Ohhhhhhhh Kaaaaaaay!(okay Eric, welcome to 2007 buddy!) Whaddup to all! Here’s the deal peoples, my folks came in to town this weekend to see my baby girls and plain and simple I’m not really gonna’ have the time or the effort to post up anything tonite (the jury is still out on tomorrow) and I don’t just wanna’ “half-assit” so with no delay I bring you the final chapter of “Rasul’s Most Underrated”. Now, most of you who have been stopping by for the last few months are gonna’ say “What a minute here Eric! Weren’t these albums already posted?” Well…yes and no, I upped the links for the following CLASSICS…yes, CLASSICS (I don’t throw that word around lightly)..but I did “half-assit” and not give the albums the honor they so deserve with a proper write up. With that being said, I feel that it should be done right and I’m actually gonna’ try in the very near future to provide all the albums in my archives with a proper (“what ya’ say Hammer, PROPER”) write up. So more so than your listening pleasure, this post is for your reading pleasure. BTW, last time I heard from Rasul (about 3 or so weeks ago) he was working on a script…so wish Ra well..he’s a pretty talented dude and I hope he “knocks it out the park”
Two real quick notes, I recently watched the Blue Scholars new video “Back Home” and while I get “the point” and the message that the Blue Scholars are trying to convey and it’s a really emotional, saddening video and it really hit home with me (I spent 18 months in Iraq and I have friends who are still over there!)…especially the scene were the service man in his dress greens brings the “bad news” to an unexpected mother. But, as much as I don’t want to admit it, I think that if this was indeed the first single for “Bayani” I think they made the wrong move. I would have much rather seen “Loyalty”, an extended version of “Second Chapter” or even the title cut been the first release because I really think that this album deserves to get some serious attention. Maybe I’m totally off with this one, but I’m just a bit disappointed.
Secondly, I need some help folks! Can someone please shoot me an e-mail or even drop a comment and explain to me in the “simplest” terms possible how to up a YouTube clip on here. It’s not gonna’ be a regular thing, I’ve just come across a few “clips” that are very interesting and “surprising” that I’d like to share (you gotta’ see the Lupe Fiasco interview I watched this morning!). Any help will be accepted with gratitude, thanks in advance. Hope everyone enjoys the remainder of the weekend!!
“Back Home”-Blue Scholars
Rasul’s Most Underrated Pt.III
The album came out in 1991 on Wild Pitch Records! That label was known for originality and an innovative approach and had gathered a strong and deep following throughout the years with their association to the 45 King and their earlier releases of Chill Rob G.’s “Ride The Rhythm”, Gangstarr’s “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and Lord Finesse’s “Funky Technician”. Therefore, if you were a true addict and always on the hunt for new music, you pretty much knew about that album when it first hit the shelves. But then again, you have to understand the dynamics of Hip Hop back in that year and other contenders Large Pro and his two Canadian DJs had to compete with to gain some sort of semi-notoriety. Hip Hop mattered back then! Everybody involved with the music sensed the season of change; the way the once beloved and partially secret treat of the “colored and oppressed” was slowly outgrowing regions and limitations and how it had already started to move beyond borders. Main Source had to go against PEs and De La’s, they had to bow to their musical soul-mates Tribe for infusing Jazz to our psyches and sadly enough, there was although this white guy from Miami doing the Running-Man and chanting “Ice Ice Baby”. I wouldn’t say “Breaking Atoms” flew under the radar, it was just one of those great compilations that grew on you with time: It took you a New York-Minute to really dig Extra P. with his silly-looking glasses who made a song about “Just Hanging Out” with his friends (and naming each and everyone of them), explaining the everyday activities all of us could easily relate to. “Lookin‘ At The Front Door” explained the unspoken matters between lovers growing out of a relationship with such ease and simplicity that it actually hurt! And that exactly was so compelling about the man: He just shared his often simple experiences with you and never sounded misplaced or remotely rushed- though he did get a little lyrical with “Just A Friendly Game Of Baseball” and “Live At The BBQ” introducing Nasty Nas. And there was the production. I think they can fill whole books with the credit and recognition Main Source have received for their diligent body of work. I’m not going to detail how they put this and that sample together to bore you. I’m sure most of you have heard this masterpiece and know what the heck I’m talking about…-Rasul
I believe a lot of you guys will agree with me on this joint! Fourteen years after the release, the title shows an audacious foresight to the way this group and their Hieroglyphics-Empire have solidified their status in our Hip Hop world. This album paved the way for great follow-ups of Casual and Extra Prolific who preserved a well-documented perception of this family and the good thing about it is, they are still very relevant. Is “93 ‘Till Infinity” a classic? It sure is. Did the album, when it first came out, captivate the entire population with its wit and untainted chemistry? It sure didn’t. This album grew on everybody. At a time when every suburban teen seemed to french-kiss Dr. Dre and Snoop for the way they’ve put the West Coast on the map, this chain of creativity from four guys out of the Bay-Area felt slightly misplaced. Very much like the Pharcyde’s “Bizarre Ride To The Pharcyde” the Souls Of Mischief sounded more “east” than anything known to the ears. The MCs constantly fed off each other and presented substance and style- plus you could never tell which one was your favorite. The product
ion was timeless: Hard hitting drums with rare samples ( check out “Make Your Mind Up” and “Never No More”- specially the Remix!) sounding more New York than anything (and maybe that was the dilemma for them to not hit the jackpot right away!?). There isn’t much I should add to this: Anybody who’s reading this has heard and enjoyed this album and cherishes timely memories connected to it. And like I said before, this is one of those albums that outgrew its limitations throughout the years, receiving the well-deserved props. On that note…-Rasul
By now, you have already noticed how my last nine suggestions have only treated albums released in the early 90s. There is a plausible explanation for that: I moved to New York in 1995 and after coming back to Germany, the “fan” who had loved to make music had turned to a musician / rapper who was still a “fan”. That’s when the real struggle started: I had to juggle a regular nine to five (mostly working at a record-store), maintain a relationship and pursue a career, swimming with the sharks, in the music-industry! I’m far from complaining, this was the path I chose but my playful and hungry lust for new music began to defer and was slowly replaced by an analytical eye (or better yet ear) to dissect methods and formats. I started to look for perfection only to improve our own sounds and lost the youthful approach of just “listening” to music- or maybe I was just getting older and nothing really struck my ancient nerves anymore. Anyway, after the glorious days of my group “Square One” turned to food for the history-books in early 2002, I took some time off to reevaluate my life. I chilled for the most part, cleaned up the house, excelled in my culinary-skills and I began to “listen” to music again. That’s when the Rhythm Blunt CRU’s “Dirty 30″ manouvered its way back to my heart. When the album was released in 1997, not a single soul, fans and industry-experts alike, could have imagined a better “package” to run with than the one CRU had to offer: They had sort of a hit with “Just Another Case”, Flex was pumping that ish like crazy, Def Jam was on top of their game, Chris Lighty’s Violater was the management and the inexplicably simple logo of the group was something you would never forget! Obviously, nothing could go wrong. But then again, if Def Jam releases an album in august (that’s when “Da Dirty 30″ came out), they’re probably paving the way for all their heavy-hitters who’re about to penetrate the “game” with their “fourth-quarter-madness” (see 2006) and you shouldn’t expect no mean promotional machinery, right? Right! So between the monthly Wu-Related-Releases, the Ja-Rules and DMXs barking back and forth and Jay having sunshine written all over his face, the CRU faded away to the no-man’s-land and by the beginning of the following year, the world forgot they had ever existed and so did I. The title referred to the 30 deep track-listing combining unique production with more than simplistic wordplay. The MCs Yogi (who was although responsible for the production) and the strange-looking Chadeeo had an unimaginable chemistry reminiscent of ATCQ. Matter of fact, a lot of things about the group and their music reminded me of Tribe and still do. I often heard and later read how the album is way too long with its ten interludes and twenty songs, how the content was mostly reluctant and damp and how you were never able to listen to the whole thing from the beginning to end. Well I strongly object! This guys reflected the spirit of New York, a city desperately searching for a forsaken identity after the loss of its king Frank White. If you’ve ever been to the notorious Tunnel, you would understand the legitimacy of “Live At The Tunnel”! “Nuthin‘ But”, “Straight From L.I.P.” and “Bubblin‘” captured the hardcore essence of all the five borrows and could have easily been produced by The Beatminers. Still, you could find more light-hearted compositions like the aforementioned “Just Another Case” or the mischievous “Wreckgonize” and “The Ebonic Plague” that gave you a mental break and to this day, I truly enjoy some of the hilarious ideas these guys have put together for their interludes. I’m not sure if this was a classic like most of my other propositions! All I know is that these guys made one of the best and by far overlooked albums for a many moons to come. I actually think that the next best thing, at least on that level, was Jay’s 2001 release “Blueprint”…-Rasul