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Two For One Friday…..Once Again, It's On

by Travis on August 4, 2006


Another week gone by, another week in the books. It’s Friday once again and that means it’s time for one of our “Two For One Friday” posts. I, for one, am happy this damn week is over, but unfortunately, my ass is broke (too many hookers and too much crack) so it’s going to be a exciting weekend of……well….nothing really. Being broke is a bitch. Enough of my problems, today, we have an OOP album from a female duo from the late 80′s. We also have a demo from one of my personal favorite westcoast MC’s. Also, for the hell of it, you once again get not one, not two, but THREE albums for the price of one. So let’s kick this shit off…….

Finesse & SynquisSoul Sisters (MCA Uptown, 1988)

1. Soul Sisters (3:45) 2. We Can Do This (4:15) 3. Strictly For Business (3:05) 4. I’ll Be There (3:53) 5. Soft But Deadly (3:36) 6. I Can Do Better (4:20) 7. Fatal Beauty (4:04) 8. A Jam Ain’t A Jam (4:25)

We start off with part three in our “Forgotten Ladies Of Hip Hop” series, and this duo has definetely been forgotten over the years. In all honesty, when this album dropped, it probably exemplified everything I disliked about female MC’s at that time. They had a vibe and image similar to “Salt N Pepa”, the dapper dan outfits, trading verses and words on point , the corny dance steps, yet they set themselves apart from the other duo’s out there. They came off harder.

If Salt N Pepa were the people’s champ, then Finesse & Synquis were the B-Boy’s champ. This album had damn good beats for one. I’m not saying Hurby Luv Bug, who did most of Salt N Pepa’s production was wack, but he was no Ced Gee who did half of the “Soul Sisters” album for Finesse and Synquis. Keep in mind, that this album dropped in 88′ when Ced Gee was THE man in the hip hop production game. Ced was responsible for Ultramagnetic’s “Critical Beatdown” and the well known ghost producer for BDP’s “Criminal Minded”. R&B producer Kyle West also contibutes three tracks, the lead single “Soul Sisters” was produced by West and it came off funky. This was another thing that set them apart from the ultimate girl group of that era, they were a bit rougher with a harder edge. They were still fairly straight lace (I can’t recall any cursing on the album), but their deliveries were harder and their voices not quite the high pitch of Salt N Pepa.

As far as I can tell, they split after releasing only this album (although I could have sworn there was a sophomore release, I can only find info on this one). Finesse would show up in the late 90′s in the only female group associated with the Wu-Tang as “Deadly Venoms” with N-Tyce, Champ MC and J-Boo who had two unreleased albums with major labels and a smaller, hard to find independent album early in 00′s. This album is worth grabbing just for the four Ced Gee tracks, which are great late 80′s vintage Ced Gee beats.

Ras Kass- Soul On Ice (Demo Version 1995)

(Warning: sound quality is lacking)

  • Track Listing:
    1. Everything I Love
  • 2. Core Audience
  • 3. High IQ
  • 4. Won’t Catch me Running
  • 5. Capital R-A-S
  • 6. Blood Is Thicker Than Water
  • 7. Interlude
  • 8. Take A Deep Breath
  • 9. Remain Anonymous
  • 10. Take A Deep Breath (remix)
  • 11. Walk The Walk

When you talk about the offical release of “Soul On Ice“, the lack of quality of production is usually brought up somewhere in the conversation. Likewise, the quality of lyrics and the scathing social commentary is almost always brought up as well. When taking a listen to this demo version of “Soul On Ice”, in it’s orginal carnation, one must wonder what could have been.

The demo version (if that what it truly is) features a less polished MC in Ras, but a unpolished Ras is still better than 90% of the MC’s out there. It also features beats that are better than what is heard on the final version. Information on who exactly are the producers is sketchy at less, but it seems to be the same two producers who are featured on the majority of the production on the final version, fellow Western Hemisphere memebers, Bird and Voodoo. This version is dark in nature much like it’s final version, but the beats are more layred but with a fuller, harder sound.

Lyrically, Rassy still can bring it on the mic, which he does on this version. Yet, he just doesn’t seem as sharp as what was heard on the later product. “Remain Anonymous” and “Won’t Catch Me Runnin’” eventually did leak their way out in the public, so if you have heard those, it’s a glimpse of what to expect on this.

As far as I can tell, most of these songs were scrapped for a variety of reasons. Sample clearance issues, label drama (damn, even back then) and inner beefs with his Western Hemisphere crew lead to most of these cuts getting scrapped. While it’s not the potential “breakout” album Ras has been missing, it’s still fun to hear some of the stuff that didn’t make the final cut and some of that is unfortunate.

Freebie Of The Day: Anotha Level- On Anotha Level (Priority, 1994)
This was one of those albums that I wanted to buy when it orginally dropped, but for whatever reason, I never did. Finally got a chance to cop it this past year. Not bad, but not great. Worth the listen though. What other album are you going to have both Ice Cube and Pharcyde guest appear on?

Anyway, I’m not going to speak much on it, because I don’t know that much about it. Someone requested it so I figured I’d share with the rest of you.

That’s all for this friday…may all your beers be cold and your women be hot


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