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Archive for November, 2004

Goin’ Federal

Tuesday, November 30th, 2004

E-40 – “Tanji Pt. II
E-40 – “Rasta Funky Style
E-40 – “Get ‘Em Up

from Federal Original (Sick Wid It/SMG, 1993)

1993’s follow up “Federal” showed a much darker side of E-40 and set the stage for the mob sound that The Click was to explore for a career. Studio Ton’s production was so on point, unfortunately, Jive fugged it up once again. The three tracks that were omitted from the reissue show a very different 40 water than the rest of the record – heavily sample oriented and playful. Aside from these, on the Jive version, “Hide N’ Seek” and “Extra Manish” are remixed, and a few other intros/interludes were cut. Unlike Down & Dirty, most of the albums better cuts (“Carlos Rossi”, “Rat Heads”, “Let ‘Em Have It”) remain unedited, so the OG isn’t quite as essential, but it is recommended.

Just a quick note on the ‘Guide To Sick Wid It/SMG vs. Jive pressings’ tip – The Jive pressing of 40’s Mail Man EP actually benefits from two bonus tracks – “Ballin’ Outta Control” & “Captain Save A Hoe (Remix)”, neither of which appear on the cassette. And there’s no wack remixes either!

Sick Wid It Special

Monday, November 29th, 2004

The Click – “Daily Routine
The Click – “Party In The V-Town

from Down & Dirty Original (Sick Wid It, 1991)
The Click – “You !!! Up When You Slammed My Motha
The Click – “Let’s Side

from Down & Dirty Original Cassette (Sick Wid It, 1991)

And so it begins… This week we’ll be focusing on one of my favorite labels/crews, The Click/SICK WID IT RECORDS. After releasing their Most Valuable Players “All The Kings Men” 12″ (which we’ll save for a “embarrassing debut records by otherwise dope rappers” series), E-40, sister Suga T, brother D-Shot and cousin B-Legit changed their name to The Click and started pushing their Sick Wid It records and tapes out the trunk in the purest form of early hip hop distribution. They first released two EPs – The Clicks “Let’s Side” and 40’s “Mr. Flamboyant” (which i’m still desperately trying to get a hold of), which was quickly followed by Down & Dirty, The Click’s debut LP. After gradually gaining local acclaim in their home of Vallejo and in the greater Bay Area, 40 & crew signed a distribution deal with Jive in ’94. As part of this deal, Jive reissued much of their back catalog to a wider audience – or so it would seem. The Jive pressings were actually far inferior to the originals – often, presumably to dodge sample clearance issues, the tracks were remixed, rerecorded or completely omitted from the Jive reissues. These Jive reissues are what are on the shelf nowadays.

The worst of these hack jobs was the labels first full length – Down & Dirty – Seven tracks of the 18 tracks from the original tape were omitted completely and five were remixed, leaving just 6 cuts, or one third of the record, in it’s original form (and one, “Click’s Concert” is just a skit). I’m not on some “I got the rare OG” hyperbole tip when I say that the reissue is completely inferior. I wish I had the time/space/bandwidth to give you guys the whole original album here, but all I can do is give you a taste and encourage, no beg, that you do NOT buy that shoddy Jive release, instead, beg/borrow/steal a copy of the OG.

Quick side by side comparisons of the two releases: “You !!! Up When You Slammed My Motha” and “Let’s Side are exclusive to the original Sick Wid It cassette. “Ballers”, “Sohabs”, “Daily Routine”, “Porno Star” and “Party In The V-Town” are on the CD and tape Sick Wid It release but do not appear in any form on the Jive Version. And different mixes of “Let’s Get Drunk”, “On A Mission”, “(Street) Life”, “Old School”, “The Shit That Will Fuck With Your Brain Boy”. They also left off a few skits, most notably the sung intro to “She was only 16”.

Tomorrow we’ll look at 40’s solo debut “Federal”, which suffered a similar (but not quite as drastic) fate at the hands of Jive.

Pelon Rising

Wednesday, November 24th, 2004

360 Degrees – “Pelon
from 360 Degrees / The Producer Speaks / Years To Build 12″(Pelon Records, 1988)
Karim Jamal – “Pelon Rising
from Pelon Rising / Ghetto Appeal 12″(Official Jointz, 199?)

Yeah the Bronx is where it started at, but it’s like after BDP’s declaration of as much, that it kinda became a hip hop wasteland (no disrespect to lord tariq and peter gunz). The obscurity of either of these joints doesn’t really dispel that, but yeah, they’re kinda tight, mostly on the production end of things. And they rep they’re borrough HARD. The first is mostly notable to collectors because it featured the late, legendary Paul C behind the boards, and the OG 12″ has been known to fetch upwards of $800 on ebay (although, turntablelab has been pushing some bootleg copies for a minute, and some pricks have been knowingly flipping them on ebay for much loot). The other is a more recent underground joint (no year on the label, but I’d put it at late 90’s maybe ’98ish) that doesn’t get mentioned too often, but is kinda hot.

Everyone enjoy their thanksgiving, except KRS, that is.

The Game Is Thick

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

The Mac (& crew)
The Mac – “The Game Is Thick
The Mac – “Smooth

from The Game Is Thick EP (Strictly Business, 198?)
MC Ant – “Late Night Tweak
from …The Great LP (Raw Dog Records, 1988)

Two early Bay Area rap dudes who never got their propers, both also fell victim to the tragic and frightening strain of bay area rappers to turn up murdered (See also 2 Pac, Seagram, Cougnut of IMP, Hitman of RBL, Rappin’ Ron of Bad N Fluenz and most recently, the Mac’s own protege Mac Dre, who’s last release was the unofficial followup, “The Game Is Thick Pt. 2”). There’s not a lot of info out there on what happened to The Mac, only that he was killed in 1991 as a case of mistaken identity. Ant was murdered more recently, 1999, in Reno under similarly suspicious occurrences (apparently it stemmed from a domestic dispute).

MC Ant (& crew)

I’m neither morbid nor cliched enough to link these artists (solely) on deadness, these records are also notable early showcases for two important bay area producers in their formative years – The Mac had Kharyee, who went on to be the in house producer for Young Black Brotha Records, producing bangers for Mac Mall, Mac Dre Ray Luv, Dubee and more. MC Ant’s tape was blessed with beats from his namesake, Ant Banks, who later created more than a few masterpieces with the likes of Too Short & Spice 1.

Both artists released one record after these – Mac’s “Enuff of this Shit” EP and Ant’s “The Comeback”, neither of which I have (who want to hook it up?)

MP3 Blog Watch: So Many Shrimp; Right and Exact. These are the dudes that will one day kill me and take my place.

The new Nas record is really good… for the first 25 minutes… then you got another hour and half of him getting lost way up in Kelis’ vagina.

O-Dub talks about Entertainment Weekly’s list of 25 greatest rap records (he also sons us yungin’s… guess what oliver, 30 under weighing in here!). I will say that, other than picking the wrong PE album, their top 10 is pretty unfuckwitable.

That doesn’t mean I (like every other opinionated nerd on the internet) won’t rebut with my own. These are records that I put in my walkman, get a big fat grin on my face and rap by heart from top to bottom. I’m not talking about impact or cultural relevance here (although many of them are very culturally relevant). These are records that I love. EPMD, LL Cool J, Biggie, Run DMC, 2 Pac, etc. – all very important artists and dope in their own right, but they (or at least their full lengths) never got constant burn from me like that. Sorry. I kept to the 1 record per artist limitation that EW did, but I had a damn hard time deciding between “Is Dead” and “Bulhoone Mindstate”. I’m sure I forgot some great records too, but that’s the nature of these things. If you don’t like it, you can eat a dick. Or cry in the comments window:

1. Nas – Illmatic
2. De La Soul – De La Soul Is Dead
3. Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation of Millions
4. A Tribe Called Quest – Low End Theory
5. Common Sense – Ressurection
6. Goodie MOb – Soul Food
7. De La Soul – Bulhoone Mindstate
8. Main Source – Breaking Atoms
9. Dr. Dre – The Chronic
10. Too Short – Born To Mack
11. NWA – Straight Outta Compton
12. Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full
13. Slick Rick – The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick
14. Organized Konfusion – Stress: The Extinction Agenda
15. Outkast – ATLiens
16. GZA – Liquid Swords
17. Ice Cube – AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted
18. E-40 – In A Major Way
19. Ultramagnetic MCs – Critical Beatdown
20. The Coup – Genocide & Juice
21. Gang Starr – Hart To Earn
22. Big Daddy Kane – Long Live The Kane
23. KMD – Mr. Hood
24. Aceyalone – A Book Of Human Language
25. Jay-Z – Vol. 3

so… who g’wan test?


Saturday, November 13th, 2004

Ol’ Dirty Bastard: “Give It To Ya Raw
from Brooklyn Zoo 12″ (Elektra, 1994)

It pains me to have to make another announcement like this, not even two weeks after Mac Dre’s passing, but MTV News reports that Russell “Ol’ Dirty Bastard” Jones passed away this afternoon, with sketchy details, only that he had been complaining of chest pains.

Today’s admittedly arbitrary and rushed selection is the Stimulated Dummies remix. Yes the 12″ I ripped it from is pretty beat up, complete with a huge skip at the end. But that’s love, baby and I don’t think ODB would have wanted it any other way. He will be missed.