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Posts Tagged ‘Marley Marl’

On a Mission

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

Too Nice – “On a Mission
from On a Mission 12″ (Singh, 1987)

I wrote about Too Nice once before, many moons ago. This is their second joint, before they signed to Arista and got overshadowed by a 45 King remix they were getting outshined on the indie tip by Marley Marl.

MC Nice Gee gets shamelessly Rakimish (right down to the “writin’ [my name in grafitti] on the wall“) and cleans up the hood while Marley desecrates the Jimmy Spicer Dollar Bill Blips. Edwin Birdsong’s name is on the label resulting in some sort of an intergenerational torch pass (although that would probably falsely imply that Birdsong was even a fraction of the icon Marley would become). It’s not a particularly important record but it’s one of a decent sized handful of infrequently mentioned extra-Juice Marley productions.

Before and as the Juice Crew was fully formed Marley was bouncing around as house producer for labels like Express and Nia (which distributed Birdsong’s Singh imprint). Not to mention his WBLS days. (I just found that on google. Why didn’t anyone tell me A To The L has been absolutely killing it with the old school tape rips over at altrap?) But unless you’re the type of person who has rap nerd glasses or ebay saved searches you could easily mistake his legacy for one that begins and ends with Cold Chillin’.

Anyway, it’d be nice if there was somewhere people could go to find comprehensive discographies for The Marleys, Ced Gees, Mantronixes, Paul Cs, etc. Prodby is an incredible resource, but it’s limited in it’s album oriented scope. Most first decade hip hop is single only and many of these dudes work is getting lost in the shuffle. Lets get this shit a proper CD compilation while we’re at it. I already have three different issues of In Control Vol. 1. But afaik “Games of Life” has never been on CD. Well it’s probably on some illegal overseas mixtape, but I mean, these records are 20+ years old, where are the comprehensive and legit retrospectives already? Until then my horrible rips will have to suffice.

I Know You Motherfuckers Ain’t Gon Believe This!

Sunday, April 8th, 2007

KRS One f/ Poet – “Victory”
from Hip Hop Lives (to be released, 2007)

An unexpected collabo considering Poet basically dedicated the first half of his career to dissing Kris. It’s like a “Black Republicans” for old grown heads. Except Poet never made an Illmatic (though on the other hand he never made an “Oochie Wally” either.) KRS does the talking loud and saying nothing shit that has bogged the later part of his career but he does it really well. He seems to be reigning in the crazy to mere self importance for this album. Poet kinda kills it in the same way he’s been kinda killing it for twenty years. Marley’s (Ghost Producer’s) beat is fire. The “Where are They Now?” remixes proved that most of the old guard rappers just need some solid production to sound great. Hip Hop Lives might end up being a better album than Hip Hop is Dead.

This is a Future Flavas rip and cuts off during KRS’ last verse but you get the basic idea.

Poet To Get Lyrical

Thursday, September 15th, 2005

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.

I Was At A Jam The Other Night

Wednesday, July 6th, 2005

Dimples Rocks The Mic… Marlon Rocks The Airwaves
Dimples D – “Sucker DJs (I Will Survive)
from Sucker DJs 12″ (Partytime, 1983)

The history books consistently write her off as “Marley Marl’s (then) Girlfriend”, and obviously the fact that this was the soon to be legendary Marley’s first official production (despite some engineering work for the Nia label), outshadows whoever would spit over it. And his sparse programming and sloppy electro cowbells are definitely of note. But I always feel bad that Dimples herself never went on to do anything else (maybe someone knows something I don’t know?) Style wise she doesn’t really do anything that, say, Sha Rock wasn’t already doing, but I really like her ability to turn what begins as merely complaining the dj’s lack of skills into a very heavy lament about the robbers the stealers and the cocaine dealers. It’s like that DJ was so terrible that it suddenly opened Dimples eyes to the many other ills of the world. All from some garbage cuts and blends. Plus she provided decades of sample fodder for not just Marley but (ironically enough) for countless sucker masturbatory turntablist dj’s for centuries to come.

Arrest The President

Thursday, January 20th, 2005

Intelligent Hoodlum – “Arrest The President
from Intelligent Hoodlum LP (A&M, 1990)