P & T…The Part Time Players, but with full time attitudes. What happens when two old school hip hip heads sit down with a few beers, some old hip hop albums and a turntables? Why, you get the hip hop version of Ebert and Siskel….but a little more crass for that ass. Fuck feelings, we tell you how it is on the real! Don’t like it? Don’t read it! We start off this week by going back in time, with my partner, only known as “P” and I, “T”, will breakdown the self tilted album by Red Hot Lover Tone. For you new jacks out there, he is Tone of Tone and Poke fame….you know, The Trackmasters. Yup, that’s right, the production team that the Neptunes grew up idolizing. Tone isn’t your run of the mill battle rapper, nah, he is all about the ladies….the punany….tha ass…you get the point. So we’ll get straight to the point
Red Hot Lover Tone- Da Gigolo
Red Hot Lover Tone – DIYM
Red Hot Lover Tone
Self Titled album (1992)
P: Forget about what you thought about Dr Dre or The Pharcyde dropping the best album of ‘92… Tone is what it’s all about!
T: Haha… I’m not sure I’d go that far, but this is a slept on album for sure.
P: Okay, fast forward through the intro skit to the first proper track “Da Gigolo”.
T: I love “Da Gigolo”. They just don’t do shit like this anymore.
P: “Da Gigolo” is just that slick shit – Tone is one smooth muthafucker.
T:I bet if you followed him around in the clubs you could pick up his leftovers pretty easy.
P:I imagine he was something like the pied piper back then, with a legion of hotties trailing behind him wherever he went. I’m sure he’d have some offcuts for you though.
T:What’s that sample used on track 3 “Winderella”?
P: I’m pretty sure that’s “Honky Tonk” by Bill Doggett. The Beatnuts jacked this shit off Tone on their “Watch Out Now” track!
T: Yup, that’s where I heard it, the one with Puba.
P:And then they had the audacity to go dissing Tone / Trackmasterz on “Confused Rappers” off their Milk Me album! “Next time another trashmaster bites my shit there’s gonna be a problem” was the line I think. That sprang out of that J-Lo song produced by Trackmasterz that used the same sample as “Off the Books”.
T: Oh shit… Trackmasterz get a lot of shit for some of their production.
P:Call it a guilty pleasure but I like the majority of their stuff… At least they’re still fucking around with the samples. And back in the days, they had the club shit sewn up.
T:This was some pure sex shit, but Tone was so smooth… I like his flow.
P:Moving on to track 4 “Porgee”. Remember when rappers used to impersonate the women they were meant to be fucking, like on this skit?
T: Yup, and no one thought any different about it.
P:I think that stuff is underrated. I wanna hear Lil Jon impersonating a chick on the skits off his new album.
T: He already sounds like he is impersonating a chick.
P: Track 5 “Like a Virgin” is my shit – this is one of the highlites on the album for me. “Can I please be the first to bust your bubble?”
T: “Fat as a whale when she tipped the scale” – Hahaha… This is great quality sex rhymes. 2 Live Crew had nothing on Tone, this is one of my personal favorites. Who’s the second MC?
P: I don’t know – it doesn’t say on the record sleeve. He’s got a weird-ass voice though.
T: He sounds familiar, but he keeps it on par. You gotta love songs that deal with doing chicks in the butt.
P: “Yo I stuck it in the butt / ‘Tone it hurts’ / bitch shut the fuck up!” I’m gonna make sure this one gets played at my wedding.
Track 6 – “DIYM” is another personal favorite. This track is just so slick – the bassline is crazy! DIYM = Dick In Your Mouth for all you readers who don’t know the time.
T: I skipped it a couple times, but I didn’t realize the greatness of this
Track. Yes, that bassline is ill. Tone doesn’t stray from the topic much, but hell who cares. Is this a Kurt Gowdy production?
P:I don’t know – it just says Produced By Trackmasterz on the sleeve. Although, I think back in those days it was Tone and Poke who did the majority of the beats. Gowdy was more of a DJ then.
T: Well, they have changed over the years.
P: Track 7 – ‘In the business’. Tone’s crew the ATEEM shows up in full effect! These guys are like DITC with more sex rhymes.
T: Another slept on crew – Hot Diggity Dog, Rob Swinga, Chubb Rock and Tone.
P:It’s a shame Chubb Rock isn’t on this album. I keep expecting him to jump up on the scene and kick it. Oh well…
T: Surprising actually since Tone is all over Chubb’s “Can I get Mine Yo” LP. The ATEEM definitely had a unique sound.
P: Track 8 – “I Like” – This shit is hilarious! I can’t believe this is the crossover/ ‘chick’ record on the album and he’s got a bunch of women singing “I like the things you do to me” on the hook!
T: Starts off with a little quiet storm action then it’s back to what Tone does best. You couldn’t have it any other way.
P: You can tell he wanted to make a positive record, but he just ends up spitting that game same as usual. I don’t think he could help himself.
T: This sounds like the start of the future Trackmasterz sound. This shit would chart if it came out today.
Track 9 – Never Love. Some more R&B’ish type stuff, but you know it’s not serious.
P: This shit is great too! This song makes me want to put on an eightball jacket and go do the Steve Martin with a chick wearing dolphin earrings!
T: Hell yeah.
P: I think Red Head Kingpin woulda sounded good on this track, by the way.
T: I agree
P: Trackmasterz freak the Pete Rock horns nicely at the end of the song too.
T: Yeah, this is probably right before Pete started blowing up.
P: Moving right along… Track 10 – “Pussy’s All That”.
T: With a title like “Pussy’s All That”, you know Tone isn’t going to be talking about the state of race relations.
P: Haha. Well I always thought this track was meant to be a metaphor for the Gulf War conflict, but maybe I was wrong. Anyway, its funny how the Trackmasterz used this same vocal sample later on for that “Affirmative Action” track off Nas’s second album.
T: I hated that song… But this smoothed out song talking about the female genitalia is pretty nice.
P: He freaks the female impersonation again on this song. They just don’t make enough songs like this any more.
T: See, that’s what’s different today – MC’s can’t make this stuff sound good anymore.
P: Only J-Zone is really doing it like this.
T: Exactly, that’s the closest to it now. Now my personal favorite song – “Give It Up”. I love this track, another funky bassline.
P: This is that laid-back style like on “Da Gigolo”, it’s a lot less clubby than most of the ot
her tracks on this album. The production on this joint is just great. The way the vocal sample comes in on the hook is off the hook.
T: And his lyrics are just funny.
P: “Did it in the back row while Hannibal Lecter killed the ho”, haha! Diamond D remixed this joint didn’t he?
T: I believe so.
P:As much as I love Diamond, there was no way he could beat the original. After the mandatory gonorrehia skit “It Burns” is “Lil Boy Blue”. The production on this is great too, real low key.
T: And it’s a subject that has affected every man sometime in his life.
P: Tone definitely addresses the trials and tribulations of modern man.
T: That’s what is so important about Tone, he covers the topics important to everyone.
P: Haha! The first rapper on this track has a funny voice too. He pulls it off nicely though.
T: Yeah, his voice works well with the track.
P: I really like the guitar solo and so forth on this joint.
T: It’s a nice mellow track, because let’s face it, when you have the Lil’
Boy Blues, you don’t really want to scream much.
P: The highlight on this song for me is where Tone’s talking about not cursing on the song because they won’t play it on the radio. And then he gives in and vents, ‘muthafuckin’ bitch why did you front on the pussy’! Classic!
T: Yeah – that’s classic. I know I’ve mumbled that a few times while throwing them in the freezer to cool them down.
P: Haha! Life lessons from Tone – he should release a self-help manual.
T: I’d buy it.
P: Fuck Dr Phil, Dr Tone is where it’s at.
T: He’d be more in touch with the people.
P: Track 14 – ‘Gigolo’s got it going on’.
T: Posse track right? Oh, my head is bobbing.
P: This is just that catchy club shit. The whole ATEEM crew minus Chubb Rock is all up in it
T: Gigolos, hoes and bitches… Gotta love it.
P: Tone shoulda done more joints with Grand Puba. He’s not on this album, but they had mad chemistry on ’3 men at chung king’ off Chubb Rock’s “Gotta Get Mine” record.
T: They did, another great track. Tone is underrated as a lyricist. I remember hearing him for the first time on Serch’s “Back To The Grill”.
P: He’s not the most complex lyricist but he’s got one of the best flows I’ve heard, plus a lot of humor. Track 15 is “Gotta Run”. This is more low-key R&B type shit. That Eric guy sings the hook again on this one, I wonder if he ever had an album…
T: This is some more quiet storm type shit, but don’t expect Tone to serenade you the traditional way.
P: Tone was a busy man, running from one hoe to another.
T: Gotta run because the chicks husband is coming home, like only a true gigolo can do it.
P: Another situation all us players have been caught up in at one time or another.
T: I’ve never dived out the window, but a few husbands have been known to come to my place of work and hang out without saying anything.
P: The last track on the album is another skit – ‘Sex Anonymous’. This shit was kinda unnecessary.
T: Ehhh okay, so we got to give it one knock at least.
P:I can’t imagine Tone ever checking into a clinic for sexaholics.
T: Why would he?
P: Maybe to pick up some sexaholic ho’s?
T: I’m sure Tone had all the pussy he could handle after this album, and I know he is getting it now since he is a head honcho at Motown.
P: There’s another track listed on the record sleeve after this called ‘My Lady’, but the folk at Select Records forgot to put it on the record so that one remains a mystery.
T: I might have to find the CD version just for those two songs. I’ve seen it floating around, but it’s been a while.
P: It’s on the tape version too, I’ve been told. Still, even with two songs missing this is a classic album in my books. The only bad thing I can say about it is the inclusion of that last skit and the fact that my man Chubb Rock wasn’t on it.
T: It’s for sure a slept on classic that clearly represents the best of sex rhymes from the golden age. Not really an album out there that has quality and raunchy raps as this does.
P: Not to mention hot-ass production from the Trackmasters. It gets a 5 of your daughters panites for me out of 5 from me!
T: I’ll give it a 4.5 out of 5 of your daughters panties for me. But I’m just picky about that stuff. The production is definitely top notch. The only thing I’ll knock is the lack of diverse subject matter, which doesn’t really bother me. It’s definitely a guide to any wannabe player.
P: Yeah… Well I’m glad he stuck to what he knows about. He obviously knew his strengths and weaknesses and worked around them. I mean you wouldn’t wanna hear Tone try and kick some super-scientifical shit. Any final words?
T: If you can find it, grab it – and sharpen up your macking game.