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Hip Hop 101: The Nas Remixes "Where Are They Now": The West Coast Remix (Part One)

by Travis on March 20, 2007

Sorry for the delay. I really wanted to cram this Nas series all in last week, but due to the incredible amount of time these are taking and the extra workload over the weekend, it . I don’t want the writing or the quality of the post to suffer from rushing them and doing some half-assed post. I do have spring break this week, but the extra time will only be converted into a 40 hour work week of analyzing weather forecasting software and other fun and exciting stuff. But tomorrow should siginal the beginning of normalness at work. Enough of the boring details, on with the program.

West Remix: Breeze, Kam, King Tee, Candyman, Threat, Ice-T, Sir Mix-A-Lot and the Conscious Daughters (With scratches from DJ Bobcat)

The fact that Nas’ came with a west coast version of “Where Are They Now” was remarkable in the fact that NY didn’t alway give the west it’s respect in the earlier days. Sure Ice T and Donald D might have gotten some spins, but it helped that they had roots back to the east and the almighty Zulu Nation. The second day when this remixed popped up on the scene, I was pretty happy to see MC’s like Breeze, King Tee, Threat and even in nogalastic way, Candyman.


Parties At My House EP (?) (1987) Not sure of the legitimacy of this release
The Young Son Of No One (T.Y.S.O.N) (Atlantic, 1989)

Oddly enough, there isn’t a lot of info on MC Breeze of L.A. fame. I say oddly, because while his album “The Young Son Of No One” wasn’t a huge hit, it made some noise in the late 80′s, was on a major label in Atlantic, and had some top notch prodcution in the form of the L.A. Posse, who consisted of Bobby “Bobcat” Ervin, Dwayne Simon, and Dayrl Pierce and some sources include the west coast legend, DJ Pooh, but I don’t recall being much involved in the crew. You might recognize those names as the production team that produced LL Cool J’s classic “Bigger & Deffer” a few years earlier.

While there is a rumored EP from 1987 (I’ve never seen it), he released only the one album which had the single “LA Posse”, which made quite a bit of noise in ’89, on the video channels such as Yo! and the such. The album itself, despite sounding kind of New Yorkish in the lyrics (it was recorded in NY) did have the P-Funk sounding beats and the “More Bounce To The Ounce” samples that dominated the west at the time. Breeze would pop up on two King Tee albums, “At Your Own Risk” on the posse cut “Played Like A Piano” and on “IV Life” on the track “Free Style Ghetto”.

The LA Posse themselves would probably go on to me popular than Breeze was. They would do work on “Walking With A Panther”, which recieved a blacklash for it’s production (among other things). They released their own album “They Come In All Colors”, which was very lack luster IMO.

LA Posse myspace

Breeze – The Young Son Of No One (Atlantic, 1989)

A1 T.Y.S.O.N. (3:42)
A2 Pull A Fast One (3:08)
A3 Steadily Tryin’ To Flow Like….. (2:28)
A4 Goin’ Through A Phase (3:34)
A5 Loungin’ (5:11)
B1 L.A. Posse (4:59)
B2 Girls On My Mind (3:28)
B3 Scene Of The Homicide (3:47)
B4 Great Big Freak (3:02)
B5 Watch The Hook (2:14)

Bobcat: Bobby “Bobcat” Ervin

As LA Posse
They Come In All Colors (Atlantic, 1991)

Solo Artist
Production Discography
Cat Got Ya Tongue (Arista, 1989)

While Bobcat wasn’t neccesarily on Nas’ west coast remix, he did do the scratches and I think he is a rather important and often forgotten figure in the whole west lore. Bobcat got his start in “Uncle Jamm’s Army”, which was a legendary west coast crew that included west coast all-stars such as DJ Pooh and Egyptian Lover. Bob would later go one to form the LA Posse, as I’ve already mentioned. He would make a major name for himself producing the “Bigger & Deffer” along with the others.

He would use his new found fame to get a solo deal from Arista and drop “Cat Got Ya Tongue” in ’89. I’m guessing he didn’t have a lot of creative control, because the album sounds like watered down “I Need Love” tracks and a handful of decent ones. They sound more east coast influenced than west and for the longest time, I just assumed Bob was from the east. He would do solo production on fellow Arista members, K-9 Posse during this time period.

Bobcat would also join up with with LA Posse member DJ Pooh and Rashad to form the “Boogiemen”, (not the hip hop group) another production crew that was instrumental in producing Del’s solo album “I Wish My Brother George Was Here” and also did a handful (10 to be exact) of tracks on Ice Cube’s momumental LP, “Death Certificate”. They get very little acclaim for having a such a major roll in producing the classic. It seems that Jinx and Cube get most of the credit.

Bobcat would do mostly solo producton then on out along with some DJ work as well. He would produce tracks for Ice Cube’s “Predetor” and Tupac’s “All Eyez On Me”.

Bobcat – Cat Got Ya Tongue (Arista, 1989)

1 Do It (4:47)
2 I’m Serious (3:37)
3 I’m Cool (5:32)
4 Who’s Got The Juice
5 I Need You (6:25)
6 Come With Me (4:36)
7 Best In The West (4:25)
Clubbin’ (5:05)
9 Linda (2:54)
10 Cat Got Ya Tongue (2:59)
11 West Side Story
12 The Mob (4:36)
13 She Wanted To Share Her Lovin’ (5:55)

King Tee

Act A Fool (Capitol, 1988)
At Your Own Risk (Capitol, 1990)
Tha Trifflin’ Album (Capitol, 1993)
IV Life (MCA, 1995)
Ruff Rhymes: Greatest Hits Collection (Capitol, 1998)
(Unreleased) Thy Kingdom Come

King Tee, hailing from Compton, California, should be mentioned among the West Coast pioneers along with Ice T & NWA. Kin Tila took the aspects of some of his favorite east coast music and applied them to his own brand of west coast funk. His early attempts were produced by DJ Unknown, who did a lot of Ice T’s early stuff, and a young DJ Pooh, who would go on to become a legend in west coast circles.

King Tee’s first album, “Act A Fool” is a west coast classic in its own right. With tracks like “Bass (remix)” and “Payback’s a Mutha”, Tee perfected a “crazy drunken style” waaaay before ODB or any others. The video for “Bass” was an staple on early “Yo! MTV Raps” and featured many early west coast artists and exposed the nation to the art of hydralics and “hittin’ switches” way before it caught on in the early 90′s.

In 1990, King Tee would drop his sophomore LP, “At Your Own Risk”, which would futher cement him into the West heirarchy. It was that LP’s remix of the title track that was produced by Marley Marl that would mark one of the first times the East and West colaborated in such a way. In 1993, Tee would jump back in the scene with his crew, The Likwit Crew, which would would introduce the world to the “Alkaholiks”, consisting of J-Ro, E-Swift (who DJ’d on Tee’s second album) and Tash, who was absent on “Tha Trifflin’ Album”, for serving a bie after a DUI arrest. Some argue that “Tha Trifflin’ Album” is Tee’s best work, and it just might be.

In 1995, King Tipsy would drop his fourth LP, entitled “IV Life”. This LP would see production from a variety of producers, including Broadway, DJ Pooh, and the heavily slept on Thayad. The track “Free Style Ghetto” is a west coast classic in my opinion. It features Tha Liks, Xzibit and Breeze. Again, he comes with the west flavor with just a tinge of east coast to appeal to heads all over the US.

King Tee would then sign with Dre’s label, Aftermath. Sounds good right? Well, despite all the hype surrounding the album which most fans thought would be King Tees best work to date, after many album delays and the such, King Tee would leave the album with out so much a single being released. It’s not known exactly what happened (sound familiar) and while there doesn’t seem to be any ill feelings toward Dre, one has to wonder why Tee can’t catch the break he deserves. The album “Kingdom Come”, did get released on a German label, but I don’t think it was legit. THe album itself is honestly a little disappointing to me, maybe it’s the fact of what I think he could have been that makes it not as good. King Tee is still out on the scene and I’m hoping for a big comeback from him.

King Tee Interview

King Tee – IV Life (MCA, 1995)

2. SUPER NI–A featuring D.J. Pooh & Rashad
3. DUCK featuring E-Swift
7. FREE STYLE GHETTO featuring Xzibit, M.C. Breeze & The Alkaholics
9. LET’S GET IT ON featuring Nikke Nicole


Sickinnahead (Mercury/Polygram, 1993)

I’m just copying and pasting an old write up about Threat….for obvious reasons

Before the westside turned into the land of G-Funk, DJ Pooh, Bobcat, Battlecat, and even Sir Jinx were the producers of choice. Coming with hard funk tracks, that were hard enough to drive down the Boulevard in the six-trey, yet soulful enough to make the listener really feel the pain and restlessness that was experianced in the west in the early 90′s. True, one can only hear “Funky Worm” and “More Bounce To The Ounce” so many times before it gets repeatitious, but something about those old funk beats that just screams “good times”.

One of the better pre G-Funk albums was L.A. MC, Threat’s “Sickinnahead”. Threat had been in the LA scene for most of the early 90′s, appearing on Yo-Yo’s “Black Pearl” album, 2 pac’s “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z”, Tha Alkaholik’s “21 & Over”, our last feature, King Tee’s “Tha Triflin’ Album”, Ice Cube’s “Death Certificate” along with the “Get The Fist Movement” and some other features.

In 93′ Threat dropped is solo release, “Sickinnahead”, which featured production from westcoast beatmakers, DJ Pooh & Bobcat. The album is severely over looked, even in the west coast. Threat comes with a strong delivery and dope lyrics. There are many verses on the album the stick in the listeners head. I was a fan of his verses on the Lik’s track “Who Dem N—a’s” and Pac’s “Peep Game”, so picking this album up when dropped was a must. The album jumps off into one of the best intro tracks there is. “PDK” comes with an opening verse that just sets the whole mood for the albums

“I’m here to let you know that no ho plays me
I don’t do crack cause I’m already crazy
And we don’t need no mo’, psycho people
Guns don’t kill people, people kill people
Haven’t you heard, there’s a new sheriff in to-own
But one black chief can’t calm us do-own
We floss ‘em out wide, the nigga ain’t from our tribe
Not +Tribe Called Quest+, the tribe called West
Too legit to quit so tell the cops they can kiss my
young black ass cause I’m out to get mine (you’re gonna get yours)
Let it be known, to all, men, that roam the planet earth
that Allah come first
Livin in the L.A. Zoo you gotta be a warrior
Make sure you got a good lawyer
Get caught with a spear that’s fifteen years
I hit the fence with my khakis and still they shootin at me
Tryin to kill us off like buffalo
Po-po can’t have my life, or my soul, so…..”

I always had problems getting pass the first track, once I did, the whole album is like a trip through South Central, from harrassing the pan handlers, to getting faded in the 6-4, it’s a like a day in the life of Deadly Threat. The single and video for “Let The Dog’s Loose” got some play on Yo! as well. Tracks like “Sucka Free”, “When it Rains”, “24-7″ tie the album nicely together in a very cohesive effort. The first half of the album is nearly flawless, while the second half slips a bit, but not enough to over shadow any progress he made early on.

Threat unfortunately pretty much vanished after polygram went tits up. He recently showed up on last year’s “Street Music” by Defari, which I have yet to hear.

Threat – Sickinnahead (Polygram/Mercury, 1993)

1. PDK
2. Sucka Free
3. Niggas Like You
4. 4 Deep
5. Let the Dogs Loose
6. When It Rains
7. Get Ghost
8. 24-7
9. Shuta Fuck Up
10. Ass Out
11. Zuu
12. Whore Said It’s Yours
13. Give It Up
14. Shote (Threw Wit Money)
15. Bust One fa Me
16. So Now You Know

Part Two coming…..soon (Wednesday Hopefully)

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Big Chuck February 26, 2010 at 2:18 am

Can U re-up Threat "Sickinnahead", I've been searching for this for a long time…Gotta have it. So close , yet so far away from my grasp!

Travis March 2, 2010 at 6:33 am

Gotta have that Threat. It's on CD in a box, I'll look for it this week.

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