Section 1 -- One
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HardC.O.R.E. Vol. 2, Issue 3 2/27/94
The electronic magazine of hip-hop music and culture
Brought to you as a service of the Committee of Rap Excellence
Table of Contents
Section Contents Author
------- -------- ------
001 The introduction
A Da 411 - table of contents
B Da 411 - HardC.O.R.E.
002 The New Jack Hip-Hop Awards
A Article - NJHHA results email@example.com
003 What's Up in Hip-Hop
A Article - The Atlanta Scene firstname.lastname@example.org
B Article - UMC's Interview email@example.com
C Article - White Permissable? DHORN@RICEVM1.RICE.EDU
D Article - ..tha Old School firstname.lastname@example.org
E Article - Exploitation WHITFIE@afit.af.mil
F Article - Inside or Outside? email@example.com
G Article - S.S.F.T.I. firstname.lastname@example.org
H Article - DJ Run Love email@example.com
I Article - 12" Trax Update firstname.lastname@example.org
004 Live for You pHunky Reviews
A Article - HardCORE pH scale email@example.com
B Review - Queen Latifah firstname.lastname@example.org
C Review - Casual email@example.com
D Review - Del tha Funkee... U14864%UICVM@UIC.EDU
E Review - MSU (unsigned pt.1) firstname.lastname@example.org
F Review - MGA (unsigned pt.2) email@example.com
G Review - Jamalski firstname.lastname@example.org
H Review - Planet Rap email@example.com
I Review - various artists WHITFIE@afit.af.mil
J Review - Terminator X U14864%UICVM@UIC.EDU
K Review - Smooth firstname.lastname@example.org
L Review - Yaggfu Front email@example.com
M Review - M.O.P. U14864%UICVM@UIC.EDU
N Review - Shadz of Lingo firstname.lastname@example.org
O Review - The Troubleneck... email@example.com
P Reviews - Sat N Smooth, Will firstname.lastname@example.org
The C.O.R.E. creed
We at C.O.R.E. support underground hip-hop (none of that crossover
bullshucks). That means we also support the 1st Amendment and the right to
The C.O.R.E. anthems
We In There (remix) Boogie Down Productions
Feel the Vibe, Feel the Beat Boogie Down Productions
True to the Game Ice Cube
Come Clean Jeru the Damaja
Rap vs. Hip-Hop KRS-One
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
Fight the Power Public Enemy
"Leave your nines at home and bring your skills to the battle" - Jeru
Asalaam alaikum from Flash
Section 2 -- Two
Charles L Isbell
The Third Annual New Jack Hip Hop Awards (1/2)
What are the New Jack Hip Hop Awards?
A couple of years ago, everyone on alt.rap and the funky-music mailing
list was bitchin' about how lame the Grammy's were in general, and
especially how weak they were when it came to rap and hip-hop.
Thus was born the New Jack Hip Hop Awards.
*You* nominate. *You* vote. We count.
So, let's begin shall we?
====----> Nasty rap
Nasty just to *be* nasty folks. Just plain dirty. Nasty. Nasty.
As nasty as he wants to be, Chris Hart counted this one with his toes.
Phattest Nasty Group
28.7% Naughty By Nature
13.0% Geto Boys
12.0% Cypress Hill
Well, just about everyone got a chance to take the lead at one point
or another in this race, but in the end Naughty by Nature repeats
their win from last year by the hairs on their nasty parts. I guess I
*still* haven't listened to them closely enough to figure out why
they're so nasty....
Phattest Nasty Male Rapper
34.9% Snoop Doggy Dogg
31.1% Too $hort
11.3% Sticky Fingaz
2.9% Eazy E
Well, Snoop takes home an, uh, award (gotta come up with a cutesy name
for these things... maybe a hippy? Naaaaah....) for his nastiness.
He held the lead pretty much from day one and it looked like a cake
walk until halfway thru when Too $hort fans started voting. Still, it
was too little, too late. This makes Too $Short a bridesmain for two
years straight. Of notable interest is the incredibly poor showing of
Eazy E, now on the real solo tip.
Phattest Nasty Female Rapper
25.0% MC Lyte
18.3% Yo Yo
13.5% (Roxanne) Shante
Bo$$ took no shorts this year. After being one of the few write-in's
last year to get more than one vote, she managed to move from last
place to first this year, beating out her more seasoned competition.
And without her to remain the unknown newcomer from below, Choice
moved to dead last.
The field for female rappers is fairly small, especially in this
category, but this year Bo$$ and her sister hip hoppers made their
presences felt. Witness the next category:
Phattest Nasty Rap Single
23.6% "Slam!" - Onyx
17.3% "Written on ya Kitten" Naughty by Nature
16.4% "Hits From the Bong" Cypress Hill
11.8% "Recipe of a Hoe" Bo$$
11.8% "Sweat of my Balls" CB4
10.9% "Gotta get a Ruffneck" MC Lyte
4.5% "Gimme That Nutt" Eazy E
3.7% "Dirty Nursery Rhymes" 2 Live Crew
Look: nominated singles actually peformed by women, a first for these
humble awards. Of course, the big winner was Onyx with "Slam!" (I
must admit that I've slept on them like I was on a pillow 'cause I
have no idea why this song is nasty). Anyway, NbN and Cypress
practically tied for second with Bo$$ settling for fourth with
pseudo-fictional rap group CB4... both just above MC Lyte.
Down in the basement is 2 Live Crew with Eazy E for a little bit of
company. Considering everything, the Pudgee write-in came off looking
Phattest Nasty Rap Album
28.6% _Bacdafucup_ Onyx
27.6% _Black Sunday_ Cypress Hill
25.7% _Get In Where Ya Fit In_ Too $hort
18.1% _Born Gangstaz_ Bo$$
Again, Onyx comes out on top in a *very* tight race. Cypress Hill and
Too $hort both looked like winners at different points during the
voting, but the boys with the steel larynxes are triumphant. And
although she came in last, Bo$$ has the distinction of being the first
sister to have an album nominated in any of the categories.
Well... that was nasty wasn't it? Time for something cleaner, I suppose....
====----> Crossover Rap
This is not to be confused with hip-pop like Vanilla Ice Cream Cone.
This is the rap that really "crosses" to other genres, be they R&B,
reggae, hard rock or even pop while actually remaining both good
*and* true to hip hop. Some of these have spun off into their own
subgenres (see Progressive/Jazz).
My man Fletch (email@example.com) straddled the fence to count these.
Phattest Crossover Group
37.2% De La Soul
31.0% Digable Planets
13.2% Rage Against The Machine
De La Soul is dead? I think not. Despite a last-minute surge by
Digable Planets--who may have had the misfortune of dropping theirs
too long ago to be in current memory--The Soul was never really in
trouble. "It might blow up but it won't go pop."
Newcomers Us3 held a comfortable third most of the way with Rage
Against the Machine playing clean-up.
Phattest Crossover Male Rapper
24.2% Snoop Doggy Dogg
21.0% MC Solaar
16.9% Heavy D
3.2% Father MC
Well, it was a Guru race from day one. Snoop overcame french-rapping
MC Solaar and took a definite second place, but the big surprise is
Heavy D's relatively poor showing. I mean, he did better than Father
MC (who just barely beat the 2Pac and Zach De La Rocha write-ins), but
that's not saying much apparently. How far the mighty have fallen....
Phattest Crossover Female Rapper
35.0% MC Lyte
16.2% Mary J. Blige
12.0% Shortie No Mass
It was never really a contest. MC Lyte had it wrapped up from the
giddy-up. Digable Planets' Ladybug does a good job with a solid
second place showing. Mary J Blige pulls in third (!)--an interesting
concept to say the least--over De La Soul pal Shortie No Mass. Patra
pulls up last (but she did a bit better than the Salt write-in).
Phattest Crossover Rap Single
67.2% "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" Digable Planets
32.8% "Le Bien, La Mal" Guru with MC Solaar
Rather than belabor the obvious, I'll just note that Salt and Pepa got
a write-in here for "Shoop" just as they did in the album category for
In defense of Guru, I *should* point out that the English and French
single has yet to be released from the _Jazzmatazz_ album and may not
have been heard by many of the voters. It certainly hasn't benefited
from the major airplay of the Digables' first single. Considering
that, it did pretty well.
Phattest Crossover Rap Album
28.7% _Jazzmatazz Volume 1_ Guru
25.4% _Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)_ Digable Planets
22.1% _The Chronic_ Dr. Dre
13.9% _Judgment Night Soundtrack_ Various
9.9% _Blue Funk_ Heavy D
It was a race until the very end, first between Guru and Dre then
between Guru and the Digables. Still, the voice behind Gangstarr
triumphed in the end with his "experimental fusion of Jazz and
Hip-Hop." Usual favorite Heavy D came in dead last this time.
Rappin' for your ego and not much else.
Marcell.Gabriel@ebay.sun.com wants to make certain that all of you
know he counted these votes... and he smoked all the other sucker
vote-counters--seven at a time--while he was doing it.
Phattest Braggadocio Group
23.4% Das EFX
20.3% Souls of Mischief
18.8% Wu Tang Clan
10.9% The Alkaholiks
Lords of the Underground and Cypress Hill managed write-ins.
The Souls of Mischief started this race off with a nice lead, but
quickly gave way to the Pharcyde. Once they got it, they held first
and refused to let go, no matter how close the others came. The
Diggedy Das EFX crew managed second place, but by and large, this was
a pretty even race; everyone did fairly well.
Phattest Braggadocio Male Rapper
35.5% Del The Funkee Homosapien
26.4% Ice Cube
14.0% Erick Sermon
11.6% LL Cool J
8.5% Jeru Tha Damaja
Just between you and me, I was a bit surprised by this. Del The
Funkee managed a decisive victory in this category, even beating his
more famous cousin, Ice Cube. Considering that he didn't drop jack
the first for almost all of 1993 makes this all the more impressive.
Erick Sermon, now on the solo tip from EPMD, managed a nice solid third
over veteran LL "I wear a hat 'cause I'm bald" Cool J and newcomer Jeru.
Phattest Braggadocio Female Rapper
21.0% MC Lyte
21.0% Queen Latifah
Well, it was practically a three-way tie for second, but there's no
question who took first. Yo-Yo took an early lead and just kept it.
The next two switched leads throughout and in the end managed to end
up in the same place. The big comeback award goes to Bo$$ who came
from absolute zero in the first third of the period to, well,
basically tie for second.
Phattest Braggadocio Rap Single
21.8% "Slam!" Onyx
21.8% "Chief Rocka" Lords of the Underground
20.3% "Outta Here" KRS-ONE
16.5% "That's When Ya Lost," Souls of Mischief
9.0% "Come Clean" Jeru Tha Damaja
6.8% "Freakit" Das EFX
3.8% "What's Next?" Leaders of the New School
It looked like the Lords were going to just pull this one out, but
Onyx held on and managed a tie. And, of course, KRS-One all but tied
them. No clear winner here among the top three. Just clear losers.
No, I'm sorry, I take that back. *Everyone* is a winner (cue Sound of
Phattest Braggadocio Rap Album
31.2% _Return of the Boom Bap_ KRS-One
30.4% _Here Come The Lords_ Lords of the Underground
27.2% _93 Till Infinity_ Souls of Mischief
11.2% _T.I.M.E._ Leaders of the New School
With a nod to _The Chronic_ as a write-in, we end this section with
KRS-One in the top spot, this time managing to beat out his
We will *not* mention the apparent contradiction with the nominees for
album not being reflected in the other nominations.
I *will* mention that we still have not seen any big majority wins in
categories with more than two nominees. No big, clear winners as of yet.
====----> The Dope Thangs
This section was counted by none other than Kathy Peck who was once
firstname.lastname@example.org, but is now off in the *real* world (gasp) making money
and contributing to the economy of this fine country.
For the, um, funniest rap.
45.8% "Ya Mama" The Pharcyde
29.2% "I Can't Wake Up" KRS-One
17.5% "Return of the Crazy One" Digital Underground
7.5% "Only When I'm Drunk" Tha Alkaholiks
KRS-One *tried* to threaten to win with a brief flirtation with first
place, but it became apparent rather quickly that the Pharcyde was
going to win this one. And they did. Handily.
Due to one of the impossible-to-remove technicalities of the New Jack
Hip Hop Awards, "Ya Mama" was available last year as well. Then it
took a decisive second place to Sir Mix-a-lot's "Baby Got Back."
Slammin' music is not required.
21.6% "U.N.I.T.Y." Queen Latifah
21.6% "Live And Let Live" Souls of Mischief
17.6% "Hits from the Bong" Cypress Hill
13.6% "Protect Ya Neck" Wu Tang Clan
13.6% "Not Yet Free" The Coup
12.0% "Come Clean" Jeru Tha Damaja
And Queen Latifah breaks a barrier this year to tie for first with
newcomers Souls of Mischief. It was a close race throughout with The
Queen and Souls pulling slightly ahead as time went on. No clear
winner. Lots of long lyrical pipe laid here.
Most Slammin' Beat
Dope lyrics are not required.
27.0% "That's When Ya Lost" Souls of Mischief
26.2% "Gin And Juice" Snoop Doggy Dogg
19.2% "Who Got The Props?" Black Moon
18.6% "Come Clean" Jeru Tha Damaja
8.4% "Make Room" Tha Alkaholiks
Let's start at the bottom with the Alkaholiks. They also received a
write-in for "Likwit" (which *did* have a slammin' beat now that I
think about it). As we move up we see that Black Moon and Jeru pretty
much tied but fell behind the top two spots.
The Souls of Mischief take the top spot again... this time refusing a
tie with mega-star Snoop Doggy Dogg (who actually had a nice lead for
the first half). We'll have to wait until to see if Souls can combine
their slammin' lyrics and their slammin' beats and take any other
awards (hip-hoppies?) home.
It's not a lost art yet.
62.1% DJ Premier for _Return of the Boom Bap_ and others
16.4% DJ Mark Luv for _Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde_
15.5% Lord Jazz for _Here Come The Lords_
6.0% Pam The Funkstress for _Kill My Landlord_
In the first major upset of the day, DJ Premier, the more
turntable-minded side of Gangstarr, takes a majority win over the
others in the pack. Most nominators noted his wheels of steel mastery
in _Return of the Boom Bap_ but he was also noted for a slammin' beat
in Jeru Tha Damaja's "Come Clean."
Jazzy Jeff, once known as a truly top-notch DJ did get a sympathy vote.
36.5% Ali Shaheed Muhammed for _Midnight Marauders_
35.8% Dr. Dre for _The Chronic_ and _Doggy Style_
27.7% DJ Premier for _Return of the Boom Bap_ and others
This was a great race. Dr Dre was ahead--sometimes by a large number
of votes--until the very end when everyone finally figured out just
what the hell it is that Ali does for A Tribe Called Quest and decided
to vote for him. DJ Premier ("thank God for DJ Premier" as one voter
put it) pulls a solid third.
This is a turn around from the last two years when one could bet the
farm *and* the kids that any hardcore act would beat out the jazzier
folks. Looks interesting. A new trend or just an aberration?
====----> More Dope Thangs
This is one of favorite groups of votes and was counted by workaholic
Kathy Peck (again).
Leaders of the New School
The most innovative hip hoppers around. Doesn't have to be
someone new, might be an old dog learning and teaching some new
tricks. In any case, should take hip hop in a new direction.
39.8% _Bizzare Ride II Tha Pharcyde_ Pharcyde
24.6% _93 'Til Infinity_ Souls of Mischief
20.7% _Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)_ Digable Planets
8.6% _Black Sunday_ Cypress Hill
6.3% _T.I.M.E._ Leaders of the New School
The top three spots were pretty stable from the get-go and Pharcyde
takes a decisive first place. Fan-fave SoM does a solid second with
the Digables pulling up third. Everyone else just sort of showed up.
Best fusion of Hip-Hop with non-Hip-Hop
Being the experimenters that they are, Hip-Hop artists are often
trying to merge their styles with stuff from other genres, be it
heay metal, jazz or country.
38.4% _Jazzmatazz Volume 1_ Guru
23.2% _Hand on the torch_ Us3
20.0% _Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)_ Digable Planets
11.2% _Judgement Night Soundtrack_ Various
7.2% "Slam"/"Judgement Night" Onyx & Biohazard
"Fusion" was taken literally this year and almost everyone took it
mean Jazz (even the write-in was for a Jazz-Hip-Hop attempt: _3-D
Lifestyles_ by Greg Osby). Guru got mad votes and just plain smoked
everybody. Digables got lazy halfway thru and gave up a solid second
for a solid third. Us3 pulled off that upset.
The Hard Rock-Rap fusion got less dap (81.6 to 18.4%) but didn't do
Phattest Non-USA Artist
43.2% MC Solaar for "Le Bien, Le Mal" & _Qui Seme Le Vent Recolte Le Tempo_
43.2% Us3 for _Hand On the Torch_
13.6% Apache Indian
Need I say more? Last minute voting made this one a tie with
French-speaking rapper MC Solaar gettin' dap mostly for his Guru duet
but also gettin' props for his own album (yes, I own it). The English
Us3 jazz up the proceedings a bit.
And Apache Indian is in the basement (unless you count write-in
Of course, it's possible that the non-American readers are all shaking
their heads at this point, wondering at our ignorance. For my part,
all I can say is that I've only *heard* of Us3 and Solaar. Who *is*
Apache Indian anyway? Anyone want to share with the class?
Provider of Phattest Samples
Everyone from James Brown to The Gap Band to Chick Corea have been
so kind as to provide hip hop with dope samples. Who's provided the
best stuff *this year*?
20.5% Zapp and Roger Troutman (Erick Sermon's "Stay Real")
14.8% George Clinton's "Atomic Dog"
11.4% James Brown
9.0% Emotions for "Blind Alley" off of the _Untouched_ LP (seen in
oldies like Big Daddy Kane's "Ain't No Half Steppin'",
it was used this past year by LL, Trilogy, Kenny Dope
and King Sun, among others)
And the answer is Pfunk. But then, it's always PFunk (albeit by less
than last year). One day, very soon, it's going to be against the law
to sample them. Still, I never ceased to be amazed at the number of
different and interesting ways one can use "Atomic Dog" and still make
it sound fresh.
Speaking of which, that particular PFunk sample managed third all by
itself. James Brown, grandfather of FONK beats out the Emotions
entry. Also worth noting for posterity are the following write-ins:
"Ode to Billy Joe" as used by
Black Sheep (Still in the Ghetto),
Lord Finesse (Stop Sweatin the Next Man),
Cypress Hill (Three Lil Putos),
Grand Puba (Reel to Reel)
Most Innovative Use of a Sample
Award for the artist who used a sample (be it music, voice or
whatever) in the most innovative, unexpected or phattest way
47.2% Ice Cube's for good use of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious
Five's "The Message" in "Check Yo Self" off _The
25.2% Wu Tang Clan for interesting use of Shaolin/Wu-Tang sword
15.4% Jeru the Damaja for the water sample on "Come Clean"
12.2% The Coup for "I love playing the drums..." sample from "I
Ain't The Nigga" on _Kill My Landlord_.
Ice Cube won. He just... won. The race for second was more
interesting. Jeru and Wu Tang were neck-and-neck until 3/4 of the way
thru when Wu Tang just pimp slapped Jeru and took a solid second. My
favorite sample for the year comes in last. Oh well.
...Someone--whose name I just deleted--suggested that we call the
metaphorical statues we're handing out "Jacks". Seems fair to me.
I'll do it.
====----> Dope Videos and Other Visual Stuff
This set was counted by me. Hi mom!
Oh, and of course, my homeslice Mark helped with the nomination
counting in this category as well. We'll hear more from him later.
Phattest Short Form Video
Award for the Phattest Video.
50.4% "Passin Me By" Pharcyde
20.2% "What's my name?" Snoop Doggy Dogg
12.6% "Breakadawn" De La Soul
10.9% "Nuttin' But a G Thang" Dr Dre
5.9% "93 'Til Infinity" Souls of Mischief
This was actually never a contest. Pharcyde took over from the very
beginning and didn't even pretend to let anyone come near them. They
actually managed a majority of the votes (if barely), something one
hardly ever sees.
The more interesting race was for second and third. It looked like it
was between Dr. Dre and Snoop, but both Snoop and De La Soul managed
big surges at the last minute. Thus, Snoop garnered a solid second
and De La Soul a squeaky third.
Phattest Long Form Video
Award for the Phattest full-length video.
61.3% _O.G._ Ice-T
38.7% _Shorty the Pimp_ Too $hort
Well, well, well. Ice-T's video, riding the coattails of what is
arguably his best album, _O.G. Orginial Gangsta_, never even let
_Shorty the Pimp_ dream about winning this one. Still, Too $hort
remained tenancious throughout. So, while it looks bad on paper, he
actually did very well.
Phattest Hip Hop Video Show
Award for the Phattest, um, Hip Hop Video Show.
45.8% "Rap City" with Prince Du Jour, Chris Thomas & various guest hosts
43.0% "Yo MTV Raps" with Dr. Dre, Ed Lover, T-Money & Fab 5 Freddy
11.2% "Video Music Box" with VJ Ralph McDaniels (Channel 31 in NYC)
After two years at the top as undisputed champion, "Yo! MTV Raps" has
gone the way of the dinosaurs, finally yielding to the more
ecologically sound "Rap City." Also, due to the woes of cancellation,
Dee Barnes' "Pump It Up!" is nowhere to be seen. Thus ends an era?
Certainly for Dee Barnes, but what about "Yo!"? We'll see next year,
Of special note is the not-embarrassing showing of "Video Music Box."
VJ Ralph Daniels did very well considering his limited exposure. Also
worth mentioning is the write-in vote for "Urban Experience" which is
"outta Roz's basement in Philly on channel 48." You Philly folks
might want to check it out. Also those of you in Germany might be
able to figure out "Freestyle" (VIVA in Germany).
Best live performance/tour/live album
Award for the best live performance, be it on tour, a live album
77.3% The De La Soul/Tribe Called Quest/Souls of Mischief tour
16.5% The Cypress Hill/Rage Against The Machine/Funkdoobiest tour
3.1% The Pharcyde/Masta Ace tour
3.1% The Souls of Mischief-Souls of Mischief with the Coup
What an upset. There's not much I can add. The votes pretty much
always kept to the ratios above from the beginning to the end. It was
actually kind of embarrassing. Still, what I find interesting is just
how many people voted in this category. Where do y'all get the money?
====----> Whackness and former whackness
Once again, I have Fletch to thank for counting.
For the suckas that go pop. Should have been at least vaguely
hip-hop in the first place.
60.8% Tag Team for "Whoomp! There It Is"
29.2% DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince for _Code Red_
10.0% Big Daddy Kane for _Looks Like a Job For..._
Another upset. Despite its apparent popularity, the voters gave this
one the big finger. Now, I don't how Tag Team sold out, but the
masses have spoken. Kinda ugly isn't it?
In the meantime, the once-slammin' DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince
got the big pimp slap along with Big Daddy Kane (no one seems to have
forgiven *him* for _Prince of Darkness_ since he's been nominated
every since we've had these awards).
Last year's winner, Hammer, also got a write-in vote just for GP, I guess.
The weakest, but visible, whackster of the year.
26.8% Tag Team for "Whoomp! There It Is"
22.8% The Fresh Prince for "Boom! Shake The Room"
16.5% Snoop Doggy Dogg for, well, everthing
14.2% Easy-E for _187 It's On_
12.6% Duice for "Dazzey Dukes"
7.1% Luke for "In The Nude"
It looked like a definite win for the Fresh Prince but then Tag Team
snuck up and stole first place. I hope they're happy about it. In
any case, people were less sure about whackness this time around than
in year's past when we had greats like Vanilla Ice Cream Cone and
Marky Mark to choose from.
Of special note is the performance of ridiculously popular Snoop Doggy
Dogg. Speaking of which:
This is different than the biggest sellout. Sometimes old
favorites just plain fall off without even getting the money for
selling out. Who fell flat this year?
43.0% _Doggy Style_ Snoop Doggy Dogg
20.3% _Home Invasion_ Ice-T
17.1% _14 Shots to the Dome_ LL Cool J
9.8% _The Body Hat Syndrome_ Digital Underground
5.7% _Straight Up Sewaside_ Das EFX
4.1% "Real Muthaphukkin' G's" Eazy E
Here he is again. Both he and Ice-T had hard acts to follow after
_The Chronic_ and _OG Original Gangsta_, respectively. It might have
been hard *not* to be disappointed. Still, Snoop had the bigger
burden to carry after the incredible hype his oft-delayed first solo
effort received. By contrast, Ice Cube's underhyped new album--which
disappointed a lot of people, apparently--wasn't even nominated and
only received one write-in.
For my part, I'm surprised at number #3 since I could *never* be
disappointed by LL after _Walking With A Panther_. That's just me,
On the good side, sometimes folks we had written off as dead, come
back like hard.
45.8% _Down With The King_ Run-DMC
32.8% _Return of the Boom Bap_ KRS-One
10.7% _No Need For Alarm_ Del Tha Funke Homosapien
10.7% _SlaughtaHouse_ Masta Ace Inc.
And the Jack goes to Run-DMC, the kings of rock themselves. Of
course, Run-DMC is in our Hall of Fame and as everyone ought to know,
had a profound effect on Hip-Hop in the early and mid 1980s. Last
year, they released, like, their one millionth album _Down With King_
with a new style and some new production. Apparently, folks are happy
Not too much farther down the list is KRS-One, another veteran of
Hip-Hop who, along with Public Enemy, helped to shape the Hip Hop
Nation in the mid to late 80s. His latest album--which seems to be
considered by many to be his best since his first two--has reaffirmed
him as a popular and relevant hip hop artist.
Tied for third are Del Tha Funke Homosapien (whom everyone apparently
wrote off after his first album) and Masta Ace.
Hardest and Ugliest Dis'
Award for *the* hardest most diggum-smack dis of the year--the one
that made you screw up your face and go "damn!"
71.2% "____ Wit Dre Day" Dr. Dre
28.8% _187 It's On_ Eazy E
Pardon me while I screw up my face. Damn!
Since each of these disses were aimed at the other, I guess we can
claim Dr Dre the winner, especially since Luke--the other Dre
victim--managed only a write-in.
====----> Gangsta Hip-Hop
This batch was herded home by none other than William David Haas who's
still doing stuff with Dartmouth. Say "hi" to the people, William.
Phattest Gangsta Group
37.1% Cypress Hill
21.0% Black Moon
18.5% Geto Boys
Cypress Hill took first early on and held it. The battle was always
for second. In that race, Onyx managed to squeak by.
Phattest Gangsta Male Rapper
71.4% Ice Cube
18.8% Snoop Doggy Dogg
9.8% Dr. Dre
Well... damn. Is this one too close to call or what? Ice Cube posts
one of our highest shares of votes ever and completely smokes former
N.W.A cohort Dr Dre as well as the young upstart, Snoop Doggy Dogg.
Ice-T, one of our usual suspects in this category received a write-in
vote along with B-Real and Kool G Rap.
Phattest Gangsta Female Rapper
26.0% MC Lyte
Once again, Bo$$ wins the race hands down. That's not too surprising
since she pretty much has the gangsta attitude down pat while MC Lyte
has softened her image over the years. Bo$$ is... the boss.
Phattest Gangsta Rap Single
30.4% "Nuttin But a G Thang" Dr. Dre
21.8% "Really Doe" Ice Cube
15.1% "Dre Day" Dr. Dre
10.9% "Let Me Ride" Dr. Dre
10.9% "Who's The Man?" House of Pain
10.9% "The Bonnie And Clyde Theme" Yo-Yo and Ice Cube
Despite losing handily in the Male category, Dr. Dre took top spot.
And spot number three. And tied for fourth place. Of course all of
this might have been for Snoop since he was featured in each of those
Given that he was competing against himself, taking top spot is quite
impressive. To see another sort of result like that we'd have to go
back to the 1991 awards and find Public Enemy taking the top three
spots for Dopest Political Single.
In any case, Ice Cube managed a solid second place and reappears in
his duet with Yo-Yo to tie for fourth. Also in the mix is House of
Pain for "Who's The Man?".
Phattest Gangsta Rap Album
33.7% _The Chronic_ Dr. Dre
21.3% _Lethal Injection_ Ice Cube
17.2% _Live and Let Die_ Kool G. Rap and DJ Polo
13.9% _Black Sunday_ Cypress Hill
9.0% _Born Gangstaz_ Bo$$
4.9% _Doggy Style_ Snoop Doggy Dogg
Was this ever in doubt? He took first place convincingly, again
beating out Ice Cube. Again, we see Snoop Doggy Dogg in the basement.
Each nominee was pretty solid in his or her (there's Bo$$ again!)
place this time around, so it's pretty clear how people feel.
It's Dre Day.
====----> Political Hip-Hop
Rap with an explicit social and political message.
This set was guarded by Mark Smith, Jamaican knockin' out Ja-fakin's
and Hip Hop activist.
Phattest Political Group
54.8% Public Enemy
22.2% Poor Righteous Teachers
20.7% The Coup
2.3% The Goats (write-in)
No contest. Public Enemy, probably riding off their entire career as
one of the best groups ever rather than just their performance for
1993, took this category by storm, even winning a nice majority. No
story to tell here.
Second place is a different issue. PRT and The Coup fought it out up
until the very end, but the brothers from New Jersey finally came out
on top. Also worth noting is that the write-ins for The Goats
numbered enough to make it worth actually putting them in the final
Phattest Political Male Rapper
21.1% Chuck D
13.5% Ice Cube
3.0% Tragedy, The Intelligent Hoodlum
KRS-One dominated this category from the get-go, as well he should
have... even beating out the ever-present Chuck D. Our resident
gangsta politican, Ice Cube, pulled solid third place over Paris'
underground sound. Swayzack managed a write-in.
Phattest Political Female Rapper
65.3% Queen Latifah
14.5% Me'Shell NdegeOcello
Queen Latifah just spanked the competition, as she does every year and
this time by an impressive margin. Of special interest here is the
amazing performance of Me'Shell NdegeOcello. Considering that many
might argue that she isn't even hip hop she did very well. Since her
album barely sneaked in this year, there's a good chance that she may
come back as a serious challenge for next year....
Phattest Political Rap Single
34.7% "Sound of Da Police" KRS-One
21.8% "U-N-I-T-Y" Queen Latifah
16.9% "Typical American" The Goats
11.3% "Dig It" The Coup
7.2% "Not Yet Free" The Coup
8.1% "Living in a Zoo" Public Enemy
KRS-One took the top spot, even though this particular single was
*just* released. This was a solid victory for the philosopher.
An even bigger victory is Queen Latifah's strong second place showing.
She not only took a big step simply by showing up in the singles
category--remember that this is the first year that any women have
ever had singles up for category awards (including everything, of
course, Roxanne Shante's did receive a nomination for Hardest Diss
last year)--but she managed a strong second place showing.
You *go* gurl.
Saddest case might be The Coup whose split votes may be what kept them
Now... does anyone want to explain Public Enemy's showing? How'd they
manage to do so poorly and still dominate the group category? Hmmmm?
They only did better than the Ice Cube write-in for "Ghetto Bird."
Phattest Political Rap Album
42.9% _Return of the Boom Bap_ KRS-1
23.0% _Lethal Injection_ Ice Cube
17.4% _Sleeping With The Enemy_ Paris
16.7% _Kill My Landlord_ The Coup
And this makes the KRS-One dominance of the Political genre complete.
As always, he dominated wherever he was. The race for second was a
bit more interesting in that it was pretty much a free-for-all up
until the end. The Goats, by the way, received a few write-ins.
====----> Progressive/Jazz Rap
After all this time, I still can't come up with a good description
of this category.
This little bit of counting was done by none other than La Tondra
Alyce Murray, Virginian-by-way-of-England, progressive member of the
Hip Hop Nation, Atlanta GA fan and all-around humanitarian.
Phattest Progressive/Jazz Rap Group
45.3% A Tribe Called Quest
15.3% Digable Planets
8.7% De La Soul
8.7% Souls of Mischief
Not much to say here. Quest won, as if there was ever any real doubt
one way or the other. The fight for second was a bit more interesting
until Digables took a sizeable lead. The ever-popular Pharcyde edged
out veterans De La Soul and fellow new jacks Souls of Mischief.
Phattest Progressive/Jazz Male Rapper
16.0% Phife Dog
Now *this* was an upset. It was a Q-Tip world until the *very* last
day. Almost all the last-minute voters voted for Guru and *just* made
the difference. In the meantime De La Soul's Posdonus and the other
lyricist in ATCQ stand flabbergasted. I know I am.
Phattest Progressive/Jazz Female Rapper
35.4% Ladybug Mecca
27.0% Queen Latifah
18.8% Shortie No Mas
18.8% Me'Shell NdegeOcello
Last year, Ladybug came in last place in the female crossover category
and wasn't even nominated in this one... probably because everyone
thought her name was Cleopatra Jones (kids! no sense of history!).
This year she comes back strong.
Once again, the surprise is from Me'Shell ("the alternative to hip-hop
is dead silence") NdegeOcello, who managed to tie for third with the De La
female despite her maybe-it-is-maybe-it-isn't hip-hop style.
Phattest Progressive/Jazz Rap Single
24.0% "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" Digable Planets
21.3% "Passing Me By" Pharacyde
16.8% "Award Tour" A Tribe Called Quest
16.0% "Cantaloop" Us3
13.3% "93 'Til Infinity" Souls of Mischief
5.3% "Trust Me" Guru
3.3% "Breakadawn" De La Soul
I'm surprised by this one. The Digable Planets crew comes from behind
to take first place and with a little bit of authority, no less. They
are joined by another set of New Jacks, the Pharcyde, relegating ATCQ
to third place (unbelievable?). Blue note artists Us3 do a
respectable job coming in just behind Quest and a bit ahead of the Souls.
Phattest Progressive/Jazz Rap Album
28.2% _Midnight Marauders_ ATCQ
15.4% _Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)_ Digable Planets
14.8% _Jazzamatazz Volume 1_ Guru
14.1% _Bizarre Ride II Tha Pharacyde_ Pharacyde
10.7% _93 'Til Infinity_ Souls of Mischief
8.7% _Hand on the Torch_ US3
8.1% _Buhloone Mindstate_ De La Soul
And The Tribe have their revenge in the end with a solid victory in
the album category. It wasn't even close. In the race for second,
Digable Planets again pulls an upset, leaving both Guru and Pharcyde
behind. At the bottom is De La Soul... beaten by the newcomers, no less.
====----> What you've been waiting for
As always, I counted this group. And let me tell you: the races were
pretty damn exciting.
Most Unfairly Slept On Album
Ever year some artist comes off proper but is ignored by the
community. Here we may remedy that.
The nominees are:
_Kill My Landlord_ The Coup
_SlaughtaHouse_ Masta Ace Inc.
_JBs with the Remedy_ Jungle Brothers
_Enta Da Stage_ Black Moon
_Inner City Griots_ Freestyle Fellowship
_T.I.M.E._ Leaders of the New School
And the results:
21.4% _JBs with the Remedy_ Jungle Brothers
19.4% _Kill My Landlord_ The Coup
18.5% _T.I.M.E._ Leaders of the New School
18.5% _SlaughtaHouse_ Masta Ace Inc.
12.0% _Inner City Griots_ Freestyle Fellowship
10.2% _Enta Da Stage_ Black Moon
This was a race that was down to the wire. The final results almost
look like a four-way tie for first. The Jungle Brothers made a
last-minute surge to take first just *barely* from The Coup. And The
Coup barely take second place over Masta Ace and Leaders of the New
School (both the early favorites).
In other words, go buy all these albums. I have to admit that I've
slept on some of them. I've learned my lesson. Off to Tower....
Also, there were several write-ins: Intelligent Hoodlum, _Very
Necessary_ Salt N Pepa, _Tricks of the Shade_ The Goats and _Looks Like
A Job For..._ Big Daddy Kane
Phattest New Hip Hopster
The best New Jack to arrive on the scene this year.
The nominees are:
_Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde_ The Pharcyde
_Kill My Landlord_ The Coup
_93 'Til Infinity_ Souls of Mischief
_Come Clean_ Jeru Tha Damaja
_Here Come The Lords_ Lords of the Underground
_Doggy Style_ Snoop Doggy Dogg
And the results:
34.9% _Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde_ The Pharcyde
25.4% _93 'Til Infinity_ Souls of Mischief
12.7% _Doggy Style_ Snoop Doggy Dogg
11.9% _Here Come The Lords_ Lords of the Underground
8.7% _Kill My Landlord_ The Coup
6.3% _Come Clean_ Jeru Tha Damaja
Okay, I admit it. I slept on The Pharcyde. Still, they didn't need
my help to win. They just plain *took* first place. The Souls of
Mischief--everyone's favorite Hiero group--tried and tried and tried,
but that was when they lost.
Oddly enough, Snoop did quite well considering his earlier showings
and his Jack for biggest dissapointment. Or maybe that isn't *so*
odd, now that I think about it.... He certainly seems to engender
Hall of Fame
Award for that person or persons who managed to make hip hop history
and have stood the test of time... We're talking about those back
in the day who helped make our current dopeness possible.
Note: Public Enemy and Run-DMC, our 1991 and 1992 winners, were
*ineligible* this year.
The nominees are:
KRS-One/Boogie Down Productions
Grandmaster Flash & Furious Five
A Tribe Called Quest
And the results:
28.7% KRS-One/Boogie Down Productions
19.4% George Clinton/Parliament-Funkadelic
17.8% A Tribe Called Quest
13.2% Grandmaster Flash & Furious Five
11.6% Ice Cube
9.3% Africa Bambatta
KRS-One, of course, is the center of Boogie Down Productions, one of
the first big powers in Hip Hop. He certainly deserves this honor.
BDP began its 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, often ranking up there with Eric B and
Rakim's first album (they received a write-in, by the way).
Since then, KRS-One and BDP have released several albums: 1988's _By
All Means Necessary_, with "My Philosophy" and "Jimmy"; _Ghetto Music:
The Blueprint of HipHop_, with the slammin' "Why Is That?" and "You
Must Learn;" the not-quite-as-succesful _Edutainment_ (excepting the
track "Love's Gonna Get 'Cha" which blew up); his live album; the
solid _Sex and Violence_ and, of course, the recent big hit _Return of
the Boom Bap_ (his first "solo" album).
It was never a contest.
There was a contest for second place though, with P-funk barely acing
out A Tribe Called Quest. This might be the race for next year. My
predictions? I expect that it'll finally go to either P-funk or
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five... unless Quest drops another
album this year; in that case, all bets are off.
Phattest Rap Single
The Phattest single this year. Period.
The nominees are:
"Passing Me By" The Pharcyde
"Come Clean" Jeru Tha Damaja
"Award Tour" A Tribe Called Quest
"____ Wit Dre Day" Dr. Dre
"Really Doe" Ice Cube
"93 'Til Infinity" Souls of Mischief
"Method Man" Wu Tang Clan
And the results:
27.8% "Award Tour" A Tribe Called Quest
24.6% "Passing Me By" The Pharcyde
14.3% "93 'Til Infinity" Souls of Mischief
11.1% "Method Man" Wu Tang Clan
9.5% "____ Wit Dre Day" Dr. Dre
7.9% "Really Doe" Ice Cube
4.8% "Come Clean" Jeru Tha Damaja
Well, it was a close race, but Quest held to their slight lead over
The Pharcyde throughout. Reading the voting patterns, one gets the
idea that the Souls of Mischief, our third place contestants, pulled
votes away from the Pharcyde....
The real thing to note here for those of us concerned with trends is
that we have to go all the way to fifth place to find a real hardcore
gangsta single (and after Cube's sixth place showing we have to look
among the write-ins--Del Tha Funke Homosapien and 2Pac--to find one
Phattest Rap Album
The Phattest album this year. Period.
The nominees are:
_Midnight Marauders_ A Tribe Called Quest
_Return of The Boom Bap_ KRS-One
_Buhloone Mind State_ De La Soul
_The Chronic_ Dr. Dre
_Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde_ The Pharcyde
_93 'Til Infinity_ Souls of Mischief
_Kill My Landlord_ The Coup
_Lethal Injection_ by Ice Cube
And the results:
27.8% _Midnight Marauders_ A Tribe Called Quest
16.7% _The Chronic_ Dr. Dre
12.8% _Return of The Boom Bap_ KRS-One
11.1% _93 'Til Infinity_ Souls of Mischief
9.5% _Lethal Injection_ by Ice Cube
8.7% _Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde_ The Pharcyde
7.9% _Buhloone Mind State_ De La Soul
5.6% _Kill My Landlord_ The Coup
No contest. A Tribe Called Quest has finally redeemed itself after
losing the first New Jack Awards best album spot... and they win with
Does this signal the rise of Progressive Hip Hop and a possible demise
of the gangsta style so prevalent these last few years? Maybe.
Still, Dre and KRS-One took second and third and while KRS-One is
hardly a gangsta, his style tends to be rough and hardcore. And, we
have to go to the bottom to find De La Soul and Pharcyde....
Ask me again next year.
So what have we learned? There's a lot of great stuff out there and
I've managed to sleep on some of it. As always, there were few clear
dominant winners in any category. Our tastes and favorites tend to
vary quite a bit. On the other hand, folks do seem to like that
Progressive and Jazzy sound more and more. Also worth noting is that
Bo$$ and Queen Latifah tried their best to make 1993 the year of the
woman and finally suceeded in breaking the gender barrier in the
various singles and album categories.
But, then, *every* year brings something new. Now I'm kinda hyped
about this one.
But first, I think I'll go pick up some of those albums I missed out
on in 1993.
And that's it.
Well, thanks for your time. Go back to sleep. I'm out of here like
last year. I gots to get back to writing reviews.
Oh, and my thesis work, um, of course.
Section 3 -- Three
The Atlanta Scene
Well it's been awhile since my last report and not a whole lot of big
news has broken. I'm sure by now you've all heard or heard of Parental
Advisory, Shadz of Lingo, and possibly the Triflin' Pack from sources other
than HardC.O.R.E. and Martay, the Hip-Hop Wiz. However, here's some stuff from
Atlanta that you may not have heard about and can find with a little initiative
1. Too Krazy have released their debut 12" single "Knock, Knock" on
Guest Shot records (with distribution help from Salsoul). I don't know how long
this has been waiting to come out, I was expecting their first single to be
"Big Josh" and I don't know if the group is officially reconciled or if the
record co. just decided to put out the single under the group name anyway.
2. The HQH Posse has released their first single "It's Your Bone Dog"
on an indepedent (?). HQH is originally from Boston but they've been in Atlanta
for three years now and their style is called (by them) Hip-Yard, a mixture of
rap and reggae/dancehall. Honestly, the single sounds terrible in the sound
quality department so I wouldn't recommend it, but I gots to give props to all
local mosses regardless for doin' work.
3. ADW (Afrika Doin' Work) featured in RapPages infamous (around here
anyway) "The Bomb has Dropped" Atlanta report have released a 3-song EP on
their own independent label. These kids are definitely different. They beatbox,
rock simple rhymes (though sincere) and even sing and harmonize (a la Take 6)
in there joints. It might not be the average heads cup of tea but they are
tryin' to create their own sound.
4. MC Shy D and Kilo have new albums out. That's all I can say. (MC Shy
D is also in the new Source.)
Things that you should know about:
1. Outkast is beginning to blow up a lil' bit. If you ain't heard
"Player's Ball" yet (LaFace/Arista), then as they say around here, "You Ain't
Know" the cut is kinda nice. I hope their album can really come correct. (they
have the same production team as Parental Advisory, Organized Noize)
2. Black Girl from Kaper Records (this is not an endorsement for Kaper)
is getting some attention these days. The song is "Krazy" and its produced by a
fellow NARAS member Moses Dailey. To me though the song ain't all that and it's
a bit annoying even, but hey it's doin' some work so props due on the R&B/New
Jack Swing/Mary Jack's Beats tip.
3. Fourtie has a new song on the radio. I will be lookin' into the
details about this and you will know next time what it is. Maybe a new single
from a label, perhaps just a new demo. Y'all will know when I do.
4. Finally, Atlanta Hip-Hop radio has been catchin' national props
lately. WREK with Subtle T (Georgia Tech) and WRAS with Randall & Talib (Ga.
State) are both featured in the VIBE guide to real Hip-Hop shows. Additionally,
WRAS was nominated by Gavin for best college Hip-Hop show in the country. So
Congratulations to my homies at these stations their hard work is finally
That's all for now.
Peace from the Peach State,
Telephone interview with Hass G. of the UMC's
For those of you who don't know, the UMC's are a duo from New York,
consisting of Hass G and Kool Kim. I had a chance to talk to them back
in December about their new single, and new album, which is in stores
now, entitled "UnleashedÓ.
note: This interview was done live during one of my radio shows back in
December, so it's real informal.
Mike C: Hass G, how you doing?
Hass G: I'm chillin kid.
MC: What's up? What are you doing in New York right now?
HG: Right now, I'm sittin here with my man Joe, know what I'm sayin, my
man Boo, Rob, checkin out this bike show. Word up--we in the crib
watchin the freestyle bike show right now. What's going on out there?
MC: We just had some live freestylers, we're playing the instrumental to
your new single right now. To start this off, how about you describe
your new album?
HG: Aw man, for those out there how know UMC's, we dropped "One to Grow
On" two years ago, know what I'm sayin, two number one singles and the
flavor now is back with some old, easy, agreeable, smooth, nice
listening--phat, our own style of hip-hop type flow. This year, "Time
to Set it Straight" will set it off for the UMC's, the new album called
"Unleashed" which is going to be out, ummm, in January, the single is
out now, know what i'm sayin, so everybody can check it out, go to
stores, purchase it, whatever, check the video. The video's mad flavor,
and we're coming a tad bit more underground, trying to express to the
peeps what we've been through in the past year and a half or two years.
MC: I read your bio, and you're talking about this new attitude, your
real attitude, compared to your last album. Talk about that.
HG: The last album we were all real, know what I'm sayin, all I'm sayin
is there were no mistakes there. Only thing is, when we came into he
industry, we came into the industry on the strength of self, know what
I'm sayin, so we had a lot in store for us to learn and go through. As
a result of that first album, that's why we were missing in action for
a good period of time, we learned alot, so now we have much more
experiences, more raps, new things to talk about, that we can explain
to our fans.
MC: So, UMC's consist of Hass G and Kool Kim...
HG: Hass G and Kool Kim, and we're back by the Ill Demonic Clique.
MC: And you've improved lyrically and musically on this new album.
HG: That's what we ere trying to do, know what I'm sayin, we wanted to
get across to our fans--and I hope they agree with that--Yo! money just
did this something on this bike, it was ill, ha ha!
MC: People around the studio are asking "Who did the production on the
HG: UMC's, all UMC's, our flavor. We're going to keep it coming, and
you'll be seeing a lot more production from UMC's this year, as far as
other artists are concerned. We got Goldrush, a couple other artists
that are comin out under UMC's and representin the Ill Demonic Clique.
And UMC's is out there to rule this whole hip-hop nation, kid.
MC: What was the meaning of "Blue Cheese"?
HG: Blue Cheese, yo check it, I know all your guys out there in Chicago...
MC: Hold up, Chicago? Yo, this is Pittsburgh!
HG: I didn't say Chicago! What you talkin' about! I said--yo, you all
gotta chill with that. I didn't say Chicago. My man in the back, he's
watchin this money on the bike--he's from Chicago! Now, like I was
saying, all you out there in Pittsburgh, Blue Cheese only meant
anything that was wack. Anything that wasn't up to par, and that's all
it meant. UMC's was comin' in on their own flavor doin their own thing
which we always do cause we're the trend setters. We're gonna do it
like that this year.
MC: What's the flavor at Wild Pitch--a lot of kids are leavin, they got
Street Military, Super Lover Cee they didn't promote too well. What's
the deal with their marketing strategies?
HG: Yo, money, check this out. They're delete and void from my mind.
EMI is doing the job now. That's where we at.
MC: The new single, "Time to Set it Straight," what are you settin'
HG: What we settin straight is we bringing back the hip-hop feel, the
original chaotic, lyrically flowin, nice, dope beats, that was here in
the beginning, not just commercial feel that everybody kind of used to
or started trying to follow. Just to make that dough, it's all about
makin that dough. Still gotta have that style, and if you call
yourself a true hip-hopper, you know what's in your culture, and you
gotta be true to your culture.
MC: Are there any plans for touring in the future?
HG: Definitely, definitely. All those whoever got to see our show know
that the show is mad live with the first album "Fruits of Nature," and
this year with the beats, the songs complement the show even much much
more--it's gonna be even liver. ASAP as soon as we're able to we're
gonna be out your way.
MC: We're going to play your record--how you wanna go out like this?
HG: Yo, 1993, UMC's and It's Time To Set it Straight, the album's called
Unleashed. It'll be out in January, the single's out now. Yo,
everybody out there check it out, cause it is the flavor that's gonna
be setting the trends this year.
In article <1993Nov4.205531.1512@oswego.Oswego.EDU>
kccs1012@Oswego.EDU (Joel Murphy) writes:
>If possible, I would like to propose a topic to discuss on this newsgroup
>whether or not you as the rap music fan feel it it "permissable" for a
>white male or female to become part of rap music--be it fan or creator.
"Permissible" is an odd choice of words; ever since rap became popular
among white kids, starting I guess with tracks like Run-D.M.C. and
Aerosmith's "Walk This Way," Ice-T's "Colors" and L.L. Cool J's "Goin'
Back To Cali," at least 50% of rap has been bought by whites. In part,
that's a combination of simple arithmetic and music history; the fact is
blacks make up about 1/8 of the population and whites about 2/3 while at
the same time black influence on American music is at least 50%...well,
it adds up to the fact a large percentage of rap albums, once they come
to public attention, will be bought by whites simply because there are
far more white than black people in this country.
Besides the numbers game, there's the question of how much the white
purchaser of rap likes the music. I'd say that most are attracted to it
for the samereasons black fans are, i.e., dope beats, dope lines, dope
cuts. As for relating to the attitude or message conveyed by the music,
that's another story. For instance, ROLLING STONE interviewed violent
young white kids in some town in the Plains States and they said that
they related to the gangsta style of rap as relevant to their lives and
idea of "fun." Bohemian groups like De La Soul, Arrested Development, and
Digable Planets may appeal to neo-beat whites the same way that Satchmo
and blank verse did in the 50's. Politically radical whites in college
or elsewhere may relate to Public Enemy, KRS-One, or The Disposable Heroes
Some in the rap game have commented on the issue of white fans. KRS-One
maintained that only those from the ghetto would understand his music,
Treach warned that "If you ain't never been to the ghetto, then don't ever come
to the ghetto--just stay the fuck out." As 415 says, "Members only, that
means all homies." This attitude isn't surprising because the ghetto is an
enclave, and all types of musicians want to make music about the people and
places around them. The idea that a white kid from Council Bluffs would pay
money for and dance to an album about life in Roxbury or West Oakland
seems a little strange, and maybe an insult to the musician. But the truth
is that once you put something on wax, you lose some control over what might
happen to it. Cube said "So you think you're protected--well you are till you
put a funky beat on a record." Just like rap artists sample records ranging
from Lawrence Welk (De La Soul) to Slayer (Public Enemy) that don't seem to
have much bearing on black American life, white kids sample records ranging
from Arrested Development to N.W.A. that don't seem to have much bearing on
white American life. The sample becomes a small part of them, and sometimes
the sample becomes their personal rythym track, as with white rap artists
such as the Beastie Boys, 3rd Bass, the Young Black Teenagers, and Vanilla
Ice (whom Chuck D once considered signing--he admired his dancing. Truetell!).
Some middle-class blacks don't like rap because they feel it suggests that all
there is to the life of black people is violent, ignorant ghetto scrapping.
Middle-class Chuck D suggests a middle ground in the phrase "It's a black
thing, so you got to understand!" While saying that blacks face situations
and have history that are all their own, he invites the listener of anyrace
to try and understand it instead of just being hurt and angry. Chuck said that
in making "It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back," he wanted to make a
hip-hop version of Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On." Gaye said "Talk to me, so
you can see, what's goin' on." Chuck, of course, does all the talking, but his
purpose is similar: "What I got, better get some, get on up, hustler of
culture!" He ferries his take on black issues to the world in general through
Public Enemy's music.
You could say at the other end of the scale is acceptance, and even a
positive attitude towards, white fans. This is expressed by Ice-T, who
observed in 1990 that "Freedom Of Speech...Just Watch What You Say" had
been voted a favorite album at Harvard. Ice pointed out that among those kids
may very well be future Presidents or Supreme Court Justices. Who's to say
that their attitudes won't be affected by his music? Ice-T, who was "shot at,
shot back, hit, seen my buddies killed" unlike rappers who are gangstas only
in the studio, nevertheless has no love for the ghetto, only his brothers
and sisters there. "There'll never be any good schools in the 'hood/There'll
never be cops that are any good/The hospital's a great place to go to die/Real
estate is cheap, let me tell you why/The Man's got a surefire system/An
economic prison/You gotta get out, you gotta get out, why?.../'Cause the
fields are where you die," he puts it on the track "Escape From The Killing
Instead of saying his music is only for knuckleheads and thugs, Ice boasts
that "half my fans are in college" and goes as far to say on his new album
"Home Invasion" that the final stage of preparing for the revolution is the
injection of "black reality" into the minds of white kids through rap. (How
much of black reality is reflected in black music is another topic of debate
entirely.) White kids are never going to become black by listening to black
music, but they may come to understand more about black culture and reject
Back to tha Old School
by Laze (email@example.com)
If you're not from the area, Philly may seem like a pretty dead hip-hop
city. Fact is, Philly has produced a lot of flavor over the years, yet has
been consistantly slept on.
Gangster rap fans always manage to credit N.W.A.'s "Straight Outta'
Compton" as the original gangster rap album. Sorry, west coast, but Schoolly D
was smoking blunts, drinking 40's, and blasting niggaz on wax when Dre was
wearing lipstick and Eazy was 4-feet tall and wearing a dripping Jheri-Curl
(oh, shit, he still is, ain't he?). In the early to mid-80's Schoolly D was
selling 12"'s on small record labels on the streets of Philly. In 1986 he
dropped his self-titled debut album that made mad noise in the Philly
underground with cuts like "Gucci Time" ("Lookin' at my Gucci, it's about that
time") and "P.S.K. -- What Does it Mean" (Schoolly's dedication to the Park
Side Killers, a local gang). In 1987, Schoolly came out with "Saturday Night
-- The Album". Classic rhymes like "Parkside 5-2" and "Saturday Night" spit
out more of the roughness with the same raw, stripped down beats and hardcore
cuts as his previous effort.
That brings us to 1988, the year that heads across the nation have
often heralded as the last year of true down and dirty hip-hop. Philly was
certainly no exception to this belief. Schoolly D continued to represent with
"Smoke Some Kill" with more rude cuts like "No More Rock n' Roll" and "Mr. Big
Dick". Meanwhile, other crews brought the freestyle party flavor to their
music. Cash Money & Marvelous came out with their album "Where's the Party
At?" It featured crazy cuts like "Ugly People Be Quiet", "Time Is Up", and
"Find an Ugly Woman". This particular piece of vinyl is a classic Philly album
from beginning to end. Along similar lines were Superlover Cee & Casanova Rud
with one damn cool EP. Tracks like "Romeo" and "Girls I Got 'Em Locked" were
some of the dopest shit out there. Also in '88, the Tuff Crew made noise with
their rough single "My Part of Town" off of the "Danger Zone" album. Their
deep voices and booming beats got them crazy underground appeal.
1988 also brought the the Cool C-3xD wars. 3xD (Three Times Dope)
showed their skills with the phat single "Greatest Man Alive". Cool C jumped
all over EST on "Glamorous Life", which also made noise. Comparing the two,
Three Times Dope lived up to their name -- "Original Stylin'" was one kick-ass
In 1989 Robbie B. & D.J. Jazz claimed their territory with the single
"Heart of South Philly", representing with some of that rough 1988 freestyle
flavor. Schoolly D was back with his 4th major release, "Am I Black Enough For
You?" stressing afrocentricity moreso than before.
There's no question -- Philly rocked the spot throughout the 80's and
deserved a lot more props than it got.
So where are they now?
Schoolly D released "How a Blackman Feels" in 1991 -- it was not very
well-received. About a month ago he released "Welcome to America" taking his
rap to a new level -- he hooked up with a band and began to deal with the
social issues affecting him and his people.
Cash Money & Marvelous never really did much beyond 1988. In fact, I
never heard a peep. Same goes for Robbie B. & D.J. Jazz.
Three Times Dope put out a second album, "Live from Acknickulous Land"
in 1990. It didn't sell very well, but was a decent album overall.
Cool C also released a second album which was simply trash and not even
worth mentioning -- his first album showed some definate potential, but he
seemed to lose his Philly focus the second time around.
The Tuff Crew put out a second album in 1990 titled "Still Dangerous".
This album never even made a ripple. It seemed that the Tuff Crew would be no
more, but in 1993 Ice Dog released a very underground solo track on 4x4 Records
called "Shootin' Deuces" and it wasn't too bad. However, if I hadn't found it
in my local used record store, I would have never heard it -- Philly DJ's
(yeah, you, Colby Colb) seem to have forgotten the old schoolers.
Superlover Cee & Casanova Rud released the "Blow Up the Spot" EP in
1993. It was dope, but didn't seem to sell very well.
It's '94 and there's some live new flavor coming out of Philly -- The
Goats, The Roots, Born Supreme Brothers -- who knows, maybe a second coming of
the '88 Philly dynasty is not too far away.
A friend and I were discussing the situation regarding exploitation of
a race for the all-mighty dollar. It's ironic that rap has fallen into that
scenario as well as music in general. To simplify matters, lets look at the
overall scheme of things in the music business.
a. The fabulous years which brought us the Motown 60's-70's era has
come and gone. But before their era, blues, jazz, and gospel evolved from the
slaves that would singing spirituals which their parents before them would
sing. I've read where these three style of music gave birth to the various
music styles that the present population enjoys so much. To drop all of that
and say that Melvis the Cat (Elvis) was the king of Rock and Roll is a
false-hood. What he did, which a lot of people to this day will not admit to,
was have black song writers write his material. True the man had looks that
could kill, but he also used a gimmick, which all artists use to give their
careers a boost. "Gyrating hips", which women creamed between the legs about
while watching, and men caught the vapors. Shows like The Ed Sullivan Show
refused to focus the camera from the waist down of Melvis when performing.
b. Disco does not really count in my book because it played-out really
quick with the audience. It had wide acceptance in the white audience due to
the couple dancing, but it made it easy for fools to act silly while clubing.
We'll leave this here, cause you know and I know why "Disco is Dead." But as
it happened, the late 70's gave way to the funk which rolled for the most part
into the 80's. Rap for the most part had finally made its way in the industry
(as if is was never there, NOT!).
c. Now it's the 90's and rap has made it into the mainstream of
society. All types of rap have been accepted, but there tends to be a problem
with a certain style of rap that mainstream sociopaths will not have -- GANGSTA
RAP has got to go. If you remember, they said rap would be out like disco, but
what style of music now is bringing home the bacon in a big way??? Controversal
and radical rappers were never asked to be put in the limelight, they were
always underground. Rap got stale (danceable rap) and they needed a new angle. Welcome Gangsta rap! Forced to the surface, the issue became "Explicit
Lyrics", but still these artist could be exploited for the money to be had.
The industry executives knew this and pushed head fist for what everyone wanted
to hear, yet complained it was to destructive for the youth. It has come to
head now and there is nothing more left to be said for gangsta rap. Censorship
will control what can/cannot be released for public listening, but there will
evolve a new style of rap music. If I may, presenting the "G-Funk Style". Dr.
Dre can be happy for this and it will be pimped by the system, all the way to
the bank!!!! Whether its Sleazy E, or those in control, exploitation is and
has always been the name of the game.
Richard Thomas [offset by one > ]
David E. Rives [offset by two > ]
Article: Inside or Outside?
>In a previous article, der2@po.CWRU.Edu (David E. Rives) wrote:
>>The point with all of this is:
>>I didn't know exactly what ese was, but ANYONE who understands
>>the music we're talkin' about on this group and has a clue to
>>what they might be listening to should have been able to pick up
>>with CONTEXT ---
>>"Who you think you dealin' with ese?
>> Don't you know I'm loco(sp?)"
>Hmmm. I can instantly pick out two meanings for the first sentence line,
>based on what I know now (I emphasize "what I know now").
>1. Who do you think you're dealing with, a friend (homie)?
>2. Who do you think you're dealing with, friend (homie)?
>Notice a 1-letter word makes all the difference here. Both of these have a
>totally different meaning. So the context argument does not necessarily hold
>in this case.
>>This one little phrase should show quite a few people exactly where
>>they are. There are many people "On the outside looking in" when it
>One thing to remember is that most of the people who listen to
>rap are "on the outside looking in". How many rappers do you think would
>*really* survive on only people "on the inside" (according to your definition)
>buying their records.
>You're not really "on the inside" unless you're doing something to further
>the growth of rap, ie. producing, djing on the radio station, making rhymes,
>etc, and of course buying the records and supporting the artists (whenever
>you can afford to). If you're not doing any of these, you're "on the
>outside" so to speak. Most people who listen to rap on a constant basis
>are "on the inside". Being inside doesn't require us to know what *every*
>word means (Though we should know what most of them mean); it requires
>support of the music and the artists that make the music, no more, no less.
>>comes to hiphop, rap music and the entire culture that goes along with
>>it. This is what many Blacks are talking about when they say whites
>>can't understand what's going on. Cause as we can see, even if people
>This means many blacks can't understand what's going on either, true. Many
>blacks are in the "outsider" category, since they don't embrace the whole rap
>culture. So saying that whites can't understand isn't really true. It boils
>down to your support, your reasons for liking it, and not understanding
>*every* word of the language.
>>have a dictionary (Totally Unofficial Dictionary....) there is much
>>MUCH more to the culture than the words. A person can "know" all of the
>>words I speak in a day, but may still get a different feeling or
>>impression than what I am conveying.
>That's true for any language. The main problem is that cultures and
>language change and evolve very quickly. And it seems the smaller the
>culture, the faster the change; which is why the rap (or hip-hop) culture
>keeps changing so rapidly, compared to other cultures, at least in this
>>The rap dictionary is not enough. People need to listen (if they REALLY
>>want to know what's going on) to the music, to the lyrics, and to the >>meanin
>Most of us are listening to the lyrics. But even with that said, most people
>will understand most of them, but not all of them. Most of us just use the
>rap dictionary occasionally, I think. It's important not to make it a
>"reference" dictionary of the rap world, though. I agree with you there.
>>Basically, this was a case of many people OVERANALYZING a single
>>word. Folks was breakin' it down phonetically and comin' up with stuff.
>>The same happens with a lot of rap music ideas. People are missing the
>>point. You can't break rap music down into sentences, read the sentences
>>then claim to understand. One has to try to relate to the author.
>For the most part, rappers aren't really difficult to understand. That's
>what I like about it; it has some of the most straightforward lyrics around,
>but yet some of the most "eloquent" ones at the same time.
>>Everybody knows I have a beef with the Rap Dictionary. But, the
>>beef is not with people trying to learn, I just think people would learn
>>more if they tried to get into the music, instead of getting into people's
>You lost me here. You say "try to relate to the author", but don't get "into
>people's heads." You can do one without the other. Are you saying not to
>get into the authors' heads? Clarify this for me.
>>Its funny hearing to "twinge" of some posts from some of the
>>other Blacks of this group when people ask questions about seemingly
>>"obvious" things. I must admit, I have been a little disappointed
>Why is it "seemingly obvious"? Things that are obvious to some people are
>not obvious to others.
>>reading some of the questions, not because people asked the questions,
>>but because people were SO FAR off-base about some of the meaning
>Sometimes you have to go "FAR off-base" to get the CORRECT answer, meaning
>that sometimes you have to make a guess, even if it's a wrong one, until you
>are given the correct answer.
>>of some of the ideas in hip-hop and rap music today. I sometimes
>>wonder how much music people actually listen to around here.
>>For example, about half of my "hip-hop experience" comes from my
>>personal collection of about 120 or so odd CDs. The other half comes
>It's good to see that you're doing your share of support. (compliment
>intended - not a dis)
>>from going to parties and clubs every weekend. Here it sounds like
>>many (excluding the folks that only internet can reach) are "armchair
>>rap fans" and that's too bad, cause y'all are missing alot (kinda like
>Yeah, most people are probably "armchair rap fans", but that does not mean
>they are missing a lot. They are probably listening to it, even though they
>aren't completely immersed in the culture. And they're probably listening
>to it with a very *critical* ear.
>>using a Pentium machine for network stuff...)
>>David E. Rives
>Just my humble opinions. No disses intended, and I'm not out to start a war.
>And I don't claim to be the authority on rap, either. Nobody is; if you
>are, come forward.
Some Shots from the Industry
What's up all, for this February issue of HardC.O.R.E.? Mad changes
are taking place in the industry, so check the inside information presented to
you in this column. For all the latest news on upcoming releases, projects,
and general industry DL, here it is.
Yo-Yo has signed a TV deal with Warner Bros. for the production of a
sitcom called "Shifting Gears." She's in a family that owns a trucking
company, and plays the role of the dispatcher. The show premiers this fall on
Wild Pitch has dropped Main Source from its roster, but they've added
MC Serch as their new Marketing Deparment VP.
Leaders of the New School is working on a Coca-Cola commercial, in the
style of the Positive K "I Got a Man" ad. This time, however, LONS is
contributing "Classic Material" to promote Coke Classic.
MC Solaar is releasing his solo album on Columbia Records next month.
Rep. Cardiss Collins, D.-Ill, has announced a series of hearings on
Capitol Hill examining gangsta rap lyrics and their effect on American youth.
The purpose of these hearings, acording to Collins, is to investigate "the
production, sale, and distribution in interstate commerce of music that is
alleged to contain lyrics that are violent, mysogynistic, and homophobic."
Collins argues that she inteds to be fair and objective, but she has a
viewpoint as both a "black woman and as a grandmother who cares about what
happens to our children."
According to a staffer source, performers will be given the opportunity
to testify in the hearings. Unfortunately for the hip-hop nation, both Rev.
Calvin Butts and Don Cornelius will be representing at the hearings as well.
Hammer banks on his production crew for the success of his upcoming
album. Those involved include: Teddy Riley, G. Bomb (Grand Jury Records), Daz
and Kurupt (Doggpound), and the Whole 9 (Gangsta Lean). Boy, sounds like that
album will be really good!
Soul Train Awards Rap Album nominees: "Unplugged," Arrested
Development, "Reachin" Digable Planets, "19NaughtyIII" Naughty by Nature, and
"Bacdafucup" Onyx. What can you expect from Don Cornelius?
Keep an eye out for the very soon-to-be-released Beastie Boys 28-minute
EP "Some Old Bullshit" which features much of their pre-rap productions,
including Cookie Puss. And get set in May for their full-length album "Par for
Priority Records is releasing a "Knowledge Is Power Fund" charity
compilation entitled "Straight From Da Streets," featuring old and new sh*t.
The line-up is: "Jump Around," "Choice is Yours," "Ditty," "Dazzy Duks," "Baby
Got Back," "Whoomp (There It Is)," "It Was a Good Day," "I Get Around," "They
Want EFX," and "One Nation Under a Groove."
Nice N' Smooth's new album "Just When You Thought It Was Over" comes
out in April. Until then, check the first single "Return of the Hip-Hop
Check this out--Brand Nubian is getting back together for a September
full-length release. Meanwhile, Grand Puba is finishing up his sophomore
effort scheduled for may release.
Ice-T's sixth studio album "Return of the Real" drops later in Fall 94.
Organized Confusion Will come back to the scene with "Extinction
Agenda" on Hollywood-BASIC Records sometime this year.
And lastly, Tiger, the dancehall performer who's worked with Q-Tip
("Who Planned It") and the Brand New Heavies, as well as his own solo work, was
in a serious head-on motor bike accident in his homeland of Jamaica. He is in
critical condition, and his performance future is in doubt.
Check this column next month for more real industry views.
>>RUN was writing for Kurtis Blow...he's also Russell Simmons'
>>little brother. The first 12 inch which was 'Sucker MC' with
>>'It's Like That' was recorded in 1980 -early 1980
>>and became a hit. Next came the first album called
>>'RUN/DMC' and the rest you all seem to know. Most
>>of these records have been recorded in my studio
>>so I do know when exactly they happened. Greene Street
>>if anyone is curious.
> Run started out rapping w/ Kurtis Blow as "The Son of Kurtis Blow" then
> starting DJing for Kurtis too... while Russell was busy counting the
> money instead of DJing himself.
> Run's MC name is DJ Run Love, but when recording w/ D.M.C. and DJ Davy-D
> for the recording of "Sucker MCs" Davy-D told run to drop the Love for the
> next 12 inch record; so now, it's DJ Run.
> Check out "Sucker MCs", you'll hear DJ Run Love.
> I'm out
John C Avery II
DJ TRAX 12" UPDATE
This is a manually operated list in which subscribers receive a weekly listing
of new house, techno, and hip-hop 12" records that are currently generating
response in NYC record stores and clubs. Pertinent label information is also
included. (eg. contact names and numbers)
To subscribe, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject,
SUBSCRIBE DJ TRAX.
The Update is also available in the pub/music/dj or pub/music/misc directories
at the techno.stanford.edu ftp site.
UPDATE FROM DJ TRAX--WOOD-RIDGE, NJ, USA 2/21/94
A weekly listing of 12" records currently generating club and retail response
in the NYC area.
Help support the underground that supports you, contact the labels and tell
them where you saw the record info!!!
"ACETATE OF THE MONTH/WEEK": Keep your eyes open for a new Rare Arts/Two
Without Hats 12" in the Boriqua Posse/Try Yazz
vein. Glen Friscia of Hot 97 is playing this two
times a night, causing a major buzz.
Unfortunately, NO label has signed the song yet,
so we'll have to wait for the 12".
"The First Avenue Project EP" (IR 101)
Featuring 5 cuts from a variety of up-and-coming producers on the sample house
scene, this debut 12" from I! Records is already buzzing with DJs and stores
around the NYC area. I found "Get It Together" by Rich Criso to be the
most outstanding track on the record and after further investigation, I was
surprised to hear this was Rich's debut. The track relies on minimal samples
and soft organ keyboards. Jazz-N-Groove, from Miami's E-SA Records, work a
deeeeeeeep bassline into "To Be With You", definitely a workout for the subs.
NEW MEAL POWER RECORDS (ITALY):
"My House"--Double Impact (MP 70)
Wow!!! Yet another Italian import with a definite representation of the
"Brooklyn House Sound." If anyone remembers the Frankie Bones/Break Boys
track "My House is Your House...." from 1990 then this will seem like a remix.
Using the same male vocal sample and intense organ and techno styled keyboards,
this track can work well in both a house set and early in a
(Note: 011-44 is for US callers only)
STRICTLY HYPE RECORDS:
"You Used To Hold Me '94"--Ralphi Rosario feat. Xaviera Gold (SH-112)
Well, here we are, yet another remix of "You Used To Hold Me," but wait,
this is a double 12" with 12 mixes by all the hot remixers: MAW, DJ EFX,
My pick, however, is DJ Hyperactive's "Chicago 303 Mix" which gets Ms. Gold
involved in the retro-acid "thang." Amazing how great this song can sound
to even the hardest of dancefloors. SLAM IT!!!! For lovers of the original,
go with Ralphi's "Riviera" mix which works that original keyboard line to the
TRI STAR RECORDS:
"Medicine Mix"--Haruomi Hosono (WAS-5576)
The "Quiet Lodge Version" ventures into deep trance territory. The haunting
keyboard work by this Japanese artist fits well into any trance set.
Contact: Todd Glassman
HOUSE JAM RECORDS:
"Got The Cure"--Thrillseekers (HJA-9428)
The "Blueprint Disko Dub" uses that ever so popular groove from "Let No Man
Put Asunder" that you thought was buried years ago. Well here it is and
ready to be worked on all the house dancefloors. Start digging out the
Salsoul originals, or for late-comers, Acapella Anonymous Volume 1.
Contact: Rick or Gary
ORE RECORDS (UK):
The "Hand and Spear" club mix starts off with the female chant of "Nothing
Better" and slowly layers groove upon groove until a unified tribal track is
built. Then BOOM!, the keyboards kick in full force combining with a fierce
bassline to keep it up for 5:38.
SNEAK TIP RECORDS:
"The Circus House"--Network 109 (STR-022)
Produced by Peter "At Work" Presta, "The Circus House" borrows bits and
pieces from the sample house archives and relives just a little of that
Todd Terry feeling from 1988. Check out the "Presta Mix" and let me know
what samples YOU find.
"Burning Like The Sun"--Red Red Groovy (13303-0)
Mixed by the X-Mix clan (Armand Van Helden--"Circle Children"), this record
works the current tren of tribal revelry and does it well. Pieces of the
alternative-like male vocals slither in and out of the mix.
Contact: Chris B
"The Todd Terry Unreleased Project Part 5" (TNT-09)
Mr. Todd Terry delivers with another sample track EP. Todd goes back into
the vaults to nail some old school house jams. Anybody remember "Don't Stop
It" by DMS on Cutting Records a few years back? Well, Todd put the great
organ filled "Keep on Pressing On" dub on this record and added bits and pieces
of Two Without Hat's "The Breeze," calling it "Nitty Gritty." A must
have for all DJs.
Contact: Richie Rich
"Tales From the RZ"--Beltram Presents (SO-20082)
Joey Beltram serves up a tasty house styled record with a remix
of Xavier Gold's "You Used To Hold Me" flying around an 130 BPM
"Warriors Dance"--Deep Creed
Mega-Tribal with a techno flavored keyboard hook. This one is produced by the
Tribal man of the hour, Armand Van Helden which should be enough reason to buy
the record. What are you waiting for?
STRICTLY RHYTHM RECORDS:
Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez gives us a tribal track that delivers with
a sample of "Jingo" (Where did he get the sample???? Could it be
"Drums of Passion"-1960???)
"Indonesia"--Circle Children (SR-12203)
Tribal with an Indonesian(???) vocal sample. Working a 126 BPM chant-laden
percussion track, this record is causing a major buzz among all DJs and DJ
"More"--The Erick Morillo EP (SR EP-3)
This man has been responsible for Strictly Rhythm's resurgence in the 12"
market. His list of hits goes on and on: The New Anthem, Go On Move,
I Like To Move It, UNBE, House of Love........
5 cuts are featured, one hip-hop, the rest, strong house tracks. My picks have
to be "Toety" which HOT 97 (NYC) DJ Glen Friscia has been pumping since
November!!!!???? This one sounds like a remake of the "Anasthasia-"ized"
Muevelo Remix but with a much harder hip-hop beat. "Back In My House" yet
again works Althea McQueen's "fierce" vocals with a new organ track.
Once again, Erick Morillo offers up a house track perfect for any DJ. "Asuca"
uses a sinewy bassline and samples from "Muevelo" to make it familiar.
"(Shake Watcha) Mama Gave Y'All"--Stik-E and The Hoods (PW-104)
Produced by the ever popular hip-hop sample guru, Frankie Cutlass, this
one works the chant style like Funkmaster Flex's "C'mon Baby" but uses
the "Shake......" chant from Miami's "Poison Clan". The sampled beat from
Slick Rick's "Mona Lisa" and horns from K7's "Come Baby Come" help to make
this a timeless classic.
Please send any questions, comments, advice, etc. to:
DJ EMAIL ADDRESSES:
Streetsound Magazine: email@example.com
Astralwerks Records: Astralwerks@cyberden.com
Zoe Magik Records: firstname.lastname@example.org
Instinct Records: email@example.com
Twitch Remix Service: firstname.lastname@example.org
Urb Magazine: email@example.com
FFRR Records: FFRR1@aol.com
Section 4 -- Four
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!
QUEEN LATIFAH, "BLACK REIGN"
Before I begin this review, I have to ask Tommy Boy Records this
Why the hell did you dump Queen Latifah after listening to this
album? Couldn't you tell it was dope? What was wrong with what she was
saying? Was it too much for your fashion-plate image for a woman to
step out and say, "Who you callin' a bitch?" I cram to understand how
you thought that the Queen wasn't all that, and as far as I'm concerned,
you deserve to get the "Bonehead of the Year" award for 1993, 'cause
y'all just lost. (Put THAT in the New Jack Awards, Charles.)
Now then, on to the album...
Fresh from making some more loot by acting the fool on the Fox
network, the Queen of Royal Badness brings the flavor once again on her
new album, "Black Reign," now on Motown. (Interesting that a woman who
formed her own record label to develop rap acts is down with Berry
Gordy's classic label.) You know it's on from the moment you hear the
first track, "Black Hand Side," one of the phattest on the album. The
styles have changed a little (she carries a somewhat rougher edge in a
lot of her rhymes these days), but the science is still there.
Where her last album leaned more toward the R&B side of things,
this one comes harder than any Latifah album in the past. Peep out the
posse cut "Rough," in which Treach, Heavy D., and KRS-ONE join the Queen
in putting down the "huff puff, blow-your-house-down bullshit I heard
last week / you'll get your ass beat." (I gotta admit, though, that
Mister Parker makes the cut. "I come to the party prepared to get ass. /
You come to the party well-prepared to get scared.... I really believe
you're a wee bit overconfident.")
Latifah also shows off her ability to send out a message without
being too soppy about it, as she does in "Coochie Bang," which makes up
for the sometimes annoying chorus ("Brothers, better strap your thing
thing, Ladies, dont let a man if he don't have a connndommmmm.") with
some excellent rap ("Then I'm gone, so long. / The only thing that's on
is your clothes, so go home...") Other parts of this album still linger
on Latifah's decent singing vocals (probably a carry-over from the deal
with Uncle Tommy Boy), such as "Weekend Love," which features the
dancehall stylee of Tony Rebel, "Mood Is Right," "Just Another Day,"
which features some excellent rhymes about living in Halsted, and
"Superstar." She also includes a live jazz dedication to her late
brother Lancelot "Winki" Owens that shows off some gospel flavors,
though it doesn't always have the power it seems it should have.
But we can forgive Latifah for these minor transgressions,
because when all is said and done, this LP is just dope. The queen has
developed a little since "All Hail The Queen," and though she hasn't
topped that debut effort, her first effort for Motown will do just fine.
Put it in your tape deck and enjoy.
pH rating- 5 / pHunky
There's nothing to fear but fear itself...
Casual: Fear Itself
pH rating: 6 / pHat
-Casual is one of the best lyricists out there...period. He'll
hold his own against anyone from East or West and all parts in between.
-Production is 100% Hiero and most of it is well worth it,
especially since the album was recorded a year ago.
-Guest rhymers give the LP some variety
-Production, fat as it is, isn't the kind that sticks over time.
-Some of the best cuts were only a minute
One of the most eagerly awaited albums since "That's How It Is"
dropped waaay back in August, "Fear Itself" won't disappoint. Casual
makes the third Hiero to be dropped in about six months, following up
strong albums by the Souls of Mischief and Del tha Funkee Homosapien.
According to a friend, Casual and Del are the two lyricists that
the other Hiero rhymers copy...no one can deny that the Hiero rappers do
sound similiar, at least marginally, but it's not hard to believe that
Casual sets the standard. He's brutal, even worse than Del, on wack
MCs...most of his cuts are aimed at waxing and taxing his competition and
he does so with brilliance.
Production wise, this is 100% Hieroglyphics with dope ass cuts by
Domino (no, not the Ghetto Jammer...puh-leaze!), Del, Jay Biz and Casual
himself which may surprise those who thought Casual was only a rhymer (he
hooked up Del's "Catch a Bad One" cello-sampling-track.
Like both Del's and SOM's LPs, I found myself, surprisingly, not
liking every track on the LP. Still, on the more mediocore tracks, Casual
turns what would be a boring track into something that will keep people's
attention anyway. The beauty and potential curse in Hiero production is
the reliance on strong Oaktown bass with East Coast-style flavor which
tends to make for spraser tracks. When the formula works, it hits...peep
the new 12" out by the SOM to see what I mean. But sometimes, it's too
sprase and I found myself hoping for some horns or piano loops to spice
it up a bit.
The other minor complaint (or maybe not so minor) is that some of
the best tracks: the Intro, "A Little Something" and "That Bullsh*t" are
only like a minute and a half and they would have made better cuts then
some of the stuff that was on there.
Track by Track:
1) Intro: (Domino) Here's a great example...Dominio hooks up a fat bass
line and spices it with a two note xylophone loop and chunky drum track.
Casual comes in with A+ from SOM on the backup...and he proceeds with a
freestyle that made me go, "Goddamn!!!" But the sh*t was 1:42!!! Bring it
2) You Flunked: (Casual) The track's ok...nothing stand out though.
Mainly a bass line and horns. The chorus track is dope with just horns
and drums. What I noticed was that the horn trill was distracting me from
Casual's lyrics. He changes it up midway with a different bassline and a
short horn section hit which sets a more hurried pace, nice touch. Casual
kicks a faster flow and I found myself wanting a slower flow...not that he
can't kick a good rhyme fast, but he sounds more of a lyrical master on
the slower sh*t, IMO. Plus, the chorus was kinda booty.
3) Me-O-Mi-O: (Domino) This would be a dope ass track if not for one
thing: Del's SD50s produced track "Boo Boo Heads" sounds too
familiar...and the f-ed up thing is that I suspect this was recorded
before Del's track. Basically, it's a very similar loopy bass and
cracking drums like Del. Casual rhymes about himself mainly, what makes
him tick and all that. This is a fat track regardless and it mixes in
well with "Boo Boo Heads" so there is some redeeming factor to the
4) Get Off It: (Casual) This track suffers from the same problem as did
#2...rather noisy that 1) distracts Casual but 2) isn't dope enough to
stand on it's own (in other words, I wouldn't want this track as an
instrumental.) Plus 3) the chorus was kinda lame. And...4) Casual rhymes
too quickly to keep pace and savor his lyrics. Still, it has its high
points...the opening horn loop is fat and Casual switches up the track at
some points for some variety.
5) That's How It Is: (Del) A classic. Up there with "Come Clean",
"That's When Ya Lost" and "Eye Examination." If you haven't heard it
yet, then you probably shouldn't be reading this review.
6) That Bullsh*t: (Casual) The track itself is hella sparse, mainly just
drums but the best part is Saafir the Saucee Nomad from the Hobo Junction.
Oh man, why couldn't this be a full length track? I can't get enough of
this Bay Area bomb...I play "Battle Drill" at least once a day. Not to
take anything away from Casual, Del or any other rhymer out there, but
Saafir is one of THE best, if not THE best lyricists I've ever heard. He
freestyles briefly but spends most of the time, in his words, saying "F-
you." Hella, youknowhatI'msaying? hella fat track. That's some Bay Area
lingo for ya'll that don't know. By the way, the liner notes are wrong,
Pep Love is NOT on here...not that it matters...
7) Follow the Funk: (Domino) The best A-side track production one...the
only blip is that it uses Issac Hayes "Good Times" that PRT used for
"Rich Mon Time" off of "Black Business". Still, the bass line is what
makes this track work, not the Hayes sample. Deep and rolling this is
the pimped out funk bass sh*t right here. Definitely made for indo
smoking, head bobbing, car cruising. I can just see the smoky haze in
the room listening to this cut. Lyrical content: skins, wack MCs and how
hype Casual is. It ain't about worldwide revolution but who gives a f-?
Casual comes off on this track like burgers off the grill...greasy and tasty.
8) Who's It On: (Domino) The track is one of the "lighter" sounding
tracks, relying more on a piano loop to catch the ear instead of the deep,
background bass. Still, the track was kinda boring...festive but sounding
too much like a bunch of other tracks I could name.. Pep Love guest
rhymes, as does Del but I wasn't too impressed by Pep. Del's cool
though... Chorus is weak...kind of a pervasive problem on this LP.
Side B: (Wins again...)
1) I Didn't Mean To: (Casual) Fat, fat, fat track. I won't bother
reviewing this again, check my Notes from a week ago, but this track will
always get rotation on my tapes.
2) We Got It Like That: (Domino) This short cut mixes in nicely from "I
Didn't Mean To" and has Casual on a quick flow that actually works.. The
track is funky and this one of the faster paced tracks that zings and
sings. A frantic guitar and changing horns give this track much flavor
and Domino layers sounds on sounds that sometimes drown out Casual, but
for the part, compliments his lyrics instead of distracting from them. Fly.
3) A Little Something: (Casual) Another snippet track, this time with
Del. Another funky track that reminded me of something the Coup would
drop. Nice track though, synthesizers, a upscaling guitar and a
constantly beatshifting drum track make this track one of the most
flavorful on the LP. Over too quickly though...1:21 and it mixes right
4) This Is How We Rip Sh*t: (Jay Biz) The first thing wrong with this
track is the name...I automatically thought of SOM's "Diseshowedo"...in
fact, SOM do the chorus and the similarities are too great. The track is
ok, bouncy bass, darting horns, energetic, but lacks the necessary flavor
to put this on my "O-D.U.B.'s Dope Beats" list.
5) Lose In The End: (Casual) The downscaling guitar switches into a
similarly downscaling bass...very, very nice. Probably one of the best
produced tracks on an album with top notch production. Fast paced but
with a solid beat behind it. Killin' MCs is the subject matter again,
(big surprise right), and Casual flips on a quick pace but sounds better
than he did on the A-side.
6) Thoughts of the Thoughtful: (Domino) I heard this track was Casual's
first recorded and you can tell the evolution of his rhyme style from
then until the more recent cuts off his LP. Nice cut if not a little
different from the other cuts on the LP.
7) Chained Minds: (Casual) The track's sure to get your attention thanks
to the incredibly fast guitar loop and ominous piano. The stomping drums
are a nice feel as Casual stomps lyrical in unison. The only complaint is
that the chorus (again.) No offense to Phesto, but it just doesn't seem to
fit with the feel of the track. Other than that, a fine cut...somehow I
can imagine hear this during an Old West high noon showdown.
8) Be Thousand: (Domino) One of the darker tracks...the main flavor comes
from an unlikely source, a triangle. Tajai and Extra Prolific add
flavor, but Tajai's voice with Casual's just doesn't work for some
reason. I found the track boring and Casual uses a story format to rhyme
which he does infrequently...ala "Anything Can Happen" (SOM)...in fact,
it sounds too much like it. I dunno.
End Notes: Casual's the number one reason to get the album and dope beats
come in a distant second... Vlad said that the LP was spraser than the
other Hiero albums and I agree to an extent. I found the quality of
production to actually be the best of the three, but the quality of the
tracks themselves wasn't as good. To put it another way, I hear Dre is
an increadible producer which is probably true. Only problem, I don't
like his sound. I can give Picasso props for being a genius painter but
that don't mean I have to like his art, know what I mean? Well, that's
how the beats on this LP were. They were a'right, but with the exception
of "We Got It Like That" and maybe, "Follow the Funk" no track slaps me
across the face screaming, "I'm hella dope!!!" On Del's LP, "Boo Boo
Heads", "Wrongplace", "Wack MCs" and "Check It Ooout" did that and a
similar number of cuts on "93 Til..." were there too. Not so here.
Part of the problem is that the production isn't as sparse as
Wu-Tang Clans, which is so barebones that you can't help but remember
it...there's so little there to have to keep track of. On the opposite
range, ATCQ doesn't simply make beats, they make musical scores and
that's why, IMO, their music sounds as good a year after the LP as it did
the first time you heard it. Here? I'll listen to Casual rip rhymes
forever, but if they released the LP purely instrumentally...I'd skip it,
whereas I'd jump at a similar opportunity with "36 Chambers" and
On the flip side, despite three albums, I can't imagine the
Hieros going out like Soul Assasins...there beats might not always hit,
but they don't sound like like every other cut someone else in their
group made (except for a few choice situations.)
This might be just me, but I thought the engineering could've
been a tad better...Casual has a voice that isn't sharp enough to
overcome the music sometimes..."Bob Powers you there? (yeah) Adjust the
bass and treble, make my sh*t sound clear."
Like I said, Casual is the number one attraction here and there's
no taking anything away from him.
But ya know...the biggest thing I had on my mind after peeping this
LP was: "When is Saafir going to drop his sh*t?" Bay Area and West Coast are
going to rule '94....
Artist: Del The Funkyhomosapien
Album: No Need For Alarm
pH rating: 6 (pHat)
Before I begin, understand that I wasn't a big Del fan. His first
album was alright, but the entire concept seemed too "hippy" for my personal
tastes. But on this one, Del has redefined the words "flip the script" because
he goes all out, ripping the mic with one of the most complex styles that I've
heard in a long time.
The whole joint grabs you by the throat, opening up with "You're In
Shambles" (Produced by Snupe), and it doesn't let up. Each and every track is
packed with ill, underground/jazzy beats and rhymes that grab your ear like a
rabid pit bull. There are no wack tracks, so you can give that fast-forward
button a well-earned vacation.
The phattest joints from the A-side are the incredible "Catch A Bad
One" (I STILL can't get over that cello sample), which was produced by Casual,
the title track (produced by Domino) and Worldwide (also produced by Casual).
The B-Side opens up with the mad lyrics of the Heiroglyphics on the stunning
"No More Worries."
On "WrongPlace", Del lets the wack MC's off the hook for a minute to
wax poetic about his adventures in Amsterdam. Domino drops another bomb in the
form of "Don't Forget" (track-wise, one of the roughest cuts on the album), and
Jay-Biz and A-Plus represent well with "Miles To Go" and "Thank Youse"
Lyrically, this has got to be one of the most impressive products I've
heard in a while. If deep, complex rhymes and music that doesn't hop on any
trendy bandwagons excite you, then there's "No Need For Alarm" because Del the
Funkyhomosapien has arrived. Get the tape, slip on those headphones, and like
I said, leave the fast-forward button alone. It'll probably thank you for the
"Ok, you got me but what about the MSU
posse? The MSU stands for a Muslim
Steppin' Up. We're not the brothers
out there that you see trying to
So what is the MSU posse all about? Well the hip-hop group MSU,
features two Muslims, one of who goes by the name of Jahi. I don't know the
name of the other 'teacher' but none the less, they are as smooth as butter!
I first heard these guys on a compilation called M.Y.N.A. Raps (Muslim
Youth of North America) and was impressed not only by the music, but also by
their smooth, yet sensible lyrics.
This tape features three songs by them, along with about 6 or 7 tracks
by some other Muslims (which are some pretty phat tracks) and I have heard they
just finished recording a 'professional' tape - so be on the lookout!
The first song, _MUSLIM INTELLIGENCIA_, is basically a 'welcome' track
that sends a shout out to everyone. As they put it:
"Because the knowledge that were giving is not
only for the blacks. But for the people, you
and me we're both equal - of course you're
the students, we're the ones thats gonna
As the beat moves on, so do the lyrics...
"Peace to the Muslims who are practicing Islam-
Waking up for Fajr in the early break of dawn.
Prophet Muhammad, Peace be Upon Him, was sent
down as an example - was he ample? Answer's
yes, he was no sample. I am following his
footsteps, the way that he would step..."
That's enough of track one, lets go onto track number two, called
_SIDETRACKED_ where they "attack" the 'Nation of Islam', Louis Farrakhan, and
their Anti-Orthodox Islamic teachings.
"For I am one to differ, disagree I raise my
hand, Farrakhan please call on me I'm begging
to understand how you lie, deceive and lead
your own people astray. If you say you're
Muslim its Allah you must obey. Associating
Fard Muhammed with God I will not listen -
saying that God is man and man is God now
you're a Christian."
They also 'attack' the racist teachings of the Nation of Islam...
"Believeing whites are the devils, created by
scientists that were black. I've been a
Muslim all my life and never heard of that."
They end off the track by dropping knowledge on how necessary it is for
Muslims to unite against the Kafirs (unbelievers).
"There's a war going on against the Muslims
but the Muslims are not catching on, were
not as strong as the days when the Prophet
roamed, I wish we were but we're not, so
we need to stop, and take a look at what
we've got. No peace in the (Middle) East,
and some of the people won't release, the
land of the brotha man, the Muslims should
take a stand and fight against the Kafirs
who are planning a disaster..."
Their last track on this tape is called _LISTEN UP CLOSE_ and once
again they come correct on the lyrical tip. The beat is also hype, and better
than some CDs I have bought from some so-called Hip-Hop pioneers...
Once again, just a simple track saying 'peace' to Muslims and droppin'
knowledge on Islam. I am sure their newer work will be deeper, more political,
"Please listen, not to my demo, listen to
me, yes me, the underdog of the rap
industry. I am a brother, and yet another
brother tried to punk me, couldn't he see
that I too was from the mother country?"
"So let me break it down so that you understand
that Allah has a plan that involves every woman
and every man who is practicing the deen of
Islam. Allah told us to fight every scheme that
the Kafirs ignite, so wage Jihad and erase the
facade. Yes I'm a Muslim and I worship one
God. Submission to Allah, that's the meaning
of a Muslim and when a Muslim strays I hope and
pray that Allah will push him, back to the
straight way, the heavenly gateway..."
Well that's it for this short review on MSU. Once I get more knowledge
on their new work, I will drop the 411 on alt.rap and of course in HardC.O.R.E.
If you are interested in picking up a copy of this tape (be warned the
sound quality is not 100% and is NOT always on both left and right channels of
your stereo, so there!) you can write to:
Muslim Youth of North America
P.O. Box 38
Sam Bhimji - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mentally Gifted Asiatics (MGA) -- Demo Tape
1) Ricochet Rabbit Style
written by (in order of appearance)
T-Bone the Great (aka the Minista of Rage)
Jei Swift (aka the Lyrical Marksman)
Prince Thor (aka the Microphone Michael Myers)
2) Warm Up the Mic
written by Jei Swift, T-Bone, and Prince Thor
3) Three-Man Threat
written by Prince Thor, Jei-Swift, T-Bone the Great
All songs produced by Ernest (E-Magine) Coleman for E-Magine Production
Co. Producer by Prince Thor, Engineered by Deon Wolford and E. Coleman in the
Channel Black Studios.
OK, factual information aside, what did I think of their demo? I had a
problem of bias, considering the Minista is not only my homey but also a writer
for HardC.O.R.E. But I can't help thinking this is the best demo I've heard
yet... comes in just ahead of Koich, which came in just ahead of Flowz. It's
well produced, the beats slam, and the ryhmes are good too.
The Minista said track one might seem wack, because it would sound
Diggedy-Das EFX like. My opinion though is that it's aight. It's got a nice
beat, and I like the way they build it in layers and then let it hit ya. Good
samples too on this one ("So what ya hit em with"). The Minista seems to have
the most trouble with the Ricochet style... his words blur and his diction
isn't always clear but it's a solid flow, and on the other tracks he really
rips. Jei Swift seems to have it in control, and flows the best of the three
on this joint, and Prince Thor flexes admirably too. I give this song a 4.
Warm up the Mic... good title, good song. In fact this is my favorite
of all three joints... once again I like the layered build in, and I LOVE that
piano loop... even Eric B and Rakim couldn't play it better than they do on
this track. Jei Swift does warm it up well but it's the Minista himself who
rips the shit on this joint, then passes the hot potato to Prince Thor. If
I had to cut a single to promote this group, it would be this song. Definetly
3-Man Threat... it features a sample of Vinnie from the Naughty by
Nature song "Uptown Anthem". On this song all three MCs flex credibly and the
track and flava is in there, although I thought it ran a bit long... for me
it's a 5.
Overall this demo rates a 5... and considering that The Minista told me
this is not their newest shit, I'd say this crew will be making MAD NOIZE in
the future. I hope I get hooked up with another demo when they are ready to
drop the new shit. \/
JAMALSKI, "ROUGHNECK REALITY"
Vinyl collectors beware.
Columbia got Jamalski and the Roughneck Reality Massive set up
to make a few extra bucks off their product by leaving a bunch of tracks
off the vinyl version that appeared on the CD. How much could be
missing, you ask? For starters, "A Piece of Reality" and "African
Border," the dancehall reggae artist's first two singles on the Columbia
label. Then there's the phat DJ Smash Jazz Mix of "Ragga Youth," a duet
with Michael Rose, and "Akbar's Groove" a phat guest appearance cut by
one of the members of the massive. If you want these cuts, you gotta
get the 12" singles. (As of press time, a 12" for "Ragga Youth" has yet
to be released.)
This is too bad for people interested in the vinyl copy of
"Roughneck Reality," because it takes away a pretty decent chunk of
quality material. Without it, though, it still makes for a good album.
Jamalski got his start with Boogie Down Productions, where he
first appeared on wax on the classic posse cut "7 Deejays" from the
Edutainment LP. He left the crew (as did half of its members) about a
year later with the hope of better promotions at another record company.
He then signed with Def Jam/Columbia and proceeded to disappear for a
A lot of people thought he was getting the shaft with Columbia,
but he's finally managed to get this album together and provide
listeners with a solid merger of dancehall riddims and lyrics and hip
hop beats. Jamalski covers a wide range of topics on this album, from
putting down the wack MC's ("Put It On," one of the phattest posse cuts
of '93 with Rocker T and Mr. Live), properly using marijuana ("Holy
Sacrament") and giving the children of the world a proper education
instead of letting their minds wander into gangs and drugs ("Ragga
Youth"). The Night Rider also taps into the "Poom Poom" (though he
makes sure to avoid the blue movies) and causes a "Texas Rumpus" along
What results is a nice mix of hip hop and reggae that makes for
an entertaining album for any rap fan who has yet to be introduced to
dancehall. While Jamalski's lyrics tend to run together at times, a
tight production makes up for most of the deficiencies. It would be
worth a pHunky if Columbia bothered to support the vinyl a little
better, but with so many tracks missing from the record, it makes it a
little tougher for the DJs to get all the good stuff without having to
buy more than most can afford. That's a shame, but don't let it drive
you away from the album. It's still worth a listen.
pH rating - 4 / pHine
ALBUM : Planet Rap: An International Rap Compilation
LABEL : Tommy Boy Records
RATING: 5 (pHunky)
J-CARD: The liner notes for this album are quite nice. There's an extensive
write-up about rap around the world, including a paragraph for
each of the crews representing on this album. Very well done --
in fact, probably one of the better
PLANET RAP is a compilation of rap artists from around the world -- and
though I thought it would be some corny old stuff, this shit is right on. I'mma
start with a playlist:
"Qui Seme le Vent Recolte le Tempo" ("Who Sows the Wind Receives
the Tempo) -- MC Solaar [France]
"Huffin' & Puffin'" -- Bootfunk [Denmark]
"Salvador Astral" -- MD MC's [Brazil]
"Lost for Words" -- Scary Eire [Ireland]
"Fresh Has Jus' B-Gun" -- MVP [Canada]
"Die Da!?!" ("Is It Over There!?!") -- Die Fantastischen Vier
"Daddy" -- ADL [Sweeden]
"Kaisei Kaishi" ("Begin the Revolution") (Phillies Mix) -- Microphone
"How's Life in London" -- London Posse [United Kingdom]
"Legge Del Taglione" ("An Eye for an Eye") -- Articolo 31 [Italy]
"Mama's Funkstikools" -- Funkstikool's Theory [Australia]
"Understand Where I'm Coming From" -- Prophets of the City [South
MC Solaar has appeared on Guru's "Jazzmatazz Vol. 1" and is hitting
hard in France selling massive records. This kid has the type of flow you can
listen to even if you don't know what he's saying. French is a language that
has built-in continuity -- everything they say seems to sound smooth. And
Solaar makes very good use of his language to flow over a laid-back jazz track
with a phat saxaphone closing it out.
Denmark's Bootfunk has one of the most head bobbable tracks on this
album. It drives hard and has screeching horns a la Soul Assassins laced over
top. Good vocal samples and nice skills make this a track that could easily
hit it big on the States' airwaves.
The MD MC's outta' Brazil have a tribal flavor and what sounds to be
more of an old-school flow, but it works perfectly. This is a very well-woven
song with a very Brazillian jungle feel to it, and the sung chorus shows that
these kids are truly representing.
Ah-ite... "Lost for Words" is, without question, my favorite track on
this compilation. Scary Eire is a crew outta' Ireland (with crazy thick
accents) and their amazingly smooth, laid back beats combined with intelligent,
headstrong lyrics make them a force to be reckoned with -- they come off as
sort of an Irish Tribe Called Quest. My crew may have the opportunity to
record with them and another Irish crew, na Fianna (truly a dream come true,
for real... back to my roots y'all). Anyway, "Lost for Words" has Ri-Ra
flowing gracefully over DJ MEK's somber, mellowed-out Irish Pipe melody. He
discusses homelessness and lets the world know that every single one of us need
to help solve this problem: we never know when we may be one of "them". For
"What's wrong with that, I can't understand it,
Some people have it all and then take it for granted.
They call themselves rock stars, reggae stars, superstars,
What's super 'bout you, jack, I see no cape on your back."
Fuck House of Pain -- these guys are the real deal.
Canada MC's have always managed to impress me, from Large Professor to
Maestro Fresh Wes. "Fresh Has Jus' B-Gun" is not quite as funky as, say, the
video version of "Let Your Backbone Slide", but it's quite nice. A nice
driving beat with well-orchestrated horn shots compliment MVP's flow well.
This German crew, whose name is too damn long for me to type again, has
more of a pop-feel to their track. It's dope, though -- that whistling at the
beginning works well. An observation I made (not to make fun of the German
language or anything, peace y'all): their lyrics sound like when I play one of
my group's songs backwards.
ADL's "Daddy" has a very American feel to it... in fact it comes off
like a very typical '93 American hip-hop track, plain and simple. Perhaps
that's the problem. It's a decent track with a lot of kick to the drums, and
the flow is tight, but if I heard it on the radio, there's no way in hell I'd
say, "Check out this Swedish brother" -- I'd be more like, "Change the channel,
Microphone Pager's got a phat flow (Japanese is a cool language to rap
in, no question), but they're not quite as impressive as the two brothers that
were on the latest De La album. Nonetheless it's a nice beat with some cool
horns. And it's funny to hear them say "motherfucking" right in the middle of
their otherwise-Japanese rap. Not to mention them doing the good old
I haven't really had much of a taste for English rap. Derek B's "Bad
Young Brother" and Dana Dane's "This Be the Def Beat" were good stuff, but the
accents have always bugged me -- perhaps it just seems to "proper" for hip-hop.
That's ignorant, though, as I found out. The London Posse has nice flow ("they
say I sound sort of Australian...") with occasional flips into the dancehall
flavor lyrics. I like this track. Really. I do.
I love the bass and piano at the throughout the Articolo 31 track,
they're just plain sweet. There's a very faint screeching in the background,
though, which I think should have been stripped. In any event, the MC has got
skills. And so does the DJ -- I really dig the scratching of Italian words
during the breaks. It's songs like this that make me wish I had paid attention
in my foreign language classes.
The Mama's Funkstikools track is smooth, but very plain: productionwise
and vocally. It's just nothing special, a little too bland for my tastes. But
I seem to think that this was just a "down track" for these kids -- they seem
like they could have done better than this.
The album closes with the most recently released single, "Understand
Where I'm Coming From" by South Africa's Prophets of the City. It's a very
political track (they've had a lot of trouble getting their material published
in their country). The production is straight up smooth. And the flow? I
thought I caught a little Heiro-style flow in there! Considering South Africa
is probably just getting "Death Certificate" on their shelves (um... well, you
get the time analogy -- the chances of Ice Cube getting play in South Africa
are limited, I'm sure), this crew has much originality going on, for real.
It's smooth, smooth, smooth. I don't know if there's a single out for this,
but if you don't by the album, peep the flavor.
I was very suspect of this album, but I still shelled out $10.44 for
the tape (at Tower, y'all -- talk about overcharging), and I'm glad I did.
This one deserves heavy rotation, and it's getting it. I think the fellows at
Tommy Boy fucked up royally when they screwed things up with Paris, but they're
back on the map with "Planet Rap".
Peace (Paix if your MC Solaar)... Laze
Soundtrack for "Sugarhill"
For the most part its a good buy. A few songs really stand out
i.e (Kadiesha, Play my Funk, Money). There are two jazz cuts by
the Terrence Blanch Quartet. One of the two is a really good
cut, I can't remember the song, but it singing which matches the
mood of the song.
Del tha Funkee Homosapien, No need for Alarm
This cd shocks me! When I fist heard it, I couldn't wait for the
release due partly to Soul's of Mischief and was really upset.
But a few months past and I decided to buy it after having heard
Casual's cd release and was glad I did. My personal advice to
you should you buy this cd, is to consistently play this cd so
that it'll grow on you.
Casual, Fear Itself
You have nothing to fear when buying this album. Very impressed
with this buy. The boy has skills, serious correlation with SOM,
DEL. Basically the same format, but on the solo tip.
ATCQ, Low End Theory/Midnight Maruaders (Dirty Mack mix tape)
Two very good cd's to intermix and make a tape for bumping. This was
a project of mine that worked out too good to be true!!!!
Honestly, of all the rap tapes I've made to bump in the ride,
this by far is the best hands down!!!!!
Artist: Terminator X and the GodFathers of Threatt
Song: It All Comes Down To The Money (b/w Ruff E Nuff)
pH rating: 3 (pHair)
The name TERMINATOR X is supposed to strike fear in the hearts of those
with narrow definitions of music. TX is notorious for raising musical hell as
an integral part of the Bomb Squad, wreaking havoc with such classics as
"You're Gonna Get Yours", "Rebel Without A Pause", "War at 33 1/3", etc. He
even went beyond the boundaries set by Public Enemy in his first album
"Terminator X and the Valley of the Jeep Beets", which featured the blistering
jam "Buck Whylin" , the off-beat "Wanna Be Dancin", and the way-funky "Back To
the Scene Of The Bass."
This time, TX returns with the GodFathers of Threatt and the first
single off the upcoming album "Super Bad." The song "It All Comes Down To The
Money" is decent, but the track lacks the edge that lets the listener know that
TERMINATOR X IS HERE. Whodini (returning from the valley of "Where Are They
Now?") are featured on the lyrics, but their performance leaves a little to be
desired. They demonstrate a kind of "repetition" ("...I'm with a friend of
mine/but that friend of mine/is a friend of mine/only some of the time...")
that gets annoying after a while. It was almost like they ran out of rhymes.
Whodini is capable of representing a lot better than this.
The B-side, "Ruff E Nuff", is performed by the Punk Barbarians. The
track is nice, and the Barbarians sound almost like YBT with more polished
skills. It has the ability to keep your head nodding. Overall, this track
isn't bad, but it needs some work before it can be "Super Bad."
SMOOTH, "YOU BEEN PLAYED"
Here now, let's get real about this.
You can keep your Cindy Crawfords, your Mariah Careys, your
Elles and your Paulinas, your Christies and your Kathies. You can even
keep a few of the ladies of En Vogue (except Cindy, probably) if you
I'll take Smooth.
Word booty, girl is just fly. And she ain't just another pretty
face. It's part her style as well -- she ain't afraid to snap those
fingers in the air and flex like a pro, then turn around a show off a
more sensitive voice, which is just plain sexy on wax.
So as you can see, I'm already a little biased in this review,
being that I'm a just a fish on the hook (and judging from these lyrics,
getting caught just to be thrown back). Nevertheless, I have to step
back and listen to the music to get a better feel for where "You Been
Played" is coming from.
We first got a glimpse of Smooth's new style (her earlier stuff
as MC Smooth is relatively forgettable) on the "Menace II Society"
soundtrack, which featured the title cut to this LP. This introduced
producer/A&R man Chris Stokes' "confused" production style, in which a
mesh of seemingly chaotic samples get thrown around in the mix and
somehow come out sounding in tune and pretty funky. Tracks like "Female
Mac," (the second single) "Let's Not Pimp," and "You're Slippin'"
feature this style, while other tracks "You Are Through" and "Dog You"
feature a more traditional R&B style of production.
But this kind of R&B isn't that weak R. Kelly shit. Part of it
comes through in Smooth's delivery, switching back and forth from
singing diva to gangsta bitch, and coming off quite well. Even when she
sings the choruses in "You Are Through" and "Dog You," it still comes
off, because it's a style that you aren't used to. Some people may not
take to well to this, especially if they've gotten used to Bo$$ or MC
Lyte. Smooth is her own style, and it separates her from everyone else
in the game. Plus she's equally capable of delivering a message as she
does in "You Are Slippin'."
The album has its share of flat spots, most notably "Lovin' You
Is Simple" and "Ready Or Not." But hey, if you got about eight or nine
tracks out of 12 that are worth throwing on a tape for your car, you've
got a pretty good album. It's different, though, so don't compare it to
the others. Take it for a test drive.
Oh, and Smooth, if you ever want to hook up and do that shit
from "Get Inside My ?", just hit my digits and we'll hook it up. Every
mac needs the practice every once in a while, right?
pH rating - 5 / pHunky
You Are Gonna Get Fucked Up, if you FRONT - Y.A.G.G.F.U. Front
"Well it's the Yaggfu Front, freakin all the stunts
Steppin with the loot and hittin the blunts" - Diamond D, Smackin
Suckaz Silly (Busted Loop 12" remix)
And with that let's examine this phenomenon that's hummin comin at cha
straight from the state of North Cakalaka (meaning North Carolina for all who
don't know). Obviously this state grows a lot more than NBA all-stars and
tobacco... there's got to be a DOPE underground hip-hop scene there as well to
produce a group like this.
I first got hooked on this group in late '92/early '93, when my man DJ
Bubs from New York sent me a mix tape of the latest shit. It had 'Lookin 4 a
Contract' and 'Slappin Suckaz Silly (original ver.)", both by Yaggfu Front. My
inital reaction was Yagg-who? But when I heard how dope Lookin 4 a Contract
was I FLIPPED. Peep these dope lyrics:
"...like being broke was a crime
Cause we were headed to the studio, all last dimes
Were spent on recording every cent we were hoarding
and scrimping and saving, spending weeks without shaving!
And yes, I supose without no money
Creativity flows..." - Spin 4th
"...I need more contacts, I'm lookin for a contract
Livin like a roach on skid row
Yo I just had to pawn my Nintendo so
I would go home, and watch BET
But the people came over and took my cable TV..." - Jingle Bel
This song is the SHILZNIT and I recommend all fans of Yaggfu hear this.
They take a loop that Tung Twista originally hooked up in some half-assed song
and make it FUNKY (all props to DJ Assassin). Not only that the lyrics are the
epitome of being a hip-hopper.
"... But back to the issue
Don't worry about an A&R man that try to diss you
Stay true to your roots and collect your contacts
Cause I'm lookin for a contract" - Spin 4th
At the time I wasn't to impressed by Slappin Suckaz Silly, but this
song alone gives their debut single a big pHat 6 on the pH scale. Really,
fiend for this shit if you don't already have it, cause it is a HIP-HOP
The Busted Loop 12" came out shortly before the release of their full
LP, and all props due to Mercury for hookin our radio station up with a promo
copy. Mercury definetly comin' correct in the nine-four. Anyway, the 12" has
the Busted Loop song and instrumental.
"I slam to the hole like a photon phazer beam
While schools decay like children's teeth on Halloween" - Jingle Bel
"Moans and groans reverb throughout the house
Forget about your worries, your son and your spouse" - Diamond D
(and yes, it seems Diamond D is down wit O.P.P.)
"We take a plate, and then rotate it
If it's rugged then we scoop it
then truncate it then we loop it
Then we track it, the kids from Cakalak..." - Spin 4th
This all star combination combined with the fat beats of Diamond D just
can't be beat.. once again it's a pHat pH 6 for this twelve inch single.
Now for the full LP, which we all know is the joint "Action Packed
Adventure". Let me bust it off track by track and pH rate each joint, then
I'll give you my rating for the LP (we'll skip the intro).
Where'd You Get Your Bo Bos -- FAT joint, definite 6... or as the guy in the
chorus says "they're the best thing I've seen since lunch and they're making
me HUNGRY". Just some crazy fat freestyling with props handed out to North
Carolina left and right.
Trooper 101 -- I'll give it a 6... everybody can relate to this joint about
riding with your boys, hammer to the floor, and being chased by one-time.
"Thanks officer friendly, I'll send you the check -- and as soon as he
turns around we gonna jet" - Spin 4th. I can't help but laughin and noddin
my head to this funky track.
Mr. Hook -- "Dive! To twenty thousand fathoms/forty megabytes/sampling
time is handsome" - Spin 4th. These guys get MAJOR props on the computer
tip... rather than slamming computers as Common Sense does they embrace
technology and use it to make fat joints. You'll find them giving props to
the latest electronic wizardry all over this LP. Anyway, apparently it's a
"Sea Vessel Soliloquoy" featuring our favorite b-boys... the title perhaps
deriving from Captain Hook? The intro is annoying, the beat doesn't really
hit me off, but the lyrics are OK... overall it's a 4.
Busted Loop -- A VERY solid 6... these guys can make a busted loop slam
like nobody in the business, and the lyrics are on point... this joint has
more boom and pound than Masta Ase could ever dream of! It's a winner from
start to finish.
Fruitless-Moot -- "Thanks Mr. Wizard for your 80K memory"... they do it
again on this joint with the props to techonology. Once again it's a tale
we can all relate to, about tryin to hit the skinz on a night where
absolutely nothing goes right. Solid 5 for the beats and the lyrics.
Black Liquid -- This one just barely slides in at a 5... I hated it at
first but lately I've grown to like it... it's an ill tale about a
Chemistry experiment that turns our rhyming Jeckel into a lyrical Hyde.
Slappin Suckaz Silly -- Now if this was the 12" version I'd give it a
six... but this one only rates a four. Why? Because they remixed the
Diamond D mix by deleting ALL OF HIS SHIT, and on top of that they gave it
a really stupid chorus "One two three of us never ever solo." Fuck that
shit, I'll dub the 12" version over this junk.
Action Packed Adventure -- "Where's the adventure it's action packed,
where's the excitement it's on the track, once you get started no you can't
turn back, cause all of the adventure is action packed." The chorus says
it all... this song is PACKED. It's a pHat 6.
Left Field -- Pretty smooth tale... each chorus featuring some derivation
of "if you step to the right I step to the left, I'm too _____ to tell you
that your def", and each verse explaining why. I'll give it a 5.
Hold Em Back -- DAMN!!!!! It's more sixes than a satanic cult!! This shit
rips the fuck out almost every track on here!! I love the bugged chorus
"Hold em back, the kid's goin crazy kid!!" and I have an eargasm over this
FUNKY loop!! God DAMN!!!
Uptown Downtown -- Eahhh... it's a 3. What a let down after Hold Em
Back... the beat doesn't move me and the lyrics are only decent *sigh* oh
Sweet Caroline -- It's a 4... that's about all I can say. Not great not
wack it's just in there.
My Dick is so Large -- It's got a good loop and those ill humerous lines
that Yaggfu seems to have mastered. Basically some "my dick is longer than
an Amtrak train" type shit that I get a laugh out of, cause it strikes me
as a parody of all that sex/bass Miami shit. I give it 5.
Overall this LP rates a 5... it has a lot of great shit that is
classic, a few songs that are, eh *shrugs* and some others that are pretty fat
but not quite classic. It's a shame they fucked up Smackin Suckaz Silly, and
that they didn't include the hip-hop classic Lookin 4 a Contract... I'd still
recommend this LP though. Peace \/
Song: How About Some Hardcore?
Rating: 4 (pHine)
The Source recommended this song, and I listened to their
recommendation. Overall, I was impressed. M.O.P. comes correct in this debut,
and they go straight for the underground, avoiding the gimmicky pitfalls that
snare so many.
They represent well, and the hook "How about some hardcore?/Yeah, we
like it raw!" is very catchy. The track has enough energy to keep your head
nodding, and it has enough flavor to make you want to ask for more. They may
not be as phat as Black Moon or the Wu-Tang Clan, but they can (and do) hold
The only complaint is that there is no B-side. Even a remix of
"...Hardcore" would have given the listeners another sample of their flavor,
and it could have demonstrated the potential to be versatile. But that
notwithstanding, M.O.P. comes correct on the debut tip, and if they keep it
raw, they can only get better.
SHADZ OF LINGO, "A VIEW TO A KILL"
For those of you who expected more of that phat Erick Sermon
funk from Shadz of Lingo after seeing "Mad Flavaz" on Rap City a lot,
prepare to be disappointed, for that track is the only one produced by
the green-eyed bandit on this album. Then again, guys like Diamond D.,
Dallas Austin and Madness 4 Real aren't too bad, either.
With an all-star lineup like that, you'd think this album would
be one of the phattest things to come out the pipeline. The problem
with all-star production lineups, though, is that they often take away
from the sound of the group itself. You start bobbing your head to a
DITC beat, and suddenly you realize that this is a Shadz Of Lingo album,
and you won't be hearing from Showbiz OR A.G. today.
Not that this is a BAD thing, mind you. Lingo and Kolorado pack
plenty of rhymes in this debut, and they often work well within the
beats, especially Sermon's and M4R's. The "Different Styles" they brag
about in their first song don't always shine through during the rest of
the album. Most everything seems to run in battle mode with some sparse
guns and ammo tossed in to keep the record company off their backs.
Nevertheless, nothing really makes you want to fast forward to the next
Too much of that, however, is a result of the production. This
is not an album that focuses on the MC's themselves, but rather on the
music somebody else made behind them. "A View To A Kill" is a producer's
resume piece and little more. If you like those producers (and you dug
the styles kicked on "Mad Flavaz"), you'll probably like this album. If
you're looking for something different, though, you won't really find it
pH rating - 4 / pHine
"Old school new school, nobody's protected"
That's the word straight from the Troubleneck Brothers, who come
correct on their debut single 'Troubleneck Wreck', b/w 'Gusto'. They are
"seven deep with the guns in hand" and they flex the kind of skills you only
see in posse groups, where each rhymer is trying to outdo the last man and the
next man. How else do you think crews like Wu-Tang Clan, the Pharcyde, and the
whole Hiero clan got so fat? When you roll solo you can flex how you want,
but in a crew you'll be dropped if you start slippin.
And these guys sure as hell aren't slippin. I give the A-side a 6 and
the B-side a five. Without going into further detail let me say these guys are
reminiscent of Black Moon. The rhymes are New York hardcore, but they back it
up with skillz. Rather than just shooting ther guns they shoot their mouths
off with an amazing display of verbal ammunition and artillery, each MC
displaying his own dope style.
So if you want my opinion, pick up this single. Don't sleep on the
Troubleneck Brothers. \/
SAT-N-SMOOTH, "THE AWAKENING"
(Newstyle Records/Flashpoint International)
Upon first inspection of the album cover, it looks like Sat-N-
Smooth are another in the long line of Onyx clones. The look is very
deceptive, however, as the LP rolls slowly into a basic Texas-style
gangsta creep. This is logical, of course, being that they're from
Houston and all, but it's a style of rap that tends to get pretty
monotonous. As they say themselves in the chorus, "It's the same thing,
just the same thing..."
Ah, but instead of degenerating into the same ol' same ol' after
the first few tracks, which a lot of acts usually do these days when
they run out of ideas, Sat-N-Smooth rebounds with a phat little battle
number called "Whatchatalkn," which is as tight as it usually gets on a
debut album. Unfortunately, it slips right back into the same ol' same
ol' with the tired concept "Hittin' Skinz."
This is pretty much how the whole album goes, off and on like a
Trends of Culture song. One track, you're bobbing your head to
something nice, the next, you're cringing over a blatant and ugly
chorus. This roller coaster ride lasts pretty much all the way through
the album, though there are a few too many downs to make it click.
Sat-N-Smooth have talent. You can hear it in tracks like
"Whatchatalkn," "Groovin'" and "Red Tape." Occassionally in "On And On"
as well, though the beats sound awfully familiar. But they are more or
less a work in progress at the moment, looking around for the right
style of speak or music to see what works. One minute, they rhyme about
the problems with guns and drugs in the hood, the next about how you
have to carry a gat just to watch your own back, then the next about how
they got the battle rhymes. The music jumps around as well, from a
creepin'-in-the-ride slow boom bash to a funky interlude to the same old
funky worm garbage everyone's doing. (Thank goodness I only heard that
If they could pick a style and stay with it, chances are they
could find an audience easily outside of Houston. Problem is, the way
they flip the styles doesn't quite come off like it should. Hopefully
these guys will have another shot to come clean, because if they can
sustain the groove on a few of their tracks for a whole album, they
could do a lot more than just come close.
pH rating - 3 / pHair
WILL E.P, "THE MOTHERPLUCKER"
According to the press releases that came with this album, Ann
Arbor, Michigan's Will E.P. makes "the first attempt to inject some true-
to-life whiteboyishness into hip hop."
Translation: Will E.P. has infinitely better press people than
Sudden Death, Lyrical Prophets and Blue Riddle Productions combined.
That quote is on point, though, because you won't mistake Will
E.P. for anyone else on the market. He's very aware of just how white
he is, and he tries to take advantage of that on this LP, so he avoids
successfully the trap into which the likes of N2Deep and Knucklehedz
Being white as a gimmick, however, is still a gimmick, and if
the music isn't there, then it all falls flat. So if this is the case,
why then, "The Motherplucker?"
Well, the one-time frontman for Maroon, who's 1990 offering of
"The Funky Album" won some critical acclaim, starts out okay with
"Who's Funky," which kicks into an uptempo, very danceable beat, and
relatively creative rhymes about women's butts. (huh huh, huh huh, he
said butt, huh huh...) The tempo changes at the disco-style chorus,
though, which is sort of a shame, since the faster beat was one of the
better beats on the album.
Not that the production is bad -- if Sudden Death had this kind
of production, they'd have a record deal by now. Just that producer
Martin "Chilly Dog" Kierszenbaum doesn't pack enough punch into the
music to make this album work as well as it could. The beats sound
like they were made on a stripped-down TR-707 a little too often, and
as anyone who's owned that particular piece of hardware will tell you,
you can't really build around a TR-707.
Will E.P. himself adds his own corny flavor to the mix, though.
On "C.L. (Computer Literate)," he freely admits to being the first "pimp
gangsta hustler geek," throwing out rhymes about how his e-mail file is
full while "other M.C.'s are just learning to type." Then there's
"Pinkochickenfunk," a song that considers the good points of socialism,
and "Funky Resume," which asks the musical question, how can you go
wrong with a chorus like "Read my funky resume or smell my funky socks?"
Well, if that's what you're looking for, you've got it here in
Will E.P., probably the only white M.C. in rap who plays up his
whiteness without looking like a certain dance-party-sample-Queen-and-
get-sued-now-smoke-blunts-on-wax-because-its-in-style poseur. Problem
is, this album just doesn't click as often as it should, and that left
this rap fan shrugging his shoulders. Most other rap fans will probably
end up doing the same.
pH rating - 3 / pHair
-------------------------- SO WHAT'S UP IN '94???? ---------------------------
Yeah, we took a while to put this issue together, but we wanted to make
sure those who deserved their props in '93 got 'em. Special thanks to Charles
Isbell for letting us run the Jacks this year. if we're lucky, we'll get 'em
on BET next year. *grin*
But yo, 1993 is over now. It's a new year, and if something is going
on in hip hop, we're on it. Plus, with all the albums coming out between now
and April (not to mention the few we might have missed this time), you know
just where to turn. So be on the lookout in April for the next issue of