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So Corny….It's Good, Part Two: Redhead Kingpin

by Travis on November 7, 2006

I doubt many of you were were around for the first installment of our “It’s So Corny…It’s Good” series waaaaay back in April of this year on Kwame, who incidentely was posted on Bust The Facts just today. I caught a little heat for that…okay when you get 50 hits a day and two people leave comments not too pleased about it, that’s heat in my book.

It’s not that I don’t like these artists, or am embarrassed to be listening to them, I mean hell, I am posting them on a blog for gawd’s sakes, but if you were around during the time they were popular….well….you could catch some heat for it. Now I’m not talking Hammer (who’s first album I will admit to liking) or Vanilla Ice, who is never going be the “thug’s passion”, but artists, who for whatever reason, were really never “street” enough for the hard rocks back in the day.

This is what I wrote way back on that April day about the whole subject and I still stand by my observation of the artists that will be covered in this series:

“Have you ever heard a song that first time you heard it, it sounded corny as shit, but there is just something about it……..something that makes you want to sing along with it. You know you shouldn’t like it, you shouln’t play it, but sooner or later you find yourself sneaking around your boys, playing a certain song, or a CD that you know you would get clowned on if anyone ever found out. Hip hop is very into peer pressure. In a sense, there are too many sheep and not enough wolves. If something is corny, at least in the “old days”, it usually was talking about things not typically found in hip hop. Stuff like Kid N Play, or DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. The subject matter wasn’t about how “hard on the boulevard” you are, or bustin’ yo gat. It was about other things that fell into the realm of “corniness”. If just given a chance, it wasn’t all that bad. Some of the music was actually pretty good. I’m not saying all corny music can be good. There is alot of corny music out there that is horrible no matter how you look at it. But there is some that people look down on for one reason or another. It’s this music that I’m going to kind of spotlight from time to time. There were alot of artists from the late 80′s to the mid 90′s that fell into that “corny” category. You have been “trained” that you probably shouldn’t like it, but dammit, some of it isn’t all that bad. True, some people will see some of the music I’m going to highlite and laugh their asses off. I don’t care, I’m comfortable enough to say “hey, I like this!” Some of it, yes, I did hide from my friends back in the day. Some of it has been forgotten, some of it still wears the “corny badge” to this day. Well, I’m bringing the fiber with some healthy corny choices.”

Alright, so maybe it wasn’t written as well I would have liked, but none the less you get the idea. The next artist on the “Corny” list is Dave Guppy aka Redhead Kingpin.

First appearing with his F.B.I crew back in the late 80′s, Red jumped on the scene as a “Yo! MTV Raps” darling, with his “Do The Right Thing” jam, a track that should have been on Spikes flick by the same name, but rumoredly was passed up in favor of P.E.’s “Fight The Power” for movie the anthem.

Red’s main claim to corniness isn’t neccesarily his lyrics, but the style and music on his album that was the fad at the time, the New Jack Swing. The Teddy Riley inspired (and in the case of Red’s first album, produced) jams packed the dance floors, but those of us listening to LL, Big Daddy, or NWA would cringe when the beats of NJS hit the airwaves.

He dropped his debut album with his F.B.I crew in 1989 which garned three “Semi” hits in “Do The Right Thing”, “Pump It Hottie” and “Roc The Mic Right”. The rest of the album is actually pretty tight, “Superbad Superslick” was one of my favorites as well. This album alone didn’t cement him in the corniness Hall of Fame though, but his next one did.

Redhead Kingpen & The F.B.I. – A Shade of Red (Atlantic, 1989)
1. Do the Right Thing (USA)
2. Pump It Hottie
3. We Rock the Mic Right
4. Superbad, Superslick
5. Redhead One6. Scram!
7. Kilimanjaro Style
8. Do That Dance
9. Speaking on Everything
10. Shade of Red

“The Album With No Name” dropped in 91′ when times were a changing in the Hip Hop world. This, along with the fact there was no “King” of the New Jack Swing to produce the album, left the album sounding some what out of place in the world of hip hop. It was in between the time when you were either Afrocentric, playing for the Radio glam, or jumping on the growing Gangsta bandwagon. This album has a little bit of everything and some very corny sounding moments….which is what appeals to me so much. Jams like “3-2-1 Pump”, “The Song With No Name”, and the message driven “We Don’t Have No Plan B” didn’t have the groovy NJS that the last album had, but had just enough to get your ass moving and singing along when no one was looking. It did have it’s VERY BAD moments, like “Get It Together” or “It’s A Love Thang”. Both were examples of R&B sung chorus over “uplifting” messages. The only thing uplifting up these songs were the uplifting of my lunch in my stomach after listening to these songs. The highlite of corniness though is the last song of the album with Kwame guest appearing. I love this song, it has some great lines in it, but it is the epitimy of corniness….

Redhead Kingpin & The F.B.I – The Album With No Name (Virgin, 1991)

1. All About Red – Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I.
2. Soap – Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I.
3. What Do You Hate – Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I.
4. Harlem Brown – Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I.
5. It’s a Love Thang (Word) – Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I.
6. No Reason – Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I.
7. We Don’t Have a Plan B – Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I.
8. Nice & Slow – Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I.
9. Song With No Name – Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I., Tony Rome
10. Interlude – Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I., Tony Rome
11. 3-2-1 Pump – Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I., Tony Rome
12. Wild Style Collage – Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I., Tony Rome
13. Get It Together – Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I., Tony Rome
14. Got 2 Go – Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I., Tony Rome
15. Dave & Kwame (Gimme Dat Girl) – Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I., Tony Rome

The New Jack Swing was no longer “cool” soon after the new wave of hip hop kicked in and Red kind of slipped off the map. He would reappear in a group of sorts the Private Investigators and the LP “Re Act Like Ya Knew”. Gone was his sense of humor, the new jack swing and honestly any creative music. Yeah, I’m not fond of this album. I waited a long time to get it, because I heard rumors it’s Red’s attempt at fitting in during the time, and they were right, he didn’t adjust very well, but some of you might find it entertaining….Okay, it’s not that bad, but it just lacks what made him appealing in the first place to me. “Mash Up The Mic” was the only single and wasn’t all that bad.

Private Investigators – React Like Ya Knew (Virgin, 1993)
1. That’s What It Is
2. Who Am I? (God)
3. But She’s Not My G
4. Damn It Feels Good
5. Mash Up the Mic
6. Walk On
7. U Fi Listen
8. Shy Country Girl
9. On the Rise
10. Mom Dukes
11. Silencer
12. Stuff Ya’ Love to Bang Ya’ Head To

Videos: (One of These days I’ll figure out how to embed fucking youtube in blogger)
Do The Right Thing

Pump It Hottie

Few Tidbits……

Someone sent me these song lyrics, hopefully someone can help him out with it. It sounds familar to me, but I’m bad at stuff like this sometimes. He is looking for the song title…..

the hook went> >> > “i give it to ya raw like that (2x)> >> > word to everything i got too hot…playa watch im coming for tha jackpot”> >> >

From around 97 or so …..yeah, I know, not much to work with, but some of you vinyl junkies might have a clue.

Jaz Presents: The Adagio Collection tracklisting…

Finally tracked it down….

1-20 cents
2-poetry to infinity
3-the obvious joint
6-who is adagio
7-listening pleasure_ft_breezly_brewin
8-ass and benefits
9-boy & girl tale
11-the obvious_joint_ii
13_who makes it hot ft the_ juggaknots

Speaking of corniness………….
I was going through my private message on (yeah, I’m a true internet geek…POTNA!) and I ran across a message that Polarity and I were discussing a name for this blog. Thank god Polarity was smart enough to shoot down some of my suggestions. I must have been on a two day crack binge or something, but here were some suggestions…

“Don’t You Wish Your Boyfriend Was Swass Like me”
Walk With A Kane
Kangol Hats and Shell Toes
Godzilla Meets MP3
Fuzzy Gerbiels And 8 Tracks
Golden Age to the Aluminium Age
Raiders Of the Lost Tracks
The Juice Unit Syndicate (or any play on crew names)
A Mile High Down Under
Wake Your Daughter Up
Beats, Rhymes and Death

as you can see Wake Your Daughter Up won out. It’s not that we are trying to be sick demented pervs…okay, maybe we are, but we thought it was a nice play on words since No Face’s album was the kind of stuff we wanted to highlite. No, not corny half bass/ half sex albums, just the more obscured stuff out there. For what it was worth, “Don’t You Wish Your Boyfriend Was Swass Like Me” was actually the first pick, but the lengthiness kind of shot that down. Not that “Wake Your Daughter Up” is much shorter.

That’s all, peace out…….Travis

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Zaire January 6, 2010 at 6:29 am

Further elaboration is greatly appreciated .

You sure did have a hell of a lot written about him. Happy to know his life, even now, interests you that much.


Travis January 6, 2010 at 10:34 pm

He provided me with hours, even days, of dope music that will forever be apart of my life (I can remember standing at the bus stop freezing my ass off, pumping "A Shade of Red" in my walkman, tape player even). And their are many "geeks" like me that still celebrate his music and the impact it might have had on us.

Anonymous January 11, 2010 at 10:33 pm

I created the Wikipedia page for Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I.

It would be great if Zaire or anyone else could look at it and updated with the latest or add more info that's missing.

It's important that key late 80's and early 90's rappers are not forgotten!

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