We're back with more Golden Era goodness for your dome-pieces! It's our favourite period in Hip Hop record history ,so it was only a matter of time before we disappeared back into the past in our De Lorean using it's flux capacitor technology, all so we can hit you up with more dope vinyl releases from 86-92!
Cranking up the pace was more than just a trend during this period. Back then a good MC had to be able to hold his own lyrically over a fast beat to show he had skills. The term MC, or Mic Controller / Master of Ceremony etc.. emphasises the fact that the holder of the mic should be someone with charisma who can hold the audience's attention - and not just anyone has that skill! In today's "Rap" industry we see the opposite happening, where anyone's drawn-out and even uncharismatic flows can sell records (naming no names....50 Cent DOH!) Plus in the late 80's a multitude of recently re-discovered high-octane uptempo breakbeats meant there was plenty of material for fast-pace rap styles. Unfortunately it co-incided with the emergence of "Hip-House" - a sickening fusion of Hip Hop and House with a cheesy club feel to it! UGH!! In 1989 there were handfuls of credible Hip Hop artists willing to throw a Hip House track on their LP to attract the mainstream. Even Juice-Crew member Craig G was drawn into this madness as he "Turned his House into a Home". And to think it was released as a 12" single with the most incredible "Dopest Duo" track relegated to the flipside! I guess it was all about earning them Benjamins!!
Below we're gonna drop a few of these uptempo bangers from this period to show ya what we mean. Once again it seems a waste of time to feature the obvious tracks you already know, so we've added a few more obscure ones to keep you searching.
First up is a track from an LP which many of us have got in our crates, but it is kinda slept on when it comes to collectors. THE W.I.S.E. GUYZ - The eF yoU eN Kay E is without doubt the highlight of their 1989 LP of the same name, but I recently discovered this dope joint also hides away on the b-side of "If My Pillow Could Talk" 12" also released on ATLANTIC RECORDS. To find a louder pressing of this track got me kinda excited, and for very good reason. The term "face-melter" springs to mind (terminology courtesy of AROE). From its frenzied horn stab intro and beyond, this beat rocks relentlessly. There are surging JB horns over the fast pace breakbeat, and some tongue twisting lyrics will keep you listening to this track from beginning to end, and then you'll wanna play it over again!
And at one point he tells all the sucker emcees....."Like Pepe Le Pu - you really STINK!" And compared to the rhymes on this track they certainly doo doo!!
IMO this is golden era fast rap at it's very finest (and without the price tag - I copped this one for less than five quid!) Please don't think I am over-hyping this little beauty - take a peep at the soundclip below. But I warn you, your face may melt and mess up your best shirt! Produced by Muffla & The "E" for L.A. Posse Productions.
Matrix No. 0-86428 & SRC stamped in the run-out groove.
W.I.S.E. GUYZ - The Ef yoU eN Kay E
O.M.A.R. - "I Could Make You Move to This" 12" on XTRA LARGE records from 1991. I know very little about O.M.A.R. other than I believe this to be his only 12" (if you know otherwise please hit me up). Despite the weird girly intro and the fact that O.M.A.R.'s subject matter is aimed at getting the girls dancing, the track is still hell-a-dope and hardcore hip hoppers ignore this record at their own risk. The drum programs are fresh and sound phat,and the breaks and organ riffs are neatly inserted and flipped. Along with the "Alright now here we go!" vocal hook it makes for a really good track. I especially like the prolonged & dramatic organ stabs in the middle.
The b-side "Hit The Note" is also a quality track using a familiar James Brown sample, yet sounds refreshing and again features some quality SP drums. The rhymes are possibly better on this track, in fact I find it hard to choose a favourite of the two.
Production credits go to K-Rob on this one, and it's engineered by Shlomo Sonnenfeld. This little known NY label gave us a very credible record here, I hope it's one you will find on your travels. If you have any other releases on XTRA LARGE please do get in touch. Peep the soundclip below...
F/W hand etched in run-out groove along with CSB & 2 musical notes. Matrix no. XL-001
O.M.A.R. - I Could Make you Move to This
Staying with 1991, this next record is another joint I don't remember hearing back in the day. POSSE DEEP - "Side F/X" 12" on PUMP records is another one of those records where once again it's the B-Side cut that is worthy of talking about. The A-side "Candy" is too sweet and sickly to even listen to, despite the enticing picture cover. Side F/X utilizes James Brown's "Funky Drummer" loop to full effect, but in this instance without boring the listener (remember there were sooo many funky drummer records back then!) This killer hiding on the flipside begins with an entirely different and very upbeat drum loop and JB sample, and sounds worthy of Lord Finesse or Percee P (in fact I think they both used this sample).... but midway the tracks sloooows down and we are hit with with a slower time-stretched version of the Funky Drummer loop - awesome! Produced by Pete Lover, Kid Scratch and E.P., the crew from CA. come off hype! We're loving the Kid Scratch cut-up throughout and especially at the end of the "Slow It Down" mix. This is an easy record to find at a sensible price, and it seems a few sealed copies are doing the rounds. Don't sleep. "Mastered by Capitol" stamped in the run-out. Matrix no. VL-15188-1
POSSE DEEP - "Side F/X"
SAM Records is a label we always check for when out diggin', ever since copping ROCKWELL NOEL's mind-numbingly incredible "Massacre" twelve. So if we ever see a record on that label it's pretty much guaranteed one of us will bag it. And this next record was no exception! DESIRE - "Busted" 12" at first glance doesn't necessarily look or sound like a dope Hip Hop record. Nor does the name scream out "BUY ME!". But like I said we always buy first, and ask questions later. When I arrived home from that digging spree, I flipped this wax on my turns pretty much expecting nothing more than an average 1990 rap record for the ever-growing pile. But from the word GO! the funky familiar horns (I still can't quite place the sample!) and skillful beat had me hooked. The production and engineering on this track is pretty damn superb - and we can thank Ivan DJ DOC Rodriguez's involvement for that. IMO he blessed every record he ever worked on. DJ DOC engineered and co-produced this track with Nelson "Paradise" Roman at Power Play studios NY. The tough drums are well programmed and a heavily filtered bassline runs deep throughout, with the odd sub for added effect. Nice!
DESIRE is actually a girl MC, and a dope female at that. She comes off on some Antoinette-esque tip, and with similar venom levels! Here she is dissing the cheating men in her life, hence the title "Busted". I'm unaware of any other tracks by this fly female, but her clever rhymes on this one lead me to believe she must have had other releases. I will ask DJ DOC when I can and report back. F/W hand etched in the run-out groove (Frankford Wayne), and also BIG BEAT. Matrix no. SAM-5007.
DESIRE - "Busted"
...more GE gems real soon......KID DYNO