Poet To Get Lyrical
Noel Rockwell featuring The Poet – “Beat You Down“
from Beat You Down 12″ (11-A, 1987)
Poet – “All Hell Breakin’ Loose“
from All Hell Breakin’ Loose 12″ (Nu-Sound, 1987)
The Fedz (Rockwell Noel & The Poet) – “Taking-U-Out“
from Taking U Out 12″ (11-A, 1988)
Rockwell Noel & The Poet – “Massacre“
from Massacre 12″ (Sam, 1989)
(I was motivated by unkut.com‘s nod to QB legend Hot Day Dante (via a feature on another OG – Tragedy) to resuscitate this nearly abandoned post i started writing on his frequent collaborator ages ago.)
Poet & DJ Rockwell Noel (or Noel Rockwell, depending on what label you want to believe) were a loosely Juice Crew affiliated Queensbridge duo. Their first record, “The Wopp (Sensation)” featured co-production from Marley Marl and was a pretty bland attempt at making a “latest dance craze” record (anyone want to school this youngun on how I can do “The Wopp”?). It wasn’t until the follow up that Poet would hit on the theme that would be echoed for much of his career – BEEF.
It seems that, like many Queensbridge residents, young Poet was none to pleased with BDP’s “South Bronx” and “The Bridge His Over” and “Beat U Down” was his official entrance into the QB/BDP beef. But that’s not all, the very derivative follow up “Taking U Out” expunges on the theme. Except that it’s also about how fat Ms. Melodie is.
But the static doesn’t stop there. In between he dropped his first solo 12″ (sans Rockwell), “All Hell Breakin’ Loose”, basically the 80s equivalent of “Dreams Of Robbing An Industry Nigga”. Gassed off of “Beat U Down”, dude gets at all the big names outside of his camp -not only Kris, but T La Rock, Just Ice, LL, Rakim, Moe Dee and “Boogie Down Stiffs” Ultramagnetic.
The last Noel & Poet record “Massacre” isn’t explicitly about KRS, but read between the lines, people.
Poet later teamed up with Hot Day, dropped Without Warning and stayed dissing KRS. In the late 90s he linked up with Screwball and dropped a few heavily slept on LPs (I can’t remember if he dissed KRS on either of them, but let’s just assume he did). Most recently he’s been working with DJ Premier on an LP to be released under the moniker Blaq Poet. They put out a 12″, “Message From Poet”, a few years back that was all about keeping the peace in hip hop. Hopefully that stance won’t prevent him from dissing KRS on the album.
I know I’m being flip about his unhealthy KRS obsession, but honestly, Poet is one of the hardest and most underrated motherfuckers ever to spit. Any of the afformentioned projects are must cops. He should be a fucking legend by now.