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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 ***A*** 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 isbell@ai.mit.edu B Article - Return of the Real KLM3298@ritvax.isc.rit.edu C Reprint - Jerry Springer rthoma2@umbc8.umbc.edu D Article - Live Hip-Hop dwarner@silver.ucs.indiana.edu E Article - The Atlanta Scene gt7214b@prism.gatech.edu F Reprint - Bootie Flava U14864@uicvm.uic.edu G Article - ..tha Old School r.macmichael@genie.geis.com H Article - Soundfiles dwarner@silver.ucs.indiana.edu I Article - What is Real? gt7214b@prism.gatech.edu 003 The Review Section A Review - Souls of Mischief dwarner@silver.ucs.indiana.edu B Review - Black Moon KLM3298@ritvax.isc.rit.edu C Review - De La Soul dwarner@silver.ucs.indiana.edu D Review - UltraMagnetic MCs juonstevenja@bvc.edu E Review - Da King & I gt7214b@prism.gatech.edu F Review - P.R.T. U14864@uicvm.uic.edu G Review - Justin Warfield dwarner@silver.ucs.indiana.edu H Review - L.O.N.S. KLM3298@ritvax.isc.rit.edu I Review - HoodRatz dwarner@silver.ucs.indiana.edu J Review - Flowz (demo) juonstevenja@bvc.edu K Review - Raw Breed r.macmichael@genie.geis.com L Review - Sermon and $hort juonstevenja@bvc.edu M Review - Biz Markie KLM3298@ritvax.isc.rit.edu N Review - P. Investigators dwarner@silver.ucs.indiana.edu O Review - Ronny Jordan dwarner@silver.ucs.indiana.edu ***B*** 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 uncensored music. The C.O.R.E. anthems We In There (remix) Boogie Down Productions Feel the Vibe, Feel the Beat Boogie Down Productions Crossover EPMD 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 ***A*** 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...") Boom! Bap! 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. Message: Yes. Tracks: 14 tracks at 56:04. Label: Jive. Produced at various times by KRS-ONE and DJ Premier. 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 and Violence_. 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 well. "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." Ziplock. "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 good. "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, 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 here. "Another silly sucker wants the champion belt But like a microwave these days 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. ***B*** Kevin Murphy ------------ "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. K-Mello, SHYGUY Productions ***C*** Richard Thomas -------------- 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 it). 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 need to 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. Richard Thomas rthoma2@umbc8.umbc.edu or rthoma2@umbc2.umbc.edu ***D*** David J ------- 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 music. 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. ***E*** Martin Kelley ------------- Atlanta Report 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 can persevere. 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 time around. 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), Martay 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 Fresh Prince? ***F*** Tyrone Ellison -------------- "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 that situation. 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 Excellence... 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: T.E.Ross/T-Dub 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 ter5424@ritvax.isc.rit.edu or ross@refine.enet.dec.com. T-Dub SHYGUY Productions _________________________________________________________________________ "Kickin' that bootie flava!!! part 2" Damn, time to step to the podium again... antebi (antebi@phakt.usc.edu) 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... Peace out, tha Minista of Rage ***G*** Ryan MacMichael --------------- Back to tha Old School by Laze 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. ***H*** David J ------- SOUNDFILES! 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 - dwarner@indiana.edu - and I'll see if I can put something on. There's room for about 20 more files there. Enjoy! ====================================================================== 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 - arrested_development - people_everyday_MTV.au - raining_revolution_MTV.au - revolution.au - tennessee.au - atik (ATIK is a computer underground group from the UK) - escape_your_fate.au - black_moon - who_got_the_props.au - blacksheep - choice_is_yours.au - similak_child.au - state_of_yo.au - blue_riddle (Blue Riddle Productions is a computer underground group from Indiana University) - checkmate.au - rap_is_an_art.au - turn_up_the_microphone.au - boogie_down - criminal_minded.au - dnice_rocks_the_house.au - duck_down.au - jack_of_spades.au - jah_rulez.au - my_philosophy.au - part_time_sucker.au - poetry.au - sex_and_violence.au - we_in_there.au - who_are_the_pimps.au - why_is_that.au - brand_nubian - allah_u_akbar.au - bn_rocks_the_set.au - pass_the_gat.au - punks_jump_up.au - slow_down.au - steady_bootleggin.au - the_godz.au - wake_up.au - cypress_hill - hand_on_the_pump.au - how_i_could_just_kill.au - insane_in_the_brain.au - latin_lingo_remix.au - stoned_is_the_way.au - dalenchmob - guerrillas_in_the_mist.au - diamond_d - best_kept_secret.au - one_track_mind.au - digable_planets - rebirth_of_slick.au - time_and_space.au - what_cool_breezes_do.au - epmd - rampage.au - so_wat_cha_sayin.au - eric_rakim - let_the_rhythm_hit_em.au - microphone_fiend.au - freestyle_fellowship - cornbread.au - hot_potato.au - innercity_boundaries.au - fuschnickens - back_off.au - la_schmoove.au - ring_the_alarm.au - true_fuschnick.au - gangstarr - dwyck.au - lovesick.au - grand_puba - lickshot.au - step_2_tha_rear.au - what_goes_around.au - whats_the_411.au - house_of_pain - Jumparound.au - ice_cube - it_was_a_good_day.au - nigga_ya_love_to_hate.au - wicked.au - kam - peace_treaty.au - lords_of_the_underground - chief_rocka.au - funky_child.au - naughty_by_nature - OPP.au - guard_your_grill.au - hip_hop_hooray.au - pin_the_tail.au - uptown_anthem.au - nice_and_smooth - how_to_flow.au - onyx - slam.au - paris - bush_killa.au - conspiracy_of_silence.au - days_of_old.au - sleeping_with_the_enemy.au - pete_rock (and CL Smooth) - the_basement.au - the_creator.au - they_reminisce.au - pharcyde - for_better_or_for_worse.au - im_that_type_of_nigga.au - passin_me_by.au - pork.au - ya_mama.au - public_enemy - 911_is_a_joke.au - air_hoodlum.au - b-side_wins_again.au - bring_the_noise.au - brothers_gonna_work.au - cant_truss_it.au - dont_believe_the_hype.au - livin_in_a_zoo.au - nighttrain.au - outta_dodge.au - shutemdown.au - redman - blow_your_mind.au - time_4_sum_akshun.au - souls_of_mischief - thats_when_ya_lost.au - supercat - ghetto_redhot.au - tribe_called_quest - bonita_applebum.au - buggin_out.au - can_i_kick_it.au - check_the_rhyme.au - hot_sex.au - if_the_papes_come.au - jazz_we_got.au - scenario.au - scenario_remix.au - skypager.au - xclan - funkin_lesson.au - grand_verbalizer.au - heed_the_word.au - xodus.au 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.) ***I*** Martin Kelley ------------- 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 FUCK "REAL." Peace in the Middle East (Which I hope stays real) Martay 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! ***A*** David J ------- 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 turntable techniques. 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 ***B*** Kevin Murphy ------------ Title: _Enta Da Stage_ Artist: Black Moon Label: Nervous/Wreck 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. K-Mello, SHYGUY Productions ***C*** David J ------- 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 beat box. 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 ***D*** Steve Juon ---------- Review - UltraMagnetic MCs : The Four Horseman by Flash 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 ***E*** Martin Kelley ------------- 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 updated it). 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 style) 2. Let's Take a trip (cool track that asks you to allow Da King & I to take control..) 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 o'Da dome) 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 pretty mellow) 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 soon?) 13. This is how we do (its allright, came out before the Souls, but as good?) 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 still nice) 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 Atlanta Yall. Peace, Martay ***F*** Tyrone Ellison -------------- 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... _______________________________________________________________________ ***G*** David J ------- 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 coming from. "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 loop. 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 ***H*** Kevin Murphy ------------ Title: _The Inner Mind's Eye(The Endless Dispute With Reality)_ Artist: Leaders Of The New School Label: Elektra 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 listen again). 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 label, Elektra. 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 rap game. K-Mello, SHYGUY Productions ***I*** David J ------- 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 familiar? 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 -- sound familiar? 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 ***J*** Steve Juon ---------- 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: aof3w@uva.pcmail.virginia.edu 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 of. PEACE!!!!!!!!" --- 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 it. 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 for pHair. Asalaam alaikum from Flash ***K*** Ryan Macmichael --------------- 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. ***L*** Steve Juon ---------- 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 himself Redman. 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 Wake up!" "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 Ant Banks... "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 fat. 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 ***M*** Kevin Murphy ------------ 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. K-Mello, SHYGUY Productions ***N*** David J ------- 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 Redheaded one. 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. ***O*** David J ------- 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 one back. 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. L8A...

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