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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.

Here’s a relatively recent video interview with Poet & Primo from Rap.fr.

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16 Responses to “Poet To Get Lyrical”

  1. the deletist Says:

    Now, this is what I’m talking about! This shit is raw, son! Keep that shit coming! Do you have any hot Kool G Rap shit? I also wanted to know what you think about the Dangerdoom album that’s coming out. To me it seems like one of those things that sounds good on paper but in reality is a terrible idea.

  2. chr!s Says:

    Dope post…
    Definitely pick up that ‘I’m Flippin’ 12″ with the ‘Video Mix’ on – one of the best tracks Poet ever dropped.
    That whole ‘Without Warning’ album is amazing!


  3. noz Says:

    dangerdoom is NOT good. i thought about writing a review but i don’t think it’s worth the breath.

  4. Suckar Says:

    Nice! Long overdue…that is one dark motherfucker. Great pic!

  5. Yan'sker Says:

    Poet will release a record this fall on a french label, 45 scientific.


    thanks for all the stuff given.


  6. ketan Says:

    nice post –

    i can’t seem to get at the last two sound files. any ideas?

  7. Robbie Says:

    “dangerdoom is NOT good.”

    True indeed. It’s the worst thing he’s done since Victor Vaughn 2.

    Apparently, Poet’s claim that “Just-Ice will melt” led to “The Original Gangster of Hip-Hop” taking matters into his own hands:

    “Troy: So now what is this with the whole Juice Crew? You took a Shot Gun out to Queens and you was ready to bury cats?

    Just: Yo thatís way back, and yo check this s— out. It wasnít the whole Juice Crew! I donít even really like to talk about it, but when me and Black Poet last talked about it, we said we ainít going to talk about it any more. See Poet wasnít even down with Juice Crew. He made a record just dissing everybody. I heard ìsomething, something and Just Ice will melt.î I was like ìthatís all I need to hear.î

    Troy: Isnít Poet supposed to be righteous?

    Just: I didnít know back then! All I know is me and two friends got in a car, I had a shot gun (We both start laughing.) my man had a shot gun, my other man had a 9. We went to Queens Village. We seen M.C. Shan, me and Shan is mad cool. Shan was like ìwhat you doing out here? I said I am looking for this n—– named Poet. He said ìthatís my man Just.î I said he talking about some Just Ice will melt s—, I am going to show him who the f— is going to melt. He was like Just, squash that, thatís my man. (Just start laughing.) I say alright Shan thatís your man, talk to your man. (Troy starts laughing as Just Ice puts emphasis on ìtalk to your man.î) So that was the end of that. You know what, to this day me and Poet is mad cool.”

    Taken from http://www.jayquan.com/justice.htm

    Poet mentions his involvement in the Bridge wars on a few Screwball cuts, but doesn’t take any new shots at the Blastmaster.

  8. EMVEE Says:

    Great Blog, one of the best I’ve seen. Great articles and thanks for the Poet mp3’s the only one I had was the Beat You Down, the others are sick.


  9. noz Says:

    robbie that story’s crazy

  10. david Says:

    interesting, maybe I heard a wrongified version of that story about Just-Ice.

    I had heard that during the Bridge Wars, Poet stood on a corner in the South Bronx with a shotgun waiting for KRS to show up.

    In any case, Poet gets much propers.

  11. mike Says:

    “message from Poet” is a nice 12″. He’s got a new joint called “bang this” on Primo’s Year ROund label. I’ve heard it a couple times, sounds nice. I imagine Fat Beats NY might have it if anyone does.


  12. j. dilla Says:

    VV2 was much worse than DangerDoom, which is an entertaining, if not overwhelmingly amazing, record. If you don’t watch cartoons, you might not understand much of it, which is a little like saying if you don’t smoke weed, you might not understand Quasimoto at all.

  13. Drew Huge Says:

    Nice stuff, Poet is much underrated. Screwball were dope too – ‘FAYBAN” and ‘Hostyle’, all great. As for Dangerdoom – it has a couple of good tracks, which definitely lifts it above the dismal Viktor Vaughn 2

  14. Brian Beck From Wisconsin. Says:

    I love all the tracks with Rockwell Noel but “massacre” is really the one. Godamn. Those hip house remixes also on the 12″, doe..Yikes.

    Word to both PHD and Screwball. First Screwball album is a real favorite of mine.

    Dude still definately reps as all the Primo tracks and that other “rhyme crime boss” joint have all been nice.

    “Message from poet” was more about keeping beefs on wax than being an anti-beef song. He definately needs to make some more KRS dis tracks. Fuck that space cadet.

  15. Super-C Says:

    man poet and them are right up there with mobstyle….grimy muthafuckas

    this that REAL shit, dudes was spittin what there were really livin….not like these clowns nowadays

  16. MAAD Says:

    Poet is nice as hell, but I’d take KRS over his ass anyday, the nerve of these people dissing one of the greatest MC’s to ever spit…

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