss out on this album. This is
the best album I've ever heard. Period. Missing out on this album
would be a huge mistake, especially if you enjoy the jazzy flavors of
A Tribe Called Quest, Guru, Digable Planets, Freestyle Fellowship or
anyone else. Just go get "The Quiet Revolution," put it in the CD
player, and take it all in. Not one thing will disappoint you.
pH rating - 6 / pHAT!!!
**********************STAY TUNED HIP HOP FANS*************************
We hope you enjoyed this edition of HardC.O.R.E. as much as we
enjoyed putting it together. We're bigger and better than ever, and
we're stepping up front as the 1993 season comes to a close. After
all, it's not every electronic zine that can boast of THE MOST
COMPLETE REVIEW SECTION OF ALL RAP PUBLICATIONS (I counted, we
got 'em all beat). There's more great stuff to come, so keep your
head up and your eyes open for the December issue of HardC.O.R.E.,
coming soon to an e-text archive near you.