Back at it again, with a normal ass schedule for work and some “free time”, whatever that consists of. Between work and four fantasy baseball drafts in three nights, I’ve been lacking the time to dedicate as much time as I’d like this week. If you are a fantasy baseball geek, be sure to check out the “All-Star Blogger” league, that is being covered by Rafi at Oh Word, stop by and cheer on The Daughter in our quest for Blogger Fantasy Baseball world supremacy.
I have lots of things on my mind, but I think I’ll save that for the weekend posts when I can spew my mindless dribblings all I want. For now, let’s get back in to the “Where Are They Now” series….
West Remix: Breeze, Kam, King Tee, Candyman, Threat, Ice-T, Sir Mix-A-Lot and the Conscious Daughters (With scratches from DJ Bobcat)
Neva Again (EastWest Records, 1993)
Made In America (EastWest Records, 1995)
Kamnesia (JCor, 2001)
My knowledge of Kam is fairly limited. I never got into his music for whatever reason. I’ve liked what I’ve heard from him, but never got to deep into his catalog. He came up with Ice Cube and his Lench Mob crew, appearing both on the “Boyz N The Hood” soundtrack with the incredible track “Every Single Weekend” and on Cube’s “Death Certificate on the “Color Blind” posse track and was associated with Cube’s “Street Knowledge” label. The fact is, with Kam around, Cube’s association with the Nation of Islam in those early 90′s years was taken more seriously than it might have been without Kam in the picture. It’s even been noted by such hip hop notables such as Davey D, that it was Kam who kept Cube out of harms way after some backlash due to Cube’s portrayal of “Dough Boy” in “Boyz…”.
Kam’s first album, “Neva Again” is very Afrocentric and socially conscious in nature. His NOI influence can be heard all over the album, and it covers topics from the Riots to gangs. The single, “Peace Treaty”, was the attention grabber. The production was handled by a hodge podge of some well known producers, such as a DJ Pooh track, Rashad of the Boogiemen, and Solid Scheme, who was doing production for Cube at the time and some not so well known producers. Cube was also the executive producer of the album.
For Kam’s second album, Ice Cube was noticeably absent from any doings of the album. Cube’s Street Knowledge umbrella was in shambles amid accusations of some shady business practices on Cube’s part. Kam was apart of the increasing number of people pointing fingers at Cube for mishandling business & money matters. The result was that “Made In America” lacks any involvement of Cube whatsoever. This album, in my opinion, is actually more consistent and better production is abundant through out the album, with Battlecat, Cold 187um of Above the Law fame, and DJ Quik all make contributions behind the boards on the album.
Things between Kam and Cube would come to head when one of Kam’s boys would catch Cube coming out of a video shoot. A physical altercation occurred that resulted in Cube’s chain being snatched. Kam would also drop “Whoop Whoop” on the DJ Pooh compilation in ’97 that dissed the shit out of Cube. Later that year though, the Nation sit the two down and they would work out their differences, although they have never worked together again.
Kam is now signed to Paris’ “Guerilla Funk” label and working on an album called “The Self”.
Kam – Made In America (Eastwest Recordings, 1995) **albumbase link**
|2. Trust Nobody|
|3. Pull Ya Hoe Card|
|4. That’s My Nigga|
|5. Way’a Life|
|6. Down Fa Mine – Kam Featuring MC Ren And Dresta|
|7. In Traffic|
|8. Givin’ It Up|
|9. Nut’N Nice|
|10. Who Ridin’|
|11. Keep Tha Peace|
Ain’t No Shame In My Game (Epic, 1990)
Playtime Is Over (Epic, 1991)
I Thought U Knew (IRS, 1993)
Candyman’s Knockin Boots 2001: A Sex Odyssey (2001)
Candyman started off as a back up dancer for Tone Loc in the late 80′s. He would go on to get his own solo deal and release the cross-over hit “Ain’t No Shame In My Game” in 1990. Hip Hop was crossing over something major in the early 90′s, and it started with Tone Loc and Young MC, and lead to others like Candyman, who could be classified as a “one hit wonder” when his single “Knockin’ The Boots” gained a lot of spin on the radio’s and on MTV. In all honesty, looking back at all the cross over albums from the time period, this is the one I still enjoy from time to time in today’s time period. It is what it is, which is watered down hip hop, but it was kind of fun to listen to in the same way DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince were fun to listen to.
Candyman – Ain’t No Shame In My Game (Epic, 1990)
|01||Ain’t No Shame In My Game (Show)|
|03||Don’t Leave Home Without It|
|05||Melt In Your Mouth|
|06||Playin’ On Me|
|08||A Mack Is Back|
|10||Who Shakes The Best|
|11||Keep On Watcha Doin’|
|12||5 Verses Of Def|
Rhyme Pays (Sire, 1987)
Power (Sire, 1988)
The Iceberg/Freedom Of Speech (Sire, 1989)
O.G. Original Gangster (Sire, 1991)
Home Invasion (Priority, 1993)
VI – Return Of The Real (Priority, 1996)
The Seventh Deadly Sin (Coroner, 1999)
Gangsta Rap (Melee, 2006)
Say what you want about Ice T now, but there is no denying he is one of the founding fathers of West Coast hip hop and Gangsta Rap in general. The man is a major cog in the whole West Coast history. Ice was born in Newark, New Jersey. After both of his parents passed away by the time he was in his early teens, he would move out to LA and by high school. Ice would get caught up in the gang life while attending Crenshaw High during his teen yeas. Soon after graduating High School, Ice would join the Army and become an Army Ranger and do his four year bid. By 1980, he was back in LA, and back into the shady dealings of the gang life. he would also start DJing and doing some work on the mic at house parties and clubs, one of the first in LA to do it.
Ice would team up with another prominent early L.A. MC, Kid Frost and do shows through out the early. In ’82, Ice T would release “The Coldest Rap”, which is also one of the first West Coast songs on wax. He would release “Killers” in ’84. Both tracks would be featured in a later collection of Ice’s early works, “The Classic Collection”, which features “Dog n’ On Wax” as well.
In the mid 80′s, Southern California slowly started to build a foundation of artists. Besides Ice T, other artists with records out would include, The World Class Wreckin’ Cru, The Egyptian Lover, The LA Dream Team and others. LA was doing it’s own thing as far as the music seemed. The early west coast music was more Electro influenced, which can be traced back to New York. There was a club in downtown LA called “Radio” which was ran by some European’s that came from New York. It was an underground club that dealt with DJ’ing, Graf, and Breaking. It would be the one place in LA that would bring in Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmixer DST, and the Rock Steady Crew.
It would be through this club that Ice would meet Afrika Islam, who at that time was the DJ for the Rock Steady Crew. Ice and Afrika Islam would keep in touch, which would lead to Ice making a trips back to NY. It was here that Ice would perform at the Latin Quarters, meeting all the important players in the NY rap game at the time. When he dropped the single “Dog n’ On Wax”, he would go out to NY to promote the single. It would be the B-side though, that would grab NY’s attention. The joint “6 ‘N The Morning”, which was heavily influenced by Schoolly D’s “P.S.K.” , was more east coast sounding that most things coming from the west at that time. It is also considered the first Gangster rap record in the west coast. It would beat out “Boyz N The Hood”, which honestly sounds like another version of “6 N’ The Morning” to me.
Through Islam’s connections, he would get Ice a deal through Sire/Warner Brother records. With a $40,000 recording budget, Ice and Afrika Islam would spend spend $25,000 recording it in NY and then blow the rest of the budget in a whirl wind 30 day period. The end result would be Ice’s debut “Rhyme Pays”. The album itself contains many different styles and topics. Everything from the gang life, to sex rhymes to some political ideologies were present on the LP.
New York would also be where the Rhyme Syndicate would be born. Donald D, Bronx Style Bob, Afrika Islam, Divine Styler and others would be first to join the “Syndicate”, a loosely affiliated collection of MC’s and Ice’s homeboys that Ice put on. Rhyme Syndicate would include future “stars” such as King Tee, WC as part of Low Profile, Everlast before his House Of Pain days, Tairre B, who was one of the first white female MC’s. Donald D, who was from the Bronx, would move out west and be Ice’s right hand man, even co-writing a lot of Ice’s future albums.
Ice would go onto release three more consistent albums, “Power”, “Iceberg/Freedom of Speech”, and “OG Original Gangster”. All of which could be considered “classics” in some circles, such as my own opinion and all did very well in sales with earning at least a gold plaque on all of them. All which would fall a pretty similar formula to the one before it, but if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. His fifth album, “Home Invasion” was the beginning of the end for me at least and for most of his retail success. No fear though, as I’m sure most everyone knows, Ice has made a name for himself in film and TV. I guess Nas didn’t watch TV, because he’s been on “Law & Order” for awhile now.
Sorry to cut it short, but Ice is probably one of the more popular artists, so I figured most people would know his recording career history fairly well.
Ice T – Iceberg/Freedom Of Speech….Just Watch What You Say (Sire, 1989)
|1||Shut Up, Be Happy|
|Featuring – Jello Biafra|
|4||You Played Yourself|
|5||Peel Their Caps Back|
|6||The Girl Tried To Kill Me|
| Drums – Beat Master V
Guitar – Ernie C
|7||Black ‘N’ Decker|
|8||Hit The Deck|
|Bass – Lloyd (2)|
|9||This One’s For Me|
|10||The Hunted Child|
|11||What Ya Wanna Do?|
|12||Freedom Of Speech|
|Featuring – Jello Biafra|
|13||My Word Is Bond|
|Featuring – Bronx Style Bob , Donald D|
Swass (Nastymix, 1988)
Seminar (Nastymix, 1989)
Mack Daddy (American, 1992)
Chief Boot Knocka (American, 1994)
Return Bumpasaraus (American, 1996)
Daddy’s Home (Reincarnate, 2003)
Sir Mix-A-Lot is a Northwest king. He would be the first from the region to gain any kind of fame. In 1985, Mix would release “Square Dance Rappin’”, which is actually Kid Sensation with a sped up voice, but Mix did the production. The single would actually become big over seas first in the UK and such.
Mix would continue to make a name for himself in the Sea-Town area. He would drop “Swass” (which we almost incorparted in the name of this blog as “Don’t You Wish Your Boyfriend Was Swass Like Me”, some how, DYWYBWSLM doesn’t ring the same bell as WYDU) in 1988, which would drop the hit single, “Posse On Broadway”. I’m not sure if anyone pass the Mississippi was into this album, but it caught wreck out west and especially in the Northwest. It also would get some love on “Yo! MTV Raps” and was a major woofer tester for all my friends in High School. Mix’s music was a cross between the electro sound, Miami Bass/2 Live Crew sound, and traditional late 80′s West Coast/Oakland sound.
Mix’s next album, “Seminar” would also be a regional favorite, and would also show the growth of Mix as an artist, with the song “National Anthem”, which is still one of my favorite political based Hip Hop songs of all times. Not only are the lyrics scathing and true to life, the beat is slamming as well, with deep basslines ripping through a system. True to form though, Mix was also about having fun on this album as well, with “Hooptie” and “Beepers” as popular singles as well. Mix would also have social commentary with “Peek A Boo” which is much better on the original Nastymix version, the version found on the Def American re release pretty much sucks.
The spring of ’92. I had just finished my first semester of college, barely making it through without flunking out. I was having fun, partying a lot and not working a lot. I still had money to buy all the CD’s/Tapes I wanted and a little black Volkswagen Jetta that had two 12 inch woofers in a box in the trunk and a Fosgate Punch 150 pushing them. Needless to say, my shit bumped. That spring, Mix’s first single from his new album “Mack Daddy” dropped. It was “One Time’s Got No Case”. It was good, nothing wrong with it all. It was what you expected basically when you heard a Mix-a-Lot song. Later that spring, the album would drop. Now, I’m not going to blow smoke up your asses saying this album changed our life, but right off the bat, we knew it would be getting most of our play that summer. Right off the bat, the song “Baby Got Back” caught our attention. We thought it was great. In a couple weeks, the whole nation would think the same thing. It would be Mix’s big break. The album would sell close to double platinum and the single was everywhere, even after MTV banned it to a late not time slot.
Mix-A-Lot would never match the success again. His next album, “Chief Boot Knocka” would feature the sequel to “Baby Got Back” with “Put ‘Em On The Glass”, which instead of being about asses, it was about titties, yeah, even Mix himself said later in interviews it was a mistake. The single “Ride” got some play out here, but it wasn’t the same in my book. It’s not that it was a bad album, but since it dropped in ’94, there was some stiff competition out there and it wasn’t on the same playing field. “Return Of The Bumpasaraus” was the next release in ’97, which I’ve never heard. He would retire after that album, but would work with the rock/indie group “Dead Presidents” on an album, but I don’t think that ever saw the light of day. In 2003, he would “unretire” and drop “Daddy’s Home”, which, again, I’ve never heard, or barely heard of, so I can’t speak much on that.
Sir Mix-a-Lot – Seminar (Nastymix, 1989) **this is the American Recordings Re Release***
|1. Sleepin’ Wit My Fonk|
|2. Let It Beaounce|
|4. Take My Stash|
|5. Brown Shuga|
|6. What’s Real|
|7. Double da Pleasure|
|8. Put ‘Em on the Glass|
|9. Chief Boot Knocka|
|10. Don’t Call Me da Da|
|11. Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings|
|12. Monsta Mack|
|13. Just da Pimpin’ in Me|
|14. I Check My Bank|
Ear To The Street (Priority, 1993)
Gamers (Priority, 1996)
This should be interesting….
Consisting of CMG & Special One, the female Bay Area duo released their debut album “Ear To The Street”, in 1993. Consisting of the traditional Bay Area sound, with a touch of street sound along with the militant views of Paris, who signed them, the two spit some strong lyrics for female MC’s. The album did do fairly well, selling 300,000 copies and the strength of the single “Somethin’ Fonky (To Ride To)”.
The sophomore album “Gamers” dropped, while it sold 200,000, it wasn’t up on par with the debut. They are signed to Paris’ Guerrilla Funk label and are working on their 3rd album “The Nut Cracker Suite”.
Conscious Daughters – Ear To The Street (Priority, 1993) **albumbase link**
|1. Princess of Poetry|
|2. Shity Situation|
|3. TCD in da Front|
|4. Somethin’ to Ride To (Fonky Expedition)|
|5. We Roll Deep|
|7. Wife of a Gangsta|
|8. Dex Dog|
|10. Mac Flow|
|11. What’s a Girl to Do?|